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Life, the Universe, and Everything
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About Me

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ktjrdn at yahoo dot com

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Monday, 26 March 2007
wonderful weather, dubious milestones, pictures, the Easter bunny, and a day off

Wonderful weather! wonderful. So happy.

I have no idea what we did Friday night. Odd. it must not have been too important, huh?

Saturday, Rob had to go take a PHTLS (Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, if you're interested. I really wasn't. Precious brain cells wasted on that acromyn) class. i had already had the kids Easter pictures scheduled before he found out the class was available. Since he wasn't available, I was going to need help. I got Anya's 11 month/easter pics on Friday afternoon, so I wanted to be able to focus on Ally and only stick them together for a couple. It's easier to do them mostly separate. So Rob's mom said she'd come up. yay. I decided that afterward ew'd take them to the mall for Easter Bunny pictures too.

Ally and Anya both had a Pop-Tart for breakfast (Shut up. We don't do it that often). Ally was watching cartoons (Shut up.  I watched lots of cartoons when I was little, and there's nothing wrong with me. Stop laughing!), so I took Anya downstairs with me to take a shower. I removed the toliet scrubby and plunger so the bathroom would be relatively yuck free for her to play while I was in there (She hasn't yet learned how to open the lid). In case Ally needed me, I left the door open a little, but shoved my clothes behind it to make it harder for Anya to escape. God, it's hard to get a shower when you're home alone with 2 kids not sleeping. Finally I got in and had to deal with Anya peeking in at me and letting all the cold air in. She thought that I needed some toys, so every once in a while she'd throw me a new one. Of course, she wanted them back 5 seconds later, so I was constantly retrieving them. I got my hair shampooed and was in the midst of conditioning when Ally puched her way in and had to pee. I convinced her she didn't need help. Next thing I know, both kids were playing peek-a-boo with me using the shower curtain. Brrrrr. And, of course, Ally had left the door wide open when she came in. sigh. Out of the shower I come. But I got de-stinkified before Darra showed up. Youv'e got to count your victories where you can find them.

The kids both were glad to see Darra. Anya was particularly thrilled to find a clean shirt for her to blow her nose on. But after a little bit, Aly told me she didn't feel good. Her tummy hurt. I asked if she needed a trash can, and she said yes. I figured she was just looking for attention. She had been having a good time and didn't act like she was sick or anything. She has never once actually thrown up anywhere other than on me of her bed or herself in her bed, etc. And all in the middle of the night. So when she walked over to the trash can and said it was too full, I thought it was funny, and went downstairs to get her the bathroom little plastic one. (Oh, and I pulled back her hair, just in case.) She played a while and completely ignored it. After a while though, she said she needed to throw up. She kinda turned gray-green, so I gave her the trashcan, and lo and behold, she wasn't kidding. hooray. my daughter has learned to postpone puking til a trash can is available. Ok, so it's not a milestone I thought I'd be happy for when I started this whole motherhood thing, but it's right up there with learning how to blow her own nose and wipe her own butt. They are very practical milestones.

She almost immediately turned back the right color and started playing around. She knew our plans for the day and didn't want to miss seeing the Easter bunny. About a half hour passed and she looked fine, so I got them ready to go. I figured it was just a upset belly and now she felt better. She insisted she felt good, so we went. 13 picutres later. She coughed. She turned green. I picked her up off the posing table just as she started to get sick again. We made it to the trashcan before we made a huge mess. She got her dress dirty and some of the stuff I brought with me, but the studio didn't have to clean up their floor or anything. Anya was getting tired, adn we had to go home to get everyone changed and stuff. Ally was very upset that we weren't going to the Easter Bunny. we went home and I put them both down for a nap.

Ally woke up cheerful. I really think her stomach was just wonky or something. She had no more problems all day. So after playing a while we went to the mall for the bunny. I'm stupid, right? (well, maybe I am - we went on the merry-go-round too) but everything was fine. She was happy and not sick anymore at all. We all had a good time.

When Rob got home, we went for a stroller/tricycle/walk to our neighborhood playground (which seems generous to call it that, but they have a slide and a few swings, so hey...) Ally loves to do it. She knows the way, and we can't fool her into going elsewhere like we used to. Anya had fun hanging in the swings. Ally tried to convince a couple kids that they wanted to teeter-totter with her, but they weren't interested. So Ally sat down to play in the gravel with them instead (Anya wasn't allowed to join. they were little rocks. She eats them). Much joy was had.

