Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Squirrel Lowery

We have a new want to be member of the family. One that must have a death wish of sorts, and is certainly masochistic...I mean why else would you choose this family to join?

We like to call him Squirrel Lowery. I am not sure if he will survive his attempts to become a regular in our house, with my broom wielding husband, not a lamp, book, or TV is safe, much less my little auburn haired nut muncher. A few years ago, we had a tear in our screen door. Our cats had gotten to where they squeezed through and the hole got bigger and bigger. We used to call it our “red neck cat door.” But after our parents and siblings put enough shame on us, we got a new screen door…(actually as luck would have it, the shame built up at the same time our neighbors got a new one and gave us their old one…)

We finally had a fixed screen door. After a few days of entertainment of watching the cats come tearing around the corner to try and go through their cat door, only to bounce off and sit there dazed and confused… Now animal lovers, no harm no foul, no one was hurt, only laughs occurred and it’s not my fault my cats are a few brain cells short of a stick.

Finally we have a new screen. The very first day, my large footed beast of a 10 year old stuck her big toe through the screen while she tried to perform the trick “walk through screen door.” I thought my husband was going to loose his mind. The new toe hole was in the exact spot that the red neck cat door had been. So much for new stuff.

So after a trip out to the store...we came back to find that the hole in the screen had been pried open by none other than a red squirrel.

We came home, he looked at us like “Hey….did you get more apples?” As he sat on my counter big belly full while gnawing on a pinklady out of my apple bowl. However, when my husband screamed I think he realized that he may have overstepped his visit and leaped from our counter to the top of our TV cabinet. Mind you this is about a 10 foot leap. (can you see him behind the plant??) We did manage to get him out, but have had subsequent visits from our friend. I am wondering if I should take the bed and the picture above of his mom and dad as a sign he is planning on moving in. If so I am going to need some valium for my husband and locks for my kitchen cabinets…

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wig o Mania

We had a visit from my grandmother from Virginia, my aunt from Virginia, and my parents. I don't have to tell you how many "y'alls", and "bless her hearts" were thrown around, but my college days came back quickly and by the time they left I had store clerks in Maine looking at me funny. "You're not from here are you?"

We had a party for my dad and my daughter’s birthdays on Friday night. My grandmother from Virginia never ceases to amaze me. She always buys things for the girls that in 1000 years I would never spend money on, but they end up being the hit of the party.

They have received such treasures as Plastic purses, gaudy princess nightgowns, and the piece de la resistance…Hannah Montana wigs. Clearly I have gotten too practical!

The wigs mind you were a hit. Everyone in the family was trying them on. Henry cried that he didn’t get one…I am ok with that. But we got in hysterics when he tried it on because he looked like me in my blonder…OK younger years!

After so much fun…maybe I ought to rethink the underwear and swimming lessons…

Life is too short…get your kids a wig.

Friday, July 17, 2009

After much screaming, protesting, rioting in the bathroom, and a mop full of clean up...we have decided to send the boy to the Marine Corps....maybe they can do something with him!

Believe me when I say that my husband nearly lost his life tonight when I walked up stairs to see what the screaming was about, and Henry was fleeing the bathroom, half shaved. Tufts of hair oh the top of his head waving about 5 inches long, and 1 bang that went down to his eyes, the rest shaved. There were pieces above his ears that hadn't been reached either, so the over all affect was that Henry looked like a psychotic newly born baby bird...on Speed...
Now, I managed to calm him down and get the scissors to trim the random pieces that Jamie missed all together. It doesn't look like a high and tight, but, well, I guess when you have a moving target it isn't easy to wield your clippers with accuracy.
In the end, Henry enjoyed checking himself out in the mirror, and like that washing his hair was not an ordeal anymore... all is well that ends well...

Just in case you didn't remember the before picture....here is one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Groundhog Day

I do know that I am losing major Karma points with writing about my grandmother. It is not like she is going to get me back, as I am fairly sure Henry will when he is older. I am convinced he will, either by blaming me for all his ills in his Therapists office, or as an author who in true Disney form knocks off the mother at the beginning of each story.

So I write with a slight amount of guilt…yeah, not quite enough though to make me not write!

So as you know I help take care of my 93 year old grandmother, who for all intensive purposes is in better health than I am; however a team of Doctors numbering in the hundreds would never be able to convince her of that. That said…her mind is, well, not as sharp as it once was.

(I say this with the full knowledge that at the rate my brain is deteriorating I will be a drooling carrot by the age of 50.)

