Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Relentless Planner

Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk and my phone rang.  It said it was Courtyard School, which always makes me nervous.  However, Kai had a cough the day before, so I was expecting it to be someone telling me that Kai wasn't feeling well and to come fetch her. 

I picked up the phone and said hello.  "Hi, Angie, this is Chris from Courtyard.  Kailey is wondering if you could bring her violin to school because she has her violin lesson tonight."  I chuckled before telling him that Kai's lesson was at 6:30 so she didn't need the violin at school and that Eric would be picking her up and we'd get her to her lesson.  He said OK and hung up.

Apparently he didn't convey this information to Kailey, though, as two hours later my phone rang again.  "Hi, Angie, this is Moira from Courtyard.  Kailey wants to make sure you know about her violin lesson tonight."

I laughed and told her this was the second call and to tell Kailey it was all in hand and she would make it to the lesson just fine. 

Once at home, I asked Kai what she had been telling folks at school.  She said, "well, I knew we had to get to violin after school and we forgot to bring my violin in the morning." We had discussed her taking it with her, but then realized that there would be time to get her to the lessons coming home first, as opposed to having to go straight from school.  Apparently, we hadn't clearly communicated that change of plans to Kailey, though. She continued, "so, I asked Mr. Chris to call you and then I kept reminding him.  I kept saying, 'have you called my mom yet?' 'have you called my mom yet?' But, he never told me he did, so I didn't think he had called you.  So, when I was in the office during clubs I asked Ms. Moira if she could call you to tell you I had a lesson.  So, she called you for me."

Ahhh... my future lobbyist and organizer.  A girl after my own heart.  I often joke that I annoy people for a living.  Just the other day, I sent my 5th or 6th text to someone at the Department of Social Services about an issue we were supposed to discuss.  An hour later, he called and I joked that he was encouraging bad behavior by responding to my pestering. He laughed and said he was only responding these days to the people that were relentless.

Kai seems to have inherited that relentlessness.  And, it's good to see her staying on top of her own schedule! 

(Violin was good... she didn't get to actually play the instrument.  It was all about learning how to hold it properly, which I think Kai thought to be a bit of a bore.  But we talked for a long time about how important it is to learn the right technique and related it to all sorts of other things in her life, so I think she is good to try another lesson).

Monday, February 22, 2016


Eric got this great picture of Alden sitting with Dash this weekend, just giving him some love before he busied himself with jumping, running, climbing and MOVING.  I love these pictures when you can just capture the sweetness for a minute. 

Alden has immense amounts of sweetness.  Every morning he wakes up and snuggles in for some extra love, rubbing my face and enjoying the stillness of the morning.  It lasts about 3 minutes, and then he grabs my face, turning it to be sure to make eye contact with me, and he signs the word "milk" with a look of total seriousness on his face.  He continues to do that, turning my face back towards him if I attempt to look away, until I say to him, "you want milk?" and then he nods and says, "yuuusssss" glad to have gotten confirmation of his request.

This morning, he shot up in bed yelling, "La La! La La!" That's what he and Will call Kailey.  He had heard her in the other room, and was eager to see what she was up to.  But, as soon as I confirmed that Kailey was indeed up and about, he snuggled in for his morning cuddle before squirming out of bed to see what was going on.

When Kai walked into the room, he ran over to her giving her a huge hug.  Her face burst into a grin, and she hugged him right back.

He'll be playing and stop, mid-action, and run over for a quick hug or snuggle.  We all relish in Alden hugs, asking for them constantly (and he usually obliges).  But the best are all his unprompted bursts of affection. 

He's growing more independent every day, repeating more and more words, trying out expressions and faces.  We love watching him grow and change. But, even as he gets a bit more independent, the Alden affection remains.  It has really been a core of who he is since the moment he was born.  Alden is pure sweetness.  Even the kittens sense this about him.  I would expect kittens to run in terror for a toddler -- but, they let him cuddle up to them.  I think they sense his loving nature and good vibes. 