Sunday Rob had class again, so I took the day off. I shooed Ally outside to play for Anya's nap and I took a blanket out to the deck. I spread out and read for an hour or so. Then I brought Anya out when she woke up. We stayed out til it got a little warm, then I let Ally watch Finding Nemo while I got lunch ready. Then came her nap, when I promptly went back outside to sit under the clouds in the breeze. Anya wasn't tired, so I stuck her in the swing and read some more. And basically did nothing all day. I finished my book last night though. It's great when the kids let you take a day off occasionally.

Posted by ktjrdn at 13:11 CDT
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The world I'd like to wake up in

I'd wake up on my own. Fully rested. Able to give my attention to the kids in their waking hours rather than spreading myself thin over the nighttime ones.

I would have money. Not just to be rich. I don't especially care about that. But not to have to worry about whether we can give the kids the quality of life we'd like to.

In my imaginary world, the day would have more hours. Or possibly there would be less demand on the current ones.  Either way, I wouldn't have to constantly run around like crazy. I could let Ally take 5 years to eat supper if she chooses. I could let her "tie" her own shoes without taking over and making her scream because we're going to be late for... something. 9yes, if I let her, she eventually gives up and asks for help, but it takes a while) I could play with Anya enough that she wouldn't get jealous and cranky when I play with her sister and I could do the same for Ally.

Anya would have learned to talk and sleep - oh, about 6 months ago. I really hate the not verbal part of raising the kids. Interpreting (and listening to) the screaming is enough to drive me insane.

Ally would eat.

Rob would listen better and be less critical. And pick up the camera once in a while (so I could be in some pictures with the kids too)

Our house would be much bigger. And located somewhere other than Illinois (I hate Illinois!). I lived in Portsmouth, VA for a while which was a craphole, but there are many nicer places in that latitude that I'd be happy with. near the ocean, so the weather isn't too bad.

Mosquitos would be extinct. Tigers woud not be in danger of it.

My sister wouldn't be a crackhead.

Mostly, I would wish away our worries, so we could enjoy our time together rather than always having an agenda. I would be more patient with the kids. They would be safe and secure at home knowing their parents were there and always loved them. - Basically what I strive for every day.

This musing brought to you by this weeks Fun monday topic suggested by Tristan.

Posted by ktjrdn at 08:54 CDT
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Thursday, 22 March 2007
figuring out where was the hard part

Invitations were easy



Posted by ktjrdn at 14:53 CDT
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conversations from a car # 720,482

Ally: I see big storm clouds. The clouds are round and pointy like a TORNADO! (there are no clouds to be seen)
Me: I don't see a storm honey. It's ok
Ally: If a tornado comes it will pick me up and I will be scared
Me: What should you do if there's a tornado, Ally?
Ally: We should go in the hall.
Rob to me: They must have had a tornado drill today at day care
Ally: We should put our hands in our laps and lay down. But if I'm outside, I will be scared and I will RunAway!
Rob: I don't think you have to worry about it Ally
Ally: And the tornado will smash our house!
Me: our house will be safe. if we're home and there's a tornado, we'll all go in the bathroom, because it's safest there.
Rob: If there's a tornado at day care, you'll have to listen to your teachers.
Ally: And I will have to RunAway!
Me: You don't have to run away Ally. It's not safe outside when there's a tornado. The house will be safe.
Ally: because it's not made of wood? If it's made of wood it will get smushed! It's not made of wood. It's ok

I confirmed it. They're learning about tornados and tornado drills in day care this week. We had the same sort of conversations about smoke and fire when the firetruck came to day care. She's cute.

Posted by ktjrdn at 10:30 CDT
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Last night after work, it was about 70 degrees. beautiful (but a little windy). Rob took both kids outside and they puttered about. he got a bunch of leaves raked up and put in bags for the up-coming free-yard waste pickup. Ally helped. Anya wandered around randomly yelling at the wind and finding things to chew on. (I went out once and said "Rob, do you realize that anya's eating rocks?" He said yea, but she was just playing with them, she wasn't putting them in her mouth. yeah, right. So we had to take her away form the rocks (big over-sized ones, so it wasn't likely she would actually swallow them, but still) which kinda pissed her off) We let her out in the yard with just socks on, because she's still kinda wobbly and not really ready for shoes yet. Her socks were filthy! they all looked so cute outside togther. Anya and Ally were just following Rob around.

