Saturday, September 15, 2007

9/15/07 Busy boys

Today, Gabriel had a "Chicken Dance" to perform at the Cupertino Festival, which changed our whole Saturday. For the better!

First difference, one I approve of heartily, is that I got to sleep late while Dave gave all three kids breakfast. Then I took the boys to swim class, while Dave stayed at home with Katrina.

Next stop: festival, in time for Gabriel's Chicken Dance. Apparently every elementary school's kindergartners were performing every 20 minutes, so we got to see Stevens Creek Elementary first.

To my surprise, Gabriel was sort of into it!

Once again, I was struck by how many kids seem to know him. One kid in particular amused me greatly by coming up to me and informing me that Gabriel wouldn't let him play with something at their kindergarten playground. I'd never heard of the kid, but later I got out of Gabriel that Gabriel had been spinning some gears, and four or five other kids wanted him to stop and Gabriel refused. I'm not sure who was right or wrong here, but I completely believe that Gabriel stubbornly stood up to a group of bigger kids. Including the little tattler, Ian.

After Gabriel and Ian's chicken dance, a mutual friend of theirs, Brandon, a first-grader, got Ian and Gabriel psyched to go on a big slide (separately, since it seems Gabriel and Ian have some animosity toward each other). Somehow I ended up waiting on line with Brandon's mother, Brandon, Ian, Gabriel and Julian. After a long, long wait, just as we were about to go in, we discovered that a parent had to go with any kid younger than 7, which all 3 boys were. Brandon's mom wanted nothing to do with this, but I volunteered to take all 3 boys down. Meantime, she would watch Julian....Julian?

He'd disappeared! He was right behind me 2 seconds ago! Great.

It's one thing to bail on a long line to look for my wandering son at a crowded festival if it's just Gabriel, but now the other two boys were counting on me too. I knew Julian hadn't gone far; he was probably just off staring at something.

Fortunately, Brandon's mother found Julian, who uncharacteristically burst into tears when he saw me. I comforted him while I got the boys to take their shoes off, 'cause we were next! I handed Julian to Brandon's mother, and he clung her her for the next 15 minutes.

I made friends with Ian at the top of the slide, by pretending that he made me fall when he jumped, then by taking him and Gabriel down together twice. (It turned out, a high school kid took Brandon down.) It was fun! Almost worth the 20-minute wait, during which I was thinking, "Disneyland, NO F'ing WAY."

I met up with Ian's parents (who are neighbors with Brandon), and ended up sitting for some lunch with them. Which, thanks to more long lines and an untimely potty break, ended up being pretzels. We talked about their school, and Ian's dad was clearly not impressed. His first complaint was about the lack of cultural diversity, commenting that the kids are 75% Asian. This didn't phase his Chinese-raised wife! (I knew what he meant, and have wondered on and off about the same thing: will our kids feel left out of groups of kids whose parents were raised in other cultures? Gabriel's classmates are mostly Indian. My guess is no; ultimately the kids will stick together as they get older.)

They also told me that half of Ian's class was moved to a kindergarten/first-grade combination class (that I'd heard of for the first time yesterday), and the parents weren't told anything about it beforehand. Their complaints were a lot like mine, mostly surrounding poor communication and a put'em-off attitude.

When we got home, Katrina was just up from a long nap, and having lunch. I had lunch too, fighting an urge to lie down and nap. Because: Gabriel had been consistently asking to go to the BMX park, and it seemed that tomorrow was not acceptable! And if we were going to go at all, now was a good time since Katrina was awake, fed and happy. I'd take her in the jogging stroller and move around the park taking pictures of Gabriel, and also keep an eye on Julian. I wasn't quite sure how it'd all come together, but at the last minute, Dave joined us, and that made it much easier.

And so we all trucked the ten minutes to Calabazas BMX Park, in West San Jose. Dave mostly watched Katrina while Gabriel rode around the popular easy course, and I ran around after Julian on the sidewalk.

