Saturday, July 31, 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004

Final Minutes

Okay, not minutes, final hour +.

Bags are packed. Car is not.

Kids are ready. Hubby is missing.

Are we ready? See you in St. Louis.

Countdown Continues

Lawn mowed, directions printed, photo/video equipment packed, 1st aid kit & meds packed, laundry done, house picked up, kids swimming (not home)

Still need to: pack, stop mail, go to library

Looking good... 4 hours & 45 minutes left

Countdown to St. Louis

The countdown has begun. We are not packed, the house is not cleaned up, no books on tape, no stoppage of mail. hmmm... sounds like I have a bit to do today.

9 hours 15 minutes until departure

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Return of the Guest Blogger

Dunkin’ Donuts posts worse record than the Red Sox…

A new D&D opened up right down the street from my house, about a month ago.  I have now gone in there ten times. Each time I order the exact same thing, one medium iced hazelnut coffee with one cream and one sugar. They are now four and six on getting my order right. This is a little disturbing. I am ordering a single coffee and they are below five hundred on handing me the correct beverage. How has the attention span of these employees dropped to the point where they cannot concentrate through an order of one coffee?

The DNC and Me…

As for the DNC, things could not have worked out better for me. There has been little to no traffic on my daily commute. While this is great for me, it is not so great for the local merchants. The latest reports have the local restaurants, shops and theaters down fifty percent from this week last year. It appears that everyone took the mayor’s advice and left the city. Two restaurants on Canal Street, down town, were so over-staffed for the event that they held a flag football game against each other. This took place in the street, yesterday at lunchtime. They say they were not interrupted by traffic, be it vehicular or pedestrian. Boston is a ghost town. All of the delegates have been bussed into the convention, where they are served free food. So, none have gone out even for lunch. The protesters seem to be the only people out on the streets. Unfortunately they have been unable to escape the towering fenced in area that they were confined to.  I hope they packed some lunches. I guess we’re all set though.  According to our great mayor, the city will see major benefits from this in four or five years. In what form, I am not exactly sure.

More to come…

Kids & Books

The kids go through phases of which book is their favorite. This week it is The Underwater Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta. I know, who needs another alphabet book? But, I've decided the nice thing about having so many choices is you can find the perfect one for your kids. This is apparently the perfect one for us.

It has to do with the ocean (family of fans in this house), there is a shark here and there throughout (the kids love sharks) and then you have things like: a huma-huma-nuku-nuku-apuaa and a nudibranch. I don't think I need to explain the fascination with these two.

A Little Conversation

This conversation just took place here:

"Zach, put on some underwear. We do not play naked." (This would be me)

"I can't. I'm Naked Man."

"Well, be Underpants Man."

"He can't, I'm Underpants Man." (This is Dylan)

Then Tyler pipes up, "You could be Undergarments Man."

I'm still laughing over this one. Now, I'm not sure where he even heard this term but coming out of a seven-year-old's mouth it sounds very funny. He also went on to explain the different powers Undergarments Man has compared to Underpants Man.

In case you don't know, everyone in this house is a superhero.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Last Of The Fevered Four

Well, the last of the children is fevered. I figure by Friday they should have all had it. Now as long as Jeff & I don't come down with it, all will be good for the trip west. I'm a bit fogged today as I was up with Dylly last night. Two nights and not much sleep. I'm thinking that means NAP today. Dylly seems to be suffering more than the others. Sore throat and headache. I'm just asking the powers that be - PLEASE NO STREP.

For those that don't know, Jeff came down with strep our first trip to St. Louis. It was not a pleasant way to spend the trip. Having to find a doctor, get a prescription, taking day trips... I'm hoping we're all healthy this year. The children are all hoping to convince their dad we need a puppy. I think they are secretly hoping to come home with Bernie. Too bad that isn't happening. At least it will give them experience taking care of a puppy. We'll see how they feel after ten days with him.

As for my co-blogger, no word from him. Maybe today. I'd love to hear how it's going in Boston. {hint, hint}

Monday, July 26, 2004

Are You Pregnant?

I really must tell you all a bit of horrifying news. I mentioned yesterday that one of the activities of girls' weekend was having our cards and palms read. I did not mention that when my cards were read the psychic asked if I could be pregnant. Later while reading my palm she asked if I was really sure I wasn't pregnant. (I'm really sure. There was actual proof at the time.) She was sure my palm showed 5 children. Yes, I said FIVE. You also may recall I spoke of an odd dream I had just before the big weekend. To say I was freaked out would be putting it mildly. In fact, just typing this has my heart racing and my breathing ragged.

Many of you will say she was just some con artist. Don't trust what she said... BUT, she was dead on about most everything else. To the point of it being very strange. She asked if I was a writer. "Are you a children's writer?" A friend's eyes almost rolled across the table at this comment. She was that good with everyone. She hit on all our main emotional issues. Someone's mom was prominent, someone's mother-in-law, someone else's long, long relationship.

I tried to convince her the 5th was a puppy but she didn't look to be buying it. Somehow I don't think they show up on your palm.

Me Again

Yes, now that I've been away I must subject you to multiple posts.

