Sunday, June 3, 2018

Katherine is FINALLY Three

This child has been expecting her birthday to come every single day, ever since Graysen had hers in February.  She talks about it in the grocery store when she sees balloons.  She talks about it at my house when she sees stickers with birthday things on them - and just any time.  They've played birthday and sung Happy Birthday for months getting ready for this time.

When the big day came around, Emily and Graysen had both been sick, so the small gathering planned for Sunday afternoon didn't happen.  It had really been only a couple of families anyway who didn't need to chance getting sick themselves. She didn't know the difference.

It happened on Monday though, Memorial Day.  Emily rallied enough to hang a Happy Birthday banner, and that was good enough to start the day.  Graysen is heard in the background of one video yelling, "Let's celebrate this house!"

The party/lunch was to be at 11:00, so I stopped by the grocery store and found 3 balloons that she had seen earlier, including a huge 3.  When I drove up and was
struggling to get them out of the car without the wind blowing them away, I saw her run out on the porch and start yelling.  "Mimi, you know I told you I needed balloons, and now here they are!"

Aunt CeCe trying to round them up for a picture.

 Only one of Emily's friends, Jessica, and her daughter Paige, Graysen's "best friend," came over, and it was a lot of fun.  No expectations.  No pressure.

Elise even helped with the music for two dances Graysen choreographed while waiting for the party to begin,

First the Nutcracker.

Then Shake It.

Emily shucked the corn before lunch, and Katherine couldn't stop herself from attacking it like a little beast and chomping on it raw.

Lunch was delicious:  Hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, and lots of fruit - all at the request of the birthday girl.  She also picked the cupcake color - purple with lots of sprinkles.

The girls were playing so well we almost forget the gifts.  The only thing she asked for - has EVER asked for - was a Paw Patrol Lookout.  It seemed big and unnecessary and expensive, and no one took it seriously until a few days before when Emily and I caved.  We were planning to save it for the very last after she had opened her cards and gifts, because we knew after that, nothing could interest her much.

So she started opening her cards.  She managed to open Uncle Alan and Aunt Kathy's and was just starting to love it - soft and furry unicorn with stickers and money inside - when Ryan missed the memo and brought out the Lookout.  Oops.

They had a lot of fun with it.  It does have a lot of bells and whistles - literally - and voices saying things like, "Rubble, Rubble, on the double" and "No job is to big, no pup is too small" or something like that.  The three of them played with that for a long time, and then she was convinced to finish opening her cards and other gifts.

Back to Kathy and Alan's card.  Now she could thoroughly enjoy it - all these expressions.

Grandma and Grandpa Bindert also sent money in their card with a sweet little dress and some socks for Graysen (although Kate claims them).

She got some new Megablocks - princess colored this time - and a school bus - and a few others little things.  She is just so happy with balloons and cake and fun.

Three is a wonderful age, and Kate is a wonderful girl.  Nothing can match a child's innocence and excitement at times like this.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Feeling Stressed

Mike always hated it when I used the word "stressed."  He would laugh at me when I said it.  He always seemed to go with the flow and never get upset, something I really tried hard to do all my life - and failed.

I'm not sure why the sudden feeling this morning.  In the 80's and 90's, when the end of May came around, that was REALLY stress, but I think I handled that okay - just routine:  End of year school parties, finding teacher gifts, dance recital and rehearsals and costume fittings, the GA coronation, final exams, and sometimes graduations.  In 1996, we had a school play with all those performances and rehearsals - plus a wedding and parties and showers and dinners.  And I lived through it, but I was younger.

This year, I have nothing outward stressing me at all, so I can't figure it out.

I know a lot of it is Stella's diabetes thing.  Elise is giving the shots and seems not to be worried at all.  There's so much, and things have to happen so often.  I have to buy a glucose monitoring kit and lancet and strips and all that stuff and measure her blood twice a day.  Yikes.  Stella has had two shots and never turned around, but actually getting drops of blood from an ear vein is just something I don't want to think about.  Supposedly, cats don't have nerve endings in their ears - or did I dream that?

I always put off writing my memories in StoryWorth until the day before it's due.  I hate to start it, but once I do, I kind of get carried away and go off on a tangent.  The question this week was, "What's the farthest you've ever traveled?"  The answer was easy - Alabama to Washington - but then I had other memories I wanted to share.  I think everything I remember and talk about, it's all the girls will know about my generation and the ones that came before.  So sorry I didn't ask more questions of our parents and grandparents.

Katherine's birthday is tomorrow - 3 years old - but I already have her cards and gift and will pick up balloons tomorrow.  Besides Emily has been sick and now Graysen, so the little party has been postponed.  She wants to ride a real train (not Thomas, because that's too scary) for her big gift, but that can happen any time.  Poor thing.  She's really been looking forward to this birthday for so long, egged on mercilessly by Graysen.  They play "Birthday Party" several times a day, so she is expecting something really wonderful.

I have also done this.