I was inside getting things done. I made Chicken Cordon Bleu (sp) for the first time last night, and it wasn't half bad. I also folded all the laundry that was piled up and put it away. Putting it away was quite a chore, since it was all the next size clothes for Anya and summer stuff. So I had to pull some of the heavier winter stuff out for storage and leave some, because the weather isn't hot yet, and find room for the new clothes. I cleaned out a bunch of stuff that's getting tighter on her and just generally straightene dout the closet and dresser. this is one chore that Rob just doesn't appreciate. he thinks I'm playing. I would LOVE to not have to do htis every season. It's really a pain in the ass. I love getting her new clothes, but I hate the organization and trial and error of what fits and what doesn't yet and all that.  So anyway, that's done for now.

I felt a little bad that I wasn't out there with them having fun, but i told myself that they need time with the Daddy too. It was nice to be able to get some chores done.

It's supposed to be rainy for a while, but in the 70s. if it's not too bad, I'll take Ally out in the rain. She loves it, and has been sad all winter because it's too cold to go out while it's raining.

Posted by ktjrdn at 10:02 CDT
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I have the answer....

... it's 42!

Uh no, that was  a different question.

I asked to Rob about it last night. His reply? "I wish you'd shut up about the damn birthday party already. Let me know when you've figured it out." humph. So I talked to him some more about it (that'll teach him). He helped me realize that I'm over-obesessing. See there's this normal mom level of obsession about your kids first (sniff sniff. 1 year odl!) birthday. Then, about a mile past that is my level of obsession. No one else in the family works this hard to be so accomadating. They have a party and if you can't make it, you see them later or maybe not. whatever. I need to stop trying to run myself crazy over it. So, I'm having a party at my house. If the weather is nice, we can all have lunch on the deck. If not, we'll go to a buffet place or something. It will be fine. If you can't make it, I will be absolutely crushed and assume that you don't love me/my baby enough worry about how not having a family around that loves her will affect Anya slide into a deep depression fine. Just fine. It will be a happy day. There will be cake. I will not drive myself crazy. I will try not to drive anyone else crazy along the way. 

btw: My house is not large. The yard is quite spacious though. If it's good weather, we can fit quite a few people outside. Cross your fingers for good weather for us.

Posted by ktjrdn at 08:41 CDT
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Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Does anyone have a magical solution to what to do when your child lies in a small house, has 6 sets of grandparents who are scattered in a 4 hour radius, and a birthday in a month? I'm all ears...

Posted by ktjrdn at 13:41 CDT
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Tuesday, 20 March 2007

I'm bragging here, so anyone who might be offended by it can just shove off now.

Ally can read some things. We're trying really hard to teach her. She's so interested right now. She asks us "what word said ___?" when we're reading and we point it out to her. She can recognize quite a few names (all of her classmates) and spell some back to us. She can write her own, Mom, and Dad. She can spell red and big and dog and dad and zoo and Dora and Pooh. Probably some more, but I have a horrible memory, you know.

She has learned some songs about colors and how to spell them. She hasn't yet made the leap to realize that she can read words if she knows how to spell things. Like Red. She knows that it's spelled r-e-d. but if you point to the word and ask her what it is. She says "I don't know" you have to ask her what the letters are. When she reads each letter in turn, her face brightens up and she gets so excited. "Red, Mom. It says red" We picked out some books for her at the store this weekend, but need to start visiting the library for more learning books I think.

I'm so proud of her. She's loving it too. So I'm trying to help encourage her however I can. Any tips from those who've been there before?

Posted by ktjrdn at 14:06 CDT
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Monday, 19 March 2007
The obligatory weekend review

We got a night in a hotel this weekend! Rob's mom offered to stay at the house with the kids and pay for us to sleep somewhere else. It was so great. We left the house around 6:30 or so and wandered around Barnes and Noble for far too long. Went back by the house, because I had forgotten my pump (to replace the bottles she was going to use) grabbed some root beer floats and laid around on the beds in the hotel quietly reading our new books. It was heavenly quiet. I called home a couple times and annoyed Darra, but otherwise, it was wonderful. We came home around 9 am the next day. So, around 15 hours. And it felt like 2 days. So restful. Thank you Darra.

In other news, we went to the St Patricks Day parade this weekend and  got frozen a little. Last Tuesday it was 76 degrees. Saturday? 35. yuck. So we left early and went out to eat. Then back home for (late) naps. Since the naps were late, bedtime was late, but we weren't there for it, yippee!

