And Miranda is back. In full force. Screaming up a storm at her door. Has been for 45 minutes. I'd like to say it is good to have her back...but it ain't.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Parker came into the kitchen for a snack this afternoon while I was cleaning up and listening to Bob Marley's African Herbsman. I haven't listened to this at home in about six months, and it's probably nine months since it was in heavy rotation.
Parker said, "I want track eight."
Sure enough, track eight is Stand Alone, his all-time favorite Bob Marley song. When it was done playing he asked for track four, Trenchtown Rock, his second all-time favorite.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The boys went to a lovely garden on Friday morning while the girls took Julia's gym class. Aunt Lori joined the boys and got these photos. Despite the expression on Uncle Eran's face on the train, everyone had a good time.
In addition to the Playplace we stopped at on our way down to and back from LA, we spent some quality time in the one several blocks from Amy's house. Last time the girls couldn't navigate the habitrail, but this time they were practically pros. Elizabeth got stuck going up at one point, but Parker gave her butt a nice shove to get her going again.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I went to my moms this morning to do something different and keep the Marcus house a bit more empty and quiet for Amy and Eran who are cooking dinner for tonight. As we were a little early and I was a tad tired, we stopped at Peets two blocks from her house. We all got out and went in. I ordered a mocha for me and a orange juice for the kids. It was crowded there so only two chairs were available for the kids as waited for the drink. Elizabeth and Miranda nabbed them and Parker did not like this at all. He started to protest and cry. I told him not to worry about the chair and he could stand like me. Didn't help. He cried more. I told him to pull it together or we would leave without orange juice. Didn't help either. So I said, OK, let's go. And that is when the fun began. All three in perfect harmony started crying and screaming. Everyone in Peets looked at us. We were quite a sight for sure. I tried to get them to walk to the door, but Elizabeth and Parker were already on the floor demanding to stay. So I left the store without them to put my drink down outside. Elizabeth ran to the door where she immediately threw herself on the ground again. Parker and Miranda were still at the table screaming. I picked up Miranda and dragged Parker out of the place. I put them down on the sidewalk and went back in for Elizabeth. I picked her up and put her down outside. I then took Parker (who was screaming, "I'M READY TO BE GOOD NOW. I'M READY TO STOP SCREAMING!!!!) and Miranda to the car. Since the car was a good 50 feet from the front door, people were stopping to stare at Elizabeth flat on the ground in front of the door. Several people who didn't see the beginning of the incident wondered where the mom was. I threw the kids in the car and went back for Elizabeth who was still screaming. Some people were smiling at me and some were not. I kept my cool the whole time and tried not to look like the kind of person who threw her kids in the car or abandoned them at Peets, but it wasn't easy. With all three kids in the car, they were all still screaming and demanding orange juice which I refused to provide.
I've been in public when one kids throws a fit, and when two kids are having tantrums, but I've never done it with all three before. Guess I can check that off the list now.
One of the perks of going to Amy's house (in addition to constant flow of cooked meals and chocolate) is that the kids get to do things that are not allowed at home. As one of my goal of parenting is to keep kids out of the emergency room (something I fail at often), we do not allow certain activities like standing in the bath or jumping on the couch or bed. Somewhere on I-5 on the way down Parker said, "We can stand in the bath like Julia!" Everyone seemed thrilled about that and even more thrilled when the actual standing occurred. Elizabeth was especially tickled with it and tried to show off by stomping and jumping in the tub. This, of course, was not allowed.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Unfortunately, the kids slept like crap last night and woke up at 4:30am.
Fortunately, Amy and Eran dealt with them from 6am until I got out of bed at 7:17.
Unfortunately, my friends who were coming over today got lost on their way.
Fortunately, they brought muffins with them when they did arrive.
Unfortunately, Parker smashed his head on the brick wall after falling on the ladder swing.
Fortunately, despite the level of screaming and amount of blood, he seemed fine an hour later.
Unfortunately, everyone had short naps and woke up in grumpy moods.
Fortunately, baths seem to solve all grumpy problems.
Unfortunately, except today when Parker and Miranda took turns screaming in the tub.
Fortunately, I was able to wash his hair to check out the wound.
Unfortunately, it was large and still bleeding a bit.
Fortunately, there is a Kaiser 10 minutes from here.
Unfortunately, it took 45 minutes on the phone with various Kaiser personnel to determine I just had to take him the emergency room.
Fortunately, as I said, Kaiser is 10 minutes from here.
Unfortunately, there was tons of traffic and it took an hour to get there.
Fortunately, the emergency room was empty and we got right in.
Unfortunately, the little guy had to have 3 staples put in his head.
Fortunately, he was quite a champ and only started screaming on the third one given without the cold, numbing spray.
Unfortunately, Amy had to deal with putting the girls down to bed while I was dealing with all this.
Fortunately, they didn't give her too hard a time.
Unfortunately, Parker didn't get to sleep in Oliver's room tonight.
