Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nicholas - 6 Years Old


Maybe it's because he's my oldest, but I spend a lot of time worrying about Nicholas. Perhaps this would be true of any son with his temperament. He prefers video games to sports, and he lives in a world of Bakugan battles and alternate universes.

Nicholas can be sweet and caring. He longs to be one of the bigger kids, but he is exceedingly gentle with younger ones.

And as much time as I spend fretting that I am not doing enough or making the right choices where he is concerned, there are nights I tuck him into bed and realize that this is the only time I have hugged him all day. He no longer crawls into my lap or sits with me just to get cuddled. I wonder how long it will be before days and weeks slip by with no hugs, and he wipes the kisses I give him off his cheek.

I'm going to have to make up for it now, while I remember, and while I still can.

Happy Birthday, my very first baby.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Little Italian

And now, with the latest in his repertoire, and his face displaying his most recent meal, Nathan:

PS - I know, he's lost the ending, but hang in there and Andy makes a cameo at the end.


video

Friday, May 28, 2010

Daily Affirmation

I think the world would be a better place if we all looked in the mirror and saw everything we liked about ourselves.

My brother Jamie sent this to me. I fell in love with it. Sometimes, when everything in my life seems to be going right, I actually feel this giddy inside. So in the spirit of spreadning the love and the joy.... Say this to your reflection each morning.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yellow Haze

If asked, I think most of us would describe ourselves as removed from nature. We have become masters as setting ourselves apart. We have our homes, thick walls that keep us apart. We are cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and if ever nature tries to breech the barrier we have created, in the form of pests, mold, ladybugs, whathaveyou... well, we nip it in the bud.

But every year we reach this point where we can't ignore the fact that nature comes first. It asserts itself in a way that can't be ignored. Yes, I'm talking about the pollen in the air.

I usually roll my eyes when people talk about pollen. What's the big deal? Stay away from flowers. But yesterday, looking out my back window, I could actually see clouds of yellow dust being blown around by the wind. Clothing I put out to dry came back in coated in a fine dust. The same dust bypassed the screens in the windows and settled on our floors, our furniture, even my bed.

And there's nothing to be done about it. Nature will have it's way, and we need open windows to avoid suffocation. I will simply keep dusting until it ends.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm on fire

It is so hot.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am an absolute sucker for routine. If I don't have every activity written down and planned out, my day falls apart. Seriously, my to do list has "laundry" written on it every single day, because if I don't have it written down I'm apt to forget it's in the washer and it will just end up sitting there, out of sight and getting skunky.

The boys have pretty much stopped taking naps. This can be tough on Andy, who really needs one. I do my best to make sure he gets at least an hour. But the other boys are really old enough not to need them anymore. This requires a little bit of planning and rescheduling on my part, as it leaves us with a chunk of time in the middle of the day which was previously taken. But we can't go anywhere, because Andy needs to sleep.

I can't just send them outside, either. Oh, I'm sure there will be days where I will be able to. Andy can sleep and I can cook dinner early or fold laundry on the deck while they play on the swings. They're old enough that I'll let them do that, as long as they stay where I can see them from the window. But these past few days it's been too hot. During the winter I structure our days so that we're inside and cozy by 4pm. But with the sun so high and the days so hot and humid I'm leaning toward keeping us indoors until then. Unless, of course, we're at the beach or a sprinkler park or something.

Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. It can't be normal to already have been making summer homework charts for the boys. It can't be normal to already have a fall schedule planned, down to which days we'll be doing gym, piano, karate... And to know which days I'll be buying groceries and which days I'll be cleaning the house, and how I will choreograph my days to maximize completion of all these tasks. I mean, it's not like I can't make changes, or that I don't, but still...

Anyway, these things have been on my mind, of late. The funny thing is, I'm kind of excited about them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Too Much To Ask

The boys woke up this morning at 5:30 am. I walked into their bedroom to find both Nathan and Andrew sans pants. "We both wet our beds!" Nate cheerily informed me.

That's great! Now they're best buds, bonding over wet sheets.

And that kind of set the tone for the day.

