Friday, January 29, 2010

Vera’s pillow and monkey came, and so did the organic cotton blanket my mom got.  The pillow is wonderful and the perfect size for her.  Now she doesn’t try to sleep on my pillow in the middle of the night.  I want the monkey to act as a kind of lovey.  And all you lovey-haters can flame me, but it’s worked as a great distraction in times of almost melt down, anti-nursing-twiddling device, and gives her something to hug.  Plus it’s her favorite animal.  The blanket has heft to it, even though it’s a thin blanket.  I love heavy blankets. 

About two weeks ago, I woke up to Abby dressed like Wonder Woman.  She made the costume completely on her own.  Notice how she fashioned a lasso out of a scarf and attached it to her shorts.  The best is the silk scarf top and hand-me-down shiny boots complete with jingle bells.  This is the result of the local comic bookstore having a  five for a $1 sale.  Scott, Abby, and now Vera love reading comic books.  They love them.  Which reminds me, I should dig out the old paperback Calvin and Hobbes books for Vera and Abby to look at again.  I put them up because they were getting destroyed from over use. 

It was beyond cold outside today, and we hid indoors most of the day.  The girls and I did take a several block walk to get air in our lungs, and ended up coming home from the Chinese bakery with red bean buns and pineapple buns.  Oh well, it’s Friday.  I’m borrowing a friend’s copy of Veganomicon, and I’m using it to plan next week’s dinners.  Some of the dinners call for meat replacers, like seitan.  For those dinners I’m using real meat.  I can’t get down with meat replacers.  

Since both girls are asleep, Scott and I are going to spend some quality time together on the couch and watch a movie and drink a beer.

That's one hungry bunny.  :)  With Marge's one eye, she always looks like she's winking.
Why is this place so hard to keep clean?  It’s driving me nuts.  As soon as the house is picked up, it’s a mess again.  I’m trying to keep ahead of the dishes, and that’s a feat.

Lately, it’s been smooth sailing with Vera.  No big issues getting dressed and leaving.  She’s actually getting on my back in a Mei Tai!  Sometimes, she’ll ask to go in a wrap on my back before bed.  But the fact that Vera’s putting clothes on is huge.  I’m going to enjoy this little reprieve while I have it.

Abby had a math lesson yesterday that taught the names and spellings of zero to ten.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to go since she’s resistant to learning to read, but she got into it!  Basically, I wrote all the numbers on the board with their names, and then we played hangman using those words.  Hangman is a family favorite game in our house.  Three letter words can be killer.  Anyways, it was fun and hopefully she learned to read a few of the names. 

I need to go, I lost my moment of peace.  Abby’s leaning over my shoulder.

Monday, January 25, 2010

This evening, the girls and I came home from Abby’s last ballet class and had dinner.  Afterwards, I put the tent up for Vera and made a blanket fort attached to the tent for Abby.  (Marge thought this whole set up was the BEST.)  Both girls are in the tent and I start to hear Vera getting agitated by Abby being in the tent.  I poke my head in just as Vera smacks Abby.  Vera hits Abby occasionally, and in the past Abby would just take it and call for me.  This time Abby hit back.  Vera’s face was complete shock, then she started crying and telling me Abby hit her.  I told her I knew, I saw it happen and hitting hurts people.  There was this realization, and Vera kept lifting her hand as if to hit Abby, but I could see on her face and body language that she knew it would hurt Abby.  Abby without any prompting from me, hugged Vera and kissed her where she had hit her, and moved on like nothing had happened. 

Abby is slowly moving through OPGTR.  It’s been three weeks and three lessons.  There’s over a hundred lessons in that book.  I’ve ditched the teaching script and I memorize the poem for the letter sound and we constantly sing the verses all week.  Funny thing is that Vera is learning the verses along with the letter sounds and letters.  I swear these two girls will start reading at the same time.  Vera’s already picked up a decent amount of the alphabet from Abby.  It’s neat to see how much of a sponge little ones are.  I wonder if teaching Vera will be easier because she’s seen and heard all the stuff Abby is learning.  I would assume so. 

