Tuesday, July 31, 2007

4 months old

bug is 4 months now. she is starting to blow raspberries. it's hilarious; when she's concentrating, she squints her eyes to try and get it right. she likes to stick her tongue out, too. she grabs her toes and is trying to get them to reach her mouth. she has started paying attention to and holding toys. of corse, those go to her mouth, as well. her particular favorite, though, is trying to eat a bib or burpcloth. she is sitting much better and doesn't seem to slouch to the side as much anymore. she laughs a lot. and she loves to watch her big sister.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

without wings

today we officially retired pooka's water wings. yesterday she swam a little without them, but today she really got rid of them. yesterday i showed her the breaststroke, using a knives and spoons analogy. the kicking motion was harder to describe, though.

today she remembered the knives and spoons, and was able to do it very well. aunt marianne coaxed her out of the floaties and she tried doing little bits of swimming. by the end of the day with kisu, she was going all the way across the spool by herself. sometimes she breaststrokes, sometimes just doggy paddles. for some reason she can't get her legs up parallel to the surface, so it's more difficult than it should be. when she gets a little bit of water in her mouth, she starts to panic and stops using her arms. it looks like she's trying to jog across the pool.

kisu was working on bouyancy and rhymthic breathing with her. she was getting better with every attempt, but she was beat by the end of the day. i want to go back again next weekend so she can do more before the end of the season. i don't want her to forget and get scared again by next summer.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

misheard lyrics & hibachi

pooka loves to sing, and she has an amazing ability to remember tunes and lyrics nearly perfectly after only one listen. of course, sometimes her hearing and understanding of the lyrics is not 100% accurate. sometimes, she still doesn't get the words after hundreds of hearings.

this weekend she was singing "frere jacques". instead of "sonnent les matinees", her version says, "sunny little tina".


saturday we went to a japanese restaurant in toledo. pooka was upset because she didn't think there would be anything for her to eat there. she heard kisu talking about sushi and she knows she won't eat that.

turns out, they cook chicken and steak, too, so i knew she'd be fine. i thought she would be excited to see the chef working on the hibachi at the table. i have never sat at a hibachi like that and i though it was quite amusing , especially when he threw the shrimp in the air to us like trained seals at the zoo. (i caught mine.) pooka was interested, but she refused to let me see it. even though the chef was trying hard to entertain her, she refused also to let him make her laugh.

she said , "no matter what he does, i'm not going to laugh."

when i asked her why, she said, "it's still daytime."

"you don't laugh during the day?"

"not today, it's saturday."

Friday, July 27, 2007

is there a doctor in the house? part 2

so, who do i know at buffalo general hospital?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

anything for a buck

pooka has never really been into imaginary friends. occasionally, she would mention one, but she never gave it a name.

recently we watched part of a movie about a foster house for imaginary friends who have been outgrown by their kid. i think that has influenced pooka to fabricate an imaginary friend of her own. or a whole posse of them.

tonight after dinner, we spent some time in the backyard. pooka went out before me, and when i stepped out, i sniffed something funky. like the whole world smelled of mildew and spoiled fish. i kept sniffing and she asked what i was doing. when i told her that the air smelled funny, she replied, "that's because me and my sweaty friends have been running all over." ah, of course, nothing smells worse than imaginary sweat.

why can't she have imaginary friends that smell like vanilla or fabric softener? or at least fresh fish.

when we were coming in later, pooka got obnoxious about the pea pod i had picked. she told me that i couldn't eat it because it wasn't mine. she grew it, so it was hers to do with as she pleased, even though she stated that she wouldn't eat it. (apparently she gave kisu the same attitude about the tomato we picked tonight, as well.) we have talked before about her possessiveness of the family garden, so i told her she was banned from the garden for 2 days. (we're going out of town this weekend, anyway.) this made her very upset. miraculously, she didn't turn it into a full blown tantrum! after she had calmed down, she was trying to explain away her behavior.

"I'm sorry, mommy. the truth is (her new favorite phrase) i know it was wrong, but lola paid me to do it."

i managed to hide my smile behind the baby's head. when i composed my face, i explained that it's never okay to do things just for money, especially when you know that it's wrong behavior.

someday she'll be a hit-woman and stand before a judge unashamed.

"why did you kill that person?"

