Sunday, December 31, 2006
She is not running a fever, so I haven't commenced panicking. Of course I've got panic on deck behind grave concern but for now, I think Kate will survive. Besides, just the other day her father and I got her a brand new pair of pajamas! I had exactly enough time to wash and dry them before she required them for an entire day.
I'm pleased to share that they are flame retardant. Shew! What a relief to know that pretty much any set of pajamas I wish to buy my children will not attract fire. And since the specter of terrifying fire threatening my family is only nocturnal, I needn't worry that a tag bragging of the material's ability to keep fire off skin has never appeared on a single item my children wear in daylight hours.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
That's exactly how I woke up this morning at 8:25. For a moment I forgot that Kate & Sarah were having a slumber party with Steve & Joy and I careened into consciousness with a panicked, confused glance at the clock. Then I remembered...and gave some serious consideration to going directly back to sleep. But I had to pee. And since it was a good 3 hours later than I usually get up, once I got out of bed I was up, and anyway, the idea of sleeping any longer seemed like an abuse of Steve & Joy's kindness.
And so, after an entire day (during which Kate pooped in the potty at daycare!!!) child-free, Jeremiah retrieved our children. About an hour ago, while carrying Sarah, Sarah's spent bottle, Kate's book du jour, some toy she had to bring to the kitchen and holding Kate's hand while going down the stairs I took a moment to enjoy having my kids back home and simultaneously wonder when the next kid-free day might happen...
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thoughts of my mortality, the fact that Kate keeps ripping the paper on my gifts from Jeremiah and that there is no coffee made and I've been up for over an hour not withstanding, I can tell this is going to be a great day. Think I'll get cracking on the coffee issue - Kate & Sarah gave me a mug with the photo of them wearing their Christmas outfits and sitting together on it. They are so thoughtful!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
For one thing, Kate and Sarah had become very mommy-clingy. I spent the previous couple days with Kate attached to my leg and Sarah attached to my chest. When we arrived at the center, Kate insisted on being carried in. So I carried her, a giant shopping bag full of the stuff that was in their old cubbies and Sarah's bottles, while pushing the stroller with Sarah in her carseat in it. That was tricky. When I walked in, there were 2 employees at the door to greet me. I immediately informed them "this is our first day!" and to my relief, they set to work making us feel comfortable straight away.
Sarah was perfectly happy. She was smiling and making spit bubbles and playing with her mouth. Kate was quiet, but interested while Nikki, the program coordinator, showed us all around and where to put our stuff. They had a skeleton crew due to the holidays and very few kids were there, so Kate and Sarah started the day in the same room. Kate seemed alright...
Then I took her hand, walked her over to the little clatch of kids who were there, all younger than her, and said hello to them and introduced Kate. All the kids stared at her silently. She stared back silently. I said "Kate, can you say good morning?" and she was silent. It was then that she began to bawl. Given that she'd been talking about her friends at the Frazer center on the ride over, I wasn't surprised. I resisted the urge to join her. Barely. But again, everyone was on point, and when I left the room Kate and Sarah were both on the lap of Miss Diane. Kate had a baby doll in hand. When I spied on her via the closed circuit TV they've got, she was doing her "I'm in charge here" walk across the room and putting the baby doll back with the other dolls.
When I called at 10:00 Sarah was having some tummy time after her bottle (I forgot to mention they should be at the ready with a burp cloth when they do that, but they no doubt figured it out) and Kate was having a diaper changed and was not crying. They have phones in each room, so you talk directly to the caregivers, which is cool.
Joy picked the girls up early and took them to her place to play with the dogs and hang out. Not because it was their first day at a new place, well, maybe a little. When she did, she learned that Sarah had spent most of the day being held and rocked. "Does her mother wear her all the time?" the woman in the infant room asked Joy. Weeeeellll, not all the time, but for the past week. Oops.
All in all, we're pleased. If yesterday was a good indication of what they're like there all the time, this place is going to be great.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Bob and his wife Vicki packed up the whole lot of them and carted them down here to my house yesterday. I never did get a firm number of people, but it was pretty tight in here. It was fun, though. They only stayed for a short time, long enough for coffee and dismantling a cute little gingerbread house. It's easy for me to distinguish my own cousins, of course, it's their kids I can't keep straight. And the place was lousy with them. They were delightful guests! Polite, but they made themselves at home without me having to put a lot of effort into hostessing. And, they all seem to love babies. Sarah was passed around the entire crowd and she did well. It took her over an hour to decide she'd had enough.
