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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Changes

In a fit of non-productivity, I reviewed the posts on the baby blog that I kept leading up to the arrival of our girl.  I wish there was a way to archive the blog to keep it offline - perhaps I shall call the folks at shutterfly and talk about the need for this service.

It's fun to go back and get into my own head during the exciting time of waiting for the reality of where we're at today.  I scan those pictures from the ultrasound and try to make the leap to the face of the little girl who begged me to stay in bed this morning and drink more pretend juice and eat more pretend beans (M&M's).

There was such a level of the unknown during that time.  Anticipation and longing to know if this kid would bring the joys of parenting that people talk about.  We knew there would be agony and frustration, but people imply that it's all worth it.  Turns out - our girl is willful and tests us a lot, but she is happy in our home and we are happy with her in it.

Then

Now


Things have changed a lot since those early days.  Lucy jokes around with us, sure it's little kid humor but it's great.  This morning she climbed on Jason's back and we "lost her".  We looked all over the bedroom, under the bed for her.  She giggled and laughed as we searched.  I hope I never for get the sound of her little voice "I'm here Mommy, I'm right here."  When we found her I gave her a big hug and told her that I had missed her.  She hugged back and said "me too."  Come on... how awesome is that?

Lucy has 'things' now.  She loves her bike and thanks to bike days at school is getting quite proficient.  We take the tricycle to the park and she zips around.  She accepts the helmet and is happy to wear it.     She is also starting to want money - change really.  She likes it and asks for it.  Today she unzipped my wallet and found all the coins.  I explained that they were mine and that if she wanted money we could work out some chores for her to do to earn her own money.  Cleaning her room and picking up her toys shouldn't be earning activities, but we'll come up with something.

We were in Long Beach last weekend and while it was far from sunny and warm we had a nice time.  We abandoned the port-a-crib and took a small cot for Lucy.  It started out as a major failure, but ended up working out marginally well.  Once we moved the cot into the big closet in the room we were in she had her own room and was able to shut out all distraction and fall asleep.  For naps it was a lot like locking her in a closet, but when she fell asleep it was on the cot.  Night time was a lot easier.

The biggest thing it did for us was to confirm that it was time to convert her crib to the toddler bed.  We did it the day we came home and we hope that by Saturday nap time that she'll be so use to it that she WILL nap in it.   So far, it's been three nights and there have been no incidents of falling out although last night she woke up around 12:45 and seemed lost in the bed.  I went in and laid her back down and she was fine.    She was super tired as it was the final night of swim lessons and we got home LATE.  This is not a kid who regularly goes to bed at 9pm...that extra hour matters.
The 'new' bed!


We're about to leave for vacation and while we're only going to visit the Denver grandparents there is a lot of prep work to do.  I have a business trip earlier in the week and when I get back we leave less than 12 hours later.  This weekend will be a mush of packing, and planning.

I'm looking forward to vacation (even though I'm not being a very good employee right this second.)  The bookclub ladies were kind of surprised when I said that the trip was going to be fun.  It's reasonable to think that a vacation to the in-laws is more of an obligation than a vacation, but as I've said before the in-laws are good people who are relaxing and enjoyable to be around.

Let's do all keep our fingers crossed that Miss Lucy naps while there.  She was a bad napper when we were there last Summer, but I think we'll be able to wear her out more this time.

Oh, and because this is MY blog I can proclaim for the world (5 readers) that my big girl told me this morning that she needed to pee, and actually did it on the potty!  It's the 3rd time and it's not a huge trend, but today was the first time she took off her diaper to do it.  The other times it occurred at bath time so she was diaper free.

For the vacation, instead of hauling a stroller and a port-a-crib we'll be bringing a bicycle helmet and a toddler potty insert.  See... life changes quickly.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My uncomfortable truth

I, like a lot of people are heartsick over the jury decision in the George Zimmerman trial.  It appears that Florida is the place to go to get away with what seems like straight up murder.  Perhaps George and Casey Anthony can laugh about it over a beer.

The law is a complex thing but to me the "stand your ground" rule in Florida is flawed.  It says you can do anything to someone to taunt them, and then when they react you can get scared for your life and then kill them.   Stand your ground seems to mean that the clock doesn't start ticking legally until you say you're afraid, regardless of what you did to provoke the situation. That doesn't seem right to me.

I wonder if that means that Trayvon would have been acquitted if he HAD killed Zimmerman?  I mean, he was being followed and felt threatened, clearly for his life.    I doubt that the wheels of justice would have rolled his way had the night gone a different direction.

I will admit that I am not immune to profiling people.  I do it all day.

