Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wallowing in Health and Happiness

At some point over the past week, Steve told me that my family probably thought my life was awful due to the fact that I never ever post anything good or uplifting on this blog, and instead fill it with true-life tales of illness and screaming babies.

This post is just to let everyone know that no one threw up last night. My hives are 95% better. The boys are quietly watching Sesame Street. I am almost caught up on Laundry, and I have been able to use the treadmill for two days in a row, and maybe even today as well. Also, Steve was right. Over the past week a few things happened that I could have posted about, but I didn't due to the fact that I couldn't remember they were happening due to all the itching and puking and whatnot. But I will attempt to rectify that over the next few days.

My goodness! It's like hitting your head with a hammer. It feels so good when it stops!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Little Extra Facial Hair Can't Hurt

I managed to get a doctor's appointment for Late yesterday afternoon. My doctor is a very slight and soft spoken Chinese-American who must weigh almost half of what I do. I've only been in to see him twice in the 2.5 years he's officially been my primary care physician. But somehow I didn't think my Obstetrician would see me with a hives complaint.

The doctor waved at the boys, who were patiently waiting with me, eating the chocolate chip cookies I gave them as a bribe. Then he turned to me with a "What's going on?"

"Well, I have hives," and I bared my wrist, which was swollen like a sausage.

"Yes, you do." Gosh, he good! He asked what I was taking and I was telling him the antihistamines I had been taking weren't working.

"I see some on your arms and on your neck - are they anywhere else?" He was just going on about how he could get me a perscription stregth antihistamine when I lifted my shirt and the look on his face was... indescribable. But I will add that he then took one giant step back.

"I'm going to give you some steroids to knock these out of your system," he said.

My immediate thought was that I would grow a nice, thick mushtash, and I'd have to shave every morning. Perhaps he sensed my hesitation, because he then started listing off possible side effects. "You might have bloating - water retention. You might get a little jittery. It might upset your stomach just a little. But you look miserable right now."

So yesterday I took my first dose of Prednisone. It's a bit confusing because I have to keep track of the number of pills I take each day. 4 one day, 3 the next, etc. Until I'm taking half a pill. The pharmacy added that it could cause sleeplessness and that I should, under no circumstances, just STOP taking the pills! Horrible things could happen! And that makes me nervous. But what is one to do? It also mentioned than one other possible side effect is rash and itchiness, in which case I will just never notice, will I?

Most of my hives are gone - just a few small patches here and there that sting and feel bruised more than itch. It's like having just a few mosquito bites after having poison ivy all over. I feel better, I am full of energy, and that is all I'm saying for now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Overtime, Extra Innings, Whatever

Nicholas did not throw up last night, so I am sending him to school today.

Nathan threw up twice. He is not himself this morning. But since he was fine for a couple of days I'm going to wait this one out.

I am calling the doctor about the hives that are covering my entire body in beautiful welts, including the backs of my hands. They itch, and they sting, and medicine make then feel better for about an hour, but then I either have to wait 24 hours before taking the next pill, or the pill makes me fall asleep.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

God Is Laughing

This picture was taken during the last day of the big ice storm we had. If I had had enough batteries I could have taken it on our walk outside. Ice sheeted everything, each blade of grass, each leaf. If you were careful, you could remove the ice and you were left with a perfect duplicate of leaves made out of ice. But I chose this picture because it looks like I feel.

Nicholas did NOT throw up again at 6:30 pm last night! He waited until 12:30.

As for me... yesterday I realized that I was itching. My thighs and my stretch marks were itching me. And when I finally bothered to look, I saw that I was covered in bright red patches. The itching spread up my belly and around my neck. I seached the house for something to help, but of course I had gone on this cleaning spree JUST LAST WEEK and thrown out all the hydrocortizone and Benadryl because the expiration dates had passed.

So last night, I did what I haven't done in ages. I left the house AFTER THIS BOYS WERE IN BED.

I knew CVS would be open, so I pulled my long coat over my loose pants and pyjama top and headed out. Of course, I was reminded as soon as I stepped out of the car that there are people, many many people, who actually leave the house after 7pm on a regular basis. In many places you cen't even GET a dinner reservation until at least 8pm. This sin't one of those places. But there are still movie theatres and stores and for goodness sakes it was SATURDAY NIGHT! And there I am in my pyjamas completely out of my element.

I got cream and benadryl, and they each worked for about three minutes. All night long I did my best not to scratch. I still have no idea what this is. Here are a bunch of possibilities I have considered: Hives, Fleas, Body Lice, Any Kind of Lice, Scabies, some form of deadly Cancer. (yes, there are a few reasons I never became a doctor.) Since it started I have bathed, scrubbed my skin, ignored fancy lotions, washed my hair, and done a load of aundry in hot water. (I will never wear those jeans again, will I?) Today I will change the bedsheets and wash them, and wash all the rest of my clothes, all in hot water. I have no idea what this is, but I'm terrified I'm going to pass it on to th boys.

