I have to put a break in my chronicles of Disney because of three thoughts that I don’t want to forget and are relevant now.

Elise had to get her shots a day after we got back from the trip.  Chris came along because I knew she also was going to get the anemia and lead testing done (which translates to blood being drawn, a weakness of Mommie and I was afraid Elise would be screaming.  One of my most memorable events was the jaundice test for Joelle, less then one week old.  They couldn’t get enough blood and her crying literally drove me mad.  Chris sent me out of the room while they finished scraping the hell out of Joelle’s heel.)  First up, the shots.  She only shed one tear for three shots.   Second test, the blood sample.  I assumed they’d scrape Elise’s heel to get the blood, but they actually gave my tiny baby a little tourniquet and stuck a needle in her arm!   It was the craziest thing.  Elise sat in Chris’s lap, eating yogurt raisans, without batting an eye lash.   Both the nurse and lab technician were also in shock, waiting for the plaintive wails to ensue.  Elise is one tough baby.

Joelle caught me by suprise this week with her intelligence.  She’s this little thing who was so, so cute walking down the aisle for practice last night for Meg and Danny’s wedding, but she’s also got this spark of witty straightforwardness that seems so big for her age.  We were getting her valentine baggies ready for her classmates.  Chris walked in and I said, “yeah, I’m not sure if these were supposed to go yesterday with the actual valentines (they were due a day early to give the kids time to sort them out and distribute to the appropriate mailboxes).  I just figured these wouldn’t fit in the mailbox slots.”  Joelle looked incredulously at me and said, “Mommie, they’re shoeboxes.  You can take the lid off.”  I started giggling at her observation.  Chris, too, thought it was funny.

As mentioned above, we went to Meg and Danny’s rehearsal last night for the wedding.  Chris mentioned afterwards, “I was struck by the moment.  Danny really is getting married.”  Meg has felt part of our family for a very long time.  Joelle has always adored her and is quite confused that she is only now becoming an “aunt noonie” because she has always thought of her as an aunt, but Chris is right – it’s so cool that Meg and Danny are getting married.  It’s such an awesome event and I am always moved during the ceremony.  I expect no less tonight.  I was personally also struck last night by something that seems so obvious.  Danny is old now.  I don’t mean that in a mean way, I just mean to say that in my mind he’s always stayed about the age he was when Chris and I got married.  Standing up there, it struck me that he’s grown up so much.  As the second kid with a big brother, it just felt like Danny would always be way younger.  Maybe I’m trying to kid myself into thinking I’m still young!  Anyway, I can’t wait for tonight.  I’m very happy for them.   


As we flipped the calendar to 2008 we looked forward to a fun year – Elise’s 1st birthday party, family trip to Disney World, girls going to meet Joaquin in SLC…all in the first part of the year. Instead the highlights have been:

Jan 1 (day after flexible spending due) – someone puts a pin in the Chris voodoo doll (herniated disc)

Jan 27 – Elise’s 1st birthday party (ok, it hasn’t all been bad)

Jan 28 – Elise gets sick and basically doesn’t eat anything for a good part of the week – she’s pretty much her old self again but she gets tired and hungry quickly because she’s still trying to catch up on calories.

Jan 31 – As Elise is just starting to be able to at least be able to drink gatorade, Joelle gets sick

OK, we can look forward to February – Disney! Uh, hold on there…

Feb 2 – Petie is next in line and gets sick after feeling under the weather most of the week.

Guess who’s next?

It has been really, really sad to see my girls not just “sick” but SICK. One by one they have been picked off and the life just taken out of them. I think Petie would agree (although right this second she might not) that the worst moment was when we took Elise to the doctor on Thursday. We had her 1 year appointment scheduled but used it as a “sick visit” because she basically hadn’t kept anything down in almost 3 days. The doctor asked if she was showing normal emotions (like smiling) but was just lethargic. We realized that we couldn’t really remember the last time she had truly smiled.

Which reminds me, the next time we saw her smile might have been later that night when Joelle was around, now sick. It was ironic because when Joelle would go up to Elise when Elise was sick, Elise would kind of swipe at her. When Joelle was in her zombie-sick state Elise would go up to Joelle and grin as if to say “see, how do you like someone smiling at you?” Joelle for her part showed great restraint and did her best to deliver a fake-perky “Hi Elise”.

Joey once coined the term “locust eating” as something that my dad (and myself and possibly Joey) all do. The term stuck with me because it’s funny but also accurate. For the most part, I’m a fairly healthy eater, but give me a bag of chocolate chips after a long hiatus without them and I will consume the whole bag. I know, not wise. Every dietitian would agree that one should eat a small amount daily, but it just doesn’t work that way for me. While my “locust eating” is primarily with sweets, my dad is like that with a lot of different foods, even healthy ones. He might see yummy oranges at the store, buy 4 and eat them all right when he gets home.

