Friday, August 31, 2007

A Miss is as Good as a Moose

Yesterday I kidnapped Jamie and made him accompany me and the boys to Storyland, a great amusement park over two hours north of us. We went to Storyland last year, but it was a little different because Nathan was so small.

This year Nathan was old enough to understand the concept of a ride. He and Nicholas had a blast in all the play areas and on a few of the rides I forced Jamie to ride with them while I waited at the exit patting my pregnant belly. Of course, Nate is still very small, and moving from one thing to the next was like pulling teeth. He spent 20 minutes on the misting tent, missing the fact that it is supposed to only cool you down, and that there was actually a whole water play area right around to corner which was much, much more fun.

But the most exciting event took place on the way home.

Ever since my Freshman year at college in Maine I have seen those signs that said "Moose Crossing." I never really thought anything of it. How often do you see a deer crossing the road, let alone a Moose? And I have always been fully aware that a collision with a Moose can be fatal, and I'm not thinking of the Moose, here. Moose are huge. They weigh hundreds and hundreds of pounds. And all the way up to Storyland we saw signs warning us to "Break For Moose!" But honestly, for me, the signs had taken on the same significance as a kind of joke. Kids steal the signs because they are funny to have.

Which is why my heart stopped beating completely when an actual Moose trotted out onto the highway in front of our car on the way home.

OK, I'm exaggerating. First of all, the highway was one of those rural "highways" that have occasional stoplights and have only one lane in either direction, but cars go up to 60 miles an hour on them. And the Moose didn't actually trot out in front of OUR car, it was the car in front if us. But for a moment I thought THEY would hit the moose, and that we would, in turn, hit THAT car.

The Moose crossed the road, and the car in front of me just sat there. Like us, they were probably thinking "Oh My God! We Almost Hit That Moose!" And then, of course, we went on and life went back to normal... well, as normal as life gets when you've been scared half to death and peed your pants. Jamie and I laughed because we'd been talking about Moose on the way up, and this moose was bigger than Jamie had expected one to be, but darker than I had expected one to be.

And of course, we did not get a photo, so no one will believe us.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


For Christmas this past year, Santa gave Nicholas the game Candyland. Remember this game? It's been around just about forever. I happened to think this was a great choice of game on Santa's part, because it involves taking turns, recognizing colors, and otherwise involves very little strategy whatsoever (unless, of course, you are trying to find a way for the kid to win.)

Nicholas has never been able to complete a game. He loves the board and the colors and the pictures of candy. (Who doesn't?) He also loves the little colored game guys that move around the board. But he isn't so great at taking turns, or patient enough to wait for the game to finish. We have played a few half-games, though.

Yesterday we pulled out the game board while Nathan was awake, something which I've avoided, as Nathan likes to eat the game cards and run off with the game guys. Nathan was thrilled.

Jamie tried playing with Nicholas, but the first thing my son did instead of just picking a card was turn over all the cards until he found the candy cane card. "I pick this one," he said. Jamie just looked at him, unsure of how to proceed, while Nathan moved all of the colored gingerbread guys to the end of the board.

Jamie picked up a card with a yellow square on it. "What color is this?" he asked. "Yellow!" said Nick. "Lellow!" said Nate. "Very Good!" said Jamie. He picked up another card with a blue square. "What color is this?" "Bue!" shouted Nate.

Well, both Jamie and I were impressed. "Yes! You're right! Very good, Nathan!" We shouted, and Jamie handed over the card. Next Jamie picked up a card with a red square. "What color is this?" he asked.

"Bue!" shouted Nathan. "Bue! Yep yep yep!" and he reached out and took the card.

From then on, every card was "Bue!" and followed by "yep yep yep." I had to abandon my delusion that he could recognize colors. And after a few more tries we had to pack the game up, especially as Nicholas had lost ALL interest whatsoever and was plying with cars.

But hey, it was worth a try.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jamie's Here!

There are a number of things I could post about, but it would take too much effort to structure my thoughts and get the words out. So instead, I'm leaving you with this photo. I have yet another doctor's appointment this morning, and if anything interesting happens or is said, I shall let you all know.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monkey See, Monkey Want

It has become exceedingly obvious that the BEST toy is always the toy some other kid has, usually your brother. Nicholas could walk right by a toy, but as soon as Nathan begins playing with it, he needs it and he needs it NOW. Nate isn't as bad yet, but he's getting there.