There is a good chance that tomorrow morning I will be calling the doctor for Nicholas AND for me. In the meantime, I know that God is having a good laugh loading on these little challenges just as I start to think I can cope.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Here is a picture of Nathan rubbing his snotty nose all over some clean laundry.

Nick is still sick, on and off, choosing to whimper during the day and beg for food and drink, which I dole out in the smallest of portions, wondering if I am starving my child. However, Nick manages to store it all up in his system so that at about 6:30 PM he can projectile vomit in the living room, every bit of food eaten of the past 12 hours sent right over the head of a sing'n spin pablo, the mess landing right in front of his brother, who heads for it as though it were a warm pool of chocolate pudding. Nick then throws up all night, and in the morning he if up at 5am, jumping and smiling, and begging for food.

Steve is still sick, also. I was wondering, because he didn't seem to be as sick as the rest of us the other night. And nathan is fine, thank goodness, because it's impossible to describe how awful it is to deny him something to drink when I knew he would just throw it up, but he screamed and wriggled right out of my arms and once on the floor began running around the house loolking for a sip cup with ANYTHING... Of course I would give him some drink, but I was trying to give him small sips, and he preferred to gulp down an entire jug of water.

This post lacks focus, as I am not fully well and still very tired. So I will hope the typos aren't SO bad this time, and send it on its way.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Level 3 in the video game of LIFE

Level 1 was Nick getting sick in his carseat.

Level 2 was Nick getting sick the other night while Steve was away on a business trip.

Can you guess Level 3? Go on, give it a try!

Yesterday Nick and Nate both ate a full breakfast. They both ate their Dora Spaghettios for lunch. And they both fall right asleep at nap time. But I was feeling off. Very off. I ate a snadwhich, thinking I might just be hungry, but I couldn't finish it. I kept thinking I would hop on the treadmill, but once the boys were asleep I just crawled into bed... and then, at 2:30... just before the boys got up from nap... I got sick. BUT WAIT - THERE'S MORE!

I couldn't do anything. I took the boys down to the living room and turned on the TV, telling them they could watch wahatever they wanted. I stretched out on the couch, but every few minutes I had to get up and run to the bathroom, and the boys would folow me. Throwing up is one thing, ut you should try it sometime with a one-year-old sticking his head in the toilet with you, and a two-year-old behind you saying "Oh, Mommy! Yucky!"

Finally I left them with Steve, who was a hero and took care of them WHILE HE WAS WORKING! He then gave them dinner and put them to bed. Then he came and told me he was feeling a little funny himself. And it was about that time that Nathan threw up all over his bed.

Steve, poor Steve who was starting not to feel well and who can't changing a poopy diaper without throwing up, helped me get Nate out of bed. I took off the sheets and re-made the bed by layering blankets and towels, figuring I could just peel them off as he kept getting sick. THIS WORKS! It really does.

Anyway, Nate kept getting sick. Steve camped out in the guest bedroom so that we could have our own space for the night - let's face it, sharing a bathroom isn't always the dream it's made out to be. And then, late into the night, when both Steve and I were feeling sick, we heard it. It was the sound of someone throwing up. Someone not Nate. IT WAS NICK! AGAIN! AGHHHHH!

So anyway, it's the morning, and I'm feeling better, but really tired. I have more laundry to do than I ever thought possible. I need to sleep. Nate is dancing around the house.... I'm not sure this level is over yet.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Glass Half Empty

I have nothing uplifting to post today.

The End.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How It Is.

Every time I feel like things are settling down, and that I'm finally catching up on the laundry, getting back to pre-Nate weight, setting time asdie to actually SPEND with my kids... someone gets a stomach bug in the middle of the night.

Last night, after changing sheets on Nick's bed, after changing his pyjamas and washing half his head to get the gross smell out, I found myself holding a blanket to his mouth as he retched, and I thought "Why do I have to do this again? Didn't I do it right the first time?"

Wouldn't it be great if life worked that way? If you did a great job cleaning up after your sick kid, comforted him, did a load of wash at 11pm, all while remaining calm and sympathetic and efficient, then he wouldn't throw up 14 more times. you wouldn't have to watch the collection of puky blankets and towels grow during the night. You would get more than 2 hours sleep, and the next morning you would wake up feeling refreshed, and your kids would feel healthy.

