Monday, January 31, 2005

Winter Wonderland

As Zach and I drove out of the village and toward the lake on the way to nursery school we entered a winter wonderland. No, it didn't snow. No, no freezing rain. There was a receding fog that had frozen on the trees.

I was ordered by my four-year-old to drop him off and get the camera. Then I was to come back and photograph the trees.

How could I say no?

I took some photos from the side of the road and then drove to the park at the end of the lake. There I walked around and froze my face, toes and fingers off in the 9 degree weather. Luckily the beauty of the sun on the ice crystals made it all worth while. That and the photos.

If you'd like to check out what we saw, go to my photoblog. There'll be new photos from this morning all week. I hope they capture even a fraction of the beauty we experienced. It's all gone now. Melted off by the sun.

Friday, January 28, 2005

I Have The Best Husband EVER

My hubby just won me tickets to a sold out show of Dropkick Murphys!!!!

The last time I went to a concert? Almost ELEVEN years ago. ELEVEN.

Have I mentioned I heart the Dropkick Murphys?

They are from Boston. The question that won him the tickets? Who is your favorite baseball team. (We live in NY. We are in the minority. If you don't know who our favorite team is - look here.)

Who has a better husband? NO ONE. I love you honey!

Special thanks to his sister, Rachael, for agreeing to babysit on such short notice. (a college girl - a Friday night)

Exciting News...

I'm learning to knit.

After being shown about 900 times over the course of my life - I FINALLY get it! Yay for me. Now I must practice, practice, practice. I thought I'd try a scarf to start. (as soon as I stop having to pull it all out every 4 rows or so)

Any suggestions?

I'm thinking my sudden prowess with the knitting needles has come from my Aunt Bea who tried to teach me 800 of those 900 times as a child. She spent countless hours and unsurpassed amounts of patience trying to teach me. She passed away about three weeks ago. Just 11 weeks shy of her 100th birthday. I'd love to tell you she lived a full life right up until the end but unfortunately she spent the last 20 years or so in a nursing home. The last 10 of which she didn't know who I was when I went to visit her. And I'm embarrassed to admit, I did not visit her nearly enough.

I was planning to write a heartfelt remembrance to her for the last couple weeks but although I have warm feelings and wonderful memories of her, there just aren't THAT many things I remember.

I do remember her staying with us in the summers while my parents worked. I remember her living on the west coast in the winters. I remember her making tea and letting my brother and I dunk the tea bag too many times as she reminded us she liked it pale. She never yelled though. She always laughed. Every single time.

I remember her sitting on the floor to play board games. I remember her letting me try to attach her garter to her stocking. I was fascinated by them and didn't understand why she wouldn't wear nylons like everyone else I knew. I never saw her in pants or a skirt. She always were a full slip under her dresses.

My Aunt Bea took a nap every day. She worked as a bookkeeper before she retired. She never married. Never had children. She was more a Grandmother to me than my real Grandmother. She was 20 years older than my dad. She was 65 when I was born.

Beatrice Higgins knit matching sweaters for my dolls and I. Purple cardigan with alphabet letters on the border. Fuzzy dogs & doghouses for my brother. Matching hats that always had a pompon on top. Blankets and scarves and mittens.

She was a knitting machine who donated millions of baby blankets to church bazaars even when she first went into the nursing home and could barely see or hold the knitting needles.

I have one blanket she made for my oldest. I think she was sure I'd have a girl. I think we all thought he'd be a girl. I still have the little coral blanket she knit wrapped in plastic, waiting for a girl to be born into the family. She also knit a delicate white sweater with blue trim. She knit it as soon as he was born. I have pictures of him in it. I'll have to go find them.

I didn't intend this to be a tribute to her... but I'm glad I finally did it. Aunt Bea, I miss you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

And Yet More Snow...

Yes, the big storm is over but today we got another SIX inches and it's STILL snowing. I really don't mind but I did take some photos when I went out to pick up Zach at school (around noonish). It seems to be a long time since we've had this much snow.


