Friday, June 30, 2006

Yesterday I Liked...

When I was a kid in school every english class would start by filling out the "Yesterday I Liked" sheet, where you had to write a sentence about... something you liked.

Yesterday I put a half naked Nicholas and a very soggy Nate into the car so that I could deposit Steve's paycheck. Halfway there, Nathan began laughing. It wasn't the small, googling noises he usually makes. It was one of those deep belly laughs that he gives only when he realizes that this, this thing he's laughing at? It's REALLY FUNNY! When I leaned over to see what he was looking at, he was looking right at Nick. Nick was looking back at him, slightly surprised, but still smiling. And then HE laughed. And then Nate laughed again. They went back and forth like that for the rest of the trip, and it was one of the greatest moments in my life.

Yesterday I also called the passport office. The lady on the phone was very nice. She was sympathetic when I said Nate was born in November instead of January and told me I should get used to having a fried brain now that I had a baby. I assured he that I had a two yearold and that my brain had been replaced with a huge marshmallow. She assured me she was expediting the passport processing, that it should be express mailed to me today, and to call back Wednesday if I don't have it by then.

Yesterday Lillian came by in the morning and I went to this salon I like and I got my hair cut. It was a wonderful experience. The woman cutting my hair was nice. She spoke to me about her little boy instead of her soon-to-be-single husband. The other people there were relaxed and friendly and were not mall rat clones. And I actually got my hair cut. Before and after photos will be posted shortly.

I'm trying to post a photo, but I don't think it's working. WHY, blogger? WHY WHY WHY?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Passport Problems

OK, so the one thing you need to travel to Europe is... not luggage, not sunscreen, not even a wheely car seat... besides a plane ticket... yes, that's right, a passport.

Guess which one of us still has no passport?

That's right, Nathan.

In order to travel internationally, little baby Nathan had to get his picture taken. Steve and I made a date to meet at the Post Office where they took Passport applications. It was pouring rain, and by pouring I mean BUCKETS of water were flung down to earth at the count of three. I forgot my checkbook, but Steve happened to have ONE CHECK on him. The whole process left us angry and frustrated with each other the same we we get frustrated with each other doing things like putting the plow on the truck or moving large furniture.

And we still have no passport for him.

It's supposed to come in the mail, but it hasn't yet. I feel stupid because I didn't expedite the process, and felt we had PLENTY of time, and I was sure it would get here... but we have one week left - a holiday week at that - and I am not sure what to do. I could call the passport place, but I seem to remember a warning on the website saying it may make the process even LONGER if they have to search for it...

What should I do? Please, please tell me what to do! I refuse to alter my vacation plans because of this, and I just don't know if Nate will fit in my carry-on.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

bwess you mommy

Nick has a cold - AGAIN. And of course I'm doind the usual "chasing round the room with a cloth trying to stop the flow of snot from nose." It's as if someone turned on a faucet, and I know it bothers him a lot.

Anyway, yesterday, for the first time, I saw Nick put his hand in front of his mouth while sneezing. Considering the number of colds he gets, this is HUGE. I can't tell you how many times he just sneezes point blank on me or Steve or his brother or the hamburger helper I have just made for family dinner. We are encouraging him to repeat this hygenic action. We're also stressing all sorts of manners. Please, which he just doesn't say. Thank you, where he either says "you're welcome" or "so much." And I'm also trying to teach him that it isn't polite to butt people with his head.

Nick has also said a couple of COMPLETE SENTENCES. Ok, they were small complete sentences, but complete. Once, as he was trying to lug a portable stereo up the stairs, he turned to me and asked "Will you help me?" and I was so touched by the fact that he asked for help without a tantrum AND did it using so many words strung together that I forgot I was upset he was playing with the CD player and helped him.

The other day Steve was headed downstairs to his office and I was trying to get Nick downstairs for lunch, and Steve took off out of the room, shutting the door behind him. Nicholas let out a scream and then shouted, crying, "Daddy! Wait for me!" I opened the door and Standing there with this look on his face, a look that said " I know I was going to just leave, but how could I resist THOSE WORDS coming out of MY BOY?"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sleep Cycle

By far the most stressful part of the day is putting the boys to sleep. The rest of the day I'm fine. I am calm and happy and I feel that I do a pretty good job juggling activities and errands and fun stuff for Nick to do. But no matter how happy and calm and at peace with the world I am when I put the boys to bed, by the time they are actually both asleep I can feel the frustration crawling under my skin, and I know I'm about to spontaneously combust.

Nick usually goes upstairs peacefully enough, although he's sad about it. And I can get him into the bed. I read stories while I feed Nathan, and that's a challenge because I don't have a free hand to turn the pages, or even to hold the book, and Nick is often very squirmy, rolling around, digging under the covers, poking Nate in the head...

And then, once I turn the light out, the true test begins. Nick hops out of bed. He turns on the light. He climbs over the baby gate. He climbs into the crib. If Nathan's asleep, he often get a rude awakening as Nick falls on top of him in the crib. If I leave the room I am on edge because I don't want Nate to wake up or Nick to hurt himself, which he does a lot by falling off the rocking chair or the bed. I've taken to sitting and reading as the boys fall asleep, but Nick things this is funny. Last night he would see how far he had to dangle a limb out of the bed before I would tell him to get back to bed. He would stand up in bed and just LOOK at me. He would rush to turn on the light and then rush back to bed. He was being a little devil. A pain. A two-year-old.

