Friday, February 29, 2008
The boys are looking forward to a change of scenery. Grandma and Poppy live just over 2 hours away, so it's not like we can make a day trip out of it. Jonathan has been bugging me ever since Monday, asking "Is it Friday yet?" He loves to visit Grandma - probably because there's always someone else to run to and look cute when he's getting into trouble with Mommy!
Mark and I kinda like to visit, too - we get a chance to have some "dates". My parents are usually happy to watch the kids while we go see a movie, or go shopping or just out for a nice lunch somewhere. Plus, my sister's going to be around - she's in the middle of a two-week vacation from work, so it's more like a house party! A kind of, CROWDED house party, but we manage. That's what family does.
So Happy Birthday, Ma and Grandma. We look forward to celebrating with you this evening! Now I must go pack!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Both recipes call for fresh rosemary. Of which, I happily have a nice pot of in my patio room. I just wander out there when I need a sprig of it and throw it right into my recipes at will. I usually give it a good rinse, but call my crazy - after all the stomach illnesses, I decided to really wash it good this time. So I got a bowl, filled it with water, threw in the half-dozen sprigs I picked and gave them a good swish and rinse. Tore the leaves off two stems and threw in another whole stem and let the whole mess simmer for a few hours. I was getting ready to put the tortellini in the pot, and getting ready to shape the foccacia for baking when I noticed something....horrifying. Bugs in the bowl. In the bowl of water where the rosemary for the foccacia was sitting. Lots of bugs, tiny, tiny little bugs. Then I looked at the pot of soup. Oh, gross.
Now, I'm SURE those bugs were, by this time, cooked down to nothing. And I'm pretty sure that we've eaten them by the hundreds since, well, I've had that plant for two years now. But I just couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to eat soup that I knew had cooked bugs in it. I'd be looking at every spoonful.
Dinner wasn't a complete disaster. I still had the tortellini, and I pulled out a jar of spaghetti sauce that I keep on hand for an occasion such as this. And the foccacia was okay, because I hadn't yet added the rosemary to that, so I made sure it was bug-free.
Yuck. I'll be more careful from now on! But for a few days after, and even still, I can't help but overly-inspect everything I stick in my mouth. And I happen to notice that my cereal, while certainly bug-free, looks curiously like what we spread in the garden in springtime. Kinda tastes like it too! What we don't do in the name of colonic health, huh?
Monday, February 25, 2008
1 child puking two days straight, holding down nothing, including water, resulting in:
1 trip to the emergency room for iv fluids and anti-nausea medication, a chest x-ray and umpteen blood tests.
1 husband sick with a 24 hour stomach virus with diarrhea, with a fever over 102.
18 loads of laundry, I kid you not. That includes the original 3 complete sets of bedding for the first night of Jonathan throwing up, then an additional set when he spilled an entire cup of water in his twin bed, and an entire queen-sized set when Mark and I were resting a few minutes and I somehow managed to spill an entire cup of coffee IN THE BED.
1 comforter in dire need of a trip to the laundromat - it won't fit in my washer and Jonathan threw up all over that, too.
3 straight days of me with my hands in the toilet, scrubbing, bleaching, spraying Lysol, trying to prevent myself from getting either one or both of the illnesses surrounding me, and preventing Matthew from getting them since he has an occassional foray into the bathroom where he inadvisedly touches everything in sight.
So, as you can see, not our best weekend!
But here's the good news:
Jonathan is much better, almost normal. He's eating and drinking okay now, albeit slowly and not in great quantities. All his tests from the hospital came back normal, and he has recovered without further incident. Best we can tell he had a rotten case of food poisoning.
Mark IS better. 24 hour virus seems to truly mean 24 hours, and he's back to work as usual today.
I'm learning to count my blessings - a working washer and dryer, a good, sound roof over my head, the fact that we can afford every cleanser with bleach I could want. I can't imagine people who live without washers and dryers and having to trek vomit loads of laundry to the laundromat. So much we take for granted.
It might be Monday, but I'm grateful that we got through the weekend with the end result being as good as it could possibly be. I'm wiped out, physically and emotionally, but I don't have to go anywhere today, my home is warm, my children are content, and I'm going to make a huge pot of tortellini soup and homemade foccacia for dinner. Might even get a picture or two!