First, hubby is away in Baltimore for a few days. He left before my return and will be back on Tuesday. When you ask? I have no idea. He watched the Red Sox lose yesterday against the Twins. He's hoping to see them win against the Orioles today. This late in the season though... I don't see it happening.

As for the kids, they seemed mildly glad to see me when I got to my mom's yesterday. Some were happier than others. Zach woke at 1 a.m. with a raging fever. The rain is pouring down. Looks like Alex may get rained out of another soccer game. He hasn't played one yet. His last chance to play will be Wednesday. They are bugging me to bring their GameCube home for a few days (it resides at Grammy's).

I have a board meeting tonight. This means a trip to Kinko's. Not sure how I'm going to do this with a sick kid. Or three not-sick kids. It seems to be a nightmare in the making. Grandpa has been kind enough to agree to watch them all during the actual meeting. Thanks Fred. Guess we'll have to wait and see how the day plays out.

Ooooo, I can't wait! We are leaving for St. Louis on Friday night to go see Shana and Rob. (Jeff's sister and her hubby) They just got a new puppy, Bernie...

On that note, what can top a puppy this cute?

Girls' Weekend

I'm back. The weekend was wonderful. It was relaxing and full of fun activities. Our cruise director and hostess was Nene. She lives in the country in Upstate NY and has a plethora of animals - cats, chickens, ducks and a dog. She also has three children and a husband. They were nice enough to sleep outside Friday night and then vacate the premises Saturday morning.

We talked, laughed,  drank, laughed, made bracelets, took nature walks, talked, painted, pet two ducks and a chicken, laughed some more, painted our nails, designed a logo for t-shirts, talked more, made said shirts, and had our cards and palms read. Oh, we also squeezed in two movies and more talk and laughter. All of this and it was slow, relaxed and simply in the top ten of days of my life. Even the weather was beautiful - blue skies, sunny, cool with a breeze.

The weekend seemed to rejuvenate us all. Thank you Nene for hosting. Thank you Bobbie, Kathy & Dana for traveling so far. Thank you Shari for the ride home. And thank all of you for being there. It wouldn't have been the same if anyone was missing. We all added our own special thing (for lack of a better word) to the weekend. It was truly magical.

PS- I did not return with a hat. Maybe next year. And thanks to Mike for guest blogging. Great job!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Guest Blogger

Hello, I am your guest blogger for the weekend. It seems that Mom of Many Male Youngsters is off for a weekend with the ladies. I suppose she would have us believe that a circle of chairs will be assembled, in which the matrons will engage in some activities consonant with cross-stitching or millinery. I envisage a strapping beefcake, shaking his bootie within a conflux of inebriated housewives. But, I suppose it remains to be seen whether MoMMY comes back with a raging hangover, or a new hat.

I assume the readership of this blog consists mainly of Rochesterians. I will, however, acquaint you with the goings on in Boston. Presently, we are preparing for a cabal of politicians to beguile us the use of our city. That’s right. The Democratic National Convention is being held right here, in the middle of everyone’s favorite construction site, Boston. What might be a treat to Bostonians in four or eight years, when the big dig finishes up, will be a nightmare this year, for those of us who live and work in Boston. Our mayor does not seem distressed though. He has told us, as long as everyone in the city takes his or her vacation that week, everything will be fine. It does not take great ratiocinative powers to see the flaws in this portion of the plan.  I will, therefore, leave that one to stand on it’s own. The rest of this contrivance includes closing all major roads into the heart of the city, closing the Sumner tunnel (inbound from Logan airport and East Boston), closing all of the waterways into the city, and closing the train station in the center of the city. They have removed all of the trashcans, mailboxes and newspaper stands from the entire convention area. And, they have instituted mandatory body and bag searches, for anyone that rides any trains or busses within Boston. Great! I can’t drive into the city. I can’t fly into the city. I cannot boat or swim into the city.  I could take a train or a bus, as long as I am willing to have my civil rights violated, and provided I don’t mind walking a few blocks to where the main station has been closed. But, we are determined to be secure. The only unchecked form of transportation, into the city, is going to be cabs. I don’t know if anyone remembers a tragic incident, a few years ago. It seems that three Boston cab drivers were involved in a conspiracy to fly some airplanes into some buildings. Somehow, I don’t feel very secure.  I do, however, feel extremely inconvenienced, along with most of Boston. Now they say Michael Moore is going to shut down my movie theater so he can hold a bunch of private screenings for his new motion picture. On the bright side, I will be moving out of Boston the week after the convention.  So, if you are looking for this bitter Bostonian, you will have to look in Waltham. Oh, one last thing before I free you from my rant. We just built a beautiful new convention center in South Boston, with tons of parking, and great accessibility. Yet, we are holding the DNC at the Fleet Center (AKA: the Boston Garden), which is right in the middle of the city, and the big dig. The mayor claims that the convention center is too big to get the intimate feel required for this event.

As for “the Box” it is not exactly in the mail, but will be soon.


What A Difference A Night Makes

No not a day as the saying goes but just a night.

Zach's bug bites have shrunk to a reasonable size, Tyler's fever has broken and I was able to cancel the Dr.'s appointment. ~ Can I just say, I LOVE MY DOCTOR'S OFFICE! They are so great and cheerful and they always know who I am. Okay, sorry about that. I just got off the phone with them. ~ The bad news is Dylan left with a headache this morning. I'm hoping he is better for the performance.

