Sunday, September 28, 2008

Slides and Swings

When Papa is away, we will play!
Fredo went to Germany again, so Angelina and I went to HemisFair Park to play in their wonderful playground. As you can see, she had so much fun.

Little Miss Social Butterfly found friends too. A little girl, not much younger than her wanted to go on the slide. So Angelina said "COme here Baby." Grabbed her hand and showed her how. The mom and grandparents were with her, and it wasn't long before they were ready to take Angelina home with them, convinced she was the sweetest child on earth....

We think she's going to be a gymnast.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Sign of Brilliance or Just Obstinance?

In an effort to make me feel better (or maybe everyone really believes this), Angelina is brilliant. BRILLIANT! A regular Einstein.

That's the way to explain her, um, strong character.

Of course I convince myself of that. But why is it that strong character only comes through with Papa and Maman? Not with Nana (the babysitter)? And well, she's kind of, sort of,maybe a little bit, just like me at that age....and I can't claim to be brilliant.

She is an angel. AN ANGEL! at daycare. Her babysitter has only had to scold her 2x in the almost 1.5 years she's been there. TWO TIMES! With us? it's "Angelina STOP." STOP!" I SAID STOP RIGHT NOW!" "arrêt!" "ARRêT!" "ARRêT!"

And does she stop what she's doing? Hah! She turns to look at us with this devilish smile and continues on. I'm torn between laughing and crying. Except when it's dangerous.

In parking lots she KNOWS she has to hold my hand. What does she do? She darts away faster than I can respond. It's a slow area, no cars. But of course she takes off when a car is approaching, and she's beside a parked large truck, so the little car moving can't see her. I freeze. If I chase her, she runs faster, into the path of the oncoming car. So we have a 1 minute staring match, my only means to keep her still while the car passes. How many more grey hairs that day?!

I'm beginning to think those kid leashes, er, child safety harness aren't such a bad idea afterall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

End of an Era

No more of the Good Stuff.

That's right. Angelina FINALLY weaned off the breastmilk.

I've hesistated to say it for fear of jinxing myself. She's gone a few days without it before, but always came back. Now it's been about 3 weeks or more since she's last nursed and she hasn't asked for it (altho she still likes to say "Boobies!")

That means we made it to the WHO recommended at least 2 years. Not that the World Health Organization is WHY I continued to nurse for so long. It was just a good marker. My plans to nurse where 'for as long as we BOTH wanted to." I wasn't going to be too bothered if she quit early, and I wasn't going to stretch it out too long if it was becoming a hardship for me.

I stopped pumping at 13 months (which WAS a hardship. Man, I was glad to put that pump away!) But nursing was easy still. And when she had croup at ~17 months, I was sooooo glad I was still nursing as she wouldn't eat anything for a week. And at least as long as she nursed, I knew she could breathe.

Until about 2 years I was ok with it, especially as by then she was only really nursing just before bed. But it started to get old. I was getting tired of it, and she was gnawing more than sucking. I stuck it out a bit longer, trying the "don't offer, don't refuse" method of weaning. Nights when we were out late she'd totally forget, but if we were home, it was first on her mind. The first nights I tried putting her to bed without nursing were AWFUL. She'd scream and point at our nursing chair and say "Nurse! Mommy! Nurse!" I gave in and decided it wasn't worth weaning. So I tried different tactics: I moved the nursing chair out of the room so it wouldn't remind her. I tried a different bed time routine. But my heart broke when she'd beg "Nurse Mommy!" and I figured it didn't bother me that much, so I'd nurse her a bit. We started counting to 20. I told her she had until "20" to finish, and she always did, but I couldn't get away with "Zero".

Well, then I had a miscarriage (yes, again - officially I've been pregnant four times, which is weird). Anyway, I was in such physical pain for a week or so that I just couldn't handle nursing and had to say no. Frederic did his best to distract her, and fortunately that was the beginning of the end. I'm not sure when it finally ended, I just realized the other day it's been a few weeks without her asking.

No complaints from me. Some women get rather emotional when their kid gives it up. But me, I'm ok with it. I don't regret nursing so long, (which isn't that long when you consider other primates), nor do I regret stopping when we did.

From the kid whom we weren't sure would ever nurse, to the toddler who was so engrossed,the way to get her out of the tub (which she refused to do), was to lift my top.

She was worse than a 14 year old boy for awhile.

Now, she seems to have forgotten what they're for. And that's ok.

Of course, we'll be taking a flight in a few weeks and I wonder if I'll regret weaning, since that was always the way to keep her calm and quiet on the plane!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"All done!"

I walked back into the kitchen to a shout of "All done Mommy!"

I look.

Half a box of cereal on the table, Angelina proudly holding up the empty box. At least it's not a bucket of tar....that time will come no doubt.

"Are you doing something you shouldn't be doing?"


At least she's honest.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's weird how things hit you

I've been living and breathing Gustav then Ike lately, as part of my job with the state government. For the most part, it's interesting. Not quite exciting anymore - too many times doing this now to be exciting - but it's still all fascinating to see this huge response in action.

Ike has been tricky, he keeps changing course and we keep chasing him, trying to evacuate people out of harms way. Normally you have a few days, but those we evacuated a day ago are now headed back while we evacuate another area. San Antonio looks to be out of harm's way now, but the same region that got evacuated for Gustav is now facing down Ike with less than 24 hours warning.