I think Elise has inherited this strange “locust eating” gene. First, it was grapes. She would consume every single morsel of grape thrown her way. Fistfuls of grapes would engorge her tiny little mouth. Second, cantaloupes. She is crazy for them. I gave them to her for lunch and she ate a whole bowl. She reaches for the food she wants now and she was definitely reaching for the cantaloupe and only the cantaloupe. At dinner, I gave everyone a little pile on their plates. Chris tried to give Elise her squash first but she spotted the orangey goodness on the plate and would have nothing else. She ate all of her share and insisted on having Chris’s as well. (his was the next closest plate.) She ate a few spoonfuls of green beans and then spotted the orange cubes on my plate. She got those as well. Finally, she saw Joelle’s and actually physically inched her high chair towards Joelle to get at her pile. Joelle, who had to be bribed to eat a tiny, almost invisible piece for breakfast, suddenly wanted nothing but her cantaloupe. Luckily, there was more in the refrigerator, although, not much.

Elise has been a little fussy this week.  Specifically, she was cranky on Tuesday, Wednesday and today.  I was outwardly surmising what the potentional causes of her frustrations could be with Nana.  You know, the typical issues:  teething, catching a cold, etc.  Joelle suddenly piped in, “she could be missin’ me.”  I paused in my ruminating and said, “yeah, you might be right.”  I was thinking, “ah, my vain daughter.” 

Ironically, I think Joelle is right.  Children can be so wise.  Elise has gone through infatuations with each member of our family.  Her infatuation with mommie lasted the longest and I thought it was rock solid (ah, the vain Mommie.)  After our trip to Dallas, it suddenly switched to Daddy.  With the Christmas break and subsequent return to school, she’s decided “oh wah” is her new go to girl.  She follows Joelle around the house saying “oh wah”.  When we went to school to pick up Joelle from tumbling, Elise spotted Joelle immediately and ran to her with open arms saying “oh wah.”  It was absolutely adorable and Joelle ate it up. 

The three of us headed to the mall afterwards.  In one shop, a lady asked what my daughter’s names were.  I said, “Elise and Joelle.  Although, they call each other Oh wah and Lee Lee.”  Sometimes I wonder why parents kill themselves over the naming of their children.  They come up with their own nicknames anyway.  

Elise knows when she has found something good.  Like most babies, she doesn’t exactly appreciate us taking things away from her.  I will never, ever forget Joelle putting her tongue on the wall in our old house when we made her mad, either taking something away or saying, “no,” to touching an outlet.  I think it was the later.  Anyway, Elise hasn’t put her tongue on the wall, yet.  Instead, she has the power to run from me.  If she finds something she knows she really shouldn’t have, she pops up and runs to another room.  She found a treasure a few days ago and ran to our bedroom.  She even tried to close the door on me so that I wouldn’t come in.  (I wonder who she learned that from?  Thanks, Jojo.)  I kept following her to make sure that she was ok with the questionable toy she found and she kept running from me.  She even went under the table in the kitchen to get away.   

Elise knows that we don’t tolerate leaves or acorns in her mouth.  When she isn’t tired, she usually complies.  I saw her start to put a leaf to her mouth while we were playing on the trampoline (Joelle and Daddy were at Playhouse Disney Live, he promises a post later,) realize what she was doing, stop, look at me and smile.  So, she does know that it’s a no, no.  If she’s tired and ready for a nap, it’s like she can’t control her impulses and she just starts eating up like there is no tomorrow.

While we were on the trampoline, I saw her pick up an acorn and look at me.  I now know it was a decoy, because as soon as I started my way over to get it from her, she dropped it and scooted over to the side where I had been holding down the net that needs repairing.  She likes to body slam into the netting.  I guess she likes the free fall feeling (great).  Anyway, she had wanted to investigate the netting that didn’t stick to the trampoline and she figured out how to get mommie out of the way.  I’m impressed.

Elise wasn’t happy when Daddy didn’t come home last Friday night.  Elise really wasn’t happy when mommie didn’t come home after 1-2 hours on Saturday.  Elise was esctatic to see us when we came home on Sunday, but she realized that she had to ensure the depature didn’t occur again.  We went to Chris’s company party in Dallas, and I think she is close to succeeding in keeping me home next year.  She’s been cranky, she’s been up at night, and generally acting like she’s at least 3 months younger then she is.  In summary, not my sweet baby.  I know, I know.  I left her, I deserve it. 

In the midst of all this, she has started to walk.  It started as 1-2 tiny baby steps and an immediate drop down to the floor on her bum.  A couple of nights ago, she walked 5 whole steps and beamed at Chris and I.  She’s so adorable.  She’s so proud.  I walk in to get her from the crib in the morning and she’s practicing.  I can already see her dedicated personality.  She’s so methodical.  It’s as if she sets these goals for herself.  “Ok, today 1 more step and 10 more intervals.” 

I said this to Joelle all the time and it didn’t work, but I’ll try it again, “Elise, just stay little.”  I’ll put up with the crankiness when I go away because I know how much you love me.  I’d love for you to stay little so that you keep that adoration of me and I can cuddle with you swallowed up in my lap.  Joelle still tries (and you both try when one or the other is already there), but she’s got these long thin legs that hang over.

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