  • Moms - safe
  • Grandpas with kids - safe.
  • Teenagers - kinda scary  
  • Dirty homeless guy - unknown, walk wide 
  • Salespeople at Starbucks - friendly 
  • Counter lady at the Post Office - scary
  • Loud, raucous group of people waiting for bus on 2nd & Pike - scary, avoid interaction
  • Person in business suit waiting for bus on 2rd & Pike, not scary, but avoid interaction unless necessary.
  • Person in a hoodie on a dark rainy night - unknown, avoid interaction
  • Two 20 year olds on my door step in blue pants and white shirts - Mormons, be nice but so away.
  • The dudes selling 'steak' door to door - potential robbers, be firm, take picture of car as they leave.
  • The woman selling magazines door to door for points to help inner city kids - be nice, but no.
  • Chris Brown - scary, entitled punk, thug
  • Justin Beiber - scary, entitled punk, wannabe thug


Anyone who thinks that we will be a racially, socially blind society is crazy.  What we can be is aware of the preconceived notions we have about each other and try to be better.  I think it will be hard to be an urban black young man for many years longer than any of us are comfortable with.   But let's be honest, the inner city lawless thug is a person, he is not at all representational of all young black men, but he is real, and one that is glorified by movies, tv and music, and I find him a bit scary.  I may be a racist for having a category for the angry kid with a gun, but so be it.  I certainly don't think or place every young person of color into that category and the ones that do go there aren't all black.

I know people judge me too, I'm a middle aged white lady who drives a 2 year old around in a white mini-van.  I'm harmless right?  But, maybe you see an entitled, racist, elitist snob. I couldn't have anything in common or care about anyone who doesn't live on my block or drive my kind of car.  Surely not.

Profiling happens everywhere and all the time.  In the business world we meet people from all over the globe and interact on a common theme, but we've already created a false society because only the educated and smart people (and for some reason me) are invited to the workplace.   It's a racially diverse group and race isn't an issue, but it is not a socioeconomically diverse group, it is a whole bunch of "haves" and ramen eating future-haves.

"Lucky" for most of us, we get to point fingers at Florida and call them backwards as if it has nothing to do with us.  But, like many other things that are wrong, we owe it to ourselves to let them know we don't support their backwards ways.  Put the pressure on with your wallet, your vacation money and tell the businesses that operate in Florida that the laws are unacceptable.  Sure, Disney doesn't make laws in Florida, but they have influence and by not participating in socially right causes, they are implying approval.

Boycotting companies like Disney isn't my point, but an example of how 'we' can influence 'them'.   We have to do something.  Sitting around saying "shame on them" but not acting or speaking out is doing nothing.

I feel terribly for Trayvon's mom and dad.  I pray that they know that complete strangers care about their pain and that gives them some comfort.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rock a my baby

videoLucy singing to her friends at bedtime.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Science, Parties and FIremen


Science
It's a little unnerving when the art/science project of the day is presented at home.  This lovely bottle contains water, glitter and oil.  It is designed to demonstrate emulsion.  Let that wash over you... she's two years old.  EMULSION!?  Alas, I am supportive and encouraging but there is a part of me (not even a small part, nee a large one) that wonders what the holy moses is our day care thinking?  Sure, they glued the lid onto this portable container of 'you need a new carpet', but that kid can break through walls, dried hot glue will not stop her from the super satisfying task of opening a water bottle!

Secondly, we weren't told what the "used water bottle" would be utilized for when it was requested.  Had I known I would have dug deep into the recycling pile for plastics that contain NO recycled materials and are thick - like space shuttle window glass thick.  Instead, I sent Lucy into this art/science project with a bottle from the Costco water.  They pride themselves on the fastness in which their plastic breaks down.

Sadly, the emulsion bottle will likely be 'lost' while she's at school today. I hope this isn't heartbreaking. However, getting rid of it will also be a challenge as you can't simply dump a cup of oil down the drain.  I think perhaps the gravel garden on the far side of our house will have a sparkle to it for a while.  Sorry Mother Earth, day care hates you.


picnic in the park
Last night was the first concert of the Summer Thursday's at Pine Lake.  Our regular companions were occupied and we made the trek anyway.  Lucy still seems to love her chair that is perfectly Lucy sized and true to form didn't eat much dinner.  I thought the selection was kid perfect, grapes, pickles, turkey/cheese roll-up and a few potato chips.  I was wrong... she ate four grapes and some juice.  She's clearly not starving and there are nights when she eats and eats, so I'm not going to set my hair on fire when she doesn't.

Before we left for the park, Lucy and I walked down to the neighborhood picnic to say hello to the neighbors.  I suppose we should have made that our only activity for the night, after all I am the one who is sad we don't know the neighbors better, but in spite of what you think you know about me, I'm nervous about the walk up to newish people and chat scenario. I'm the illusive "omnivert" an extrovert with introvert traits.  That's for a different post.

