Thursday, August 31, 2006

When the Bee Stings

Yesterday I picked up a very happy Nicholas from school and all was well.

Until he was stung by a bee (or a wasp) in our very oen backyard. It was on the side of his head, his temple. A red spot immediately appeared and then, slowly, it began to swell until there was a small lump on the side of his head. After 40 minutes the swelling went down, so it wasn't serious. Unless you count having a bee hive in the climbing structure serious. I can't tell you how many times I have taken down these hives, and they keep appearing. I really don't mind wasps and bees in their own place, but I think they are trying to tell us that the outside is NOT our place. And I think there is plenty of outside for everyone, and they can stay away from the one spot the kids play. So I am formulating a plan to take it back.

Nick's cold is better. Now Nathan has it. I walk around with a burp cloth wiping noses and trying to get the boys to drink fluids. It's what I do instead of sleeping.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shock to my School System

The first time I left Nicholas with a babysitter (and by babysitter I mean a person who is not his father, his grandparent, or any other direct relative, and for a length of time that is longer than an hour) was when he was 8 weeks old. It was with Lauren, a close friend of the family, and someone I have known her WHOLE LIFE. I knew that she loved children, I had seen her in action, and I felt OK with it. I also knew she was an adult, and I also knew that - in a wrost case scenario - she could call the police, her mother, or me.

Since then I've mellowed out a bit. I have left my children with teenage college students, with friends of my sisters, and random Mexican hotel workers (we were in Mexico). Taxi drivers. Wait staff. Flight attendants. Watch my kid? Thanks! Of course I'm kidding.

The one thing all the people watching my kid all had in common is that they were all focused on my kid. Here's my child. "Hello!" They all said. And they immediately went along with Nick's agenda, looking at what he wanted them to look at, playing with them, etc.

Today I dropped Nick off at school. AT first there was only one screaming child in the room. (And his mother was down the hall, she hadn't even left yet. ) I tried to show Nick his cubby, where his stuffy and his blanky were. I gave him the My Family collage we made together, and he gave it to his teacher. But then... then he started playing with the toys. And more kids started showing up and talking to the teachers. The one kid was still crying, even thoughhis mother had come back. The room was getting more and more crowded, and Nathan was getting antsy. So I said "Nicholas, I'm giving you a hug goodbye, OK? I'll see you this afternoon." And I pointed out his teachers to him again. He gave me a hug, glanced at his teachers, and kept playing. I left. The teachers were, of course, talking to the other mothers. None of them looked close to saying goodbye.

Moments after I left I began having doubts. Was this right? The teachers looked at me kind of funny - and it is the first day. Was I supposed to stay? everyone else looked like it. Were they not expecting him? Sure, his name was on the cubby, but... I felt like crying. Why wasn't he sad to see me go? What if he didn't realize I was leaving? And then he noticed I was gone and started to cry? Would anyone comfort him? What if Nick had tried to follow me out and no one noticed? No one was REALLY paying attention to him. Because there were so many other kids. And mothers. All monopolizing the teachers' time. I didn't get the chance to tell them about his nursemaids elbow, or about how he might have trouble taking a nap in a strange place. Or about how he would need help with his lunch, getting the zip-locs open. Because the teachers were TOO BUSY! With those OTHER CHILDREN who were NOT MINE!

I thought I would be rejoicing, feeling light and free, dancing around with my one remaining child, doing all sorts of things with this FREE TIME. But instead I feel like I left one of my limbs in that classroom. I am staring at the clock, impatient for 3pm to come around. I want to rush in to pick him up and see how his day was. I want them to tell me he did OK, and that he played with other kids, and sang songs and cried a little bit when it was time to leave the playground. I want them to hand me a picture he drew and tell me ha has goon manners, but that he needs to learn how to use a tissue. Anything. I just want them to talk to me about my child. But I know it will be just as crazy and crowded with other parents.

If Nick tells me he had fun, then that would be OK, too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Nine, Ten, A Big Fat...

Last night I slept like it was a competitive sport. And by that I mean that it was active. I was in and out of bed so many times I lost count. As soon as someone started crying I was out of bed. It was a throwback to the days when the boys were newborns and I would wake up as I was walking down the hallway. I would either feed (Nate) or console (Nick) the crying child, and then head back to sleep and quickly and quietly as I could, racing back to my warm bed so that I could get a few extra seconds of sleep before the next event.

It was during one of these half-asleep moment, while I was rocking Nathan, that I first heard the noise. It was coming from Nick's bed. In fact, it was coming from Nick. He was siting up, crying in a fake way, but each time he exhaled the crying noise was accompanied by a deeper, hollow sound. The sound of a cough without the coughing. The rest of the night I had dreams about needing to save my babies from vampires.

