Monday, July 31, 2006

Caffeine Free

I require a certain amount of caffeine to make it through the day.

When I was pregnant - both times - I tried giving up caffeine, but it didn't worked. I failed horribly. So I decided to limit the amount of caffeine I took in, instead. One soda a day. Two tops. And some chocolate. Maybe.

When the babies were being mostly breastfed, I also tried to limit caffeine intake. Mostly because I didn't want to keep the babies UP at night, but also because I didn't want any precious sleep time I had to be wasted in TRYING to fall asleep.

Now that Nathan is drinking more formula and eating mushy "food" from a jar I have stopped paying attention to how much soda I have been drinking. All I know is, it's a lot. A lot a lot. All of it loaded with chemicals designed to make me feel good and alert. And for the past few nights I have been up until at least 11pm (I know, early for most, but late for me) watching TV and wondering WHY oh WHY I didn't feel sleepy. It's also making me VERY irritable. That's right - every little thing anyone says makes me want to crumple them up like a scrap sheet of paper and stuff them in the trash can. Awake but tired, wired but irritable... not a pretty picture.

So that's it. I must now go back and wipe the slate clean. One soda per day. Maybe two. Go back to drinking more water. Juice, maybe. Maybe even milk. It will be hard. Detox is always hard... but I hate string up at the ceiling and wondering if I'll be tired the next day.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This is Not a Repeat

Yesterday afternoon, after my glorious facial and massage, after a long late afternoon nap, as we were watching our 4:30pm TV program and I was gearing up for starting our dinner / bath / bad routine... I accidentally dislocated Nick's elbow. Again.

I didn't do it on purpose. I've actually been quite careful to hold him by the upper part of his arm if I'm trying to guide him to a place he may not want to go, and I have stopped lifting him by his arms... It's just that, in this case... he was behind me, on the ottoman, and I was on the floor with Nathan in my lap. And Nick was kicking me in the back of the head, laughing gleefully, and either not hearing or not listening to my requests for h im to stop. So I reached behind me to pull him OFF the ottoman... and apparently I pulled on his arm.

He's better. Three seconds after the doctor squeezed it back into place he was using his arm again and shouting out numbers (one! two! SixSevenEight!) So he didn't evenget X-rays this time. Which is great.

But for crying out loud, it isn't fair. If I send my child to the emergency room I should at least get the luxury of being negligent or loosing my temper. If I remain cool headed and attentive and feed them and clothe them and do their laundry and pick up their toys and make Nick hold my hand when we cross the street, then this sort of thing shouldn't happen. Right? RIGHT? I mean, I simply do not know how to discipline a two year old without touching him or moving him occasionally against his will. It's just not possible. Otherwise he's spend 24 hours a day in front of the TV or in the driver's seat of the car.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

the cure for everything

This morning I collected on a gift Steve gave me for something - our anniversary I think. I went to Bein Soignee and got a facial AND a hot stone massage AND my hair got washed and blown dry. Hooray for me!

I was never quite sure I would LIKE a hot stone massage. Frankly, it sounds like a kind of torture. You get undressed and then someone you have never met before will put hot ad cold rocks all over your body. You will lie down on hot rocks. Hot rocks on your face, your feet, your hands, your tummy... Yeah, really relaxing. But you know what? IT IS! The rocks are hot, but not so hot you can't stand it. And whatever. It worked. I left feeling as though I were floating.

So maybe it's not really the cure for everything, but it was the cure for most of MY ills... which is probably just proof that there was nothing wrong with me to begin with.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bleak House

Today is overcast, but very hot and humid. And I found myself thinking, I know people used to live without airconditioning. Ever. Because it didn't exist. These people... they weren't walking around in string bikinis, either. In fact, for many years they wore lots and lots of clothing. Long sleeves and skirts with layers and undergarments, not to mention corsets. Jackets, stockings, hats... I just can't understand how they did it. No wonder they all died young.

Nathan is just over 27 inches long - over the 75th percentile for height in his age group. And he weights 17.9 pounds. Yesterday he got three new shots and a crayon bandage. When I came home Nick was standing in his diaper in the dining room with his grandmother's keys and a juice cup.

Not much on today's agenda. Mostly it's about keeping cool and keeping sane, and trying not to let the overcast-ness get to me. Yesterday my parents put Cleo down, and I'm a little bit sad about it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Boy Growing

Everyday one of the kids does something to surprise me.