"because someone paid me to do it."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

don't ask, don't tell

i have been trying to do some research about my ticket.

i cannot find a phone number for the court in ontario to ask about the extra $50 added onto the fine.

i did find, however, an organization that will fight tickets in court for you. i spoke with jo there, and she gave me some useful information. primarily that blenheim will actually allow you to take 20-25 days to pay, despite the 15 day limit stated on the ticket.

jo also told me to find out what would happen to my insurance with a conviction, because that will determine whether or not it's worth paying the fee to fight the ticket. fighting won't necessarily get me out of the speeding fine, but it might reduce the licensing points, and possibly the insurance penalty. i don't know if my license will be affected at all by an ontario ticket. do the agencies communicate these things on a regular basis?

i spoke with my insurance agent and she said that they don't check the driving record regularly, so there's a chance i may not ever get hit with an increased premium. that would be ideal, obviously. at the very least i should be alright for the next 6 months, since my renewal hits in the next month and i can delay paying the ticket until then. if they don't find out about the ticket for 2 years, i can escape any premium hits for it. she said as long as we don't make any changes to the policy or have an accident (or a michigan ticket) they have no reason to check the driving record.

here's to my insurance company's ignorance!

in the meantime, for the next two years, i will be wondering and worrying over this secret.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

happy birthday coty

today is my nephew's birthday. he is 18. i can't believe that my sister is almost "done" with her parenting and i'm not even done having babies.

i remember when he was born. my poor sister had no idea what she was in for. she was screaming on the bed, husband by her side.

i sat in the corner, reading one of the Incarnations of Immortality. hmm, i wonder if it was the one about gaea...

he wasn't a bad looking baby, i thought at the time, pointy head notwithstanding.

he turned into an adorable infant with bright blue eyes and a wealth of charm. as he aged, he also developed a strong sense of compassion and responsibility while caring for his younger sisters. today he is a strapping young man on the verge of making his own way in life. a military tour awaits him, as does a serious girlfriend.

i hope he finds a path that is truly his and is proud of the life he makes.

God bless you, Coty.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

crabby day

i went with uncle phil to see nana today. the facility had arranged a birthday meal for her and i was standing in for dad. it was about as i feared it would be. she didn't recognize me at all. she was very agitated and wanted to get back to 'work'. at first she demanded to eat, claiming that they wouldn't let her have lunch (which they wouldn't, as they had a special meal planned), then when lunch came, she refused it, saying that she had already eaten. she ended up having only a cup of tea and two pieces of birthday cake.

i can't believe how patient uncle phil was. i would not have the patience to keep visiting, and he says he sees her once a week. it's so frustrating seeing her in this state, and being powerless to help her break through. her general health is fair, and it's depressing to think of how long she'll have to endure this way.

sometimes, uncle phil and i had sidebars at a volume we knew she couldn't hear about some of the things she said. it was either laugh or cry. but some things were truly funny, like when she did the math to confirm her age and came up with 1083. she knew that wasn't right and laughed at her own mistake.

after that episode of delight, i bought some flowers and went to visit grandma's grave. that wound is not fresh, but it still hurts.

i was also dreading leaving mom's and driving home. this all combined to make me very crabby. pooka mirrored that feeling, and so did bug. when we finally hit the road, i knew we were going to be very late getting home so i wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. i got lit up by OPP. guess what--they don't give you a pass for being a yank.

sucks! i got a ticket, and they charge an arm and a leg. that really capped off my day. ugh, is it monday yet?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

family reunion

today was nice. it was a little wierd being there without kisu and dad and tina. uncle phil, phil and colleen and kids were there, so half our clan sub-unit was represented. the new location was very nice. the lunch was poorly planned, though. they didn't get enough food. the new games were pretty popular for the kids. pooka was bummed that she didn't win any tickets at those games. but she made up for it during the chinese auction. she won 2 prizes.

the turnout was kinda light, i think partially due to the new location. there's only a handful of people that i usually recognize/talk to anyway. i wish i could get the website up and draw some more attention/contributions. i floated the idea of the picnic fund paying for a relaunch and it was well received.

pooka had a good time, playing most of the day with abby or drew, jake, and rachel. at one point, though, i found her doing logrolls down the hill by herself. alkthough she looked happy, it made me kind of sad. i don't want her to be a lonely kid, especially considering the enforced isolation of the last 18 months.