Ok, this might be proud parent talking, but really, Gabriel is riding really, really well, and better every time he goes to this park. I'm especially impressed with how confident he is, given his size and age relative to most of the other kids on this course, and how hard he works, going around again and again. Of course, that could be because the one hump he hasn't tried yet is "home base," where they're supposed to stop and start.

Uncle Ronan, take note!

Gabriel was really tired at home, and went right upstairs to his room and tucked himself in bed. I think it's safe to say he was the only kid out there at the BMX park today who went home and cuddled up with a teddy bear.

Meantime, Julian was so filthy from a benign tumble at the bike park that I took all his clothes off and washed him. I didn't want him bothering Gabriel to get more clothes from his room, so he marched around in Dave's shoes in his underpants, thinking he was oh-so-funny. And he was!

Katrina has learned a new trick that delights her to no end: putting something into your hand. She loves doing this, making all sorts of goofy noises and faces afterward. Today she was so insistent on it she even took my hand, opened it, and then put a small toy into it.

It wasn't easy with Julian trying to interfere, but I got a little video of Katrina's new game:

She had one solid nap today, and that was it. Just one! I watched her carefully this evening, but she stayed in pretty good shape as we entered the too-late zone for an afternoon nap.

She's in that stage of wanting to pull things off shelves and out of drawers -- even my challenging train cake pan.

I'd wanted to look for someone to help us today, but it turned out, we didn't need any help. It was a different day for me, because while I was on kid duty all day, I wasn't on baby duty all day. I got to spend a lot of truly fun time with the boys (swim class, festival, bmx park), doing little-kid things instead of baby things. To my surprise, little-boy things refreshed me for baby things again, and I relaxed and enjoyed hanging around on the floor with Katrina while she crawled over me and tried to put things in my hands. Maybe all we need to fix weekends is a better balance of boy/baby time for both me and Dave. It couldn't be that simple, could it? Well, it was today, and I'm glad for it.


p.s. Some BMX park photos:

Gabriel on the whoop-de-doos, Julian looks on.

On the right in this photo, an unusual sight: a girl. The only one we saw riding on the BMX course. She bumped into Gabriel when he was stopped waiting for a crash to clear and knocked him over!

Catching a little air.

Hot kid! Red and sweating, he worked hard.

The boys together on a paved path around the park.

Here you go, bro.

The wheeled Doudna clan. Will Katrina join her brothers on two wheels someday? I'm getting the feeling that BMX'ing isn't a girl thing!

Friday, September 14, 2007

9/14/07 The PTA Picnic

I picked Gabriel up from school again this afternoon, and in doing so, realized that a natural pattern has reveal itself, the sort of thing I was hoping would happen to help me figure out how to arrange our days.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I pick Julian up from Tonya's preschool at 12:30. So far, I've had to wake Katrina pretty much every day to do so. Back at home, Julian plays while I give Katrina lunch, and have some lunch myself, clean up the kitchen, and if I'm on the ball, do some pre-staging for dinner (just how old is that cauliflower?). Sometimes we have some time for quick grocery pickup, then we have time to get Gabriel at 2:30. By the time we get home, I'm on baby-nap alert.

So it's about two hours between picking up the two boys. On one hand, two hours is ample so I don't get into trouble with basics like travel and baby lunch, and it just about makes me do drudgeries like emptying the dishwasher and having the kitchen ready for the dinner scramble.

On the other hand, it's not really enough time to do anything else with either; no park time or classes or anything fun. But, it's lunchtime(ish) anyway, and I'm finding that dinnertime goes much better on those days, since I almost have to think about it before 6pm ("oh yeeeahh I was going to make that chicken....too bad it's frozen solid").

So it's been no trouble so far picking up Gabriel on MWF afternoons (with apologies to Erin, but really, she's better off), and it accidentally schedules me to do very necessary things, and with plenty of time to do them.

