Monday, August 31, 2009

Fires, sickness and kitties with road rash

It's been a week here in Mayberry.

First, Mama went down with a virus. Low grade fever, headache and a cough that sounds like an out-of-sorts bloodhound. 3 days I was out of commision. Luckily, my treasure of a husband was able to competently step up and keep the troops fed, watered and entertained. Miles is my hero.

Next up on our list on concerns; the fires ravaging Southern California. The kids go to a Methodist summer camp near Palmdale. Kayla was in tears last night, fearing the worst. Today, I tracked the fires via satelite and texted her with updates. At last report, Camp Colby was spared major damage and the fires near it were contained. Can I get an "Amen!"?

Claire has been quite the clown these days. If she's not flinging herself fearlessly unto playground equipment*, she's on all fours, meowing and licking my ankle.

* while bandaging her forehead, from which she removing the top few layers of skin falling off the tire swing at school, I opined, "that looks like it hurt, Clairezie." "Yeah," she muttered. "I won't do that again..."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feeling immensely grateful

Miles and I took the little girls to the park today. They started playing on the tire swing with a little girl and what looked like her older brother. They were both sweet children, they were playing wonderfully with our kids but their was something odd about the girl. She was very thin, and her head looked too big for her body.

We fell into conversation with their dad. Turns out those two were twins. 7 years old, though the girl, Brandolyn, looked no older than Claire & Aeron. That child has had 19 brain surgeries and spent her first year of life in the hospital. Because she was wedged up under her mother's ribs, her head was bent at a severe angle, which damaged the drainage system for her brain. She has had her skull replaced, twice, with skulls donated from cadavers. Per her dad, insurance ran out after the first 2 million dollars was spent. Then her parents mortgaged their ranches and house, and paid the next 4.5 million in medical fees. She hasn't had any surgeries in the last 3 years, though she later will have some plastic surgery to conceal the lumps on her forehead from the bolts holding her facial bones to her new skull.

The kids played together for about 45 minutes. On our way home, Miles and I marveled. At the great attitude and love of the father. At the cheerfulness and love between those two kids. And at how very, very lucky we are.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In the middle of the night, episode 3

The crying began at 12:58am.

It was Aeron this time. I went to the girls' room to find Aeron sitting up in bed, sniveling.

"What's wrong, Boo?" I asked. She didn't answer, just sniveled some more and coughed. (She's been coughing for a couple of weeks. She'll be seeing the doctor on Monday...)

Then Claire woke up and started sobbing. I went over to the other bed.

"Clairezie, what's wrong."

"Aeron's being too loud for me to sleep!" she wailed.


"Sweetie, Aeron can't help her cough. She's going back to sleep, so lay down and relax."

Claire started to gather up her blanket and bear and sobbed something.

"What sweetie?"

More sobbing, even louder.

"Honey, I can't understand you. Calm down and try again."

"I *gasp* wanna *gasp* wanna *gasp* be separated!"

(FYI - when the girls nap, we often put one on the couch and one in their room. They don't keep each other awake that way, and a lot more napping happens)

I give this idea a think. In my half-asleep brain, I thought it didn't set a very good precedent. So....

"Sweetie, you need to stay in bed and go back to sleep."

"I *gasp* wanna sleep *gasp* on the COUCH!"

By this time, naturally, Aeron had collapsed back unto her pillow and nothing more was heard from her for the rest of the night.

"Claire, calm down. Here's your purple blanket and Clairezie Bear. See? You're all tucked in and cozy. Nite-nite, love."

After 30 seconds of whimpering, Claire grabbed her quilt and rolled over.

Mama staggers back to bed. Game over.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An action-packed week

Often, I have told people that I my life is very busy, but not with anything that makes a good story.

Not this week! In the past week, the following that happened:

  • we had house guests, which means we cleaned the house
  • aforementioned house guest ended up in the hospital
  • I ferried the son of the house guest back and forth to the hospital
  • house guest had surgery
  • our trip to AZ was delayed due to hospital crisis
  • 10 loads of laundry
  • we drove to Reseda and had dinner with the Dodges
  • we got up before the crack of dawn to drive to AZ
  • long, boring drive across the desert
  • fun dinner with the Clark-Callahan clan
  • night terrors from both twins
  • way too much squabbling about sleeping arrangements in our hotel room.
  • nice lunch to celebrate Papa's 105th birthday
  • twins both have a meltdown and we taken back to the hotel for a nap
  • evening get together with various kinfolk. Poolside!
  • more squabbling from kids
  • Jen went to the bar, found Trevor there. Miles joined them
  • Slept in the next morning. Whoops!
  • got kids fed, sent 'em to the pool
  • Miles and Jen packed up 6 people
  • Said goodbye to Nana & Papa
  • got a late start on the long, boring drive across the desert
  • after 12 hours in the van, Claire lost her patience. Sniveled for the last 45 minutes of the trip.
OK. I'm done whining now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The changing nature of woman

We have an annoying problem with the plumbing in our house. If one is taking a shower and water is turned on in another part of the house, the shower goes ice cold. In an attempt to get a soothing hot shower, I would announce my intentions. It never worked. Invariably, someone would throw in a load of laundry or turn on the sprinklers. I would come furiously marching out of my room, dripping wet in a towel and start yelling for the offender to confess. It never did a bit a good. The strategy I developed was to shower after everyone was in bed, or when I was alone in the house.

Last night, after a long day at the beach, I hopped in the shower after the little girls were tucked in and asleep. Or so I thought. Aeron got up to go potty (yay!) and when she flushed (yay!) the water in my warm, relaxing shower ran frigid. And you know what?

It was amazingly refreshing!

This is possibly the only silver lining to perimenopause.

Friday, August 7, 2009

In the middle of the night, episode 2


Oh, hell, not again.

It's 3:33am.

"Mama!" Sobbing this time.

I stagger into the girls' room. Claire is face down in her bed, not making any sound.

"Clairezie. What's wrong?" I whisper, stroking her hair.

Claire flings herself over, arm across her eyes, and sobs something. I don't get it.

"What, sweetie?"

"I wanna watch a movie!"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The joys of home ownership

Ah, the never-ending list of things that need doing when one owns a home.

As of August, the list looks like this:

  • Repair multiple leaks in the watering system/replace entire system
  • Replace the water softener
  • Plant the roses my m-i-l gave me before they die
  • Get a new screen for the master bedroom window, so I can open the window w/o every bug in the neighborhood flying in or the babies falling onto the driveway
  • Replace the faucet in the Fish Bathroom, so Mama doesn't have to turn on the water every time the little girls need to wash their hands after going potty
  • Build the other 5 garden boxes (OK, maybe just 1 or 2 more) before next spring
  • Replant all the window boxes, 'cause everything died in the last heat wave.
  • Clean the garage so Miles can find his tools so he can start fixing stuff
  • Spackle all the holes in the walls
  • Paint/install the other window shade for the girls' room
  • Purchase/install the drapes for Kayla's closet
I got more but I think I'll stop now. I'm getting depressed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In the middle of the night



Gah. It's 2:54 ante meridiem.


So, I get up and head to the little girls' room. Claire is standing by the door, eyes wide, clutching Clairezie Bear.

"What?" I whisper.

"There is a spider in my cup!" she whispers back. Apparently, this it the most awful thing that could happen in a suburban little girl's room. Ever.

I switch on the light above her bed, gingerly pick up the offending cup. No spider.

"Claire. I think you were dreaming. There is no spider here. Go back to bed"

"OK." She flops back in bed, grabs the covers and rolls into the Claire sleeping position. She closes her eyes. "G'nite, Mom."