Guess I better get packing. Seems the childcare situation is well in hand for Sunday. They'll either sleep at Nana's on Saturday night then go to Grammy's or Nana will come to the house at FIVE A.M. Sunday! I believe she and her son are insane for planning on functioning that early. Now if I could just find someone to watch them this afternoon until Jeff gets home... Mom? Are you out there? Hint, hint.

To keep you entertained while I am away: JibJab. Thanks to Jen Ward for sending me the link. Heads up - it's political, but the animated song is hysterical no matter who you plan to vote for.

Also, in the 'to keep you entertained' category, my brother is going to guest blog for me. Yes, I know I've said this before. Let's hope he remembers this time. He has found a new place to live so that is one less thing to worry about. And... he should have sent 'the box' we have been waiting for forever - another thing he won't have to worry about this weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bad Mom Award

Make room on the mantle for another Bad Mom Award. I sent my oldest off to camp and failed to make arrangements for his safe return. Yes, it's true.

I did know one of two people would deliver him from camp to town. I did not know which person would do it and where they would leave him. To be fair, neither person would ever abandon him on the side of the road. My dilemma today was having one child with fever, one child with bug bites the size of oreos, and one child needing to be picked up at camp 40 minutes away. Oh, and not to forget the one being delivered at the same time. Delivered somewhere, I just wasn't sure where.

I did have one cell phone number. In a karmic event I called and called that number about 5 times during the drive to pick up child #3. Rang but no answer. Anxiety. Now usually I am a logical woman. They won't leave him. He'll be fine. They'll call the house and bring him home. Unfortunately, I am either having PMS or am pregnant again (which BTW CAN'T happen anymore). I've been weepy all day. I've also had that feeling of dread and anxiety - a weight on my chest. (okay, stop with the dirty thoughts already)

Finally, got a hold of the person with the cell phone. Yes, she had him. Yes, she was planning on bringing him to the house. Relax. It's fine. There was no cell reception at camp.

You'd think I'd be feeling better. Not so. Something seems to be in the air and I'm not sure what. I'm suppose to be leaving tomorrow for my big weekend but I'm not packed, not mentally ready and still don't even know what time I am leaving. I don't even know who will watch the kids.

All I know is the kids kicked me off the computer all day, the bitten child has a Dr.'s appointment at 9:30 am, the fevered one should probably have an appointment, the drama king has a performance at 11:30 am (which I will have to find streetside parking downtown in the city) and the camp returnee has notified me that I am "the worst mother in the world" while in hysterical tears.


Requirements for being the Worst Mother in the World:

  1. no video games in house

  2. set your nine year old's bedtime yourself

  3. limit the friends they have over so you can retain your sanity

  4. All-in-all, make sure he is not even a little bit like his friends (becasue of 1-3)

Now I'm guessing it's exhaustion that is prompting the outburst. The problem with that is the solution is to get him to bed early which then means he doesn't get to go to Grammy's to play video games, stay up late or have a friend over.

The one part I still haven't told you all? Last night I had a dream I was pregnant. Not only scary but impossible. Scary because I've only had pregnant dreams right before I found out I was pregnant. Impossible because I have been surgically "fixed".

A bit of Itinerary

Things are starting to get crazy here again... Thank goodness for family!

 Must pick up Dylly from camp at the same time Alex is coming home. Tyler has a fever and a nasty headache. Zach seems a bit tired and cranky. I'm sure he'll be the next to come down with whatever is going around. Now I'm worried Alex's headache was more and I just wasn't told. I don't think I'm ever letting any of them go away again. Thanks to my mom for coming to stay with the two at home and receive Alex while I venture out to pick up Dyl.

 As for tomorrow and the weekend - I'm outta here! The official Annual Girls' Weekend has arrived. AND, this is the first time in EIGHT YEARS no one is pregnant or nursing. Whooohoooo! Nene has tons planned and it sounds like it will be a blast. I hope the weather holds.

Must get my act together. Will try to add something before I leave.

PS- I must add, in all fairness, that half of those pregnant/nursing years were Jeff's fault.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Imaginative Play

Update: I have been told Alex is feeling much better. Whew! So am I.

I may have mentioned that Dylan, 5 year old extraordinaire, my Drama King, went to theater camp for two weeks. The last day of camp the parents were invited to watch their workshop. Before the play-acting began the head teacher told us how she could see a difference in how the children used their imaginations compared to years ago. It was obvious they were spending more time in front of computers and TV's. They didn't know how to play anymore. Didn't know how to use their imaginations.

All I could think was, "She's not talking about my child." Yes, my mamma defenses kicked in. Yes, every parent was thinking the same thing. But no, I could not be wrong.

On the way home I thought about her comment. I thought of my need to defend my offspring. Was I being truthful? Yes, I was. Dylly is one of the most imaginative children you will meet. This would be why we signed him up for theater camp. This is why he is at art camp right now.

As I thought about this, I realized my children's imaginations were a product of my imagination. It was my dealings with them (& their dad's) that caused a large fantasy life. Large enough to entertain friends and acquaintances. Large enough to draw comments from most people we come in contact with. Large enough to cause some to look at us with distaste. "Quite imaginative aren't they?" (NOTE: I still don't understand this reaction.)