pooka stepped on a bee, AGAIN! she did that 2 years ago. you'd think she'd learn to keep her sneakers on when walking through the grass. the funny thing is, she did it on her way back to the shelter but didn't get hysterical until after i noticed her sitting on a bench moping and asked what was wrong. then she burst into tears as if it had just happened instead of 10 minutes earlier.fortunately, someone was more prepared than i and supplied antibacterial wash, benadryl cream and a band-aid. this incident prompted someone to suggest buying a dedicated picnic first aid kit.

good to know my kid's boo-boo could result in something positive.

Friday, July 20, 2007

creativity for kids

pooka ended up coming to the kids day at work since kisu rescheduled his test. she had a blast, even though she only had a crash course in the story of the wizard of oz. she doesn't really care about the theme, anyway, just about having fun. we got airbrush tattoos, caricatures, hot dogs for lunch, and she played on the inflatable toys. she also spent a lot of time playing with the fancy bubble makers. she did NOT get her picture taken in front of the green screen for either A) the emerald city or B) the chevy music tour. she also did not get her picture taken with the tin man and dorothy. she missed out on the navy accelerator challenge course because she's too young and the inflatable wall climb because she's too short.

bug was along for the ride and seemed to enjoy it, although i think she got a little too much sun on her cheeks. everyone wanted to stop and see the baby.

we had a little too much excitement at lunch when i got a call from granny saying that she was having trouble breathing and couldn't get hold of poppa. i tried calling 911 and had a huge hassle, being in a different city. finally i got rescue dispatched. poppa called later and said that she is fine; it was an anxiety attack. whew, that had my adrenaline pumping, though.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

pool time

today we hung around the pool all day. i bought an inflatable for bug so she could be protected from the sun. it's the same one i bought for pooka way back when. her first instinct was to try and eat it. then she fell asleep.

later pooka and i were the only ones in the pool and we played a game: name an item of food that starts with every letter of the alphabet. when we got to 'r' i offered 'radicchio'. pooka asked, "like gamma's last name?"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

the lake house

we went to a cottage on a lake today. it didn't look like it was a good
day for it, but it ended up being really nice. overcast and quite
windy, but warm.

pooka finally got a chance to appease her obsession with fishing. i don't know where she got it from, but she has been talking about it for more than a year. marianne had a toddler size fishing pole and pooka was thrilled. she didn't even flinch at kevin baiting the hook. i didn't think she would have the patience for the endeavor, but apparently they have really stupid or really hungry fish at this lake. within 10 minutes she caught a rock bass as big as her hand. i was jealous. the few times i've been fishing before were all unsuccessful.

later in the day i baited up, using the adult pole, and after about 15 minutes i caught something. i sent kisu for the camera but by the time he got close to the dock, the fish flipped itself off the hook. i was so angry. pooka and kari were witnesses, though. i still had my bait, so i put the line back in and within minutes, i hooked another one. kisu got this one on film (card? ). it was about he same size as pooka's fish. we were releasing the fish back into the water, but i didn't think this one was gonna make it: the hook went in through the gills and out right next to its eyeball.kisu was magic, though, and the fishie lived to bite another hook.

by this time, kari and kisu were getting upset that they hadn't caught anything. kisu finally landed one; the biggest one of the day. kari spent the most time at it, and she tallied 4 for the whole day.

kari and i went for a tube ride , and pooka was going to take the next turn with me, but the boat died. we ended up coasting across the water behind the noxious smoke and fumes of the dead engine. oh, well.pooka was relieved.

we were all exhausted when we returned to magee's house. nothing like a little sun and fresh air to tire you out.

