Saturday, August 28, 2010

8/28/2010 The Slug

Tough day yesterday.

Dave and I had planned to split childcare since Katrina's preschool was closed, but I ended up staying home the morning I was supposed to go to work. Partly, I'd had a horrible night being woken up out of sound sleep by a painful crampy tummy and sprints to the bathroom, and partly my windpipe was tightening up with the rumblings of my usual bronchitis.

So I stayed home in the morning, with Dave and Katrina there as planned, but I still had to work, including an intense conference call that drained me. Dave and I were both able to get substantial work done with our delightful little girl around -- she's amazingly easy when there are no brothers around. She plays and sings to herself happily for a long, long time, and cooperative if we ask her to do something. I found it a little distracting on my conference call because I wanted to just listen to her talk out her little stories to herself.

Dave went to work when I was done with the call, but instead of resting (and I could have with Katrina there), I ended up working some more. After giving Katrina lunch, I took her with me into work, to "plug in an orange string" as I explained to Katrina (move a fiber-optic cable from one port to another on a piece of test equipment). On the way home, she and I checked out another play-structure company, and I found another option that could work in our grownup yard. I'm having a hard time parting with the numerous 0s this will take though.

But I was really wiped out. Headache, losing my voice, very unstable intestines. As soon as Dave got home from work, I did the bare minimum to make the appearances of caring for my family, found some pharmaceuticals, and went right upstairs to lie down for the rest of the evening.

First, I intercepted Dave reading to Katrina...or rather, Katrina's "KittyKat" reading to Dave. Hard to tell in this video, it's a little easier in the 2nd half, but Katrina is doing some combination of recognizing the word (this is a book she knows, but not well), and remembering it after she sees the first letter. She knows about sounding out words and does that sometimes too, though not here.

She's on her way!

And lucky me, we'd just gotten The Bourne Identity from Netflix. Not usually my kind of movie, but I'd caught a snippet of it on TV and wanted to see the whole thing. I'm finding myself hooked on a series of new TV shows on the USA network: Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs. Except for Royal Pains (which is mostly cute and funny), the others are all spy-sort of mystery shows.

So The Bourne Identity is right up my new alley. I like seeing how resourceful and clever these spy-like characters are, and I like Matt Damon. So, I mostly lay flat in bed all evening and watched the movie. Dave wasn't watching it at first, but he can't resist a car-chase scene that involves a Mini!

This morning wasn't much better. First, I had to jump-start my voice; it was blocked to a whisper until it was warmed up enough. The headache persisted, and I was really really tired from my super-duper cough medicine. I got up the latest possible that I could and still get all 3 kids to a birthday party on time, which I didn't, we were late, but we were there.

This was a fun swim party. Chilly at 10am, but the water was warm and once the kids were in, they had a great time.

I'm happy to say that I didn't have to stay RIGHT next to Katrina the whole time. Arguably I was negligent by standing at the sidelines and watching her from a distance, but now she won't just dunk herself and not know enough to stand up, as was the case just a few months ago. She was very cautious and stuck to the sides. I was in a swimsuit and ready to dive in after her if need be, but I didn't feel the need to sit at the poolside and watch her like a hawk.

In fact, all the parents hung around on the side at a distance, and no one was wearing swimsuits (one Dad went in to play though) -- a far cry from the old days when we all had to be in suits and sit in the pool ourselves and hang onto our toddlers. This is definitely better.

After the swimming, we went to a small play structure next to the pool, more a younger-kid thing, but with enough slides and steps and things to climb on to interest this group of mostly 5-6-year-olds. I was chatting with some friends with my back to the play structure when I heard a collective gasp, and turned around to see a child crumpled on the ground.

It took a few moments to realize it was one of mine, and that he was yelling. My friends who'd seen it said Julian had gone right over a slide and landed headfirst on the bouncy plastic covering, but he was complaining about his arm. He never cried exactly, but said his arm really hurt. He could move it and bend it and wiggle his fingers, so I didn't really think anything was wrong. He said it really hurt though.

On the drive home, he complained again and again about his arm, saying that if anyone touched it, it hurt. Gabriel was surprisingly concerned, giving me updates every few seconds. When we got home, I brought Julian upstairs, gave him some ibuprofen, and got him to lie down in bed. I noticed a very natural arm swing, an unconscious nose scratch, and general normal motion, so I wasn't worried. I told him to rest for a while, let his body figure out what it needed, and then we'd take care of it. Gabriel kept asking about Urgent Care, but I told him we'd wait.

Sure enough, half an hour later, Julian was up and shouting at Gabriel about some or other offense related to a toy. When I got up from a cold dead nap myself, he was fine and it was all forgotten. He'd gotten a big jolt going headfirst over the top of a slide, and falling about 5 feet, but nothing major.

Me on the other hand...I never got going today. I did absolutely nothing except shuffle around and consider my woes. Headache. Super sleepy feeling. Tightness in my windpipe that causes my voice to go in and out. No energy. No desire to exercise. Just a complete, hopeless, useless slug.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

8/26/2010 Working hard

Completely busy today at work, and not feeling so well either. And needed to work tonight to prepare for a conference call tomorrow. Which is ironic because when I don't feel well like this (cold-like), it often goes straight to my voice and the one thing I really don't like to do is talk on the phone. Today could well be a Monday and I wouldn't know the difference.

anyway back to it.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8/25/2010 Coffee Reward

Out for Coffee with friends tonight.