I don't know what to do about it. I get upset no matter what I do. I keep taking Nate out of the room, but I feel bad because I feel that Nate should be allowed to learn to sleep in his crib before I have to have fights with HIM about it...

ANd last night, after one final good-night, I closed the door and kept my teeth clenched in anticipation of some noise or thump or crying... and nothing happened. ANd when I finally went in to check on them the light were all on, and Nick wasn't in his bed. He was in the brib, with Nate. And they were both asleep.

When Nate gets to the point where he can roll over easily and sit up, I'm just going to let them share a bed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

20 Questions

Yesterday we went to The Butterfly Place. It was really neat, and a little scary. It took all of 15 minutes, but there really are so many butterflies. And they are up close. One of them landed on Steve's hat. There's no pretending they aren't insects, either. Their little legs were all over the place. But it was kind of cool to have them flying in front of you, above you, behind you... blue, orange, pink, any color you can think of. I think we'll be going back when the boys are older and won't have to be confined to a stroller.

Remember my BzzzThingy, the thing I joined that may or may not be scamy? Well, they sent me some links so that I can play this game online - Twenty questions. They want to create this handheald game, but they need help getting the Artificial Intelligence to "learn" as much as it can. It's actually pretty neat, even though it may have a lot to learn. Here are the links so you guys can check it out. It's fun! It's free! It beats another game of solitaire. And the more you play, the more the game is "learning" so it should get better over time. You can play the Sports version, the TV/Movie version, or the Music version, and I have to warn you the music version is just rock/pop. You have to think of a person/place/thing, and the game will ask you questions.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

looking for a cure

Yesterday, after my salon incident, I moped all day long, periodically weeping, until I managed to get enough caffeine into my bloodstream to balance out my hormone levels.

I have to apologize for my over reacting. As Steve himself said at one point, it was just a hair cut. To explain, I really had planned this weeks in advance. I planned it for a Saturday, so Steve could watch the boys. I avoided the weekend before his birthday and Father's Day. I really thought this through. And if I had just clarified one stupid thing at the start of the appointment it wouldn't have happened. I guess I still over reacted.

Anyway, I've fixed it. Another hair appointment is already scheduled - at a different place. Lillian said she would come up and watch the boys. All shall be mended, and the earth will keep on spinning.

Also, this is what Nate looks like every single time we feed him "solid" food. That's twice a day of a face that looks like this.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A pony "tale" of a different color

This is a picture of me in December of 2002. Its a picture of the me I've secretly been trying to get back to - physically, I mean. Pre-kids, pre-pregnancy, and only 6 months into my marriage. So I decided I'd get my hair cut. After all, I hadn't had a haircut since Nick was 4 weeks old... that's about 2 years now. My hair is the longest it's ever been. And don't I deserve some pampering? I'm going on vacation - I had images of a cute, skinny me with cute, sassy hair running around with my kids in the sun.

I had a hair appointment scheduled for today, and it was a total disaster. How bad? Do I have blue hair? A mohawk? Am I bald? No... actually... Actually my hair looks EXACTLY THE SAME.

That's right. I showed up on time for my 9am appointment and made a mistake RIGHT AWAY. I didn't confirm waht I was having done. I figured TAMMY, the woman who I was trusting my hair to, would know what she was doing. TAMMY plunged right into the color I had asked for. Now, I don't usually get my hair colored. I have a great natural color - almost black. But I've been noticing a few white hairs in there, and I thought I would splurge. TAMMY kept telling me my hair was SO DARK, like is was a problem I should have fixed earlier. Then she suggested a natural brown, a couple of shades lighter. I said fine.

While she pulled my hair out my the roots and applied a noxious smelling goop to my head she talked to me about her husbad, who lost her paycheck and who didn't want her to go back to work after they had kids and who, she told me, she was probably going to divorce once her kids were "old enough." She told me about her mother in law who is manipulative and cries and who compares her to her sister in law. The she left me sitting for an hour while she put foils on another customer.

All the other women there were getting foils. They were all wearing cute apris and tank tops,. They all had on lipstick and eyeliner. They were all trendy and cute. I had an hour to look right into a mirror without my hair framing my face and observe the yellowish tint to my skin, the moles and the freckles, and the slight mustash that made me look like a feminine Gomez Adams. I listened to the chatter, to the conversation, and all the girls were talking about their boyfriends, their husbands, their dates, and fights with co-workers... I have never been able to say the things they were saying. I have never been able to talk to complete stranger about my ex-boyfriends, even if she was giving me a medusa foil do.

Anyway, the rest of the appointment was just awful. TAMMY handed me the blow dryer to dry my hair myself. It turned out they didn't have me down for a cut, only a color. My hair looks exactly the same as it did before 90 minutes in awful smelling hair goop, only now parts of my scalp are brown. No trendy look for me. Not even a blow dry, I just smell like ammonia. This is what I get for trying to be like everybody else.

