Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chapter 18 - In Which Andy Finds A New Hobby

In this video you'll see Andy ignore my cues for nap time, try out his new hobby, and throw a small tantrum, of which he's grown very fond.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Candy fixes everything.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chapter 17 - In Which Nick Gets Sneaky

Something is going on.

I don't know what it is, but both Nick and Nate have been acting up in different ways - Nate by grabbing toys and hitting and yelling "No I Don't Want To!" and Nicholas by throwing awful temper tantrums which include high pitched screams and clinging and other regressive behavior (like clinging to me crying "mama" if it's about me leaving.)

This started a while ago, and I figured that the behavior would change, that whatever set it off would eventually get addressed, that the kids would figure out the tantrums weren't getting them anywhere. But they've only gotten worse.

Today Nick threw a tantrum at 7:30 am when he learned we were going to the library and would be returning the video he's picked out - a Gumby Movie. I hate Gumby. We've had him for two weeks, and I was quite ready to see him go back. But Nick cried, screamed, kicked his heels, refused to stop or to go someplace else to calm down. The more he tantrumed the more adamant I was that Gumy would go back. I pried the DVD from Nick's clutching fingers, and stuck it in the bag, then ushered the boys upstairs to get dressed.

Of course by the time we got to the library the DVD was no longer in the bag. Nick had stuck it under a blanket in the living room. "I told you I didn't want to go to the library," he said sadly.

I have put Gumby on the "Do Not Watch" list. But I am still worried about my boys. What's going on with these guys?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

With a Capital T

Here is Andy.

He is in his booster seat.

If the booster seat did not have a locking tray, Andy would be on the table. ON the table.

That's right. Andy can now climb onto the chairs from the floor. And onto the table from the chairs. He can reach cups on unfinished milk, markers, the salt shaker... Oh the disasters that have occurred since he learned to do this a few days ago.

I thought I could stop him by moving the salt shaker to the counter and pushing the chairs in as far as they can go, but he quickly learned he could push the chairs if he tried hard enough, and that the counter was as easy to reach as the table.


Monday, February 23, 2009


Yeah... Nathan's starting to look like a regular kid. Less baby, more boy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Down In The Mouth?

Last week Nicholas and Nathan had dentist appointments. Quite by chance, it was the same week that a dental hygienist visited Nick's classroom and talked to them about their teeth. The end result was that Nick ended up with buckets of pamphlets, floss, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

For Christmas the boys got battery operated toothbrushes, and within two days the works were gunked up with globs of toothpaste, which the boys insist on putting on themselves, meaning they use three times the amount they should. They also never rinse the bristles off. I was actually excited to see these things go.

As soon as he got home from school, Nick wanted to brush his teeth. "Can I brush them now, Mom? Now? How about now?" I managed to convince him to wait until after supper. Finally we get to that point, and the boys are very excited about the new tooth stuff, and I turn around and there is Nicholas, sitting on the toilet seat, barely holding himself together.

"Nicholas, you look so sad! Is something wrong?"

At this point Nick started sobbing, loud, heart wrenching cries, his small body heaving, and it took a few moments for me to make out the words he was trying to get out. "I'm going to miss my old toothbrush so much!"

I explained that this wasn't something to cry over, and Nick disagreed and explained that the new toothbrush wouldn't 'tickle his teeth' the same way. And I told him he could keep it until he was ready to throw it out.

And I get extra points for not laughing right out loud, even though I really really wanted to.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Popsicle

I get a Popsicle.

Brother notices I have the last popsicle.

I end up sharing the popsicle, like it or not.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Nicholas is pretending he doesn't see me standing there with the camera. See how he doesn't notice me? See how nonchalant he is?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

smile for the camera

I keep trying to catch the boys in action and get some good video footage, some without my nasal voice cutting in, or the camera shaking with my silent, or not so silent, laughter. Unfortunately, the boys all see me coming and pose for the camera, so... yeah.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Out of... something...

