Archive for June, 2007

Jun 29 2007

baby blanket gift

Published by under crafty,moblogging,photos

I’m always forgetting to take pictures of the things I make, so here we go. Taken with my camera phone RIGHT before I stuff it in a big oversized padded envelope and drop it in the mail. That’s how close I was to not taking some photos.




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Jun 29 2007

singing singing singing

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

I am in the Prince William Chorale, and our final concert is on July 28, in Manassas, VA. We are doing a few medleys of Beauty & the Beast and Andrew Lloyd Webber which are a hoot to sing as well as some american folk songs, pieces by John Rutter, and other beautiful pieces. Our director has opened the Broadway selections (Beast and Webber) for anyone who wishes to join in during the concert and sing with us. It’s a great idea really, everyone knows these songs anyway, you attend our rehearsals for a month, not a big time commitment there, and then get to sing with us in front of an audience in the concert. It’s a good way for those who are thinking about joining a choir to “try it out” and see if they like it, and a great way for us to recruit some members for our 2007-2008 season.

So if you’re in the prince william/manassas area and think seeing “Be our Guest”, “Kill the Beast!”, “Memories”, and “Jesus Christ Superstar” would be a hoot, then check out our Director’s open invitation and I hope I’ll see you on Tuesday at our rehearsal! If not, then perhaps you’d like to attend our concert! It will be fun, and there’ll be a reception with refreshments afterward. Click on the link above for directions on how to get there.

See you there!

-amy is especially good at expectorating

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Jun 27 2007


Published by under daily,gardening,photos


caterpillar on parsley

decimated parsley

Our friends the caterpillars (who should turn into beautiful swallowtails) brought us great joy for a week or two. We would run out and squeal with glee and watch the great plump caterpillars wiggling about in our parsley (the kids were excited too!) They stripped our parsley plant naked, and now we haven’t seen a wiggle from them since.

I feel so used.

(Not really. I’m thinking of planting more just to entice them back.)

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Jun 26 2007

Jocelyn Amusingness

Published by under daily,kids

At dinner.

I ask about her tummy. As in, “How’s your tummy, is it full? Are you done eating?”

She replies, “It’s full mommy! Like when you ATE me and I was in YOUR TUMMY!”

I guess we need to straighten some things out about how babies get into mommies’ tummies. Ahem. Didn’t we have a few more years before we needed to have THAT talk?


Sometimes, when the kids need some motivation in the eating of the dinner, I “talk” for the food on their plate.

“Eat me! I’m so yummy and delicious! I want to be in your tummy!”

Now, let’s not get all existential here about the absurdity of food having a lifelong dream of being consumed.. it just works. The kids will be squabbling, or paying attention to the toy they can’t have at the table, and all of a sudden they’re laughing at the thought of food begging to be eaten and they will start to eat it and make their own voices for the various bits on their plate. I also do this for clothes that beg to be put on their bodies, toothbrushes that despareately need to rub up against teeth, and bathtubs wanting to have kids climb inside of them. To my credit, I have stopped short of toilets wanting to be peed in. SO FAR.

The other day when I was home with Jocelyn I suddenly heard her talking for some “play” food she had “made” in her kitchen.

“No! No! Don’t eat me! I don’t want to go into your tummy!” Pretty much the only thing she left off was the ‘help! help!’ and a maniacal cackle before she pretended to eat the protesting pretend food. I couldn’t stop laughing for 10 minutes.

Ahhhh kids.

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Jun 26 2007

how to administor eye drops to your pre-school child

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

It occurs to me that this whole pink eye situation has taught James and I one thing: How to give our children eye drops with very little fuss and bother. And so, I will attempt to share the one good thing to come out of this mess – our professional knowledge on giving kids eye drops.