Nicholas's vocabulary is out of control. Remember the little Nicholas Glossary I printed awhile back? Dat = cat, guk = book, guk = milk, etc? Well it's a bit out of date. It's VERY out of date, in fact. It is SO out of date that I can't even create a corrected version. I need a whole new system to explain the breadth of his vocabulary and how many words the kid knows. He has told many people, including people we met randomly at the town beach yesterday, about his trip to the amusement park, his nightmare, the dog bite, and how his daddy goes on a tractor. He now tells me what he wants to eat, what he wants to wear, and where he wants to sit in the car (never mind that he always ends up in the carseat, he's sure that one of these days I will let him drive.) He is now able to tell me about basic emotions, both for himself and other people. Gunther mad? Boy scared? Mommy funny? Nay Nay wants a nap? And this morning he looked me straight in the eye and said "Boy growing?"

Nathan is also growing and developing. He has his 6 month checkup today, so I'll find out how heavy he actually is and can modify my workout as necessary. But Nathan has also taken recent developmental leaps. For one thing, he is mobile. He doesn't know how, but he can get himself clear across the room by rolling or twirling on his tummy. If I sit him up, he can stay that way for a while. He can even pull himself into a standing position, and I've let him support himself at one of the play tables we have, putting pillows all around in case he falls. I've now officially started giving him teething biscuits, which he just mushes up and spreads around the play yard or the blanket or the carseat... but it keeps him quiet. This morning I tried a sip cup for the first time - a brand new beginner's one. Nick was jealous that Nate got the cute cup. But Nathan didn't seem to care, anyway. He sucked it for a minute or two and then shouted very loudly that he preferred a bottle. And a few days ago Nathan began babbling. Not the cooing, but honest to goodness "DadadadababababBAbabBA!" Nick never really did that, and it's so funny to hear when you're in the middle of a conversation!

Anyway, enough for today. We're looking into getting a new camera, so perhaps new pictures will return soon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Trip Home - Part 2

Part 2 - Our Return, or how bodily functions keep me from reaching my destination.

On Sunday morning, after the dog bite incident, after I had been up for 7 hours, had eaten breakfast twice, and had woekn everyone I could think of up before 9am... we finally left. Emily and her friend Chris? Kris? Helped us to the car, which was great because even then we had trouble making it across the street and to the garage.

After driving around town for 20 minutes in the right general direction but never actually getting to the highway because of the stupid street fairs, I finally m ade it to the highway. I kept expecting to relax and settle into the groove of the drive, but instead my head just kept pounding and pounding and pounding. I was VERY upset about Cleo, and about how my husband would react when he saw his son's face (I needen't have worried, but once I start stressing I just keep going.)

I pulled over at McDonalds to get a coffee, thinking that would help me out, but it didn't. My head kept hurting. And then I realized I also had to pee.

Stupidly, I did one of those "I can make it to the next exit" things. Which is great when you are alone, or with other adults, and can then hop out of the car and rush into the rest room. But when you have two small children in car seats STOP EARLY! By the time I could stop again I was almost in tears with fear that I wouldn't actually make it into the rest room. I then had to unstrap Nick, walk him around to the other side of the car, unstrap Nate, walk them across the street with the heavy diaper bag, stand in line, wedge ourselves into a small stall meant for one very skinny person with no diaper bag, and manage to undress myself, go, and redress myself all while holding Nathan and trying to convince Nick NOT to open the door thank you very much.

After changing diapers I stopped by the vending machines, hoping against all hope that one of them would sell Advil or Tylonol, but all they had was soda or candy. I feed wrinkled dollar bills into the machines to get a diet coke and some m&m's for Nick (the candy, not the soda) and the man in charge of the rest stop came over and started chatting, asking about my kids and telling me about his nephews, which was great but I have to say I was NOT in the mood to be friendly. Once in the car I rummaged through my luggare and used the Afrin nose spray I had for the trip OUT, hoping that somehow it would do something for my head ache and we could get HOME.

Then Nate started screaming. He screamed and screamed and screamed. I pulled over to get gas and feed him, and he screamed. He kept screaming and kept screaming and suddenly I had to use the bathroom again (so soon? Yes. I don't get it either) VERY BADLY. But I was determined not to pull over again. I wanted to get home. I didn't want to have to get everyone out and then get everyone back in - each stop added an hour to our drive.

And then it becase exceedingly obvious that Nicholas needed a diaper change, in more than just a superficial way. I had to open the windows until we made it to the next place where I could pull over.

Once I stopped the car I spread a blanket down on the floor. I ended up having to change Nick's entire outfit. I fed Nate the rest of his bottle (which didn't make a difference, as he began screaming the second he finished and was still in the awful car seat.) And I took care of my own needs but you don't need to know any more about that.

