Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I guess it could have been worse?

We were planning to go to Tucson for spring break, but then my sister and her daughter got pink-eye, and we reevaluated. Going to San Diego to see my dad seemed like a good option. I certainly didn't want to hang around Las Vegas by myself with the children out of school for a week. Then Kate got a fever last Wednesday. She recovered for the most part by Thursday, so I decided we were going to push to California. On the drive out, things got challenging. I had rearranged the car so that the girls were sitting next to each other in the back row, in order for them to entertain each other. Who knew that by "entertaining" they meant fighting? I guess I should have seen that coming. Just south of Vegas, I pulled over on a dirt road and tossed bags and car seats out of the car gently suggested a new seating arrangement. I put Kate next to Luke in the second row, which also turned out to be a mistake. She refused to leave him alone. At one point AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell' came on the radio and I mused about its timeliness.

Almost 6 hours after we left, we arrived at my dad's. Luke had started coughing a couple of hours into the drive, and by Friday night, he sounded awful. I must have been up every hour that night, helping him get back to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, his cough turned into barking, followed by a slight wheezing. This completely freaked me out, and I don't know if I slept much after that. He wasn't better by the morning, so I told my dad we needed to take him to the doctor.

My dad got online and found a clinic to go to. It was on the way to the beach - perfect! He called, and told them we were on Tri-Care, and the woman mentioned that there was a Tri-Care outpatient facility nearby. Great! We headed there instead. Turns out it was like a Tri-Care office off base, and they would only see you if you were a patient there. The woman gave me directions to a different place for us to go. I asked her if it was an ER (I absolutely detest going to the ER; in fact, it is probably the number one thing I hate to do), and she said no. I asked if it was on an installation. She said no, and also that she wasn't from San Diego. Um? I should have taken this to mean that she didn't know what she was talking about. We wound our way closer to downtown....and ended up at a military gate. We should have turned around right there. But, not knowing where else to go, we parked and walked into the hospital. It turns out we were at the US Naval Medical Center, San Diego, a large concrete structure full of sickies. We checked in, and I asked how long they thought the wait would be. No idea. Awesome. I think it took about 20 minutes to get into triage. And another 4 hours to be seen. So there we were, all in our beach garb, Simone with a migraine, three sick and crabby kids, on vacation. Luke has croup, and ear infections in both ears. They gave him some liquid steroids and amoxicillin, and he is finally sounding a lot better. Now Claire sounds bad.

Ready for his chest x-ray.

On Sunday we finally made it to the beach. For an hour. Luke and Claire were still not feeling great, and Luke cried for most of the time we were there. He was interested in the sand for a bit, though, until he rubbed some of it in his eyes. Claire went down to the water once, but the wind combined with the cold water made her head right back to the warmth of the beach towel.

Mama, this bath is cold. Also, my ears hurt.

I'm supposed to do what with the sand?

Kate loved the beach. LOVED. She giggled with delight as the water rushed up to her feet, sucking the sand out from under her toes. "Mom! The beach is moving!" She ran back and forth, into the water and out again. She splashed, made friends, gathered shells, and giggled some more. I felt bad tearing her away from the water, but Luke was a crying wreck.

On Sunday afternoon, I made the command decision to head home on Monday, earlier than we had planned. We got home at 6pm and Claire went straight to bed, in her clothes and without dinner. This from my little night owl who likes to stay up until 9 or 10pm. Kate and Luke were also asleep by 8pm. Today we have an appointment for Claire to see what sort of illness she is harboring.

In all, I am glad we went. It was a good diversion for all of us, even though it was painful. Here we would have been sick and bored. And it somehow gave me a confidence I haven't had in awhile: I can do pretty much anything alone, if necessary. I would prefer to have Tim here, but we do okay when he's gone.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So busy I keep losing track of the day

This week leading up to spring break has been extremely full. I can't even remember all of the events right now, except the ones listed below. First, the girls participated in the St. Jude's trike-a-thon at school on Wednesday. Claire didn't enjoy it as much as Kate, I think, but she did well. Luke cheered them on from the sidelines.

Luke has a new seating arrangement, which he loves.

Today was an Easter party with friends, and then a birthday party after nap.

Tomorrow we leave for San Diego. Have I packed yet? No. Am I in bed yet? No. Do I even have a checklist written anywhere? No. I am so toast. Woohoo, first solo road trip with the littles! Please pray for me.

Hey, look, cars!

Eating chocolate cake off the ground at the Easter party.

He refused to stop eating to look at the camera, probably worried that if he saw me that meant I saw him, and then I would take his cake away.

So very, very happy at Chuck E Cheese's for Nathan's birthday party.

Monday, March 22, 2010

For Sale

For sale: one grumpy, unreasonable, full of mischief sweet, loving, cuddly and cute three-year-old. Loves lotion, water, permanent markers, chalk, and reprogramming computers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our waitress must have been mortified

Even as I'm planning these events, I do not know what possesses me to consider doing them. We walked to sushi tonight. Kate rode her bike, Claire walked almost to the main street from our house, and Luke, of course, rode the whole way. I did not even bring the camera, knowing that it would take all my concentration just to keep the children out of traffic, within the crosswalk lines, and seated at or near our table once there.

The key to my survival, mentally, I think, was knowing what I would order beforehand, so that I could just tell our server immediately what we wanted. She got the order wrong (note to self: the children do not eat California rolls; which ones did they try last time? I think it must have been the unagi), but the chef, noting the anxious woman alone at the corner table greatly outnumbered by her small and unruly children, was quick. We had our udon and tempura at record speed, and the waitress even brought those little chopstick helpers, which enabled the girls to use their chopsticks!

