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10 posts from November 2009

November 14, 2009

Piggy Flu Vaccine


The girls keep mentioning all of their friends who are absent from school every day.  I guess H1N1 has really hit the Kindergarten classes hard but (knock on wood) we've managed to miss it so far.  We've been really diligent about washing our hands but that's about it.  The vaccine didn't even come to our county until last weekend. 

A friend told us it was finally available but warned us that he and his 7 months pregnant wife stood in line for over 4 hours before she got her shot.  We knew we needed the girls to get vaccinated too but the prospect of standing around for four hours was really daunting.  Our plan was to find the most remote location in our county and go there.  So that's what we did.

Yesterday, we packed our double stroller and charged up our iPod's and grabbed some snacks and headed to Gilroy for the vaccine.  We got there at 10:30 and the line was pretty long but, to our amazement, we were finished and back in our van just 15 minutes later!  They had a really good system in place and plenty of medical personnel and we were in and out in no time. 

Expecting a long wait, we didn't tell the girls what was up until the very last minute.  We were actually standing in front of the nurse and staring down at a huge platter of syringes before Gwen even noticed anything.  When she saw them, she said, "I don't like shots!" and I said "It'll be really fast" and that's when it dawned on her and she burst into tears.  It took most of my strength to hold her still for the .5 seconds the nurse needed to administer the shot.  Maddy was cool with it until she realized that it wasn't just Gwen who was getting vaccinated.  But it was quick and easy and not really even very painful.  Plus, we got to pick a pretty sticker afterward.  We do have to go back in 3 weeks for a 2nd shot but I'm hoping it'll be easier since the girls are finally old enough to appreciate that the actual shot hurts much less than the anticipation.  And let there be no doubt that there'll be some pretty nice bribery involved too.  Yep, we're not above that sort of thing. 

I heard Gwenny playing in her room at nap time so I peeked in and caught her giving a shot to her Curious George monkey.  I returned with the camera and couldn't get her to pose with her monkey/patient but did manage to capture this cute pic. 

So, who's getting (or got) the vaccine?  Anyone know how long it needs to percolate before the kids are immune?   I just hope our luck holds out until then!

November 11, 2009

Our brave little girls!

A christmas carol

Today was a school holiday so we burst forth from the morning in search of exciting things to do to kill an entire day.  We ate a nice breakfast then headed to the local mall where we shopped for shoes (found nothing we liked) then checked in at the movie ticket counter to see if there were any kid-friendly films. 

We've already seen "Where the Wild Things Are" and loved it!  That movie had some slightly 'tense' scenes that we managed to endure without much problem so we were confident we could muster up as much courage as was necessary to see the new Jim Carrey Film; "A Christmas Carol." 

So in we marched, with hearts full of excitement and anticipation and arms full of concession snacks.

I wasn't sure the girls would survive this film even though we've all seen the movie trailer several times and we kinda knew what we were in for.   After all, they're only five years old.  But they were excited to give it a try so I was willing to risk it.   

The movie was AWESOME and the kids did great!  Not a single whimper or complaint even though lots of other kids all around us were fleeing withing the first 20 minutes.  Nope, my cute little girls sat there and munched popcorn and gummy worms and didn't even flinch!   At one point, a sweet little girl, who looked to be about 10, said she was scared and came to sit with us and snuggled up next to Maddy (her mom and younger brother left a few minutes earlier).  I kept checking to make sure my babies were okay -- and they were fine.  As expected.  Trust me, if they were scared, we'd have been out of there in an instant!

Why weren't they frightened?  I guess it's because we've always been really enthusiastic about letting them explore things that other kids find scary.  Around halloween, we let them see and touch the store displays so they know they're not real.  We let them look at all of the costumes up close and we let them have as many night lights as they think they need at bedtime.  If they're ever scared of something, we carefully examine it until they feel at ease.  Our kids happily ride rollercoasters other kids twice their age won't go near.  Always have - (probably) always will.

We've taken them to movie theaters since they were two years old and made the experience super fun by offering popcorn and m&m's so dark, booming-loud, theaters are not intimidating to them.  If they got frightened, we comforted them and would have happily left but they never seemed to need that.  They felt safe and secure and they wanted to stay.

Books are a major part of their life and they know the stuff in many story books isn't real so they can appreciate that a bunch of movie stuff isn't real either.   We even invite them to draw their most crazy looking monster and we all laugh about it! 

