Monday, February 26, 2007

my kingdom for an umbrella

pooka has been asking for a new umbrella ever since she broke her last one ages ago. i kept putting her off saying, "we'll get you a new one when it's rain season again." well, yesterday we had freezing rain and we were at the dollar store, so i caved and bought a cheap umbrella. she was elated. she went on and on about how she has wanted a new umbrella ever since she was 3. i said, "now your life is complete." she replied, "well, almost. i still need a sister." so that's what it takes to fulfill a pooka: a new umbrella and a sister. who knew?

problem is, last night's temper tantrum cost her the umbrella and she is unwilling to do the things she needs to do to earn it back (that is, be good for about 8 consecutive hours). first thing this morning, she was asking me for it. we got into it a little bit and i told her i didn't want to hear about the umbrella again until i came home. at that time, i would talk to daddy about whether she had earned it back. she pestered kisu so much about it this morning that he added to the time the umbrella would be lost to her and this caused a meltdown equal to the one from last night. seriously, who knew a 5 year old would be willing to undergo so much punishment for a simple umbrella that she's not even allowed to use inside the house, anyway?!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


kisu and i went to an oscar party at the home of one of my coworkers. pooka had a total meltdown as we were leaving. clearly, we do not leave her with babysitters often enough--and the sitters were granny and poppa.
anyway, the party was very nice. the host and his helpers went to the limit in designing themed decorations and food. movie posters were photoshopped to food-related words and names for the actors, like olive (brad) pitt, and borscht instead of borat. the foods offered matched the movie themes. we had good shepherd's pie, pan pizza labyrinth, happy wings (feet), good german chocolate cake, ,etc. many of the guests were even dressed up as characters from the nominated movies. the crowd was a very artistic one and had great appreciation for the technical categories like makeup, costume design, and art direction. even though kisu knew no one there and i only knew 5 people, we had a very enjoyable evening out. the crappy roads didn't even bother us.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

superhero daddy and the insomnia kid

this morning at breakfast, pooka asked what fame was. i told her it was when you go somewhere and everybody knows you. she said, "i'm famous." yeah, at some places. but famous is when you're recognized anywhere. i explained to her that there is a downside to being famous, too, in that you never have any privacy. that is why some people, like hann*h mont*na or spiderm*n have secret identities. i said we could ask daddy about other super heroes who have secret identities. she said, "he's a real superhero, isn't he?" (there's no way to reproduce the tone of her voice when she said this). i asked, "who? daddy? he sure is." she said, "he lifts me up to the top of my play area to reach my bears." apparently, this is all it takes to qualify as a superhero. but for the record, i think kisu's a superhero, too.


pooka hates to take naps, even if she desperately needs them. the chemo often makes her more tired than she realizes. today, i told her that when we came home from the birthday party, she needed to clean her play area, unless she needed to take a nap first (she needs to clean the play area, regardless). so the only two options she had upon returning home were to nap or to clean. so as we were leaving the party, she said, "let's go, mommy, i'm ready to take my nap." so excited is she to move into the guest room, that when we got home she promptly stripped and grabbed some blankets to lay down on the bare mattress in there. at one point, daddy called and she told him that she wasn't sleepy, even though she could barely muster enough consciousness to talk at all. after several bumps in the road, we ended up sleeping together in the big bed. she slept for 2 hours, even after i got up.
the other day, while snuggling with kisu on the couch, she declared, "daddy, i'm not the least bit tired," less than 5 minutes later, she was completely unconcious.

Friday, February 23, 2007

a deluge of built bears

amy from clf called today to invite us to a build-a-bear reception/pizza party. unfortunately, it's the same day as the make-a-wish girls are coming over. besides, i think pooka's had enough stuffing animals for a while: two weekends in a row is enough and she doesn't need anymore animals. thanks anyway. i wish we could attend more of the clf functions, though.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out

i listened to the sabres game while i worked around the house tonight: cleaning, straightening, and crafting. man, i wish the game was on tv! it sounded amazing. there was a goalie fight and the coaches even got into it. i did manage to catch some highlights on espn when kisu came home, though.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

