Monday, September 29, 2008

A very busy weekend

We drove to Mt Charleston on Saturday morning for a day out in the Spring Mountains. The girls LOVED it. We loved it. I was anticipating something akin to Mt Lemmon in Tucson, but we found it to be different in a few ways. There are a lot more houses (do you call it a house when it appears to be at least 3000 sq ft and the average sales price is over a million dollars?), and a lot fewer commercial establishments.

We found a trail to a waterfall and started walking. Next time we will bring the backpack for Claire, as she spent half the time begging to be carried. Both girls loved walking on the rocks, balancing on the fallen trees, and exploring in general. We loved being in the fresh air, the smell of the pines, the bright colors of the aspen trees and the cool weather (it was about 63* and rained off and on)! We are seriously considering going camping up there in the next two weeks. I am a little concerned that we are deluding ourselves into thinking that this will be a good time, but we'll probably try it anyway. How hard could camping be with two toddlers? Ha.

After our "hike", we headed to the restaurant for lunch. We didn't have pie, but the food was good, and as expensive (or more so) as the Mt Lemmon Cafe's nosh, and there was a lot more seating.

On Sunday evening, Tim and the girls made vanilla ice cream. Claire enjoyed it tremendously.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pictures of Kate's 3rd birthday

It is amazing to me that my baby is 3. I did not understand the adage about time flying (seriously: flying?) until I had children, and now I have a better grasp on it. It doesn't seem like yesterday, exactly, that she was born, but it doesn't seem like three years have passed, either.

Now, at three, Kate has turned into such an incredible little person. She understands so much, and has a thirst for knowledge that stuns me at times. She loves to build things; she jumps at any chance to be like her mom or dad so she can "work on things", "solve her problem", or "fix stuff". Lately she has been wandering around the house with slumped shoulders, in a moping sort of fashion. When I ask her what is wrong, she says she is trying to figure out her problem. Apparently one of her parents must also slouch around with slumped shoulders, looking depressed? Gah. When she tells me what the specific problem is (it usually involves Dora or Diego), and I offer a solution, she immediately cheers up and goes to "fix it".

Her favorite toys are the Tinker Toy set she got for her birthday (Tim builds the craziest working-model...things...and Kate is beginning to come up with her own inventions), a wooden Melissa and Doug fruit set that allows kids to "chop" the pieces in half, her new big wheel, and these foam inter-connecting block letters that she uses to build doll houses and train tracks. Her imagination has no end, which is something she clearly got from her father. She also loves to cook. I think this was one of her favorite parts about her birthday: she got to help bake two cakes! And the energy she has is astounding! When we go on walks at night, she can run until Tim and I are tired out.

She badly wants to read, and has memorized how to spell several words. She is also able to write the letters 'T' and 'I' and 'X', and is working hard on 'E' (right now it has about 5-7 horizontal lines). She gets very frustrated with the letter 'K'. She will sit down with her bunny and read her "diary" to her (a lined notebook).

Potty training is going very well, and although she is still in diapers when she sleeps, she often uses the facilities without my help. This I love!

I am hoping to get her into some sort of school within the next month, as I think she would love some structure to her days, and I know she would be so happy to be around other kids her age more.

Kate, we love you so much! You are so precious to us, and you will always be our special baby girl. Happy Birthday.
Making her cake.
Ryan helps Kate unwrap her gift.
Our house will never be the same.
Time for cake.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Claire is just now beginning to show interest in a bedtime ritual. Now that she realizes the fun in demanding certain criteria be met, she is adamant about performing the entire sequence each time she goes to sleep.

First, she has to sit on the potty and read her potty book, during which she presses the 'flush' button on said book approximately 8 times. Although she rarely produces anything, she always wants to flush the toilet when she is done: "Fush! Fush!" Then it's time to wash her hands, which is one of her favorite things to do throughout the day. I am starting to regret getting her one of those high step-stools that allows her to reach the faucet, as I find her at the sink playing in the soap and water multiple times a day. But hey, at least she's clean, right? Clean and wet. So, she climbs up her step-stool and does this little dance before turning on the water. I must get this on video, because it is so cute, and I have no idea why she does it, so it is likely to stop at any time.

After we are done in the bathroom, she runs to her room where she demands to 'wock wock wif Mommy' in the rocking chair. Whilst we do this, we must also read each of the following books at least once:

It is not a happy scene if one of these books goes missing.

The Birthday Monsters is affectionately known as the 'Cookie [too-tee] Monsters' book for reasons unknown to me. She appropriately wishes the hippo a happy birthday at the end of the story.

At the end of Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!, she waves bye-bye to the dinosaurs and firmly closes the book. She also laughs every time I read the 'some are tiny' line.

She loves to see the moon in The Going to Bed Book, and gleefully points to it each time she sees it. She also tells me, after I read the 'With some on top and some beneath, they brush and brush and brush their teeth' page, that they do this in the bafroom.