I have a cold. The kind that, for a couple of days, sat in my ears so that I felt as though I were underwater. Then it moved to my chest and sat there, daring me to cough, only when I did my chest and throat would burn as though I were coughing up glass shards.

I'm getting better. My ears still bug me, but my throat no longer burns. Now I'm just congested and tired. So... I was going to say there would be no post, but instead the details of my health complaints seem to have taken up a good deal of room! Sorry. Please forgive me. I'm in a fog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Say It Ain't So!

Steve recently made an offhand comment about me being miserable, and when I questioned his assumption, he declared that one only had to read my blog to discover how sad and miserable I was.

I hope this isn't the case. I really do. Because although I am, at times, really miserable and sad or angry, most of the time I am just fine. Sometimes I am ecstatic! Sometimes I have difficulty understanding why I am so happy. Perhaps it just doesn't translate.

This valentine's day I asked Steve NOT to get me a huge box of chocolates. A small one would be appreciated, but the big ones I've gotten for the past few years were too much. I'm trying to get rid of these last few baby pounds, after all...

Saturday morning Steve gave me a very sweet small box of chocolates. I gave him a large bag of peanut m&m's. I also gave each of the boys a heart shaped box of chocolates. I should have coordinated with Steve because he also gave each of the boys a small box of chocolates. We then left to go to a boat show (fun) and stopped by Lillian's on the way home. She mentioned that she had stopped by our place while we were away, and she had left us 1 blueberry cake, 1 valentine's cake, and 1 small box of valentine's candy for each of the boys. I also had purchased a heart shaped ice cream cake. I guess we really should coordinate this gift giving business, because looking around you'd think we were selling the stuff.

Anyway, my point is, this is a funny thing! And I am not at all sad or depressed about it. How could one be miserable with all this chocolate in the house?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day of Love

When I was young and full of romantic notions, I used to think Valentine's day was about Romance. Now I realize it is actually about spending money, and also chocolate. But what I would LIKE it to be is a day when people take the time to let others know that they are loved and cared about, even though we might not see eye-to-eye on more than a few issues, and even though the last time we saw each other you threw a crumpled up note with the words "You are a big fat dork!" written on it right at my head. (That never happened. It's a hypothetical. I just can't remember the actual words.)

So with that, I shall leave you with my favorite valentine's cake from Cake Wrecks. Enjoy the day, and tell someone you love them!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday the 12th

In the fifth grade I slipped on some ice and split my upper lip on the sidewalk curb. It happened to be on a Friday the 13th.

Ever since then, Friday the 13th has been like any other day, no more unlucky than any other day. Except that I was recovering from all the horrors of Thursday the 12th, which brings me nothing but bad luck.

I shouldn't say bad luck. I don't really have much bad luck. But bad days. Days where I run into traffic, or forget to bring my computer to work, or remember I have a paper due at 3pm, or wake up with a horrible splitting headache at 4:30 am because the baby is crying and thinks it's time to get up and he doesn't care that your sinuses are clogged or that you've started coughing up green alien guts.

I took today off, in laundry, room painting, and cooking terms. And I flicked the TV on early.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go, Mom, Go!

Nate had an accident at school today. It happens. That's not what I'm posting about. What I'm posting about is the change of clothing he had there to change into. The shirt was a T-shirt - so out of season, and more than a size too small. So he had to borrow a sweatshirt from a classmate. And the pants... well, they ended a good three inches before his socks started.

Ugh. So much for me being on top of things.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ni-ni? Uh-oh!

Andrew is learning to speak. Every so often he will say something that sounds like a word, and the give that cute little impish grin, as though he's just told a naughty joke. Tonight I even heard him sing for the first time. (In case you were wondering, he produced an echo of Nathan's opening notes of "The Wall-E song.")

But the two words Andy has down pat are "Ni ni" which means "Sleep" or "naptime" or "Good Night" depending on the actual situation, and "Uh-oh" which means "Everything Else." If Andy is left to play alone and doesn't decide to cry, you'll hear him say "Bababa Uh-oh! Ahh Uh-oh! Uh-oh! um ummmmmm Uh-oh! Uh-oh!"