Sunday, Darra wanted to take the kids to the Build-a-bear in the mall (which is actually a Fluff-n-stuff, but really, what's the difference?) So we loaded everyone up for that. The kids both picked out kitties (Rob held Anya around the animals, and we got the one she reached for most often) they got a bouple outfits. Ally picked out a backpack and a hard hat. They had fun, and Ally even made me put pj's (stolen from a bear she had from a couple years ago) on hers last night, and get it dressed this morning. She was bummed that we don't have any shoes for it (minor oversight). She even took it to day care today.

Anya is basically walking around everywhere. She only crawls to get things that are really close. Otherwise she stands and walks. I tried some of Ally's old shoes on her and they don't fit. When Ally started walking, she wore a size 4. last summer, she wore a size 6.5 She had a growth spurt in her feet over winter and now wears 8.5. Anya wears a 5 already! Um, that is, she would if she would actaully wear them. We don't put them on her since she's still pretty wobbly. But she'll need them to go outside at day care if they go.

Good news: Anya has learned to blow her nose. Bad news: Anya thinks that it's best done by rubbing her nose vigorously on your clothes. She'll walk over to you if her nose is running for the specific purpose of wiping snot all over. Consider this a warning if you come over.

We got Ally some pre-reader books this weekend. My god they're expensive. Shouldn't they be priced based on word-count or something? $6 for 4 little books with 10 or 15 words in them repeated over and over. I'm seriously going to start going to our library. (Granted, they are good learning books, but sheesh!) Oh, and anyone who is looking at beginning the whole phonics/reading thing might want to check out http://www.starfall.com It looks useful.

That's it. That's the weekend news around here. What you got?

Posted by ktjrdn at 13:15 CDT
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Fun Monday: A Day in my Life

A general guide (my God, this is long...)

4:00 feed Anya when she wakes. put her back to bed

5:15 shower. get dressed. load pump bag with bottles for filling later. get bottles out of fridge with ice packs to go to day care. pack lunch.

5:55 wake up Ally. carry her upstairs. Give her the candy basket to get her daily 1 piece. dress her quickly while she's distracted. brush her hair ("you're hurting my hair!!!") and braid it (if you don't braid it, it's likely to come back from day care with food in it).

6:15 wake Anya up. change diaper and dress her. coat her. Rob is out of the shower and loading the car by now. He'll probably load her. brush Ally's teeth. "Come on Ally, come downstairs and get your coat on"

6:20 contacts in and brush my teeth. "Ally, come downstairs and get your coat on NOW"

6:23 "Faster Ally!" Shoes and coat on me.

6:24 Coat on Ally. Load her in the car. Drive to day care

6:40 Rob unloads Ally and drops her at day care. I take Anya.

6:50 Park and come to work.

