Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blast From the Past: September

While looking for topics to write on, I thought it might be fun to post some pictures of our family from a year ago this week. That way we can remember what we were up to, how much time flies, and see how the kids have changed.

So, while going through my old photo files, I thought why not expand that and show a picture from each year. I apologize for the quality of some of these, as I did not have a good digital camera until about a year ago.

The first picture is from Sept 2003. Noah is not quite one year old. Don’t you love the Mohawk? It just did that naturally, and I missed it so much when it finally grew long and heavy and fell over that I occasionally and unsuccessfully moussed it back up. My friend there is Karen Egan who I met back when we went to Orange Coast College. She eventually became involved in Renaissance Faires and spends her life traveling with her kids from Faire to Faire. She homeschools her kids (alongside other Rennie kids) and loves it. Here, she was at an Ohio Faire and we drove down there to see her.

When we were living in Akron I heard about this awesome place called Nelson Ledges Quarry. Its a campground wrapped around a quarry-lake that is run by a bunch of deadheads who throw Grateful Dead type concerts nearly every weekend all summer. You laze on the beach all day, listen to a concert in the evening, and hang with cool neighbors in the evening, listening to the guitar music. We went at the end of that season and LOVED it, and were disappointed that we would not likely be back soon. (Then we got pregnant with twins and camping was right out) That is Noah sticking his head out of our tent, still wearing his jammies. It was September 2004, making him not quite two years old. Almost exactly the age that the twins are right now. He loved the drum-makers stall and the drum maker let him come over and bang away whenever Noah felt like it.

Next up is Noah in September of 2005, in the back room of the "River House", as Noah dubbed our lovely home on the Cuyahoga River (which used to look like this but now looks like this). He is playing on his "dollar store guitar" which was about the best dollar I ever spent. Kept him busy for hours each week. I think he has a bit of a black swollen eye there.

Also from September 2005 is one from the trip Michael and I took to Toronto because we knew we were pregnant with twins and it might be our last chance to go on a trip alone without kids for many years. We were right. That is Niagara Falls behind us, where we stopped on our way to Canada. That’s my big belly and chipmonk cheeks, too.

Lastly, we have a shot from a year ago this month. This is the day we were loading up the moving truck and saying goodbye to our friends before moving west. This shot includes the five of us, my mom and dad on the left, my brother on the bottom right, his kids Erin and Sam in the front row beside my mom, and the other four are the Crow family, close family friends for many years. Forgive some of us, as we were hot and sweaty from loading the moving truck.
Not lookin' our very best.
To say the least.

Hope you enjoyed this blast from the past. I think I might try to do this once each month. My photos are pretty well organized (although they only go back a few years) so it should be fairly easy to do.

Hope your September was lovely!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Was die Hölle?

Okay, can someone explain THIS webpage to me?

I was doing a search for webpages that link to my blog, and found this page which looks to me like a german translation of a post I wrote back in August, and posted to a different blog!! Odd...

It seems as though the link back to my original source article, so I guess its okay.

Just weird...

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Little Down in the Mouth

Have you seen my Tylenol anywhere?

Its this tooth, you see. See how it’s a little wiggly? A couple weeks ago the gum around it got all swollen and throbby. It’s done that before, and then calmed down. Took a little longer this time. And when it deflated a bit, the tooth was left a little loose like some ready-to-jump-ship baby tooth. And I have been having trouble not playing with it like you do with a loose baby tooth.

I have had slightly loose teeth before, and like the throbbing, it tends to go away, firm back up. Not this time.

Time to google….

Google Search: “loose teeth” “swollen red gums”


Periodontal Disease!!??

Karma, I guess, for not noticing my own kitty’s periodontal disease until it was too late.

Well, it’s at least a good kick in the pants for us to settle in and find a family dentist. Since we moved to town, we haven’t had a dental exam once. None of us. It’s way past time. So I started looking through the Pennysaver for coupons you usually find: Low cost first exams, free teeth whitening on one of them! Whoo-hoo!! But when I started thinking about it, I didn’t want to be sent from one dentist, off to a periodontist, back to the first finally for a cleaning. So, I started hunting for a general dentist who did a good amount of periodontal work, took children and worked late at least once or twice a week.

