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!
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.”
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!
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.
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.
It is not just Molly and Claire who have been suffering from this
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!
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!