Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hey There, Pilgrim!

Well, the preschool feast went just marvelously, dahling! This is a picture of us all gussied up in our pilgrim clothes. Max modified his outfit a bit with the shades, but it added a nice touch. The other little guy is our next door neighbor, who I've been babysitting and he is also in Max's class.

I supplied the pumpkin pie which all the little people at school seemed to like. I also spent the class helping out and you know what?? It wasn't the horrible hellish experience I anticipated! I know, you're thinking I'm terrible person.. go ahead. Kids are annoying, there's no way round it! I always thought the absolute worst job in the universe for me personally was to be a teacher, especially to really little kids. Every week I unload Max down the street, smile really pretty to his teachers, and run like hell all the way home. Small children frighten me. They are either going to cry, fight, whine.... or have some kind of accident in their clothing. Anyhoo, I started to have the beginnings of an anxiety attack as the the other little pilgrims arrived for the day last Tuesday. I didn't know all their names.... they looked at me skeptically, like they knew my true feelings.... I had a very bad feeling inside. I stood stock still for several minutes sizing them up. It didn't take very long, they're small. One of the teachers told me it was free play for the first segment and I could just make sure people were playing nice. I shrugged and kneeled down at an absurdly small table surrounded by three/four-year olds and various rubber dinosaurs. I realized that it's just like being on stage and I really just had to let it all go and be silly. I tentatively took hold of a Stegosaurus and nibbled at a piece of plastic pizza. Pretty soon we were having a full-fledged dinosaur picnic and were going for drives in Barbies Volkswagen. I was actually having fun, and the best part? The kids LOVED me. I don't mean to toot my own horn or anything (aw, who am I kidding??) but I ROCKED those dinosaurs and I had those preschoolers roaring. After free play we sang some songs and had our feast and did other fun things.

Later that night I told Rob how I'd had a change of heart about kids. "I think I like them" I told him. Of course, I always knew that I liked my OWN kids, and I had a liking to familiar children like my nephews and niece and certain of Max's friends... but this was bigger than that. I saw how varied children are in their little personalities and I had fun, lots of fun. I really enjoyed playing with girls, too.... I'm so used to boys and their trucks and stuff. I think I need to get me a little girl.... :)

So, there you have it, my story of pilgrims, pie and preschoolers. Ain't Thanksgiving great?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Homeowner Headaches... Did I Really Sign Up For This??

It was 2:30 am, Monday. I was nestled in my flannel sheets having a bizarre dream about an old friend from High School. She was telling me she was heading for Hawaii, and have I heard about the hurricane there? What was the weather like where I was, she asked me... In my dreamy slumbering state I was listening to water dripping and a light noise in the background... Hmmm... I guess it's raining here in Maine I said in my dream. Reality was slowly slipping in... I am slowly waking up. There is no rain. There is a dripping sound accompanied by some hissing. What IS that noise?? I am not sure I want to get out of my warm bed to see... it's 2:30, we'll be up in a few hours. Nope, I'm a Virgo. I'm neurotic. I HAVE to find out what that blasted noise is.

I lumber into the kitchen and hear the hissing from behind the fridge and there by the bottom is a big puddle of water. GREAT. My first thought is that our fridge is in the midst of biting the dust. I guess this warrants the waking of Rob. The husband needs to see this. I'm a strong, independent woman of course, but there are certain mechanical issues that elude me and I need my super-smart husband to clear things up for me.

I wake Rob and we pull the fridge out. There is an enormous amount of water behind the fridge and Rob discerns that the water line tube to our ice maker/water dispenser has sprung a leak and that's the cause of the water. No problem. We start taking care of the leak when Rob asks me if it's raining out. I have a brief flashback to my dream then say "no". We both turn our heads towards the stairs..... and bolt down them. There in our family room downstairs is a BIG leak from the ceiling and a huge puddle on the carpet.

Needless to say it's not the sort of thing you want to wake up to at 2:30 in the morning. Everything has been cleaned up and remedied, except for, of course, the large hole we cut in the ceiling to let the pooled water out. What a friggen nightmare.

