Saturday, March 22, 2008

3/22/08 Big Bunny Fun Run

2008 Big Bunny Fun Run 5K!

Las Madres 2006 Spring Fling and Egg Hunt:


Friday, March 21, 2008

3/21/08 The Engine

I perused our garage shelves with dismay, piled up high with toys that either need to be given away or put back into circulation. This Radio Flyer engine that Uncle Ronan sent the boys (fully assembled for maximum impact!) some years ago popped out and cried, "I'm the perfect height for Katrina!"

You bet your red booty. Naturally, she loves it. And she can reach the ground and push it around!

I had a nice time alone with Katrina after dinner when I took her with me to pick something up at the supermarket. I couldn't do anything at home anyway, since she was being demanding and picky. She likes it when I push the shopping cart fast, or bounce her as I sing "Riding In The Car" from Music Together. She had a much better day today -- still isn't eating up to par -- but is on the mend. Just a few minutes of her being fun, funny and laughing makes up for many days of being pretty darned difficult!

Last night I woke up several times and remembered dreams that made me uncomfortable all day. Like the one in which I'd shot someone, and was casually concerned that I needed to disassemble the gun and throw pieces of it in different rivers, and that I forgot to do it and was carrying it around in a knapsack while walking around the city with my mother, my childhood friend Patty, and carrying Katrina. "Darn," I thought, "I forgot when we crossed that last bridge." Sort of like, "Darn, I forgot to take out the garbage." Never mind that I shot someone! Then a bus almost ran me and Katrina down, and I was annoyed that we hadn't gotten hit.

Pretty twisted! But when I got to work this morning and felt nauseous again, it started to come together. Black pessimistic mood, lethargy, disturbing and semi-violent dreams, uneasy stomach, and oh yeah, headache pain. All adds up to: migraine. No wonder life was gloomy yesterday. Unfortunately, like postpartum blues, it doesn't really help to know the depression is artificially induced, you still experience it. It seems the Seasonique magic has worn off. Time to find some new magic.

How about this for a start:


Thursday, March 20, 2008

3/20/08 Not the usual Thursday

Thursday...usually my favorite day now, right? Especially today since I decided not to go to work . And this Thursday was even more special, since I had a Mom's Night Out scheduled, with a fun twist: a book club (we read The Distant Land Of My Father, by Bo Caldwell). AND, I planned to run today -- I have to, if I'm going to run in the Big Bunny Fun Run this weekend. What a great day for me!

Sort of. First, Katrina was unbearable in music class. I still have no idea what her problem was, but at first she was so clingy that she wouldn't even let me clap my hands. She'd grab my hands and put them firmly on her tummy, making it very clear exactly what I was allowed to do. Standing up and dancing, forget it. By the time the instruments came out, she put her hands against the wall, almost looking like she was going to hit her head against it, wouldn't come near me, and only cried and cried. It got disruptive, so we actually left early. What a shame, this was our last Thursday class!

Then, with trepidation, I went to Rancho San Antonio, to do a short 2.5 mile run. I was almost nervous as I carefully stretched first -- would I be able to do this? I was so happy to be out in the sunshine and the trees, with a slight bite in the air. But physically, I felt listless and flabby and out of shape. And very paranoid -- each footfall made me wonder what I was doing to my ankles. Would I pay dearly for this later? It was such a far cry from the ecstatic, energy-filled, powerful runs I'd been doing just a few months before. It makes me realize what great condition I was in...and what poor condition I'm in now. (The good news is that my ankles aren't any worse than the usual buzzing I feel after any workout.)

And then I didn't really enjoy my time at home alone, either. Turns out, knowing I'm only going to be at work for a few hours makes work a lot more tolerable -- fun, even! Logistically it makes sense to skip a short workday anyway, because of all the driving, but I missed the contrast. And didn't get far enough on our taxes for missing work to have been worth it.

Skating with Julian was fun though. I attempted to wean him off the snowsuit and started him in jeans first. Nope, he wanted the snowsuit, which meant peeling everything off and starting all over again. Blah! But he has so much fun in his class, and he's really great to be around when it's just me and him, and he is full of questions and delighted observations and comments. I realized I hadn't laughed or smiled all day until I was with him for 3 minutes and he made me laugh.