On a good mommy day (vs a bad one), when I can't get the kids to do something I make things up. "Quick, get your shoes on. Hurry up, the foot monster is coming. He will nibble your toes and tickle your feet." As the child starts giggling and screeching (and scrambling for their shoes) I slowly approach, fingers outstretched, making mmmm noises. "Tasty toes. Can't wait to nibble." Eventually the shoes are on and the difficult child is lording his victory over me.

Of course this takes time and imagination. It also takes your complete focus. Any attempt to engage while gathering the bags and various other children needed to depart will cause the offending child to ignore you and continue to lie on the floor and talk to the pirate in his hand. Then they will be caught up in their own pirate drama and you must find a new approach. "Ack! A giant octopus is coming for you. Quick, get on your shoes and into the boat. (that's the van for all you unimaginative folk) Hurry before the octopus gets you. Here it comes." At which point you must catch the child and then let them escape to the safety of the boat.

As I mentioned before, this is a good mommy day. The bad are filled with yelling and crying (on everyone's part) and trying to do ten things at once. Why can't every day be a good mommy day?


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Diversionary Tactics

Diversionary tactics are slipping into place.

I just received a call from the nurse's office at boy scout camp. A friend called to tell me Alex has a headache. They needed to know if they could give him some children's Motrin. Yes! Of course.

Now I sit and wonder if he is okay. No parent to comfort him. Away from home in the woods.

How will I sleep? I want to go get him right now. They say he is fine but I know him. His leg could be torn off and he'd say he had a scratch. I'm ready to weep.

I just realized I have started slipping into that mindless place where I go from thing to thing and register nothing. I know it's just a headache but he's my baby!



Help me...

Tyler, my seven year old, is playing Mad Libs with his friend. They just did a "potty humor" one. Their term, not mine. It is a very appropriate term nonetheless. Don't tell, but it gives me flashes of my youth with my brother.

At least they are learning what nouns and verbs are. Adjectives and all that.

Only 58 days until they go back to school.

Help me...

One Last Bit Of News

I FINISHED THE ROUGH DRAFT OF MY WIP LAST NIGHT!!!!

Yes, it is true. It is also true that it is rough. Very rough. But it is done.

It is also the longest thing I have ever written. For those not in the know, I usually write picture books (which are almost always under 1,000 words). This seems to be mid-grade. (That would be a chapter book for 8-12 year olds.) It is over 11,000 words! Okay, so that is not that many in the MG world. But for me... Whooohooo!

So now the work of revision begins. The question is, do I take a break and work on something else, or do I dive right in?

And Now For The Famly...

The kids are still sleeping so I thought I'd post the last of the digital pictures from Vermont. I still haven't finished the film rolls so can't post those yet.

AJ & Rachael climbing Elmore





Dylan & Jeff climbing Elmore.



Dylan & Tyler climbing (yes, Elmore again).


Dylan & Tyler climbing the fire tower on the top of... you guessed it - Elmore.


Jeff and Dylan looking out of said tower.


Who yah Blogging For?

I've been thinking a lot lately about who I blog for, who is reading it and how I feel about what different people are reading.

The thing is, the family wants to hear about the kids, see pictures and know what's going on. They do not want to hear my musings on motherhood or being a writer. This is when they are thinking, "Yeah, yeah, enough already. Where are the kids? I want more pictures."

My friends and/or strangers who read this (and there are a couple of you out there) could really care less about what camp which kid is going to. They are thinking, "More pictures? Please! Stop already." There are also things I can say to strangers that I wouldn't necessarily want to get back to the family. Nothing bad (and no, nothing about you who are reading this - cough, cough) but some observations that I wouldn't feel comfortable revealing to the actual person it is about.

So this is the dilemma. I thought for a moment, maybe two blogs. Then I thought, "Yah right. I barely get to the one most days. That will never happen."


Invariably there would still be cross over of viewers and I would spend more time on one then the other. Family would be offended, etc.

So I guess the conclusion is, everyone will have to deal. Skip what doesn't interest you and hope I do better the next day.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Monday

It is Monday once again. My favorite day of the week. Yes, it's true. Most people are appalled when I tell them this. But here is why...
  1. Monday is the day the new week starts.
  2. I am usually organized and ready to face it.
  3. The kids go off to school (or in today's case, camp).
  4. My routine starts again. 
Sound good to you?

Today starts webloes camp for Alex. I'm nervous. I'll admit it. This will be the first year he goes to overnight camp without Jeff. ACK! I'm sure he'll be fine. Of all the kids, he will do the best on his own. I do know other parents going who will look after him. (Trying to convince myself here that he will be fine.) I can't even drop him off though and that is tough. What, you ask is so important I can't drop my oldest at camp? I must go into the city and pick up Dylan at his new camp. That's what. A good friend is driving Alex and her own son. They'll have more fun together. In fact, Jeff usually drives all four of them to camp so it should be reassuring to Alex. Familiar, except that Dad won't be there. If you here me boo hooing around 11 am, you'll know why.