You see, when your husband is a physician, if YOU want to go to the dentist, HE has to cancel and reschedule 5 patients so he can stay home with the kids for a couple hours. And those people likely already cleared their appointments with THEIR job.


Well, seems there is no such dentist. And believe me, I searched. It took all day. All day. Until my household fell to pieces from lack of supervision while I searched webpages, yellowpage listings and made phone calls.

You know what I discovered? A lot of people list themselves under General Dentistry, but they don’t clean teeth. Unless you consider putting thousand-dollar-each veneers over your old stains “cleaning teeth”. Lots of veneer-folks and whitening at DENTAL SPAS (!!) in La Jolla and Del Mar. (for you out-of-towners, read: “wealthy areas”. Lots of ads with words like “luxury”, “5-Star” and “artistry”.

I had to give up something, and so gave up the late hours. Oh well. Sorry, Michael’s Patients!! Have fun rescheduling. But it saves me from having to have three or four appointments on different days to clear this up.

I got a new family dental plan to boot. It says I can change dentists anytime. Maybe when the periodontal stuff is done, I will switch over to that office with the free teeth whitening!!

(She says, as she slurps another sip of thick coffee)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When In Rome

I must apologize. I have been rather distracted.

Normally, I post to my blog at least every three days so my many readers (waves furiously at Mom!) will be up to date on the latest minutia of my life. Up to date on every little new word the twins learn, Noah’s kindergarten happenings.

Blame Ceasar!

Well, not really Ceasar, he died in last season’s finale episode. Oh, I am sorry, you are not following? See, I have of late been addicted to HBO’s series called ROME! I watched season one while living in the hospital for three weeks while the twins lived in the NICU. It was SUCH a great show, and I have always loved historical fiction… it’s a great way to learn how and why things happened the way they did. Sometimes…

I don’t have HBO, so I was sorry not to be able to watch season two. But I recently was able to borrow a copy of the second season episodes. YAY!! And with ALL my free time, which used to be spent taking photos, photoshopping photos, and writing my blog, I have been watching season two.

And I am sorry to say, that I have seven more episodes to go. But rest assured that it will end someday... HBO has chosen not to renew Rome because it is just so expensive to make (they film IN Italy!!)

So, my new resolution is to attempt to split my free time between Rome and Blogville. Otherwise, I will lose ALL my readers

(Hi Vera!!)
(Hi, Hawker!)
(Hi Pam!)
(Hi, mystery person in Sanibel!!)

Stay tuned…

Wordless Wednesday: Like Father, Like Son

And even more participants at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Now the Pressure's On

Oh man...

I was just going to post a quickie explaining why I have been too busy to post lately, and when I log in to type some lame excuse, the danged thing tells me that this is my One Hundredth Post!!

(a small handful of confetti settles to the floor)

Well... that's that. So, I have been this cleaning fiend lately. The good news is that my house is getting cleaner than its status quo, even the parts no one sees. The bad news is that it is because the owners of our house have decided to put it up for sale and the owner, and a realtor are coming by this week to do a price analysis. And having the owner here makes me a little nervous. Not that we are doing anything that should upset her. I just think that the cleaner it is, the more she will see us in a good light... taking good care of her house, the type of folks you want to give back their entire deposit. The kind of folks you feel like doing the right thing for when you are negotiating an early end to the lease.

So, I clean until I drop.
Leaving you all out in the cold.

No Fun Monday this week (unless I finish it by next Monday) and no Wordless Wednesday for tomorrow unless I get my s**t together early tomorrow and pull one out of the vaults. I haven't taken a picture in weeks.

What else... hmmm...

In the spaces between cleaning and trying to be a good mom, I am watching HBO's show, ROME, which is just AWESOME! I got addicted to it just after the twins were born, and I was living in a room in the hospital for three weeks. All I could do in my spare time was pump breast milk and watch TV, so I watched the entire run of Rome, Season One. Now, finally, I am catching up with everything post-"Et tu, Brute". Lovin' it. Highly recommend it.