  1. First things first. You must acquire some patience. It does no one any good to become frustrated and controlling. Think about it. Much like sleeping, eating and pooping, there is nothing, NOTHING you can do to make your child open his or her eye. If they decide to screw their eyes closed, you are screwed. Totally and completely screwed. And attempting to wrench someone’s eyes open long enough to drop in some eye drops will NOT be the most pleasant experience in the world. You must acknowledge that the instinct for ANYONE when something comes near the eye, is to blink, or otherwise protect the eyeball. When the kid throws up his or her hands in defense, they cannot help it. That is what the brain is telling them to do. And the VERY WORST thing you can do is to get all loud and yelly, and order them to put them hands down, or to stop blinking, or to open your eyes already, dammit! Yes. Not good things to say. Just keep in mind that you have to do this (of course your dosage may vary, but probably about) THREE times a day for the NEXT 7-10 DAYS. If you lose your cool and get your kid all apprehensive about this on the very first day, you are going to be in hell for the next week. Seriously. If you feel like you’re losing your temper, it’s better to take a break, and try again in 10 minutes.
  2. Television. Television is your friend. Lay the child down on their back, so that their head is closest to the TV, and their feet are farthest away. Load up the tivo (what? you don’t have tivo? well, I can’t help you then. DVDS! There we go!) with their favorite show, preferably a new one that they haven’t seen before. Something with talking. Cartoons filled with primarily physical comedy doesn’t have enough to draw their attention (at least, this is how it was for our kids. They love tom and jerry, but it wasn’t enough for eyedrops time.) Their position on the floor is such that they have to crane their neck upwards to see the TV. Not only their necks, but their little eyeballs have to look upward too. If they tilt their head too much so that their eyes aren’t as open as they could be, just gently slide their head down a little so that they have to keep their eyes as open as possible.
  3. Hands can be a problem. They just can’t help themselves from reaching up and blocking their eye from the eyedrops. James will actually lay the kid down with arms at their side, and straddle them gently so that his knees on the floor is holding their arms in place against their body. (Please don’t put your knees on their arms!) I sit to the side of the kid with 1 leg holding one arm, and then i put my other leg across their body with my knee up in the air so that my foot on the floor holds their other arm in place. Just remember to be gentle and explain that you’re helping them to keep their hands at their side. Ethan got pretty good at this by himself so that we don’t have to hold his arms at all, but if he accidently lets his hands fly up to his face, we’ll just have him put his hands under his bottom, and the pressure of sitting/laying on his own hands is enough for him to keep them there.
  4. Now in the beginning, I’ve found that turning the sound on the TV up a bit so it really captures their attention is helpful. (I actually discovered this when I would give Ethan haircuts as an 18-month-old and he was scared of the loud clippers. I’d turn the tv up, and he would forget all about the clippers. I had to turn it WAY up though.) They are very concered about that bottle of eye drops, and they want to keep track of it, and they’re thinking, “I’ll just squint and it will never go in,” but then, “OH! Look at that! It’s Charlie and Lola! Lola is small, and very funny! They have to complete the tasks their mom gave them in time to watch their favorite programme, Space Family Hudson, the Faaa-mi-ly in space!” The louder volume than usual will really distract them and they’ll crane their heads to see what’s going on. Just be patient (PATIENT PATIENT PATIENT!) and watch for that opportunity to drop the eyedrops in. You may have to hover there for 5 minutes with the bottle above their eye, readjusting the tilt of their head, or gently pulling the lower lid down, just waiting for PERFECT moment to drop them in – it’s gonna take a while, and it may take a few tries, just beeeee patient. No freaking out or yelling at the kid allowed. I sometimes have to say, “Look! what is charlie DOING?!” to Jocelyn, as she is harder to do than Ethan.
  5. REWARD SYSTEM! After every successful eye drop (and there will be plenty that just hit the eyelid when the kid blinks RIGHT at the wrong time, or flinches or throws up their hand in protest. Just say, “Oopsies!” wipe it off, and take up the waiting position again.) Where was I? After each successful eye drop, have something on hand for immediate gratification. We use M&Ms or marshmellows (the little ones). And don’t depend on just the treat to be the reward, you’ve got to be a freaking cheerleader and make them feel FANTASTIC. “YOU GOT ONE! GOOD JOB! You are SO GOOD at this! What a big girl/boy! You are! YOU get an M&M! Gimme five!” I can’t stress this enough. If you make this an unpleasant experience, they are going to resist EVERY time it’s eyedrops time. If you make it a big payoff after the yucky part, they will remember and not fight you tooth and claw when eyedrops time rolls around. We always have a little pile of M&Ms waiting for them after the whole ordeal is over. It’s gotten so that Jocelyn will get excited about eyedrops and say, “I’ll get the M&Ms ready!” when it’s time. (Of course, she sometimes fusses DURING, but at least when we say it’s time for eye drops, she doesn’t run howling away from us into the night.)
  6. A little more on the dropping of the drops themselves: I have found that it’s easier to tilt the body at a slight angle from the TV so that they are looking both UP, but also to the side a bit. This exposes more of the white of the eye for the drop. I always try to drop into the inner part of the eye, by the nose rather than into the outer side of the eye. It just seems like the lashes are longer and getting it INTO the eye is just a lot trickier if you’re trying to drop from the outside. Then I change the angle of their body so it’s easier to get to the inner eye of the other eye. This is getting pretty picky though, just get that sucker in anyway you can, I’m just letting you know my preference.