The funny thing is, nothing will cause a child to wnt to hold on to a toy more than thinking his brother wants it.

I suppose this has something to do with supply and demand, and the value of a certain item. This broken toy car is of no value to me, except that my brother wants it. He must want it for some reason. It must be valuable, so I will hang on to it. Yes, in fact, he wants it very, very badly. I don't really want to play with this old broken thing, but look how much everyone else seems to want it. It must be very important to hold on to this. Until my brother realizes it is a broken toy, and then he doesn't want it anymore, and guess what? Neither do I. Because it is, after all, only a broken toy.

To my way of thinking, this explains Tulips in the 17th century, the stock market, and fads like Paris Hilton, Cabbage Patch dolls, and Beehive Hairdoos.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


This is what Nate looked like after finding the bucket of blackberries we salvaged from our yard. He likes berries a LOT.

The rue helplessness of being a parent is watching your child make mistakes. I'm not talking about small errors, like using improper grammar or placing the nice wooden cutting board in the dishwasher when everyone knows wood needs to be washed by hand. I'm talking about those moments when you are watching your child run towards a busy street, and you can see a car coming, and no matter how fast you run you will never get there in time.

Nathan does not sit still at the table. It's a well known fact. We tried using a booster seat for him and strapping him in, but the squealing it caused was so unpleasant that I decided having him run around was the lesser of two evils. Now what he likes to do is switch chairs.

Last night he decided to stand on one of these chairs, and lean backwards against the chair's back, flinging his arms over the edge. Across the table, I looked up and I knew instantly what was going to happen. I saw the chair rock backward. I reached out and yelled, but I was too late. The chair toppled over, Nate's head falling right toward the glass windows to the deck. His arms were around the chair back, and the chair fell right on top of them.

It took me forever to get around the table because in nightmares you just can't run fast enough. Also, Steve jumped up so quickly that his seat fell back and I had to step around it. By the time I got there, Nate was standing, but more unhappy than I have ever seen him.

The thing about such small children is that they can't tell you anything. Were his arms OK? Did he hit his head? I once worked at a daycare where a child fell off a climbing structure and I didn't know until the head of the center called me at home the next morning that he had hit his head, and apparently the child's mother was wondering why I hadn't told her about the goose-egg. Answer: nobody told ME. So here was Nathan, crying until he threw up, and I couldn't help but compulsively feel his arms for breaks and his head for bumps.

It turns out he was OK, just hot and tired and really, really frightened. Which is good, simply because we are hoping this event will keep him from standing on chairs in the future. Or at least standing on chairs and attempting to climb over them backwards. But I know kids, and I know he won't learn. Kids do such strange things, most of them dangerous, and as parents all we get to do is yell and scream and remind them again and again about how DANGEROUS it all is. And then we get to scrape what's left of them off the floor when things go wrong, and somehow make it right again.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cool New Stuff

Blogger has now added an easy way to upload video to one's blog.

That means that I can actually post video clips for you all.

As soon as I realized this, I went wading through my small collection of video clips, where I discovered a few things. 1 - I should take more video of my kids. 2 - But before I do that I should learn to keep the camera steady. 3 - Most of the video clips I take are too long. I don't want to post huge clips because video takes up a lot of room, and I can just see the confusion it will cause my mother when it takes her longer than usual to open my blog page.

I shall be working on getting a good collection of short, steady video clips for you guys, and I'm also going to learn how to use all that editing stuff there is on the computer. I can see it there, but I never have the time to figure it out and the inclination to do so at the same time.

So for today, you just get a regular photo. Here's a picture of the spider that has taken up residence outside our window.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Crazy Craft Lady

I am in the process of planning to clean out my sewing room and turning it into a nursery. Not that this is a permanent move, because the room as significantly smaller than any other room in our house. Also, please note that I said I have started to PLAN the move. None of the moving has actually happened yet, and there are a few reasons for that. I mean reasons other than "I am lazy and putting things off."

First of all, there is the matter of where to put things. Sure, it's easy to say I'll move things OUT of the sewing room, but where do they go? The logical answer is either the basement or the guest room, but right now the guest room is already full of furniture because my parents sent us a couple of things and we haven't yet gotten rid of the original things we had in there, so it's pretty crowded at the moment. First I have to figure out where the stuff in the guest room is going to go.

