Little Miss Memory

Claire’s favorite new book is Little Miss Giggles, which I picked up at Target for fun during a normal shopping trip. She loves this little book about a little girl (Little Miss Giggles) who loses her giggle, and her friends eventually help her get it back with a clever trick.

Kit has been reading this book to Claire for bedtime for the last couple of weeks. On the back cover of the book is a list of all the other Little Miss… books. There are about 33 of them in all. Claire likes us to read the other book titles to her at the end (maybe as a way of extending story time!). We read through them all pretty fast now. But last night, Claire decided to read all the titles by herself. She ran through them without a hitch. “Little Miss Bossy, Little Miss Naughty, Little Miss Neat, Little Miss Sunshine…” through all 33 of them.

Claire has also taken to “reading” most of the contents of book herself too, with a few little reminders to get her going after she gets stuck. And this is not an especially short little book. You would almost think she was actually reading, but at the moment she is settling for memorization. She must think reading is hard right now, but I don’t know how she does this!

Waaaay Past Christmas

Claire is nuts about the music to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Really, just crazy about it.
It is now late February, and we have been listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack in the car to and from school every day since last December. Claire’s favorite song is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I know this is her favorite because she asks me to play it every time we get in the car. I also know this is her favorite song because today as it was playing she told me, “This is my favorite song I have ever heard. I really mean it’s my favorite ever!” Claire knows all the words to this song and sometimes sings along, although the words are a little off. Claire sings “Easkon Earth and mercy mile” instead of “Peace on Earth and mercy mild.
I have to admit, this is one of my favorite songs too. It comes at the final scene of the Peanuts Christmas special, where it sets a beautiful, peaceful, and well Christmassy tone.

Claire likes the other songs on the CD as well and likes to discuss the music. She notated that Hark the Herald Angels Sing has singing but no instruments, while most of the other songs have instruments but no singing. She observed that the drums in Christmastime Is Here sound like someone walking in the snow. Her second favorite song is O Tannenbaum, which she says starts out sad but then gets happy. Claire also noted that, on the version of the CD that I made, Hark the Herald Angels Sing comes first, while in the show, it comes last.
Back in December, Claire asked me to burn a copy of the CD for her class at school. Apparently it was a hit with everyone. They even played it into February, although the teacher apparently skips Hark the Herald Angels Sing because, “It’s waaaay past Christmas.”

Mad Rolling!

Between stomach problems and various illnesses for the past few weeks, Molly has not been making great strides physically. She is still a very small baby and mostly lays around on her back. But for the first time since early-to-mid January, Molly has had a solid stretch of full health and good eating.

Last weekend, Kit and I both agreed it was time to get Molly exercising again to work up her strength and endurance. Namely, this means tummy time, or laying flat on her belly. This does not sound too tough, but it is a workout for Molly. She strains and cries as she arches her back and lifts her head to look around. After only a few minutes, she is crying and exhausted, and we have to pick her up to let her catch her breath. Last weekend, Kit started Molly on a really tummy time regimen of three times a day.

Well, Molly’s good health and this focus on tummy time seem to be paying off. Molly hit a major milestone at school today. During tummy time, she rolled from her front to her back, and then again from her back to her front. She even repeated this a few times! She also started to relax during the tummy phase, and looked around and giggled instead of straining and crying. Way to go, Molly! we are glad to see you “back” on track!
todo: picture

Riddle Me This

Claire has started a new game in the car to and from school. She likes to play little guessing games based on letters. For example, today she said, “What’s a park near our house that starts with letter Z-Z-Z-Z Zee?” She says this sounding out the sound of the letter Z a few times, apparently something they do in school. I answer her quiz, “Zilker Park”, to which Claire says proudly, “That’s right! You got it!”  Another good one was, “I am thinking of something that starts with T-T-T-tee, and they have trunks, and there are lots of them all around.”  The answer: trees.

Sometimes the letters are a bit off. One time her hint was, “What’s an animal that starts with the letter L and has a trunk?” I was stumped on this one. Claire’s answer was an ELephant. I told her that elephant starts with an E, not an L, even though the first sound of the word sounds like the letter L, or “el”. Claire was slightly deflated by this but took note and moved on to some more additional questions for me.

You know, spelling really is confusing. I mean really, elephant starts with an E, not an L? That is just not right.

“It” Spreads Again

Molly finally got the dreaded stomach virus that everyone else is getting.

She has a fever and has cut way back on eating. She is often very upset by the sight of the bottle and cries instead of eating, even after five or more hours without food. When she does eat, she vomits frequently, a couple of times a day. If you want to feed Molly lately, you better wear a rain coat!

Note from the future:

We eventually had to put Molly on Pedialite to keep her hydrated and out of the emergency room.  She started to get her strength back and managed a good solid recovery.  She missed a full week of school, including the temporary school closing, and got to know a few different temporary nannies.  After her full recovery, she started eating again really well, or “like a horse” as her teacher put it.

The Scourge Continues

It is not just Molly and Claire who have been suffering from this and that malady over the past few weeks. Heck, even our dog Muffin has it or something like it. She is lethargic and has been vomiting at night! I still keep a plastic bag by my bed waiting for it to hit me. For now, I will happily settle for my constant low-level head cold.
But this is not just affecting our household. Their kids’ whole school is suffering. Almost half the teachers were out this past week, as well as over 30 kids, all due to an impressive variety of ailments. Lacking teachers and students, the school is running on emergency mode, and classes have to be combined. To “help break the cycle of contagion”, the school is closing for a four-day weekend from February 13 to 16. The healthy teachers and some cleaning crew are disinfecting everything in the school from top-to-bottom.