This was a homeowner's test, you know. Sure, the dishwasher could go, or you might need to replace some windows or the roof.... but when water has seeped into your walls and flooring and is squirting out in random spots.... that's terror folks. What's going on behind that sheetrock? That's the real question. We survived this morning and now have some more projects to add to our big list of "stuff". Now the question is... do I still want the icemaker THAT bad??

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Crappy Kind of Day

Miles has learned a new trick. He can now remove his diaper on his own! The other day I was thinking to myself what a long nap my little one had been taking, when I heard a teeny tiny voice talking to his teeny tiny self in his teeny tiny bed. I thought if he was happy, why mess with a good thing? I continued on with the task at hand and thought I would soon hear him raise his teeny tiny voice once he'd had enough conversation with himself. A while later, he was still pretty quiet in there, and my curiosity got the better of me. I HAD to see what was keeping him so entertained. I walked in, and there was my little Miles, sans his diaper. In the buff. Bare bottomed. Au natural. Nekkid. He had been so tired before his nap I quickly swapped his diaper for a fresh one and plopped him in his crib with no pants. Well, he woke up in a curious mood and fiddled with the tabs until he managed to pull them off. I don't think I really need to go into much detail as to what was keeping his attention for so long. What I wondered about was what he was saying in his garbled little baby language?? He was thrilled with himself indeed and I laughed out loud at how funny he was being, even if I did have to change his wet bedding.

So, this afternoon I was excitedly creating some outfits for Max and I to wear to his preschool's Thanksgiving Feast. We can either dress up as a Native American or a Pilgrim. Being 5'11" with fair skin and red hair I quickly made the decision to be a Pilgrim, and since Max shares my complexion, why not go with the theme? Anyway, I was quite proud of myself for making a nice, full, long navy skirt (out of some old curtains at that!) and came up with a pattern for a bonnet. I put Max in some black pants and was trying to get them marked so I could make nikkers out of them. I was bent over, rolling Max's pant legs when I caught scent of something horrendous. Little kid poop. It smelled worse than usual and I knew it couldn't just be my four-year-olds notorious gas. I looked over at Miles (do you know where this is going??) and saw his grin first thing. I looked down and noticed his feet were covered in feces. GAG. I looked behind him at the dirty diaper lying on my (BRAND NEW) rug, and my eyes finally settled on the three little poopy foot prints that connected the diaper and my child. I screamed out in horror and lifted Miles up, keeping him arms length away, and whisked him to the changing table. I instructed Max to steer clear of the crime scene and proceeded to assess the situation with Wee Beast. His feet needed to get scrubbed pretty quickly, because he was grabbing at them with his little hands and (HOLY CRAP, WHAT'S THAT NEAR HIS MOUTH???!!) he was tracking it all over the darned place. Ten minutes later, I've broken a sweat and Miles is pissed and I'm out of wipes. I figure this may warrant an impromptu nap and plop him in (WITH pants, I might add). I hesitate in the hallway for a minute, then proceed to the living room to meet my fate. Ugh.

The living room is finally scrubbed clean, and Miles is still napping. I got the meatloaf in the oven and the kitchen squared away. The Pilgrim garments will wait till another day, cause, people, I've had it. Remind me another time to bring up the poop story involving my eldest beast and his construction vehicle. Classic.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Birthday Pictures!

So, here we have a few shots from Saturday. Max's cake was a rescue vehicle cake with trucks and a helicopter and red icing. I may not ever have a cake with red icing again (I have a few hand towels that will never be quite the same again!) Here are my nephews demonstrating how delectable red icing can be. David, Jayson and Evan.

The great fun of popping balloons with your bottom. That little red-head is my niece!! Cute as a button!

Shhhh..... don't tell anyone else how yummy this cake is. One word for you.... leftovers.

Max blew out his candle before the song was over and Rob had to re-light it about four times to last through the singing. By far, Max's favorite part.

