Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Good To Be Home

Need I say more at this juncture?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Here to do nothing

I'm in Tennessee.

I got to see my Aunt Frances, which is the reason I made this trip, after all.

She does not look well. If my mother hadn't lead me to the room, if I hadn't known to look for her in the bed, I would not have recognized her. Her face is partially hidden because she is intubated. Breathing had become a chore for her, so the respirator is helping her out. Her kidneys have stopped working, but they don't think the toxins in her blood will become critical enough for dialisys until tomorrow, so has of now she is bloated in her face, her neck, her arms, her fingers, and her legs and feet. She is also older than I picture her in my mind.

She doesn't always respond to visitors. I've had her roll her eyes and blink at me and turn her head a bit, but other times she cracks her eyes open then shuts them tight. They are keeping her sedated. It's very hard to watch, though.

It is even harder on those who love her. My mother and Betty and Mary are taking turns spending the night in the waiting room, even though they can't be with her, just in case something happens. There is always someone there.

I've been driving people to and from the house, taking them places they needed to go. I did a very little bit of cleaaning. I sat in the waiting room for a bit while my Aunts went for a walk.

But I'm leaving tomorrow. And nothing has changed. There is this limbo, this state of nothing happening, but everyone calling, of telling a hundred people each day that nothing has changed. It's a stressful, busy time, but also quiet and calm and sad.

I'm planning on going out after visiting hours and buying ink for the printer here at the house. I figure that's one thing I know I can do.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Out Of Service

I'm off to Tenessee to be with my Aunts and my mother.

I'm leaving the boys here. Don't worry. I've left Gunther detailed instructions on what they are and aren't allowed to do.

Just kidding. Steve and Lillian will both be here.

I will not be posting while I'm gone.

Who knows what shadows lurk in the hearts of men?

The Paisley Ghost knows. Of course.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mistake #579

At school, back when I had a class of two-year-olds and also in Nicks class, a sand or water table is sometmes filled with rice to give the kids something different to play with, especially since textures are considered important at this age.

Being the crazy mother I am, and also having rice that made the move with us from our old house, I thought I might make out own little rice table here at home. See how I filled the tray with rice? See how I put down a mat so I could easily clean up spillage? Am I not so thoughtful?

Well, that worked nly as long as I was sitting there with them. Then the phone rang, and in the three minutes I had my back turned the boys sprinkled rice all over the kitchen floor AND the dining room floor. It took me twenty minutes to clean up, even with the vaccum, all the while shouting at the boys to stay put in the living room because they kept running back and forth spreading the rice back to areas I had just vaccumed.

My Aunt Frances is very sick in the hospital right now. Please send her your thoughts.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Diapers Diapers Diapers

Yesterday I went to the store and purchased $50 in diapers.

When Nick was little the only diapers I would use were the really, really expensive kind. The brand was the same brand they used in the hospital, and the stretchy legs kept his wriggly body from creating gaps and leaking at night.

Why didn't I remember the reasoning behind this?

A few months ago I realized we were spending A LOT on diapers, and I went on a mission to find Less Expensive Diaperware. And I did. Gradually I moved down the cost chain and tried brand ofter brand of diapers, and nothing seemed BAD. They all seemed to work. Until I was buying the generic brand sold only at the grocery store that I didn't use because it was $9 for 52 diapers, and HOW COULD YOU BEAT THAT?! And the diapers work fine, usually, during the day.

But at night... at night the diapers tended to leak. So did the generic pull-ups that Nick was using. I was spending less on diapers but changing sheets and doing more laundry...

Yesterday I got Nick the Diego Pull Ups he loves so much, which fit him a lot better than the generic. I got a bunch of generic diapers for Nathan, who pees twenty times a day, but I also got Night Time Diapers! Huggies, actually, but designed for night time, which means.... I don't know, but whatever it means, I bought into it. I got the bigger size, so Nick AND Nate can both use them. And last night was the first night in a week there were no leaks of any kind. No wet PJ's, no wet sheets, dry everything. Well, the diapers were wet, but they did their job.

Why do I do these things?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

So Much for the Diet

The boys got lots of Easter candy. And I mean LOTS of Easter candy. They were given three different Easter baskets, obviously due to some mix-up at Easter Bunny Headquarters.

Anyway, there is far too much candy in this house for two small boys. And Steve is horrible at eating chocolate. I don't know WHAT his problem is, but he can just walk by it all day long and not eat any.

I've actually been very good at not eating candy from my children's baskets, with the exception of one chocolate bunny that Nathan won't miss because he has two others and a huge chocolate carrot. And I've also been good at dispensing the chocolate to the boys. I give them each a choice of candy after dinner, and break off what I think is acceptable from the gigantic chocolate sculptures.

