Thursday, December 29, 2011

Setting Up Christmas

In my defense, the circus tent seemed a lot smaller in the IKEA showroom.

Nick is spending a lot of time assembling Henry's gift from Jo Ellen. It's a parking garage, and he's going to love it. Assembly is a little complicated. Nick said people who did not have experience or a variety of screw drivers would be really frustrated. On a related note, thank you Doug for the comprehensive screw driver set. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
I am looking at our Christmas gifts and realizing a few things. First, I bought more than I thought, and probably more than I intended. Second, I bought far more for Henry than Georgia. If she were good at math, she would realize I spent several times more on her brother than I spent on her. I don't think she'll actually be able to calculate a comparison. Third, we're going to need to get rid of some stuff to make room for this new crop of toys. Fourth, I didn't get anything educational (except Christmas books). Fifth, I love giving stuff to my kids. Cars and trains make Henry so happy. Lastly, the circus tent is bigger than I thought. It was probably a bad idea. Oh well. It's assembled and I lost the receipt anyway.

Realizing another thing. I've lost the play dough. Where did I hide the play dough??

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas is Coming

You can tell its getting close to our Christmas because we put presents under the tree. Earlier we had a present, but then henry opened it when I wasn't looking. He can't be trusted for long. Georgia just wants to eat the ornaments.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday 12/24/11: Christmas Spirit at the Hospital

I spent the afternoon at the local mall with the kids. It was mostly for amusement and entertainment, but I did pick up a couple of last minute gifts, even if they were for myself.
We were really there because I have guilt for cheating my kids out of Christmas, and treating the mall like Disneyland was supposed to make us feel better. I think it worked. I said yes to almost everything Henry has ever wanted- we bought a toy, rode the train, got a smoothie, rode another ride, ate chicken nuggets, and sat on the coin operated rides without putting any money in because the change machine was broken. Pretty fun.

Then when the mall closed (I was surprised by how many people were still there), we headed to the hospital to have a quick visit with nick. I also got a peek at the ER, but that's another story.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Presenting Ansel Adams Successor

iphone picture by Nick, Mueller Park Canyon

As an early Christmas present, Jo Ellen gave Henry a camera specifically designed for kids.  He loves it.  He has taken about a thousand pictures with it.  There is only one slight problem:

A blurry photo of Nick, and a picture of someone's torso, by Henry
His pictures look like this.

The camera takes surprisingly good pictures outdoors, with the caveat that you mush hold the camera still.  That concept hasn't really sunk in for him yet, but we're working on it.  I'm sure he's just a few clicks away from a masterpiece.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gigi's 6 Month Update

She is a rolling machine.  She wiggles away across the floor or crib by rolling side to side.  Once she decides what she wants, she is on the move and there is no stopping her.

She is very close to sitting up independently.  She can sometimes do it for a while, but you never know when she is going to topple.

He favorite thing is to suck on her left them while holding my hair in her right hand.

She is tiny and sliding down the growth curve to 10% for both weight and height, weighing 13.1 pounds last week.

She seems to have realized that she and I are separate people, which has also meant that she is very unhappy about left alone in her crib.  Sleeping-wise, this has been hard on everybody this last week.

Still no teeth, and I like it that way because her gummy smile is just so cute.

Throws up on everything still, but it seems to be not quite as much as before.  But still, nothing is safe.  She throws up on people that hold her at church every week.  Her spit up is more noticeable after she's eaten brightly colored baby food, such as carrots.

She loves to feed herself Baby Mum Mum rice rusks, which are basically starch surf boards as baby snacks.  It is difficult to eat anything with her nearby, as she will try to grab it.

She's getting up on all fours.  I don't know how long it will be until she figures out army crawling.

It's so cute when she sticks her toes in her mouth.  That usually only happens on the changing table.

Overall, her skin has been great!  She has one tiny patch of eczema behind her left knee, but the rest of her looks and feels like normal baby skin.

She continues to have a wonderful, fun temperament, but we see a lot of hints that she is stubborn and impatient.  Those are all qualities that can serve her well.

She loves to grab things and put them in her mouth.

She seems to really respond to music.  She has been seen "bopping along" to piano arpeggios.

She has found her voice, and it is a loud one. Before we compared her cute little noises to Gizmo. Now Nick calls her a pterodactyl.

She smiles when tickled, but doesn't usually laugh. We guess she's just thinking, "That's so funny."

