Saturday, March 07, 2009

3/7/09 Backyard entertainment

Our lives are entirely about preparing for moving and living in a different house. A good, but busy thing. So this morning, I took all three and ran them to four different stores, including getting mattresses for the boys' new bunk beds, a chore accomplished with surprising speed and simplicity. I didn't get to microwave-shopping, but I'd just as soon do that without the kids anyway. It's a little unnerving how empty some stores are these days.

After Katrina's nap, I took Katrina and Gabriel to the house to meet up with Dave and Julian, who'd been there all afternoon. Note that choice of which child Dave took with him during Katrina's -- and my -- nap was carefully crafted! Being around just Julian is delightful. Being around Julian and either -- or worse, both -- of his siblings is a constant exercise in reminding, warning, scolding, countdowns, removals and timeouts. It took him only 10 minutes after our arrival to wiggle his dirt-smeared fingers in Katrina's eye.

Despite the active reunion of the three, Dave and I each managed to make progress on our projects. Post-nap munchies helped.

Katrina tested out, and helped compress with her 26 pounds, Dave's walkway to the deck.

But what could possibly be more entertaining than a huge pile of dirt in the backyard? Especially if it makes it easier to grab the rickety fence.

I saw the tail end of a nice tumble by Katrina off the dirt mound -- a benign affair that involved some uncontrolled rolling nonetheless. She's not that tough, she cried although she wasn't hurt at all, just surprised. I'm torn about how big a deal to make of it. She needs some comfort, but someday she's going to catch me rolling my eyes and decode my muttering "oh get OVER it."

The boys were so filthy afterward that I regretted not telling Dave to just strip them right at the front door. That instantly converted a plan for going out to dinner into takeout.

My goodness, our living room looks so much better with color -- walls, light fixture, entry door. The floors are mid-refinish too; somehow they needed refinishing at the last minute.

This is a little like being 38 weeks pregnant. I know my life is going to change completely in 2 weeks, but it's very difficult to envision and really put myself in that place. There's so much to do before then. I wish I could just close my eyes and hold my breath, and when I come up, it's all over.


Friday, March 06, 2009

3/6/09 Ponytays

There's a short window in a girl's life when high ponytails are super-cute. Maybe it's partly because at Katrina's age, she tends to fling her head a lot and they bounce around.

I do have practical reasons for "ponytays" as Katrina calls them. She hates having her hair trimmed, and usually disapproves of my brushing it as well ("don't brush me! stop brushing me!!"), but it gets full of food if I don't do something. OK, I admit it: part of it is self-indulgence. The one thing I do like about dressing a girl is cute hair.

Even if I'm not all that good at it. The ponytails are absolutely irresistable, and the boys love them too. I do still leave it down on weekends; she looks so scruffy it's very endearing. But there's plenty of time in life for that.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

3/5/09 "Can I come out now?"

Every evening, almost without fail, Julian offends and re-offends so many times after we get home that I have to send him to his room. There's just so much sister-screaming I can take, and too many opportunities for him to get pummeled by his brother -- which is fine with me, but it escalates, it's easy to lose track of who's really at fault, then said brother started initiating obnoxiousness, and the whole situation is overall disruptive and annoying while I'm trying to kick into dinner/lunch/homework gear. I try to distract Julian -- it used to work to ask him to read to me in the kitchen -- but lately he's too determined to be a pain in the rear end.

Calm immediately settles over the house as soon as he's removed. And so, it's very easy to forget he's in his room.

"Can I come out now?"

Usually, after a small struggle getting him into his room, he calms down and plays quietly or reads, and he too forgets he's been banished. Then he gets tired of it, far past his original sentence, and calls out sincerely, "Can I come out now?"

It always makes me feel a little bad....I keep forgetting he's in there, and he's being pretty good. But once he's out, it doesn't take long before he's pestering one or other sibling and the rounds start again.

"Can I come out now?" Little sad sack. I really wish he would, and I wish he'd just be with me.