Yesterday I broke off chocolate bunny bits and gave one to each of the boys. Then I took a third bit, which had broken off in the process, a small, not-as-big bit, and I said "And I'm going to have this little bit even though I don't need it." And I popped it in my mouth.

Nicholas took his chocolate out of his mouth just long enough to ask "Mommy has a Wobbly Bottom?"

It's funny. He got that from a book, one called "Our Granny" where the Granny has a Wobbly Bottom. So I know he didn't just make it up. And in NY, everyone was telling me how great I looked. I am running five miles a day (OK, ALMOST every day.) I am in the best shape I've been in and weigh less than I have in over Three Years. But one little comment like that and the heart ache that seeped through my tears of laughter was almost palpable.

Wobbly Bottom. That's me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Four Feet

Here are some feet.

I forgot to put the trash out, so I must dash.

Out into the cold, cold, wet rain.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Road Less Traveled

Our road is closed. The one we live on. Because of the rain.

Not because of the rain, per se, but because of the accumulation of water CAUSED by the rain. It builds up, you know, and forms puddles.

These puddles, unless they are on a flat surface, have a tendency to run downhill. And this forms what looks like small rivers flowing over streets.

Yesterday I had to use backroads to get Nick home from school. A five minute drive took me twenty minutes because I kept running into "high Water" which means "Water over two inches in the road." And even thought I was confident I could drive through it slowly and with consequeses, I did not, because I promised Steve I would be careful with the boys in our car, and not be stupid, and obey all stop signs and stop at railroad crossings and not drive through the orange cones and road blocks that have been put there for our protection, after all.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Raining AND Pouring

It is raining.

The brook has overflowed again, which usually happens in the spring. It hasn't reached the flood levels it did last May, but it has still passed a couple of trees and is slowly creeping toward the house.

This morning I lifted Nick up to look out the window. "See the water?" I asked. But Nick's depth perception is different than mine. His gaze stopped at the window ledge, where someone had deposited a handful of loose change, and he quickly snatched it up and has been carrying around his "Pennies" (actually three pennies, one dime, and two quarters) all morning long.

Steve is scheduled to take a lfight this morning, and according to the online system, the flight will take off as usual, with no delays. The cleaning ladies, however, did call to say they heard the road was closed, and would swing by on Friday. Since they come every other Monday, and I clean the house the Mondays they do not come, I have been consoling myself by telling myself I can skip next week, since Friday and Monday are really so close together. However, I am more concerned by the fact that my house is so dirty. The floor needs mopping. The bathrooms smell. I'm dissapointed.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We're back from New York.

We left on Thursday, and the rain began the moment we pulled the car out of the driveway. We stopped for lunch, and on the way back to the car Nathan and Steve got drenched. But the drive itself was uneventful.

Friday we went to the Museum of Natural history. Later, I might even post a photo I took there, one of the two photos I took on this trip. I haven't downloaded them yet, because... there are only two photos. The boys loved the museum SO MUCH! They were overwhelmed and excited and it was so great to see.

And this morning we rushed back to beat the storm. Right now it is snowing here. As we left New York the radio kept broadcasting reminders about not crossing flood waters and avoiding downed power lines. To celebrate our safe and speedy arrivel, I am posting the picture of my tulips peeking out through the snow.

Finally, I have to say that I have never seen so many people with cell phones or headsets. Practically every person we apssed, or in lone at the coffee place, or waiting for the bus, or walking down the street, had an ipod plugged into their ears, even those walking IN GROUPS. I felt out of place on line at the coffee shop, and for a moment I found myself wondering if I was supposed to be texting my order in, because every person in front of me seemed to be texting someone, and I simply can't imagine why you would need to text anyone that badly. Who do you need to reach so badly that you can't wait until you reach work. Or for that matter, the two minutes it will take to pick up your coffee. I hate the fact that people feel they need to be in touch with someone ALL THE TIME. Take a moment. Breathe. Relax. Live a few minutes of your life away from the media and the virtual.

I'm glad to be back here in NH, away from the noise.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Blank Page

Most days I can dig into the pocket of my mind and rummage through three or four ideas for a post, ideas that I have stashed there much the same way Nicholas stashes pennies and rocks and acorns (he calls them EggNuts) in the depths of his pockts, and know they are there, and begins to panic if he thinks they might have possibly been removed.

