Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eau de New Car

On Saturday we finally bit the bullet and decided it was time for some new wheels.

I LOVE the smell of new car. Yummy. We ended up settling on the new Saturn Aura. It's a sweet ride, fully decked out, and a huge step up from our little Civic. Yes, the Civic will be moving on. I love that car, and actually was a bit teary as we drove it to the dealership (where we found out they'd give us basically nothing for it). That car has 175,000 miles, and still runs like a gem. It's been wrecked 3-4 times (depending on if you ask Jason or me), driven over about a third of the country, several times, and was the first car we bought together. After 11 years, it's time to cut the cord and move up a bit.

Marriage and Snuggles

It was a fun weekend with the girls. I've got some great stories from both of them.

So some background before beginning the first. When I was pregnant with Sadie, Katie had tons of questions. Somehow, in explaining them, wires got crossed and she began to tell us that you had to get married to have a baby. Now I've never told her that, as I'm perfectly fine with non-traditional means of baby having/rearing, as long as the baby is in a healthy, loving relationship. I didn't want to explain to my four-year old how babies REALLY come about, nor my political/social views of proper baby-making and family rearing, so I just let it slide. This has come back to haunt me.

On Saturday morning I was bathing Sadie, who now requires multiple baths a day thanks to "solid" foods. Katie was helping me, as she loves to do. Sadie has this baby bath tub that on one side allows her to sit up, and the other side to lounge. She was sitting up on the "big baby" side, and Katie looked at me very seriously and said, "Mommy, you should get married again so that we can have a baby boy on this end."

Ummm. Yeah. Moving on...

At Sadie's 6 month appointment this week she hit the 50th percentile for everything except height, where she's in the 60th. Pretty darn amazing for a child who spent the first month of her life more or less comatose.

I have spent the last 6 months agonizing over when and if she would ever really connect with me. Up until the last week or so, she's loved everyone pretty much the same, showing no real bond. It's been tearing me up, but I try to play along, knowing that after all, it is common for a "normal" infant to do the same. Then, all of a sudden this week - magic. I got to snuggle, and I get "hugs". She waves bye bye and gets super excited when I walk in the room. Three nights this week I was able to get her down without having her scream herself to sleep. This is HUGE. It had never happened one night, let alone 3 in a row. Tonight, as I danced around the room with her trying to get a 4th night free of screaming (didn't happen), I realized that, while the doctors said months ago that Sadie was normal, she was not. Our lives were not. Finally, at long last, I can see an end to our long battles. As I snuggled my face in her hair and felt her heave one of her last give up sighs for the night I realized that I am probably the happiest mommy in the world at the moment. Two beautiful, healthy and happy girls. There's nothing better I could dream of.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

C'mon Barbie, Let's go Potty (oh, oh, o-oh)

Katie's latest big thing is karaoke dance parties hosted by DJ Daddy. She begs for them every night. He's hooked her up with some fun dance tunes, and she belts it out. Last night after I put Sadie to bed I could hear the banging upstairs as Katie danced around and sang her current favorites, which include "Video Killed the Radio Star" and a punk cover of Scooby Doo. She then broke into another one that's big in her books, and I could hear her cute little voice carrying down the stairs... "I'm a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie Wo-orld. It's bandlastic, I'm so exstatic. You can brush my hair and throw it every-whe-ere.. (mumble, muble)... COME ON BARBIE LET'S GO POTTY!"

I'm actually glad she's young enough not to get the implications of all the words, or to know what they are. I think I'll leave that one alone for a while.

Oh, and another fun thing I learned this week. Vonage Sucks. Do not even bother. There's a reason they're so cheap. I signed up for it last week, thinking it would be great, since we barely use our landline anymore. Turns out that it doesn't work with our security system, which they were supposed to tell us to start out with. I'm in a 3-year contract with Vector, so there's no way I'm paying them fines to drop it. So I called Vonage to cancel. They want me to send bacck the equipment they sent on MY dollar, and won't refund the payment I put down. Vonage = Poo in by book today.

Also equalling poo is Anthem and the UVA health system billing. I just got a new bill for a new ungodly amount that they "forgot" to bill me earlier. So now I'm back in full fight mode on medical bills. Will it ever end? I do not heart Anthem. Not one bit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Herding Cats

Ever been on a preschool field trip? If not, I don't recommend trying it. Katie's class took off to the science museum today, and by the end of it, I was ready for a really stiff drink (this was at noon). It's bad enough trying to coordinate the efforts of preschoolers to do anything, but then to have a teacher who has no clue how to handle children in public places... total nightmare.