I think that’s it. That’s all my expertise on administering eye drops. I’ll be interested in seeing if a lot of search hits come my way from this post. I know that when we first had to give eye drops, we were totally bewildered on how exactly we could possibly accomplish this. Now, I’m happy to say that we don’t actually have to go through this whole routine each and every time. One of us has to drive to their school to give Ethan a dose of eyedrops at lunchtime and he manages that with very little bother. Today after I picked up Jocelyn’s Vigamox eye drops, I gave her her first dose in the car, with her sitting in her car seat. There was a time when I never thought THAT would EVER be possible. So if you are despairing at the thought of giving your kid eye drops, I hope this helped a little 🙂


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Jun 25 2007

pink eye

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

it is with mixed feelings i am blogging today.

Saturday morning dawned with Jocelyn’s right eye all pink and puffy. PINK AND PUFFY PEOPLE!!!

This makes a grand total of 3 episodes of pink eye for her. Ethan is finishing up his eye drops for his 3rd episode as well.

WHEN WILL THIS STOP!! I can’t help but feel like a failure as a parent. It goes like this. Child A has 5 more days of eye drops. Child B finishes their eye drops and both eyes look great. Child B goes 2-3 days off the eye drops and suddenly wakes up with their eye all red and irritated. We have changed pillow cases every day. We’ve changed towels every day. We’ve neer used a washcloth more than once before it goes in the laundry hamper. We’ve washed hands as often as is humanly possible while not just standing all day in the bathroom with the water running. I’m starting to go a little crazy.

To our credit, Jocelyn has a cold, and has had it for the past week. Nothing too bad, but she’s got some serious snot issues going on. Luckily, she hasn’t been coughing, and hasn’t had a fever or anything. There are usually 2 ways to get conjunctivitis. You catch it someone who’s got it, or you have a cold and it kind of works it’s way into your eye. So it could be that we’re doing nothing wrong, she could have just gotten it because of this cold she’s fighting.

I still feel like shit about this though. And Ethan is supposed to be done with his very-much-a-pain-in-the-ass drops (tobramycin) (must be given every 4 hours, so one of us makes a trip to school during our lunch break to administer them). And I’m totally freaked out that he’s just going to turn up with them again 2-3 days after he’s off of them.

Our pediatrician was closed this past Saturday, so I took her to an urgent care place, who prescribed some drops (sulfacetamide sodium opthamalic solution). Something different than she had been taking before (which was vigamox). We got them and dutifully have been putting them in her eyes, but when monday morning arrived, she did not look ANY BETTER. There was no way she could go to school with her eye still pink and swollen, in fact, if anything, I think her eye was MORE swollen than it was Saturday.

So today, I blog from home, as I stayed home with her. We went to the doctor, who gave us a new prescription (and she commented that the drops we were using wasn’t likely to do any good, ergh), went to target to fill prescription, then drove to the school to give Ethan HIS dosage of drops.

I toyed with the idea of going from there up to have lunch with James, as he did last week when he was home with Ethan, but the Jocelyn was acting pretty grumpy and tired, so off we went home, and I got her into bed for naptime (with no fewer than FOUR crying jags, the poor dear was so tired).

So this sucks, because damn. Pink eye. GO AWAY ALREADY!

However, it doesn’t suck too bad, because instead of trying to work from home as I usually do when I’m home with a sick kid, I am taking the day off. It is so nice. I’m not putting movie after movie in so as to entertain the child while I try to accomplish something. I’m not saying, “Not now, mommy’s working,” whenever the child wants to inform me of inane, but nevertheless very important details,



“I can do a SOMERSAULT!”

“LOOK MOMMY! I took off ALL my clothes! I’m NAKED GIRL!”