But the past few days I reach into that pocket and come up with nothing. The pockets are empty. I'm aure, if I though hard enough, I could find something to write about, something funny and charming and having to do with Nathan learning to claimb out of his crib (he can) or Nicholas learning haw to spell "coffee" (he can but doesn't know what it means). But at this point, my mind is a blank. Well, it isn't but you guys don't care that I have to rush to get my picture taken for my new passport, then rush to the post office, and go grocery shopping, and think about Nicholas and decide if he should attend "school" over the summer or trust that a 3 month break will be fine because it saves money and after all he'll be fine, but he loves it SO MUCH! and what should we have for dinner tonight. Nicholas keeps asking, hoping each time the answer will be TACOS but it won't be because we had them two nights ago.

I gotta go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Busy to the Left, Busy to the Right

I am far to occupied with THINGS to write a proper, organized, and focused post. We are getting ready for a trip to NY. I am making plans for our trip later this year to France, which includes arranging care for our pets and (I just realized ) getting myself a new passport. Yuck. On top of the fact that we ran out of coffee three days ago and I keep forgetting to get more, and oh, also, Nicholas has turned into a holy terror, screaming and yelling and sobbing at the tiniest things... (think me as a teenager, but smaller and less able to reason.)

And now I must look up information on passport renewal while waiting for the dog lady to arrive and ask me who the pets should go to should we die while we are on vacation.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday

No Clive Barker film, no Stephen King novel, can even come close to the horror that is two small children after a day with too much excitement, an entire bag of peanut m&m's, and no nap. Last night I couldn't get NIck to go to bed. I sat there, jaw on the floor, as he pleasded with me to take his third trip to the potty, or, if that wouldn't work, please please please let me give him a Time Out! In the chair! Anywhere, Anything, was better than the bed.

But they both woke up this morning with sunny smiles, before the sun, I might add. And yesterday's Easter was lovely. We had a huge egg hunt (which is basically pointing out eggs "hidden" on the sofa cushion, adn then cringing when it is dropped 5 times onto the floor.) Then we had a wonderful time with Steve's family, which was great. I had a good time.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pick a Pocket or Two

Yesterday we had quite a few errands to do, so we spent the morning driving all over creation picking things up and dropping things off and spending more money than one would have thought necessary. We went to the post office. We went to the grocery store for just a few items, and then we went to the library to return our books and music and movies.

Then I dragged the kids to the vet's where I had to pick up more flea and tick repellant, for all those fleas and ticks that mob our pets this time of year... the ones that like snow, apparently.

And while I was chatting with the young lady behind the desk and absorbing the fact that a six month supply for all our pets is about $250 ($250!) I turned my head to check up on my children. And caught Nicholas in the act of pulling something out of his coat pocket. "Here are my coins!" he said. And then he pulled one of those small bags of chocolate coins out of his pocket.

"Nicholas," I asked in a loud, astonished, and also horrified voice. "Where did you get those?" Because, you see, I did not remember ever GIVING him a bag of chocolate coins, although I had been trying to keep an eye out for a few to drop in his Easter Basket.

"At the grocery store," He explained.

At this point the other woman in the waiting room and the lady asking me for $250 both started laughing, and I darted across the room to quickly remove the chocolate coins from Nick's grasp and deliver a lecture about how WE ALWAYS ASK MOMMY if we want something and WE HAVE TO PAY for everything we buy and also THAT'S STEALING and VERY BAD and NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

Nicholas was clearly baffled. He had no idea that he had done anything wrong. He also had no idea the coins were chocolate. Go figure. He thought they were just fun coins. I thought about going back to the grocery store to apologize, but in the end decided against it since 1 - it was very much out of our way, 2- It was about $.75 of chocolate, and 3 - I think it would have been more confusing to NIck than anything else. He was unusually quiet on the way home.

The lady with the dog in the waiting room and a few people behind the counter all apologized for laughing, but apparently the look on my face upon seeing the pocketed item was pretty funny. Now I need to figure out how I'm going to teach Nick about money in an age that is so Debit Card dependant.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wiggly Tantrum

Yesterday, Nicholas cried for twenty minutes because I told him the Wiggles could not come to our house.

"They are not real. They are a band on TV. They are pretend. They just do shows. We don't know them."

I started out just talking, and I felt sorry for Nicholas, who was obviously heartbroken and delusional in thinking that The Wiggles are his close personal friends (he does pretend to call them on the phone quite often). Here I was, telling him he couldn't have his friends over.

But the other part found the request and Nick's reaction so ridiculous that I would snort in the midst of my explanations. And when they failed, and Nicholas kept sobbing, his face pressed into the sofa cushions, I just outright laughed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cold Shower

When April Showers
Come your way
They bring the flowers
That bloom in May...

Unless, of course, your shower happens to be made of snow, in which case the shower will KILL YOUR FLOWERS DEAD!