I was so upset I cried all the way home. I had scheduled this Saturday appointment weeks in advance, and I was really looking forward to a new cut. To short hair. I didn't expect not to get it. I was supposed to feel good about myself, to feel special, and instead I felt icky and dumpy and so out of it. I felt unimportant. I felt, quite frankly, that when I walked out of the salon all the lipstick girls would roll their eyes and wonder how I could be so incompetent.

I really do want a hair cut. But I don't want to go back to a salon like that ever again. Betsy - I'm going to do what you do and just cut my own hair, OK?

Friday, June 23, 2006

My Mother, My Self

We used to make fun of my mother for her inability to remember our names. I mean, she knew who we were, but chances were, when it came time to address me in conversation, she would end up stringing together five or six names, inevitably calling me by my father's name, the dog's name, and quite often she called me Frances.

I didn't mean to give both my kids "N" names. It happened by accident, and then we decided we didn't care. But lately I have been calling the boys by each other's names. When both of the boys are with me I can cover it up - I mean, they are both so small. But sometimes, when Nate is sleeping, I call Nick Nate. And that's not so great, because as per yesterday's post, he's already having identity issues.

It's not just names, either. I posted some time ago about how Steve put Nate's diaper on Nick, and how I've almost done the same thing myself. Well, here are a few things I've done just recently that are even crazier than diaper mis-identification. I squirted a dropperful of Nick's flouride supplement into Nate's mouth and only noticed because he happily spat it out. I tried putting Nick's sandals on Nate's feet, and it took me some fumbling trying to get them to STAY before I realized the feet were WAY too small. And yesterday, while both boys were fussing and crying, I grabbed a pacifier in a fit of desperation, and after a few frustrating seconds realized I was trying to pop it into NICK'S mouth - Nick doesn't use a pacifier anymore - he hasn't for over a year. And we tell him he doesn't need one when he picks up Nate's. And there I was, trying to force one into his mouth... he was avoiding me, which is why I couldn't get it in, and the look on his face clearly said "Mom? You in there? You crazy?"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Baa Baa Black Sheep

What you can' tell from this photo is just how SMALL this little lamb is. It lives at the farm we visited the other week, but I couldn't manage to feed it. The bigger sheep and the alpacas swarm anyone who looks like they might have food and the little guys can't compete.

So far today is cool (of course it's only 8am), and I have an optimistic outlook, probably because Nathan slept through the night until 5:15 am, and I did a load of wash yesterday without creating a wading pool in the laundry room (was I imagining the water on the floor?), plus I have to say I was really encouraged by yesterday's comments. I was really feeling down and incompetent, and you, you people who comment, you let me know that, well, it's OK to feel incompetent. Because kids scrape themselves and you can't do anything about it. So I've decided to approach it the same way I do the pet hair situation. I can't do anything about it. So I just tell myself it builds character and boosts the immune system. The same with treadmill related injuries.

I do have a general question, though. I took my fair share of education classes, including child development and education psychology. But I can't seem to remember anything about when a child should call himself by his own name. When I call Nicholas, he responds. But he calls himself BOY. If he sees his reflection, or a photograph of himself, he calls it "boy." If you say you are going upstairs and he wants to come, he says "Boy too!"

I'm not overly concerned about it, but every once and awhile I wonder if I'm raising a serial killer or someone with a split personality. You know - one is named Nicholas and the other is BOY.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Deja-Vu All Over Again

Remember how, in yesterday's post, I said I was going to turn my mood around and we were going to have a happy, heathly, and at least partially comfortable day?


Well... it started out really well. I got a load of laundry in, I packed the kids up and we went to a park. Nick got to see one of his little friends, and he didn't fall asleep on the way home, so I had real hopes of his taking a nap and my getting a run in.

Unless the washer has a cycle where water is SUPPOSED to pool out onto the floor, I'm pretty sure our washer is broken. Our new washer, less than 2 years old. Which we replaced because water was pooling all over the floor. This is bad. I don't think anyone knows just how much laundry I do. I do a load practically every day. 5 or 6 loads a week. If I skip two days I end up with a disaster, where we run out of clothing or towels or sheets. So... I don't know what we will do.

Then Nick wouldn't nap. He played and played and played in his room, switching on lights, climbing in and out of the crib... and I just couldn't figure out WHY? He was exhausted at the park! I could hardly keep him awake at lunch! I was offering him time to rest! How could he spend 90 minutes bouncing off the walls? So I did what I said I'd never do just so I could get a run in. I took him downstairs to watch a Pooh video while I ran for 10 minutes.

NEVER RUN ON A TREADMILL WITH A CURIOUS TWO YEAR OLD IN THE ROOM! I belted him into a little chair, but it didn't matter. While I was running he either fell or stuck his hand on the treadmill and he scraped his hand and his arm. "Scraped" makes it sound so minor, and his arm is hardly hurt at all, but the skin came clean off part of his hand. It's awful. I know it's painful. I know it' my fault 100%, worse than dislocating his elbow because I never thought anything might happen by holding his hand, but I KNEW it was unsafe to use a treadmill with a child in the room. I considered going to the doctor, but I honestly... I feel like I've lost my ability to know what's doctor-worthy. I've called the doctor so many times to be told to just use a band-aid or give him Tylonol or use a humidifier... a broken arm is one thing, but a scrape that isn't bleeding, that is just really painful... well, what would they do?

