Friday, January 28, 2005

Happy Friday!

Emma ended up going to school yesterday. I gave her some cough medicine and that helped, but I keep having to give it to her every 8 hours or so. She doesn't have many other symptoms, just the cough, little stuffy nose and occasional sneezing, but no fever. Whatever it is certainly isn't stopping her from running around & playing.
We went to Wal-Mart yesterday after school so Emma could use the money she's accumulated from Christmas & the Tooth Fairy. It was only $3 (as she spent her other Christmas money). We spent AN HOUR walking through the toy section, with Emma pointing out things she wanted, but I kept having to tell her that she didn't have enough money. I reminded her that if she wanted to wait and save up her money to buy something bigger she could do that. But, like most children, she needs immediate gratification and didn't want to do that. She picked something out after a long time & although it was more than $3 (almost $6), I decided it wouldn't kill us to pick up the slack in price. The other things she'd been wanting were $20+ so $6 wasn't too bad, in comparison.
Sarah is starting to eat so much better. I bought some Gerber baby food yesterday (I'd been buying Del Monte's, but they don't have a great selection of foods) in some varieties that she hadn't tried before. We tested peas last night, and she ate the whole thing! So, now she has 2 favorites: sweet potatoes and peas. Since Jeff doesn't like peas (I can never get him to eat them voluntarily) I told him she must get her eating habits from me. Although I don't think any of us like sweet potatoes, so that must just be a Sarah thing. We tried peaches this morning, but they weren't such a hit. So far, it's "no" to peaches, green beans and squash. We'll have to try those again later. I'm planning on starting her on 2nd foods once she's tried all the 1st foods. They have a bigger selection of tastes with the 2nd foods, along with little complete meals, that include meat, pasta & dessert. We're still introducing her to table foods, but not very often. She had a reaction to Cheerios last week, so I want to keep her on the baby (bland) food as long as possible.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Home sick

Emma's no feeling too well this morning. She's been coughing for a couple days & now she says her tummy hurts. I'm thinking she'll probably be kept home from school today. I'm going to give her some medicine but I don't think it's going to make it any better. It'll be fun trying to run my errands today with both kids. I need to go grocery shopping, which is always interesting just with Sarah, but with both kids, it's like a marathon, long & arduous and by the time I get home, I'm exhausted.
It helps that Sarah's Gross Motor Playgroup was cancelled this morning. The person who was going to be in charge of it had surgery recently and isn't very mobile. So that's one less thing to make me go outside in this frigid weather.
I just found out that Emma doesn't qualify for the PEAK program. They require that the kids have finished Kindergarden. Bummer, that would have been really fun for her, not to mention 6 weeks of freedom for me. But, oh well, I'm sure we'll find lots of interesting things to occupy her time this summer.
Ok, I've gotten past the point of looking at cute spring clothes for the girls and have started obsessing over spring clothes for me. Now I know I'm tired of winter.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Toothless wonder

