January 31, 2006

Level 5

Kulia's fever has broken and while she is still drooling and gnawing away, she is much happier. We went from a level 11 to level 5. It sure is wonderful to have my sweet baby (mostly) back.

Her latest trick is to balance. She loves to stand on her own with these big wide eyes. And when she gets it just right and stands, she starts to laugh hysterically which, of course, throws off her balance and down she falls. She is so proud of her new found trick. Everyday she stands for longer and longer periods on her own. I'm afraid walking is right around the corner.

One trick I like to pull is the Patches test. Kulia has this little snuggly Pooh blanket we've named Patches. It's about the size of a napkin and is furry soft on one side and satiny smooth on the other. Kulia adores Patches and snuggles it during every nap. I've discovered that Patches is the ideal way to test Kulia's sleep state. She'll be crawling around wrecking everything in sight. When I can guess her path, I'll throw Patches in the line of crawl. If she is nice and awake, she'll crawl right on by without missing a beat. If, however, she is sleepy, she will immediately throw herself face down on Patches, grasp a good handful and stuff it, and her thumb, into her mouth. The amount of time she spends face down on the floor is directly proportional to her sleepiness. A quick grab and rest means she's tired but not quite ready while a prolonged Patches snuggle means it's time to get her crib ready. It's quite hilarious to see her plop down and snuggle away in mid-crawl.

Her newest game is drop. I believe she is discovering gravity and is quite amused. If she gets fussy sitting on my lap I will give her some toy to rattle or shake. Once that no longer grabs her attention, she will purposely lean over and drop the toy on the ground. She will stare at in on the ground for a while, drool flowing freely from her mouth and then reach for it an grunt. This is my cue to bend over, pick it up, and give it back to her. Rattle, drop, dool, grunt. And repeat. We can play this game for up to 20 minutes at which point my back starts to hurt. I'm not sure how long Kulia could go. Probably hours.

Well, Leina is up and yelling for me. Just my luck, she's decided to skip her nap today. Yipee! A cranky two year old and it's pouring rain outside! If I'm really lucky, Kulia will wake early and then I can add a teething toddler to the mix! Motherhood, ain't it grand!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2006

Family Portrait

If you took a family picture of us right now, it would look something like this.

Kevin would be handing onto a tree branch by the utmost tip of his fingernails. I would be dangling beneath him, holding onto his left shoe which is slowly slipping off. Kulia would be clasp in one arm, head thrown back, bright red and screaming for all her might. And Leina? She would be dancing away on the branch happy as a clam.

Last night was horrible. Awful. Worse than any an memory. Kulia slept in 20-45 min intervals all night long. She's running a fever and melts down at the drop of a pin so I'm guessing it's her teeth. All I know is I have never been this tired and I hope to never be this tired again. I just left her room after holding/nursing/rocking/bouncing/patting her down. And she screamed bloody murder the entire time. I'm thinking this does not bode will for sleep tonight.

Of course, Kevin has to go to work tomorrow. I feel sick just thinking about facing tomorrow alone. Kulia is in horrible pain and lets the world know and I feel so useless and wasted because there is nothing I can do to comfort her. My eyes hurt from lack of sleep and all I want to do is curl up into a ball myself and weep until I pass out but everytime I try and begin to curl up, Leina runs up to me and gives me a big hug and a kiss to make me feel better.

Of course, she then demands that I play chasing/running/jumping games.

Lord give me strength.

I don't remember Leina having this hard of a time. But maybe she did and I simply forgot. Some things you are not meant to remember and I fervrently hope that next week, I'll say "crying, what crying? Kulia is an angel!"

But for now, I only hope she sleep. Please baby, just sleep.

Posted by Chrissie at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2006

A Bottle of Wine

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road. As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car. Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

"What in bag?" asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, "It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said...

"Good trade."

Posted by Chrissie at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2006


I had to re-install our stair gates because Kulia has mastered the art of climbing up stairs.

Yes, when most normal 7 month old children are still mastering sitting and crawling, my wild child decides to tackle stairs. She can climb up our entire flight of stairs in a heart beat. Of course, she also tries to sit down, turn around and eat every piece of dog hair and stair dirt she can find. Sigh. I've decided I'm going to order a baby shirt for her that reads "NO FEAR" because this child is unreal.

The sun is shining brightly today so I took the girls outside to play. Kulia was not amused by the cold concrete and would cry every time she tried to crawl around. Poor girl. She is teething something awful and is only happy when distracted and/or has something to gnaw on. Thank goodness for pretzels! If the girls wake early, I think we'll trek on down to the park to play. When a day like today comes along, us Oregonians jump up and run outside no questions ask. Makes me believe that spring is right around the corner....

Posted by Chrissie at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2006

Catching Up

I need to start blogging hourly. Or possibly minute-ly. (Is that even a word?) My girls are doing such truely amazing things that I know I'm going to forget.

Like what?

Leina had her first overnight at Papa and Manny's house and loved it. Kulia discovered our windchimes and her face lights up every time they make music. Leina got her first haircut and now insists on giving everyone else trims multiple times a day. Kulia loves to walk along the edge of our sofa now and tries to stand unassisted. This list goes on and on and on.