Of course, this morning I realized that it doesn't matter if your kids are feeling healthy or not, they STILL want to get up at 5am when it is pitch black.

When Nick gets sick he is too small to know what to do. He can't even pee in the toilet, so throwing up in the toilet is out of the question. I don't even know he's going to throw up until it's happened, and I don't think he does, either. He doesn't turn over, so the puke just pools on his pyjama top and on the pillow and sheets. When he does happen to be sitting up, he tends to let his whole body relax, and if I don't support him his face falls into the blanket or towel I am holding for him, getting his face and head all messy.

This morning he seemed better, but didn't eat, and less than an hour after breakfast he threw up his apple juice all over my bathroom floor, and also on my duvet. I have no groceries, and I can't get out to get any. I can't tell you why he is sick so often, but Nick always seems to have something. He only has school two days a week and he has been out more times than I can count.

This has to end. It just does. Mostly because I need sleep.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What's That Sound?

Things have changed around here. While I tell you about them, please enjoy these pictures of my parents' kitchen cabinets - they are stained glass, and yes, they can be lit from the INSIDE to produce the below effect.

As I have mentioned, Nathan now walks - no, runs. He can also climb onto the sofa, reach the power button to the cable box, and remove entire loaves of bread from the bread box.

But the biggest change comes from Nicholas. While the world stops to contemplate the wonders of an upwardly mobile Nate, Nick has quietly learned how to open doors.

This means no one is safe.

I used to shower while the boys played in my bedroom, confident thay would keep the destruction confined to my room, unable to reach the hallway and tumble down the stairs. Now all I have to do is brush my teeth and Nick has opened the door, gone downstairs, opened the fridge, gotten out the apple juice, and let out the dog. Nate, still afraid of stairs that go down, is in the guest room talking to someone on the phone.

Seriously, Nick opens doors everywhere. I have been remined of this more than once while using public restrooms. He can also open the fridge, which can be an issue. But the biggest concern I have is that he can open the door to the HOUSE. He can actually go outside. SO far he has only let the dog out, but it's been nineteen degrees. Once it gets to be sixty I'm afraid we'll have to put one of Gunther's electric Gate collars on him.

Monday, January 22, 2007


She's not yet thirty, which means she is young.

Happy Birthday, Anne-E!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Another Great Nathan Photo

You know how dogs see you with the camera and get REALLY close to you?

Kids do, too.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Doctor, Doctor!

Yesterday Nathan had his one year Well Baby appointment. It turns out he is healthy, which I suspected.

I rarely have anything real to talk to the doctor about during these checkups. I'm usually just fishing around, trying to get her to tell me my kids are normal and don't have an extra limb anywhere I have missed. But this time I DID have a few things I needed to talk to her about.

And it was difficult. Not because it was hard to find the words, but because NIcholas LOVES the doctor, and even though it wasn't his appointment, he chattered on and on, talking about his Grandparents, his dog, how we were supposed to have cupcakes, how we went to Grammy's, how they have toys at his school, and he had this nightmare about this statue, and how he fell and hit Nathan and Nate is hurt - see Nate's boo boo?

The doctor was very good about talking to Nick and telling him the names of all the complicated instruments, which I won't mention here mostly because I don't know how to spell them and can't even find them in the dictionary. She asked is Nate was saying words, and I said a couple, but he was on his way, and he also sings. Nate obligingly leaped into his rendition of Bob The Builder (DAA da Da DA! DA! Da! DAAAA!)

Anyway, the Night Terror thing is "normal" enough for there to be a "Night Terror" box or the one-year check-up sheet. She said Nate was getting them earlier than most, but it shouldn't be anything to worry about. She compared it to sleepwalking and sleep talking, saying he will probably grow out of it, but we could only wait and see. We just have to let him cry and scream when he cries and screams, and not wake him up.

Of course, now that I've mentioned it, it will probably never happen again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark, And Deep...

Last night it snowed a little bit. Now that winter is finally here, the world is white - the ground, the trees, the sky - and it is likely to stay that way until spring. Today I have no huge news, so here are a couple of pictures.

Here is the view from one of the window's in my parents' apartment. If you don't recognize the building, here's a clue: How do you get there? Practice.

And here is one of Nate practicing his dance routine. Look Out, Liza!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Than You Need To Know

Monday it rained. It wasn't raining hard, just a sprinkle, really. They predicted ice on the roads, so when I drove Nick to and from school I was careful. But there was no ice on the roads. The TREES, however, were coated with it. And when I say coated with it, I don't mean that a clump of ice sat on each branch like a clump of snow. I mean that each branch, each pine needle, no matter how small, got wet from the rain and then that moisture froze to ice. Then it got coated with rain again, which froze, and it kept happeneing until each little protruding part of each branch was coated in a quarter inch of ice cocoon. And this made each branch much heavier than normal.

