Saturday, January 06, 2007

1/6/07 Katrina's bath

Finally, I remembered to get my camera ready during Katrina's bath. There are two reasons I have to have the camera ahead of time: one, obviously I can't leave her alone in the bath for a second, but two, the tub I bathe her in is so huge that I have to get in with her! When we move upstairs, it'll be easier to sit aside the tub for her bath.

Tonight she was very calm in the bath, and she always enjoys it now.

When we move upstairs....agh, is this ever going to happen?! The bedrooms are now all ready, though there are still details to finish, such as the electrical trim-out, and knobs on the little storage area doors.

The boys' room is "Breezy Blue," and Katrina's room is "Such a Peach."

I spent some time dusting and mopping the kids' rooms today, and have been thinking about how to decorate those rooms. Yes, decorate! Not just throw random furniture in, but maybe even put something nice and kid-cute on the walls!

Still, here's what the stairwell leading up there looks like: a paint project. The painter has been diligently preparing the stairwell and hall for 3 days now. He does a fantastic job, but I'm not sure we need fantastic. We're not really fantastic people.

This afternoon, I took Katrina and Gabriel to Kohl's, a department store I thought was like Target, but was really more like a Mervyn's. It didn't have any kid storage furniture, but on the way out, I walked by the boy's section, and to my amazement, found one pair of size "4 slim" jeans! And other size 4s!

I had Gabriel stand in the boys' section in his underpants while I madly grabbed jeans off shelves and slipped him into them. In the end, I found four brand-new pairs of jeans that actually fit him (though two will still need taking in) and are long enough. An absolute miracle! It is so hard to find jeans for Gabriel. Julian's are all too short for him too, but now Gabriel can afford some hand-me downs.

I won't be going back there anytime soon though. I was reminded why I hate shopping when I had to wait on a slow line for one of two cashiers for the whole store, watching employees stroll by and glance impassively at the agitated line of customers. Gabriel was very, very good though, and I was actually glad when he piped up in his innocent kid voice, "What are we waiting for, Mom?" That's what I'd like to know, kid!

Tomorrow, I hope to move Katrina's crib and changing table into her room!!


Friday, January 05, 2007

1/5/07 3 months old!

You'd think on such an important day that I'd have photos...I don't! Katrina is 3 months old today. Age agrees with her, she gets cuter and more fun every day.

It was an easy day. Gabriel and Julian were in preschool/preK this morning, and I took Katrina to the Y so I could take an aerobics class. The boys were easy and well-behaved all afternoon, and Julian took a nice nap. No major disasters during dinner either.

I got an email inquiry from a headhunter that got me thinking again about my future return to my career. I've been targeting Fall of this year to return to work full-time, and to work on finding a way to work independently and flexibly by the time Katrina is in 1st grade, so I can spend summers with the kids. But does that make any sense? Will I even want to go back then, when I'll have a 1-year-old toddler? Is it more important to be with her now, or when she's older?

Then there's the boys. I'll want to spend fun time with all the kids when they're off in the summers: travelling, camping...but does that mean Gabriel has to wait until Katrina is 5 for this fun adventurous available mom to emerge? He'll be pushing 10 by then.

I don't know how to think about this. I want to work. I want to do things with my kids. I want both. I want everything. I want it all.

Well, at least I know what I want. That's a start.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

1/4/07 Baby faces

Rain foiled a long-awaited reunion with Rancho San Antonio this morning, where we used to hike regularly. So I invited Betsy, who'd suggested the hike, to be my guest at the Y again, as a good rainy-day alternative. I lasted a whole 20 minutes on the treadmill as a result, with a good 12 minutes of actual running!

While at the Y, I got some baby-face photos, including of Dylan, Betsy's 7-week-old boy. I just loved his big eyes peering around from the big field of yellow blanket.

Plus Katrina in quite the funny face!

But overall I hate carseat photos, since there's always an obnoxious warning label in the background, and the shoulder straps are ugly too. Hence the creative cropping on Dylan's photos. Actually, I like the result. Those eyes...

At home after picking up Gabriel, Julian insisted on riding his bike in the backyard, despite the wet ground and rain.

"No pictures, Mommy!" Julian's very into telling me not to do things. Don't call him "Precious" (OK I can see that), don't call him "Imp," no kisses, no hugs, don't say that, Mommy...!

Katrina sucks her hands all the time now...she's growing up so fast! One way in which she reminds me more of Julian than Gabriel as a baby is the sounds she makes and the way she interacts. If we'd had Julian first, we'd have assumed that's just the way babies talk, but since we had Gabriel first, we noticed a marked difference in the way Julian made and responded to sounds. I predict no speech delay with Katrina.