So should I drop CDC care for Gabriel MWFs? No, because, taa-daa, I found someone to take care of Katrina on MWF mornings! (Unfortunately it's about a 15-minute drive, but since her pickup will be at 1pm, and she'll have had lunch, I'll have plenty of time to pick up Julian and Katrina without any sticky transitions.) And I don't want to have to drop him off smack dab in the middle of that time.

But I potentially could drop Gabriel off at school Tu-Thurs mornings. So really, what I need is CDC care for Gabriel MWF mornings, and Tu-Thurs afternoons, when I'll have Julian and Katrina all day and won't stick to a nice neat timeline anyway.

Well, I'm not making any changes until I'm settled into MWF mornings free from all three. Besides, as soon as I cast something in stone, and write a few big checks for it, Katrina will change her naps and nothing will work.

Whew. Is suburban-full-time-mom-chauffeur scheduling really such a compelling topic? And that's without any classes, volunteering, or playdates! Quick, open a Microsoft Project file! Identify the critical path, the milestones, the deadlines!

Tonight, Gabriel's school's PTA held a Family Picnic in the play area behind the school, which is right next to Portal Park. It wasn't very well attended, and we were the only family who actually laid out a blanket and sat down. Everyone else sat at the picnic tables on the asphalt, but that's no place for a crawling baby.

Mostly, Dave sat and played with Katrina, while I ran around with the boys a little and watched them chase some guy's dog, who'd just come to the park to chase balls, unaware of the swarming attention of little boys.

Gabriel and Julian sure had fun though, and asked the (very nice) man lots of questions about the dog. I can hear it now: "Mommy, can we have a puppy?"

As usual, Katrina had a grand time being outside, looking at people, playing with everything around her. Just like Gabriel as a baby; absolutely loved -- lived -- to be outside.

Feeling like it was a bit of a bust not to talk to anyone, I set aside my residual schoolgirl shyness and approached some parents sitting at the tables to ask if there were any PTA members here, or if it was just parents, or what. I had a nice conversation with a couple whose son was also starting kindergarten, so they too were newbies like me.

But, the husband had been on the Sunnyvale planning commission some years back, so knew a lot about the politics of cities and school districts. I learned quite a bit from them. There are now five kindergarten classes at Collins (we'd been told three was the max they had room for), and two of them are overflow from other schools?! The couple I talked to are zoned for a different school altogether, one that was so filled with grade-school kids that it punted on kindergarten altogether, and instead is sending the kids to Collins. But, the new classes are also an experimental sort that combines kindergarteners and first-graders for certain subjects, just like at the alternative school that Gabriel didn't get into. Very interesting! I wonder what the whole story is -- is this a pilot program, will this overflow reflect in the class arrangements for the next grades, are they going to split the first grade class schedules now....?

Another man we talked to briefly (like with many people, conversation often starts with how adorable Katrina is) commented that his son was at Collins because he was 600th on the waiting list for Faria, one of the other alternative schools in our district. Faria is known for being in the top 10 for test scores in the entire state, and it's very academically-oriented and competitive. I wonder what the long-term outcomes of Faria kids are. Will the extra emphasis on academics make up for the intense pressure? Over 600 on the waiting list, wow. It's hard to imagine what effect Faria vs. Collins would have on a kid's life while looking at the kids tonight, running around the playground and fields like crazy, just being kids.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

9/13/07 Ten and counting

I did it! I broke the 10-mile mark today running. And I did it running up the PG&E trail again!

But, with a big caveat. I brought my camera along, testing out a snug new pouch. That meant many very short stops to take pictures, and those little breaks made a big difference. So much so that I decided I hadn't punished myself enough, and took a detour about two-thirds of the way through the run, and went back up another trail. This is what pushed it to 10 miles. I am wasted tonight, but very happy.

A combination of circumstances drove me to do this today, even though I haven't been running enough to justify attempting a 10-mile route. It was a rare baby-free day, intended to meet with our architect, though we had to postpone since she has a cold. Also, I had my camera, and I'd wanted to take photos at the top of the PG&E trail. And, it was a slightly cloudy day, making for much better photos -- oh yeah, and made it a little cooler. Of course, the photos were my top priority!