That and every Every EVERY time I ask the boys to do something, or tell them to do something - not unusual things, mind you, but everyday things like "put on your shoes" or "get in the car" - I get negative responses. Responses like "But I was..." or "I'm hungry!" or "NOOOOO!" And I'm hot and cranky and my throat hurts but I don't know if it's from being tired and getting sick, or if it's from yelling.

Once, just once, I would like to move from one activity to the next without repeating it, shouting, or feeling as though I could possibly be out witted by a four-year-old.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Calm After The Storm

This weekend was crazy.

Saturday, Steve took Nick and Nate to the boat and I took Andy to the Running Store (new shoes for me) and the Book Store (whoohoo!) Then we went to the park as a family so that Nick could play T-ball. Then my sister Anne-E arrived for a visit.

Sunday was Dunkin Donuts / Choir, Church, Chinese, Failed Nap, Bounce House for Nick's Birthday party where we ate pizza and cake.

The party was great. Nick was very happy, and the bounce house did all of the work. Except that I opted to bring my own cake. So the bounce house gave me two free pizzas. Except that there were only 11 kids. 7 pizzas is a lot for 11 kids. Also, the cake I got was too big. So now we have 4 whole pizzas left in the fridge, and enough cake for two more parties.

Today is just about getting back to normal. It's 80 degrees, and the boys are playing outside, slathered in sunscreen. I have finally emptied the dishwasher, which is good because the sink was full. All I need is a nap.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Take me out at the baaaaalll gaaaaame

So... Nick plays T-ball.

T-ball sounds like baseball. I thought it would be just like baseball except with a Tee instead of a pitcher. And it's true, at some points the batter does use a T.

But beyond that, it's still different.

As soon as the game begins, you would notice that there is no outfield. Or outfielders. But the infield is rather crowded, as all the players get to hang out and split positions. Two or three kids will hang out around first base, helmets on heads, and although one will be "on" to catch the ball, all three are out there. The pitching is done by the coaches.

The batter gets as many swings as it takes to make a hit. This could mean one swing, or twenty five. Once the ball is hit, it doesn't really matter if it's a foul ball. Each player runs to first. There is usually a lot of time to make it to first base, because once the ball hits the field, six players will pounce on it and argue over who got to it first and who gets to throw it to first base. In the rare case that a player is actually slow enough to get tagged out, he / she gets to stay on the base anyway.

There are rarely three outs in an inning. Instead, each of the teams players get a turn at bat, advance one base per hit, and the teams switch out when each player has batted once, and the last player gets a "home run" no matter what.

Each game lasts three innings, and takes a little over an hour. By the end of the game, the players in the infield are talking to each other, sitting on the ground, taking off their shoes... There is no sense of, well, GAME yet. These kids are four, five, and six. They are not competitive, nor do they understand the concept of individuals within a team.

The teams all have different names. Half of them are called the Red Sox, but each Red Sox team has a different color jersey. So you could be on the Red Sox Green, playing the Red Sox Blue. But there are also other teams. Red Sox Green could be playing, for example, the Gators a team that is also wearing green jerseys. Not only is this confusing for the parent whose mind has wandered for a moment, but sometimes a player will find that he / she is standing with the wrong team.

Nicholas is like me, in that the ability to throw and catch is not innate. When I tried to help him throw the ball a little more effectively, he began doing a half-cartwheel move, swinging his arms over his head and landing on his knees, the ball hitting the ground four feet from his mitt. (Winston, you may come visit whenever you like.) Steve has been heroic in his efforts to help the coach and play with Nick. And Nick really is getting better. He loves playing, and that's the important thing.

Today, during T-ball, I played catch with Nathan. We had no gloves. In order to catch the ball I tossed him, Nate insisted on standing close enough for me to simply hand it to him. At which point Nate would wind back and hurl the ball at my head with all the force in his little body. The effect was that he was chasing me around the field, and that I hadn't sense enough to stop returning his weapon. I was sure he was going to whack me in the face with it.

And next year, they will both be playing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Brand New Day

I'm feeling better today. It's Friday, the weekend is almost here. I have scheduled in time tomorrow morning to go buy new running shoes, and then I can start running again. This weekend is a "hump" weekend in that there's a lot going on, and when Monday gets here we can start all over.

