Friday, November 28, 2008

Don't hate me cuz I'm skinny

So for most people, the holidays fill them with scale dread. But last night proved that I had no such worries in store. There is almost nothing at a Thanksgiving Dinner without some sort of dairy in it - butter, condensed milk, whip cream, you name it, it all comes from a cow. Last night I was able to eat turkey, cranberry sauce, and some hummus that I brought. That's it. Oh, and an apple pie that I made with margarine instead of butter in the crust, which was pretty freakin' good, if I do say so myself. So this morning I jumped on the scale and I've lost another couple pounds thanks to hockey practice. Silver linings, right? Sort of. Any more and I'm going to be jeans shopping again. I wonder if Levi's had a frequent shopper discount?

Normally, I might have treated myself to a night off from this dairy/beef-free diet, but Thea hasn't been doing so well with the allergy thing lately. I think there is a new allergy in the mix, or else I ate something inadvertently that had dairy in it and she's just really that sensitive. Anyway, she has rash all over her stomach and in some other areas, too. And let's not even talk about the diaper issues she's had of late. I'm pretty sure she has a reaction to tomatoes, but she also had real problems with an exposure to some jimmy dean turkey sausage, so it could be an additive thing. Hard to tell. Harder to cope with since we can't take her to the doctor until we have insurance again for the month of January thanks to a 4-day forestry class. Those tests aren't cheap, even locally. If she were acting like it was bothering her more, we would just do it, but she's pretty cheerful and seems to be developing OK, so we'll just wait and keep trying to figure it out on our own. But it is hard.

Thea has her first word. Doh - which translates into dog. And cat. And a few other things she points at randomly. But always dog, so that's a word in my book. Liam's was Cah for cat. Different strokes. She's still not walking, though she could. She prefers to trail after you with a firm pant-leg grasp. I had a dream yesterday night that she started walking when I was in pursuit of her somewhere - she just let go and started running away. Let's nope it's not a preview.

The other BIG thing that is happening this week is Liam is learning to read. Every six months or so, I've tried working with him on reading, and he would always get discouraged and lose interest. Not this time. He's doing it. He's really getting it - though he occasionally tries guessing instead of sounding things out phonetically. But he's getting a lot of words through memorization, as I predicted he would. "The" for example, is solidly in there. He has a tough time with vowels and J vs G, but he's excited about it, and so am I. I think it will be a fast learning curve. I bet he's reading small books by Hawaii at this rate.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I'm not blogging nearly as much as I should right now given the number of beautiful, amazing things my children are doing on a daily basis that will be forgotten forever in the blink of an eye.
Thea is on the cusp of walking. She takes a few steps, then sits down with a giggle, like it is all a big joke. She will stand up while holding onto that obnoxious bouncing-ball vacuum cleaner thingy.
But more, perhaps, is the personal interaction. She is coy, she is charming, she is full of eagerness to communicate. She will take this world by a storm if she can keep this amazing sparkle she has now for the rest of her life. That's my goal now - to guard the spark.
Liam, on the other hand, seems to have a raging flame these days. He's got so much energy, often taking to literally running in circles around the house. I guess this is why parents opt to get their kids into sports. Burn off some of that energy. He's in swimming and we're working on skiing, too.
We are still struggling with allergy stuff - and a crazy string of sickness. But the holidays are coming, Matt's off to Mexico soon for his surf trip, and I'm currently tasked with decorating a 17,000-square-foot building for the holidays without irritating anyone with a misplaced star.
More soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wild days

How is it possible that it has been two weeks since I posted to this blog. Is it really true that I only have time to sit and write once every 14 days or so now??? Scary thought, since I sit in front of a computer most of the time. Actually, I can write fine, it's getting the pictures moved from my camera to my computer that becomes a problem from time to time.

It's been a wild couple weeks, with tons of events at the library, and lots of driving up and down the hill trying to get the process right with multiple schedules. We also installed a wood stove, complete with a slate-tile hearth, and warmed up as the first serious winter weather descended.

Thea has been tiptoeing on the edge of walking for several days now. She took two steps this morning, and is getting braver. It's kind of a joke to her. She knows she's going to get it, likes the rush of trying, and laughs when she "outsmarts" Mommy by getting down and crawling to you instead. It's a great game.

She's also had some rough nights, waking up and crying so hard for so long that I finally gave in and nursed her. And since we all have colds, that probably wasn't unexpected. I've got a humidifier going in her room all the time to keep her nose happy, and that seems to help.

Halloween was a wild ride, with events all over the place. The library hosted a spooky story hour - my second event as coordinator - and we had lots of kids and happy parents, too. I made dozens of little peanut-butter-cracker spiders with pretzel legs and raisin eyes, and these cream-cheese cookies with eyes sticking out of them. Funny, and well received. Then we went trick-or-treating with a large group of friends. It was a sugar-fest for sure. Liam was a knight with an outfit specially sized to fit OVER his jacket this year so he could be warm despite the cold weather (we often have blizzards on Halloween, though this year was calm.)

I lost my voice and went as a mime. Thea opted out of dressing up, due to unforseen circumstances - we were too busy to get her dressed up. She did not seem to mind at all.

Liam started swimming lessons, which are going well. It is amazing as a parent to sit outside the pool area and look in on your child learning to swim. It seems impossible, and then you see them slowly becoming more comfortable in the water, splashing around and getting the hang of it, and it is like watching a miracle happening.

Thea has started shaking her head. I'm not sure if she knows what it means or not, but I'm pretty sure she is saying Mama and Dada and knows what they mean, so why not shaking her head? It's cute, regardless.

I go to Anchorage this weekend with my friend Andrea and her little girl, Kayah, who is 2 weeks older than Thea and has been walking for a couple months. I cannot begin to express how excited I am. But I'd better get some photos up and wrap this up before some disaster strikes and I am pulled away once again.