Fortunately, all my kids are asleep and I'm eating chocolate.
Another successful giant hoho cake.
Had some pretty serious structural integrity issues on what became the back-side of the cake.
Here's Rachel opening the ice-cream scooper that Parker picked out for her. As well as the mop-bottomed slippers she's always dreamed of, from yours truly.
The other day the kids were eating lunch, and Parker informed me that Miranda was not eating her lunch, and was waving her spoon around instead. He has recently started providing this kind of reportage, which I've been discouraging. I said, "Don't worry about Miranda, Parker. Just worry about yourself."
He seemed to accept this, and lunch proceeded. Shortly thereafter, one of the girls had to be stopped from flinging food at the other, and I stepped in to oversee the stopping.
Parker then said to me, in all earnest, "You're not following the rules, Daddy. You're just supposed to worry about yourself."
I thought this was a pretty good argument, and a damn good observation, so I felt sort of bad explaining to him that Daddy's job was to make sure that he and his sisters followed the rules.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Not only did I get to sleep in this morning, but I got presents when I woke up and the whole morning and most of the afternoon off from kid duty. I went to Sacramento to see one of my closest friends who was generous enough to present me with a massage and lunch. And of course, I got my annual Ho Ho Cake this evening. Michael can make that cake in his sleep with one arm tied behind his back.
Man...39 is old.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Parker's preschool did a Thanksgiving lunch with the preschool next door. His class were the Indians and the other were the pilgrims. They made necklaces and feather hats and even a vest. I couldn't get out him how much he actually did, but my guess is that his teacher did most of the vest and all the cutting. In any case, he was pretty happy about it and quite cute.
For the past three days, Miranda has gone to sleep without screaming and has stayed asleep (with one small exception of losing her blanket early this morning). It's been very strange for us. We are both so used to the screaming and getting up multiple times at night, it's like our child has been replaced by a pod child. Don't get me wrong. We like the pod child much better than our own Miranda, but we are fearful this pod won't stick around. And I'm sure my upcoming trip to LA and sleeping at Amy's house will help our pod child disappear. We'll enjoy it while it lasts. Here's the pod child helping her kitty swing.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This afternoon, Parker wanted to make some necklaces. He said he wanted to make Mary Grace and Madeline necklaces because they were his sisters. So, I helped him pick out the letters and then he sat down and made a very nice Mary Grace necklace. Then he says to me, "Mommy, can you tell me which one is Mary Grace at school tomorrow?" I said, "You don't know what she looks like?" He said, "No." I told him he could ask his teacher to help him figure it out. Then I asked him if he knew what Madeline looked like, since he made her a necklace too. He said, "Yup!"
Tomorrow at school should be interesting...
In addition to sleep problems, Miranda has poop problems. Essentially every time she goes poop whether that be in her diaper, on the floor, or in the potty, she screams bloody murder. Sometimes nothing comes out, sometimes a tiny poop comes out and sometimes a giant massive unbelievable poop comes out. She's been on medication for this for just over a year without any lasting improvements.
Today was one of the days when in the course of about 2 hours, she had tiny poops about 6 times. Each time, I took her to the potty when I saw the pain about to start, nothing comes out and then she stands up with a tiny poop stuck in her butt. I wipe it off, pull up her pants and she goes back to whatever it is she was doing. 10 minutes later, this happens all over again. And again. And again. It's exhausting and incredibly hard to watch as it seems that she is in so much pain.
Today, after one of her episodes, she was sitting on the potty saying something over and over. I had no idea what it was. It was incomprehensible. Then Parker came into the bathroom. I said, "Parker, what is she saying?" He said, without thinking at all, "She says she doesn't get a lolly pop." After Miranda confirmed that was correct, I said, "Yup, no lolly pop."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ebba and I each got some time out today while the other one watched the kids. When my turn was up, we spent some time playing in the girl's room, some time in the backyard, some time going on a walk (when Fiona and Allison called me Mommy when they wanted me to hold their hand), some time pushing strollers up and down the street, some time snacking and some time getting in and out of a box.
Over the weekend, I took the kids to the local middle school so they could ride their trikes and other scooting things. Elizabeth was almost immediately grumpy and wouldn't ride around, but Parker and Miranda had a grand time going in huge circles. Walking home, I was carrying quite a bit of stuff and kids as it was up hill. This is when we stopped for a break.
Monday, November 17, 2008
In between music class and picking up Parker at preschool, I had about an hour and a half. I spent the first half of it with Ebba and her girls in the park close to music class. But when Ebba had to leave to get hers on, we left too. Which left us too early to get Parker and too late to do much else. But there was a Trader Joes near by and we needed milk and other items so we went there. We had about 35 minutes to shop and drive about 10 minutes to get Parker. Plenty of time.
Then I saw an old mommy friend. She was in a mommy group with me when I had Parker. She had a new baby and we stood in the aisle for too long catching up, oohing and ahhing at the kids and keeping other people from shopping. When Miranda started eating the package of raspberries, I said good bye and took off.