The carpool thing is working out really well. Noah is making a good friend in Cooper, the other boy in the carpool, and we are hoping some of Coop's sweet good nature will rub off on Noah who is becoming a bit pissy and mean lately. On that note, Michael and I are trying our damnedest to reward the positive behavior and ignore the bad behavior or have some of those "little talks" about what we expect from him. It's a hard row to hoe.

Did I say this was going to be a quickie? Ah well...

Off to bed for me... What are you all up to?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Catch Up (Not Ketchup or even Catsup)

It’s been way too long since I have posted. And I don’t even know why… I am always busy, but I guess it’s easier to just read other blogs sometimes than to sit down and be creative and interesting when it comes to my mundane life…

Let’s see… since last we met…

I probably really stopped writing about what is going on around here when the heat wave hit. It was hard to even sit on the couch and stare at the wall. We had 8 long days of heat and 3 of them were insane. It was 92 degrees downstairs in our house. Did I ever mention that we decided to go for the house with no air conditioner as opposed to the big apartment WITH an air conditioner? Now I believe I made the right choice, but during the heat wave I was ready to pack up and move. I took a thermometer up to Noah’s room and checked it mid-day. It was actually 98 degrees in his room. So I had to let him nap down in the living room, because making him go to his room was like leaving your kids in the back of your car with the windows rolled up while you go shopping for three or four hours. “But officer, I left him a glass of water! With Ice Cubes!!” To keep the babies from jumping up and down on him while he sprawled on the living room floor, I had to baby-gate them in the kitchen with me for three hours each day.

Then, umm… Oh yeah, while we were suffering in the heat, my hometown in Ohio was inundated with water. 80 percent of the town was covered over, and even Wolf Blitzer was talking about it. My parents were thrilled to discover that they were living on the highest 20 percent of the land there in Findlay, Ohio. I wrote to my friend Cathy, and her parents’ house was just drowned. They are now living with her brother until insurance can come up with repairs to make it livable again. The basement of the theater I grew up working in was filled to the ceiling. They lost everything that was down there, which is the audience reception area for intermission, the dressing rooms, the bathrooms, a nice kitchen, electronic equipment, and I am guessing a lot of photos of old shows that were on the walls. Sad…

Hmmm… Noah started kindergarten. I blogged about that already.

Another thing that happened lately is that my Godmother, a wonderful, sweet and beautiful woman, unexpectedly passed away. I don’t really feel like writing about it except to say that I will miss her.

On the home front again, Luka injured himself in many different ways… two small holes in his tongue from falling and biting it, a scrape and bruise up his spine from falling on the tiled step, the ever-present unicorn bump in the center of his forehead from bending over and banging his head on the hard floor every time someone (hello, Ethan) takes his toy away. And the bloody nose, which deserves its on blog post. Stay tuned.

Note to self: Add Category called Luka Injures Himself Again.

We, umm… had a family photoshoot because the whole family (sans Mama) needs passports if we ever hope to buy Mexican tchotchkes again. Hence, the mugshots at left.

Oh! I also met the mother of one of the other kindergarteners at the community pool, and after chatting with her a few times out front of the school before end-of-day, I asked if she would like to start a carpool, and she said YES!! (And the heavens opened up and the angels sang!!)

See, this is important because Michael used to drop Noah off AND pick him up after work when he went to Montessori, but now he gets off school at 2pm and comes home to nap. The problem is that when he needs to be picked up is usually when the babies are sound asleep, both in their little beds. And you know what they say, Never Wake a Sleeping Baby! That goes doubly so for twins. So I have started training them to nap a little earlier, but on Thursdays, Noah gets off 2 hours earlier! An hour into the babies’ three hour nap!!

So, Joyce, my new friend, who works 3 days a week until just before 2pm, suggested that she pick the boys up 3 days a week, including the short day, and I only have to do it twice! Her son, Cooper is a full year older than Noah and in the kindergarten class right next door. She also has another son, maybe a year older than the twins. So we are helping each other’s young’ens get a little more afternoon nappage. I also like that Noah will be making a friend (and Cooper seems like the sweetest little guy ever!) and Joyce seems pretty cool, too.

I finished the book I was reading, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and will now go on to read the last two Harry Potters. (Please, all of you who assume everyone who wanted to must have read the last book by now and you can start talking about it… please… DON’T!!)

