Friday, May 21, 2010

Event Amber: She gets her appetite back.

Last night we grilled out and ate dinner on the back porch. Amber ate all of the food on her plate, and seconds and thirds...
Apparently, her tummy is on the mend.

After dinner, the girls shared a much-needed bath.

Freshly cleaned, warm in their nightgowns, Hannah asked why I was "crombing" Amber's hair first. The truth was that she was the girl closest to my reach. But Amber responded haughtily, "It is because I am a wizziter." Five minutes later, I realized she said visitor and was very amused.

Amber picked a cute library book before bed about two girls on their first sleepover. How appropriate was that?! They went to sleep well. I explained that if Amber woke up in the morning and Hannah wasn't in the room that she could come find me in my room. She was happy and calm and was looking forward to Mommy coming to pick her up tomorrow.

Oddly enough, my four month old slept eight solid hours last night. Hannah slept a good solid four hours before she got up and made her way to snuggle in our bed. I was up at six to feed the baby and did a few chores and checked facebook and climbed back in bed about 7:15. Theo got up at 7:45, stretched, looked puzzled and pointed to the floor on my side of the bed. "Amber is over there." I leaned over and there was that sweet little blondie and her stuffed beaver sitting quietly on the floor.

"Good morning."
She smiled.
"Did you come in here right when you woke up?"
She nodded.
"Are you sad?"
She shook her head.
"Do you want to come up here?"
She nodded and climbed in.
"Your Mommy is coming to get you today."
"I know."

She smiled and snuggled up. After a few minutes, Amber said, "I want to eat breakfast in my pajamas because that is what I usually do." (When I told her mother, she said Amber normally changes into day time clothes before she's out of her room. LOL) I asked Amber what she wanted for breakfast and she gave me a whole big list of stuff. I laughed and decided I had better get started on that order.

As I started to prepare breakfast I got the Amber Callan random fact of the day, "We saw a grand-daddy-long-legs in the garage. They are the most poisonous of all spiders but their mouths are so small they can't bite youmans." Then she skipped off merrily with Hannah. They came back a few minutes later to ask if they could have breakfast on the porch. I thought it was an excellent idea.

When I took their trays out to them, they giggled with excitement. Amber could barely put the strawberry down long enough to pray. She surveyed her tray which contained yogurt with fresh blueberries, orange juice, steel cut oatmeal, bacon, eggs, 1/4 banana and a strawberry. "Where's our bread?" she asked. I laughed! "Coming right up!" She finished all her food and then had another serving of yogurt with blueberries.

I'm guess they now have enough energy to get through the morning. That's good because they are going to play with the cooking toys and water again. They don't know it yet, but later, we are going to make play-doh.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 2: Event Amber

Look, her pink napkin is in her lap.

I think it is interesting that cleaning makes Amber happy. LOL

The blogger at MamaHolly's Monogram brings you real life. There is no joy without pain. So we we bring it to you raw and real. We hit a glitch. But we've recovered. Event Amber can't be drama without actually experiencing some drama...

Last night, Amber's tummy was a little off and she had to potty multiple times so we came home from small group and got a prescription from her Mommy and Daddy to feed her some yogurt and other specific foods to see if it helped. She didn't seem to be in any pain so we all took a wait and see approach. She was fine last night and slept through the night well.

Hannah woke up some time while the sky was still black (as Hannahs are wont to do) and came into bed with us. I decide that was a good thing so the girls wouldn't wake each other up too early. Theo told me Amber was awake, looking at books on the shelf when he left for work. I thought she was enjoying a peaceful morning, so I left her to her own devices.

Hannah woke at 8:30, thank the Merciful Lord. Immediately, she went in search of her friend. Very quickly afterwards, I heard sobs. I was pretty sure it was a grumpy, just wakened Hannah upset that Amber was playing with her toys. I went to play referee but as I stepped around the corner, there stood Hannah with a concerned look on her face and Amber mid-wail, wearing a ballet leotard. "What's wrong, Amber? Is your belly hurting? What happened? Are you alright?"

"I. Want. My. Mommy! I want my house." Pant, Pant. More sobs. She wasn't clutching her stomache and I saw no obvious injuries so I diagnosed acute homesickness brought on by loneliness. I wondered if Amber had been quietly entertaining herself in an effort not to bother anyone and became quite lonely in the process. And when she saw Hannah she let out the angst that had been growing in her solitude.

Oh no, I had to think fast. Even if we got Mommy to come right now, no packing, no last minute diaper changes, she's a couple of hours away. So I say, "Amber, Mommy said you needed some more yogurt this morning. Would you like some?" She stopped crying, sniffed quickly and said yes in a clear voice. Head high, she followed me to the kitchen. She eagerly gobbled some yogurt and was smiling and hugging her stuffed beaver.

I decided it might be safe to investigate. I asked what had made her so sad. I could see the immediate, physical change as her face clouded and a bubble rose in her throat. "I. Want. My. Mommy! I want my house." Uh, Oh.

"Amber, would you also like some toast?" I mean, food worked last time... "Yes, I would, Mrs. Waufiner." Phew. Ok, don't mention the homesickness and you can keep the illness at bay. I realized distraction was the key. I offered them the opportunity to watch a veggietales video. They politely declined. NOT!

They cuddled up on the couch and enjoyed a video. Amber was quick to point out that she and Murray did not watch videos first thing in the morning. Yeah, I thought, but Mommy has Mommy-ness with her at all times and the best I could offer was distraction and Mrs. Wafiner-ness. I said, "Well, it's just a special thing for right now. Is that okay with you?" Of course it was. But I knew she'd throw me under the bus with a quick "Mommy, Mrs. Waufiner lets us watch movies first thing in the morning," as soon as they were reunited.