And then there is the much bigger issue of the many, many craft project s I seem to have accumulated over the years. I have plans for many, many quilts. I have fabric for many of them. And yet I have started... none. OK, I'm in the middle of a sampler using up a few fabrics that I have decided are ugly, and the idea is to make a hideous quilt and try out a few new blocks, but it takes me forever just to make one block. And there is so much else I would like to try to do! Not to mention the projects I have planned involving photographs, the frames I have waiting to be filled... I have an entire drawer full of yarn just waiting to be used, and I really should find a use for it.

My point is, what will I do with all this stuff? There is so much of it. Going through it all will be quite a chore.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Follow The Leader

Yesterday we went to a family cookout for Steve's company. It was a good time, but tiring in a way I couldn't begin to explain if you've never been to a busy location with two small children who only want to wander off.

At one point I was resting, sitting on a low step, and watching the kids as Steve spoke to some co-workers, and that's when I saw Nicholas start to follow this man. As soon as I saw it, I knew what he was thinking. The man looked like Steve, or rather looked like Steve would look if he had a few more pounds of upper body. The pants were the same, and the brightly colored shirt looked just like a shirt Steve would wear. In fact, I thought it was Steve from behind for a few seconds. So when Nick started following him, I knew what he was thinking - his father was walking off, and he was following him.

To make matters more confusing, the non-Steve guy had his own family. His wife was with him, and his own children as well, in their own stroller. We did not bring a stroller, but this fact seemed to escape Nick. I watched as Nick followed them past the next tent and then called out to Steve to stop him. "He thinks that's you!" I said. Steve called out "Nick!" And Nick stopped, turned around to look, and then went back to following this man who he assumed was his dad, dismissing any doubts he might have had.

I think Nick was a little shocked to discover he was following a stranger, but he covered it well, climbing back towards us with a frozen, stoic look on his face. Later on, though, he made friends with this family, and at one point I was looking around frantically only to discover that he's climbed into the second seat of their double stroller. The man turned out to be someone Steve worked with, and was a nice guy. Apparently Nicholas thought so, too.

It was funny, though, even if it was a little scary.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cooling Down

The weather has been cooling down. During the day it is still usually warm enough for shorts, but at night, at least here, we frequently get down to the 40's, which means that yesterday morning I could smell the distinctive scent of our heat kicking on.

It's funny, because in Tennessee it was in the 100's, and even at 7am the humidity was so bad I couldn't spend more than fifteen minutes outdoors.

I have started noticing a few things, though, such as the fact that Nicholas needs new long pants, and that I really need to get my act together and go shopping so that I don't have to look like a mis-matched misfit when I leave the house. I would like to have some clothing that matches AND covers all body parts, such as protruding tummy, instead of exposing a nice white band of flesh for all to see. It would also be great if the clothing were not so tight that it cut off my circulation, either in the thighs or the arms. I ask so little, yet the elusive garment that can accomplish all this is so hard to find.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jig

The trip to Tennessee wasn't really what I had pictured it being. Nothing has changed in the house - Frances's dolls and her things are still all over the house. Her doll houses and her pictures still line the walls. When we were all together I would find myself glancing over my shoulder, wondering who was missing - who was out of the room - and I realized I was missing her, my Aunt Frances. Her things might be there, but there is a definite someone missing.

I had thought the visit would be a lot more... I don't want to say relaxing, but slower paced? I had pictured hours with not much to do but talk and entertain the children. Instead, Luana came down with her two kids and stayed almost the entire time, which was great because my kids loved having playmates. But it was not at all restful. The kids wound each other up and instead of downtime there was a constant flurry of activity and rushing around to grab kids off furniture or steep stairways or barganing with kids about what they could or could not eat, while Betty fed them donuts under the table.

Then, the last day we were there, Nicholas began throwing up. He kept throwing up until nothing was left in his body. I started getting sick later that night, and even though I wasn't puking during our flights back, I was exhausted.

Our trip included a flight change in Philadelphia, a pit of an airport. I will never understand why, when I am taking a connecting flight on the same airline, I am required to walk three miles to the next gate. One would think the airlines would be clumped closer together. Does anyone ever get off their first flight and look across and say "Hey! There's my connecting flight, right across the hall!" No. Instead, we landed in Terminal D, and our connecting flight left from Terminal E. For some reason, primarily, I think, to irritate travelers, we had to EXIT and go through security ALL OVER AGAIN, a fact which no one explained to us (who would, really?) and precious moments were wasted as I kept walking past the correct hallway, thinking "No, that's the way OUT, I just want terminal E."

