Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy legs

Cori has happy legs.

What?

I'll explain. You know how when your dog is just laying around, but then you say his name and he looks up at you and starts thumping his tail on the floor? Cori does this, but she wags her leg instead. I'll be carrying her around on my hip, and she'll be pretty calm, just watching the world. Suddenly, Dada comes in the room, or Romelie says something from her bedroom, and Cori gets a big smile on her face and she starts pumping her leg.

My kids are so goofy.

It's been a pretty good week. I'm back at work and fully into the swing of things, teaching and starting up field trips. Last week was my long volleyball week (3 games plus an all day Saturday tournament that lasted nearly 10 hours!), so now we're over halfway throught the season. Chason and I went to see Ben Folds play with the MN Orchestra on Saturday night, which was pretty awesome. He's an amazing performer and it was a lot of fun to watch/hear him play and listen to him talk and tell stories. As I might have expected, one of the highlights was his rendition of "Rock This Bitch." This is a request he usually gets for a song that doesn't really exist; instead, he makes up a song as he goes along, using whatever words, genre, etc. that he feels like. And in this case, he improvised a song using the entire orchestra. Which was awesome.

Hey, someone filmed it and put it on Youtube! This is what we saw (though from further back).

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Ben Folds = so good.

Romelie and Cori have decided on their Halloween costumes, by the way. Cori is going to be a mouse (okay, I decided that), and Romelie has chosen to dress as a cat. So I swear I didn't plan it, but my kids will be dressed as a cat and a mouse for Halloween. I expect lots of candy for the cuteness which will be oozing all over October 31. And as a bonus, I won't be going into labor hours afterwards this year. In your face, 2010!

No new Cori health updates. Everything is the same - still giving her the medicines, they're still having no effect. On the plus side, we've discovered that Cori sits pretty calmly for the nebulizer if "Animaniacs" or "Sesame Street" is on the TV, so my baby gets to watch about 20 minutes of TV a day (10 in the AM, 10 in the PM). Take that, American Academy of Pediatrics; YOU nebulize a baby twice a day and see what that does to your "no TV for kids under the age of 2" recommendation.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The teenage years are gonna suuuuck...

Romelie rolled her eyes at me tonight. I kid you not. Rolled her eyes.

This was after a long day of backtalk. I believe I've talked about this issue on the blog before; it's when I say something to Rom and she says it back to me in a rude tone of voice. "Rom, don't stick your finger in my face." "You don't stick YOUR finger in MY face!" "Don't backtalk me." "YOU don't backtalk ME."

There have been a lot of timeouts in the last two days.

Tonight, after a timeout, I was telling her about why it's important to talk nicely, especially to adults, and how adults don't usually tolerate rude behavior from kids, and she rolled those eyes right up to the sky.

How do kids even learn this sort of thing anyway?

Cori had a rough-ish day too (three 30-min naps instead of one or two good naps), because she kept waking herself up with this damn cough. I'm telling you, 10 days of new meds, no improvements, actually makes the cough worse...I'll give it the doctor's requisite 30 days, but I don't know what they're going to say next. We can't just keep trying different reflux and asthma meds forever, right? (Right??)

On a funnier note, Rom wanted to go outside to swim in her tiny, tiny pool this afternoon, and we said okay. Chason was downstairs with Cori, and I went to get a few things to take outside. When I came back, Rom had already gone outside. I went out to find her, and she was butt-ass naked, running in circles around her pool.

So I took her picture.

Take that, teenage Romelie!

(Okay, because my camera isn't working right, I have a disposable camera that I've been using the last couple weeks. Remember those? I'm almost through the roll, so I'll be able to post pictures again soon.)

And my final youtube video. I'm sure everyone has seen this one, but I friggin' love it. It brings tears to my eyes; I can't explain it.


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Friday, September 9, 2011

Productivity

Here's what my to-do list looked like this morning:
-Oil change
-Go to bank
-Pay bills
-Dishes
-Laundry
-Make baby food
-Scan photos
-Paint garage door

Here's what I did today:
-Oil change
-Watch How I Met Your Mother reruns

...hmm...

