Saturday, March 15, 2008

3/16/08 The Family Bed?

I can give myself a pass for blogging on a Saturday night, especially when I'm in the throes of a monstrous headache. But I had a moment worthy of noting, at least to me. So here goes.

Last night, I tried taking Prontalgine, an over-the-counter headache in France, that has caffeine and codeine, among other things. Hmm, codeine: sleepy; caffeine: wired. What's going to win?

I was up all night long. Not headachy, but irrepressibly wired. Finally at 5:30am I fell into restless sleep, and had no trouble getting back up at 7:30am to take care of children. One of whom woke up in dry underpants.

Katrina was miserable all morning, crying and grumpy and clingy and refusing to eat. I took her out for a quick errand, distracting her, but back at home, it was more of the same. At 10:30am, I was ready to crash'n'burn, so Dave took over, and I lay down for an essential nap. We had an appointment with our kitchen designer this afternoon, and I needed to be in good shape.

Dave came to wake me at 12:15, and then lay down with me for a few minutes. Then Gabriel appeared, and I invited him onto our bed. Soon Julian joined too, and I had a wonderful magical long moment of snuggling up with all my boys. I held Gabriel close and talked to him about doing things together, held his hand, and was completely absorbed in him. We did this all the time when he was a baby, but not so much now that he's 6. We talked about the summer and I told him about ideas I had and things I did yesterday....then I made the mistake of telling the boys an embellished story about when I was lying in bed with Dad this morning, listening for them, and then P U -- Dad farted! Oh my, nothing gets little boys laughing harder than fart stories. They howled with laughter when I said I had to fan the quilt and guffawed uncontrollably at my gross-out sounds. That was an animated ending to a nice calm half hour together, but it was time to get up to get ready for our appointment anyway. I glowed all afternoon from the fresh memory of holding my sons so close.

Peggy dealt with toddler grumps the rest of the afternoon while Dave and I met with our kitchen designer, shopped for lighting, went out to dinner, then shopped for TVs. Peggy reported that Katrina was fine outside, playing with a tricycle, but was clingy and grumpy otherwise. Another bathworthy blowout didn't help, and further explained her lack of appetite.

I'm still dealing with waves of full-on migraine, like dozing briefly in the car and waking up thinking I'd left my swim cap on, from the pressure around my head. If the pain returns full-force, I have mixed feeling about taking more Prontalgine: it was very effective in making me spin in circles -- but it also gave me a much-needed respite from the scourge of the migraine! I want to be in good shape to enjoy my children tomorrow...or at least deal with a miserable grumpy toddler again if need be.


3/15/08 Swim'n'Scrap

A planned night out to scrapbook! Does it get better than that?

Yes, if it can be done without a migraine. I can't believe this is back. I went swimming first in the hopes of mitigating it, and it helped at the moment, but I was still swarmed with dizziness, waves of nausea and feeling like the air around me is so heavy I have to push it aside. Fortunately, scrapping and chatting distracted me and made for a nice evening.

Julian broke his streak this morning (woke up wet), perhaps because Dave got him up to pee last night pretty early. Tonight we'll try waking him up later and see how that goes.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

3/13/08 Thrilling Thursdays

OK, so today wasn't thrilling, but it was the only alliteration I could come up with. And it was a very nice Thursday.

Despite being a pain in the rear end last night, Katrina was delightful, and delighted, at music class today. I'm still looking for the quintessential music class photo, but it escapes me.

Then this afternoon, I got to take Julian skating. We practiced for about half an hour together first, and this time, I didn't have to make up games to get him to skate without thinking. He apparently enjoyed our games so much that he brought them up himself: "Mommy, let's go skate to the cat now!" "Mommy, let's go find the flag!" You can tell I was really stretching; this skating rink is pretty dingy and doesn't have a lot to distract an apprehensive kid. His favorite game is when I tell him, "No going faster than me.....heeeyyyyYYY!!" and acting all put out when he skates away from me.

I love how he laughs and seems to completely enjoy it, and it makes me glow inside to know that some of that is having the time alone with me. As much as I get a secure, if not relaxed, feeling of having all three of them home with me together, the real highs are the times I spend alone with each of them. Perhaps those times are all the higher because there are three, but for the same reason they're also rarer.

Julian's also doing much better in his class, getting up, pushing off the wall, and skating across the rink when called upon to. And, he really seems to like it, he's engaged and listens to the teachers.

Julian got two party invitations yesterday, for the same weekend. I was really confused when I saw they were for different days, in different places, at different times, but for the same kid? After studying the invitations for a few minutes, I decided that he must indeed have two classmates named Maayan, with birthdays in the same week. What are the odds of that?

And, best of all, Julian was dry this morning! Who knew night-training could be this easy?! Gabriel makes it seem like a complete impossibility. Julian's far from done, but he's well on his way. Go Captain Underpants! Err....I mean, don't Go!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3/12/08 Number 34

I had a brutal, splitting headache all night and all day, one of the worst non-migraines I've ever had (there is a difference). Still, being woken up numerous times during the night with intense headache does not make for a good day.

