Tuesday, May 29, 2012

memorial day

We had a great day off yesterday. I started the day with a trip to the temple. Then we just spent time as a family. I took a nap. My husband played with our kids. Then we had a family picnic that evening.

We went to a park, had a picnic, took a drive to see the bay, and came home tired and hot, but content. I watered plants with the girls while my husband finished mowing the lawn. And then we headed inside to put the kids to bed.

That's when things started to fall apart. Babs smacked my husband as he took her off to go to bed, so she got stuck in bed with no stories and no songs. She obviously didn't approve of that, but eventually quieted down. Kiddo was much better natured, but decided as I was leaving the room she really needed a snack. So she came out for a snack. When I sent her to bed, she was terribly sad that I wouldn't go back to bed with her, so I walked her back to her room. She insisted that her three night light options were not sufficient, and instead wanted the overhead light on (or, as she called it, the day time light). I just wanted her to be in bed, so I turned on the light and walked out.

As I walked away, I noticed that the light was on in Babs' room too. She was standing in her crib, turning the light on and off.

"We're losing tonight," I announced to my husband.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

it's a sad day...

... when you go to the doctor for an undefined fever (which she defines as strep throat) and you come home with croup.

I've now gone a week without sleeping through the night. I've done this at other times in my life, and let me tell you what, I still don't like it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

when a fever is not just a fever

The day before my parents came, Babs got a fever. This is not the first time this has happened, and it seems to not be a big deal. No one else gets sick when this happens, and it usually goes away after a day or two. So we proceeded onward with our weekend plans of visits with family and other events.

But the fever just didn't go away. And it seemed to be getting worse. We weathered the weekend, and tried to convince ourselves on Monday morning that she was really getting better. But by midday I realized it just wasn't true, and called up the doctor. The moment that I knew she had to go was when I realized that typically, my child is happy and plays all day, and I don't have to hold her all day. The idea of putting her down again was so attractive I had to call the doctor.

A few minutes with the doctor and now we know she had strep. Twenty-four hours with antibiotics, and she's herself again (albeit a tired self, we haven't had a full nights rest around this place for almost a week). And soon she'll really be right again. Thank goodness for antibiotics, and doctors who know their business.

her future as a fix-it person

One of the handles of Kiddo's dresser fell off a few weeks ago. I told her grandpa would fix it when he came to visit. Well, this weekend, he was finally here! Not long after he showed up (with Grammy) Kiddo ran off to her room, and told him how the handle had fallen off, and how he was going to fix it.

"Why don't you fix it?" he asked her.

She sincerely responded, "Because my tools are plastic."

Monday, May 14, 2012

so, what does expensive mean?

From a catalog that we recently received, Kiddo discovered two things that she really, really wants. One is a blow-up water slide/pool for the backyard. One is a play house. Both cost over $500. They are too expensive for our life right now. And we told Kiddo this over and over (then finally hid the catalog). There has been a lot of weeping and wailing, and truthfully she is still sad about it.

Today we were looking at the housing classifieds, and she pointed out some houses we could think about buying. The ones she was looking at cost over a million dollars, also too expensive for us. And I told her that.

"People who say 'yes' to expensive things can live there," she observed sadly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

my plan, and how it didn't happen

subtitle: "why my eldest is a pill"

I really felt like I needed to get the kids out of the house today, and decided to take them to a farm/nature center with a playground not too far from our house. Except we got lost on the way there, and then I found a playground, but after playing there for a while, I figured out that it wasn't the right one. So I got the girls back in the car, but once we got closer, I figured out the farm section of the park cost money, and since we would only be there for a few minutes by that point, we turned around and headed home. (It was not a complete failure; they probably don't think it was a failure at all. The girls got to play for a long time on a new playground, and got to listen to their favorite CD (all the songs!) while we drove around.)

As we started driving away though, Babs started yelling about needing to go to the barn. Then Kiddo (in a chilling and humbling imitation of me) snaps at Babs that "we can't go to the barn today! so stop whining! stop crying, we're not going to the farm today! or tomorrow because it's preschool tomorrow!" Yet Babs continues her cries for the barn. I eventually get them both calmed down.