So I drive my grandmother to one of her Dr in NH that she didn’t want to give up when she moved. It is an hour long scenic drive, that we have driven oh…about 1 million times, and that isn’t counting when she drove it herself every weekend when I was a kid coming to see us from Bath.

We drive down the road and it is the same exact road it always has been…very few new houses, very few new businesses, very few improvements….the very same comments at the same places every time.

It is kind of like that movie Ground Hog Day where the same day keeps happening over and over and over.

Gran: “Look how much this has built up; look at that new golf course”

Me: “MmmHmmm, remember that is where I had my prom”

Gran: “Oh really? It has been there that long? Look at that…that was just a road side stand and now it is a big business…”

The one that kills me however, is the "oh, look at all that beautiful farm land" to which my response is always "yeah we really want a farm someday," and gran says "Yeah me too."

OK so the thing that is so funny about that, is that my grandmother hates being outside. Part of why she looks younger than me at 93, is, well... she is very well preserved. Being an active person in nature is her personal hell. It is funny to watch her outside, it is as if the fresh air hurts....So I kind of entertain myself for the next few miles picturing my grandmother working outside in a field...

The running commentary makes me giggle. I have it down to the mile marker what is going to be said…the exact words…and my responses are always the same.

But there is always the one moment of solidarity where we flip off (yes even my grandmother) Alexanders, a restaurant that pissed off my Dad and now there are generations of our family flipping them off and never eating there…It makes me happy that she always remembers to lift that extra special finger at that moment every time.

I am sure that we will all lose our memory…and as I said, some of use sooner than others! But my dad has a good way to look at it.

When your memory is that bad, “you wake up in a new place, and meet new people everyday” Until then, I will just nod and give my standard responses to all the “new” things on our way to NH.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beany Birthday

It is my middle child’s birthday...so last year I wrote a little note to the boy on his birthday. But I never did it about the girls.

SO, today is Bean Day. Caroline is the child that was not to be. She was a twin, and at 16 weeks I lost her twin, and was sent home being told I was going to lose her as well because I was so late in the pregnancy…obviously I didn’t. Then came the many months of torture, when I was told that there were all sorts of things wrong, from deadly chromosomal defects to downs syndrome...then finally in my 7th month, they figured out that everything was going to be fine...it was a rollercoaster that I still am not over totally.

On this day 8 years ago I woke up in labor and refused to admit that I was, because we had a family picnic planned with just Marshall...and dammit, I was determined to have my last family day. She was 2 weeks early. We called my Dr...She said to come in...I called her back and said:

"I decided not to come in; I think I will be fine."

Uhhhh....yeah, I wasn't thinking very clearly...I was NOT going to have her on the 14th... But I did. About 4 hours after that phone call, well, and after my Dr. threatened me with bodily harm after waking her up at 6 in the morning, (in a loving way.)

I went in, and was already 8cm dilated....so, within a couple hours, Caroline Elizabeth made her debut, and nothing was ever the same.

So here goes my letter to my baby girl:

My little Carobeaner*...you fought like hell to be here, and you are still fighting. I see you fighting the world, even when there is no battle. Still, when you allow yourself, you are the most loving and caring child in the world with a heart big enough to swallow the world. Your hugs can literally make me gush inside.

You haven't stopped moving since the moment you could. You are a mover and a shaker. You find it hard to sit still, hard to be patient, as if you are just waiting for the world to just get on with it. You are a sweet girl, but make no mistake; you are barreling through life with purpose...A natural leader who will never want the job.

It seems to me that this is not your first time around here. You have a sort of Old World knowledge that makes you impatient with being a kid, as though you are just waiting to be old enough to show your true self and until then you have to put up with the child’s play.

You are a perfectionist on the inside…the worst kind (I know). You won't compete with others openly, you just internalize it and struggle with your own feelings of imperfection...I hope that some day you will take a look at what I can see. Someone who is strong enough to just be herself no matter what others say, smart as a whip, and just right the way you are...

That smile, and giggle are demonic, but wonderful and make me warm. I always feel loved, and hope that you recognize how much you are loved. You have so much passion wrapped up in that little body of yours, sometimes I think you are an empty sponge needing to be filled, an impossible task that I think you will be trying to complete your whole life.

You are the consummate inspirer. You can cut me open, put a Band-Aid on, and somehow talk me into apologizing for bleeding. You will go far my little one…just believe in yourself…because I wait with baited breath to see what you will accomplish next…you amaze me everyday of your life.

