Tue Jan 06 2004 13:21 Glad to be Home:
We are back to real life here in Kansas. Atticus has had mixed feelings about being here. He really enjoyed "Grandma's house" and didn't want to leave, then again didn't want to leave after an overnight stay at his friend Elijah's house. He wasn't really happy to be in Kansas until today when he remembered the University of Kansas Natural History Museum is in Kansas. Parts of our windows are icy (inside our apartment), and the weather is piercingly cold. It is a bit to get used again after warm days in the 70's and 80's in Texas. I am most glad to be sleeping in past 6:30 in the morning. Samuel and Atticus seemed to rise 10-15 minutes earlier than the morning before, and an accumulation of those minutes over two weeks time equals a morning wake-up time somewhere in the hour of 5 am. This morning the boys both slept in until 7:00--our normal wake-up hour. Yes, it is good to be home.
(3) Tue Jan 06 2004 22:51 Book Club:
Went to a book club meeting tonight, and I spotted knitting needles and a sweater-in-progress in a basket on the floor. I asked the hostess, Susan, if she had any #7 double points I could use to finish out my toque I've been working on for two years now (supposed to be a Christmas present for Dave in 2002). Ta da! I challange myself to finish before the frost lifts (for the season, that is).
(6) Wed Jan 07 2004 14:40 Like his Aunt Amy:
I bought a mix of olives at the grocery store so I could make a nice greek salad. Samuel found them in the refridgerator, brought them to me begging, and I gave him one expecting it to be spat out. Instead, he loved it and is currently inhaling them. He especially loves the green olives--just like his Aunt Amy. Word is that as a girl, she would watch cartoons after school with a Costco sized jar of green olives in her lap, eating them like popcorn.
Thu Jan 08 2004 13:29 Sourdough Success:
Now that I have my sourdough starter from Aunt Frances, I am anxious to use it. Last night I made a black bean chili recipe from a Deborah Madison cookbook I checked out from the library. To accompany, I made Great Aunt LeJeune's sourdough cornbread. I felt like the little red hen in some way, but instead of no help with my work, Atticus' eagerly followed me around the kitchen volunteering out the wazoo. Unfortunately, the prep work on this meal was not the most child friendly. Instead, I put him to the task of making orange juice. He had fun with that.
The chili recipe was too fussy for everyday eating--steps like toasting cumin seeds in a skillet, adding additional herbs, and then grinding all of the seasonings using a mortar and pestle. But the outcome was delicious, especially the cornbread. I worried about that because the batter was about the consistency of a runny pancake batter. But it came out of the oven firm, moist, delicious, and ready to be gobbled up. In Atticus' words, "MMmmmm, Mama, this dinner is 'elicous!"
Tonight's venture is to bake bread with the new mixer Betty and Tom gave me for Christmas. Mmmmmm.
Thu Jan 08 2004 16:39:
Ahh--to have the power to heal all ills with a kiss. One of the great gifts of motherhood, I presume.
Thu Jan 08 2004 19:19:
Another day, another bedtime. I love the peaceful moments that come after the children are tucked asleep in their beds. I've taken two Ibuprofen, and I think I'll scratch the idea of baking bread tonight. Too drained. This is the second day Dave has been gone all day until after bedtime doing normal GRA work and then ethics training stuff in Kansas City for the county commission and some other local government group I can't recall at the moment. We thought that responsibility was going away after teaching ethics classes to civic personel last semester, but it turns out that the manager Dave was working with has been called to active duty in Iraq. Since the only other person involved is lecturing at Balliol College of Oxford University (Dave's advisor), guess who is next in line to pick up the duties. So, needless to say, this semester will be an interesting one with all that Dave has on his plate.
I'd like to be in Oxford right now.
(1) Fri Jan 09 2004 12:25:
We were driving around town when Atticus said, "Look at this place--I LOVE this town." Then he chuckled and added in a whisper, "This is Kansas."
