Friday, June 29, 2007
On the upside, Claire's eye looks way better, and I think she is on the mend.
And most everything is ready to go. We packed the car last night, and only have a few things to wrap up this morning. Stress? Nothing a cup of coffee and a nice swim with Kate can't cure. Really, I'm fine, and am looking forward to this trip, however packed with craziness it might be.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Craziness. Insanity. Frenzy. Hysteria. These words describe my last 2 days. I still am not packed. Well, I am packed. But I am the only one who is packed. All of Kate's clothes are on my bed, some of Claire's clothes lie next to them; their suitcase lies at the foot of my bed, empty. There are toiletries on the guest bed, along with some (I now notice as I look over) of my clothes that I failed to pack in my suitcase. The kitchen is a disaster with dinner dishes scattered over the counters and table, and I believe there is still a load of laundry in the dryer. Instead of doing what I ought to be doing, I am sitting at the computer blogging and drinking a glass of cold Sauvingnon Blanc from New Zealand. I am trying not to think about all that I need to do tonight and tomorrow morning.
I am trying to think of all the things that have been going on for the past few days to make life so crazy. Well, besides the fact that I'm trying to pack for 3 of us for a month, for weather that will be strikingly different than what we are used to. We are going to Oregon. Yes, it is almost July, but it won't be 110* there (thank GOD), and we might well freeze at night. Really. It gets quite cold at night in Oregon, even in the summer. Add to that the fact that very few people there have air conditioners so you cool off your house by opening all the doors and windows in the morning when it's 50* outside so that by the time it's 90* that afternoon, it's still bearable in your home. But, I digress.
Where was I. Ah, yes. Mayhem. Claire has pink-eye. Still. I took her back to the doctor yesterday because the erythromycin wasn't doing the trick. Turns out she has a staph infection (not MRSA) and the strain is resistant to that ointment. Now she's on tobramycin drops, and I think she is getting better. But her eye is still red and slightly puffy. I might have to take her back in tomorrow before we leave if it doesn't look better. Yahoo. On a separate note, the pediatrician called me today to see how Claire was doing. I almost dropped the phone I was so surprised. I love off-base medical.
Before I forget, McLaren's stats for 5mo:
16 lbs 13 oz
Kate is supposed to finish her swimming lessons this week, but she's not ready. Tracie says she needs another few days. Of course, we are leaving tomorrow, so those lessons will take place next month, (hopefully) right before Claire's morning lessons. Tracie wants me to get in the water with Kate tomorrow to see how Kate does with me. Also, my babysitter is in Mexico so I will have to take Claire to the lesson (it's only about 97* at 10am) and try to keep her happy (and cool) while I swim with Kate.
We got a new car seat for Kate. My main requirements were that the seat be super comfortable (her little butt is going to be in it for 4 days straight), and that it converts to booster seat. The best one I found was the Safety First Intera. I am currently having second thoughts about this seat. Not good, considering when cleaning up for book club the other night, I threw the box away. So. We put (read: Tim put) the seat in his car, as we are driving it to Oregon (tomorrow). I have an Outback, he has an Acura sedan. My car: sits high. His car: sits lower. As I drove Kate to and from her swim lesson this morning, I noticed that I could barely see her in the back seat behind me. I can't tell if this is just the fact that his seats are lower or what. I had to strain my head to see the top of hers. I also noticed that she can barely see out the window. This could make for painful driving up I5. Also, the seat belt on the car seat. I am not pleased with it. It seems really short. Like when you release the shoulder straps to get your kid unbuckled: there is hardly any slack. And likewise, when you go to tighten her shoulder straps, there is only about 3-4 inches of strap to pull. Not much leverage. The buckle part also bothers me. It's the same one that the Eddie Bauer and Cosco seats use, and is not the same one that I am used to (we have all Graco right now). It seems like it sits really low to the seat, so it hits her chubby little thighs, and I am pretty sure she is not a big fan of it right now. And, since I threw the box away, and since we are leaving tomorrow, it seems that we will learn to deal with these problems because I don't see that we have much of a choice. There is the booster part of the seat that we could add back into the car to put her seat up higher, but that will put her feet right behind the driver's shoulders and I have a feeling that she'll have fun kicking the driver the whole 22 hours we are driving.