Driving along, the first thing I noticed was that the branches of the trees seemed much lower than usual. Some of them were actually so low that they hit my car. Not the usual soft brush of pine needles brushing your car, but instead the hard clump of ice cubes being flung at your car at twenty five miles an hour.

The next thing I noticed was that many branches happened to be IN THE ROAD. They were just too heavy, and broke off. Not a huge deal with the little branches. But the bigger branches spanned the road. They blocked people out of their driveways and drivers had to get out and drag them off. Even then you could see where the branch had fallen because the ice broke into a billion shards on the road, and what was left looked like pine needles in broken glass.

Nature is beautiful in small doses, and deadly in large ones. Our power went out about 6pm Monday, and it began as an adventure. I knew exactly where flashlights were, batteries, and candles. But in al honesty, I expected the power to come back on at some point during the night. I kept waking up and glancing in the direction of the cable box, but it's usual green glow announcing the time was missing. I left a flashlight on in the boys' room so I could find it in the dark, and each trip to check on them became colder and colder.

With no power we have no heat. And we also have no water, as we rely on electricity to work our pump (we have no town water, we have a well.) The brilliant previous owners of this house installed a wood burning pellet stove where the fireplace used to be. They told us it was more efficient, produced more heat while burning less wood, etc. But there is one huge flaw. IT IS ELECTRIC. Morons. What good is it, then? When we have heat we don't NEED a fire!

Tuesday morning was cold. We put on sweaters. I explained to Nick for the billionth time that we could NOT turn on the lights, or watch TV, or listen to music. Of course, while we were freezing, the stuff in our freezer was melting and going bad. I put frozen meat outside, but everything else in the fridge - butter, milk, salsa - I all threw out this morning after a stupid slice of toast and my absent minded smear of sour butter. Blech!

Anyway, at about noon we could take it anymore. We went to the mall for lunch and to get warm. We did a little shopping. We swung by the house again, just in case, but it was still cold and dark. Steve let the dog out to pee, and then we all headed down to Lillian's house in Mass. Where we eneded up spending the night.

I was nervous because we had left the pets here with no food and in the dark and the cold. I was uncomfortable because the TV was on the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE IN THE HOUSE. I watched my first ever episode of American Idol. Ditto Dr. Phill. The boys shared a bed, which was SO CUTE, but I was nervous they would fall out.

The next morning Steve went up and got Gunther. Still nothing. In fact, we were without power until 3pm Wednesday. Lillian and I had taken the kids to a giant indoor playground. If we had stayed at her place waiting for a call the power would still be out. I have never been so happy to be warm and in my own house.

I've learned two things: 1 - I know there are colder places in this world (Canada? Alaska? Minnesota?) And I feel really bad for anyone without heat in those climates. 2 - we are getting a generator. Yes, we were lucky enough to have Lillian, who was so, so helpful and I can not thank her enough. But it's still not worth it. Besdies, the people across the street have one. While the rest of the night was pitch black and dark, that think could be heard from miles away. And the only lights we could see were their outdoor holiday lights.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Nathan

Today is Nate's very first birthday.

I had planned to post tons of cute pictures of a just-born Nate next to current photos of a one-year-old Nate, and say something very sweet.

However, ice storms have been sweeping the country, and we have been without power for over 24 hours now, with no news of when it will come back. By the way, this also means we are without heat. And it is cold.

So Nate gets no cupcakes, no tacos, no party, only chinese food and a trip to the mall.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Waiting for his head to spin around

There are lots of posts I could make about our time in New York. Short, funny, cute, posts about my delightful children and my amusing family and the interesting things we do. But instead I'm going to post this one about our drive home.

Just before we left, and I mean just as we were walking out the door, bags in hand, Nick said "I peed in my pull-up." I knew we had to change his pull-up because you don't start a long car ride with a wet pull up. Halfway to the bathroom Linda and Steve noticed a puddle on the floor. "Is this pee?" they asked. I looked at Nick's pants, and sure enough, they were soaking wet. His socks, and sneakers - soaking wet. His pull-up... surprisingly dry. I figured it must have been on crooked. "Where is your penis?" I must have muttered. As soon as I pulled his pull-up off, Nick shouted "Mom! I found my penis!" Hooray.

So we changed pants, soscks, and I wedged his feet back into his soaking sneakers, the only shoes he had.

The drive began well. The boys fell asleep at first, then we stopped at McDonalds and got a happy meal and a greasy bad-for-me burger for me. Steve drove as I sat in the back, alternately dozing off and monitoring Nate's french fry intake. At one point, as we neared our exit off the pike onto 495, Steve asked me to pass him some toll money, which I did.