Well, I did it again. I exercised. Instead of beginning yoga I moved on to beginning pilates. Hey, it's been a while since I've done anything.

I was getting bored with the same hour of yoga over and over (a whole three times) and thought I'd try my new pilates DVD. Let's just say it started out easy. And then... and then I thought my hips were going to ignite. My legs were shaking. I thought they would fly out of the sockets and clatter to the floor a few feet away. I expect not to be able to crawl out of bed tomorrow.

So once again you all find out how sad I am. Sad, sad, sad. The other problem I have with pilates? (Even when I was in the best shape of my life a couple years ago) I can not do a roll-up. Does anyone else out there do pilates? A roll-up for those of you who don't is much like a sit-up. You lie flat on your back with your arms over your head and roll-up to touch your feet. (Hence the name roll-up.) I can't get more than my shoulders off the floor. WHY? Does anyone know if I could blame this on FOUR c-sections? Could it be all the scar tissue? Could it be the fact they cut my abdomen FOUR times? Please, tell me I'm not just a weak loser and have a good excuse. Please?

As for other types of exercise... Not for me. One, I hate to sweat. Two, I hate to jump around. Three, I like the whole 'quiet the mind/concentrate on your breath' of yoga and pilates. It really does help center me. Goofy, I know. But true. Besides, the coordination required is much less and I know if I keep doing it I won't be flailing around so much as my 'core' gets stronger.

Could it be I'm actually starting to exercise regularly? So not me.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Kid Conversation

SCENE: Dylan walking up driveway in an odd fashion after school.

ME: wave him in, it's COLD 
DYLAN: shakes his head no, looks down and continues to walk in a strange, bizarre waddle 
ME: "Are you liking those boots?" (long story involving usual stealing of his brother's boots) 
DYLAN: "I'm making tracks. Like Peter in the Snowy Day." 
ME: heart weeps in total love "Ohhhh." 
DYLAN: "Don't they look just like Peter's?" working very hard to point feet in then out 
ME: "Yes, they do." more weeping of my heart 
DYLAN: looking back at his tracks "They DO look just like Peter's tracks." beams 
ME: Run to computer to blog about it


Enough about the health of my family. I'm boring even myself.

No new photos. I haven't been feeling very inspired as of late. Hopefully. Soon.

Today is catch-up day. I have to catch-up with the laundry. Catch-up with my e-mail. Pay the bills. Run the dishwasher. Make some birthday cards. Apply for a job. No time to blog. Maybe later I'll have time to post a real post. Maybe later I'll have something interesting to say. I hope. For your sakes.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

And Even Better...

Returned from the doctor's with much good news:

Dylan is all better. All his blood work is normal and so is his liver. Yay for Dylan! No more mono.

I do not have mono. Did you hear me? NO MONO! YAY! Seems I've been so tired because my anemia is acting up. Low blood levels. The physician's assistant seemed a bit worried since they are quite low but it usually happens about once a year. A couple of steaks and I should be doing much better. (I know, I know. If I would just take the damn iron pills I'd be fine. But if I take the iron, then I'd have to take other stuff to go... you know... potty. And that is just no fun! So, no iron pills just some good old red meat for me!)

Zach seems to just have a virus. So far. He is now napping. Yes, I said NAPPING! He hasn't done that since the last time he was sick. Whooohooo for me. Oh, and him.

Getting Better

I'm starting to feel better. Just in time to do the dishes that were in the sink for 2 days. Just in time for Zach to wake up with a fever at 5:30 a.m. Just in time for Dylan's 12:30 check-up at the doctor's today. Just in time to buy milk.

I went to the doctor's on Tuesday and found I had a sinus infection and bronchitis. Possibly mono. Haven't heard about the mono yet but the antibiotics are kicking butt and although I need to rest after being up for 10 minutes - I feel a million times better. Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm hoping I'll be my old self by next week, if not the weekend. YAY!

