Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gunther Goof

Gunther is afraid of thunder.

This isn't unusual for dogs, I know. Many dogs are traumatized by loud noises. When I was small my parents had an english sheepdog who used to run away every Fourth of July.

In the past, Gunther has tried to climb into the bed with us. He has forced himself between my legs and the toilet when I use the bathroom. He has flat out refused to go out and do his own business.

Steve was away the last time we had a thunder storm. It wasn't a very bad storm, but it did have a lot of rain. When I woke in the morning, the sun was out, and I got ready for my run. I laced my running shoes and realized something was different. Where was Gunther?

Well, he was under the bed. Gunther used to climb under our bed quite often. We finally chased him out because he kept scratching and our mattress would get thumped from underneath. So I really didn't think anything of it when I saw him there, other than he usually follows me around in the morning, determined that this be the day I would feed him before my run.

An hour later, I climbed the steps to the rest of the house. The boys were awake and playing in the living room. But Gunther was nowhere. "Where is the dog?" I asked. The boys shrugged.

The dog was under the bed. Whining. And stuck.

Yes, he was stuck under the bed. I have no idea how he got under there, but he couldn't manage to crawl out without scraping his back on the frame, and apparently it was too painful for him, because he kept backing up.

I had to lift the bed frame, which is kind of heavy, to let him climb out.

He was too embarrassed to thank me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nicholas - 7 Years Old


Once, in a college directing class, I did a scene where I played a mother. Not being a mother myself, I didn't quite grasp what this woman was going on and on about. "I remember you when you wore tutus and danced around the yard," and "I remember when you were a cheerleader and wore the same uniform for a year straight and refused to say more than two words to me" and so on. The idea was that this parent was unable to look at her daughter and see just her daughter. She saw all of her, her whole life, from the time she was small to the present moment.


It's kind of like that scene from "Father Of The Bride" (remake) when Steve Martin sits down to dinner and this little girl in pigtails says "Daddy! I met a man in Rome and we're going to get married!"

When I think of Nicholas, I still think of this little round baby. A toddler, really. And even though I know in my mind that he is much older than that, it's sometimes hard for me to get into that gear. Its not denial, it's just time getting away from me. Like being surprised at the Holiday decorations in the store, or writing 1997 on a check for no good reason.

Every year this weekend comes around and I think to myself that Nick hasn't changed that much. He couldn't possibly have grown that much, or learned that much. He couldn't be as old as he is. Because I have definite memories of when I was that old, and I didn't feel like a baby, I felt like a person.

This is when I'm forced to realize that he actually HAS grown in so many ways. He is changing constantly, as we all are. There is absolutely nothing I can do to stop this. Once it is begun, all you can do is encourage and point out the direction, and hope it's the right way. Like it or not, he is well on his way to growing up.

When I see Nicholas, I see how far he has come. I am proud that he is the boy that he is. I love every single thing about him, from his fear of bees to his obsession with his stupid video games. He is a caring, funny, and opinionated individual that I am grateful for every day.


Happy 7th Birthday, Nicholas.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Andy Update

Andrew went to the orthopedist for his follow up appointment.

He had new x-rays taken, and then we once again waited for what seemed like forever until the doctor came in, squeezed Andy's shoulder, told us it looked good, and then asked us to come back AGAIN in another two weeks.

Ugh. Another appointment, another $45 co-pay. It's so irritating.

I do see the logic, though, in making sure things are going well and healing correctly while there might be time to correct things.

Also, Andy is now allowed to remove the sling while sleeping, and while eating! That's almost half the time. Not only does that mean he gets to start using his arm a little, it means I get to WASH THE SLING! Let me tell you, after 2 weeks, this sling needed a wash.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Burned By A Bush

It's been hot here for the past few days. HOT. That's the way it is in New England. It's cold until someone flips the "summer" switch and suddenly we've got humidity, 80 degrees, and mosquitoes everywhere.

Anyway, once the world started drying out a little, I decided to work in the yard a little.