Close enough. Video time! (More substance tomorrow, I promise.)


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Thursday, September 8, 2011

AWESOME!

I impulse-purchased "The Book of Awesome" at Target a couple of weeks ago based solely on its title. It's pretty entertaining. It started out as a website, http://1000awesomethings.com/. Basically, the writer just reflects on things that people universally find appealing and expounds on why these things are so gosh-darned great - things like peeling off a price tag in one clean peel, finding money in your coat pocket, and snow days. This has inspired me to blog a few things I think are AWESOME. Here goes:

Rallying as a team to come from behind to win the game. This is what my volleyball team did today. Granted, they went on to lose games 2 & 3, but they were excited and I was proud of how well they busted their butts against a tough team in that first game. AWESOME!

Waking up at 7:00 am and realizing that you, and therefore everyone else, slept through the night. This didn't happen last night, by the way. After Cori's cute moment, it was a rough night. But those rough nights make the nights when she does sleep all the way through that much more AWESOME!

Going through your memory box. Since my company is on a furlough this week, I have been scheduling each day with a list of to-dos. On Tuesday, my big to-do was to go through my filing cabinet and get rid of old or unnecessary stuff (phone bill from 2003? Gone) and actually create files for the piles of paper that have been building since 2005 (birth/marraige certificates no longer just tucked in a drawer, for instance). In weeding through old files, I came across things like letters from college friends, my English thesis, my old headshots (check it!), and the rest of the thank you notes from our wedding that never quite made it out (uh...thanks, by the way). Now I'm feeling nostalgic in all sorts of happy ways, especially for my dear college friends. Love you guys; you're AWESOME!

Getting a good haircut. Ah, haircuts. I actually kind of hate getting my hair cut because I don't have any loyalty to a stylist, so I end up making the same small talk with a new person every time. Also, when the stylist actually styles my hair, I usually hate it (they like to make my hair big and curly...I fight both those things every day), but I generally just lie and say it's great...and then fix it at home. But today, I got a good haircut. Granted, it took about 2-1/2 hours (Aveda Institute - new stylists, so it takes them forever), but it looks good, it was cheap, and my hair is finally manageable again. Plus it cuts my hair regime down even further. AWESOME!

When the movie/play is actually as good as the book/script. I love reading, especially children's lit, and a lot of the books I enjoy end up as films, TV shows, plays, etc. I also love movies, and sometimes a new movie coming out (i.e. The Help) inspires me to read the book before watching the movie (I have yet to pick this one up, but I'll get there...). Reading the book first usually ends one of three ways:


  • I read the book. It's awesome, or at least entertaining. I then watch the movie/play/TV show and it's terrible. "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" is my most recent example. Granted, the book is teen fiction, which I generally enjoy, and the follow up is a pre-teen TV show on ABC Family, so I shouldn't be surprised, but despite how awful it is, I can't seem to stop watching it. It's like "Twilight" all over again.

  • I read the book. It sucks. I usually watch the movie anyway, thinking maybe they found a way to make it better...nope. It also sucks. See "I Am Number Four" for an example (but actually, don't see it. Just trust me...it's lame).

  • I read the book. It's awesome. So I read it again. And again. By the time the movie comes out, I'm nervous that it's going to be a letdown...and magically, surprisingly, it's also awesome! Harry Potter movies 3-7.2, Lord of the Rings, and The Sookie Stackhouse series (True Blood on TV) are pretty obvious choices, but I've got to give props to a really good play, too. I went out to Spring Green with my mom and the girls a couple weekends ago and saw "The Glass Menagerie" while I was there. This is a play I've only ever read, not seen, and it's such a classic, you figure any production isn't going to measure up to your expectations, but this one did.

(Paul was in a fantastic play called "The Cure at Troy," which was intense and emotional and captivating and wonderful. I'd never read it before, so it doesn't fit into my formula above, but that doesn't make it any less AWESOME!)

Saying you're going to write a blog a day for a week...and actually making it happen. Five days down...two to go! Come back tomorrow for new updates. AWESOME!

Talking animal videos. You know you love them too. AWESOME!
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bedtime

Sometimes putting Cori to bed is the worst.

