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.

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