Dylan... yes, he is going back to Arts In Action camp. It is a 1/2 day program put on by a music school in the city. They do art projects, music, and creative movement. On Friday, we have a chance to go and watch them perform and see their "gallery show". He went last year and it was a huge success. (Of course last year he missed the first day because I completely forgot to look at the calendar and totally just forgot all about it - Bad Mom Award) So off he goes with Jeff to work. Jeff will take him to camp and I will pick him up at lunch. (Note from Dylan: I also have snack there.)

So we start this week with bags packed, early mornings and lots to do. (and a little bit of piece and quiet!)



Sunday, July 18, 2004

A Chipmunk's Zest For Life (Oh, and the kids' )

The good news is:

We have seen a chipmunk whizzing around actually looking happy to be alive. Not afraid to be in the open and looking like he has a new lease on life. Granted, it may not be the same chipmunk but I really think there is only one living here so who else could it be. As for projecting the will to live on the chipmunk... I'm not. Even my husband, who missed the terror & sadness, had a change of heart when he saw the little guy running about in the side yard. His original comment was, "There are millions of chipmunks in the world." (Implying it wasn't the same one.) But after seeing with his own eyes... he seems to agree - This could only be a creature that had a near death experience.

The bad news:

Well, I don't have any. I just felt like it was required to balance the equation.

The not enough coffee to deal with this news:

The children are running around wielding swords, or things they can use as swords such as brooms & plastic light sabers, screaming, locking each other out of the house. All while I sit here and alternately try to ignore and try to restore order amongst them. The problem is they get mad at ME when I unlock the door and let the banished child in. Even the banished child only is happy because they can then run full force, screaming toward the locker-outer. Apparently this is some game they find very fun. And selfishly, I see this as:

  1. Them getting exercise.
  2. Them leaving me alone to blog and catch up on e-mail.
  3. Them using their imaginations.
  4. Them getting fresh air. (Granted they are still in their pj's)
  5. In my defense, I did feed them breakfast as soon as I ventured downstairs this morning.

But now I need more coffee. The noise and chaos is driving me mad...

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Chipmunk Update

I never did make the cake. We went to check on the chipmunk and he had made it about 25 feet from where we had last seen the little guy. (It could have been a girl but in this house everything is considered male unless there is proof to the contrary.) He was resting when we found him. His eyes were clear and opened wide and he seemed much more alert. By the time we checked again, he was gone.

So... good luck little chippy. May you have a long life and avoid mouse traps.

I do doubt he will return to his home near our house. I know I wouldn't return. (And he was heading in the opposite direction of where I usually see him.)

The only other problem I see is that the lawn is tall with weeds and I wanted to mow this morning. I'm afraid I may accidentally come across the little guy with the mower. I'd put it off for another day (yes, this note is a bit of procrastination) but our house is now "that house." You know the one. All the other lawns on the block are mowed. Ours is so tall we are in danger of losing the children. BUT, it is finally sunny and more rain is expected soon. So, off I go to get dressed and mow. I'll try to keep my eyes peeled and hopefully you won't have to hear about an impending funeral.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Sad Day In Davis Household

It is a sad day here in the Davis household. What we thought was a fat, gray mouse was in reality an adorable chipmunk. The chipmunk now seems to have brain damage from the trap. I relocated him outside with a piece of cardboard.

He is moving slowly and resting often. He has actually improved a bit since the incident with the trap. He is now walking a bit. The initial prognosis was to end his suffering since death seemed imminent but I am unable to do that. I just can't kill him no matter how humane it may be.

The boys are devastated. Zach is taking it particularly hard. He keeps saying he doesn't like 'big chipmunks' (aka squirrels) but loves little chipmunks. He repeats every so often that he doesn't want the little chipmunk to die. In fact, he has decided I should bake a cake and give the chipmunk a tiny piece to make him feel better. Not sure where he came up with this idea but it has stuck.

"Mom, you make a cake and then we can give the chipmunk a tiny, tiny piece. It will make him feel better and then he will be all better."

"No honey, I don't think he wants any cake right now."

"Just make it and we will give him a tiny piece. Really. It will make him feel better."

"Zach, I'm not making a cake."

 "Don't you want him to get better?"

"Yes, but I'm not making a cake."
At which point he went to stand at the back door and rest his forehead on the glass. He then peered out and had a very sad face on. Broke my heart.

Maybe I should go make a cake right now...

 


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Invaded

I thought I had an agreement with the dust bunnies. I thought the deal was I leave them alone and they would stay out of sight. They broke my trust...

Last night and again today I found they were hiding spiders. Not just one or two but actual spider families with eggs and all. Now I am a modern woman and will deal with most things - spider eggs are not one of these things. I demanded Jeff dispose of them immediately. Again, I'm not one to demand my husband to do much. He usually does the things that need to be done on his own or with a simple request. I was not able to wait for him to get a moment to deal with the offending eggs. It had to be done NOW. (side note: they are gone, floors are swept and vacuumed, dust bunnies beware!) BTW, I thought spiders moved inside when winter was approaching. Granted it is cold, but mid-JULY???

One other invader in our house is being (hopefully) disposed of tonight. It is a fat, gray mouse. It has been hanging out in our laundry room. Just when I thought I blocked the hole they get in through. Guess it wasn't the one. It has been visiting for the last week or two. Only being spotted on occasion and making a beeline back outside. It stays out of the rest of the house which is why I have tolerated it thus far. But it is now war against nature. Don't get me wrong, I love nature - just not IN MY HOUSE!

