Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another chat with Jonah

I'm still not all that much better today, but here's a little cheerful gurgling boy.

Friday, February 27, 2009

So sick of being sick

This week I've felt a little under the weather, but generally, even when my children are sick, I don't really get much of anything. This morning, however, I woke up with a fever. I think the last time I had a fever was when I was 10 or something. By this afternoon it had gone up to 102.6, but now it's back down to 100.5, so the fluids and the nap I took earlier must be helping at least a little.

On the upside, this dude gets more precious and adorable every day.

(And Andrew's getting to be a better photographer!)

My children are all safely off to bed, so I bid you all goodnight. 8:00PM. This is a new record for me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The little sick people

Today marks day 10 of Elijah being sick, day 3 for Lavella, and last night Andrew woke up burning up with the same fever. They've also got runny noses; when I took Elijah to the Dr. on Friday, he said it was a sinus infection that his body couldn't get rid of and put him on meds, so I'm assuming it's the same for all three of them. They don't ever get sick like this -- it's very frustrating, and a little bit scary for a sickness to last this long. It's also not fun to wrestle people down and shoot liquid, drippy medication in their mouths, but I suppose that's part of my job description. Grr.

I woke up at 7am to make same-day appointments for Andrew and Lavella later this morning. Good times.

On a lighter note, here's pics from a cookie-decorating playdate we had when we didn't realize we were sick:

(Click through for bigger, and then click on the links below the mosaic for individual shots at full size.)

This picture is blurry, but it's too precious not to include -- Heather and I noticed Andrew and Stella sort-of-cuddling while watching a video that day, and this was all that she could snap off before they noticed her and jumped away from each other. So cute. :)

I'm glad that I have the option of bringing the children to childcare once a week, but the downside is sick, sick, sick. There's always some sort of snuffly nose thing going on at least, and this at worst. ~sigh~ At least once they're all on Amoxicillan they won't be contagious anymore and we can go out in public again.

After the Dr's appointment, my plan is to crash on the couch with all of my little guys, pass out the warm tea, Kleenex and bubblegum flavored medicine and watch movies. Already, I can't wait for naptime. (Why did I give up coffee?!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A gift from round the world, and cute Lavella videos

Many of you (all of you?) realize that I knit and spin yarn. What you may not realize is that I am an active participant in the online Fiber Arts community. There is a particular forum that I belong to which happens to house one of the most fun, lovely group of people. Since they share the same interests as I do, it makes it fun and rewarding to check in throughout the day and chat about different things regarding the fiber arts as well as life in general. As we have spent time online together, visiting each others' blogs and commenting on projects, celebratory moments, life challenges, etc., we've gotten to know each other, and have become closely knit, although most of us have never met in person. Why am I telling you all of this? Because, knowing that I would be alone on Valentine's Day, a bunch of them secretly put together a huge box of thoughtfully chosen things for me and the children.

Included amongst the fun were personal notes from each of them telling me how much they value the sacrifice our family makes for the sake of our country, and their appreciation of my willingness to share my struggles and life-journey, blogging, etc.

(More pictures here if you're so inclined)

I am so overwhelmed; I have thanked them all, but it's hard to say "thank you" enough for such a gift. I feel truly unworthy, and at the same time greatly loved. Gathered from near and far, this truly was a hug from around the world.

On an entirely different note, here are two recent videos of Lavella. The first is of her talking to Jonathan on Feb. 8th (during the weekend before my mom and Rachel flew back), and the second was taken a few days ago -- she's singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A post that should probably be full of Valentine's Day cheer

I'm in a little bit of a sluggish, melancholy mood today...I've been feeling a little weird all week since my mom left. With them here, I was plesantly distracted, but now it's very real again that Greg is gone. I am very glad to have the children here though. The challenging and cheerful moments alike make the days fly by, and certainly make life interesting (although of course sometimes more interesting than I'd like).