So, I guess that’s a wrap. Needed to get you all caught up so I can write more of those way-too-long posts about one single topic again soon. Ciao.

Wordless Wednesday: Three-Way Tantrum

This is a family favorite from earlier this summer, so apologies to any grandmas who were hoping for new pics. Been busy...

Please check out more Wordless Wednesday participants here and here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fun Monday: A Cop-Out?

( UPDATE: It appears that my Fun Monday good deed as really hurt the feelings of one of the original participants. She has decided to quit Fun Monday because of it! I feel just awful. I posted an apology in the comments of this post, as well as on her site. Please read.)

Well, I decided it was time for me to join in with the Fun Monday crew, blogging about whatever the assigned topic was. They took last Monday off, it being a holiday and all, and it was announced that in the next two weeks (from the last post) that our assignment was to do a good deed.

Nikki, our host this week, gave us this assignment:

Have you ever had someone out of the goodness of their heart do something for
you without anything asked in return? Offered you money when you needed it the
most? Helped you change a flat tire in the pouring rain or even just simply held
the door open for you when you had your hands full? For Monday, September
10th, we are challenged with doing a good deed.

Two weeks? Aw, heck... I had lotsa time! But then, I found myself dealing with moving Noah into a new school, and the usual staying home with twin toddlers during the week. And weekends are fast and furious around here... so the days slipped by.

I spend a lot of time in my own home, and rarely get much chance to see other people much less do good deeds for them. I had thought of doing this awesome Random Act of Kindness I read about over at Wannabe Hippie's site, which she found at Jen Lemen's site. Its such a cool idea... go ahead, read about it, I will wait. Then come back...

...I even bought post-it notes and stuck them in my purse, made a list of cool things to write. But I never found myself in a public restroom after that preparation. I still plan to do that sometime, though.

So, being the homebody I am, I am kind of using this as a cop-out, but my good deed is for all my fellow Fun Monday participants. I sat down with my photoshop (mmmm, photoshop) and made us all a new cool logo!! Its free for anyone to snag from my post, up there at the top, or I also posted it to my flickr site. I am not sure who made the original green logo, and I mean NO offense to that person, but it was just too tiny for me, and needed a little Oooomph! And some FUN! So, use whichever one you want, or none as some are inclined to do.

But enjoy! Happy Fun Monday!

And to my regular readers (Hi Mom! Hi Vera!) I plan to write something about the family real soon! Really! More horrific details of life with a dare-devil toddler. Stay tuned...

Go here to see more Fun Monday posts by fellow participants. Oh, and ps: I assume you can resize the big version, but just in case, here is a smaller version of the logo, if you want that.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Well, I meant to write about Noah's first day of kindergarten much earlier in the week, but of course daily life kind of interceded. So, apologies to the grandmas for reporting back so slowly!

Noah was really excited about being a “big boy” and moving on to kindergarten. He had just learned to tie his shoes the weekend before and started putting his face down in the pool water as well, so he was skipping ahead by leaps and bounds. So, being a big boy, he insisted on completely dressing himself head to toe for his first day.

The picture to the right is him off on his own, buttoning his shirt. It took about ten minutes but he did it! He wanted us to stay away so he could surprise us. You can click on any of the pictures to make them a bit bigger.

The whole family accompanied Noah for the first day. In the van he said, “I miss Montessori” and Michael and I glanced at each other with an “uh-oh” look, but other than that, Noah never seemed to mind changing schools.

At the school, the kindergarten paparazzi were in full force. So many parents and siblings, it was like some kind of carnival. Noah was to line up outside, and we found his line. His teacher was greeting all the children. A boy named Cooper, whom we had met at the pool a couple days before came over and said hello, asking if Noah was ready for kindergarten. So sweet. Too bad he was in one of the other classes. We chatted with his parents a bit and then it was time to go inside.

The kids began their little parade into the school, turning back to wave at the parents. I felt like it was the scene in Willy Wonka, where those with the Golden Tickets were going into the chocolate factory, while the rest of us stayed outside and applauded and cheered!

