Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Today, I had to go to the dentist, not my favorite activity at all. Especially not if there are three cavities involved. Did I mention how I hate the dentist? I spent a lot of time trying to think up excuses why I didn't really have to go, but my mature self won and I ended up going anyway.

I was in there for TWO hours! Did I mention that I hate the dentist? Lots of drilling, and he happily discovered a nerve that was exposed after all that drilling. Oh joy. Did I mention that I also hate novocain, so I did this all without anasthesia? I visualized being at the beaver pond, which helped a lot. The pain was there, but it was not foremost in my mind. It was more like an annoying background buzz while I was enjoying nature. Although I have to admit that it would have improved the situation if I had brough my machete I think :-)

He put a temporary filling on the one with the exposed nerve, permanent fillings on the others. And to add insult to injury, he prescribed a week's worth of antibiotics. I hate those too. Last time, they messed up my body for three months. Better go and get some acidophilus tomorrow I guess.

I was supposed to go play go in the afternoon, but the building was closed for the holidays. Oh well, at least I got to walk, since I hadn't done that in the morning because of the dentist visit. But I really had wanted to play go against a human. At least, when I came home, I got a package with new go books and new go software. That will keep my busy for a while.

You know, I didn't have any issues with my teeth before I went to the dentist, and now they hurt a lot. Makes me wonder why I even do this to myself. Blech!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Big Girl

She's growing up too darned fast. Today, I went down in our black hole basement, tried to find the baby seat to hang from the table. Took me only half an hour or so, but I finally did find it! That was after another half hour of replacing the table cloth, which I was going to do before Sylvia was born, but life got in the way. I know normal people have table cloths on their table, and they can just take it off and put on another one. Not us, no, we duct tape our table cloth to the table. It's not really a table cloth anyway, it's plastic with fabric backing, bought at JoAnne's, by the yard, to fit our pretty big table. The duct taping helps to make sure that no little fingers mess with the table cloth. It works too, but after half a year or so, holes start appearing and it needs to be replaced. After more than a year, it just looks disgusting, and it had been bothering me for a while, glad I finally got it done!

After finding the baby seat, I installed it on the table. Put Sylvia in there, with a few frozen blueberries, and she looked at me and just grinned. 'Really???? Are you going to let me sit here and eat??? All by myself???? Wow!!! I just love it!!!!' She happily picked up a blueberry, and brought it to her mouth. Took it out again, put it in again, and then the other kids discovered her sitting there. Erik was the first 'Guys, guys, come on!!!!! I found Sylvia's chair!!!! She is sitting in it!!!!!'

Six pairs of running feet, excited voices. 'Sylvia!!! You are so big!!!' 'She is eating!' 'What is she eating???' 'Whose chair is that??' 'What will you give her???' 'Will she eat every meal now??' 'How are we going to keep the table clean?' 'Look how she has this really disgusted look on her face when she takes out her blueberry!' 'YEAH!!! Sylvia, you ate it!!!!!'

Sylvia sitting there, surrounded by her siblings, chewing her blueberries. Happily grinning, and enjoying all the attention. Me, choking away tears, how can she be growing so fast. I am not the only food source anymore. Her poops will change to the more disgusting type, not the nice, soft, yellowish breastmilk poop anymore. I am not ready for this! But she sure is!

Not only that, but she has figured out that it is possible to pull yourself up to stand. For now, she is just doing it on people, but she has been eyeing the couch, and been experimenting with it. She is not totally there yet, but the way she is going, it won't be long. I keep telling her that she's too little to do that, but she doesn't listen.

Christmas was fun! The kids were happy with all their presents, spent all day yesterday and today playing with them. Sylvia was more interested in the wrapping paper than in her presents. And in the tiny pieces of the other kids' presents of course. I got my very own machete. Nice, big, and shiny! Can't wait to go bushwhacking again!

Of course, I had to go out and try it. Can't have a brand new machete and not do anything with it right. There is some brush in our front yard, which I want to take out at some point, so that was perfect practicing material. I had seen all those movies, where people just swing their machete, and the jungle dissolves around them I took a big swing at one of the bushes. And another one. And another one. It now had three tiny notches in it, but was still stubbornly standing. This was harder than it looked in the movies!

Not one to give up easily, I kept hacking at it, and eventually it gave in, leaving me proudly looking at this tiny stick on the ground, wondering how long it would take to bushwhack for a mile or so. I had some more fun taking down brush, but it really was much harder than it looked. Lots of room for improvement in my machete skills.

While I was standing there, swinging my machete like a mad woman, suddenly a passer by pops up out of nowhere. I kind of hide my machete behind my back and smile at him, with a bright 'Good morning!' added. He returns my greeting, but looks kind of doubtful about it all, and seems to be moving fast to get away from me. Hmmmm, I wonder what kind of story he will tell to the neighbors. I must be building up quite a reputation, first the ammo boxes, now the machete...