Friday, February 22, 2008
If anyone wants to know where I am today, try the laundry room.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I used to think my generation - Generation X they called us - was so fortunate. We lived in a prosperous time, we had all this new technology and we knew how to use it and use it to our advantage. They keep telling us that social security will dry up with the baby boomers, and we are the first generation that will never be more well-off than our parents, but I still thought we were doing pretty well. After all, our parents, just a generation away witnessed some tough times - World War II for instance - where supplies were rationed, things we take for granted - meats, sugar, coffee - could only be acquired a little at a time. Now our meats are contaminated. We know of war. We know war with weapons only dreamed about 50 years ago. We fight wars where the "enemy" doesn't even really pose a threat to our everyday life.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is why does it feel like we are on a one way ride right into a brick wall? It seems like the bad news comes so fast and furious, and it's accelerating and I really don't see an end to it. Are we going to get to the point where we are afraid to leave our homes, to put our children on the school bus, to go to the market.....in the richest and most prosperous nation on earth? It's sad. I don't want to feel like this. I love this country, I love the people in it and I love the freedom we have - I don't want to feel this way!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
On Sunday after church, we headed up to the Penn Alps for brunch. Penn Alps is tradition around here - yummy, yummy, home cooked meals - the likes of the best fried chicken you have ever tasted, real mashed potatoes and gravy and pot roast to die for. Homemade soups, rolls, desserts - you could eat a week's worth of food in one sitting. And it's a nice drive in the mountains. And the kids behaved pretty well....REALLY!
And yesterday? Errands. Haircuts for Mark and Matthew. Then lunch - pizza at Jerry's Subs and Pizza. Then to Walmart. And here's where Matchbox comes in. The boys got some Valentine's from Mark's mom and dad, with a little spending cash, so I told Jonathan to pick something out for himself and for Matthew. Well, 10 new Matchbox cars have entered my house - Jonathan got the European sports car series, and Matthew got the National Parks Rescue pack - four of which are on the table in front of him in the photo. I think that brings the grand total of toy cars in my house to 1,639,242. Plus or minus a few.
And it's cold again. After some warm(er) weather this weekend, we're back to blustery, cold and snowy. For the whole week. I'm bummed, but I can deal. I have very high expectations for March - even though it can be notoriously crappy weather-wise, too. Hurry up Spring, I'm dying here!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
First, a little descriptive information: I have my laptop in the kitchen on a countertop/desk, and we have a 24 inch wooden barstool that we sit on. The barstool is one of a pair we had when we moved from our townhouse that had a breakfast bar. Anyway. It's wooden, and the back has wooden rungs. When I'm not using the computer, you can usually find Jonathan on it. He likes to play noggin.com, or sometimes fool around with Paint or Word, or sometimes he likes to "check" (more like destroy) Mommy's email. So the other day, he's playing on the computer and I'm cooking dinner, and all the sudden, he starts to whimper a bit. At first I ignored it - I was actually on the phone at the time, but it started to escalate and when I finally did look over at him, I see that he had somehow pushed his leg through one set of rungs all the way up to his thigh, and he couldn't get it out.
Well, niether could I. I tried everything - different angles, different heights. I tried to bend his leg through, I tried to straighten it - nothing worked. I figured I had three options left - get out the Crisco (yuck), call the fire department, or get out the saw. And by this time, about 10 minutes later, Jonathan was pretty worked up. And he was starting to complain that his leg was really hurting him.
So I reached for the saw. Sawed through one of the rungs well above his leg and we managed to squeeze it to the side just enough to get the leg out. No harm done. Except to my chair. Which is fine - like I said, we have it's twin somewhere downstairs, and truthfully, those stools were never all that comfortable anyway. But it's a lesson learned if nothing else - don't invest in the good stuff until your kids are at LEAST old enough to not pull that kind of stuff. And even then, I'm still not sure it's worth it!
But in the end, it's just furniture, it can be replaced. Unlike some other precious things! :-)
Friday, February 15, 2008
Ahem - maybe next year I'll be able to accomodate his "needs" a little more proficiently? Kid makes me crazy. And Matthew? No problem there - that little guy doesn't mind his hands being sticky!
Oh, and stay tuned for my next blog entry - "Children Damage Furniture in the Strangest Ways". Doesn't that just grab your attention and your curiosity?
Thursday, February 14, 2008
60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me
1. What is in the back seat of your car right now? A stroller, a bag of plastic bags that needs to be recycled at the grocery store, some crayons, a few books, lots of crumbs, a few cheerios, a few goldfish, a few M+M's, and if I looked hard enough, probably a rock-hard french fry or two.
2. When was the last time you threw up? You've got to be kidding.
3. What's your favorite curse word? My Sicilian grandmother used to teach me a few. I won't share - in case one day you're listening....
4. Name 3 people who made you smile today? My husband, Jonathan and Matthew
5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Listening to one of Jonathan's monologues about highway exit numbers while pulling an incredibly cute and warm 19 month old in fuzzy, footed pajamas out of his crib.
6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Reading blogs with my first cup of coffee, enjoying the silence of sleeping children!
7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now? Probably the grocery store and take the kiddos out to lunch - we need to get OUT!