Nick is still not himself, although he isn't crying every two seconds (knock on wood). His nose is running, his eyes are glossy, and I already know he will not be making it to the first day of school tomorrow. I will have to go without him. (no, really, I need to bring in his diapers, his smock, his change of clothes, and the tuition check.) I don't know who will be more dissapointed, him or me. I'll bet it's me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Nick Takes the Wheel

I'm sure I've mentioned that Nicholas and Nathan take turns driving me crazy. Driving me to nuts, so to speak. Well, it's Nick's turn.

Nathan woke again at 4am, pretending it was time to get up, and I refused to let him. I put him in his crib and let him scream, returning every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure he hadn't wedged a limb through the bars of the crib, or spit up, or been attacked by a very large rat or a zombie or something.

And then, at about 10am, Nick took over. It started at the library, where he was running around and jumping and doing things one simply does not do in a library. But then, as soon as we got home, the monster took over. THE COLD. Steve insists it couldn't have anything to do with the 4 minutes he was exposed to 40 degree Mt. Washington summit weather in inadequate clothing. But I'm not ruling anything out. The kid is AWFUL.

I feel bad, because he is obviously sick and uncomfortable, He can't stay asleep because he can't breathe. So he wakes up and cries. And screams. When I ask him what's wrong he screams louder - a scream you would give if someone were trying to rip your heart out of your ribcage with their bare hands. Gali Ma. Drool pours from his mouth. I do the only thing I really CAN do, which is to give him medicine. But since putting a dropperful of medicine directly into his mouth requires eight arms to hold him down, pry his mouth open, convince him to swallow, and also manipulate the medicine dropper, and I usually end up with medicine everywhere BUT in the boy, I resort to trickery. I put it in his juice.

But Nick will not drink the juice. He holds it as though it were his only source of comfort, having been abandoned by his mother. "Drink the juice," I say. "AHHHHHHHH!" he screams. He clutches the juice in the bed, and it inevitably ends up upside down and drips, forming a huge wet spot on the bed. I get frustrated. I try to take the juice away. "AHHHAHAGHAGHA!" he screams.

He will not eat. He will not drink juice. He will not do ANYTHING. Except scream and watch TV. School starts Wednesday. I am so tired I could cry thinking about it. So I don't. I just eat - today I had a whole half pound of fudge, ten cookies, and five licorice wheels. I'm eating FOR Nick. Does this make sense?

He's already woken up twice tonight, and there is nothing I can do for him. I plump pillows. I hand him his juice. I try to get him as comfortable as I can. I leave the room and hope Nate stays asleep. That is all.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Once Upon a Time

This weekend we went to Story Land.

I was prepared when we left the house, but I lost control about an hour into our trip. I looked back to check on the boys and realized that Nick would need a diaper change before long. So we stopped at a McDonald's. I changed Nick's diaper, and in the process managed to use every spare article of clothing I had packed for the both of us, and also half the wipes. The dirty stuff got wrapped in a blanket Nick had been sitting on and bunched up in the corner of our car for the rest of the trip

Story Land was a lot of fun. Nick was too small for some of the rides, but there were lots of things for smaller kids. We met the old woman in the shoe, and Mother Goose. We explored the Three Bears House. We visited a crazy scientist lab with colored spongy balls being shot out of cannons everywhere. We rode a train. We played on a pirate ship. We saw a castle and met a princess. Nick drove a tractor and a car. Nick also rode a merry-go-round and explored a sand maze, and afterwards played in the sand. We saw the three pigs and the billy goats gruff at the petting zoo. There was so much to do it was incredible. I can see us returning on a yearly basis.

The town was cute. I had forgotten to bring a book, and reading material was not to be found in the small country stores. But one lady told me to check the library. They have book sales, and the books are left on the porch. Then you put your money through the book slot in the front door. I payed two bucks for two really bad and old novels.

The hotel we stayed in was... ugh. Check in time was 3pm, but our room wasn't ready, so we waited, exhausted, with two hyper kids. The only room they had when they took our reservation had only one queen bed. We had to track someone down to get a crib. I tried using the jacuzzi tub but ended up just SPRAYING water everywhere, so I used four towels drying up, and then Nick came in, slipped and got soaked, and I had to use his one remaining shirt as PJs. This morning Nate woke up at 4am, and there was no putting him back to sleep. He woke us all up. Then at 6am he collapsed and went back to sleep. Nick, however, did no. His job was to watch TV and wake me up whenever it looked like I might actually be falling asleep.