For someone who had a good vacation, I have never been so happy to get home in my LIFE.

The end.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Trip Home - Interlude

The Interlude: I heart My Dog

After our return flight to NYC all I wanted to do was get HOME. I actually thought about just getting into my car and driving home that night. The kids would be tired and would sleep. Traffic would be minimal. And I could sleep in my own bed that night. But by the time we got back to my parent's apartment, I was a walking zombie. I knew I would never make it without rest. So I made a date with my sister for the following morning - I needed help getting both kids and all of our stuff to the parking garage.

The next morning, confused by the previous day of travel and the time change, both boys were awake and ready for the day to begin by 2:30. AM. A large percentage of New Yorkers were probably not even HOME yet from their Saturday night escapades, and my kids decide it's a good time to eat cheerios and scream.

I am not sure exactly how it happened, but around 6:30... one minute I'm scolding Nick for emptying the contents of my wallet onto the coffee table and telling him to come back with my house keys, and the next minute the dog snarls, snaps at him, and Nick is on the floor, his hand clutching his face, screaming.

My parents have a 10 year old dalmation named Cleo. She is a wonderful dog, but is not very sociable. To other dogs, or to people. Especially not children. She has been known to bite, and people are warned to give her her space and not touch her ears. Besides being very nervy, Cleo has allergies to wool, cats, and humans, and she breaks out in a rash frequently and has to be givin steroids. She also has - I think - a tumor or something on her pituary glad, which causes her to be even MORE jumpy, and also to drink a lot of water and pee an average of once every 30 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I love this dog. She's even come up here to run around in our yard and she plays with Gunther... But she's not an EASY dog.

I immediately jumped over to my baby and made sure he was OK. I was picturing an emergency room, stiches, and future scarring... but he's fine. He was very lucky. The bite just missed his eye, and the wound didn't bleed all that much - more of a scrape, really. He was more frightened than anything else. So was I. I called my mother and told her I could not have the dog in the house with my kids, that it wasn't safe, etc.

And that is that. At this point, there is really no one else who would take her. She's on expensive medication and she's a biter. So she's going to be put down. Which is tragic. I feel guilty because I know I might have prevented it if I had been more awake, or had even noticed her sitting there in her chair. At the same time, Nick is my baby, and it could have been worse...

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Trip Home - Part 1

Part one - the flight, or how Delta broke my heart (this is a long story, so it is broken up into different parts. But just so you know, these shorter parts are also very long. Sorry.)

Checking in: The line didn't LOOK very long. However, after fifteen minutes of not moving forward AT ALL we realized that looks could be deceiving. Finally we arrived at the midway point, where a delta employee looked at our passports, and asked us about our bags - who packed them? where have they been? are there any electronic appliances inside? drugs or animals? plants? jam? where did we buy the bags, anyway? We then waited in the second part of the checkout line, where I had a better view of people arguing with the delta employees checking people in.

The first thing the check in lady said when we handed her our itineraries was "You will need to purchase tickets for the infants." I pointed to the itineraries and explained that they had tickets, and indeed they had seats, just as every other passanger on the flight. She looked profoundly dissapointed, but began to cheer up when we placed the stroller on the check in weigh system. She informed me that I couldn't check it in THERE, I had to bring it around to a different location. Then - and this is very interesting - she called another woman over to ask about my suitcase. Now, I packed a heavy suitcase - I am the first to admit it. But I decided that it would be easier to deal with one heavy suitcase and two kids than two medium heavy cuitcases. The checkin lady asked the other woman about the weight of my suitcase "It's for three people," she said. "Does it matter?" But the other woman said "No, it's over, just tell them." As though it were a small matter. They spoke to each other in French, and I'm sure they didn't think I could understand them. I was then informed - in English - that I had to remove seven kilos from my suitcase. No matter that I left sip cups, a camera, baby food and formula, not to mention several bath products and cosmetics behind. My luggage, acceptable at JFK, was too heavy by French standards.

I don't think I would be as upset about it, except that by then I had realized that every other passanger was being asked to either unload weight from their luggage or pay a $100 fee. The arguments and discussions that followed were what was holding up the check in line. I don't think the weight they were asking to be removed would make much of a difference. My feeling was that they were just out to make a buck that day.