The security line to Terminal E left the security line room and stretched out and down last the moving walkways. I had 40 minutes to make my flight. I was crying. And some really nice guy who is working at Yellowstone in Montana pulled me into line ahead of him. GREAT GUY! SO nice. Obviously. I wanted to offer him my firstborn child. Except Nicholas was crying and fussing and no one would have taken him.

Once we got to our gate, at the very, very end of Terminal E, we discovered it was delayed. In fact, our flight was still on the ground in Pittsburgh. It would be a couple of hours before we would be able to get on.


Anyway, we made it back. I did end up getting sick just as the plane was landing, and just as the flight attendant was asking me for my trash, bringing it to everyone's attention that I was the one throwing up over there, the crazy pregnant lady with the two kids. I must say, I have never had so much help in getting off the plane before. People can be really nice when they think you're going to pass out.

Glad to be home. I slept twelve hours last night. I feel 100%. Almost.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Busy as a Bee

Today is one of those days where I have a billion things to do, from changing the sheets to taking Nick to the dentist for a cleaning. I need to do laundry, and if I don't get a new book from the library I am going to explode.

Every year I take the boys down to Tennessee with me to visit the folks down there. This year is the first time I am going alone, with no other adult. It is also the first time I am going down since Frances died. As much as I am looking forward to seeing Betty and Mary, I am dreading the trip because I am afraid it will be very emotional and hard, and I won't be able to distance myself the way I am able to up here.

You won't even miss me. I'll be back and posting by Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clickety Clackberry, Pick me a Blackberry

Yesterday we spent a little more time outside than usual, due to the fact that it was actually cool for part of the day. I had the bright idea that we could pick some blackberries, because we've got these blackberry bushes growing in our yard, and if we don't pick them they will just end up going bad, right?

So I handed Nicholas this little blue bucket and led the way to the side of the yard, where we began our inspection for good berries we would actually eat.

I started off by plucking a few off and handing them to Nick, or plunking them in the bucket myself. It was then that I realized we were standing in around the same spot I had dumped the weeds a couple of weeks ago, potentially the area I had picked up poison ivy. Naturally, I began looking around like crazy, trying to spot the offending plant. Ironically, every time I thought I had spotted it, I realized it had blackberries growing on it.

It took Nathan three seconds to push me into a prickly blackberry bush, and one additional second to realize he could eat the berries right off the bush. When I tried to show him how to put the berries in the blue bucket, I realized the blue bucket was empty. Nicholas was not empty.

We did manage to get back to the house with a handful of berries, but at some point during the afternoon Nathan got a hold of it, and all that was left was one smooshed blackberry at the bottom and a whole lot of blackberry on Nate's face.

Today, we shall be purchasing some berries at the grocery store.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Quiet Moment

Nathan is not always a whirlwind of squealing and banging into things.

Just so all readers are caught up on everything of interest, I should mention that Nicholas has a new "pet." It is a wooden pull-toy ladybug he has named "Torny." Torny comes with us everywhere. In the car, he sits in his own special seat. He has his own bed made of a folded blanket. The best part is when he speaks to Torny. "Torny, we're going down the stairs! Here, I'll hold you. Are you all right?" Right now, Torny is sitting on the couch next to Nick, and they are both watching the Wiggles. Every so often Nick will reach out and pat Torny on the back. It's kind of cute, but I'm also starting to develop a small fear of this toy ladybug.

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Skin Adventures

I read on the internet that Poison Ivy (or Oak, or Sumac) lasts from 14 to 21 days on its own. When I heard that, I really thought I might cry, because at that point the inner skin of my elbow was puffy and red, and I could swear I could see it spreading, even though everything I read said that this was a MYTH, that once the oil got on your skin it did not spread, at least after the first few minutes. Although scratching makes it puffy and I guess that could look like spreading.

ANYWAY, the rash I had has faded a great deal, and it is also a lot less itchy.

HOWEVER, I started itching on my big old belly the other day, and it looks like I have developed what is either a nice case of Heat Rash, or Hives, just on my belly. The part covering the baby. It is uncomfortable.

And YESTERDAY, I was yet again stung by a bee. On my wrist. And now I have this itchy swollen lump on my arm.

Go ahead. Tell me I'm not falling apart.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Not The Same

Nicholas and Nathan are two very different little boys. It has to do with more than just their slight age difference and development. Really. It's two different personalities.

