Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rosie's 4-Year Checkup

At Rosie's 4-year checkup, she weighed in at 38 pounds and is 40.5 inches tall. She was on the scale by herself, which is pretty normal, but since we were at the doctor's office, she made it traumatic by reaching for me and crying.

The doctor was impressed by her vocabulary and her balancing skills and was able to take her blood pressure (94 over 58) and tested her vision (20/30). She started the hearing test, but halfway through was done with the whole appointment and we didn't get a good reading.

She likes yoga and gymnastics at school, and I'm planning to get her into a dance class as soon as possible!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Xmas Joi de Vivre!

Despite having an ear infection, throat infection and possible RSV, Dash was awfully perky over our holiday weekend. Before bedtime on Friday, his temp was 103.5, so I got him in to see his doctor first thing on Saturday. We met one of his classmates, Lizzy (see the cutie in #11), in the waiting room with _*surprise*_ RSV symptoms, too! We visited Lisa, my sis-in-law, that morning, but cancelled our plans with friends that afternoon, to keep from infecting their kids with the dreaded RSV. Auntie M.came over that evening to bake gingerbread cookies with Rosie while Dash napped (after throwing blocks across the house and climbing on the furniture) and gave me a chance to do dishes, sweep, and pick up our crazy house. Whew! I also baked oatmeal craisin cookies that turned out darned well, I must say!

Christmas was at my parents' house, as usual. I think the day went perfectly! We left for "gromma's" after Dash's nap, opened gifts (woo!) and had some lovely roast! The standout Xmas gift was from my mom--she bought Rosie another American Girl doll; this time it was "Jess", a doll with a Japanese-American heritage. She even has a Japanese middle name, just like Rosie! My mom bought the doll's "hair care kit" so we could curl Jess' hair so we could make her look more like Rosie. Auntie M. painstakingly did just that! Bless her heart. She loves her niece. Dash was just happy to run around, throw balls and terrorize Groucho, my parents' cockatiel.

After wine and pie, AJS had a long nap. And I let him sleep. Merry Christmas, baby!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ian's First Birthday Party!

We had a fabulous time at Ian's birthday party! The company was excellent, the spread was super-tasty, and Kristin and Nathan have a beautiful home. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of Ian, since we didn't bring our camera, but my dear friend Chuck took some wonderful photos of Rosie and Dash!

Dash found a balloon that was meant for Ian and didn't let go of it all afternoon:

Then Rosie ate some delicious cake (with a little help from me):

And Chuck took some super-fun photos of Dash and Rosie playing in my lap!
Actually, what makes me happiest is this photo, because it's of me and Rosie! I have so many, many photos of me holding Dash that you'd wonder if I had a daughter...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Dash update!

Hi baby boy!

You're almost 18 months old now and you just had your ear tube surgery two weeks ago. You communicate with us so well that we didn't really notice that you haven't been talking much. Hopefully now you will be adding to your vocabulary. So far, you say mama, dada, ball, olive (lali), cracker (cak), duck, woof-woof (for dogs & cats), more (mo), moo (for cow), and balloon (baaal). You know several hand-signs, especially for milk, more, head, want, banana, broccoli and apple. Your favorite foods are beans (all types), broccoli, chicken, olives, graham crackers (especially chocolate), cheddar, most fruits (especially banana and melon). Lately, you've been climbing on the furniture! You heave yourself up on the couch or ottoman, then move to a table and march around, happy as can be! We of course get you down immediately, but you pop back up as soon as our attention is diverted.


Weirdness at the office

Okay, this one isn't about the kids. Yesterday, I was almost the only one in the office and picked up a phone call in a co-worker's cubicle. While I was talking (to the cube's inhabitor), I glanced up and saw a pin stuck in the carpeted wall with a lion's head on it that looked familiar. I pulled it out and saw that it was a logo design that I created ELEVEN YEARS ago!!! The FBI is still using my artwork after eleven years? I'm keeping the pin; I don't think I had saved anything from that project, because I never felt that it was portfolio-worthy work. Anyway, here is my art that I found online, that the pin was based on:

Heh. 1995, staring at me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

James Kim. I'm incredibly saddened and uplifted at once.

I 've been overwhelmed by this story all morning as soon as AJS brought to my attention that the James Kim that's been all over the news as missing in the Oregon wilderness was not just some no-name-hapless-joe but was the host of a techno-gadgets show we used to watch! He was the smart, funny, on-the-cutting-edge, sweet young guy who would somehow manage to put photos of his daughter into his gadget reviews. He was only one year younger than me! And our children are practically the same ages! How could I not get all wrapped up in it? The story is fascinating and gut-wrenching. TV mini-series on the way....?

So here's my redux at what happened. 35-year-old James and 30-year-old Kati and their two daughters (4 years and 7 months) set off in their car from a Thanksgiving holiday on the Oregon coast, headed home to San Francisco. They were driving for hours and missed an exit, instead continuing onto a mountainous side road that wound far in the wrong direction from their destination and any inhabited area. They hit a snow drift, ran out of gas and were snowbound for 5 days before they became desperate enough for James to consider other options. They were running out of food and had no idea when they might be rescued, so James left his young family at their car and left to seek help. Here's an aerial photo of what this area looks like:

He was only wearing jeans, sneakers and a mid-weight coat, not adequate for wet, freezing weather. He had a lighter and an Oregon map, some extra clothes and supplies. According to the clues that searchers uncovered, James walked EIGHT miles in this wilderness and made it back to within a mile from his family when a SHEER CLIFF separated him from their location and he succumbed to the elements and died after being alone for four days. How horrific.