wishes may come true

today i finally got a call from the people at make-a-w*sh. they are going to come over on the 7th to discuss pooka's wish. we are all so excited. these girls sounded great. when we set the date and time, they asked if it would be after dinner for us. i said no, so they offered to BRING DINNER! umm, sure. i suggested pizza, and they asked our preferences of toppings. i went simple, but knowing that i'm pregnant, they said that if i have any cravings before they show up, to just call and let them know. how cool is that? if they are this nice and accommodating just for preliminary discussions, i have a feeling this wish is going to be a wonderful experience for our whole family.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

new, but the same

pooka still loves to run around the house naked. aren't kids supposed to outgrow that? she must get it from gamma. tonight she asked to be naked for storytime. well, at least now she says naked, instead of maked.

Monday, February 19, 2007

taste the rainbow

i have the hardest time getting anyone in my house to eat fresh fruit. every week i load up on bananas, apples, and other seasonal goodies. every week, i am the only one eating them. this morning i put my foot down and explained how many varieties we had and how pooka and daddy could 'eat a rainbow' today:
RED: apples
ORANGE: fresh oranges, cantaloupe, or packaged mandarins
YELLOW: bananas
GREEN: grapes or kiwis
BLUE: uhhh, sorry, nothing here
VIOLET: plums

when i got home, pooka informed me that she had taken care of the green and orange categories. plus, we had squash for dinner, so we are getting closer to the goal of 5 servings of fruit/veggies per day.


pooka and i looked through the photo album of her first 6 months. i particularly wanted to show her the progressive pix we took every month of her first year in the papasan chair. i am planning to do that with the new baby, too, and i thought maybe pooka would like to participate, since she loves photography so well. it was, as always, amazing to see the progression from 4 weeks to 1 year.
from this to this


tonight at bedtime, kisu really got pooka going. she loves to hide, and was under her blanket when kisu came up for the bedtime ritual. we pretended that pooka wasn't there, and so he laid down on the bed, which made her giggle. he pretended to be spooked and scooped up blanket and pooka to look beneath. this was repeated over and over. she laughed harder than she has in weeks. it was so good to hear after the times we've been through when she would not laugh at all for days. there's nothing like hearing a child laugh.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

yes, but do you like moo goo gai pan?

this morning, the television informed pooka that it is chinese new year. in celebration of this, one of her favorite channels is playing lots of 'jake long:american dragon'. somewhere in this show, the grandfather speaks chinese. with pooka's memorex-like skills and penchant for language, she picked it up and repeated it to us. it may have meant something profound or affectionate when the grandfather said it; to us it sounded like, "i eat bok choy."


this afternoon while relaxing in the big bed, i caught pooka picking her nose. she was being extremely silly and trying to wipe the boogers on me. when i told her to take care of them, she responded with, "what would happen if we put them in a pot of hot water?" what?! i told her that was gross, but she insisted she wanted to know. i said, "you need to talk to your father, 'cuz he's gross like that." she didn't argue. i applaud her inquisitiveness and exploring mind, but what in the world would possess someone to try and cook boogers???

Saturday, February 17, 2007

update on the pregnant clan

my cousin C had her baby today. healthy baby boy. congrats!


we had quite the busy day today: making pies at church, megan's bday party, tantrum, housecleaning, dinner.
this morning we were at church at 9 am to help make apple pies for sale tomorrow during coffee hour. i did a pretty good job, if i do say so myself. at least, i didn't have to throw out my first attempt at dough like some others. pooka was upstairs playing with a friend from sunday school. kisu was supposed to come and help, but he had a review at school today. he thought it was going to be 2 1/2 lasted almost 8. i made 2 whole pies and one little tart. i bought the tart myself to take home.

at noon, we crossed the street to megan's house for her bday party. pooka stayed there and had pizza and make a build-a-bear dog. i went grocery shopping and then home to work on the guest room. i did two loads of laundry and transferred 3 drawers full of clothes, plus my shoes and a table full of books. then i filled a bag with garbage and one bag with donations. (by the way, Easter Seals finally came by today to pick up the donations off the porch. woohoo!)

