By Way of Updating

Been awhile.  It’s been pretty busy ’round about these parts.  As many of you know my grandfather died right before christmas, so plans changed for us.  My in – laws did not come down for the holiday as previously planned, so we had a quiet day with my parents and my brother took the train down – yay!!  We got the girls (and me, who am I kidding?) a Wii – it’s been a blast and led to some new nicknames – but more on that in a bit.  Emily kicked her uncle’s butt at bowling, which she reminded him of several days later at a New York thruway rest area.  There was a lot of snow on the ground, and she mentioned to him she’d like to have a snowball fight with him.  “I think I’d win that one, honey” he said.  “No way Uncle KB”, she replied, “I’ll kick your butt at that like I kicked your butt at Wii Boxing on christmas!”  Ah, the smack talk.  Gotta love it.
Anyway we all converged on a little town in western NY state on Dec. 28th for the memorial service, and saw a lot more family than we’ve seen in years.  At one point we were seated to eat after the service and Neve was across from my father.  She had been loading her plate repeatedly with massive quantities (she’s dangerous at buffets, clearly) and stuffing herself quite contentedly when she decided that she needed to suck a whole glass of milk into her mouth.  Her cheeks where puffed out hamster – like and she crossed her eyes trying to see them.  Then, in a moment which seemed to happen in slow motion, she took both of her hands and punched each cheek simultaneously, spewing milk out of her mouth and across the table onto my dad, who didn’t seem to know quite how to react. Her social graces did not improve any that evening back at my grandmother’s house, where she told my uncle he had “really long teeth”.
The next day we made our way east, both to drop my brother back home and to have a second christmas at my in – laws.  Truly it was a struggle for me not to ditch my husband at some filthy rusted out roadside rest off the Taconic Patkway.  By the time we go to Diana’s house to deposit Caleb I thought for sure I might consider a quiet life of devotion in some far flung nunnery in France (Nevermind that I’m not Catholic….).  But I didn’t, and I reminded him *nicely* that I had just lost a close relative, and we made it all the way to Long Island as a whole family unit ( and there are no roadside rests on the Taconic, it turns out).
As an aside, we did drive through the charming town of Norfolk, CT on the way, and I must say I wouldn’t mind running away and living there.  It was lovely.
The L.I. visit was low key and nice  (surprise!)  The girls had a lot to keep them occupied and I read 2 books!!!  And then the baby got sick.  She seemed to have caught the ick that Neve had the week before.  For 3 days we dealt with a sleepless, fussy, fevered baby. We decided to venture home New Year’s Eve, and after talking to her doctor felt we could wait until normal office hours for her to be seen.  Midnight on New Year’s we arrived home.  By 1 am we were back on the road, headed to the hospital.  They did every test they could and kept us until almost 9 am, but found nothing wrong.  She didn’t sleep any better that night, and I got her to her doctor the next day.  Clearly the ER doctor didn’t look very closely at her ears because she had a massive ear infection and a blister on her eardrum.  After about 12 hours on meds she was doing much better.  But I had gone many days with little to no sleep, so my immune system has been struggling to fight off the very same ick that has so afflicted Oona, and I hate to say it, but I think it’s about to really wallop me.
Thank goodness for the Wii.  It has kept my older girls nice and occupied.  Or maybe a little too occupied.  They were playing Wii tennis (and doing quite well, both of them) and I was so happy to see my girls playing together in this way.  I watched the screen as they hit the ball back and forth, back and forth.  Then it hapened.  Emily served a ball and Neve missed it.  We wathed on the screen as the ball sailed just past her racket and she lost.  Her mouth hung open a moment, and then she turned and kicked Emily in the shins.  It is for this reason that we have all taken to calling her “McEnroe”.
And so life is slowly returning to normal.  I have most of the xmas decorations packed up (still need to put the tree in the crawl space), and I have all of our suitcases emptied (no, I didn’t say I had all of our stuff put away….I just said our suitcases are empty).  Anticipating the illness which I can feel now seeping into my sinuses and joints I put clean sheets on the bed, made a big pot of chili and a pie so I don’t have to cook tomorrow, and I have my lounging clothes and sock yarn at the ready.  My playlist with The Vinyl Cafe is up and ready.  I am digging in and completely taking a freakin’ rest until I feel better.  And it’s a good thing.  After the stress of the last several weeks, the thought of having much to do makes me feel a bit hysterical.  And not in the funny ha ha way.
In fact, I think I’ll go get me some of that pie right now.

p.s. :If you’ve never heard Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Cafe, you’re missing out.  It’s a BBC Radio Canada show that rather hilariously chronicles a fictitious family’s misadventures. you can get the cd’s on Amazon, and if you’d like a listen, I have a few as well.

Sexist Pasta Measure

When I first moved out of my parents’ house I bought a spaghetti measure – you know that thing with the different sized holes that allows you to cook just enough spaghetti instead of always overdoing it (guilty)?
The one I bought had 3 holes: child, woman, adult

Because clearly a woman is not an adult

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to…………..what???????