Here is a partial message from Claire’s teacher:
Just want to make sure that you all know that we will be closed on Monday, Feb 16th and now Tuesday, Feb 17th to better ensure that all of our children and staff can fully heal before coming back. There are quite a few different illnesses floating around up there. If you have means of keeping your children at home tomorrow, please do. BELIEVE ME–you do NOT want even the slightest bit of any of those illnesses, the worst of all being the flu. It’s absolutely horrible.

We all want to put the cold, wet, dark, dreary winter of 2009-2010 behind us!

Stomach Virus Redux

The terrible stomach virus is back!

A day after an apparent full recovery, Claire work up once again vomiting. Around 9:30 at night, we heard Claire suddenly crying from her bedroom. When we ran in, she and her bed were covered with vomit. Kit and I went into wordless motion to get everything cleaned and get Claire some new clean sheets. We had the sheets clothes in the laundry and new spare sheets on the bed in no time. Kit slept in Claire’s for a while to help her relax.

This may have simply been Claire’s stomach having trouble adjusting to eating again. Until today, she had mostly been eating very little, and only bland things like plain tortillas. Today I sent her a mostly regular school lunch, including some lil’ smokies, thinking (perhaps wrongly) that her stomach would tell her whether she should eat it. Maybe it did not agree with her after all!

The Dreaded Stomach Virus

Just as Molly has more or less kicked off the remnants of her terrible RSV attack, and she is just getting back to eating and sleeping normally… Kit and Claire have now come down with an apparent case of a dreaded stomach virus, which may or may not be rotavirus. In my limited experience with these things, RSV and the stomach virus seem to be among the worst of the “peacetime” viruses. By “peacetime”, I mean something that does not automatically land you in the
Here are the lowlights of this one:
  • Kit woke up early Monday morning vomiting profusely. She was sick enough to call in sick to work for the first time in memory. When she told her colleagues she was vomiting and had diarrhea, they quickly told her to stay home. They said something like, “Keep that thing at home.”
  • Then on Monday night at bedtime Claire was complaining that she was scared she was going to have nightmares. At 4 am I heard her moan in the stairway leading up to our bedroom, then as I got to the stairs, she vomited all over the stairs and started screaming and crying. This is the first time Claire has vomited since she was a baby, when then it was only ever once or twice. Kit stayed with Claire from 4 am to 6 am while I kept on Molly duty, who was finally just fully recovering from RSV.
  • Kit crawled into work on Tuesday. She took a shower and thought she looked pretty together. At work they told her, in a nice way, that she looked terrible.
  • Claire stayed home on Tuesday, the first time in memory that she stayed home from school. I had to drag poor Claire with me in the cold and damp weather to drop off Molly at school. Molly — miraculously, and for the first time in weeks — was consistently just smiling and happy. At school, Claire waited in the shoe-changing room just outside of the Molly’s classroom while I dropped off Molly, to avoid bringing those germs into the room.
  • Once back home, Claire spent almost the entire day curled up on an inflatable bed in front of the TV in the living room watching The Aristocats over and over. The idea was just to make her as comfortable as possible. She moaned with tummy aches throughout the morning. The aches subsided for the most part by afternoon, when she fell into a disturbed sleep in the living room.
  • Already behind at work and exhausted, I calculated that if either I or Molly got this nasty thing, then it would be real trouble. If Molly got it, I would sure miss another few days of work. If I got it, then I would sure miss work too and surely give it to Molly.
  • Although all the teachers already had suffered from the stomach virus in the past few days, and now Kit and Claire had it, this is when I started my freakish obsession with keeping Kit and Claire’s germs off of Molly. It was a challenge, and my hands ended up dry and cracked and literally bleeding from the constant hand washing. I was also doing endless loads of laundry. If Kit or Claire so much as touched something that Molly might later touch, it went in the laundry. I also disinfected the hard surfaces daily. I was so excited when I found the Clorox. I wanted to kill that nasty virus. I was out for blood, and now I had the good hard stuff. Kit said she had never seen anyone so excited to find bleach.
  • In the afternoon, I had to drag poor Claire through the cold and damp to pick up Molly, who was still miraculously smiling and just fine.
  • Claire fell asleep on the inflatable bed as I fed Molly and put her to sleep upstairs around 6:30 that night. We just transferred her to her bed and let her sleep the rest of the night in there with Kit on the floor beside her.
  • Miraculously, the next morning, Molly and I both woke up smiling and fine. I was keeping a plastic bag by my bed at all times though, since this thing had caught both Kit and Claire with vomiting a fit in the middle of the night.
  • On Wednesday, Claire’s tummy was mostly better. She managed to eat two tortillas in the morning. I stated home with her though because she seemed real worn out and was not eating much.
  • I had a babysitter, Kailey, up to the house in the afternoon so I could get focus a on work for a little while.
  • Kailey handled Claire’s nap. Claire sobbed when it was time to go to sleep, then refused to pick a nap-time story, then the babysitter left Claire in her room sitting up. She peeked in a few minutes later, and Claire had fallen asleep in the a very awkward, sprawled out position with no covers on. Three hours later, after the Kailey had left, I woke up poor Claire to drag her to school to pick up Molly again. Claire would have to wait in the shoe-changing room once again.
  • That night, I told Claire that we would probably send her to school tomorrow, and she went into a rare diatribe about how she hated school and she was really really sick and needed to stay home for five days. She said she really hates taking naps at school because she hates hate hates sleeping because it makes her tired. When pressed, Claire said she liked her friends at school and her teachers too, but she hated school. She wanted to have her friends over to the house instead. I guess it turns out that Claire loved lazing around watching TV all day. She was also very upset that we were putting away the inflate-a-bed in the living room.
  • Claire was still worn out but good enough for school the next day. She protested mightily at first, but once was got there, she seemed happy to be back.