Happy 8th birthday!
Love MOM

*Carobean is what my sister coined her with when she was just an infant. When you would hold her she would climb up your shoulder like she was mountain climbing…the name Bean has stuck…but who am I to complain…I am PIE!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Henry the Germ

So Henry is kind of a mamma's boy. I hear that this is pretty common among the Male Toddler Kingdom. I think that moms, somehow have super power until their son’s turn 13 and then they become no longer essential.

I have tried to fight his charms, but remain convinced that if we lined our borders with little boys who want “just one more story” with their bottom lips protruding and crocodile tears filling their eyes (but not spilling over,) we would have no war.

So tonight I put little man down to bed and we had our usual fairly unsettling Oedipus conversations of Henry wanting me to stay. WHY can’t I just get under the covers and cuddle for a minute, and he doesn’t like to sleep alone because it is too dark, when that doesn’t work he tries to convince me that “Blue” and “Green” his teddy bears, are going to run away because they are scared and then he will be so sad. The only argument that gave me pause was:

“But WHY can’t you sleep in here…I won’t snore.”

I was so tired tonight that I lay down and read stories to him, which launched into a conversation.

He turned to me with all sincerity and said:

“I want to turn into a turtle...then a germ”

“Did you say Germ?”

“Yeah the ones you get on your hands and then get a cold.”

I swear, I never know what that boy is thinking…but one thing is for sure…I did not stay for the “just 2 more minutes” !

Friday, July 10, 2009

Henry the Guitar Man

Yesterday my friend Mark came over to practice for a party that we are playing for...in 10 days...and we have yet to rehearse...do I sound a little frantic...I am thinking YES.

So we were pulling together the music etc... And Henry disappears for a moment. He returns with his guitar, pulls up a chair next to Mark (who also plays the guitar) and starts observing very closely.

If Mark would strum, Henry would strum. If Mark used a pick, Henry would use a barrette. If Mark tuned his guitar, Henry would turn the little thingy’s to tune his guitar. (Can you tell I don’t play the guitar??) It was pretty cute, I wish I had gotten a picture of Mark with him...but this morning, I came down stairs and saw Henry, with his guitar in the same chair, singing 16 tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford...

well, with his own words…

“Some people say man has blood, and blood…because mans are made of blood and blood”

Being true to his Y chromosome, blood is all he got from the whole song. Mind you it is only in one stanza:

“some people say a man is made out of mud, a bold man’s made out of muscle and blood, muscle and blood and skin and bones, a mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong.”

But I suppose you could say he was close, at the very least he is not squeamish…The boy never ceases to amaze me and make me laugh. Needless to say the laugh was short lived, because as soon as I did he got mad at me and wouldn't let me take anymore pictures...oops

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back from Vacation!

I have to say that I had all sorts of intentions of writing my blog and my book while I was on vacation...

Clearly that happened!

I am thinking that perhaps it was the salty air, with no rain...the ocean lulling me into pensive thought and relaxation....

Yeah I know, I am not kidding anyone...It was the sand between the toes, the umbrella drink, and the knowledge that 6 adults in the room means I am only responsible for 1/6 of the bad things that happen...

The illustrious Margo and Henry shared a room together. This ended up in a sort of old married couple effect that none of us could keep a straight face for. She nagged, He picked, they fought, and then cuddled on the couch.

My favorite conversation however, was:

Margo: "Henry do you love me?"

Henry: (not even looking) "yeah"

Margo: "Then how come you don't talk to me?"

At this point, every wife in the room looked at their significant other and busted out laughing. Somehow, in the course of one week, they had managed to cover the same 13 years I have!

The big girls all shared a room...It was the stuff of a great sit com. The angsty teenager moping about, texting her torment to her friends at home, the hyperactive over sugared 7 year old psyched to be up past 8, and the one in the middle being trying to balance her too cool, eye rolling with her childish desires... But I have to say all three of them were a joy and brought my sister and I back to our beach trips as kids.

I spent my time looking for shells and tickle bugs…My childhood obsession obviously had not waned.

Well... of course the hot tub and umbrella drinks were a plus!

However easing back in to Maine life has been a challenge. There is something empirically wrong with wearing a sweater to a meeting in July! I am getting ready to trade my gardening ventures in for arc building.

I fear taking the girls to the beach because boogie boarding in 65 degree water, is a whole other world from the 78 degree ocean in Nags Head!

At least that yellow orb in the sky is gracing me with its presence this morning, and I had better take advantage of it before it disappears behind the wrath of the rain Gods yet again.