Then we drove to the top of Mt. Washington. The last time I tried to do this they turned us away. A Saturn is NOT a safe car to drive when driving up and down this mountain. It has no low gear. The Hoda Odyssey made it fine. We got to the top and it was in the forties. The boys had no coats. It was cold. I took some pictures. Then we drove through a lot of traffice to get home.

And now we're here! I'll be posting photos from our trip during the next week.

Friday, August 25, 2006

School Daze

Last night was "Meet Your Teacher" night at Nick's new school. For an hour the parents stood around watching as their kids destroyed a classroom, turning it from Very Neat into Disaster Area. He loved it.

There are thirteen kids in Nick's class. Because not all the kids are there on all the days, the most they will ever have are eight children at one time. Of the thirteen children, nine of them are boys. Three are girls. And one is named Riley and wasn't there last night, but either way my point is SO MANY BOYS. The youngest child is fifteen months, and his name is Finnean. I worked out that he was closer in age to Nate than Nick.

The teacher is Alyssa, a young woman who just moved up from teaching first grade in Mass. She and her husband and their year-old daughter now live one town over. I'm worried because teaching a bunch of two year olds is VERY different from teaching first grade. Lucky for us, there is an assistant, Drenda. (That is not a type. Her name is Drenda, not Brenda.) Drenda has apparently had 18 years experience working with preschoolers. She also has two teenage sons.

Last night I looked around and was questioning my decision. Did I pick the right place? Is he really going to learn anything there? It's hard to see your child with a bunch of other children and think that, to the teacher, he is one of many, when to me, he is one of one. But then, as I read him a bedtime story last night, I realized that it didn't matter. He will learn how to get along with other children. He will play. He will hear new things and go new places. And at home I will keep on taking him to the library and reading him books and singing him the songs that I know. He isn't loosing me as a parent just because he's in school two days a week.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

J'Accuse Linda

I can't remember when ,but not too long ago, I posted about this site called Gather. I learned about Gather via the Bzzz Agency, and I think I said it was hard to navigate but interesting.

Well, this quickly turned into an obsession. I posted an Article, and people actually READ it! They COMMENTED! They rated it. I commented on other people's stuff. It was almost like having an actual conversation, except for the fact that I had NO IDEA who these people were, or what they looked like, or if they were what they said they were...

But then when Linda came, she showed me something else. This Game. It's like Scrabble... kind of. You have to see how many words you can find in the maze of letters. And it is SO ADDICTIVE. I've been playing it whenever I have a spare moment, leaving it open on my computer so that I can find a word while the kids are eating snack, or maybe just distracted.

It's actually gotten so that I have imposed a "computer time" on myself. Once I reach my limit of computer time I will actually SHUT OFF my computer so that I can get on with my day and won't be sitting here playing games instead of doing dishes or laundry, or making sure Nick isn't sticking anythign up his nose.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Have you Seen My Son?

It's like a Steven King novel. Over the past two or three weeks, my son has become... SOMEONE ELSE! Remember how I used to say Nathan was my calm, low maintenance baby? Ha.

Nathan can now move, so instead of sitting where I put him, he immediately begins creeping across the room, pulling his body along like the Zombies from Dawn of the Dead. (the old one, not the new one where the zombies have super human strength and can run like cheetas. I'm sure Nate's saving THAT for when he learns to walk.)

Nathan's moving around means that many things we loved - books, boxes, letters, have been chewed and rendered into pulpy goo. In some cases actually eaten. Other items we keep taking him away from. Wires, coins, paper clips, pens... Once you take something away from him, Nate will protest by screaming and crying.

Nathan loves moving. But it's not enough. See, he knows what he wants, and he will not be appy until he gets it. What this kid wants is to STAND. And WALK! He pushes himself up on his legs, so that he's stuck in a downward dog position, but then he can't get his upper body up. So he protests by screaming and crying.

When I change his diaper he would rather be moving around, so he protests by screaming and crying. When I change Nicky's diaper Nathan tries to climb up my body so that he can stand. When I move him away from me and his brothers icky diaper, he protests by screaming and crying.

He wakes up three or four times a night and tries to pull himself up on his crib rail. Then he protests his existance by screaming and crying.

Oh - and he hates baby food. That mushy stuff? YEah - who has time for THAT! He wants FOOD! So I've had to buy toddler food - mushy chicken sticks and fruit and veggie cubes. He eats those, when he can actually get them into his mouth. When he doesn't he protests by... yep. Screaming and crying.

Oh - Nate has a tooth coming in. He's been drooling for three months, but the first tooth is finally peeping out! Hooray! Except now I need to stop breast feeding RIGHT NOW. Because quite honestly, it's become painful.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Boy Talking

The following is a reconstruction of a real live conversation that took place on Sunday night. I couldn't have made this one up if I tried.

