Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Those close to me tell me that I am a hilarious "druggie." I can't say for sure, as I am not usually amusing myself. But since a young age, whenever I have to take anything stronger than, say, Tylenol, I offer hours of conversational enjoyment. I ramble on and on about random things and I develop strong emotions about things that simply don't matter.

Examples abound:
The day I got my wisdom teeth out and woke up SOBBING that the nurse in the recovery room couldn't understand ASL (American Sign Language). The night after knee surgery when I fell out of my bed while my leg was still in it, and couldn't call for help because I was laughing so hard. The day (my freshman year of college) I explained to my French teacher why I had missed my biology class for surgery (note: I hadn't missed French).

In fact, when I was in college, my sister requested to spend the night with me after I had harmed myself or had surgery, not in order to take care of me (which she did as well), but more because she didn't want to miss anything I might do or say. She still loves to laugh about some of those nights! Ahenobarbus also enjoys these times. He will sit back, fold his arms, nod his head, and just laugh at me. Because of all of this, I am now very careful about when and what medication I take.
Apparently, I passed this trait on to Beemer.

Last night, through a series of unfortunate events, Beemer got her pinkie finger shut in the back door. She had creases down the front and back and lots of swelling. So, after a quick call to my sister, the nurse, we gave her some Tylenol, put ice on her finger and waited to see if she could move it after the ice numbed it. Through all of this time, Beemer was a trooper. She cried in pain, but let us ice her finger without argument. After we determined her finger wasn't broken, we wrapped it in gauze and Ahenobarbus read to her while I rocked her. By this time it was an hour and half past her bedtime. As she was starting to relax, I decided to sing to her to help her doze off before I put her in bed. That was when it happened.

Beemer started talking and laughing - and didn't stop! She told us that she didn't like having her finger shut in the door but that it was starting to feel better. She held up her injured hand and told us it was "the hand that was feeling better," and then holding up the uninjured hand said "and this is the hand that wasn't hurt at all." I sang two songs. She interrupted every few lines to share new insight. When I finished the second song, she requested "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" which was the first song I had sung. When I told her I had already sang it, she didn't remember. (I'm guessing she was talking too much.) She laughed and said, "Oh, I forgot, but my finger is going back to the way it was before it was shut in the door." This random chatter went on for about ten minutes, after which I gave up singing (because I could no longer keep a straight face) and put her to bed. (Update on her finger for those of you who are worried: no bruising yet, it's still a bit swollen, but she's doing great today).

After we got her to bed, Ahenobarbus said she was acting just like I do when medicated. But she only had Tylenol. Maybe it was the relief when the pain lessened. Maybe it was late and she was tired. Or maybe all of these years, we thought it was the medication getting to me when in reality it was the injury/pain and that is what affected Beemer. Whatever the cause, I can say that I now have a new appreciation from the non-medicated side of things and I can see what I couldn't before: what everyone was laughing at!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seasons Greetings!

As you may be aware, we’re still stuck in the Midwest. Hey, it could be worse.

2008 was a good year for us. We welcomed a new addition to our family, moved to a new home that feels much more like a home and less like and apartment, worked in a few vacation trips, and got to know St. Louis and see more of what the city has to offer us during our stay (some of our favorite places include the St. Louis Zoo, the World Bird Sanctuary, Elephant Rocks State Park, and Laumeier Sculpture Park).

Audi joined our family in February, but (according to her dad) was pretty much just a squeaky lump for most of the year. She started crawling the day before Thanksgiving and is welcoming the joys of being mobile. She has two teeth, is solidly attached to her blanket and loves to play with her big sister! She is a beautiful and happy baby with a ready smile for anyone who looks at her.

Beemer, now four, loves her little sister, Barbies, Polly Pockets, and EVERYTHING pink! She likes to color, play outside, and her teacher and friends at her preschool – a new highlight in her life. Her confidence in tackling new situations (and sometimes, though rarely, people) is amazing to watch.

Pulcheria is happily busy at home with the girls. She works with the nursery at church and loves the extra hugs from the kids each week. She is also perfecting a list of “hot spots” and “must-sees” for visitors. Admittedly, the list is short, but it does include a visit with two adorable girls. (Those who have come to visit say the girls are the best part of the trip.)

Ahenobarbus has always been good at scheming, and is currently attempting to shed years off of his dissertation by choosing a topic, now. Hope it works. His research is demanding and holds his interest (a challenging feat). Those who know him may be surprised that he has discovered a language which he despises more than French: Old French.

While we miss our family and friends (and the mountains and desert) in Utah, we are grateful for the friends that we have around us in St. Louis and the amazing opportunities that we have been blessed with. We hope that as 2008 ends, you are enjoying a festive and happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ho Ho Ho!

Today was the Santa House at Beemer's preschool. Ahenobarbus was able to go with her, and she was so excited. They spent the day making really adorable crafts, singing songs, eating treats, and of course, visiting with Santa.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fa La La La La, La La La La

The day after Thanksgiving (I know I am a bit behind), Beemer and I put up our Christmas decorations. Proving once again that she is my daughter, Beemer was almost as excited to put up the decorations as she was to celebrate Thanksgiving!

(Notice the empty bottom third of the tree. Beemer was very aware of where Audi can reach - oddly enough Audi hasn't wanted to do much more than touch the lights softly with one or two fingers).

Once we got the tree in the living room decorated, we put up a smaller one in the girls room. Beemer LOVED this idea. She turns the lights on first thing in the morning and leaves them on until she goes to bed at night. The only problem was that we left all of our *tiny* ornaments in Utah, so we solved it by making some of our own one night.

This is Beemer decorating her tree (don't know what happened to the color in this picture).

Notice the gingerbread men and princess ornaments to match the tree in the living room.

The finished product. She is so proud!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving 2008 was a different one for our family this year. But we were lucky to be able to celebrate with wonderful friends in St. Louis. I made dinner and we had four friends come and share it with us.

Ahenobarbus believes strongly that Thanksgiving is all about turkey and pies, then more turkey and more pies. So Wednesday, Beemer and I made pies! We had a blast making them together.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the actual event, but we had a fantastic dinner. My favorite part of the day was the fact that Ahenobarbus was here all day - that hasn't happened in months! It was definitely a day for giving thanks!

Some things that I am thankful for this year:
A wise, practical, calm, brilliant, and incredibly handsome hubby
A loving, smart, gregarious, and adorable Beemer
A sweet, snuggly, silly, smiley, Audi
Two cuddly, if crazy, cats
A warm house on a friendly street
Family who love and support us from far away
Fantastic friends who love and support us from near and far
Just enough challenges to keep life exciting