Saturday, April 28, 2007

4/28/07 Lumber Day

How did we manage a trip to Southern Lumber and Home Depot all in one day?!

The Southern Lumber trip involved all five of us in two vehicles, and we had to cut it short due to Fussy Baby.

The Home Depot trip was to get things we had to bail on at Southern Lumber, and I didn't really want to go, but the alternative was staying at home with...guess who: Fussy Baby! Julian's screeching before his nap woke her up prematurely. Argh! He was being such a royal pain, there was no way we were going to bail on Julian's nap today.

Katrina got her first ride in the pickup truck. She loved it! Mostly, because she was sitting right next to me and we could smile at each other at stop lights.

Despite numerous obstacles, I was determined to get all the materials needed for a closet upgrade today at Home Depot. I was buying heavy shelving material, and had to push a lumber cart and the stroller together (well, push one and pull the other), get the lumber cut, load it into the pickup, finagle the seatbelt to hold the infant seat in place....a real pain. But nothing compared to the gigantic line in front of the one, yes, ONE, open cashier. I even flagged an employee to point out this inadequacy, and he said he'd tell a manager. 10 minutes later, bouncing an increasingly grouchy baby around, we were still on line. Unbelievable.

Unfortunately, I get these great ideas, spend a lot of money and time getting started on a project, then lose momentum on it from being forced to work on it in tiny scraps of unpredictable time. I'm actually envious of Dave getting to complete a task this afternoon (weed-whacking our out-of-control dandelion forest). If I could reliably dedicate several chunks of hours to a project, and work on it when I feel like it, I might actually complete a project when it's still fresh. And I'd be happy about that. I guess baby life is all about missed opportunity. I miss a lot of opportunities to make myself happy doing little things, even unimportant ones. It's not just getting things done, but rather, the sense of accomplishment that I miss.

But there's always a silver lining, and tonight, I found that. OK, so I can't spend all day tomorrow tearing out this closet. But tonight, I managed to squeeze in a run at Rancho San Antonio, and that completely improved my outlook on life. It puts me back in touch with me again. I almost feel empowered by thinking that I have three children, rather than overwhelmed and inadequate like I do most of the time. Maybe it's runner's high, or maybe it's knowing that they're in bed. Either way, it's a good feeling. For a few minutes, anyway.


Friday, April 27, 2007

4/27/07 Date Night

A busy, but fairly productive Friday was capped off by a date night. Usually, when we go out, it's on Saturdays, so that we can have an early dinner and movie, but for some reason Friday seemed better this time. I looked forward to it all day, practically counting down minutes to when Peggy arrived!

We're having a little summer preview weather, so in the afternoon, I hung out in the yard with Katrina and the boys.

Somehow I got away with installing some hooks in the garage for the kids' bicycle helmets while Katrina sat outside and watched her brothers. I installed three hooks. Three. I'm still getting used to that.

The boys have been wearing their helmets all the time lately. Today the helmets were "hard hats" for their construction project, busily moving around wood chips with plastic construction vehicles. (Don't let this idyllic scene fool you; Gabriel was actually quite abusive to Julian today, I was pretty mad at him.)

Katrina got some sitting-up practice, then Gabriel read her a monkey book, of his own volition. He sure is sweet to Katrina. (Why can't he be sweet to Julian too?!)

This particular Date Night was to celebrate Dave's promotion at work, to Principal Engineer. Congratulations Dave! He's been at St. Jude Medical for 7 years now, and has done great there. And to think, I wanted him to join a dot-com company when he was looking for a new job back in early 2000. I was so wrong. Not just because St. Jude has worked out great for us (the company has marched along tech-bust-be-darned, the hours reasonable, the location close), but because the crazy dot-com life just isn't him.

Walking around Palo Alto, running into old friends, taking in an old movie at the old movie theatre, then having dinner and dessert at our favorite was nice to be us again.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

4/26/07 The streetside scooter

We're not usually in the habit of perusing the streets for handy junk to keep, but our next-door neighbor was getting rid of some old toys for a friend. The rather nice heap of rather nice junk included a razor scooter in good, if slightly ugly, shape.

I'm still waging my anti-junk crusade, so Dave salvaged it against my objections, but really, there's nothing wrong with it. Turns out, Gabriel can balance it just fine, even with one foot lifted.

Gabriel loves it, and to my surprise, Julian hasn't complained about Gabriel not sharing it yet. I guess Julian just figures it's Gabriel's. (Poor Julian, he gets bossed around a lot by older brother these days.)

Katrina had no end of fun watching her brothers this afternoon playing in the backyard. What a lucky baby, having such constant sources of entertainment. Gabriel wanted to know when Katrina would be old enough to ride the scooter.

And so lucky that Mom is too tired in the middle of the night to cut off night nursing. But last night, baby woke up twice, once at 2am and once at 4am. Both times, she nursed ravenously, making me think it's not really ravenous. Especially since she's eating baby food very well, three times a day. Just how much food can that tiny body take in and still be hungry?

I sure wish she'd sit up though! She's awful! She sits for 2-3 minutes at a time, in the morning, but by afternoon, it's tumble city. One of the problems is that she just wiggles around too much and throws off her delicate balance.

This morning, I ran an errand before Katrina's first morning nap, which meant, 10 minutes in the car each way. As I pulled back into the driveway, I saw her eyes drift close for nary more than a long blink. And that was enough to put off her morning nap until 11am! That'll teach me to go anywhere again before her morning nap. It was such a screwy morning, I was really tired and out of it, and faced with indecision every few minutes about what to do next about Katrina's nap.