6:55 Read emails.

~~~summarized, because I don't want to get Dooced

during breaks and stuff I read email and blogs. otherwise I work. I program internet and intranet applications in Java. Fun stuff. Currently learning how to manipulate PDF on the fly. Twice daily trips to the nurse's office to pump milk for Anya to eat tomorrow.


3:30 log off to leave work.

3:40 pick up the kids.

4:10 get home. Pee (It never fails. I walk in the door to my house and have to pee. Every time.) un-coat everyone and hang coats (most often over the arm of the couch, but that's still hanging them, right?) put away to the empty lunch stuff. put away the ice pack and cooler and dirty bottles from day care. put away pump bag. sort the mail. Shoo Ally outside, if possible. Throw some toys at them if not. Check what's for dinner.

5:00 one of us cooks dinner. It's about 50-50 who does it. the other one has to keep the kids out of the (too-small) kitchen, by whatever means necesary. Start some laundry

5:30 eat. Feed Anya as fast as possible, because if she runs out of food, she screams. "Eat your food Ally"

5:40 "Stop talking and put a bite in your mouth"

5:42 "I don't care which bite. Just take one!"

5:45 "Ally don't talk with food in your mouth"

5:46 " I don't want to talk right now Ally. I'm eating. I can't talk to you while I'm eating. It's not polite."

5:50 "Turn around. Daddy is watching TV, because he's done with supper. you're not done yet"

6:20 "yay, you ate a good supper" OR "you can get down now, but you didn't eat a good supper."

play a while

7:00 remember to switch the laundry

7:10 bath both kids. Ally in first. Then Anya. Ally's hair washed. then Anya's and they can play a bit

7:25 Anya out. Taken upstairs and diapered and pajama-ed. Left with Rob.

7:30 Ally out. Taken upstairs and pajama-ed and hair brushed.

7:45 Anya downstairs with me. Feed her in her room and lay her down to sleep.

8:00 vitamins for Ally. teeth brushed. potty time. 3 bedtime stories. Rob and I alternate nights. My nights off, I try to pick up the toys scattered on the floor, but I don't always get to it. Sometimes, I just sit around basking in the silence.

8:30 "Mom, I'm thirsty"

8:45 Ally asleep. I'm close to it.

somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30 Rob wakes me up on the couch and we go to bed.

Anya wakes up in the night 1 to 3 times and is easy to get back to sleep lately. occasionally, I have to spend a half hour or so rocking her.

fine print: For some reason, my server and comments don't work with Mac computers. Sorry. All I get is a blank comment. It annoys the piss out of me, but I'm too lazy to move all my crap to a different server. Feel free to email me (ktjrdn at yahoo dot com), but go ahead and post a comment if you want, because I never get many comments, and I really like to. Even though I won't be able to read it, it'll make me happy, because then I can email you about it and maybe even get another email in return. Woo-hoo. I like getting emails.

Update: enidd was kind enough to run a test for me and has confirmed that the problem isn't with Macs, per se, but with Safari. So if you feel the urge to comment with Firefox, you'll have no problem. What a PITA, though. blech.

Posted by ktjrdn at 07:56 CDT
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Friday, 16 March 2007
Smelly = Skinny?

Say goodbye to the conventional diet. Apparently, the only thing you have to do to stop gaining weight is to stop using soap. Especially men.  So eat all the chocolate you want, just don't shower.

What? That's not how you interpreted it?

Posted by ktjrdn at 12:55 CDT
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Thursday, 15 March 2007
oh yeah, the day care thing...

Just to let you all know, the day care situation still sucks. They're still bastards, but we're dealing with it. Rob talked to his boss at the hospital and set up a tentative schedule for working. They have a shift open pretty often from 5pm to 1 am on Monday nights. He's going to try to do that every couple weeks and just work enough hours to not get kicked out. It has a plus side, in that we get paid for it and are currently beyond broke, but it means that he's tired as hell the next day. It also means that he's being forced to work, and that just chafes, you know? Screw them. But, it's a really good place for the kids to grow up, and it won't kill us, so we're going to keep up at it for a while and see what happens. We're still considering putting Anya somewhere else this summer before she gets too attatched, so we don't have to keep doing this for the next 5 years until she gets to kindergarden (only til Ally goes) but haven't made any decisions. Yet. Until then, I've decided to not be bitter about it (much) and just go on with life. Besides, they're renovating the playgrounds (they have 4, I think) and it looks like it's going to be awesome outside! The kids will love it this summer.

Posted by ktjrdn at 15:26 CDT
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"There's got to be someplace cleaner than this"

I got a new little widget thingy that tells me search strings. Most people that come by here already know me, but I've had some random visitors lately too. Today I noticed that someone came here by searching for "There's got to be someplace cleaner than this" I'm number two. How fitting.

Posted by ktjrdn at 10:42 CDT
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Ally issues

So what do you tell your kid when she says "The kids in room 9 said I'm a baby"?

If you're good parent, you tell her that her friends were teasing, and it's not very nice. She's beautiful, smart, and a big girl, and she should ask them not to say it. (Um, I think that's what you'd say...)

If you're a bad parent, you say "It's because you are, you stupid baby.".