From the time that he was born, the first thing I would do upon removing Nicholas from the bathtub was to wrap him in a towel and hug him close to me. We still do this, even though he's three. I hold the towel and wrap my arms around him, and usually he then sits in my lap, soaking my pants with bathwater, but it doesn't matter. Nathan, on the other hand... well, he was never a cuddly baby. He never let me hold him close, not even when I was breastfeeding him, which is probably why I stopped early. He'd feed, but the whole time he would be kicking me in the stomach. When I took Nate out of the bath he would squirm so much that the only way I could cuddle with him was to wrap him up on the floor and practically lay on top of him, my face inches from his, as I bombarded him with kisses, and his feet kicked up trying to make contact with my body. These days, Nathan is difficult to get out of the bathtub at all, even after I have drained the water, and he pretends to slide down the end of the tub again and again. Many nights, after I remove him from the tub, he climbs back in. He is not interested in cuddling with me, and I can only distract him with the promise of toothpaste.

Nicholas is more likely to cry when something doesn't go his way, reminding me a lot of myself when I was little. Nathan reminds me more of my sisters, either shrieking until an adult hands over what he wants (Emily) or shooting sneaky looks over his shoulder before blatantly doing something he knows is naughty or ridiculous (Anne-E.)

Nicholas will always sit for a story, and even when he was small he liked looking at the pictures, at least for a little bit. Nathan likes stories, but not when I decide to read them. He wants to be the one to walk over to me and bash me over the head with a book. Only then, apparently, is a book worth reading. The stories I always read before nap and bedtime are never interesting. During these he likes to fling his body over the pages of the book, obscuring the words and the pictures, and driving me and Nick both crazy.

Last night was the first night I ran into trouble putting Nathan to bed. He's still in the crib, because up until last night, he hasn't shown any interest in climbing out. He did it once, but then forgot about it, Last night, however, he suddenly remembered, and kept swinging his leg up as soon as I placed him in there. Nicholas was terrible about waking up, but never had any problems falling asleep. Even moving him to the big bed from the crib presented few problems - at least at night. With Nathan... I'm thinking about all the nights I've left him in the crib, singing and talking to himself, trying to reach toys and pull them through the bars... and I think it's going to be a little more difficult.

I'm actually really glad that my kids are different. They make me laugh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Winner Is...

This photo is from a year ago. Just so you can all gage for yourself how much they boys have changed and grown. It's not that I'm running behind in taking pictures or anything like that.

We go to our town library every week. The children's section has a train set, and the boys play with that while I pick out books for them. In fact, instead of saying "lets go to the library" I might as well say "lets go play with the trains!" It would have the same effect.

The library is always doing great things and having events. This summer the entire theme is "Road Trip" and the teens organized an outdoor "Road Trip" where they had a table set up for each state, and an activity for each state. They had Syrup tasting for NH, making the "Rocky Mountains" in play dough for Colorado, making your own Mardis Gras mask for LA, and my personal favorite, making marshmallow snowmen for Alaska. They also had a small wading pool filled with bubble solution, and giant bubble wands so kids could make huge bubbles. Kids gave away free ice cream, popcorn, and ice pops. There were giant beach balls, and a sprinkler... the kids had lots of fun. And a photographer took a picture of Nicholas, and he was in the paper.

A week later the Library had a "Vehicle Day" and we went to look at a police car, a tow truck (which the boys climbed into!) a Backhoe, and stuff like that. It was less exciting than the other event, but we did enter a raffle to win a Big Wheel bike... and guess what? WE WON! Yesterday we went to the library to claim our prize and walked away with a nice red Big Wheel, and both boys were over the moon. Nicholas can actually make it go, but Nate just sits in it and scoots with his feet. It's very cute.

And one day, when I get a picture, I'll post it!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Comfy Pants

Who? Us? Cause trouble? No way!

Everyone has a pair of favorite pants. I'm speaking about comfortable favorite pants, not the pants that aren't so comfortable but make you look like a movie star with mile-long legs the size of toothpicks. The first kind. The comfortable kind.

Yesterday, I ripped my favorite pants. I was sitting at my computer, trying to find out if I could get tickets for Wicked this fall in Boston, and suddenly Nicholas ran into the room yelling "Nathan's outside! Nathan's outside!"