I put a bandage on it and Neosporin and I gave Nick Tylonol. I decided to wach it, to make sure he starts using his hand, and that the sore spot doesn't get too red or inflammed. Then I got to go shopping with him, because we needed food so that we could actually eat. And of course Steve has been lecturing me and lecturing me ever since he got home, and I can't say I blame him... He's afraid I've become one of those women who drown their kids. What he doesn't understand is that I was trying to get a workout so I wouldn't BECOME one of those women who drown their kids. And it worked well, don't you think? So, so well? Can you just hear the sarcasm dripping off my fingers, onto the keyboard and into the internet space this blog occupies?

So much for my attempt at making things right. I just seemed to make them wronger. And... and... I guess I really don't have anything more to say. Except that, if the boys would just nap when they were supposed to then everything would be just FINE, but there's nothing I can do and I feel so helpless and frustrated and out of control of the events in my life and guilty for Nick being so hurt and I just wish we could stay in bed today and read.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday was just awful... and um... Yesterday was just awful.

It was hot. We stayed at the library as long as we could. I tried to get the boys to nap in the den, but Nick was too excited and kept scrambling all over everything, until I put him in his hot bedroom. I had to close the doors, because he climbs over the baby gates. He climbs into the crib. He climbs onto the changing table, where he switches the baby monitor on and off. He can also now reach the light switch, and as soon as I leave the room the lights go on.

Anyway, I found him in the crib, so drenched with sweat I thought he had a leaky diaper. But no, he was just very, very sweaty. I tried putting the boys in the kiddie pool - I even sat in it with them (I'm a step ahead of you there, Linda!) But Nick just sat on the ground and cried, loudly, until I broke down and brought us back inside before the neighbors could call social services. ("She's forcing him to be outside in this heat!" they would say. "Quick, take him away and place him with a family in Northern Canada!") We sat in the den, in the air conditioning, but I couldn't figure out how to make a movie play up there, and our cable will currently only give us 3 channels in that room, and I wasn't about to watch Home Shopping or some talk show with my kids.

I took them in the car to mail the netflix movies, and I spilled my Dr. Pepper all over the car. I realized we had nothing to make for dinner except frozen pizza and a salad. I then realized the salad had gone brown. Nick screamed when I tried to give him a bath. Nate cried when he had trouble falling asleep. Nick woke Nate up when I was putting HIM down, and then I had to sit there until both boys were asleep so I wouldn't have to close the doors and cut off their air supply.

So this morning, when the breeze coming through the window was just a bit too cool, I could feel every muscle in my body relax. Today is when I turn things around and get things in order again. I will stop dripping things. The boys will let me put them down for more than 5 minutes at a time, and they will find something to do other than watch TV.

We're going to the park.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Les Miserables

You know what they say, it's not the heat... it's the humidity. Yesterday it only got to 93. But it felt like it was 102. And I'm not kidding.

And we do not have air conditioning.

It's one thing when you're a grown up and it's just you and you're hot because at least you know you're hot and you can always just take a cold shower or sit in air conditioning or go to the movies...

It's something completely different when you have two babies stripped down to their diapers with heat rash all over their little tummies, whining and crying, refusing to eat anything, and unab;e to sleep because it's SO HOT. Honestly, I felt bad I was making them wear diapers. It was that hot. After Nathan spat out all of his rice cereal I made Steve take them upstairs to the den, which is not childproof at all and which is also always dark because that's where the screen and the projector is and we usually just go there to watch movies. BUT, it is the ONLY air-conditioned room in the house. I then fed Nick an ice-cream sandwich on the micro-fiber recliner chairs and we put in an Alfred Hitchcock film. When I finally felt the boys HAD to go to bed, I sat down and read them 6 books, trying to lull them off to sleep. Usually I read one book and then shut the door to keep Nick in there, but I was afraid they would die from lack of oxygen to the brain. So I kept reading.

And of course they were both up a couple of times during the night. So was Steve. Because not only do kids have a hard time sleeping hot nights, but grown ups do, too.

It is hot today, too. I am planning on dragging the kids to the library so that we can be cranky somewhere with central air.

Isn't it funny? I think last week I was complaining about the cold and the rain. And today I'm planning on pitching a tent inside the freezer.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Goat Whisperer

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband.

And while I'm at it, I can't forget this guy.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Saturday is my day to sleep in.

Every other day of the week I get up at 6am - or 5am, if you look at the past month. I get up and change diapers and fix rice cereal and peel a banana for Nicholas. I hate bananas. so much.

But today is a Saturday, and it is 7am. And I am awake and posting on my blog. WHY?

Because tomorrow is father's day. It's on a Sunday, which is my usual day to get up. On Mother's day Steve woke up with the kids, giving me TWO DAYS IN A ROW of sleeping in. I figured I could at least return the favor.

I wish I could post a picture or say something halfway decent, but I'm just too tired so you get this instead. I'll download new pictures off my camera so next week will be full of new images.