That's toward the end of the construction (by me), and it wasn't too hard.  Emily and I gave in.  We KNOW she doesn't need another toy, but this Paw Patrol Lookout is the first thing she has ever said she wanted.  Last Christmas, it was just, "A kitty and a candy cane."  She never has anything she really wants (wonder why!), but she saw an ad for this and absolutely became obsessed with it.  I'm sure Ryan said, "No!"  Emily said, "Hmm.  Maybe.  But noooo."  I knew it was over my budget so I stayed out of it.

Then last week, Emily and I decided to share the cost and have me order it so it stays at my house.  My house where I don't have a playroom and where I have 1300 square feet!  It's just one big playroom anyway.   Graysen and her friend Isabella were here when UPS delivered it, and it passed the play test for them.  Even before I started putting it together, they were pushing buttons and looking through the periscope.  I think it will give Katherine something more to do over here.  She tends to get a little bored at Mimi's house and is ready to go home sometimes before Graysen and I are.

Since Emily was sick Friday and Katherine was at school, we invited Graysen's friend Isabella to come over for a playdate at my house.  They had played together at her house once and seem to get along fine, so we picked her up.  They "chatted," as Graysen calls it, in the car on the way home and giggled and made plans.  Strangely enough - I know they're only five - but they started arguing immediately.  One person would take too much of the stuff and not share - and then someone else would grab and then someone would tattle. There was only one stroller and one bottle, and my suggestions were not that well received.   I think they did pretty well overall, but I'll be glad when all that stuff is worked out - with age maybe.

I let them have a tea party for their snack, and they did love that.

Thank goodness for having a tea set over here.  This was Kate and Graysen's version of it earlier in the week.

So back to stress.  Now that I have talked about it, I feel like I don't have more than I can handle.  I do have to work on my scanner and see why it's not working and answer long-overdue emails and clean off the balcony and get two stains out of clothes and clean the inside of my car and pick up a reserved library book and take a few things to the Food Bank - and, and ...  Luckily, I have some time to do them all.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Things I Didn't Really Want to Know

1.  Just where the veins are in a cat's ear that make it possible to draw a drop or two of blood twice a day every day.

2.  How to inject insulin into a cat.

3.  How much a bottle of insulin costs.

Stella doesn't care much about it either.  She just wants her Fancy Feast Trout and Shrimp dinners back.  But unfortunately, she's doomed to a life of little low-carb pellets and twice daily insulin shots.  Poor baby.

She had her second visit to the vet today, and fortunately Elise agreed to go along and learn how to do everything.  I'm frankly not sure I would be able to handle it.

I'll do well to handle the finances.  All the visits are not free, and her food and insulin certainly are not.  Now I have to buy a kitty glucose monitor and stick (Elise, anyway) her ear twice a day to check to see how much insulin she gets.  In two weeks, she's to spend the day at the vet's office getting glucose monitoring, and I don't even want to know what that will be.

Once the initial expenses are paid though, it shouldn't be a really expensive process.  The insulin bottle should last a couple of months, and I think that food will last for years.  It seems sad, though, for a kitty who just likes to mind her own business to have to go through all that.

I saw a different girl today, and she said, "I understand that you've decided to give Stella insulin, so I'll show you how to get started on that."  I picked up on the word "decided" and asked, "Is there a choice?"  She said very sweetly, "There IS a choice to not give her the insulin, but then she would die ... ."  So that's a pretty easy one to make right now.

I still like learning new things - but not these new things.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Free Day

This is the only day of the week no one has to go to school or gymnastic, so we have the whole day stretching before us.  Winters were hard because I'm not one to get one in the cold and rain just because of boredom.  That's what books and dress-up clothes are for.

Life is looking up now though, because the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising a little.  And Graysen and Katherine are big enough now to walk on their own and pretty much follow directions.  It took a little while to finish breakfast and get dressed, but our plans were to go buy plants, go to the grocery store for milk, and have a picnic in the park - any park.  Let the arguing begin!

I put them in the back with their books and headed out.  Graysen found an old lunch bag in the garage with Emily's name on it that she used in junior high and just loves it.  She said when she got bigger, her name was going to be  Emily.

My plan was to get the plants first before all of us ended up tired and sweaty, but Graysen wanted to find out which park I was talking about "up the hill."  It was Jeanne Hanson Park, and it's the nicest one that I've seen around here.  As soon as we drove up and looked around, Graysen said, "PopPop took me here when I was 2."  She's right, of course, but what a memory.  We both took her several times, just having the best time watching her.  Everything she did was new and thrilling, and we were terrified she was going to get hurt.

So, once seeing it, we had to stay which was a good idea.  It wasn't too crowed and had several sizes of swings and climbing things.

Katherine thought swinging was the best thing ever.  Her little neighborhood park doesn't have individual swings but a big tire type swing.

Graysen did a lot of meditation while spinning herself around and around and staring at the ground.

When did this baby get so big?

We were going to North Bend to get the plants, but on the way through Snoqualmie, Graysen mentioned being carsick and Katherine mentioned being hungry, so I thought I wouldn't go all the way there and make them do uninteresting things.  