Just a few minutes later, we were at the check out line. Every line had at least one person in it with one waiting. The shortest line was the guy with about 15 bottles of wine. But since they have to very careful with wine, I thought that would be a slow line and chose the one next to it. Bad move. That wine guy was basically home by the time I even got to the front of the line. My checkout guy was very, very slow. Not lame. Just slow and chatty as if he had all the time in the world. The girls were getting antsy with all the food they couldn't eat and I was getting antsy with everything else. After what seemed like hours, but was only about 8 minutes, we were at the front. The check out guy had to oooh and aaahhh at the girls. They didn't start crying so he stopped doing anything and got on a turkey mask and started playing with him. Mind you, there were now 2 people behind me. I already had bags out to start loading stuff up, but had nothing to load. When he did start unloading, Elizabeth thought this was great and started helping him. She would hand him things very fast which amused him and everyone standing around. So then there was a big discussion about how great she was, how quick she was, how cute she was, and how agile she was. (Side note...she can now put on her own diaper for nights.) I smiled and nodded. Finally all the items were out of the cart and it was time to pay. Then the guy asked if Elizabeth wants a balloon. Thanks a lot. There were balloons everywhere, but E and M didn't seem to notice that until he brought it up. With only 10 minutes left to get to the car, load up and go get Parker, I was not a happy camper. I tied one balloon around Elizabeth's hand and he asked "does she want one" pointing to Miranda. I said, "only if you don't want to hear her to start screaming." He, of course, had to tie it around her hand and I was basically running out of there at that point. I'm sure the whole thing is my fault for trying to do too much, but it all would have been fine had I gotten behind the wine guy.
Miranda appears to be, like her brother, very musical. She picks up beats quickly, can sing the tune, if not the words, of almost any kiddie song, and spends a good deal of the day humming or singing one thing or another. When she isn't screaming herself to sleep, she is singing to herslef in bed.
She also has a nice habit of singing regular words to make them into songs. Her favorite diddy is "Yes, Oh Yes. Yes oh yes oh yes. Yes. Yes. Yes oh yes oh yes." This morning she sang, "Mommy, do it. Oh Mommy, mommy, mommy do it" (after I asked her whether she wanted to get dressed by herself or have mommy do it.)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The other night after books and lights out, Parker and I were whispering together about what we might do over the weekend, and I suggested that we might get him a haircut.
He said, "No, I don't need a haircut, because I want to have very much hair like the girls where you can connect it." (A ponytail.) "I am going to be four years old, and I'm going to have lotta hair."
Since this seemed like a reasonable plan to me, I didn't answer, and we lay there for a long time in a sort of dreamy, sleepy state. We were on our sides facing each other, and we stared at each other in silence as the seconds and minutes ticked away.
And then Parker reached his hand up to the top of my head and said sadly, "You don't have very much hair, daddy."
Parker has a collection of different marble games, which have gone in and out of favor over the months and years. He has always been very good at building the runs, and getting how the pieces fit together. But there was one very different game that he always had trouble with (because it's totally complex) but would still get out from time to time.
So we busted out the hard marble game the other morning, something finally clicked, and Parker built himself a very nice marble-run.
Even Elizabeth got into the swing of things, although her design had some serious structural integrity issues.
And Miranda fed some delicious Bunny Grahams to her doll.
As today was the first weekend day that we had nothing planned (no classes, no parties, no meetings, no events, no trips) in a long time AND we were all still ab it sick, we agreed to lay low and stick around the house getting stuff done and just hanging out. Of course that lasted about 50 minutes for me and I took the girls shopping while Michael stayed with Parker. After we got back, we made some cookies. Parker helped measure and mix and all three painted their own cookies. Parker did great, but the girls had a hard time not breaking the cookies apart.
After naps, we did some more cookies and then went outside. Michael packed up the tent that we had left up for weeks. (Last night the wind was so strong that it blew the tent across the backyard. I raked up the weeks of leaves that were there (as we got rid of our gardener...again) and the used the air blower/sucker to get the rest. The yard looked great and the kids looked dirty. So they went in for a bath and we got ready for dinner. It was a nice day.
Parker said to me the other night, "E is the fifth letter in my name, just like it's the fifth letter when you count to 26 with all the letters."
Friday, November 14, 2008
All the kids are very good about putting away their shoes and other items after outings. I'd like to think it has something to do with our routine upon arriving home after picking up Parker from preschool. We pee, put our shoes and jackets away and then have lunch. Every day. It's the same.
Then today I noticed that Eli has added to her routine. I've seen it before, but I never realized it was a trend until now. She puts her socks inside her shoes before she tucks them away. God only knows where she got that from since Michael and I are probably the worst about putting our socks away. I take them off whereever I am and Michael balls them up and throws them in a non specific direction.
She is going to rock in preschool.