I actually had a funny conversation with Andrew today while trying to get him to nap. "Night night!" I said. And he replied, "Ni ni! Ni ni!" as I rocked him in my arms. "Ni ni!" long pause. Then "Uh-oh!" And then I started laughing, because it sounded as though he just realized I was trying to get him to sleep. And once I started laughing, he started laughing. "Shhhh! Go to sleep!" I whispered, trying to not laugh. "Ni ni!" he said. "Uh oh! Ni ni!"

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Andy's the one on camera, Nate's the one laughing, Nick's the Mr. Bouncy shirt in the background.

Friday, February 06, 2009

One Flew Over...

Today was one of my crazy days.

Oh no, Kathleen! I'm sure you don't have crazy days? What could possibly have happened that would make you say that?

Well... I'll tell you.

Earlier this year, sometime around Christmas, Nick's fingernails started breaking off near the base. Not all of them, just three. And we went to see the doctor, who was not terribly concerned, but she wasn't sure what to make of it, and so referred us to a dermatologist. The dermatologist's office scheduled an appointment for over a month in the future - for today.

Nick's fingernails are better now. Which is to say they are a little bumpy and short, but they are growing, and seem fine, and not ugly yellow spreading to other fingers. But I decided to keep the appointment anyway, since it took so long to get. If I still had it, because there was no call reminding me we had it.

I kept Nick out of school to make the appointment, because it was in the middle of the school day, and he's only be there for an hour before I had to pick him up. The actual time of the appointment is exactly the time I try to get the boys down for a nap - not a big deal for Nick, but Nate and Andy were going to have to tough it out. Steve had to go to a meeting, and I made the choice to bring the other boys and not bug Lillian. How long could the appointment take?

I found the office park easily enough, but it was hard to confirm the building was correct because the number was so small. I put Andy in the stroller to make things easier. The dermatologists office was on the second floor. After some walking around, a lady from a different office came out and told us there was no elevator, we'd have to take the stairs or walk around the icy building, so I hauled the stroller up the stairs.

By this time I'd forgotten the suite number, so we walked around until we found the office. The receptionist.... how can I put this. Have you seen Ghostbusters? You remember the receptionist and her nasal, eye rolling look, filing her nails on the phone? A wealth of welcoming warmth and kindness compared to the look I got from this lady, who looked at me as though I were wearing my hooker attire.

"Um... I think we have an eleven thirty?"



She looked down, but didn't smile. "You do."

She then went on to inform me that we had no referral. "Are you sure?" I asked,"Because we made the appointment a while ag-" "I'm sure." she interrupted without looking down. "But you can sign a waiver for today's visit since you don't have one."

She then handed me ont one, but two clipboards, a pen, and picked up the phone.

I had to wrangle the boys, who were wired, and were trying to sit in each of the chairs in the waiting room, obviously much to the annoyance of the one other person in there. I sat them down, but I could tell I had only moments, so I quickly turned to the first item which stated "I understand that my insurance is not paying and that I am resonsible for all costs..." and I saw RED.

Because, to me, she didn't care if we had a referral. She didn't look. And here we were, at an appointment that would very likely cost us and arm and a leg for a condition that needed care a MONTH ago, but was BETTER now, and this lady was just so RUDE, and the boys were already out of their seats...

"You know what?" I said, standing and tossing the clipboards on the desk. "I'm sorry. I just... if we don't have a referral, I can't pay for it... and.... I'm sorry."

I turned and swept the kids through the door. "Are you sure?" she called out, her face a maske of shock, phone still to her ear, "Because referrals usually come through quick-"

But I was already crying. "Not today!" I shouted. And left.

I hate this about myself - that I can let things overwhelm me so much that I break down, no matter where I am, no matter who is watching. I hate that I couldn't just suck it up and follow through with the appointment, but I couldn't. I couldn't stand to be in the office one secod further, and to make these people DO THEIR JOBS and call the pediatrician again and get the referral over again... for something that was no longer a problem...

