Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Song of the Sink Sitter

This is what happens when you turn your back on Caitlin. Y'all need to see what I'm dealing with!

What I found when I heard Brandon yelling "Mommy, Mommy, come see Caitlin!"

oops - I think Mom found out I climbed in the sink!

At least she's finally getting serious about the sunscreen!

Her other latest trick is climbing into her crib, and attempting to climb out of it. So far she can only climb in when the side is down, and has only tried to climb out when the side is still down. Brandon started climbing in his crib about the same age, but he never tried to climb out. Let's hope Caitlin doesn't progress any further on the climbing out skills.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Makin' Pancakes

Brandon loves to make pancakes with Daddy.It's become a Saturday morning tradition in the P4 household. Brian's been gone all week, but got home late last night - just in time! Brandon and Caitlin were both soooooo happy to see Daddy this morning. We got our pancakes, too!

Smiling. Pancake mixin' is about to begin!
Telling me to stop taking pictures
Making pancakes with daddy
Brandon gets to pour in the oil before mixing it all up

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bright Nights

I went to bed at 11:00 last night. Bone tired. Exhausted. I woke up at 12:30, and didn't go back to sleep until around 2:00. Anxiety? Hunger? No - lightning. We had a wild thunder and lightning storm last night. At 12:34 I awoke in my extremely bright room. It looked like daylight. Once I fully awoke, I realized it was just extremely bright lightning lighting up the house like a firecracker. I kept wondering if there was a mad scientist just outside my room, practicing something with electricity. We have thick, dark, velvet curtains in our room to block out the light from the sliding glass door. It's not easy to make our room look bright in the middle of the night! The thunder was so incredibly hard and loud that it temporarily knocked out all the power on the street, and set off a lot of car alarms. Lightning struck a house a few miles away from here and set the roof on fire. I went upstairs in a dark house awash with white light to check on the kids to make sure that the thunder hadn't woken them up. Thunder woke Caitlin up from her nap earlier in the day, and it wasn't nearly as strong as this storm. Thankfully, both kids were still sleeping.

Being the California girl that I am, lightning is still fascinating to me. I opened the front door, and sat on the inside stairs, watching the storm through the storm door. The lightning was so intense and bright that I didn't want to get to close to the door, or even turn on the TV to check the weather. I've never seen multiple streaks of lightning at the same time, and I've never seen it so bright. Rain and hail poured from the sky, and our entire street was a gushing river. One would have gotten drenched just stepping outside for a moment. It was impossible to go back to sleep until the storm had passed, as the thunder shook the house for an hour and half. Even thought the storm had passed over my street, the lightning was so bright for a few more hours that I wore my eye mask so the light wouldn't keep me awake. I thought the storm was intense. I also realized I could be over exaggerating, since I'm a non-midwesterner, and haven't spent the better part of my life seeing these kinds of storms. I felt validated this morning when I dropped Brandon off at preschool, and heard other moms and teachers talking about how crazy the storm was last night, and how their kids woke up screaming. I'm so tired today from my lack of sleep last night, but I'm grateful that my kids were tired enough to sleep thought it.

I've seen more lighting, and heard more thunder in the three months that I've lived here than in all my years in California. I love the big clouds, and I love the crazy weather. Although the last few days here haven't been bad (yesterday reached a whopping 73, today was only 82), the heat this summer has been a little maddening. But fall and winter will be here eventually. I'm looking forward to the colder weather. Hot weather does that to me. The nice thing about having a cold winter will be that I will actually look forward to summer! Seasons! What a concept! I can hardly wait!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Childhood Commandments

To bad my kids aren't old enough to read this!

Childhood Commandments
Laws Concerning Food and Drink
Household Principles
Lamentations of the Father
by Ian Frazier

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room. Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein. Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink.

But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.

Laws When at Table
And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke. Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away. When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck; for you will be sent away.

When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same to you. Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is. And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why. And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why. Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.

Laws Pertaining to Dessert
For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert. But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert. But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof. And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.

On Screaming
Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault. Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you, and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even now I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat of it myself, yet do not die.

Concerning Face and Hands
Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice hereon. And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see. Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.

Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances
Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, nor against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not that humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

Complaints and Lamentations
O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail; and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick. Yes, and even sometimes do you spit, and shout “stupid-head” and other blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof when you are sent to the corner. And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the corner for more minutes than he has years of age, yet I would leave you there all day, so mighty am I in anger. But upon being sent to the corner you ask straightaway, ”Can I come out?” and I reply, “No, you may not come out.” And again you ask, and again I give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then you may come out.

Hear me, O my children, for the bills they kill me. I pay and pay again, even to the twelfth time in a year, and yet again they mount higher than before. For our health, that we may be covered, I give six hundred and twenty talents twelve times in a year; but even this covers not the fifteen hundred deductible for each member of the family within a calendar year. And yet for ordinary visits we still are not covered, nor for many medicines, nor for the teeth within our mouths. Guess not at what rage is in my mind, for surely you cannot know.

For I will come to you at the first of the month and at the fifteenth of the month with the bills and a great whining and moan. And when the month of taxes comes, I will decry the wrong and unfairness of it, and mourn with wine and ashtrays, and rend my receipts. And you shall remember that I am that I am: before, after, and until you are twenty-one. Hear me then, and avoid me in my wrath, O children of me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Brandon's First Day of Preschool

Today was Brandon's first day of real preschool. He attended a couple of summer sessions at the local rec center, which were great, but this time preschool is really real. It's 3 days a week, from 8:15-11:15. I started calling it real preschool just to differentiate it from the summer sessions at the rec center. It's not fun when I haven't explained things as clearly as possible, and Brandon gets something mixed up. He is a routine-oriented boy who likes it all explained out in advance! So, anyway, I got up at 6:15 this morning just to make sure that I could not only get a shower in, but get all 3 of us out of the house by 8:00. The preschool is just down the street from our current house. I could walk there, but I'm not sure I want to dodge the traffic on two very busy streets just to get there, or push the stroller uphill for a good chunk of the way home. I might change my mind after having to put Caitlin in and out of the carseat 3 days a week, several times a day.

Brandon was in good spirits this morning. We've been talking about this for a while, but he is not allowed to watch any videos on preschool mornings. He was good about it today, too (surprise!). When he was somewhere around 18 months I discovered that he would actually watch a video, so I use to put one on in the mornings after he woke up so that I could get a shower. It's gotten out of hand, and I'm hoping that this might be a good way to stop morning videos all together. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The preschool day....

I think Brandon would have been just fine going from the car to his class without me. He was so excited to play and to be with other kids his age. When we got to Brandon's preschool class, he had to find his name on the whiteboard, on his cubby, and on a card near the door. When he finds his name card, he takes it out of the plastic, turns it over to show his picture, and then puts it back, picture side up. He was a little disappointed when the first card he pulled out wasn't his. It did say Brandon, but there are two Brandon's in his class. At least he knows his name! We just have to work on that last name initial. He's not use to being Brandon P. There was chapel today, so I didn't stay very long. Caitlin also wanted to play with the little kitchen set up in the corner, so getting her out was a feat. I think that's going to be the hardest part of dropping Brandon off and picking him up - all the fun toys!

When I went to pick him up at 11:15, all the kids were out in the play yard. Brandon was racing around with a few other boys. There are 15 boys and 6 girls in his class, so he'll get in his "boy" time in at school (saving mom the need to race around with him to wear him out). They were collecting "gold" in the play yard. Sand is a rare commodity here. All the playgrounds are covered in rocks. If you're lucky, you get the yellow/gold type, which consists of small, roundish rocks. These are in the good parks and schools, and don't tear up young skin like some of the other rock types. Brandon looks for the white quartz in the rocks, calling it all "gold". Caitlin wanted to swing, and Brandon wanted to keep playing, but we needed to go. That's when he got all pissy and whiny. He was so bad I ended up giving him a swat on the rear in the play yard! I'm not opposed to discipline (quite the opposite, actually), but I'm not a huge fan of having to physically discipline my kids in public. They're also better behaved in public, so I don't have to do it too often. But Brandon's gotten worse since we moved here. Could be his age. Could be a phase. Who knows. There are lots of books about parenting the strong-willed child, but none about parenting the whiny, rude child. Any suggestions? I don't want to repeat this scene every time I pick Brandon up from school. I think it will be easier during winter when the kids are in the gym.