The phone rings one and a half times.
Steve picks up the phone.

Steve: Hello?
Nick (on upstairs phone): Hi!
Telemarketer: Hello, I'm calling from an independant blah blah-
Nick: Hi Daddy! Boy Talking?
Telemarketer: -and I'm looking for a registered voter?
Nick: Boy Talking?
Steve: Why don't you talk to my son. I don't know if he's registered. He's two - he'll answer your questions.
Steve hangs up the phone. He walks upstairs. Upstairs, Nicholas still has the phone to his ear.
Nick: Boy talking? Boy talking?
Steve hangs up the phone for him.

By the way, Nicholas has not yet stopped calling himself "Boy." However, he also sometimes calls himself "Nicholas." As in "Nicholas toy?" Or "Nicholas Funny?"

Monday, August 21, 2006

Starting Young

At seven months one of Nathan's favorite toys is this remote control dump truck. Steve got it for Nicholas last November. Nick liked it - as I recall his entire body shook with excitement. But the toy was very loud, so we hid it, only taking it out when we needed SOMETHING as a distraction.

Nathan understands that, if he plays with the remote, the dump truck with do things. I don't know if it's the loud noises, the bright yellow color, or or the fact that it's completely age inappropriate, but he's drawn to that toy like no other.

And yes, this picture is new. I have a NEW CAMERA!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Don't YOU ever run out of things to say?
Hard to believe, but I do, too.
And today is one of those days.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Food, Glorious Food

So far since Linda's been here we have gone grocery shopping, printed out 16 recipies, gone to Mac's Apples and shopped at the farm stand (fed the goats, the ducks, and watched Nick freak out twice over a stuffed owl and once over a stuffed moose head). Linda has made a roast chicken with leeks, roast potatoes with rosemary, and lemon green beans. She also made a peach blueberry tart, about three gallons of marinara sauce for us to freeze and eat later, and batter for cornmeal blueberry pancackes which I tried to make this morning and simply proved my point which is that I CAN NOT MAKE PANCAKES. It's not the batter, it is ME.

Today Linda wants to grill steak and shrimp and stuffed peppers. We are going to the meat store and the seafood store. She's dancing around with herbs and kitchen utensils and I think she's just happy to be an a kitchen with counter space and a separate dining area.

And I am uber tired from dealing with Nathan, Mr. Grumpy nighttimesleepdoesnotapplytome. This morning he cried as he ate and he cried as he crawled around and he tried to climb up into my lap and onto my head as I was chaning his brother's diaper. T'aint funny, McGee!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Remember Me

Remember this bugger?

This is the guy that loves me so much he woke me up SIX TIMES last night just so that we could be together.

Seriously, if we were dating instead of related, I'd break up with him. No matter how cute that little face is.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Weekend in the Country

Today I am picking up Linda from the airport. She is going to be here until Sunday.

In some ways I am nervous - what if she hates it here? What if she finds it terribly uncomfortable and boring? What if she gets hand, foot, and mouth disease?

But in other ways - most ways - I am just excited. I do like having people come up and visit. It varies my days. And Linda has never seen my home. And I hardly ever see Linda. So this will be great fun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Foot and Mouth

Remember that episonde ot Little House on the Prairie when one of the children had Scarlet Fever, only then it turned out it was actually Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

Yeah, I thought not. Because things like that only happen in real life.

Nick has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. I know, I know, it sounds like an illness that many guys I've dated has suffered from, a social illness that affects the filter of the brain, ensuring that the victim keeps saying inappropriate things, or sticking one's foot in one's mouth. But it isn't that. Nor it is Foot and Mouth, or Mad Cow, or anything like that.

The closest thing I can think of is Chicken Pox. Nick now has blisters on his hands, his feet, and - oh yeah, his mouth. It's contagious like Chicken Pox. Only Chicken Pox now has it's very own vaccination because apparently it was SOOO DANGEROUS and we just didn't know it when we were kids and people exposed their kids to it to get it over with.

I took him to the doctor, who told us to give him Tylonol if his fever comes back, and also not to feed him certain foods. He then listed off every single item I had fed Nicholas since this ordeal began, making me wish I could dig a hole in the floor of the examination room, crawl into it, and make Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease go away. Especially since it sounds made up. Made up my some kid with very little imagination.

For the record, Nicholas is fine now. The fever is gone. He's jumping around and absolutely frustrated by the fact that I won't let him go anywhere or share any toys with Nathan. It's just that he might still pass it on. And since we have a few ideas where he might have contracted this illness but all over them are very far fetched, I'm reluctant to bring him to places where he might see other kids, touch other people, touch things that other people might one day touch...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gather Together

I got sent a link to this new site.