Yesterday we went out for a lunch date with my friend Becky and her 3-year-old daughter to a place called Brit Cafe at Ramstein AFB for fish and chips, and to visit and knit together. Unfortunately, my children all seemed to have their own agenda, which didn't include "quiet", "visiting" or "eating". Jonah and Lavella both had dirty diapers (just as the food arrived, of course), Jonah had to nurse as soon as we got there, and Andrew and Elijah though it was a good idea to fool around, be wild, and very nearly break the toys in the little children's corner in the restaurant. Everything else was managable, but when the boys began to behave like that, I should probably have just gathered them all and left. It was as though I was in one of those terrible dreams where I'm screaming, but I can't even hear myself, and certainly no one else can. No matter what I said to them, they acted as though they couldn't hear me, and of course it was generally during a time when I was wrestling Lavella to take a bite or in the middle of nursing Jonah.

Anyway, yesterday is over, and the best remedy for a day like that is dedicating the next to cuddling, immediate discipline to any kind of trouble, and careful, specific attention paid to each of them. I know that they suffer emotionally from all of the changes in their lives the same as I do, and I'm responsible to help them through it and guide them loveingly, firmly, and with great patience.

Here is a little face that's making me smile today:

Unbelievable as it may seem, two days ago he turned 8 weeks old.

Lavella has recently discovered dresses. She got this one from Grandma Claire, sent with my mom when she first arrived here:

And this one from Pete and Jill for Christmas:

(She's putting away a bib that she was just wearing -- she thinks that's the thing to do with one after it's been worn, so I have to remember to take them back out when she's not looking .)

Lavella has decided that she likes the dresses so much, that she never wants to take them off. This makes bedtime difficult. As you can see in the above picture, she has little yoga pants and a t-shirt underneath the pink courderoy jumper. This is because she started screaming and flipping out when I attempted to dress her for bed, so I decided there were better things to fight about, and put it back on over the pajamas. Goodness. (The pants were necessary not only to keep her warm during the night, but also because she has a new obsession with removing her own diaper when left to her own devices.)

If I had more time and energy, I'd whip up a few dresses for her on my sewing machine, but as it stands, the thing is gathering dust in what is now the "Wool Room". Perhaps this spring.

Happy Valentine's day to all of you! Many hugs and kisses from our family to yours.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The end of a visit: on my own again

(Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for a little visit with Jonah, if you're interested in meeting the little fellow.)

Today, my mom and Rachel finally had to go back home. Our month long visit was a lovely one. Not only is my mom an incredible cook, but she also continually encourages me and inspires me to success as a mother to my own children, and in the gentle art of making a home; cheering me on as I made time in my day to put laundry away, cleaning a bathroom while I uncluttered my house, giving the children the extra hugs and cuddles they've been needing since Jonah arrived, and taking turns rocking and burping Jonah (who is just now coming out of a fair amount of colic), any many more things too innumerable to mention. To say that she's helped me this past month is an understatement. At the end of every visit that I have with my mom (when I go back to NY for a visit or she comes here), she helps me come up with a game plan to have successful days with my children. Equipped thusly, I feel that I can take on anything.

Jonathan joined us this past weekend, and very helpfully agreed to drive them to the airport this morning, saving my children and I from having to make the trip ourselves.

Here are some pictures from the past week:

After reading Alicia's post here, I remembered that I had some leftover pita bread that I'd made for one of our last meals with Greg. The children call it "Daddy" bread, because I told them once that he really likes my pita.

Anyway, they had a fun time decorating pizzas themselves, and they all had much more enthusiastic attitude about eating dinner because they'd made it themselves. (Hooray!!)

I ordered some things from a British import shop that I've been wanting to try for a while, and it came in time to enjoy for the last week of our visit:

Many scones (from A. Susie's mix!) were enjoyed slathered with the clotted cream, and we found any opportunity to drown things in Golden Syrup (grits laced with sharp cheddar, and a pool of this in the middle. Oh so good.)

I save stale bits of bread from the ends of loaves, etc., and so we took our little cache over to the stream to feed the poor cold ducks (they don't migrate from here because it isn't usually cold enough to warrant it. I think they're regretting their choice this year!)

The walk put Jonah to sleep immediately. (Feather in my hair courtesy of Andrew "You're Yankee Doodle now!")

He's been a rather fussy guy in his short life, suffering from a bit of colic. He sleeps well at night, but it has seemed that he's spent more time crying than anything else. Last week for the first time we started to really see his personality; he seems to be growing out of his digestional troubles, and has actually begun to smile and coo at us. It's priceless.

(This video was taken this morning just after my mom left)