Saturday, October 20, 2007

10/20/07 Katrina's costume

I have to thank my friend Jodie profusely for pointing me to this costume.

A purchased costume. I didn't make this one. I didn't stand on line for half an hour at Jo-Ann Fabrics buying $30 worth of fabric and materials. I didn't drive back and forth to Michael's ten times. I didn't stay up past midnight. I didn't turn my thumbs into mini-swiss cheese sewing velcro. I didn't make something only to discover I'd made a huge mistake and had to re-do it. I didn't struggle with figuring out how to spread netting across wire to make wings.

No, I'm saving all that for Gabriel's costume.

Katrina's, I clicked a few buttons and spent $6.99, courtesy Jodie. Then I bought a reusable black turtleneck and tights, courtesy Old Navy and Gymboree.

And how CUTE is this!! It worked perfectly. I had low expectations that she'd wear the antenna headband, but to my surprise, she tolerated it just long enough for a few photos. I wouldn't have made the little mesh wings, since ladybugs don't have wings like that, but it's so cute that I can live with a little anatomical incorrectness. I'm loving this costume-purchase thing.

We went to the Las Madres 2006 group's Halloween party today, a sweet low-key event for which the highlight was a short "parade" and an attempt at a group photo. Katrina was ultra-grumpy on the way there, despite having just woken up from a nap, had just had a snack, and a clean diaper -- check, check, check. But the distraction of the other kids and a table with crayons and coloring-book pages helped her forget the grumpiness. (She loves holding crayons and trying to "draw," she does it a lot at home too, way way more than I remember her brothers doing.)

Back at home, I got a few outdoor photos too.

We were late to the party because Katrina was napping, her one nap of today, which started about 1:30pm. The two-to-one nap transition is well underway!

Gabriel and Julian are having so much fun singing "Yankee Doodle" (Julian learned it at preschool) that Gabriel had to write out the entire first verse. He asked me how to spell many of the words ("riding," "feather," "called,") but filled in many of the shorter connecting words himself. I was impressed, he did a neat and thorough job. Then Katrina got a hold of the paper, and he had to do it all over again. But he didn't complain at all. Julian would have caught hell if he'd wrecked Gabriel's paper!

That reminds me, today Julian showed me a paper he'd done at preschool, in which there were rows of objects. The task was to circle the object that is the same as the first object in the row. Trouble is, at first, I didn't believe Julian that it was his work -- because that's exactly the sort of thing Gabriel does for his homework. Gabriel has an awful lot of stupid schoolwork. I can't even tell it apart from Julian's!

I had a horrible night last night, with scary dreams, restlessness, pain pooling in my temple, pressure in my head waking me up numerous times. The "scary" dreams don't sound so bad when I'm awake: we'd sold our house and bought another, and as we drove up to it, I suddenly realized there were no trees at all in the whole neighborhood, and the houses were all white and all exactly the same, and I was devastated that we'd sold our house. Sounds goofy, but I was shaken and very relieved when I woke up! I've had some staggering "icepick migraine" moments today with sudden white-hot searing stabs of pain in my eyes, one of which just about knocked me down.

And now, I'm watching the beginning of the movie Psycho on AMC. The shower scene is just starting. WHAT TIMING! Zse! Zse! Zse! AGGGGH!!!!

Wait, a rescue...I'll take a look at this again....

Ahh, now all is well and good with the world. Headaches? Nightmares? Horror movies? Not a chance against this cuteness and innocence!


Friday, October 19, 2007

10/19/07 Dave's 41st

It's Dave's birthday today! We went to Kyoto Palace in the Campbell Pruneyard instead of the traditional Benihana, in the hopes of finding an upgrade. Actually, it was quite similar, though I liked walking around the Pruneyard afterward, better than the Vallco parking lot as is the case with Benihana.

I went for a long run this morning, fighting a miserable migraine. I hate migraine runs, they take 10 times more effort. In the end, I'm glad I did it, but it was a painful struggle instead of joyful movement through nature. All day long I've had a vice grip on my head, dreading every next step I'd take. Any high-pitched sound, such as that frequently emitted by our secondborn, drives straight through to a nerve center like an icepick, and sets me off. Just blinking sets off small waves of pressure and rushing sounds past my ears. I hate my life. I hate my children. I hate my body. I don't, of course, not at all, but that's how it feels.