Finally did some baking again today, other than just the daily bread. I made blueberry scones, and a batch of unchicken steak. Not only that, but I also managed to make yogurt and pad thai. Yummy!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Night Before Christmas

All through the house, the kids were excited, but finally passed out. Tim kept on puking, the toilet was flooding, the baby was fussy, but we did get all the presents underneath the tree!!!! It will be an early morning, so merry christmas to all and off to bed!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Playing Go

Back in my old college days, I was one of those students who really enjoyed the social aspect of my education. So instead of going to all those boring classes, I spent my time in the cafetaria, playing all kinds of games, like bridge, chess, all kinds of card games, and go. Who needs classes when you can stimulate your intellect by having so much fun playing games?

Go was one of my favorite games, and I spent quite a lot of time playing and studying it. I even entered in some tournaments, not that I ever won anything, but it was fun. Then my college time was over, and life hit, and somehow I didn't get to play much go anymore. Until a few weeks ago, when I dug up my old board and stones and started playing again.

My family has a few go players, but none of them has the obsession with the game I have, so I soon ended up looking around on the trusted internet. And lo and behold, there is a whole on line go world out there! After some experimenting, we discovered that we could get Kiseido to work with our firewall. Which enabled me to suddenly play against tons of strong go players, and a bunch of go robots, which was less embarrassing to try to figure out my right rank :-)

Late every night, I log on to the server and get my daily go fix. Even better, I found a real life go 'club' close to home, and I went there for the first time today. What fun. Two nice go players, both of them way stronger than I am, but they took pity on me and gave me 9 stones handicap. I ended up winning the game, but it's kind of hard to lose with 9 handicap. Especially since my opponent was playing two games simultaneously. It just was so much fun to play against real humans face to face, as opposed to at the computer.

So yet another obsession has entered my life. I guess it's good to have something to do in the winter, when it's harder to geocache. At least I still got my daily walk in, and I have also started doing some yoga, not much, but it's a start.

Now I just have to make sure that Sylvia doesn't eat those nice, tasty go stones :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy Solstice!


My last blog entry ended with Kate puking. Well, that was just the start of yet another puking bug going around the house, culminating in tons of laundry and every one feeling pretty rotten at one time or another. The kids were nice enough to even share the bug with me! Found out that the toilets really do need cleaning, which I did yesterday. I wish the puking was pregnancy related, puking because of a bug just sucks!

Life has been hectic as usual, but at least I started walking again. I started last Thursday, and have walked almost every day. Even when the temps were significantly subzero. Brrrrrr! But it enabled me to teach Sylvia the sign for 'cold', I have started signing with her.

We celebrated the solstice today, still have the fire going, kids roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. Tomorrow, we'll have three more seconds of day light, oh joy!

Sylvia is helping me type, so have to keep this short, she isn't very good at spelling yet.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

She Sits!!!

Sylvia is growing up way too fast. She has been crawling every where, and has been trying to figure out how to get into a sitting position from lying down.But up until now, she couldn't do it, would just be almost sitting up, but needed an arm to keep herself steady. Fast forward to today. She was eagerly exploring every single fuzzy on the living room carpet, when suddenly, she did the almost sitting up thing again. Wait, this wasn't almost sitting up, this was TOTALLY sitting up! Without hands! So amazing!!! I told her how wonderful she was, and she replied by toppling over within five seconds or so. I guess she isn't a steady sitter yet LOL, but I was really surprised to notice her getting into a sitting position without any help.

She still gets stuck underneath the furniture, although I am sure she will figure out a way to deal with that soon. I know the first year always flies past, but somehow it still surprises me every single time.

And talking about growing up way too fast, my teenager, a fresh 13yo, now is reading all my parenting books and tells me what I am doing wrong.... Today he was working on 'Siblings Without Rivalry'. Just imagine the following situation. Cees and me both reading books on the couch, suddenly mayhem breaks out and two screaming and fighting little ones come running into the room, one of them waving an empty cardboard tube, from inside a wrapping paper roll. 'Can I have this please????' 'No, I want to have it' 'No, me, me, me!!!' 'I want it this time!!!'

It's late and I don't really want to deal with it, so I tell Erik he can have it for today, as long as he takes it upstairs, and closes the door of whichever room he decides to take it in, and then Kate can play with it tomorrow. They run off, with a bit of grumbling from Kate, but not much, and the room is quiet again. Cees looks up from his books and comments 'You did that all wrong, mama!' I ask him what I should have done and he responds 'You should have said that they should work on negotiating a solution that they both are happy with' 'OK, I'll do that next time'

LOL, it's a weird feeling if your kid starts critiquing your parenting in a different way than 'Everybody else gets to do xxxxx' or 'It's not fair'. Maybe I should re-read all those books that he is working through now. Last I saw, he had started on 'How to talk so kids will listen', and a few days ago he was reading 'Raising boys!'