Every year I decide that THIS is the year I will fix up our yard. I recently read (in a Yahoo! article) that landscaping of the homes surrounding yours could affect your home's value. Of course, being me, I didn't think of the 20 cars parked next door, or the house a few doors over that has been under construction for over a year, or even the one down the street that looks like it might be perpetually preparing for a yard sale that never happens. No, I thought of our awful lawn, and how the mulch near our trees has washed away so you could see the lining, and how that tree at the foot of the driveway is dying, and how me might possibly be affecting the collective value of our neighborhood.

Because it's all about me.

Anyway, I made this the year to do yardwork I have been putting off.

One thing I've been wanting to do is remove one of these bushes at the foot of the driveway. There are two, and they have gotten so big that one is crowding a smaller tree. The tree has pretty pink flowers when it blossoms, but it's stopped. I think this might be because of the salt from the road, but it might also be because of the bush crowding it.

So the other day I went out and started lopping off branches. And for ten minutes I thought it would be a fast job.

Until I got all the branches off and was left with just the stump.

It's not a huge stump, but it's thick. And deep. I couldn't dig the roots out. So I decided to saw it off as low as I could. But then I realized that I was sweating and my arms were shaking, and that I could hardly walk. Perhaps I shouldn't have gone for my run before doing this?

The next day I went out with the only hand saw I could find. Two hours later, I stopped. Again, my arms were shaking. The stump wasn't even sawed halfway through.

It's still there. The stump, I mean. I've cleared away the branches, and it looks... tended to, but it isn't the clear ground I was hoping for. I'm not quite sure what to do about it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some Spring

I could really use a good warm sunny day about now.

Just sayin'

What I want to do is to have a couple of extra days to spend as I will. I would like to do ALL the yardwork, all the weeding and mulching and trimming of hedged and pulling up of the thorny brush. Then I would like to move indoors and go through all of the toys, creating boxes and shelves as needed out of thin air - real ones, not flimsy things that the boys will rip or break. And then my house will be neat, and my yard will be neat, and I will feel as though I have some sort of order and control in my life.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Things We Do

Parents do stupid things for their children.

Our church is almost ten miles away from our house. This past Sunday, I drove us all home, and as I pulled into the driveway Nick began to wail. "I left my box! I left my special box at church!"

That would be another ten miles there, and another ten miles back, for a decorated shoebox full of pokemon cards and happy-face stickers.

Of course I did.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Kind Of Apology

You have probably noticed that my posts through phases of getting more philosophical, abstract, theoretical, vague... I will have a couple of weeks with photos and actual stories of thing that my kids said or did, and then I will have a couple of weeks of blah blah blah fluff and filler. Sometimes life is more interesting than at others. Sometimes I sleep better the night before I write my posts. Who knows.

So this is my kind-of-apology for not having cute photos and / or anecdotes this week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What I meant to say...

I am a little embarrassed by my post on Sunday. I meant for the post to be about one thing, but it ended up being about something completely different. I have my excuses. I woke too early. I wrote the post too early. I had a cold and a cold-medicated sleep hangover.

No, instead, I was supposed to write a different embarrassing post.

I am going to get kind of weird here, in a moment. Sorry.

The post was supposed to be about people, and how we live our lives. Although few people actually believed the world was going to end, I watched (on TV) a few people get stopped on the street and asked what they would do with their last day.

And of course the answers were stupid. "Um... hang out with friends, I guess?" and "Shop!" I rolled my eyes. But honestly, I couldn't have given a better answer. There is no answer.

Some people actually believe they will be judged at the end of their lives, or the end of the world. Many do not. I do not, personally, believe this. Of those who believe, many might insist that this way of thinking, the thought that they will be called on their life's actions, keep them good and virtuous, and provide a sense of morality. I am not a believer. I do not think that anyone is waiting at the end of my life with a report on my rights and wrongs. But I do think that I make efforts to live my live in a way that is fair to all people and creatures. This is not something I need a book or a creed to explain to me, but something I feel in my heart.

I don't think I said what I mean to say. But before my theology vs. humanist opinion bit run amok, I stop here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tip


Once I get my hair cut or trimmed, I should never, ever wash it.

And if I do, I should never sleep on it wet.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm Still Here

I didn't mention it beforehand, but now that it is May 22nd and I am still here, and no one has been Raptured, I want to just a couple of things.

