Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, I realize this is two days after the fact, but Happy Thanksgiving anyway. I hope anyone reading this had a wonderful day full of family, feasting, and fun. We had a great day and got to play in the snow! We have spent the last three Thanksgivings with our friends the Hoffmans. The have a 19 year old tradition of having Thanksgiving dinner at Cooper Spur which is located at the base of Mt Hood. The food was delicious, and it was really nice not to have to cook or clean anything.

It varies from year to year if there is snow or not, but this year was a good one. It started snowing on our way up there and continued to snow all through the meal. I think when we left there was a good three inches of snow on the ground. So, in addition to it being Katrina's first Thanksgiving, it was her first snow. This year Emily is old enough to really enjoy the snow too. She was having a blast. About now you are probably wondering, "Where are all the pictures?" Therein lies the painful part of this whole story. Christoph grabbed the batteries fresh off the charger, put them in the camera and figured we were good to go. When we got there, we discovered that the batteries were dead. So, no pictures of Katrina tasting snow, Emily's first snowball fight, Emily's first snow angel, the beautiful scenery, you get the idea. To make things even worse I somehow left the video camera on during dinner, draining that battery, so we couldn't even film the excitement.

Oh well, I tried to take lots of mental pictures and be thankful that we were all together and having lots of fun. If it doesn't snow in Corvallis this year we'll just have to go on a day trip and bring extra batteries!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm Mean

I work as a nurse in a children's clinic. So, a big part of what I do every day is give kids their immunizations. Of course they always cry, and it is the part of my day I like least. On the other hand, I know it's only a momentary pain and that they will get over it pretty quick. After I give the shots I usually leave the room ASAP so the kids can get comforted by their parents and not have me there reminding them of their suffering. Or making them afraid something else bad is coming. Sometimes I get dirty looks from the kids, but usually they are focused on Mommy or Daddy's hugs. Last night, however, was a first. This cute little four year old gets his shots, then he is standing on the table getting his hug and he looks over his parent's shoulder, points at me and yells, "You're mean." Ouch! You gotta love this job.

I just have to get up on my soapbox for a second. Two of my biggest pet peeves at my job are:
A. When parents walk in to the clinic saying, "You're going to be mad soon," "Oh you're not gonna like this" and "You won't be so happy in a minute." Why not just keep a positive attitude and let the kid judge the experience for themselves, instead of telling them at the very beginning that they are going to hate it!
B. When parents don't give their kids any warning that they are getting shots, pretend like everything is so great, and make the nurse do a sneak attack. That just seems twice as mean to me. The kid is all happy and then suddenly it's like, "What the heck just happened!"
Are these the only options for doctor's visits? Where is the balance? How about just explaining what's going on. It's fun to see the doctor, he listens to your heart and looks in your ears. We get to see how much you grew. Then you have to have a few shots. It hurts, but it keeps you from getting sick and then you get stickers! Maybe even a trip to get ice cream. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think an informed child can cope better. In the long run, visits to the pediatrician help them learn that sometimes life hurts, but the rewards are worth it. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Caffeine, the bitter-sweetness

I'm writing this post at the risk of opening myself to a barrage of criticism. Although, just saying that is probably really flattering myself. I don't think I have enough readers to get too criticized. :)
The other day the girls and I were running around town doing errands. It was way past lunchtime and we hadn't eaten so I swung by Burger King. Emily chowed down her chicken nuggets and kept saying she was thirsty. Since I had nothing else to offer her, I made an exception and let her have a sip of my Coke. In my defense I will say that she had no soda before the age of two and has had very little since. So, she takes a big sip and hands it back to me, then says, "That drink makes my eyes watery, Mommy. Does it make your eyes watery?" It just struck me as so funny. How many times have I taken a big drink of ice cold Coke and had my throat burn and my eyes water? Too many to count. Does it stop me? No, no a thousand times no. Emily, by the way hates to have her eyes water. She avoids it like the plague. It just made me think and wonder about the thousands, or maybe just hundreds of things we do that cause us some discomfort, but the reward causes us to do them anyway. Life is funny.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Sweet Seven

Here it is already. Seven months old baby girl! You are so suddenly mobile this month. You added rolling front to back to your repertoire and now you can gradually roll yourself around the whole room. I never know what position I'll find you in when you wake up from a nap, or in the morning. Horizontal, vertical, sideways, upside-down. You are also sitting up really well and you really love being able to see what's going on and grab everything in reach.