Friday, July 13, 2007


have i mentioned how gregarious bug is? she has been gabbing since her 3rd day on earth. here's proof.

new and improved, with VIDEO!

i just figured out how to upload video to the blog!
yay me!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

skunky behavior

earlier this week it seemed like pooka had learned her lesson finally and was behaving better. tonight, she backslid.

she refused to go to bed and started whining, as per usual. she finally went upstairs, wailing and moaning the whole time. i threatened to shortcut the bedtime routine if she didn't stop the crabbing. this caused her to cry harder. i threatened to not let her participate in the art contest coming up at work. more tears and shreiks. i threatened to not let her attend the kids day at work. same reaction.

so basically, the fear of losing privileges prevents her from accomplishing what she needs to do in order to keep those privileges. she's frozen with panic.

after the dust settled, she offered the following reason for the tantrum:
the two friends at the playdate earlier today wouldn't stop running. the boy wouldn't let her go around the play stoplight. and he called her 'skunkface'.


i almost laughed, it was so random.

on one hand, i want to cuddle her and protect her from the malice of others, to let her enjoy any youthful innocence she still posesses and to delay the time of harsh awakening when she realizes that the world can be a very mean place.

on the other hand, i need to teach her that her behavior is her responsibility, regardless of how spiteful and vexing others are.

how do you teach a kid that she needs to be nice, even though nobody else is?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


tomorrow is nana's birthday. she'll have attained the venerable age of 83. i didn't send her a card and i probably won't call her, but i will talk to her and wish her a happy birthday. i figure that she'll get just as much out of that conversation as any telephone call. sadly, in my mind, the nana that i knew and loved is already gone. even though her body- her traitorious, dysmorphic body- still breathes in a nursing facility, her once sharp mind and fiesty spirit have long since departed this plane. i miss her.

i miss the nana who would tell ribald stories of her youth to my husband.

i miss the nana who would drop her lead foot driving down the road.

i miss the nana who would fiercely defend her origin as a British subject from "the North of Ireland".

i miss listening quietly but passionately to bagpipe music in her cramped apartment.

i miss you, nana.

i regret that i didn't treasure you more. i regret that i didn't collect and document more of your stories. i lament the fact that we cannot benefit from the wisdom you have gathered after all these years.

i hope that in your easily confused state, you are not afraid of where you are. of the strangers around you. i hope that your nearly extinguished memory which prevents you from recognizing your family members prevents you from missing those same people and feeling lonely because of it.

i pray that you will receive merciful deliverance from your agonies.
God bless you, Sadie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

superpooka and her sidekick stinkbug

we were sitting at dinner discussing an upcoming event. pooka asked a question about logistics that i hadn't thought about. when i said that i didn't know and i would have to think of something, she said, "i have an idea!"

after explaining her idea, she punched a fist into the air and shouted, "superpooka to the rescue!"

and then she farted.

and said,"that's my super power."

and then bug giggled.

and then bug farted.

you'd think i had a house of full of yucky boys instead of sweet little princesses.

i don't know what it is with this otherwise adorable infant. she doesn't have much trouble with her digestive system, but man is she GASEOUS! and not cute little baby puffs, either. these are rip-roaring NOXIOUS blasts. where does a baby hide a midget nuclear reactor?

Monday, July 9, 2007

famous faces

Sunday, July 8, 2007

a pain in the ice

we went ice skating today with tito noel and aunt nancy. it was the first time i've gone in at least a year, so i was just a little rusty and i actually took a spill. ironically, i was not doing anything fancy, just trying to show pooka how she was supposed to skate. uh, like me, only don't fall.

actually, pooka did an excellent job. for most of the hour and a half session she used the traffic cone, but i made her abandon it towards the end. her actions were more like riding a skateboard: one foot stationary while the other one kept pushing. i managed to skate backwards in front of her holding her hands for a couple laps. finally, i let go and made her do it with no support. she DID it! she was skating by herself. she complained the whole time that she couldn't do it. typical pooka.

she went up and down the middle of the rink about 3 times without any support. she fell quite a few times, more frequently the longer she skated. she was getting fatigued and apathetic. sadly, even though she did a really good job, she never exhibited a sense of pride in her accomplishment. she maintained up to the very end that she couldn't do it, and even when we pointed out how well she did and how proud of her we were, she didn't seem happy about it. she likes skating well enough, but she doesn't think she's good at it. and she vehemently refuses to take skating lessons. what is it with this kid? the only lessons she'll deign to take are ballet...

when we left, we were both complaining about being sore and tired. i hurt my wrist when i fell and i know i am going to pay dearly tomorrow. pooka's dupah is going to be black and blue.