He left Kati with a pretty good setup, like a campground. They were able to heat themselves with the car's heater, then burned the tires when the heater gave out. Kati nursed both girls (YAY FOR BREASTFEEDING!!!) to keep their strength up. Kati and girls were rescued after nine days. Kati was seen by a helicopter pilot, waving an umbrella from her car. James' body was found two days later. God, I can't even imagine.

Dash's ear tubes -- done!

Hey, it's been a week since he had his tubes surgery, but I haven't had any spare time to post. Dash was a real trooper for the whole ordeal. We had to get up super-extra early on a foggy, dreary November morning and Dash didn't have any food at all since Midnight (about 8 hours total). He really didn't complain about it, though! He slept through the 45-minute drive to the surgical center (we had to be there at 6:30 a.m.) and while we waited in the lobby, he was well-distracted by the large fish tank, full of exotic fish.

They brought us to a consult area around 7 a.m., where Dash had to change into an awful, awful, get-it-off-me-now bright-yellow hospital gown and he continued to yank on it until he was taken into surgery. I had to put on a full bodysuit made of some kind of synthetic FedEx-bag-style fabric, plus a hair cover and a face mask. After a brief consult with the anesthesiologist and Dash's surgeon (including more papers to sign), they then took us to a secondary waiting area just for children, with a play area and lots of toys. All the other kids in the playroom got stuffed bears from their doctors, but I guess we didn't get one because Dash already had a bear from home? Whatever.

Dash was called for his surgery around 7:45 a.m. and I carried him in, put him down on the hospital bed. The nurses asked what name they should call him when the anesthesia wore off, so he would hear something familiar, maybe comforting. They asked me to hold his arms out of the way and try to comfort him while the anesthesia took effect (through a face mask), and then announced, "he's asleep!" which was, apparently, my signal to leave. So after a confusing couple of seconds, a nurse offered to guide me back to a consult room. I waited for about ten minutes while furiously typing text messages to family and friends to keep my mind off the surgery, when another nurse came to get me because Dash was done!

When he and I reached the post-op room, he was very disoriented and screaming, with eyes closed. But he quickly came out of it and let me know that he wasn't interested in sitting around. I carried him around the room while he stoically watched the other children scream. I was pretty proud of him for being the first child to settle down! One of the nurses offered Dash a drink, which he refused. Instead, he had noticed the refrigerator behind the nurses' station and pointed. And pointed again. I walked him over there and asked the nurses if we could come back there so I could figure out what he wanted. A nurse looked at him sweetly and asked, "honey, would you like some crackers?" She reached into a cabinet and grabbed a two-pack of saltines. With his treasure in hand, we went back to our seat and he stuffed entire crackers into his head as quickly as possible. I tried the water again, nothing doing. He made the :more: sign at me and pointed directly at the sad, empty, plastic Saltines wrapper. Verrrry clear, this one is! He ate about ten more Saltines (I swear!) then had some water.

Meanwhile, I was given an instruction sheet on how to care for his tubes, we were discharged and on our way. He slept on the drive home and as a treat, I stopped by Krispy Kreme to get us some donut holes (and coffee for me); I hadn't eaten either, thinking that it would only taunt Dash. I had brought some work home, with the mistaken impression that the surgery would leave Dash weak and sleepy. NOPE!!! As soon as we were home, he was practically bouncing off the walls, climbing on the furniture, and pulling books off of shelves. He ate a donut hole or two with me and I barely kept up with my little ball of sunshine-energy before AJS came to relieve me around lunchtime. Dash was amazingly happy and alert!

I do think that his hearing was affected by the repeated ear infections. Just in the past week, he seems to be responding a little better to verbal cues and is imitating us a little more. Yay! Here's hoping that he'll have a few more words soon. The sign language has been a great help, but of course, we'd like him to be speaking more. His latest new word is "duck"!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

AJS got on "Best of Craigslist"!!

The Five Stages of Living in the DC Area:
Date: 2006-12-05, 5:38PM EST

Stage 1: Living downtown is the greatest! It’s so wonderful living in such a vibrant, diverse community. I love being able to walk to hipster bars, overpriced tapas restaurants, and leather furniture stores where the cheapest couch costs 6-months rent.

Stage 2: DC is a squalid cesspool, a third-rate wannabe capitol like Dakar or Isengard, full of hipster losers and youth violence gangs of rogue Uruk-hai.

Stage 3: Thank god I live in the suburbs! It’s so clean, the schools are great, and I don’t have to worry about being raped on the way back from Bed Bath and Beyond or having pennies thrown at my head.

Stage 4: Borf was right! The suburbs are a boring, sprawling wasteland of stripmalls, $tarbucKKK$s, and cookie-cutter McMan$$ion$. I read it in the Cliffs Notes to Foucault’s Madness and Civilization. $ma$h the $tate!

Stage 5: Go to Stage 1.

Here's the link to Best of Craigslist.
Who links to me?

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