No pictures to offer up today. Haven't used the camera as the scene from the couch is not very exciting - unless crumpled tissues are your thing. Just haven't had the energy to even think of trying to make them look interesting or venture forth with a camera. I'll try to take aim tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Still Sick...

Feeling horrible. 
Might be time to see a medical professional. 
**cough, cough, hack, hack**

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bad News/Good News

Bad news for my weekend roommates...
The cough medicine from the doctor that has worked so well has given me HORRENDOUS headaches each morning. Today I found out why. It has codeine in it. CODEINE. I'm allergic to codeine. So, no more of that. At least I'll be able to function in the mornings now.

Good news...
The doctor's office suggested another course of action and we will pray this one works better.

Bad news...
Another child is home sick with a stomach ache/headache. I'm hoping it's a 24 hour thingy and not what his brother has (mono). Yes, my SIX-year-old has MONO. Don't ask. I don't know how he got it.

Good news...
He has been functioning very well for having such a wretched illness and he seems to be on the recovery side of it. His liver enzymes are dropping and his stomach isn't bothering him so much. (Enlarged liver was causing stomach pain.)

Bad news...
House has taken over and is a dusty mess. Also, have not done laundry since the weekend.

Good news...
I'm leaving soon so the mess will not bother me. Also, everyone still has clean clothes to wear.

Bad news...
I have not exercised since Monday. Actually, I have done nothing but lay on couch since Monday.

Good news...
I am hoping all this resting is making me better sooner so I can enjoy this weekend.

Bad news...
I have not started packing.

Good news...
I still have a reason to pack.

Must go rest now. This has worn me out!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Poe here.

Coughing has kept me up since 2:45 a.m. ~ A.M! So wrong. Moved self to couch in hopes of not waking rest of family. It worked but I still have not slept. Finally decided to waste time on computer instead of lying in dark begging for sleep that will not come.

Busy day today. Must take Alex to his 10-year check-up. Then it is off to gymnastics with Tyler. Looks like much coffee will need to be consumed to stay upright and awake while driving.

Have I mentioned I'm going away this weekend? Have I? Without the children? Well, I am. Really. Going to Boston and staying with my brother and then with friends in an actual hotel in downtown Boston. Really, for real. Spending Saturday at ALA's midwinter meeting. (American Library Association) No, I am not a librarian. Still, I get to spend the day on the exhibit floor. What exactly this means I am not sure but I have been told to bring a large bag. There will be take-aways from publishing houses and *gasp* possibly books. BOOKS! Now I'm not sure if this is just a rumor. It may be. I won't know until I get there.

You may be wondering why I'm attending if I'm not really sure what it is I'm attending. Well, did I mention I get to go to Boston? Without my children? And see friends? That may explain it. Also, it fits under the guise of "work related". And it has to do with books. BOOKS people.

This little trip will also explain my absence here after Friday a.m. until Monday. I will be gone. Away. Not here. And since I'm without a laptop. *gasp* it's true. I'm so behind the times. I will be absent.

Now, if I could just get rid of this cough. I'm a bit worried since I'm suppose to be sharing a hotel room with friends and the thought of coughing all night is HORRIFYING since I will keep everyone up. I hope it has a nice lobby. Maybe an all night coffee shop for me to spend my time. Oh, and the lack of sleep may effect me during the SIX hour drive each way. By myself.

NOTE TO SELF: Ask doctor about good drugs for cough while there today.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday Update's Update

Lasted only 45 minutes doing yoga before gallbladder rolled across yoga mat. Spleen is currently making escape attempt.

NOTE: Hacking up body parts is not conducive to calming yoga.

ANOTHER NOTE: Family has taken to calling me Poe. (If anyone has listened to Tim Curry read Lemony Snicket - I sound just like Mr. Poe.)

Monday Update

I might as well admit I used up my allotment of cleverness for the year on my Ode to Tylenol PM. Seems it will be a long, dull year for anyone reading. Sorry about that.

