Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Haawwrk. Coff, coff. This is the sound of my house this week. Well, the household, to be accurate. The Punkin had an ear infection by Christmas Eve, and Pirate Boy's developed soon afterward. I went to bed right after Christmas dinner; The Man and I have been coughing on each other for days now. And nights; no sleep. Yuck. Will post more post-recovery.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to All

So, my Alabama in-laws are in town this week, and my kids are going crazy. There are two things I'd forgotten (but really should have remembered) about these visitors from afar:

1) As soon as they arrive, they immediately take my husband away on a shopping trip, leaving me with whatever kids we have (occasionally a newborn) for hours on end. Then they come back, eat whatever I've fixed for them, and go off again. Repeat ad nauseum.

2) They don't remember what it's like to be parents of young children, especially when said children really ought to be sleeping. No, naptime and very early mornings are the times when you need to recount your adventures in 'Nam at the top of your lungs, or for preference, give the oldest kid a trombone lesson.

(A third thing isn't so major but is a kind of funny side note: their accents. Hoo-boy. Or should I say "Bowah"?)

Fortunately, I like my in-laws. Great-grandma even acknowledges the younger kids now (especially Punkin Boy, who, we hear for the 57th time, "looks just like his dad"). And I'm gathering interesting anecdotes from Dad, who was busted in rank more times than Robin Williams' character could ever have dreamed of being. And for better reasons. Someday I'll write a book. Another book.

Meanwhile, I'm actually having a good time. Our guests are spoiling me as much as they are the children. (I didn't think my winter coat looked so bad, really!) My big excitement: They gave us a camcorder! [Dance of joy] It's got video editing software, so if we can figure out how to transfer the film to the computer, I'll be posting some fun stuff. My kids are awesome!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Winter Haiku

16 degrees out.
Our furnace igniter blows.
Brrrr... Cold inside now.

Friday, December 09, 2005

An Upside of Unemployment

This week, #1 Son's teacher noticed that the only protection he had against this unbelievable cold (at the time, around 8 degrees F.) was a padded denim jacket and some ski gloves. I imagine her wondering angrily whether we're criminally neglectful or simply impoverished. She must have checked the roster of "free lunch" kids and found our boy on it, because yesterday the boy came home from school in a wonderful furry-hooded parka, courtesy of some kind donor.

I'm wiping away the tears as I think of it now. Not that I have too much pride to be grateful for such a thing, because I'm willing to suffer anything to take care of my kids. But this coat (glasses going foggy) is so much nicer than we could have bought for him this fall when I was gainfully employed and we were just a little too rich for the welfare rolls. This situation is bringing us the weirdest blessings.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Answer in the form of a question, please:

The strange marble-sized lump in my breast.

What is GONE, Alex?

That's right! Disappeared completely. Ta-da!


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Things to Do in the Arctic Cold

In honor of the unholy cold that's got a grip on North America this week (hovering around zero Fahrenheit in my neck of the woods), I've given some thought to what you can really do in weather like this. Here are some suggestions for those who find this weather frustrating and useless:

1. Stay in bed and snuggle with someone you like.
2. Pile on lots of blankets and read a book.
3. Take a nice long nap.
4. Finish writing your NaNo novel, enjoying the warmth of the laptop.
5. Make a fire and sit as close as you can for as long as you can stand it.
6. Enjoy cocoa and popcorn with your family or friends.
7. Board up the igloo doors and wait for the spring thaw.

Notice that all these things involve being indoors (preferrably); also notice the absence of such items as
  • Drive all over town taking people to school.
  • Go out for yet another mammogram.
  • Make another couple round trips picking people up from school and other places.
  • Go outside for any reason.
  • Drive anywhere in the snow at all.

And yet, alas, my day involves lots of driving in ice and snow, much of it before and after the sun's showtime. Today I'm lucky; I only have to make 3 round-trips. Yesterday I made 5, including the one after sunset with all the kids, who are usually tired and want their dinner anyway. Tuesdays are worse because we get up an hour early to get The Man to his early class. And it was 10 times as bad yesterday because-- OK, storytime here.

Friday, TM says to me "Bad news: My final is on Monday at 7 a.m." Of course the buses don't run at that time of day, and the school is half an hour from our house, and we've only got one car, so this is bad news indeed. It means that we have to bundle the kids out of bed and into their shoes and coats at 6:15 a.m., put them in the car, drive 18 miles to drop their dad off at school, then I have to somehow get them home before they combust from anger at missing their breakfast (not to mention that 75 minutes of sleep), feed them and keep them from killing each other until it's time to take #1 Son to school, bring home the younger ones and somehow survive (at this point, it's that bad-- "Please, kids, just watch a movie or something!") until it's time to take a rather cranky Pirate Boy to afternoon kindergarten, bring a (by this time) screaming Punkin Boy home for a nap...

That he won't take because he has just grown big enough to open bedroom doors AND climb out of his crib. No prison can hold him, and he may never sleep again. Last night, he was up every 2 minutes till long past midnight, at which point he got too tired to keep it up and passed out on the bottom of his long-suffering brother's bed. Poor Pirate Boy has to share a room with this guy, so he's not getting enough sleep, either, but he's developing the ability to sleep through a tornado in his room (i.e., Punkin Boy). I alone of our family have the unfortunate habit of waking up at the slightest noise, especially when it's made by a small child. I haven't slept since Sunday, when I did a lot of napping because of...

The post-NaNo party! (Need to link to some pictures here. There were vast amounts of silliness perpetrated that night.) That, however, is a story for another day.

Postscripts: (1) Unfortunately, TM got mixed up about which Monday his final was on, so we went out 2 days ago amid the aforementioned chaos and personal sacrifice, only to find out that the final is really next Monday, and we'll have to do it all over again! No, I haven't yet committed murder. (2) No, I still haven't gotten anyone to tell me anything about that last mammogram. I waited around for an answer from the doctor's office for 2 weeks, but they were even less informative than the radiology tech, so here I go (right about now, in fact) for an ultrasound. If I ever find out what the deal is, I promise I'll post it here. For now, you can share my frustration at the wait.