All in all, preschool will be good for Brandon this year. He's so ready to go to school, and to be surrounded by other kids his age. We had friends that we saw regularly in California, so he socialized quite a bit. Our weeks were full without preschool! Here, it's a different story. We are alone most of the time now, and we're all growing accustom to it. It's been harder to make friends than I thought it would be, both for me and for the kids. Now that we have found our church, I can join the MOPS group and the Women's Bible Study, and start meeting other people. The kids can find friends and social times in their respective classes and the toddler room. Hopefully we'll find a house soon, and there will be families like ours in the neighborhood. We are looking for that, and looking forward to it as well!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

19th Month Update

Caitlin is 19 months old today. Wow! She has made some great strides lately, even since her 18 month checkup. In the last week, she has developed an amazing awareness of herself . One of her favorite words is baby, and she points to our all baby pictures she sees. When she points to a picture of herself and says baby, I say "yes, that's baby Caitlin." Then she points to herself, and again to the picture. She can't say Caitlin yet, but she makes a funny sound whenever she refers to herself, and makes that sound when she knows a picture is of her. She points out all of us family members, and names us all. When we were in California, Brian said she once went around the family room at his parents house pointing to certain chairs and naming who usually sat in them. No one else was home besides them.

We are also dealing with a Caitlin word explosion, and the need to know the name of everything that surrounds here. There are the normal things we teach her, such as eyes, nose, mouth, and articles of clothing. But then there are the all the other things she wants to know about, such as the wall, the railing, the chairs, etc. I feel like I am watching the scene in The Miracle Worker where Helen Keller discovers that the wet stuff has a name, water, and then proceeds to want to know the name of all the things around her. Caitlin repeats everything I tell her, and then wants to know more. I remember Brandon just talking up a storm at 18 months, but I don't remember that desire to know what everything around him was called. He was talking more, and more clearly than Caitlin at the same age, but he talks more and more clearly than most kids his age, even now! He also had to get out and run or he wouldn't sleep, and she doesn't seem to need that (although it helps).

Showing off her beloved bunny slippers
This was right before she took one off to cuddle with it.

Other things Caitlin does lately:
**tries to put all her clothes in the diaper champ. I have to check it daily, and before I toss the diapers in the trash, just to make sure I'm not tossing out her stuff!
**Brings us her shoes whenever one of us mentions that we are going to leave the house, or whenever she deems it necessary to leave the house.
**Brings me my shoes or Brandon's shoes as well
**Gets all bent out of shape when she doesn't get her own way. No major tantrums, but I can see it moving that way.
**Now tells me when she has a poopy diaper

Favorite Words:
Daddy (pronounced, loudly, as DAA--EEY!)
Bindon (Brandon)
pee pee
Ya (for Yes, pronounce "da", "ja", or "ya")
Nana (pronounced Nina)
Water (pronounced wa-wer)
and a whole host of other words that really, only I can understand.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Traveling Back to California

We had a great trip to California. After a crazy and eventful flight, thanks to Caitlin's inability to sit still, we arrived at SJO, got our rental car, and headed over the the grandparent's house. We had the great idea that I should get luggage, and Brian would head over and get the rental car. We walked together to baggage claim, and then Brian headed off. The luggage arrived approximately 5 minutes later (seriously, that *never* happens). The car seats had arrived earlier, and were in the oversized luggage section. There we were, me and the kids. I had the car seat carrier slung across my back and a suitcase in each hand. Brandon was pushing Caitlin in the stroller. We headed outside to the passenger pick-up area, and proceeded to park ourselves on a bench. It wasn't particularly late, but it was getting cool outside, and there was a breeze. I didn't even bother to bring a sweater, since it's been a hot summer in Colorado. It doesn't cool down here at night - I guess it's more like Sacramento in that way - and it's much drier. We sat and sat on our little bench, and I was so cold. It never occurred to me that I would have acclimated to Colorado so quickly as to be cold in California in summer. Brian managed to get the rental car that had the trick drivers side mirror (translation - the mirror actually fell off the car when he went to adjust it!), so it took him a while to get another one. Between our early arriving luggage and the mirrorless car, the kids and I sat outside for 20-30 minutes. We watched the dumb drivers try to park, and the inexperienced parents try to put a car seat in a rental for close to 20 minutes. We watched several emotional reunions, and the experienced flyers and drivers come and go with ease. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a Chevy Impala in my life! We were all cold, hungry, and just ready to leave the airport.