The fire department was at the party and Lucy met her first official fire fighter, who was kind enough to give her a sticker even though she was hiding behind my legs.  I will miss that stage when it's over. She knew the truck was exciting and wanted her picture taken, but was sure to tell me that it isn't a toy. She knows a lot of things now.

The future firefighter


packed up and headed home.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Confirmed, you're old, that'll be $2,000.

The trip to the doctor yesterday was not a waste of time.  I did ice the knee all day, but the swelling didn't abate, but it wasn't (isn't) overly painful.  Making an appointment for something that is a 2 on the 0-10 pain scale makes me feel kind of like a whiny baby, but as I only get these two knees I figured I have the time to make sure we're not making things worse by sucking it up.

Our doctor is quite funny and seems to read me well.  He had me hop up on the table as I explained the story behind my trauma.  "Ok, so it's Pool, Baby, and Money right?"  Yes - those are the key points of my knee injury.  "I'm just going to write down the medical term for general clumsiness."  Whatever the insurance company will accept doc, that's fine by me.

I explained that the pain was present, but not sharp or consistent when I made regular movements like walking and moving around, but if I twisted quickly or tried to do that squatting thing it would hurt.  So, he pokes pokes and pokes. "Does this hurt?" No. "What about this?" No, and then he pulled or jabbed and I yelled loudly and grabbed his arm with all my might, and then started to laugh.  "So that is what we call a positive reaction." He says mildly deadpan while waiting for me to free his arm from my clenched hand.  At this point I wonder is he going to do it again? You know those doctors want to...do no harm, I don't buy it.  They are just as dark and twisted as the rest of us.  At the dentist... you know that 'test' they do where they "measure the depths of your pockets"  and poke your gums around each tooth?  They don't have to poke you, the x-ray can measure the pocket, but they get off on the poke.  Poke (giggle), Poke (giggle).  Bastards.   But Dr. K does not inflict the pain again, instead off to x-ray I go, where for some reason I have to re-explain the injury. Pool, Baby, Money.

Finally, back to the room and I wait a short moment for Dr. K to inflict pain on the kid across the hall.  After the screaming subsides he's back to me.  We review the x-rays where it is discovered that I have a broken knee cap.  This is an old injury unrelated to the pain of the moment, and I have no idea of when it may have occurred.  I give myself a gold star for living with such a traumatic injury and never once complaining about it.

My (broken) kneecap is displaced and I have a case of Patella Femoral Syndrome.  Sounds serious right?  Well, not really.  PFS is common among runners.   That is a true statement that I would swear to the Supreme Court.  However, as a stand alone statement it could be interpreted that I myself am a runner.  I have taken a 'run' or two, but am not as you may guess an avid runner.  I don't mind it, but my inner dialog is so distracting.  "You're going to die, you can't breathe, stop, you must stop, you're going to die if you take one more step."  It's hard to keep a steady pace with that going on.  Anyway, back to my super serious injury.  It turns out that people who lay carpet, or play on the floor with toddlers are also susceptible to PFS.

The treatment... rest & ice for 2 weeks, then some physical therapy to get the knee cap back where it belongs.  Thankfully, amputation is very low on the treatment lists.

Dr. K also said "you know that old joke 'hey Doc, it hurts when I do this...'  Yeah, well, if it hurts, don't do it.  I don't get to use that line often."   He's a funny one.

Also, my self diagnosis of arthritis was accurate.  But, this is not unexpected and my pain will be managed with my old friend tylenol.  Pain is a strong word at this point.

So, here I sit with ice on my knee and I'm about to make some appointments with the PT people.  I wonder, do they do "Hot Rock PT?"


An actual photo of me.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Perhaps I'm getting old...

I'll be seeing the doctor today for a minor issue with my knee.  Last week during the H-O-T weather we set up the inflatable pool but because it's so large (relatively so) we didn't want to plop it on the lawn, so we used the patio instead.  To protect the bottom of the pool and ourselves we put down some protective mats, but they didn't quite cover the entire bottom of the pool.  I tweaked my knee by accidentally kneeling on the edge of one of the mats and it did a number on the knee cap.


This weekend Lucy and I were horsing around and she stepped on my knee with her full weight and that wasn't great.    Yesterday I cashed in the giant pile of change at the coinstar machine and dropped the bag on the floor.  Squatting and scooping pulled whatever is bad in my knee to the point where it was noticeably swollen by the time I made it back to the car.

I do not think this is an amputation level injury, but I do worry while traversing the stairs that it's going to give out so I made a call to the doctor.   Jason, or rather Dr. Jason has diagnosed my situation as bursitis.  We'll see what Dr. K has to say about that, but to me bursitis sounds like an old persons situation.

But, I feel I should also confess that in addition to odd knee pain brought on by a two year old, the doctor will also be looking at my arthritic thumb and toe joints.  If only there was something wrong with my head and shoulders I could sing him a little song.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes....



