Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Speech Notebook Wednesday

Finally, another Speech Notebook Wednesday! This one covers Thanksgiving. The interesting color scheme (purple, midnight blue, bright orange, green, and a weird brown) is due entirely to the limited number of crayons that were lying on the kitchen counter 5 minutes before the bus arrived.

And one more, since we missed the week before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mealtime Antics

As if dealing with mealtime wasn't enough of an issue now that we have to take Hattie's situation into account, the aggravation factor was multiplied today by the fact that The Terrible Twos are in full force at our house.

At breakfast we had the first catastrophe --

Me: Hattie, would you like a banana?
H: Yes.
Me: Here, I'll peel it.
H: NO! NO! NO! ME PEEL IT!!!!!
Me: Okay, here. I'll just start it for you.
H: NO!NO!NO!NO!NO! ME PEEL IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(while peeling it unconventionally, half the banana breaks off and falls onto her plate)
H: UH OH! 'NANA FALL DOWN!
Me: That's okay. Here, I'll take the peel away.
H: NO! DON' WANNIT!!!! NO WAN' 'NANA!!!!! BROKEN!!!!!
(followed by 15 minutes of weeping and much gnashing of teeth)
(and then, finally, by the eating of the aforementioned banana with visible enjoyment)

At lunch it was a different crisis --

Me: Hattie, would you like cheese or peanut butter?
H: P'nut butter.
Me: Okay. I'll get the crackers.
H: NO! NO CRACKERS! BREAD! WAN' SAMMICH!
Me: Okay. You want a peanut butter sandwich.
H: Yes.
Me: Okay. Here you go.
H: NO! NO SAMMICH! CRACKERS!!! CRACKERS!!! CRACKERS!!! CRACKERS!!! (and so on for 15 minutes)
(At this point I must say I lost my cool.)
Me: No crackers! I asked if you wanted crackers and you said no. The sandwich is already made, so that's what you'll be having.
H: NO! NO SAMMICH! CRACKERS!!! AAUUGGHHHHH! CRACKERS!!! AAUUGGHHHHHH!
(followed by the forceful pushing away of the plate and then shortly by the tearful eating of said sammich)
H: WAN' MOAH! (we have no idea where she got that Boston accent)
Me: More what? What would you like more of?
H: MOAH PETZZLS! MOAH SAMMICH! MOAH BAPPLE!
Me: Your whole lunch? You want another whole lunch?
H: Yes.
Me: How about some more apple? Would you like some more apple?
H: Yes.
Me: Okay. Here you go.
H: NO! NO BAPPLE! DON' WANNIT!!! (apple is thrown overhand across the table)
At this point I rolled my eyes for the last time, put the neatly peeled and prepared apple back into the container and lunch was over.

At snacktime --

I tested her blood sugar after her nap and she was low, signifying that she needed a snack that would quickly get into her system. Usually we use apple juice for this.
H: WAN' SNACK!
Me: Okay. Here's some juice.
H: NO! NO JUICE!! DON' WANNIT!!
Me: (increasingly desperate) Can't you drink this juice for me, Hattie? Have this juice.
H: NO! DON' WANNIT!!
Me: (really desperate now) Here, have these Teddy Grahams. And here's your juice. (which she did end up drinking about half of)

Tim says she gets that gene from MY side of the family.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Aftermath

We all made it this far through the Thanksgiving weekend, thanks in no small part to the HUGE efforts of my mother, who once again came through in the clutch. With her help we were able, despite being sick ourselves and having an intimidating list of new diabetic duties, to put Thanksgiving together for our nearest and dearest.

We ate incredibly well,

and made an incredibly large mess.

Tim and Nate bonded at a basketball game,

and there was a little 'Mary Poppins'-watching going on, too.

But I was not totally unproductive. We are all, Hattie included, gradually coming to terms with living with diabetes. All things considered, we are lucky that it's not worse. Yes, we may have to change some daily habits and introduce new ones, but we feel much better after talking to other people who have been living with it for years. It's still a little scary, but not nearly as scary as it was in the beginning.

I was even able to find the time to knit this apple hat, which turned out to be a beanie rather than the kind of hat that can keep your ears warm. I'm thinking I'll tweak the pattern slightly on the next one.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Priorities

Wednesday afternoon I took Hattie to the doctor so they could "check her out" since she had been so thirsty lately. We ended up being admitted to the children's hospital immediately.