I took a little camera-video of Katrina sucking her hands, and ended up getting a few cute baby sounds too. I must remind myself that while this is endlessly fascinating to me, it's really quite dull to anyone who doesn't have a 3-month-old baby, including me when she's older! But for now, I can't get enough of her.

This video, I posted to Google Video instead of YouTube, in the hopes it wouldn't mash the picture, but it does. I just hope it works at all!

Our carpenter installed our bifold doors covering the laundry area today, the last of the big carpentry jobs, yay! But...the doors are the wrong style! We'd ordered style number 6529, but they arrived as 6528, and look completely wrong. I don't need setbacks like this when we're so close! The kids' rooms are ready to put furniture into, finally, though they still need electrical trim-out.

Gabriel...unbelievable. I'm not even sure I saw him this afternoon. After getting Julian down for a nap, I took care of some things in the office, took a short nap myself, then had a snack, back to the office....usually, Gabriel comes and talks to me from time to time, but not today. He found Julian's new coloring book and practically finished it (poor Julian!), then assaulted a Lincoln Log project with his fierce focus. He doesn't even call for me ("I'm DONE!") to wipe him anymore; he takes care of it all himself and always washes his hands.

All he plays with are building-block toys, nothing electronic or battery-powered: trains, lincoln logs, coloring books, puzzles, blocks. I wouldn't have expected so much entertainment from such basic toys even from him, but he continues to surprise me. I wouldn't mind at all playing with him more, but I am glad he so enjoys his quiet afternoons at home. They're short-lived.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

1/3/07 Back to School!

This morning Gabriel and Julian went to pre-K and preschool, respectively. Which means I had the morning free with just Katrina...and the cleaners and the painter.

So, I took baby out and went to the Los Gatos hospital to return a breast pump I'd bought there. It was so odd walking through the halls and seeing the doors of the rooms where all my babies were born. It looks so ordinary, so antiseptic; yet it's where lives change and marvelous and amazing things start.

Then I met my friend Sara to borrow her pump instead. We had a nice chat sitting outside in the sun on a crisp day, outside a Starbucks near her workplace. A little dip into the real world.

Katrina was oddly fussy today, crying more than usual. She's still a pretty unsoothable baby -- if she's crying, she means it! Most of the usual tricks to calm a crying baby don't work well with her, though taking her outside can hold her off for a little while. I think she was tired and just couldn't hold on to a nap.

I'm also thinking it's time to start weaning her -- and me -- from the pacifier as a way to get to sleep. Last night she got very squirmy around 5:30am, 20 minutes after nursing, and I ended up giving her the pacifier, but she kept spitting it out. Same thing today when trying to get her to take a nap. I'd rather she learn to fall asleep without the aid of something that can so easily fall out.

Like her hands, perhaps? She's starting to put her hands in her mouth, but that just seems to animate her, and that's the last thing she needs to get to sleep. She's wiggly enough!

Our DSL is installed and working, but falls far short of delivering the 3-6 Mbits/sec promised, as I expected. Plus I've spent hours and hours trying to get Eudora to send a username/password correctly for SMTP authentication, to send mail. I finally got it to work, and posted my solution to a Eudora user forum, but it could be to no avail since we might instead put our efforts back to figuring out why our cable connection keeps hanging up. Internet access is no longer for fun anymore, it's a lifeline!

I forgot to mention that last week when I had no childcare, it actually worked out very well. I really liked not having pickup and dropoff deadlines and having to run the kids around everywhere. I'm sure it'd get old after a few weeks, but it was actually a nice break. I got them all out in the morning, thanks to the Y; and afternoons were relatively peaceful, thanks to Julian being very agreeable about naps. Even the boys together hasn't been as hard as it used to be; I'd say they're up to about 50% of the time playing well together, or not together. The other 50% of the time....grrr.

I also forgot to mention a miracle of miracles: my New Year's Day headache uncharacteristically fizzled! It started as a really serious one, but didn't last longer than a day. What good have I wrought upon this world to deserve such mercy?

AGAIN, no photos today!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1/2/07 Milestones

Tonight we all went to Tuesday dinner, with success! We'd been nervous about taking all three kids, but tried it and it worked out fine. The boys were very well-behaved and tried all sorts of new food at the Thai restaurant we went to. Chicken satay with peanut sauce was a big hit.

Katrina needed a little attention; she was tired and I had to walk her around outside in the stroller until she fell asleep. Our friend Steve, who's also a Dad and is expecting #2 in June, held her for awhile, and noted also that she was in nonstop motion. Frankly she's not all that fun to hold when she's like that, which is 80% of the time, it's like trying to cuddle with a prizefighter!