I snipped at the ladies as I zipped open the bag and began pulling out plastic bags of dirty laundry, my tioletry bag - I had to remove my fingernail scissors - and the bigger books I had taken along for the boys. These I flung back to my sister and my father for them to stuff in various other carry ons. "I hope you have children one day," I barked," and I hope you get to travel with them." That's about as close as I get to calling someone names - wishing them a mixed blessing. At that point the ladies stopped speaking English to us completely. Which actually didn't make a difference, except that I know they thought it would. No one was at the special place - ten feet away from the check in desk - that they told me to take the stroller. I had to flag down a small man with excellent people skills who took it from me.

Getting to the Plane: I had to take the wheels off the car seats because they didn't have wands at the security check point. It took us 30 minutes to get through the passport check point - I'm not sure why, but I think it had something to do with a small woman in lavendre who wanted to bring extra bags with her or check her bags there or something. We joined the mob of people who pushed pass each other to get on the plane - HELLO PEOPLE! WE HAVE SEATS! THEY WILL NOT DISSAPEAR! Before we got on the plane we were questioned by yet another Delta employee who asked us the same questions about our bags as the firt guy. "Where have your bags been since you arrived at the airport?" she asked. " On line with us," I said.

The Flight: A first class passenger, seated well before everyone else, helped me carry Nathan's carseat to the back of the plane while the flight attendants watched. Emily pressed the call button so that she could get an extention for Nick's carseat, but the flight attendants ignored it. She had to go find one herself. Actually, the flight attendants never once responded to the call buttons, any of the 10 times they were pressed, including the time Nick accidentally pressed it in the bathroom. Once Nathan was screaming and all I needed was water to make formula, but after 10 minutes of no flight attendants in sight I got up to find water myself. I found it in back, in a basket with some rolls. Next to it was a flight attendant reading a newspaper. This was not the same flight attendant that wonked me in the head with the drink cart - an accident, I'm sure, but it still would have been nice to say either "I'm sorry" or "are you ok?"

The rest of the stuff that happened on the flight - Nicholas having a tantrum, needing to change Nick's entire outfit because of a wonderfully timed poop, and my forgetting the plastic bag of dirty laundry on the plane - cannot in any way be blamed on anyone.

That's the end - for now. More complaining to come.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Adieu, Adieu, to yeu and yeu and yeu

Tomorrow we are going home... well, at least to NY. To be honest, part of me is looking forward to getting back to my own house, my own bed, and getting back into a schedule. Not to mention, of course seeing my HUSBAND again! We all miss him very much at this point.

But there is still something very bittersweet about leaving. I have been looking forward to this vacation for so long, and it's just wooshed right by me. I really do hope we get to come back next year - with Steve, of course. There must be a way to make it happen.

I have been packing all morning, trying to track down all of our belongings - the swim toys, the books, the socks, the sippy cups... and then trying to put everything in our suitcase before Nicholas gets the chance to remove each item and put it in an unlikely location. This morning I put the same flip flop in the suitcase 6 times before I found my hair iron on the porch outside. When I dragged it back inside Nicholas was sitting INSIDE the suitcase and had removed the bottle nipples from the ziploc I had put them in, and had returned them to the tupperware container I was using while we were here. Apparently he doesn't really want to go, either.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I think what I want

I could post about many things today. Among the possible topics are my trip to Luna Park, which is now called something else and which is very much different than it was twenty years ago. I could also post about Nick's horrible nightmare, which woke him up screaming at 2am, and a few more times besides, and which he has been referring to all day. Or I could post about my trip to Biot, which I took with my mother, where we got not lost but displaced, and where it took us over two hours to GET there, let alone watch glass being blown and brows the shops.

Instead I would like to post about last night, when we returned from Luna Park-not Luna Park... Emily and I sat up working on this puzzle, and we just laughed and talked and laughed so much about absolutely nothing and it made me giddy. I loved that. Because I don't get to do that with people very much any more, especially not my sisters. Usually visits are too time constrained. And this was nice and fun and I hope I get to do it again soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Memories Lost

Here is a list of the photographs I remember taking with my camera - moments lost forever.

- About 47 pictures of a hand holding a spade being stuck through the trash chute in the kitchen counter.

- A wonderful shot of Nathan wearing his baby sunglasses, the only time he's ever worn them unless you count last night when he used them as a chew toy.

- A cute picture of the boys sharing the king bed.

- A couple of pictures of us walking to The Diament for lunch, including a great one of my father pushing the stroller.

- Two great shots of Emily wearing a very tiny black and gold bikini. These were great shots because she was standing in front of the mirror and you got the front AND the rear view.

- A shot of Nicholas on the carousel near the beach.