I did pretty well until it was time to go, and then I did tear up a little bit. It is a pretty big milestone for our little man, and he has been achieving so many things lately.

Daddy sent me out to play for awhile while he watched the twins. I was going to go see a movie, but the times I wrote down were for the previous day, and there was no movie until it was time to pick up Noah. Instead I visited some children’s resale clothing stores I had been wanting to check out. Then I went to the grocery store and got one of those giant chocolate chip cookies for Noah.

I came home and we decorated the dining room with some streamers and balloons, and put candles in the big cookie. When we brought Noah home we yelled “SURPRISE!!” when he walked in the room.

On his birthday, he kept trying to arrange for people to yell surprise as he walked into the cake room, but it never really panned out for him, so we played it all out that afternoon. He was surprised and we had to explain that we wanted to celebrate his special day. While eating his cookie slice, he kept saying repeatedly, “Thank you for my celebration, Mom and Dad!” and “I love you, Mom.”, “I love you, Dad”.

Our schedules are changing up a bit as he used to have his nap at preschool, and now he has to take one at home after school. It’s been tough trying to get him to go up and lay down after an exciting day. But he will also be spending more time at home since I will be picking him up after school, instead of Daddy doing it after work. I think more time at home might add up to a happier child as well.

Last night, as I lay in bed with him after story time, he told me, “I’m really getting to be a big boy, aren’t I?”

Yeah, baby, you are.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Noah Ties His Shoe For the First Time!!

Click on the picture to see the large version, showing all those studious expressions! To see more participants of Wordless Wednesday,
check out the WW HQ and 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mama Says Om: Lullaby

Over at Mama Says Om, they are offering a giveaway of a CD by Renee Stahl and Jeremy Toback called "It's a Big World" and I would really, really love to own it. You can hear clips here. My friend Wannabe Hippie mentioned this CD on her blog awhile back, with a link to some samples of the music. This music is some of the sweetest lullaby music you may ever hear, and is the kind of thing you wouldn’t even mind listening when there are no kids around.

It’s a good soundtrack for drinking tea while reading the Sunday paper, or for dozing in the hammock while listening to the kids playing happily nearby. Even after listening to snippets of it on their website, I found myself singing them to myself later in the day, not even knowing the rest of the song!

Its funny, I always imagined one of the best parts of motherhood was singing to your child softly, in the rocking chair, while breastfeeding. I knew I didn’t have the best singing voice, but it’s not all that bad either. But when my first baby came, and I quietly sang to him in the night, he would burst into tears, inconsolable. When I stopped singing, he stopped crying. And it went on like that.

To fulfill that little fantasy of motherhood, I had to quietly sing to him after he fell back asleep, before I laid him back in his bed. All for my own benefit.

This was all the more disconcerting as he grew older and developed a love of all things musical. He had to own a toy piano, a harmonica, a drum, some castanets, a saxophone… whatever new instrument he learned about, he wanted to play. And he learned to sing songs quickly and loved to sing them.

But if I tried to sing along with him, he would scold me. “Mommy! Stop Singing!”

One day, I asked him, “Why? How come you get to sing, but I don’t?” and he answered, “Because when you sing, its like you’re being mean to me!” He was in a cranky mood that day, but that hurt.

So, I ended up playing him lullaby CDs before bed. I tried to get him to listen to things I would like, mellow songs from Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkle, and the like. But he always asked for something else. Lullabies from the Beatles came next. Nope. He did like those nature discs that had some classical music along with the sounds of birds chirping or the ocean waves. But the one he always went back to was one that came as an advertisement from a PHARMACEUTICAL company, for some drug for children and infants!! And he has been listening to it over and over, night after night, for about three years straight.

This is fine for him. But, I have to listen to it too, through the baby monitor.

Now, understand that I am the mom who doesn’t like advertising things unless I REALLY like the product. I won’t wear those free t-shirts you get from companies with their logo on it, no matter how cool it looks. I don’t like my kids to wear those shirts either, and it bugs me, all those useful things like clocks and pens and cups and soap dispensers and LULLABY CDs (!!!) that my hubby comes home with, because my frugal side has to battle with my non-advertising side.