Friday, June 16, 2006

What's the Bzz?

I'm a Bzzagent! Crazy, huh?

OK - so I didn't know what it was either. And then yesterday my friend Betsy emailed me this information, and I began an internal dialogue that lasted until this morning. You know me - I'm a talker.

Apparently bzzagents are supposed to promote products by word of mouth. Can you imagine? I imagined myself trying to work in a vitamin supplement or a new brand of soda into conversation with other moms at the park. Yuck. The possibility horrified me. Besides that, they would need information from me so that I could join. My name. My phone number. My address. And sure they SAY they won't sell it to a billion other people, but you never know.

But then I realized that a bzzagent gets to choose which products they promote. I'm pretty sure you sign up for things. "campaigns" they call them. And you don't have to say anything if you don't want to. So if I taste the new soda and think it tastes like cough syrup, then I don't have to say anything. Or I can say it tastes like cough syrup. (HEY! That new Berry Dr. Pepper? COUGH SYRUP!) And supposedly I will get free stuff. To try out.

I like the free stuff. I like the idea of getting mail, because to tell the truth I sometimes feel stranded up here, and getting ANYTHING addressed to me makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Once I try something out, should I like it, I am then supposed to (I think) talk about it to my friends. Mention it. Let them know what I think. And then log in a report on the bzzz site, letting then know that "Yeah - I told my friend about that soda, and we both LOVE it..." And then whatever - they give you points, and if you get enough points you win a trip to the bahamas - it sounds like a credit card deal from that point onwards, so I'm not sure it will actually work out that way. But the first part, the part about seeing what's out there, that's exciting! kind of.

OH! And I promise I won't make this site a soap box for anything. I mean, anything I haven't already made this a soapbox for. So don't stop reading. I promise I won't go off the deep end or sell my soul to the marketing people.

The end. See you tomorrow. Love, Me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the WHETHER man, not the WEATHER man

I wonder whether there will be any weather, not what the weather will be...

In this part of the country the temperature goes from too cool to too hot / humid right away. There is no middle ground. We had a few hot and sunny days this year, but lately the hot days have been too hot to go to the park. Even those are preferable to the rain. The canoe and the kyak, still stranded mid-lawn from the flooding, are now invisible, covered with tall grass. The right thing to do would be to move them and then mow the lawn, but not only is the grass too wet to mow, it is too muddy to walk through. One of us could probably do it, but why? We would only get uber wet and uber muddy, and at this point there is noplace to PUT the boats that would be dryer.

I am tired of the rain, and in the past couple of days I have regretted coming back from California, and also not moving down south. I am also looking forward to my vacation to France. A lot. Every day I need to fight the urge to pack because I'm not leaving until July.

If you can't tell, I'm a bit down - probably because of the weather and the fact that Steve's been gone. But he's coming back, and the rain can't last forever (shut up, no it CAN'T) so I'm sure this is only temporary. But I threw the schedule out the window this morning because I just didn't have the strength to do it all over AGAIN...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fence Me In

Nick has been climbing back into the crib.

This is a problem. Not so much because I don't want him in a crib. Or even because I'm afraid he'll hurt himself. No. I'm afraid he'll hurt NATE, who is almost always already in the crib when Nick scales it.

One of the first CSI episodes I ever saw was the one where that 4 month old dies and it turns out he was smothered by his 3 year old brother, who wasn't evil he was just 3 and didn't know any better. In the living room, where there's plenty of room to run around, I don't worry too much about the boys getting in each other's way. But in a crib, which is much smaller, I keep thinking Nick will sit on Nate by accident and I won't be able to hear Nate cry for help.

The thing is, I don't really have any way of stopping this from happening. Usually Nick goes right to sleep and it's not an issue, but this morning I tried closing the door to the room so Nick wouldn't climb over the baby gate and run around the house... and of course he ended up in the crib, waking Nathan up in the process...

I feel for him. I was always an early riser as small child, and I remember wandering around the house, impatient for someone to wake up so that I would have someone to play with. I remember climbing into my sister's crib, helping my brother over... and then helping her OUT of the crib. My mother would come in to get her and she'd be in the toy box - we'd be in the crib.

If Nate were just a few months older... when he learns how to sit up by himself and doesn't get confused about turning over... THEN I'll feel a lot better and a lot more comfortable about Nick climbing in there. Until then, I'll be getting up at 5, when Nick does, to prevent disaster.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This one goes out to the one I love


Monday, June 12, 2006

Old Mac Donald

Yesterday we went to Charmingfare Farm, which is really a zoo.

In this part of New Hampshire there are lots of small farms. If you know what you are doing, you can make a nice profit getting people to pay you to see your animals, and then getting them to pay you MORE for the privilege of feeding them for you. I love it. I really do.

Charmingfare Farm is a farm. It has sheep and alpacas and horses and cows and goats and pigs and chickens... But it is also a zoo. It has a camel, moutain lions, bears, wolverines... and of course a baby Wallaby that someone tried to order over the internet and ended up at the farm because - hello! We are not zoned for Wallabies!