Fortunately, I'm able to forget about it for some moments, like a pleasant dinner chatting with my husband like grownups, and walking around the Pruneyard, browsing through Barnes and Noble...but without active distraction, it floods right back again.

But it was a good day. While my run was often painful, once again I found salvation in the uphills, when I could focus on the physical challenge, and forget about the headache and resulting bodyache. It was overcast and so misty in places that it was almost drizzling on me, and that felt good against my skin.

Gabriel was nothing short of delightful today, helpful and sweet and cheerful and funny. Playing outside this afternoon, he came in to get a glass of water to put flowers in, and I walked in as he was excitedly setting them up to show me. He likes getting me flowers -- how sweet is that?!

Peggy reports that the boys were really good tonight, and Katrina ate a ton and didn't cry at all. And Dave and I had a nice evening being grownups, which makes me look forward to a nice weekend being parents.


Today's route, all trails I've done before but not exactly in this order. At the last minute, I tacked on the lower third of the PG&E trail, which to my surprise pushed the distance over 8 miles. If I'd known that at the outset, I'd never have done it!

Parking -> Coyote -> Farm -> Rogue Valley ->
Upper Rogue Valley -> Upper High Meadow ->
Upper Wildcat Canyon -> PG&E -> Coyote -> Parking

Results for route: 12VWU3MLKR6ST4V21
Route Miles Up Down
12 0.29 0 30
2V 0.51 195 0
VW 0.67 0 120
WU 0.25 0 50
U3 0.15 0 20
3M 0.31 25 0
ML 0.69 125 0
LK 0.51 75 0
KR 1.00 400 0
R6 0.32 60 0
6S 1.37 0 450
ST 0.12 0 20
T4 0.12 80 0
4V 1.60 310 500
V2 0.51 0 195
21 0.29 30 0

Total Distance = 8.71 Miles, 1300 feet of climbing

Thursday, October 18, 2007

10/18/07 The Kitchen Places

Katrina-free day today, spent doing exactly what I got the childcare for: going to kitchen remodeling places in search of a kitchen designer. Three, just today. It's exhausting under the best of circumstances, but the vice gripping my head makes it extremely difficult to concentrate. Day 4 of a relatively mild migraine, but "mild migraine" is a cruel oxymoron. Still, I made a little progress, and Julian gave me a perfect excuse to cut it short when the headache made it too unbearable to be sitting and talking. Happily, the headache subsides enough when I'm having coffee with mom friends to enjoy it, though it's just about crushing me right now as I type.

Katrina is now pretty consistent at pointing to the right person (and declaring "AH!" delightedly) when asked "Where's Julian? Where's Gabriel? Where's Dad?" But not Mom!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

10/17/07 Katrina's 12-month appointment

Katrina went to the pediatrician today, for her 12-month checkup and shots. Her stats:

Weight: 17 lbs 6 oz (4th %ile)
Length: 29.5" (55th %ile)

The scary thing is: Gabriel's stats were exactly the same at 12 months!! (though his percentiles were lower).

She cried momentarily during the shots, quite understandable, but forgot all about it later. Actually, she still has a small bruise on the inside of her right elbow from the far more intrusive blood draw last week, for which we still don't have results.

Fortunately, looking outside through the window (for birds, no doubt) kept her basically happy as we were waiting for the shots.

We're definitely getting into a nap transition phase, in which we're never sure what she needs or when she needs it. Today Dave picked her up from Melissa's, and had to wake her up an hour into what turned out to be her only nap of the day. For several days in a row now, we've had this problem around 5:30pm: she needs nap #2, but it's so close to bedtime, she can sort-of last. But with a lot of work!

This morning I talked on the phone with a manager at my old company. Looks like I'm going back to work there, a temporary contract, starting next month. I really really hoped I was done with that company, but the flexibility of the contract is too good to pass up. I'd talked to them last week about it, right after a set of days in which I was starting to feel almost despairing about having a grownup life again. Working there again isn't the grownup life I want, but it's a good kickstart, and will make a tiny dent in the massive debt we're about to incur for the remodel.