Somehow, despite the merciful time change letting us all sleep until 7:30, we all got up "early" today and jumped back into the routine, headache notwithstanding.

First, the morning news: Captain UnderPants Julian was dry!! I'm beside myself. Even if he goes backward and bedwets for another year, this is still the most success at night-training the Doudna household has ever experienced. Dave got him up at 11:30pm to pee last night, and I think we'll keep doing that for a while until his morning dryness is well-established.

I stuck out the headache at work for 7 hours, then left to go home. Dave called me right as I was leaving: Gabriel was complaining of a stomach-ache. So I went right to pick him up, then Julian, and asked Melissa to bring Katrina home. Angel that she is, she did and spared me 30 minutes of annoying driving.

Katrina was really, really grumpy, even for her, and wouldn't eat. The one place she didn't cry or screech was outside, where I got her to half-heartedly eat some of a banana. But as soon as she caught sight of the tricycle, that was it. Then she'd play with the tricycle endlessly, saying "sih? sih?" when she wanted to sit on it and couldn't figure out how. Making dinner was impossible, and I finally gave up on multitasking until Dave got home.

So I felt deserving of another shot at tonight's Zumba class. I slammed dinner on the table and then ran to change, realizing it was already 7:06. I had to be at the Y by 7:15 when the passes get handed out! Without even tying my shoes or stopping to kiss my bewildered boys, I sprinted out to the car and took off. Incredibly, I made the green on the one long light, got the last parking spot in the lot, and ran inside....only to see a long line filing past the front desk, where passes were being handed out. I anxiously joined the line at the end. "Number 20!" the lady handing out the passes called...I couldn't count ahead of me, but I hadn't even rounded the corner yet. "I'm handing out number 30, 31, 32, 33--" that was the lady in front of more wait, that's her friend just talking to her -- "Number 34! That's it, class is full!" And I stood in shock, holding a plastic card with the number 34 on it. "OH MY GOD!" I heard myself call aloud. I MADE IT! I felt the same rush I do when I win an eBay auction in a blistering bidding war at the end. I was now one of the privileged, one of the Anointed Ones.

After a half-hour wait (which I made use of in the crowded fitness center), I finally got to take Eva's Zumba class. It was totally worth it. I learned this years ago in dance classes: the quality of teaching makes ALL the difference. That woman can move!

No amount of dance training can teach you Latin-style if you haven't done it. I looked like a serious white boy, unable to loosen up where it counts. Years of dance class helped a little, as I know how to re-sync with the teacher and where to stand to best imitate. But most important, I know humility and that no one's looking at me, especially with such a knockout teacher. I was especially impressed that she seems to have a touch of the same tummy affliction I do, diastasis rectii, meaning, "you done had too many babies, honey, no six-pack for you," and when she moved with her astounding combination of precision and fluidity and energy, her bellybutton wiggles and jiggles -- and she doesn't care. Now that's cool.

It was interesting that the ladies who stood out in the class overall had a little more oomph in the roomph, if you know what I mean. Stick-straight-skinny so revered in ballet just doesn't cut it in Latin, you need curves.

When I got home, I peeled off every stitch of clothing I had on and put it straight into the washer. And my headache was long-forgotten. Now that's a class.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3/11/08 The First Ride

It's a big moment for motorcyclist parents to take their child on their first motorcycle ride (usually just a push with the kid in the front seat in the backyard). Well, Katrina's first ride came from somewhere else: on a tricycle, on Gabriel's lap.

She looks so calm, but she cried LOUD and HARD when I had to take her off!

It might be an even bigger moment for the kid to do the riding themselves. In fact, I got the idea to put her on the tricycle with Gabriel because she very clearly wanted to ride it herself, and it was a way of putting off the problem. But, I underestimated Gabriel, and he very gladly gave up the tricycle for his little sister (then promptly bullied his little brother for the scooter he was riding).

Katrina really, really, really wants to ride something. She makes a beeline for the bicycles in the garage, and no matter who's got the tricycle, she goes right over to it and puts up a huge fuss to get it. And an even huger one when it's time to come inside. She can just barely reach the ground om this tricycle, and succeeds in very slowly pushing it around, though the slightest bump or hill stumps her.

Gabriel had a temperature today, so I had to keep him home. I wasn't at all heartbroken, having a day at home alone with him. I took him to work so I could get my laptop, and in theory do some work at home, but of course that didn't happen. Gabriel is the best, and least demanding, sick kid there is, but I still interacted with him a lot, and then we ran some errands together.

It was intriguing that Gabriel was so aware of the time and what was happening at school. "It's noon, lunchtime!" "In 3 minutes, it's recess time." "Right now, the whistle is blowing." I know he's ordered, but really.

We talked about school, and he said they weren't doing reading groups anymore. He also said they didn't go on a field trip that I know they did, so he's a very unreliable witness. I couldn't get out of him what happened to the reading groups, as he turned the conversation to other subjects. "My favorite is math," he said, then went on to tell me who was good at math and who wasn't, but he couldn't say why. Naturally he claimed he was really good at it, but I wouldn't acknowledge that without him telling me why.

