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December 17th, 2009

Kenny and I had some much-needed time together today during Cooper’s naptime.   We were assembling a robot out of this cool little motorized construction set he has, and he was pouring over the directions (which are in picture format – no words).   He scrutinized them for a moment, then looked up and said, “Mama.   It says here that, if you want to, you can take a break and have a little snack!”

“It does?” I said, very seriously.

“Yep.   And then it says if you have to poop, you can take a break and do that, too!”

So that’s what he did.

How Many Hours in a Day?

December 16th, 2009

Yesterday we hit the 7th day since Dudley began treatment for his sarcoptic mange.   (Just typing that gives me the heebie jeebies.)   So I officially lifted the “vacuum the entire house every day and wash every article of clothing in hot water as soon as it’s been worn”  command that we’ve been living through.   I also let Dudley come upstairs for the first time in a week last night, and oh my, was he a happy dog.   He’s still being a hyena, but what can you expect when you put a high-energy dog on two weeks of prednisone??

In spite of my release from vacuum-prison, this week has been wickedly busy, as we expected it would be.     Not only is there Christmas shopping to finish, wrapping to do and parties popping up, but we’re begining to start thinking about preparing for this move (which happens in a mere 3 weeks!).     I look in my closets and think of the kind friends who have offered to help us shuttle boxes, and I wonder, oh how am I even going to get all this stuff into boxes and then find it again?   So I happily slip back into denial and pretend that I really don’t need to get started yet.

I am also directing our church Christmas choir… something that’s been cookin’ since August.   We picked some very challenging songs and our performance day is this Sunday.   A choir is not something our church regularly has, and this has been a wonderful experience.   We managed to pull together 40 people and at our last “official” rehearsal on Monday, they were sounding quite fantastic!   I got a little teary-eyed looking out at all of them singing with such concentration and joy.   We have a rehearsal with our church’s band tomorrow night, then a dress rehearsal on Sunday, and then our big Christmas service is upon us.   Casey has been a part of the choir with me, and it’s been so much fun to do together.   Even though it’s meant that every Monday night our kids are up until 10!   Kenny is already sad, though, that choir is ending, as he made some sweet little friends in choir child-care.   Cooper is probably infinitely grateful to see it end, though he lacks the understanding of the future tense to absorb it, and the vocabulary to express it.

It will be my first opportunity to conduct in quite a while (the last being when I was in college, 13 years ago!!), so I am a little nervous.   Flapping your arms around wears you out, let me tell you.   And then there is the fear that I’m going to mess up, but frankly, most of them are pretty glued to their music, so they may or may not notice.   ha ha… I’m just kidding.

I am tired, though.   I feel like suddenly 11:30 has become an early bedtime and it’s just not enough when the Rooster known as Cooper starts crowing a little after 6.   I already feel like I spend half the day trying to catch up while I’m playing with them, but then there is so much more to do at night when the little guys are in bed.   Thank goodness I’m in the second trimester.   Isn’t that the one where you have all the energy?   I thought so, but you could have fooled me some days.   Somebody give me some caffeine!   Oh yeah, that’s gone the way of sushi and wine and all things good and psychosomaticly beneficial…

Days… Part II

December 11th, 2009

So we have all been medicated.   And though scabies will disappear in two days on treated humans, it takes 10 to 14 days for them to completely leave the dog alone.   For that reason, we will need to vacuum and mop everyday until that time (including vacuuming the furniture), and wash all of our clothing at the end of each day in hot water.   Tell me this isn’t fun.

The kids are already sick of the vacuum.   Come to think of it, this is like psycho-therapy on someone like me, who is admittedly obsessive/compulsive about vacuuming the house.     I had even already done today’s vacuuming when Cooper found a full bag of ground Starbucks coffee in the pantry and decided to dump it onto the kitchen floor.   He then “skated” in it, cackling all the while.   I turned around the the baked spaghetti casserole I was preparing to see the source of the mirth and told Kenny to run get the dust-buster.  

He came back with it, triumphant, until he dropped it at my feet, where it promptly broke into two useless pieces.   I went to get the vacuum, instructing him to keep Cooper and his ground-coffee-studded clothes in the kitchen.   I came back to find both Dudley, both front paws on the counter, eating the cold spaghetti right out of the casserole dish.   I swatted him, not very nicely, and handed Kenny the vacuum and said, “Go for it.”   Then I examined the spaghetti to see where Dudley had eaten, and with surgeon-like precision, extracted the dog-slobbered parts.   It was going to be cooked anyway, right?

