Thursday, July 28, 2005

I get by with a little help from my friends

First of all, Happy Birthday, Mom!

Secondly, I had some very profound ideas to share on answered prayers and good karma.
However, the first part of what I had to say is already a page long and having you read that could be bad karma, indeed! So I will share but only after editing.

It was a very good day here and I hope you all had a good day as well. While I'm at it, have a pleasant tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's cool, man!

My windows are open! This morning's rain has stopped for now but the clouds are still here and the COOL breeze is blowing!

It's been so hot this week that I dreaded taking out the trash or even checking the mail. For the past day or two, I trying to figure just how much more expensive it would be to lower the air conditioning. We kept all the fans going and the AC was on 76. While that might still seem high, it was 30 degrees cooler in here than it was outside! I didn’t want to over-tax the AC as I KNEW we would not make it if that quit! The kids were like little jumping beans and I barked at them each time they treated the furniture like playground equipment. (Beans, having no ears, cannot hear a mother’s admonitions so my yelling just gave me a sore throat). Of course they had energy to burn but not one of us wanted to venture outside unless it was to get into the air-conditioned car.

It is 70 degrees today. Yes, I got drenched this morning taking them to “Summer Fun Days” at the Methodist church and that is OK! (They had rain coats and umbrellas and Christian’s arm was wrapped in plastic but I did not think to waterproof myself). This way I still got a shower this morning! It gave me a reason to turn OFF the A/C in the car!

You may have read my previous posts about sun worship. (I’m paying for that now too, I’m afraid, but that is an entirely different story!) I love the sun. Back in the Northwest, I missed and craved the sun. Yet today is a glorious day! I have never been so happy to not see the sun in my life!

I hope that a cool breeze blows your way today as well! Have a great day!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mea culpa

Of course, I meant to include the irony in that last post!!

No, I did not and I really should know better. I kept asking my daughter to give me a minute to finish writing. (It does not matter how many words are on the screen--she can find her name immediately!) I completely missed the irony while I made her look at something else so that I could finish telling everyone about her tattling behavior. I wonder where she gets it.

I must send myself to my room now. If I can’t say anything nice online, I should not say anything at all.

The Tattler

I keep saying that if my daughter does not grow up to be a reporter, I will be surprised!
She has now acquired another skill to put on her resume when she applies for that journalism gig: photography.
A while back, I may have hurt her feelings when she came running in asking “Do you want to know what Christian did?” and my immediate response was “no.”
I explained that if no one is hurt and no one is in immediate danger, she does not need to come tell me everything. Things have improved recently and I thought our talk had made sense to her. I should have been more suspicious from the outset.
Parents know that once life gets too quiet, while wonderful and peaceful, it is also a bit alarming (you know it’s just too good to be true). Lately however, I have chosen to savor the peace for a few minutes before investigating. They have been fine. Smiling conspiratorially—yes, but fine. I could not find any damage to them or the house nor did I find anything missing or broken.
Then we picked up the latest pictures Natalie took with her new camera.
The naked pictures of Christian, while inappropriate (I have to get photos developed somewhere else now), I could handle. He was in no immediate physical danger at that moment. The pictures after that however showed Christian sitting in a bathroom sink. There is no counter in that bathroom. It is a small pedestal sink and I did not want to even think about how he got in there. (The next photo showed him on a stool, hanging on the sink so that mystery was quickly solved anyway).
The good news (?) in all of this is that Christian is finally having trouble saying “I didn’t do it,” “She’s lying,” etc.
So—do I quit stealing a few minutes on the computer here and there during the day so I can watch them every second? Or do I go on with my life and wait until they start blogging themselves and just catch up on their escapades on line?(My daughter is pacing back and forth now waiting for her turn on the computer to play a computer game. I used to encourage such things so she’d have computer skills as she gets older. This was perhaps not the best idea I have ever had.)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Stripping all weekend

I spent the weekend stripping the wallpaper from a small bathroom. For all of you out there who have actually taken this stuff down from a room of any considerable size, my hat is off to you (along with my jewelry, a layer of skin and my sanity)!
It’s off to bed now! A little hard work never hurt anyone but a weekend of it wears you out a bit!
I did try to think of it as my own “quiet time” without munchkins but then my helper arrived!
Ah, well. If I just spend a few minutes each day this week finishing up in there, scrubbing bits of glue off of the wall, etc. we should be ready to paint next weekend. Whoopee.
I kept thinking that I’d get a little more writing done this summer without school schedules. Now I’m looking forward to school starting again (my youngest will start preschool in a month) so I can catch up on the stuff I was going to get done this summer.At least when I get to shower, it will be a new, pretty bathroom!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Another “first” in our lives

