27 February, 2008

Waterworks

  • The LandCruiser will cost $2500 to repair, and that's just if we fix the catalytic converters...not even trying to fix the tail light or the one bad tire (note: please make sure your tires are properly inflated. You really can ruin your tires by not making sure they are all four inflated properly...especially if you don't rotate them!)
  • Lucy refused to nap today
  • The stylus for my Superphone flew out in my kitchen, landed on the floor and has disappeared.
  • Jake woke up with a dry diaper again today (at 6am) and when I tried to race him upstairs (because the downstairs bathroom still isn't done) he went willingly.. then when Lucy followed us and barged in he got mad and refused to go on the toilet.
  • I was all excited to go out of town in April with my husband and just figured out that it is NOT the weekend Jake goes to camp, which would therefore make it too difficult for his grandparents to take care of him (and Lucy) for the entire weekend.. so no chance of Descartes and I ever getting away together by ourselves...ever again? for the rest of our lives?
  • I am hot. While I love the idea of springtime coming.. bulbs pushing through the dirt, I am not ready for the weather change.Sweater no sweater? long socks short socks? sunblock!
  • Lucy did not nap today.
  • My Internet connection was down nearly all day.

Are these things that would make others cry? I sobbed on Lucy's bed (she was playing upstairs...not napping...)

then of course I got it together and fixed the Internet connection and paid all of the bills and found some short socks.

25 February, 2008

home again home again jiggety jig

Jake came home a happy kid. His precious counselor loved all over him and played in the coastal mountain rain with him when he got cabin fever. It is always a good feeling when you know you've made a good parenting choice. That boy loves camp.

22 February, 2008

Jake Goes To Camp

and so of course I am a freakazoid. Sage just took Lucy for the evening. I think Descartes and I may actually go see a movie.

I always get distressed when Jake goes to Camp.. even though he has been 5 times and it is a wonderful place and he LOVES it.. (and even said a high pitched squealy "YEAHHHHHH!" when a stranger asked him if he liked camp).

Also BQ's little boy is in the hospital again and I just feel like there isn't anything I can do for her. She has asked me to send her (via text) jokes of all kinds.. so if you have any good ones please put them in the comments section and I will text away later tonight.

Mamalicia said the other day "Everyone just seems really fragile these days, as if I must watch everything I say so as not to offend, or make someone cry." I guess I am thinking that too. Everything just seems a bit delicate and breakable.

19 February, 2008

Let's See, Where Have I Been?

Well, there was a massive migraine this weekend. The kind that includes throwing up..bile....yum. And what else? Oh yeah. Rats. Yes, rats.

Call PETA. I killed two of them in the last week. There is a long story there that includes the fact that my 6'5" husband is really, very disturbed by rats, dead or alive. That puts me (voluntarily) in charge of rat clean up. He is really a wonderful husband and father, so in this one area, it is my pleasure(?!) to take care of cleaning little bloody paw prints from our very own Remy off of the floor, and picking up his lifeless body after it has been ferociously snapped by my baited trap.


Rats in your kitchen suck. If you have never had a rat in your kitchen consider yourself the luckiest person in the world. Our neighbors removed a ton of brush from their front yard (big bushes and 500 + square feet of juniper). It is better for the neighborhood to remove the habitat, but in a pinch, it turns out that the space behind the kitchen baseboards in my house makes a decent enough home for two rats for a week. I am normally a generous hostess.

We spent nearly all day on Sunday removing the baseboards, then taking wire mesh and stapling it up under the kitchen cabinets so that the 1 1/2" opening was sealed. I then crawled under the back kitchen window box and discovered where they were coming in and sealed it up with steel wool and more fine metal mesh. Let us pray that there were a)only two of them b)if there were more than two, that they are all trapped outside the house and not inside and c)in the current torrential downpour the little buggers do not attempt to get in our home through any other narrow secret rat passage.

Perhaps I will recover soon and share more exciting things like:
  • Jake pooped on the potty at school AGAIN!
  • Lucy, at 20 months has begun speaking in 8-word sentences: "Mommy, I want to wash my hands please."
  • Descartes and I had a lovely first play date with a couple and their two children... where Jake's (dis)abilites were neither feared nor obsessed over. We just had a plain old relaxing time. The mommy works with Descartes and the daddy is a kid watcher like me.. but he is a master home brewer.. play`dates are always better with beer!
  • The backyard patio is done and Descartes has re-worked the pergola thingy and we have enough amps in the outside subp-panel to put a hot tub out there!
  • Jake has been answering more questions with yeah and nah!

09 February, 2008

08 February, 2008

Apparently I am a Grown Up

So last night as we drove to Tahoe with way too little sleep under my belt, I was trying to find ways to keep my mind active while I navigated the car through the Bay Area and on through Sacramento while Descartes dozed until it was his turn to wind up the mountains.

I decided to go through each major high school dance in my head; Homecoming, Winter Formal, Sadie Hawkins, Prom Spring Fling, anything I could remember. I tried very hard to remember my dress, my shoes, my hair, my corsage, my date, who we went with and where the event was held.

It was pretty funny to recall... Freshman year, Homecoming Dance: Red two piece strapless yarn-dyed tafetta with peplum, dyed-to match very low heels (last time I did that!), long (past my shoulders) blond wavy hair with bangs like this (almost exactly, Renee and I could have been sisters!), corsage two baby red roses with baby's breath, my date TOM TYLER! I am pretty sure we went with Nikki E. and Jill G and their dates (who I can't remember). I think we ate at a surf and turf, and someone (not my date) ordered the Phillet Mihg Non (Filet Mignon).