You have to wait until she gets tired to put her to bed, of course, but if you wait too long and she passes tired and moves on to exhausted, then you're screwed. She does not go to bed well. She arches her back in your arms and screams and cries. Nursing helps calm this, unless there is little-to-no milk (which is pretty much the case these days...milk supply is down to maybe 8-10 ounces a day total), and then nursing makes it worse because it adds frustration into the mix. When she finally calms down and starts nodding off, you lay her down with her favorite blanket. She rolls onto her tummy, and you lay her second favorite blanket over her bottom half. You rub her back, helping to soothe her through raspy breathing, cold sheets, or whatever else might be bothering her. She doesn't make a peep, so you quietly walk out and shut the door. Then she cries. Then she stops crying. Then she starts again and doesn't stop until you come and get her. You pick her up, and she instantly stops crying and is asleep in your arms -like *that.* But whether you lay her back down immediately, or wait a couple of minutes, or rock peacefully with her for 15 minutes, inevitably when you lay her back down, she wakes up and cries. Repeat 1-2 more times...then she's asleep.

"Let her cry it out!"
I know. We've tried. She'll just keep crying.

"Try just going into the room and soothing her with your voice but don't pick her up."
Tried that. She cries.

"But when you go and get her, she learns that eventually you will give in to her demands."
I know. You're right. At the same time...why shouldn't I? Yes, it's frustrating when bedtime stretches out into an hour long ordeal, but ultimately, she's a 10 month old baby who coughs herself awake who just wants someone to rock her or rub her back until she's asleep. She knows how to soothe herself to sleep, and when she's not overly tired and can breathe normally, she has no problem with bedtime. Why not let her dictate this one thing?

Besides...sometimes putting Cori to bed is the best.

You can tell she's starting to get tired. Eyes are a little droopy, and she's tugging on that ear. We go into her room and turn on the sound machine. Maybe we nurse, maybe not...eventually we end up with her in my arms, her head resting on the crook of my elbow, her favorite blanket already clutched in her hands. And because she's only sleepy, not asleep, and because she's calm, not screaming and writhing, she looks up at me, and I look at her...and she smiles. But because she's sleepy, it's like everything is in slow motion for her, so it's a really slow smile. When she blinks, it's a really slow blink. If I kiss her nose, she wrinkles it up a bit - slowly. Tonight, she tried to grab my lip, a daytime game that she thinks is hilarious and I think is painful. But it was a sleepy, slow-mo grab, so more feeble than anything, and when I smiled and whispered "ow" she gave s sleepy, gurgly, slow-mo laugh.

And it was the most beautiful moment ever. Seriously, I don't get super mushy or romantic about babies, not even my own, but that was precious.

Thanks to Grandpa Dan for watching the girls tonight since Chason and I both had other stuff going on. It's easy to appreciate these adorable moments when I'm just coming in for the last 5 minutes, and I'm grateful for his willingness to take on both girls on busy nights like tonight.

Speaking of adorable little girls...here's Pearl the Landlady. Most folks have probably seen this video, but on the off-chance you haven't, it's awesome. Warning: adult language.


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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Imaginary friends

So here's a confession: when I was in elementary school, I saw "Return of the Jedi" and became instantly obsessed with Star Wars. I started collecting the toys, which by then were to be found only in antique stores (this was, of course, before the internet), and I used to play with them as any kid is bound to do. However, and this is where it gets a bit embarrassing...the characters from Star Wars were also my imaginary friends. Yes, folks, I would carry Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia action figures around with me everywhere I went, and when everyone else left the room, they would emerge, life-sized, from their plastic bodies and we would have lengthy conversations or sometimes just hang out and watch TV together.

Did I mention this was in 5th grade? I don't know when kids are supposed to outgrow their imaginary friends, but it was what it was and I am who I am. Deal.