And then there's McLaren's new car seat. It's Kate's old one turned around so it is rear-facing. And it doesn't leave much room for the front passenger. After Tim installed it the other night he informed me that he'll be driving the whole way. I really hope it's not that bad, but I fear that it is.
Let's not even discuss the fact that Tim went in at 8am this morning and is flying tonight so he won't be home until at least 10:30...and then there is a change of command at 0800 tomorrow.
I'll leave out the rest of the craziness of the past 2 days and let you get back to whatever it was that you were doing before you clicked on over here. I am taking all my camera hook-ups, so I hope to post photos on the blog, along with stories of course, once we arrive. Until then, happy 4th of July!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
About 2 weeks ago, I had my long dual cross-country (with my instructor, Marty). We went all over the place. We started by flying north to Seoul AB, which is just south of the Han River. We could see Seoul - it was great! Had some difficulties with ATC. Lots of us calling on the radio and them not answering. They were probably trying to figure out who we were and what to say back to us. Big language barrier. I tried to come in for a touch and go there after following 2 helicopters in, and at the last minute they told us to go around. Greeeat. Good practice though. All that after ATC telling us that we couldn't land and to keep heading north. That would have put us into Seoul's airspace, and too close to the Blue House (Seoul's White House) for my comfort. Next was Wonju, directly east and in the mountains. They let us do a low approach there, but not land. We were going to continue southeast to an airstrip that is uncontrolled and where "pedestrians and livestock have free access to the runway" but the weather didn't look good, so we skipped that leg and went south to Jungwon. They wouldn't let us land either, so we went to the next one, R-510. That's a ROK Army base with 2 runways - one that's only 1600 feet long. Marty wanted me to land on that one. In contrast, I think Osan's runway is 9000' long. But I did it - and landed in about half the runway length. Then we took off and headed back to Osan, where it was raining. It was a great cross country! Now I have to do it solo...
And from earlier that summer, after I had just started flying:
On perhaps my second solo, I headed out to the northwest training area to do some ground work. S-turns, turns around a point, simple stuff that keeps you fairly close to the ground. I go back to the flight office to fill out my logbook and pay for the prop time afterwards and Ms. Cho comes running over to me with wide eyes. "You go to Incheon airspace! You not suppose to go there!" I looked at her a little skeptically. Yes, the northwest training area was in the direction of Incheon, but I was no where near the international airport. "They call here, tell me you go in their airspace. They call 2 time!" Now she had me worried. I mean, it was my second solo flight. Maybe I was in their airspace. Oh my GOD, maybe I was in their airspace and didn't know it! GAH! I whipped out my map and pointed to where I had been. I mean, I think I had been there, right? Who really knew for sure. I only had like 20 hours under my belt. I spent the rest of the afternoon all stressed out. When Tim got home I told him my story, and after we looked at the map again, he reassured me that I was not in their airspace.
Sometime I'll post about our trip to New Zealand; that was perhaps the coolest place we have ever been.
For now, Kate is shrieking in her room (it's naptime, don't you know) and Claire is (I hope) sleeping. Time for me to start packing.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Yo, Ma, look at me.
Granted, her eye looks like it is swollen shut not from the fall into the coffee table, but from her eye infection, but still. That bruise on her forehead? Not caused by pink-eye.
Then, while swimming that afternoon, Kate tried my beer. She did not like it, even though it was a tasty micro-brew. In my defense: Tim was starting the grill around the side of the house, I was in the pool, and Kate was on the patio. Not in my defense: I failed to put my beer out of the reach of Kate, and I left my child alone on the patio.
Last night McLaren had some peas for dinner. Okay, she had quite a few peas for dinner. Apparently they did not agree with her, and I found her this morning lying in a crusted pile of pea goo. I think she spit up all of the peas. I felt really bad because I had absolutely no idea that it happened until I got her up this morning, and there is no way she could have spewed that many peas without crying. We are officially turning off the swamp cooler at night and turning on the AC. The cooler is really nice, but it's also really loud, as referenced above.
Then, this morning, after McLaren's emergency bath, I was pulling the clean laundry out of the dryer and noticed both of Kate's blankets were in the pile. That explains a lot about why she was talking in her room last night until nearly 8:30, when she went to bed at about 7:15. Neither Tim nor I will be getting the parent of the month award for June.
