Saturday, May 02, 2009

Kids, Swine Flu and My Hands, Oh My

Corey is continuing his streak of helpfulness and minimally abrasive attitudes. I'm beginning to hope that it's not about a honeymoon, but that perhaps we've hit the right combination of various therapies and living in a home where he feels safe. (I may be a little defensive here, but we were completely safe in our previous home. The only problems he encountered were during those middle-of-the-night jaunts.) He continues to be an amazing big brother to Madelyn, as well as a fine junior pet owner for Maisy. We've had her for a week and he's already given her two baths... on top of the one that the dairy kids gave her before we brought her home.

Mad, on the other hand, is where our eyes must constantly be these days. People hear that her birthday was on Easter and they ask if she's walking yet. Uh... yeah... she started walking at nine months and three days. At this point she no longer has much of that baby way of walking. She's beginning to master the heel-toe, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other method. We have gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. She refuses to crawl up them. She will either be carried or you will hold her hands and let her use your thighs as a head rest as she marches one foot per stair on up, thank you very much; the thigh-as-headrest thing is because she has to lean back at about a 45 degree angle to accomplish one foot per stair. She doesn't mind. It gives her a chance to look up and smile at you. Grandma Margaret suggested that we teach her to go down the stairs backward.

Yeah, right.

Today, for the first time, one of us left the bottom gate open. Each of us thinks we are the culprit. It was a little hectic because we were having my brother's family and our mom over for dinner. I was playing with Maisy when I heard this sound from Madelyn that was not a word, but the verbalization of "Oh, crap. Help?" I looked up to see her trying to walk down from the second step... in the same manner that she goes up. One leg was perpendicular to the ground and then she went over. I was on my way before she landed, but not quite close enough to save her.

Mad seems to like her injuries clustered over a single day, with long respites in between. Today, in addition to the stair scare (she was fine), she experienced these things:

  • Got tangled up with Maisy on the back patio; fell over backward and bonked her head... hard.
  • Purposely put a foot into Maisy's water dish and then slipped trying to make her get-away... twice.
  • Stepped on a book and had it slide so far that she fell down sort of in the splits.
  • Fell while carrying said book, thereby jamming it into her neck.
Aside from the head bonk on the concrete, everything was relatively minor. But by the time that last one occurred, Corey was clearly distressed and said that this wasn't a good day anymore and he wanted it to be over.

Further indignities Madelyn suffered included not being allowed to go outside while Maisy was romping around out there.
  • Sampling a dirt clod and discovering that it's not as great as it looks.
  • Being allowed out, but only while carried because she was in sock feet.
  • Being forced to come inside from her wagon ride because she was strapped into the wagon and that's where her brother and Cousin Sarah pulled it.
  • Sampling a bathtub crayon and learning that it, too, does not taste as good as it looks.
Fortunately the night ended with a few high notes, including having two bites of lemon lavender cake that Auntie Gina made and having the whole family around for story time. They applauded for her when it was over. And of course, there's always the mostly popular (tonight very well-enjoyed) quiet time with Daddy while she settles down for sleep.

Our old apartment was tiny, crowded with our belongings and cluttered. One of my friends who helped us move said sympathetically, "I've heard that larger places are easier to keep clean." I figured she was lying and wondering how long it would be before we trashed the next place. Turns out, it really has been pretty easy. Sure, we have a ton of unpacked boxes in the garage. A lot of them truly are kitchen items. Most of the cupboards are bare because I still haven't gotten back on the painting, and who wants to set up the kitchen twice?

***Niece Sarah loves the color, by the way. Yeah, she's cool. Super cool, in fact. She attends a performing arts magnet school for theater arts. They are performing Rent next months. This video was taken four days after the parts were cast. I know it's mature subject matter, but she can handle it; she's grown up with my brother. Sarah is the one in the dark jacket. The video quality is poor, so she mostly doesn't seem to have a face and then appears to have a moon face. In fact, she's quite lovely.

My point about our old place was that our new place didn't take that long to get ready today, aside from food prep and laundry, most of the tidying has been maintained. One of the bonuses about having guests (even Bro's family, for whose visits I feel almost no stress) is that I can convince Tom to get something else done before they arrive. Today it was the kids' shower curtain rod. Of course it's only important to Corey, since Mad is a bath girl. Poor guy hasn't had a bona fide shower since we moved in. Thankfully he doesn't mind baths. Tom had a lot of trouble with the shower curtain rod. It's a curved one, and anchoring it well took three or four trips to Home Depot. Corey could take a shower at home tonight, except that he went home with Grammy so he can go to church tomorrow (ahem... and play computer games at her place, let's be honest, shall we?).

While Tom did the shower curtain bar, I prepped the marinade for the chicken. It was a new recipe for Beer Lime Grilled Chicken that I'd gotten from an email yesterday.

You know how the news is all about washing our hands in warm water with lots of soap for at least 20 seconds because of Swine Flu? And how moms of babies may wash their hands more than other people because of diaper changes, etc.? And people who have a dog with round worm may be especially vigilant about soap and 20 seconds? And how no matter how bold the lettering on the pump declares that it's moisturizing, in fact it will dry your hands faster than anything else out there?

Imagine sticking those hands into marinade that included the juice from about six limes.

Yeah, that hurt! Still hurts.

I took part of a CPR/First Aid class yesterday (it was a crap class, so I left). The instructor did make one good point about why we should all use gloves when dealing with another person's bodily fluids: You probably aren't aware of every tiny little cut here or there. I guess she was right, but I can identify most of them now! My goal between now and Monday night's sign class is to constantly moisturize so that the raw meat look goes away, or at least starts to get better.

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