I've Had Better Trips

I was not going to advertise on the blogosphere that I went to Disney World.  But this trip is too memorable and fraught with heartache to keep to myself.  Nick was not on this trip, but I thought that with some help from the other adults I was going with I could manage things just fine.

The first day at the Magic Kingdom was OK.  Things are slow with little ones in tow, and half the group is constantly staying behind to watch kids while the rest go do something amusing.  In the afternoon, I took Henry on the Speedway, where you drive cars on a track.  He loved it and wanted to go again.  I asked my dad to take him on it a second time while I took care of Gigi.  After a little bit, I went to a scenic point to take a picture as they drove past, but I waited and waited and never saw them.  A few minutes later we found each other.  Henry had thrown up in line, splashing some on my dad's and others' shoes.  They had waited with the mess to steer people around it until someone came with the sawdust and bucket to take care of it.  Amazingly, my dad STILL TOOK HIM ON THE RIDE. 

My dad was laughing about this as he told me, but I know that Henry isn't a casual barfer.  When he throws up, he means that he is really sick.  I gathered up our stuff and put Henry is the stroller to head back to hotel.  Jo Ellen graciously volunteered to come back with me.  As soon as he was seated in the brand new stroller, he proceeded to reenact the famous scene from the exorcist.  The ensuing mess was so disgusting.  He shirt and pants were just caked with food from two days before.  As he was throwing up and screaming, he was scraping off his tongue like he does when he eats something too spicy.  We again had to find the man with the sawdust and bucket.  An innocent bystander also gave me some baby wipes- bless that woman.  So now I was leaving the park with a boy stripped down to a diaper sitting in the back of the stroller, because the front of the stroller was all wet.

We boarded the shuttle bus after just a minute of waiting.  Henry was crying and insisted on me holding him in the baby Bjorn, and since it's tough to argue with a naked two-year-old, I did.  The ride from Magic Kingdom to the hotel should have been about 15 minutes.  About 15 or 20 minutes after we boarded, we pulled into Animal Kingdom.  That's a whole different theme park, which was not our destination.  It also was closed two hours previously, so it was  a ghost town.  But I figure the driver knows what she is supposed to be doing, and sometimes shuttles do have intermediate stops.  About this point we reach absolute meltdown.  Henry throws up all over me, because for some reason he refuses to throw up in a bag, and since he's in the baby Bjorn, he's basically throwing up down my shirt.  Gigi is screaming bloody murder as Jo Ellen holds her.  I think the other passengers felt more pity towards us than annoyance at all the noise. 

15 minutes after Animal Kingdom, I yelled up to the driver "How long until we're at [the hotel]?"  I hear her say 5 more minutes and something about "got turned around," but I think she can't mean that she was disoriented, because she's the professional driver here.  I figure the words must have made more sense if I had heard the whole sentence, which I couldn't, on account of my two screaming children.  10 minutes after that I asked again, and when she answered, I yelled back that I couldn't hear her over my two sick, screaming children.  It was shortly after this, as we were approaching Epcot (a third theme park) that she pulled over at a gas station for directions.

It was when she announced this to the passengers that one came forward with a map and gave her verbal directions on how to get to the hotel.  About 10 minutes later, we finally arrived at the hotel.  I cannot describe the horror of the half hour of two screaming children whom you can do nothing to reassure while being lost on the shuttle bus from hell.  It was much worse than it sounds.  The ride was supposed to be about 15 minutes, and our meltdown didn't really start until 20 minutes in and continued for the rest of the 50 minute duration, so I felt this ride from hell was all this driver's fault.  I have never wanted someone fired before, but I did as I got off that shuttle.  The driver apologized and said it was her first day off training, "and come back next year and I'll be much better."  I don't think she'll still have this job next year.

Once at the hotel, we worked on keeping Henry hydrated.  He threw up periodically until about 4:00 AM.  The next day Gigi was sick, and by afternoon we were concerned enough we came within an inch of taking her to the hospital.  If I hadn't done a research project in nursing school on oral rehydration I would have taken her in sooner, but I felt that an IV wasn't needed yet, so we decided to continue to monitor her and she started to improve.  It helped that I was able to consult Nick over the phone.  The next day the other kids were sick.  The day after that, half the adults were sick.  The day after that, we went home, and the last kid to get sick threw up at his destination airport.  The culprit was probably Norwalk virus.

Makes you jealous of the trip, right?