It's almost too much, really. I'm so wonderfully happy watching them grow and change. Seeing them begin to interact and play together is a special treat. Leina is a great big sister and has infinite patience. Kulia adores Leina and follows her around with a determined crawl. And they actually play together! Ok, there's some squabbeling and toy fighting but that's to be expected. But it's all erased when Leina shares a toy with Kulia and Kulia breaks into this huge smile because she just loves Leina to pieces and then Leina, touched by the smile, reaches over and hugs Kulia unprompted saying, "I love my baby sister." It's too much, I tell you, too much.

I guess I'm just hiting the pay-off. I knew I wanted to give Leina a sibling. I knew it would help her learn important life lessons like sharing and caring. I just didn't realize how soon that sister bond would start to form. I thought Leina would just ignore Kulia for the first year or so and I had no idea what an influence Leina would have on Kulia. But there it is. They are already sisters through and through. My girls. How I adore them both!

Posted by Chrissie at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2006

They're Gone

Well Papa and Tutu have only been gone 36 hours and they're already sorely missed. Kulia keeps looking around for her "distraction action" from Papa and Leina keeps going, "who will play with me?" And I keep going, "who will do the dishes!"

Luckily though, I checked Tutu's suitcase just before she left and look what I found her trying to sneak back to LA:

Better luck next time Tutu!

Posted by Kevin at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2006

Run with Tutu arms!

Leina is always coming up with new games for us play. They are usually quite involved and require a very explicit set of instructions from Leina. Here’s one example:

“We’re going to play Timberwolves! Daddy, you will lie down over here on the pillow – not the green pillow the white pillow Daddy. And I will lie down over here and put the covers over my head and when I say, ‘Timberwolf!’ you will say, ‘stop Timberwolf Leina is hiding and you can not eat her so go downstairs and eat leaves.’

And so on and so on.

If you do not follow the ‘rules’ exactly as laid out by Detail-Girl you court serious screaming.

I notice that Chrissie doesn't indulge Leina as much as I do in this crazy endeavor so I typically get the zaniest ideas that go through Leina’s little mind. I don’t really mind this though since spending time with my loveable – yet wily – daughter is most precious to me.

This week, though, it was Papa who bore the brunt of Leina’s games. Lately she’s been into playing “chase.” In this game Must-Be-Done-My-Way-Girl chases you and around the upstairs (or downstairs) while you scream: “Leina’s chasing me!” or some other expletive commanded by you know who. Now Leina’s legs are relatively short to a Daddy’s so when we play this game I always slow down the pace a little and just ‘pretend’ to run fast. What I didn’t realize was that I mimic a certain grandma’s gait a little too much.

So the other day Leina wanted Papa to play Chase™ and obligingly he took off with Leina a couple steps behind. But, unfortunately for Papa, he didn’t run with “Tutu arms.” He tried and tried to mimic Tutu’s look – of curling her arms to her chest and just moving them up and down a little bit – but no matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t pull it off. Once Leina was suspicious of Papa’s running style there was no hope for him. No matter how close he came to ‘running with Tutu arms’ (and he did get the look down after a while) it wasn’t good enough for Commander-in-Chief-Girl. She was done with Papa and Chase™. Poor Papa maybe you’ll catch a break next game.

Posted by Kevin at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2006

Seeing Santa

I know the Christmas has passed but I wanted to get this memory down before it fades...

It was 2 weeks before Christmas and Chrissie was out shopping so I decided to take the girls to see Santa Claus as he arrived, by helicopter, at the local mall parking lot.

I met up with the family of Chrissie's good friend Liza and after spending sometime cruising the local toy store we all headed over to Santa's landing pad. We'd gotten their in case there was a large crowd and Leina, who had been very excited to see Santa this morning was become more and more frustrated as wait continued. She was now beginning to think this whole trip was just an excuse to let Dad play with in the toy store.

So I picked her up and now had the small kid in the backpack and the large one in my arms. Santa soon arrived, just as foretold, and he immediately jumped out of his helicopter (he wasn't driving) and proceeded to greet kids at the other end of the line. Both Liza and I were very disappointed at this. After watching Santa meet 'n greet all the excited boys and girls across the parking lot I calculated it'd take an hour for him to get over to us. Leina was not going to make it that long - she wanted Santa now!

So Liza and I - cunning parents that we are - bustled the kids out of the line and stealthy cut in at a much close part of the line only a few minutes from Santa. I'm sure there were some cross parents at our presumptuousness but I'm sure once they heard Leina pining for Santa Claus they cut us some slack.

By this time though Leina was getting very agitated. She wanted Santa but she was tired and hungry. We'd been practicing what she was going to ask Santa for all morning but as he got closer and closer to her she started to freak out. As he finally made it to us she burst out in tears and cried, "I'm scared of Santa Daddy!!"

So there I was holding this wailing child who had waited so long to see Santa but just couldn't handle it anymore. The Santa was a great guy, he laughed and joked but just couldn't get Leina to stop crying. Finally I said, "ok Leina let's go, say bye bye to Santa."

In one instant, just as I turned to leave, she stopped crying, looked at Santa and yelled, "JACK-IN-THE-BOX" as loud as she could then burst back into tears.

The Santa must have jumped back a foot and just laughed and said, "I know what you want for Christmas little one! Ho Ho Ho."

So, mission accomplished. Leina got to let Santa know what she wanted for Christmas - tears and all.

From the pictures below you can see that Santa delivered

Posted by Kevin at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)