Wednesday, May 20, 2009


As you know (if you've been reading) we had an amazing weekend. I loved nearly every moment of it. Of course the universe believes in balance... Hence, my week so far.

Sunday, late, Avery started feeling pretty fussy. She's usually quite the pistol and she just seemed to sputter out. At first, I attributed it to her eventful weekend, then Monday morning came along and she was no better. Her cough was lingering, the nose running went from clear to cloudy (then green) and her eyes started producing green boogies too (sorry if that's TMI). I was certain she had a sinus infection so I took her to the pediatrician's office after we dropped NeeNee off at school.
Turns out she has a double ear infection and some fluid in her lung.
Wow. She's SICK.
Needless to say she's on antibiotics (her "meds" as she calls them). They're PINK. This is very exciting. Geneva wants some too. "No," I say. "Sissy is really sick. These are special meds for her. She has an ear infection. Sorry." The pink meds are not easily forgotten.

Monday afternoon is hot and Piper is feeling a bit better. We bust out the sprinkler in the driveway and have an impromptu neighborhood kid party.
Everyone has a great time...
... especially Geneva. She feels great.
Though, that night she asks for some of Sissy's pink meds because she's "sick."
"No," I say. "No meds for you."
Tuesday Greg leaves for Baltimore. We skip swim lessons because the doctor thinks that would be best. We have a mellow day. Geneva is not as "high strung" as she usually is... I attribute this to our quiet day.

She certainly hadn't lost her sense of humor. Here she is "reading" my book. Apparently, I must look like this a lot of the time? Funny. She actually laid there flipping pages for about 4-5 minutes. Good thing she can't actually read (since that's one of my "trashy" vampire novels--Sookie Stackhouse anyone?).
Today she woke up at 5:15 am rather than her usual 6:45 and did not manage to fall back to sleep. I took her to school and went to the gym. When I finished my workout, I retrieved my phone from the locker room and noticed (with alarm) that I had missed a call from her school (they have NEVER called before), a call from Greg (in Baltimore), and a text from Greg as well. 

Turns out Miss Geneva is complaining that her ear hurts and has had a huge crying fit over it at school. Her teacher is so alarmed (because Geneva "just doesn't DO that") she called to have us come get her (though she has no fever). By the time I got the message and called back, Geneva was curled up, sound asleep in the "kitchen" at school. It was 11:30 am. Nap time is typically at 1:00 pm after she gets home from school. 
I rushed over with Avery and collected my very sleepy girl. As soon as she opened her eyes she pointed to her right ear and started whimpering. She asked if she could have some pink meds because her ear hurt.
"No Honey." I said, "I think you need a nap first." Because obviously she's not really sick--she's just VERY tired and obsessed with her sister's pink medicine.
"Can you take me to the doctor's?" she asked.
"Let's see how you feel after your nap," I reasoned.
"Ok Mom."
She slept for 3 hours at home and while she slept I agonized over whether I would "waste" the money taking her to the doctor's when I knew she didn't really have an ear infection. I made an appointment anyway.
When she woke up she looked WAY better. I asked her how she was feeling and she indicated that her ear was still hurting. Funny thing is, she was tugging at her LEFT ear.
"Honey, it costs a lot of money to go to the doctor's office," I told her. She just looked at me. "If you're really feeling bad and you think you need to see the doctor, then I think I'm going to take some money from your piggy bank to pay for the appointment. Do you feel like you still need to go--even if Mommy uses your money?"
She asked, "But what about my college?"
"We have lots of time to save for that. I wont have to use all of your money for the appointment (of course I'm not serious... I just want to hear her reaction). Do you NEED to go to the doctor? Do you feel really bad?"
"Yes," she reports soberly.
So we went... even though I knew it was a waste of time and money.