A broken arm is not an actual milestone in your child’s development so I was hoping we would all avoid it.
No such luck. Our youngest is now the first in our household to wear a cast but the process of his arm being plastered was quite a family affair!
I was trying to calmly comfort Christian and reassure Natalie as we made our way to the ER, while hiding my shaking hands. I was worried that Christian would be upset about having to have a cast, so we started talking about it on the way to the hospital to prepare him. He was able to stop crying long enough to ask if I thought he could get a blue one.

I started writing two posts before this one about the whole process but now that they’re written, I feel much better! (I know it’s not about me but I had to write the whole thing out anyway!) When we got home last night, I was upset. I waited until he was asleep in bed to get too upset but then I was mad that if I’d been standing there, I could have caught him; I was glad my husband could make it downstairs before the x-rays, etc. but I was mad that I became invisible to other doctors when he was there.

I felt so guilty last night because I wasn’t holding his hand when they drew blood and inserted the IV (for conscious sedation, before reducing the fractures). I felt guilty that he saw me leave the room before they did it and I was a little jealous that Tim got to stay.
However, I am glad that I was able to leave the room(s) with Natalie as she actually understood more of what was going on.

She had to go to the bathroom twice while we were there. (She had just gone before we left too so it was quite obviously nerves). She wanted to know if would be able to sleep with that thing on. She wondered if Christian would have his cast off before the end of swimming season; she worried about how he would play outside because his arm would be hot and what would we do if it started to rain? She knows a cast can’t get wet and she still is not convinced that I will be able to give him a bath tonight.

After having no nap, the after-effects of the medicine and staying up late, Christian fell asleep with no trouble. Natalie was up twice during the night, once throwing up in her bed and talking about a bad dream; I slept with her in her loft bed for the first time since we moved here. (I did manage to change the sheets first!) She awoke later after another dream that “something bad would happen” but was able to go right back to sleep afterwards.

I won’t think about how we all would have handled things if Natalie and I had stayed with Christian for his procedures! Then again, maybe I should have kept her in there. A 7-year-old’s imagination of what was going on may have been much worse than the reality.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

One mother’s dust is a child’s inspiration!

My housekeeping skills are not that bad. However, there is a window high above our front door that I can’t reach. It is dusty and has a cobweb or two. I know I should clean it but …well…you know! I can’t reach it!

My children created a makeshift clubhouse on a small landing with sheets stretched across chairs and the railing of the stairs. From this height, my daughter launched my son’s stuffed Spiderman, sending him to the window ledge in the entranceway. After Christian’s initial hysteria that Spiderman was far too high for any normal human to rescue him, both children noticed the cobwebs on that window for the first time.

“Mommy, look! Spiderman already shot a web!” Christian cried.

This was amusing enough for a while but when my son began to want his toy back again, I offered that he could watch out for our family up there and keep us safe.
That’s when my daughter mentioned that she had seen a “roly poly bug” up there earlier (she must have bionic eyesight), but that as it was no longer crawling along the edge, she was sure Spidey had caught the bug in one of his webs!

Maybe I’m na├»ve in thinking that the cobwebs two stories up won’t hurt anyone (ignoring the latest urban myths about just how many spiders humans digest while they’re sleeping). I did manage to rescue Spidey with a new telescoping duster (presumably for ceiling fans. Our ceiling fan WILL get dusted with it.) I feel a little sad though. Maybe thinking that our own tiny superhero was up on the ledge watching over our family was good for all of us.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

My Fellow Floridians

Despite my ramblings about tans and sunshine, we are keeping a close watch on the weather and Dennis. While I can comfort my daughter with promises that a hurricane will not likely be much of a threat here in Kansas, I remember the real fear and wonder that those storms brought to my own childhood in Florida.
I am glad that Dennis steered clear of Jacksonville and New Orleans but we will try to touch base with our family in Pensacola soon! (I know you have more pressing things to do than check my blog for long-winded musings but I hope that you soon have the power (as in electricity) to do so.)
We hope you all are doing well.