I do not ever remember a time, when I was small, when going outside was a big deal. We just opened the door and went out. We played out there, and then we came in. I don't know what it is - the kidnappers and molesters that now lurk behind every bush, the dangerous equipment we tend to keep these days such as lawn mowers and rusty nails, or perhaps it's just the busy street in front of our house and the fact that there is a brook out back buried somewhere beneath the weeds. Whatever the reason, it is a huge deal for my kids to go out and play in the back yard. Even that requires sunscreen, bug spray, adult supervision, a couple of shots, and a few signatures from lawyers.

In any case, I freaked when Nick told me this, and ran to find that Nathan had simply gone out through the front door, which we had propped open to let a little air into the house. Actually, he had pushed himself through the screen. Being slightly larger than he is, I couldn't bring myself to do this. But the door itself was locked, and I couldn't open it. All I could do was yell and watch as Nathan turned and ran from me.

When I finally opened the door I quickly caught up to him, scooped him up, and marched him back in the house. I was furious because I had been frightened, and also our screen door was now ruined completely. And then...

And then I fell. With Nate in my arms. I tripped over a step or my own feet and fell in the doorway, landing smack on my knees, which was very painful. Not to mention that the screen door was still broken, and that the Wicked tickets were ridiculously expensive, and that we were going to have to keep the door shut from now on no matter how hot it got. And then I looked and saw the rip in my pants, MY FAVORITE PANTS!

Now you should also understand that I am pregnant, so besides the rush of hormones, there is my ever-changing body and the fact that even maternity clothing can get too tight at some point. I only have about 3 pairs of pants. These pants no only looked presentable, but could be worn in summer and fall. I often thought I might keep wearing them after the baby came. THAT is how comfortable they were. And now here they are, beyond repair.

When I think about it, all my other pairs of favorite pants went the same way. I ripped them while hiking, while doing strange acting projects, or sometimes by just bending my knees. I guess I wear my favorite things a lot, and I end up washing them a lot, and that wears them out quickly. The fabric weakens and then the slightest tug rips it.

Anyway, I cried a lot about how unfair my life was and how I was going to have to go naked from the waist down for the remainder of my pregnancy until Steve came in and I realized I was being ridiculous and probably also scaring my children in the process. So... I'm still not over it. But I will go buy more clothes.

It just seems like such a waste. When I buy clothing I expect to wear it for years. Clothing to wear for the next 4 months is just.... how stupid is that? Should I really pay $40 for a pair of pants to wear until January?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Time Warp

There's something about being pregnant that gives me a warped perception of time. What I mean by that is, I've spent the last couple of days thinking about the Holidays. Of course, by then the baby will be either here or imminent, and I won't be able to do much of anything, so if I plan on getting anyone anything for Christmas I know I need to get to done ahead of time. Although I guess there's nothing like being in labor to speed up the line at Toys R Us. Then again, I wouldn't put money on it.

The point is, my mind isn't here. I have trouble making choices about what we should have for dinner, or where we should go for an outing this weekend. But I can tell you just what I think should go in Steve's stocking on December 25th.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: What on earth is wrong with me?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Alarm Clock

This morning I told Nicholas I was going to get him an alarm clock. Not to wake him up. He wakes up very early, 5:30, in fact. This is earlier than I would like to wake up. Usually, it is earlier than Nathan would like to get up, but not always.

I wouldn't mind that he just woke up early. The problem is, he runs up and down the hall with what appears to be huge bricks strapped to his feet, pounding away like an elephant. He climbs into bed with us and talks to us. He needs help using the bathroom. He closes doors and can't open then, so he screams for help. Let's face it, having a 3 year old run around our house unsupervised is never really a great idea.

In any case, the alarm clock would be set for 6am, possibly a bit later, and Nicholas would be told to stay in bed, or at least in his room, until the alarm goes off.

I can't imagine this is going to work. But at this point I'm tired, and I'm willing to try anything.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Not Myself

I am not feeling very well today. I am tired, and my throat is sore. Instead of taking care of my kids I just want to crawl under warm blankets and sleep.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We're All Getting Bigger

This pregnancy I'm having a more difficult time keeping tabs on my kids. And until recently I couldn't figure out why.

Oh, sure, this time I have two kids to run after, but Nicholas is really good at following directions, and is also able to do more things on his own. He's practically mastered potty training, he can dress and undress himself with minimal help (and maximum time) and he can even fetch things if you can tell him exactly where they are.