Almost as soon as I sat back down I head the sound... like coughing, like burping, but... worse. Much, much worse. Puke. Nick was throwing up.

Perhaps it is a testament to my misplaced prioroties that my first move was to throw the swede fur-lined jacket my mother gave me into the very back seat, as far away from Nick as I could get it. Then... then there was nothing to do. We were driving. Nick was strapped in his seat, so he couldn't even lean over to avoid getting messy. We had no towels, only a couple of burp cloths - both packed away - and a few paper napkins. Steve paid the toll and told us he'd pull over as soon as he could, but since it was foggy and rainy he didn't want to just pull over on the side of the road... "I'm sick!" shouted Nick. "I need to go to the doctor!"

The smell was... pretty bad. And Steve is one of these people who can't change a diaper without throwing up. So there he was, driving the car, dry heaving, his hand clamped over his mouth. Nate was crying. Nick was covered in throw up. His car seat was covered in throw up. I was frantically pulling out dirty laundry to use to blot up the mess.

When Steve pulled over, what seemed about five hours later, we opened the door to let in some air. I stood NIck up in the car, and... OK, I'll spare you the clean-up details. I'll just say that poor Nick was basically standing naked in the freezing rain, that puke got everywhere, and that I'm not sure if I'm ever going to be able to get the car seat clean. Perhaps I should just get a new one?

For the record, I don't think Nick is sick. I think it's a combination of car turbulence and McDonalds. An old fashioned case of motion sickness. But I should also make perfectly clear that I was caught completely unaware, and the rest of my day was immediately ruined. I'm still cleaning up from thei one event. How can this be? Why is this? Why can't we just have one week where the kids are healthy and no one throws up or has to go to the emergency room?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

We're in New York

We're in New York.

The drive down was good, despite the rocky start the day had, meaning when Nate spilled my coffee all over the clean clothes I had set aside for the trip. But we made it without incident, much traffic, or crying.

Today we went to FAO Schwartz with my mother, and we now have MORE TOYS. These are supposed to be gifts for Nate's birthday. But the boys like them, so we accept them with grace and thanks. Plus, they are cool toys - puzzles and a tea set.

Nathan is throwing one of his fits at the moment. I am not paying attention to him, you see. Even if I am in the same room - not good enough. He needs to be in my arms. And I must be talking to him and not typing at the computer. I can hear him screaming from here. It's even more interesting because Nick has developed an unatural fear of this fake hedgehog my parents have in their front hall. It's a boot wiper thingy, made of wood. But it scares Nick. And he cried and screamed each time he had to pass by it. Finally I put it in the closet. Now he looks around frantically, as though the hedgehog were going to leap out and attack him if he doesn't see it first. And he still panics and demands to be hald when we pass by its former residence.

We're heading home tomorrow. My mother and Linda are making dinner tonight in honor of us. I would help, but Nate's tantrums keep me from being too helpful, and even if I CAN ignore him, not everyone has had as much practice as I have.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nathan's Secret

Mom, Dad, brace yourselves.
Nathan has a LEEEEDLE touch of separation anxiety.
Which is to say that, every second I am not holding him in my arms and also devoting every single last bit of energy I possess to him, he screams and cries and wails like a banchee.
It doesn't matter if I leave the room to go to the vet, the bathroom, or the trash for one moment. He screams and cries. If we are in the same room but I am attempting to do something that does not involve him, at least not immediately, such as changing sheets, folding laundry, preparing a meal, changing Nick's diaper, using the computer, or sleeping, he screams.
If, however, I should attempt to change HIS diaper, or force him to wear clothing, or try and clean or groom or feed him in any way, Nathan screams and wails.

He throws tantrums. He flingls his body back and forth and more often than not ends up klonking his head on walls, floors, and furniture. Life, he discovers, is hard.

Seriously, the situation is fast approaching uncontrollable. Not only does he scream to be held when I can't, and scream at me to leave him be when I can't, but the only time he is NOT screaming is invariably the time he chooses to go play in the recycle bin, or put dog food in his mouth, or stick his toothbrush into the toilet AS NICK IS USING IT. Many nights I find myself constantly moving, trying to ignore the crying, as Nathan toddles after me, in tears, screaming, wanting something,. I have offered him food. He reject the food. I have offered him milk, he rejects the milk. I hold him, he reaches for hot things on the stove and wriggles for knives and squirms until I have to put him down. Besides, I can't cook that way.

