Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time Flies

The kids spent Sunday with their Nana; they went to see the ballet in Seattle. They reported that it was very short and I can't tell if they were disappointed about that or not, but since they were all really hoping to see Swan Lake (about 3 hours long) again someday, I'm leaning to "mild disappointment." All three kids have a surprising love of the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

In the meantime, B and I went into Gig Harbor and walked around all the shops full of highly breakable items that I never take the kids into. We came home in the afternoon and it was QUIET. Very nice.

On Monday, we loaded ourselves into the van and did a whirlwind tour of IKEA and other area shopping destinations, including stopping by our favorite garden center and letting the kids pick out plants. I stipulated they had to be partial sun and cool-weather hearty. The kids complied and each picked out three flowers and one herb that met the criteria.

I am apparently running at 30/10 (hct/hgb) = anemic, so we stopped on the way home for more iron supplements, steak, and (not at all productive for iron building) ice cream. I ran the grill, only the second time I've done it. The girls were SURE I was gonna fuck things up...I assigned them to watching the steaks, which apparently in their world included moving them around a lot. They informed me the steaks were ready to come off the grill more than a little early, so it's probably a good thing it took me another few minutes to get out there and harvest them. The steaks came out satisfyingly rare.

Side note: yes I'm pregnant and eating rare meat. If you go online (or in most pregnancy books), you'll receive pretty heavy-handed advice along the lines of "rare is not an option during pregnancy." This alarmist POV is based on the idea that all meat is hiding horrible salmonella, listeriosis, and toxoplasmosis infestations. There are times when you need to be cautious and times when it makes sense not to worry so much. My steak, cut and packed on-site, is unlikely to have much of anything horrible on it in the first place, and if it did it would all be on the surface (cows don't walk around with salmonella or listeriosis infesting their muscle tissue=meat, it's spread around during butchering). Giving the surface of a steak a nice sear is going to take care of that quite well. On the other hand, if my meat is ground, I'm generally going to want to make sure it's well cooked all the way. Particularly if I buy it in factory-packed tubes or somesuch. And I do avoid lunch meat, but that's more an issue of the fact that I always avoid it because I don't much care for it.

I've found it interesting that the more I know about the warnings pregnant women are given, the more likely I am to ignore most of them. Particularly idiocy like not eating spinach (and I've seen lists that basically encompass everything you can get fresh from the ground) because it "might contain salmonella." But you can eat all the twinkies you want, right? Nothing scary in those (I've never seen a pregnancy do-not-eat list that includes them)? No BPA in the cans of beans I'm supposed to be eating? Let's not forget all the tuna WIC wanted to give me last time around.

Anyway, back to the recap. On Tuesday, we went to Nana's for piano and guitar, and saw Aunty B off. Then we went home, and the kids carefully potted their plants:

We had our first backyard fire of the season (no pictures). And a very late night when Fran let the kids stay up and watch Blues Brothers again.

Wednesday was GLORIOUS. While BittyPrincess took FOREVER (all morning and then some) to fold and put away her laundry:

The rest of us enjoyed the lovely 70-degrees-and-sunshine weather outside:

And someone came over to fix our shower, which had been leaking into our den. This apparently had been a problem forever, and a plumber that came by last week was absolutely certain that the plumbing wasn't the problem, the shower door was. So yesterday the handyman (who lives nearby and apparently has a daughter that Girliness plays with sometimes) came by, advised that we could probably get by with caulking things up properly, and then our landlady decided we should go ahead and get a new shower door anyway. It turned out to be a good thing she did, because when the handyman took off the old door, we found out that the installation had been seriously fucked up. Instead of cutting down the rails, some idiot had cut the tile AROUND the rail, so water was literally flowing into the wall straight from the shower door rail through that hole...that yes, OMG the stupidity, runs straight into the wallspace. The wall/subfloor/ceiling would absorb only so much before leaking, which was why the problem was intermittent. Our shower isn't put back together because we hit the end of the day without the necessary supplies to replace the tiles. Handyman dude said it would be possible to patch but the patch wouldn't be visible and would be much weaker than the surrounding tile, so we wouldn't know there was a problem until the walls and floors were saturated again (and then those would need to be replaced AGAIN). So the plan is to replace the tiles and then install a shower door the right way. Hopefully today. I want the shower back.

He seemed enthusiastic about our plan to use the shower as the source of our water for our birth. BittyPrincess showed him the pool and everything. We're sure the whole setup will work. At some point I'm going to catalogue the bits and pieces of what is involved in setting up your own birth pool, including expense. Because I think it's interesting.

Anyway, we also did the Y yesterday. And Fran took the kids to Kids Gig in the late afternoon while I made dinner (and admittedly spent some time sitting outside reading and not doing anything productive).

I'm not sure what today holds, except that it is cold and rainy (yay spring?) and BittyPrincess woke up with a seal cough.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Props to my Midwife, and some minor kid cooperation

On Saturday we headed out to Bainbridge Island, where my former classmate and now midwife had her clinic opening party. Her practice is Gumnut Blossom Midwifery, located on Bainbridge Island, WA. Props to her for getting her clinic space opened, and even more so for not throwing up her arms and quitting the whole deal during the fun newly-opened-practice process she's going through with insurance. The clinic is lovely, the company was lovely, and the kids had great fun running around hopefully not causing too much trouble. Eventually - after the kids had each gone several rounds with the snacks - we extricated ourselves and headed back to Gig Harbor.