This week Scott’s cooking out of The Mediterranean Kitchen.  Yum!  We haven’t eaten out of that cookbook in a long time.  Sicilian Cornish game hens with brussels sprouts and whole wheat couscous!  Sardinian meatballs!  I want to get my hands on Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking.  Scott and I watched The French Chef episode on “Elegant Eggs”.  (See, the episode can be streamed from there.)  I made baked eggs, and they came out marvelous.  Anyways, now I’m hooked on Julia Child.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

 Happy Anniversary, Scott!  It’s been a wild 7 years, and more ahead!  You’re my best friend, confidant, and lover.  I wouldn’t trade what we have for the universe.  (Staple that shit! ;)  I love you.    

I don’t think I ever blogged about how we met and got married.  Here’s the short version.  We met in a film history class.  Scott sat a few seats down from me.  We chit chatted.  He happened to be in my art history class too.  We talk some more.  Scott took me to see a movie at the Kennedy Center’s theater, and we talked a whole lot more.  About a year later we eloped over winter break telling only our immediate family.  The ceremony was very tiny.  His family and mine.

One of my favorite photos taken an hour or so after Vera's birth.  After searching through iPhoto, I realize there's not many pictures of just us.  We'll have to fix that.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vera had her two year check up.  24 pounds of love.  It was an interesting visit.  The doctor we normally see was out for whatever reason, and we got stuck with the doctor I'm not fond of.  He started asking me about Abby and homeschooling.  I felt like I was being grilled.  I mean, who asks, "Well, what do you have to offer her?"  Umm, yeah.  "Does she see and meet other kids?"  Do you know Abby??!  After a quick run down of her weekly activities, I changed the subject back to the reason I was there - Vera - and he seemed satisfied.  Scott said he was probably trying to chit chat, and I took it the wrong way.  Whatever it was, I don't like chit chatting doctors.  I like to get in there, get down to business, and go.  Doctors' offices make me nervous.  So Vera is all well, but it was a difficult visit for her.

The doctor's aide takes us to the exam room and Vera instantly starts to climb off me to run back to the waiting room.  Then the aide asks me to strip her down to her undies.  The usually wants to be naked girl flipped out.  She was not going to suffer the indecency of being naked in front of these strange people.  I told the aide I would only take off her long sleeve shirt and shoes, and even then I had to quickly put on her shoes after the weighing.  So both of us had to go on the scale together, then Abby had to hold Vera while I stood the thirty seconds to be weighed.  Measuring Vera's head circumference was another hurdle, and she is still talking about "the paper hat" that was put around her head.  When the doctor came in, I had to hold Vera tightly in my arms so he could do the whole eyes, ears, throat, heart, lungs thing.  Then she got her HIB and Hep A.  Lots of screaming.  Funny thing is, as soon as the doctor left and I got Vera's long sleeve shirt back on, she calmed down and walked cheerily out to the waiting room.  I find it interesting that she's been more concerned about the head measuring then the shots.

Yesterday I made it to an API meeting.  Shocker!  And it was at 10am!  It was a much needed meeting.  I feel better and more relaxed about where we are with Vera.  Vera is Vera.  My little screamer.  It was good to hear the been there done that stories and stories from mothers going through what we're going through.

Next week is Abby's last class of ballet.  It's also the last class of acting, but she's going to continue with acting.  I'm excited to see the play that the acting class has been working on.  Abby's very very excited about the script and totally lights up when I read through it with her.

I finally ordered Vera's birthday present.  It's an all organic child's sized pillow that's stuffed with wool, an organic cotton pillow case and the Under The Nile monkey.  She's crazy about monkeys.  I'm wondering if she's the one that walked off with the Curious George DVD that I can't find.  The pillow and pillow case aren't going to get here for another two weeks.  I guess I should have ordered that stuff sooner.  It's already way passed her birthday.

While I'm on the subject of bedding, Scott and I might need to get bunk beds sooner then we thought.  Vera has four nursing places in our apartment.  In order of preference: Abby's bed, the office chair in front of the computer, our bed, and the Poang chair.  Most nights she insists on nursing in Abby's bed which causes problems.  It's a twin size bed and Abby needs to fall asleep too.  The other night, Scott and I switched.  He took Abby to our bed and I took Vera to Abby's.  When they were both asleep, we switched them.  Then in the middle of the night Vera woke up and realizing she was back in our bed cried to go back to Abby's bed.  So there we were at 3am, all three of us smashed into a twin sized bed.  Once Vera was done nursing, I went back to bed and left Vera with Abby.  I'm not sure how long they stayed in bed together.  Vera started whimpering and I took her back to our bed. Abby may have kicked her.  I thought a full sized loft would be great for their room.  I could put their desks underneath!  But, alas, that room is way too tiny.  Only a twin size bed will fit in only one way.  The full sized loft would literally take up the whole room.  If there was no radiator it would be a different story.   If only Scott was a carpenter.  Anyways, it seems like Vera might be open to spending a few nights here and there with Abby.

