Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween

My oldest sister and I look a lot alike. I say that because I'm about to write something that might offend her, and I just want it on the record that it just as easily could have been me, that's all. We look so much alike that our mother has gotten us honest-to-goodness confused. Not calling us by the wrong name, but truly thinking that one of us was the other. Which, when we were younger, I'm sure offended her greatly, since I'm her MUCH younger sister (okay, not that much, but I'd like to have that on record now, as I'm in the mode of trying to confuse people about my age so that as I near 40 no one will actually know when it happens. Except my kids keep telling everyone how old I am.)

So anyhow, back to offending my sister.

I don't have heaps of memories of Halloween. Not that it was not anything special, I just have a terrible memory. But I have one memory that makes me giggle. One year, as she was getting on the older side of trick-or-treating, but still young enough, and old enough to have to go around with her annoying younger sisters, my sister dressed up as a man. It was cute - she wore our dad's tie, tied up her hair and painted a moustache.

It was cute. Until some crazy old bat says to her, in all seriousness, "Oh, you poor young man having to go out trick-or-treating with all these young girls" She probably even blessed her heart.

My sister, mistaken for a man. My poor mother made all those Halloween costumes for us, and that's what I remember.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Normal

My oldest child is rather smart. To me, he's normal. He just is who he is. He has strengths and weaknesses, he has challenges to overcome and things that come easily to him. Likes, dislikes, passions and things that he could care less about. His intelligence doesn't actually affect our daily life much - things are just normal.

But sometimes, just sometimes, he stuns me. Knocks me on the floor.

Like the time in Kindergarten when I realized that they needed to know their phone number and he didn't even know the number of digits in the phone number, much less what they were. So I sat down with him and repeated the digits over and over to him, and he just couldn't get it right. I mean, there was just no way. So I got the bright idea to show it to him. I wrote it down on a little slip of paper, just as though I was going to give it to a friend. I flashed it at him. He looked at it for no longer than 10 seconds. I took it away and asked him what our phone number was. He spoke it perfectly, never made a mistake after that.

Just recently, like in the last few days, he's just floored me again. With little things that I usually take for granted, because it's just who he is. There was a question in the paper the other day, a brain teaser. It went something like this:

"There are five people in a race. Rachel and George were not last. Jerry was before George. Pat was before George. Rachel came in after Jerry. Etc, etc. Who came in first?"

I can't remember the specifics, but I read it to him, just for fun. He knew the answer immediately. "Pat. Do you want to know the rest of the order? Next came Jerry, then George, blah, blah, blah." Um, seriously? I hadn't even sorted out who was in the race? And he did it while he was reading the comics! Gah!

And then, we were digging in the Halloween candy. I said, "oooh, an Andes mint! I want that one!" And he asked me about the candy. And I went on and on about how delicious it was, because, well, YUM. About a minute later, he says, "Mom, is it spelled like the name, Andy, or like the Mountain Range?" Um, seriously? You're eight.

Just little things. They normally just fly right past me, because they are who he is, but every now and then I can really step back and realize how cool he really is.

Middle of the night phone call

You know, the one where you jump out of your skin and answer the phone as fast as you can, because you know it's never good news. Especially when your husband is a police officer on duty. At that moment.

So, I answer the phone and I hear a "BEEEEP." I hang up, heart still in my throat. I attempt to calm myself. It was just a wrong number, someone trying to fax something. Hey guess what? Faxes always redial. Right after your heart has returned to it's normal position.

This time, I got really annoyed. I'm no longer worried, I'm just annoyed. Aside from the fact that there's a sick little girl in the bed next to me, I really don't want to have the phone ringing all night long.

So I call the number back. Never expected a person to answer. "County Sherriff's Office" the phone is answered. Um, yeah, someone in your office is sending a fax to my home phone number, and I'd like for it to stop.

"Well, ma'am, the only reason why someone would be calling you from this office is if you have someone in jail."

If I hadn't been so tired and annoyed, I would have burst out laughing. "Ma'am, the only person I know who would be at your facility would be PUTTING someone in jail. Can you make this stop?"

So she transferred me to dispatch. Who transferred me to the jail. Who assured me that no one was sending a fax.