And no, I'm not talking about Sarah. Emma has lost her 1st tooth!!! After she got home from preschool yesterday, she told me it hurt to eat "crunchy" things, so I looked at her teeth. One of the loose ones was REALLY loose. Wiggly & wagging back & forth, so I knew it wouldn't take long. I was afraid it was going to fall out at gymnastics, so I sent a plastic baggie along with her (her friend Morgan's mom picked her up & dropped her off). She didn't loose it there, and we went through dinner & brushing of teeth without loosing it either. Emma had been in bed for about 45 minutes, still not asleep, when we heard her yelling down to us (we were doing our taxes, yay). We told her to come down to us, as we don't like her yelling for us to come to her from across the house. She comes down, running & all excited and said, My tooth fell out! Well, I was shocked, although I knew it would happen soon, I wasn't expecting it THAT soon, especially after staying in through eating, gymnastics & brushing. I asked her if she'd been messing with it, and she said no, just playing with it with her tongue. Too funny. It was a good thing the "Tooth Fairy" had notice, otherwise she might not have been able to show. Cause you know she's a busy fairy.
But, we made a big deal out of putting the tooth in her pillow that my friend Margaret made about 5 years ago (in a plastic baggie, so it wouldn't get lost) and put the whole pillow under HER pillow. We told her the Tooth Fairy is like Santa, she doesn't show up unless you're asleep. Well, after having been in bed BEFORE the tooth fell out for about an hour & not being asleep, it took her less than 15 minutes to conk out afterwards. So, the Tooth Fairy went in & took her tooth, and put a dollar bill in it's place. The Tooth Fairy then surepticiously hid the tooth in the bookshelf, high above where Emma can see, so that she can then put it somewhere safe at another time.
She has another one that's loose, and I expect she's going to want that one to fall out sooner rather than later. Now that she realizes she gets money for teeth, she wants as much as she can, so she can buy a toy. Jeff & I are going to start her on an allowance and make up a chore chart for her to follow. It will contain the usual chores for a 5 year old: make your bed, keep your room clean, and eat your dinner. That last one is a deal breaker, as she is again not being very cooperative about eating. She thinks everything is gross and is a little negotiator when it comes to food. She'll say, ok, I'll eat 5 bites and then I'll be done, ok? Only her "bites" wouldn't feed a mouse. It's a never ending struggle.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Winter blues

Is it too early to be wishing for spring? I'm looking at the Old Navy website, lusting after all these cute spring-time clothes that I know will not be able to be worn until April, at least. But the sad part is, the clothes aren't for me. They're for the girls. I have this vision (ironically enough, roughly the same vision as last year about this time) of Emma running through the tall green grass in a park, kicking a ball, with Sarah looking adorable in a sundress, playing in the sand. What really happened last year, after all this snow melted, was we stayed indoors, watched way too much TV and silently cursed the hords of mosquitos that had conquered our backyard as their own breeding ground. Now I really understand how lucky people have it where it doesn't snow. Like San Diego. Oh, the sweet visions of San Diego running through my mind. Especially this week, when the mercury's been dipping BELOW zero, and it's 80 degrees in SD. I have to bundle the children up, so they end up looking like mattresses siting in their carseats, fighting the bitingly cold wind and trying not to slip on the copious amounts of ice that have formed on my driveway. It's not as bad here as it is elsewhere, and boy am I glad it's not. Somewhere in Minnesota it got down to about -54? Ok, WHY DO PEOPLE LIVE THERE? If it got that cold here, I don't care HOW much more school Jeff has, we'd be gone. Especially since this whole "winter" season really lasts about 6 months instead of the 3 that it says on the calendar. It starts getting cold about mid October & doesn't really warm up until the end of April. There aren't 4 seasons here, there's 2 1/2 - winter, about 1 month total that could be considered spring and fall, and summer.
You'd think with all the things that we have going on during the winter that it would make it go by quicker, but you'd be wrong. All these birthdays, holidays & trips to places that aren't considered "tundra" just seem to elongate the cold. I now see why people here try to take advantage of the warm weather when it's here. Last year, after the thaw, people were buying plants & flowers like crazy, every day there were long lines at Doozie's (a local ice cream place), and everyone seemed to be outside all the time. At first, I didn't get it, especially about the plants (what's the point, they'll be dead in 6 months). But now I realize that they KNOW the weather's not always going to be pleasant, so they get as much out of it as they can. Hopefully this year we'll be able to do the same. They have a lot of activities during the spring & summer, most of which I put on the calendar last year & never did. But, I plan on putting Emma in swim this summer, and going to the park at least 3 times a week. They also have the program called PEAK, which is from 9-5pm everyday for 6 weeks. It's educational, but fun. It's for kids in grades K-6, but I'll have to see if Emma qualifies, as she won't be in Kindergarden until August.
Speaking of which, we finally had Emma's Fall semester review with her preschool teacher. Mrs. Wright says Emma's doing really well on the goals that we'd set out for her before the school year. She still has some problems with transitioning from one activity to another, but not nearly as bad as she was. She's good with helping other kids resolve their differences, but it's another ballgame when SHE'S the one who's arguing with another child. Mrs. Wright says her pre-writing skills are great and that she's really bright (which of course, we already knew). So I feel better after that. She doesn't think her speech delay will affect her adversely in Kindergarden.
So, even though it feels like this winter is dragging on forever, I know I still have a lot to accomplish before spring. And, knowing me, I'll probably procrastinate and then wish it were still winter so I'd have more time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Old habits die hard

