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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

From a young(er) age, Kathleen has enjoyed music. When I turn on the stereo, a look of joy comes to her face, and she immediately begins directing the music and exclaiming, unintelligibly, how much she likes a particular piece.

As many children do, Kathleen has acquired various objects from the around the house as hers - an old soda bottle, various measuring cups, my brush when she can get it, and most recently, Brandon's pocket hymn book and children's song book. She enjoys walking around the house with the hymn book in one hand, held out in front of her, and waving the other hand while 'singing.' As she can't talk and can't carry a tune, her singing consists of long tones usually beginning with low-a-low-a-low or wal-a-wal. However, she doesn't seem to know the difference, and it amuses her, so we'll worry about the words later.

In addition to her own singing, Kathleen also enjoys Brandon's and my singing. Often after singing a song of her own, she will force the hymn book into our hands and insist that we trade songs. Being a smart mother, I've begun to employ songs to keep Kathleen content while working on some of my own pursuits that don't involve reading her endless repetitions of Mother Goose.

One morning recently, Kathleen was fussing again, and I wasn't ready to feed her lunch, so I started singing. We began with such classics as "Once There Was a Snowman," "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" (at this point wishful thinking), and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Having exhausted the supply of short songs, I moved on to the longer "The Ants Go Marching" (we made up to fifteen before I couldn't make up any more rhyming words) and "This Old Man" (repeated twice). Following the singing, Kathleen brought me Bill and Pete, which I repeated to her from memory, while she kept turning the pages, looking for where we were in the story.

As it still wasn't time for lunch, and Kathleen started threatening with Mother Goose (of which half of I do have memorized), we started one last song, guaranteed for at least 20 minutes of silence from Kathleen: "99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall." We made it to 45 bottles before lunch.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm told that with age comes wisdom. Or at least change. As a teenager, I would unequivocally declare that I didn't believe in exercise. Upon seeing a runner on the street, thoughts of what kind of sick person they were came to my mind. After entering BYU, I amended my policy somewhat, and would work out with my friend Amber twice a week. But it was only weight lifting, and we would go eat lunch at the Cannon center previously.

My sophomore I stepped it up and did kickboxing at my apartment complex, but after attempting running, I gave it up, because I'm not a runner. However, that summer 8 pounds in a month intervened, and running was interspersed with swimming. So, grudgingly, I became a runner. But with conditions:
1. No running when the temperature drops below freezing
2. No running in the rain
3. And absolutely no running in the snow

This past month and a half has been filled with both below-freezing temperatures and snow, and I have not been seen on the streets of Springville. However, recently the snow has finally ceased its falling, and the sidewalks have been somewhat cleared. And even I have been excited to go running. Except for condition number 1. The cold.

To say that it has been cold recently would be an understatement (at least for me). It has been so cold that even Brandon who never complains of the cold has complained of it being chilly. Inside. Our dining table sits in a corner that has a window and is composed of two exterior walls, and one can feel the cold radiating off the walls as one eats. It doesn't make for a very pleasant dinner.

But it doesn't look to be getting any warmer, and I'm certainly not getting any less pregnant, so this morning Kathleen and I took the plunge. I put on two pairs of running tights, two fleece jackets, a neck gaiter, and earband, and gloves. Kathleen had on gloves, a fleece cardigan, her coat, a scarf, and her hat. Once we got outside I wrapped her up in two fleece blankets, and a big quilt for extra measure. At the point, when it started snowing, it wasn't worth undressing and going back inside, so we went running. In 10 degree weather in the snow.

I think that perhaps age only brings insanity.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why I'd Like to Move to the South

I would like to move to the South (or anywhere else that relies on the solar method of snow removal, or ever better, anywhere that doesn't see snow) so that I wouldn't have to shovel snow when I'm 4 1/2 months pregnant.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Impeccable Timing of Children

My parents love, as many parents do (I think as their own form of revenge for various humiliations at the hands of their children), telling a story of me as a child. One winter while shopping, they made a stop at the jewelry counter in Bloomingdale's. At the time I was an infant, and my older sister Brynn old enough to speak but not old enough to understand discretion. Due to the leaky nature of cloth diapers, I am alleged to have had... rather unsavory things... running down my legs onto the white marble floors. My sister, eager to point out my act, loudly announced to all within earshot that I had pooped on the floor. My parents, having no other recourse, beat a hasty retreat.

Often there is a debate among parents which accidents are most horrifying and difficult to clean up. Personally, I find vomit most disgusting, but as of a few days ago, had had no first-hand experience with anything beyond heavy spit-up.

New Year's Eve, I have realized, is a holiday for single people and drinkers. Parents, especially those of young children, mostly have no part and are more than happy to go to bed, roll over in the middle of the night, and mumble a Happy New Years, if that much cognizance is present. Having no desire to stay up, but always willing to make a party of things, Brandon and I had a modest party with my cousin Mark and his wife Melodie, who have no children and are always great to invite over. 'Modest' being a deceiving word, and having evidently forgotten the preparations for recent dinner parties and Christmas dinner, Brandon and I spent all day (but only one day this time!) preparing various "small bites."

Dinner was much enjoyed, followed by Boggle and Yahtzee, all to the accompaniment of some nice jazz. Kathleen I am sure dreamed of being in a dicing parlour.

Following fond farewells around 10:30 (we were celebrating the New York New Year), Brandon and I checked on Kathleen, only to discover her face-down in the remains of borsch, having completely soaked all her blankets, her clothes, her sheet, her mattress pad, and her hair, which had by this time dried in spikes.

So indeed we did celebrate New Years in Mountain Standard Time, but I don't think there was much romantic kissing the New Year in, perhaps just a very tired peck.

Having no further symptoms the following day except a reluctance to eat, we scratched our head and did nothing, as Kathleen has shown no inclination to let fall anything from her lips that sounds like English words, and cannot describe any feelings of malaise to us.

Upon waking her from a nap on Wednesday with a loaded, liquid diaper followed five minutes later by evacuation from the other end, we realized that in fact, something was up. A difficulty of having non-communicative children is that, well, they don't communicate very well, including communicating when they don't feel well.

Which returns me to my original subject, that of the timing of children. Not only did Kathleen become sick(er) on Wednesday, but I also had my long-awaited ultrasound. Ultrasounds are supposed to be exciting, the time when you start calling your unborn baby by its name, when you start making plans for games of catch, or polite tea parties. And it was exciting and amazing to see our baby kicking around, moving its little fingers, yawning, and rolling everywhere. Right until Kathleen showed us again what she had eaten for breakfast.

And for anyone who is wondering, we're having another girl, Sophia. Hopefully she'll have better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) timing than her older sister.