So I did the only thing I knew to do. I called my husband.

"Are you okay?" Affirmative.

"Are you at the county jail?" Negative.

"Can you ask them to stop trying to send me a fax?" Wha?

So I explained the whole story. And I must explain here that our phone number, before it was ours, belonged to the office of an elected county official. So we get a few weird phone calls. Still, after more than five years. Usually about twice or three times a week. Still. But we've never gotten a fax in the middle of the night.

Oddly enough, when my husband called, he was not treated like someone who's loved one is a, um, client of theirs. Not treated like a crazy person making phone calls in the middle of the night. In fact, he was able to speak to the person in charge of the person sending the fax to the wrong place. And he asked them to stop. And oddly enough, they did.

And, UPDATE YOUR PHONE LIST, for gosh sakes!

I'm tired. And a little cranky. Can you tell?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

'Tis The Season...

To start listening to the whining about candy.

We went to a superfun Halloween event last night. The kids got to dress up and go around asking strangers for candy. The asking started as soon as the first piece of candy hit the bottom of the bucket. The littlest one looked up at me with his big, dark brown eyes. The eyes said, "do I eat it now?" "NOT YET" responded my look of death.

They ate candy in the dark on the way home. Is it gum? is it laffy taffy? Just keep chewing.

They poured out their buckets on the living room floor and inspected their candy when they got home. The oldest one is now, unfortunately, old enough to count his candy. Dangit. The littlest one complained of a tummy ache. I wonder why? He claimed it was because he was still hungry. Ah, I'm sure that's it.

Knowing this, I settled it in my head before falling asleep what their candy schedule would be. True to form, before breakfast, they wanted their candy. "No, and here's when you can have it, and only if you eat the meal preceding the scheduled candy time." There was a welcome lull in the whining. For a moment.

The oldest one wanted to count his candy again. Does that kid know his mother or what?

And the middle child wanted lunch at 8:30 this morning. I wonder why?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Visiting The First Grade

So Sarge went to the middle child's class the other day in his full uniform to go talk to the kids about being a police officer. Which is always great for me, because it's so darn funny to watch my husband be put on the spot.

Most of the kids in the class know me, especially the ones she was in Kindergarten with. One of these kids, who's just adorable, raises his hand when things were opened up for questions.

He asked, "[the middle child]'s Mom married YOU???" He seemed flabbergasted.

And then a sweet little girl comes up to me and informs me, "You are so lucky because you have such a cool husband." Um, yeah. Sure.

And then there were the great comments about one time when they called 911 and one time when Mommy got pulled over (that was my kid, but there's no need to go there, right?) and ALL the questions about the gun. So many. They all want to know if he's shot anyone. And if it has batteries. And about the blood and guts and gore. And they desperately want him to take it out and let them look. Which he won't. And his handcuffs, and why he keeps purple balloons in his back pouch on his belt.

I think that's the greatest thing about having a husband who's a police officer. It almost makes up for working on Christmas and Thanksgiving and all night long. Almost.

Why I don't post pictures of myself


The middle one was in trouble today. And was told that unless she intended to lose priveleges, she needed to shape up. So, true to form, she took to the paper and markers. And this is what we got.
She hid it from me when I walked by the kitchen table. She later told me that she wanted to put a note in the mailbox so someone would find it when they got the mail. I suggested that she put it under the person's pillow so that they were sure to find it. And then I forgot about it. Until my husband went to bed. And came back out with a note, saying he found it under my pillow.
I adore my daughters art. It is a window into her soul. Her brothers blab everything that come into their minds, but she keeps it inside more. But her thoughts come out in her drawings and her notes.
And she tells me I'm beautiful. Um. So now you know why you won't see any pictures of me here. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Meddler Strikes Again

The little one, also known as "the meddler," was in full force today.

He was "helping" make his lunch today and dropped the jelly. And, by the way, why is jelly the only food item that still comes in glass jars? Smashed glass on the kitchen floor -- and while Daddy and I are cleaning it up, he's wondering why it's taking us so long for us to make his peanut butter and peanut butter (since we were freshly out of jelly) sandwich.