It started off by children wandering throughout the "holding area" of the museum. They ran, jumped, slid, slithered and hopped about, waiting for the fun to begin. As I don't know many of the parents, I didn't say anything, just observed. Then we went to the IMAX where the lights were all turned out so that the kids could watch a movie about stars. GREAT idea for preschoolers. Katie lead the crowd in the wailing that soon ensued.

After seeing one of Katie's classmates walking with a group of adults I did not recognize, I finally hit the roof and cornered Katie's teacher and insisted that she create a "buddy" system with the parents and kids so that no one got forgotten/lost/kidnapped. I mean, seriously, this is not rocket science. If Katie weren't learning by leaps and bounds daily, I would have dropped her enrollment right then and there. Lesson learned - never let Katie go on a field trip with this class unless I'm there. Also, avoid all field trips until she turns about 12.

In other fun news over the past week or two, my "office manager" Becky resigned last week. Her last day is Friday, so I'm stressing a bit. Kerinda (my sister) is going to take her place and work for me, which should be interesting. I know Kerinda will do a great job, I just worry about the business interractions of hiring my baby sister, especially since I actually WILL be the "boss of her" for a change.

I also hired a part-time editorial assistant who is wonderful and a quick learner. The only problem is that she's all of 23 or so. We were talking about music last week, and she told me she liked "the old 90's alternative stuff... like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam." Ahem. Excuse me. Barely a decade has past since it came out. That is NOT old!!! Sheesh. She's also a sweet, bubbly, happy, single, no-kids type. It just makes me cringe.

It's great to have a fresh start to the office, though, and I hope that in a couple of months I can get my association management company certified. Which will lead to another full-time client, I hope. It would be great to have an actual office and a couple more staff on board by next year. I'm finally comfortable and ready to make the business grow, but want to hold out until Sadie's a bit older. I figure that by 2 1/2, if Sadie's anything like Katie, she'll be ready for preschool part time. Hopefully by then, if we're still at this preschool, the basic principles of safety in public places will be mastered.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Six Months Today!

Happy 1/2 birthday, Sadie!

It's hard to believe that six months have passed since you blessed our lives with your presence. You bring so much joy into my life, and to everyone you meet. We are so lucky to have you with us, and we love you!

Poo and the Fries

Let me preface this story by saying Katie isn't potty trained. Yes, I know. She's 4 and a 1/2. Yes, I've tried positive reinforcement. Yes, we've done the sticker charts. And wearing panties no matter what. And going sans any type of bottom covering, hoping that it forces her to go. Yes, I've taken away priveleges, too. We've also bribed, punished, ignored, cried, plead... nothing works with her. She has chronic constipation issues, which the pediatricians and GIs say is completely normal, and as such is on major laxatives, which leads to problems with control. This being said, she knows when she's going and refuses to use the potty. We'll go for a few weeks where she tries very hard and willingly goes. Then one morning she wakes up and will have nothing to do with it. It becomes a major battle of wills, which we try to avoid because we know she's stubborn and hard-headed as heck. As our pediatrician told us, if it comes down to a battle of wills, the kid will win every time. Yep. So, that's the build up for this story.

We went to Katie's Montessori school open house this past week and got to see some of the "work" Katie does and meet some of the parents. Afterward, Jason and I decided it was time to try to go out and eat as a family. We've done this all of once since Sadie's arrival, and it ended in disaster after 15 minutes. We took the kids into Nacho Mama's, I settled in with a good margarita, Sadie fell asleep and Katie behaved and sat all the way through dinner. It was a miracle. Until I looked over and noticed Katie was making a face and looking at her hand. She had put her hand down her pants and had poop on it. Yum. So I grabbed a napkin and wiped it off immediately. About this time Sadie woke up and began to cry. Jason and I decided to make a break for it, and I did the only think I could think of with the napkin of poo - put it in the fries basket that Katie had. It was the only place I could think of that would prevent anyone from picking it up. Jason gave me a look of complete disgust and informed me that he had not finished cleaning up Katie's fries. Needless to say, i don't think any of us will be eating fries any time soon. Gross, but a good sample of the life we lead these days.

Last night I got to go visit Maddie and her parents at the PICU in UVA. She is still fighting, and such a pretty little girl. Yesterday she turned six months old. This week she is scheduled for diaphram surgery in the hopes that it will enable her to get off the ventilator, or at least help her to be able to get onto the heart transplant list, which is her hope for survival. If you're reading this, please take a minute to stop and say a little prayer or send some positive power up for this beautiful baby and her brave parents. Every little bit helps. Like her parents, I'm hoping and praying for a miracle on Tuesday.

We've had more firsts this week that are exciting to report. Katie wrote her name for the first time! And, Sadie had her first cookie. She's addicted to them now, and I love it. I can stick her in the high chair with one of her biter biscuits and actually get through the dishes before she cries. Onward and upward!!