Here she was "playing it up" on the exam table before Dr. Cooley came in.
Doesn't she look pathetically sweet? Oh, and sooo very sick. (Yea, right.)
(Any you knew this was coming.)
... turns out Geneva has a double ear infection as well.
I'm not joking.
It's not as bad as Piper's because we (I mean Geneva) caught it earlier. It seems they've both been fighting another virus (the family cough we've been struggling with for almost 2 weeks now) and as the virus moved on the bacteria moved in.
In case you're wondering, Yes... I am choking on my shoe right now!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Incredible Weekend

We were so thrilled to have our friends the Cainey's back this year for another Oregon visit. There were here last year for Geneva's 3rd birthday in July and we had a great time--like we always do when we're with them. This trip was no exception.
They arrived Thursday evening and we had a nice big dinner, got the kids to bed, and stayed up too late visiting and catching up. Friday morning the Daddies went golfing and we met Rachelle's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew at the Portland Children's Museum (one of our favorite places--as you know). The kids had a blast:

Cole is 15 months and such a "lover!" Here he is hugging one of the "Bob the Builder" characters at the museum. Too sweet!

Kiki and Neva cooperated on building a structure together.

Here's Piper with Cole and Rachelle... While there is air blowing from the hole she's leaning over, her hair just happens to stick out like that anyway!

See (her hair)?
Here she is "shopping" at the market exhibit. 

Cole was wondering what to do with the grease crayons at the "face painting" station...

...his sister and Piper showed him the ropes.
Unfortunately, Geneva is really thorough when it comes to face-painting and her sister is getting the hang of it too!
The water exhibit was a huge hit--as always.
Piper managed to keep her hair relatively dry this trip.
Cole had some fun splashing around too.
After a quick lunch we packed up the troops and headed home for nap-time; the Daddies, home from golf, took over; and Rachelle and I headed to Bridgeport for a few drinks, appetizers, and a bit of shopping in the sunshine.
We rounded out the night with a neighborhood "happy hour" in our driveway, a visit to "Five Guys" and lots of talking and laughing. 
The Cainey's were off in the morning to meet some of Rachelle's family at the Zoo and then to a bbq at her Gram's ranch in McMinnville. We stayed home and participated in the "Field's Park Annual Garage Sale" where traffic was light--but we made enough money and got rid of enough stuff that it was worth our while.
We finished out Saturday with a "Neighborhood Night Out." The Dubins, Cervenaks, and Joneses got babysitters and met at Tucci's for dinner... um... YUM!
Today is Sunday. The girls hit the park with Greg this morning while I finished my book and sipped my coffee. We all went over to Target where Geneva (who earned her 6 stars this week) got to choose a lip gloss. Then it was over to Home Depot for some more gardening soil, tomato cages, and sweet basil starts.
It's 2:30pm.
The girls are napping.
Greg is golfing.
I have planted:
three tomato varieties, yellow crookneck, zucchini, summer squash, two red bell pepper plants, cucumber, lettuces, and added the basil to the herb garden that has returned from last year. The A/C is running because this Oregon day is sunny and hot.
I am sipping a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Does it get any better?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Proposal

I knew when Geneva said, "Here's the deal, Mom..." I ought to grab the camera.
Her reasoning skills are pretty decent. The "proposal" continued after I stopped recording (as I'm sure you can imagine). In the end, I let her play in the back yard by herself until her sister woke up from her nap and we could join her outside.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mudda's Day (As Piper Would Say)

Yea! Sunshine on Mother's Day.
Let's see:
Sleeping in, a few chapters of my latest book in bed, vanilla latte, white lilies, precious cards, fabulous brunch, trip to the nursery, great naps, ceremonial planting, and socializing with the friends...
I could not have had a better day!
We took a post-brunch walk around the grounds at the club to take a few photos and check out the flowers.
Watching people hit balls at the range was not nearly as fun as finding bugs.
Geneva "earned" a sweet treat after her breakfast. She choose cheesecake.
The other little girl at our table did not earn a sweet treat. I'll go ahead and feel victorious that there wasn't any food on the floor when we were finished.
We picked up some lettuces and beans at the nursery as well as a white Calla Lily.
I wanted to plant something this year that will keep coming back. I think we'll try to plant something together every Mother's Day.
I'll be sure to post some pictures if we get any blooms this year.
I hope you had a nice day too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A New Tactic

