Friday, February 29, 2008

Only Make Believe

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Yesterday my "clean-up" plan backfired (again) drastically when the boys managed to get their hands on a glass of water, which Nick used to make "Ocean Tea." Apparently he then tried to put some in his "briefcase" to take with him to "work," and apparently his office is right on the landing of the stairway, and his job involves a number of blankets, plastic food items, and stuffed animals.

He also "made Andy's room warm and cosy," which again involved a number of blankets, but also a number of instruments and a few small cars.

The mess was so big and so huge and so tall... he could not pick it up. There was no way at all. I mean, he's three. And I'm a grown up. And even I didn't know where to begin.

It's amazing what can happen in the time it takes to breastfeed an infant.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who, Me?


Nathan wouldn't even make a mess like the one behind him on our living room floor... would he?

I recently started a rule requiring the boys to pick up all of their toys before dinner... at least the toys left in the family living area (not their room). Once dinner is on the table all of the toys on the floor get put away where they cannot be played with. They get the toys back when they pick up before dinner for two days in a row. This was actually working, to some degree, until last night Nicholas refused to pick up a mess he had made... a mess made not of actual TOYS, but of every single blanket from Nathan's bed. BLANKETS!

It burns me because I can't confiscate the blankets. I also can't leave them on the floor. I absolutely HAVE to get them back to Nate's bed, even if it means picking them up myself. And by the way, taking the blankets from him brother's bed was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY because we only have ELEVEN THOUSAND blankets in a basket DOWN HERE! ALREADY!

After a little tussling and some back and forth, and an half hearted attempt from Nick to "clean up" by stuffing all of the blankets, and quite a few stuffed animals, into his play tent, Nick confessed that he hadn't napped at school. But BOY, does that kid know how to push buttons.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It snowed more

And today, of course, is Nate's day for gymnastics.

Which he hasn't been able to attend in three weeks due to snow closures and other people's doctor's appointments.

So I need to go and start digging us out and trying to get out of the driveway NOW.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The End Is Near

I don't have any new pictures to post, and I don't really have anything pressing to say, either. But I felt I had to mention the fact that February is almost over. February is the longest month of the year, even though it's usually only 28 days. It's the same way my French class in high school took up the whole second half of my day, even though it was the only class I had after lunch. That's why they made it only 28 days. (February, not French Class.) To make February any longer would mean half the year would be made out of February, and we'd all collapse before March.

Anyway, even though we've got 29 days of it, it's almost over. Thank Goodness. And March means spring is right around the corner. Or, as we say in New England, "The Muddy Season."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fever


Yesterday we got sick.

Not the kids. Just me and Steve. We both had horrible pains in our tummies and fevers. My fever reached 101.5, which is very high for me. I usually run at low 97's. And so I watched the oscars in a fit of fever, tossing and turning, with chills and sweats and all sorts of fun stuff.

And this morning, magically, I am back to normal. Except I am very tired. I tried calling in sick, but my boss simply laughed. Then Nicholas cried because I was making him go to school, and Nate cried because he needed craisins RIGHT NOW, and also, help with his socks.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It Is Cold. See The Snow?

Nicholas keeps asking, "Tomorrow will it be summer?"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Rare Moment


He smiles all the time. It's catching it with a camera that's rare.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ferhoodled

Yesterday Nick had gymnastics.

We were a little late getting started to the gym because Nathan threw a fit and removed his coat once I explained we were going to Gymnastics for Nicholas, and not Chuck E. Cheese's. Then he got angry because Nicholas was wearing the hat he wanted and tried removing it. Nicholas began crying because his ear almost got ripped off.

Once we got TO the gym I rushed us upstairs and started taking off coats and hats, and this is when Nick said he had to use the bathroom. He said it twice, which meant NOW, so I pulled us all into the small bathroom space, unable to close the door because of the carrier blocking the way. Nick went, and then I asked Nate if he wanted to go and he said yes. So I helped him up on the toilet, then I helped Nick take his shoes and sweatshirt off, and sent him out to find his teacher. I turned in time to help Nathan divert MOST of his pee into the toilet, although he did have a small, funny stain on the back of his pants the rest of the time we were there. Before I could get Nate's diaper back on Nicholas started screaming "MOMMY!"