when i went to pick up pooks i figured she would be exhausted, so i brought a book with me, in readiness to hang out in hines park for awhile as she napped in the truck. i knew she would never nap if i brought her straight home. she finally fell asleep as we turned onto our block, so we sat in the garage for 15 minutes or so. when i brought her inside, she lapsed into a major tantrum because she didn't want chicken for dinner. oy. an hour and a half later, kisu came home. today left me with a good feeling of accomplishment vis-a-vis cooking. i prepped dinner: marinated chicken, baked squash, prepared rice, and cut up a cantaloupe. the best part: all the timing came together and the cooking food was ready and warm all at the same time and ready to serve right as i finished cutting up the melon. yay me!

one of pooka's new favorite shows is mythbusters. i'm impressed that she wants to watch this, but i don't know if she's picking up any science-or if she just likes to watch things blow up. that's mostly why kisu and i watch it, anyway. 8-) her favorite part, though, is at the conclusion of the experiments, when she gets to yell, "BUSTED!" even if the myths were confirmed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

inter-utero sibling rivalry

good gracious, the wars have begun already. last night pooka was relaxing with her head on my belly, when she suddenly turned to put her mouth on my stomach and said, "stop that!" apparently, goofy was shifting under pooka's head. pooka refused to move her head, though, so this process was repeated several times over the next 5 minutes. "cut it out!", "be nice!", "quit it!" i tried to convince pooka to find another pillow, since goofy didn't have the option of finding another place to be and that she was probably getting squished under pooka's head, but pooka was insistent. finally, i had had enough and got up. at this point, my belly looked horribly misshapen as goofy had shifted all the way to the opposite side of my abdomen to avoid her selfish sister. i can't wait until they can fight without my body being in between.

i just made myself the hugest breakfast scramble for dinner: 2 eggs, mozzarella, sauteed onions, mushrooms, red peppers, and some leftover rotisserie chicken. yum. and i ate the whole freaking thing!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


today went well. kisu did not elaborate, so i assume that there was no trouble with the referrals. i spent yesterday trying to get them straightened out. hap requires a valid referral for us to see anyone besides our family doctor. when you have a recurring issue, like, say, leukemia, which requires several visits to a specialist, you have to have a permission slip from your doctor. thankfully, they hand these out in 6 month batches. normally, the doctor's office logs a referral on the insurance company's server and the clerk at the specialist's office downloads it. only at our clinic, they insist that we call the doctor's office and have them FAX one over to the specialist. then the people at the doctor's office get mad and say 'we don't have all day to babysit a fax machine. why can't they get it off the server?' meanwhile, my child is waiting to have treatment....fortunately, the nurses and doctors in the clinic don't concern themselves with things such as insurance paperwork and administer treatment anyway. for this reason, i recieved a statement from hap saying that we might be responsible for the treatment on one visit because the referral had expired. WHAT? this confusion/frustration was compounded by the hassle poppa received last week at the clinic visit by a substitute clerk who could not find pooka's referral in the file. HELLO?! it was there last week. what happened to it? so i have acquainted myself with hap's website and discovered that i can print out any referral in our medical history. i promptly did so and put spare copies of the relevant paperwork in pooka's binder. during my research, i found that the visit for which i received a 'pre-bill' was covered under a valid referral. who dropped the ball there?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

new hat

kemmer at CE made pooka a hat, without knowing her measurement. it's actually big on me, but it is very cute and she still liked it. she has made it her indoor hat, and, in fact, turned it into a crown.
this week we were packing up clothes to be picked up by Easter Seals. i wanted to get rid of one of pooka's old blankets that never really got used and didn't match any of our bedrooms or linens. she saw me pull it out of her closet, though, and declared that it was her favorite blanket and that she couldn't bear to part from it. i doubted this, since she didn't even know about it, that's how long it's been in the closet, but she sobbed and sobbed. so i let her have one last night with it, . she has not let it out of her sight yet. i guess we can keep it for awhile longer....
by the way, Easter Seals did not pick up our donations yesterday. they are still sitting on the porch, now covered in snow.

today pooka told daddy that she was very tired because "raising a cat is hard work".