OK, first of all, I need to say that I didn't really think the world was going to end yesterday. Mom, you can breathe, it's OK. I also don't personally believe there is such a thing as The Rapture.

But I do hold, in my heart, a sense of something more than myself. A sense of mystery and gratitude. What the heck does this mean?

Well, it means that yesterday, as I was scratching in my yard, trying to figure out how to apply mulch, ruining my fingernails and one of my 2 pairs of good jeans, and sneezing up a storm because I have my annual spring cold, I listened to my boys play. The game they were playing was complicated, and it involved bad guys, flipping a frisbee, running down the driveway, and arguing non-stop over who's turn it was.

"The world could end right now," I thought. "If the world ended right now, I would be at peace."

And before you jump all over me, no, I didn't expect the world to end. Even if there were a rapture I'm sure I'd be here to see the sun rise. More importantly, the feeling didn't last. I woke this morning with bad hair. I yelled at my kids before dinner. The world still has troubles, some that can't be seen for red political tape. But I had that moment.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Forget Me!


Nathan has been getting jealous.

I can tell because he's starting to dress funny.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Andy

I keep trying to take a good picture of Andrew with his arm in a sling, but it's rather difficult. For one thing, he doesn't stay still for long. Add to that the fact that he doesn't always seem to be wearing pants, and my acceptable photograph window narrows even further.

The biggest problem I have been having with Andy these days, aside from battling over milk consumption, is his sling.

Andrew's arm is tiny, because it is three years old. Putting it in a sling is kind of like putting curtains up in a dollhouse. You need small and nimble fingers. And Andrew does his best, all day long, to pretend he isn't wearing a sling. The first few days he wore it I kept finding him using both hands, the sling pushed back behind his elbow.

So I have been pinning the sling to his shirt.

This keeps his arm in place much more effectively than the sling alone. It isn't perfect, though. It only takes a few seconds for his shirt to creep around. The buttons on his button downs are suddenly going down his right side. But it's better than nothing, right?





video

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meanwhile...

Just because your brother's arm is in a sling doesn't mean the rest of the world comes to a stop.

Nope, life goes on. Teeth fall out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Impatient

For days Nathan has been asking me to teach him to play this song on the piano. It's a hard song, one of the last few pages in Nick's book. I tried explaining this to him, but he was adamant. So I gave in, thinking he might actually be able to do some of it?

I was wrong. Nathan gave it one go, made a mistake, and started sobbing. I think he thought he would just be able to sit down and bang it out. And of course nothing on this earth is like that. He was so disappointed, it broke my heart. I tried convincing him to try an easier song, but he really really wanted something that - get ready for it - Nick couldn't do! That's right. He wants to out do his brother.

Oh, Brother.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Terrible Tuesday

In honor of Tuesday, I'm going to post about last week.

Last Tuesday was scheduled to be a busy, busy day. Well, afternoon, anyway. Nate had to be at a Kindergarten orientation at 4pm, and also at Karate. Then there was a 45 minute break before a T-ball game, and an hour after the first pitch I had to be 20 minutes away at a church board meeting. To do all this, I needed Steve's help, two cars, someone else to make dinner, and possib;e a cloning device to replicate our popular and busy 5-year-old.

The morning was calm, until it was time to leave for gymnastics class (a morning class so I didn't mention it above). I could not find my car keys. I looked and looked but couldn't find them. So I grabbed the spare set and headed out with Nate and Andy. But then the car door wouldn't open. I meant he automatic open button. I had to manually open the car door. Can you believe it? What is this, 1993?

Anyway, as soon as I got in the car, I found my keys. In the ignition. Where I had left them. And not in the off position, either, apparently, because the car was dead dead dead. It wouldn't even make a noise or a sputter. And it was all my fault. And that afternoon we needed needed two cars.

Lucky for me, I married a car guy. Steve was able to plug the car in to this digital charger thingy, and after a few hours, the car was fine. I took the boys to gymnastics in his car - glad I didn't miss the class, all things considered, as it was Andrew's last of the year.

But there is always the chance that a recharged car battery will fail again, right? So I made sure to charge my cell phone and bring it with me to the Kindergarten Orientation with Nathan.