We had a great time visiting with Brian's parents, uncles, and his grandfather and aunt, who came down to visit from Montana. We also had fun reconnecting with our friends. I got to see my friend Leanne, my friend Chris, and my friend Arlene. We don't have anybody in Colorado. It's not a very friendly place. I'm glad Brandon has gone to his summer preschool, and will be heading off to regular preschool soon, since we have no buddies for him to hang out with. I think I'm an outgoing person, and I've tried to step that up since we moved, but there are no results. Very few people seem interested in taking on another person or having a playdate. Of course, I felt that way back in S-town, but I had so many acquaintances that I didn't feel alone, only on the sidelines. And, I had my good friends, who understood me and were fun to be with!

Brandon and Caitlin had fun playing with their old buddies. Brandon and Max hung out and did boy things, while Brandon and Emily held hands and played "Ring Around the Rosey" about 150 times! Caitlin played well with Alex, Anna and Josh. Anna and Caitlin are very much on par, and kept up well with each other. Most kids her age can't keep up with Caitlin, so it was really nice to see her running and playing with someone her age! Caitlin thinks she's much older than she is, and is always trying to be with the big kids. I wish she could hang out with Anna more!

I only wish that we had more than just a few days there. I got to visit Trader Joe's and Ikea (woo-hoo, but I miss them). Brandon got a hair cut at Lollipop Cuts. It was such a relief to know that he would look normal afterwards! I do need to find a place that's closer to get his hair cut, though. I even went to Mervyns, which was quite an experience! But Brandon needed more jeans, and most places don't make them with a small enough waist to fit him! I realized that in some ways I've acclimated to my surroundings far more quickly than I thought I would. I don't feel like I've acclimated at all, but our trip proved me wrong. I'm just fine here on a humid day, since a really humid days in Colorado is kind of like a regular day in California. The bay area weather was much colder and damper than in Colorado, and I was cold almost all weekend! I wonder if I'll be hot the whole time when we visit over the Christmas holiday. It's not humid in California, unless you compare it to places like Nevada, or Colorado! When going to the stores, I realized how much more crowded it is there, and was frustrated by all the crazy drivers! I stood in long lines at the stores, which I am not use to anymore, and was surprised at all the accents around me. I don't run into a lot of people here that speak English as second language. Maybe in Denver, but not really in B-town, or the surrounding area. In general, it took a lot longer to do anything because of the crowds. An acquaintance here who is from San Jose told me that I feel that way, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon! It's only been 3 months!

I took lots of pictures while we were there. That's the joy of digital cameras! Click here to see pictures from our trip!

You Want to Watch What?

The other day, when Brandon woke up from his nap, he asked if we could watch the funny show with the red-haired lady. What show is that?, you might ask yourself. "Jo Jo's Circus"? Maybe "I Love Lucy"? No. "Reba". Brandon's favorite show is "Reba."

I wake Brandon up from his nap around 4:00. I have to, since we like it when he goes to bed at a normal time. His routine includes getting a sippy cup of warm milk and sitting on my lap. Since our move to Colorado, he's turned into the most anal of wakers, and has to sit in the center of my lap, with his blankey spread out over him and me. I'm not allowed to touch him or blankey, making for a very boring 5 minutes of milk drinking. Then he wants his cuddle time. Then I can cuddle him, but still no talking, since he's just waking up. Cuddle time can go on forever, but usually goes for 10 to 15 minutes. Not doing just what he wants provokes much whining from the aforementioned child. Sometimes I tune into "Oprah", but that just gets old after a while. I started switching channels, and found "Reba" on the CW. It's actually surprisingly funny. Brandon is always cracking up at the jokes, although I'm sure he really doesn't get most of them. He loves Van, the dumb jock. He laughs if I laugh, as well. Our old routine included the milk, cuddle time, and then usually going outside and running around for a while. The non-stop heat here (okay, today has only topped out at 85 - fairly cool by comparison), and the lack of fun neighbors who also need to get their kids outside to run around, have pretty much put an end to that for the summer. I'm really looking forward to fall and the ability to go outside again without melting! But for now, if you stop by my house around 4:00, we're probably watching Reba.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mom Life/Kid Life