I was introduced to this site via the Bzzz agency. I guess they are trying to create Bzzzz about this site. I wasn't terribly excited about it because I already have a blog I post to EVERY DAY. I already have a friendster account. And I already have an online kodak account. DO I REALLY NEED TO JOIN SOMETHING ELSE?

Of course not. But George was Curious, and so was I. SO I checked it out.

It's a bit difficult to navigate at first. I still can't figure out parts of it. But I like being able to write "articles" and send them to people. I like being able to join a group of stay-at-home moms. I like being able to read poetry and short stories written by other people. People have invited me to join their goups! Unlike friendster, where I feel that I'm OLD, most of the people on Gather are grown ups. Unlike posting on a blog (which I probably will not stop doing) I'm posting to a groups of people. I can get notified when certain people post their articles, too.

SO for about a week I've been writing, posting photos, commenting on other people's work... it's kind of fun. I feel like I'm making friends or actually interacting with people, which is sad, but also good for me, in a strange placebo-like way.

Anyway, if you've got the time, check it out. Look me up!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

padded room needed

I forgot to mention this about Nate.

The other day we were visiting Steve's mother, Lillian. We were sitting on her back porch. I switched chairs to put Nathan in the shade. 30 seconds after sitting down I realized the stool I picked was actually a side table. Because it broke beneath me. I heard shattering, and reached down with one of my hands to try and stop myself from being impaled on shards of glass. And Nathan, who had been on my lap, tumbled off and landed face first on the deck.

It all happened in about .9 seconds. His nose got scraped. He now has a scab on his nose.

And Nicholas is NOT better, as I had posted yesterday. His fever returned in full force, and he started complaining that the inside of his mouth hurt. I kept thinking he was teething, because the kept pointing to the back of his mouth. But he won't let me look, so I can't really tell. And then, as I was drying him off from his bath, I noticed a rash all over his body. Including the palms of his hands and his feet. And of course I went online and I am now convinced he has Scarlet Fever. Nothing ever happens during the week. Only on the weekend when the doctor's office is CLOSED. Even if he does get sicker, I have no idea what I will do about it.

And both boys woke up at 4:30 AM. Nick is being calm and well behaved - probably because he feels so awful. But Nathan is so irritating. He just keeps whining and fussing - HE'S the reason we're up so gosh darn early, because he wouldn't SETTLE DOWN. He won't settle down with his bottle, or a biscuit. He just wants me to hold him ALL THE TIME. But quite frankly, I don't like being drooled on before 7am. Or spat up on. Or used as a chew toy.

Today is a great day to disregard any rules I might have previously had about caffiene.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

There's Something About Nathan... and Nick.

Yesterday I posted that Nathan was creeping around at lightning speeds.

Well, yesterday Nathan learned to sit up by himself. Steve and I were both looking at him and discussing how quickly he was developing, new skills popping up every day. And just then Nate rolled and sat up.

He can also clap his hands. They don't make a clapping sound or anything. In fact, I wasn't sure he knew what I was doing, so I sat across from him and clapped my hands - he clapped his. I raised my hands up, and he brought his hands out to the side. I touched the ground - he touched the ground. I clapped my hands - he clapped his hands. HE IS A GENIUS! BWAHAHA!

He also babbles as though he's speaking, although he's really only saying "dada dada dada." He prefers to be standing, even though he can't do it on his own.

Nicholas, on the other hand... has a new backpack. He has "school shoes." He is ready for school, which starts August 30th.

He also had a fever yesterday. By noon he had a fever of 101.5°F. No other symptoms, although I had nightmares about mystery infections. Food poisoning? Lingering effects from the Dog Bite? Or is it something as simple as picking up a toy at Wal-Mart? He was feverish all afternoon and all night. This morning he is back to normal. IT was just one of those freak things, and I am a dramatic worrywort.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ready, Set, and...

Nathan is now officially mobile. He can push himself with his foot across a room. He sees something he wants, starts moving, and within ten seconds of the original sighting he has destroyed his target, which has been masticated to bits and is scattered about in puddles of drool. Books, cherry tomatoes, and a few of Nick's toys, all victims of this ruthless predator.

Boy are we in trouble.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


In the movie Simon Birch there is this scene where the little boy, who has just accidentally killed Ashley Judd by hitting her in the head with a baseball, is running away from humanity when he stops on a bridge and cries out to the world "I'm Sorry! I'M SORRY!" And this scene never fails to leave me in tears. Other than that, the movie is just a shortened a rehashed version of "A Prayer for Owen Meany" which I loved.

Delta called me the other day. I mean I got a phone call in response to my letter. They called to apologize for the awful trip I had. "You've been mistreated," the lady said. "We feel bad about that because it shouldn't happen." They will be speaking to the flight attendants and to the airports, too.