One of the activities you can buy a ticket to is a pony ride. I was very excited to get Nicholas on his first real pony. I have no idea WHY I thought this would be a Good Idea. Because it wasn't. Nick recently rode his first carousel and the only reason he stayed on THAT horse was because I was there holding him. But still, I made us buy a ticket for a pony ride.

Nick wanted nothing to do with it. Why? Was he frightened? Was he overwhelmed? No. There was a tractor parked right outside the ring with the pony, and he wanted to climb into the tractor instead. And I refused to put a screaming and kicking child on a pony.

Later, as we stood inside the petting area for the goats, a couple of staff members got into the tractor and drove off. Nicholas, oblivious to the goats walking around him, pressed his face up to the gate, climnging onto it with both ands, sobbing and crying out "TRACTOR! TRAK! TEERR!" It was like he lived on the prairie and missed the supply truck or something.

I'm looking forward to going back when he's gotten over this Tractor phase... maybe in about 18 years?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

On The Road with 16 Children

It looks like the Duggar family is at it again.

They have a new show on the Discovery channel tonight at 8pm. (If you are in the country and on the East coast... which is, I think, two people I know.) On the Road with 16 Children. Apparently they load all 16 kids into an RV and tour the country... I plan to be there.

In case you don't know about JimBob and Michelle Duggar, the have 16 kids. This isn't a crime. Neither is the fact that all the kids have "J" names. But Michelle's hair... THAT is something I think she may need an intervention for.

Chuck E. Cheese's

It was a place I had never been. They either didn't exist when I was a kid, or my parents didn't know about them, either. Or maybe they did but were wise enough to remain silent. In any case, I was pretty sure this was a place I never wanted to go.

Chuck E. Cheese's.

The thing is, yesterday was the 16th rainy day we had in a row. It was cold and wet and Nick was bouncing off the walls at 8am. We had planned on going to the Aquarium. This would have been an all day outing. First of all, it's in Boston, and it's a pain to get to. Parking is expensive. Admission is expensive. And I'm also confident Nick would have been there 15 minutes before loosing interest. Chuck E. Cheese's is closer. And they have pizza!

So we went.

I have never seen my children so stimulated. The games, the noises... there is a climbing structure ON THE CEILING! You know, those hamster tubes for kids to climb through. And they wisely created a ladder inside a mesh enclosure that only the bigger kids would be able to climb, which is probably the only reason we didn't loose Nick up there. There is a smaller climbing structure for toddlers, and he was fine with that. But the games, the lights, the giant mouse (who I always though of as a rat, but no, he's a mouse) walking around dancing... Even Nathan was stimulated beyond belief. The pizza was horribly overpriced and mediocre. And the fries tasted like the potatoes had gone over. But let's face it - you don't go there for fine dining. You go there so you can sit while your kid runs around and gets tired and will take a long nap.

Even after his nap, Nicholas was still crying because we left the place. He kept saying "money! wheel! money! wheel!" over and over. Because they had COINS to play the games, and of course most games and rides had wheels...

If it were just me, I would never go back. I would squirrel away our quarters and save up for my dream trip to Disney. But my kids seem to love it, and there are a LOT of nap times between now and the time when Nate will be old enough to ride Space Mountain.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Keeping it Safe

When I first started this blog I told myself I would do it in a vague way. I would, under no circumstances, post personal information, like our last name, our address, phone numbers, work places, ages, weight, social security numbers, favorite foods, and most important - I would NEVER post pictures of my children.

Well, I quickly found that a picture is worth... what, people? What is a picture worht? That's right, a thousand words. I mean, mostly readers of this blog are family and friends, people I eventually force pictures on anyway. And the occasional browser. And Debs, but she's what I refer to as a "Loyal Reader." Plus I read her blog, too, so... there you go.

But yesterday, as I was trying to get videos to somehow work on this site, I started to feel creepy. I like I was somehow pimping out my kids. It isn't this site. If I could just post a film clip on this site I might not have such a huge problem with it. But the fact that I first have to go through YouTube... I am not comfortable with that. Which is strange, I know. I mean, the internet is the internet. If strange people want to watch images of my kids, they can just as easily read this site as go to YouTube. But... maybe it's having the clips posted in two places? Or perhaps I just feel funny about posting on YouTube because they force me to write a description of the content of my video, and include key words - so if anyone does a search for Baby and Snow, my film clip will pop up. If I mark it Private, it won't work on my blog.

So, besdies the fact that I still do not know how to post it correctly, I'm having moral issues on the video thing. Feel free to comment and sway me in either direction.

Friday, June 09, 2006

This Is Only A Test

I've been trying to figure out how to get a video posted on this site. I've been worried about clogging it up and making it slow to open on people's computers. But as it turns out I can't even get the video to appear IN the blog entry. I think I have to post a link to a different site where I upload my clips to. So please click HERE for a 15 second clip of Nicholas last Thanksgiving. You can see how much he's grown. He has hair now. Oh, and let me know if it doesn't work, please.

Oh - here's another clip. Let me know if THIS works...
ok - can't get it to show on the post... but it's HERE... see the gold box? In my view it's up top, and there's NO picture in it. But if you click on it, you should get the video... I was really looking for a picture, though...

