To this point, she's had a small (as in, lap blanket small) purple and white quilt on her bed. It didn't go with her room, but she was attached to it, so it stayed.
And then I met up with Allison, an old friend and former co-worker, at another friend's daughter's birthday party. Allison had made the birthday girl a gorgeous quilt. I was instantly in love, and an idea was born.
Last Friday, Isabella received her new quiltAllison found the fabric collections, and I chose the ones I liked. There are dogs and birds and polka dots and strawberries, all favorites of Isabella's.
And when you turn it over, this is what you'll see:
I think she likes it.
I love it too. It's made incredibly well, and it's something she'll be able to use for years. Thank you, Allison!
Allison has her own Etsy shop, and she makes some truly beautiful things. Check it out!
The twins are turning on eachother.
Every 30 seconds, one or both of them is screaming (which is nothing new, of course). What is new is the cause. When just a few months ago, the screaming and crying often had no discernable source, that source is now clearly identified.
(Please ignore my disgusting and stained carpet. Once the twins get a little older, some new modern rugs-dark ones-are in my future.)
They're turned highly competitive and combative. We have a house overflowing with toys and yet they will fight over one broken, wrapper-peeled crayon. They are biting and tackling eachother, and the least wounded will run screeching to me to tattle on the other ("Luci bite me!" "Nickey push Luci!"). And what I give one of them (from sippy cup to toothbrush to book in the car), I need to give the other, or I will immediately hear about it.
Ah, life with 2 two-year-olds. It doesn't get much better.
Of course, it's not a complete house of horrors.
For Christmas, I finally got the boy (and his sisters) some actual dress-up clothes.
Of course, every chance he gets, he's still taking off his shoes and putting on mine or Isabella's.
Nicholas is also turning into a comedian. He loves saying, "You're a crab!" and then waiting for the inevitable faux-horrified reaction. I think he means an actual crab, since he plays with a crab squirter toy in the bathtub all the time, but of course few are privy to that detail, and as a result they think my son is calling them ornery.
Much like Isabella was at this age, he is super-verbal and often pulls out words I had no idea he knew. One day after picking up Isabella from preschool, we stopped by a friend's house to pick up her quesadilla maker, which we were borrowing to make dinner that night. Later, the hubs asked Nicholas where he had gone that day, and he said, "We went to Jenny's to get quesadilla maker."
When I'm rocking him before bed each evening, he is still asking me about the next night's meal: "What having for dinner tomorrow?"After I answer, he'll say, "Ohh...I like chicken (or turkey, or peas, or whatever). My favorite!" When sitting in his high chair, I'll place his tray in front of him, and he'll say, "This is delicious!"
Luci is what I would call a "scorch." I'm not sure if this is an Italian slang term, but I grew up knowing this word to mean one who likes to instigate fights and purposefully incite negative reactions from people.
While they are both majorly clued in to the other's buttons and know precisely how to piss off the other, Luci has this process down to a science. Nicholas will spend 10 minutes carefully building a tall block tower. Luci will approach the tower slowly and carefully, look at him, flash a maniacal grin, knock it over, and then stand there watching him scream and cry with a smile on her face.
She is very physically aggressive and has been spending a lot of minutes in time out lately for throwing toys, and for launching herself off an end table and onto the couch beside it.
The gap between her language and Nicholas' is starting to tighten. She is still not as verbal as he is, but her words are coming faster now. One of her favorite things to do is lead the "Patience Brigade."
Getting out of the house when I have anywhere time-sensitive to go (gym, preschool, etc.) with these three is utter insanity. Luci and Nicholas just recently stopped fleeing me and then lying on the floor playing dead as I wrestle their coats and hats onto their bodies. So, the hubs developed the "patience" game, where they are supposed to sit quietly by the door with their hands folded, waiting to be called to leave.
Luci loves being the dictator and yelling: "Nickey! Patience!" and then demonstrating the act.
Hey-I need a second in command, and I'm more than happy to have her fill the role.
Current Likes: The limelight
Current Dislikes: Going down for nap or bedtime without a fight, having siblings
Current Likes: Shoes and show tunes (Hmmm...)
Current Dislikes: Inertia
In this month that I could not wish away fast enough, Isabella has remained one of the few sources of happiness. She is not perfect by a long stretch. She is prone to epic whining fits and a very strong sense of self-righteousness. She will make a good lawyer one day, because the kid seems to enjoy arguing.
But she has been sweet and kind and comforting to me. And she's shown Louie a lot of gentle love and affection, which never ceases to make me tear up while watching.
She ran her second kids' race, the "Candy Cane Run" to my Jingle Bell 5K. It was foolishly scheduled 10 minutes after the 5K began, so I didn't get to see her run, but I heard she had a great time.
