Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things are going well


Things are going pretty well for the Clark Clan.

Miles is doing great after his surgery. The worst pain is past. He will be able to drive by next week. He's moving easier. Getting a bit frustrated with cabin fever.

The girls got good and dirty at school today. Ate a good dinner and enjoyed their evening with Gra-Maw.

Had 8 people at my dinner table. Good times.

Cameron had a great time at marine biology camp. Is spending the night at Gra-Maw's. (Aeron seriously wailed when she heard about that!)

Johan joined us for dinner and stayed the night with us. We had a wonderful time chatting over single-malt Scotch. (Miss you, Melinda!)

Thing do look better in the morning.

Thank goodness!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daddy's not feeling well because why?

Ever had to explain to a couple of 3 year-olds that Daddy has had surgery (no, you certainly cannot see!) and he won't be giving any horsey rides for a long, long time?

I had several talks with the girls about Miles' surgery, both before and after. Explained how they would have to be very gentle with Daddy. But I can tell they don't quite get the full picture.

"Daddy? Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah, sweetie. I'm feeling better."

"All better, Daddy?"

"No, sweetie. I won't be all better for a long time."


The girls have been so sweet, running errands and taking care of Miles. Claire brings ice packs to her father and tucks her Purple Blanket gently over his knees. Aeron bring a nice selection of stuffed animals to sleep with Daddy, so he won't be lonely.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Good times....

Ah, the joys of summer!

The older two kids are on summer break, so they are either sleeping all day or off to some distant camp that they need to be transported to.

The little girls have started preschool two days a week. Now, those girls are all Clark. (for those readers not in the know; Clark = sleeps like a rock) Getting 'em up and fed and dressed and packed up by 9am is often a challenge.

Miles had surgery on Monday. Bilateral hernia repair. Ow-wah! He will be unable to push, pull or pick up anything over 20lbs for 8 weeks. It's been 4 days now, and he's already getting a bit twitchy.

Birthday Week is fast approaching. We have 4 family birthdays in 3 days, July 6th - July 8th, plus the Fourth of July.

When does school start?!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tired kids = Meltdown

It's been a busy, exciting weekend. Claire and Aeron having been missing naps and getting to bed late.

As I write, they are having a full-on "come apart". There is wailing, Wagnerian screaming, red-faced screeches, irrational demands, etc.





Then they got to the gasping stage.

"I want....I want...a...a....SNACK!"

"I'm firsty.....firsty for......MILK!!!"

Mama plans to administer warm milk, a couple of short books and some cuddles. Then it's lights out for little girls and cocktail hour for Mama and Daddy.

A Father's Day lesson

It's another beautiful day here on the Central Coast.

This morning I wandered out on the back deck to take a look at our burgeoning garden box. The tomatoes are growing like mad. They look like a creature about to assault the foundations of the house. In the corner, our single zucchini plant is doing what they always do - fruiting like mad. I apparently missed one when harvesting t'other day, 'cause now there is a squash the size of a baseball bat in the box.

Miles heard my snort and came out to see. Followed by Aeron.

I pointed.

"Yep. That's one big-ass zucchini".

"Daddy!? Can I see the big-ass zucchini?!? Wow! I never seen such a big-ass zucchini! What are we gonna do with the big-ass zucchini, Daddy?! Claire! Come see the big-ass zucchini!"

Here endth the lesson.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


It's crazy what parenthood will do to you.

When the twins were first born, and for the next year or so, I was horribly sleep-deprived. I'd fall asleep if I got even close to horizontal. I fell asleep feeding the babies. I couldn't remember anything, and trying to concentrate on driving was nigh on impossible. It was awful.

Now that the girls are sleeping like champs, I have insomnia. I just can't sleep. The doctor told me Benedryl was my friend; will put me out and isn't habit-forming. With all respect to my GP, Benedryl ain't takin' care of business anymore. I've got 3 in my system as I write, and it's after midnight.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Crisis du jour

Today, at (not) nap time, I had to go into the girls' room several times to tell 'em to settle down. They were yammering, and rattling their piggy banks, and squabbling, etc. My mood wasn't getting any sweeter, as they were completely ignoring my commands to pipe down, and I really wanted a nap.

Then I hear Claire crying in earnest, and Aeron hollering for Mama. I rush into the room, and Aeron says, "Claire swallowed a penny!" Claire is sitting on the side of the bed, teary, red-faced and looking worried. "I need some medicine, Mom!"

After asking Claire if she really had swallowed a penny ("un-huh!") I called the pediatricians office to speak with the nurse.

"Hi, it's Jennifer Clark. I need to talk to one of the nurses to see if I should be panicking."

"This is Aubry, how can I help you?"

"Claire just swallowed a penny. Should I be freaking out?"

"No. It'll come out. Keep an eye out for it."

