Monday, June 30, 2008

Wonderful Worms!

Since our fishing trip to Lake Como in May with Greg and Cheryl, Olivia's fascination with worms has not only persisted, but grown. She and George have a special spot in the corner of the yard where they dig for worms on a daily basis. She likes to find a big fat nightcrawler and carry it around the yard with her. When it gets too dry, she dunks it in the water table. She takes it on the swingset with her and talks to it. "Having fun Mr. Wormy Worm?" she asks? When we think the poor worm has had enough, we tell her it's time to put the worm back with his friends. "They're having a worm party and they miss him" we tell her. She happily trots over to the special spot and puts him back in the dirt. We need to find her a worm farm. She would get such a kick out of that. It reminds me of my fascination with salamanders that lived in our window wells when I was a kid. Isn't that the wonderful thing about watching your children experience life? It reminds you of the wonder of YOUR childhood. Too often we get caught in the rut of being adults and taking life too seriously. Watching Olivia run around the yard enjoying her wormy worms reminds me that it's the simple things in life that bring great joy. Like worms...and a great new pair of shoes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Good Patient

As I mentioned in my last post, we've had several doctor visits in the last few weeks. Olivia was running a temperature for over a week. We had one trip to the Convenient Care clinic after the first 4 days of a low-grade fever. Her strep culture came back negative. That night, her fever spiked to over 102 and persisted for two more days. We got her in to see her regular doctor who started her on antibiotics while waiting for a more thorough strep culture to come back from the hospital. Still came up negative so apparently it WAS just a nasty virus causing her sore throat and tummyache. During both visits, she was dumbfounded when the nurse took her temperature and then left without taking her blood pressure. She asked me, "blood pressure, please? Ok mama?" I obliged and pretended to take her pressure with the cuff hanging on the wall. The clinician in me giggles at the thought of my daughter knowing what vital signs need to be taken at each visit. We also practice opening wide and saying "ahhh" with popsicle sticks. This came in very handy when the doctors had to do the throat cultures. She was such a champ, so brave, and compliant with the doctor's requests.

When she gets the chance, she loves to turn the tables. Olivia loves to play with her doctor's kit. I think her favorite instrument would be either the stethoscope or the otoscope. She's usually pressing the stethoscope against my chest telling me to take a deep breath, or asking me to take her blood pressure. Ya gotta love Charlie. He was her most recent patient, and was so tolerant of her poking and prodding. After she looked in his ears, I asked her what she saw. "Monkeys!" (That's what Dr. Heath tells her he sees when he looks in HER ears). This kid doesn't miss a beat.

I've also been teaching her the names of her bones. She can point to her clavicle, sternum, ribs, mandible, humerus, radius and ulna. We're working on scapula and femur too. Her pronunciation of these parts is absolutely precious. For instance, "clabicle." It just reinforces what they say about kids at this age - sponges. Amazing what they can learn. And it's fun for mom to teach!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Summer!

Wow - 3 weeks since my last post...where has the time gone? I guess we've just been busy enjoying the weather. Did I mention it snowed here on June 1oth? Yeppers. George tells me that's not all that uncommon here. I think there's something fundamentally wrong about snow in June. It's bad enough that the winter lingered on for 6 months, but SNOW in June? C'mon. Hopefully summer's here to stay now. Livy was also pretty darn sick for about a week with some virus that gave her a pus-oozing throat and tummyache. In between the doctor visits and SNOW, we've managed to have some fun. Livy enjoyed her first pony ride, we got to visit Buster in his new home, and in preparation for the rodeo in Livingston, Olivia got her first pair of cowboy (or should I say "cowgirl") boots.

We visited Parson's Pony Farm in Florence, MT with some other members of my mom's group. Olivia and her new BF, Dain, were the first riders. She was so brave and every so often, would reach down and pat the pony's mane saying, "good pony." After her first ride was over, she wanted another. She had to wait her turn, but eventually got to ride again. Seeing her on that pony was about the cutest thing I'd ever seen. Best $5 I've ever spent. She, of course, is now asking for her own pony. I reminded her that daddy bought her a "My Little Pony." She corrected me. "No. A REAL one." Uh-oh. We're in trouble.

Buster's been in his new home for about 2 weeks now. A lady that George used to work with lost her elderly Lhasa in the fall. She has 3 other dogs, a cat, and 2 foster cats. Her animals are her babies. When she found out that we were looking for someone to take Buster, she stepped forward and welcomed him into her home. Thank goodness for Patti. She lives just a few miles away and said we can visit anytime! After the first week, I felt like I would be ok to see him. Plus, it was his 13th birthday so we didn't want the day to pass without seeing him. We took him for a walk, but in usual Buster fashion, he pooped out after the first block. I carried him the rest of the way to the park, then Olivia had fun holding the leash while he sniffed. On the way home, we put him on Olivia's seat in the stroller. He slipped down into the cargo compartment, stuck his head out the side, and enjoyed the ride home. He seems very happy at Patti's and fits right in with the other animals.

Livy loves her new boots. The stars light up when she walks. Yee haw! Nanni also bought her a little matching dress and cowboy hat to wear to the rodeo when we're in Livingston over the fourth. I'm sure she'll be the prettiest cowgirl there!

Last but not least, I think Olivia might have her first crush! Here she is with Dain on the day they rode ponies. We had a picnic in the park beforehand. Dain's mom heard Olivia chasing after Dain, calling him "sweetheart" and "babe." She's talking about him constantly now. Who could blame her? He is pretty handsome with that dark curly hair!

Nate's been enjoying the weather too. He loves to hang out in the backyard with his big sissy, playing in the water table and walking himself around the sandbox. He's not so sure about the grass though. I don't think he likes to crawl through it, so he either makes very exaggerated motions with his arms as he's plowing through it, or tries to crawl with straight arms and straight legs so his knees don't touch the grass. He'll be walking soon I think. He's trying to stand alone and is very efficiently cruising between pieces of furniture. He also has two teeth now!

Well, I think that brings you up to speed. I'll do my best to post more often. There's no shortage of fun photos and stories to share.