The arts-and-crafts-projects obsession continues. This was the Christmas of the art supplies, so she was overjoyed when opening this box o' crafty bits from Santa.
Appearing tops on her list for Santa was bowtie macaroni. Not to eat, of course, but to use in art projects. So, Santa hooked her up with those too.
I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that my kid is really into art. I mean, a lot. Every object she finds has endless possibilities for creative use in her little mind. Given a glue stick, some paint, markers, papers, and found objects, she could entertain herself for hours.
I am not artsy. That gene skipped over me (my grandfather, mother, and younger sister are all artists), so having a child who is so involved with something with which I have no expertise is difficult.
So all I can do right now is provide her with the space and the supplies and let her do her thing, which she does willingly. It's really awesome to watch her, actually.
My mom graciously bought her an awesome "Clay Play" art class at our local art gallery, and that starts in a week. She is so excited. Saturdays will be busy for her for awhile. She'll have her clay class, a 45-minute break, and then tennis lessons. All of a sudden, I'm that parent with the overscheduled kid. But as long as she enjoys her lessons and doesn't resist going to them, I figure it's okay.
Much like me, Isabella is a child who never wants to stay home. Every day she asks me what we're doing both in the morning before preschool and in the afternoon once I've picked her up. She wants scheduled events, and if I don't have anything on the itinerary, she gets upset. This? Is exhausting. Because while I would love to take her to the library after school or to the museum or to a playground or outside to play, doing so with a 1 adult to 3 young children ratio is not easy.
She's become slightly physically aggressive with Luci and Nicholas. She will push them, grab toys out of their hands, or climb on top of them when they're bugging her. When they start to cry, she immediately launches into maternal mode, hugging them and saying, "It's okay honey. You're fine. You're fine." as if she weren't the cause of their misery.
There is a Parent Orientation for Kindergarten meeting scheduled on my calendar for the end of the month. Isabella is headed to Kindergarten in 9 short months. And rather than look at this new step for her with longing for her baby days, I cannot wait (and not for the reasons you might think).
I know she is going to love it.
Current Likes: Raw baby carrots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, taking pictures with her new camera
Current Dislikes: Staying home, L&N messing with her stuff
I dropped him off on Friday morning around 7am. At noon, his surgeon called with the results of the MRI.
The cancer that his rabies vaccine gave him is everywhere. It's not only in the mass on his shoulder, it wraps around the scapula bone of his right shoulder. It reaches over to his left scapula. It's around one of his vertebrae.
The surgeon said she could amputate his front right leg, and he would learn to walk with a limp on his left front leg, but because the cancer spreads over to that leg, it would mean a prolonged hospitalization and he would be in a lot of pain. And this would not address the fact that the cancer has spread to his vertebrae, that it's highly aggressive, and that it more than likely would return. Radiation (if I had even wanted to do that) would not have been a viable option, because radiologists do not like to radiate near the lungs.
She would not be able to achieve good margins for surgery. It is the worst case scenario.
Through my tears, I asked what she would do if Louie was hers. She said she would take him home and keep him comfortable until he begins to suffer.
And so a few hours later, once he had recovered from the anesthesia, I picked him up.
He has weeks to a few months left. I plan to love him and cuddle him as much as he'll let me for every day he has left.
My heart is breaking. It has taken me two days to write this post because the news has shattered me. I haven't really been eating. I've been sleeping even less. I haven't run in days. There is nothing I can do to save him.
And now I have to think about how to properly explain what's going on to Isabella, who understands that Louie is sick and who is wondering why mommy is crying all the time. I tried explaining it to her yesterday, and both of us ended up in tears. She wanted to know where Louie was going once I told her we wouldn't be able to see him anymore, and I had no answer for her.
I need to learn to go about life with Louie on my mind constantly. I need to learn to control my emotions. I need to figure out how to drive to preschool, change diapers, dress kids, and make lunch when all I feel like doing in crawling into bed and stroking his soft fur while he sleeps next to me.
And I have absolutely no idea how to do any of this.
I do know this. I will not allow Chubbie or Claudia, Louie's mom and his sister, to be vaccinated anymore. I am pro-vaccine for my kids and I was for my cats. However, I've done a lot of research. Vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma is a lot more common than the 1 in 10,000 cats that's reported. Big pharmaceutical companies are making millions of dollars pushing unnecessarily frequent vaccines. They are manufacturing vaccines that they know cause cancer. And pet owners are not being informed of the risks, which are very real. I've also learned that vaccinations should always be given in the leg, because if VAS occurs, the leg can be amputated. None of this information was given to me via my vet. It does not appear anywhere on the vaccinations' warning labels.
If you have a cat, please, please do some research before his/her next annual check-up. I would not wish what Louie is going through right now on anyone.
Thank you for your comments and your emails. Please continue to keep Louie in your thoughts and prayers.