- A few nice pictures of my father and Nicholas in the water, including a video.

Now even though I don't have the pictures, the moments are captured here. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Fans! My Fans!

My mother lost the remote control to the ceiling fans in the living room.

First of all, my parents should never be given anything to operate that requires a remote. It's just asking for trouble. Once they left the downstairs TV on for a week because they couldn't find the remote to turn it off. They never thought of unplugging it. And sooner or later ALL remotes will be lost or misplaced or accidentally taken back to NY.

Not to mention the fact that ceiling fans just shouldn't have remotes. Put a switch on the wall - are we so lazy that we can't walk to the wall or pull a chain?

The remote went missing the day before we got here, and ever since we have been living... well... without ceiling fans. And we have been getting by.

But today, suddenly, my mother pointed out that ONE OF THE FANS WAS WORKING! That's right. One of the fans had, by itself, just started working. And so had the other. A thousand horror films streamed through my brain, as well as all the Stephen King short stories I have ever read, but I simply couldn't think of one where ceiling fans had come to life on their own. Cameras, cars, computers, yes, but not ceiling fans.

Then they stopped.

Then there were a few freaky beeping noises, and they started again.

Finally the electrician came and - get this - PUT A CHAIN on one of the fans! Hooray! But for some reason the other still won't work.

Anyway, that was the excitement for the day. We now have a working fan, which is cool (ha ha) and I am out of words.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mama don't take my digital camera...

Yesterday morning I discovered my bag and my mother's bag on the back steps, the contents - including credit cards, passports, and baby diapers - strewn in the dirt. Apparently, with people coming and going at night, we were not as careful as we needed to be about security. Here's a nice bit of information - just because you are in the house and awake doesn't mean someone won't enter your house and walk around it until you fall asleep.

Then the person that entered your house may take the cash from your wallet and toss your purse out the window. They will take the digital camera you left in your purse with all of your vacation photos on it. They will take your father's laptop - how they missed this one is a huge mystery. And they will instill in you a feeling of helpless ness, frustration, and creepiness because, really, how long were they IN this house before the took off? Was I awake? Alseep? Did they open the door to my bedroom and see me and my children sleeping?

We are now locking all doors, including some internal doors. We are then shutting the keys up in drawers and locking THOSE drawers, and then sleeping with those keys sewn into the hems of our nightclothes. OK, fine, maybe nothing THAT extreme, but you get my drift. It's really easy to let one's guard down, especially on vacation. And that camera... that's how I got most of the pictured onto this blog. Not to mention the safety of my babies.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

How The Girls Are Doing It

I have always been amazed at how effortless summer garb comes to some women. You know the ones I'm talking about. These are the girls that are always in shape and don't seem to worry about how they will look in their swimsuits. They are able to don flip flops without worrying about their feet or toenail polish. They either don't need bras or they have magical summer-wear that does the job for them. And they also seem to have no problems whatsoever with shorts - and my that, I mean leg hair.

I have always had an issue with leg hair. I know, I know, this post is getting personal - please just stay with me. I used to shave my legs. With some people, thi is enough. They shave their legs and they are good for two or three days. Well, they are probably natural blonds with pony tails that look like a rat's tail. Not me. I am hairy by nature. I have a huge head of hair. And I have lots of hair on my legs. I am the only person I know that gets five o'clock shadow on my legs. And I NEVER get that smooth, hairless look because my hairs are so dark and my skin so pale that, when shaving, you can see the hairs under the skin, waiting to peek out.

A few years ago I began waxing my legs. I used to go to a salon to get it done, but then I just started doing it myself every few weeks. The trouble with waxing is that you get a few days of being able to wear shorts or skirts without worry, and then the hairs starts growing out again, and then you have to wait 2 more weeks before being able to get it done again. Nevertheless, I subscribe to this method of hair removal because it eliminates the "hair under the skin" problem I associate with shaving. I end up wearing long pants a lot, even in summer, or just hoping people are not looking at my legs.

The other day, walking to the beach, I saw a daisy chain of girls - five or six of them - sitting on the bench outside the public toilets. These girls were either in their late teens or early twenties, and these are the girls you find wearing tank tops and sundresses effortlessly. Over their perfect tans. Each of these girls had a leg draped over another, and each held a pair of tweezers. Each girl was studying the leg on their lap and very carefully plucking out individual hairs. So THIS is how they do it, I thought! I have discovered the secret to perfectly groomed legs! However, I don't think I will be hopping on this bandwagon anytime soon. I think the tweezer method would take to long. At least on me. Not to mention the fact that I would need five friends to pluck their legs with me, and I don't think these would be easy to find.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Beach Brain

I simply cannot focus enough to write anything these days. I don't know how people come to this part of the country and get inspired... Actually, that's a lie. I can see very well how people who come here get inspired. But then I don't see how they can get past that and actually DO anything with the inspiration. I would have to take a bunch of pictures and then go back home before I could settle down enough to work on my novel, or my painting, or what have you.