I am currently trying to figure out how to manage my life with children, yet again. Once I think I have a routine, things are all thrown out of whack. I know that this is completely normal, but it still manages to throw me off track whenever it happens. Brandon has not napped for 3 days in a row. According to my Mom life philosophy he must, at most all costs, stay in his room for at least an hour. Lately though, during his "nap" he's cranky the entire time, and cries out that he doesn't want to be left alone. I'm at my wits end as to why the sudden abandonment issues are coming up. Doesn't he get it? I have stuff to do while he naps! I am so tired of being a cranky mother, and this one just takes the cake. I'm really looking forward to the routine of preschool, and normal routines of others to start up again. It would be nice for Brandon, and even Caitlin, to spend time with other kids and not all their time with me.

After years of going through motherhood (and I have many to go), I have come to the conclusion that I am a very selfish person. I have* clearly* never gotten use to not being able to have time to myself since having children. I need time alone. I always have. I actually tell that to people if they are going to spend any time with me, because they need to know that it's not them, it's me. Time alone can be a lot of things. When I'm with others, this usually manifests itself in the form of naps, reading in the corner, or just simply leaving the house under a variety of circumstances. I don't really like this this about myself, but it's just me, and I feel like I'm being smothered when I can't be occasionally alone. My only truly sane times these days are the kids nap time, and bed time. Sorry - DURING nap time and AFTER bed time. Brandon is the boy of a thousand questions. At least he doesn't ask "why" all the time, but his unending question after question after question is taking a toll on my well being. The last few days have been full of questions, answers, crying, no naps, and general mayhem. He's cranky, I'm cranky, and there has been a lot of voice raisings, spankings, and time outs. I'm really not okay with all of this. I know I need to change my attitude, but I don't know how to go about dealing with his.

Caitlin's crying whenever we pull into a store parking lot is really wearing on me, too. I wish I could leave her in the car. I really do. It's always been an irritation, but it's driving me to the point of tears whenever we get near a grocery store. She cries most of the time in the store, and them calms down when we get in the car. The sense of dread I feel whenever I need to go to the store is overwhelming at times, and I feel like I might break. I hate it. I hate that I feel this way. It's a little unnerving to me that having kids can bring me to the verge of being mentally unstable sometimes. Kids are just part of life. Should they really be able to drive their mother's this mad? I met a grandmother the other day, probably in her late 50's or early 60's, out with her 4 year old grandson. She said that she had her kids in her early 20's, and nothing really bothered her during their early years. Now, however, she said that she gets unnerved by the same things that didn't bother her in her youth (like unending preschooler questions). Maybe I should have started earlier. However, I would have been married to the wrong man if I did that. No one wants that. So God must have me going through all this at the right time, regardless of whether or not I think it's the right time!

The minuses - I'm not sure how long I can survive this.

The pluses - tonight I'm heading to a friends house for girls night. Yeah! Tomorrow we leave for California for a few days to visit friends and family. I am highly looking forward to both.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Double Cheese!

This is now what happens when I say "Say Cheese!" Caitlin, at all of 18 months, has managed to come up with her own cheesy little grin. Brandon's looks surprisingly cute.

This one is a little more normal, but not nearly as spontaneous!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

New Bloggers!

We have two new additions to the blog world!

My friend Michelle back in Cali has started her own blog. Michelle is married to a great guy, and has a cute little two year old named Delaney. Life is crazy with a toddler, but she has still managed to start a blog. Check out their adventures here!

Also, friends Jeff and Becky have also started a new blog. Their baby Zane made his entrance into our world on July 11th (correct me if I'm wrong). They're still in the thick of getting it all down, and adjusting to the lack of sleep. But still, they've managed to post a few cute pics of their little guy! Check out their family here!

Welcome to the blogging world! We are so happy to have you!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ding Dong! The mouse is dead!

Ding Dong! The mouse is dead! Which old mouse? The icky mouse!
Update for those of you who were aware of our bold mouse situation - it is dead. We used a variety of different traps to catch the dreaded thing, and in the end, the ol' snap trap did the trick. We had the environmentally friendly trap, the snap trap, and some type of trap that electrocuted the mouse when it walked in to get food. The pesky critter was licking the food off the snap traps, but not setting them off, so we were getting desperate!