leaving the building we felt strange as our bodies tried to acclimate from approximately, what?, 40 degrees in the rink to the easily 85 degrees outside. we were dressed for the cold, not the hot. additionally, i had forgotten my hat and gloves, so i was REALLY cold. (speaking of forgetting: despite laying out not one, but two pairs of socks, pooka hadn't actually brought any. i had to get ripped off at the pro shop so she could be properly equipped to skate.) i felt rapid fluctuations in temperature as the chill emanating from my flesh came in contact with the heat of my fast warming clothes. very eerie sensation.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

dressing up and dressing down

today we went shopping with granny to find bridal party dresses. i dreaded it because i hate shopping, especially dress shopping, especially in the heat with a potentially temperamental 5 year old on steroids. i was expecting the worst.

fortunately, i was pleasantly surprised. allison has made it easy on us by doing the make a match plan at david's bridal. her two colors only come in about 4 styles of dresses. i had already scoped them out online, so i pretty much knew which one i wanted. all i had to do was try it on and make certain.

although she started the excursion being mopey, pooka perked up once we actually got to the dress store. she was patient and helpful while i tried on my pieces for size, and was nearly giddy while we picked out and then tried on her dresses. of course, she absolutely LOVED every single one of them, but we finally narrowed it down. we even took a pic and sent it to aunt alli for confirmation. camera phones rock! then i fed brigitte while granny looked for her dress. and pooka was even well-behaved for that.

after dresses we went to the mall briefly to look for bridal party jewelry and then back to dad's house to visit, since we haven't seen him in about 2 weeks. for a short while pooka was fine, but then got crankier as she got more tired and begged to leave. all she had to do was pick up the mess she made upstairs and we could go. after surviving the difficult shopping trip, this simple task is what made her break down. she ended up refusing and descended into a tantrum when she was punished for her defiance. when we finally got home, she was sent to her room for the rest of the evening. she actually threw ANOTHER tantrum and got more punishment. once she settled in her room, she promptly fell into a deep sleep.

kisu and i believe her numerous tantrums this past week stem largely from lack of sleep. her counts were fine at clinic, but she still has dark circles under her eyes. she has been going to bed at 9 or 930, falling asleep later than that, and still waking up at 630 to have breakfast with me. she refuses to nap, so she is just not getting the amount of sleep her body needs.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

more than meets the eye

so kisu and i have both seen transformers the movie. we both liked it. i was just going for the free movie aspect; kisu really wanted to see it, having fond memories of the cartoons as he was growing up. when i asked him to verify some of the plot lines and background, he was able to give me a detailed account of the genesis of the story per the original series. he says he can even replay the shows in his mind. i can't even remember what i did last week. dude, so not fair.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

God Bless America!

we spent the day playing board games, visiting the park, and hanging out in the back yard. kisu went to see transformers. and then we had spaghetti for dinner. is that not the antithesis of the fourth of july? we almost had enchiladas, but i thought that with the current state of mexican invasion in our country, that would be absolutely treasonous.
>we did play with some sparklers around dusk. i got some cool pictures, too. and then pooka got to watch the neighbors blowing off fireworks in the street as she was falling asleep.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

bonus day gone astray

we got out at noon today, so i thought i could have some nice bonus time with the girls. after grocery shopping, pooka wanted to run through the sprinkler, so i hooked it up. i had bug outside on a blanket, i was on the lounge chair with a book: nice, nice. then pooka turned into a chicken. she wouldn't actually get in the water because she said she was afraid of cold water. i tried forcing her and she started getting sassy, so i sent her to her room. it went downhill from there.

Monday, July 2, 2007

c-e rules!

i love my job. they are sending us to see transformers on company time on the company dime. SWEET! i wonder if they'll suplly popcorn and candy, too?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

family pictures

today we went to get bug's 3 month portraits taken as well as an updated family photo. pooka was reluctant to go at all, but was cooperating until we actually arrived at the studio. then she became very surly. she would not smile for the world and even tried to bury her face. i guess i should have tried to do bug's pix first to loosen pooka up. oh well. we finally got her to participate when i asked her to hold bug's hand down away from her face; the baby had really woken up by this time and was trying to chew on her hands. we eventually managed to snap a keeper. then we moved on to trying to get the girls together and then bug by herself. by the end of the session i was ready to go take a nap. geez.

we pick them up on 7/18, just in time for the picnic!