And so I started the parent-brainwashing, drilling in what I really believe: what really matters is how hard you try. I told him that even if he is good at something, what's really important is that you work hard and ask a lot of questions. In truth, I do believe he's inclined toward math and science, but so what. Motivation, interest, dedication, work, resourcefulness, inquisitiveness, all matter a lot more, and that's true if you're a mathematician, a writer, a musician, a professional BMXer, a Mom, or anything. Sure, a few extra IQ points come in handy toward the Nobel Prize, but let's get through K first.

Julian did great last night! I heard him get up this morning and go right to the bathroom. He was dry! But....wait a minute, he was wearing his "emergency pajamas." We put an extra pair of pajamas and underpants right under the nightlight in his room, in case he's wet. Apparently, he made use of them last night. His wet pajamas weren't that wet, just a little, so he must have woken up when he realized he was going. Then he changed into the dry pajamas and underpants, put the wet ones into the laundry basket, and went back to bed! We never heard a thing. That, to me, is huge success, since he handled the situation, all on his own!

Katrina wasn't feeling so well this afternoon either, though you can see by the tricycle pictures she made a miraculous recovery later in the evening. I really hope I can go to work tomorrow...sort of.


Monday, March 10, 2008

3/10/08 The nerve!

I had my follow-up appointment today with the sports medicine podiatrist. He echoed something the physical therapist said too: my ankle problems might not be in my ankles. Boom. Really? The initial injury certainly was, it had all the earmarks of tendonitis, though today the doc summed it up as "shin splints." And the initial pain has basically faded away.

What's left is some odd buzzing and tingling sensations, punctuated by pangs, sometimes painful, always uncomfortable, and they shift around a lot. This isn't characteristic of tendonitis, but it is of an irritated nerve. Could this be related to my tricky sacro-iliac joint? So, I have a referral for a "physiatrist," a doctor with a more overall body view, to investigate further. I've been meaning to see someone about my back anyway, since I'd really like to start cycling. But before I set foot on a pedal, I want to have a team in place in case my back goes doy-yoing again and disables me for days.

I guess it's good news that my ankles are OK, but bad news that something else is strange. Indeed, even as I sit here, I notice the buzzing and weird sensations, while sitting. That's not tendonitis, and it's not ankles. Sitting doesn't bother ankles, but it can affect backs. The fact that I'm working now, and hence sitting a whole lot more, could be part of this.

Last night, we tried a wake-up experiment with Julian. Dave woke him up around 11pm (old time), got him to go pee, let him drink some water (! well, Julian asked, it's no time to get into a fight!), then back to bed. And he was dry this morning! First time! Nowhere close to done, but it's a nice start. That was in Pull-Ups, but tonight, he's going to try underpants.

We're making a huge deal of it, and Julian's soaking up the attention. But the fanfare isn't just for his benefit. I have this far-away hope that his un-pressure-able brother will want to join in the fun. The direct approach won't work with Gabriel, but there's a very small chance that he'll be piqued....nah. That's just not Gabriel. Well, if we can cut our Pull-Up bill in half, that's a big improvement.

No remodeling progress, we're still waiting for construction drawings and permits. Every day of waiting is slower and slower and more and more painful!


Sunday, March 09, 2008

3/9/08 Yardwork

The boys had a great time this afternoon outside with Dad doing yardwork. Katrina and I joined for a while too, and she loved sitting in some recently weed-whacked grass and piling it up.

Under Gabriel's watchful eye, that is...sort of. She's safer climbing down off this wall without his "help." I guess I shouldn't be surprised that both boys are very aware of the danger of her toddling toward the street, and if they see it, they both run to stop her.

I went swimming this morning, for the first time in months. It felt great to be back in the water, but it doesn't have the athletic punch that running does. As an overall feel-good exercise, nothing beats it though.

When I got home, I felt energized and in a good enough mood to take all three right out to hunt for another letterbox. This time, an easy one in a nearby park that we know well, but it was still fun to find. Gabriel liked decoding the "clues," though really, a "clue" is something like "pass by the device that allows you to talk long distances." Then again, I wasn't sure he'd recognize a pay phone!

After finding the letterbox and exchanging stamps, the boys played "boat" for a while on the playground, shooting at sharks.

Watching them, I thought about a piece on NPR I'd heard recently about how kids' play has become toy-oriented, rather than activity-oriented, as it used to be (Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills). They had no props other than was attached to the play structure, and all their shooting and pulling each other out of the water was done with pretend shark-guns and pretend ropes. Is this really so rare now? Kids at playgrounds do this sort of thing all the time. In any case, on top of letterboxing, it all amounted to good clean fun.

Then the yard cleanup and hanging around outside. More good clean outdoor fun. It was beautiful today, with no hint of lingering winter chill. T-shirt time!

I sure wish blogger would fix this photo upload problem. [ Later note: I can upload if I do them one at a time. What a drag! ]