(1) Sat Jan 10 2004 16:27 The Crowning Mark:
Early in the day, Samuel was playing with the contents of a drawer he had emptied onto the floor. When he stood up, his forehead went right into the corner of the open drawer, and immediately blood was spurting in all directions. The results of this mishap were two hours in the Emergency Room, and two stitches across a deep laceration only a centimeter wide. This cut is a pittiful addition to an already bruised forehead; Samuel has been sporting three shiners from other encounters earlier in the week.
The upside of all this: Atticus was thrilled to watch the blood stains on my pillow cases foam and froth and lift as I dabbed them with hydrogen peroxide.
Sun Jan 11 2004 11:18:
We are working on a scholarship application for Atticus, so that he can be funded to attend the Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association retreat in Wisconsin this summer. The application is a one page information sheet, and all they ask for is a declaration that we cannot attend the retreat unless we receive funding to do so, and also a piece of artwork (done by Atticus) describing why he wants to attend the conference.
I am nervous about this because it seems so loose. Maybe CHASA has so much funding available that pretty much everyone that applies gets funded. That is what I hope, anyway.
Sun Jan 11 2004 18:38 So much for the stitches:
Samuel woke up this morning with one stitch in his forehead; the other was buried in his blanket.
Mon Jan 12 2004 20:33:
We went to the U of K Natural History Museum today. Atticus was sad to see that the colony of bees had died. We spent most of our time enjoying the fossils as well as the interactive Rain Forest Discovery exhibit. After nap time we went to the park and enjoyed the 55 degree weather. Dave caught up with us for that. It was a great day, and except for a 2nd visit to the ER (Samuel's cut was oozing and seemed to be pulling apart), went off without a hitch.
Mon Jan 12 2004 20:36 Glass Half Full, or Half Empty?:
Still thinking on the CHASA application. Dave says not to worry about it--we have nothing to lose, he says. But I can't help worrying about it because, on the other hand, we have everything to gain.
(2) Mon Jan 12 2004 20:50 Another Triumph I Cannot Fail to Mention:
Today at the park, Atticus finally succeeded in "pumping" his legs while on the swings. I was working and working with him into the fall to teach him how to synchronize his movements so that he could swing himself, but the timing was hard for him to get down. Today, once he was on the swings, he started pumping properly right away! This is an acomplishment not to be underestimated--the first major gross motor activity we've worked through on our own. We might be fine without those weekly physical therapy visits after all!! We'll see--our 6 month P.T./ O.T. evaluation needs to be done soon.
We also met a little girl today (5 years old) that shared her two-wheel bike (with training wheels) with Atticus. He was so pleased to be sitting on it and "riding" around. Though he is very capable of peddling his three-wheel bike, he had a time avoiding back peddling on the brake with his friend's bike. After she had gone away, Atticus kept checking over his shoulder to find her, and finally said, "Where did that girl with the beautiful bike go?"
Tue Jan 13 2004 20:01:
Danced to the Beatles with the boys, then rode "bikes" around apartment. Had fun with my kids.
(6) Thu Jan 15 2004 11:32:
Secret weapon for teething babies: frozen blueberries.
Fri Jan 16 2004 20:31:
I love Fridays--there is hope in the weekend, plus today was payday (not that this means we have any more money now than we did yesterday, but the bills are paid!!!). I took the boys to story time at the library. This was our first time at the Lawrence Public Library, and I must say I am impressed. The librarian who does the three-year-old story time is a very engaging and enthusiastic woman. She had just the right sense of the crowd, too--moved on when the children grew restless and took advantage of moments of attention. Very animated. The theme today was diversity, and in particular it was a celebration of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. After stories, the children were invited to color pictures of Martin Luther King and decorate paper dolls--each cut out of different colored construction paper--and glue them hand in hand. Atticus really liked this project, and his artwork is hanging on the refrigerator. Samuel's paper people are torn up all over the living room floor.
