Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Literary Surprises

I'm still reading The Alchemyst.  I've now advanced to page 46.  I'm on a roll, I tell ya!

At what point do you look at something and decide to scrap it?  I can put a difficult book down and months later come back to finish it just so I can move on to something else.  Why I must finish one before moving on to another, I don't know.  Jer's also since informed me that this book is part of a series. 

Fabulous.

In other news, Lydia knows how to read.  Did you know this?  Because, I did not. 

She hopped up on the couch one morning and instead of pushing a book in my hands, asking if I'd read to her, she skipped over and asked if she could read me Dick and Jane

"WELL, OF COURSE!" I said, cheerily, waiting for her latest rendition of what's happening in each picture.  Instead of explaining the illustrations, she took her index finger and ran it along the words reading each word with accompanying dramatic pauses, exclamations and proper inflections to go along. 

I shit you not, I said, "When did you learn to read?" and she quipped back, "In my bed when I read with my flashlight."

....???

That's right. 

Kyra I've been dragging along, kicking, screaming and dramatically passing out while trying to climb brick walls made from compound words and multiple syllables.

Lydia gets the same 20 minutes a night her sister does, to sit in her bed, wind down and "read" books by flashlight.... and she teaches herself to read. 

Lydia's repeated this trick several more times with several more books.  Today, she even brought me a book I know beyond a shadow of a doubt neither Jeremy nor I have read this book to either of the kids before (because, yes, we have that many books), and the sweet child happily plodded along, reading the whole way. 

All her reading, so far, are of the basic nature.  Simple, sound out words.  Still.  It'll be nice to be blessed with a child who doesn't fight me the whole way with this reading business.  I know Kyra's difficulties are neither her fault nor of her own doing, but an easier path the second time around with the second kid will be a nice reprieve. 

So here I have Kyra tearing through all of the Spiderwick Cronicles, Lydia loving every Dick and Jane she can get her hands on, and I'm barely pawing through The Alchemyst

Even the kids are showing me up!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Moment to Myself

I have two kids down for naps and one doing her school work at the kitchen table.  The dogs are snoozing beside me on their bed and the husband is working another tediously boring day on the boat. 

That last part is total assumption.  Only because I think his job must be boring.  He claims to enjoy what he does.  So, yaaa.

The rain outside is drizzly.  The mountains of snow are slowly dissipating.  What was a mountain of white, as high as the roof of my Suburban a couple of nights ago is now only up to the bottom of the windows.  We, along with the rest of this half of the country, are on a "warming trend" in which our temperatures raise to a balmy 40 degrees for a day or so and then we'll plummet back into the 20s and all that snow that didn't quite melt fast enough?  Now a deceptively slick sheet of snowy looking ice. 

I'm currently reading The Alchemyst because Jeremy stuck it into my hands a few days ago and said it might be something I'd enjoy for an easy read.  I've only made it to the 38th page.  I'm not sure if its entirely because its not my style or if its because I've wasted precious nap times on silly things like cleaning the kitchen, destroying the kitchen or piddling on this here computer. 

Hard to say. 

But I'm determined to trudge through it.  I have two book shelves worth of books I've gathered over the last couple of years and haven't had time nor motivation to read them.  We've run out of room for more books, for either the children or the adults in this house.  I've managed to read a good number in the last few months and either ship them back to their previous owners or donated them to the local library. 

My favorite, I can't put it down forthelifeofme book, so far, has been The Memoirs of a Geisha.  Aside from just being an incredible story on the whole, two quotes have stuck with me a month after having finished the book:
“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.”  
“I dont think any of us can speak frankly about pain until we are no longer enduring it.”  
I have a friend and a sister having a baby on the Any-Minute-Now timeline and I can't help but think of the horrible, crippling postpartum depression I suffered after Ruby.  At the time I tried to rationalize and explain away every feeling I had but in the end, now that I'm no longer enduring it, I can see it for what it is.  What it was. 

Another book I'm anticipating picking up is The Outlander series.  My mother sent me the first of the series with a preface that she really enjoyed the fist and was headlong into the second and thought I would enjoy them, as well.  After The Alchemyst, I tell myself.  As it is, I have no room for Outlander on my bookshelf so it sits, stuck in the door in my truck, waiting for it's turn. 

I forget, sometimes, how much I enjoy books.  I read them to the kids all day.  Some of them wonderful, some of them not.  But a book that is for me is like a holy treasure, sometimes. 

That's typical of us mother's, though, isn't it?  Do for the kids, forgetting about yourself?

"All too soon," the older generations warn us young'uns, "the kids will want nothing to do with ya."  Then will be our time to ourselves.  Until then, I'll enjoy their naps for what they are, a small break in the mayhem, and I'll enjoy my bits of reading when can get them. 

Life right now seems all about the story.  Sometimes its an easy read, sometimes its thought provoking and sometimes you're too busy to notice the pictures on the page, right past the words you've just read. 

Life goes on.  And so do our stories.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Braces. And She Couldn't Be More Excited.

When a dentist tells a parent their kid might be a contender for braces, the parent usually sees dollar signs flash before their eyes.
 
 
Kids see sparkly awesomeness being stuck to their teeth while reclining in a chair watching Rio play on the TV screen on the ceiling. 
 
 
Parents see repeated visits to orthodontist offices two and a half hours away.
 
 
Kids see regularly scheduled visits with their friends, two and a half hours away.
 
 
Parents see fun contraptions shoved into their children's mouths to shut them up for thirty solid seconds.
 
 
Kids see free movie time without having to ask Mom's permission.
 
 
Parents see food restrictions, broken wires and impending doom.
 