8. Have you ever been to a strip club? Not to my knowledge!
9. What is the last thing you said aloud? Wait your turn. (Jonathan wanted to get on the computer and play Noggin.com)
10. What is the best ice cream flavor? Ben + Jerry's Caramel Sutra
11. What was the last thing you had to drink? C-C-C-Coffeeeeeeeeee
12. What are you wearing right now? Pajamas, robe and slippers - it's COLD this morning!
13. What was the last thing you ate? An orange - last night when we were watching a movie before going to bed. I'll be getting breakfast soon!
14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? Sadly, no.
15. When was the last time you ran? Last night, playing tag after dinner.
16. What's the last sporting event you watched? In entirety? The Super Bowl.
17. Do you have a birthmark? No
18. Who is the last person you emailed? My friends
19. Ever go camping? Yes - that's another whole months worth of blogs!
20. Do you have a tan? Reminds me, must buy another bottle....works GREAT by the way!
21. Farthest place you've been? From home? Alaska, I guess.
22. Dream/Favorite Car? I always wanted a Jeep Wrangler - but settled for a Cherokee out of college. And now the Wrangler is impractical for "families". Maybe I'll plant the seed in Jonathan's or Matthew's head and when they get one, I can drive it!
23. Morning or Night? Night, definitely. Kids in bed, house is quiet. Project time. TV time. Snuggle time. Crack open a few beers, enjoy the quiet, reminds us of our early marriage days!
24. Do you drink your soda from a straw? Only if it comes in a cup with a lid...duh
25. What did your last IM say? I honestly don't remember
26. Are you someone's best friend? I think so!
27. What are you doing tomorrow? Geez, let me get through today first - here's what I'd like to NOT do tomorrow: clean up poop, vomit, snot or blood from any surface in my home.
28. Where is your mom right now? Probably still in bed.
29. Look to your left, what do you see? A dishwasher and toaster oven, kitchen cabinets and dirty dishes by the sink. Sigh.
30. What color is your watch? Ummm, which one? My everyday is a silver Fossil with a blue face
31. What do you think of when you think of Australia? Outback Steakhouse - how bad is that?
32. Would you consider plastic surgery? Consider it? I've already had some!
33. What is your birthstone? Aquamarine
34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive-thru? Lately it's been the drive-thru, but we've been known to go in from time to time!
35. How many kids do you want? OOOHHHH, sticky subject!
36. Do you have a dog? Regretfully, at times, YES.
37. Last person you talked to on the phone? Mark - on his way home last night.
38. Have you met anyone famous? Met? Does having breakfast two tables away from William H. Macy count?
39. Any plans today? Ummm, let's see. Grocery store, liquor store. Make lasagna for special Valentine's Day dinner. Make some sort of Valentine's Day treats for the boys. And 8pm, Survivor is on - no repeat episodes there!
40. How many states have you lived in? Just Maryland - different PLACES in Maryland, but just one state.
41. Ever go to college? Bachelor's Degree. Really helps with making beds and doing laundry.
42. Where are you right now? At home, at my computer counter in the kitchen.
43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? Crappin' snow and ice.
44. Last song listened to? The soundtrack on someone's blog.
45. Favorite TV show? Changes often. Right now I'm really loving House - I think the writing is just downright clever, and the characters are intriguing. Very different.
46. Are you allergic to anything? Cats and dust.
47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? My Columbia day hikers - so comfy - if they're good enough for hiking, they're good enough to wear all day through the house and about town!
48. Are you jealous of anyone? Besides the independently wealthy? Nah.
49. Is anyone jealous of you? If they are, they should be committed.
50. How many pillows are on your bed? Four - two for me, two for the dog, none for Mark! Just kidding!
51. What time is it? Almost 9. AM.
52. Do any of your friends have children? Most - but not all.
53. Do you eat healthy? We eat home at least 18 meals a week - how do I know this? We limit going out to eat to 3 times a week or less. And we never, never, never eat out of boxes. Except for cereal. So this translates to: yes, we eat disgustingly healthy. Except for when I make gooey desserts.
54. What do you usually do during the day? If you're a mom, you already know this. If you're not, you don't want to know.
55. Do you hate anyone right now? Do Presidential candidates count?
56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? Yup, and I'm not sure how this can possibly be construed as an interesting question.
57. What do you want to do with your life? Raise my children healthily (is that a word?) and successfully to adulthood, enjoy each day to the fullest, see as much of the world as we can afford and make a positive difference in the world.
58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 38
59. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Yes - the one outside of DC. Not great.