However, if you're me - you know, a annoying, nagging, irritable parent tired of all the whining -  you say the good parent thing, but add in that she chouldn't cry over everything, and maybe they'd stop teasing her**. Because her crying over every. little. stupid. thing! is driving me NUTS.  "Mooooommy, I huuuurt mysellllf" Well, are you ok? "Yeah" then she continues with whatever she was doing. It's like she has to have the validation from me to go on. I know Rob and I have probably created this (on accident) but I don't know how to stop it. I don't rush over everytime she hurts herself. I don't hover. I think I give her plenty of space to explore things safely and stuff. So why? why?

"(sniffle) I fell down outside cause I was running too fast and I cried(sniffle)"
"My friend took my toy away and I cried"
"Hannah said I couldn't play blocks with her, but I wanted to and she made me cry"

I want Ally to express her feelings. I do. I just don't want her feelings to rule her life. I don't want every little thing to make her sad. I want her to be able to make it through a day without being reduced to tears. I want her to be able to interact with her friends and deal with people. I want her to learn to be strong and have friends. Above all, I want her to be happy. not sad. The more time she spends on crying and whining about stuff, the less time she's able to enjoy her day. It makes me very sad. Sometimes I want to cry.


**And of course, we talked about how she's not a real baby. Real babies don't know how to talk yet and they are learning to walk and they drink bottles and go to the baby room. And about things she san say to people if they call her names and all the other responsible parent crap. But, I'm so tired of listening to the whining that I had to throw that annoying little bit in there. Why can't I just get over myself and deal with her without getting irritated with the neediness? Of course she needs me - she's 3. Grrr.

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:58 CDT
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Wednesday, 14 March 2007
I'm speechless

Check this out. WTF? Can you get any more yuppie? The Barbie has a pooper-scooper!! Repent!! The end is near!!

Barbie Doll and Tanner Scooper Dog Set Description:

Barbie's dog eats and makes a mess. Tanner, Barbie's dog, eats and ejects waste from her body. At this point, Barbie can pick it up with her scooper, and then Tanner will eat it again-- just like your real dog! Tanner the dog is soft and fuzzy and her mouth, ears, head and tail really move! You can open Tanner dog's mouth and "feed" her dog biscuits. Comes with a dog bone and chew toys that Tanner can hold in her mouth, too. When Tanner has to go to the bathroom, Barbie doll cleans up with her special magnetic scooper and trash can. Posable Barbie doll included. Includes 11 1/2-inch poseable Barbie, Tanner the dog, magnetic scooper, and accessories.

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:02 CDT
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Tuesday, 13 March 2007
And while we're on the subject...

... of accomplishments, Ally learned how to ride a tricycle finally. Her freinds have been riding tricycles for. ev. er. at day care. She just couldn't pedal for some reason. I don't know if she just gave up too easily or what, but she started pedaling last night. Now if we can get her to use the handlebars to turn instead of stanidng up and picking her seat up to move it where she wants to go...



Posted by ktjrdn at 13:43 CDT
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baby? toddler?

My baby is really a toddler now. She's toddling everywhere. She almost ran last night. she's falling down less often, an djust generaly growing up too fast. It makes me a little sad, but not that much. I'm much more of a toddler persno than an infant one. shhh. Don't tell anyone, but I think infants are kind of boring. They're high maintanance. Of course, they're also cute and cuddly, but really, how far can that get you? But, oh, when they grow into their personalities... what could be better? Oh yeah, when they learn to say "I'd rather eat some of your meatloaf than what you gave me please" rather than screaming their ever-loving head off. That's another good milestone. When can we get to that one?

ps. I updated flickr and youTube, so go check them out. Now that she doesn't fall down as often, I've been able to get Anya walking on ... film? How exactly do you change that one to fit the digital age? maybe just "on camera."

Posted by ktjrdn at 13:01 CDT
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Monday, 12 March 2007
concerts, babysitting, and birthday parties

That was our weekend, in order.

The concert:
Friday, my mom emailed me to say that John Prine was going to be playing at the college in town. (Do any of you know John Prine?) I was thrilled. She wanted to go but didn't know if I could go with her, and didn't know about a babysitter for my sister's kids. Rob said it was okay. the concert didn't start until 8 and he said he could handle bedtime alone. (I love him for that). So I called her. She was waffling back and forth. The tickets were expensive, and the drive over and the babysitter... but I nagged her and nagged her and she finally gave in.

A little backstory: When I was growing up, my mom was married to Terry. We lived with him from the time I was 5 til about 11 or so. So, most of the childhood I remember was spent with him. He stars in some of the best memories I have and almost all of the worst ones. He was a real asshole, but could be great. It was almost like he had a split personality. Dr Jeckl and Mr Hyde (I'm too lazy to look up the spelling of that) You know that old saying "When she was good she was very, very good, But when she was bad she was horrid." That was Terry. John Prine was part of the very very good.

