Tuesday, April 30, 2013

That's what solana said - April

Solana loves to compliment my cooking. She knows I'm a good cook but just doesn't appreciate what I put on her plate. She sit there and talk about how great dinner is but then sits without taking a bite. Or we'll eat something I di don't make and she'll say, "but Mommy's _____ is way better!" It's actually kind of annoying despite her good intentions. I'd rather she eat her dinner than talk about how good it is. The other day I made shrimp. We don't eat shrimp often. She took a few bites and gagged down every bite and finally threw up in her mouth. I asked her if its really that gross. She said, "No, it's really good! My mouth thinks its good but my stomach just doesn't know."
Solana has recently decided that she doesn't like taking baths. When I suggested that she take a bath one day she balked. I asked her, "Do you want to be stinky?" She replied, "yes." "What?!?" Solana, "Well, not TOTALLY."
New Favorite Words: Farty-pants and Goofball

That's What Chloe Said - April

Daddy - I touched my peepees.
Mommy, what am I touching Bluebell with?
-Your foot?

Mommy, what am I doing?
-Spinning in a circle?
Yes! I AM spinning in a circle!

Mommy, where is my hand?
-Inside your boot.
Yes Mommy! That's right! My hand IS inside my boot.

I could go on...

Chloe's begun a new habit of beginning statements with "here." For example, "Here, let me do it." Or, "Here, I'll get down and then I will help you." She sounds like a tiny grown up making the calls and I think it's adorable. Then I figured out why. It's a speech pattern she picked up from me!
I told Chloe that she needs to go to sleep. Rest is important because her body grows while she sleeps and that's how she'll become big and strong. After that she began to exclaim every time it was time for a nap or bedtime, "But I don't want to grow! I want to stay little!"


-Hey Chloe!
-Hey Mommy!
-What's up?
-I'm just playing in the bathtub. You can go away now. (Said in a sugar sweet voice and followed with a huge smile and batting eye lashes.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Solana is 8!

,Solana turned 8 this year! Something about 8 seems so old to me. It's so much closer to 10 than 7 somehow. I don't know... But I decided that this year would be a much easier party than last year's unicorn pegasus party. We decided to have her party somewhere else so I wouldn't have quite so much planning to do. Somehow, though, her birthday turned into the never ending weekend! I think she liked it, though, or at least she better have...

The festivities started with strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing sent to her class on Friday. 

Saturday was her actual birthday. She woke up to a few presents and a number 8 pancake. It's been over a month since her birthday so I can't remember what else we did on her birthday but I do know that Dave and I stressed out all day about the weather because her little party was outdoors and there was a significant chance of rain all day long. We ate dinner at the Greene and then came home for some chocolate cake. Our cake comas are only 2/3 the way through at this point.

Finally came her party at the farm. The sky was full of clouds but we just might beat the rain. The girls ran around checking out the animals while Dave and I set up. These people definitely did not have their act together. We expected a little more hosting but we felt like we were pretty much left to our own devices. They eventually came out to help a bit. Dave and I weren't super impressed but the kids seemed to have a great time so we didn't complain.

Dave came to the rescue and fixed the little cars because they weren't attaching to the tractor correctly. They drove the kids around for a good 20 minutes while we waited for all of Solana's friends to arrive. Another lesson learned: If you can have 8 guests at a party, don't limit your invitation list to 8 kids. Duh.

Chloe, Gage, Jackson, Maria, Abby, Hannah, Solana

Solana saved her magic sprinkles from last year and decided to sprinkle the chocolate cake before we left for the party. It looks like they still work.

Solana had a great weekend and was satsfyingly excited. We're pretty lucky to have her.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chloe's Memories From the NICU

Every night before bed I sing one song to Chloe and I let her choose the song. 9 times out of 10 she chooses the "humming song." There are two songs I hum to her. One is a simple three notes repeated. It's hummed by all the Moms in my family and extended family. That's not the one she wants. Chloe's preferred song is one that I learned from my Mom. One that I have hummed to her since her earliest days in the NICU. I remember standing by her isolette for 90 minute stretches with my hands resting (very lightly) - one one the top of her head and one under her bottom - humming this very tune. I hummed it to her every single day standing by her isolette for 6 weeks before the first time I had kangaroo time with her. I hummed it while she got a new IV and while I fed her her first bottle. I hummed it while she came out of anesthesia from her many procedures...every day for 5 months as I visited her...