Also, I'm planning summer day-trips. Fun is in our future.One simply can't worry about being awkward when Santa's Village and Thomas The Tank Engine are in one's future.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Even In Australia

Yesterday was a bad day.

Come to think of it, this has been a rotten week. Yes, a few good things have happened, and I don't want to sound all dark and gloomy and glass-half-emptyish. But some days are like that.

Yesterday was one of those days. It was a day when everything anyone said to me seemed to have a snide subtext. As though a conversation I thought I was a part of actually did not include me. And I wondered how someone as awkward as I am has made it this far in life. I'm still feeling the hangover effects this afternoon. The best thing to do is obviously to crawl into bed and never come out. No one will notice. And if they do, I'll tell them I'm protesting something. The use of pesticides, perhaps.

Oh, well. Tomorrow will be better. Maybe I'll get the prize in the cereal box.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Already?

I just realized that I didn't post yesterday. Obviously my mind has been elsewhere, what with birthdays and concerts and lost symbols of my marital union.

In an effort to look on the bright side of life (and the funny side of the street -heh heh!) I'm making a list of positive things that have come out of my lost ring:

- I am no longer working in the yard! That's right, my yard work is on hold, just in case my ring cam off while pulling up brambly vines and is now buried under twigs and dry leaves. Either until the ring is found, or until I can borrow a metal detector and confirm, to my satisfaction, that the ring is not out there. I suddenly have much more free time.

- The light to the laundry room is working! I realize this may be like stating the obvious, as I never posted about how it stopped working. But the wiring in this house is wonky, and a few lights pop in and out of working order. The laundry room was dark for almost two weeks and I still hadn't called an electrician. Despite the fact that I flicked the light switch each time I went in there and nothing ever happened.But Monday, as I was shoving laundry into the dryer, Nate came over and asked "Why are you in the dark?" and flicked the light switch AND THE LIGHT TURNED ON!

- I found a stash of hidden Easter chocolate! I don't remember stashing it, but it was in my room. It was good, but also kind of not good, as I was only to eager to over indulge in my state of panic and despair.

- After this weekend, most of my stress will be gone! The concert will be over, choir will be over for the season, birthday parties over, family obligations done with... there will be other things, but... let's not go there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Need Bloodhound

All day long people ask me where things are.

"Mom, where is that toy car I was just playing with?"

"I can't find my shoes!"

"Did you say you picked up my shirts from the cleaners?"

And I roll my eyes because the boys in the house are SO HOPELESS at finding things for themselves.

This morning I looked down at my left hand and realized my engagement ring was no longer on my finger.

Not only was my hand half-dressed, but I could not remember taking the ring OFF. Although the last time I remember actually having it I was heading out to do yard work and thought to myself that I really SHOULD remove it. But I don't remember actually doing so. And that was yesterday afternoon.

I have looked in all the usual places, and I have not yet found it. So far I've shaken out the bedsheets, combed through the compost AND the trash, and sifted through almost every drawer in the house. I've also gone out and searched through yards of sticks and twigs and thorny brushy ground, just in case I DIDN'T take it off and had it fly off my hands when I removed my gloves or something. My hand feels odd without it. So sentimental, until I remind myself that this odd feeling would have come in useful YESTERDAY or whenever it was I took the durn thing OFF.

Seriously, I feel ill about this. So if anyone has seen it or can think of a place I should have looked but haven't, please let me know. Please.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hear What We Want To Hear...

Today, after church, a really great guy called out to me as I passed him in the hall. "Great job with the choir today! I loved your solo!"

And I said "Thanks!"

And then I spent the next few minutes wondering which part he was talking about. Because I didn't technically have a solo.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vegetable Garden FAIL

Last year I planted a vegetable garden.

It wasn't much. No, I mean it really wasn't much. I planted a few tomatoes and a few green beans. And at the end of the summer the green beans actually produced! Enough so that we could have two or three fully grown beans every few days, that is. But not enough to give us an actual side dish. And the tomatoes refused to bear fruit until October, when the early frost killed them off before they even turned red.

I was hoping for more this year. In April I planted carrots and twice as many green beans as last year. And once the weather got a little warmer, I transplanted a few tomato seedlings I had started indoors.