I wish I could bottle it up -- there are so many times during the day when I just need that burst of sweetness and love that our little guy delivers up. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Kitten Drama

Sometimes I wonder what possessed us to decided to get TWO kittens when we have such crazy jobs, two high-energy children, and house projects up to our ears (more than two, let's just say).  I wasn't thinking that, actually.  The kittens are awesome.  Kailey loves the kittens and has been doing a fantastic job taking care of them.  She grumbles about litter box duty, but she does it every day.  And the kittens nuzzle her and love her.  Alden also adores the kittens.  He squats in front of them and then gets his face at their level (toddlers are sooo flexible!) and smiles and coos at them.  He pets them.  Sometimes he pokes them in the eye or nose.  But, they handle it like champs.  The kittens are super social and sweet and cuddly and playful. 

And then last week happened.  I was coming down the stairs and Kailey said, "Mom! You are not going to BELIEVE what just happened."  I asked her what she was talking about and she said, "Flash just went THROUGH the window."  The backdoor of our house is a bunch of small window panes -- and, apparently, the kittens had been wrestling and working each other into a frenzy and they each took off in opposite directions.  Flash went towards the backdoor which she either didn't see or didn't realize was closed or was unable to stop... whichever it was, she flew into the glass pane, shattering it, and continuing her trajectory into the backyard.  There was glass everywhere, inside and out.  We got Alden in his high chair to contain him and set about cleaning up.  Flash, meanwhile, was hiding under the deck.  So, while we cleaned, we tried to coax her out to see if she was injured.

After about 10 minutes, she emerged and Eric grabbed her so we could examine her.  Kailey immediately shouted, "she's bleeding!" Her arm had a deep cut in it and Eric and I took one look at each other and said, "we need to get to the vet." 

It was nearly 8 AM, and the vet in our neighborhood that has seen the kittens was supposed to open at 8.  So, we piled into the car, arriving at the vet at 7:40 AM.  There were cars in the lot, so we knocked on the door.  Flash's cut was really quite deep and we were concerned.  After several knocks, our vet opened the door saying, "we're not open."  We explained that our kitten had just gotten injured and reminded him that he had seen her before.  He repeated that they were not open and told us to go to the emergency facility that was 25 minutes away.  I couldn't believe him.  I reminded him that he would be open in 15 minutes and that it would take longer than that to get to the other place.  He said he couldn't see the kitten until they opened.  I was really shocked -- as was Kai, who was standing right next to me.  I told him that we would go elsewhere but that we would never be returning to their practice and that I couldn't believe he was refusing to help an injured animal in need.  He seemed totally unapologetic. 

So, we spent the drive to the next vet office explaining to Kai why that guy shouldn't be a vet and what it means to care about one's job. She was appalled.  I guess there are life lessons at every turn.

The place we ended up had the nicest staff and vet -- we've switched our care over to them permanently.  Flash needed surgery and three levels of stitches. She's had to be on bedrest (kitten style) for the last week.  It's cost a lot of money and been a lot of work to keep her calm and away from her brother. 

But, Kai has been so caring of her and so attentive.  So, I guess I've answered my own question -- the kittens have been great for us and, especially, in teaching Kai greater responsibility and compassion (and a little bit about what it means to be committed to your work!)  These life lessons are invaluable, right (I'm telling my checking account that... $700 life lessons.  Oy!)

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Valentine

We've never been ones to celebrate Valentine's Day.  I think it's OK to let a holiday or two slip by -- especially given how we go all out on some celebrations (just wait for the Kailey birthday posts this year...)  But, because of school, Kai is all about Valentine's Day.  Without any prompting from us, she woke up on Sunday morning (which is when Feb. 14th happened to fall this year) and yelled, "it's Valentine's Day!"  Then she set to work at her art table (I'm just going to pause here to note how AWESOME the idea of an art room was for Kailey.  She spends hours at her art desk every day, creating all sorts of things.  She absolutely loves having that space to create her masterpieces.  And, it does contain the mess to some degree -- she's also really good about cleaning things up when asked.  This morning she organized her construction paper in rainbow-color order.  Ahhh... early signs that she's as OCD as I am when it comes to how things should be arranged!)

Anyway, she got to work creating Valentine's for everyone.  She made Eric and me 3 each!

My favorite said, "You are so nice.  You light me up.  You love me and I love you.  From: Kailey.  To: Mom"

She lights me up to -- and she's warmed me to the idea of Valentine's Day.  I love our little Valentine to the moon and back!