Steve to Nick to Karate. When I walked out the door, he was on the phone with work, and Andrew and Nicholas were both crying because they wanted to go to the Kindergarten Orientation, too. And I had had a conversation with Steve about getting pizza and meeting him someplace, but I wasn't sure if it was the pizza place or back home...

After the orientation, I tried to call Steve. But my phone has no service. It had no service at the school, or at the stoplight, or all the way home. And when we got there, of course Steve was waiting for us at the pizza place. I called his cell from the house phone. He suggested I turn my cell phone off and on again.

I drove Nate to the T-ball field in a drizzling rain, hoping hoping the game would get rained out because it was cold and Andrew had been wearing shorts. Of course it wasn't. I ate a couple of slices of pizza Steve had for me and Nate. I gave Andy my sweatshirt so he would be a little warmer. I saw the start of the game before dashing off to the church meeting.

Ten minutes into the meeting my cell phone rang. And that would be Steve telling me I had to come home and take Andy to the ER.

So all in all, it was not a good day. I hope this Tuesday is better than that one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Andy's Arm

At the ER, we were told that we should expect Andrew to be in a sling from 6 to 8 weeks. Less than 48 hours later, the orthopedist amended that to 3 to 4 weeks. See, in small children, the bones are not fully formed. They are still mostly cartilage and are more flexible. Instead of an outright break, like with a pencil, young bones bend, like with a healthy tree branch. Andy's bone bent, and then bounced back into shape, but through the miracle of magical and movable x-ray machines, they can tell it was broken.

Andy's arm hurts him. I had high hopes the first two days after it happened. Wednesday all Andy did was watch TV, and on Thursday I worked in my vegetable patch and he felt good enough to play outside with Nate.

I shouldn't have let him. I think he over did it.

Friday morning, Andrew woke up crying. And he fussed and whined and cried for hours. He begged me to let him go to school, but there was no way I could see that happening. I couldn't even get him dressed. See, Andrew is a little opinionated when it comes to his clothing. I suggested a button down shirt. He refused. I couldn't very well force him into it, because Andrew's shoulder is so sore that touching him or moving him the wrong way hurts him a lot. Instead, Andy kept picking out small and tight t-shirts. To wear them, he would have to wriggle into them. I tried to put them on him, but even putting the one sleeve on this arm made him cry, and then he refused to bend his head to get it into the neck of the shirt. For twenty minutes I begged and cried and coaxed and he cried and yelled and screamed, and we were both sobbing and I was wondering if we could just keep him topless and stay indoors until he was healed.

Then I went to take the fastest shower of my life, and while I did, Andy used the toilet. But he always lifts the seat, and so he kind of fell in. Not that he noticed. But when he was done, his shirt was soaking wet, and I had to put a new one on him. AAaagh!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blogger Goes Down, Deletes Andy's Announcement

So... Blogger kind of sucked over the past few days. It went down. I guess all sites are obligated to go down every once and awhile. Nothing works perfectly.

But I had updated some posts, and in the hiccup, one post was published at a later date but not edited, and the other was simply not published at all, even though it was "scheduled" to be published on Thursday...

It was all kind of irritating to me because, for once, I had something to say. As most of you know by now, Andrew fractured his clavicle. Or broke his collarbone. Whichever. He fell off a park bench at a T-ball game. He needs all kinds of attention and extra help now, getting dressed, brushing teeth, using the bathroom. I never realized how much he used both arms to climb into chairs. The last few days have been emotional and sad and really frustrating.

I do have to say, though, that people have been great. Not only have people sent Andy things, reached out to me wishing him a speedy recovery, but some folks on facebook have actually given me some good advice, sent along wishes, etc. It's like having a cheering section in life. Their messages don't help in a tangible way, but they sure make me feel better, and then I'm better able to help Andy brush his teeth and explain to him why he can't ride his scooter with his brothers in the driveway.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Cut

Well, up here, things get greener in the spring.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Word From Andy

Five seconds after I filmed this I told him it was going to rain and we couldn't go outside to play with the plane, and he cried.


video

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Audio Book By It's Cover

When I was driving down to New York a couple of weeks ago, I picked up some audio books for the drive.