So far, the tomatoes are two inches high - the same height they were when I placed them outside two weeks ago. There is no sign that I ever planted anything else in my dirt patch, except maybe the occasional strand of grass.

So two weeks ago, when Nick's Sunday School teacher informed me that they planted peas in dixie cups and handed me four tiny paper cups filled with dirt, I was sure we'd end up with four dixie cups filled with dirt we'd need to throw away come October. Especially when they all got dropped more than a few times getting them into the car.

My dirt patch is still mostly a dirt patch. I water when the dirt gets dry. I yell at the dog when he decides to walk on it. I really don't know what more I can do at this point, other than dig around and check to see if the seeds are still down there.

On the bright side, we have three small green things growing out of dixie cups in the window box over the kitchen sink. They are as tall my my tomato seedlings were two weeks ago. And still are. Yes, we have one dixie cup with dirt in it, but the seed probably fell out in one of the drops from church to car.

To me, this only goes to show how awesomely terrible I am at gardening.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Little Bit Of This...

Everywhere I look there is another task I need to do. Another room to paint. Curtains to fix. Pictures to hang. Appointments to reschedule.

I just got of the phone with the pet sitter, who I am trying to get to watch the cats a some point in the not-too distant future. I mentioned that on of our cats is now on medication. And this woman, this person who I call to make my life easier, instructed me to call the vet and get the medication in a cream form, to be applied inside the ear, as opposed to the pills.

Why? Why can't anything be simple?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Parenthood

My favorite movie of all time is Parenthood.

It always has been, ever since I saw it as a teenager. I made my mother watch it, only she started it on the wrong side of the laser disc so she it didn't quite have the same effect on her. But for me, this movie had everything. Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves, and a happy ending where everyone got a baby as a party favor.

I still love this movie, even if Steve has told me he will never watch it with me again, because the way I cry at the end makes him nervous.

As a parent, different parts of this movie come back to me in different forms. Maybe it's wanting to shelter my children from information that I know will hurt them. Maybe it's wanting them to succeed. Maybe it's defending them to other parents. Most recently I've been reminded of the scene in the principle's office, where the parents of a nine-year-old have been informed that their child will need Special Ed. After a pause, Steve Martin stands up, points directly at his wife and shouts "She smoked grass!"

Whenever one of my children acts out, is a little too active, a little slow to catch on, I wonder if it's something I did. He can't sit still? He has bad handwriting? He refuses to listen to the books in Storytime? I should have practiced writing with him more. I should have let them play with crayons and markers at a younger age. I shouldn't have watched hours of ER when he was only months old. We should have sold the TV. It's because I had that glass of wine when I was pregnant. It's because I refused to give up lunch meats and diet soda and the chemicals affected his development in the womb.

The articles and press out there don't do anything to put my mind a ease. They simply keep saying these are terrible things to do, and can harm your infant. So how do I know it's not my fault? I don't. I just don't.

Twenty years later, Ron Howard decided to put this movie into a a TV series. Parenthood is on NBC Tuesday nights. At first I was horrified and refused to have anything to do with this show because I thought it would make me unfaithful to the movie. The cast was different, I never liked that actress anyway, and it made me feel old.

But I was too curious, and now I love it. Sure, the series can be predictable and all that, but in between the necessary plot moments are actual parenting choices and decisions and struggles. There are no babies, just preschoolers, but I've gotten to the point where I can really appreciate parents being portrayed as more than just parents. More than mothers and fathers who know best or know everything, but as human beings who sometimes have no idea what the heck they're doing, but do it anyway.

If I said I liked it more than American Idol, would it make me look old?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

zombie

Monday I took Andy to the doctor. He had Strep Throat, too. How was I to know that's what he meant when he told me his mouth hurt?

The church choir I'm in is also participating in a performance in a little more than a week. (May 21st, 7:30om) It's a concert in memory of a young woman who was killed earlier this year, and the proceeds are going to a domestic violence prevention group or alliance. Or something.