At the top, I made a short commentary:

Ironically, on the way down, I ran into my running mentor -- Sonia, and Julie (a half-marathoner), on Rogue Valley trail, taking a walk!

Other than a nap and a little shopping, this run pretty much did me in for the day. Or so I thought, until my darling children came home.


The price was high for the freedom of the day. Julian was a whiny, complaining, crying pain in the rear end. Gabriel was looking for a fight, and was so incredibly rude that when his offenses became too egregious (hitting Dave, for instance) he got sent to his room and spanked.

Fortunately, he recovered later when I sat with him and helped him finish his homework. That's another new drudgery adding to our nights now. I'm not sure what's worse: a kid who is so diligent that it takes him forever, or a procrastinator. I'm afraid we'll know in about two years.

Happily, Katrina was a bright spot, being exuberant and goofy. She makes incredibly silly loud bleating sounds, starts spitting games with her brothers (who are alllll too happy to engage), and constantly crawls around looking for things to pull herself up on, inevitably getting stuck and crying. She crawls up to me and pulls herself up on my pants legs, something I don't ever remember the boys doing.

They were all really tired and went to bed relatively early. I mustered some remaining energy to go out and do my annual $8 fifteen minute haircut. I really don't like my ponytail brushing against my shoulders when I'm running, especially when I'm sweating enough that it sticks to my skin! Blah! It's time anyway. My last haircut was done a few hours before Katrina was born, almost a year ago.

I'm going to sleep well tonight!

Some photos from today.

Proof! The sign at the top.

I made it! You can see across the bay behind me.

The way home: Upper High Meadow Trail, aptly named for a hilly meadow along a ridge.

Best view of the PG&E trail is from Upper High Meadow. These trails are basically parallel on either side of a canyon, and meet at the top high point, so you can see the other trail from each side.

The PG&E trail is named because it's really just a service road for power poles, wide enough for trucks. I was wishing for a truck to hitch a ride on today!

Another view of the ridge that Upper High Meadow trail goes along.

A contrived self-time at the junction of Upper High Meadow and Upper Wildcat Canyon.

As much as I love the views from the top, I like the wooded canopy at the bottom of the canyon even more. Upper Wildcat is one of my favorite trails.

After running back up the ridge, then over, on Wildcat Canyon Loop trail, a lovely view of Chamise trail, which heads into the wild west yonder with no loop back. And I hate turning around, so I've never tried it! (a throwback from motorcycling days)

On the right, an intersection in Chamise trail that takes you to Rogue Valley. I've done that with the double jogger (urf), as it's relatively flat. Relative being the operative word here.

Ahh, I'm done! These poles are popular for stretching (grownups) and hanging upside-down (kids).

Next time, no photos. I'm not sure technology and running mix! Then again, I might soon change that iTune.


Today's route, according to Rancho Runner:

12) Parking -> Coyote -> PG&E -> Upper High Meadow ->
Upper Wildcat Canyon -> Wildcat Loop (N) -> Vista ->
Wildcat Loop (N) -> Rogue Valley -> Coyote -> Parking

Results for route: 12v456SPNM3UWV21
Route Miles Up Down
12 0.29 0 30
2V 0.51 195 0
V4 1.60 500 310
45 1.86 1020 100
56 1.26 0 520
6S 1.37 0 450
SP 0.61 285 0
PN 0.96 0 460
NM 0.04 0 10
M3 0.31 0 25
3U 0.15 20 0
UW 0.25 50 0
WV 0.67 120 0
V2 0.51 0 195
21 0.29 30 0

Total Distance = 10.68 Miles, 2220 feet of climbing

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/12/07 The Homework

Gabriel has "homework" now that he's supposed to work on for 10 minutes a day, to be turned in on Fridays. This afternoon, I picked him up straight from school and brought him home, when, in theory, he had time to work on it. In practice, he wanted to play out back and torment Julian, and I ended up juggling Katrina and Julian, finally putting Julian in his room for a nap.