Side note: "Audio Book" is awkward for me to say. I really liked "Books On Tape" only now there is no more tape and everything is either on CD or just goes right onto your ipod from itunes. You know? Like, freaky. I still sometimes say "book on tape."

I picked up two I thought the boys would like. The Magic Treehouse, and Percy Jackson And The Lighting Thief. I really liked Percy Jackson, by the way.

I also picked up a grown-up audio book. Only I didn't have time to browse, so I had to quickly just grab something off the shelf based on the cover and the title and the few words I could read of the description before Andy ran out the front door.

My taste in books is a little strange. I like a lot of different things. But in books read aloud, I prefer something gripping. I like something that would make a good B movie.

When I read a description of people disappearing off a plane, I snatched it up. Half the people on the plane just vanishing? Sounds good.

But the book wasn't what I expected.

Days later, I started telling Steve about it. "So I thought it would be interesting," I said. "A bunch of people vanish off a plane. It's called Left Behind-"

"Wait," Steve says. "Isn't this a Kirk Cameron movie?"

Yes. Yes it is. I was picturing ghosts, aliens, or vampires. But no, I picked a book about The Rapture. A well known book, in fact. The first in a series of sixteen books. And a Kirk Cameron movie.

Oddly, The Rapture to me is just about as likely as zombies rising from the grave or aliens landing and abducting or destroying half the population. So it's still working for me. As a book on tape. Or science fiction.

There are a lot of other things I could say here, but I would probably offend somebody, so I'm going to just leave this with my awkward and odd choice of listening material.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad Mood

I was in a bad mood for days.

Before Mother's Day, I mean.

I don't know how it began. There was no reason for it. My day would start, I would go through the motions, and I would try to jolly myself into being happy. I would run, make breakfast for the kids, and suddenly STOP POKING YOUR BROTHER IN THE FACE! What is WRONG With You? Just SIT DOWN! CAN'T YOU JUST SIT DOWN! DOG GO AWAY! NO THROWING FOOD! AGHHHHHHH!

Yes. Meltdown. Before 8am. Usually not a good sign.

I hate myself when I do this, because I can hear myself, and I sound like a not-nice person. I sound like the kind of person you want to shut up and go away and not come back. And every single time I yell and scream, I tell myself it is the last time. I will find some other way of dealing with the problem. Some other, not thought of yet, but more effective and less likely to make me hate myself way of getting the boys to act more like human beings and less like wild un-named creatures who live in trees found only in Martian Forests.

I tell you this only because I am better now. And although you may be tired of reading her, I am not. Have another Hyperbole and a half. The Hate Spiral. This was ME!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mother's Day - The Aftermath

I had an absolutely wonderful weekend.

Saturday, I went to New York with Lillian, and her sister Nancy, and Nancy's daughter (Steve's cousin - are you keeping up?) Alicia.

Alicia planned this trip to New York to visit the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. She thought it up weeks and weeks ago, and I wasn't sure it was going to happen, but then, as we got closer, it looked like it was happening! And then it did.

We took a train to Penn Station early in the morning. Four hours and change later, we were in New York. The time on the train was spent reading, chatting, playing cards, playing video games (me! OK it was me!) and looking out the window. It was NOT spent changing lanes, stopping to use the bathroom, or wondering if the other way would have had less traffic.

And then we were in New York. We saw a lovely exhibit - worth seeing, I thought, especially the little cigarette cases and what-nots - and did a lot of walking. We saw my parents for five minutes, and then had a great dinner and hopped on a train home.

This was such a great day in New York. It somehow made it feel a lot closer than it had before. I could make a day trip to see my parents! How wonderful! How magical! Maybe more expensive, but whatever.

Sunday was Mother's Day. Steve' woke up with the kids. We sang a song at church that I love and always makes me cry (note - not this version,a choir version, but it is the same song.) Lillian came over and Steve made a roast and we had lunch and ice-cream cake. He folded laundry. He gave the kids a bath. I got to do whatever I wanted, which was to drink wine and comment on people's facebook status. Stati? Whatever. I don't think I said anything inappropriate.

I am such a lucky lady.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I appreciate my mother more and more each day.