It's different here from when I was a kid. I used to use sunscreen for the first week of my vacation, using the smallest number I could find - I think it was 4. Then I would grab a book and lay out in the sun, trying to achieve that bronze look. Instead I just got freckles, and now I have a billion moles for my pains.

These days I am putting sunscreen on five times a day. I never leave the house without a hat and sunglasses. If I go to the beach there is no soaking in the sun, just cavorting in the water for a small time. And forget about the books - I have three books I took from home and I'm still reading the first one because I rarely get the chance to read more than half a page at a time.

I am enjoying this vacation very much. But I miss Steve.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's Good To Have A King... bed

I have a King sized bed here. I love king sized beds because it gives you so much room to roll around. They are pretty cool that way.

The thing is, I am sharing this king bed with two other people. Two SMALL people, but let me just explain how this works... the smaller the person, the more room they need.

I woke up at 5am with Nathan glued to one side of me and Nicholas glued to the other. They each had three feet of matress on the other side of them, but for some reason they both felt the need to be close to ME. So close that I couldn't roll over or shift or get the blood flow to return to my arm.

Also, there will be no pictures... Hey Steve - I think I left the cable that connects my camera to a computer in the guest room where I was packing... oh, well! I have an extra card, so all my photos will make it home. THEN I'll post them, OK?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Words words words

I still haven't played around and tried to download photos to this computer. So today's post is still JUST WORDS. Those of you who tune in simply for the daily photo can now excuse yourselves.

I am a bit affected by the time change, and I can't really focus my thoughts, so today you get random and unconnected thoughts. Now don't you wish you had left with the photo people when you had the chance? Too late now. Now it would be rude.

It's hot. I should have packed more of my tank tops, except they make me look like a skanky teen... or a middle aged woman trying to look like a skanky teen, which is worse.

I need to go shopping today for baby food and baby wipes and diapers and diaper cream... and possibly bug stuff.

I got to sleep until 9am today. Hooray! Of course, that's 3am in the states...

Nathan sleeps better in the big bed with us. And there's enough room, so...

I still have a cold.

Did I mention it was hot?

This place is a lot less childproofed than our house. Nick has already scribbled on one of the windows with a crayon.

I need a drink of water.

I will try to download some pictures today.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Warmish Welcome

We are here!

The flight was amout what I expected. There were peridos of calm, and periods where both boys were screaming their little heads off and I simply could not be in two places at once. Once we arrived we went through customs and got our luggage with no problems. And then I got the car I rented, which was NOT a large automatic, as I requested, but instead a car the size of our mower tractor - now I know cars are smaller here, but I specifically said I needed to be able to fit two car seats in this thing, and we did, but we never would have been able to take our luggage as well. Nick's knees were up near Emily's shoulders and Nathan was wedged in his car seat in the back...

The relief at getting here and being able to relax a bit is indescribable. We went to lunch at the little place by the beach, and then, weary from travel and rose, ready for naps, we came home...

only to realize that neither of my parents had the house key with them.

That's right. We were locked out of the house.

We circled the house looking for a way in. My sister went looking for a bobby pin. A bunch of us tried reaching the window lock through the garbage chute. And I took some nice pictures I will share with the internet later.

Finally my dad broke a kitchen window with a bocce ball wrapped in a tarp found in one of the cars, Emily climbed in, and the doors were then open from the inside.

Never a dull moment, really!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Yesterday I drove down to New York with the boys. They were great on the drive down. And ever since we've got here they have been clingy and into EVERYTHING! Already Nick thinks the bidet is his own personal sink, and he has taken off ALL of his clothes TWICE. Just this morning. Even his diaper. I leave the room for 30 seconds and come back to a naken child, and all I can think is "please don't pee please don't pee please don't pee."

Here's a fun link to hear some songs by my sister EMILY. I'm also putting a link on this page with the other links... maybe. If I can remember how... OK, things are showing up funny on this computer so I CAN'T post the link... look for it with the others. Maybe that will work better. Now I have to go pull Nick off the fax machine.

Friday, July 07, 2006

On your marks... Get set...