I don't really know about that. I mean, I can imagine the red tape involved in tracking down who was working the desks, who was on which flights, etc. I was just impressed that they called. I really wasn't expecting a response to my letter. I was half expecting it to be pinned up on some wall of shame where office workers would read it and laugh. I know they probably have a special department simply to deal with complaints, and they probably tell everyone that they are sorry and they will be looking into it. They probably offer all disgruntled passangers $50 flight vouchers or 5000 sky miles (this translates to about $1 per 100 miles, right?). But hey - skymiles! I'm that much closer to a first class flight to Bora Bora! I figure Steve and I can take our three week vacation to a dream location on our 25th wedding anniversary. Which is great, because we won't need a baby sitter.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Quite often, as I'm changing Nathan's diaper, Nicholas will come up behind me and throw his arms around my neck in an affectionate sort of piggy-back hug. What he doesn't know is that he is actually squeezing my windpipe when he does this, and it's a little bit painful and I can't breathe. But I can't work up the courage to tell him this. I know he's a little bit jealous of the attention I am giving his brother, and that he might take any negative reaction as a rejection. I know I need to come up with an alternative, it's just that, until I do, I'm thankful he's not sticking his fingers into his brother's eyes.

Today, after I completed Nate's diaper change using half my usual oxygen supply and supporting and extra 27 pounds around my neck, Nicholas began patting my back. "Mole? Mole?" he asked, pointing to a specific location on my back. "Yes," I said. "It's a mole."

"Hug a mole?" Nick asked, and then proceeded to place his head on it to give it a hug. He's hugging my moles. He loves me so much, he loves my moles. How great is that?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sleep Aid - a Kool Aid

I may have posted about this before. If so, I apologize. But I'm pretty sure that, if I did, it was only in passing.

I am tired. Not as tired as Nathan's first three months, when I was living in a haze and getting to the store took a week's worth of planning and a shot of adrenaline. But these days Nathan is getting up four or five times a night. At first I blamed the heat, then the fact that it was too cool in their room... but now I just think he's getting used to me helpinghim back to sleep. At some point I must take a stand and let him cry a little, let him deal so we can get through this part... but at 2am I always think I'd rather get him to fall back asleep FASTER instead of letting him learn anything because, quite frankly, I am too tired to lie there and listen to him scream. And the thought of him waking up Nick terrifies me.

When one is sleep deprived, there is nothing more irritating than sleep aid advertisements. And let me tell you , there are a lot of sleep aids out there. Lunesta, Rozerem, Ambien, not to mention several over-the-counter sleep aids, like Tylonol PM, Advil PM, and my personal favorite from way back when, Valerian Root Tea. (It smells like the garbage, but it always put me right to sleep.) The things is, with all these sleep aids, the advertising people speak as though the ONLY THING keeping you awake, the ONLY thing, is tension or some other thing that CAN be cured with a drug.

Personally, unless the Advil PM people are going to come over and get up with my kid five times a night, they aren't going to be doing me any good. Or how about this! Those people having trouble sleeping? The ones we see on TV wandering and looking at the clock and then out the window and sighing... why don't THEY come over and take care of my kids for a couple of days? I could sleep for a couple of days, and I promise them they will be exhausted and ready to sleep after 48 hours. They won't need a perscription, only references and an FBI background check.

Besides, I happen to know that taking sleep aids like those listed above are not good for you. Anyone can become addicted to them, making insomnia worse. And I don't think the sleep you get with them is as restful as the sleep you would get otherwise. Unless there is a real reason, they should be avoided.

But still, each time I hear a commercial, see images of people sleeping peacefully, and that silly butterfly, I can't help wanting to swallow these pills by the fistfull. YES! I want to shout. YES! I AM TIRED!

Monday, August 07, 2006

wrong side of the bed

I woke up this morning with my nerves already rubbed raw. I wa so tired, because Steve is away and I never sleep as well when he's gone. Also, Nathan decided to practice sitting up by himself ALL NIGHT last night, and I would go in to nurse him and put him back to sleep and he would be AWAKE, complete with cooing and laughing and for some reason kickng me in the gut.

This morning, just before 6am, he woke up AGAIN and I took him into the bed with me. He wasn't hungry, he just wanted to alternate scratching me, pulling my hair, and kicking me, and I was doing my best to sleep through it. But Nick woke up and that was that.