In Max's Toys, she loudly says, "Kaboom!" when Max has a 10-car train accident. Then on the last page, she tells me their room is a "Biiiig mess. Keeeen up! Biiiiig mess. Keeeen up!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Seven years.

Oh yeah! Tim and I had an anniversary, like, mmmm, 3 weeks ago? I've been a bit behind on things lately.

Tim planned everything, from dinner to the entertainment, and we utilized his parents' visit to have a nice night out on the town alone. First, we went to Zeffirino, an Italian restaurant in the Venetian overlooking the canal. We had the most delicious pasta (Tim won with his selection of a pesto pasta. When the chef has made pesto for the Pope, you order it, and it will be good. Tim shared this information with me after he had taken the last bite of pesto. It was his only transgression for the evening.), and shared a tiramisu for dessert. After dinner, we strolled along the canal, taking in the sights and sounds. I love Las Vegas. I know a lot of people don't, but it has such a lively atmosphere. I love the sounds and the smells and the people-watching. You can see a woman in a wedding gown passing drunken collegians, smell a combination of high-quality cigar smoke mixed with high-end perfume and steak being grilled.

We went to the first show we've been to in about 10 years: Ka. I thought it was great; Tim thought it was okay. Sure, the storyline was a little...weird...but the acrobatics were incredible, and the set was awesome. By about 11pm, we were exhausted, but it was a fun way to spend our anniversary.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In their own words

  • Church ball: "Mommy, it's not church, it's church ball."
  • "Mommy, it's a jet field airplane!"
  • Yoatmeal. Also known as 'oatmeal' to most of the country.

Claire (also, words and phrases not to teach a toddler who cannot pronounce the letter 'r'):

  • Mecidine. Double meaning: medicine and music on.
  • Stinky britches.
  • Fut. Also comes out sounding slightly different, with more of a 'k' ending. This is her word for 'fork'.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Conversations with Claire

Yesterday, Claire woke up before Kate from their afternoon nap. I walked into her room to pick her up out of her crib.

Claire: [Big smile.] "Hiiiiiii, Mommeeeeee!"

Me: "Hi, Claire! Did you have a good nap?"

Claire: [Vigorous nodding; pigtails askew.] "Yesssss!"

Me: "Good. Let's check your diaper."

Claire: "Otay, Mommy. Pee pee."

Me: "Oh, did you pee pee? Did you poo?" [My apologies...]

Claire: "No, Mommy, no poo."

Me: "Okay. Do you want a snack?"

Claire [Big grin.] "Yessssss. Jewsh?"

Me: "Yes, you can have some juice. Do you want some toast?"

Claire: [Pondering.] "No."

Me: "Do you want some crackers?"

Claire: [Shakes head while looking me in the eyes.] "No."

Me: "Do you want some Cheetos?"

Claire: [Eyes big; nods.] "Yesssss! Cheetos! Cheetos! Jewsh!"

Me: "You want Cheetos and juice?"

Claire: "Otay, Mommy."

Friday, September 05, 2008

Why I (strike through) heart TriCare

It's 4pm, and I just got a call back from the peds unit on base. Kate is exhibiting a symptom of a UTI, which she has had before, and I thought it best to get her in and check her out. I called at 7:30am today (several times, actually, since the incompetents at scheduling were unable to successfully patch me through to the right number) and left a message. I called again at 1pm, having not heard from them. Left another message. Amber, the scheduling girl in peds who just called me back, mumbled an apology about not calling back sooner, but "there's something, like, wrong with the phone system here? And blah blah blah...". She then went on to tell me about her experience with a UTI (hello, helpful? Not really) and that I should definitely take Kate in to the ER this weekend, because it could be serious. Duh, that's why I called y'all this morning.

So, they are closed all weekend, of course, and when I asked about scheduling a back-up appointment for Monday, I got a diatribe about how she couldn't actually schedule me for an appointment now because although she could see the appointments, she couldn't actually book any because it's more than 24 hours in advance. And they aren't open on Sunday. Really? And this is where we all want to go with nationalized health care?

I am in the process of switching myself over to TriCare Standard, which I have never been on before, but which seems like a heck of a good idea. I will get to see doctors off base, I will get to self-refer (!), and I will not have to deal with the craziness that I just dealt with today. And if I encounter it, I can change doctors! Also, I am seriously considering switching the girls over to Standard, too, since it is currently the beginning of September and they are booking 18mo well-baby checks in October, when Claire will be 20mo.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Tim's parents came to visit for the weekend. Since Kate has been obsessing about her upcoming birthday, and the grandparents won't be able to come to the party, we all decided (with much enthusiasm by a certain blonde girl) to celebrate early. Grandmother and granddaughter began by baking a cake, which Kate thought was the most exciting thing she had done in ages. In her defense, it was probably the most exciting thing she's done in a long time.

Reading the instructions. She mumbled something about adding milk and eggs.

Little fingerprints.

Sprinkles. Most ended up in the middle of the cake.

Cake with 8 (that's how many she requested) candles, and presents.

We miss you already, Mom & Dad!