Saturday, October 24, 2009

10/24/09 Bonne Maman watches BMX

Bonne Maman is here! A picture of our lives would not be complete without a trip to the BMX park. Dave took the boys before lunch, and Mom and I followed with Katrina to watch. I'd never seen Julian ride on the 16" bike here. The bigger bike suits him so well, it's hard to believe he was riding the tiny 12" bike so recently.

Gabriel is getting more and more confident with the bigger hills, and has to work harder to get up them too.

Not quite an endo...

I completely believe they need to test themselves and take chances and learn, so I'd never nix this. Still, that doesn't mean I can't cover my eyes for some of it.

Down is easier, of course.

...or is it? This view would freak me out!

Julian doesn't take this nearly as seriously as Gabriel though.

Katrina was delightful for much of the day, but got into a serious snit before lunch, one that deteriorated into a massive, hour-plus tantrum. She wouldn't eat, wouldn't stay in her room for a nap...but Dave handled the situation. Thank heavens.

Having a great time chatting and cooking with Bonne Maman, as always! But so far been delinquent in getting photos of her with grandkids.


Friday, October 23, 2009

10/23/09 Fall Festival

Bonne Maman arrived today! Perfect timing; I picked her up from the airport, we went home and had lunch, relaxed a little, then went out to pick up my brood. Gabriel and Julian's school was holding a fall festival, so we spent a little time walking around the various booths at the school.

Julian did great at throwing these football darts -- got 2 out of 4 through the holes (Gabriel missed all 4).

Gabriel did great at these tricycle races, though he got paired with a kindergartner. What kind of race is that? He lapped his opponent and won easily, but it was hardly a fair race.

Katrina was agreeable for about 3 minutes the whole time, during which I luckily took a photo. One tantrum after another, especially while waiting for the tricycle races -- she was furious that she couldn't take one of the tricycles.

Julian was deliberately ruining photos too, but at least Gabriel was cooperative.

I must get a great shot of Bonne Maman with her West Coast grandkids! ('Cause, you know, it just isn't a visit without THE PICTURE!)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

10/22/09 Toddler day



Tantrums! And no nap!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10/21/09 Job hunting

I can think of fewer boring things to blog about than work, but it was a heavy afternoon. I've decided (resigned myself?) to trying to convert to full-time at the company I've been contracting at. Despite many reasons to move on, two reasons were compelling enough to stay: 1) a really, really good manager -- the value of which should not be underestimated; 2) interesting new technology to work on.

But today, reason #1 to go turned into reason #1 not to. The boss's boss, a new guy that everyone has doubts about, told me I could be working for him. Big problem. He's vague and secretive and demanding and by all counts, difficult to work for. He told me I'd be backfilling a position for someone who is leaving only as of this morning, and told me to talk to the departing employee to find out what he's working on -- but don't let on that I know he's leaving. I can't stand that sh*t! However, my confidence and unemployment being what it is, this is one gift horse whose mouth I'm not looking in.

Another colleague at work and his wife are about to adopt their first baby. He seems really excited about it, and it brings me back to the amazing time of bringing your first baby home and all the changes it represents to your life. It's even more amazing that I can look back on it already, and with much fondness, despite the hardships. With your first new baby, you feel like you'll have a baby forever -- you have no idea how or when it will change. But, as another experienced mom at work said today, she didn't bother with a crib for her second child, because she knew they'd only need it for 2 years anyway. New-baby parents can't think that way at all -- a 2-year-old is a completely different world than a newborn. Experienced parents know how temporary all stages are.

Which makes me also keenly aware that I "only" have two more years left of preschoolers, of not having all my kids' lives dominated by school. I'm looking forward to that, as I'm much more in my element with older kids than babies and toddlers, but at the same time, I wonder if someday I'll mourn Katrina's 3-year-old and 4-year-old years, and wish I were with her more. I think I'll mourn the idea of it. In practice, I long for more control over my time, as I mostly have when the boys are home. Katrina's age still demands that I drop everything at any moment and run to deal with something, and she's still very unreasonable. I really am done with being "on duty" like that, even as I romanticize it in retrospect talking to my new-dad coworker. He's on the cusp of leaving the grownup world just as I'm on the cusp of re-entering it. It's a no-brainer which world is more important in the long term.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10/20/09 Monster Mouth


"Mommy, is this a house?"

Sort's a Starbucks, where I treated myself to a pumpkin spice latte.

I was tired. I'd been up late writing, and up early getting kids to school. Most people would say I have to cut out the "up late" part, but for me the real problem is the "up early" part. I slept great, because I went to bed tired and ready to sleep, but not enough, because there's no way around getting up for school.

I've had sleep issues on and off since Katrina was born, but I'm increasingly convinced that what really happened was school and work. I have had no success re-training my body clock. "Just go to bed early" to a hard-wired night person is like telling a chronically cold person "just put on a sweater."

I'm looking forward to when I can take a nap during the day any old time I want, which is when Katrina is old enough to be trustworthy on her own for a while. Better yet, I'm looking forward to when I can sleep as I need to, and don't need a nap. If my day could end at 1am and start at 9am, I'd be right back to my old bursting-with-energy self.

Then again, today I put Katrina in her room for a nap, and she seemed cooperative, then I lay down myself. But she had no intention of napping. I woke up when I heard her voice downstairs, where she was happily playing with a puzzle, chatting and singing, having completely changed her clothes. Good thing I'm not freaked out about matching; she had three different types of stripes going on in her shirt, pants and socks.

Kid-time notwithstanding, maybe someday when they're all grown and out of the house, I'll long for the days when they were here, and the constant fatigue will have faded into distant memory.


10/19/09 Happy Birthday Dad!

43 -- you're in your "prime" !


p.s. check out retro-post on 10/17 about the airshow experience.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10/18/09 Down Day

I'm writing up our trip to the airshow, but I'm out of steam. I barely made it out of jammies today! We all stayed home and had a very unpressured nothing sort of day. I can't quite afford that sort of time -- after all, Bonne Maman is visiting next weekend! -- but, that's what we all needed.

Back to the real world tomorrow.