Nicholas, on the other hand... I told him we would go to the library today. I should never tell him ANYTHING like that, because then I said "OK, let's go get breakfast!" And he was clearly injured "No! Library!" And I said "No, not yet, we have to eat breakfast and get dressed before we can go to the library." Nick began to cry. "The library is closed, Nick." He started crying louder. "Nick! It's 6am! Nothing is open yet and anyone that can still sleep is still sleeping! When the library is open we'll go! But not yet!" Nick kept crying, "Library! Library!" And of course by then I wanted to ship him off to the Library for keeps.

The day has been pretty much like that. The bananas were gross so I threw them out, and then that's all Nick wanted for breakfast. Nathan cried for 20 minutes and then refused to nap. Oh, and it's pouring rain. I took an Advil, somehow thinking Ibuprophin would have a Soma Tablet effect on my mood. But it was not to be. I hate it when I get like this, just edgy and cranky and short tempered and I know it but there's still nothing I can do about it. Except sleep, but that might as well be a trip to the moon at this point.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

How to make Play Dough

I have made play dough for Nick before, and although at first it freaked him out a little bit and caused temper tantrums because 1 - it might be hot 2 - Steve poked his finger in it and "broke" it and 3- some fell on the ground and Gunther sniffed it, only Nick thought Gunther ate his toy... Although it has such a rocky begining, Nick has come to understand and appreciate play dough.

Yesterday I pulled out the play dough, which has been mushed into a purple-yellow mixture and which is easily 3 months old at this point. I let him play with it (which he did for a WHOLE HOUR, I might add) but I thought I would make him some NEW play dough. Some BLUE play dough It's not hard, and it doesn't take long.

Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of salt and 2 tablespoons of Cream of Tartar. Mix it with 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of food coloring, and 1 Cup of oil.

Wait, did I say one CUP of oil? I meant on Tablespoon.

Which is exactly what got me into trouble yesterday. As soon as I added the whole cup I realized I had made a mistake, but I attempted to remedy the situation by adding more flour, more water, more cream of tartar, and more salt. But honestly, I would have had to add a LOT more of all these to make it right.

To make matters worse, the play-dough was made with neon food coloring, giving the mess the exact shade I imagine Smurfs to be. If this WERE a smurf, his name would be Acne, the oily Smurf, because oil just POURS from it. I left it on the counter to dry out, hoping it would help and become usable, but within ten minutes oil had pooled out of it, dripped over the edge of the counter, and formed a puddle on the kitchen floor.

This morning I checked it again. Oil has stopped seeping from the pile of blue goo, but if you touch it or kneed it your hands are then coated in oil. It's like a rather oily moisturizer. It made me think of Palmolive, and how it used to claim to soften hands while you did dishes... only this is play dough, and not dishes.

Through out the entire production I kept thinking "Why don't I have a camera so I could share this with the world?"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bath Brothers

Nick and Nathan love each other.

I really am grateful for that. I mean, Nick doesn't try to hurt Nate. Sometimes he'll try to poke him in the eye, and there was that time in France he emptied an entire bottle of shampoo on Nate's head. But he doesn't do these things out of jealousy or malice. It's mostly play or curiosity.

Nathan can sit up now, if you sit him up. And he's pretty stable, usually. So I've been sitting him up in the tub and I'm actually able to do something like reach for a washcloth or a towel, or even put the dirty clothes in the clothes hamper. Nathan LOVES the bath. As soon as he hits the water he starts flapping his arms, sending water everywhere.

Nicholas will tolerate a bath, as long as you don't try to touch him with a washcloth. But when Nate starts splashing and sending bathwater, water that may contain SOAP into his face, he cries.

When he cries, Nathan laughs. For some reason he interprets Nick's distress as something funny, perhaps laughter? Or maybe he hears something phoney in it and thinks Nick is faking? Whatever the reason, Nathan begins laughing and waves his arms harder, thrashing his feet, getting them going, too. The water in the tub is churning (a little) and tiny drops of water are going everywhere. And Nicholas is looking at me, crying without tears, and saying "Nay Nay Done? Nay Nay Done?" basically begging me to take Nate out of the tub.

But Nathan is having such a good time I can't do it!

OH - and yesterday Nathan pulled himself up (with my help) to standing and actually looked as though her were going to start walking around. "Look how short you are!" I said. "Nicholas could kiss you on the top of your head! And thenNick came over and did. And I tok a picture with my mental camera, and framed it and hung it on one of the bare walls in my brain.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I need a swimsuit

The photos I have been posting were taken on our Honeymoon to St. Lucia. In this one we were on a hike. We didn't actually have hiking gear, so both Steve and I were in sandals which got slippery when they got wet (on the inside, so your feet would slide IN the shoes) and I was also wearing my swimsuit.

I gave away this swimsuit, because, if you haven't noticed, it's a two piece. I also gave away my string bikini and the one piece that no longer fit over... well, over ME. I refuse to wear my maternity swimsuit, which is a tankini with a flowy top that immediately floats to the top of the water unless you are pregnant enough for it not to be able to budge.