No one seemed bothered in the least that the place was a pig sty. And my Uncle Al, who I haven't seen in years, was here, which was a surprise! He's looking great, I only wish I'd had more time to visit with him. Kate was shy and clingy for approximately 5 minutes, then basked in the glow of all the attention.
Yesterday was also Joy's birthday and we celebrated it in the evening after the aforementioned gathering. Steve made her a cake with real caramel icing. He didn't realize that caramel involved brining his concotion up to 238 degrees and then letting it cool again. There was some griping. Then, in his haste, he frosted the middle layer while the icing was still somewhat warm and, when he placed the top layer on, there was a certain amount of sliding involved. I thought it was very cute, especially when he and my dad opted to rush the cake outside to speed the cooling process along. All in all, the cake looked pretty good. And tasted wonderful.
Kate celebrated the Joy's birth by donning the cowgirl accessories Steve & Joy got her for Christmas. She tried to pull her 6-shooter on Joy when she arrived and say "stick `em up, Jo Jo!" but she couldn't get the gun out of the holster and she couldn't remember her line. Oh well. Somehow, I failed to get a picture of the birthday girl. Here's the cowgirl, though.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Kate and I made cookies for Santa.
`Twas the night before Christmas and up in this house, some creatures were bitchin', while constructing Kate's kitchen...
At last, Santa arrived and left so much crap in the place we had to move the furniture just to escape the living room. He ate the cookies, too.
Sadly, the night ended in tragedy when the mysterious creature emerging from Sarah's stocking bit mom's arm off shortly after this photo was taken.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
That kid is a nose-grabber.
She pawed a number of faces today, primarily her grandmother's. She did the same thing to Grandma Cory when she was here.
Sarah is going to kick ass at the "got yer nose" game. (Note here that Grandma Cory is wearing Jeremiah's T-bone grilling apron. This is what the Druekes took to doing while holding Sarah to protect themselves from the frequent baby-eruptions. Someone would say "let me hold that baby!" then hesitate and say "oh wait, let me suit up...")
In further nose-centric news, Kate, having been instructed to blow her nose on a wipe she'd liberated from the package in the diaper bag, decided we should all blow our noses and she would assist us in doing so. On that same wipe. It was simultaneously cute and disgusting. Like snails.
During the course of the evening, Kevin called and informed me he was disappointed I'd never posted the picture of Kate drinking a smoothie while wearing my gardening gloves on the blog. I don't think that was the purpose of his call, it just happened to come up. So, here it is!
Friday, December 22, 2006
I did not capture any images of Kate opening the solstice "earthy" gift on behalf of her sister and her, but I wish I had, just for the scene of her going to town on the wrapping paper. When she finally got through the paper and into the box and found it was the birdhouse pictured here, she didn't get it right away. She continued to look in the box for something good, tossing packing paper out behind her as she searched intently in the box.
I had anticipated that and so wasn't terribly disappointed. We explained that the birdhouse attaches to her window, and she'll be able to watch the birds nesting in it. Then, to illustrate the birdhouse in use, Jeremiah attached it to the living room window. We were pretty sure she still wouldn't care and in fact, would continue to be apathetic until an actual bird shows up at her window. However, once the birdhouse was up, she said "come on birds! Come in!" And that made my night.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Good times, good times. As we were leaving and I was carrying the 30 pound, exhausted child all the way from the exit, down the long sidewalk and up a couple flights of stairs in the parking garage, we could still hear the sea lions barking. I told Kate they were telling her good-bye and she kept saying "STOP! I have to go bye-bye! STOP!" as though she was trying to excuse herself from a conversation at a party she was trying to escape. Even when she's at her most obnoxious, she's still kind of funny.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Today was such a gorgeous, sunny day that I opted to go rake them up while Jeremiah and Kate were off at the airport, picking up Kate's Uncle Keith and cousin Rosellen (who she calls Cousin Rosellen). When they all arrived at the house, I had a giant pile that was perfect for jumping in.
