A Very Happy Birthday to Miranda
August 25, 2008
Seven is the age in which having a birthday is no longer enough excitement. I think Miranda was disappointed...there were presents. There was cake. A trip to Target and a park. We even had samples at Costco. But no swimming or entertainers or guests or surprises.
For the last few days, Miranda has off and on tried to figure out how war is different than Capture the Flag. I don't know how this idea bounced into her head. We've discussed war in the present era with planes and tanks and satellite guided missiles. And compared it with war in the past--hand to hand combat and muskets and knives. Rob suggests that perhaps she is talking about the card game War. I don't think so. I tried to make the point today that Capture the Flag is a game and war is. not. a. game. She wondered if it were a game if it would be like Capture the Flag. Heaven help me when she finds out about war games.
Henry (yelling): OVER HERE
Miranda: <corrective tone> I am a Princess.
Henry: I AM A YELLER.
Miranda: OK, you're a puppy.
My Letter to Miranda in years hence:
You're fabulous. You make me laugh. You are getting so big. The path of mewling infant to toddler is well-worn and documented. The changes I see now are more subtle. The books you can read get harder. The excuses you give get wilder and often more believable. The questions you ask are more convoluted, better phrased, more thought provoking. The teeth falling out don't even strike me as crazy as they did 2 years ago.
This summer, you've learned to like showers and washing your hair there. You can play with your brother for hours. You like to do something all the time. And your omnivore tastes continue--you're list of iffy foods is so much shorter than your food loves. Music reaches you in new ways. You're obsessed with trying to put your foot behind your head and your convinced by the end of 15 weeks of gymnastics, you'll be doing the splits. You are still an amazing artist--your brush/crayon/marker strokes are fluid and fast. You want to do everything fast. And move on the next thing. I am not sure if 7 will bring an outpouring of patience. It will surprise me.
I wish I could capture your ingenious excuses to not patch for amblyopia. The freedom you feel on your bike. The joy on your face when you listen to music on your headphones. Your excitement about your new sister not yet born. You surprised me by asking about the miscarriage a week or 2 ago. I think you wanted to make sure that wouldn't happen again. I wish I could promise us that were safe. But of course, we're never really safe. I can't make the world safe. And I can encourage us to be careful, but I think you're starting to see that life is unpredictable, unfair, untamed. I can't wait to see where you jump next, what challenges you take on, what tickles your fancy, what makes your heart sing. You're wonderful and don't you forget it.
7 years ago today
August 24, 2008
I had no clue what was coming. My water broke at 2 am on the 25th, by 10 am, Miranda was born. I went to bed on the 24th, thinking about visitors the next day, an anniversary party, and I'm sure something else. Not going into labor. We assumed we were having false labor--we went to the hospital. The nurses generally agreed that it seemed like false labor. Luckily for Miranda, the chief resident, whom never met, disagreed. The broken bag of waters didn't test well on the Ph test. In retrospect, I wonder why they didn't do the ferning test.
That elusive issue of whether we were in real labor led us to an ultrasound around 6am that showed I was low on amniotic fluid and in labor and Miranda was breech. I was also 8cm dilated. The doctor came in around 7.We called my parents at 8. I went into surgery around 9:30. An unknown breech delivery by the on-call doctor...yes, she went with a c-section.
Meeting Miranda was surreal. She was tiny. She was good at nursing--better than I was. She made up for my nervousness. She overwhelmed me. She amazed me. It seemed crazy that we would go home in 4 days and she would forget how that sleeping thing worked. I am still so happy that Miranda came into our lives 7 years ago. She's so big now--reading and writing, losing teeth, growing-in adult teeth, riding bikes, swinging across monkey bars, watching tween TV, playing board games by the rules. Growing up is amazing.
Curmudgeon (No Ross, this isn't about you :)
August 21, 2008
I fully admit I am cranky, yes, quite cranky. But I think I have been holding it together in public. I haven't yelled at anyone and at most I withhold my smile. I've even resisted public sighing.
But really, other people's kids! Or other parents who don't even seem to notice they brought their children into civilization. My own children can drive me crazy. And right now, they do. But I try to wobble on the line between squashing their spirit and not letting them act like hooligans. And we've had 2 example in 2 days that seem so over the top I can only think they'd amuse me if I weren't so fricking cranky.
1. At the tour of the hospital where I will give birth in about a month. The kids came with us for the tour. I was afraid that their exuberance would scare the first time parents in the crowd--a side note of cranky says if the classes guide describes it as personalized tours, why was my only option to take a group tour? There was another mom with a 7 year old. And I was relieved. Until he climbed on top of the fish tank in the waiting room while we waited for the tour to start. And Henry thought this was great fun--soon all three kids were jumping and acting wild. I corralled our two, as much as I could. Henry spent the entire tour trying to get away from us and play shoe kicking with the older boy.
2. Today at the eye doctor. Yesterday, Henry caught a basketball with his eye. He refused to open it for about an hour. He squinted a lot. And after sleeping all night, he still seemed to hold his eyelid funny. So we went to my favorite eye doctor. And while we waited, there were 2 other kids there. The girl was quiet, the boy was wild. About 4 years old. There are 3 decorative foam blocks on the kids glasses display. Do I need to say the entire room is full of tall racks of frames? The boy decides to kick the blocks across the room. I pull Henry back--you can't kick. What if you knock over the glasses? (But why can the other boy, Mom?) So the other boy decides to throw the blocks at the ceiling. I pull Henry back again. The children's mom is filling out a form and doesn't comment on the flying blocks or his shoe that flies off of his foot with every kick. I was never so happy to pay for an eye exam so I could leave.