But later, to my amazement, Gabriel was sitting at the dining room table, homework open and in front of him, and had started to work on it again. After dinner, he worked on it some more, quite willingly, and I had to pull him away for bathtime. Either he just doesn't get it yet that kids aren't supposed to like homework, or his diligence is more evidence of his ordered view of the world.

Picking Gabriel up from school, I mused over the notices in his classroom's doorway, and noticed one about the Scholastic book club....oh my! What's wrong with this picture? A teacher wrote this! I was never a star student, and I hate to be an English snob, but my high regard for teachers includes the assumption that this isn't the sort of mistake they'd make. Alas, they have a huge band of kids to deal with all day; my brain misfires constantly with just three.

Katrina had a grand time, again, waiting to pick Gabriel up. While we're waiting, she looks around at all the other moms sitting quietly with blank faces, and beams at them as though they are subjects in her kingdom, engaging them, sometimes even giggling, flapping her arms up and down. And making her latest new sound, a loud forceful "blah!", something akin to a goat bleating.

At home, Julian practiced his two-wheeling in the backyard. He has no trouble starting and stopping now, and it's clear he's outgrown the backyard.

Katrina watched along with some combination of awe and alarm.

Tonight at dinner, Gabriel said numerous times that he wanted to show me how he goes over bumps at the BMX park, and can't I pleeeease take him there this weekend? Wanting to show off isn't something Gabriel says often, so I really do hope to find a way to go with him there. Unfortunately, a dusty bicycle park isn't a great place for a crawling baby who sounds like a goat.

Dinner tonight was unusually successful, even though -- or perhaps because? -- Dave wasn't there, working late instead. The boys were unusually well-behaved, perhaps because Dad wasn't around to impress with their potty talk or obnoxious loud sounds. And they all -- including Katrina, as is almost always the case now -- had the same thing: gnocchi, chicken parmesan, and broccoli. Katrina's gets cut up of course, but she couldn't get enough of the fabulous fragrant sauce from Trader Joe's Gnocchi Gorgonzola (go right now to your nearest TJ's freezer section!). It was all I could do to shovel food in her mouth fast enough, and she finished a hefty bowlful, and her brothers each finished a huge plate with no cajoling or Draco stories. On the whole, we don't have eating issues around here anyway, but I'm still always happy when everyone has a good solid dinner. Though Dave had to settle for take-out Chinese. The price for working late.

Katrina made up a new game at lunch, that I call "Bonk!" She leans forward, waits for me to touch her forehead with mine, then lets go and hits my head with hers, bursting out into full-on laughter. Tonight I spent some rare time just hanging around on the floor with her (dinner? cleanup? dishes? homework? tomorrow's lunch?) and she climbed on me and tried to play Bonk! and laughed and let me tickle her and was just generally was very silly and fun. She needs more of that from me. So do I.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11/07 Tough Tuesday

Well, just long. Not tough so much, but being ON BABY DUTY for so many hours really wears on me after a while. Katrina often has times when she's quite happy for long stretches, but I never know when those will be or when they'll end. But more often, she has stretches in which she pulls herself up, gets stuck, and cries and has be to redirected or distracted again. It's frustrating not being able to follow an impulse, to make a phone call as I think of it, to send a message when I want to, to do anything at my own pace or on my own time.

I need more baby care. Sanity for $15 an hour, please.

Katrina had a grand time tonight playing with the handle on this footstool that Grandpa Jim made so many years ago. My father's footstools are all made with legs attached at a 90-degree angle to the tabletop part, which means that they're highly liable to tip over if you stand too close to the edge. Julian's fallen off this one enough times to refer to it as "the scary footstool." Still, they're precious heirlooms.

