Sunday, December 10, 2006

12/10/06 O Christmas Tree

We called it right on Julian sleeping in the living room last night. First, he woke up crying complaining about his ear hurting. Then, not 15 minutes later, he woke up throwing up (including the Motrin we gave him for his ear, I could smell the grape) all over his makeshift living-room bed. Poor kid! And YUK! It was a half-hour cleanup job all told (kid, PJs, bedding, floor, parents...).

Fortunately, he seems fine today, and no complaints about his ear. The hard part has been not feeding him, but we managed to hold him off with a little bit of Cream of Wheat and some bread and some Pedialyte this morning.

I found a great way to distract Julian during breakfast! I was anxious to get out and do a brisk walk or maybe even jog a little (even though I'm a terrible runner). So, I took Julian out in the jogging stroller around the neighborhood. But, just as I was about to set out, I had an epiphany:


Standing up on the rollerblades, it felt different than it ever had. What gives? Ah -- ice skating lessons! The few skating lessons I had this year made ALL the difference. I could maneuver, move backward, propel myself, and best of all, STOP. A whole new world has been opened up! I'm still no skater of course, but at least I'm not flailing my arms like a sideways helicopter anymore, and that was with the support of the jogging stroller!

I took Julian around the neighborhood, skating as fast as I could, which wasn't very fast with the rough asphalt. I stopped at a dead end and tested my crossovers (gone!). Julian had a great time, and wasn't home to see Gabriel and Dave chowing down on eggs and toast.

I was euphoric for hours after my skate, and have new determination to take more ice skating lessons. I told myself: remember this moment today, even if the worst of Gabriel emerges again tonight. You had a GREAT moment today.

Gabriel? What Gabriel? An angel floated down and quantum-leaped into my bristly little boy's body today. He's been sweet, cooperative, charming, even adorable, all day. My, is he easy to love when he's like this.

The magazines would all say "positive reinforcement!" but I don't need that advice. It's so easy to hug him and tell him I love him and how happy he makes me, when he's so...well, when he's...well, not him. That sounds wrong, but I'm not sure how else to say it! Actually, he was very much "him" -- applying his characteristic focus and determination and enthusiasm to being sweet and wonderful, like he was plunging himself into a project. I told him many times how proud Dad and I were of him for being SO good, and how happy he makes me, and what a good kid he is. He beamed.

Gabriel spent much of the day setting up a "loop-de-loop" train track, even cleaning up the rest of the family room to make room for it. He's ready for a more sophisticated track-building system.

We went to Home Depot this afternoon to get our Christmas tree. I managed to temper my disappointment about missing the mountains with happiness about getting our tree at all. It's always fun to get a Christmas tree. We got a really nice, full, lush one for $24. It's up in the living room, but not decorated yet. (After all, I'm too busy typing about it!)

I didn't go to the Las Madres 2004 group's holiday party today, as I'd planned. Julian's tummy, Julian's need for a good nap, Katrina's crying at last week's party, and Gabriel's being older than most of the kids, plus spending the day getting and setting up our tree instead, all said: stay home. I love those parties, so I hated missing it, but Sunday evenings are a stretch for us anyway.

While moving things around the living room to set up for the tree, I had an opportunity to photograph Katrina in a great mood. Between her overall, shirt and the quilt background, it's quite the confluence of clashing patterns!

I also experimented with an ultra-close closeup. Too close; the camera couldn't focus well inches from her face. Here's the best I got.

I'm pretty sure we had a tough day yesterday, but thanks to today I've already forgotten about it.

12/10/2006 (Happy 30th birthday to cousin Jason today! I've not seen him since he was 12 years old, but when he was a child I sent him birthday cards every year. I always think about him on December 10th.)

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