About twelve minutes later, after scarfing down said sandwich, he was in an odd and contorted position on a chair in the living room, which involved his feet flailing madly around and came in contact with the one lamp we have in the room. I couldn't get there in time to rescue it. It had suffered several falls before in other acrobatic poses gone wrong, but this was the fatal blow.

However, he is the meddler, not just the destructor, and found out something wonderful. A while back, I purchased a television for $10. It was cheap because it is small and because it had no power button. It took me a while to rig it, but I finally made the remote work for it. The meddler, because he's the meddler, stuck his finger in the hole that once housed a power button. And, for all the sticking of my finger in the child-sized-finger hole with no success, I'd never found the mechanism. I'm sure he'd poked his curious little finger in there plenty of times, because he can't help himself, but one day he figured out where the mechanism was. And now he proudly shows everyone that comes through our door how he figured out how to turn on Mama's TV.

The meddler. Can't live with him, can't live without him.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

wimp.

So it got chilly here, finally. And when I mean chilly, I mean in the 50's. My Arizona, "ack! It's down in the seventies here! I need a sweater!" sister will understand.

So Sarge was working, and I really didn't want to turn on the heat. I hate that smell of the first time it's turned on after a season off, and I just wanted him here for that. So I told the kids to put on warm pajamas and socks and make sure they had plenty of blankets. When I went to bed, I bundled up in my flannel and wool socks and brought out two extra blankets. We were ready for a blizzard. In the house.

So I wake up in the morning, all cozy and warm, proud of myself for not turning on the heat. Wow! We'll really do well turning down the heat this winter! Hot Dog! My nose was a little cold, and I certainly didn't want to get out of bed, but we were still alive!

And then I looked at the thermostat. It was sixty-nine degrees in the house. Umm, yeah. How on earth am I going to make it through the winter?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Transitions

Here in Texas, we are finally transitioning to fall. I mean, it may even get below 50 degrees! It's practically winter! Except that just a few days ago it was nearly 90. But, such is fall in Texas.

But we have some trouble in this household with transitions. I actually heard myself telling my daughter the other morning that I was going to confiscate all of her shorts if she refused to wear pants that morning. Seriously? That was my threat? I'm going to take away your shorts? Can I not come up with something better than that?

Anyhow, we're learning the consequences of our choices in our house. Your feet WILL be cold if you wear flip flops. Your legs will be cold if you choose to wear shorts. If you choose to forgo your jacket, you might shiver. And your mother will say I TOLD YOU SO.

And then probably hand you the jacket that she brought you just in case. I'm such a wimp.

Through this window

I was tagged by Karen at Pediascribe for a meme, which is like a blogging chain letter. But what I'm supposed to do is tell you something about myself, in this case, what I see out the window from the room in which I blog.


But here's the problem. There's so much stuff in between me and the window, I rarely look out. Twofold is the problem. First the stuff I see. I see all the junk on the desk, which is so sorely in need of clearing off, and the bills and receipts that desperately need sorting. Then, there's the treadmill. Now, before you think this is a giant room, you'll have to know that it takes a little aerobic activity to get to all the places in this room. Dancing, hopping, leaping, you get the picture. Fortunately, at this stage, three weeks into owning this treadmill, there is no guilt when I see it. Because that could be a problem. I'm using it faithfully, even though I can see NO results. But whatever.


Then there's the window treatment. Because it's what I do, I can't help but see it. I tell people all the time that when I've met them to make curtains for their house, I may not remember their names, but I can tell you all about the windows in their house, ones that I've made things for and ones that I've not. I just see windows. When I see your face, I immediately see a picture in my head of your windows. I'm sorry, I can't help it! So anyhow, I have a very pretty set of curtains on my windows, full and a gorgeous color. They're polyester with a beautiful embroidery on them. The only reason why I have them is because I made them for someone else and then made the single largest mistake of my sewing career, I cut them too short. And in a way that I couldn't fix them without having to remake them, purchasing new fabric for the client. Fortunately for me, I loved the curtains and they fit perfectly in this room. Although, they're right next to the treadmill, and I've asked my husband to kindly try to sweat away from the curtains. They're entirely impractical for this room.


