Saturday, March 31, 2007

Let the Madness of March End

I have become one of 'those' moms.

I think it started 2 weeks ago when Tim had to work through the weekend. He had to fly that Saturday, and then work the airshow that Sunday. I was not pleased; not only did it mean that he wouldn't get a weekend and much-needed rest, it meant that I wouldn't get a weekend, either. And we all know I need my rest.

Since then, it seems like we've been playing catch up. But I haven't quite caught up and I'm wondering when I'm going to finally feel like we're on top of things. Add in craziness like a doctor's appointment for me on Monday, a dentist appointment for me on Tuesday (both of which took several hours when you add in time for driving the kids to and from daycare), me getting either food poisoning or a short case of the flu after a trip to the mall food court on Wednesday, a photo shoot of the girls earlier that morning, and Kate having some flu symptoms yesterday and today, and you get very behind.

Three loads of clean laundry on our bed.

Living room disaster.

Tim came home on Thursday night and suggested we hire a maid for some 'help' once or twice a month. Some women would take offense. Not me. Hire away, sweet husband! The dust bunnies that are bigger than Claire need to be tamed. How do other mothers do it? I guess it gets easier as the newborn becomes not so newborn? I hope so, so I can actually get around to updating the baby books, ordering photo prints, and dusting my bedroom. Also, I apologize to those of you who have called in the past, say, month, for not calling you back. You're on my list.

In the meantime:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Come On, Vamanos!

Nap hair and summer teeth.

Everybody, let's go! Aaah, Dora. She makes me crazy. Rather, her songs do, but Kate loves her Dora the Explorer. Her face lights up when Map or Boots shows up on the TV screen. She dances to the silly songs that get stuck in my head for days. Her little head bobs back and forth as she smiles, watching Map tell Dora how to get to the high tower.

Is it just me, or does Map sound like that gay actor with the bad teeth? I for the life of me cannot think of his name, or I would have told you who I was talking about. Anyway. Map totally does. Nasal, with an east-coast accent. Odd for a children's cartoon, no?

And does anyone else have this compulsion to root for Swiper the Fox to steal whatever it is that Dora and Boots are holding? Maybe it's just me.

So I survived the scorpion incident. I was lucky; by 36 hours my foot was almost completely back to normal. Now, of course, I'm more freaky about them than ever. Anyone who knows me, I think, knows how obsessed I was with them before this sting. Maybe it was just Tim who knew. I don't know. But now I'm positively OCD about the whole thing. I've got glue traps in the bathroom, in the hall, and I need to call the Orkin guy to bring more out. I've stuck one of those Sylvania sticky LCD lights on the bathroom door so I can light the hallway at night. And every time I get up in the middle of the night, I diligently shake out each slipper before putting it on my foot. If it were convenient, I would make Kate wear shoes in the house at all times. If I knew of some place that sold full-body armor for children (and socks for adults), I'd buy them and make us all wear them. When I'm not wearing shoes, I'm always watching where I step. Paranoid? Yes. Damn scorpions.

McLaren is now 2 months old. I can't believe it. She's just under 12.5 pounds, and is almost sleeping from 10pm till 4am straight. One or 2 more nights of getting up to give her a binky at about 2am, I hope. She's getting pretty good at falling asleep on her own, and does so for most of her naps. She knows where she is and what to expect in some cases here at home; for instance, she knows the mobile over her crib and knows when we put her in there that it means we'll leave and want her to sleep. She knows the mobile over her changing table and knows it means a new diaper. Hence, more crying in the crib than on the changing table. Smart kid, this one. My favorite thing is when you put her down for a nap in her crib and turn the mobile on: often she'll eye it suspiciously out of the corner of one eye, intently watching one of the arms go round and round. The look on her face is priceless.

Kate is 18 months, and is teething (?) again. She has been grumpy, whiny and generally crabby for the past several days. She spent 2 hours at the CDC (daycare) today and cried almost the whole time. Joy. But she's getting smarter every day. Last week she said, "One, two, three" pretty clearly. She can say many letters of the alphabet when you read her ABCs book to her, and she is trying to say her name. She loves dolls, and always wants to burp them, give them a binky or feed them a bottle. I can't imagine where she got those ideas. I think she loves being a big sister, but is struggling sometimes with the diminished attention she gets due to her baby sister being around. Claire, on the other hand, stares wide-eyed at her big sister, and it's so fun to watch them interact.


2 months.

