Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chase-ing Rabbits

In the past several years since we've lived in our home, we've seen a bunny or two sneaking around our yard. Usually our dog, Chase, spots them from the back door and alerts us of their presence. Once we even let him loose to chase the bewildered rabbit all over our neighborhood. I don't know if it was more fun to watch Chase go after the bunny or to watch Jim try and keep up with Chase.

Anyway, once again we have a rabbit hanging around our house. I haven't seen him, but I know he's out there lurking somewhere. How do I know, you ask? Why, I have this keen ability to pick up on subtle signs. For example, this afternoon when Chase threw up rabbit pellets all over my foyer, I realized that the bunny must be roaming our yard at night once again. Wait a second.... CHASE THREW UP RABBIT PELLETS?!?! Oh that's just gross..... excuse me one moment... (gag)

Okay. I think I'm alright now. (gag) Maybe just another second....

Whew! Chase has been known to eat (and regurgitate) some pretty random and gross items in his short 3 year life span, but this was just ridiculous. I mean come on Chase! What on EARTH did that rabbit eat that was just SO delicious that you felt the need to consume it after he had?! Unless it was a Great Wall of Chocolate there is no excuse for such behavior.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Book is Always Better

You know how you always hear people say "the book was better than the movie"? Well, usually I just take their word for it though most of the time I find myself thinking, "the movie was pretty good, I can't imagine how the book was that much better".

I don't have much time to read books (or even to watch movies these days), but a couple Christmases ago my sister-in-law, Susan, introduced me to Nicholas Sparks' books. Having LOVED the film versions of A Walk to Remember and The Notebook, I finally forced myself to make time to venture into reading a few of his books. And I loved them, every one. I found myself thinking "no wonder they've made so many of his books into movies!" And then I found out that yet another one of his books, Nights in Rodanthe, was on it's way into theaters. And for the first time, I had already read the book! I was so excited to see the film as the book had been enrapturing and knowing Richard Gere and Diane Lane had been cast as the leading roles made my anticipation even that much greater.

Susan and I wanted to see the film together, but as she was in Africa for the duration of its time in the theater, we both waited for it to come out on DVD. Last Friday night, we cozied up on the couch and settled in to finally see the book come to life. Five minutes into the film we were already feeling disappointed with the "creative licensing" that had been taken in the film version. As the movie played on we picked apart different scenes, discussing how things differed from the book and how they effected the overall story. When the movie ended, rather than feeling the emotion of your standard romantic film, I felt disappointment and frustration. Where was the passion, the adrenaline, the heartbreak Mr. Sparks had so eloquently written?! And why was the story line so altered from the pages to the silverscreen? It had been the perfect tug-at-your-heart-strings tale. And Hollywood ruined it. At least for me anyway.

I don't want to deter anyone from seeing it just because I'm bitter about it. Maybe had I not first read the book, I would've found it to be just another great tear-jerking flick. But if you do see it, read the book afterwards and you'll see what I mean. Finally though, I know for myself that what they say is true. The book IS better than the movie.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Brother

Today is my brother's birthday. He is just under 11 months older than me, and NO we are NOT Irish Twins. Which means that one of us is adopted....

Daniel became a part of our family when he was 2 years old. Therefore, I don't recall childhood without him. In my mind, and that of my biological siblings, he is our brother brother, not just an adopted brother. And so today, on his birthday, I'd love to drop a card in the mail, or send him an email, or even a text message to wish him well, but I can't. I can't because I haven't seen him in just over 10 years. Not that that would normally deter me, but in this case, I also don't have any contact information for him. Over the last 10 years my mom would periodically hear through the grapevine where Daniel was working or living and she would send a card or letter or even wedding invitations for my sisters and I only to hear that after a few months he was no longer there. And it was kind of disappointing. I've been married for almost 7 years now and my husband has never even met my brother Daniel and I long for the day when I can introduce them. I feel like there is a part of my life, a part of me, that Jim is somehow missing because he doesn't know him. But even if it takes 50 years, I know that some day they will meet.

Despite the lack of communication over the last decade, I did learn recently that my brother is married. To say the news came as a shock would be a gross understatement, but I am beyond thrilled to know that he is not alone in this world. I would absolutely love to some day meet the woman who was able to capture Daniel's affection. That fact alone already makes her rather extraordinary.

The story that is Daniel is a long one. One that can not simply be told in a blog. But it is a good one and I still hold out hope that it will have a happy ending because it is far from over. So happy birthday brother, wherever you are.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kyra vs. The Potty: Round 1

Last week Kyra started showing signs that she might be ready to start potty training. On several occasions she would announce to me that she had just peed or pooped in her diaper and she needed to be changed. I began to get excited at the thought of saving money on diapers and decided that we would dedicate this weekend to potty training her. Of course I did have my concern, but after getting advice and encouragement from a few friends I was as ready as I was going to get so I sent Jim out to buy Pull Ups.