OH! And I have the most aggravating set of windows in this room, also! There are three windows about two feet square across the wall, if this room were used for the purpose it was designed, in which one would put her china hutch. But they're placed so that you may only own a buffet in this room. Or metal filing cabinets and a treadmill. Thank goodness for that!


But, what do I see when I look through my window? Past the dirt and the cobwebs? I see that I am firmly entrenched in suburbia. I look out my window and see my neighbor's house. I see their pretty front door, I see their beautiful stonework and their giant ant mound. Sometimes I see moms walking past to go get their kids from school, which then prompts me to start running around the house looking for my shoes and hollering at the littlest one to get his shoes on, we're LATE!


So there you have it. Apparently I see guilt and discontent out my blogging window.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Art of the Silent Nag

When I was a girl, my grandmother dubbed me "the silent nagger." I would ask for something, and if she put me off, I would hang around. And hang around. And hang around. Until she finally got sick of me hanging around and got me what I needed or made me go away.

My daughter has not yet mastered this art. She has somehow skipped the "silent" part.

She wanted her brother to play with her this morning. He wanted time to himself. She kept asking, he got more and more frustrated. Instead of sitting quietly next to him, looking pitiful, she started kicking him. And yelling at him. And then sobbing because he kicked her back. It was a very pretty picture.

And if she wants a computer turn, or a snack, or a friend to play, she'll count the minutes. Literally. "Mo-om, it's 4:23! You told us we could have snack at 4:30!" "Mo-om, it's 4:24!" "Mo-om, it's 4:25!" You get the picture. It's charming. It's especially charming when you're in the car and you tell her that you'll be somewhere in about 20 minutes. And she counts the minutes out loud. Every minute. And God forbid you were off by a minute or two. Because you'll get in trouble for that. Maybe even called a liar.

You see, with the silent nag, you're much more likely to get what you want. Because if you frustrate and aggravate the giver, you're likely to get a big N-O. Quietly, patiently, wait. But make sure they know that you are quietly, patiently waiting. And waiting.

I'm not sure how to teach the silent nag. Oh, heck, I'd be happy if I could just teach the silent part.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why I don't post pictures of my children.


Because if you kids looked like this, honestly, you wouldn't either, would you?

Never, never, never think or speak in absolutes!

Oh. Wait. I just did it again, didn't I?

I always swore that I'd never be one of *those* moms who overscheduled her kids and who spent every afternoon shuffling her children from one activity to the next. Never, never, never.

Well, guess what?

I have realized that it doesn't take much to be one of those moms. With scheduling conflicts and something to do every afternoon in a week and oh, no, we forgot to do homework!

My children are all in karate. Once a week. The oldest does Cub Scouts and the middle one just started Brownies. That's it. Oh. Except for the PTA Board meetings. And the GT parent board meetings. And the games nights. Crap. Can you say overscheduled?

It's kind of wearing on me. But if there were only one of them, it wouldn't seem so much, but it's when you have three, who all have one or two activities. There go all of our days of the week. But where do you draw the line? It doesn't seem that they do so much, but MY schedule seems so full. I've even resorted to keeping a calendar. I mean, me? a calendar? You know how busy it is for me if I'm keeping it all written down in a place other than on my hand.

Never, never, never speak in absolutes. Never. It always comes back to get you. Always.

A little prayer.


Thank you, Lord, for putting it on my heart to go to Hancock Fabrics today. I didn't know why my car went that direction or why I went to the fabric store further away rather than the closer one. But when I got there and You led me to the fabric that was on clearance AND 50% off, and You put one bolt of fabric there that was so gorgeous and put just the amount I needed on the bolt to recover my couch, I understood. And I appreciate that.


Oh, and while You're at it, could you please stop taking such good care of me and give a little extra to my kids' Papaw? Just for now? I know You're giving him just what he needs, but we could sure use a little speedier healing. And patience. Oh, and could You please ask the news media to stop scaring me with the whole staph infection thing right now? The timing is bad. You know.


Thanks, God. You're the best.


Sincerely,


fiveberries.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Okay, so I didn't sign up, because I'm a total slacker, but today is something called Blog Action Day. Which is where if you read blogs, you are going to read all about how to save the world, er, I mean, the environment. And, because I'm a closet environmentalist, I'm totally on this bandwagon. Just don't tell Sarge. Oops.