It was yet another pretty day, and we couldn't quite bring ourselves to just go home *too* early, so we stopped off at Kids Gig. At first Boyness was heavily whiny about wanting to go home (he's our homebody for sure), but he quickly got over himself, and everyone had a great time. The kids *gasp* didn't even fight. They even *double gasp* cooperated:

Home in time to get the kids ready for the Sunday excursion they had planned with Nana, into Seattle to see the PNW Ballet do Hansel and Gretel. And then to have dinner and a screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (another library acquisition). And off to bed "early," at 9:30.

Point Defiance

On Friday we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and headed off to Point Defiance Zoo.

The kids were being complete fuckheads to each other again. They actually did fairly well once we got into the zoo, though, thank freaking goodness.

How very, well, like the girls...Girliness' preferred exhibit:

vs. BittyPrincess' preference:

BittyPrincess remains somewhat obsessed with the idea that she will, one day, own her very own baby walrus. Yes, a baby walrus. It will be bigger than her, of course. But still a baby. We caught the trainer talk for the walruses today and she is even MORE convinced. She's sure now that if she has enough fish she can teach her walrus to do all KINDS of cool things. If the walruses there can splash and whistle and roll over, her baby walrus will be able to do that stuff too, of course.

I think it is kind of funny that my fairies-pink-ballerina princess is obsessed (has been for at least two years) with owning her own baby walrus.

Anyhow, we also managed to be there when the interactive zone was open:

Boyness was interested in the crab molts:

After we left the zoo, we went to Tacoma Boys and got a whole lot of produce for a quite small amount of money. Aunty B also picked up ingredients for banana splits, which we happily consumed after dinner while watching the latest impulse grab from the library, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Aunty B! Tacoma!

On Thursday my sister (the kids' Aunty B) came into town on the ass-early (red-eye for her) flight. I went and got her and then we waited for the house to wake up.

It was the third Thursday of the month, which meant that the Art Museum, History Museum, and Glass Museum in Tacoma all had free hours. (Art Museum 10am-8pm, History Museum 2pm-8pm, Glass Museum 5pm-8pm.) So of course we decided that was what we had to do. Even though the kids were being punks and kept it up all day. Really, really, really being punks. To each other, to me, to the sidewalk, it didn't matter. Equal opportunity punkage.

We stayed home for long enough to have lunch, and then ventured into Tacoma. Since I'm cheap enough to be unwilling to pay parking rates in the downtown Tacoma lots, we parked at the Tacoma Dome Station (free) and used the Link Light Rail (free) to get into downtown.

A little side-adventure while walking to the light rail stop:

And no, I'm not trying to smuggle a basketball into Tacoma:

On to the Art Museum, where there were no pictures because I stashed my camera in the lockers and because areas of the museum that allow pictures aren't plentiful anyway. So...I have to say that I like art, of course, but in a visual way and not in an artist-makes-a-statement kind of way. And it appears that several of the volunteer I-have-no-idea-what-to-call-them walking around talking to visitors were of the "what's the message" persuasion, and wanted to tell us - including the kids - all about it. Mildly disturbing in the "The Secret Language of Animals" exhibit. The kids then went to the art lab, where they played with materials we already have at home. Stress levels were somewhat high in the art museum but the kids didn't actually step out of line in any institutional fashion. They just fucked with each other the whole time.

On to the History Museum. Again, lots of punkage from the kids. Whining complaining "this part isn't fun" punkage. Rarely two kids whining about hating the same part of the museum, so just a constant rotation of whineage our whole visit. Maybe the only time all three shut up at once was at the Bigfoot exhibit.

Obligatory picture of kids in the wagon (they posed themselves and everything):

BittyPrincess was highly mesmerized by an agriculture exhibit:

I think she might have fallen asleep there if we had left her to stare for too long.

We decided that perhaps part of the reason for the crankassness was hunger, even though the kids weren't whining at all about food (oh no, just elbowing each other and constantly trying to run in inappropriate places, or doing that not-quite-headbutting thing to my arms to express their displeasure at waiting for other people to finish looking at an exhibit they didn't like). So we hiked off to The Rock Pizza, and had an excellent salad and fairly good pizza family style, while the kids happily enjoyed in near-complete silence. So much so that we kind of creeped out our server.

Of course when we left the sibling-poking and running towards roadways resumed with extraordinary promptness.

We decided to go to the Glass Museum anyway, with the understanding that all we'd be doing was watching the glass workers in the Hot Shop. Which worked out fairly well despite Boyness deciding he was bored with it all about 20 minutes before anyone else was ready to leave. The pieces being made were going to be fairly boring finished products, but the whole process was really cool, it was well narrated, and two teams were working at once; there was a lot to look at.

We arrived back home well after 8, me murderously ready to, well, murder the children, and the children ready for round 57 of bothering-each-other. I can't seem to get them to understand that if they're little frigging pains in the ass when people visit, people aren't going to want to visit. Nobody LIKES watching them fight, even though yes, it does get them attention; but the people visiting WANT to pay attention to them, ferfucksake, and would be happy to pay attention without the complete fucktardedness that they display when we have visitors. Crossing my fingers that they pull out of their collective funk.