My life is all about getting ready to go. I'm just tying up a few loose ends. Does anyone else think it was too early to strap the kids into their carseats?

Just kidding, of course. I took the carseats inside to try them out and practice putting putting the wheels up and down on the Sit'n'Stroll. I also practiced putting the GoGoKidz on Nick's regular carseat. I am trying both of these out, comparing them to one another, and I will let you all know how they work out. I know you are all holding your collective internet breaths.

ANYWAY, Nick was so excited at having the carseat in the house that he sat in it and refused to get out. He sat quietly, watching Noggin, and cried when I tried to unfasted his safety harness. Go figure. Usually he cries when I try to do it up.

I will try to post from France, but I don't know how it's going to work from there. I might be able to get words in but not pictures... I might not be able to get anything up at all. I will do my best!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


It's official.

I am holding in my hand a passport that belongs to NATE THE GREAT, NATO POTATO, NAY NAY, DROOLSTER!

so THIS is what breathing was like!

pitcher of water down mail chute - CHECK

In taking stock of the things I need to do before I leave, I'm actually in pretty good shape. The things I CAN do have been done. I'm waiting until tomorrow to do a few others - like change the cat litter and buy a lot of frozen pizza for Steve. I'm now trying to find a few other things to do so that I won't keep finding small items to shove into my suitcase.

I wanted to say something about yesterday's Sisyphus post. I realized a while ago that I complain a LOT on this blog, and that I could have named it "WHY NOT TO HAVE KIDS" and not be too far off the mark. BUT, it's not my intention. So I'm posting this link to the sisyphus myth as told and explained by Albert Camus. He imagines Sisyphus happy at his task, and also says "happiness and absurd are two sons of the same earth."

In other words, if I didn't have crazy nights where I hardly slept, and if I didn't wipe noses and change diapers and wander around like a zombie, I would not be having as much fun. OK, fine, not at that particular MOMENT. But it is kind of funny, a day later. Plus, I love my kids so much, and I wouldn't DO those crazy things if I didn't have this crazy insane stronger than you could even imagine emotion.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm happy. I'm crazy. I'm really tired, but given my choices, I'd rather be tired this way than not tired without kids.

Thank you very much, and have a nice day.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Last night I had everything ready. Anything that I could do to prepare myself, I did. I did a load of wash and put it in the dryer before bed. I mixed a huge batch of formula. I was ready to go. Won't it be nice, I thought, when we wake up tomorrow and I won't have to rush to get these things done? I won't have to listen to the baby fuss while I make the formula, I can just mix it in the cereal! I can fold these clothes whenever I want! I have just given myself a the gift of time. How nice and relaxed it will be tomorrow.

And then Nate woke up every 2 hours - probably because of his cold. And Nick woke up screaming with a nightmare - twice. The first time I realized I was hungry, and since we ate a very early dinner the day before I went and got him a cracker and he went back to sleep. Then I heard some animal howl and I had to wander the house looking for Puck, who has spent a couple of nights outside by accident and now has a dore nose and ear. I found him, so he was fine. I also found some cat puke by stepping right in it. Then Nick woke for the second time and I just crawled into bed with him so I could get some sleep. But after a few minutes Nate woke up. I fed him, put him back to sleep... and creeped back to my own bed. But before sleep could really take hold, Nick began screaming again. So back to his bed. Nate woke up at 4:30am, and refused to go back to sleep. I tried nursing him, sleeping with him... he did his Karate Kid impression (Latch on, Latch off) and when I tried to just sleep he kicked me in the belly, scratched at me, and pulled my hair. He didn't mean to be mean, but COME ON!

And of course Nick slept until 6am for the first time in three weeks, but I couldn't take advantage because I had this Baby that wanted... what? What did he want? I have no earthly idea.

It never ends. As soon as I feel that I have accomplished something it needs to be done again. If I do dishes, there will be dishes waiting an hour later. Laundry? The same. I'll buy or cook food and it will be gone. I'll clean and it will get dirty. I change a diaper and an hour later will have to change it again. So today I'm asking myself WHAT IS THE POINT!

The good thing is, I was up so much last night that I only had time for ONE panic dream about Nate's passport.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


There are three things I wanted to post about today, so instead of one big post you'll get three smaller ones SMOOSHED together.

#1 - Complaining Post: It isn't even 7am yet and I've been up for almost 2 hours. I had to change Nick's bed sheets because his diaper leaked. I thought I was being so organized by bringing the boy's clothes downstairs and by trying to make a huge batch of formula in the morning so I wouldn't have to make it 3 times during the day, but then I realized - after 11 scoops of formula, that there were black specks floating in the water. Nick wanted toast instead of waffles. And as I was spooning oatmeal into Nate's mouth I realized it was goopy with baby snot because his nose was so runny.