“LOOK! I picked out this booger! FROM MY NOSE!”

Now I can actually acknowledge or reprimand these announcements on a case by case basis instead of hoping to distract by pointing out what Cinderella/ Lightning Mcqueen/ Totoro is doing on screen.

When the day started I had grand plans of cleaning the house from top to bottom in this beautiful gift of a day spent home with my offspring, and I did manage to go through a lot of the crap sitting on our coffee table (and under our coffee table) but then the morning gotten eaten up with errands, and the afternoon has been eaten up with blog reading (and now writing).

But one thing I shall be doing. I’ll be donning the latex gloves (because i have very girly sensitive skin) and wiping off every fucking toy and surface with those bleachy sanitizing wipes to make sure no pink eye cooties can stick around to infect my children again.

-amy won’t rub eyeballs with bleachy sanitizing wipes though

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Jun 22 2007

Car On Median

Published by under moblogging

I left work to go give Ethan his eye drops at noon, and passed this on my way onto 66 off the nutley entrance.


I honestly can’t imagine how this happened. Was he on this side of the median and somehow got up there? Or did he come OVER from the 66 side somehow?

Either way. Ouch.That’s not the kind of off roading I like to do.

And yes. How big of a gawker am I to not only see it coming up, scramble around for my phone to snap a picture.. but then post it on the internet.

Like you wouldn’t have done the same.

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Jun 22 2007

father’s day

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,marriage,photos

I waited to relate this until I had the pictures taken and off the camera and uploaded. Yay!

We had a lovely father’s day. The kids got up and snuck downstairs while James and I slept in a bit. I must say, this is the nicest part about them getting a bit older. When they started making a bit of a racket, I got up and went downstairs with them so daddy could sleep in.

We got out the present we had gotten for James and got to work. I mixed up some concret, poured it in the mold, and then the kids got busy sticking glass bead-like things in it, making hand impressions, and trying very hard to distract me so that they could do letter stamps all over the place willy nilly. I, however, used my mom-powers to not get distracted and kept all the words as actual words.

The resulting garden stepping stone turned out quite nicely.

happy father's day stepping stone 2007

I am pretty unoriginal, as this is the same thing we did for Father’s Day 2 years ago. I’m glad I got a fancier kit this time, because in the other one, we had to just scratch the letters into the concret with a toothpick and it really didn’t look that great. We had to embellish everything with paint.

happy father's day stepping stone 2005

I don’t mind that it’s unoriginal and now we have 2 because look at those handprints! We’ll want those later! Too cute!

So we made the stepping stone and set it in a safe place to set for 2 days. After we let James sleep in, we brought him breakfast in bed (poptarts and coke) and all the homemade cards and pictures the kids had made in school.

The sweetest part of the day was after I shooed the kids from basically jumping on Daddy, he turned to me, his eyes moist and said, “I’m so happy we have them. I love being a daddy. They make me so happy.”

We spent the rest of the day poking around at the Potomac mall (legos for ethan, new shoes for jocelyn) and then came home to launch teeeny tiny rockets at a nearby soccer field.

Everyone had a great day.

Thanks for being such a great daddy, James. I love you.


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Jun 21 2007

flowers of various sorts

Published by under daily,kids,photos

All taken in southern Utah, in the La Sal mountains near Moab, or in Arches National Park.

desert flower

desert flower

desert flower

desert mountain flower iris

brother Joe’s daughter, Avery


(L-R) brother James’ son Kirk, sister Susan’s daughter Clara, Avery, Ethan

(L-R) Kirk, Clara, Avery, and Kirk’s younger brother Kade


jocelyn and clara
Clara Jane and Jocelyn Grace

desert flower
cactus flower

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Jun 20 2007

ethan cuteness

Published by under daily,kids,likes & irks

“Mommy, I love you as tall as a CAR! Even taller! I love you as tall as a huge building! I love you bigger than a CRANE! I love you higher than an AIRPLANE! I love you THIS FAST!”

“Pyioung!” He takes off very fast and then runs back LEAPING into my arms. Just think of every cartoon sound effect noise of when someone runs away very fast. That is the noise he makes right before he takes off.


“One hundred and thirteen?” I ask.


He pauses for dramatic effect.


Which is my age. nice that he thinks 33 is higher than one hundred.

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