Sarah is once again, a sleepless baby. She's been taking minimal naps during the day (as in, less than 2 hours TOTAL for the whole day) and barely sleeping at night. We resorted to bringing her to bed with us last night, which we haven't had to do since she started sleeping in her crib almost 2 weeks ago. She was doing so well!!! I think it may have something to do with teething. It looks like her top FOUR teeth are coming in. There are bulges in her gums, although it doesn't look like they're going to be coming in anytime soon. Poor baby. Not to mention, poor us. You'd think with the non-napping during the day that she'd be exhausted (I know I am) but you'd be wrong. She seems to thrive on exhaustion and will stay up, unencumbered, until midnight if we let her. But she had playgroup & PT today, so I'm hoping for an early night. And if it doesn't work, we're bringing out the big guns (AKA Baby Tylenol). We may ever resort to using Dimetapp or Benedryl if this continues. We all need some sleep, or else we will cease to function.
Emma had gymnastics on Monday. Because of the huge class sizes and ALL the parents wanting to watch, the coaches decided that no one will be allowed to sit inside the gym during class, except for a few occasions during the 12 week camp. So, we all get to sit outside in the hallway. Yay, what fun. Emma, apparently, had a breakdown during class because she wasn't allowed to go on the big trampoline like she wanted. I could hear her crying from outside the room. She was still weepy when the class was over. Hopefully she'll have better luck next week.
Sarah had her second session of PT this afternoon. She's seeming to do really well. There's only so much you can do with a 9 month old in 30 minutes, but it's going well. There are some things that i have noticed during therapy that I can help her with during the week, mostly to help her learn to crawl sooner. She doesn't like to be on her hands & knees, and normally one of the two sets of appendages end up collapsing, so that's our main focus. Getting her arms & legs to be strong enough to work together to learn how to crawl.
The weather here has been nasty lately. Monday & Tuesday were the worst, with temps hovering at about 0 degrees, and with the windchill it was 10 to 15 below. Ucky. Not exactly "go outside to play" weather. Emma was bummed because her class kept being held inside instead of going outside for recess, like they do everyday for the last 30 minutes of school. It was either too cold or snowing too hard.
We bought Emma a new bookshelf this weekend. Her countless books were overflowing the 3 shelf one she had. So she was upgraded to a 5 shelf one and her old one will be repaired & painted & given to Sarah. Which will probably take me another 8 1/2 months to accomplish.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Paging the Tooth Fairy

We're going to need the Tooth Fairy on-call. Emma has her first loose tooth! Actually, I think she has 2, both of which are in the beginning stages of coming out. They're the front 2 bottom ones. This is so exciting! It's kinda early, in my eyes, as I didn't think this happened until about age 6-7, but since Emma got her first 2 teeth (ironically enough, these exact 2) by age 4 months, I guess it's fitting that she lose them early, as well.
Sarah is getting the hang of sleeping through the night. Last night she mostly slept from 10pm to 7:30am. Jeff said she woke up once and was whiny for about 5 minutes, but fell back asleep. I think she's finally getting into a routine, which is nice. Now if we can stick to it, it'll be great.
My sister Tracey is leaving today for Fiji. She's going with her church to help the people on a few of the islands there, including a stint on Vanuatu, where the last Survivor was held. She's going to be gone for 6 months.
Emma starts gymnastics again this Monday. We weren't able to get her in last fall, as there was a big interest in it due to the recent Olympic games. Apparently everyone wanted their daughter to be the next Carly Patterson. Plus, since this is Michigan in January, there is snow everywhere. And most people don't want to schlep through the snow just for a sport. Last year, it was a pain because there were Men's Basketball home games practically every week, so we had to park way out in the boonies, and walk even farther in the snow (and I was pregnant at the time). This is, fortunately, her class is on Monday & there are no home games on those nights, so we can park anywhere. Which will make it easier, since I have to now carry Sarah and all of her paraphernalia. Emma's little friend Morgan, whom we used to live by, is also going to be in her class, so that will be fun for the girls.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Strike one for Michigan