60. How did you get one of your scars? I tore my face up after falling off the side of a rock wall I was climbing when I was 9. Not my best moment, but I was lucky to walk away with only a faceful of stitches.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
But in a way, I guess having him fuss at objects is a lot better than him fussing at...people. Yes, we've done that, too. Just the other day we were in Walmart. I was trying to edge my cart around someone else's cart in a pretty tight aisle. It was crowded, the lady didn't see us, and at the last minute, she moved her car and banged right into ours. She apologized, I said excuse me, all was fine, until Jonathan pointed his finger at her and says "Don't do that again with your cart!" Nice, Jonathan, real nice. Then there was the guy in the elevator at the hotel when we were in San Diego. The nerve of him to press the button for the 10th floor when we were only going to the 5th floor. Jonathan let him have it too - "Don't you press 10, you press 5!" All with the appropriate finger pointing and body stance and elevated voice. Luckily, the guy thought he was a hoot, but Mark and I were torn between being horrified and collapsing into hysterics. Luckily, propriety won out and we corrected Jonathan a bit, but I'm still not sure he has all of his manners straightened out. Day by day, right?
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Okay, no buts, just questions. Here's a few:
WHY are there so many germs floating around in the winter? I barely get one kid/husband/myself well from one germ-induced thing, and another pops up. I swear it has been this way since we got back from San Diego after Thanksgiving.
WHY is the wind blowing so darn hard today? We had just settled in for a long movie - The Maltese Falcon was on cable - 1941! We had absolutely nothing better to do, and about 23 minutes into it, POOF goes the cable. There it was, my one chance of watching a vintage flick this year.
WHY does winter seem so long? All the other seasons seem to just fly right on by. We are trudging through winter at the pace of a paralyzed snail. It's old. C'MON SPRING?
WHY is my oldest child so intolerant of my youngest child today? Usually, he doesn't want him touching or moving his stuff. Today, he doesn't even want him in the same room! What's up with that?
WHY did neither of my children touch the dinner I slaved over last night? While I'm on the topic, WHY don't my children eat hardly anything I put in front of them?
WHY does Matthew poop 3 and 4 times a day, big, messy, stinky poops? Are you allergic to something buddy? Or is it the fact that everything you see, including the dogs' toys get put into your mouth?
WHY am I so unmotivated this weekend? I had Mark home with Strep since Friday, and I could've gotten SO MUCH accomplished. What have I done? Put a few meals on the table, picked up a few rooms, done a few loads of laundry and that's about it. All my projects, all my ideas --- somehow this weekend, they all went kaput. Got nothing done. Am majorly unhappy with myself over that.
WHY don't people put their carts in the cart corral? I do this all the time. With two kids, in 40 mph gale force winds and driving rain, and even when I'm in a breakneck rush, I STILL put my cart back. The other day I came out of Walmart to see a stray cart had caused a nice-sized dent and chipped paint on my car. Great. That'll cost us $300. Do the world a favor - PUT YOUR CART BACK!
WHY, and since when does blogging turn into a royal vent session? Oh well - 100+ posts so I guess I'm entitled to a vent post every once in awhile. If you're reading this Monday morning, I wish you a great week! I'll feel better next week, promise!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
There they are - my three boys. Doing what they do best! Today is actually Mark's birthday, but we celebrated last night because today's Ash Wednesday - and birthday cake on Ash Wednesday just didn't seem right! Mark didn't mind celebrating a day early - and the boys, apparently, are up for a party anytime!
After he was done putting all the candles on, he turned around and said "light the cake on fire, Mommy!" Ha! And for those of you who think my cake is ugly and plain, well, it is ugly. It sort of stuck in the pan a bit and I had to kind of patch it together a little. But plain? Well, maybe a little, but it's what Mark ordered - pound cake. He loves it. And it is fantastic - doesn't need a thing - icing, glaze, fruit topping - none of that would do anything at all for this cake, it is best eaten plain. Doesn't make for a very nice birthday cake presentation, but oh my, it is good! Any by the way, Jonathan straightened up that green candle and had them all perfect by the time he was done!
Did you ever wonder if you were doing enough for your kids? Teaching them enough? Involving them in enough life experiences? Taking them enough places, exposing them to enough new things? Sometimes I get these spasms of anxiety and I want to hop on the computer and go to an online bookstore and max out my credit card ordering every educational children's book there is. Or hop in the car and drive to every zoo, library, park, playground, swimming pool, children's theater and amusement park within a day's drive to make sure that not one thing is missed. I think of the possibility of sending Jonathan off to pre-school this Fall and wonder how I'm going to fit everything I want to do with him into the next 7 months. It's so scary - I've been waiting for this day - to see him more independent, to see him grow up, to see him dress himself and do things for himself, to see him help with housework....and it's happened, right before my eyes, and now it's like I'm on a giant slide and it's all going just way too fast. Whew - a wild ride, this parenting thing. I'm not ready to let my little boy face the world by himself - without me getting to see him every minute. How do I let him go and not be able to watch him learn new things? To not be able to see his little face light up at something new, something interesting, something he loves? To not know what he did for every second of every day? I hope the next 7 months cures me of this - I'm going to be the one sobbing on the schoolyard - not Jonathan!