We decided to go to a fast food place for lunch, because I thought it would be fun for us (and by golly, it was part of my plan!). I debated a couple places in my head, and then took us to Wendy's. As we pulled into the parking lot, Kiddo announced she didn't want to go to this one. So, I pulled out of the parking lot, and tried to figure out where she wanted to go. She expressed that she wanted to go to the one with the picture of the girl. Since that's where we had been, I turned around to take us back. But she did not want to be there. So while sitting in the parking lot with them, I tried again to determine which place she would like to go to.

A disclamor: you may wonder why I'm letting my child dictate my life to me like this. I wonder too. But, we've been fighting a lot lately. And as I've pondered and prayed about this, I've clearly felt that her yelling at me is not only a reaction to me yelling at her (which has stopped), but is also both a request for love, and an expression of frustration that she doesn't get more of a say in her life. So I'm trying to give her more of say in the decisions where I can. Thus two weeks ago we sat in the very front pew at church. And, since one fast food place (or hamburger store, as we call them around here) is as good for you as the next, I saw this as a place to let her decide.

So back to our story, I was attempting to find out where she wanted to go. I explained: "There are three hamburger stores that we go to. There is Wendy's which is the place with the picture of the girl. There is Burger King. And there is McDonald's. But we usually don't go there because Mama doesn't like that one." As soon as I said it, I knew I had said the wrong thing (for getting to a place I wanted to go to).

"Well I like McDonald's best," announced Kiddo (anything to not agree with me). "That's where we need to go," she continued, with a very opinionated tone. And that's where we went.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

when she grows up

There are lots of things Kiddo wants to do when she grows up. She yearns to be a farmer. And an animal trainer. Some days she plans on being a paleontologist. Other days she plans to fly to outer space. She always wants to be a mom. A few nights ago I learned about another dream.
(she'd also like to be a librari-anne)
She has two "body books" which are books about how the body works. She often likes me to read to her from them as we go to bed. After reading a few pages the other night, she said she'd like to show me her favorite page, which I agreed I'd like to see. She turned a few pages, and there it was, the page about ... acne.

She especially wanted me to explain to her the diagrams of clogged pores. Then she asked how much the skin pokes up over a clogged pore. I pulled my sleeve over my shoulder, quickly found a zit, and showed her. Then I popped it, to get the infection out. She was so very, very impressed. When she gets to be a mommy, she will also be able to have clogged pores, and she's pretty excited about this.


The silliness of that moment was dulled by a sad feeling I have about my two sweet girls (long term) growing up. I look into their clear eyes, and perfect skin, and marvel at it. Then I feel sad, because there is a very good chance that they inherited my rosacea, and will not get to, but have to, deal with irritated, red skin for a lot of their adulthood. Maybe when this happens I can remind Kiddo how cool she thought it was, back in the day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

where the wild things are

After our 19 month stint in an urban jungle, (and then six months in Texas) we are finally back where the green grass grows, and more importantly, the green trees. And we are enjoying it immensely.

This is the nest that a robin so thoughtfully built right outside our laundry room window. I watched her bravely sit on her eggs for two weeks, and now there are little robin babies. I can count three. (She picked a really good place for her nest, it's almost impossible to get to (unless you're a robin), and very well protected from the elements. 
But this is not all that we've found. A few weeks ago we found a slug in the middle of our downstairs. (On the carpet, that must have really taxed it.) In a moment of thoughtfulness, instead of squishing it flat, my husband put it in a jar so we could show Kiddo. I wasn't sure about that idea, and didn't show it to her until late the next afternoon. She was delighted. And almost immediately started talking about Slug (it's name) being her first pet. She took it on a whirlwind tour of the house, and had Babs teach him how to color in the first afternoon. ("Babs, tell Slug, 'do you want to color?'" "you wan co-lo?" "Babs, tell Slug...")
Kiddo really wants a pet. She tells us constantly how she is getting a cat and a dog when she gets older. We, the parents, remain non-committal, leaning towards, don't count on it. So her choosing the first living thing she saw enclosed in our house as a pet should not have surprised us. (Yet our daughter is also all about the next great thing in her life, so we're not sure she's got the attention span for a pet anyway.)