Last night she requested the humming song and I wondered, "Does she prefer this song because it comforts her? Does it comfort her at a deep level that she doesn't understand but is a result of hearing it during a time when she yearned for the love and comfort of a Mother who was only there for a short while each day? Did she anxiously await my arrival during her long solitary days laying alone in the isolette?" The I realized I'd never talked to her about her NICU days and was compelled to mention it... In the dark...at bedtime...maybe not the most well-thought-out plan.

-Chloe, do you know that, when you were a tiny baby, you were very sick and lived in the hospital for a very long time?
-(Very dramatically) Yes Mommy! And you left me all by myself and I was so sad! I sat in my bed all by myself and cried and cried. And I said, "Mommy, please come back!" But you went in the van and drove away and I was crying and crying because I didn't want to be all alone!

It's a good thing I was sitting down during this...revelation...? I was shocked, confused, overcome with emotion. Those feelings of sadness and guilt came flooding back. I was only able to spend a few short hours with Chloe every night after Dave got home from work. I hated that she was alone all day and night. Sure there were nurses to see to her medical and physical needs but they couldn't see to her emotional needs.

-Chloe, I never wanted to leave you in the hospital.
-But you did, Mommy. You left me and I was so so so sad and I cried and cried. And you drove away!

It was creepy I tell you. I have no idea where she came up with this but it was so real and difficult to hear. I know she has no memory of that time. And I hope she wasn't crying for me when I left. But that conversation really sent me back. I wish I knew...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sick Monty

You may not want to read this if you're easily grossed out. But this absolutely MUST go on the books. This was one illness to remember! Monty caught some kind of dog virus. We think the dog sitter brought it over because another dog she cared for that week had a similar illness the week she cared for them both. He got sick the week after we returned from Georgia. Long story short he had bloody diarrhea and didn't eat for 6 days. Our vet came over and gave him subQ fluids and some meds. We ended up at the clinic for blood work and more meds before he got better. It was super scary on days 3-6 when he refused to eat or drink and we couldn't figure out where the bloody runs could possibly be coming from. His rear end was a constant slick of blood and I couldn't keep up with the mess so we ended up putting old towels down in the four seasons room and just leaving the sliding door open for him to let himself out. I felt so bad for him.

But I also felt bad for Dave. All the rear-end washing I did couldn't compare to the 7 hours he spent cleaning the kitchen and fireplace room floors after this overnight poop extravaganza. Before we set him up in the four seasons room and not realizing how bad off he was we locked Monty in the kitchen overnight. Poor guy had no choice. But really poor Dave. He mopped several times with hot water, then vinegar, and finally pine-sol. Then he vigorously scrubbed the grout with oxy-clean until it was white. On a positive note, our grout has never looked so good. Who knew it was supposed to be light grey?

A few days after Monty recovered Bluebell had loose stools. I panicked and gave her gorilla butt. There's no way I was even going to TRY and wash that rear end after constant pooping! Fortunately, she wasn't sick but she was humiliated...
Dude, you are so lucky you're cute...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Break! Road Trip!

The girls and I had a super road trip adventure over their Spring Break week. I once drove them 5 hours to Nashville for a weekend trip that went bad and ended up as an overnight trip. But the was a super road trip. It was so long it required an overnight hotel stay and everything! Dave had to work for the week so it was just us girls. Speaking of Dave, big props to him for letting us go. We left on Easter and missed his birthday and he was a pretty good sport about the whole thing. I tried to be as organized as possible and wrote out complete packing lists, stocked the freezer with lunches and dinners for Dave during our absence, booked the hotels in advance, and made arrangements for the dogs during our absence. We.were.set!

The trip down went smoothly. We stopped a few more times than I had planned. One stop was an hour-long stop at the Walgreens clinic because Solana got a surprise ear infection the night before our trip. Fortunately, they were open on Easter and gave us antibiotics for her ear.