This is the cheeriest thing I have to say for the day...I'm a health disaster, with a horribly swollen and sore throat, fighting aches and chills, and generally just feeling awful. My back is mostly better, but the residual foot-buzzing will be with me for weeks, if not months.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

3/4/09 Catch me!

...caught! Dave's cold. nice timing.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

3/3/09 Down the drain

I gave Julian a shower again tonight, with the express purpose of separating him and Gabriel during the bedtime process. This cuts the screaming and resistance and crying and competition by a factor of ten.

OK, put up your gross-out shields. Julian's nose is often so blocked that it's a pain to get him to blow it into tissues, and the warm water from showers loosens things up. So I have him blow his nose in the shower. He was reluctant at first, but tonight, he hit the motherlode of fun: huge disgusting fingertip-sized boogers hitting the ground and sliming their way down the drain! That's disgusting! It's even funnier if Mom tries to splash the booger back onto you, not that I would ever do such a thing. One time a snot came flying out of his nose and almost hit me -- does it get any better than that?! He luuuuvs showers now, lemme tell you.

Trying not to think about the thousands of things I have to do, what with moving in two weeks and all, I watched Julian and Katrina playing with two colored ping-pong balls together for about half an hour, it was very cute. Then Katrina got a hankering for Julian's knapsack, which is too big for Julian, and very sweetly asked if we could help her put it on. She was so proud of herself walking around with it that pictures just didn't do it justice. This video doesn't either, but you get an idea of how she vaguely resembled a ladybug!

(You can see Julian constantly pestering her, some of which she's OK with, more of which makes her push him away, as usual!)

Ah, a mother can only hope she'll follow in her brothers' footsteps of playing snot games.


Monday, March 02, 2009

3/2/09 Sink and swim

The Dow below fragile back limiting my ability to work...the pressure of an upcoming party and move...the growing feeling that I'm failing my children by not spending enough time with them. Sink, sink, sink.

Today it was blustery and rainy, usually a sort of day I like, but it pushed my mood down even further. (Katrina likes the wind though, smiling and laughing whenever the wind blows her hair, like she's a model hamming it up in front of a fan and a photographer.) Tonight was rainy and cold, back to the weekly grind, and my entire upper body sore and weak from supporting my upright there was only one solution. Swim!

Yes, believe it or not, tonight I went out in 54-degree weather (note to East Coasters: that feels colder here than it does there!), in the rain, and went swimming. Outdoors, of course. I really don't like indoor swimming. It was as cold and nasty as you can imagine getting into the pool, but once in? Ah...a familiar paradise. A constant. Like a return to the womb. I gladly paddled my way through the constant-temperature water, my mind flowly as freely as my liberated body, my head and psyche staying submerged in the peace except for the quick necessary breaths. As difficult as it was to make myself go, I know from much experience that I never, ever regret it. My body is soothed, my soul calmed.

When I got home, the boys hadn't started bedtime yet, so I got Julian ready, spending some very focused time with him. He was cheerful and laughed a lot and was very sweet. And he gave me lots of kisses. I joked with him that his kisses were like magic. But it's true.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

3/1/09 A New Month

This month. I can say that now. "When are you moving home?" This month. March 18. Suddenly 2-1/2 weeks never seemed so long.

Productivity today was still hampered by a fragile back -- any length of standing or sitting makes it feel very weak, and my legs and feet fall asleep quickly from sitting. Nevertheless, I did go to the house with two goals in mind: one, to see if I could start placing some privacy window film on a neighbor-facing window that we forgot to order with obscured glass, and two, to get the bouncing boys out on a rainy day.

Yet another thing to "get over": I insisted that this bay window be low enough to sit on, despite its odd look, since "standard" bay windows are about 30" high. But somehow this one ended up only 18" off the floor. I'm wishing I had accepted the architect's recommendation and just made it "standard." What a perfect place this could have been to put a sewing table! (I still could, but stuff would fall off behind it).

The boys approved too, for the .0015 second they were actually sitting.

Overall this "sitting room" is great though, I think I'll end up spending a lot of time here. This month.