First thing Saturday morning we put Kyra in her new Pull Ups and started getting her on the potty every half hour. She was excited about the new experience and would happily sit on the potty. We read books and sang songs and played games and sometimes spent almost 30 minutes at a time just sitting in the bathroom waiting for a breakthrough. But as content as Kyra was to sit on her potty all weekend, she never got comfortable enough to actually go to the bathroom. We realized that as soon as we would put her Pull Ups back on her, she would go potty in them. And it was a little frustrating. For example, this morning Kyra came to me and said "potty" so we raced to the bathroom and I spent 25 minutes with her as she sat on her potty reading books. Finally she jumped up and grabbed her Pull Up and informed me (in her own way) that she was done. I put her in the underpants and then we walked upstairs to get her dressed. In the three minutes it took to get from the bathroom up the stairs, she wet her Pull Up.

I know this sort of thing doesn't happen overnight (or even over a weekend), but I decided that we're going to take a break and give Kyra a little more time. More than anything I don't want potty training to be a frustrating, discouraging experience for any of us so I'm just accepting the fact that the potty has won this round. Although, on a positive note, this weekend wasn't a total loss as Kyra discovered how much fun hand washing can be!

7 months old

Seven months old today.
Eating squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and bananas.
Clapping hands a whole month earlier than Kyra did.
Babbling "da da" with the cutest little voice.
Discovering the feel of different textures on the first tooth.
Getting over the worst cough and runny nose with the courage of a big girl.
Playing Peek-a-boo with a little pink blanket.
Bouncing and wiggling to show your delight with life.
Adoring your puppy and big sister.
Bringing endless smiles to our family.

Love you little girl! You're growing up so fast!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Puppy Love

Kylie celebrated her first Valentine's Day with a present from GP and Grammy:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Time Flies

... when you're sick and planning a huge surprise party for your husband's 30th birthday.

I'll write more about the party in another post, but this one is about how sick I am of sickness. It has been plaguing Kyra and I for a while now. And running hundreds of errands in 20 degree weather for almost 2 weeks didn't really contribute toward getting us back in good heath.

I woke up almost 2 weeks ago with a sore throat. It came out of nowhere. You know how you can usually feel that sort of thing coming on, but not this time. It really snuck up on me and I was totally miserable for a few days.

Knowing that I had a TON of stuff to get done for the party on the 6th, I decided last Saturday to rest my voice as much as possible, hoping it would help me recover faster. Jim did an excellent job deciphering my crazy hand gestures all day and I did feel a bit better on Sunday though I found myself developing a cough Monday morning. Which naturally was the day I devoted to start cleaning the building where Jim's party would be held. The space hadn't been used in years so the heater wasn't on and there were hundreds of cobwebs, dead bugs, and mold spots to help me cope with my physical ailments.

On Wednesday Kyra woke up with a nasty cough, but I decided to hold off on calling the doctor. For one thing, I didn't want it to be another one of those trips to the physician where they tell you you are already doing everything right and there is nothing more they can do and you have to pay $20 for that. Not to mention the fact that Kyra being sick really didn't fit into my party planning schedule. So we went on with our crazy day until just after 5:00pm when I realized that Kyra was suddenly burning up. I took her temperature and it was 102.2. Fan-tas-tic. The doctor's office was closed for the day, naturally, so I did my best to help Kyra ride out her fever through the night, including allowing her to simply lay on the couch watching movie after movie. The next day I called the office 2 minutes after they opened and got the "only available appointment" at 10:45. The timing couldn't have been any worse. I had SO MUCH to do for the party that day and the appointment was set for right smack dab in the middle of my morning. Fortunately Jim's mom came to my rescue and took Kyra to the pediatrician for me. She was showing signs of infection in her ears, so the doctor prescribed some amoxicillin. We are now on day 6 of 10 of that.

As of today, I'm onto the running nose phase of my cold with a side order of loose coughing. Kyra is still coughing pretty bad, but hasn't had any more fever and she seems to be in good spirits (and actually a bit on the feisty side). Kylie has a bit of a runny nose and cough now too and even Jim joined the party last night with drainage and a scratchy throat. Is there an adage about the family that is sick together sticks together? All I can say is that I'm looking forward to Spring and warmer weather!

UPDATE: Kylie's little runny nose turned into quite a terrible cough and congestion. I ended up taking her to the doctor after she started throwing up because she was choking on all the drainage in her chest and throat. Her eyes were constantly weepy and red for a few days. It was seriously one of the saddest things I've ever seen.