This lack of sleep thing is killing me.  Have I started other blogs with that line?  That’s the problem – I can’t remember.  I’ve been walking into rooms with absolutely no idea why or for what.  I just got online, went to Google, and completely blanked.  Why am I at Google?  What was I going to look up?  Perhaps I should search “lack of sleep –  effects on the brain” or something along those lines.
I’ve been making lists lately, but that doesn’t help for two reasons:
1.  By the time I can remember where I left the paper and pen, I can’t remember half the things I meant to write
2.  I keep losing the lists

I’ve also been blanking in other ways.  Ever catch yourself staring into nothingness and you don’t know how long you’ve been that way?  Or, do you have days where you can’t remember if an experience you’re thinking about was something you actually experienced or was just a dream from the 30 minutes of sleep you got last night?  Do you call your kids by 4 different names before you get it right?  Have you ever tried to pay for medicine at the pharmacy with your Starbucks giftcard?  Have you ever almost left the house wearing your fuzzy bedroom slippers instead of your shoes?  Can’t remember if you’ve taken your pills for the day?
I know Paul has forgotten he was filling up a cup with water until it was flowing all over the counter – I’ve done it twice this week.

I know it sounds like I am trying to be funny………but this is truly a problem!!!!!!
I need sleep!!!!!!

I Have That Kind of Face………….

So I was going to say that I have that kind of face, apparently, that makes people comfortable approaching me and telling me random things.  But I was also thinking maybe it’s that I keep running into these people at our ghetto Food Lion and it is frequented by lonely people.  I don’t know.  It could also be that my kids are always causing such a commotion that you can’t help but notice me and the pained look on my face from trying to hold it together and not smack anyone.
When I was about 8 months pregnant  there was this old lady who chased me down in the parking lot to tell me  the story of this man she met who drove 2 hours to meet her and ended up spending the weekend with her and buying her lots of things (literally – she started talking to me as I exited the store, followed me all the way to my car, and kept putting her hand on my arm for emphasis when the story required it).  As I tried to get my bags into the trunk and get off my feet (I was in a lot of pain standing there, trying to be polite, but hoping that she might break out of her obliviousness and notice that I had a huge belly and a grimace of pain on my face) she assured me she wasn’t “that kind of lady”, that she normally doesn’t let a man she doesn’t know very well spend the night at her house, let alone the whole weekend.  But here it was her birthday, you see.  I can’t remember how old she said she was, I think it was 75 or so, and she was very proud of her age, and this was an older man who was very sweet on her, and she just wished her son wasn’t so upset about her weekend fling.  I wonder how many other people she ran down that day to tell that story to.  Apparently she was too embarrassed to tell her church friends (I guess I have that sinner look about me which suggests I wouldn’t find it shocking to sleep with a man on a first date.  Of course, I was pregnant……..)
Then the other day the lady behind me in line noticed Oona’s hat and asked me about it.  Then she told me her youngest was about a year old and she missed the days when she was just a tiny thing.  I made polite chatter about how fast they grow, and she proceeded to tell me her life story.  I couldn’t hear a lot of what she said because the cashier was also talking to me.  They didn’t seem to realize that they were both talking to me at the same time.
Then there’s the effect that taking your children out in public has.  People love to smile at babies, and laugh at the charming antics of little kids (not that mine are very charming very often…at least not to me).  And then…….then there’s the people who look at you in sympathy.  The ones that come right out and commend your bravery for hauling 3 little kids through a crowded grocery store like I did tonight.  There were a lot of older women there for some reason and I had a serious amount of compliments about my fortitude.  One woman took in the sight of me, Oona strapped to my chest, Neve screaming in the car cart, Emily sulking next to me, and just said “Wow!”  That’s when you know you’re not alone in this crazy thing called parenthood, that there are other people who know how it is.
What’s amusing to me is that I used to suffer from social anxiety in a big way but now I kind of enjoy it when people feel they can talk to me.
Except for that grizzled creepy old guy at the local fried chicken place down the road who made a pass at me as I was walking by him with lunch for myself and my family.  I’d rather he not talk to me.

Overheard on a Bus

Forgive me if I’ve told you this one before, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ve been trying to locate some of my old journals so I can relate funnier stories from my days as a transit bus driver. For now enjoy this one (which is courtesy of a good friend who was driving at the time).

Nurse 1: Hey thanks for the book – I can’t wait to read it!
Nurse 2: Sure! And I finished that one you gave me, by the way.
Nurse 1: Yeah? How’d you like it?
Nurse 2: It was pretty good. Not enough porn, though.

Yup. Them nurses and their porn!!!

Again With the Stupid

Ok so I think I have established that our dog Pippa is none too bright. Being half Setter may be part of her problem – her father is a very good natured but very slobbery “happy idiot”. But I digress.
Last night was cold. Last night Paul also reached 24 hours of no sleep. So he reached that magical time where your body tries to tell you, “Sleep!!!” and he got really worn down and cold. So he put on a hat. You know, just a skull cap style knitted affair in black. Nothing fancy.
Pippa went whacko. She started barking at him from down the hall. He tried talking to her “It’s me you dumb ass!”
She barked louder. He took off the hat. She stopped barking. He put the hat back on. She started barking and growling again. I called to her and she came in the kitchen with me. Paul approached and she started to slink down a bit and growl. So I held her collar and pet her while he approached so she could see and smell that it was, in fact, the man she adores. He got within arm’s distance, and she peed herself.
He left the hat off the rest of the night.