I purchased a swimsuit at Wal-Mart for my vacation to France, and I wore it, and it was OK. A bit small on bottom, big on top, but not indecent and I could get it on and off without a problem. This swimsuit was yanked out of my suitcase at the airport and left on the plane with other items of dirty laundry.

So now I need a swimsuit, because I will be visiting a friend with a pool in a little over a week. And the stores have already decided that swimsuit season is over. Now the displays are all back-to-school displays. I'm sure I could find onw if I had the time, but really, I have two small children, one who climbs out of the cart and pulls things off shelves. I do not have time to browse. WHERE TO GO?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Riddle me this:

You have just pulled into the garage. You have a sleeping 2-year-old and a should-be-sleeping 6-month-old in the car. You also have a car full of groceries.

Once the 2-year-old wakes up he will not go back to sleep. The 6-month-old can be breastfed or formula fed. He prefers formula. There is no bottle prepared. The groceries include perishables and frozen items. If the 2-year-old stays in his carseat too long he will wake up. If you leave the 6 month-old in the carseat for more than 45 seconds he will scream. If you leave the groceries on the kitchen floor or counter the dog will eat the meat, and probably most of the snacks.

You need to put the groceries away and get the kids to sleep so that you can have time to work out / read / nap / stare at the wall / whatever.

So what order do you do these things in? How do you DEAL?

Please use only a #2 pencil and write only in the provided space. You have 20 minutes. GO!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We're having a heat waaaaaave

OK, so I know it's much hotter in Thailand than it is here, generally speaking. But it's hot here. Not just hot, but humid.

Yesterday I checked Accuweather to see what the temperature was like. The actual tempereature was 90° F, but the "RealFeel" after factoring in wind, humidity, and probably the position of the moon, was 107°F. That's 107°F. That's hot.

Last night I kept waiting for the heat to break, for that coolness I assiciate with night time to rush in through the windows as it usually does, causing us to dive under our summer blankets and get up to turn off the fans. It never happened.

Right now it is 84°F by Accuweather's report. The thermometer in Steve's car said 90°F. It is 8:15 am. Supposedly it's supposed to reach 101°F today. RealFeel of 106°F.

Because we have no airconditioning, I have to get creative with things. I plan on taking a trip in the coo, airconditioned car later this morning. We shall go to the dump, and to Dunkin Donuts for a snack. I'm hoping the kids will fall asleep in the car on the way back, and I can carry them into the Den, which has the airconditioning. They won't fall asleep in there on their own. It's WAY to exciting. When they wake up I shall drive us to the mall to do some shopping - weddings, babies, I can always look for a gift. And we shall stay out until at least 4:30. Because it won't get cooler until later.

Actually, it won't get cool at all, I just checked. So we will be hot no matter what. At least some time in airconditioning will help cool us down.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Loving the skin I'm in

What do people use on their faces?

I'm not talking about make-up. That's a whole different story. I myself am still using techniques that my friend Larissa showed me from a magazine in the late 80's. But it seems to work, so...

No, what I'm talking about is a skin regimen.

I have spent years wading through different products and different brands and wondering exactly what it was that each one DID. I still don't know, to tell you the truth. Toner? What IS that? Anyway, after years of experimenting, I finally saw part of a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and this one "Queer Guy" was telling a "Stright Guy" that he absolutely HAD to have a skin regimen. EVERYONE should have a skin regimen. Women knoew this, but this Straight Guy, he had to be told.

I immediately went to Wal-Mart and purchased a number of skin products, not wanting to be left behind in this world of women.

I have settled on Olay prducts. First of all, I am pretty sure I saw my sister use these products at one point. Second, they are not too expensive (less expensive than the Clinique stuff I used to get - although I still feel silly buying them.) Lastly, their advertizing worked, the brand name is seared into my brain.

But this weekend, while getting my facial, SANDRA told me a few things. 1 - I have sun damage (I knew that.) 2 - My skin is dry and sensitive. (Really? Because I would have said oily....) and then she told me 3 - Olay products are not good, and they irritate sensitive skin such as mine. I would do better off with a "professional product" or even with a product called Neveablahblah (can't remember) that I can find at the mall...

The product they sell at this place is Murad. I have been to their website. I am frightened. I can not see myself EVER spending $60 on less than two ounces of face cream. Besides, these people promote supplements and celulite products as though they were actually real and working products. And I still say that if these things were real, EVERYONE would be using them.

So what do people thing? What do people use? Not that this is life or death or anything, I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks the cost is outrageous, and that I can stick with Olay, despite the "irritation" on my skin?