"This happens a lot, huh?"

"Oh, yeah. But they usually swallow quarters."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

my daughter Claire, destructive force of Nature

Parents will often bemoan the wreckage their little darlings can wreak. But for my money, Claire has raised destruction to an art form.

Last evening, Claire and I were giving Aeron rah-rahs as she sat on the potty in Mama's bathroom. Claire brought her a book to read, and was nattering on as she was jumping off the side of the tub. (Claire jumps, that's her thing) Suddenly, she lost her balance, arms flailing, as she tried not to face-plant on Mama's marble bathroom floor. She grabbed the towel rack, and managed not to fall, but instead, ripped the aforementioned rack right outta the wall. Pieces of the rack clanged to the floor and Claire was engulfed in bath towels. (surprisingly, Aeron still didn't poop)

Claire got down from the side of the tub, and handed me the towels. "I'm sorry, Mama! It was an accident! I'm so sorry!", blue eyes wide and distressed. I told her it was OK, it was an accident and Daddy would fix it. When he fixes it is an unknown at this time, but he will fix it. Eventually.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The first day of preschool

Today was Claire and Aeron's first day of preschool, and they couldn't have been more thrilled. They had their new lunch boxes and backpacks, just like big kids.

I'll like to say a very profound thank you to Miles. Mama was sick in bed, and Daddy got the little girls ready for school. Packed lunches, fed and dressed munchkins and took pictures. Yay, Daddy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The company picnic

Today we tagged an important base on the Suburban checklist - the company picnic. For those unfamiliar, the company picnic (and it's cousin, the company holiday party) is a function one attends to put in "face time". Face time shows the boss you're a team player and gives you the chance to spend time with one's coworkers outside the office setting.

Actually, though I mock, I always kind of enjoy the office parties. When you get out as little as I do, any chance to talk to other grownups is a pleasure. Plus, they feed you.

The picnic was in a small park near Cal Poly. There is a newly-renovated playground, with some fabulous play structures. The chow was good, especially the vast quantities of strawberries and cake! The little girls had a great time running amok and wolfing down fruit and cookies. We sat with another couple who have 3 year old fraternal twins, swapping stories and commiserating over the challenges. Potty training was a hot topic.

When it came time to leave, the girls were escorted over to the Dean to say thank you. They did a great job, pronounced the Dean's name correctly and said a gracious thank-you. He seemed tickled.

Another plus that comes with this sort of outing is the girls get lots of exercise. They got a bath and went to bed (almost) without fuss.

Hooray for the company picnic!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


There comes a point in a parent's day when she or he no longer has the will to fight the good fight. Beaten down by the energy and obstinacy of their offspring, the parent retreats to minimum safe distance and pours a cocktail.

Miles and I refer to this as achieving "discouraged".

I got there by 11am today. But by shear dint of will, I didn't pour that first glass of wine 'till 5pm.

Aeron, in particular, was exceptionally difficult today. Ignoring my instructions, sobbing over the least little thing, tearing up her room at "nap time". (no napping actually happened) Hand sanitizer was smeared in the carpet, detangler sprayed on the sheets, books pulled off shelves and strewn on the floor. There were loud cries of, "She hit me!" and "Mom! Boo Boo pushed me!" Aeron even attempting to violently elbow check me in the kitchen as I was getting dinner. Claire was marginally more cooperative and less emotional, thank goodness.

Part of the problem is the little darlings have so much energy. I find it difficult to find ways to wear 'em out by myself. It is clear, however, I need to make more of an effort. If only for self-preservation.... The other part is the developmental stage they are in. The twins will by 4 in July, and they are testing boundaries and experimenting with independence, yadda, yadda....

The girls start preschool next week. The school sits on a acre, with chickens and horses and an aviary with nesting finches. Lots of climbing equipment, time to play in the mud and plenty of space to run amok. I'm hoping they come home filthy and exhausted.

Only 6 more days.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Date Night?

Miles and I went to see "Star Trek" tonight. Kayla watched the wee lassies, with her buddy Kenzie. (she asked if she was getting paid. I reminded her about the $42 haircut I'd paid for this afternoon)

I have to say, as a fan of the original Trek.... I enjoyed this film. Spock is a central figure, and the actor paying him did a great job making the well-know character interesting. Especially the part where Uhura was his girlfriend! That was, pardon the pun, a fascinating bit of character development. It's a new reality, so all history is able to be re-told. Very cool!

I called it a date night. There were 2 men, 2 boys and me. But it was still a nice chance to get out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I stand corrected

Perhaps I spoke too soon?

Seems some people do wish to hear about Miles and I living the Suburban Dream. Hmm. Who'da thunk?

That said, I hearby change the name of this blog to "Miles & Jen's Fabulous Suburban Adventure".

Hope you have some laughs.