Saturday, February 25, 2012


I think I've mentioned on here before about how much I hate spiders.

So you can imagine my reaction when I walked into my kitchen to make lunch and spotted this huge, black nasty thing on my kitchen table! (The only reason I didn't run screaming from the room was because my girls were already in there waiting for me, and as a general rule I try not to traumatize my children...) 

I knew that there was no way I was picking that thing up with only a couple of squares of toilet paper between my hand and it, and it was still a good two hours until Jake would be home from school to save me. I glanced frantically around the kitchen and finally spotted a plastic cup. Aha! I could trap it in the cup, slide a piece of paper underneath and then set the whole thing outside and let it crawl out in its own good time. I grabbed the cup, gathered my courage and crept slowly up behind it. But every time I got the cup within eight inches or so of the spider my skin would crawl, and I would shriek and dance back, all the while trying to reassure my girls that there really was nothing to be afraid of, Mommy is just a big ol' sissy when it comes to things with eight legs. Evie sat watching me with huge eyes and gasps of horror each time I screamed like a girl. (She feels the same way about insects as I do, which is why I was trying my hardest to be brave and set a good example.) Lila just looked confused, and after my third failed attempt she said, "Mom, that's just a lego."


 In my defense the kitchen lights were off and in the dim light it didn't look at all shiny or plastic. 

It looked very realistic.

You weren't there. 

It was really scary.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

40 reasons I love you on your 40th birthday...

1. You are tall, dark and handsome. Just my type...
2. Your smile. You have a very nice smile.
3. Your sense of humor. I love it when I can make you crack up.
4. You don't laugh at me, unless you can tell that I am laughing too.
5. You can laugh at yourself.
6. You are hilarious when you don't try too hard.
7. No one can make me laugh harder than you can, except maybe your children.
8. You aren't over sensitive (as in quick to be offended), and you're not under sensitive (you care about other people's feelings), you are the exact right amount of sensitive.
9. You are the vanilla to my chocolate. Because you like vanilla, which leaves more chocolate for me!
10. You love cars and guns and gadgets and all that boy stuff, without being too macho about it.
11. You watch romantic comedies with me, without being too macho for it. (i.e, no sighing, rolling eyes or making disparaging comments...)
12. You are thoughtful, usually.
13. You are patient, mostly.
14. You are loving, always.
15. You are an amazing father.
16. It's a toss up at the end of the day who is more excited for you to get home, me or the children. It's probably a tie...
17. You are supportive, as evidenced by the fact that you let me have an evening off once a week.
18. You do the best Kermit impression, ever. Arms and all.
19. You are the cleanest man I have ever met. (Physically, and I won't mention the trail of dirty socks and used wipes you leave behind... because it is your birthday.)
20. You are a hard worker and a good provider.

*Intermission... 40 is a LOT of reasons... people might need to get a snack or use the restroom to get through this list.

21. You tell me and the children everyday that you love us. Multiple times a day. And it never gets old...
22. You rub my back almost every night and I don't always return the favor. (There, I've admitted it in black and white, you win this one.)
23. You keep me warm with your body heat after you steal all the covers. (I will NEVER concede this argument!)
24. You think I am a good cook, even when I burn things and you insist that the burned part adds more flavor.
25. The way you will play "bl-uty parlor" for hours with your girls, and hold as still as any mannequin or doll for them. (Although mannequins don't snore quite so loud...)
26. You are a little sneaky how you get the kids to think it's great fun to drive their cars on your back, so you get a massage. I can respect that.
27. You watch Mickey Mouse and Phineas and Ferb with the kids, which is why you are the fun parent.
28. You lead by example.
29. You are teaching our son how to be a father and a husband, and our girls what to expect from a husband and father to their children, and I think you are doing a great job.
30. You wear the things I knit for you and you wear them with pride. That is why you will continue to receive hand knit socks for the rest of your life.
31. You are a snuggler.
32. You are really good at making ramen noodles.
33. You have found a "sitting down" hobby, playing the guitar, and I'm very impressed at how good you've become in 6 weeks.
34. You are good in a crisis.
35. You like to drive and I don't, which works out rather nicely for road trips.
36. We balance each other, like when you start to tip over and I'm there to catch you...
37. You know me. The deepest, darkest, warts and all, real me. And you love me anyway.
38. You never use my short-comings to make me feel less than, you comfort me and help me over come them.
39. You see me differently than I see myself, you make me feel beautiful.
40. You are willing to do the work it takes to have a successful marriage and family.


That is a lot of love right there.

I could probably come up with forty more reasons, so here's to forty more years together finding reasons why we love each other.

Happy Birthday Brian!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Because it's not May...