Let me explain. I am ready for spring. The schedule says Spring - for over a week now. And I have been getting ready - putting away humidifiers, getting out the gardening stuff, buying spring clothing for the boys...

Yesterday was overcast and rainy. Until about two thirty when I looked out the window and saw snowflakes the size of dinner plates falling to the ground. By the time I got Nick home from school the ground was covered. And by this morning we had six inches.

All told, six inches is not a lot. Except that it's April, and those six inches are sitting on top of my tulip buds.

Add to that the fact that we woke up with NO ELECTRICITY, throwing us back to this January, when the ice left us in the dark and the cold for three days.

Of course, it was thirty degrees colder then, so it wasn't as cold in the house. And I was fairly optimistic about having power sooner rather than later. And I was right. But it was still a pain to not be able to make coffee, to worry about the meat I had purchased the DAY BEFORE going bad, and listening to Nick ask "Why can't we watch TV? Is the TV broken? Let's watch TV in your room. It's broken? What's wrong with the radio? OK, then what's wrong with THIS radio? Let's play the computer. It's not working? OK, then let's watch TV..."

I'm a little heartbroken about my tulips.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Mile In His Shoes

It should come as no great surprise that every person is different. Each person thinks differently. And when reading or hearing a story, each person is bound to imagine it a bit differently. I supposed this is why I am usually dissapointed in movies after I have read the book, since my take on it would be... well... different.

The other day we were listening to The Wiggles (as usual) when the song about Uncle Noah's Ark came on. And I realized that Nicholas hadn't heard the story of Noah's ark. All religious reasoning aside, I think it is important to be somewhat familiar with the bible - both testaments - in order to keep up with our culture and the references made. History, Art, Wiggles songs, you name it.

In any case, I started telling Nicholas the story of Noah's Ark. He stood there with wide eyes as I described the Ark, a big, big, huge boat. And then I started talking about the animals and listing them off. "He had to get two lions, and two tigers, and two giraffes, and two elephants, adn two mice, and two rabbits, adn two ducks, and two horses, and two cows -"

And that was when Nick interrupted me. "Me don't like cows."

Yes, to many Noah ensured the survival of man and of all those animal species. But to Nicholas, he's just the guy who plagued us with cows.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tulip To Be?

My Gramma loved flowers. At least, she loved gardening. And for awhile when I was small she tried to pass along her love of growing things. But unfortunately, it never took. I am hopelessly inept when it comes to plants and flowers.

Last spring and summer I planted a number of wildflowers. I actually made an effort to trim back the bushes and to keep the weeds out of the beds. But with Nicholas "helping" me and Nathan eating rocks, even pulling a few weeds required exact timing, extreme concentration, quick reflexes, the alignment of several stars, and a couple of shots of vodka.

Over the past few years I have noticed the brush on the side of our property creeping towards our house. Not friendly brush, but thorny brush. This is the type of thorny foresty brush that surrounded SLeeping Beauty's castle and that killed several faint of heart princes - obviously princes who couldn't stand the sight of blood and didn't like to get splinters. I myself would have let the thorny bushes take over, but then I realized they were taking over the hammock, and one was unable to use it and move. You'd have to lie motionless or the thorny brush would grab onto your skin or clothing and you would end up needing antiseptic and a band aid. Not relaxing.

So I started cutting it back.

It's actually quite an undertaking. I had to buy special gloves with leather palms to keep the thorns out, and no matter what I need to be wearing long sleeves. These suckers really HURT! I am determined, though. I may not be able to grow anything, but I can use the clippers and the pull up weeds!

And then, the other day, I noticed these little sprouts in the front of the house. Last fall I planted tulip bulbs that lillian had gotten me, thinking I would just plant them, because she had gotten them for me, and then whatever, I had no control over it, we'd see what happened... and look! Little sprouties! There are actually a whole bunch of them! I'm very excited and now I'm picturing tulips lined up in front of my home. Hope has been restored - isn't that what spring is about? I have a whole bunch of wildflowers to plant, and I'm going to give it another go, as soon as the rain stops.

And I will finish taking care of those thorny boshes.

And here's Nick - he's got gloves his size (not for thorny bushes) and he's ready to help!

Monday, April 02, 2007

At Last, More New Photos!

I had a different post in mind for today, but that was before I woke up this morning to find that Nathan had puked during the night and fallen asleep in it, spreading vomit all over his pillow, his sheet, and his HAIR!!!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Where Nate Likes To Nap

I swear, he crawled in there all by himself, and then started squealing because he was stuck.

Of course I had to take a picture before freeing him.

Happy April Fool's, everybody. I can't beleive it's April already.