Which brings me back to “It’s a Big World”. See, I already know I like the music on this disc. It’s so sweet and soothing. If I can’t win Noah over to it, I can just play it in my own room, drowning out his music coming over the monitor!

And, I can start my twin toddlers out early on some music I like listening to over and over again.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

One Year Since...

I was trying to think of something to write for a blog post, and it occurred to me that it might be fun to take a look at what the kids looked like one full year ago compared to now.

So I dug through my digital photo files, kept by month and year taken. I went to the first week of September last year, Labor Day Weekend, and there it was… such a surprise!

The pictures were those of us packing up our beloved Riverhouse, the last house we lived in, in Ohio, before coming back here to California. It was a house way out of our price range, but we splurged, and the owners came down in price because they wanted someone they could kick out in a year. It was a century old colonial, with a wide, green backyard sloping down to a shallow bend of the mighty Cuyahoga River (thus, why Noah christened it the Riverhouse, as opposed to the “Old House” we had lived in previously).

It was a year ago this weekend that we gathered friends and family together, made them work like dogs, and then kissed them goodbye.

It’s been a year this weekend since I last saw my best friend Pam. Since Noah saw her son, his best friend, Alex. Since I lived in probably the coolest house I will ever live in.

As I was ‘shopping these pictures (yeah, that is slang for “photoshopping” them so they don’t look like crap), I had opened the picture of Noah and his friend Alex on their last day together.

Noah came over and said, “Hey….”

Mama: Do you remember him?

Noah: Yeah, that’s Alex P--------

…and then he wandered away saying, “I really miss that guy.”

Yeah, Sweetie. I miss him too.

And his mommy.

Sink or Swim

It’s coming. I can feel it.

Michael and I often feel swamped, drowning in children, barely keeping afloat in this sea of responsibility. It’s so much more than we thought it would be: having twin babies, now twin toddlers, while trying to mold a preschooler turned kindergartener into a good and whole being, complete with manners, a sense of responsibility and a positive spirit. We often feel if we get them all fed and napped, we have successfully made it through a day.

I know we are supposed to “live for today” and “stop and smell the roses” but sometimes I look with envy on those families with older kids, the ones who follow their parents through parking lots without wandering away. The ones who talk about their day while eating in a restaurant. We rarely do anything as a family because Noah still requires much attention on outings, and we each have a baby to manage.

When things get tough, we tell each other that it will soon get better. One more year. Maybe a year and a half. When they aren’t really babies anymore. And we can sometimes see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have the occasional successful restaurant experience. A social outing that is fun enough to be worth the effort of a half day of packing and the missing of naps and meals in high chairs.

This weekend, we took a great leap forward in that tunnel, toward that proverbial light.

You see, from the beginning Noah hated the water. He would scream bloody murder in the bathtub for the first full year of his life. Taking him in to a swimming pool and gliding him through the water was like dragging the poor guy through lava. So, those thoughts of teaching him to swim as an infant were right out.

The next child! The next child will learn right off the bat!

But the next child was two children, and now we were two parents with three non-swimmers. And at a pool, that is just not a safe situation. One could stay home with two while the other parent took a child swimming, but that child had to be Noah because if he knew you were taking a baby swimming he just HAD to go, or course. So the babies never got any swim experience.

So we take Noah every time, and every time he resists our efforts to teach him, and he just wants to play.

Leave it to Grandma to come up with the answer.

I wrote that Noah spent last weekend at Mima’s taking swim lessons. Well, he came home just begging to show us what he learned!

So, we did it. Yesterday, for the first time ever, we packed up the whole lot and traipsed over to the community pool. Michael took a baby, I took a baby, and Noah had enough confidence for once to be trusted not to drown, in the kiddie pool at least. And it was a blast!! Noah would show us again and again how he can put his face down in the pool, sometimes holding his nose, sometimes not. Eventually, he was jumping into the children’s pool, making sure that his head would go under when he did. And most importantly to us, when he lost his balance, he seemed finally to be able to right himself without help. He knew which way was up.

It was so much fun, we turned around and did it again today! We would all play together in the children’s pool, and then one of us would take the babies back home while the other worked with Noah in the big pool.