2 months.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

How to Ruin Your Night

  1. Hear baby cry and get up to give her a binky.

  2. Shuffle back down the hall in the dark to return to bed.

  3. On the way, feel a sharp pain in your foot.

  4. Immediately turn the light on the the bathroom next to you, certain you know what caused the pain.

  5. Watch as the scorpion that just stung you slinks across the tile floor in search of more things to sting.

It was just after 1:30am when I heard McLaren crying. I'm trying to wean her off of her 1am feeding, so I got up to put a binky in her mouth to help her get back to sleep. I walked out of her room to go back to bed, and nearly immediately felt a sharp sting. I knew what it was even at that hour. Son of a bitch! I turned the bathroom light on and sure enough, there it was on the tile, scurrying away. I grabbed Kate's bath cup and stuck it over the pest, and walked quickly into our bedroom. "Tim. Tim! I just got stung." Huh? He woke up pretty quickly. I limped to the kitchen to get some ice, as what had felt initially like a bee sting was beginning to hurt a hell of a lot worse. Tim got the Raid and I heard him spray the thing to death. It didn't give me much satisfaction, as my foot began to feel like it was on fire.

I grabbed the phone and the list of emergency numbers from my desk, and called poison control. The woman who answered told me that I was probably going to be okay, since I'm 33 and in generally good health. She said that children under 3 (hello, I have 2 of those) are the most likely to have problems. I recalled the toddler on the northwest side who got stung last week and didn't get better after 3 days so they had to take him to another hospital and give him an experimental antivenin (he is now fine). For children, you have to watch for muscle twitching and convulsions. I can see why, as my foot spontaneously twitched for several hours afterwards. Having lived here for 2 years now, I had hoped that none of us would ever get stung.

It is now almost 12 hours later and it hurts to walk. Starbuck stepped on my foot this morning and caused shooting pains. My foot is numb, but a burning type of numb, not the kind where you just don't feel anything. Earlier this morning, I had numbness halfway up my shin. Occasionally I feel a stabbing at the site of the sting that feels like I'm getting stung again, sending me into a fit as I drop everything to look down at my foot and make sure there is no scorpion on me. This is particularly hazardous while driving. I talked to my friend Katie who got stung twice here about a year ago, and she said her whole arm was numb for 4 days (she was stung on each wrist after putting her son in the baby bjorn - it was hiding there and she was thankful it didn't sting him). I like Arizona, but I am about ready for our next assignment please.

All in all, I thank God that it was me who got stung, and not one of the girls. I cannot imagine dealing with that.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Brilliance of FedEx

Dear FedEx Guy,
It's almost spring here. Having lived in Tucson for 2 years now, I know that 'spring' is synonymous for 'hot'. I assume that you live here, since you delivered this gift box to me sometime on Friday, or maybe on Saturday. Since you, too, live here, you probably knew that it was 93* on Friday, and 95* on Saturday.
I have become (somewhat) accustomed to the weather and now wear long sleeves anytime the temperature falls below 76*. But you and I can both agree that 93* is rather warm. Warm enough to say, melt chocolate. I also assume that you can read, since you delivered this box to me and not my neighbor. What I don't understand is why you put the box in my carport instead of putting it on my doorstep.
It was by chance that I walked out to the mailbox on Saturday morning with my daughter, and she walked over to my car and pointed to the box lying next to it. What probably caught her eye was the bright neon pink sticker that says 'Perishable Items Enclosed'. What caught my eye was, of course, the word 'chocolate'. You, being the professional that you are, ought to have put those 2 pieces of information together and put the box somewhere that I might see it when I walked out my door, not next to the passenger side of my car. I've included 2 photos for your reference, and hope this correspondence will help you please your future customers.
An Owner of Melted Chocolate Bunnies

It used to be a bunny.
P.S. Thanks for the chocolates, Niki!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The McLaren Connection

"Did you name her after the car?" Tim gets asked this question a lot at the squadron bar, after people hear we named our daughter 'McLaren'. In a word, no. There will probably come a time in her life when she swears she was named after the car, but since she's still in diapers, I think we have a few years. For those of you who are a bit foggy on your sports car trivia:

Developed by McLaren cars LTD, a subsidiary of the McLaren Formula One Team, the McLaren F1 GTR is the fastest, most powerful and most expensive production car in the world.

The McLaren is powered by a BMW 6.1 Liter V12 engine producing 627 hp with a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 230-240 mph.