Ok, I get it, it snows in Michigan. I understand that now. I've dealt with it & adjusted accordingly. But where did this sleet/freezing rain come from? I thought that was something that only happened on the far East coast. I come back from taking Jeff to work, after only being gone less than 15 minutes, to find my driveway completely iced over. I was sliding all over the place trying to get the van into the garage. I ended up having to back out into the street to get enough traction & speed to propel myself up the driveway & into the garage. And now, to add to this freaky weather, they say it's going to warm up to 49 degrees by this afternoon. Huh? Ok, the snow in Las Vegas was humerous, and the massive amounts of rain in California are scary, but this weather sounds almost apolcalyptic. I don't get it. I guess the old adage about Michigan is true: if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes, cause it'll change.
On a much happier note, Sarah finally has her first appointment with the Physical therapist. It's taken 2 months to get in to see this guy. We had a mountain of bureaucratic red tape to get through (IEP's, group meetings, them telling me they don't have anyone to give PT to infants...) but she has an appointment this afternoon. I'm hoping to be able to get a schedule of at least once a week, if not more. I have very high hopes for Sarah, developmentally. She's already been so on-track for most of her milestones that I don't want it to start backsliding. Pretty much the only thing she isn't doing that some other kids her age are is crawling. And even Emma didn't crawl until she was 9 months old. Sarah has beat Emma when it comes to some milestones. So I know things will even out, but I don't want her to get really far behind before they strat intervening.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Eye see you

Sarah had a pediatric opthamologist appointment in Lansing this morning. Her left eye has been acting weird, crossing by itself, while her right eye stayed put. I suspected strabismus, a common childhood eye problem that is mostly corrected by eye patches or at worst, surgery. The doctor said Sarah's farsightedness (which almost all babies are) is a little bit more than normal for her age, which is most likely causing eye strain, leading to the eye crossing. So, it looks like little Sarah will be getting baby glasses within the next few months. This should be fun, trying to keep glasses on a 9 month old. They have elastic bands that wrap around the baby's head, but they don't keep them on her face. Something tells me Sarah's going to end up chewing on the glasses more often than wearing them.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Sarah's crib is FINISHED!!!! I put the final coat on one piece this afternoon, and then scrounged around trying to find all the pieces that have been scattered over the past 2 years of it being dismantled. Emma & I had a fun time putting it together, with me silently smacking my head with my hand at times. I found all but one piece, a screw, that's needed, but not immediately. I'll have to go buy one to replace it. We put all the bedding on (thanks mom) and it looks perfect!
Sarah's in bed right now, probably not asleep, as she woke up right as I put her down. I'll probably be spending the night on her floor, making sure she gets back to sleep after waking up during the night. It's going to be a transition, to be sure, but hopefully soon she'll be sleeping through the night. Or at least able to put herself back to sleep if she wakes up. I've got almost 9 months straight with not one night of uninterrupted sleep. I know I could sure use it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Just us girls