I bring this up because Romelie has lots of imaginary friends. The first players were Mike, Sully, and Boo (from Monsters Inc) who I had be careful not to step on, say hello to so they felt included, and make room for on car trips. Dora, the Gabba friends, and other movie and TV characters have also made their way into pretend play (this morning, for instance, Team Oomizoomi, which I've never actually seen, were hanging with Romelie in her bedroom). But the oddest pretend friends Romelie has are technically not imaginary, though their personas are. For the past few weeks, Romelie has had a great time playing with Brother, Sister, Mommy and Daddy (or sometimes Baby)...

...her hands and feet.

Yup. Brother and Sister foot, Mommy and Daddy hand (sometimes Baby hand instead, depending on how brave the hand is feeling). When Romelie takes a bath, Mommy hand goes swimming and practices holding her breath underwater. When I cut Rom's toenails, Sister foot is scared so we have to start with Brother foot to show her there's nothing to be scared of. The hands spend a lot of time talking to each other during dinner and playing in or with the food.

It's hilarious. It's adorable. And I'm not going to lie...it's a little weird. But hey - imaginary Star Wars friends at the age of 10. Who am I to judge?

I'm officially on my furlough week, though I still have volleyball in the afternoons/evenings. So far today I have done a load of laundry, emptied the litter box, checked email, and almost completed today's blog entry. As it's only 9:00 and I just dropped the girls off at Jen's 45 minutes ago, I feel okay about this, but I have a very large to-do list staring up at me, so I must move on to something far more tedious. And though this has nothing to do with anything, I have enjoyed sharing random youtube videos that I think are awesome these past couple of days, and I think I will keep it up for the rest of this blog-a-day week. With that, this is the greatest music video ever made. Period.


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Monday, September 5, 2011

Chillin'

Turned off the air conditioning this morning. It was already down to 70 degrees in the house so the air wasn't running anyway, but it was chilly enough yesterday to justify wearing a sweatshirt to the park and cold enough this morning that I put flannel pants on. Welcome, fall. I've been looking forward to long sleeves and raking leaves - bring it on!

Let's start with some photos, since I haven't put any up in a while. First, from our trip up to the cabin with Grandpa Dan 4th of July weekend (remember that?), here's an awesome pic of Romelie and Grandpa playing cornhole. Note Romelie's fashion choices. I let Romelie dress herself and really only step in to "fix" things if she's dressed inappropriately for the weather or if I feel like her outfit is too ridiculous for where we're headed (like if she tries to wear an oversized orange tye-died tank top with knee-high green-and-red-striped Christmas socks and too-small purple shorts to church, as she did a couple weeks ago). Otherwise, I figure who cares? She's 3. She can dress how she likes. And sometimes, this is the result.

We've also been going to the park quite a bit in the past couple of weeks. Our local park also has a wading pool which has been drained since this picture was taken two weeks ago, but on this particular day, Romelie was the only kid in the pool, which gave her a bit more confidence than she often has while "swimming." After swimming, we spent our requisite hour or so on the playground equipment. Romelie and Chason tend to do the more active playing while Cori and I sit on a swing or just walk around looking at everything, which is fine by me.

In other news, Cori has started finger foods, which is awesome because it makes dinner time a family experience for the first time since she was born. Cheerios are her favorite, though she's had everything from fruits and veggies to ground beef and chicken to apple pie with ice cream. Yes, I have fed my 10 month old apple pie, ice cream, and pieces of chocolate chip cookie. No, I don't feel bad about this. With Romelie, the first sugar she had was birthday cake, and while she loves candy and treats and desserts, she gets them only on occasion and only in moderation, so I don't see a big problem in letting Cori have two baby-sized bites of ice cream or a few crumbs of cookie considering her diets is mostly fruit, vegetables, whole grains and organic beans.

And finally, I mentioned yesterday that our house is officially on the market. I spent a lot of time cleaning, organizing, packing up clutter, and getting rid of stuff we don't use or need. Chason and my dad took care of landscaping and did some work on the garage. And Ken, our realtor and contractor, finished up our bathroom and kitchen, replaced the carpet on the stairs that the cats had torn up, put a new gutter on the front of the house, and did a few other miscelleneous tasks. Try to ignore the pricing information, but just to see pictures of the finished product, you can click here: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2415-W-60th-St-Minneapolis-MN-55410/1887096_zpid/#9. We've had all of one showing so far, but since we're not in an urgent need-t0-sell situation, we're just giving this a try to see what happens. If nothing else, it gives Romelie (and the rest of us!) some good practice at cleaning up after oneself immediately. Wish us luck!

