Monday, June 22, 2009

I could see this coming a mile off

Mietta has been poorly for the last five days. She started to come down with something while we were in San Jose (California) and has had a temperature, been sleepy and irritable (not at all like her), with very little appetite. Poor darling. We arrived home very early Sunday morning, so this morning was the first opportunity to take Mietta to the doctors. Paul took the boys to the park while I went to the surgery. 

As I came home and parked the car, I saw the boys on their way home from the park - obviously returning from the local supermarket. Nic announced that they had bought grape popsicles. I raised my eyebrow and Paul explained that these were a treat for Nic, who had injured himself by doing a (poor) Superman imitation and flying off the swing at its highest arc. Paul was amazed that Nic had not broken anything on impact with the ground, and had made the popsicle promise as a means of placating a tearful swing-victim. 

Now, all mothers out there would immediately realise the error in this promise. In fact it took only a minute for Luc to fall over his feet in the alley and demand a popsicle treatment (only he wanted coconut).  

I was folding washing in the laundry after the boys had gone to bed this evening. Nic, not wishing to stay in bed, asked for a glass of water. I gave him some water. A few moments later he returned, complaining about a sore back. My immediate thought was that he had a toy in his bed and had laid on it. No. His back was sore. He was uncomfortable. I started with the sympathies when his face brightened and he said “I’ll go and get a popsicle...” ahhhhhh!  

Photo: Kids hanging out in downtown San Jose

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So... where did May go?

Where has this year gone so far?!?! We are already half-way through 2009 and it seems as if it only just began. We seem to have been really busy... I’ll try and recap a little. 

In early May we had a shock when Luc had a surprise attack of croup. This saw him waking at around midnight, not being able to breath, and panicking. We had no idea what was happening - we thought perhaps an asthma attack - so Paul called 911. Within a matter of minutes, the fire brigade had arrived with attending paramedics. They brought Luc oxygen and made a rapid diagnosis. When an ambulance arrived, Luc and Paul went to hospital.
Of course, the rest of us were running on adrenalin and could not sleep. The whole neighbourhood was aware of some event with a fire truck and ambulance outside our building, blocking the narrow one-way street. Thankfully Luc was given the all-clear and he and Paul could return home within a few hours. 

We had a visit from Rowan and Shirley over the Memorial Day weekend - a certain deja vu as they had spent this weekend with us three years ago - just after we had arrived in Chicago. To mark the event, Paul bought us all tickets to the ‘Bike the Drive’ bike ride along Lakeshore Drive. This made a couple of exhausted guests really happy to get up at 4 in the morning and have to ride bikes some 20 miles! This was the first year that I had done the ride and I started off with Mietta in the baby seat. Nic was in the bike trailer behind Paul, and Rowan towed Luc on a ‘tagalong’ bike. It was a sensational ride to the Museum of Science and Industry, shared with thousands of other riders. We had a bite to eat at the Museum before heading north.... and finding a rather strong headwind. This made the ride tough. Poor Paul was now towing Nic and Mietta with gusty winds catching the trailer and pulling him south while he was attempting to go north. Thankfully Paul (with bike-ready legs) was doing the hard work! 

Nic has a penchant for mayonnaise. He also loves pickles, capers and cornichons. I was a little surprised when he recently requested a peanut butter, mayonnaise and caper sandwich, with cornichons on the side. I made a small sandwich for him, and was astounded when he finished it and requested a second! 

Luc has added another couple of prongs to his future occupation as an artist: a daddy, and a doctor. Just yesterday he added a ‘store-owner’ selling ‘treats’ (namely mango icecream). Luc’s artistic skills are amazing. He draws everyday and his drawings are becoming more and more detailed. He likes writing stories and will illustrate pages and pages, making up elaborate tales. He has asked us to write the commentary in some of these. I bought Luc a stapler so he was able to bind his stories. I was a little shocked when he requested more staples a day later... only to find he had used about 50 staples to bind one story! I explained that perhaps, three staples were enough per book. I love the exclamation he uses in his stories: “What the holey moley heck!” Luc recently used his drawing to express his emotions: He asked me what my ‘unfavourite’ things were. I racked my brain and came up with several items including: dirty nappies, slimy worms [based upon Luc’s suggestion], burnt dinner ..... a couple of minutes I was presented with a drawing of all these - as a sign of Luc’s unhappiness with me - and obviously designed to make me ‘suffer’ ;-)
Luc was discussing numbers and mentioned the number ‘hot dog’. I told him “There is no such number as hot dog!” He replied “But pi[e] is a number.” 

Mietta is 9 months old today. She continues to be such an endearing and charming little girl with a lovely smile and cheeky disposition. People continually offer to take her off our hands to cuddle her. Mietta has 6 teeth with another couple almost ready to come through. Despite getting around very quickly and efficiently crawling, Mietta is very keen to be on her feet and pulls herself up against furniture, family members, anything she can. It wont be very long until she stands without any support - she is almost there. Mietta is also happy to ‘walk’ on her feet while holding our hands. Mietta’s favourite foods include: melon, raspberries, blueberries, asparagus, mushroom, rhubarb, corn on the cob... she has enjoyed chicken tikka, ribs, lentils, steak... basically anything we eat. 

Luc has finished school for the year and Nicolas finishes on Wednesday. Now we face a loooong summer vacation - until the boys start back at school in September. We have a couple of trips planned. First we will be visiting San Francisco and San Jose while Paul attends a conference. A road trip to Virginia is also slated for later summer. 

We are sad as our good friends are moving away - this Saturday! We will be saying goodbye to James and William and Gabrielle and Craig as they move to Vienna, Virginia after their vacations in South Carolina and upstate New York. The ‘girls’ got together over brunch on Sunday to wish Gabrielle goodbye - at the favourite North Pond restaurant. We will really miss our Australian connection / school buddies / maternal confidant. We are trying to get in as many playdates as possible before they leave - but the weather is hampering our efforts to go on picnics and play in the local parks. We visited the Chicago Institute of Art yesterday, the Nature Museum and Lily Pond today

Photo: Mietta plays with William. These two adore each other and are sure to miss one another.