Today I took Julian and Katrina to the Y, then home for Katrina's nap, and mine, and, as it turned out, Julian's. Then a late lunch, and it was juuust late enough not to make it to pick Gabriel up straight from school. In addition to the screwy "PM" schedule, every Tuesday the schedule is earlier.

So I took Julian and Katrina shopping before picking Gabriel up from CDC. Of utmost top priority was a scrapbook store because I was urgently, critically, desperately low on yellow cardstock. I mean really, I can't get caught with my pants at my ankles without the exact right shade of yellow! I averted a crisis in the red and purple departments too. Katrina didn't make this easy, wiggling and screeching in the stroller, so I had no time to think and just had to grab whatever looked like it would fill the gaps in my cardstock spectrum, while keeping Julian away from the sticker wall. Going to a scrapbook store before picking up Gabriel was calculated, as I figured all three in there would be completely impossible. As it was, bringing two came at a hefty price, since I couldn't afford to be discriminating: $82 worth of "construction paper." I can just see Julian and his handy little fingers in scissors with my expensive scrapbook supplies. ~shudder~

No less important, but perhaps less urgent, was a trip to Trader Joe's with my curtailed brood. Because a week can't pass without a trip to TJs.

Then, Gabriel pickup. I didn't see the boys for the rest of the afternoon; they went right to work in the backyard on "construction," (bicycle) helmets and all. Ah, brothers. I daresay they miss each other, with Gabriel being in school so much more now.

It didn't occur to me until Dave got home, right before dinner, and reminded me, that Gabriel now has homework to do. "Didn't he have time to work on it this afternoon?" Well, yeah, if he had one of those on-the-ball involved mothers. Not one who's perpetually exasperated with carrying around a touchy pre-toddler.

The homework itself isn't hard, and they're only supposed to spend about 10 minutes a day doing it, though whoever said that doesn't know Gabriel and his painstaking meticulousness. We managed to squeeze in a little after dinner, and he'll make a good stab at completing his week's assignment by Friday, when he has to turn it in.

Love my dear baby as I do, I was all too happy to put her to bed and be able to think for more than 30 straight seconds. And what do you think it is I think about when I finally am baby-free? Paradoxically, baby!

Newsflash! Katrina is now waving! It's the first gesture she's made that has consistent meaning, if "hi and/or bye at any random moment" counts as consistent. But there's no doubt she means it as waving, and does so in delayed response to grownups cooing foolishly "BY-YYE! BYE-BYE! BYE!!" again and again at any random moment.

Dave's also been signing "more" and "all done" with her at mealtimes, and she makes some attempt at imitating the gestures. I'm still not sure why so many parents think of signing as a communication panacea for babies. Katrina has always very clearly communicated "more" with a piercing SCREEEEECCCHH, and "all done" with projectile spitting. Who needs ASL?

Maybe I'll find a few minutes tonight to rifle through my new stash and put together July's scrapbook page, now that I have the exact right shade of yellow. It's so much fun looking at photos of the kids -- when they're in bed.


Monday, September 10, 2007

9/10/07 44

Another year, another birthday. I'm 44 today, a nice easy number to remember. I'm no numerologist, but I'm glad to say goodbye to 43. Prime numbers make me a little leery.

And what a day! Before I launch into it, I'll recount this: at dinner, Gabriel strangely demanded to know everything that happened in my day today. He wanted a full-on play-by-play, of his own accord. Funny!

So here it is, the curtailed version, I hope. I dropped both boys off at school this morning, then came home and cleaned up the kitchen and read email.

During that time, I heard sounds on the monitor that could only be coming from upstairs. I looked around for Katrina, but she wasn't in the usual places. Checked the stairs....there she was, on the landing, rummaging through a box of new shirts for the boys. Newsflash: she can climb stairs now!

Last day of Water Babies swim class today for Julian and Katrina.

Lucky me, Dave came along to the class, as a birthday treat for me. I've told him since we were together that what I want from him the most is not things, but his time. Work has been very busy for him lately, so this was really a special treat.