The Big Birthday Bash

The news is in... kid's birthday parties are excruciatingly exhausting. But delicious. The big dual birthday party was Saturday and we had a great time celebrating with friends and family. We had lots of visitors and cake and balloons. Max loved it, Miles hated every minute of it except the cake part, in which he heartily participated. I think it was just too much noise, too many people, and he's kind of my shy boy it seems. He calmed down after the party, though. My brother and sister-in-law and the kids stayed overnight and he seemed happy enough with the company. I can't believe people spend weeks planning and anticipating for this kind of function and then, poof, it's over. Sheesh. At least my urge to paint the house is over! Some final thoughts: Hannaford makes a damn good cake. Ten children in one split-entry ranch is maximum capacity and calls for some recovery time involving a hearty glass of wine. Popping balloons with your butt is a good time. Finally, never EVER leave the can of fish food on top of the tank when other children are visiting. Sorry Plop.....

Monday, November 07, 2005

It's Starting

Saturday we are having a party. We planned a celebration for Max's 4th birthday and Miles' 1st birthday so we could kill two birds with one... cake.... and have some friends and family come check out the new homestead. Two weeks ago I decided the living room HAD to be painted. It got painted. Yesterday I tore Max's room apart and declared to Rob that we were hopping on the Paint Express and Max's room was the next destination. If there was one room in the house that really NEEDED fresh paint, it's Max's room and I wanted to do it as soon as we moved in. A year ago. It's time.

While Rob and I were cleaning up after dinner last night he sighed and said "I'm really not looking forward to this week". I, confused, looked at him with complete innocence. What? What about this week? "You know how you get", he said. It's true. At the mere thought of company coming my primal cleaning/organizing instincts kick into gear and cupboards start getting sponged clean and the refrigerated gets pulled out, and (as my brother James recently pointed out) the couch gets moved aside for the vacuuming. It's a party and damnit, this house is gonna sparkle. Oh, and it's gonna smell CLEAN. I'm a Virgo and I was raised right, girlfriend, and I'm proud of it! Phew... don't know what just got ahold of me.

So, much to the dismay of my husband, I'm on a cleaning and preparing mission. And I'm off to sand spackle in Max's room.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Big Birthday Boy

Here is the Birthday Boy! Max turned four years old last Tuesday and I'm finally getting around to posting a picture. Please note: That tastey-looking babba in front of him is NOT his. He is a BIG BOY! Miles leaves them everywhere. This is one of the cool boy presents we gave Max. It's a slot car track and he was squealing and giggling in a high-pitched frenzy when this photo was taken. I say cool "boy" presents because I went out shopping for a little four-year-old girl today and MAN, there's nothing fun that's girly. Another topic entirely. Anyway, he had a blast on his birthday and we look forward to seeing everyone at the big bash in November!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Squirrel Seduction on a Sunny Sunday

Sunday morning the sun was out. AHHHH.... sweet bliss, it seems like years since we've had a nice sunny day. I was feeling great. We were drinking our coffee and getting organized for church. I was standing at the kitchen sink, admiring the freshly mowed back lawn (yes, I'm strange), commenting to Rob how much darn fun it was to mow with the bag on the back. Seriously, it was just like vacuuming the grass! Anyway, I was happily surveying the outside and I noticed several squirrels scamping through the yard. I then looked at the tree directly in front of the window and saw two squirrels fighting and carrying on. Rob was standing next to me and we were smiling, sipping coffee and enjoying our nature vista. Gradually our smiles transformed into open mouthed grimaces as we realized those rambunctious squirrels were not, in fact, fighting. Nor were they wrestling. They were not playing, or competing for a snack. They were err.... um.... having an intimate moment. I felt like I was watching the mating segment on animal planet. It was pretty in-your-face action and all I could do was hold my hands to my face and cry out. I quickly turned away from the window, haunted by the vision of squirrel sex in my maple tree. Rob kept his stance at the window and observed that the female didn't look like she was "into it". With a sick feeling in my stomach, I remembered that I needed to take my meds for the day. Nothing like mating squirrels to remind you to take your birth control pills.