Thanks to seeing someone else hold her, I witnessed two new things. One is clasping her hands together, and two is putting the clasped mass into her mouth, sort of. Gabriel did a lot of that as a baby, putting his hands together in his mouth as he laughed, but Julian did almost none of that. Once again, Katrina takes more after her older older brother, though Gabriel was nowhere near as wiggly. She's also started rubbing her eyes when she's tired. Grabbing things isn't far off! And no wonder, she is almost 3 months old.

Betsy met me at the Y this morning, and I ran on the treadmill briefly next to her. She lasted a lot longer than I did on the treadmill, but my target 6 minutes went by a lot faster having a friend to yak with. We ran into Heike too. The more friends I get going there, the more motivated I'll be to make it!

When I picked Julian up from Childwatch, I came across the most adorable scene. Julian and two little girls, both older than he is I think, were all huddled around a little alphabet puzzle. Julian was pointing to each letter and singing the ABC song, chatting with the girls, and they appeared to all be putting letters into place. It was very sweet. I think Julian wished I would just go away and not cut in on his action -- and it won't be the last time!

No photos today, how did that happen?!


Monday, January 01, 2007

1/1/07 A Holiday Headache

Another holiday ruined by a tremendous headache. Yesterday I thought I had a mild headache from being tired, but now I think I had it backward: I was tired because I was about to get slammed with a mega-migraine. I spent the morning trying to rest every chance I could, and trying not to resent that I couldn't possibly get what I really needed: to sleep ALL morning with no interruptions.

After doing the bare minimum necessary to direct husband and feed children, I did manage a decent nap, until around 3pm, when my day started. Then I got dressed, had some breakfast, went for a short walk with Katrina, and started to feel slightly normal.

Today I decided Katrina was big enough to put on an outfit I've been eyeing for weeks. This was a gift from my friend Lacy, who is wonderfully creative with decorations, kids' entertainment, party ideas, and is a master scrapbooker as well. I never would have thought to get this, showing how limited my imagination is, yet it's perfect: very, very cute without being over-the-top girlie.

I'm glad I got these pictures before spitup forced me to change her clothes.

Dave commented this morning that girl clothes are a lot harder to put on!

Katrina was actually on the grumpy side today. Nowadays that means that her wake-nurse-play-cry-sleep cycles are just a little shorter, but she still has plenty of adorable time. Here's a typical moment with her being all smiley and sweet, and this is on a fussy day.

It's nice to see someone look so happy. It makes me and my nasty headaches feel a little better. I sure hope Katrina hasn't inherited my hormonal migraines.


Sunday, December 31, 2006

12/31/06 New Year's Eve at the Y

Somehow today I managed to convince Dave to try out the Y, using one of my Guest Passes. I got my main goals accomplished: a workout, showing him where I, and the kids, spend time these days, and even got Dave to do a little in the Fitness area. Just a little. He barely got out of breath on the recumbent bike, treadmill and rowing machine, later claiming that he doesn't sweat much unless it's hot. Or unless you don't actually work out!

The boys had a great time in the Childwatch as usual, though as usual they headed straight for the kid computer. I'm not sure if that means they get too much screen time or too little!

The big kids' room is pretty big, and is actually brighter and more cheerful than Gabriel's pre-K room.

Julian helped put Legos away when it was time to go.

I've just discovered that the Y has a photo club and a table tennis club associated with it. I'm not sure I'll be able to make use of these things, but these and numerous other resources make me very glad I joined. It's the closest thing to a community there is in Cupertino that I've found.

We got home around noon and I kicked right into big-breakfast mode. Betsy called and invited Gabriel over for a playdate, which we took her up on. Gabriel was very excited to go play with his pal Gina, and they spent time outdoors playing soccer and digging. Gina asked for, and got, a shovel for Christmas!

It's New Year's Eve. Dave reminded me that we had a bad New Year's Eve streak going for a while. In 1998, we were hit by a van in San Francisco (very minor, but annoying and time-consuming). In 1999, the stupid Y2K thing forced me to go into work. In 2000, I had the first temperature I'd gotten in years, and was then sick for a month. In 2001, we spent New Year's Eve mixing and pouring concrete in our basement, when I was 8 months pregnant. In 2002, I had a miscarriage that started around 8pm on New Year's Eve, and lasted all night and all New Year's Day.

But the streak was broken in 2003, when we had a wonderful new 6-day-old baby, and family visiting. This year, Dave and I will spend the evening finishing opening our Christmas gifts, with our three healthy, happy children tucked safely in bed.

I for one will be very happy to put 2006 behind us, and enter the new year with my physical ability restored, a completed new bedroom, and a beautiful vibrant new baby! May you all enter the new year surrounded by family and friends and good cheer.