But what got to me, what really hit me, was the evacuation of the NICU in Galveston to SA. I wasn't involved directly in that evacuation, and had a lot of other issues to attend to, I just heard it going on here and there, but it brought me back to 2 years ago. Watching Angelina in NICU, staying by her side as she fought for her life, I just can't even imagine how it'd be if we'd had to evacuate, if she had to go on an ambulance or a plane to be transported far away. It's for their safety, and it's a good thing, I just can't imagine how hard it must be for those parents right now.

On the positive side, everyone in this state is working very very hard to make sure no lives are lost to Ike, well, at least not here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ike vs. Angelina - which Hurricane would win?

That dot at 2pm Sat is San Antonio. Ike is on his way. I've been busy working in the emergency operations center dealing with evacuations from the coast - and a constant shift in Ike's path, so we don't know where to evacuate. Of course the plan to evacuate the coast to San Antonio is interesting, given Ike's current path....

Time to get all that stuff out in the yard put away!

But sometimes Hurricanes are good luck, at least for us. The last time we had two hurricanes in a row (Katrina then Rita), Angelina was um, "created" ;). Perhaps that explains why she's her own little Category 4 Hurricane.

On a more serious note, Haiti and Cuba need a break. Fay, Hanna, Gustav, now Ike. I'm trying to figure out the best way to help, since we can't go there physically and do much. So many aid organizations, just need to find the right one.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

"No Singing, No Dancing, No Laughing, Nor Cries

The house becomes quiet when Angelina, er, Cherise shuts her eyes...."

Those of you who know my oldest brother Tim's Night Before Christmas at the Rohr's poem, know this phrase well. I will admit it was pretty accurate. It appears the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. Angelina LOVES to dance. I mean LOVES it. Music is on (or even if it's not) and she's boogie-ing. Her dance still used to be shaking her head (kind of like Mommy's 80s headbanger dancing?). Now it consists of twirling in circles.

And there's the Singing. And the Laughing.
Oh, and don't forget the Crying*....Really. She does that too.

She LOOKS like all her genes came from her Papa, but when you see her in action, you know she has SOME of my genes.

Unfortunately for me.

Karma, ya know.....

But she's not a carbon copy, she's her own unique person.

*there's a picture of me about Angelina's age with my brother Chris (6 years older) in our old kitchen on Big Dalton. I am screaming my head off and he's just staring at me. I am sure he's responsible for making me cry. Everytime Angelina gets into her full throttle cry I think of that picture, because though she looks like Fredo 99% of the time, that look when she's screaming is all me.


I am learning to be proud that she has inherited her 'spiritedness' from me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Summer lovin, had me a blast....

And why I love Lavaca Part XXXVI

And more on Hurricane Angelina.

You know how when you were in school, you felt like when you hung around the cool people, you're cool by default? Well, I feel cool living next to my neighbors. They're the ones behind the Slab Cinema. They used to screen public domain films on the 'slab' at La Tuna outdoors in summer. Very cool. Except, well, we never made it...I loved the concept, a weeknight was just hard, especially after Hurricane Angelina crashed onto our shores.

This year, the city asked Rick and Angela to team up to show films at HemisFair Park. Ok, so that's not officially in our neighborhood, but it's close enough to walk. Last night they showed Grease.

Who doesn't remember dancing around singing "Go Greased Lightnin', Your burning up the quarter mile. Greased Lightnin' Go Greased Lightnin'
Go Greased Lightnin'!?" My cousin and I used to sing out the whole film.

Well, I wasn't alone. Tons of people turned out to see the film (apparently ~350), and after "Summer Lovin" people cheered. Had I been in back, I would have been dancing and singing along.

Which leads me to our little Hurricane. We almost didn't go because at dinner earlier to say goodbye to Manda, Angelina was going a bit crazy. We didn't last long and headed home. On the way home she saw Wiley and Felice at the Park getting ready for the film, and well, that's that. The little hellion turned into a happy child ready to party after all.

As soon as "Summer Lovin'" started, she was dancing. And then she could NOT stop dancing! Her favorite must have been the dance scene in the gym - "Born to Hand Jive" she was twirling and jumping all over the place. Alas, she got a little too close to the projector for about the 10th time, and I decided it was time to leave so we didn't get to see the whole thing.

We're going to have to start finding a babysitter for Thursday night, so we can go more often to "Movies by Moonlight" aka "the new slab". And not to worry, the old classics will be back, though I feel like such a pop culture kid getting so excited about Grease.

Summer dreams ripped at the seams,
bu-ut oh, those su--uh-ummer nighhhhts....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dolly, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine....Angelina

Guess which one is NOT a Hurricane in 2008?

So far, only Josephine....

Hurricanes have been keeping me busy of late. What do hurricanes have to do with public health and communicable diseases you ask? Well, as we learned after Katrina, A LOT. Fortunately the Texas coast hasn't been hit too hard, though Dolly wasn't pretty. Dolly also spun a tornado which touched down a couple of miles from our house. I feel for those in the Caribbean, one major storm after another.

As for the Cat 5 Hurricane who hits every DAY on Devine St, sometimes I think we should evacuate, but she's so darn cute we just ride out the storm.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Not quite a real horse, but Papa is a good substitute!

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