I get through most of the dances and dresses, and nearly all of the dates (except the senior who asked me to prom my freshman year..he was a nice guy, a swimmer I think with beautiful surfer blonde red hair). I figure out halfway through my reminiscing that I went to every major dance, and most of the other ones; perhaps another way to know that I haver always had a nice little life.

Today I received an email from Gloria, my mom. It is a forward from the neighbor family I grew up next to. The older-sister's daughter was the flower girl in my wedding nearly ten years ago. The pictures attached to the email? They are from my flower girl's first high school formal. Whoomph. Wow. Okay. I was JUST there wasn't I? Apparently not.

At least I still have the faculty of recall eh?

05 February, 2008

Red, White and Teary Blue Eyed

I love this country. I love the freedoms and the community and the possibility for real change and the collective longing for simpler times. I love 24 hour news and drive through liquor stores and short skirts and church on Sundays. I love boys holding hands, and teachers teaching, and libraries open, and movies playing and people praying and others lowering their heads to Mecca all within one mile of each other. I love higher education and the right to vote and due process and the abolishment of slavery. I am grateful that my special needs child is a valued member of society, and that we are not made outcast by his birth.

This is a great place, and maybe it's just 'cause I got to sleep in the other day, but I really do have a great life.

I got teary eyed when I turned in our ballots today (we vote by absentee ballot, but generally forget to mail them so I turn them in to the local precinct.) I was watching all of these people file in. The place was packed, and there were parents there with their teenage kids. What a grand thing it would be to have this year be the first time one gets to vote. The Democrats will present with either a female or a black man, or possibly both! on one ticket. Black men couldn't vote until 1870. Women couldn't vote until 1920! You've come a long way baby...

I am not one to stick a sign in my yard, not one to necessarily even make an endorsement of anyone, so I am hesitant to post this YouTtube video, except that it moved me. Not necessarily because I believe in everything Obama believes in, but because I do believe that my generation is finally, finally, getting involved. And those people in their twenties.. they are not only involved, they are excited about politics. That's what we need in this country to rout out partisan silliness, and stop the nonsense in Iraq.

So while I am still one of those Americans who is still really trying to find out with whom I am most closely aligned.. here is that Obama video

03 February, 2008

Backyard Makeover Continues




The paver guys come tomorrow. In a matter of days the bulk of the backyard will be finished. It will cost about $2000 a day to have it done. That is an ugly amount of money... I do however think that this money is better spent now on Jake and his happiness than saving it for an unknown college future. Perhaps that is short-sighted of me, but I want my son to have a safe place to play. A place where he is happy so his sister thinks he is cool and fun...and selfishly? I want to look at a nice backyard when I come into my house and when I do the dishes. It is a good thing for the family. It is painful to pay others for something we physically can do, and technically can understand, but we are realizing that we actually don't have as much time to complete projects as we think.

When I was Jake's age I helped my dad build things. I helped garden. I cleaned out the garage with my mom. I sorted laundry. I forget that some of the reason I can't get done what my mother seemed to accomplish easily is because I have this special needs kid. He can't help on those projects, but more than that, I can't actually do them because he can't be trusted to stay safe while I do the task. Gardening in the front yard would be inviting death since we have no fence keeping us from the street..and we are on a hill. The property in the back would seem a place he could play while I plant bulbs or weed, but there is an empty lot with another hill that leads to neighbors who aren't all that nice. Anyway. I fold laundry downstairs while Jake plays close by on the deck. Friday I had the babysitter play with the kids on the deck so I could garden on the hill in the front but still spend time near them. It felt a little bit like when I was a kid. I guess I want my kids to have memories of me like I have of my dad digging and planting.

To me gardening is a physical expression of hope and faith. Planting a bulb and waiting months for the promise of a bloom? You can water and weed the area, mulch and still you might not get a flower later. Most times you do, but if it's anything like the planting at our house--in my harried rush to plant in five minute spurts here and there, I throw all of the bulbs in a box in October. Then in February, March and April... I never even know what kind of flower is going to come up.

01 February, 2008

So Are The Days of Our Lives

I received a birthday gift from Bridquet that was so thoughtful... so full of thought and effort that it may be up there with the most precious gifts I have ever been given.

On the right-hand side of this blog there is a little note, that has been on there since I started writing... something about the fact that for 15 minutes of each day I think that we are not going to make it... it is all too much, and I am no good at this job, and I am overwhelmed, and my body aches, and Jake is never going to be independent. I am not trying hard enough, and I have nothing more to give to my children and my marriage. I have lost myself. I am failing my special-needs child. I am not using the gifts God has given me. I have no faith. I am tired and there is nothing to serve my family for dinner. My house is a mess. My vocabulary is weak. My hair is thinning and has split ends. I never sing anymore and I am too quick to judge others. I have no patience. I am lost and it is all hopeless.
...and then minute sixteen comes and we are all going to be okay. Really okay. All of the previous moments are nearly erased (save for the aching back)...and we just move forward. We do our best; praying for great things and planning for the realities of our life. I am the strongest woman in the world, and possibly the luckiest.

Well Bridquet bought me a quarter-of-an-hourglass. It is beautiful and looks very much like the photo here. What is even more meaningful are the words she spoke to me..and I am paraphrasing.
For those 15 minutes it is like you are in the hourglass. Trapped and struggling, slipping bit by bit with nothing to grab on to, nothing to stand on. You are stumbling and falling and nearly buried alive. It feels like you will never get the right side up again.

and here is the part that was so kind
You are the sixteenth minute. You land upon the top of those grains of sand and you are grounded and standing tall and everything is under control. You are the sixteenth minute for your family. You are what makes it so it will all be okay again.
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