And even though this blog was much more positive and happy than yesterday's entry, I've decided to include another video to inspire infinite happiness in all.


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Technology fail

Not happy.

I had mentioned that the memory stick on my camera has stopped working, so I can only store 7 pictures on my camera at a time. Well, not only have I not fixed this issue yet, but I have a brand-new, much more serious technology issue. My external hard drive has stopped functioning. This is where I store all of my pictures, videos, and music. And it won't communicate with my computer or my work computer. I just brought it in to Geek Squad, praying that it was just a bad cord...nope. So now I'm sending it off to data recovery, which will cost somewhere between $250-$1600.

Technology fail. And personal fail, too. I had been getting concerned about what would happen if that thing ever crashed and looking into ways of backing that very valuable data up (disks, memory sticks, another external hard drive, or internet back up), but before I could act on any of these ideas, it was too late. So even though my "bad cord" prayer failed me, I'm now desperately praying that they are able to recover the data (otherwise ALL of my kid pictures, save what I've uploaded to this blog, are gone forever), and that it doesn't cost $1600. On the one hand, my pictures of my kids are absolutely invaluable to me, so I will pay it whatever it costs and then, of course, make sure I never have this problem again. On the other hand...boy, do I ever not have $1600 laying around right now. Cry.

While I'm sharing about things that make me unhappy, I should share my long overdue Cori coughing update. In short...she's still coughing. We're now at 6 months of coughing, kids.

Medical treatment fail.

At our July appointment at Children's Hospital, we had another x-ray (nothing in the lungs) and an upper GI (no evidence of reflux, which doesn't rule it out...just doesn't prove it) and met with Dr. Pryor, the pediatric pulmonary specialist. The diagnosis was that it's most likely reflux and/or asthma, which is what we had already been told by our pediatrician, but that we should treat with the same medicines we'd already tried for 3 months. Three months of Xantec 2x a day and using the nebulizer to administer Albuterol 3x a day.

Have I mentioned how much Cori hates the nebulizer? Nothing like clamping a face mask to a crying baby for 15 minutes 3 times a day.

Fast forward a month. The cough is not any better. In fact, for the first 2 weeks after starting treatment, the cough was much worse. This may or may not have anything to do with the medicine, but it happened nonetheless. I finally got to the point where I just wasn't willing to continue with the nebulizer and stopped all treatment. I finally called Children's Hospital to tell them this on Wednesday, and they felt like it was time to change to some stronger medicines. So now Cori is taking Prilosec once a day instead of Xantec, and is using the nebulizer to administer Pulmacort 2x a day (no Albuterol at the moment, though we may end up doing both since one is for opening the airways and the other is to treat inflammation). The Pulmocort nebulizes faster (7-8 minutes instead of 15), but comes with a risk of developing thrush, and since we still breastfeed, that's a risk for her and me. We're on day 4, and the cough is definitely worse than it was 5 days ago...but I'll give it a month. And we'll see.

On a different subject, I've clearly fallen behind on my "3 blog entries a month" goal (remember August? Clearly I didn't...). However, my company has decided to close next week with all employees taking an unpaid week to try to balance our budget for the year, and I've been looking forward to taking care of many small tasks that are tough to accomplish with kids around, such as organizing my filing cabinet or getting my hair cut. Ironically backing up and organizing my computer files was going to be on my to-do list...anyway...because I update my blog so infrequently, it has turned into a super long list of essential updates rather than just being able to share a funny story here or a cute picture or video there. Therefore, since I still have tons of updates to share (vising Uncle Paul, new volleyball season, and - big one - our house being officially on the market!) and a bit of time on my hands this next week, my goal is to do a blog a day for this entire week. So check back daily, friends and family, and feel free to hold me accountable if you don't hear anything new until November.

And because I've been so focused on failure with this blog, I'd like to end with a win. Until tomorrow.


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