Sunday, March 30, 2008

Move over Coco

Yesterday we had to make a trip to Costco. I announced it to the kids and told them to get ready. A few minutes later she came down in this get up. Pants- by Audrey's baby clothes
Jacket- by Grandma Trudy
Fleece snow hat-by Pippin
Flip flops- by last year's and still too big
Glasses- by Papa's 3-D movie trip
She really knows how to reuse clothes season after season and make them look good.

I told her to be still for a picture and she started doing all kinds of poses and faces. I promise she has never seen the runways but she could easily be on one. Especially with the outfits she creates.

She really does like the camera's. Trudy has some amazing ones of her in a little ballet dress and veil I'll have to put up. I"m thinking if she ever catches on to how cute she is we may have to intervene like the von Trapps did. They noticed one of the girls getting a little vain and paying too much attention to the mirror so they staged a conversation for her to overhear where they all bemoaned how funny looking the girl was getting and how sad it was because she had been so cute. Or something like that.
But, fortunately Kateri doesn't have to rely on her looks for anything. And she knows it. I guess if it came to it we could just send her to a convent for a few years.
I did have her change before we left. It was cold and rainy.
But if you need any fashion advice let me know and I'll give you her number. Kateri's Konsulting is up and running.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Like father like son

Pippin was up to his favorite pasttime again. Only this time it was sugar. Luckily, I got to him before he spread it around so clean up was not that bad. Surprisingly, I preferred it to the flour. It was easier to get out the cracks. I was glad he had not added any liquid. I don't have pictures but Shane did the same thing. When he was little. Only, he emptied his mom's entire pantry- flour,sugar, spices and all. And then to top it off he poured a bottle of bleach over the mountain he had created. (I suppose these days you could sue for not having child proof lids. Not that it would have stopped Shane I suppose) You'd think that would be bad enough but he then proceeded to run around the house, after walking through the pile in his socks. Trudy said it left little bleached foot prints all over the highly polished mahagony colored linoleum floor. So I guess I should consider myself lucky. And I think we will not repeat the vacuuming out the toilet or melting legos in the toaster episodes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book Him

Kateri and I were making raspberry syrup for our french toast when Pippin came down from the school room with ink all over his stomach. I picked him up and asked,

"Pippin, did you get into the pens?"- dumb question I know.

"NO" he answered.

"Then how did you get pen on your tummy?"

Kateri immediately went into interrogator mode. She crossed her arms and started out with good-cop lull you by my sweetness voice and asked,

"PIppin, dijyu cwimb up on the desk and get da pens?"

"NO" he insisted again, " I didn't."

"Den how dijyu get da pen?" changing immediately to the I know you did it don't try to get out of it tell me everything I already know voice.

"I cwimbed on da caburd" he whined. Meaning the one in the kitchen where we were cooking.

"But I didn't see you come down here and cwimb on da KAHBURD" she said emphatically, her eyes narrowing.

"So you had to get on da desk and get a pen" she announced. Case closed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pascha in Seattle

Which means rain so i didn't actually get any out door pictures. Holy Saturday and Bright Monday the weather is sunny and nice but of course Sunday we got rain. But we had good time at Grandma and Grandpa's with an indoor egg hunt. Grandma found these cute little felt baskets for the kids. Pippin thought his looked good as a hat. I think he was right.
This was obviously not Sunday- as you can see sun. Shane and Ron have gotten most of the main frame of the play set done. The next step is setting the "swing beam" which I just like to say. And settling on a location so he can get the foundation done.
As a start to the week I was woken by the sound of knocking at 4am this morning. I was prepared for the "I'm scared, I can't sleep, or even someone peed the bed" excuse for rousing us pre-dawn. I was not prepared for the "my tummy hurt........barf" . All over our rug, and into the garbage can. And finally the bathroom floor and toilet. I got Cyril all showered and changed and settled in bed again and then proceeded to scrub and lysol everything, all the while thinking I hate jelly beans and chocolate peanut butter cups. I'm thinking and hoping it was just the sugar. HE slept the rest of the night without incident and had some orange shake this morning. I decided a nice scented liquid would be better than other things to clean up. Father always warns about easing off the fast and making yourself sick. I've decided we are just not going to go there period. We'll just stay very no/low sugar. I think they all feel so much better without it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Thursday!!