An hour later she had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as "juvenile onset."

Fortunately we had caught it early enough that she hadn't gone into ketoacidosis. Too frequently parents find out that their child is diabetic only after a trip through the ICU. So we avoided that, but not the two-day hospital stay. Hattie will now be insulin-dependent for the rest of her life.

After the initial bone-jarring impact of hearing the diagnosis, Tim and I have been focused on educating ourselves about the disease, the symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycemia, and the various treatments that will now become second nature to us all. Even Hattie is quickly becoming accustomed to half a dozen or more fingersticks and a minimum of 5 insulin shots daily.

As our vision clears and the dust settles, we are finding that there is a strong support network for families living with diabetes. Our families are doing everything they can to help. And we are assured that with proper management of her blood sugar she can expect to live a normal and full life. While it will be a challenge initially to figure out exactly how she is feeling and what her schedules will be since she is only 2, eventually all the processes associated with managing diabetes will become so commonplace for her that as a teenager and adult she should have no trouble keeping up with them all. And research continues, so who can say how many advancements will have been made 20 years from now?

Panic and fear by themselves, while sometimes unavoidable, are not as helpful when trying to reach an objective. It is the redirection and application of their energy that helps you achieve your goal.

Our first priority is keeping Hattie healthy, and we are directing all our energy towards that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gorgeous days

We lucked out and the weather was beautiful in Charlottesville while we were there. We took the requisite tourist shots,

went to the football game (some of us took a little nap),

while Nate met Buzz, the Georgia Tech mascot. Buzz made Nate take off the Virginia hat he had on on top of the Georgia Tech hat.

Hattie managed to bounce back a quarter or two later.

We also visited Montpelier, home of James Madison, our 4th president. Charlotte particularly enjoyed the acoustiguide, which she treated like a phone. She loved conversing with the narrator!

The Virginia countryside is so unbelievably pretty! See the horses and the Blue Ridge in the background? It does the heart good.

We went to the gift shop, but Hattie preferred to play outside.

Finally it was time to go home, so we packed up the kids' backpacks and headed out.

The day after we got home was Nate's 6th birthday. I cheated on the cupcakes for his classmates by buying them, but I was able to make him a cake.

Happy Birthday, Nate!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Back again

Well, we're back. We had a great weekend, driving up to Charlottesville on Friday, and back today. The trip up was fine, the trip back AMAZING, due almost entirely to the use of our new DVD player (also known as kiddie crack). And down the slippery slope we go.

Too tired now to get the camera for pictures. Too intimidated by Mount Washmore. Dreading the 8 a.m. arrival of our chipper, every-other-weekly housekeeper tomorrow, who will arrive to find every available horizontal surface covered and therefore uncleanable unless I run around and bounce off walls like an over-caffeinated Roomba one room ahead of her. And did I mention that tomorrow is Nate's 6th birthday?

More on our fun trip later. And the birthday!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Going, going,...still going....not gone yet

So what do you do when you have to pack for 5 people for a 4-day trip? If you're like me, you blog! Or surf. Or walk around spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find some marginally useful item. Or do, I don't know what. Not pack.

I have an interesting approach to getting things done. First, I procrastinate as long as humanly possible. Then I fly around in an OCD-inspired frenzy. It's quite a sight, seeing someone procrastinating AND in a frenzy. But it's an approach I've mastered over the last 30 years. (Just ask my mother. How many school reports and projects did I work on at breakfast the day they were due? WAY too many.)

Logically, it would seem that this might not be the most effective method. And yet, everything gets done! (Mostly.) (Well, the important stuff.) Any rational mind would realize that if you do things properly and steadily, without getting sidetracked, you get to stay sane and get everything done without stress.

But the stress! That's what gets the work done! And also what makes you take blood pressure medication!

And anyway, Tim said that he doesn't want to leave before midnight, which gives me two more hours. (Aha! The source of the current procrastination -- the deadline is not near enough!)

The source of all this angst is our trip to Charlottesville, VA, where we are going (in a few hours) for the UVA/Georgia Tech football game. What with varying degrees of pregnancy/bedrest/new babies over the past few years, we haven't been to this particular away game since 1997, we think. So now we are taking a long weekend to visit Charlottesville in the fall.

