A mix of luck

Yesterday we were (yes we, the entire family) diagnosed with strep throat. Luckily, only Leah and I ended up with the glass-in-the-throat symptoms, the kids have just been feverish and really whiny for the last few days. It took me getting the sore throat (“sore” is such a misnomer, it really does feel like swallowing shards of glass) to go get tested, then Leah and Darwin got tested. The doc, once Leah described symptoms, agreed to dose Linnea with meds without sticking the swab down the kid’s throat, so that’s a minor win.

Then last night, the kids slept, like really slept, for the first time in weeks. And today Darwin started getting really excited about the scooter we got her 6 months ago, which she has basically shunned and I have been silently thinking of a the “first expensive failure” of childhood gift getting. She and Linnea have recovered way faster than us adults, thank goodness, and spent a nice part of the morning running around the front yard. Darwin slept for almost 12 hours, with no wake-ups, which is unheard of for her. I think she’s definitely on the mend! 20180406_115558.jpg

This morning, I discovered that the State of Oregon is accepting my appeal to them saying I hadn’t filed part of the tax paperwork I needed to claim childcare credits (which I know I did). I had images of them saying that I’d made a tiny mistake that was going to cost us the credit or something, so my anxiety there was relieved. And now we can afford to get new gutters this year…hopefully.

In broader family news, last week my poor father broke his leg (the one he didn’t break about 5 years ago…), and he had surgery to repair it this week. The strep throat has meant that I haven’t been helping as much as I would like, but the supportive community here has stepped up amazingly, helping at every need. My dad is recovering really well and I’m looking forward to being not contagious so I can see him and help out again!

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Currently I have 8 (EIGHT) major tasks to complete at work. Yesterday I mapped out how I was going to get them all done. Totally doable.

Just after 5pm yesterday I got a call from my mom. My dad broke his leg (and thankfully nothing else!) falling down some stairs at work. He’s still in the hospital but much of today I was calling family and making sure my parents have what they need.

Also work task #9 cropped up.

Then our car Check Engine light came on and the Cruise Control light started flashing. Got it in to the mechanic. Semi-minor spark plug/electrical issue. Can be fixed for under $300. Calling it a win.

I feel like we keep just missing major tragedy and it’s freaking me out. Too many phone calls in the last 24 hours have started with “everyone’s ok, but…”.

Three-and-a-half years old

Saturday was Darwin’s half birthday. She’s right on track for all the typical “three” behaviors, including big feelings, boundary pushing, curiosity, and an insistence on simultaneous freedom and a need to constantly cling to us.

Preschool is going well, most days. This kid is a night owl who lives to sleep in (those are probably entirely my influence), so often getting out the door is a challenge. I’m considering home school for the simple fact that I’m becoming quiet certain that an 8am start time would ruin her for life. But, she loves her teachers and friends, talks about puzzles any time a new one comes out, can do her own buttons, and can nearly get her zippers done. I’m really enjoying her delight in learning new skills that she uses every day. Numbers are coming more readily than letters. This kid loves numbers and now will watch my book as I’m reading and point to each page number and state it with authority.

After months of basically ignoring it, Darwin will now use her scooter to race up and down the hallway with her sister. Racing is a new big thing. Darwin has a drive to be in front although currently they are “both winners!” I suspect that stems from lessons at school. Swim class was a huge success for her independence, but a big fat fail for a legs-arms-trunk rash of mostly dry, angry-looking skin, so we’re taking a break from that and back to gymnastics for the spring term. We considered another local swim class in a salt pool but it’s twice the cost and 2x a week for a shorter duration, so for now it’s a no go.

Sisterhood is mostly awesome, except when they both want the same thing, or Darwin wants space and Linnea wants to live in her sisters back pocket. They get along well though, and look out for each other. Although tonight I heard Darwin wail “I’m just trying to steal things from my sister!” Worth regards to playing with some toy or another. But they worked out out. This is my goal. For my kids to be capable of managing their own conflicts a majority of the time.

A last anecdote. Tonight at bed time Darwin said ‘when I grow up, I want to be a bug.’ When asked what kind, she said (of course) a ladybird beetle. I will not be surprised in 20 years if this kid is studying insects in far off places. Hopefully she’ll still be happy to come home for visits.

20 months

Linnea is twenty months old as of yesterday! We rang in the new month with a visit to the urgent care, precipitating from her falling down while twirling in the living room the night before and v being unwilling to put any weight on her right foot. Xrays prove no fracture, so now we just hope she feels better soon so we can stop carrying her everywhere!