When Michael was little, we used to joke around about scary things (while never joking about things that are REALLY scary).  For a while, he was afraid of alligators under his bed so we got a trundle bed so there'd be no room for alligators under there.  If he wanted his closet door closed, we closed it.  If he wanted his light on, we left it on.  Really, I don't understand why some parents decide to get tough on this issue.  No kid should have to suffer alone with their fears.

I had so many fears when I was a child and I wish my parents did more to help me learn to cope with them.  It breaks my heart to think my kids would be THAT frightened about anything so maybe that's why I'm so proactive about this sort of thing now?   

What are your kids afraid of and how do you help them overcome those fears?  I'd like to know because I'd like to have a plan in place if and/or when those scary things ever visit our house.

PS:  Right when I was about to publish this, Gwen came in from playing in the backyard with one hand firmly clenched in the other and announced, "I have a splinter in my paw!".  Oh Lord, please help me survive this insane cuteness!  If I smile any harder, my face is surely going to break!

November 10, 2009

Concrete slides? (and our anniversary!)

I have to believe that the good people who make concrete slides must own a tremendous amount of stock in the denim industry.  Really, they might as well pave these things in 60 grit sandpaper!    But if you've got to ruin your best pair of jeans, what better way to do it than this?

Gwen concrete slide 2009

We took these photos last weekend and I'm finally getting around to posting them today.  I wanted to post a special tribute to my husband today because it's our 8th wedding anniversary but we celebrate our marriage EVERY day so singling out one day really seems unnecessary.   Cute pics of our kids are much more fun but maybe just one old wedding pic to mark the occassion? 

Kissing hand wedding pic

Tonight, we'll have some homemade beef stew and biscuits and then we'll watch Spongebob on Tivo then we'll read a couple of bedtime stories to the girls before tucking them in for the night and then snuggling up together on the sofa to marvel at how blessed we are.   Just like we do every night (minus the beef stew). 

"The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother."  Yep, we're lucky girls!

November 02, 2009

A happy ending

One photo portrait

About an hour after I took this photo of Maddy and the girl puppy in the backyard of our home (yesterday), both puppies went missing.  Andrew found them on his way home from his weekly jog.  We examined every inch of our 5 foot high fence and didn't see any place where they might have escaped.  An hour later, we headed out to dinner and they were missing again.

We looked everywhere but there was no sign of them.  We left our gate propped open and our side garage door ajar so they could get back in and have a heated blanket and fresh food and water waiting for them.  But they never returned.  This morning, they were still gone and we feared the worse.  Three perils that await puppies:  Cold, cars and coyotes.  We figured it was just a matter of time before they fell victim to one of those things and it really tugged on our heart.

Coming home from our local park this morning, Maddy spotted a lady walking two small dogs so I turned the van around and, sure enough, it was our puppies.  I asked her if the puppies were hers and she said they were.  I asked her if she'd not seen the posters we'd posted EVERYWHERE and she said she did but didn't get around to responding to them before the dogs showed up on their own.  She said she'd had them only three days. 

Hmmm..... I found them on Friday afternoon so that didn't make much sense to me but I didn't quibble because I really just wanted these puppies to have a home!   

And so they shall!  A happy ending for everyone.  Especially the puppies!


Halloween 2009 blog

Sir Gwendolyn, Pirate Daddy and MaddyKitty take the shortcut through the a Flickr Graveyard on Halloween night. They're fearless, huh!

Well, not exactly.  Some of the halloween decorations on the houses scared them and they were afraid to approach the door.  More than once, someone was hiding in the bushes and jumped out and scared the kids.  Pretty annoying, actually.  But it was still fun and the girls had a great time!  We used it as an opportunity to meet neighbors and put the word out that we'd found the puppies.  We showed their picture to everyone but nobody knew anything about them.   

We don't get many trick-or-treaters at our house because we live on a street where the houses are pretty far apart and more than half don't participate in Halloween.   In prior years, we've been stuck with lots of left over candy so this year we gave away fistfuls of candy and succeeded in running out pretty fast. Phew!  That's a good thing!

Here are two closeup photos of Gwen and Maddy's halloween costume.  They were sooooo cute this year!

20091024-sir gwendolyn

Maddy cat halloween 005

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