But its now part of our evening routine. Part of going to bed for Kiddo is to watch my husband or I clean the tupperware, then she refills the water dish (distilled water, tap water is chlorinated, thus toxic for the slug), and make sure its still moving. (Really, how else do we know he's still alive?) We've learned that slugs like to hide. This particular one loves cucumbers. It's actually pretty, for a slug. It will be heading back to nature soon, but I keep trying to remind my husband, as pets go, this one is pretty low maintenance.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

where the sidewalk ends

Last night the Bishop called to see if my husband could attend the temple with the youth of our ward. While I am grateful that we have already set a standard for ourselves as being willing and able to serve, I would have also enjoyed him being home.

But, I forged onward, and took the girls outside, and then found myself agreeing to take them on a bicycle ride. But not to the park I clarified, only down and back up our road. This was largely because it was late, and bedtime was approaching, and also because I was tired.

We emerged out of our backyard, Kiddo on her bike and ready to go. I asked Babs if she wanted to ride in her stroller, to which she answered, "Yeah...No." and started running after Kiddo. So I followed, without the stroller. When I got to the sidewalk, Babs saw I did not have the stroller, and started wailing, walking back to the corner where we keep it, and it was clear I had misread her answer. But I couldn't just go get the stroller, because Kiddo was already making serious time down the sidewalk, and wouldn't stop, even though I was screaming her name. (It is still unclear to me whether she couldn't or wouldn't hear.)

So there I was, standing between two kids, both of them moving away from me in different directions. And I just didn't know who it made more sense to follow. Do I chase the four year old, and leave the two year old to hopefully stay off the street? or do I help the two year old and hope the four year old eventually stops? Five seconds of paralyzing indecision later I ran back to Babs, set up the stroller, threw her in and started off to see if I could catch up to Kiddo.

Kiddo was at least five houses down the street, and had started coming back, once she realized I wasn't coming. But when she saw me, instead of waiting, she hopped back on her bike, and started going again. Didn't she realize that was majorly against the rules? That she needed to be closer to me, so I could help?

I pushed Babs as fast as I could safely, watching Kiddo continue flying down the road, getting further and further away. Our road is small and protected, but it intersects into a very busy road. And I couldn't figure out whether she was going to (or even could) stop. So I kept running, at this point also terrified, and, with tears streaming down my face, crying out loud "Heavenly Father, please stop her! Please, stop her!" All I could really see was her little pink self, moving very quickly toward a road filled with many cars moving even quicker. Then there was only one house left, but there were people in front of it, would they stop her?

Then quite abruptly, her bike crashed. And she stood up, looking back at me. She smiled, and ran toward me. I told her, without yelling, but really close to it, to stand next to her sister, and DON'T MOVE while I fetched her bike. She had fallen off because the sidewalk ended one house from the major street, and the drop from the sidewalk to the grass was about six inches.

I should have been grateful she wasn't hurt by the fall. Instead I focused on my gratitude that she had no chance to fly into the busy street...

On the way home, she sped ahead of me once more. Her bike rides will have to be with Daddy for a while.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

some thoughts on Babs

I never want to forget that sweet chipped tooth grin.

Or that she says "noo-noo" instead of "noodle."

Or that she calls elephants "el-steps" because of a video (Elephant Steps) we watched a thousand times.

Or that she sings "pin-kle, pin-kle, yittle stah" and about 30 other recognizable songs. When we listen to "looby-loo" in the car she yells to me "Mama! I shake!"

I want to remember her crazy laugh when she's about to do something we all know is wrong, or how she grabs jammies and onesie and proclaims them "mine!" just to frustrate her sister.

Two years later, she still winds her hands in my hair for comfort, and will try to sneak in a touch of Kiddo's hair when their watching TV and she hopes it won't be noticed.

"C'mon I show you," she says, as she takes my hand in her little pudgy one, and leads me to her room so we can play.