In conclusion, yes, I am a curmudgeon, but climbing on top of an aquarium (built into a ledge, so approximately 5 feet off the ground)? And kicking display items around an optometrist's office? In what universe are those things OK?
On a positive note, the hospital will be fine. I didn't like the insinuation from our guide (and future lactation consultant) that the urban hospital in which I delivered previously had to be much less nice than this hospital. Um, the urban hospital had completely new rooms that were huge. And was very good to me. And a NICU. But yes, this place will be much quieter, at least until my kids arrive.
And Henry has a corneal abrasion, but it seems to be healing.
Thinking about being cranky is not releasing any tension. So tomorrow, I will think I am...joyful? peaceful? calm? patient?...far-sighted. That might work.
August 19, 2008
Today felt disjointed and random.
- We bought a monkey bar set that I found on Craigslist.The price was right, the bigger cost was that we had to dis-assemble it. I didn't expect that to take 3 hours...I didn't bring toys for the children or snacks. Thank goodness the woman from whom we purchased the set was gracious enough to entertain us.
- We received the final bill for our addition. I guess it really is about done. Just carpeting and final inspection. I have this idea to make a slideshow of the progress. We'll see if that happens.
- And this picture is not from today, but it makes me laugh. The children had been playing store all day. Miranda sold me her markers. Henry sold me paper. I paid in real pennies. But I didn't think I'd need to tip. It is a wonder how dangerous it is to teach children to read.
August 14, 2008
The first words out of Henry's mouth this morning were:
I want a sticking throwing robot.
Henry: Yes, that way when [his friend L's mom] throws our sticks in the tree, I could send the robot to get them.
Happy Birthday P!
Happy Half Birthday Henry! May today not be a portent of the next 6 months. 6 weeks. 6 days. Or even 6 hours.
August 13, 2008
First, a picture of Miranda:
I still don't want to go on the nature hikes, but I love the kids' enjoyment and enthusiasm from hikes with Rob.
I am having a problem with my outlook today. Not a beautiful vista. I have been grumpy, patient, whiny, mature, jealous, petty, exhausted, righteous, exasperated, generous, indignant, kind, fair, wasteful and tired. Maybe a nature hike would help.
Happy Birthday I! And many more.
August 12, 2008
It's garden check-in day.
The beans are nestled in with the marigolds. We've had a dozen or so beans. The yield has not matched the abundance of leaves.
Cucumber! Slow...or clever. We've gotten 2, a week apart.
A nice batch of basil. I am shocked I grew these from seeds. If I had known that would work, I would have spaced the seeds farther apart.
How can we really get a 200 pound pumpkin if its potential is still in flower form? There were many bees buzzing there this morning; is that a good sign?
Peas! The plants are a bit lethargic. We started from seed and the heavy spring rain disrupted our careful plans.
I think this is the green bell pepper. The plant next to it was also a green pepper, but one plant's fruit is long, the other rounding. The round "bell" peppers are yummy. The oblong ones are bitter. I can see how a gardening journal would be helpful. I'd know not to buy that oblong pepper next year. Instead, chances are, next August, I will have another uneven crop.
I think this is spaghetti squash. I stuck the plant name tags in the ground by each plant. I blame the spring flooding for them not being there now.
The sunflower seems really late to me. It is only 3-4 feet tall right now. And green.
And we found a bookworm planted in the front. Yay reading! Yay patching! Yay morning shade!
August 10, 2008
Watching the women's gymnastics semifinals, Miranda says of Deng Linlin:
Is that real? Is she really a person? Wow.
Cars and Bikes
August 7, 2008
Another week in. We're zooming between camp and classes and swimming; summer is rushing to a close. I am trying to slow down. I know I will miss this 2 child time, the warmth of the summer sun, the less scheduled possibilities of our non-school weeks. But it feels like I am racing around a board game track. Find a changing table on Craigslist. Ooh, there's 2. Buy them! Organize Miranda's birthday party. Favors? Games? Remember Miranda's MTWR camp, Henrys MWF camp and swimming on W, and sports class on R. Dont' forget swimming on Saturday! Is it too early to buy Halloween costumes? Schedule a tour of the hospital. And did I go to the dentist this summer? My mind is whirling.
Even when I check off things on the actual to do list, I am speculating.
- Will Midwest Airlines go bankrupt? Will our frequent flyer miles become worthless? When will we even be up to flying again? Should I cash the miles out on some other way?
- The Y fall schedule came out and I looked seriously at the group exercise schedules. Who am I? A trip to use the elliptical trainer, sure, but group exercise? Has something become loose in my brain?
- Did we really use the Pool enough this summer. Do I want to do the math and figure it out? Should we go tomorrow? But I am tired and when the weather is nice it is so crowded.
Sometimes, I don't post because nothing is funny. Sometimes, I don't post because I am too snarky to post without a pseudonym. And now, I am not posting because I am all over the place. Lets get back to recording the funny stories that Miranda and Henry may enjoy some day.
Henry and I are driving to the Y. "If I Had a Million Dollars" by the Barenaked Ladies comes on.
The song plays: "If I had a million dollars, I'd buy your love..."
Henry: What did he say?
Me: "I'd buy your love"
Me: But you can't buy love, can you?
Henry: But you can buy a car with the word LOVE on it.
He then insisted we walk up the path of the Y his way, so he could pass the car that is somehow connected to the charity golf outing the Y is having this weekend. It has stickers on it. Henry says he wants me to get a car with stickers like those.
In other news, Miranda is amazing. She rode her bike with her camp program to a neighboring local library. 6.2 miles each way, per Google. In three hours, they rose there. Played at the park at the library, then rode back. She was exhausted when I picked her up.