Oh, and Kate just puked all over the bed room floor and her mattress, a bunch of toys and her clothes. Life is never boring around here!

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I was going to post some pictures today, but life got in the way. So just a short summary of what happened, before I am off to put the little ones to bed. I am totally overwhelmed right now, but also very very happy to have such a wonderful family. Sylvia is reveling in her crawling abilities, she is just so cute!

  • We were First To Find on a new cache.
  • Did some grocery shopping
  • Had three mormons over! They just showed up, at least they helped to carry in the groceries. And no, I am still not converted, although I now know even more about the mormon religion. I never knew they baptized unrelated people who are dead, I thought they only baptized their family after death.
  • Rescued Sylvia form underneath the desk
  • Had a friend's toddler over, who puked over the couch
  • Made split pea soup
  • Rescued Sylvia from underneath a chair
  • Baked three loaves of bread
  • Rescued Sylvia from underneath the couch
  • Did lots of other small things
  • Did not do 320 things that should have happened, but just didn't get done
  • Just feel totally overwhelmed and as if I accomplished nothing, even although I was busy the whole day
  • Wished Sylvia would be able to put herself in reverse LOL and rescued her yet again when she was stuck
  • Played go on an on line go server and lost! Waaah! ;-)
  • Fished soggy paper out of Sylvia's mouth

So, a full day, but not much got done. Oh well, at least we were First To Find. And I'll post pictures soon, really!

Monday, December 06, 2004

SIX Months!!!

She is SIX months old now! How did that happen???? It's amazing how fast that half year went past, and also how much she has learned in those six months. She is crawling, babbling, cooing, grabbing everything within reach, picking up too many tiny fuzzies, and just a delight to be with.

She had a checkup today, weighs 16lbs 11oz now, doubled her birth weight. She was declared healthy. Kept trying to crawl off the table though :-)

We almost finished the long and involved multi cache, but we ran out of daylight. It's amazing how short the days have become! Can't wait for the solstice!

Yesterday, we celebrated Sinterklaas, yes, we did hide a cache to add to the Sinterklaas fun :-) Kids ended up with lots of fun new toys, including a block set to make a Roman arch. They have been having fun with that today, it's so neat.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Birthday Cache

Last week, it was my friend M's birthday, so what else would we do than hide a cache for her! So, on Wednesday, in the pouring rain, I went out to two remote ponds in Vermont with my friend I to hide a birthday cache for her. The kids somehow were not thrilled with the rain, I wonder why not. I had only five of them with me, the other two were at a friend's house. We hid the cache at the other side of the pond from where the parking area was, there was a connection that was easy to cross, no water on it during this time of the year. We decided that we didn't have to hike in too far today, the rain was kind of interfering with our caching experience.

Of course, when we decided that we wanted to hide the cache now, we could not find a good spot! Suddenly all the rocks had disappeared, the trees didn't have any good root holes to hide anything in, and no convenient stacks of broken sticks was presenting itself. Eventually I found a lonely rock, and just put the cache behind it, covered it with some stuff and we ran back to the car.

Fast forward to yesterday, when we presented our cache to M. We discovered that the rain of the last few days had filled the connection thingy with lots of water. Oops! This made it a bit harder to get to the other side. Heck, it made it a LOT harder to get to the other side. I ended up with a wet left foot, Kate had two wet feet, and Tara discovered that there was a gaping crack in one of her rain boots. M had to pour water out of Tara's boot.

Short hike to the cache hiding place, there was a spot with lots of mud and water, but easy to avoid by taking a kind of short cut. They did find the cache and the the normal amount of grabbing, crying, fighting ensued. Eventually they all settled on whatever they wanted. M found her birthday presents, and took a cute seahorse which Kate had selected for the cache in our local thrift store :-) The sea horse is going to be one of her travel bugs.

Fast hike back to the car (managed to get both of my feet wet this time), and there turned out to be a traveling cache hidden close by too. What a coincidence. OK, maybe my friend I planned it that way :-) Cees found that one, but we gave it to M to hide next, because it was her birthday.

Now we had to hurry back home, because we had invited some friend to celebrate M's birthday with us. I even had baked a cake for her, have to admit that it wasn't perfectly decorated, just a simple devil's food cake with vanilla frosting, but hey, at least it was home baked.

And today, the Vermont Geocaching Organization featured me as the featured Geocacher. I am honored.