Please let me know what works and what doesn't and if anyone has any feedback AT ALL... something other that YouTube? If I can get it so it's not too slow I can start posting longer videos of tantrums.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Biig Biig Cannon!

When we were kids driving into New York City for school every day, my brother used to point at some object out the window every single day and say "Look at the biiig, biiig cannon."

I had no idea what he was talking about. I saw no cannon. I saw no pencil (later he would point out a pencil?). But he kept saying it. Every. Single. Day. It. Drove. Me. Crazy. I mean, besides the fact that he was hallucinating and no one ever called him on it, the repetition drove me nuts.

Nicholas's favorite book is "The Best Nest," or, as he calls it, "Birds!" My mother sued to read this book to us when we were kids, so I know it well. But now? Now I know it SO MUCH BETTER! And more than just reading this book twice a day until I can recite it from memory in my sleep with a mouthful of marbles? The commentary.

I can't read one sentence without being interrupted. "Outside?" he says? And I must say "yes, outside!" before going on. I must acknowledge his observation. Otherwise he isn't convinced I actually heard it, and will keep repeating it. "Outside? Outside? Outsideoutsideoutside?" And this isn't the only one. "Flower? Flowerflowerflowerflower? Househousehousehouse?" A book that should take 5 minutes to read can be dragged out to a 20 minute procedure as I try to feed Nate, turn pages, keep the book open, read the words, and reply to Nick in a timely fashion.

I know this will only get worse. I need to find a way to numb myself. I'm thinking vodka.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

(insert tension filled theme music here)

It can be Mission Impossible. Or Jeopardy. But right now I deserve some sort of Theme music. Even though I suspect most people would look at my life and think Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

I have limited time. As I type this, Nick and Nate are both asleep in their car seats. Puck is secured in his cat carrier. I had to run to Wal Mart this morning, which I did bright and early so that we would be back in time to get Puck to his make-up session at the vet's. But I skipped Nate's morning nap, so he fell asleep in the car. Also, Nate woke up about every 45 minutes last night, so neither Nick nor I got any good sleep. Finally, at 4:45am, Nick woke up and began reading / playing with his cars. This is why HE fell asleep in the car.

And Puck is in the carrier because I put him there as soon as we got home.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Exorcism

As befits the date (6-6-06, everyone roll their eyes now please) my children are obviously acting under the influence of horrible demons, horrible demons who loathe silence and feel that 5am is an appropriate time to wake up in the morning.

Nathan has now caught the cold that Nick and I had. This is more painful than you would think because he will not sleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time. And of course, he won't put himself back to sleep when he wakes up. He requires comforting and nursing. And he is too little to give medicine to. He cries when I put him down, either on the floor or in his bed or carrier or swing or anywhere else. He slept in his carrier IN his crib last night, sitting up a bit to keep his congestion from getting too bad.

I am very aware of how I am interacting with my children these days, post nick-elbow-trauma. And I can say with confidence that, this morning, I sounded like a woman who would not only dislocate her child's elbow, but then mix it up into sloppy joe's while smoking and wearing a hairnet. I don't think anyone heard me, though, as it was only 5am.

I am confident that this is the last day Nathan will have this cold, and that he will be sleeping soundly again by tonight. If not, I shall medicate him anyway. And then I'll medicate myself. Ny-Quil for all!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hello, McFly?

I got no comments on how I , personally, dislocated my two year old's elbow. I came up with a few possible explanations. First, no one cares, and I could actually shut him away in a closet with only fruit roll ups as nourishment and no one would say anything. Second, everyone is so upset with me that they are too busy plotting the removal of my children from my home to post nasty comments telling me how horrid I am. Or third, it was a weekend post and no one reads this on the weekend.

I am, actually, terribly afraid that I will unwittingly harm my children again. I may squeeze them too hard, or swing them around too much and harm their brains, or I might pull their arms clear out of their sockets next time, who knows. After much thought, I've come up with a solution. Here is a picture of it. With Nick in this box, he can't run around and hurt himself, and I no longet need to run around pulling him off furniture and away from heavy falling objects or our knife collection. he balloons not only amuse, but offer cushioning in case of a fall.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Nursemaid's Elbow

Nursemaid's Elbow (Radial head subluxation): This is a common injury of the small child's elbow. Tiny ligaments normally help hold the elbow together. One of them slipped between NICHOLAS's upper and lower arm bones as they were pulled slightly apart. As the bones come back together, this ligament got stuck. This ingury happens if you pull your child's hand with the arm in just the right position.

In other words, I dislocated my child's elbow.

I can not begin to tell you how awful I felt about this when the doctor told me - just as she popped the elbow back into place with her bare hands, and Nicky screamed and cried as I held him on my lap.

I am still not sure how it happened. I am NOT the type of person who dislocates her 2 year-old's elbow! That isn't ME! I don't even believe in spanking my kids, for crying out loud! And in this case, I wasn't even angry. I was only the slightest bit frustrated. I had Nate in one arm and was trying to get Nick upstairs for a nap, but he felt this was highly unjust as his dad wasn't coming upstairs to nap WITH him, and protested by collapsing to the floor in a dead weight. I was trying to pull him upright so I could pick him up and get him up the stairs. And suddenly I realized he was clutching his arm...