To leave you with a more positive mental picture, here's Kate walking in Tim's sandals.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
We went to the Tanque Verde swap meet this morning in hopes of finding some patio furniture. Some of our friends have some awesome deck furniture that they got in Nogales, Mexico, and I want some. Tim's barber had mentioned that there is a store from Nogales that sells at the meet and we figured that would save us a trip to Mexico. We were wrong. We got there at 9:30am in hopes of beating the crowds and the heat. Wrong again on both counts, sort of. There were no crowds, because at 9:30am it was already 96*, slightly humid, and few vendors were open. I think we must be off-season. I bet it's a great place to shop during fall, winter and spring. So we packed up the very hot kids and headed back home. Guess we'll have to wait for it to cool down before we get that furniture.
Claire got to try peas yesterday. She liked them, I think. Of course, of the 32 photos I took of the event, this is the only one in which she is smiling. But, she is also super-serious baby, so who knows for sure.
Thank you to all who sent me emails with ideas of how to shop with 2 kids! There are some great ones, like taking the old car seat with me just to use in the store, and leaving the kids at home with dad while I shop. I like the second idea best.
I think I'm going to luck out on most of it, in any case. We are headed to Oregon next weekend to visit Tim's family for the month of July. I should have either someone to watch the kiddos for me, or be able to wear Claire in the bjorn because it will be a lot cooler there. By the time we get back, I hope Claire will be sitting up a lot better in the cart so she can just use the floppy seat. By the way, the floppy seat is perhaps one of the most ingenious baby inventions ever. If you have a baby and do not own a floppy seat, I highly recommend you find one.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Think about your generic trip to the grocery store.
Now: Claire is in her car seat and she and it all go into the shopping cart. Kate sits in the front of the cart (aren't those 'car' shopping carts just a hoot? My idea of fun, yep).
Next Week: Claire is no longer in her car seat in the shopping cart. Now I either have to use one of those horrible carts that have the built-in baby caddy that sits sideways in the cart (does anyone use those?? I can only imagine how many germs are on them) or she goes in the floppy seat. But she isn't quite sitting up on her own yet, so that will be...fun. I guess Kate's part doesn't change. She still gets to sit in the 'car'.
So. Does anyone have any advice for me? Like how to not lose your sanity when doing simple things like taking 2 children under the age of 2 shopping? Or like what kind of a car seat I should get for Kate? I need one that will last a little longer this time, one that will double as a booster seat in the near future when she weighs more than 40 pounds.
Now I have to go wake Claire up for her doctor's appointment. I think she has an eye infection. Poor kid.
The rest of my day consisted of:
- getting Claire packed into the car seat and hearing Kate wake up from her nap just as I was about to walk out the door
- leaving a tantruming Kate here with our neighbor Dexter while I took Claire to the doctor
- finding out that Claire has bacterial conjunctivitis (aka pink eye) and a slight temperature
- going back home and swimming with Kate while Claire took a short nap
- scrubbing Kate's hands after her first time playing in the toilet
- chasing Kate around the house (not for fun) trying to get her into the car to go pick up Claire's prescriptions
- leaving my bank card at CVS when picking up Claire's prescriptions (it is still there)
- chasing Kate around her room (again, not for fun) trying to get her jammies on
- trying to turn the chasing into fun times before reading her a story
- remembering just now that I forgot to brush her teeth
The good news, though, is that the infection should go away soon with her new Rx. And the good doctor also gave me a prescription for some hydrocortisone cream to try on Claire's face. Let's hope. We're going to the Picture People this weekend, and I would like for this rash to be gone by then.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
So tired after playing with Daddy.
McLaren is dissatisfied with the meals around here. For instance, I just got done feeding her. This meal consisted of milk and then a course of oatmeal and rice mixed together, with some apple juice stirred in for sweetness and flavor. I'm pretty sure more of it ended up on her than in her. She hasn't gotten to the point where she can grab the spoon yet, but she spits the food out and then smears it all over her face with her hands. She is still falling for the whole Mommy's eating the cereal, so you should eat the cereal charade, but I don't think that will last long. It probably didn't help that as I was feeding her the oatmeal, I was enjoying the last piece of All American Chocolate Cake from Costco. I swear that kid can make me feel more guilty than a cat in a birdcage. She just sits there in her big highchair, watching me take bites of chocolate cake, sighing once in awhile for effect. Her big eyes follow the fork, back and forth, plate mouth plate mouth. Where's my cake, Mom?