And we all know all the little choices that make a big difference - change your bulbs to CFL's, seal your windows and doors, hang your clothes to dry, turn out the lights, sleep naked. You know, the little things.

But there's some big things, too, that we've done that were good environmental choices. But I wasn't necessarily thinking of the environmental consequences of my choices.

We chose, about six years ago, when my husband changed jobs, to live about half a mile from his job. He filled up his gas tank about once a month.

Aside from the obvious gas savings, it also made the vehicle that he had last longer. It was an eight year old pickup with about 170,000 miles on it when we moved. When he sold it, four years later, it had 180,000 miles on it. Had he still been commuting sixty miles every day, there's no way that we could have gone four years without purchasing a new one or at least putting some significant maintenance into that car. All the mathemeticians (ahem, Dad, cough) can figure out for me how many miles that would have been more that he would have driven. And gallons of gas. Remember? I'm lazy. And a slacker.

When we moved again a little over a year ago, we still stayed close to his work, but this time, my one major requirement was that we'd be close to the elementary school, because I wanted to walk to and from school every day with my children. Sarge is a little further away from his job, but now it's like two miles. There are days that I don't even get into my car, and there will be even more next year when the little one goes to school there too. So now, instead of driving 4 miles every day to drop off and pick up my children, we are getting exercise, and talking with friends, and even, sometimes, stopping to roll down a hill. And watch ants decomposing a grasshopper.

Also, these choices that we made affected our quality of life. We have two more hours each day with Sarge that we wouldn't have had if he were sitting in traffic instead. We have friends that we chatter with to and from school each day, and we are active in our community because we see and interact with our neighbors everyday. And we are healthier, because we exercise a little every day (it's not far, but still!). And that's all big, too.

So there you have it. Not choices that are everyday choices, but it goes to show that each decision that we make, whether we want it to or not, affects the environment.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Solid as a rock.

I didn't realize that a marriage should last longer than the engagement ring. Or maybe most don't, I'm not sure. Well, I'm not sure if my ring underperformed or my marriage is over performing.

My engagement ring broke. Now, it's not the most fabulous, biggest ring you've ever seen. It's had more than it's fair share of troubles - the prongs first bent when we were still engaged, not six months into our engagement. The diamond fell out once - I've never before or since felt so compelled to dig through the trash, but you'd better believe I did that day. It's been repaired countless times. You'd think the way I talk about it that it's huge, but when I tell you that I was in college and my husband was enlisted in the Navy when we were engaged, that should tell you something about it's size.

I live in a place where most women "upgrade" their rings each year, with each raise, with each anniversary. But I was raised by a woman who still wears the same ring her husband of FORTY YEARS (!) gave her when they were fresh college graduates. She could have upgraded, but she chose not to.

I love the promise of my engagement ring. My husband promised to stick with me no matter what when he gave me that ring. We were wrinkle-free, didn't have to cover any grays and didn't have any extra chins. Neither of us had owned a house, had children or were completely on our own. We made that promise lightyears ago, but still make it every day. And I wear that reminder.

That said, the darn thing keeps breaking. Now, while I'm grateful that my marriage is far more durable than the ring, it seriously broke this time. It looked like it was an adjustable ring from the dollar store. I had worn through the inside of the ring.

We brought it to a GREAT local jeweler who didn't seem surprised. He said that 12 years was a long time for my ring to last! Yikes! What does that say about the expectations of marriage these days?

He put extra gold on the inside of the ring - the back half of the ring was replaced. I couldn't bear to have a new setting. My ring is now solid as a rock, but still my marriage is exponentially stronger. And I love that.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The gift of loud

My children can play on a gorgeous evening like tonight, with the windows open, and I don't have to be outside to know *exactly* what they are doing. I could be in here with the windows closed, and I'd still know what they were doing. The entire neighborhood knows *exactly* what they are doing.

So, I see it as a gift. I can send them in the backyard to play and safely get my chores done inside. Or watch TV. Or something else that's likely not chores. I don't have to worry about them getting into something or wonder what they are doing, because my ears are well award of what they are doing. I know precisely when someone is going to come inside and tattle, because I've just heard the altercation and the inevitable "I'm going to tell mom what you just did." And then I go hide.