The original McLaren F1 was started in 1991 and 64 cars were made. The LM model was introduced in 1993 with 5 cars built. The GT model had 3 cars. Finally, in 1995, the GTR was introduced, and over the next 3 years, 28 cars were built.

Unfortunately, production stopped in May 1998 after only 100 cars were built.

Indeed, I can see why their eyes light up when they ask about the car-name connection. Sounds like a sweet car. Looks like one, too.

McLaren F1.

Clockwise, starting with the baby: my great-aunt Phyllis, her grandmother Mary McLaren, her mother Helen McLaren Gaines, and her great-grandmother MacKenzie.

According to my great-aunt, they left their clan McLaren (in the 1800s?) and came to the United States from Edinburgh, Scotland. I imagine they were into horse/buggy racing, but I can't be certain.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It Was Funny Until...

Kate had a nice long nap today, allowing me time to post photos, get some household chores done, and read some articles on the internet. I swore that wouldn't happen for years. Anyway. She got up and I made some juice for snack, which she drank while she ate her goldfish crackers and dried fruit.

I was cleaning the juicer, allowing her to finish her last dried blueberry, a dried cherry and a goldfish that were left on her tray. The thought occurred to me that perhaps I should take that blueberry away; it was just the right size to fit into her nose... I don't know why that thought popped into my head, but I should have heeded it. Moments later, Kate began whimpering, and sounded rather stuffed up. The blueberry was gone. She pointed to her nose and said, "boom", which I believe is synonymous for "ouch" for her (we say "fall down go boom"). It was a cute "boom", all nasal sounding. I tried not to laugh. I asked her if she had put the blueberry up her nose. She looked at me, confused. She scowled and whimpered again. Then blue goo started to run out of her nostril, and I knew. I called Dr. Mom (Tim's mom) and asked her through my laughter what we should do and had any of her sons ever stuck anything up their nose. She laughed a little and told me that we needed to get it out, either here or at the doctor's. Oh. I was about to call Tim to let him know that perhaps if he were to come home soon that would be great, when he called. He was on his way home.

Blue goo coming out of her nose.

I called the doctor's office. And that's when it ceased to be funny. No, they couldn't do anything for us, we had to go to urgent care. Are you kidding? The ER here took like 4 1/2 hours last time, just to be seen. I started looking around the living room for that damn blueberry. And I found it! Yahoo! I called the doctor's office. They told me that no, they still couldn't do anything for me, except have a nurse call me back. Tim packed Kate, food and toys into the car and headed to the ER to get in line. I waited at home with Claire.

The nurse finally called and told me that she is probably fine and that we should just take her in later if she seemed irritated or stuffy. Tim and Kate are on their way home. The blueberry incident is now funny once again.

The culprit.

2 More Videos

Kate is definitely her mother's daughter: here she gags slightly on a tomato and tries to wipe the taste off her tongue. Icky.

Kate waves buh-bye to everyone.

JC Penny's Photos

I took the girls in last week for their first photo session together, Kate at 17mo and Claire at 1mo. We ended up photographing them seperately for the most part, for reasons you can see. If you would like to order a photo, let me know and I'll email you the order information.

Kate's famous scowl.

Note Kate's glee at her sister's angst.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Kate can now open our door. She's wearing a dress of mine from when I was 3. Yes, she is only 17 months.

Kate plays with matches.

Sleep. It is a magical thing, something that I have lacked for oh, about 5 1/2 weeks now. But last night I think I got some of the best sleep I've gotten in weeks. Claire is still eating about every 3 hours, but I think she's on the verge of dropping a feeding. Yahoo. She woke up around 1:15am and cried until I sat up in bed, mere seconds later. Then all was quiet again. Yeehaw, I'm going back to sleep! She did wake up again about 45 minutes later, but that was a whole extra 45 minutes of blissful sleep for me. She did the same thing around 4:15am, not needing to actually eat until 5am. Then, then, both kids slept until almost 8am. Big sigh of contentment here.

I feel like I can do just about anything. I am so well-rested (comparatively) that I hardly know what to do with myself. So I'm blogging. I ought to be doing laundry, picking up all the toys in the living room so one can actually walk to the sofa, writing thank you notes, or any number of other things. But that can wait. I'm taking a break.

Have you heard about this? Washington state's interscholastic activities association's director (sports authority) wants to ban booing at sports events. Are you kidding?

Monday, March 05, 2007




Helping with the laundry.