Of course, all the food came at once, and the table was overwhelmed by steaming platters and bowls, and the children were making unreasonable demands (Mommy, I want noodles! Mama, can I have soup? Fix my chopsticks! Bambambam! Can I have the round tempura (onion)? I want shrimp!) all at the same time. Claire had to spread her napkin out like a place mat, allowing Luke much greater access to the table. Both girls squeezed their juice boxes. At one point, Luke got hold of the sticky tempura dipping sauce and overturned it. Several minutes later, after I thought I had cleaned it all up, I felt something dripping on my foot, and noticed the sauce had gotten under his kidpottamus tray and everything was a gooey mess. There were noodles on the floor, napkins soaked with tentsuyu, and stacked dishes on the half of the table that Luke couldn't reach. Even though I tipped her generously, I am pretty sure she is going to cringe the next time she sees us in the restaurant.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Aaaaand, the honeymoon is over

I just found lotion on the cat. And on my rugs, and the bathroom counter and floor. What is it with Claire and lotion? The "I've got tons of energy, we're going to keep really busy, and the time will just fly by!" attitude I started the week out with is now fading. The girls had dance class this morning (after which the instructor told me I couldn't take pictures of my children during class anymore because one of the other dads didn't want me taking photos of his daughter? Seriously?), and then we went directly to a birthday party at a bouncy place. So, a 10 minute morning nap for Luke in the car. And then Claire and Luke fell asleep for 15 minutes on the way home from the party, and then refused to nap when we got home. Sooooo, everyone is crabby (including me, clearly), and it's hours until bedtime. And I know it's only been a week, and some others I know complained a lot less over a lot longer period of time! Tomorrow I'll suck it up. As long as I get a good night's sleep.

Lucky for Claire, she's cute. We are sitting next to each other in the loft right now, each of us "working" on our laptops. Kate is giving Claire encouragement, "Thumbs up, Buttercup!", and Luke is alternating practicing his walking skills and trying to discern the purpose of the Barbie pool (it seems that "item holder" is winning).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Letting the children mind themselves while I blog

In the time it took to choose and upload these photos, it sounds like the situation upstairs has deteriorated greatly. So this post might be kind of short.

Playing a confusing game involving hiding and seeking and bubbles and waiting with eyes closed but hands not over the eyes (all rules made up and enforced by Kate). I know there were more regulations, but I cannot remember them.

Bubbles today. I love her new haircut.

Smooch. Her favorite thing to do for the camera, these days.

Chalk lips, before swimming.

P.S. Tim, we are on day three of success with McLaren vs. The Potty.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is the time to live in Las Vegas

I have a love-hate relationship with spring. It started when we moved to Tucson. I LOVE spring. It's beautiful, sunny, and well, spring-y outside. It doesn't get much better than this. Highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s, windows open, flowers blooming. But it transitions into summer all too soon in the southwest. It won't be long before it's 110 and I'm miserable. This year, I'm trying to enjoy spring to its absolute fullest. We have been outside everyday this week, and have walked and ridden bikes to the train park twice since Tim left. We'll go again today if I can get us out the door soon enough after nap. Sure, dinners have consisted of quesadillas more times than the children would care to choose, but it's glorious out there!

On the way to the train park yesterday.

Chalk appetizers chalk drawing before lunch. Notice everyone in short sleeves and/or shorts, except Claire. She demanded to have pants and a sweater. "I'm cold, Mommy." Aaah, she is my daughter.

Oooh, more snacks.

Chalk booty.

Making a break for it.

Oh, also, before I forget. Luke is getting bigger, as some of you have noticed. At 11mo, 2 weeks ago, he measured 30" and 24.6lbs. And he's this close to walking on his own as a preferred choice.

AND, under the category of TMI, Claire did the big deuce on the potty twice yesterday. Here's to hoping she is finally over that fear.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Visiting family

I had sort of been dreading our postponed trip to Michigan. I mean, who wants to fly, outnumbered, for 4 hours cross-country? Not me, that's who. We started out okay, with Tim leading a coloring marathon with the girls, across the aisle from me and full-of-energy Luke. I fed him some Chips Ahoy cookies, and talked amiably with the girl next to me. Then, about 30 minutes into the flight, Luke started gagging. Turns out he had eaten part of the cookie wrapper while I had been distracted, and he proceeded to vomit it and the cookies. Thankfully, he's not much of a vomiter, I caught all the barf in my hand (wait, am I really thankful for that?), and my neighbor was very understanding. Me, genius mom that I am, I forgot to pack a change of clothing in my purse for anyone. Awesome.

Then, towards the end of the first flight, Claire fell asleep on Tim. Cute. Except that she peed on him, soaking her clothing and his jeans. See above note about not packing any changes of clothing for anyone in the carry-on bags. Tim was pretty pleased about that.

Once in Michigan, however, things went well. We spent 3 days with my mother and grandmother, and the kids loved seeing their grandmas. We even got to see our friend Tabitha and her daughter Natalie, whom we hadn't seen in 2 years. There was snow on the ground when we arrived, and the kids made a snow kid. Claire seemed to overcome her fear of snow, and Luke got to crawl around outside, tasting rocks.


Showing off her creation.

Claire and Great-Grandma Lorraine. Almost 90 years apart.

Dinner out with everyone, including family friend Carol.

Luke and Grandma Lorraine.

Sad exchange

This morning, when we were dropping Tim off at the airport, Kate looked at him and asked, "Daddy, does it snow in Afghanistan?" He told her it did. She looked at him sternly, and asked, "Do you have your mittens?" If he were going to be gone longer, we might have cried.

On a sillier note, she and Claire were talking the other day at lunchtime. It was a little chilly inside the house and Kate was wearing short sleeves. She turned to Claire and said, "See these dots? Those are my freakles."