we finally decided on the decoration scheme for pooka's new room. we have not been able to find a reasonable bedding set featuring ariel. by reasonable, i mean one with actual mermaid-y, oceanic colors. who really believes that merfolk live in a pink and purple environment? what is the deal with d*sney? why is it mandatory that every item aimed at girls be inundated with pink and purple? each of the princesses in their portfolio have their own associated color: blue for cindy, yellow for belle, etc. but when they market them in other items, they all get lumped together with pink and purple!! ridiculous! even worse: we found a set of bedding with ariel that was blue, but it was only in toddler bed size. that's a crib sheet, basically. why is it ok for toddler girls to be around blue, but not older girls?!?
anyway, pooka had her heart set on the bedding, but when we explained about how it wouldn't match the dark blue walls, and then how it would be ridiculous to paint sea creatures on a pink or purple wall, she decided to keep her old bedding . we basically asked if it was more important to have ariel on her sheets or on her walls, and she chose walls, as long as she could still have her accessories (seahorse light fixture, flounder pillow, etc.) which is great for us, because it means a lot less work, actually. we will paint the ceiling, pull up the blue carpet, and put down a remnant (i'm thinking something that looks like a sandy ocean floor). then get to painting the characters on the walls. i'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Monday, February 12, 2007


well, we got the estimate from the repair shop on kisu's car: ruptured rear brake cylinder, so the whole brake system basically needs to be reconstructed, to the tune of 586 bones. then there's still an issue with the front end, but the garage is going to try to work it into some kind of warranty issue....i'm just thankful that it didn't take an accident to find out about the problems.

**edited 2/13 motor mounts about to collapse and catalytic converter shot, oil pan loose and valve cover leaking. issues one and two are going to be fixed now, the others later. all for 1000$--oh and an oil change, too. the ironic thing is : the guy who runs the shop wants to buy the car...too bad we can't take him up on that right now...knowing the condition it's in, i wonder what the heck he wants it for?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

bring on the hairless dogs!

yesterday when we were returning home after a trip for portraits, i exclaimed "ai chihuahua!" at something pooka did. she latched onto that phrase like static on fleece. for the rest of the day that's practically all we heard. fortunately, it seems to have fled her mind today, and we didn't hear it at all.


today we went to see "a night@ the museum". it was pretty good. pooka enjoyed it, too, even though she spent a good portion of the movie wandering from stairs to railing and back again, sitting on the railing, leaning on my legs, etc. she just couldn't sit still--maybe it was the bag full of fruit snacks that ramped her up....

Thursday, February 8, 2007


a friend at work passed on a voucher for a free 30 minute massage at a dayspa just opened up by one of his friends. i went tonight...soooo nice.
i was all nice and relaxed and cozy, until kisu came home and said his brakes are shot. that's the last thing we need right now is to be dumping more money into that heap of junk. but we can't get along without a second car right now and it's obviously not driveable without brakes. grrr. hopefully, getting new brakes will fix the problem and we won't have to delve too deeply into the other issues with that car.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

the next best thing

tonight after dinner, kisu and pooka were wrestling. pooka likes to do this, but totally wimps out when she starts to lose, as she always does. she turns into a sniveling baby, but as soon as kisu lets her go, she pounces on him again. i guess we need to teach her how to be a gracious loser...
tonight kisu had a supply of blankets and used them to tie her up. he had one around her ankles and one around her wrists. she was like a roped calf. it was pretty hilarious actually. she managed to get the blanket off her wrists pretty quickly, but she hopped around the living room for quite some time before finally getting rid of the ankle ties. then she was out for revenge. kisu let her get to him a little bit, but she couldn't do the same sort of thing to him. she said, " since i can't tie, i'm gonna tuck you up." kisu nearly peed himself laughing so hard.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

is that a swear word?

today was a special mommy/pooka day. i took a half day from work and we had a special lunch of pinwheels and kiwis. then we went to the movies to see 'arthur & the invis*bles'. we then stopped at t*ys r *s to shop for a present for one of pooka's friends who has a birthday party coming up. i told pooka that she could have one small toy and she chose a tool kit. once we got home, we were fixing everything in the house. while we were working the living room, she wanted me to do the fixing, but i told her she was the fixer and i was the assistant to hand her the tools. she protested this, saying she was just the kid, and i was the 'mother-fixer'. doesn't that sound rude?