I took a side trip to visit these poppies that I saw from the road.  I've never seen poppies too much ever, but these ones were huge.  I talked to the man outside, and he has a huge yard just filled to the brim with flowers and pretty things.  I wish I could have taken a tour, but he didn't really invite me.

Instead of going back home, I took another turn and found a tiny little park about a block from Rooster Valley.  It's on the banks of the Snoqualmie River, and you can sit in the picnic area and watch it go by (if anyone wants to).  We were the only ones there, and they had some interesting and different equipment - a zipline thing and a rocking snail for Katherine.  I had packed a lunch, and we took it over to the picnic tables and tried to eat, but it got too chilly for us.

Graysen needed to find some sunshine.

Next was the grocery store for milk (and 5 other things we didn't plan on).  They do love to go in the grocery store, but Katherine exclaims so loudly about things with such joy that we get lots of looks, pleasant ones though.  They are both in awe that there are so many hundreds of boxes and cartons of ice cream and popsicles and cookies and goldfish, just there for us to grab if we want to.  And they do.

Then we came to Mimi's house so I could relax and maybe take a short nap in my chair while they played.  I wish I had more energy.  They spent most of the time again playing with kitchen items like cupcake holders and tongs and a muffin tin plus way too many pompoms.  They ate another lunch (or snack) a few hours later.  I hope they had a good dinner, because I don't see a bit of green on those plates.


Now all I have to do is drink a cup of coffee and read some before I go to bed.  

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shaping Up to be a Nice Weekend

I woke up this morning and realized Elise was working today.  Not that I don't enjoy having her around, but we both need days to ourselves.

I realized I had missed the actual Royal Wedding, but the replays were fine for a quick recap.  It looked like everything went well, and it was fun to see all the different things people were wearing, or some of them.  I'm not sure why people cry at weddings, except with happiness, of course, but there's just something about two people starting their lives together that make you remember your own wedding day and how the world was about to unfold right in front of you.  I guess the sadness comes in knowing you'll never know that particular feeling again and wishing you could just start over.   I know when Mike and I loaded up that car and headed for Auburn, there was nothing that wasn't possible, just the pure happiness of being able to share everything in life with another person who loved you.  Memories are good to have, to bring out and think about but not long enough for them to make you sad.

It's such a nice day to spend alone, cool and cloudy but still bright.  My few plants on the balcony are needing some sun, so maybe we'll get some soon.  And maybe I'll go buy a few more this afternoon, some herbs and a few annuals to fill in.

Stella is talking this opportunity to stretch out and enjoy the fresh air.  I got a call from the vet, and she does have diabetes.  I don't know what all this is going to entail.  He's supposed to call me back this morning with a plan.  I hope it just involves beginning with changing her diet.  I know she won't like "special" food.  

A few pictures from last week.  I want Elise to drive me around so I can take some pictures of these beautiful rhododendrons I see but can't capture while I'm driving.  

The girls have started looking out for them for me.  

The last one is at Nick Donald's where we went for our weekly treat.  It was so neat that the girls turned down a Happy Meal after discussing it and thinking it through.  I let them see the toy offering on the screen and study it and talk about it - luckily, there was quite a line.  Graysen spoke for both of them in saying, "Why don't we NOT get the toy?"  We then talked about what they wanted from this outing, and they decided in the end to get a milkshake to take home and to eat corn dogs and yogurt and fruit at my house.  Smart girls.  They just like the IDEA of going somewhere after gymnastic but don't really care what they eat.  It's just the experience, which I love.

Emily has been putting out their clothes for school, but she worked really late Thursday night and didn't get a chance to, so we were on our own Friday morning.  Emily likes to get pictures before school, so she got rewarded with these.  This is what I have to contend with for 30 minutes on a school morning.  Clothes.  Socks.  What color bow or just a barrette.  What kind of pony tail or no pony tail.  Brushing teeth and washing faces.  Then whether to wear a raincoat or not.  It's always boots for Graysen because of the barnyard, but Kate likes to be original with her shoes. The only requirement is that she can take them off and put them on by herself.  Birdie shoes this morning.

Smile for Mama.  I wrote Emily, "Stripes, plaids, tutus, and birdie shoes."  I guess it could be worse.  They seem to kind of match.

This is what was happening while I was trying to lure Kate back over for a hair redo.

We have to time it just right because if we're just 5 minutes off schedule, we get caught in one of the elementary school's morning traffic, which makes us late-ish to Rooster Valley.  Kate likes to take at least one "friend" to ride with her and wait for her in the car - some sort of stuffed animal or - yesterday, one of her dad's 1980s wooden Fisher Price rooster from the farm set.   One neat thing is to keep library books in the car and let them look at one while they ride, but they love the morning ride to school.  It's the afternoons that they're kind of worn out and grumpy until they "eat sumpin."

Speaking of barnyards, I finally got a picture of the sheep that ran into us in the barn - or his brother.  I can't tell them apart.  I know one is Lamb-ert.  I'm not sure he appreciated my baa-ing sounds to get his attention and looks like he would love to run us over again.

I'm washing clothes, drinking coffee and doing a little cleaning.  Good kind of morning.