So, we're heading down to visit my parents this weekend. I'm just giving everyone a heads up. Yes, he's cute and adorable, but he's a stormer. Get ready. Batten Down the Hatches... whatever that means. This is your chance. By the time we get there it will be too late.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bonjour, Petit Conducteur!

Nick got the fire engine for Christmas. I think it was one of Lillian's gifts. It's actually a pretty cool fire engine. It's plastic, but well made and sturdy. It has a ladder that goes up and down, a fire extinguisher, and two fire fighters that move. It also makes noise. It will say "Press the green button to hear the siren" and then, more often than not, it will say "uh-oh, you pressed the BLUE button. Press the GREEN button to hear the siren." In otherwords, it tells the kid when he's made a mistake. Of course, if you don't want to hear the siren at all, the truck makes no allowance for that. It DOES say hello when you turn it on, and goodbye when you leave it alone for a couple of minutes.

This morning I realized the fire truck was speaking in Spanish. It was saying the same things - press the blue button. Uh-oh, you pressed the red button. But Spanish. "What happened to my truck?" Nick asked. I turned the truck over and saw that there were THREE LANGUAGE OPTIONS! English, Spanish, and French. Who knew? I think it's a great way to learn, though. Multi-lingual toys.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Light Bulb Joke

Not too long ago I hopped into bed at my usualy hour (7:30 pm) settled back against the pillows, flipped open my book, and reached to turn on my bed lamp when... nothing happened. As in, I turned the knob, but there was no light. I sighed, thinking I would have to change the lightbulb, but something caught my eye. The light socket WAS EMPTY! The lightbulb was just... gone.

It turned out not to be such a big deal. I looked over and saw a light bulb just sitting there on Steve's bedside table. I assumed, of course, that it was his idea of a practical joke.

The next day, when I mentioned it to him, he told me he had found it the night BEFORE, just sitting on his pillow. He had climbed into bed, put his head on his pillow, and felt a hard light bulb under his ear. I thought I must have been really tired and unscrewed the bulb in a half-sleep instead of just turning off the light. Or maybe it had come loose and just fallen out.

The REAL question is: How many Toddlers does it take to screw in a light bulb? I don't have an actual answer, but I know that it only take one to unscrew one, as long as that toddler is Nicholas. Yesterday morning I turned to see him unscrewing the very same light bulb from the very same lamp. "Look, Mommy! A Light Bald!" Greeeeaaaaate.

There are a few other mysteries that need to be solved around here. A few items of mine have gone missing and cannot be found. These include the tinted chapstick I use every day. And the half-used book of Sudoku that I keep on my bedside table. They cannot be found anywhere. I did, however, solve the mystery of the six bars of Ivory Spring that went missing from the bathroom cabinet. Yesterday I found these while sorting through the shoes on my closet floor, scattered among the flip-flops and sandals, and the work shoes I haven't worn in years but can't give up.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Raindrops are falling on my head

But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'

I have cleaned up more cat puke in the past few days than I can even stand to talk about. I think I change Nick's sheets every morning. Which means I have an enormous amount of laundry to do. And this morning when I opened up the closet with the boys' hamper in it a scent of mold and mildew poured out of it and assaulted me.

It's cold again. And rainy. But I have some good looking kids, don't I? And today Nick has school and is going, and Nathan will sleep. I will work out. I will then go shopping. For me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Remember that day there was snow here? It's seventy out today.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Rocks - $.10 / Yo-yo - $.11

I'm taking a page from the book Arthur's Honey Bear. In that book, Violet cleans out her toy box. She makes two piles. One to keep, and one to throw away.

One thing that was NOT on my new years resolution list was throwing things away. I need to learn how to get rid of items I no longer need, want, ot use. I have an amazing capavity for sentimentality. I think I get this from my parents. I have, for example, about thirty books on tape. These were useful while I drove 50 miles to work EACH WAY every single day. But now that I only listen to the Wiggles, now that the car I drive doesn't even have a tape player, now that I con't even know where a tape player is and couldn't even listen to the SantaLand Diaries by David Sedaris this year while wrapping gifts, LIKE I ALWAYS USED TO... I still can't throw them out. They were a lot of money! What if I want them one day? That tea set Aunt Martha gave me, the one that says "DO NOT USE" on the box and have pink roses and frilly lacy sharp bits sticking out of it? I can't just give that away - AUNT MARTHA GAVE IT TO ME! And this figurine of a cat? I've had it since I was twelve - I might need to pass it on to my grandchildren. Just like these Yoko Tsuno and Lucky Lucke comics which are sitting here in my living room and NOBODY READS! Mostly becasue they are in French.