At the hospital I kept expecting someone to yell at me, or a social worker to appear and question me furiously. At home, Steve kept expecting the police to show up and question HIM. But no one did. All the doctors and tech people were very helpful and understanding. Although some of them seemed to think that if the spoke in "baby talk" that Nicholas would somehow understand them. ("Do yoo have a booboo? Can you show nursie whea bobo huts? See these litew man faces? See how he's reawy sad cause it huwts? See how he's happy cause he doesn't huwt? Can you point wif yoa fingew and show nursie how yoo fiew now?")

They did an X-ray, too, and ruled out any fracture of the bone or the wrist. By the time we left the hospital Nick was using his arm again and by the time we were home he was his hyper self, jumping off furniture and crying because we wouldn't let him eat his crayons. As far as he's concerned, it's ancient history. But I think I'll remember this one for a long while.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

ants in my pants

You would not believe how messy our aouse is right now. Because I was feeling so sick yesterday I took the "day off," which is sort of like a cosmic joke, because I still had to take care of the kids, and no one stepped in to do my job for me so now... ants are crawling around our sink, which is filled with dishes. The dishwasher is full of clean stuff (hey - at least we HAVE one!) The washer has some wet stuff I put in to soak yesterday after Nathan - in complete disregard for my "taking-the-day" announcement, pooped through his outfit and onto a blanket... So here's a small list of "updates."

Puck, the cat, came home. The next morning I heard him meowing at the side door, his white fur completely gray and an entire tree stuck to his rear end. Glad he's back.

Nathan can now roll over quite easily from his back to his tummy! In fact, he has trouble NOT rolling over onto his tummy. This is problematic because he hasn't figured out exactly how to roll from his tummy to his back, and he HATES being on his tummy. SO I can only put him down for a few moments before the screaming begins.

We started giving Nathan rice cereal - and peas and apples. He doesn't like the rice cereal, but loves the other stuff. He gets angry as soon as I stop feeding him, and he's already tried to steal food from my plate. I can't wait until he's ready for teething crackers. But teeth mean formula full time, if you get my drift.

Nicholas has discovered the word "MINE." Everything is HIS, the toys, the pots and pans, the ceiling fan... At dinner he refuses to eat, asking to be done, but he cries if you then take his food away. "MY FOOD!" he screams. You would think we were stealing bread from a starving child the way he cries. "PIZZA! My Pizza!" HE cried last night. But he didn't want to eat it. Apparently he just wanted to hold it and take it to bed with him, which was NOT going to happen - not while I'm washing the sheets.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Month of Steve

I have officially declared June The Month of Steve. This is because our anniversary, his birthday, and Father's Day are all packed in there. And I need to find ways to make each of those days special.

Even though I told Steve not to get me anything for our anniversary, he did anyway. He bought me flowers - FLOWERS, PEOPLE! Orange roses - the peachy yellow kind with dark orange tips... I know nothing about roses. But these are beautiful. PLUS he got me a package at a local Salon / Day Spa. And that makes him a very, very great guy. Especially considering what I gave him, which was a filet mingnon and some undercooked potatoes. He has always been better at giving me gifts than I have at giving HIM gifts.

I have his birthday and Father's Day to wow him with a present. Ideas welcome.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

June 1, 2002

I was a little bit sick on the day of our wedding. I had a sore throat and was feeling icky. Kind of like today, now that I think of it. But despite that, despite needing regular doses of Advil and not being able to drink as much champagne as everyone else seemed to be, the day of our wedding was wonderful. See how happy we are in the picture? And no, I'm not just thinking about how I'm about to eat cake.

Our first anniverary was a bit untraditional. I thought really hard, and decided the best way to spend it would be with my mother at a car race in a different country. Kidding. Kind of. Actually, my parents and their friend Jack somehow managed to get us tickets to the Grand Prix in Monaco, and it just happened to be on our first anniverary. My mother came with us. The race was... interesting. Hot. Smoky. Loud. I never thought I could fall asleep in so much heat and noise. But I did. My mother read a book. Afterwards we walked miles back to a cafe and my mother bought us a late lunch with champagne and we had a lovely time and the whole trip was wonderful - the WHOLE trip, even the monkey cheese part, even the long hikes up stairways, even when I spilled diet coke on those people's white sofa.

Our Second anniverary was different. I got discharged from the hospital, but they wanted to keep an eye on newborn Nicholas, so we had to leave him in the NICU. At this point they were telling us that either he'd be fine or they'd be rushing him in for heart sugery. I sat in front of the TV crying and we watched The Secret of Nihm.

Last year we didn't do much of anything. The day before we had gone out to dinner... ALONE... but it only took us about 30 minutes to get through our meal. I was already pregnant with Nathan and Nick was just 1, so we were kind of both tired and it was good to get away, even for such a short time.

Tonight I'm feeding the kids and putting them to bed early - don't tell them. I'm going to have a go at a fancy dinner - we'll see what happens. I just want tonight to be special because I love Steve so much and getting married was so... it was just... it was such a GREAT IDEA!