According to Beliefnet, we're both NeoPagans, anyway (please do not ask me to explain what that is...we took a quiz, we came back as that, with strong leanings toward Universal Unitarianism...) Since most of the things we do to celebrate Christmas are derivatives of ancient solstice celebrations, anyway, we thought it would be cool for Kate & Sarah to grow up knowing exactly why we chop down a tree, bring into the house and cover it with lights and decorations this time of year.
According to the book I've been reading on the history of the world's Winter Solstice celebrations, people have been celebrating the return of the sun since our cave-dwelling days. While there are lots of old, cool traditions we could revive we're making a couple of our own. First, on the evening of the solstice (the 22nd this year) we're going to give the girls one "earthy" gift. When they get older, we'll talk about why people made such a hoo-ha about the longest night. For now, we'll just go with the gift. We got them a birdhouse with one clear wall that affixes to a window, so you can spy on the birds. Also, we'll be doing a dinner. I was going to make some fancy-schmancy menu for the night - because I enjoy that - but then I decided that the solstice makes me long for comfort food. So that's what we're having. This year we're going with our favorite chili recipe. Maybe we'll all wear our pajamas all day, I don't know.
I love Christmas, I can't wait to celebrate it with the kids. But now I'm exactly as excited about the solstice. I don't know if it's because I think that particular celebration is so cool, or because I'm thrilled to be able to start a family tradition. I don't suppose it matters.
Friday, December 15, 2006
We wanted to be sure everyone knows how much we appreciate the care they've given our kids. I made cookies, put them in the little red, plush boxes with bows around them (thank-you, Dollar Store!) and affixed the buttons that say "It's too bad the people who know how to run the country are busy teaching school" we got from the Syracuse Cultural Workers to them. Then we wrote thank-you cards to each teacher. When I dropped the gifts off this morning (what's cuter than a little 2 year old in a lovely white fur-cuffed, red velvet dress handing a gift to someone? ) I realized why I'd been feeling so hostile about all the forced "teacher appreciation" the parents' groups at the daycare do. It pisses me off when someone feels the need to tell me to be grateful. Especially when I really am grateful. How can you be sure someone understands your gratitude if they know the effort to get you to bring in muffins a couple times was organized by some other group of people?
I wanted to thank the girls' teachers on my own without someone telling me to, but with all the stuff someone was telling me to do, I didn't have time or money to do it. Now that we're leaving, we're free of teacher appreciation week and month and holiday and birthday and I was able to do what I wanted! It had the effect of making me even sadder, because when I was doing that I wasn't feeling resentful of the other parents...and all I had to focus on was how great the teachers are.
Hope the new place doesn't suck!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Looking out my windshield at the ocean of traffic - all slightly off kilter - I reviewed my current state.
1. I was running late. I have been late to work nearly every day since having Sarah. Only about 10 minutes or so, but still, I used to be 10 minutes early every day.
2. My shirt has a couple of little spots of spit-up on it but I left it on because all the other shirts that would go with the pants I'm wearing are dirty and
3. I haven't had time to do laundry.
4. Even though I was already late, I spent a few minutes in Sarah's daycare room with her, telling her how much mommy loves her (I have Working Mom's Guilt or WMG. I've been a carrier all my life, having been raised Catholic, but the symptoms came on full force once I had kids) while she ignored me to gaze at a large, plush ball.
5. I am writing this while I'm at work instead of trying to catch up after being slightly late because I think about my kids way more than I think about getting SQL code written and accompanying reports designed and uploaded.
6. The WMG is a far stronger virus than the alternative disease - Mom-Worker Guilt (MWG) in which a person feels bad for ignoring their career in favor of their kids.
I believe the transformation is complete. From Party Girl, to YUPPY to DINK to American Nuclear Family Archetype.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
So, I called the doctor to make her an appointment. When I said "they think she has pink eye" the receptionist informed me "you don't see the doctor for that, you talk to the nurse". Which was precisely true. I left a message on the nurse's line, she called back, asked if Kate's eye had any muck in it and then called in a prescription for an antibiotic drop that Jeremiah and I now have the pleasure of administering 3 times a day for a week whether she needs it or not.
