Tuesday, June 23, 2009

she's a survivor

a few weeks back we went to a 'celebration of life.' this is the annual get-together sponsored by the oncology department at children's hospital for patients, current and past, and their families.

this year was the first year we have been available to attend. i wish we had gone before because it was a blast! it was held at a giant amusement center. they have batting, arcades, go karts, boats, etc. we had so much fun and we didn't even get to stay for the whole day.

being anal good little techies, we looked them up online beforehand to get an idea of what we wanted to do. pooka had some activities on her must-do list, as did i. we told pooka before we went that she if she wanted to do her things, she was going to have to try some others, as well. if you know pooka, you know she crabbed about it.

when we actually got there, though, she was surprisingly willing to try our must-dos. one was a hit, the other was, well, also a hit, but not in a good way.

the first activity was rockwall climbing. kisu suggested that we race up the wall, but that just wouldn't have been fair. (besides, i had to pee something awful and i knew the harness would destroy any shred of bladder control i might have after birthing two children.) so i just watched and took pics of her efforts. while waiting in line, i made sure to point out how gently the other people were descending. that eased some of her fears.

she was very nearly eager when the aide put her harness on (which is way more than i can say for the aide himself. a more bored young man i have rarely seen.) she even chose a route that was not the easiest. she really tackled the wall with gusto, but after the first 3 moves stopped and fell off. she looked like she wanted down, but we said no. she reset herself and climbed more. she was only a body length from the top when she quit for good, claiming that her hands hurt.having overcome her first obligation, she dragged me to the bumper boats where she proceeded to soak me.after that refreshing adventure, we hurried to stand in line for the go-karts. this place is so big, they actually had 3 different courses for different ages and experience levels. we had to wait through 4 rotations, but she benefited by being the first in line in her group. that meant she got her choice of car:

all the rest were black. she had a great time, even if we did have to yell at her to speed up or not hit the wall. she claims she was going as fast as she could, but she's not the speed demon type. when bug gets in one of those things, lookout.

while everyone else was waiting for the go karts, i ran off to swing for the fences of the batting cages. there were no real lines there and i'm not sure if it was because it was a less attractive activity or because you had to walk towards the back of the facility. i was able to hit 10 pitches and get back to the track in time for pooka's drive. but our time was running short, since we had plans to go out for kisu's birthday dinner. pooka wanted to do water wars, but i insisted that she attempt the batting cages. we headed over and again she surprised us by actually stepping up without whining. we had to wait for 1 person ahead of us and i used the break to show her where to stand to be able to hit the ball. ahh, here she failed herself. when she entered the cage, she stood precisely over the plate. frankly, i'm shocked it took as many as 3 pitches for her to get hit. she connected twice but the third took her squarely on the knuckles. she was officially done.

the only drawback to the day from my perspective (since i didn't get cracked on the hand by a pitch) was the lack of activities for bug. it was so crowded and we were so focused on pooka and photographing her actions that we didn't want to let bug out of the stroller. the poor thing spent the whole day sweltering in her prison. but she did get a chocolate chip cookie.

all in all, an awesome day celebrating an awesome group of people: survivors and their caretakers. we're hoping they hold next year's celebration there, too. we'll be there. and so will she:

our very own william wallace

otherwise known as 'braveheart'.

we were driving in the truck the other day, listening to i don't know what song on the radio. bug was babbling away as she has recently been doing. everything is 'momma, look.' 'momma, what's that?' etc.

i was simultaneously trying to acknowledge her, in the faint hopes of quieting her down, and maintain a conversation with kisu. somewhere in the cacophony, bug heard an interesting word on the radio. she repeated it, "freedom!" that was all she said for the next 2 minutes. over and over.

i wish i could remember the song so i could try and get that response again, because it was pretty funny and cute as hell.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

working on the pronouns

bug's speech has been audibly improving day by day and week by week. i thought she was going to be way behind her sister, but the gap might not be that great, ultimately.

her latest task is a difficult one for toddlers, grammatically and egotistically. the differentiation between mine and thine. the idea that something in the world might be "yours" and not "mine" is a large barrier for 2 and 3 year olds to hurdle.

bug has been working on it, as i said. she will begin, "ball. my ball." and when the response is, "no, this is not your ball, it is my ball," she will repeat, "my ball. no, yours ball."


she is pretty comfortable with "myself", as in, "no, my do it myself!" but we really threw her a curveball with "yourself." the other day at breakfast she wanted me to feed her. (this is something that particularly irks me in the morning while i'm trying to assemble lunches, after having inhaled my own food. i'm pressed for time, plus? she knows how to feed herself!)

anyway, after doing our usual dance of "eat," "no," "ok, fine," "help me," "no, you're a big girl, you do it," i walked away. she got very frustrated and yelled, "you do it yourself!" as she threatened me with her spoon. i had to laugh.

and then i fed her.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


bug had a heckuva day on saturday. she hit a trifecta of damage. she snapped pooka's headband in half (not while it was on pooka's head), she pulled the pin out of the closure assembly on the screen door, and she broke my glasses.

i was in the shower and kisu thought they were pooka's. pooka is forever leaving her glasses (even the spare pair) in random places around the house, so she got quite the scolding. bug got a thrashing, as well. when i told kisu that they were mine, he did right and apologized to pooka.

meanwhile, i have no glasses. it's not really a big deal because my prescription is very mild, but i did have to get some cheap sunglasses. i cannot tolerate the glare while driving and my clip-ons don't clip-on to my eyebrows.

ultimately, i will have to get a new pair of specs, but i don't relish the thought of spending $200. my friend at work tipped me to a site called goggles4u.com. there is a wide selection of inexpensive frames, free shipping, and a feature that allows you to experiment with various levels of ridiculousness preview them when you upload a picture of yourself.

besides being a useful tool, it lets you get your elton john on.

by the way, these are the ones i'm probably getting:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

fit to be tie-dyed

*just found this draft from 4/13. it was waiting for pictures, so here they are.

we colored easter eggs on saturday.

bug was delighted with the idea of coloring eggs. she was so studious about it.

daddy even got in the act, which doesn't always happen.

i bought a tie-dye kit and it was pretty neat, but very time-consuming. each egg took at least 5 minutes to apply all the color and then let it sit. not the typical "plop it in a cup and wait impatiently for 90 seconds" method.

and then we colored the baby.