Any advice for keeping nature at bay - please comment.

Dull Facts About Me

Here is one of those annoying surveys your friends send you every few months. I thought I'd post my answers to this one. Now you know the real dirt on me.

Feel free to comment with YOUR answers.

Welcome to the summer 2004 edition of getting to know your friends. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends, if you did not know them already!

1. What time do you get up?

Right now I get up about 6:30 - well, I'm suppose to, to take Dylan to camp.

Usually, 7:30.

If it is up to me... 9.

2. If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be?

My hubby (you did say 1 person - that means no kids)

3. Gold or silver?

Silver or platinum

4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

Ella Enchanted at the dollar theater with my mom & the kids.

5. What is/are your favorite TV show(s)?

Alias, ER, Scrubs

6. What did you have for breakfast?

Coffee, 2 cups

I drank this in the car while working on my WIP and waiting for Dylan to finish camp.

7. Who would you hate to be stuck in a room with?

Joe (old college friend - yes, friend)

8. What/who inspires you?

The kids, my hubby and my writing buddies.

9. What is your middle name?

Miller (but I was born with Lee)

10. Beach, City or Country?

Beach

11. Favorite ice cream?

Coffee, coffee, buzz, buzz, buzz

This is made by Ben & Jerry's. That is also the only place to get it now - It's in the flavor graveyard. :-(

12. Butter, plain or salted popcorn?

Salt

13. Favorite color?

Green & black

14. What kind of car do you drive?

Red Dodge Caravan - what else can cart 4 kids around with all their stuff.

15. Favorite sandwich?

Spinach, red pepper, tomato, green onion & seasoned salt on a seasoned flatout

16. What characteristic do you despise?

Greed

17. Favorite flower?

Tulip

18. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

Somewhere warm when it is cold - with my hubby and no kids.

19. What color is your bathroom?

Part blue, part white, and part green bathroom drywall stuff.

20. Favorite brand of clothing?

Old Navy

21. Where would you retire to?

Arizona or Maine

22. Favorite day of the week?

Monday

23. What did you do for your last birthday?

I think I went out to a movie with hubby. Hard to remember 6 months ago.

24. Where were you born?

Milford, MA

25. Favorite sport to watch?

Right now it is 3rd & 4th grade soccer

26. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?

Everyone

27. Person you expect to send it back first?

No one

28. What laundry detergent do you use?

Tide

29. Coke or Pepsi?

Diet Pepsi - but it's not helping

30. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Night Owl

31. What is your shoe size?

6 1/2 wide

32. Do you have any pets?

Not at the moment.

33. If you could be anything in the world (occupation wise) what would it be?

Children's book writer

A Night of S'Mores

No, this was not the same day as ice cream for dinner. I'm not that bad of a mother. These were the next night...

Uncle Rob's still life



The boys eating the s'mores



Dylly & Aunt Shana hanging at the campfire



I'll try to hold off on more pictures for a bit. I'm sure your all bored to tears.

3 loads of laundry left. The kids clothes are all clean. YAY! Just sleeping bags left. WhooHoo!

Must really feed the children - they are starting to raid the cupboards.

Trip to Ben & Jerry's

We stopped twice at Ben & Jerry's on the trip. I may have mentioned the fact we MUST pass right by the factory to and from the campsite.

The first trip there was actually the first full day we were up there. It was a bit rainy so we went to Pie in the Sky for lunch and (shhh, don't tell anyone) had ice cream for dinner. Probably the most unhealthy dinner I've ever given the kids. Remember though, ice cream is made with milk. Not a total loss. (Trying to look at the positive here)

Alex & Tyler in the giant lid.



Dylan & Zach...



The boys on the playground at B&J's.



Zach chillin' at B&J's.



Off to do MORE laundry. 10 loads done, 4 to go...

A Night of S'Mores

No, this was not the same day as ice cream for dinner. I'm not that bad of a mother. These were the next night...

Uncle Rob's still life




The boys eating the s'mores




Dylly & Aunt Shana hanging at the campfire




I'll try to hold off on more pictures for a bit. I'm sure your all bored to tears.

3 loads of laundry left. The kids clothes are all clean. YAY! Just sleeping bags left. WhooHoo!


Must really feed the children - they are starting to raid the cupboards.

Trip to Ben & Jerry's

We stopped twice at Ben & Jerry's on the trip. I may have mentioned the fact we MUST pass right by the factory to and from the campsite.

The first trip there was actually the first full day we were up there. It was a bit rainy so we went to Pie in the Sky for lunch and (shhh, don't tell anyone) had ice cream for dinner. Probably the most unhealthy dinner I've ever given the kids. Remember though, ice cream is made with milk. Not a total loss. (Trying to look at the positive here)

Alex & Tyler in the giant lid.





Dylan & Zach...





The boys on the playground at B&J's.





Zach chillin' at B&J's.





Off to do MORE laundry. 10 loads done, 4 to go...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Construction

Still doing mounds of laundry. I don't think it will ever end. We were only gone 4 days - how did we produce 15 loads of laundry???