And may I say that after one day in the pool, getting dunked over and over, Ethan can hold his breath almost as well as Noah! Luka… not so well. After one too many coughing fits, he was vigorously doing the sign for “all done” and was pointing and yelling “Dit Down!” which was the closest thing he has in his vocabulary for “Get me out of this pool!” But as long as he wasn’t being forcefully dunked, he had a really good time, too.

And I must say that this is a godsend because we are in the midst of a heat wave and have no air conditioning!! It is in the upper 80s inside our house, and that is downstairs! Don’t even get me started on the heat upstairs in the bedrooms!

So I think we are going to make it through that tunnel. We are going to be one of those families eventually. The ones where everyone can walk in the same direction at the same time, follow directions, talk about our day at a dinner table, and enjoy a full-family outing. Sometimes.

We won’t sink. We will swim.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Rude Awakening

Ahhh… being able to sleep in is so nice…

And Noah finished preschool yesterday, and didn’t have to be at his kindergarten orientation until 9am! And Daddy took the day off so he could take care of the babies while Mommy pays attention to all the crazy information we must absorb. (Although he came for a look-around, too!)

So… we were all home, had a couple extra hours to kick around in the morning. A perfect day to sleep in a little.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

So, its 5:55am and something is different. Louder than the fan that is trying to wick away the humidity of the night (yes, we have no AC!). I open my eyes and look out the window. Its an odd color. And… foggy? Before I can wrap my mind around the odd world out there, Michael mumbles something about a storm. Rain.

Didn’t see that coming. “Do we have anything out there that shouldn’t be getting wet?” Michael fumbles some pants on and hoofs it down the stairs. I hear the sliding glass door open and then there is a…


I sit up and see Noah’s door swinging open. I assumed a door must have just slammed, but instead it was swinging open. Then Noah calls, “Mommy?? Mommy!! Its too loud!!!” I come stumbling into his room and see leaves whipping around like a madhouse just outside the window. I pull his window fan in and slam the window shut. It’s a little bit quieter.

“Do I have to get up now?”
“No, baby, you can sleep another couple hours. Go back to bed”

I fix his blankets and close his door. Michael has come back in and I ask him what the bang was, did he slam a door. He assumes that a door slammed, but only Noah’s could have as the others were all already closed or are sliders. Odd…

And then Luka started calling, “Daddy!... Daddy!!”. And Noah realized he needed to use the potty. And our day had begun.

Daddy said he would handle it, he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep anyway. So I rolled over and dozed for an hour or so without any real sleep. And then I padded down the steps, supported by the smell of coffee.

Another odd site caught my eye and although I like to do nothing but head straight for the coffeepot first thing, I turned and tried to figure out why there were 5 men in blue shirts moving around 2 feet from my front window.

“Mommy, Look what happened!!”

I followed Noah’s pointing finger to a protrusion in the ceiling of plaster and what looks oddly like cardboard. There was a hole in the ceiling. Not a big one, but a hole nonetheless. Only about three inches across. Apparently a large branch had fallen off the tree out front and landed on our roof. The men had hauled the larger pieces off the roof and were gathering smaller branches and leaves, and pieces of the streetlamp that had once lit up our front yard.

I went up to Noah’s room and looked out on the roof that his window looks out upon. I was expecting some gaping pit, but the hole there was about the same size as the one in the living room, and I realized a branch had not busted the roof, it had speared it like a javelin!

I also realized that when I had seen those leaves whipping around in a frenzy outside Noah’s window while pulling the fan inside, was that they had been entirely too CLOSE to Noah’s window, and that they must have been the giant tree branch tapping on the screen with big sloppy maple leaves. Odd, I hadn’t noticed they were about 8 feet closer than they usually are!

So, now, we are thankful again for being renters, and called the property management company. Awesome company, as the guys were out there removing branches only an hour after it had fallen. But it also means that we will be dealing with roofers and perhaps plasterers, and pots to drip water into when it rains for a little while.

And a little less shade that we already had…

See, the tree was duly punished for no longer being virile and forthright and was trimmed and chopped to within an inch of its life, loosing anything that did not look completely trustworthy. It is now a very tall, very skinny maple tree, shaped more like a cedar.

Or a javelin. Heh.