Friday, April 30, 2010

Naughty Baby

Annabel is darling. However, she's also nearly two. (Did I just say "nearly two?" Can my heart even stand that?) And "nearly two" is a phrase almost synonymous with "busy and naughty." Some evidence:

Bella loves chapstick. (Loves every girly, dressy-uppy thing, actually.) She is occasionally content with the clear version in mommy's purse, but LOVES the bright red version in mommy's makeup box. (And to be honest, it's a great color on her. Don't you agree?)
I think she applied it rather expertly for someone so young.
Exhibit B:

We have discussed MILLIONS of times where crayons (pencils, pens, markers, etc.) can and cannot be used. If she knows I'm watching, Bella always colors on paper, and only paper. I know she's aware of the rules. However, when I am busy cooking dinner (even if only two feet away), and completely occupied, the refrigerator makes a much better canvas.

For permanent marker.

Which took three applications of "Goof-Off" (I'm still high, I think, and so is Cletus) and two scrubbings with a Magic Eraser to remove.

Here's the thing. I'm not sure Annabel has learned her lesson about either markers or lipstick. But me. . . well, I'm starting to think about the lessons I should have learned. Like, "Put your makeup away when you're done," or "Don't leave Sharpies unattended." (Maybe "Don't own either lipstick or Sharpies.") Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's another girl!

Cletus the Fetus is a fetusette. She was very cooperative and not terribly modest, and the ultrasound tech has very little doubt as to the gender of #4. (Plus, our due date of August 30 was definitely corroborated.) So, now we're looking for names. Our girl list is getting shorter and shorter. Do you have any suggestions? (My brother Dallin has offered up his favorite choice of "Dallerina.")

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Funny Girl

Picture from September 2007 (I love it!)
I asked Olivia to go out to the picnic table in the backyard and pick up the paper plates that she and Mimi had left out there after their lunchtime "picnic." She told me that she had left them out there on purpose, so she could pick them up on Earth Day, "You know, when you are supposed to pick up the litter to make the earth so clean."
I told her that Earth Day was a long time away, so I wanted her to go back out and pick up the plates today.
She responded with, "You know, I think you just don't care about Earth Day."

She's right.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Zoo Visit with our Buddies

The lovely thing about family practice residency is that it's only three years long. No matter the crazy hours, the limited vacation, the tremendous insanity of the patient population, it can all be survived for three years.

The sad thing about family practice residency is that it's only three years long. So the people who introduced you to the program, the community, and the best ways to cope with no husband eventually move on. To greener pastures (or if not greener, in the cases of Utah and Alberta, at least sunnier).

We recently made a little day trip with two of our soon-to-be-departing families. The weather was colder than anticipated, but the kids had a great time at the zoo (where I forgot my camera) and the park (where I didn't). In the picture below are (top row) Olivia, Maddie Galbraith, and Ryan Brady. Mimi and Kacie Brady round out the bottom row. We wanted to get Halle in with the other girls, but she had not included a photography session in her play plans.
Bella's best friend in the whole world is darling Colton Galbraith. She calls him "chicken", and if he's there, she's happy. She will follow him to the ends of the earth.

Or off the bottom of a slide.


Over and over again.

We've been so lucky to have so many good friends here in South Bend. It will be sad to lose the Bradys, Galbraiths, and Sandersons, but we all have to grow up sometime, and we wish them the best of luck in their new "real lives".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wherein I Prove My Inepititude at Motherhood . . .

. . .  again.

Thursday, I had an appointment with my OB.  I had decided earlier this week (when I remembered my appointment) that since it was spring break, I would not dump my three children on someone else who already had all their children home for the week.  I mean, the appointments are under five minutes long, right?  And my kids are relatively well-behaved, right?  And it just seems ridiculous to drop my kids off at a friend's house just to pick them up 10 minutes later after a weigh-in and heartbeat-check.  I'm going to go ahead and admit now that this line of reasoning was a huge mistake.

First, we got behind a little this morning.  I realized at 9:00 that we needed to leave in 15 minutes, but I was still getting Bella dressed, Naomi's hair was not yet done, and I was in my pajamas.  When I am heading out the door with all three of my children, I usually like to make sure we are all well-groomed, since I like to appear to be a mother that is capable of handling her brood.  And especially at the doctor's office, I need to look like three children is not a big deal, since I will soon be caring for four.  I made some quick decisions, foregoing a shower, applying extra deodorant, mascara, and bronzer, skillfully rapidly tying a polka-dot scarf around my hair, and changing into some clean clothes.  I threw the colorful elastics and a comb into my purse, and we dashed out the door.  I talked to the girls for the entire drive about how we needed to behave at the doctor's office because it wasn't a place for kids, and I was actually calm and collected when we arrived at the waiting room.  I checked in and sat down in an orange vinyl chair to braid Naomi's hair.  All three girls were perfect, if your definition of good behavior includes pointing out every pregnant woman in the (very large) room and talking about the baby she had in her tummy.  (At least, I am reasonably sure all the women we discussed were actually pregnant.  I am less sure about the same comments my girls made about the rotund eighty-year old we saw at Wal-Mart yesterday.)