I was almost dreading picking up Katrina, but she was in pretty good shape. She ate most of a turkey burger at home, the first protein she's had in days. Her eating has been way, way off since this tummy thing, maybe that's why she was so grumpy in music class today. I couldn't spend much time with her, as I needed to get everyone else fed and get things ready for tomorrow so I could go out for my wine'n'cheese book club Mom's Night Out.

That saved the day though, it's always nice to be with other moms and *talk* about your kids instead of actually *be* with them (if you detect a twinge of guilt there, you're right). I don't get it. I want to work, but I don't. I want to be with my kids, but not too much. I want to run, skate, swim, dance, scrapbook, cook, read, write -- what, am I only happy doing things alone? I'm a mom, a wife, an employee, a homeowner -- this is no time to be channeling my inner hermit! I'm by no means alone among mom friends in trying to balance it all, but most of them seem to be struggling more with the how, not the why.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3/19/08 Nothing!

Last night, I ran 1/2 mile on the treadmill. And today, my ankles felt....nothing!! I'm trying not to get too excited. I've entered the Big Bunny Fun Run this weekend, the 5K that started it all last year, ankles be damned. Ironically, I was in better shape to run 5K last year than I am this one -- and I'm not talking about the ankles! The extra 5 lbs or so I'm carrying doesn't help.

Julian keeps asking who the Katrina is we keep hearing mentioned on the radio. "Does she live in Norlans?" I told the boys the whole story about hurricanes and naming them, but Julian still wants to know if Katrina's house is still there.

My brother turned up the most remarkable video on YouTube today: Vintage Sesame Street - Squares. Remarkable to us, because my sister, brother and I recorded voiceovers for this animation, and its companion Circles and Triangles as well. I can't say exactly what year, but my brother was old enough to talk but not old enough to talk well, so he'd have been about 3, so, 1970 or so (poor kid, story of his life, drowned out by his two older sisters). They almost certainly recorded multiple children doing play-by-plays, and some of the voices in this animation clearly aren't us (including, ironically, the one with the Brooklyn accent! "dawghouse"), but some of them could be. We all three remember the dog coming out of the box, and we remember seeing it on Sesame Street once and being so excited -- that's us! Though we probably didn't catch on that most of the voices, and perhaps all of them, aren't us). A little glimpse of our past!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3/18/08 Bicycle blues

I went home after work today, for a few stolen minutes before tackling the fray. It's a cleaners night, which triples the chaos and nonstop work around here.

Right as I was about to leave for pickups, Melissa called. Katrina had pulled a bicycle down on her head and was bleeding a lot. I quickly revised my plan of picking up the boys first and drove grimly to Melissa's, forming a plan as I went along. Call Dave to pick up the boys. If Katrina needs stitches, take her to Los Gatos Community (where she was born). Call Dave again and tell him to take the boys out to dinner. This is standard fare for the Ryder family, but none of our kids have ever been to an emergency room!

And our streak continues. Katrina was fine -- she just got bonked hard in one spot on top of her head, from some sharp object on the bicycle.

The bicycle belongs to a 10-year-old girl who's my height, so it's no small kids' bike. Melissa saw Katrina making a beeline for the bike parked momentarily in the driveway, but wasn't able to catch her before it toppled. I assured Melissa it could just as easily have happened here and it was fine, as she was very upset! She had to experience someone else's baby bleeding and crying a lot.

When we got home, Katrina went straight to our fenced-off utility room and screeched for this little push-wagon. Apparently her experience didn't put her off from wheeled vehicles at all, and I have every expectation she'll continue to go straight to any bicycle or tricycle she sees!

One good thing came out of this: I followed up with part of my plan, which was to call Dave to ask him to take the boys out to dinner after picking them up. Why didn't I think of this years ago?! It's a lot of work picking up the whole house on cleaner's nights -- that's what restaurants are for! He took the boys to Gumba's in Cupertino, whose management has changed recently and has gotten great reviews from my mom's group. And he liked it!! Dave, that is. The boys, easy. Dave, not so easy. Julian had ravioli, pizza and lasagna.

Meantime, I had a nice time with Katrina alone, and got to do some deep cleaning of toys and junk in relative peace. She was in pretty good shape, other than not eating a whole lot.

