Sunday, January 31, 2010

The first time I had Spam

Kimbap. I'm pretty sure the first time I had Spam, it was hidden in a Kimbap roll in Korea. Sadly, my children will not be able to claim the same defense. For breakfast this morning: waffles and fried Spam, courtesty of Daddy.

It's been a long weekend. I started feeling ill on Friday morning, and finally called Tim and told him I couldn't pick up the girls from school. I had a fever and chills, and felt awful. It seemed like something I'd had before, but I'd always been able to kick it on my own. This time I wasn't so lucky. I got a second fever/chills spell in the middle of the night on Friday, and I realized I wasn't going to recover on my own. We went to the ER on Saturday morning, and they confirmed my suspicions: mastitis (an infection). Overall, it was probably the best trip to the ER I've ever had; I was checked in and sitting in triage within 5 minutes of being there, and was tucked into my own room shortly thereafter. Tim took the kids to lunch and then brought them home, while I stayed for fluids, antibiotics and an ultrasound. All is well now, for the most part.

Now it's time to recover from being out of it for 2 days. Every room in the house is an absolute disaster, I don't remember the last time the children were bathed, and we have no food. I don't think there is a spare inch of space on any countertop, and clothes are piled everywhere. It doesn't take long for things to spiral out of control. I'm not trying to make Tim look bad - he has been a hero through all of this, and the kids probably had more fun with him than they've had in ages, playing all sorts of games, and ... trying new food. Today he took the girls to their first movie: The Princess and the Frog. I was sort sad that I didn't get to be a part of this adventure, but it sounds like they had fun. And it's funny how much earlier the younger children get to do things: I could not have imagined taking Kate to see a movie at age three.

Waiting in the ER. Tim packed up a huge bag full of toys and art supplies to keep the girls occupied, and everyone ate tons of snacks.

Kate Blagojevich.

We just told her she looked like she slept well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Dear Claire,

You are three today. Although time has probably not flown by for you, it seems like just last month that it was snowing in Tucson days before you were born. You are your own little snowflake; beautiful and unique, and everyone loves you. Your smile makes your little brother break out into a grin, and your big sister would rather play with you than with anyone else.

Sometimes you make us crazy. You are still sneaky, and we have learned to keep a close eye on you, as you are likely to get into lotion and rub it on the walls, or color on my nightstand with pens I have mistakenly left within your reach. Even when something is out of reach for you, you have no qualms about finding something to climb on to get to what you want. I have little doubt that you will use this skill in less devious ways in the future. At least I hope so.

You say the funniest things. Last week I told you we were going to fly in an airplane soon to go see Grandma, and your eyes got big. You said, "Really? Are we gonna fly upside down?" You are your father's daughter. And, like him, you are a night owl. You would be happy to stay up until 10pm, if you could sleep in until 10am.

You also remind me of myself when I was little. You are shy when you first meet someone, and you did not at all enjoy being the center of attention at your birthday party. You looked a little scared when everyone sang 'Happy Birthday' to you. And yet you have little fear when it comes to physical pursuits. You climb exceptionally well, and you love to run and jump. Your sister talks big, but you actually do big things, often without making a big production of it. You are also extraordinarily stubborn. You like what you like, and you are not inclined to change your mind, once it is set. I am still trying to figure you out.

You have an interesting taste for food. You like to dip your chicken nuggets in caramel sauce, your apples in ketchup, and you will eat almost anything if you can dip it in something. In fact, you have a bit of an obsession with dip. A few weeks ago, you decided you like lettuce, if dunked in ranch dressing. Your dad and I were very impressed, as we were sure none of our children were ever going to like salads. Your favorite food is probably cheese. A year ago, you ate aged bleu cheese and loved it. We often call you our little French girl, as you could live off grapes, cheese and bread. Once you decide you like something, you usually stick with it.

Often, it takes a lot of effort on our parts to 'help' you decide you like something, though. You are very particular about what you wear, for instance. You hate jeans, or anything that is "too tight", as you put it. You have a large closet full of clothes, but will only wear a handful of outfits. Your favorites include stretch pants, your gymnastics t-shirt, and a skirt with an elastic band that you got for your 2nd birthday.

You have recently decided you do not like green, and you have your own slang. You say, "suh like", and I think you mean "it's like" or "so, like...". It's very endearing. You also have some cute phrases we dub "McLarenisms". These include:

"Mommy, can I please have more fruit cottontail?"
"I want to watch Starburst for movie night."

We love you, Claire bear. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wait, where am I?

I think it's been raining since Sunday? Monday? I know it's only Wednesday (stop looking at me like that, PNW pioneers), but that's a lot of rain for Las Vegas; more than I can remember getting since we moved here. They say we are supposed to get 1-3" over the course of the week, as we are getting hit by the storms that are hammering California. When you consider we get an average of 4.5" per year, that's a lot of rain in one week. The weather report said we got almost 1/2" yesterday, setting a record.

This morning I looked outside my bedroom window and saw this:

What a view. I sort of forgot where I was for a minute. Mountains with snow, a giddy feeling at the sight of unexpected sun after a long period of was almost like being back in Seattle! Well, okay. Not really. Although I know it's going to rain again today enough to fill the greenbelt with a river of water, I have confidence we will see the sun before April.