Terry used to get out his guitar some nights and play and sing some nights. We had a bunch of records in milk crates in our living room. The record player was in our entertainment center which was an old dresser that had been converted. The drawer front lifted up and you could slide out the record player. He used to put on a record and plya along and sing and it was the best feeling in the world. It was home. It was family. Mostly we listened to John Prine and to Billy Joel. I remember Christmas in Prison and Sweet Revenge and Sam Stone and Please don't bury me and really lots more of John Prine's (and Uptown Girl mostly, of Joel's) So he reminds me of lots of good memories growing up. (I tried to find some of the music clips, but only found this site which is having trouble loading for me, but maybe not for you. plus, I didn't look very hard: I have the CD.

The concert wasn't disappointing. Maura OConnell  (Who I had never heard of) opened, and has a great voice. Wonderful. Then John Prine came out and sang. He was very relaxed about it all and seemed really at home on the stage. He talked through some of it and had us both laughing many times. At one point, there were people yelling out requests for certain songs, and he turned around (he was taking a drink from the table behind him) and laughed and said "Yeah, I know them all" His music is pretty simple and mostly guitar. Until he starts singing, it's kinda hard to tell what song it is. He was playing the intro once and someone started clapping like they knew what song was coming and liked it. he stopped and laughed and said "I've got 5 songs that start like this" Then later, he played one and said "See, this is another one". I could go on more, but really, you had to be there. I was so glad I was. it's good to remember the good things from my childhood. Plus, there were a lot of songs that I hadn't heard before (He's written a lot since I was 10, and I haven't bouight any of his CD's for at least 18 years).

Plus, as an added bonus, the kids gave Rob very little trouble, so I didn't have to feel guilty about leaving them.

Last week, I told Maggie's mom, Sandy, that if she needed a babysitter, to call me. Her husband's birthday was coming up, and they wanted to go out. Well, she called. So Saturday, after nap Maggie came over (about 3:15) while her parents went out for a movie and dinner. They came to get her at 8. Now, Maggie has been with Ally in day care since she was enrolled back in Jan 2006. I have watched them grow up together. I know Maggie. So I was prepared for a high-energy day. She's a little hellion. In a good way, most of the time. But I had no idea how to deal with some of the stuff that came up. This was really our first playdate without the other kids' parents around. I just looked at Rob with a helpless plea once and he said "You can put her in time-out too, you know" It had honestly never occurred to me. So Maggie and Ally had arguments a couple times, and Maggie broke a few rules and Ally broke a few rules, and they both sat in time-out once or twice, but it went well overall. They played outside on the swings. Maggie convinced Ally to climb up to the tower so the sharks wouldn't get her. They came in and played insturment (drums and trumpet and recorder and whistle and lots of loud stuff) They took turns making Anya laugh. They ganged up on her because she's just a "baby." Eww. They played in the play kitchen. I gave them some stickers and stamps (and they argued over whther a sticker was pink or red. How do you convince two 3-year-olds that it doesn't matter? I just couldn't see putting them in time-out for arguing over a color! but I couldn't get them stopped. So I tried the whole "Hey, look over here at this completely different thing!" tactic) It will be a while until I schedule something that long again though. It wiped all my energy. But Ally loved it. And I think Maggie had a good time too. I hope.

Birthday Party:
My niece's birthday in Wednesday. Alyse will be 1 year old. She looks  just like her brother. tall and skinny. We had the party over at my dad's restaurant (it was closed) and all had a good time. Anya LOVED the balloons, and chased them around. She kept trying to pick up more than one and dropping them both. She wakled almost everywhere. And she kept returning to Rob. She's been very cuddly with him lately, and it makes me so happy. Not just because it gives me a break or a chance to play with Ally, but because it's nice that he's able to be home more now and have this kind of time with the kids. Althought the break is nice for me too. i look at Anya and think she looks so big and that she's growing up so fast. but then next to Alyse, she looked like a baby. Anya is shorter and much fatter, so she just looks much younger. But Alyse is just wearing 12 months clothes and very comfortable. Anya's are getting tight already. She will be in 18 months clothes before long. She's solid. Oh, and she loves ice cream. It was a gorgeous day out and we all had a good time. Ally wouldn't take a nap on the way over, so we left when she was starting to get a little sleepy and the kids both slept most of the way home. Ally continued her nap when we got home and we had a quiet evening. (and then Roba nd I had some fun to finish off the day)

I'd have to say that, in retrospect, all in all it was a perfect weekend.

Posted by ktjrdn at 10:41 CDT
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Friday, 9 March 2007

There is an article about a woman who is sueing planned parenthood for a failed abortion. She instead gave birth to a healthy child.  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070307/ap_on_re_us/abortion_lawsuit;_ylt=AgjnIZ0RhMEn4hUSpMTfOEgDW7oF  I read about it over at mamdrama yesterday.  There are a lot of people over there who think she has no right to sue, but I think there are 2 sides to see here. So, I wanted to talk about it a bit more.