Besdies being sentimental, I have trouble trashing something that is perfectly good. I have a bunch of dishes we never use. I don't want to throw them away! They are still good! And clothes we don't wear - they are good! This ugly statue of the naked lady doing her hair? It's not broken or anything! It's art! Someone might want it!

So I keep everything. I have boxes of old journals and old items. Scripts from college plays. Old love letters. A whole closet of puzzles I have already completed. And a few I haven't but haven't been able to work on because what's the point when the cats and the kids gang up on you and you find piles of chewed puzzle bits stored carefully inside your shoes the next morning?

Here are some things I CAN throw away: Old computer stuff and wires and remote controls that have no home. (Steve insists we keep all these, so you see the difficulty.)

Here's the plan: Slowly go through the house. Items I use or have a STRONG sentimental attachment to stay out. A few sentimental items get stored away for me. Anything else gets trashed. If for some reason I can't see throwing it away it gets stored in the TAG SALE pile. And then one day, I will sell it all on ebay or set up camp in my driveway... or maybe send it all to my Aunt Frances - if they are still up to doing yard sales.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Rated E for Everyone

My life is like some kind of video game. Not one of the exciting ones, like the ones Steve plays, where army guys are blowing each other up either dressed in WWI or WWII garb, or sometimes futuristic garb, or sometimes space garb on Mars. My life is more like one of those silly games where one must accomplish certain tasks within a given time frame, without being caught by the minions of evil. Like the SIMS. Or one of those where you have to sheer a hundred sheep before the wolf eats them. Or even Parappa the Rappa. I liked that one. Where the guy needs to do a series of things like get his drivers permit and then make a cake, all so he can take his girl out on a date. And the only way he can do these things is if he raps correctly, and you need to press the right buttons at the right time in order for this to happen. These games seem silly, but really, it takes a lot of practice to get it right.

In my Video Game life I must do things like Make Breakfast, or Do Laundry. I need to do it quickly, though, because it is only a matter of time before one of the minions of evil (my kids) come up and try to 'help' by pressing buttons, or 'folding,' or even just standing there screaming. And then you loose points. Nathan even has a way of immobilizing me completely by clutching my legs so I can't move because if I do it will knock him over and he will split his head open on the tile floor and then I will LOOSE THE GAME! Just this morning I played the levels Get Kids Dressed and Get Self Dressed. It's tricky because as soon as I help Nick off the potty Nate is waiting to thrust his toothbrush into the water. And I still can't wash my face and brush my teeth without Nick demanding to use my deodorant and pumping a quart of body lotion into his hands.

Lucky for me, I like games like this, and tend to do well in them. But I also like to take a break every once and awhile. Nathan is sick and I wasn't allowed to finish a dream last night, not even the one where Steve and I were shopping at Wal-Mart for discounted Holiday items, and I was reaching across his body, being carfeul not to wake him (he was sleeping while standing at Wal-Mart?) and trying to find a red candle for under $6. I never found one. SO I guess I don't pass that level.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Up to my Knees in Antibiotics

After his tummy bug the opther day, Nick's temperature never went down to normal. He wasn't puking, but he was coughing that demon cough he's had for what I think amounts to, oh, maybe forever. So I called the doctor. She listened to his lungs, and told me one of them sounded a little junky, and since the last time Nick was sick he was SO SICK, she'd rather play it safe. So Nick is now on antibiotics. Again.

Of course, Nathan started coughing this morning and running a low fever. I'm waiting to see how long HE keeps it before bringing us in. And Puck, my cat, is still on antibiotics, too. We have a lot of medicing flowing through this house.

But other than the demon cough and the possible pnemonia, Nick is actually fine. He gets droopy and tired, but he is himself, asking questions and playing and wating to do things. Yesterday at lunch, I overheard him counting his grapes. He pointed to one grape at a time. "One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, EIght, Nine, Ten.." I expected him to stop at ten, but he went on. "Furleven, Tweve..." then he kind of got stuck. "Furleven, Tweve, Furleven, Tweve..." It was like he was cought in a loop. So I tried to help. "Thirteen?" I said. Nick looked at me and smiled, then turned back to his grapes. "One, Two..." he started over.

What's important to note about this incident is that there were actually only six grapes on Nick's plate. He just keeps re-counting the same grapes over and over. And I was so excited to hear him count that I didn't correct him or point anything out. Math never was the strong point in our family. Not on my side, anyway.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Story Of The Chair

Christmas Eve we went to Steve's Aunt's place for his family's annual Holiday get-together. Someone usually buys a bunch of inexpensive gifts and we all play a yankee swap, choosing numbers and then getting the good stuff stolen from us. I lost a box of chocolates to Steve's cousin Mark, and ended up with a couple of make-your-own-art painting sets and a stuffed snowman hugging a jar of candies.