As much as the loud is obnoxious, I don't long for the day when my backyard is quiet on a gorgeous fall evening. Because that means I have sulky teenagers. Or teenagers out with friends.

The loud. It's a gift. And not one that I'm ready to return.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Treadmill woes

So, I was getting frustrated. We've owned it for two weeks now. I've been on it every day except for three. I find myself wanting to get on it. I'll tell myself that I can take a break for a day, and I get on it anyhow, only because I want to. And I figure I'd better take it while I can, because you know that's never going to last.

But that's not why I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because I've not lost a single pound. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I've gained a pound or two. Don't say it. Don't say "it must be muscle weight" because it's not. There's plenty of fat to be burned off before we get to any muscle. There are no new muscles here.

So frustrated.

But here's what happened tonight, which made me feel so much better. My kids were riding their bikes to school. And they ride fast. And I kept up with them. And didn't feel like I was going to die. I could run and run and run. And I felt strong.

So I'm still frustrated. But stronger. So at least there's that.

All right, who opened the cupboard?


Ah, the Tupperware battles:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

change of heart

Apparently the little one is feeling a little less kind today.

He now wants to catch the rabbit so that he can cook it and eat it.

You never know what you're going to get each day when your kids wake up. Never.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Laundry. Again. But fun this time!


So we did a science experiment this weekend! It involved a pocket knife, melting soap and, of course, laundry! What could be better?

I had back-up laundry detergent, in case it turned into a giant fiasco. But I didn't have much. The kids were so excited. I guess they get the excited-about-laundry gene from their mother. But there we were.



We assembled all the ingredients, a five gallon bucket, children and the cub scout pocket knife. We shaved the soap into bits, melted it, added hot water and the appropriate amounts of the other ingredients.



We had to wait until morning for it to gel. Ours didn't really gel -- it did more like chicken broth, with a layer of ugly fat on the top, only this was soap. But I soldiered on.


And I did a load of laundry.


The washing machine did not explode. Nothing was ruined. Nothing was in shreds or purple. In fact, it actually smelled pretty good. Things appeared clean! Success! On to another load! So I washed my sheets! And they turned out clean! Miracle! Oh, the exclamation points that were my life yesterday!


And, as Sarge pointed out, it must have been a success, because the clothes are clean and no one has a rash. And I didn't even have to use my back up laundry detergent.
If YOU want to make your own detergent, there's a great description and recipe here.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Call me Mr. MacGregor

I found out what was eating the broccoli. It wasn't the children, that's for sure.

I went out the the garden yesterday and noticed that my broccoli plants had been mowed down to stems. The tomato plants were safe the cucumber plant that I thought was zucchini (don't ask) was also growing nicely. Just the broccoli. A mystery.

I thought, at first, the dog, as she tends to eat strawberries in the garden, but I was skeptical. I thought grasshoppers, but I'd never seen them do that without also getting into the tomatoes. I was stumped, but too busy gloating over my second watermelon of the season, which is ready to eat! Tomorrow!

So I was out today, picking a few tomatoes and something rustled and then ran through the watermelon forest. I screamed - I thought it was a rat, but it was a little bunny, who hopped innocently out of my garden through the hole under the fence that the dog had dug, as if he hadn't just been eating my vegetables!

Broccoli mystery solved!

However, he did not lose any shoes or a jacket. I have nothing to make a scarecrow! I have a feeling he'll be back. With friends. If only he liked weeds.

(Oh, and the little one wants to catch him and put him in a cage in his room. When faced with the idea that the Peter Rabbit might miss his family, he says that all the family can come live in his room, too.)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Potty Training: Solved!

I've figured it out. In order to get your child to no longer need Pull-ups at night, buy the biggest box humanly possible. The kind that barely fits in your cart. Then sit back and watch. They won't pee in a single one of them.


Seriously, I thought that night-time dryness was years away. YEARS. Just sucked it up and decided that I'd worry about it when he was twelve. That in mind, I went to WalMart, bought the biggest box of pullups I could find (because they're cheaper that way! Unless you don't even use half!). I thought it was a fluke the first time. And the second and the third. But we're into week two and they are still dry. Tree Frogs are still on them in the morning.