Our most recent strategy for long trips (last year we drove to Maine for Thanksgiving from GEORGIA. With 3 kids, age 4 and under. We were INSANE.) is to put the kids and Tim to bed at a reasonable hour while I continue to pack. Once everything is packed in the car, the last thing we put in is the kids, in their PJs. Tim drives, I sleep. At least in theory.

Last year Tim brought along some Dramamine to give to the kids "to make them sleep." I was self-righteously horrified that he would even think of drugging our children just to make the trip more pleasant. Four hours of solid screaming later by a minimum of one child, more likely, two at a time, I was digging like a dog through our bag, yelling, "Where is that goddamned DRAMAMINE?"

So I am hoping that now that everyone is a year older, things will go more smoothly. But I am bringing along the Dramamine, just in case.

See you in a few days!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

With embellishments


Flowers - prefelted
Originally uploaded by 3 to get ready.
Flowers, etc., that I made, also to felt, and then apply to hats. I'm having such fun making the embellishments that I thought I'd make several, felt them, and then just see what goes best on which hat.

Have to apologize for the back room-type photos. If I had been on the ball, I would have taken the pictures while it was still light outside.

Still, maybe the craptastic quality of these shots will make the 'after' pics that much more attractive. Hmmm.

Hats


Hats - prefelted
Originally uploaded by 3 to get ready.
Finally finished both hats for Charlotte and Hattie. These look odd and out of shape because they haven't been felted yet.

With luck they'll be cute little hats when they're done.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Boots


Does anyone else ever do this? Go through a catalog and pick out everything you would buy if money were no object?

Well, I've just run up an imaginary tab of $1,879 from the most recent Sundance catalog. And that's only counting boots. Well, and a couple of sweaters and skirts to wear the boots with.

The boots I like are the Harness Boots, the Range Riders (in chocolate nubuck), the Haight-Ashbury boots, in black, the Hometown Hiking boots, the Pompano boot, and the Ruffle Top boot, in both black leather and chocolate suede. That would be size 6 and a half (occasionally 7), Euro size 37, and kids' size 5.


To go with this great stable of boots, I'll be needing a Toasty Tweed or Marled Turtleneck sweater, with a long denim or blue floral skirt.

Now all I need is a home on the range, a couple more dogs, some horses to ride, and an old pick-up truck, and I'll be all set.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Black tie and butter making

In the last 24 hours I have 1) attended a fancy black tie gala at the High Museum of Art (in my experience, the fanciness of which has only been rivalled by our wedding, and maybe not even then)

and 2) made my own butter.

How many people can say that?!?

Tim and I were invited to a special party last night to celebrate the opening of a new building at the HIGH Museum of Art. Not that we usually run in those circles (the Mayor was invited!), but I had a special connection. It was very fun and we felt very honored to be included. We got a special sneak preview of both the new buildings and of the new exhibits. I felt like we were back in the 19th century, with all these landed gentry-types walking around galleries in fancy dress!

This morning, though, it was back to my regular life. I took a 45-minute ride on a schoolbus equipped with both the requisite First Aid kit and Body Fluids Cleanup Kit (whaaaaa????) to chaperone the kindergarten field trip to an outdoor YMCA (why these exhibits were at a Y is beyond me), where they recreated colonial life with people in period dress teaching us about making dipped candles and also butter. We also had someone in period dress (although that dress would be the period 2005 pretending-I'm-a-tree camouflage jacket) dragging us around on a wagon behind a tractor for 20 minutes, so our experience could be enhanced by the sucking of tractor exhaust.

The kids got a big kick out of the hayride, though. And they really seemed to enjoy dipping their strings tied to popsicle sticks into crockpots of different colored wax, and shaking little lidded styrofoam cups full of whipping cream until it turned into butter. The skill level required for the crafts and the presentations were all very age appropriate and I think the kids learned a lot. And of course I got to do it too! Very fun.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Speech Notebook Wednesday and silver shoes

First, our Speech Notebook entry for this week:


And then the shoes! These are the shoes I got to go with my fancy dress for tomorrow's fancy party.


As Tim says, "we're all about the fance."