Just after lunch Jake called me from school. It's never a good thing when your child calls from school in the middle of the day. He was playing at recess, running around, and tripped and fell. He needed a change of pants because his were all wet and muddy, oh and by the way, when he fell he landed on his wrist and it really hurts... like it did last year when he broke it. I grabbed a new pair of pants, loaded up the girls and wondered what the odds are of him breaking his arm at school three times in three years.

I got to the school and went in to see if we really needed a trip to the InstaCare or if he was being a bit of a hypochondriac because he has broken that arm before. What I thought I could tell from looking at his arm and having him rotate it, other than that it was slightly swollen, I don't know. I admit freely that I am pretty useless when it comes to medical crises, no matter how big or small, and my personal preference for dealing with a medical question is "Better Safe Than Sorry", so we were off to the InstaCare for an x-ray.

Being now old hands at this procedure we were in and out in just over an hour, which I think may be a personal best for this family and an InstaCare visit. The doctor's first question on reading the x-ray was, "Has he broken this arm before?" When told that, "...yes, yes he has, less than a year ago as a matter of fact," she nodded her head and said, "Okay that makes more sense. I thought that looked like an old fracture."  The diagnosis was a sprain and he has to wear a splint for five days. The doctor reassured me that because of the nature of the injury and the history of previous injuries I was exactly right to bring him in and have an x-ray. (I probably should have gotten that in writing in case the insurance tries to fight me on the billing later...) A change of pants and a wrist splint later Jake got sent back to school for the day while I got to fill out forms in the office about how he was injured.

While we were waiting to see the doctor I jokingly sent a text to my friend who works in the InstaCare, and who was at work both other times that Jake has broken his arm, that we came to see her at work and missed her. She texted me back that Jake couldn't have broken his arm because he only does that in May. I guess she was right...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I have had a sinus and inner ear infection for five days. On day four (yesterday) I went to the doctor and got an antibiotic. I also got a tetanus/pertussis vaccination booster and a flu shot because the last time I went to the doctor for myself was a year ago. Needless to say I have been pretty miserable for the past two days. The worst  part has been the dizziness. I don't know if it's because of the inner ear, or the sinus pressure, or the medication, or all three, but I have just been dizzy for three days. It's yucky. I kept waking up last night feeling like I was falling out of the bed. Caite was a lifesaver today, she picked up my kids from school and made dinner for us all. I am very grateful, because I don't think driving would have been a good idea for me today. And now I'll be done posting because the letters are starting to spin around on the screen...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kiss and Tell

We live just up the street from the ice cream shop where Brian took me on our first date. So we usually drive past it at least once a day. Last night as we drove by Lila chirped up from the back seat, "Hey! There's the ice cream store!"

I laughed and said, "Yup, that's where Mommy and Daddy went on our very first date."

Jake groaned, "You tell us that every time we drive past it..." (He is exaggerating. A little.)

I said, "Well I am telling Lila, so you don't  have to listen. Your Daddy and I had an ice cream and then sat outside after they closed and talked for hours. And then he tried to kiss me!"

Evie said, "EWWWW! That's gross!" (Really? Like you don't see us kiss every day?)

Lila, sounding very dubious, "Mom, You do not want to share Daddy's germs."

I thought it was funny, but my children were too revolted by the idea of their parents kissing to share my amusement. 

And just for the record, I didn't let him kiss me on our first date. I made him wait for the second...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Catching up...

When I logged on to the computer this morning I found a message on facebook:

Chrissy, put down your knitting (momentarily) and start blogging again! I'm having withdrawls!! ;-)

I'll take that as the gentle push I needed to get me writing about this past week. It's been a bad one. Not all bad of course, but a lot of emotional stress came bubbling up and I've just not been in the best place to deal with it.

I think we left off where Caitlin had sustained a rather nasty infection in her toe and I rushed up to rescue her and bring her down to be coddled with chick flicks and knitting. Which meant Friday was fine, but by that evening all three of our children were feeling crappy, with low grade fevers and runny noses and the general bad attitude that comes with a cold. Saturday morning I was awoken by Brian trying to get out of bed and falling to the floor instead. Six foot tall men make a lot of noise when they fall, and no matter how used to him falling I am, it is never a pleasant way to be startled awake.

Brian falling out of bed in the morning had become a regular occurrence over the past week because our bed is broken. It has been broken for probably the last 18 months. It got broken because of Brian repeatedly sitting down hard (i.e. falling) on the side of it. We've been making do, trying to reinforce the support underneath, and his parents gave us a foam topper for it to try to raise it up so that he didn't have so far to go to get into the bed. But this past week it became obvious that the box spring had given up the ghost and we would have to replace the whole thing sooner rather than later. On top of Brian sliding out of bed and getting dumped on the floor every morning, the whole lack of support has completely messed up both of our backs. Which for Brian meant that last Saturday he went from a functioning paraplegic to having no ability to walk, period.