Good thing babies are so unbelievably cute!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

4/25/07 Second swim class

Recognize this picture? I have numerous ones of the boys sitting in the same place, wrapped in the same towel! Not sure about the goofy expression though.

Katrina did great in swim class today!

She cried briefly the first two or three times she went under, but after that, she only looked startled and didn't cry at all. I have to remember though, her brothers were very used to swimming by her age, and had started to jump off the side.

Still, seeing her in swim class, and also recently testing her out in the seat of a shopping cart (still too tippy), I'm reminded how she takes after Gabriel in welcoming new situations. And, like Gabriel, being in a terrific mood on swim class days -- she was squeaking and vocalizing happily all day after having a grand time in the water.

Also like Gabriel: I'm starting to think her eyes are turning brown??

The boys practiced a little this afternoon for our
Baby Loves Disco outing on May 19.

I went running tonight, around the neighborhood. What a letdown after my Rancho run last weekend. Pavement, traffic, driveways...unpaved trails are the way to go. Just like on motorcycles!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

4/24/07 Katrina's sitting skills

Despite these photos, Katrina still isn't sitting up reliably.

I can leave her for a few seconds, within arms' length, to get a few quick photos, but odds are good she'll tumble within a minute. Even Gabriel was doing better than this at 6-1/2 months, and he was a late sitter! It's like she has the strength, but not the balance. Her legs are too short or something.

I know, I know, we're not supposed to want to rush our babies' babyhoods. But I don't think sitting would substantially detract from my enjoyment of her babyhood. I'm very ready to just set her down momentarily to free up my hands to tie a shoe, zip a jacket, wipe a nose or tickle a pesky brother.

But isn't that sweater she's wearing gorgeous!

I'm also seeing more and more brown emerge in her eyes. Though they're different than Gabriel's were at this age, it's looking possible they'll end up like his.

A relatively harmless day, despite a migraine threatening on the horizon. Something held it at bay, and I managed the afternoon without Julian taking a nap and without hollering at the boys. Gabriel did lose his trains when I demonstrated to him the meaning of "RIGHT NOW," in the context of, "If you don't pick up these trains RIGHT NOW then I will put them away in the garage RIGHT NOW." Note that I didn't say, "I'll put them in the garage when I'm done coloring," or "...after I build a fort of pillows around the couch," or " soon as I dump all 100 puzzle pieces out." He seemed to have confused the term "RIGHT NOW" with those things. Incredibly, he got over it.


Monday, April 23, 2007

4/23/07 School's in!

I think spring break broke my spring! But now, school's back in session! Yippeee!

Unfortunately my first child-free morning in a long time was, once again, severely compromised by a bad headache today. Am I in for days more of this again, so soon? I made an appointment at a headache clinic today. It's SO overdue.

I learned something about Julian today, from his preschool teacher: he can write his name! He often doesn't want to, complaining that his name is too long or he's too tired or some dumb excuse. So unlike Gabriel, who threw his dogged determination and submission to authority into it. Odd, isn't it. Gabriel, who can be unbearably defiant at home, wouldn't dream of going against teachers or rules at school. And Julian, who complains about practicing writing, is much better at it than Gabriel was at his age. Oh dear, the inevitable, evil, dreaded comparisons.

Tonight I commented, about a eye-rubbing, squirmy, tired Katrina: "Oh, my poor baby!" And Julian answered Funny kid comment of the day: "It's not just yours!" (His pronouns are still off sometimes.)

Tater tot math time.

Mom: "Julian, if you finish your broccoli, you can have the rest of the tater tots. Otherwise, Dad and Gabriel will split them."
Gabriel: "How many are there?"
Mom: "Six."
Gabriel: "Oh, then there are 3 for me and 3 for Dad."
Dad: "Very good, Gabriel. What if there are 8 tater tots?"
Gabriel: "Then there are 4 for me and 4 for you."
Dad: "I knowwww, what if..."
Mom, knowing full well where Dad was going with this: "Dave, come on..."
Dad: "...what if there are 7 tater tots?"
Gabriel, thinking: "Umm, then I get 5 and you get 5."
Mom: "No, not quite...let's see. What if there's one tater tot?"
Gabriel: "Then I get one and Dad gets NONE!"

Some especially-for-cousins videos, from yesterday:

Julian showing off for Katrina yesterday:

Katrina making silly squeaky happy sounds yesterday.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

4/22/07/ Rancho Ride

This morning, Gabriel and Julian busied themselves for at least 40 minutes setting themselves up with "race numbers." Gabriel drew a number on a piece of paper, then they both taped their numbers to their shirts. Applying the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy, I've now designated one container of Scotch tape for them to tangle up as much as they want.

This afternoon, we took the boys bicycling at Rancho San Antonio.

It's a nice, if crowded, half-mile (?) walk to the municipal farm on the open space preserve, with wide trails perfect for kids.

Well, kids who ride better than ours do, anyway. Neither had been on anything other than a very level surface before. Julian kept falling over (high-siding over his training wheels!). He never hurt himself or cried though. I mostly stuck right next to him once I realized that the road camber and mild inclines would be problems for him.

At the farm, Gabriel started to climb a fence, and Dave and I told him not to. When he asked why, we showed him the sign, all of which he read. It sank in a lot better coming from a sign than from Mom or Dad!

Puddles, of course, were not to be missed.

Hills! Well, for Julian, anyway.

Not even so much as a mew out of Katrina. She was awake and quiet the whole trip, greatly enjoying being outside and having so much to see.

Before dinner-making madness, Katrina and I enjoyed watching Julian goof around on his tricycle outside. Meantime, Gabriel was passed out on the floor in the sunroom. Julian never took a nap today. They have it backwards.

I'm glad we had that fun outing; otherwise the day was mostly kid-work.