I can't beleive it already is Holy Thursday. Time flies. I had plans for today. I thought the kids and I could read the Passion play and color the little figures to act it out. And I thought we'd make the Pascha bread. Tirzah and I decided to dispense with our tradition of making it together. Somehow it just seemed like a bad idea this year.

Last year was the year we decided to build our own fence so the kids could play outside while we worked. Shane was a little less than thrilled with the baby gates and folding tables we laced together with ropes. And the bare spot the big toy bin left in the lawn has never recovered. But you do what you have to and we thought we were pretty creative. And we got the pascha done.

I am thinking we were right to hold off this year. The kids all got up on the wrong side of whatever and I actually feel like I might be coming down with something and have been really tired. So adding lots of cooking mess and sticky dough would not have helped.

Someone decided to go ahead with the plan, while I was being bad and reading Tirzah's blog. I was distracted by her red shoes and was not preapared when I went into the kitchen and found this:
I followed the foot prints,
Someone's been sitting on my couch,
and soon apprehended the culprit. For securtity reasons I can't show his face but his name is Pippin.

So an hour later, after sweeping, vacuuming, and bathing, we are almost back to normal -whatever that is. Except I'm more tired and Pippin who did not nap is more whiny and I never did make it to the store so we'll have to be creative for dinner. Very creative. It probably won't be anything I would photograph or report on. But hey, its Lent.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kateri's Dr appointment

Kateri and I got to spend the day at Children's yesterday. It wasn't too bad, considering we were there for 4 hours and a lot of that time was spent between appointments. But I had a stack of quarters and we had fun with the vending machines and browsing the gift shop. It also would not have gone so well if she was not such a trooper.

First we had the EKG which she was completely fine with. And everything came out normal. So we moved on- an hour later- to the CT scan. She was a little hesitant when she saw the machine but lay down and held still just the same. I got to stay and hold her hand and afterwards she got to pick out stickers- again. She had quite the collection going on.

Then we had about an hour to kill until we saw Dr Sei. So we sat and talked and drew pictures and ate tiny cookies. I realized it was St Patrick's day when the gift store offered to sell me a $.10 green plastic necklace. For $1. So I told Kateri she could have a treat. She is really good about not having treats on fast days. I took her to the machine to pick out a drink. She looked at all the choices and said

"Water" without even hesitating. Then she explained "We can't have pop because its a fast day". Not that I was going to let her anyway.

Finally we got in for her hearing test. This time she got to feed the bunny carrots. The results were the same as the test in November. So no change was good for now. Then we got to sit and wait for the doctor. She was finally getting bored and asked if we could go home now. I was running out of games to play. She liked playing catch the jumping spider as it leapt around the exam room table.

The doctor and assistant came in and checked her ears first. It was so sad. She lay on her side and they put the tip of a scope in her ear and then looked at it through a big lighted microscope coming down from the ceiling. She held very still and never made a peep. But when they pulled the scope away, she had tears streaming down her cheeks. They asked if it hurt her ear and she nodded. I felt so sad for her. But impressed as well. Now we know the enemy won't be able to use torture to get any information out of her. Maybe she saw the whole visit as a training exercise for her missions later in life. And of course she wore her pink cowboy boots to distract everyone and put them off their guard.

"Oh, what a sweet little girl. I love your pink boots. And look at that hair. Security codes? Oh, sure, here you go sweetie."

We went over the CT scan which actually did have new information. They found her cochlea, which looks like a coiled snail shell and like stack of three donuts on a CT scan, only had two donuts. But interestingly, both ears are the same, though only one has hearing problems. The cochlea is formed before the 5th month so for whatever reason she been this way since birth. The doctor said it could be genetic, and there is some study they are doing looking at a link between CMV and hearing loss. She asked if we wanted to be in the study but I would need the heel stick they did when she was born. I can't remember if I took her in for one or not , I'm thinking not, so I said no thanks. I don't really need any more dr vistits than we've got going. As far as genetics, she said they are working on some new tests but right now she would not recommend going that route as it would involve lots of poking and blood work and it wouldn't change what we do now anyway. But she suggested I have the other kids tested. Which sounds incredibly fun.