Geneva is beginning to understand the concept of delayed gratification. So I am taking advantage of this and have instituted our new
"Good Choices Chart."
As many of you may know, I'm big on pointing out to the kids that they are making their own choices. A favorite expression of mine is, "Choose listening." If I want them to put their shoes on so we can leave the house I might say, "You can choose your pink sneakers or your brown boots." When they don't want to do something (like take a nap) I might say, "It's your choice; however, if you don't take a nap you wont get to watch your show (or play outside, or do your art project, etc.) so you decide: nap and show or no nap and no fun."
What I'm finding is that some of my schedule is getting interrupted by means of following through on a consequence I've doled out to one of them. In order to keep more consistency with our rewards/consequences and to make my job a little easier, I put together this chart:

If you look closely, you'll see that Geneva needs to earn 5 "stars" in order to attend her friend Jaysa's birthday party on Saturday (obviously, the "reward" will change every week). The stars can be added to the chart and also taken away. We start the day with a star. The goal is to finish the day with the star. The star comes a goes throughout the day but the girls are given a chance to "earn back" their star if the situation presents itself before bedtime.
Avery doesn't have a "goal" at the end of her row... but she's still grasping the concept and doesn't seem to notice that she's missing anything.

They are really into THE CHART. 
Here they are making one as a gift... 

It's for GGPa. I'm sure he'll be so pleased to know he has his own "Good Choices Chart" now too.

Can you believe this little sweetheart doesn't always make the best choice on the first try?
Shocking right?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Things I Love on May Day

  • Listening to the Black Eyed Peas' new song Boom Boom Pow with my girls. We get our boogie ON when we hear it! 
  • Leisurely reading:
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries. This amazing burger joint started on the east coast and has been expanding it's franchise west since 2003. Our tiny West Linn is lucky enough to have one of the only two locations in Oregon. Sorry California friends--you don't have any yet (and if you think In-N-Out might compare, think again!).  The troubling thing is that indulging on the food doesn't really help me achieve my summer waistline goals!!!
  • Getting a fresh start on my flower baskets. I recycled the baskets that I bought last year and saved a whopping $25 by purchasing and planting the flowers myself this time. Oh well, at least the girls and I had a fun time in the sun.
  • Trees that have pink blossoms.
  • The movie, I Love You, Man. Greg and I saw this about a month ago and I still find myself cracking up when I think of certain scenes. I highly recommend you go see this movie!
  • Outgrowing the highchair: 
  • Geneva's curiosity. Here's a conversation from the other day:
G: How do mommies have babies and not get a hole in them? 
M: Well (this is how I stall)... When mommies are growing babies in their tummies their bodies go through lots of incredible changes. Babies come out of a special opening with the help of the doctor.
G: Oh (silent contemplation)... How do mommies not get food all over the baby when they eat?
M: Well, food goes in the stomach and babies grow in a womb. Both are in the tummy but they are different. The food never drops on the baby when it's growing in there.
G: Oh, well that's good.
  • Geneva's excitement at helping in the kitchen. Here she is making guacamole--one of her very favorite foods. I wont pretend that I'm always happy she wants to be right under my feet when I'm trying to cook. Often, I fight feeling frustrated. But many times, I get it "right" and we have a good time. My grandma used to say that having one of her kids (or grandkids) "help" her doing anything would invariably "cut her time to double." She was so right!
  • A book I recently read called, Broken for You written by Stephanie Kallos. And don't you know, I found the recommendation on my new favorite reading website: 
  • Celebrating procreation. I am so thrilled that Amy (with twins), Leslie, and Jenn are all expecting their first babies right now. Here are Amy and I at the Hinton wedding: