Yesterday I was posting (somewhat boastfully?!) about how my immune system had improved after 1.) teaching germy, infectious adolescents, and 2.) having two babes who pass various colds and sniffles about like a hot potato. Just as I pressed the "submit" button to BenMac's site, I got it. First it started out with a bit of a chill. Now I know it's been cold around here (so cold we've actually been breaking record lows), BUT I had a chill that wouldn't leave. At first I thought it strange that I had the heater on for three hours and I still hadn't warmed up. The next clue was when Alison ripped off her shirt from the 82 degree temps inside. And Henry had beads of sweat on his upper lip. Yet I sat there bundled up in sweats and gloves (yes! I bought a pair of gloves for the first time!).
I took my temperature and it read 101.5 degrees. Lovely. It was 4 p.m. and my husband wouldn't be home for hours due to a basketball game, and I was left to entertain two kids. Fabulous. For those who are not parents (or even teachers for that matter), when the Mama (or maestra) take ill, the KIDS DON'T GET IT! It's not that they don't care, they just DON'T GET IT! And your four year old daughter says things like:
"Mama, let's play family...." And all I can think is: Yeah, I'll be the baby. Now go tuck me in.
"Mama, wanna make cookies?" And I wanna say: Go ahead. Just don't burn down the house.
Or your son will do silly things like:
Take the biggest, smelliest, messiest CRAP of all time. Of ALL TIME. And the heater in the back of the house isn't turned on....so I'm forced to go into that igloo of a room in my shivery, shaky state. And we're low (oh so desperately low) on wipes, and I try so desperately to get by with three (3) wipes. Now cleaning a dirty bum with three wipes is QUITE a challenge, and frankly, it's one of my better talents. Yes, TALENTS.
Hank came home late after three or four desperate phone calls to him to "hurry" and "come home fast." He found me in a shivering, feverish state with massive tummy
rumbles. I now had the EXACT same case of the YUCKS my wee ones had just weeks ago. I was starving but no food would suffice as they all had that bland, no flavor at all flavor. I hit the hay within minutes.
Now lemme make a long, gross story somewhat shorter and less disgusting. I found myself at 1 a.m. hurling all of my innards out, and at one point I thought I was going to die (yes, I'm a bit dramatic at times). I had cold sweat and shivers, and my sweet husband came and swept me back to bed. He cleaned up all my mess. Now doesn't he deserve an award or something?
Anyway today I feel much, much better, and in a way I'm SO GRATEFUL that I got that sickness "out of the way" so to speak. It would have been awful to get this case of the yucks while on a plane, flying to paradise.
Anyway, just thought I'd share!! Ha! Lucky you!
P.S. Go check out Hank's revamped site (compliments of moi), Broken Cowboy. He's doing all knds of fancy schmancy stuff like interviewing major sports writers and athletes for posts on his site.
The year was 1969. Mid June, I believe. My mother-in-law, Joann, and my father-in-law, Hank, were travelling out west. During their journey, they toured Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, and finally, they arrived in Seattle, Washington. From what I know, they were taking a vacation, the last that they would have as a couple. For you see, at that time my mother-in-law was 4 months pregnant with my husband.
This was a happy vacation, I know, because I have witnessed the joy on their faces through aged photographs and old 35mm slides. One time, about a year or two ago, Joann showcased boxes and boxes of old slides, allowing us to peer into their dream vacation. Each flash of the slide would project a grainy image onto the white wall, and in the darkness of their living room, I couldn't help but smile because their contentment was so evident. A radiant mother-to-be; a proud father-to-be. Through the slides and through Joann's commentary, I felt part of their love and committment.
A couple days into their Seattle stay, they returned to their hotel room to retire for the evening. The date was June 21, 1969. That evening, after my in-laws laid down to rest, my father-in-law passed away in his sleep. He died of a heart attack at the age of forty-five.
My husband was born 5 months later, never having met his own father. Through the years, though, he has known him through anecdotes and photos; through music and letters. A while back Joann bestowed upon my husband a large box filled with cards, notes, and love letters from his father to his mother. I remember that evening vividly as Hank and I sat on our couch pouring over this bounty of love, and I spent most of that night crying. I felt as if I were mourning the loss of a man that I had never met. And yet I felt his presence through his words, hardpressed in ink in all those love letters.
We have my father-in-law's letters housed in a lovely, handpainted box. It rests on our bookshelf, and every day as I pass it, I can't help but be reminded of the transiency of life. There are days, like today, when little ones underfoot threaten to spoil my mood with their fussiness. And while it's hard not to succumb to irritation, I have to stop and remember just how precious my time with them really is. Some people, like my father-in-law, never had the chance to see their precious little beings while on earth.
Today is my father-in-law's birthday. He would have turned eighty years old. Thirty five years have passed since his last breath on earth, but I know for sure that right now his spirit is in heaven, and he is happy as he smiles down at us. His heart is content, and in a way, he lives in my husband. I feel him when my husband showers my babes with love. I see his smile in my husband's laughter, and I hear his voice in my husband's songs. And perhaps, yes perhaps his love has transcended to my son, Henry IV, because I sense him when my son giggles and dances. And his gentleness has made way to my daughter through her shy, coyness. I feel him every day. I know him and love him. And I can't wait to meet him.
Even though I've had this blog for about a year now, I have never posted photos of my children online. I'm fiercely protective of my two babes, and I have been hesitant to showcase them for fear of the unknown. The internet is an untamed beast, and after having published several websites (and more particularly, after being on A Baby Story), I've had some weird situations that have made me a bit leary.
I have decided, however, that I can still post photos under controlled circumstances! Yay! I have a new album that you, dear reader, are free to peruse. If you're interested in taking a peek into my world, please e-mail me for the user id and password.
ALL are welcome to view the album. I would just feel more comfortable if I knew who it was that was viewing my photos. That's all!
Oops...I guess my e-mail addy is kinda hidden. It's: heyrubbersol (at) yahoo (dot) com. (Thanks Jenn!)
14 people peeking.
Last night Cassie and I took our babes (her Kylee, my Henry) to a Tiny Tots Music Class. I enjoyed the one-on-one time with Henry, and he seemed to LOVE the class. He's quite the musical guy; he has been able to hum songs from memory since quite an early age. For an hour, he twirled, jumped, ring-around-the-rosied, marched, stomped, and giggled. He truly is a delightful young boy (despite his routineshenanigans), and he's starting to grow more loving and affectionate each day.
Unlike his more reserved sister, he's very social and outgoing. Alison has taken a slew of creative classes (art, gymnastics, dancing etc), but she usually spent a good 50% of the time either a.) clinging to my legs or b.) observing the others. Upon arriving at the park, Henry BURST! into the recreation room, swinging the doors open as if to exclaim, "Let the party begin!"
Cassie's girl, Kylee, has a very similar personality to Henry (hmmmm....they must take after their mothers....just a hunch!), and they both enjoyed each other's company. At one point we saw them holding hands, and our hearts melted....you see, we've already arranged their marriage! That way Cassie and I can be together for like, forever!
Henry's a silly dude too. After hearing Kylee yell, "Mommy! Mommy," to Cassie, he has assumed that Cassie's name must, reasonably, be "Mommy." So throughout the night the other mothers heard him yell, "Come Mama!......Come Mommy!" Now we're trying to teach Kylee to call me "Mama." We're silly girls, I guess.
On another note, I've met a new online pal, JustJenn. Her site is so fun, and we've already corresponded via e-mail several times. We've found out that we have some similar tastes and interests! She was the first person who actually guessed the meaning behind, "Rubber-Sol!" How cosmic.
Also I have a fresh batch of eBay. Last week's auctions surpassed my expectations, and this week has started to prove the same! (Thank you to those who bid and to those who beat out the snipers!) I'll be liquidating my entire rubber stamp inventory for the next couple of months. If you, dear reader, are interested in any of them, let me know. No bidding necessary! And absolutely no obligation, of course!