So now our options are speech therapy and a hearing aid. Dr said either one we could try or both and just see if it makes a difference. And going forward they suggest we have her hearing checked every 3-4 mos. So I am thinking maybe at our next visit we might look into a hearing aid and maybe try therapy in the mean time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A few bright spots...And an apology.. the event anyone thinks I am utterly ridiculous by the time they finish reading this. FYI it was very theraputic for me and still highly entertaining .

Actually, there weren't many bright spots. Which in this case was good. I had my annual MRI on Thursday. I love the new technology. It takes 20 min. They post the scans and 2hrs later, after having crab bruschetta and salad at a nearby restaurant, you can review them on the computer at the doctor's office. While sipping you're breve.

So the good news- no new activity, brain is not atrophying-and some bright spots (aka lesions) have even disappeared since last year. I learned that as a brain does shrink the space is filled with fluid. So the doctor said water head is more appropriate than air head. But I don't think it sounds as good.

The bad news- I was a complete idiot at the doctor's. I got a fit of the giggles and it was like when you are in church and you are trying not to laugh and then suddenly everything is hilarious and the harder you try the funnier it is. Last time I did a similar thing when he was doing the reflex, tap your fingers, tap your toes etc routine. I think the one that really got me was the walk the line "sobriety" test and finger on your nose. I can't really explain it. It was just funny at the time.

Well this time it was his use of the word sphincter- which I know is a common and perfectly normal word and the human body actually contains something like 50 of the things-but I'd never heard a professional say it and it caught me off guard. And the harder I tried to not smile the funnier it was. And then he would say it again. I had my hand covering the lower half of my face and tried really hard to look serious. But then there it was again and I was helpless to fight it off. Finally, I just rested my forhead on my hand and silently haffmmmped into it . All the while praying it would not come up again. And then it did. And I was a goner.

Poor Shane was sitting across from me and not at all as amused as I was, so the Unflappable Dr. Brown- as we now call him- could direct his comments to him. But then he would catch me out of the corner of his eye and apparently I was such a sight that he was becoming infected by my behavior. He gave a little chuckle and then accidentally snorted, thought he'd try to pass is off as a coughing spell, and finally gave into it. Which of course only compounded exponentially my hysteria

So we are both just busting up- me at the doctor and Shane at me- and the doctor just sits there and says,

"So I'm just going to keep talking here"

Shane apologized or something and explained it seemed to be a certain word that was setting me off.
"Yes", said the Doctor, "I know. I've been trying to avoid using it"

(The other funny thing is that I guess there is some thing called pseudobulbar effect or something like that, common in MS patients, where they have strong emotional reactions to something not really emotional. Like they might just start cracking up everytime they hear the work "brick" or something. I felt lkind of bad for him as he might have thought this was the case with me. But I didn't want to tell him , 'no, I'm just really immature.)

Just knowing he knew made it even funnier and if I noticed a substitute word I was in coniptions again. So either way I was equally in trouble.

I explained, once I could talk, that

"I think its been stressful lately or something, this is the second time today I've been set off and had an emotional meltdown. Maybe I just need a good cry."

Shane said,

"Well, then this must have been a good release for you".

I was undone.

Friday, March 7, 2008


We made whole wheat muffins this morning. Or as Pippin calls them "nuffins". The little kids of course wanted to help. I let them until Cyprian started doing this. Then I thought it best to remove him from the mixing area.
I thought Kater's hair was looking pretty cute. Kind of flapper-girlish. It was a little damp and while it was wet I put some citrishine serum on it to help it stay calm.
Apparently not quite enough as it "lifted" a lot as it dried more. Maybe if I put it on at night and have her sleep in little cap it will tame it.
And here are the finished nuffins- plain for the kids and blueberry for mom and dad- and Kateri- because she is not a kid.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dark Helmet

a.k.a. Kateri's hair. There is no other way to describe it. It was getting a little long and she asked me for a hair cut today so I gave her one. she loves getting it cut and styled and I've been contemplating taking her to see Nina- but at $50 a cut I was not sure I wanted to get her acquainted with the ways of Gene Juarez at the age of 4. So I grabbed my ice-forged-steel clippers and went to town. She got to watch in the mirror and at one point giggled and said "I look like a churkey" and then she kept saying she looked like a different girl. Tirzah called in the midst of clipping so see what we were up to. She thought it sounded fun so she stopped by to play beauty salon too.
And the results are: I think this damp beach look is a good one for her. The water really helps with the tendency the hairs have to fan out like a straw wig. Maybe just a little gel in the morning and she'll be good to go.
The tucked behind the ear ultra sleek look I think would do well for her board meeting days. We're shopping for a power suit for her. Actually, any thing she wears she makes a power suit.
Sometimes a girl just needs to be herself for a little.