Not that she's hurting for food, mind you.
Ankle, what ankle?
Monday, June 18, 2007
"So I finally decided to enter back into the dating scene. On my trip home from
Miami I met a guy in the airport. He seemed pretty nice and interesting so I
talked with him at the gate while waiting for our plane. Since I was super sick
after a super-hip-hop-tropical virus my judgment may have been impaired. I ended
up even sicker by the time we landed but continued to talk to this gentleman. We
spoke about different places to eat in town and he asked me if I’d like to go
out to dinner while he was in Seattle. He seemed pretty cool. He is a wildlife
vet in the south; he is from Canada and lived in Seattle for a while…..He had a
pregnant deaf dolphin he was caring for so I figured how bad could he be.
After some reconfiguring on my end we decided on doing something on Friday night. I met him at a small little arty bar on Pill Hill. We met for a drink and he was pretty nice. We had a pretty good conversation and decided to go for dinner. He had selected an Italian restaurant, although not knowing what we were going to do for sure he did not make reservations. I vetoed the suggestion of “chicken-feet” and an ID Chinese place.
I drive us a little ways away to the joint of choice. On the way he is very generous and offers to carry me later should I need assistance for my ankle. Given that I am
in a skirt, I decline. He mentions that most of his good stories end with a girl “hiking up her skirt and crawling on him”. This is the first of many indicators of the rest of the evening. He puts our name on the list for the VERY CROWDED restaurant and orders a bottle of wine at the bar. Since I drink more wine than he does he suggests I select the wine. I ask a couple of questions to the waitress and then he proceeds to order the bottle for us. So much for me ordering the wine.
Since we have some time to kill before our table is ready we begin our chatting. He finds out that like himself, I am also a Taurus and he mentions that we should have a stubborn-contest; I am not immediately stimulated by this idea. He also mentions that I should know that he doesn't believe in compromise. There are several other uncomfortable and awkward stories that he tells about his “kooky” personality, how he likes kids, wants to travel the world with his family, teach them several languages etc. He also mentions that the lucky woman that will land his future attentions needs to have an understanding to his desire to do what he wants. Not super impressed at this point. He is getting more obnoxious and self-centered as the evening goes on.
Still not really asking much about me.
We finally get seated at our table and begin to order dinner. He asks if I would like an appetizer and I decline so he orders two. Humm, why ask my opinion if you are going to do what you want anyway. Appetizers come and he suggests we share. I don’t really want either, but I take a small bit of the beef. I am having difficulties cutting it so he whips out his pocketknife and proceeds to cut if for me. He then leaves the large pocketknife on the table. He gleefully suggests that we eat with our
hands. When I protest and use my fork, he takes his butter knife and throws it
out the open window next to my head. Dinner comes and we proceed to dine. During
the chow, I say something particularly cute and charming so he leans across the
table for a kiss. I try to feign politeness but my body jerks back. He also
tries to hold my hand, which I pull away. He is now offended that I have not
fallen for his amorous ways and proceeds to make sort of a big deal about it,
discussing it, reviewing it and telling me he was “in the moment with my beauty
and didn’t realize that anyone else was around”. I somehow manage to keep my dinner down and try to politely downplay the situation. More awkwardness abounds has he debates if I am complex or interesting or stimulating. He then throws his fork out the window. He encourages me to throw my serve-wear out the window and I decline. Finally the check comes. He tells me that since he paid for the wine that I can get dinner, but he guesses if I want that we could split it or he guesses if he has
to he can pay. He still has the pocketknife on the table. So he asked me out,
selected the place, ordered all sorts of stuff that I didn’t want and then asked
me to pay. I end up paying to hope the pain will end soon and I can go home.