We also took lunch up to Dave today. Samuel earned another goose egg on the side of his head falling from a seat he was standing on to reach the chalk board where he was coloring. Fortunately I was quick enough to deflect him away from the coffee table. I didn't mention that yesterday, we were playing outside. Samuel bent over to pick up a rock from the ground, toppled over, and planted face first on the concrete. That fall left a bump with abrasion from the initial impact of the fall, AND a good abrasion where he slid into a full face plant. When we went to get Samuel's remaining stitch removed at the ER, I was ready to be questioned by Social Services. Ah, these one-year-old babies live with bumps and bruises on their foreheads. We had a really fun day.
Sat Jan 17 2004 19:41:
Today was Atticus' first day of gymnastics. We enrolled him in the community rec. class, and it looks like a real winner of a class. The two teachers are willing good sports (there are 9 3-4 year-olds in the class), and two of the other children are friends of Atticus from Primary. What fun!
(1) Sun Jan 18 2004 10:11:
Since I received my Oregon Trail sourdough starter, I have been experimenting with as many sourdough recipies as I have my paws on from my Great Uncle Carl. Today we feasted on sourdough pancakes. I doubled the recipe, hoping to have enough batter to use as a base for sourdough dinner rolls for tonight, but we used every last drop of it, and have nothing but pools of syrup and a half of a pancake left to show for our fine breakfast.
(1) Mon Jan 19 2004 17:37 Reasoning:
Atticus dragged a cardboard box out of the recycling bin. He tore it open, and spread a mess of cardboard pieces throughout the living room. When I moved to start cleaning it up, he protested,
"Mom--NOOooooo. That's my BED!"
I responded, "But Atticus, Papa is coming home. Do you want the first thing he sees to be this big mess?"
He disagreed. "No, Papa will say, 'Ah! What is this bed??' And then he will lie in it."
Tue Jan 20 2004 16:36 Concessions:
"Do you like cookies?" I ask Atticus, as he eats very gingerly the first of a batch of cookies, dipping it in milk and nibbling.
"Yes. They're my favorite colors. Brown and black."
(4) Thu Jan 22 2004 14:11 When the Circus Comes to Town:
We were in the bulk foods area of the grocery store when Atticus informed me that he needed to use the bathroom (using his own terms, of course, "Mom, I need to pee!"). So I stop in my tracks, turn the cart around, and head to the bathrooms. Luckily I already know where they are. We get to the restroom, and I help Atticus onto a very tall toilet, like all toilets seem to be in public places. Then he says, "Mom, I really need my energy." "You mean your 'privacy?'" I confirm, then I step out of the stall until he gives me the ok that he is done. I open the door, and notice that he has missed his target, and instead of only going IN the toilet bowl, he has managed to soak his underwear. But his pants are dry. I am glad for this little bit of good fortune, and begin to take his shoes off so I can take off the undies and redress him commando style. Meanwhile, someone else comes into the bathroom, and Samuel continues to look around, but he isn't touching anything yet.
When I finally get Atticus' pants back on, I notice that Samuel is trying to peer under the door to the stall next to us where the stranger is seeking her own "privacy." I grab Samuel, and pull Atticus out of the cramped stall where I can more easily put his shoes back on. Samuel takes off into the stall and begins to go for the sanitary napkin container. I pull him away, and crouch in front of the door so he can't open it, Atticus sitting on my lap, and again I try to get those shoes back on. Samuel crawls under the door, I open it, grab him, and finish tying the shoe laces. OK. Atticus dressed, now we need to wash hands. I pick him up, begin to wash our hands, Samuel crawls under the door again, going for that nifty box on hanging by the toilet paper dispenser again. Yada yada yada. Somehow, we made it out of that bathroom with clean hands, and the appearance of being under control.
Fri Jan 23 2004 09:01 One-Year-Old Disgust:
Samuel turns up his nose at oatmeal, now. I can't say for sure where he learned the concept of being picky, but I am guessing that his elder brother had some play in the matter. He will devour an orange, which Atticus visibly refuses to eat, so the battle is not all lost.
Fri Jan 23 2004 13:24 Guilt Complex:
Coming into the apartment from the car, I startle Atticus.
"Woah, you scared me."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."
"That's okay. It was my fault."