And here is the problem. It dries and looks like, well , a dark straw helmet.

At least she is cute and can get away with any hair cut. Maybe for her 5th birthday we'll go see Nina. Or sooner if it starts growing out and looks terrible.

The Kids Roughing It

The kdis built the beautiful little hide out in the living room yesterday. The beautiful thing about it was there was room for everyone and they played nicely and ate their Panda food in it. Later, Kateri wanted to try it as a trampoline. It was not so beautiful. I was glad her attempts to get Pippin to join her had not been successful.

Tuesday was Chopin's birthday and they played a lot of his music on the radio all day. After awhile I started missing playing the piano and then got up the nerve to check Craigslist once again. I had backed off for awhile- initially spurred on by some bad interactions-warning, if someone named Jesse says to e-mail for pictures- DON'T. And then after awhile I was enjoying the not searching all the time. Trying to be the first responder and waiting feverishly for a "yes, its still available" from the seller. Or you miss it and you feel like that was the best deal lever and now you've lost it and there will never be another like it. Ever. And I was feeling content to just wait and find exactly what I want even if its at a store instead.

So yesterday I typed in piano and found a Kimball for $200 not far from our house. It was still available so I mailed Shane to get his ok and in the mean time someone else snatched it. So now I am in my very quiet house with nothing to express my sadness with while the hunt goes on. But Shane did give me liscence to just agree to something right away if I want it. So next time, Gadget. Or maybe we'll just go to a piano store. Not really.

We just finished lunch after a trip to Central Market. I needed to get fresh flour. Now I'm going to make coffee and check for any new piano listings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We are really happy to have Shane home. I'm not sure why but just three days and it sometimes seemed harder than his 2 week trips. He had a lot of fun and liked trying new terrain- like going down paths and dodging trees, sounds fun doesn't it. He liked the longer runs and the village, or whatever they call it. He just tried Whistler which means he can try Blackcombe another time. I missed him most at night. I had no one to say," I heard something " to and then send on a wild goose chase until I remember I had turned on the dishwasher or whatever. The new bed time routine had been going well and we had even moved the little kids out of our bed, which is nice. Although if we get lonely we just have to sit up and there they are sleeping on the floor. We've still got some work to do. Shane bought 2 weather balloons and let the kids play with one last night. IT was really neat and would go soaring up to the ceiling with just a slight tap.
The kids had a hard time catching it when it was time to put it away.
It did wonders for Kateri's hair. It lasted until just after dinner. Shane is going to get some helium and plan some fun times for the kids later.
"Feel My Tummy"

Kateri ate a ton of lunch and then wanted everyone to feel how full her tummy was. She said she ate all her lunch so now she can grow big like mamma and drive the car and go to the store to get gum.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Our Week-end

Shane and Aaron were goe to Whistler this week-end so Tirzah and I had the bright idea of getting together, thinking it would make things easier. Actually, I think she thought of it. It did make the time interesting- like when no one would settle down to sleep.
Kateri offered to read Jack Are You My Mother to hepl him get to sleep- and stay in the bed- neither of which worked.
We were pretty hard up for entertainment. Pippin did his best by putting on a baby seat and chasing the big kids. It looked best when he crawled, like a turtle with a shell.
We were silly enought to attempt a Scrabble game. After we heard a few thunks upstairs I went to check on the kids. I think they called this paraticular rendition "Katrina" I think they were just trying to give us something to do . To make the time past.
Well' after that they further felt inspired- as least Kateri did- to urinate on her rug- and Auntie Tirzah's body pillow. Tirzah really appreciated the gift and felt such gratitude she decided to have Damien come stay with her and went home the second night. We parated on friendly terms. She made the bed and I washed her bedding and I think all the kids went to bed earlier.

Thank good-ness the guys come home tonight.