I'm thinking the best way to sabatoge the nighttime dryness is to write about it. Publicly announce that I'm forever finished with diapers and pee. Shout it from the rooftops. We'll see, won't we?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Questions about death, lots of them in my house these days.

So my kids are all asking a lot of questions about death these days.

We explained to them that the baby we knew had died. My son had already been told, as it was a teacher at their school, and the baby brother of a friend of his. So we talked, and left the discussion open, as we always do with difficult topics.

This morning, randomly, while he was eating snack, the littlest one asks me, "Why does the baby go to the doctor if he's already dead?" I realized that I had left a huge gap in my explanation. I had to explain that the baby wasn't going to a doctor to get well, that there wasn't a doctor that could do that, but that this was a special kind of doctor that would tell the baby's mommy and daddy what happened to him, why he died.

My children read the comics every day, and apparently this is deal-with-death-week in the comics as well. Not funny. The kids are worried about the turtle in Baby Blues. The middle one asked, after she read Funky Winkerbean, "What does, 'she's gone' mean?" And fortunately they've not grasped really what's happening in For Better or Worse. (And Mom, I know you've been on vacation, so sorry I've just spoiled all your favorite comics)

So the next question from the kids was, "Is your heart still there when you're dead?" Oh, yes, it's still there - your whole body is, it just doesn't work. Your heart doesn't say, "thump thump" so the blood's not pumping through your body.

I don't know the question that will come next. It helps, though, talking about it with them. It helps me to answer those questions in my head and to talk through the emotions of death. And to watch all three of them deal with it so differently, through their personalities and ages.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The (almost) TV disaster

So yesterday, I came home from working some time early-ish during the day and the littlest one tells me "I'm watching TV, but I can't hear it." And I think to myself, "get your lazy buns up off the chair and turn it up, good grief!" But I bit my tongue and checked the TV - volume was at an acceptable level, but no noise was coming out.

I looked at my husband. He shrugged. "I can't get it to work either. I think it's broken. Let's go buy a new one this afternoon."

Hardy-har-har. No. I investigated further. "How did this happen?"

"Oh, I don't know. The littlest one was playing with the remote and pushing buttons right before it happened, but I'm SURE that had nothing to do with it. It's broken. We need a new one today, I think."

So I'm pretty sure that it's just the speakers, since the picture was fine. And Sarge was SO convincing with the whole "it didn't have anything to do with The Meddler pushing buttons" thing that I became convinced. BUT! NO NEW TV FOR YOU.

After school, we ran to Target to pick up a cheap stereo system with speakers, since I've been wanting the ability to listen to the radio and CD's on something other than the tinny player I have. No luck, they're out of the cheap one.

So we head to Best Buy. And wander around with the tag "OLD AND OUT OF DATE" on my forehead until the teenagers finally took pity on me and worried that people were going to start running away with someone over the age of thirty in the store. And they told me that my computer speakers would work, I just needed an adapter, that they didn't carry and that I should go to Radio Shack. Good, this project is getting cheaper by the minute, though exponentially more annoying.

Off to Radio Shack. I finally found what I was looking for, with no help from the surprisingly un-technologically savvy employee. Finally, we're on our way home. NO, we will NOT stop at McDonald's! Gak!

We get home, I start messing with speakers and wires and plugs and why, oh why do they put these things on the BACK of the TV? And I had a moment. One of those moments with a light bulb. I turned on the DVD player and put in a DVD to see if there was sound.

Oh, for the love of cats. There was sound, not involving connectors and wires and plugs. Just sound coming out of the TV.

And my super husband says, "Yeah, I thought about just resetting the DVR this morning, I wonder if that would work?"

It did. And because I love him so much he's still alive.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cherish every day.

I touched his little feet last week. They were so tiny and sweet. And now he's gone.

It surprises me the physical reaction - it makes me feel sick. He was just three weeks old and his purpose on earth has been fulfilled. But don't try telling that to his older sisters and his parents - it doesn't make it hurt any less. Nothing will.

Anyhow, if you're the praying type, please pray for this family. Their loss is great and their pain is unimagineable.