I saw a mouse in our garage the first week we moved in, and told the landlord about it. Nothing happened, and it managed to get in our house (twitch!). All in all, it took 2 weeks to catch it once it was in the house! We set traps as soon as we saw it. The little dude was either very dumb or very smart, but finally stopped walking out into the dining room and living room in the evenings. I was all for catching it alive and releasing it somewhere far, far away (don't ask - I'm just weird that way. I wish I wasn't). It had a chance, but decided not to enter those traps. Once we found out it had been in the kids cutlery drawer, it was war! We called our landlord (who had the great response of, "So, what do you want me to do?" Take care of it! You own the place! It was here before we moved in!), and then pest control. Pest control dude only found evidence of one mouse, and thought it was trying to find it's way out. My dad thought the same thing. Pest control dude also said a snap trap would get him fast. A week later it finally happened. So much for fast. Mouse dude was either a white-footed mouse, or a deer mouse. It was big and had white feet, a white belly, and a two-toned tail. Bleah! Either way, it was one of the mice around here that can carry the hantavirus. Pest Control dude told me that mice aren't disease carriers. Ha! So much for that theory. There are reasons he's not a stock broker on Wall Street.

I am not the kind of person who freaks out at a mouse in the house. Don't get me wrong - I do not like it. I don't sleep well knowing a critter is roaming my kitchen. Especially since I have young children. But I don't freak out. However, I must admit some disappointment in myself that must involuntarily shriek out at the site of a mouse in my house. This has happened before, and I shrieked then, too. It's kind of like being in a haunted house at Halloween. I jump, I scream - I don't want to, but my body just reacts that way. I thought I'd mature with age, but so far that hasn't happened (that hasn't happened in a lot of areas in my life, but we won't go there). It's a good thing I'm not a farmer's wife! I don't know if I could handle all the critters that go hand-in-hand with farms! Today I did let a tarantula crawl on my arm, but that was at the Butterfly Pavilion, and it was to prove to Brandon that Rosie the tarantula isn't scary (and he let her crawl on his hand! I'm so proud!). Still - I shriek at a mouse! A mouse who then freaks out and hides underneath my unsealed cabinetry (are most kitchen cabinets open on the bottom so mice can hide there? Yes, according to Pest Control dude. No according to my sane friends). I'm not really sure what's wrong with me.

Brandon keeps asking for a cat. I'm all for it, once we own our own place. Mice better beware. If I have to, I'm enrolling my cat in mouse-hunting class. Heck, I'll teach him myself! I'm sure I'll get mice again. I've heard it's common around here. But my cat will be trained. He'll be a Marine - always faithful! Always ready!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

On Being 18 Months Old - Part II

Went in for Caitlin's 18 month appointment last week. Brandon stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa. It was just me and Caitlin, and Brian met us at the pediatrician's office. Caitlin was in rare form! She kept closing her eyes, squinting up her nose, showing us her teeth, and walking into the walls. The doctor thought she was cute, but did ask if she did this often. Probably the combination of having all the attention of both mommy and daddy at the same time, plus the doctor, was making her a little batty. Her walking skills have greatly improved in the last few months, but she still falls a lot. The pediatrician said she "leads with her head," which is exactly the same thing my mom said at Caitlin's 1st birthday party! Her head is big enough to cause her to fall over, though, according to her stats.

Caitlin's 18 month stats:
height: 33 1/2 inches tall (94th percentile)
weight: 23 pounds, 13 oz (45th percentile)
head circumference: 18 inches (90th percentile - see what I mean?)

Brandon's 18 month stats:
height: 33 1/2 inches tall (82nd percentile)
weight: 22 pounds, 14 oz (13th percentile)
head circumference: none given

As you can see, the chart percentiles for the kids are pretty different, even when the numbers are the same or fairly close. I remember that Brandon didn't fit into most of his 18-24 month clothes until he was closer to 21 months, and Caitlin pretty much follows that same pattern. Girls clothes in general seem to be a little more form fitting, but she still only fits well into a small percentage of them. Only the ones with spandex fit well. It's not like we're having a clothes shortage, though! My friends, and friends of friends were very generous, and we have many fun clothes to choose from! Thank you!

I Gotta Rock

Finally, Charlie Brown gets some respect!