Thirty minutes later the boys and I sat down to dinner.   Thirty minutes after that, they were both bathed and sound asleep, a full 40 minutes before their real bedtime.

I am now on laundry load at-least 20… considering that we had to wash all the sheets, blankets and comforters two nights in a row as a result of the pesticide we had to put on ourselves.   Dudley has been released from his 36 some-odd hours of quarantine in the office, and is now merely captive to the downstairs of the house.   I am not washing the down comforters again!   He is mad as a hornet.   Cry me a river, you mangy mutt, I told him.

Nobody slept well in our house the last two nights, first with Dudley barking his head off in the office, then with him whining at the foot of the stairs all night last night.   Kenny was up at 2 and climbed into our bed, where he snored 2 inches from my head for the next hour.   Cooper was up at 3:30, then at 5, screaming, I can only imagine, because he was cold, having kicked his blankets off.   Finally at 5:30 I climbed into Kenny’s vacant bed with Cooper where we both slept fitfully for the next hour and a half.   I am determined that we will sleep tonight.   I know that Dudley’s going to whine, but I have to be optimistic that we will sleep through it tonight.

I am determined that Tomorrow will be an easy day.

It’s Been One of Those (Couple of) Days…

December 11th, 2009

It all started Wednesday morning.   Actually, it started approximately three weeks before that, but it was unknown, so we were ignorantly bliss.   Anyway, Dudley had been licking and scratching himself 10 times more than normal, which is really saying a lot, because he is the Canine World Lick Champion.

We got a morning appointment at our vet, and after a quick breakfast, the boys and I headed out.     Headed out so quickly, I might add, that I left my cell phone at home.   I almost ran back into the house for it, but we were close to running late, so I figured, who could I possibly need to call in the next hour and a half?   The normally 30 minute trip took nearly an hour, as an accident on the only road in had things blocked up.   Though we were unable to call and explain our tardy arrival, the vet was happy to see us, as apparently Casey called there looking for us, after being unable to reach me at the house or on the cell.   We borrowed the office phone to ring him back and assure him of our safety, then went into our appointment.

After a thorough examination, the vet declared that Dudley has “sarcoptic mange” – or a nasty form of scabies that it highly contagious and usually contracted from contact with foxes.   Anyone remember this post?   She then looked up at me, absentmindedly scratching my neck.   “Can I see your rash?” she asked tentatively.   “Oooh… you have it.   You need to call your OB asap and get seen.   You need to be treated for this today.   Your kids, too…”   She went on to explain the various courses of drugs she would prescribe to Dudley, then detailed the work we needed to do at home to rid our house of the vermin.   Basically, it was wash everything that’s not bolted down in hot water, including all bedding, clothing and rugs that may have come in contact with Dudley, bleach the floors, and vacuum every day for the next 10 to 14 days.   As she was rattling it all off, she was subtly ushering us out the door, where she suggested that we leave Dudley in the car while they waited for the test results.   As we came back in, we saw the staff bleaching their own floors and changing their clothes.   “That bad?” I asked.   “Yeah.   I’m sorry,” she said sweetly.  

After over an hour at the vet it was time to return home.   I looked at the clock and realized that we’d never make it home a nd then to Kenny’s school on time, and I needed to change all their clothes and call the OB and the pediatrician.   And my phone was at home.

Thanks to traffic, it was another hour before we walked back in the door (the hour did include a stop at the drive-thru).   I quarantined Dudley in the office, and told Kenny that he was going to have to miss school.   I put in a much-coveted video for Kenny and Cooper and I got busy on the phone.   Once the appointments were set up, I put Cooper down for a nap, then got Kenny into a movie while I vacuumed the entire house and got started on the first of what would be over 18 loads of laundry (and counting, as we are still washing at the end of each day).   Then I mopped the floors with the strongest formula they would take.   Then we woke up Cooper to head out to the pediatrician.  

She was, of course, running late, and we waited over an hour to be seen.   She walked in, looked at my neck and chest, and said, “Yep.   The whole family has scabies.   Call your OB and see what you can take and I’ll write prescriptions for the whole family.”