Of course, at this point in time, Nick is now refusing to help himself do things. Suddenly he is begging to be carried up and down stairs. He claims he no longer remembers how to put on a shirt, or take off shoes (which he's been doing since he was 8 months old COME ON!) Nathan, on the other hand, does not want anyone's help at all. He yells NO! if you try to help him down the stairs, or up the stairs, or into the car, or into a chair... the result being that if we want to go anywhere at all, such as the next room, I have to plan 20 minutes ahead of time to allow time for Nate to do it himself, and for Nicholas to get over the fact that I won't do it for him.

No, the real issue, what's really making it more difficult during this pregnancy, is the weight. Not my weight. But when I was this pregnant with Nate, Nicholas was younger and easier to lift and hold and carry around. When Nathan was born, Nicholas was the same age (19 months) that Nathan is NOW. And Nathan happens to weigh more right now that Nicholas did when he was two. So when tantrums do happen, it's a lot harder to run after him and pick him up as he goes limp or his kicking feet pummel poor baby N. inside my tummy.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My Child

He's blond. He's got blue eyes. Or at least gray ones. The only way we can tell he's actually my child: his love of blue Popsicles.

Friday, August 03, 2007

And Now: An Exciting New Rash!

This is a picture of Nathan, in one of his attempts to slide down the slide of the park'n play garage. He doesn't yet seem to grasp the concept of size difference.

In the meantime, a few days ago I noticed what I took to be a couple of small bug bites on my arm. I thought nothing of them, except that they were really itchy, even for bug bites. The location of the so called bites, however, might have had something to do with that - they were located on my arm, in the crook of my elbow, that soft, delicate skin with the veins?

I confess, I scratched the bites a couple of times.

And then I realized the bites were spreading. Now I have this rash that isn't too bad, but it does cover the entire inside of the elbow.. uh... fold. The inner elbow? Whatever, it's covered in red bumpy flesh, and only sometimes can I make out blisters.

Obviously I somehow got poison ivy. Or Oak. Or sumac. Based on my limited knowledge of plant life, any one is possible (remind me what I am doing living IN THE WOODS!), but not probable, as I don't really spend a lot of time around anything growing, other than male child cells.

I realized that I probably brushed up against something while Steve and I were pulling weeds in the front the other day... or, really, Steve was pulling weeds with his bare hands, and I had the gloves on and was scooping the pulled weeds into the wagon and then dumping them in the woods... which is where I probably brushed up against the rash-giving plant.

The good news is that we hardly ever go back there, except to dump leaves and weeds. The bad news is, I have no idea what it looks like, and Nicholas will probably get it at a very inopportune time. And I also have no idea what, if anything, can be done to treat poison-ivy-or-whatever rash on a pregnant lady.

All I know is that my whole life is centering around this one uncomfortable sensation on my arm.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Quiet for awhile

I really have nothing much to say today. We're in between busy times, and I get to pick and choose what we do. At first I thought the zoo, but it is going to be too hot today. So instead I might take the boys to the town beach this morning, or maybe the library.

It's nice to have choices and not feel so rushed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Letter Writing

Last year, after my incident at Nice airport, I wrote a letter to Delta complaining. I had never done anything like that before, and I was surprised when they called me on the phone and offered me skymiles to make-up.

Of course, offering me skymiles is like offering me monopoly money, only it's less useful. You can't really get anything with skymiles, except for, apparently, magazine subscriptions. What I want is an upgrade to first class, or a free ticket, or maybe even half off a ticket. Something I can appreciate.

Anyway, this hasn't stopped me from writing a second letter this year based on the horror that we encountered at JFK on our way to Nice. I wasn't going to do it, but then I read this wonderful article in SKY magazine on the way home about how Delta was improving it's customer service at JFK, adding all sorts of wonderful features, people walking around to answer questions, self-checkin kiosks, shops, cafes, etc. and I could feel the rage all over again, because all of that doesn't mean DOODLEY if the guys with the guns are making you stand in a line for four hours and won't let you in the stupid terminal, and I don't care how many cafes they have, it doesn't mean a thing if the person behind the counter checking us in resents our very existance and is allergic to smiling.

So I'm writing another letter this year, and sending it not only to Delta, but to SKY magazine and the General Manager of JFK (which is really the Port Authority, so why am I surprised that it's a mess.) I'm including a copy of the article and copies of some pictures Lillian took of the line! I can't wait.