I gathered my wits while they watched and decided they could take a tandem bath in my garden tub after the movie. But John woke up and used all the hot water. Silly son!

After the movie, Hannah wanted a princess dress which instantly became contagious. Hannah's room is, of course, a disaster from all the increased girliness living in it. I suggested they take the cooking toys on the back porch and have a tea party. The troops were invigorated. Morale greatly improved. Dishes were gathered. Tiny chairs were slung over shoulders and lots of buffalo stomp-skipping ensued. I even lugged the enormous plastic kitchen out there.

But then the coup de grace: I offered them water to wash dishes and pour from the tea pots. OH YEAH! The Laughner house is the happiest place on earth once again. Well, until the next bit of drama happens. And rest assured, you will hear it here first. Thank you, loyal readers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Update: Event Amber

We have had a busy, busy day. We went to library and picked out books. Then the Penguin Players from Dollywood came to put on a play at the library. We went grocery shopping, had a picnic and they played on the playground.

After that, we came home and everyone took a nap.

Finally, finally, we have princess dresses, fancy shoes, and time to read books!

Event Amber

We've borrowed an extra little person for three days. Amber is Hannah's dear friend who is on her first multi-night sleepover. It's a little touch and go when a four year old commits to staying two hours away from her parents. Dear Amber is gung ho and ready to go wherever adventure may lead. Her willingness, nay, eagerness to embark on this journey is a testament to the loving, confident attachment she has to her family. She's just a gem.

The girls giggled and talked as much as any pair of grown women on the drive home. They rode happily strapped to pink carseats in the very back of the van, sometimes holding hands. Nothing compares to preschool conversations. Nowhere else can you hear an interchange like this, filled with Amber's soft r's and Hannah's lisped th's:

"Hannah, there is white powder in the garden and you absolutely must not get near it. We used to get near it. But you can't now."
Hannah murmurs some acknowledgement and then responds with, "My purple socks don't fit me anymore." To which, Amber replies, "I don't really like tomatoes..."

They did finally fall into comatose slumber about 10 o'clock. When we got home we changed them into pajamas and put them to bed. Hannah awoke at 4:30 and came to ask if they could put on their princess dresses. I quickly explained that it was still the middle of the night and she needed to go back to sleep. She ran ahead as I took her back to her newly double occupied room. She flipped on the overhead lights and stripped the covers from her sleeping friend with a great flourish. There were a few tears as I firmly told her she must remain in bed and not turn on the lights until the sky was blue. Amber just curled back up as I replaced her missing bedclothes.

At 6:54, according to the blurry numbers on my alarm clock, Hannah came stomp/skipping into my room, sounding, for all the world, like a herd of tutu-clad buffalo. "The sky is blue! It's morning time! Can we put on our princess dresses now?!" The princess dresses are some newly acquired hand-me-down church/Easter dresses from a cousin.

"You need to put on your regular girl clothes because we are going to the library to watch the 'Llama Llama Red Pajama' play."

This was met with squealed delight and a rushed request for permission to pass this information along to "Ammer". Again, with the stampede-skip-pound noise. It was lucky they both had regular-girl-knit-rainbow-striped dresses. And thus we launched ourselves into day one of Event Amber.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brother Wears Her Out

I started cooking lunch while John and Hannah played with the baby. John came in carrying her and said she was crying and wanted him to hold her. So he walked around with her for a while and she calmed down. He sat in a kitchen chair and she immediately started screaming.

With a harried look, somewhat reminiscent of a new parent, he said, "See?! She wants me to hold her and walk around. She won't let me sit down." I'm still unsure why this was suddenly his burden to bear, but I wasn't going to let the opportunity slip for John to help out with a duty he seemed willing and capable of taking. He complained that his arms were tired.

Suddenly a light bulb went off. I remembered the sling I made for John when Hannah was a baby. It was just fun and cute then, but now he could really carry the baby and be a big help. And I certainly can't stand holding a baby for very long without a carrier.

"John, what about your sling?" Immediately he handed Cote to me and ran out of the room and came back swathed in yellow tencel twill. It was twisted but we got him straightened out and added Cote to the sling.

He started walking and she mellowed out. After a few minutes I realized that maybe the learning curve for a sling and the one shouldered-ness of the carry might not serve him as well. He was uncomfortable letting go and his arms were still getting tired though he said it was much better.

We tried the Mei Tai next and he was much more comfortable. He did laps around the house and started singing to her. Within 10 minutes she was sound asleep. He said, "I'd be willing to do that again, but I was about to burst into flames."

"Oh," I replied, "You need a solarveil mei tai!"

His face lit up. "If they make 'em in that, yeah, bring it on!" I'm a little afraid John might start surfing the for sale or trade boards. Thank you, Buddy, you are an awesome big brother.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Right Kind of Conversation

We were unpacking our school materials from a recent trip and John noticed his weekly spelling chart wasn't in its designated orange folder. He had also not completed the checklist indicating he had finished one of the tasks. He pointed toward the sheet and said, "I write those last week already."

We've spoken proper English in front of the boy, at every opportunity, since we've known him. All the research says that he will eventually pick up our language patterns and begin to use them himself. It has led to his boasting quite a hefty vocabulary for a ten-year-old. However, irregular verb tenses and other grammatical glitches continue despite our best attempts.

Occasionally, I'll give in to my impulses and say something like, "John, I wrote those last week." That usually garners a response like "No, you didn't. I did." So I decided to take another tack this morning.

"John, what is the past tense of the word write?" I queried, in my most patient and instructive voice.

With an eager-to-please-star-pupil grin he proudly stated, "WRONG!"

Obviously, my work here is not did. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.