That was scary. At one point he had fallen in the bedroom and we could not get him up. I was in a panic and just about ready to call 911 for help, because I couldn't think what else to do. (Having a little time and distance from that moment I was able to calm down and make a list of people in my head that I could call for help if such an issue came up again.) I realize now that it was so scary, for both of us, because it really woke us up to the fact that as much I may want to, there is simply no way that I can physically take care of Brian by myself. If he cannot help me at all, there is not much I can do to lift someone who tops me by a foot and weighs 200+ lbs. We are just not ready for this level of dependence yet.

Saturday was spent taking care of three sick children, an immobile husband, and trying to keep the panic at bay while deciding what to do about the bed situation. I am just going to say it. It sucks to be the only functioning adult in a family. The sheer amount of physical labor required to cook and clean for a family of five when you are doing it on your own is... well it's just a lot. And it's also hard because it creates emotional stress on both of us as well. Brian sits in his chair feeling awful that his body won't work the way he wants it to and seeing me get run ragged, and I am left overwhelmed and trying not be resentful of the people I love most in the world for needing so much of me. The biggest stressor was trying to decide how and when we would go mattress shopping with sick kids and Brian incapacitated. I wasn't about to set out shopping for such a big ticket item by myself, but I didn't know what we were going to do in the mean time as there was no way for Brian to spend one more night in that bed without the risk of doing more damage. I put a query out on facebook asking for peoples thoughts on mattress, what brands were good, that sort of thing. More as just a way of feeling like I was doing something, anything, to make forward progress on difficult problem.

That night my cousin Jen called. She asked if we knew what size of mattress we were thinking of getting. I did know the answer to that question, we knew that no matter what we got we wanted to upgrade to a king-size. (It's something that Brian has always wanted to do since we first got married, but we've never had a big enough room to accommodate that large of a mattress before.) Jen said that they had just purchased a new queen mattress because their bedroom wasn't big enough for their otherwise perfectly fine, in excellent condition king sized mattress, and did we want it? Um. Holy cow. YES! They brought it over the next morning and my dad went and got us a simple rail frame for it. Talk about tender mercies. The first night we slept in it, I laid there for an hour just contemplating how much contentment and proper back support I felt.

The children stayed home for two days from school. By Wednesday I was ready to run away, at least for a little while. There were hysterics and temper tantrums caused by the slightest provocation... and the children were almost as bad.

But there were also good things and funny things that happened during our week too. Jacob decided that he wanted to be in charge of the laundry. He had me write down all the steps and the machine settings so he can run the washer and dryer on his own. He has been so diligent about it, to the point that if I drop something on the floor that's not dirty, even for a moment, chances are it will be whisked off to the laundry room before I can come back and put it away. Guess I'll have to be better about not leaving my clothes on the floor. It's been a little hard for me to bite my tongue and not micro manage how much and what order he washes things in, but I keep thinking I am making life easier for my future daughter-in-law by encouraging this interest while he's young.

Yesterday was a little bit insanely busy. The girls got to go to a dance class with their friend, Libby, and they absolutely loved it! I had about 45 minutes to myself, with no one around. It was too weird. I didn't know what to do with all the silence, so I went to the yarn shop to knit, just so there was another person around. After school I had both of the kids SEP conferences, one after the other. They are both doing well and enjoying school, but Lila was just about out of her mind with boredom and exhaustion by the time we were done so I skipped the book fair. Jake and Evie were both disappointed, it's our tradition that a good SEP is followed by going to the book fair and letting them pick out a new book. (Jake's never had a bad SEP yet...) I told them never mind, I was working a shift at the book fair the next day and I would surprise them with a new book after school. Then I went off to knit night with the feeling of a prisoner who's finally tasting freedom after escaping from lock down. I starting feeling a little off as the night wore on, and by the time I got home I knew I was sick. Stupid cold bug.

I went to be early and woke up late. In fact I woke up to a phone call wondering why I wasn't at the school to work my shift at the book fair. Sigh. Cough, cough, sneeze. I spent the morning laying on the couch until the girls decided it was time to eat. I decided I wasn't up to cooking so I drove to Kneaders for soup. It was wonderful. Then I laid on the couch until it was time to get Jake. Then I laid on the couch until it was time to eat dinner. Now I am laying on the couch and updating my blog... I guess that brings you pretty much current with our life. To balance out the negative venting vibe I've had I leave you with a funny from Lila.

Last night while Brian was snuggling her and trying to get her to sleep, she suddenly turned to me and said, "Mom! Can you make me a pie?"

"Um. No. I don't make pie."

"Pl-eeee-ase. I want you to make a pie!"

"Lila, I don't make pies."

"Mom. You are thirties years old. You do make pies."

It took a little more discussion to figure out that what she was asking for was Shepherd's Pie for dinner. Ah... I do make that kind of pie.