(2) Sat Jan 24 2004 08:21 What's for Dinner??:
Hoping for some menu ideas for the upcoming week, I ask Atticus, "What do I make that you really like to eat for dinner?"
He gave this question careful consideration, and then answered, "Hmmmmm--cereal. I would really like to eat more cereal."
In case you're wondering, we eat cereal next-to-never for dinner.
Sun Jan 25 2004 11:11 Get Me to the Church On Time:
I guess the meteorologists weren't lying when they predicted freezing rain today. I just looked outside and our car is sheathed in ice. Our trouble is that I left our ice/snow scraper in San Antonio when I was cleaning out the car for our trip home (they will surely have no use for it there). In Samuel's words, "Uh-oh."
Sun Jan 25 2004 21:45:
Everything is so beautiful outside. It looks as if the sky rained down molten glass which left every bare tree branch and every blade of grass encrusted in its own crystal. Atticus saw this as an opportunity to kick icicles off the cars in the church parking lot.
Sun Jan 25 2004 22:01 A Boy and His Stick:
I don't think I've mentioned that Atticus is taking a tumbling class through Lawrence Parks and Recreation. He really loves it, but on his way home on Saturday, he was collecting large sticks that had fallen from the mature oak trees by the rec. center. This reminded me of one of our first wanderings around KU campus. Atticus, as is his custom, was then gathering sticks like he still does today. He found a particularly large one, and was waving it around wildly. We were near Blake Hall, where the Public Administration Department is located. Blake Hall is very near the on campus residence of the Chancellor. Well, it just so happened that the Chancellor came strolling by Atticus, who nearly clubbed him with his branch. It was quite embarrasing until I saw that he was amused.
Sun Jan 25 2004 22:16 Highlights of the Weekend:
We had a great weekend. On Friday night, I checked out our local video store, Liberty Hall Video. They have an extensive collection of foreign films and art films. We had been awaiting the video release of Spellbound, so I went to see if it was in. It was! We enjoyed it. This is a fun documentary of 8 young teenagers who are seeking to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. I recommend it.
We also went swimming at the Aquatics Center here in Lawrence. The Center has water slides, a zero depth pool, fountains, and those floating lily pad things. It was a lot of fun. My real accomplishment was swimming laps for half an hour. I think I've found an exercise I can enjoy!
Wed Jan 28 2004 08:28:
The high today is supposed to be 8.1 degrees, and already my children are sick with cabin fever from past days of cold temperatures. We might strike out regardless of the cold.
(1) Wed Jan 28 2004 15:22 Golden Moments:
Both boys are asleep. I don't dare hardly to breathe. The peace is so wonderful.
(5) Wed Jan 28 2004 22:25 (Is There Such A Thing As) A Memorable Mess:
I was playing with Atticus in the boys' room, and left Samuel unattended for a little too long, until I heard slapping and smacking noises coming from the kitchen. What I found: Samuel on the kitchen linoleum with our little Pooh Bear jar of honey poured all over his shirt, arms, legs and hands, and of course, all over the floor. As soon as I came into the room, Samuel startled and hurriedly crawled to avert being caught. I took him straightway to the bathroom and peeled his honey-saturated shirt off of his head, leaving clumps of sticky hair standing on end. He clapped his hands and touched everything within reach while I started a bath and put him in.
Meanwhile, I forgot all about Atticus.
When I finally went into the kitchen with a wet rag for cleaning the honey mess, I found Atticus crouched on the floor. He popped up quickly when I entered the room, a glistening honey goatee on his face.
Thu Jan 29 2004 19:55:
Well, we did go to a friend's house to play yesterday, and we cured our cabin fever, but ended up with colds instead. Today we took things easy, and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
Fri Jan 30 2004 08:49:
We are all barking like seals, or as Atticus prefers to say, we all have "froggies in our throats." He is begging to go to "that swimming pool where the life guards live." I am trying to explain to him that swimming is not a good idea for a person who is sick. But he has a protest to any argument, and today he says we need to go because his "froggies will all jump out into the swimming pool" and evidently he will be cured.
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