One another note, Sharon over at Adventures of a Domestic Engineer created a beautiful painting inspired by one of my photographs. Go check it out!

Now my 2005 Goal update:
  1. No job yet.
  2. Still re-evaluating writing career.
  3. Baby book for Zach... Ha!
  4. Found 5 boxes of photos to organize. I'm sure there are other packets of photos lurking about the house. Organized 1.5 boxes chronologically before illness fell me.
  5. Update kids' albums... Ha ha!
  6. Home started to win battle while I was ill. Have spent weekend with hubby trying to take it back.
  7. Do more with children... well, if lying on couch and asking them to quiet down is more - than yes, I'm doing more with them.
  8. Yell less... can't yell, makes me cough. YAY! Success.
  9. Take more photographs... Yes!
  10. Lose weight... I have lost and gained the same 2 pounds repeatedly since the new year began - so yes, I have lost weight.
  11. Exercise more... did yoga for one hour last week. Success! I have exercised more than last year. I will try again today. Little worried about hacking up a body part as it seems they are trying to escape through my oral cavity the last few days. Am making it through by envisioning the firm upper abdominals I will be sporting by the time the cough is gone.

Technically I have accomplished half of my 2005 goals. Looks like a banner year. Now I can go back to my regular underachieving self.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Life's Looking Up

Yesterday I was looking for the truck to come and finish me off. The fever came back and I was welcoming death.

I couldn't take anything too strong because life as a mom has its priorities. Things like taking your 6-year-old for an abdominal ultrasound (normal) then taking him to have more blood work because the first round came back with some unhealthy signs.

Between trips with the kids I curled up under many blankets and shivered. When most of my parenting duties were filled I called my husband, told him to come home now and begged the 10-year-old to pour everyone a bowl of cereal for dinner.

I curled up under many blankets in bed and shivered until my husband arrived. When I knew he was in charge I took my blessed Tylenol PM. Blissful sleep. Blissfully ache-free. When the fever broke, I woke and whipped off the blankets and half of the layers I was wearing. This morning I'm feeling a hundred times better.

After a trip to the gymnastics center in heavy snow, lunch at Panera with my two oldest (mmmm... Panera Bread, "They have the best bread in the world here," said Alex. He means this literally in all his 10-year-old worldly knowledge.) we inched our way home in the continuing snow. The kids are out playing. It is the best snow for playing. Large amounts of sticky, perfect for snowballs snow.

Off to take some photos...

Friday, January 7, 2005

O Tylenol PM

Sung to tune of O Holy Night:

O Tylenol PM
You sooth my aching muscles,
You help me sleep and for that I'm grateful.

O Tylenol PM
Because of you I'm feeling
Much better and now I can get on with my life.

I'm feeling less sore,
Feeling o so better
My eyes no longer ache
I can do my chores now

The laundry'll get done
I'll even wash the dishes
I must shower now
and get the kids on the buses

O Tylenol PM
You sooth
My aching muscles.

O PM divine.

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Thanks and Stuff

First, thank you to all of you who de-lurked! It is wonderful to meet you all. Now, you don't have to continue to comment but - see how easy that was. Keep in touch. If you want. Did I say thank you?

Apparently I was wrong yesterday when I thought my whining body was induced by yoga. It was actually a truck that ran me over. Since my last post the driver of the semi has backed up then driven back and forth across my body to make sure I'm dead. I think he succeeded.

Since I will be curled up in the fetal position for the rest of the day, I have left you some new photos on the photoblog. In fact, there will be new ones every day this week. Comments are turned off on the photoblog but feel free to comment here if you have any thoughts on the photos. I guess I'm finally ready for feedback.

One more thing... have I mentioned the kids are still home? Actually, the oldest just left. There is a TWO HOUR delay because of the snow/ice. Not what I needed today. The 3rd & 1st graders won't get on the bus until 10:45!!! Yes, it deserves all the exclamation points.