Apparently the teachers had come upstairs, collected their classes, and then left for the main gym. And Nicholas has been in the bathroom. He was very upset. He wouldn't stop crying. Even when I told him it was no big deal, that we'd all walk down there with him. He cried until his teacher walked over to us and picked him up, carrying him to the rest of the class.

The rest of the class was fine. But I have to wonder about these small moments when I can't seem to pay enough attention to any one boy. The chaos can be unbearable. Small, short spaces of chaos. The are enough to unravel hours of peace and happiness.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Getting Groceries


It has reached this point: a trip to the grocery store with all three boys can reduce me to tears.

I like to go grocery shopping when Nick is in school. However, storytime and gymnastics schedules have made that impossible without a babysitter. So I have had to pack up all three kids and brave the grocery store armed with nothing but my list, a few snacks, and my knowledge of supermarket layouts.

My friend Betsy has twin girls. They are a couple of months older than Andy, meaning they cannot walk. I imagine that shopping with her two babies that can't walk must be difficult. However, I sincerely doubt either of them has ever klonked a sibling on the head with a can of soup.

The Superpermarket has carts with TV's. You pay a dollar and your kid sits in this "car" and watches The Wiggles, or Barney, or Backyardigans, and you get to shop in peace. The thing is, this costs a dollar, it just means more TV time for the kid, and my boys never sit still the whole time, anyway - at the end of the trip I'm usually pushing a TV cart with my kids galloping up and down the bread aisle shouting for hot dog buns. Also, there isn't a lot of room in these carts, so there isn't room for our groceries, let alone a baby carrier with a human baby inside it.

I usually opt for the car cart sans TV, which includes seat belts that Nathan doesn't know how to unfasten. I place Andy's carrier in the front, and keep up a steady chatter of "follow me, don't touch, watch where you're going, put that back, over here" so that Nicholas can walk through the store.

They didn't have one of those carts the other afternoon. The regular carts are shaped in a way that made it impossible to put Andy's carrier in the front basket. Which meant I had to put him INSIDE, which meant I had room for about three items. Nathan was thrilled with being able to walk. He insisted on choosing one of everything. I finally made him put his items in the cart after he hit Nick on the head with the can of soup (chicken noodle with shapes from the movie CARS). He screamed really loudly. Nicholas was constantly afraid I was going to leave Nate behind and kept shouting "NATHAN!" And helpfully yanking on Nate's arm causing him to fall down and cry before seeking retaliation (hence the hitting with the soup can). I was trying to fit a weeks worth of groceries into the bottom space under the cart. Finally, I gave up and removed Andy's carrier so we could buy milk. This meant I was holding the carrier and pushing a full cart (which still had most of the items underneath it, occasionally falling off) and Nathan decided he wanted a block of cream cheese, which he yanked off the shelf and then ran down the aisle screaming "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

I still have a bruise on the arm I was carrying Andy with, since I was pushing the cart with the inside of my elbow. And I still have nightmares.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Loosing The Battle


It's sometimes hard to figure out what to write about on this blog. Let's Face it. While busy, many days are a well worn cycle of rushing around, doing errands, doing laundry, making the same meals and feeding the same kids. Which is why so many of my posts sound like: This morning we made toast and Nick spilled his milk and now we're out of paper towels.

Yesterday was not one of these days. Yesterday was one of those OTHER days, where every time I turned around I found something that I could write about, giving me WEEKS of material, if only I could remember it that long.

Yesterday began with a trip to the dentist. For Nicholas.

My dentist, in case you do not know, works out of a farmhouse eleven miles from here. He has no receptionist, no hygenist, no nothing. It's just him and a dentist chair, and he cleans my teeth, offers me advice, and sends me on my way. I don't even get a toothbrush.