The girls & I drove Jeff to Detroit (Novi) for Citrix training this week. We've been there before. When I was pregnant with Sarah, he had Dell training & stayed at the same hotel. So we drive him there Sunday evening, stayed the night & drove home on Monday afternoon. He's getting a ride back home on Friday from a co-worker. So it's just the girls this week. We've been making the most (or least, depends on how you look at it) of it. I haven't gotten out of my pj's since Monday night, Emma's running around the house either in just her undies or in a some form of dress-up clothes and hasn't had a bath since Sunday. Sarah is getting lots of practice sitting up, as she watches me paint her crib (which I'm ALMOST finished with). And we're all watching a lot of TV & not really eating all that well. I know that's going to have to change here soon, as it's already Wednesday & Jeff comes home in 2 days. The house still needs to be cleaned from BEFORE we left for CA, but now all the clothes & dishes we've used since we got home last Friday night are just piling up on top of all that was there when we left for CA. It's not a pretty picture, but I'm bound & determined that this crib will be finished before Jeff gets home. I'm on the home stretch now, as all I have left to do is the final coat of paint on 2 1/2 pieces. Then I have to go out & buy a crib mattress & put it all together, but that will be the easy part. Then comes the fun part, putting Sarah in there for the first time. Yay. Something tells me I'll be sleeping on the floor or her room the first night she's in it, which I'm hoping will be tonight. But that's fine, as long as she's in it. It's only taken me 8 1/2 months to get to this point.
I got my Nancy Noel print in the mail when we got back from vacation. She's an artist who paints beautiful pictures of angels, Amish children & animals. She painted one of a little girl angel, who had Down syndrome. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of it is going to Down syndrome research. It was a Christmas present from Jeff. I really think the little girl looks like Sarah. She's got long blonde hair & blue eyes. I still need to buy a frame for it. I'm going to put it up in Sarah's room. I want to buy another angel print for Emma's room, but haven't found one that really personifies her. There's one called Angel of Mercy that looks like Emma about 2 years ago. There's also an Amish one called "Emma". Once I get Sarah's room finished, I'll post pictures.
Emma's got her 6 year molars coming in. She came to me yesterday telling me that her teeth hurt. My first reaction was, uh-oh, cavity. But then she showed me where & I felt both her bottom molars bulging up under her gums. Oh yay. But she won't take any Tylenol to help with the pain. She's a martyr. It'll probably take a little while for them to completely come in, so this should be fun. Once they do, I think I'm going to get sealant put on them. I had sealant put on mine & I really think that helped with me having no cavities when I was younger. I still have no cavities, or at least I don't think I do. ::Note to self: make dental appointment::

Monday, January 03, 2005

I promise I didn't fall off the face of the earth...

I found that writing in my blog while trying to visit everyone in our collective families with only 2 weeks to do it was something that didn't allow for much downtime. It got to the point where we were scheduling visits & having to cut things short. I don't like doing that. And I didn't even get to see some of my friends. Bummer. But even with all the stress, and there was a ton of stress, it was nice to visit & see everyone we could. Jeff saw his brother & our niece, Ariel. We also met our other neice & nephew, Garrett & Ashley, for the first time.
We once again found out some of the cons to living in CA. 1) Traffic: we drove to Taft from Ventura & got stuck on the Grapevine for 2 1/2 hours, making a trip that should have only taken 2 hours, into a 5 hour ordeal. We had to make a makeshift toilet for Emma out of a diaper because she was about to pee her pants. It was fun.
2) Crowds: I know they have crowds here in Michigan, but not where we live. Apparently we'd have to deal with this if we wanted to live in civilization again.
But at least people both in Michigan & California are rude & can't drive, so it's universal.
One of the other issues was trying to figure out how we were going to get all of our stuff back into our suitcases. We didn't realize how much we were going to be blessed with for Christmas, and were completely unprepared for it. We borrowed one suitcase and had to buy another one to replace one of ours that broke during the trip, and we still had to leave stuff behind. But, with the promise that it would be mailed to us.
Emma is starting to understand the concept of different generations a little better. She knows that her aunts & uncles are mommy & daddy's sisters & brothers. Though the concept of cousin is still a little foggy for her. And she now is calling our grandparents "great-grandpa & great-grandma". Before, EVERYONE was grandma or -pa. Now it's a little more clear. Although she still insists on calling my brothers "boy" and "small boy", even though they're now 17 & 12. I guess right now there's just too many names to process in such a short amount of time.