Each day as I sink further and further into the insanity of parenthood.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Doggie Daze




I may have mentioned my little trip to the vet a couple of weeks ago. When we came home, I had to put Gunther in a cone. You know, a collar shaped like a cone to keep himself from licking his leg. A huge one, like a huge lampshade, because he has long legs.

He happened to be on the staircase landing when I cornered him and put the darn thing on. The cone was so amazingly huge that it hit the bottom step whenever he tried going up the stairs. Gunther couldn't figure out that all he had to do was lift his head, and instead believed it was an invisible barrier suddenly preventing him from moving. He also refused to go DOWN the stairs, probably because he couldn't see the step he was aiming for.

We had to show him how to go up and down the steps. For the next few days, Gunther sulked. He stayed flat on the ground, lifting his head only when we forced him outside or filled his food bowl. When he ate, the cone would cover the whole bowl and touch the floor, creating a seal between cone and floor, completely enveloping both dog-head and bowl.

By the time we got back from New York, Gunther was over it. He seems to have forgotten, actually, that he was ever without the cone in the first place. He scratches his head, making a huge plastic scrapy sound, and it foes on for minutes at a times. He pushes through doorways and between legs, scraping things and people and children aside as he passes. He barges through doors before they are open all the way, sometimes keeping me from opening it further at all, and creating another Invisible Barrier.

The cone is now so dirty from being licked and drooled on and puked in and rolled around in the outside dirt, I can hardly stand it. I think I want it off more than Gunther. If that's possible. But it might be because he has forgotten he has it on.

And Gunther has become much more annoying than usual. I don't think he's doing it on porpose. He's just too stupid to realize he is bigger around the head than usual. Like a pregnant woman trying to slip between chairs at a restaurant. Not fitting.



Here is a link about a dog from Hyperbole and a Half. It's worth going to and reading all the way through, even though it may seem a little long. I thought it was long, too, but I was laughing before the end.

Because dogs? They are dumb.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Last Day

It rained on our last day in the city.

I took the boys to the planetarium.

It's at the Museum of Natural History. We got to see the space show, which I think the boys actually liked. At any rate, no one fell asleep this time.

The actual space stuff was a little to old for the boys, and it was getting crowded. We saw a few things in the main museum: animals, dinos, a huge whale. Then we met my mother for lunch.

We went to a place called Alice's Tea Cup. And if you are ever in New York, you should go here. It's not fancy, but it's fun. The boys had hot chocolate. My tea smelled like flowers. My tuna sandwich was wonderful, and Nick's BLT had thick cut bacon and a very thin smear of blue cheese. The tea cups don't match, and the service was less than speedy. But it was so nice. I'm going again. Next time I'm having High Tea.

Our issue was that we each ordered dessert. Including the boys. And then Andrew fell asleep. And then we ate his dessert, too. And Mom and I also helped Nick with his. And then we got some cupcakes to take home. And I ate too much. The End.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Larissa

I saw my friend Larissa the night of the Bronx Zoo.

I hadn't seen her in years. It happens, I suppose, when you grow up and then both of you move away. She is on a different coast. And we never seem to be in New York at the same time.

I was so, so glad to have the chance to catch up with her. It wasn't enough time, though.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bronx Zoo

I have wanted to take the boys to the Bronx Zoo for years.

Actually, I've wanted to take the boys ever since our LAST trip. We went there either a day before or after the photo to This Post was taken. I went to NY with Lillian, but then the boys got sick. And of course the day I wanted to go they seemed fine, so we went. With my brothers and my dad. And it was a rushed trip, and kind of awkward. And the boys were SO young...

If you are planning on going to the Bronx Zoo sometimes soon, buy your tickets online. There is a discount on total experience tickets. And they are worth it.

Instead of listing everything, I'm just going to post photos. They don't include the Dora and Diego 4D adventure, which was also fun, but they will give you some idea.







See? Nick can hardly keep his shirt on.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Day 1 Part 2

After the Central Park day, I went out for Thai food with Linda and Anne-E and Jamie. Jamie suggested good food, and ordered in Thai.

Is it strange that I get proud because my brother orders his food in Thai? I do. He rocks.