<disclaimer> I'm forming this opinion on the basis of a news story. I, of course, have no more details myself, and am just experessing the thoughts and feelings that story evoked in my mind. The full story might have information that would make me change my mind, or might show that the newspapers completely changed the tone of what was happening to suit their story. Not that that has ever happened. I'm assuming the "facts" as reported by the story are true. <end disclaimer>

My first reaction to this was horror. Why would she possibly sue? She has a healthy baby, and does she know what mental damage this is going to do to that little girl? She could have just given the baby up for adoption if she didn't want to raise it. Yeah, sue to get her money back for the abortion, and the costs of delivery and stuff, but the cost of raising the kid? That's a bit much, don't you think? Poor kid. There are so many people out there who'd love to have a healthy baby to raise.

But I got to talking about it with my husband last night and realized some things. This looks like a CLEAR case of medical malpractice. I think I should say here that I'm pro-choice. I don't really think that has much bearing on the issue at all, because right now abortion is legal. She had the legal right to request an abortion and expect that it be carried out. The doctors had a responsibility to carry out the services that they were paid for. That didn't happen. They were negligent.

Whether or not this lady loves her baby is not the issue. She determined (responsibly, in my opinion) that she was not going to raise a child if she wasn't able to provide for it financially. Can you imagine how hard that decision would be to make? And then to make it and have that decision reversed by a simple screw-up outside of your control? And then to have another doctor not notice? And to everyone who says "just do adoption": how hard it would be to give up your child after you've given birth? To know that someone else is raising your kid and she's out there somewhere? just because of a screw-up? They've taken away any possiblity of putting the "abortion" in her past and given her a very difficult choice to make. She either has to 1)give up her child, or 2)try to raise her knowing that she is unable to provide for her financially, or 3)sue to try and change that fact, and raise her child anyway and find a way to explain it to her child later. Would it be better for her not to get any money and live on welfare?

Some say that she shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place, and to that I say, "Well, duh!" But how many times has that happened? I know for a fact that I was un-planned. I hadn't planned on having Anya for about another 6 months. She came earlier. i love her more than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes, things don't work out like you plan. You try to deal with them the best you can. She's trying to raise her daughter. We can't assume that there is no love, just because the baby wasn't planned. Or even just because she was going to have an abortion.

By sueing, she's not only going to be compensated for the cost of raising the kid, she's assuring that those inept doctors won't kill someone else with their "mistakes". (I can't believe I just advocated sueing someone. I normally hate our lawyer-happy culture - especially on the subject of malpractice!) They should have their licenses taken away. This is the only way to acheive that.

And now she's going to raise her kid, even though she wasn't in a financial position to do so. It wasn't her choice to have a kid in the first place, but that doesn't mean she doesn't love it. And it doesn't mean she should be hated. It could just mean that she wants to be able to provide a good life for her kid.

of course, I could be wrong and she's just a money-grubbing loser sueing because she can...

And now, I'll step away from the keyboard... Please don't kill me...

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:03 CST
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Wednesday, 7 March 2007
neener, neener, neener!

I've noticed something odd. I compete with Anya's daycare teachers. I brag to them about the steps she's been taking at home. Misse told me the other day that she tried all day long to get Anya to walk to her, but she wouldn't take more than 2 or 3 steps. Then she stood Anya up and she took 8 steps to me. I just picked her up and smirked at Misse. Haha. She loves me more!

Well, duh.

I love Misse. And she knows that I'm just showing off and isn't offended or anything. But, why do I feel superior for this? Why am I competing with her teachers? I want Anya to like them. Honestly, if she has to spend half her day with them, shouldn't she be happy? And she is. She just loves me more.

ooh... there I go again...

I've noticed that it isn't just me. Anya's other teacher, Andrea, gloats over Misse if she manages to get Anya to drink her entire bottle. (Anya is much more interested in eating real food than in drinking a bottle (Don't you know that bottles are for babies?) in the afternoon) She says it's because Anya likes her better, and Misse just rolls her eyes and shoves her.  Misse says that it's just because Anya is bored by Andrea, so she'll lay still for her. I think it's great that her teachers are "fighting" over her affections. But she loves me most.

Somebody stop me.

Seriously. I don't even do this with other kids. I know that all kids are different. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about how kids develop in relation to each other. Ally was an early walker and a late talker. Kids develop at different rates. I'm just not that competitive about that kind of stuff. They all even out pretty well later. So why do I get that smug little voice in my head laughing when my kid's eyes brighten up and she turns away from those lovely people that she has been happy playing with all day?

Because I love her more.

Posted by ktjrdn at 14:33 CST
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