You started teething too. That's a new thing you are not enjoying. You can get very cranky, but overall you are still your smiley self. I can tell those two bottom toofers are going to pop out any time. Working on adding teeth hasn't slowed down your babbling one bit. Now you're saying Da-da-da as well as Ma-ma-ma. You're still growling up a storm and you love to get in squealing/screeching battles with Emily whenever we're in the car. The two of you are like dueling banjos trying to see who can squeal most elaborately. It really makes you giggle when she blows raspberries at you and you don't hesitate to blow them right back.
You really enjoyed getting to meet Grandpa for the first time, and renew your relationship with Grandma when they came to visit from Ecuador for a few weeks. It didn't take you very long to warm up to them. You really loved grabbing Grandpa's glasses and it was Grandma who finally got you to take a bottle. Yeah! Uncle Jonathan also came to visit while they were here. Auntie Linda is up here staying with Grammie and Opa, so you've had lots of opportunities to meet/see extended family this month.

You had your first Halloween and I must say, you looked awfully cute. You didn't make it trick or treating, you were too tired to be happy in the cold dark, but you did go to the carnival and garnered a few compliments there.

You are a ray of sunshine and I love you sweet baby.

***For those of you who are wondering, after three weeks of trial and error, Katrina gained 3 whole pounds. She is up to 18lbs, 1oz! In the process she completely weaned herself and is now loving her bottle. I wish I could have just supplemented her, but she only wanted one or the other (formula or breastmilk) not both. I'm just glad she's getting her thigh rolls back! It has been amazing to see the subtle changes in her activity level now that she's not mildly starving! :( Poor baby.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Prima Ballerina

So, I know that title is a long way from the truth at this point, but I couldn't resist. Emily started taking ballet/tap lessons seven weeks ago and she absolutely LOVES it. We are fortunate to live in a town with a very active parks and recreation department and the class is offered through them, which makes it a little more affordable. One of her friends from church is taking the same class which just doubles the fun.

The class runs in six week sessions and for the last week the parents get to come in for the last half of class and watch the kids dance. It happened to coincide with Grandma visiting from Ecuador, so she got to come watch, which was cool. We also took advantage of Grandma's prowess with the sewing machine and Emily got two new dance skirts. Next time I take pictures I need to sit on the other side of the room, so my pictures aren't so washed out. I also need to work a little on the blur factor.

I love the look of intense concentration that she has in some of these pictures. I've learned two interesting things about my little girl through this new venture. First, she really doesn't like to do things wrong. She really focuses hard on what the teacher is telling them to do. Sometimes she spends so much time trying to do it exactly right that the class will have moved on to the next step while she's still making it perfect. She'll also be paying so much attention to putting her arms in the right position that she totally forgets about her feet. It's hilariously cute. Second, if she doesn't think she can do something, she doesn't even want to try. The other little girls will be falling all over the place and she'll just stand there and say. "I can't do that". Fortunately her teacher doesn't accept that answer. The crazy thing is, I'm the exact same way. It makes me wonder, is it nature or nurture. At three years old can she really have observed me making excuses not to try things so much that she adopted it herself? I don't think so, and it's awfully interesting to think that fear of failure can be born in a person. I'll have to make sure I let her see me trying to do things and having it be ok when I can't. This parenting thing is never that straightforward is it. In the meantime, I'm having so much fun watching her dance.