Monday, July 01, 2013

Summer!

It was an amazing weekend, the kind where you know that no moment has been wasted.

We did it all this weekend, dinner in the back yard, swimming, visiting friends, exhausting the kid and all things fun and great.

Saturday we zipped to the mall in the morning to check out the "amazing sale" at Eddie Bauer and decided to swing by the container store for storage items for the new storage bins in our loft.  I kind of went crazy with the selection and will likely be returning some of the haul.  There's form vs. function and the little discussed dimension of financial.  Yes, the new bins are pretty and they will function nicely, but are they necessary?  It remains to be seen.

Saturday night was our date with the boat pick up people.  During the back and forth emails I wasn't nervous about our decision to have dinner with these people whom we spoke with for about 30 minutes at the mall.   The 20% introvert side of me was worried that it would be awkward but from the moment we arrived it was relaxed and the conversation flowed fast and furious.   There was some pre-planning where the question was asked "any food or conversation topics we should avoid?" This is a great question.  In this day and age people's food issues are so complex that cooking for others can be quite the challenge.   But, since we had tentatively landed on beef as a protein I didn't think it was necessary to bring up Jason's aversion to salmon.  And, the walnut thing with me is not a fatal allergy and I am perfectly capable of picking them out of my food.   Also, I didn't mention that I'm still rather ruined on chardonnay after all - we were bringing wine.  On the conversation front, I figured I could hold my over opinionated tongue if we started to get into a squishy area.

I giggled when I got the email that read "change of plans, A wants to cook salmon, so bring an oaky chardonnay."    Truth be told, the salmon was amazing and Jason even inquired as to how it was cooked.  He told me in the car that he'd like to maybe try it sometime at home.  (On the grill - cooking salmon in the house is a no no.)    We didn't bring chardonnay and shared why.  Most people have a beverage (tequila, rum?) that the smell is so overpowering that it takes them back to a bad decision from their youth.  Hey, I was 42... stop judging me!

Alas, by the end of the evening the 'salmon' story was known by all and I don't get the feeling our new friends were insulted.  Honestly, it was some good fish.   Oh, and that kid.  She was served up a plate with cheese quesadilla, green beans, corn on the cob and eventually a cup cake.  What did she eat?  two bites of corn and about 6 of the crunchy fresh green beans from my plate.  The cup cake... nope.  ODD BIRD.

Sometimes the kids don't leave a party with the clothes they brought. We were able to donate a too small swimsuit to the far more petite (not quite the TALL child that we have) Noel and Lucy left with some sassy black boots that were too small for our hostess.  I couldn't get pants on Lucy so we walked to our car in a shorty shirt, a diaper and knee high black boots.  If she wasn't two it would have been an unfortunate wardrobe selection.

Sunday we worked hard to get to church early.  Pastor Kirby, the pastor who married us, has been elected as Bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod (that's a big churchy word.)  What does this mean?  Well, after 30 years, he will no longer be the senior pastor at our church.  We are happy for him and think he's going to be great, but we are so sad to no have him to ourselves anymore.   Sunday was his last day with SMLC and there was a big party.

Church was so packed (bigger than Christmas or Easter) that they filled the entry way with folding chairs and those folks watched the service on monitors.  It was an emotional service and I'm so glad we went - even though it was about 300 degrees in the chapel.  (Chapel isn't the right word because we aren't Catholic but I don't know the official Lutheran term.  Perhaps, 'worship space'.)   The service started at 10, and Kirby opened his welcome to us by announcing that his mother, who has been ill, passed away at 8:00 am that morning.  WHOA.  I hope that he and his family were comforted by the waves of love rolling at them all day.

After church we headed home to set up the pool.  The projected temperature for the day was supposed to be around 88 (turned out to be 93).  Getting that pool up and running was a priority.  Of course, on a day that we were going to be hanging out in the back yard all day, the neighbors across the way were bringing down two very large trees on their property.  The sound of the chainsaws was loud and not relaxing and it was sad to see the trees come down.  The process is interesting, but I hope they had a good reason for doing it.

In the high heat of the day, we retired inside to watch a movie.  We only watch movies with Lucy on the weekends and after hours in the sun, it seemed like a smart idea.  She happily ate her bowl of popcorn and drank her juice while enjoying the "bovie".

This morning she was bathed in a layer of sunscreen before heading to school and looked cute as a button in her red, white and blue t-shirt.  She's letting me put her hair up now and again and as you can see, I'm out of practice, but will do it any chance I get.

Tonight we start swim lessons.  Wish us luck!


dinner on the patio

cupcake lollipop


The doomed tree


Lake TP


relaxing in the late afternoon


ready for Monday

the aftermath