You can see I haven't got it all together. In fact, I'm exhausted. I'm going to extra rehearsals and trying to remember to dose out the pink stuff and juggling the cat's thyroid medication while trying to convince Steve that it's necessary. I'm trying to plan a kid's birthday party (Nick), can't figure out why yesterday's video isn't working, and I'm probably fighting off Strep myself, but I'm also stupidly determined to keep running (despite my knee getting wonky again) and pulling out the brambly brushy Audry 2 beings in the yard.

So... yes. I'm tired and cranky and I look like the undead. And I forgot to post yesterday. Shoot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Let Me Explain

I feel I have to clear up something, or a few somethings, from my last post.

First of all, yes, THAT French teacher totally talked about his love life, all in the past tense. Even then. It was painful for everyone.

Secondly, I didn't mean to offend anyone, especially not my mother, when I was spoke about wanting to get far, far away from home. I think wanting to put distance between one's self and one's mother is a natural thing. My point was that, once I had a child, and each day as I raise these children, I understand more and more of where she was coming from and why she did the things she did. She is also the only person I can speak to about certain child related things. I'm getting off topic. The point was, the post was supposed to be POSITIVE, and in no way bad, so I apologize if anyone took it as such. Especially my mom.

I am aware that my posts aren't always well written, and that they are frequently abrupt or seem incomplete. Or random. There is a good reason for that. See, most of these posts are written as I'm cooking dinner or giving the kids a bath. When I'm cooking I'm probably burning something, and trying to convince a child he'd rather be in the living room. When the kids are in the bath I'm dodging the drops of water they are spitting at each other and pushing a boys back in the tub with my foot. "I'll be done in two minutes! Get back in. The water's not THAT cold!"

There simply isn't enough time in the day for me. I heard someone describe this as "doing a little of a hundred things, but not much of anything." And sitting down for twenty minutes to think and type really is asking a lot. Sorry if it makes the reading more difficult. I'll keep working at it.

In the meantime, here's Andy eating a snicker's bar.
video

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mama, A Rainbow

We were invited to an Art Show at Nate's classroom last week, in honor of Mother's Day. It was really quite brilliant. The walls were covered in art projects from the students, each with a prominent signature, and each child had completed a masterpiece on an actual canvas. Every single one had a 1st place ribbon on it. Nate's was titled "Cactus In The Desert." Not that he's ever seen a desert.

One wall was covered in profiles of each child's mother, done in marker and yarn by respective children. And each of these had listed a few fact of each mother, as dictated by each child to a scribe. My name is Cathlene. I am fifteen years old. I have black hair and black eyes. I enjoy working out and doing dishes.

Mothers are curious things. We don't see them as people. When we're children they are simply our mothers, and we rarely question where they came from or who they were before we came along. Oddly, mothers are often judged by their children in a way that most fathers are not, even today. You might think I'm projecting here, but I honestly don't think I am.

I think I was always getting ready to walk away and leave my mother behind me. I just wanted to be grown up and not have to talk to her anymore. I never appreciated my mother until I became one. It took months of sleep deprivation and changing diapers to get to "Oh Me God! She did this Five Times!"

And being a parent is really... I can't say it's the hardest thing I've ever done because I took French Lit. AP, and that class was Right After Lunch, which left me clawing my arms to stay awake while the teacher discussed Moderato Cantabile, Baudelaire, and his love life. But it's hard. It's so hard to care so much about other human beings who have so much faith in you to do the right thing all the time. It's hard to make right decisions when they feel wrong. It's hard to know you've made the wrong ones and can't turn back the clock. You know those moments in your life when you're wondering what the right thing to do is? You just aren't sure? Now imagine you're talking about a four year old who isn't you.

As a parent, I look back and wonder what my mother was thinking. I realize that sometimes, when she flipped out (No Dick Tracy!) she probably had a reason to. I am so glad that I have her to talk to, to turn to, and to rely on. Even if we don't see eye to eye on everything, I need her in my life.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Milestone


Nathan has Strep Throat. Poor guy. I picked him up from school Wednesday and he had a fever. But otherwise he seemed fine. It wasn't until this morning that I realized he wasn't really eating and refused to drink water because "it hurts my throat." And sure enough...