Nick's dentist is nearby. It's a group. It has a website. They have a web of hallways with rooms and chairs and hygentists and techncians rushing around. And in the waiting room... Not only do they have toys, not only do they have TV's, but they have VIDEO GAMES. I'm talking about Sega video games plugged right into the wall. It's outrageous. First of all, is there ANYWHERE we can go where I don't have to pry my kids away from a TV screen? The grocery store? The mall? ANYWHERE? Secondly, just how long DO we have to wait? One level? Two? I made an appointment, right? Why am I waiting long enough to play a video game? PLEASE someone tell me what I am missing?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fuzzy, Rainy, New York

Nicholas has a dentist appointment in one hour, so I really only have time to post this fuzzy photo of me, Steve, and my dad walking the boys by the Park. Jamie took the picture. The only reason it is fuzzy is because I dropped the camera this one time and now all the pictures are fuzzy unless you program it to take a close-up, and each time you turn it off it resets, so I actually get a lot of fuzzy pictures. I like this one, though.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Things I forgot

I've been reading and re-reading child care and child development books lately. They all talk about offering your children opportunities and choices. They reminded me about how small children are not goal oriented, but instead care about the experience.

Nowhere is any of the books do they tell me how to talk two brothers out of killing each other over a stick of plastic while a baby is wailing to be fed every forty minutes.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cultural Differences

And here we have Nathan banging his nose on some concrete steps:

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Cultural differences do not just involve different countries.

Last week, in New York City, Steve and I went to dinner. We had to make reservations, because when we haven't we've ended up not having anyplace to go. We made the reservations for 7pm, a ridiculously early time in NY. In France, many places do not open for dinner until 8pm.

Yesterday night, Steve and I went to dinner here, in New Hampshire. Many places around here do not take reservations, although some places do have "call ahead" where you can call ahead and put yourself on the wait list before you arrive. We pulled into the parking lot of the place we wanted to eat just before 6pm. We could not find a parking space. That is to say that at 6pm the restaurant was completely full. With people waiting to be seated.

A few months ago we went out at 7:30 and closed a place down. It closed at 8pm, but no one walked in after we did. And here we are at 6pm, it hasn't been dark for an hour, and we can't find a parking spot. Because here in New Hampshire, all night life must take place between 4:30 and 7pm, as though we were senior citizens at a Denny's.

For the record, we drove around and stopped at a few places. We found a couple that DO take reservations and we shall be visiting them in the not-too-distant future. We also found a place that didn't have a wait and could seat us AND feed us, and the food was not pizza, and was still good. There were cloth tablecloths on the table and real silverware. And we had a fabulous time. We got there at 6:15. No wait. By 6:45 there was a crowd of people waiting for a table.

I think I need to open a restaurant here. Obviously they do well.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Last Week

Last week we tried to go to the zoo, but it was raining so instead we played in the park for a few minutes before heading off to FAO.

This week I have a cold and can't breathe through my nose.

Could it have something to do with getting sopping wet and then hanging out in wet clothing for a few hours?

Maybe?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yum Yum

Here is a picture of Nate about to be eaten by SpongeBob SquarePants.

Yesterday I did my best not to eat all of the six pounds of chocolate I received for Valentine's Day.

Lillian came over and thoughtfully brought us six donuts and six Valentine's cupcakes, because we needed more donuts and more cupcakes. I wish I could say they were yummy, but unfortunately you would only get that kind of information from Gunther, who managed to eat all of the baked goods from off the counter while Lillian had her back turned. I think he might have also eaten a couple of those little plastic "Happy Valentine's" decorations. He probably had a tummy ache later on, but to tell the truth we were too angry to care.

HELLO! SIX CUPCAKES AND SIX DONUTS! That's more than even I could eat at one sitting.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Song And Dance

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Happy "I LOVE YOU" Day from the Savages.

It rained all day yesterday, and there is now a sheet of ice an inch thick on the driveway. I have a dentist appointment this morning, Nick has gymnastics, and Steve has a cold. I also seem to have the cold, and I'm doing my very very best to keep it from getting worse. I drink a lot of water, getting as much rest as I can, and instead of picking up or cleaning I'm pushing everything into a corner and covering it with a blanket. Then I'm telling people it's furniture.

