Friday, September 29, 2006

Future Possibility-- for FUN and also MONEY!

I'm kinda excited! My almost-step-mom and I were discussing how they canceled the kids' sculpture class at the park she teaches classes at, and were thinking of replacing it with "3-D Art" for ages 3-5. She asked if I had any ideas for that, so I gave her some (from things I've done with my daughter, things I've done with Primary classes, things I remember from preschool, etc.) Well, she mentioned them to the lady in charge of the program, and they were discussing paying me to teach some of the teachers so they wouldn't have to hire a really expensive person to do it. But my almost-step-mom and I were talking in the car today (on the way home from the kids' program at Descanso we go to-- she gives us a ride, since we're a one-car family) and it emerged that I would love to teach that class, have experience with groups of that age, and could even bring Emma along (next session starts in January, she'll be almost 3 and Bridey will be old enough to leave for a few hours at a time.) So she's going to bring it up to the lady in charge and then I'll call her and we can chat. If it works out, I'd have a fun way to make a little extra money on Saturdays and also something to plan for and execute that, you know, gets done. I'm kinda psyched, I hope it works out!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sittin' Pretty

After months and months of resistance, Emma (who is 30 months old now) has finally taken a step toward potty training.

We were at Target last night. Each time we've gone in the last few months, I've asked her if she wanted any of the potty chairs or seats. Each time the answer has been, "No!"-- until last night. We saw the Sesame Street Soft Potty Seat, which fits on the regular toilet and has Big Bird and Elmo and alphabet letters on it. She said she wanted it. We told her what it does, and told her that if we got it she would have to sit on it. At first she said, "No," but after thinking about it it changed to "Want seat!" Last night she sat on the potty seat (with her feet on her little IKEA step stool) for three minutes or so while we ran water. We intend to do this every night for a while, until she gets acclimated to it and is ready to move on to the next step. And maybe the water running will help her let go and go in the toilet (she has VERY good bladder control, is almost always dry overnight, and informs us before she does anything almost every time.)

Of course, she thinks it's so much fun to sit on now that she's got it in the kitchen floor and is sitting on it while she plays. *giggle*

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What I Fed the Missionaries Tonight

Home-made Lithuanian sausage (made by my dad), cooked with sauerkraut (brown sausages, add garlic and onion, add caraway seeds, add one large jar of extra-crisp sauerkraut, drained, fresh shredded cabbage and carrots or, if you're too lazy and/or busy to shred cabbage, like me, one bag of coleslaw mix, cover and simmer several hours, uncover and simmer some more to reduce juices), home-canned peaches (from my mom's tree), and boiled potatoes with butter and salt (was going to make kugelis, Lithuanian potato pudding, rather like a potato kugel, made with bacon, but got lazy, hot, and tired.) Sour cream to top it all off, of course. For dessert, Emily's Banana Cake, with cream cheese frosting (from a can, again, I was being kinda lazy.)

We're currently sharing missionaries with the Spanish-speaking ward. They were very nice and polite and fun. One is from Virginia, one is from Mexico. Neither had had any kind of Lithuanian food before, and both loved it. So did my husband. So did Emma. So did I, for that matter. :D

Monday, September 18, 2006

Eeeeeew-- a Product Recommendation

We live in a really cruddy apartment. Things are always falling apart, and the landlord won't fix anything. So we've been having insect problems this summer. I felt like I was in the middle of Lost Boys (but, you know, without the kidnappings and crazy manipulative prophetess lady and psycho home-teachee and southern accents.) First we had a wave of spiders, then one of flies, then ants (who were eating the maggots that were appearing as fast as we could clean them up) and now a week ago roaches started coming in through a hole in the bathroom.

Raid works, but I'm nervous about it being around the kids and cats, seeing as it makes me sick and I'm much bigger than them. So finally we went out and got some Victor Poison-Free aerosol insect killer and also some of their "pheromone technology" crawling insect traps. I just checked the one in the bathroom, and eeeeeeew! Roaches! Nastiness. The good news is that it works. And the spray works, too. Now I can spray flies to my heart's content, without worrying about toxic residue around my babies. Muahahaha! Prepare to DIE, flies!!!

She's Her Grandpa's Girl...

Emma had her first experience with the beach while we were up in Goleta. She was happy to be there, but didn't want to walk and play-- just stare. My dad loves to do the same thing. He likes to just sit and watch the ocean and, as he says, "Be Infinity" for a while. Now Emma won't stop talking about it; every time she sees a picture or just thinks about it or anything, she says, "Emma beach! Emma beach!" And when I tell her that I can't take her, she asks, "Papa Emma beach?" (Papa is her word for Grandpa.) See, I told her that Grandpa likes the beach, too, and maybe he would take her some time.

I'd better see if he has a free Saturday any time soon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Update on Emma's Finger

My dad invited us over for home-made tortillas last night and before we left he checked out the finger. He says that the nail is going to grow in healthy and the old one will drop off, and the slight coldness (it's less now than it was before) is nothing to worry about; enough got taken off that new blood vessels are still being formed, but the finger is getting enough blood in the meantime that nothing bad is going to happen. :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Awwww. How cute.