Fun things about 20 months with Linnea:

– She knows all of her colors (at least the basics).

– She colors frenetically with crayons now.

– Linnea can climb into her own chair and car seat (and insists upon it).

– Language continues to explode, with current phrases like ‘Nea do it now’ and ‘that is?’ regularly peppering our conversations. She clearly says MamaLeah and MamaRae, and I get big grins now when she sees me after work or in the mornings.

– Swim class is probably Linnea’s very favorite thing to do in the whole world. She is part fish, I think.

– Linnea is a miracle self-potty-training wizard. Seriously. 20 months and in training pants on her own choice.

Harder things that are just a part of being almost-2:

– Tantrums and screaming when she isn’t understand. Sometimes it’s because we’re actually saying now but at least 50% of this should clear up as her language improves. She hates not being understood.

– Feeding the dog as soon as our backs are turned. Dog is becoming a sausage.

– Coloring on anything and everything if she finds any writing utensil anywhere. So far this includes my work notebook, windows, our desk, and a bunch of thank you cards that were ready to be mailed out for school.

Singing songs

I’m determined to blog about more than just the monthly updates, here’s a start. It’s really a delight to have two kids who love music, and in particular, like singing songs.

Linnea currently bounces back and forth between Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She has a strong preference for which songs are to be sung at bedtime and in what order. In particular, Over the Rainbow means snuggle time is over and it is time for her to lay down in the pack n play. If she isn’t ready and I begin singing it, there is a plaintive “noooo”, at which point I tell her I’ll sing one more song, then rainbow. It actually makes for a very smooth transition!

Darwin is obsessed with a Woody Guthrie song, Roll On Columbia, Roll On, sung by the Weavers, at the moment. She sings This Pretty Planet, and a handful of other songs from school. When she wants me to sing at bedtime, chances are good she’ll sing along with me.

I grew up playing the piano (not very well), the trombone (decently enough), and picked up the guitar (basic chords) and a little violin (really not well) when I got a little older. I am so excited to see how these kids grow in their musical interests over the next few years.

19 months (a little late…)

Well, we’re half way to twenty months, and I’m just now getting to an update. The last month has been a whirlwind of work and school and trying not to let the house fall into complete disaster. We’ve mostly succeeded. But in the mean time, I’ve failed to update on our giant, running, talking child!

Linnea is an absolute delight right now. She has started speaking in short sentences, yells “JINGLE BELLS” with exuberant punctuation, and  climbs on to the top bunk of the new bunk beds with ease. She wants to do everything that Darwin does, including stripping off all her clothes (two naked children running through the house is even cuter than one!), climbing into her car seat herself, and full-stop running everywhere she can.

One of the cutest things currently is her love of animals. Cats, dogs, chickens, goats, this kid loves everything. We have a friend with a farm about 40 minutes away and Linnea delights in going to see the animals (and her little friend A, who is just a year younger than Linnea). There is a large cockatoo on the farm that greets us as we leave the car with a loud “HELLO MURPHY!” which Linnea takes as an invitation to respond over, and over and over. And what kid wouldn’t love to offer head-boops to a goat!? This is the best photo I got of her on her 19 month day.

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Food continues to be a favorite activity, although we have started entering the “I’ll pulverize this but not eat it” phase, so meals have to be more carefully supervised. It makes breakfast, which used to be time where she occupied herself with eating, a little more difficult. I still have not found much that she won’t eat, but favorites include meat of almost all flavors, bananas, bread, and yogurt. Still nursing strong at this point, though Leah has expressed some familiar feelings of being tired of it, but not done. Parenting is so confusing sometimes.

Siblings are just kind of awesome. At least, these two are. That’s not to say it’s always easy (or pleasant), but overall, I think their personalities mesh. Linnea really wants to do everything Darwin does, right now, not in a year, thank you very much. She couldn’t go to swim this week because she had a tummy bug, and she was pissed that she didn’t get to go (Darwin did)…until we turned on Moana, which is her favorite thing to do, outside of nurse and emulate her big sister. This is mildly hilarious because Darwin will not enter a room in a movie is playing. They race up and down the hall, with Darwin explaining that she “needs to be in front because I am gonna win!” Linnea takes it in stride. For now. It’s funny to think that at this age for Darwin, Leah was 7 months pregnant with Linnea. Darwin felt so big, Linnea feels so little! Perspective I suppose.

Hopefully I’ll be back before half way through the next month! Hope everyone is doing well out there.