I used to get this three times a year, but this is the very first time any of my kids have had it. Please, please let it not spread. I don't want to have to go back to that doctor's office. And I don't want to get sick, either. Because I've tried to stay home from work, but I have demanding clients.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Andy


Andy isn't a baby anymore. He spent time outside today telling me what he was hearing (a truck, birds, a duck). He likes to play Bakugan with his brothers - he's always Marucho. And he'll even play by himself, speaking to himself and his stuffed animals, imagining things.

How could I have let this happen?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Good Grief


Nick's first T-Ball game was tonight. The day had been mostly sunny and very warm, so even though the wind picked up a little bit as we left the house I didn't worry about the weather.

By the time we reached the park, the rain was coming down in buckets and the wind was making the trees sway more than I thought they could. We waited at the field while the rain fell, thinking maybe it would back off, or just stop. Because sometimes rain does that here.

But it didn't. As team after team gave up and called their games, SUV after SUV pulled out of the parking lot and back onto the now soaking road.

Nick was very disappointed. He was really looking forward to playing his first game. So I gave him my cell phone so he could call Steve and let him know we were on our way home.

It was a pretty harsh storm. Two houses down a big old tree fell right in their front yard. I was happy we had power, because I know other people lost theirs.

But here's the thing: IT HAD STOPPED RAINING. The gale force winds had died down and the clouds had begun clearing out, letting the sun through. It does that sometimes, here.

As I hopped out of the car to get the mail, which was soaking wet because some kids knocked the door off the mailbox and we've been too lazy to replace it, I reminded Nick that I needed my phone back.

"I know," he said. "I just really liked talking on your cell phone."

And then, as I was just almost out of hearing range, "I wish I had my own cell phone!"

Please. Can we at least wait until he's ten before having this fight?

Monday, May 03, 2010

A Minute Of Nathan

Nathan can be loud and quite a handful. But he can also spend quite a bit of time entertaining himself. Like this:

video

PS - I'll start posting more photos! I promise!

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Summer Days

It was in the 80's today. I wore shorts. I haven't worn shorts in years, I think. Not in public. Not when it counts. I have funny knees and unfortunate legs.

I also went into the closet to pull out clothing for the boys. I let them pick out summer pyjamas, and made a discovery: Nicholas has no summer pyjamas. None. Nate has a few good things he can wear, although they all seem to have shrunk. And Andrew has hundreds of items to choose from. But Nick... I'm going to need to take his shopping.

And I think I'm going to try and take him alone. That way, I won't be tempted to buyextra things for the boys who don't need them.

Well...

OK, so I'll be tempted. And I probably will end up buying each boy at least one new thing. But at least I won't have to listen to them beg.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Batter Up!

We signed Nick up for T-ball.

I was the only kid in our family who did not play little league. Not because my parents were mean or loved me less, but because I had absolutely no interest in it whatsoever.

But with Nick, it's different. For one thing, he's younger than any of my siblings were when they played. He's just five. That's why this is T-ball instead of baseball, and why they hit off a T instead of pitching.

Also, each of my brothers and sisters had some previous experience with baseball before jumping in to play. I mean, they knew the basics of the game, and could pretty much throw and catch a ball.

Nick, poor little Nick, had just me and Steve to teach him. I was unable to teach the boys how to throw and catch a beach ball. Baseballs or even those wiffly balls never even made it into the equation. And batting... well, the boys use their bats as swords. So most of the time I'm taking them away, not showing them how to put their weight into a swing.

So... here we are. Nick now goes to T-ball practice about eight times a week. He loves it, and he's doing a good job learning. He loves batting, and so far he knows which hand his glove goes on, although today he did turn it the wrong way trying to catch the ball. The kids out there are really cute, and the coaches are really patient. I'm glad we got to sign Nick up, and I think he is, too.

But it has taken over our lives. The practices are every other day, but it feels as though we are always there. I can't get Nick's team shirt laundered in time for his next practice. And the timing... they take place after work, obviously, at the time of day we used to call "Dinner Time." During the weekends the practices are conveniently at "Lunch Time" or "Nap Time" and the whole day feels as though each event were put in a shaker and them poured out onto the table in a random order.

I know this is just the dawn of an era, and that each activity from now on will push back bedtime and supper time and any time I Steve and I have to ourselves at the end of the day. But I suppose that's part of the game, isn't it? Batter Up!