Now off to pass out on the couch. My eyeballs are aching.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

To Do

Learn to keep pain relieving drugs such as Morphine Demerol Advil in the house. Entire body is aching. Even scalp. Expecting to chip tooth at any moment as it is only area not whining about Yoga practices of 2 days ago.

No yoga today as 8-year-old has dentist appointment during newly slotted yoga time. (Thank God.)

(Yes, it really is THIS early in the a.m. Unable to sleep due to whining body. Great, now kids aren't only ones whining. My body has joined the other side. I knew exercise was a bad idea.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Do You Know?

Do you know what a stretched out rubber band is like? Thick in some spots, thin in others. When it finally snaps there isn't any omph. It just sort of lays there jiggling.

That is my legs today.

They actually feel fine when I'm moving. Not so hot at 3:30 a.m. when lying in bed.

Monday, January 3, 2005

Goal Update

Before the year proceeds too far and I forget all about my goals (any day now), I thought I'd give you all a little update on reaching my goals as seen here...
  1. Just found out the position I applied for is filled.
  2. Am still re-evaluating writing career. Not looking good.
  3. Haven't started baby book for FOUR-year-old. (Have discussed this with him. Had to PROMISE to do it. He asked where his was while his brothers were looking at theirs.)
  4. Must find photos.
  5. HA!
  6. Kitchen clean, laundry done, tree still up.
  7. Took older 2 boys to movie yesterday. (Series of Unfortunate Events)
  8. Biggest blow-out at kids EVER. Last night. No yelling today.
  9. Took some photos today. I have PROOF! HA! (check out my photoblog)
  10. I have lost 2 pounds. Yes, 2 pounds. Probably because I limited my chocolate intake to 5 M&M's yesterday. Too bad I made banana nut bread today. It is SO good! (PS. Thank you Skatemom. I froze the rest of the bananas.)
  11. I did an HOUR of yoga today. Yes, for real. Not kidding. (You probably won't hear from me tomorrow because I will not be able to pull myself out of bed from the severe pain I will be experiencing.)
That is all for my update. Stay tuned for more updates and future failings of goals.

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Happy New Year!

I wish I had read about the superstition of whatever you are doing on New Year's Day is what you'll be doing all year long. No blogging, no computer, no writing, not even spending much time with the kids. So you ask, what did I do?

Let's see... cleaning, spending time with friends, grocery shopping (surprising, I know - HA!) So not all bad. I'd like to say I don't want to spend the year cleaning but since that is one of my goals, keeping up with the house, I suppose it's not such a bad thing. Oh, there was one other thing I did on New Year's Day. Twice actually. That's something good to look forward to.

On another note, tomorrow the kids go back to school. Hooray for school! No time to blog though. My to-do list is very long. This is the week I play catch up...

...and I really should make some banana bread. The bananas are ready and if I don't I'll have to throw them all away. Anyone want some? I figure I have enough bananas to make 6 loaves of bread. What am I going to do with SIX loaves of banana bread? (Especially since I shouldn't eat it. It's not exactly a diet food and I have no concept of moderation.)

Kid Conversation

I now have my husband taking notes of the kids' conversations. I'm so glad because I would have hated to miss this one...

Scene: They had just pulled into the driveway of Jeff's office.

DYLAN: "Who lives next door?" 
JEFF: "His name is Lou. I don't know his last name." 
ZACH: "What about his wife?" 
JEFF: "I don't know his wife's name." 
DYLAN: "How do you know he has a wife?" 
ZACH: "Of course, you know everybody in the whole wide world has a wife. Because they want a baby." 
ZACH: "Yeah, Jake doesn't want to marry anyone. His mom said he could stay in their house forever." 
DYLAN: "That's what I want to do." 
ZACH: "Yeah, so you don't have to dance with Brittany and marry her. And kiss her." *heehee* 
JEFF: "Well, you have a long time before you have to worry about that." 
DYLAN: "How long, dad?" 
JEFF: "Till you're 18." 
DYLAN: "How about when I'm 20?"