I set my alarm this morning in a valiant effort to get us dressed and out the door before school actually started. It worked! I even showered before breakfast. Hey, that's something to be proud of around here. The girls were to school earlier than ever before. Of course, I was up until way too late last night getting prepped for this morning (coffee, breakfast dishes out and ready), but it's such a good feeling to have been on time to something.

The Sheep Mountains have snow. Baaa. Brrr.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What is it about weekdays?

Specifically, how do my children know when it is a Monday, Wednesday, or a Friday? Every other day of the week, they wake up by 7am. Sometimes they are crying, sometimes they are wet, sometimes they just want to play Really Loudly together. Usually they wake their sibling(s) up, if everyone is not already stirring.

But on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they like to sleep in. Because somehow they KNOW that it's a school day and that I am going to be frantic trying to get them out the door and into the car in a vain attempt to be on time. Today was no exception: I woke up at 7am, listening for jabbering or crying or general fussiness, and heard silence. I rolled over and went back to sleep. At 7:30, I heard Luke talking, so I got up to check on him. He was happily playing with his elephant. He smiled when he saw me. At 7:40, I heard Kate (who was sleeping in the downstairs den due to disobedience last night) wake up. We three ate breakfast together. At nearly 9:00am(!!), Claire came downstairs.

I fooled them today. It's a holiday. Sleep in all you want, my darlings!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What we're doing this weekend

Helping each other out.

Climbing things.

Being proud of our accomplishments.

Crying for unknown reasons.

Considering applying for federal disaster relief funds.

As for me, I am headed out with friends this afternoon for a little "me" time. Yay me!

Monday, January 11, 2010

More from the photo shoot

Lots of teeth. Okay, maybe just 6.

Luke at 9mo. Happy boy.

She LOVES pianos. Am tempted to try to find one of these for her.

Claire at almost 3 years old.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Calling the Geek Squad

We got family photos taken today. At one point, this happened:

A certain photo company has changed their online viewing process. I was all excited this afternoon with the thought of posting some of the pictures we got today on the blog, and then I went to copy and paste them and found out I couldn't do it! Thanks to my fabulous sneaky husband the resident geek, we have solved the problem. Don't tell anyone. I'll post more pictures tomorrow if you're good.

Later, after we were done with photo torture, we took the children to McDonald's, where Claire ate her apples dipped in ketchup. Last time she dipped them in sweet and sour sauce. She loves her dip.

Tomorrow night we're headed to an open house at a possible private school for Kate next year. Seriously. I can't believe we're thinking about putting her in private Kindergarten. I'm all stressed out about whether to keep her in her current private school or send her to public school. Mostly I take issue with the length of class at the public school: it's only 2 1/2 hours a day! She goes to pre-k for 3 1/2 hours this year. I had no idea figuring out Kindergarten would be so complicated and stressful. And expensive! I practically need a job just to pay for it!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How big is Luke?

So big! At his 9mo appointment yesterday, he weighed in at 22lb 2oz, and he is now 28 3/4" tall. He has learned 3 signs, and usually performs all of them in a row for you, just to show off. [The signs: all done, more, and so big (I know, it's more of a game than a sign, but let's not tell him just yet).]

Really enjoying his sauce.

Look at me, Ma!


He isn't walking yet, but is tottering around behind his push-toys by himself. He is also gaining a better sense of balance and is close to riding Rody by himself.

Kate and Claire are back in the swing of things, enjoying school and expanding their amazing imaginations. Kate talks approximately 98% of the minutes she is awake, leaving us all a little bewildered. She and I need to have a little chat about personal information, as I have heard her several times tell strangers the dates of birth of her whole family, and she has even shared our address with people in line at Target. Everyone knows how old I am, and that her father is "older than dirt". As for Claire, she is super excited about turning 3 at the end of the month. She is also insisting on panda cupcakes again. She likes what she likes. But she's branching out, too, as she showed us tonight at dinner by eating a leaf of lettuce and a pickle (both of which she claimed to detest before this).

Friday, January 01, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


First present, ever. Mostly he just wanted to eat the paper.

Ms. Sneaky. Playing with her sister's new toys while Kate was busy opening other gifts.

Kate and Vovo.

It's been a whirlwind of a month: parties (real and pretend), Santa, gifts, arguing over new toys and old, learning new skills (Kate: bike riding, Claire: Rody riding, Luke: climbing everything), and lots of family time.

We somehow made it until 7am on Christmas morning. Once the girls saw all the gifts under the tree, there was a lot of squealing, tearing of paper and hurried handing out of presents. The kids made out like bandits. Kate is the proud owner of approximately 14 Barbies, Claire got a new booster seat for the car, and Luke finally has some boy toys to play with. The day after Christmas, my dad and family came to stay for a couple of days. The girls were thrilled to have new people to play with, and Kate was ecstatic when her Aunt Ana offered to have a Barbie party with her.

The girls go back to school on Monday, Tim leaves for a short TDY on Sunday, and I'm trying to get back into a running routine. Right after I take another nap.