On the Upswing

Well, we’re all getting better, and I’ve recognized (this time) the biggest danger of this stage is going back to “normal” life too quickly.

We’ve all spent about a week staying home and functioning at a minimal level.

We’re all ready to *doing* things. And we can’t yet. It’s tough.

But at least we’re all able to breathe now and feel like we can do more 😉

All the Kids are Sick Today

Melody’s fever seemed to break last night, but she’s still coughing and emotional/clingy today, along with other symptoms.

Elisha has a low fever and isn’t keeping anything down.  We keep feeding and watering him “against orders” because Jay figures if the boy’s going to be throwing-up anyway we might as well make it less painful.

This is a new symptom that we hope doesn’t mean he’s got a different virus. We really don’t want a whole other round rotating through the kids.

Natasha registered a mouth temp of 104 when we took it this morning, but the Ibuprofen seemed to manage it and she’s almost normal again.

It’s interesting how she and Melody seem to feel fevers differently. Melody feels cold and shivery, wanting snuggled, while Natasha was irritable and hot, kicking off the blankets and complaining.

She, too, wanted Mother near, but not particularly to snuggle.

Elisha fell asleep again partway through the morning and while he was resting the girls and I got to play some memory (from some of these printed cards I pasted on purple cardstock) and started teaching them how to remember by cumulatively reviewing after each pair was turned over.

It was challenging at first, because the first 10 or so cards were all different. But that turned out to be a good thing once we started turning over duplicates, because everyone remembered where the matches were.

We didn’t keep score and we helped each other with what we were close to. So it was a neat time.

It was devolved by necessity after Elisha woke up. He’s getting better about not messing up games on-purpose, but now he’ll try to play and confuse things that way (the larger cards cover so much ground it’s easy to mess them up once they’re about half paired-off).

A couple advantages of living near a “real” school.

So we really started school today, complete with a visit to the school library and playing on the playground.

I don’t know how we got away with this last one except it was so warm today we none of us wanted to stay inside, and then my impulsive self said, Why just go around the loop when we could go down the street to the school and play on the playground?

Which, of course, the children heartily seconded.

Elisha learned that he still could move in all his gear if he really wanted to (he had been abnormally passive last night’s and today’s walks sitting in the sled without reaction or attempts to escape).

Once I encouraged him a bit he was all over that equipment and I had the normal mom-dilemma of needing to decide who to “spot.”

~ ~ ~

After not-nearly-enough playing (I was getting antsy with nap-time growing closer and with Melody being sick– though she wasn’t coughing any more), I insisted we go in to visit the library, thinking that, if the administration was willing to share even if we weren’t enrolled, this close library would be an awesome alternate to the drive across town.

I hadn’t brought any ID, so I don’t know what I was thinking, really, but I probably had this vague hope the librarian I used to work for would still be there and I wouldn’t need ID.

Well, I found out today she retired two years ago (oops, I’m behind), but her replacement was a woman I met three years ago and she still knew how to spell my name (!). So I’m in.

It’s a delightful little place with a reasonable variety of books including lots of early readers which is good for where we’re at, but also full of derivative drivel for that level (any suggestions for good ways to say *NO* to the drivel?) .

We brought home some books from there today.

Sign me up for Good-Wife points!

I made Apple Pie today.

We had it for dessert with ice cream and I promised the girls we’d have more for breakfast.

This earns me good-mama points.  At least from the kids’ perspective.

Can’t be worse than syruped pancakes, and is probably better– since there’s more fruit.

Steak for dinner too.

Good smells in the house tonight!

Valentine’s Day, and Other Victories

Jay got all his ladies flowers back on Friday night, so it was really fun they made it to (and through) Valentine’s day.

A few days ago I sent him a link to a blog post under a “For your not-to-do list” subject line.

I thought the post was funny. I never guessed it would actually inspire him to write me a poem of his own. He sent it to me in French and Spanish both. The meaning seemed still fairly intact and I enjoyed it.

He keeps telling me he’ll send me the original…


I noted on my other blog that I was doing really well in the home-keeping department, then the post-ovulatory phase of my cycle began and I totally crashed— physically useless for about 36 hours.

The change was so big I called Jay before he came home to apologize and prepare him.

He reassured me that he wasn’t surprised when he came home to a messy house, just really pleased when he came home and it looked nice.

This is nice on one level, of course, but I had to pretend a pout as he’s been coming home to a clean house more often than not for a several weeks.

I blamed my cycle at first, of course, but looking at my other habits I acknowledged it would probably help to continue taking vitamins and reading my bible.

It’s not (physio) “logical,” but I have tangibly higher energy- and motivation-levels when I’ve read my bible. I remember to read more often than I remember my vitamins, so I’ve seen the difference between the two.

So yesterday, Valentine’s Day, was very nice in several ways.

Having done what I could do (my reading and vitamins), despite feeling *blah* at first, I tackled the house and got a fair amount done.

When the kids got clingy and fussy and weren’t playing together as well, I shifted gears and read with the three of them in my lap for almost an hour.

Seriously. Elisha only got down twice in this time.

Nap went peacefully, and Natasha even fell asleep— with Thorin for her pillow. Very sweet, and *again* I was my most productive with everyone else in the house asleep. Just, it was for life/schooling stuff this time instead of my novel.

I have another pseudo-organizing activity to prepare for while I play clay with the children today, and if it goes well I’ll be describing it later in greater depth.

Have I mentioned that Natasha has been doing “quiet time” for an hour of napping time instead of sleeping? It’s made an earlier bedtime much more natural and effective.

Natasha sacks amazingly fast, and Melody, having no one to talk to, soon follows suit.


After nap we all went to Fred Meyer and Melody got her first panties.

Yes, she’s completely out of diapers, at least for the days.

I asked her earlier in the week if she was ready to go, but she kept saying, “Not yet,” or “Two more sleeps.” Then, when I asked after nap yesterday, she said “Yes!”

In our conversation on the way she clarified, No, she is not a “big girl” now. She is a little girl who can use the potty.

Have I created another literalist?

Then for our Valentine’s Day dinner I made tomato soup (because it was red) and heart-shaped grilled-cheese sandwiches (with a cookie cutter; and everyone still got their piece of crust too). Dinner was very peaceful and sweet with the girls alternating declarations of love for different family members, pop-corn style.

Round Two…

Melody is using the toilet for the second day in a row.

I’m pleased and thankful. And on some level feel a little vindicated (again).

I’ve never made potty-training an issue with my girls, basically making sure they know what to do, and then letting them do it whenever they’re motivated.

I didn’t want to be the one that was trained— that is the kid’s job.

Anyway, I found a stash of Disney Princess pull-ups, and Melody has been highly motivated these last couple of days, wanting to keep the princesses dry.

At least, I think that was the initial motivation, but now that she’s had a bunch of successes, I think she is getting the concept for itself, and is beginning to trust this is a skill she can master.

Medicine Maturity

Natasha has had a cough for a few days, and yesterday it was more persistant.

When she started complaining about it I offered to give her some medicine designed to inhibit coughing.

I went and got it, and when I came back she recognized it.

“That stuff tastes weird,” she said.

I suggested having her water bottle ready for as  soon as she finished, and she agreed.

About four hours later the cough threatened to return.  I asked Natasha if she’d like some more medicine, and while making a face she said “yes.”

Then she asked my to have her water bottle open and ready.

Both the taking of the medicine in the first place and agreeing to take it a second time seem to me to be little milestones of maturity:

Seeing past the yuck! of the medicine (and I’ve always thought cough meds taste *the worst* of all kids’ over-the-counter stuff) to its purpose.