And then Anne-E left. But Linda and Jamie and I went out for Margaritas! At the crazy Margarita place. They have 25 flavors. It's like ice-cream. The individual margarita actually looks like a sundae. But is so, so much better.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Central Park

I was going to take the kids to the planetarium on our first day in NY, but then I realized it was a beautiful day, and it was going to rain on Thursday.

So instead, we went to Central Park.

We rode the carousel. All of us.

We walked to a playground I played in when I was a kid in school. Only then Andy said he had to pee. I followed a woman who had a child dancing the dance, but it turned out she was just leading him over to a quiet spot so he could pee in a plastic bag. You know, instead of putting performance information on those bulletin boards at playgrounds, they should post something about the closest rest rooms.

Anyway, the trees were flowering, and the air was warm. The East Green was covered in flower petals, and the boys wanted to play there more than the playground. It was beautiful. We ate hot dogs from a cart for lunch. And then we got ice creams. And then we went to the boat basin, and Nick's ice cream fell.

And then Nick cried because I wouldn't buy him a second ice cream, and then Andy cried because he didn't eat his snow cone fast enough and it melted all over his pants and I made him throw the rest away. And then I tried to take the kids to the bathroom but they refused to use such a dirty toilet. And there were no paper towels there so I had to clean Nick's face by splashing water on it, so he cried more.

And then I told Nick that if he didn't stop crying, someone was going to accidentally push him in the water. And it would be me. That didn't help.

We were at the Alice statue, and Nick finally let it go to climb all over it. And then we took a cab back.


But wait, because that was only the first part of the day.

Then we went shopping with my mother, and we lost Andy at a t.j. maxx. Suddenly I turned and he was gone. GONE. I went back, but I just didn't see him, and he didn't answer me, and so instead of wandering the store shouting "ANDY? ANDY?" like a madwoman, I walked up tot he cashier and announced that I lost my three-year-old, and the shut the store down in less than ten seconds. A guy with tatoos was suddenly there asking me what he looked like. "It's OK, I'm security," he said. And then I turned around and Mom had Andy. Who had been found by a lady in the women's underwear department, and who chewed out my mother for not holding his hand.

But, you know, two adults, three kids, all of us disoriented in the store... things happened.

We then went to a different store, where my mother purchased shorts and t-shirts for the boys. It was hot, see, and I hadn't been expecting it when I packed for our trip.

Only Nick, his face still stained with ice cream, purchased a toy with his allowance, and Andy, sweating and nap deprived, began crying because he had no toy. Nick then started swinging the bag with his new toy around in large circles. And Nate started jumping up and down the stairs to the kids department. And this is when I looked up and saw a woman I used to know when we were kids. Someone who looks just perfect and is dressed perfectly and looks fantastic, and is just there to buy her little boy some shoes... only he's not there. Apparently we aren't all crazy enough to actually bring our own kids to the store. Some of us do, and we are sweating and disheveled.

And Andy is screaming louder and louder, and just as this woman walks away, Nate says "My nose is bleeding!" and blood starts pouring out. So Jamie (who we ran into on the street and forced to come with us) scoops him up and sprints back to the apartment. Because he rocks.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

We Were In New York

We went to New York.

It was a visit to my family, but everyone was working a bunch, including Steve, so I had the chance to take the kids out and do things. It was just us, and it was kind of nice. It's good to have company, and I always appreciate help with the boys, but it was refreshing to be out and about and not to have to worry that I was making anyone late for anything, or dragging someone along against their will. Other than my own kids.

I plan on detailing the trip day by day in photos and anecdotes. Be aware.

Day 1: we drive down.

It was just me and the kids, as Steve had to work. We left in the morning, and we made good time. But not good enough, apparently, for Nathan, who began asking if we were in New York before we had left Massachusetts. He asked every ten minutes. Until we got there. Not joking.

We also stopped at the Big McDonalds, which we had never been to before, due to the fact that it is off the highway. We came upon the exit at about 11:30 when I really needed to use the rest room, and I then had to let the kids climb up a three story structure and crawl along giant hamster tubes on the ceiling for 20 minutes. The kids loved it. They asked if we could go back.

And then I took the kids to the playground in Central Park. And it was HOT! It was so nice.