He asks if we can get coffee, despite my pleas to go home because I don’t like coffee, am super tired, and not feeling well. He insists we go for coffee across the street. Not sure why I am being so nice and obliging, but I go. We have coffee across the street; he drinks and I listen to more stuff about him. He then throws his spoon into the street. What is up with throwing silverware??? We get into a conversation about Mexico and the importance of the mother there. He disagrees with me for around 10 minutes; I finally change the subject and he manages to bring it up again a few minutes later telling me how wrong I am. I change the subject again and he manages to return to topic once again to tell me about his travels in Central America and how I am wrong and he is right. Finally I have it and I snap! I yell into the air “Mother of God, please make it stop”. He stops mid-sentence and asks if I would like to go home. I say “Yes, Please!” I drive him back to his truck; I’m not sure why I am being so nice - I should make him walk. I get a handshake and he retrieves something out of my backseat. I pull my purse to the front seat, since I am planning on calling one of my girlfriends and telling her about this horrible catastrophe.
He then says he can’t believe I think he is going to steal my purse. What??? I
tell him I need to get something out of my purse and he says he seriously can’t
believe I think he would try to steal my purse. He closes the door; I immediately lock it and speed away from one of the worst dates of my life!"
The first printed installment of the blog, all 214 pages.
Tim's on nights this week, so he's at swim lessons with Kate right now. McLaren is asleep, and the house is quiet. I'm sure that silence will be broken at any minute when they come home, but for now, I'll enjoy my coffee and the peace.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Every morning I wake up full of ambition, thinking of all that I am going to accomplish that day. Let's see, I need to clean the bathroom. Maybe I'll put away all the toys in the living room today. The 2 loads of clean laundry stuffed into an undersized basket need to be put into drawers. Perhaps I'll go grocery shopping, probably ought to mop because Kate's little feet are so Black every night, I should call my sister and see how she's doing, Kate has swim lessons at 9, then I need to play with McLaren, read a book to Kate, update the blog, send some photos to friends...and the list goes on and on. You would think that just the randomness of these thoughts should tell me something: that there is No Way I am going to accomplish half of them. Yet every morning, I wake up thinking of all that is going to get done That Day. Does anyone else do this? Maybe it's just me.
Just thinking about it exhausts me.
So, Father's Day. Plans? What are you doing for the big day? My dad is headed out for the weekend, so we'll spend it swimming, relaxing (yeah, right) and hanging out with my sister and her family.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Kate tries to drive away before I can get her swimsuit on.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
I think we are having a breakthrough on swim lessons, though. Yesterday afternoon we swam and Kate didn't want to get out of the water again. But she also kept wanting to come to me (I'm the evil one who makes her swim to the step, so she usually doesn't want anything to do with me). I believe she might be getting more confident in the water and is now wanting to show me how well she can swim. Also, she didn't cry at lessons this morning until she actually got into the water. This is a big improvement over last week when she would start crying as soon as she saw the house from her car seat.
As for me, I'm still working on the sleep thing. The cat is hereby evicted from sleeping in the house at night. He woke me up at 2am, wanting to go outside. After I had let him out, I noticed that it seemed rather warm inside, so I turned on the swamp cooler (it was 75 and stuffy) and headed back to bed. Probably around 4am I started having dreams about how chilly it was and that I hoped the babies were warm enough. I didn't wake up from these dreams until 5am when I noticed it was freezing (65). So, up again to turn off the cooler and cover up McLaren. Kate was on her own; I know better than to go into her room when she's sleeping. There is a very good chance she will wake up and if she does, well there's no going back to sleep for awhile. After all that, the girls did sleep in until 7am, so that was a nice bonus. Just a few more days until the weekend and Tim will be home to tend to early-rising children! Woohoo!
Okay, time for a quiz. Who is who?
Monday, June 04, 2007
She got a cold on Saturday night and seems to be getting a little better now, although her nose is still running a bit. But now she is waking up at about 6:30am every day, and with McLaren deciding that 7:30am is too late and that 5:30am is a much better time to start babbling, I am very tired.
We went to Joanne's fabrics after swimming lessons today, and Kate tried to grab every item off the shelf and throw it at passersby. I suppose it didn't help that I found a cute child's broom for her and let her play with it while in the stroller to keep her occupied. I think she hit an old lady and a young mom with it before I could wrestle it away from her. When we got home, she ran around the living room chasing 'Ta-but' (Starbuck) with her new toy, and he cowered by the gate in the hallway waiting for me to rescue him. Now she is sleeping quietly (please let her have a long nap today, God), and McLaren is waking up. I guess there will be no nap for mommy today.
I am giving some thought to just going away this weekend by myself, maybe to Phoenix, or perhaps to Mexico. Doesn't that sound nice? I think so.