Soccer games have started. We are rooting for either green or orange depending on the night. Alex plays on Mondays and Wednesday and Tyler on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It worked out so they each got their favorite color for their team shirt. Very convenient.

Now a picture (as promised) from the trip...



This is a brook that ran behind our campsite. The day after we arrived it was gray and damp. The greens were so bright they seemed unreal. The level of the brook was higher than usual due to the torrential rains that left just before we arrived (have I mentioned the site was flooded when we arrived?) The cold did not stop the boys from exploring though.



They were rerouting the brook by building a dam with their dad and Uncle Rob...



And the last picture from the construction site at the brook...



23 days down/79 to go(The kids are driving me mad again and we are having horrendous thunderstorms)

Pictures...

Some pictures from the 3rd & 4th of July. Courtesy of my SIL & BIL, Shana & Rob. (These are from their digital camera. Still need to scan mine.)


Tyler fishing off Grandpa's dock on the 3rd.



Alex & Tyler fishing.



Dylan & Zach in Grandpa's kayak.


The boys in their flag shirts at Nana's on the 4th.


I will post some trip pictures tomorrow. Enjoy!

We're Back...

Well, we are back. Looks like my guest blogger never showed. Sorry about that.

The trip went well. All had fun. It was much dryer than last year. YAY!

Zach made his first hike up Mt. Elmore this year. Tyler made his first BIG hike up Mt. Mansfield. I have never hiked up Mansfield. It is like a 6 hour hike up and back. The report is he did great. His energy never flagged. Alex, Dylan, Zach, Aunt Shana, Aunt Rachael & I went to the beach while Tyler, Jeff & Uncle Rob hiked the 'big' mountain. The boys gave their Aunt Shana a mud bath on her legs at the beach. Alex has decided to go into business doing this in the future.

The boys also made t-shirts while we were there. We found neat leaves, sticks, rocks, ferns & bark and painted them. Then we pressed them onto the shirts. Very cool. I'll try to get a picture of them wearing them up in the next couple of days.

More later... must do mounds and mounds and even more mounds of laundry. I can barely fit in the laundry room (piles and bags of stuff needing to be washed everywhere) and as anyone who has been here knows, I have a very large laundry room.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Vacation...

I am writing now because, well, I don't know what tomorrow will bring.

We are leaving for Vermont after Jeff & Tyler get home and after theater camp and after I finish packing and, and, and. So - who knows if I'll get the chance to tell you...

I'm having a guest blogger (assuming he remembers to write). And it is... drum roll... my brother.

I have no idea what he will write. He probably doesn't either. In fact, I can't wait to get home and read his posts. I may actually learn something about his life. He's a tad secretive. He says there is nothing going on but I don't believe him.

So enjoy. I hope it works out. I'm not really sure what I'm doing. I just hope I set it up okay for him. (I'll admit to not knowing what I am doing most of the time on the computer.)

Back in 6 days.

School Stuff in July

After spending the last month in negotiations with the primary school principal I have finally gotten what we've been asking for. Yes, it is late. Yes, it won't solve all the problems he has created with his new procedure but at least the info will help Tyler.

What you ask am I talking about? I'll tell you...

Every year the kids get their teacher assignments for the next year on the last day. They visit their new room and usually find at least one kid from their existing class will be in the new one. During soccer season the moms construct a network of who has who so by the second week of July the kids know approximately 5 more kids in their class.

This year our principal has decided to wait until the second week of August to impart the news. There are various rumors as to why he has done this. The results are anxiety in my children ranging from stomach aches to temper tantrums to nightmares and a few other less savory symptoms.

Today I'd had enough and marched into his office. And he caved. But not before he explained he didn't want it getting out and realizing it would. Now he is afraid of the deluge of 100's of phone calls between now and August 8th. Too bad. I will do my best to keep it quiet but I can't make any promises. (Luckily, no one in town reads this blog.) As I said to him, "I understand your concern but you must understand that I can not sit by and watch my children go through this." He said he did. We both realize this is a small town and the network of parents is strong. Once the info is leaked I estimate it will take 3 days for the whole town to find out. There will be no going back.

Must be off to pack. Leaving tomorrow for Vermont...

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Another Day, Another Thing To Pack

Yes, the packing has commenced. Actually, it started before Jeff & Tyler left. And I am still at it. And I haven't even started on the clothes.

Today I got the shopping done for the trip. Did my current nursery school duties. Took care of the children. Now for the new Things To Do list... Okay, I'll start on it tomorrow.

Dylan is loving Theater camp. Enough that when I wake him up - he doesn't mind. In fact, he hops out of bed in excitement, gets dressed, grabs his backpack & breakfast and heads out the door. Anyone who has met him knows - this is not his usual self. I am usually dragging him from bed.

So off to bed for me. A bit of reading then lights out. I have to get up earlier than I do during the school year just to get Dyl to camp on time. Luckily, Aunt Rachael has been stopping by to watch the others while I'm gone. (Good thing since they have been still sleeping when I leave.)

15/79

Monday, July 5, 2004

Summer Starts

Summer has officially started in the Davis household. The family went to the ring of fire on the lake on the 3rd. Hung at Grandpa's house and watched the locals' fireworks. Even set off a few of our own this year thanks to Uncle Rob & Aunt Shana.