#2 - Nastalgic Post: I love the 4th of July because it always reminds me of the musical 1776, and if you ask me it's a work of genius - who would have thought you could make a musical out of the Declaration of Independence? And it fostered my love for John Adams. Despite which I still could not make it all the way though his autobiography.

#3 - Hair Post: Here are before and after pictures of my hair. It's not the hair, but don't I look like Emily in the after photo? Don't I? DON'T I?

Monday, July 03, 2006

They call it humidity

Remember when I said I found Nick in the crib with Nate? Here is is.

In other news... it is very humid. Humidity really is awful. It makes heat so much harder to live with.

I never used to sweat until I started working out about 10 years ago. Or maybe it had nothing to do with working out and had to do with being an adult. In any case, I remember my surprise at how wet I was, and the salt coating my body. Needless to say, I began showering more.

With the humidity, I feel that I need to shower twice a day - like my brother Winston. In fact, I would probably live in the bathroom, showering, getting dressed, and then just showering again because that's how long I feel clean. In this humid weather.

It really is crazy - the pages of my books feel different. They are all slightly damp. Doors swell shut and it takes two people to open them. One of the doors to the boy's room gets stuck before it closes all the way, so there is an inch gap at the top, but you still have to yank on it to open it. Food... don't get me started at how fast food goes bad. And the pet hair... OK, I guess technically pet hair has nothing to do with humidity, but the pets are shedding like crazy. I am now brushing them every week - sometimes more. And yet, each time we open a door clumps of pet hair drift by, testimony to my poor housekeeping.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Fates Conspire

Last night, as Steve and I watched KING KONG, an awful noise came over the baby monitor. It was a rough, rasping sound. A cough. Nick coughing, actually.

This morning he sounds even worse. HE isn't coughing a lot, and by that I mean he isn't coughing too often. So it's easy to forget about it. But as he threw his morning temper tantrum when I actually had the gall to try and change his soggy diaper, he began making this other sound... whenever he inhaled he would make what sounded like a... like a honk, almost.

I am pleading with him to drink his juice, which I secretly laced with vitamins and Tylonol Cough medicine. I made sure he was wearing sweatpants as the air was chilly this morning. And I am considering enforcing a longer nap time, which may prove inconvenient and impossible. And I am trying to put some space between him and his brother.

But Nicholas needs to get better because we leave on vacation next Saturday. We have no passport for Nate. I can't pack more than 3 items at a time. I have a billion things I promised myself I would do before we go. But we will be leaving. Somehow. Even if I have to give him cough medicine as we get on the plane. Even if he's miserable on the trip over.

I need him to get well.

If anyone hasn't seen King Kong yet but was thinking about it... it is 3 hours long. I have no patience for movies that are 3 hours long when there are scenes and parts of scenes that could so obviously have been cut out. And some movies can make you forget how long they are because they are so engaging. This is not one of those movies.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Through the Looking Glass

"In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room."

I got that directly from my copy of Through The Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. I last read the story as a Teenager, and I loved it. The only copy I have in The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll which used to belong to my mother, before she was married. Apparently she was living on 16th St. in NY, at least according to the address in the front cover. In any case, the book is older than I am.

I feel as though I am through the looking glass myself. I can't seem to figure out Blogger. Yesterday I thought I posted a post with no pictures, but when I checked it out on another browser, I had apparently posted five photos of Nate's bum in his smiling ducky outfit. When I use my usual browser I can't see this picture at all. When I use The browser that came with the computer I can see it, but when I look at the "compose" section I can't see the picture, only html code. I can't see it any other way. And when I posted a photo this morning on that browser, it wouldn't actually POST it. Plus, while posting it it wouldn't let me see the pictures, only the names, and they are all something like DCjpg10078, and who KNOWS what that it, so it turns out I posted a previously posted photograph, and who needs THAT!
So I went back to the Firefox browser and I posted a picture that I can't see, but I hope you can.

Puck, melancholy after returning from his trip outdoors, is now packing up and moving out.

I am already packing for our trip to France. Not only is this in my nature, trying to be prepared, but I have a feeling I will need to do my packing at 5 minutes spurts. I f I take any longer Nich starts removing the items from the bags, and next thing I know he's walking around with an empty suitcase and our vacation is stuffed under the bed.