Remember, people get all bent out of shape about Valentine's Day and gift giving and all that jazz. It's important to keep in mind the true meaning of the holiday, and that is chocolate.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

THIS is NORMAL?

Just in case anyone was wondering what "normal" is around here...


Yesterday we woke up to a very cold day. We had nothing on our schedule - no school, no classes. So I decided we were going to stay in and play with our toys. All of us - me included.

But then Steve came down and announced that they predicted a snow storm for that night, and I should get any errands out of the way before sundown to avoid any getting-out-the-driveway difficulties. And I knew he was right. So instead of playing, I dragged the kids to the grocery store. I feel as though I'm ALWAYS going to the grocery store.

And sure enough, this morning is snowy. School is closed. Gymnastics is canceled. I have no idea if the trash men will swing by to pick up the trash, or if any trash bins put out will simply be knocked over by the careless snowplow drivers.

And yes, it's normal. What a dreary slushy day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back to Normal

Now that we are back home, things are back to normal. Or at least to that state we think of as normal, even though it's a seat-of-our-pants, putting-out-fires kind of operation. And I am still sans important silly cords. Which means no pictures pour vous.

Today is my mother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Forget Me Not

Here is a list of things I forgot at my parents' apartment in New York:

- My cell phone charger
- the battery charger to my camera battery
- the cord to link my camera to my computer and download photos.
- one little monkey shoe my mother gave to Andrew
- the pink cooler bag we packed snacks in
- my house keys
- the book I was reading, Duma Key.


Here is a list of damage we did during our stay:

- knocked off one of the crystal danglies from the chandelier in the living room
- broke 1 bowl and 1 wine glass
- pried up one of the wooden tiles in the floor

Friday, February 08, 2008

Gone Fishin'

I actually have a camera and the ability to get photos onto this blog. But I am not going to today. Maybe tomorrow. And many stories and cute moments coming soon.

When I have caught up on my sleep and such.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Attack Baby!

Well... doesn't he look like he's playing Godzilla?

The boys all slept until almost 7am, which is so great I can't even begin to explain it. The downside is I've got to fit everything I usually do before taking Nick to school into one hour.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Getting Ready

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When most people I know take a weekend trip, they pack things just before they leave. I used to be one of them. I used to wait until hours before leaving before starting to pack for two month summer stays when I was a teenager. And somehow I survived.

Now that I have children I find myself on the other end of that spectrum. I start packing for a weekend trip a week before we leave. I am terrified of showing up and forgetting pull-ups or bottles or underwear. I want to make sure I have everything I need, and I plan it all down to the snacks to bring in the car.

We're going to New York later this week.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hug?

Five seconds before I grabbed the camera to shoot this video, Nathan looked at me and said 'Hug?" Which is why his arms are spread so wide. I refused to hug him, but I did take his picture.


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Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's Sunday

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What he SAYS : Hey, Mom! I used all your flower stickers!

What he MEANS: Hey, Mom! Remember that book of stamps you bought yesterday?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day!

Just in case you were wondering what a baby with an ear infection looks like, here you go.





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Also, it's Groundhog Day. In New Hampshire, Groundhog Day is the day the groundhog sticks it's head out of it's home, then freezes in the doorway, and must wait for six weeks before thawing out. It's also the day that, just like in the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day," seems like every other day. Isn't that what that movie is about? A day exactly like every other day? Or do I have it wrong?

I'm going to go have more coffee now.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tomorrow There Will Be Photos

I have been feeling better.

Yesterday I took Nicholas to HIS gymnastics class, and he was great. Nate was also great, even though it wasn't his turn. He watched and played where I was and no one threw a fit.

And I was standing at the office window to ask a question, Nathan playing at my feet, Andy in the carrier, when a mother walked through the door with a carrier of her own, and two little girls. The youngest girl peered over at us and then said "Mommy, their baby is cuter than ours."

Tomorrow I will post pictures of our cuter baby and his brothers. But not today. Today I have to take them. I haven't taken them in awhile. When everyone is sick the camera doesn't get a lot of play.