One of our many potty breaks turned into an impromptu lunch in the Garden Ridge parking lot. Thankfully, I had packed plenty of healthy snacks and food for lunch. 

When we got to the hotel the girls were excited and ready to play! I, on the other hand, was ready to read for a few minutes and hit the sack. They were disappointed but good sports. The girl at the desk had pity on me and moved us to a suite closer to the lobby so I was able to read in the living room area while the girls were in the bedroom. That reminds me, I should go give that Best Western a nice review online...

We made it to Valdosta, Georgia after lunch on Monday all in one piece and ready for a fun Spring Break! The girls were excited to see their cousin, Grant. I was excited to see my sister, Valerie. And we all couldn't wait to meet baby Lydia. Lydia, as it turns out, is a show stopper. Seriously. Babies don't get much cuter than this one.
Valerie took us to the local amusement park. I think it was called Great Adventures. She bought a season pass that day and has since informed me that we only visited a tiny part of it. We never would have guessed. We spent several hours there and had a blast! Solana and I especially loved the little bird house. 

Chloe, Grant, and I rode the merry-go-round.
There were actually more rides than animals. You just wouldn't know it from my pictures.

Solana rode her first roller coaster!!! See the people behind her with that U-shaped bar that comes down in front of them? She got on that. I was glad that Valerie took her on because I probably would have freaked her out. She had a blast and wanted to go again!

Grant is a full year younger than Chloe. You'd never guess based on their size.

We eventually got rained out. It was a bummer but I don't think the kids could have lasted much longer, anyway.

We spent a little bit of time at the house. The kids played with toys...and Lydia. I got my cat fix from Hercules and Tigress.

Our other big adventure was a day at the neighborhood bouncy house place. I have never seen Solana and Chloe run and play so hard. And it was nice because I didn't mind Chloe bouncing off those walls.

Usually I have to beg, plead, and threaten Chloe to drink. I worry sometimes that she is certainly the most under-hydrated kid in America.  So this was a pretty exciting moment for me.

Some other fun memories:
-The kids playing "run away from the whale" in the back yard.
-Helping Valerie plant her first Square Foot Garden.
-Sewing Teeny Tears diapers the night before leaving.
-Watching the girls chow down on Valerie's pork loin, mashed potatoes, and peas.

The week flew by but we were just about ready to go home. We left for home on Friday a little later than I had intended. It was 1:30 and we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us.

Then this happened. 
 It happened a lot.

 By 7:30 we had only shaved 2 hours off our 6 hour trip. We stopped for dinner. Chloe was fresh from her nap. I was already tired and frustrated. "Screw it," I thought. I let them order hot dogs, french fries, and chocolate milk.

We got to the hotel at midnight. I somehow checked in, got our bags, and two sleeping girls into the hotel room. What a day. I had not mentally prepared myself for 10 1/2 hours of travel that day. I later found out that the college basketball final four or something was happening in Atlanta. That's the mess we were stuck in.

The next morning I felt better. Fresh and ready to go. An hour into the trip we hit traffic again. Chloe had to pee. I pulled over, pulled out the potty seat, put her on it and let her pee on the side of the road. I shamelessly wiped her, dumped the pee (and I think the tissue, too) in the grass as cars crawled past us.  They were probably chuckling at me but I couldn't have cared less. I was a mom doing what a mom needed to do. No sooner had a nice older couple let us merge back into the barely moving traffic than the van starting making a horrible sound and a puff of smoke came out of the hood.

I called Dave, looked under the hood, and didn't see anything. He found a Honda dealer and jumped in his car to meet us. We were three hours from home. We drove an hour toward each other and met at a rest stop and then we followed him home, foregoing the dealership. As it turns out, there was nothing wrong with the van. Either I was imagining the sound or I just really really missed Dave. Or, as the local dealer suggested, the van was just throwing a tantrum from possible bad gas or frustration over the  huge amounts of stop n go traffic.

We got home a few hours later than planned, slightly traumatized, and exhausted. Dave hadn't planned on driving 4 hours that day and apologized for not cleaning the house as soon as we walked in the door. The visit was great but I think it might be a while before I go on another solo road trip with the girls...

I was also slightly nervous about my half-marathon the next morning.