So yeah, that crazy lady, sobbing behind the wheel of her minivan? Yeah, that was me.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Why we keep those toys

Today I took the kids with me to Target to select valentine's for their classmates. I was already on the on-ramp to the highway when I realized my wallet was in the bag I use for choir. The extra 30 minutes it added to our trip was frustrating, as was the fact that the selection of child-sized valentines were limited to those with no characters we knew, and came with pop-rocks.

So I took the boys to the book store afterward. I had some gift cards, and I wanted to grab a copy of Dante's Inferno because I've never read it but keep running across books that refer back to it. I like to read. I am trying to pass this love of reading, the escapism of reading, along to my boys. Nathan seems to really enjoy it, but Nicholas gives up rather easily. "You tell me what it says," he'll say. And I'll have to tell him the word is DOG. We're reading Go Dog Go, and it looks the same as it did on the previous 5 pages when I've pointed it out to him and sounded it out and spelled it out. And I worry he isn't learning or isn't able to learn, and I panic.

I let each boy pick out a book to buy. Nicholas picked a book that had little letter magnets. "Learn To Spell!" the book says. These books are generally a lot of trouble, and Nick usually ignores the book and plays with the toys until they are scattered around the house and I end up picking them up for the next three years. But I said yes.

I was making lunch and Nick was sorting through the letter magnets. "I want to spell a word, Mom," he said, "but I can't find the C. I can find the A and the T."

I almost cried. Because he gets it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I signed the kids up for storytime again today. We have skipped it so far this year, because it was getting so hard to usher Nick into the room while keeping Nate out of it, but now that Nathan has turned three they can both go. As usual, the registration process was ridiculous - it started at 9am, but when I showed up at 8:30 the line was out onto the sidewalk. I got numbers 41 and 42, but was lucky enough to get the day and time I wanted.

I know the process is insane, and I can't stand the fact that these women, these mothers, are willing to stand out on the cold with their kids just to sign them up for this. Who are these women? Are they insane? And then it occured to me that... well, I was one of them.

I tell myself I am NOT that kind of person. I am only there because my schedule is tight - I mean, sure, it may seem like I don't have a lot to do during the day, but it is really a fine balancing act between when things open and when the kids will fall asleep in the car on the way home messing up nap. And I know many people would roll their eyes and wonder why that is such a big deal, but until you've sat at the dinner table with two of my nap-deprived kids you will never understand. The Storytime slots either occur on a school day, during their gymnastics class, or in the afternoon... except for the one other class. So it was VERY IMPORTANT for me to get the ONE CLASS we could make...

See? I have a REASON for getting there so early and standing out in the cold. I'm not one of these other moms with no life. Who show up early and force eveyone else to show up early or go with no storytime slot. They couldn't possibly be in the same situation as I, could they?

Gooble Gobble, one of us. Why oh why do I do all this again?

Monday, February 02, 2009

I Hate That Stupid Groundhog

Not that I'm actually surprised that he saw his shadow. Or that there will be six more weeks of winter. It's February second, after all. It's the middle of winter. Not the end.

Although at this point, I'd really welcome a gigantic heat wave.

I'm looking forward to the summer, to wearing a t-shirt outdoors and feeling hot, and to putting on the ice cold sprinkler for the kids. To sweating in the humidity.

Or actually, just to be able to drive up the driveway without the tires skipping on the ice.

I promise to post real things with real pictures soon. Including one of Andy Dancing, provided he cooperates.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Insert Interesting Post Here

I had a post, but for some reason my stupid computer wouldn't publish it. Suddenly my stupid computer kept telling me the site didn't exist.

Then my post disappeared.

I'm watching football, which does not help my mood, as I don't understand the attraction or excitement or the need to yell at the TV screen when the Patriots are not involved.

I am, however, looking forward to Monday nights with All New HEROES and MEDIUM.

Gosh I love Medium. I wish I could stay awake for the whole program.