This means finding full-time childcare. Gabriel's set, of course. I'm probably going to use Melissa for Katrina, despite the long drive and traffic-choked commute. Right now the driving seems less painful than picturing her in a full-service daycare setting; I'd really rather have her at a family daycare (and Tonya's infant spaces are still full). But Julian needs a new place anyway, he's really outgrown family daycare and says all the time that he wants to go to pre-K. We saw a nearby place that looked good for pre-K, but if I stop working and scale back Julian's childcare, its part-time prices and schedules aren't as good as where Gabriel went. So, next stop is to check out where Gabriel went and see how it looks in comparison. The location can't be beat, that's for sure.

I'm very nervous about figuring out how to get everything done at home and get dinner on the table on time. Something's going to have to give, and I'm very afraid it's going to be my running. 5-6 mile runs several times a week, plus a shower and nap afterward, are a huge time luxury that this family can't afford.

Sure wish I could have run today, but I only had a small time window to squeeze it into, and that window was slammed shut with a "mild" migraine. What an oxymoron, there is no such thing. I've had worse though, and this one's gone on for "only" 3 days so far, so I guess that counts as "mild."


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10/16/07 Tuesday Dinner

We hosted our old friends' weekly Tuesday dinner here at home tonight. I made two lasagnas, a cheese tray, a yummy yogurt-cheese-olive hor d'oeuvre, a cinnamon-sugar plum cake, and, best of all, a tiramisu for Dave's birthday. Oh yes, and a pumpkin-bread-off, in which I made three pumpkin bread recipes and had everyone compare them. More about that tomorrow on my experimental new food blog (The Un-Foodie).

The kids were really good (even though Katrina had only had one nap and pooped out early), and it was great fun seeing all our old friends again. Now everything's all clean, I've put on about 10 pounds from all the desserts, and it's bedtime.


Monday, October 15, 2007

10/15/07 The Birds

A regular Tippie Hendron, she is.

Katrina in her all-consuming hobby of bird-pointing, making her characteristic "aAH!" of joyful discovery.

Julian, my little thinker. He's clearly reaching to understand how and where things are geographically, and what words to use to describe them. "Mommy, is New York on a different planet?" Some might say it is.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

10/14/07 The Phones

Today's big family outing was to the AT&T phone store so that Dave could get his iPhone and the required AT&T service contract. This forced me to pick a new phone, as we were on a "family plan" with Verizon, which overall I don't care about. My new phone has Bluetooth though, I might like that, unless I have problems with charging the headpiece regularly. Still, it'll probably take me weeks to get the thing out of the box.

Gabriel and Julian had all sorts of fun with the iPhone display, while Katrina giggled holding onto the stroller and trying to push it around.

A common family sort of thing to do is to hang around in PJs in the morning, especially on Sundays. But around here, everyone wakes up wearing pee-soaked diapers or Pull-Ups, so we always push to get those changed. And once the PJs are off anyway, might as well put clothes on. There, done.

But this morning, I got up with Katrina and scooted her downstairs before she woke everyone else up. I was feeling pretty sleepy and lazy, so played with her and took some rare PJs photos before getting her dressed. She loves this glow-in-the-dark bear (that was Gabriel's) from her great-uncle Jean.

Katrina did her level best to foil my attempts to prepare dinner and get a head start on the lasagnas I'm making for next week's Tuesday dinner. Here she is like a Price Is Right model, showing my entire mixing-bowl storage area. I SO can't wait for a new kitchen!

Speaking of new kitchen, it's no longer early to be shopping for appliances, countertops, cabinets and kitchen things -- or the countless other things we'll need in the whole house (front door, flooring, bathroom finishes etc). It's time. I took the design sketches we have (which still have minor changes coming) to Kinko's for scanning to take them to kitchen places next week. And got a smaller scanned version for myself, that I can print, post on the fridge, and look at dreamily.

It's also time to find a kitchen designers to help me work out the particulars of where fridge, cooktop, ovens, etc, go. It's overwhelming, but I really can't wait.

That reminds me, our architect had an article (well, a Q&A thing) published in the San Jose Mercury news last week: Ask an expert: The home addition dilemma: Go up or out?