Last night we went to the city to see the real deal. We waited 3 1/2 hours to see 17 minutes of fireworks. They were beautiful if not short this year. I think it may have had something to do with the thunder, lightening and pouring rain. It started about 40 minutes before the big event. We ended up watching from the van.

So, 2 nights in a row of the kids being up until 11:30. They are handling it well. We'll see how tonight goes.

This morning I had to wake Dylan up for Theater camp. Whoever thought 8:30 in the morning was a good time to have a camp doesn't have more than one child. Luckily, Jeff was home. He and Tyler are off to Boy Scout camp. 4 days and 3 nights. They left almost 2 hours ago and Alex is lost already. The children are hanging about me like wet laundry. Damp and heavy and stuck to me like wet fabric. Ugh!

I must go shake them off now and make them lunch...

14/79

Friday, July 2, 2004

My Eyes...

The full moon hung just above the road as I drove home from the grocery store at 10:30 tonight. I love it when the moon does that. It's so big you would swear you could just reach up and touch it. Then you drive around a bend and suddenly it seems smaller.

Yes, I was at the store when I would usually be getting ready for bed or at least sitting at the computer. The day was jam packed and yet the regular chores did not get accomplished.

The day started with an eye appointment for me. Luckily, my FIL watched the children. We won't even go into what could have happened had he not. The eye appointment was scheduled to find out what the black spot in my vision was. The fact I have a degree in art might tell you a bit about how much I value my eyesight. I had to have my eyes dilated so they could look and tell me it was a "floater" that will probably be there forever but will not cause any damage. The good news.

The bad (and yes minor comparatively speaking) was they DILATED my eyes. It has been many years since this has happened. My eyes usually dilate enough on their own for them to check them out. They proceeded to give me "reversal drops". The caution that, "they burn a little," was a bit of an understatement. Yes, they burn. And I'm not convinced they work. I managed to drive home basically blinded. I could see large objects and am fairly certain I didn't hit anything on the way. Luckily, I live about 2 miles from the eye doctor.

I must mention that it was one of those blindingly bright days out. (Isn't it always.) The kind of day when the sun reflects off everything - especially the white garage and white house. Whoever thought to paint them white should be forced to stare at the sun... for days... without sunglasses! By the time I made it into the house and took off the darkest pair of sunglasses I've ever found (I have sensitive eyes to begin with), I was nauseous. I also was unable to do anything. The children were watching movies that Grandpa had put on for them so I read The Horn Book Magazine with one eye (I think the drops may have worked in my left eye. I could decipher nothing with two eyes but the left was fairly clear.) and made the kids lunch.

By the time Jeff got home (early for the holiday weekend) I was ready for something else. By now I could see large objects and decided to finally paint the porch stairs. Let me mention they were built - oh, I can't remember, 2 or 3 years ago. They are now painted. Gray & white. Dull. The kids asked why so boring. "Why didn't you paint them colorful?" I thought about it and realized I had no good reason. I used the color scheme of the existing porch and never thought to do something different. So now I am thinking what wondrous bright color I should buy to repaint them.

I was about to say the day went off without a hitch, but then remembered Zach did step on the paint lid and then stick his hand onto some fresh paint. And let's not forget the toad that almost jumped from Tyler's hand into an open can of paint. Tyler was holding the toad directly over the can while showing it to me. All in all a productive day.

We ended it with a baseball game (parents vs kids). Baseball is over for the season but Alex's coach does this each year with the kids. I, wisely, walked up late to the fields with the other 3 children and missed out on playing. I did take a moment to notice the sun dancing sparkles over the lake. You can just see a sliver of it when you stand on the top of the hill in town. The coach thought I should join in anyway but since I didn't, there were no injuries. You'd understand if you've ever seen me with a ball or bat in my hand.

I realized when everyone was noshing on pizza and soda that this was the first time my children have ever had caffeinated soda. At 8:00 at night. Scary. Another reason I ran to the grocery at 9 p.m.

The things I remember most about today are the dark, brown, lumpy toad being held in Tyler's little pink hand over a circle of pristine white paint, the yellow full moon sitting atop the dark road, the red pizza sauce dripping down Zach's chin and his white little foot as he hobbled to his dad to have it washed off with the hose. Alex's sweaty red face beaming at me when he finished playing ball with his friends and his dad, Dylan's smooth skin, deep brown eyes and the way his scar creased when he smiled at me and held out his arms for a hug. I'm glad my eyes are okay.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Sleep Deprived

Here is my virtual self. Don't I look good? Okay, I wish I looked that good. That chin sure would be nice. Oh, and those collar bones. I'm sure mine there somewhere, it's just been a long time since I've seen them.

To create your own virtual self go here. Thanks to the mom at This Full House for sharing the link.

I'm a bit cranky this a.m. Feeling guilty and quite groggy. Was up until 5 a.m. Please don't ask why. I have no good answer. It wasn't even productive. As for today, I am of no use. My brain isn't working. I feel hungover (and no, I wasn't drinking) & want a nap. This is not to happen and the day is beautiful so I have more guilt, guilt that I should be outside, taking the children somewhere fun, working - which I haven't done much of lately - or well, doing anything.

Maybe just a little nap...