Tan

I am tan.
I know what you are thinking.
Don’t I have better things to occupy my time? Sure.
Do I know that by not armoring myself against the harmful UV rays that bombard us all, I am incurring the risk of skin cancer? Of course. I am blonde but I am not an idiot, though I may look like one to you.
I am setting a bad example for my children. This is true.. I do sunscreen them often (they must do as I say, not as I do) but my daughter has finally caught on to the disparate routines.
So why do it? It makes me feel better. I like the feel of warm (OK, HOT!) sun beating on my bare skin. (Not completely bare, of course, there are children present but I do try to eliminate strap marks whenever possible). For the same reason that a hot bath feels good, when I do have a chance to actually lie in the sun for a few moments, the heat relaxes the muscles. That does not happen often anymore and on those rare occasions that I do lie down, it is for a brief time. Again, there are children present. Relaxing in the sun is not a priority for a four-year-old. (Relaxing is not a priority for a four-year-old!) After playing with the kids in the sun, we all need the bath too so I fit a little more relaxation in when I finally get my turn in the bathtub.
Is some of your color the result of participating in summer sports? I need to work on this one. If I start running outside again, then I could get rid of the excess pounds AND be tan! There is a slight chance that my priorities are not quite in line when I cannot stand the sight of my white flabby thighs in shorts but tan flabby thighs are OK!
Do the neighbors mind seeing you mow the grass in a bathing suit? Probably. I wear shorts too but it still can’t be a very pleasant sight. (See prior comment regarding the thighs.)
Is it sun worship? Yes. I know the Bible tells me I must not worship false gods or idols. However, this is a star. God designed the solar system in such a way that we spend our lives revolving around this bright star. Will He really mind if I admire it?
I am thirty-five years old and have finally realized that the world does not revolve around me. It revolves around the sun. So if I spend time with the sun, absorb the sun, be the sun…maybe I can re-direct the world!
I know what you are thinking and I do not care. I am tan.

Friday, July 08, 2005

gods in Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson

This was a riveting, well-crafted southern drama with a surprising twist. Admittedly, I am a sucker for southern tales and the opening paragraph of this novel resonated immediately.
There are gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel’s, high school quarterbacks,
trucks, big tits, and also Jesus. I left one back there myself, back in
Possett. I kicked it under the kudzu and left it to the roaches.

If you consider the effect of outside influences on your opinion of a book, I could not have been in a better place to read this novel! The main character, Arlene Fleet, spends the first part of the book recalling Alabama. The next part of the book entails a road-trip to Alabama and the ending takes place "back home" in Possett, AL. While my family and I were on our way to Texas and Louisiana (not Alabama) the scenery along the way meshed perfectly with the descriptions in the book!

So I was probably in the ideal place to read it but I enjoyed it immensely. Even if you aren’t headed south, or especially if you are not, I recommend this as a vicarious trip home to a very southern home and southern dysfunctional family. There is the obligatory scene where a southern writer must describe a palmetto bug for Yankee readers and Ms. Jackson does an excellent job!

There are good men in this book and one who is both hero and devil. It is the women who protect each other, albeit in unconventional ways that move this story. There are gods in Alabama but God works through the women of Chicago and Possett, Alabama.

We're back!

We have returned from our journey south. It was great to see all of Tim's immediate family all at one time, even if it was for a brief time. While our kids have met all of their cousins before, this was the first time they were with all of their cousins on Tim's side all at the same time! They all got along quite well and it was great to catch up a bit.
We then made our way to New Orleans where we were able to spend more time with Tim's sister, brother-in-law and their kids. We had the chance to visit his grandmother again for a while as well. She is simply an amazing woman.
We also had the chance to do some reminiscing in New Orleans which is where we met for the first time, sixteen years ago! The kids do not have the memories associated with the city so they were not quite as impressed but I'm glad they had the chance to see it nonetheless.
Though we spent more time in the car than we did in any one place, it was well worth the trip!
Now we are keeping our eye on Dennis as he steadily approaches the U.S. We have family that will be affected a bit no matter where he actually hits but we're praying that it won't be a direct course for New Orleans or Pensacola. (Of course, I don't wish a hurricane on anyone's front steps)! Maybe this one can spontaneously combust! Y'all had enough of these last year and they're starting a bit earlier this season. Take care!

Friday, July 01, 2005

On the Road Again!

We're headed south to Texas and Louisiana for a few days! I am bringing some summer reading along so hopefully I will have a book review when I return!

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July! Happy Birthday, America!