Thursday, January 29, 2009

YIKES! (update at end)

Nothing like blogging with 5 minutes to spare before having to leave for work, but I just had to post these pics. Samantha had been taking amoxycillin for about 7 days for a runny nose that just wouldn't go away (doctor said it was probably some sort of infection, as we'd suspected). The runny nose went away, but a rash began to show on Wednesday morning, so we discontinued the meds. I'm hoping this is a reaction to the penicillin (I have a penicillin allergy) because then we'll know, and won't give it to her again. If it's not, well, then I have no idea what it is, and it's pretty bad. She's starting to itch today, too. I was pretty shocked when she woke up this morning--the rash had spread all over her face and her palms and the soles of her feet. Her bottom seems to be the only mostly-unaffected area. Steve just took her to the doctor, so I'll be waiting anxiously for his call!

Update: Steve called to say the doctor said it's a classic drug allergy rash. It should go away within about 5 days, and if she itches too much we can give her Children's Benadryl. Whew! They gave her a note to take to school tomorrow so they don't treat her like she has the plague. LOL One thing I forgot to mention earlier that was really cute--Samantha was counting the spots! She'd look at her leg or her hand, and go, "one, two, three, four..." So funny. Then, of course, I asked her to do it in Spanish, then Japanese. No problem. hehehe I just ADORE this kid!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bad Blog Reader! Bad!!!

Yes, I have become a bad blog reader. All of the time each evening that I used to devote to visiting other blogs to learn about the triumphs, accomplishments, disppointments and everyday meanderings of other people has recently gone to...Facebook. Must...stop...

I'm sure it's only temporary. All of the excitement and flash of being back in touch with old friends and connecting with new ones, along with the ability to instant message with, say, someone I went to high school with in another country more than 20 years ago, will hopefully tone down a bit soon. I'll learn moderation and the ability to multi-task. But seriously, Facebook is kind of like being in a big room with a whole bunch of your friends talking to you and to each other, whether they know each other or not. It's somehow comforting and enjoyable just to know they're there and to know the humdrum details of their everyday lives. "Jane eating soup." Really? Is this interesting to me? Not exactly, but it's kind of nice to know that other people do the same boring things I do. I'm anti-telephone and hate to talk on the phone for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It feels like I'm obligated to say something and to listen at that very moment. I'd rather say something and choose to listen when I want to. Call me selfish. :-)

Oh, and at the top of this post I just dropped in a photo of Samantha that I took yesterday. Did I already mention how much I love my new camera?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Little Bully

Can't say I'm feeling so much pride this time--reports from school are that Samantha has been behaving like a little bully. No, not in those words, of course. Today she was quite agressive. I'd like to be able to blame it on something, like the antibiotics we started giving her yesterday to try to make the snot stop flowing from her nose continuously (the doctor thinks it's an infection of some sort, since it just keeps going and going and going...). But I'm sure it's all just part of her learning process. She sees things and copies them. She "feels" like doing something, so she does it, hoping to test her boundaries and to test her teacher's patience. She is wronged, so she strikes back. Today she pulled the blanket off of a sleeping little girl and hit her on the head. She thought a little boy on the slide in front of her was going too slowly, so she pushed him down it. I do have to say, though, that I'm proud of her for this next transgression--she showed that she can stick up for herself and not let anyone push her around. A little boy pushed her down at one point today. She looked shocked and then vindictive, as she lifted her legs and gave him a kick in return. Man, she's feisty! Am I wrong for feeling a little relieved? I don't want her to get the wrong message that it's okay to hit someone, even if they knock you down. But is that the wrong message? Maybe not--my little girl will have to fight, figuratively, for many things as she grows up. She's going to have to learn that she has to stand her ground. Maybe not in agression, but in other ways. Maybe this is just the beginning, the early form of that non-physical fight it will ultimately turn into. Starts out physical, then morphs as she learns about the other types of defenses she can use to make her point and be heard.

Lastnight, I had some black beans and diced tomatoes in a bowl that I was feeding her at dinner on the side (I try to introduce her to new things when I can--she's quite fussy!). She pointed at it and said, "poop". I told her I didn't understand, so she kept repeating it, and pointing more vehemently. Suddenly, I realized--she was saying "soup". She looked thrilled that I figured out what she was saying, but all I could do was laugh. She'll mimic almost any word, but the first consonant is usually either changed to the last consonant in the word, or removed altogether.

Well, it's 10:30, and I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Time for bed...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Soon To Be Ours!

We had the home inspection last week, and there was nothing too devastating. Lots of little things that need to be done, such as replacing the glass front of the gas fireplace, replacing the sliding glass door in the basement, having smoke detectors properly installed by an electrician, repairing the gate on the yard fence, etc. Some especially good news included a clean result for the radon test, no termites or termite damage, and the report that the deck was built extremely well, and will not likely bow the way many decks do. Inspection day was also the day I got to really take a good, hard look at things and to take lots of photos. I've posted many of them on my flickr site , if any of you are interested. I just can't wait to get full access! The next step is to approve the Home Owner's Association packet, which we should have in the next few days, and then closing, which is scheduled for February 25th.