Oh! One last thing! My new nephew, Everett Michael, arrived on the 16th (his actual due date!)! Yay! And Hank's best bud Everett (a.k.a. Rett....can you believe another Everett!) just had his second babe, Kate!
So it's not a good sign when your four year old proclaims, "Boy! It's a mess in here!" Actually that's not really how she said it. She said something more along the lines of, "Mama....Nemo (her fish) is looking out of his tank....I think he's wondering why it's such a mess in here!" Anyone who has children knows that it is virtually impossible to keep the abode tidy and clean. My house is no exception.
This morning, my first official morning of vacation, I decided to sweep and mop the floor. Any sight of the broom or mop gets Henry in a stir, and today he was exceptionally excited to see them out. After two minutes of mopping, I realized that my task somehow turned into a virtual video game. You see I was a video character like, say, Ms. Pac Man, and Henry was one of those pesky ghosts that chase around the screen. My first round of the game resulted in a clean sweep of the floor, and I was quite content with my achievement. Perhaps Little Ghost was just getting warmed up.
The movement of the mop seemed to get Little Ghost worked up, and he sped around like mad, chasing me, blocking my path. At one point he refused to budge and he remained guarding a big, black dirt spot on the floor. And there was no way I was going to lose this round! No siree! I cleverly went AROUND Little Ghost, careful that he didn't grab the mop. Because then I'd be out of the game for sure.
I was quite proud! Beaming in fact! Just as I was about to finish up, Little Ghost threw a cup of apple juice on the floor. Right in my path! That little stinker. I took a detour with my mop and quickly soaked up the mess, eager to finish the game. As if on cue, Little Ghost then grabbed a box of Frosted Flakes (with 1/3 less sugar...) and strew them ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR. ALL OVER!
I was screwed.
The kitchen was a mess. Little Ghost ran down his path of destruction, throwing more and more onto the floor. Sippy cups. Juice boxes. More cereal. Kleenex. Back to the broom. Sweep, sweep, sweep. Quickly now. I think at this point the music started to pick up, tensions grew. Sweep, scold, sweep, scold, sweep. My tactic wasn't working.
During my last attempt to sweep the floor, Little Ghost opened the bottle of cleaning solution, and emptied it on the floor. At that point, the infamous losing noise of being taken down by a ghost came into play. I was out of power pellets. I was doomed.
Later on I think I'll demand a replay. Wish me luck.
Allie and Henry are at my in-laws for the evening. They'll have fun playing with their Mum and Buppa, and I'm sure there will be some sort of baking involved. Mum will push them on their swingset for a seeming eternity, and they'll get to stay up past their bedtimes.
Meanwhile I'm at home with an endless stretch of time in front of me. What do I do now?
Since Allie was born, Hank and I have been in our own home (alone) only a handful of times sans babies. I know it seems silly, but it's kinda strange (and lonely) coming home to an empty house. There's no yelling, no screaming, no food tossing, no running around. NOTHING. The house is still and silent. And it's kinda irking me out!
Most days, when I have babes wrapped around my legs or tears to wipe, I find myself longing for moments of silence and serenity. Hank and I oftentimes wonder what life was like pre-babies, and now we're getting a taste of it. And funny thing is, I'm not as excited as I thought I would be.
Instead I'm worrying about Henry's allergies. Will he get his medicine? Will Mum sing a nighttime lullaby to Allie? Will they eat enough for dinner?
Hank and I are planning to go out on a date. A nice dinner for two. A movie. Perhaps even an evening stroll through a bookstore. Yeah, that sounds like fun.
My son, Henry, is notorious for his many antics like these and these. I don't know how many times he's fallen off the couch and ended up with something like this. Today my thirty-four pound of thunder was in fine form. It all started at 7:oo a.m. when Allie came running into the bedroom yelling, "Mama! Henry climbed onto his changing table!!!! All by hisself! Mama come quick!" And there I found him high in the air, holding a tube of Aveeno lotion. He had unscrewed the tube, and found much pleasure in squeezing the death out of it, and then licking the spewed lotion off of his legs. (The poison control center must know us by name now.) The rest of the morning unfolded in similar fashion:
8:00 a.m.Henry finishes his bowl of oatmeal. As his sister leaves the table for a glass of milk, Henry eyes her bowl, and devours it before she returns to the table. Allie wails with utter disappointment as this was the last packet of oatmeal in our pantry. The last.
8:15 a.m. Later he squeezes a juice box all over the table (this happens daily). But today he added a little "twist" to the fun; he then swipes his arm across the table (windshield wiper style), splashing more juice around the room.
The morning continues with his daily run-of-the-mill shenanigans.
11:00 a.m.Hank and I take the kids to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The aquarium usually grouches me out (due to the large crowds), but I'm secretly hoping that Henry will burn steam so that he could take a looong afternoon nap.
While we're at the stingray HANDS-ON exhibit, we hear the guide announce, "If you would like to touch the stingrays, please be very careful with them. They are extremely sensitive to sudden movements......"
And then. As if on cue. My dear, dear son throws CHUCKS his GIANT PRETZEL (with salt and mustard) at the passing stingray. The water splashes. The crowd collectively murmurs. I suck in my breath and turn away. Hank bravely retrieves the pretzel. Henry demands another pretzel and giggles.
LUNCHTIME Henry is at the end of his rope, but we daringly decide to grab a bite at the aquarium which prolongs our stay. We anticipate the possibility of a tantrum, but we're hungry. The food arrives. Hank eats. I eat. Allie eats. Henry? Oh he busies himself, throwing hot dog bits around the room. And then he charmingly spits milk all over his shirt. He's a mess. His eyes are red. His knees are blackened from dirt. His hair defies gravity.
Departure Time Allie's bummed we have to leave, but as we're exiting we see a large, overstuffed Lorikeet mascot. Allie's thrilled and she insists, INSISTS! that we see the low-budget lorikeet before leaving. She hugs the towering bird, and I secretly wonder why on earth anyone would want that job. It's 80 DEGREES for cryin' out loud! But oh look at how cute! Allie's hugging the bird! And the bird is hugging her! Hank snaps a photo. I try to usher Henry into the photo too, but he's no where. NO WHERE. I panic for a millisecond, and then.....
.....out of the corner of my eye, I see Henry. He's running straight towards the lorikeet! HEAD FIRST!! FULL SPEED!
Oh sweet Jesus! He's gonna take down the lorikeet!
Henry gains momentum, and then rams straight into the lorikeet! The lorikeet's body jackknives, and for a moment, I fear that he's going to fall straight on his back. He stumbles and then regains balance. I hear a few muffled words come from the black mesh of his costume.
We pack up and head to the car. Once inside, I sigh with heavy relief. And then like a maniac, I laugh and laugh and laugh. What else could I do?
Okay, so like, I'm a liar. I admit it. Of all people, I lied to my little, sweet Alison. But, you see, I had to because her first* pet died three weeks ago.
After the whole Nemo fanatacism, and several visits to Sea World this year, we were bound to end up with an ichthyological pet. "At least they're cheap," we said to ourselves as we plonked down $30.00 for 2 fishes (1 orange and 1 black), a small tank, fish food, and decorative pebbles.
Alison took interest in her new pets, "Nemo" and "Black Nemo" for a couple of weeks, eagerly feeding them once, twice, sometimes thrice daily. She even displayed extreme interest in her pets when Mama mistakenly put the tank in the Bay Garden window and green algae threatened to cut off their oxygen supply. But lo and behold, the tank was cleaned, and the fish were free to flit about in the pristine water.
And wouldn't you know it, one day, JUST ONE DAY after I uttered, "Boy these guys are hearty fellas, huh?", the damn orange fish had to call it quits? Hank (mistakenly) chose to tell Alison about the death of Nemo right before dinner one evening, and we (he) spent the entire dinner soothing her and comforting her. Hank even took her outside to have a quick burial service in the backyard. Not wanting to relive this moment, that night I prayed to the Fish God, "Oh holy Fish God....puhleeze let Black Nemo live....please!"
Talk about a bad omen.
The next day, Black Nemo was dead. Perhaps from a broken heart. Perhaps to taunt me.