I sure wish Katrina realized the treat though. Once again, nonstop wailing during the swim lesson. But fine in playtime.

And he took lots of pictures too, another thing that means a lot to me, since photos at swim classes are hard to take myself. Yay!

Katrina woke up from her morning nap late enough that I was able to get away with picking up Gabriel directly from school again. I tried a different strategy for where to park, so as to make an escape from the heavy traffic, and to cross the busy street at a manned crossing, which basically worked. Gabriel has lots of friends, mostly older kids from CDC, I believe, who call out to him and say hello. That's really nice to see -- he never talks about other kids!

I can see the picking-him-up-from-school thing getting really old though. It is a pain with the heavy traffic, weaving my way through the crowded campus and keeping track of Julian too. I still want to be able to do it, and I was really glad I did today so I could get a head start on dinner and not be interrupted to go get him, but certainly some CDC care in the afternoon is warranted.

Dave came home early and gave me another time treat: being able to make dinner without peeling the boys apart and without multitasking feeding and entertaining a demanding baby. That is a really hard part of my day, made worse by having to go pick up Gabriel when I do. It was actually rather fun making dinner without fretting about grouchy baby making me drop everything at any moment.

Katrina has been really demanding the past few days in a good way: she pulls herself up to a stand ALL the time, but then doesn't know what to do and can't get back down. So, she wails for help, only to pull back up and get stuck again. Babies!

Of course, the best part of birthdays for me is the cake, and Dave totally came through. I've been looking forward to something from Sugar Butter Flour since I heard about it! This raspberry mousse cake was right up my alley. Typically, Gabriel and Dave halfheartedly poked at it and nibbled the cakey parts; Julian finished his and Gabriel's. Gabriel is just like Dave: doesn't like fruity sorts of desserts. Thankfully I have Mr. Mouth on my side!

And not just a cake either -- but a Nano iPod! Yay! This is inspired by my running kick. I'll probably use it more, if not entirely, at the Y, since one thing I love about the trails is being immersed in nature. That said, there are times I really need the inspiration and I'm not into the nature part at all, like when it's hot and I'm pushing the jogging stroller up a boring trail. I can't wait to open the package and figure it out. So what am I doing sitting here typing?!

Other than saying: thanks Dave for a very happy birthday!


Sunday, September 09, 2007

9/9/07 The real week

Next week, our first full real regular honest-to-gosh week. No starting on Thursday, no holiday, just five days of ... weekdays. Starting with, lunch-making on Sunday nights.

I got Gabriel a really nice monogrammed insulated lunchbox from Land's End. I don't know why I bothered. What he eats for lunch would fit into his pocket. He never eats his sandwich. He rarely opens his drink (water). About all he eats, to his credit, is the cut-up fresh fruit I pack for him. And, the past few days, two pieces of string cheese. He eats raisins or cookies when I've packed them for him, but then that's all he eats. I've tried varying what I put in. I've tried new things. I've tried old favorites. I've tried telling him what's in his lunch. I've tried asking him what he wants. I've tried talking to him after school about his lunch, what he liked, what he found, etc. I've tried making funny references to what's in there with notes (he still likes the notes). But to no avail. I guess he's going to live on fresh fruit and cheese. It could be worse.

It seemed like it took me hours cleaning up in the kitchen tonight (including making Gabriel's lunch, since I can't bring myself not to pack him a full lunch yet). Katrina kept herself quietly amused while I scrubbed and packed. This included a foray into the newspaper stack. Appropriately, she dissed the San Jose Mercury News instead of the far superior New York Times.

I busted her leaving the scene of the crime, and didn't fall for her beguiling innocent smile. I knew she was behind The Case Of The Scattered Newspapers.

Boys busy with Dave at a British car show in Palo Alto today, while I took Katrina on a short run up and down Coyote Trail. The exact family split I was concerned about before she was born. Not so bad today, though wouldn't it be great if I could get everyone to go to Rancho instead!!