On a Samantha note: Steve has now successfully taught her how to turn the tv on and off using the remote. He showed her which buttons do the deed, and now there's no stopping her! LOL And she's desperate to start using the computer. She moves the mouse around on the pad (followed by putting it to her ear and saying "hi"), and taps her fingers on the keyboard. She says "datches" (pictures) every time she comes to the computer, and is content to sit on our laps for ages while we scroll through flickr or our photos on the hard drive. Several months ago her teachers' aides in school taught her to count to 10 in Spanish. Well, I decided tonight to one-up that and teach her to count in Japanese. It was so cute--she copied my words beautifully. I know that by tomorrow night she'll be able to do it on her own. She's a very quick learner. I knew I would retain just enough Japanese to serve some purpose one day...

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Family's Sordid Past...

When I was a little girl and my two cousins would come down to visit from Massachusetts, we would play dress up at my grandmother's house, putting on all of her rhinestone costume jewelry and fur stoles (arguing over who would get the tiara and the white rabbit fur wrap, of course), and belting blankets and sheets around our waists as beautiful, elegant gowns. We pranced around, imagining, as little girls will do, that we were really Russian princesses, soon to be discovered by the world as royalty and to earn our rightful place on a throne somewhere. When we weren't playing princess, we were building forts in my grandmother's dining room and living room, draping sheets over and between any piece of furniture we could find, imagining a luxurious cavern, a cozier place to sleep than our beds. Sudden, harsh reality would keep us in check when a rebellious chair would tip itself over in the night, shattering the illusion and scaring us half to death. Of course we'd just blame it on ghostly presences...

As we grew older, we realized that we were just like anyone else. No undiscovered secret life, no exotic past, no princesses... Well, recently my father found this article, which seems to provide at least a bit of an interesting edge to my family's past. My great-great uncle Herman wasn't such a nice guy. Bootleggers, murder and corruption... (click on the pics to read!) Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the Big News is...

We're buying a house!!! I almost hesitate to write this, since we haven't had the house inspection yet and it's being sold "as is," but barring anything huge, settlement's on February 25th and we'll officially be first-time home buyers (with the very generous assistance of my mother and step-father). We decided several weeks ago that we wanted to live in Ashburn, which is a planned community west of here, just past Dulles Airport. It's definitely one of the safest places in the country, and a good place for Samantha to grow up, go to school, make friends, love life. I love that she will have the opportunity to live in a house with a yard. She can plant a little garden in the spring, and play in the sprinkler in the summer. She can ride her bike on the sidewalks in the fall, and sit in front of the fireplace in the winter.

It's a 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom end-unit townhouse, so of course, there are lots of stairs. Gotta step up (ha! No pun intended!) the work on going up and down stairs, and definitely gotta buy some gates. I think we'll transition her to a big girl bed when we move, rather than having to dismantle and re-build the crib. I don't expect she'll have any problem with that. Her room will be small, but there are two small rooms next to each other so she can have one as her play room. No more saving quarters for the laundry facilities down the hall. Oh, and there's a hot tub outside of the walk-out basement. :-) I have no clue how to take care of a hot tub, so if any of you know, please drop me a line!

I didn't take any photos of it, since the owner still lives there and it would've been a bit weird photographing all of his stuff, and his listing agent never posted a photo on the internet. Oh, by the way, it was on the market for two whole days (!!) before they got 4 bids and took it off! We had figured that it would be a total long shot for us to actually get the winning bid, but thanks to the advice and guidance of our brilliant agent, Mitchell (if any of you are thinking of buying in the DC area and want his details, let me know), we did it!

Wish us luck on Thursday for the inspection...

Okay, I leave you with another photo of Sammi from last week, just because I can't bring myself to write another blog post that has no photos. Oh, by the way, thanks to those of you who commented on my blog header photo--believe it or not, the only reason I never put a photo up there was that I didn't know I could! Then I had this epiphany and realized that it was rediculously easy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nothing New...Yet.

I know I haven't updated my blog in a bit, but I'm waiting a few more days until I hopefully have some exciting news to post! (For those of you that don't correspond with me on Facebook, no it has nothing to do with children!) In the meantime, I'll just mention that Samantha has yet another cold. Actually, it may be the same cold she's had for about a month that never really went away, but seems to have come back to life with a vengeance. And if that isn't bad enough, she is so firmly entrenched in the terrible twos right now that I really can't believe it when parents of children who are 3 years or older tell me that the threes are worse. No way. As wonderful and adorable and clever as she is, she is also incredibly stubborn and willful. We suffer a battle of wills every day, usually resulting in the threat of a time-out and immediate compliance. *sigh*

Anyway, stay tuned...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Visit From Friends

Today our friends and neighbors, the Lamjav Family ,came by for a visit. Samantha and Milan got to play and watch Blues Clues together, and I was excited to hold sweet little Sofia, who graced me with tons of smiles and amazed me with her neck and trunk strength! It was great to be able to spend more time with Amy and Munich and the girls, although it took Samantha a little while to warm up. She flattened herself down against the floor and lay like a frog, staring mutely at Milan before finally joining her to draw on her chalkboard.

I have a confession to make...I had resisted Facebook for ages and ages. I created an account about a year ago and did nothing with it. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about, especially since I have my blog and listserves that function as social networking applications. So I thought. Now I've discovered a whole new set of old and new friends and a whole new dynamic of social networking. I'm still exploring and discovering its functions slowly, and I'm not into some of the silly stuff, but it's great to be able to keep in touch with people and to correspond in a way other than e-mail (considering about half of my e-mails to people get spammed out by their mail servers!). Anyway, I just had to clear my conscience. LOL

Here are a few pics I took of Samantha yesterday. We spent about 5 hours house-hunting, and she was happy and agreeable from start to finish, even with a wet bottom for part of it. She's such a little angel!!!!!