We were called back to the examination room, and the nurse raised her eyebrows at my entourage.  I apologized, explaining again about spring break, and we did our weigh-in (lovely, isn't it?) and blood pressure.  Bella is crying now, because she is now very clear on the association of doctor's offices and shots.  VERY CLEAR.  She keeps covering her mouth and saying "I scared" between sobs.  After the nurse leaves, however, my little monster decides that she will probably escape this horrible situation unscathed and begins to investigate the room.  I decide that I need to get everyone arranged before the doctor arrives, so I set her on my chair, with her favorite baby doll, and I talk to the big girls about the fort in the corner of the room.  (It's a small dressing area with a curtain.)  I am getting Olivia and Mimi set up in the fort with their Barbies (a 5-second procedure) when I hear a drawer slam open and I turn around to find Annabel, one hand in the speculum-SPECULUM!-drawer of the examination table and one hand around a bottle of clear solution which she is guzzling as fast as she can.  I gasp and run to figure out what she is drinking.  The bottle is unlabeled.  It smells of nothing, but it looks suspiciously like a specimen jar.  And I'm faced with a dilemma.  Do I assume it's innocuous and simply return it to the drawer?  Or do I have to face the nurse and 'fess up because that bottle could be anything?  I decide I have to tell, so I shamefacedly slink out of the room.  I babble that I really was watching the baby, but she got in a drawer and she drank some of . .. whatever it is and I'm sorry and is it a problem?  She informs me that it's only water, "warm water for the speculums" and that it's not a big deal, and she walks back into the room with me and replaces the bottle in the drawer and shuts it.  (If I'd only known.  I can put a bottle back in a drawer and I could have saved myself the humiliation.)  Then she says, (kindly, but firmly) "We really can't have the kids playing in the drawers."

At this point, I think, "Do you really think I didn't know that?  Do you really think that prior to coming here, I told my children that we were going to a fun room full of little drawers and they could have at it?  Obviously, I know that my kids shouldn't be in the drawers.  It was a five-second mistake, and I've already apologized."  But before my righteous indignation got the better of me, I remembered that I had let my one-and-a-half-year old drink SPECULUM water (I'm pretty sure it was unused), and I needed to get back down off that high horse.  If Bella develops trichomonas of the mouth, I'll know the hygiene of my doctor's office is not up to snuff.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More Lessons from a Caribbean Cruise

7.  A lot of food is lovely to look at, but you'd never eat it.  Like this. . . .  (that fruit turkey is actually made on the base of a real roasted turkey)

. . . .and this.  (Lobster hat--awesome!)

And some food is amazingly pretty and delicious.

8.  Having someone clean your room and turn down your bed every night is fantastic.  I could definitely get used to that.

9.  Glass pianos exist.  And when you play one (which I didn't do), you look cooler than if you play a plain black piano.

10.  Notre Dame memorabilia is everywhere.  Even in the art gallery of an Italian cruise ship floating around the Caribbean.  Also, no matter how cool the memorabilia (even a national championship jersey signed by Joe Montana), it can be made incredibly uncool by a dorky model.

11.  I have more in common with four 50- and 60-year olds (our dinner table companions) than I do with the undergrad couple we ate with at lunch.  I'm a premature old-fogey, apparently.

12.  Mormons will find other Mormons.  One little BYU insignia will draw every Mormon in miles, and you'll soon all be fast friends.

13.  I can go on a one-week trip to a place where I have never been and toward which I have no opinion (can you imagine that there actually exist issues where i DON'T have an opinion?) and come out with lots of strong, possibly unreasonable opinions.  I will list them here:
*The British Virgin Islands are the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, and I would love to spend a month sailing from one to the next and eating loads of delicious tropical fruit and seafood.
*The Bahamas are crazy--crazy traffic, crazy inhabitants, crazy tourist chasing.  I don't need to go back there.
*Old San Juan in Puerto Rico is an amazing example of why the Spanish had such an enormous empire.  They really knew how to build a) forts, b) walls, and c)cannons.  Plus, the whole island (which I did not see, but that won't stop me from declaring an opinion) is an awesome amalgamation of the U.S. and Latin America.
*I'm pretty sure that we saved $300 (at least) by not needing alcohol to make our vacation complete.  And we only spent $10 on ice cream (which I do need to make a vacation complete), so I think we came out ahead.

14.  John is still my favorite, favorite vacation partner.  Nice to relearn that.