I totally deserve it....just finalized Dad's Medicaid application, including scanning all ***54*** pages (actually that's leaving out some pages in long legal docs like PoAs). This is a HUGE to-do crossed off!

Getting home from work with all three after school is still very tough, but made SO SO SO much easier by Gabriel's "homework time" at the CDC. It's not so much the homework itself, but all the time I don't have to spend chasing him down, cajoling, reminding, warning, peeling him off of Julian, trying to distract Katrina away from's SO SO SO much work just *getting* him to DO it. Seems having the entire group doing it at the same time makes all the difference. I am eternally grateful to the CDC for taking this stone out of my backpack.

And now, I'll go replenish some of that weight with a worthy cause: cheesecake!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8/24/2010 Morning boys

There's a whole new set of staff at the CDC, all of who I'm very relieved to say I really like. One girl who seems to be in more charge than the others, I chatted with on the first day. Katrina happily told her "after I'm done with pre-K, then I'm coming here!" All the staff universally loves the idea of all 3 kids together -- or rather, of Katrina being there, perhaps to defuse the boys.

I told the girl that I highly recommended as much separation of the boys as possible, as they can really get active together. "Don't worry, we can handle it," she assured me. Then they started their usual shoving and messing around, and she laughed and said, "that's fine, we're used to this."

Today when I picked the boys up, the same girl looked traumatized. "This morning...." she started, "Oh my gosh. Your husband was already really mad at them, and they just didn't quit when they got here!" She seemed genuinely rattled. "It's so early in the morning, and they are all over each other, nonstop!" I didn't have the heart to say "yeah sorry....told ya." She gathered herself and continued, "So we just try to keep them apart as much as possible." Uh-huh. I TOTALLY agree.

One glorious moment came when I asked Gabriel about homework in the car on the way home, and he said (oh it gives me such joy to experience this moment again): "I already did it, Mom."


That's because there's now "homework time" for the older kids. The 3rd-graders and up spend most of the afternoon in a different building, away from the K-2s. AND, apparently, they get their homework done there. YIPPPEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! This made a really noticeable difference in our evening, in not having to bug Gabriel. If this keeps up it will be a huge improvement in our lives.

Julian's first assignment is -- get this -- to write a story about himself. His preferences, hobbies, pets, things he did this summer. Parents are supposed to help of course, but this isn't a matter of collecting popsicle sticks. By the very nature of writing, it should be done on your own, or the "help" you get is pretty much doing it. I think this is a pretty advanced assignment for brand-new first graders!

I gave Julian ideas, talked with him about things he did. I pretty much came up with the ideas ("what about T-ball?"), he said the sentence, and then I spelled the words for him while he wrote them down. This took some concentrated time, which was challenging while I was making dinner, nuding Gabriel to get on with his reading, and having to run upstairs to get a dress for Katrina. But we got it done. Seems like these days we get a lot of things done, but just barely.

For now, we're paying for morning CDC care to drop them off at 8am (40 minutes before school starts), so that we can avoid traffic and get a slightly earlier start on our day. Me the firm night person, the morning-hater, is getting to work at 7:50am these days -- and still working on nuding that earlier. Two of my coworkers also get to work that early too -- but after getting up at 5am and exercising first!!! URHGHGHLLLL!!

Traffic has been really bad since school started, so I need to leave work AT 4:30 on the dot, which really means I need to arrive at to work at 7:30 in the morning if I'm to fit in any exercise into my life. (Incredibly I forced myself to go running at lunch, and regretted it until I was done. It was borderline dangerously hot.)

It's a miracle I even get anyone's fingernails trimmed.


Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23/2010 Summer

As far as I'm concerned, summer is over. School started, days are getting shorter -- we're done. It's been a very very cool and overcast-morning summer anyway.

Until today. Suddenly today, summer weather kicked in. It's HOT! What the heck happened?! Summer, where were you?!

Of course, this is one of the most wonderful things about living here in the Bay Area. I moved to California expecting to escape winter, but found that you still can't go surfing after work in January because it still gets dark early. But summers -- ahhhh, no humidity, no bugs, no stickiness, no oppressive nights. It's actually too cold for me in summers here, but we do enjoy great comfort in July and August as compared to our East Coast counterparts (provided you stay out of San Francisco that is).

But, I'm still done. Winter, dark, rain -- bring it on.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

8/22/2010 Super Cute

Katrina in her "Super Cute" shirt from Bonne Maman -- she loves it. I went down unusually early for a Sunday to work on some cinnamon rolls, and Katrina joined me. She's great company, chatting happily and asking questions and always being so happy about the answer.

Then she wanted to make scrambled eggs with me. OK, she's not too young! I took her through every step, up to the mixing, which she did a very good job of.

That was a nice start to the day. I just love baking and cooking with kids.

Then we went to Kiddie World to check out playstructures -- can we fit one in our grownup yard now? Sort of. They're not cheap though, so a little due diligence with competitors is called for.