Nicholas and Nathan, predictably, were bouncing off the walls. Some kind relatives gave them some gifts which they opened and fought over. They bounced around trying to eat food off other people's plates. They refused to eat food off their own plates. They climbed up on every single chair in the place. Nicholas kept stealing sweets from the table...

And finally Steve's uncle Neal brought out THE CHAIR. It sat on the floor, it had a back to it, and it RUMBLED! That is, it was a massage chair. The boys loved it. They fought over it. They both squeezed in it together. They pressed the button turning it on and off and on and off on off on off on off... It was funny.

The next day, Christmas, Steve's mother came over with a billion wrapped boxes for the boys and two large Santa Style Sacks filled with goodies for me and for Steve. I reached into mine and the first thing I pull out... IS THE CHAIR! My first thought was that she stole it, but no, Lillian wouldn't do that. Actually, she had no idea Neal HAD one. You can imagine how she felt when he walked out of his bedroom with it. She thought he somehow had the chair! How did he get that? Did she bring the wrong gifts? HOW AWKWARD!

It all turned out fine. I can't actually USE the chair for more than a few moments because the boys have a way of SQUEEZING themselves in between my back and the chair itself... I have to figure out how they do that.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Resolution Revolution

A few years ago I started making real new year's resolutions. But I couldn't keep them. I was bad at reolutions. then, three years ago, I started making resolutions in a diffewrent way. Here are my Rules To Resolutions:

1 - Keep Them Realistic. It could be cool to find the cure for cancer or to lose 100 pounds. But it's not going to happen. In the past I have included things like "give birth to this baby." I mean, I was pretty sure it was going to happen.

2 - Make A Plan. Yes, I want to lose ten pounds and save money. But I'm not just going to say "LOSE TEN POUNDS" and "SAVE MONEY." Instead, I say make a workout plan and stick to it, eat healthier foods like the stuff I saw in that cookbook, and start a savings account.

3 - Limit my resolutions. I only let myself have five. If I wanted to, I could have twenty, and do a mediocre job on each. But instead I have five, and choose to do a mediocre job on just five. Kidding. But seriously, five is enough for me. I'm busy.

4 - Take note of the things I am already doing. I am already working out. I don't need to include that. And aren't I a wonderful person for working out! Yes. Yes I am. So get to feel good about that while I add "less TV" and "more outside time" to my list. After all, I don't want to fall behind on things I'm already good at just to add something new to my resume of life.

And that's all the preachiness you'll get from me today. I'm already embarassed at myself. Perhaps one of my resolutions should have been "be less preachy." But it's not. I didn't have room between "eat more chocolate" and "play with my kids more."

Monday, January 01, 2007

How 2007 Begins

They say to look your best you should stand next to someone who is less attractive than you are. I mean, everything is relative, right? If you hit your head with a hammer it feels good when you stop. Or so they tell me.

The night BEFORE last Nicholas got some sort of Stomach bug. At first he woke up a couple of times crying and saying he was scared, and then h started coughing, which turned into vomiting... a 102.6 fever and three loads of laundry. (sheets, towels, Nick's pyjamas. My pyjamas.) The poor boy threw up until nothing was left in his system, but didn't feel up to eating lunch. Finally, after nap, he started coming round and acting himself.

I can remember New Years Eves... not too long ago, either, where I went out and had fun. I went to an Alice In Wonderland party. I ended up hiccupping on a T platform with a balloon tied to my coat. I saw the ball drop in Colorado. I saw the crowd gather in Times Square - or actually many, many blocks from Times Square, but the people in the street didn't seem to notice. I was watching from a window.

Last night Steve and I watched TV. We saw the end of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" which I just don't like. We say some Three Stooges. We saw some Family Guy. I even saw some Liza - a YOUNG Liza, dancing around it what looked like a sequined T-shirt and nothing else. And we saw maybe half of The Magnificent Seven before I decided it was late and I had to go to bed. It was 10:30. TEN THIRTY! I was so tired. I felt so old.

Of course, Nick was awake when I did my nightly peek-in. So we used the potty and said good night to Steve (actually, we woke him up and he decided to go to bed, too.) But then Nick just wouldn't settle. He would let me crawl into bed and start to drift... he really was trying... and then the "Mommy! Mommy!" thing would start. Every few hours this went on. So I actually DID see the New Year in.

It was better than I had expected, though, because even though I felt a bit old and fuddy duddy and yes, even a bit left out because I knew people I know were out there shouting WHOOHOO! I wasn't sick. I wasn't throwing up and taking care of feverish, buggy, puking children. So I was happy and content. Mostly.