Hm.     One-stop shopping.  

After another hour at the pharmacy, waiting for an approval call-back from my OB, we headed home, now nearly 6 o’clock.   I made a quick dinner while the boys played quietly (I think they were exhausted, too).   After Casey came home, I gave him him the low-down and we all headed up to the bathroom where we stripped down and applied the “scabicide” (read: nasty pesticide lotion) from the soles of our feet to our scalps and everything in between.   We covered up with cotton pj’s and socks (on both hands and feet) and called it a day.



Stay tuned for Part II…


December 6th, 2009

Kenny is a kid who likes to know what’s going on.   All the time.   I can’t even so much as mutter absent-mindedly to myself without him saying, “What’d you say, Mama?”   Then I’ll repeat it and it will invariably lead to another 20 questions, all because I said something mundane under my breath like, “Guess that laundry will have to wait.”

It’s worse when Casey and I are both in the car driving somewhere with the kids in the back.   Forget trying to hold any semblance of conversation.   Especially if we need to actually talk about something significant.   Every sentence we utter is pinged back with, “What’d you say, Dadda?   What’d you say, Mama?”   It’s maddening.   Ok, on one level it’s cute that he’s so interested in his surroundings and the goings on of family and household, but on another it makes me want to pull my hair out, because I can’t even have a basic conversation with my husband without either having to repeat every word for Kenny, or filter it with something different, if it’s a sensitive topic.

I don’t want to shut him out, or make him feel like he’s not a valid and important member of the family, but at times shouldn’t I have licence for a chat without having to share it all with the four-year-old in the back seat?  

He hears everything, too, that’s the crazy thing.   I’ll be talking to a friend on the phone and say something like, “Oops, I have to go!   I need to get dinner on the table!” and Kenny will look at me when I hang up and say, “You said that we weren’t eating until Daddy got home.   Why did you say you were putting dinner on the table?”   Or the other day in a store, we had run in so that I could return a sweater.   I looked for another and the saleslady helping me found one, just as Cooper started to dismember a manekin.   I said, “I need to get these little guys out of here.   I’ll come back for the sweater another day!”   and as we left, Kenny said, “When are we going back to get the sweater?”   “I don’t know,” I answered, and wouldn’t you know it, every day for the next four days he reminded me that I’d told the lady I was coming back for the sweater, and we needed to go get it.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in 1984.

Miss Perception

December 1st, 2009

We’ve been setting up Christmas decorations all over the house, and have even gotten our Christmas tree up and trimmed.   Actually, that’s a work in progress, as daily Kenny and Cooper have taken to rearranging every ornament they can reach!

Yesterday Cooper was looking at the tree and pointed to a picture of Santa Clause and happily exclaimed, “Noah!”   Then he went around and found all the Santa impressions he could find and named them all: “Noah!”   Noah!” “Noah!”   I started to correct him, but really, Santa does look exactly like his little Noah and the Arc figurine, so why call him into question?

I had my 16 week checkup today and all is well.   I mentioned to my OB that my hormones have been out of control.   He saw me through two other pregnancies when I was generally so happy that I was floating in and out of his office every month.   He looked up at me in surprise and said carefully, “Actually, it’s not at all unusual to feel a little out of control when your hormone levels are this high… they should settle in after about 18 weeks, I would think.   Can you make it until then?”   I almost started crying, but remembered that he is a baby-catcher, not a therapist.   I nodded pathetically then asked him a benign question about drinking soy milk.   He was relieved.

Truly, though, I think I must be having a girl, because besides outbreaks of acne and crippling fatigue, I have been so moody that I’m making myself mad.   Which makes me madder still, right?   Anything and everything has set me off, most upsetting being the things that previously wouldn’t have made me blink.   The worst is changing Cooper’s diaper.   He screams like he’s being decapitated when I change a poop, and has started slapping my face when I lay him on the table.   I’ve almost seriously lost it a few times.   Today was a little better, though, as I made a huge effort to tickle and laugh with him every time I changed him.   He was a little calmer, and life in the house was a little more peaceful as a result.

Still.   I’m not used to being this hormonal!   Somebody out there write me some funny stories of your pregnant mood swings and near-foibles.   Please, I need it!



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