Monday, February 5, 2007

the best entertainment you can get for free

kids can be so entertaining. tonight pooka was trying to get an empty juice bottle upstairs--by throwing it. she stood at the foot of the basement stairs and tossed the bottle...straight into the stairs. it would bounce directly back to her, or make big loopy bounces right over her outstretched hands. sometimes, she would try to block it with her body. all of this made for a hilarious 10 minutes. i laughed so hard i had to sit down. kisu went downstairs to get on the bike, but she pleaded for him to 'watch the show'. finally, he asked if she wanted a tip on throwing. on the first throw after that tip, she made it. spoil sport.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

'i hope you have kids just like you'

ouch. this morning, pooka and i sat down to eat while kisu was in the shower. pooka wanted to get up and get daddy his drink. i told her that daddy would get it when he got out of the shower. then i asked her why she wants to help daddy so much, but when i ask her for help, she refuses. she said because "daddy is more important to me. he likes me so i like him more than i like you."
stunned. i sat there like a statue. she's only 5, but i believe that she understands what she just said and understands at least some of the effects it had. i finally managed to ask her if she thought i didn't like her. she said yes. that hurt even worse. i finished my breakfast with tears in my eyes and left while she was still eating. i went into the bathroom and told kisu what happened. he tried to comfort me and reassured me that i am an excellent mother, but that i have been a bit grumpy with her lately. (he had the sense of self-preservation to acknowledge that the grumpiness was probably due to my hormones.) pooka finally finished her breakfast and decided to get in the shower with me. i gave her a big hug and told her that i love her and that she should never forget that. afterwards, she handed me my towel and said that she did that so that i would think she liked me again. nice move, but you shouldn't explain your motivations like that. kisu later tried to patch us up by claiming i did something that he had actually done that she really appreciated (while she was sleeping).
it would be really easy to chalk this up to a young mind that doesn't understand what it's saying, but she does too many other things well and understands too many other complex concepts to really explain this away.
it would also be really easy to attribute this episode to her way of expressing feelings about the baby. perhaps she doesn't realize kisu's role in bringing this baby into our house, so she blames me for disrupting the balance in our family. the problem with that excuse is that this is not the first time she has said something like that to me. before i was pregnant, she had on at least two occasions said that she thought i didn't like her. perhaps at those times, it was a simple case of a young mind saying crazy things, but it still hurt like hell then, too.
this whole thing hurts twice as much because i pulled the same sh*t with my mother, only i was definitely old enough to know how it might affect her. i'm sorry , mom.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