We went to Goleta, north of Santa Barbara, this weekend, and stayed with my great-aunt. We also saw my second cousin and his wife and one of my second cousins once removed.

Anyway, we got back tonight, and Bridget was fussy because she wanted to sleep but had some gas in her tummy. So after she was finished nursing and trying to burp, she was fussing a little. Ems brought her a pacifier and sang her a little song, with a tune and words of her own devising:

"Oh, Baby, shhh.
Here go, paci.
Yeah, Emma love Baby.
Shhh, soon night-night."

It was so sweet, I almost wanted to cry.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I hate that.

I was just about ready to get my insomniac self to bed, when the baby woke.

She kind of wanted to eat, but mostly wanted to play. This is strange behavior for the child who started sleeping 8-10 hours a night at less than 2 months of age, but I suppose not totally unexpected given how much I let her sleep today.

Anyway, I fed her, held her, sang to her, fed her some more, rubbed her back, and put her back down, and now she's out-- and I'm up.


Emma's Finger

I noticed something interesting tonight.

A few weeks back, while I was in the bathroom and my husband was occupied with Bridey, who was screaming her lungs out because she wanted to eat, Ems climbed up and stuck her finger in the electric pencil sharpener (which was up too high for her to reach and which she'd been told "no, that hurts" about several times but which was apparently too attractive to resist, and which now resides in an even more inaccessible spot even though she freaks out whenever anyone goes near it now) and cut off the tip of her finger.

We figured out what had done it after the fact; at first all we knew was that it was bleeding and we couldn't stop it. We rushed her over to my dad's (he lives 5 minutes away, closer than any hospital, and is a doctor, and besides her insurance hadn't kicked in yet at that point) and he, having more experience and more stuff around than we had, was able to stop the bleeding and bandage the finger. Within a week and a half, it was completely healed, although there was something funky going on with her fingernail, we figure(d) that will probably clear up with time.

But tonight I noticed that even though the rest of her hands were very warm, that fingertip was rather cold.

It worries me a little. It doesn't seem to have poor circulation to me, but what do I know? And is there a reason that she keeps saying that she still wants a band-aid on that finger, like it still isn't feeling like the others do? I thought it was just 'cause she liked our Sesame Street band-aids, but maybe it's something more.

She has a physical on the 20th (finally, we've been trying to get her covered through Healthy Families for a YEAR and it finally came through), so I think I'm going to have to ask about it then. *frets, just a little bit*

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why? Just why?

I know Emma seems to have inherited my sleep problems (what she says about sleep: sleeping is "happy", but falling asleep is "hard" and "scary"), but this is ridiculous.

She went to sleep, finally, at 4:00 am last night.

And woke at 7:30.

3 1/2 hours of sleep.

And now she can't fall back to sleep.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Flash Fiction Friday No. 2: "The Finding"

Getting an earlier start on Flash Fiction Friday this week! It seems that even though I have always HATED prompt writing, this is destined to become a regular, if not weekly, thing. Curse you, Laurie, for having such interesting prompts! I have other things I've been wanting to do, you know! :p

The Finding

There are Objects of Power all over the world.

Some are obvious, like the Mayan pyramids or the Stonehenge standing stones or the Nazca Lines of Peru. Some are hidden deep within the ground or lie in dusty back rooms of museums. Some things that many ordinary people think are powerful are not. And then there are some that are hidden in plain sight-- they stand there for all the world to see, but most people don't recognize what they are.

I encountered one such Object last summer, when I was visiting southern Alaska, where my friend moved five years ago.

It looked like most other totems, with its animal shapes carved into weathered wood and decorated with fading paint. It wasn't the oldest one I'd ever seen, nor was it the newest, and it was definitely not the most spectacular. Most people who visited the spot either ignored the totem in favor of the spectacular view, or half-heartedly read the plaque at the bottom, dutifully taking in the cursory information provided about its history.

What the plaque didn't say was that the maker of this particular totem had imbued it with Power. I didn't know who he was, but I felt the Power radiating from the totem, buried deep within, laying dormant until it might be needed. I wondered idly what the maker had needed an Object of Power for, but knew that it was not for me to Know at this time. For all I knew, it had been made by a Far-Seer for me to find, and would play a part in my quest later. In any case, if I was to Know, I would find out in the fullness of Time.

As I watched, I saw a family with several boisterous children tromp noisily up. The children ran eagerly to the totem and exclaimed very loudly over it, drawing disapproving looks from others nearby. The parents tried in vain to contain their energy and direct them to the excellent educational value of the site.

I noticed then that there was another child. A small girl with fine bones held back from her siblings, quietly gazing at the totem. And with a shock, I recognized that she, too had the Sight, the Vision of the Hidden World that comes so rarely, for though it was just beginning to wake in her, she, too felt the Power in this totem. As I looked at her, she turned to gaze at me, and I had another shock. A Knowing passed between us-- a Knowing that we would meet again.

The small girl smiled shyly but somehow assuredly at me, then moved on to join her brothers and sisters as they stormed the Visitors' Center and began to harass the ranger with many questions.