Kate seems to understand the purpose of the medicine. She nods obligingly when we explain that we have to put drops in her eye, but it still takes both of us to do it successfully. This morning I took out the bottle and she said "NO! I can do it!" So I let her hold it and she went straight to work taking her medicine. You'll be happy to know that the bridge of Kate's nose is now medicated against conjunctivitis.
Monday, December 11, 2006
As you know, Margie came for a visit and brought with her early Christmas. My favorite thing about this event was when Kate, who took quite well to opening presents, found a gift for Sarah and took it to her, telling her "Here Sarah, this one's for you!"
Jeremiah looks dashing in Kate's new puppy dress-up ensemble -
Also, Kate's final gymnastics class (for this session) was Saturday. Here she is exhibiting her advanced skills -
Friday, December 08, 2006
Jeremiah and I were headed out the door to run an errand together. I know that seems banal but running an errand alone together is pretty exciting to us these days. As we were standing in the entryway, donning jackets and gloves, Margie called to us from the TV room where Sarah was having some tummy time. "You didn't tell me she could roll over!"
Even though we rushed into the room and stood expectantly, stalker-like above her, she did not take another turn. I'm considering taking the If-I-didn't-see-it-it-never-happened approach and just keeping the camera in my hand at all times in case she does it again and I can capture it in a series of rapid-fire shutter clicks. And then I'll say "Sweet serendipity! I just happened to be photographing her when she rolled over for the first time!"
Thursday, December 07, 2006
In honor of all of you, I have “adopted” a family for Christmas this year through work. Last year BCSSI adopted an elementary school third grade class that had been destroyed by Katrina. This year, through one of the employees, we have identified (10) local Warrenton families who through no fault of their own, are having a tough year.
In lieu of personal gifts to you, I’ll be purchasing gifts for this family and will be placing your names on the tags as “The Provost Family & Children”. Heather is a single mother who has 3 boys, ages 14, 11 and 5. They are Kenny, Dylan and Tristin. In your name, groceries for Christmas dinner, gasoline, gloves, and a toy for each child will be provided. I’ll even do the wrapping this weekend when I’m home with my mom
Merry Christmas my Provost friends and extended family! I hope you approve, and I hope you know how much each of you, individually and collectively, mean to me and my family! I don’t know if we can get a picture of the family or not, but I believe Karen (coordinator at work) is going to try. If we do, I’ll pass it on to you all. We are truly blessed to have jobs, friends and family and I just wanted to pass that blessing along to others who aren’t as fortunate as we.
Love, Ant Sue
Sue with baby Kate
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
It could be correct but Kate, having worn herself out from 8 weeks of incessant screaming, started sleeping all night when she was 2 months old and has never stopped. "Sarah's started sleeping though the night." I offered in an attempt to comfort them. She had. She was doing pretty well. She was in the stroller next to me when I said it (Kate was keeping careful guard announcing repeatedly to anyone who dared enter the hallway "DON'T TOUCH MY SARAH!") When Sarah heard me say this she took immediate action - she has been careful not to sleep all night once since.
She screams. One of us runs up the stairs and starts small (re-insert pacifier), gradually works up to medium (remove her from her crib and rock for a bit) and ultimately ends up large (take her to bed with us because we are too spent to stand or even sit up a moment longer and she's still just wiggling and grinning away.) Once that happens, I no longer sleep at all because somehow Sarah always manages to inch her way into me and I spend the night clinging desperately to the very edge of the bed afraid to go entirely to sleep for fear of accidentally getting comfortable and subsequently crushing her. I have tried moving her over. She moves back. I find this fascinating considering she cannot yet roll over. I don't know how to break this habit of ours, but if I don't get some sleep soon I'm going lose control and do something rude, like snap at a fellow mommy who would say something so disheartening to another mommy like "there is no respite!" Meanwhile, is there no respite???
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
And this is where she keeps putting it while we're not looking. See the foot of the bed again?
I've been hoping she'll make it all the way out to the kitchen. She keeps her sleeping bag in the dining room so she can be with the family when we're eating, but that is apparently not good enough. Next, I suppose, she'll be rearranging our furniture to better suit her desires, as well. I hope she dusts it when she moves it.