naptime for mommy

today was very busy. this morning, pooka and i went to KnitMichigan, a fundraiser for Hands Creating a Cure, which is for knitters and other fiber crafters. they create "caps for chemo" and donate them to clinics and other cancer centers. pooka has seen them in the treasure chest at clinic, but never chosen one. although she loves hats, they feel different when you don't have any hair.
today we saw people spinning using wheels and spindles, knitting and crocheting, weaving with both paper and fiber loops, and felt making. pooka made some felt of her own, a woven paper mat, glued some wool on a lamb picture, and helped make a bathmat on the big loom. she was very excited to use that big machine. she wanted to use a spinning wheel, too, but they only had one for people to try and it was occupied. in addition to learning about these crafts, we had a valuable learning experience about people who are different. in the weaving and felt making room, there was a lady who i believe has cerebral palsy. her speech was slightly difficult to understand and she struggled a bit to make her hands do what she wanted. pooka was a little afraid of her, but i hoped i showed her (and later explained to her) that there was no reason to fear her. God had made her a little differently, but she is still a person like mommy or daddy. on the way home, i told her about a friend i had growing up who has mild cp, and how even though she has some trouble walking, she is very smart. pooka asked if she (my friend) was smarter than her (pooka). after equivocating that you can't really compare the intelligence of a child to that of an adult, i launched into a mini lecture about there always being someone smarter, richer, prettier than you as well as there always being someone not as smart, rich, or pretty as you, and that the most important thing is not to be the "most" anything but to be the best you that you can be. God gave us all different talents and blessings and we just need to make the most of what we are given. at that point she fell asleep.
we stopped home to pick up daddy, and then continued on to our favorite pizza place: mr. mike's. we had lunch and then continued on to the mall, where i returned some maternity pants and we made a Build-a-Bear for goofy. kisu and i did this for pooka before she was born and we thought pooka would enjoy extending the tradition for her sibling. oddly enough, pooka originally chose the same bear shell as the one we made for her, but we convinced her that it would be too hard to tell them apart. she chose a different bear that is still very similar, although we couldn't convince her to name it anything but the same name as her bear. at least we spelled it differently on the birth certificate that they give you. she had a lot of fun stuffing it and 'bathing' it at the fluffing station. when it came to clothes, i was trying to steer her away from anything too girly, you know, just in case this one's a boy. she eventually chose some jammies, since we told her that was what we dressed her bear in. we found the perfect ones: they say "chicks rule". after we came home, pooka dressed the bear and put it back in its crate to await the birth of goofy. she did snag some snuggle time with it first, though, to make it smell like herself so that goofy would like it.
while at the mall, we stopped to get ice cream. pooka didn't finish hers, so we agreed to take it home, but there were no lids that fit so we improvised with the lid from daddy's shake. as long as an adult carried this, it was safe, but while we were waiting for the valet to bring the truck (a very well spent $5 in single digit temps), pooka had a chance to hold it. naturally, within 5 seconds she had spilled it all over her dress. oh, the tears. oh, the frustration! she actually wanted to ride home naked so that she wouldn't have to sit in the messy dress. she begged me to put the dress in the wash as soon as we got home and her in the bath. i told her i was going to put her fully clothed directly into the washing machine. she started crying even harder, "i don't want to go in the washing machine!!" at least that made me laugh. when we got home, i took care of the clothes while kisu took care of the pooks. then i sat down on the couch and promptly fell asleep. the craft fair, the mall, the exasperation: at 7 1/2 months pregnant it did me in.

Friday, February 2, 2007

the flip(out) side

and then some days you have mornings like today. pooka likes to eat breakfast with me before i leave for work in the mornings. usually, she wakes up, tells me what she wants to eat, i make it, we eat it. simple. sometimes she wakes up and needs to have a tantrum first. this morning, she asked if it was tuesday (that's the day i am taking a half day to take her to the movies). since it's not, she started to get upset off the bat. she wouldn't tell me what she wanted to eat, although she did say she wanted breakfast. i finally got fed up and told her she could make her own breakfast. this elicited more complaints. i sat down to eat my food, and she came out to start a tantrum. she sat at the table and displayed her glorious attitude. i was eating, horrors, one of HER mini-bagels without asking. so she stole it. she wouldn't give it back, but refused to eat it herself. so i finished the rest of my food, got up, and proceeded to get ready to leave. this prompted an all out screamfest. at this point, daddy got involved.
i had tried being nice and indulgent. i had tried being tough. i had tried being reasonable and explaining that she was wasting the precious time that she so desperately wanted to increase. nothing worked. it is so frustrating. the reason she was so upset was because she wants to spend more time with me, but by having a tantrum, she was wasting the little bit of time that we did have. she doesn't yet see the self-defeating nature of that situation. how can i explain it to her so that she'll get it?
additionally, the older she gets, it seems like the more help she demands. during portions of heavy chemo when she was on serious steroids, she would get up in the middle of the night to make herself a snack or pour herself a bowl of cereal. now that she's a year older, she suddenly is incapable of doing this already mastered task.
then there's the issue of her thinking that she is the only one allowed to eat certain foods (in this case the bagels). just because they were bought at her particular request, doesn't mean they are exclusively hers. of course, then i turn around and get mad at kisu for eating MY special treats. but that's different, right? i mean, they're MINE.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

don't drink the water

..unless you want to get pregnant. i have an amazingly long list of people that i know who are pregnant. 3 of us on my floor at work alone. i've never noticed before that this kind of thing goes in batches. when i was pregnant with pooka, my circle of acquaintances was a) smaller and b)not of the baby having age or variety. this time around, partially because of already having pooka, i know a lot more married couples and couples who are adding to their families. it's incredible. i don't know where that water came from, but i should find some and give it to the friends i just found out are trying to make a baby.

*****edited 2/6***** move one from the pregnant list to the post-partum. my cousin D had a baby boy on 2/1. congratulations!