Sunday, June 27, 2010


Yesterday I saw something I never thought I would see in my house:
This is my husband, the computer software developer, rebuilding the alternator of his ahem, "classic" car.  (Is an early-eighties Pontiac Parisienne considered a classic yet?)

Somehow The Universe got the message to my grease-monkey brother and later that evening he called Richard so they could talk about it.  (Isn't it funny how that works sometimes?)

Later in the afternoon I mentioned this strange occurrence to my friends at a yarn-dyeing party. (This dyeing party, actually.)  The wise hostess and guest pointed out that this is the one of the interesting parts of being married.  Watching your partner grow and learn new things.  Richard is not from a handy family.  His parents are much more likely to hire people to do things than they are to tackle them  themselves.  The year I bought Richard a table saw his dad thought I was trying to hurt him!

So, I stewed on this overnight.  I tried to think of what I have been doing lately to grow.  I am learning to run. (4.19 miles yesterday!  Then I rode over 4 miles on my bike to and from my friend's house--and I can still walk today!  I am getting fit!)  I recently took an anger management class (that is for another post).

What have you done to grow lately?

Monday, June 21, 2010


First, I want to reassure my wonderful and concerned readers that Charlotte's hand is much better.  The doctor gave us some magical cream that took the swelling right down.  I cleaned Char's room very thoroughly and found no more evidence of arachnoid invasion.

Here are some random snapshots of our life recently......

This is what happens when your cheap set of measuring spoons falls down the garbage disposal.
Here is my little girl "reading" in the back yard.....let's take another look.....

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance???   Well, aren't we the pretentious little hipster!!  (The next day she grabbed Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro.)

Two hours at the fair and Richard felt like he was hemorrhaging twenties.

The parents were much happier about having the two year old on a leash than the two year old was being on a leash.  (seriously--I don't know how we could have gone to the fair without it!)

Soccer season is over.  What will be my motivation to fold laundry now???
I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed watching Emmett and Charlotte's skills develop over the month they played.  Emmett was slow to start, but really got into it by the end.  Charlotte is a real scrapper on the field.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We're all in this together

Today started like any other.  I stumbled, bleary-eyed out of my bedroom in the general direction of the coffee maker with two out of my three demanding cereal at a very high volume.  The house was dark because there were storm clouds outside.

Once I had some coffee and the kids were fed I noticed something odd about Charlotte's hand.  It was very red, hot and swollen.  I saw a bug bite on one of her swollen fingers.  I gave her a dose of antihistamine and proceeded with lunch packing and child herding.

Fast forward a bit to school drop off.  I notice in the brighter light of the parking lot a jagged edge to the redness on Charlotte's hand.   Crap.  This is probably cellulitis.  I grabbed a pen from her teacher, drew an outline around the swelling and told the teacher to call me if the swelling or redness spread..

I went about my errands.  No one called.  I pick up Charlotte.  Her hand is still swollen, red and hot.  There is a walk-in clinic down the street from her school.  Charlotte, Matthew and I sat here for an hour and a half and then my fears were confirmed.  Prescription in hand, we head to the store.

Everyone is tired, cranky and hungry.  I debate about just leaving the prescription and having Richard pick it up after he is finished work.  My nurse brain tells me to wait.  Cellulitis is not something to mess around with and hours can count.  We wait. While sitting in the pharmacy I remember I am out of ibuprofen.  I grab a bottle off of the shelf and toss it in my cart.  Dear little cranky Charlotte asks (in between fielding hits from her equally cranky brother) "Mom, what are those pills for?"  I tell her they are for headaches.  She very innocently asks "Mommy, what is giving you a headache now?"

A woman who is browsing the same shelf I am overhears our conversation.   She looks over.  We exchange knowing glances.  She whispers to me she has three boys herself.

It is nice to find an ally on the battlefield.


I sent Charlotte to her room to clean it.  I asked her to take the sheets off of her bed and put them in the laundry room.  A little while later I heard screaming.  She came running up the stairs.  "There's a BIG SPIDER in my bed!!!!"   This girl is prone to hyperbole, but when I got down there I had to put on my best poker face.

There WAS a HUGE SPIDER on the mattress.

Now I am wondering if that is what bit her hand.

Can we keep telling her it was a mosquito at soccer practice?  I'd kind of like her to keep sleeping in that room.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You started out so small. We really had no idea what we were doing with you. 

You challenged me from the start.  You were not in any of the parenting books I read.  You taught me to trust my instincts and to be confidant to throw the advice of so-called "experts" out the window.  You taught me how to be a mother.  You MADE me a mother.

You taught me incredible things like sign language and silly things like the names of the characters on Ben 10 Alien Force.

You are now teaching your brother and sister things. 
You will always be teaching me.

I can't believe you are seven today. Happy Birthday, Big Guy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Road Trippin'

Last Friday I pulled Emmett out of school at lunchtime, loaded up the old minivan and headed Up North.  My mom had the weekend off, and we rarely visit, so I bit the bullet and made my first solo trip with the kids. Richard stayed home and hung out with his buddies and did some home-repair projects that would be hard to do with kids underfoot.

My car is old.  I do not have a portable DVD player. You can't even get radio or cel reception on parts of the drive to my mom's place.  I kept the kids entertained by singing along to their CDs at the top of my lungs, providing fresh colouring books and crayons, and lots of snacks.  Lots and lots of snacks.  At one point on the way home I had to listen to Matthew tell a knock knock joke for an hour which was rather traumatizing, but if that is the worst that happened, I think we did pretty well!

When we got there I had playdates lined up with some friends.  One old high school chum has three little ones of her own and a lovely farm with a dugout where my urban kids got to do country-kid things like catch tadpoles and chase new kittens.

One of the friends we played with took me running.  It was a lovely way to wake up on a Sunday morning--running just out of town and smelling fresh grass and trees before the heat of the day set in.

I also got to meet in person someone I have only ever talked to through our blogs.  We sat in a coffee shop with my running partner (small world--they are friends too)  for four hours!  I am so glad we got to meet face to face and hope that won't be the last time.

I am glad I finally found my courage to make the trip.