This evening is best summed up with the cliche: win some, lose some.


Monday, March 17, 2008

3/17/08 The Trouble

I wouldn't go so far as it call this stomach flu, but Dave, my and Katrina's tummies are still under the weather. Melissa brought Katrina home at 2pm today, which worked out since Dave was home anyway, and I came home soon after.

At least we finally got Katrina to eat something, some dry cereal, but only because she was outdoors. But once she spotted the tricycle, food time was over.

Meanwhile, Julian rode his bicycle on a slalom course he set up, while I chatted on the phone with my sister.

Katrina not only lives and breathes by the tricycle, but she likes playing with her brothers' helmets too. We do have a little baby helmet, she should play with that one.

Gabriel got in trouble again today at school, but for a reason that's actually pretty funny: what kid gets in trouble for singing "Pop Goes The Weasel" in class?!

Here's an excerpt from his teacher's email.
Gabriel has begun singing, loudly, all the time in class (and I mean constantly). I have ask him not to sing in class, unless we are singing "as a class". (I'm glad he is singing in music class though, as some kids do not like to sing.) I am not sure he is always aware that he is singing, but I have a feeling he is. Anyway, can you please talk to him about not singing in class, as no one can focus on their work.

In case you are wondering what he is singing, it is songs like "Pop goes the weasel" and other nursery rhyme type songs.

Any time he defies the teacher it's serious, but I had to dig a little to act serious when talking to him about it tonight.

He continues to be fascinated by the piano, now trying to transpose simple songs into different keys -- but I'm not sure if encouraging his music interest would help this singing problem! He can sing loud, and he likes to sing, and that's great, but he does need to learn when not to. Especially when his teacher says to stop.

Pop Goes the Weasel. Leave it to Gabriel to turn that into trouble.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

3/16/08 Daycamp Day

Whatever Gabriel had last week has now travelled to Dave, me and Katrina. It falls short of stomach flu, but for the grownups means many trips to the powder room, and for the baby it means numerous changes of clothes and lots of crying.

So, my grand plans for today of going to the Y and letterboxing were foiled. I made up for a bit by doing a little exercising in the backyard (before my tummy troubles hit) while Katrina and Julian played. The time outside, even though it was windy and chilly, did us both good.

I spent some time going over the plethora of daycamp options at the Y, and that's just at the Y. All the Parks & Recreation departments have daycamps (though there's overlap), then the countless private sources too. Even the choices through the Y are overwhelming for first-graders, and Gabriel expressed interest in at least six of them. He made it easy though, as he was unwavering in wanting to do Lego Engineering and ice skating. Ice skating?! Hukay! Julian's choices were more limited, but all good. He chose Lil' Chefs (awww), and then I chose Lil'Kickers for him too (soccer).

Despite how bad I was feeling, I drove to the Y to sign them up. It's only March, right? But things in Silicon Valley can be competitive, and the Lego Engineering camp for Gabriel was a prerequisite for many other Lego camps, so I'm sure it's popular. I was right. But, we did get spots in all camps, including Ice Skating, which is even more popular, and almost full already!

The Y no longer offers the Pee Wee daycamp that Julian did last year, so I'm glad he did it then. It was the highlight of his life, to hear him talk about it, but being 4 gives him new options. I hated telling him he had to wait until July though!

I think I found an option for Gabriel's piano lessons today, which is going directly to the school through which the (full) Parks and Rec class is offered. I've got to sign him up, he is so excited about piano and music.

I explained to Gabriel last week that Three Blind Mice is a round, and was sort of able to demonstrate the concept with the electronic piano. It's hard to demonstrate with one person, and he didn't quite seem to get it, but, whatever. Today the boys were talking about Spanish songs, so I put on my first, and still favorite, Music Together CD and sang along with my favorite Spanish song, Des Colores. They were both riveted, and Gabriel followed the words and music in the music book for the whole CD. As the CD played through, suddenly Gabriel burst into the office, where I was, and announced excitedly: "Mom! Mom! Come quick! The song 'The Bells of Westminster' is a round!" I was downright moved by the spark and delight in his face at his discovery.

I can't keep missing work, but my, and several other tummies around here, might have other ideas.