No photos since I'm using Scott's computer to post...


Monday, January 18, 2010

Last night Scott and I tried to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary a week early.  I could tell that morning it wasn’t going to happen.  Vera was all over the map when she woke up.  She took a nap around 3 pm and woke up an hour and a half later crying.  Not a good sign.  She’s been having bad dreams lately.  Scott ended up taking Abby over to our friends’ place as planned, minus Vera.  Abby spent the night there.  We ordered in sushi and played with Vera.  Vera fell asleep around 10 or so.  Scott was upset.  I could see it in his face.  We never do anything for our anniversary and he was determined to take me out to dinner.

Saturday I didn’t make it in to work either.  Vera was clinging to me and every time I tried to leave, she’d start screaming.  For the first time in a long time, she got on my back in a wrap.  I took her for a walk outside and she fell asleep.  By then, it was too late to make it to work.  I took a peek in Vera’s mouth and her two year molars are starting to poke through. 

I want to start rollerblading again.  It felt wonderful to skate on Sunday.  I skated for three miles before it started to rain.  It felt better then jogging.  My over ten year old skates were killing me though.  What a rough ride.  It wasn’t so bad once I got down to the promenade where the pavement is smooth, but skating on the sidewalks was downright yucky.  I’m adding new custom made skates to the imaginary-never-gonna-happen wish list.  :)

That's Vera at the ice rink.  She skated on the ice for twenty minutes Friday.  Her longest time yet!  Vera tried to stand on her own too.  The girl's going to be a skating speed demon in no time! 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Well, bedtime tonight sucked.  Usually things work out fine when Scott has a late evening.  The girls and I snuggle up in bed, read, then everyone falls asleep.  Tonight, Vera insisted on nursing asleep on my lap in front of the computer.  Abby was having trouble falling asleep on the couch and she was dead tired.  So, I moved us back to my bed, and Vera broke down.  She screamed until Scott got home and I could sit in front of the computer with her.  Scott took Abby to her bed.  It should have been a very early evening.  Vera only napped for ten minutes today. 


Abby’s breezing through math right now.  The lessons have been short and sweet.  I don’t know if it’s because she’s grasping the material easier or if she’s enjoying the lessons.  The lessons about time and clocks have been tons of fun.  Who doesn’t like to play with clocks?  It’s nice that she can tell the time to the hour.  If I can’t see a clock, I ask Abby.  She’s totally proud of herself that she can read time.  We’re also spending quite a few lessons on even and odd numbers.  One thing I really like about Saxon, is that the material is repeated constantly and everything builds up.  There isn’t room to forget a skill.  We’re on lesson 58, and there’s 130 something lessons.  I am hoping we finish Math One by the end of June at the earliest.  I need to get the Zaner-Bloser Book Two for handwriting.  We’re halfway through book one.  I want to try to get it off of Paperbackswap like I did the first one.

The weather was mild today, and I got the girls outside on their scooters and bikes.

That's a photo of Abby's wrap job, and Marge is the best bunny EVER.  ;)

Vera’s two!  She’s so big and little all at the same time!  Scott made her homemade mac and cheese all with real dairy.  Vera loves cheese and noodles, but she’s never had them together.  Abby had spaghetti, and when Vera saw Abby’s dinner Vera had to have sauce on her noodles too.  We all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and had cupcakes.

Vera went on a long talk at bedtime tonight about there being big monkeys in the bedroom and she was scared.  There were a lot of reassurances and turning on of lights and when she still wouldn’t lay down because there were still big monkeys in the room, we went to the living room to nurse.  Then she told me there were big monkeys in Abby’s room.  Vera didn’t seem too worked up.  It seemed to be more of a concern that there were monkeys in everyone’s rooms. 

This week was parent observation for Abby’s classes.  Ballet was adorable.  Acting was great.  It really pushes her to focus and think on her toes.  The games they played were hilarious!  I’m glad we’re continuing acting classes.