 
Kids can't stop licking their teeth for the cool new feeling in their mouths.
 
 
Parents see this helping two impacted teeth straitening themselves out, hoping to prevent further trouble down the road.
 
 
Kids see a mouth so full of awesome they can't wait to bounce up and down with glee, while screaming at unsuspecting friends and family, "LOOK!  I HAVE BRACES!  I JUST GOT BRACES!  DO YOU LIKE MY BRACES?  I LOVE MY BRACES!"
 
Happy, healthy kids.  Its all we're really after.  I guess teeth have a little something to do with that from time to time.  If they make her happy and help her mouth stay healthy, well...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This and That

Jeremy has managed to catch the Creeping Crud while I seem to remain untouched.  What cracks me up, though, is that while he was all, MMmmm.... I'd rather go to bed, lets wait until the morning, when Lydia was laying all pathetic and feverish in my bed... Jeremy sniffs and snuffs and sleeps and snores and then comes home with two different pills and a nose spray for his head congestion. 

I have to hand it to him, he hasn't whined that he's dying and he's not woe-is-me'ing his way all through the house, but the fact that he sought out his doc on the boat to get medicine for himself, yet was too tired to willingly take his kid to the doctor is a stark contrast.  Its a little hysterical. 

*****************

Ruby is using only four to five diapers a day.  The beginnings of potty training have started. 

We've pulled out the seat that sits on the toilet and let her spend one hour naked from the bottom down.  She managed to pee on the floor three or four different times in that hour but each time she stopped herself and allowed us to sweep her into the bathroom to finish her business. 

She certainly hasn't learned to do her thing on cue, yet, but that's why I do this prep work.  Soon enough she'll figure out how to make herself go, then its all a matter of spending a week or two training her how hold it... and then go on cue. 

So, every so often, when I have a couple extra dirty towels laying around, I'll probably also have a half naked baby running around for an hour at a time. 

Potty training.  It excites me.  Which might make me the weirdest person, ever.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Creeping Crud: The Aftermath

The Creeping Crud, for Ruby took its shape with lots of moaning, groaning and whining while simultaneously laying listlessly on my lap for 16 hours at a time.  Her fever and head congestion were relieved with both medicinal and aquatic approaches. 

Meaning: We drugged her and stuck her in the shower from time to time.

For Lydia, it took shape in head congestion, burning, watery eyes and extremely high fevers.  We combated her issues with the same medicinal and aquatic approaches we took with Ruby, while even throwing in full day movie marathons. 

This approach totally worked for a day and a half, until her fever was all, You can take your Motrin and playtime baths and suck it. 

It was at this point I called a very good friend of mine to see if Jeremy was crazy or maybe it was me.  After all, Lydia was running a 104.4 fever, two hours away from her next scheduled dose of medicine and she lay there, woefully leaking water from her eyes and claiming she thinks they might be on fire.  I was all, Mmmmm..... I think it's time to take her to the ER.  Jer was all.... MMmmm.... I'd rather go to bed, lets wait until the morning.  Thank God for Joelle.  Her tie-braking opinion was to take her to the ER.

One hospital visit later, Lydia is doing fine and well.  She has neither an infection, nor the flu.  Her fever was high enough that Jer said they whisked her off to a room before they even had an ounce of information in the computer.  She was shivering, despite her high temperature, and was starting to break out in a heat rash to add to the fun. 

The new trick we learned this visit is when one medicine isn't working, to alternate Motrin with Tylenol.   Why this is more effective, I don't know.  But you can bet it'll be a trick I won't soon forget. 

As of today, Lydia's on the mend with nothing more than lingering congestion and cough.

Kyra started a low fever yesterday and I feared the worst for her in the coming days.  Turns out that's as bad as it's probably going to get for her.  Thank you, God.

This morning everyone woke up fever free, though all three had noses leaking like a loose pipe.  Kyra's cough is the worst, Lydia's intermediate and Ruby's hardly had a cough all day.

Its funny how one virus can cripple two children, hardly touch one and leave two parents completely unscathed.  All that's left now is the lingering aftermath.  Its not so bad.  Not welcomed, but not so bad.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Creeping Crud, 2014

Ruby has brought home the first plague of the new year.  I'm not sure why she felt the need to lick a shopping cart or cover someone else's mouth and then insert her finger into her own nose, but she must have thought it necessary because now she's suffering from The Creeping Crud.

video
 
 Thanks to a fever, lots of sneezing, exploding snot and hacking coughs, she spent her day whining.  A lot.  Just listen to that scratch cry, she sounds awful.
 
 
She insists on sweet cuddles, to which I happily oblige.
 
 
She demands food, only to hold onto it.  Actually eating the food highly over rated.
 

And she spends her naps sleeping on Mommy's chest.
 
Ruby's lots of things, but a cuddle bug is not one of them.  She's spent more time in my arms and on my lap over the past two days than she has in the last 6 months.  Part of me is relishing in this sweetness.  The other part of me feels guilty for enjoying this side effect to her misery. 
 
She's pitiful.  There's no way around it. 
 
My nose is now starting to stuff up, there's a scratching tickle in my throat and as much as I've tried to keep the big girls occupied upstairs for the last two days, both of them are sniffling and sneezing in their beds tonight.  Both humidifiers are running full blast with menthol strips in the girls room.  I'm questioning why I don't have one for my own room.
 
These next two weeks will probably be some exceptionally fun ones. Which probably means I should stock up on tissue boxes to combat all the snot that's going to fly, and restock the fridge with lots of chicken and veggies to make soups. 
 
Jewish penicillin, its good stuff.  The Creeping Crud, not so much.