Wednesday, May 01, 2013

April Recap

It's been a VERY eventful month.  Hmmm, let's see....

  • We went on a spring vacation to South Carolina, where we met the husband's parents and uncle at Edisto Beach.  It was cold and dark here and warm and bright there, and we had a blast!  We swam in the pool, collected shells on the beach, ate home-cooked meals courtesy of Grandma, played tourist, hunted for (but never found) shark teeth, and visited the always delightful Serpentarium, ate barbeque, and generally had the most fun we've all had in a long time.  The boys were well behaved and relaxed; we had our own condo with a palatial bathroom; and we all got to revel in nostalgia and salt air.
  • I turned, ahem, 40!  I got to celebrate in style: first, my parents sent me a package including 40 items that either had the number 40 on them or had 40 parts (and sometimes both).  It was great fun to open and watch the boys get more and more confused as I pulled out 40 feet of tin foil and 40 black and white marbles and 40 black balloons with the number 40 on them!  Next, we took some of the 40 paraphernalia to the beach with us and used it to have a family party on my actual birthday, at which we also had white cake with key lime icing (have you tried this??  You should! It is so tasty E hid himself in the bathroom to lick the container clean!).  And THEN, we had a big party with all our friends from Charleston, thrown by my most fabulous friend Becca.  There was another cake, with 40 fake candles (paper candles instead with little things about me written on them), lots of barbeque pork, and mango Rita's water ice... all my favorites with all my favorite South Carolina people.  I even got gifts!  Such a lucky girl!  (Are you still a girl at 40??)
  • We moved!  Just around the corner, but it was still a big move.  We are now, finally, out of our two bedroom apartment and into an actual house: four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a basement, a sun room, a garage, a yard, the works, including a third floor, a million windows, and french doors.  It is by far the nicest house I have ever lived in, married or single.  We are still living out of boxes and slowly pulling ourselves together, but we are already completely happy with the neighborhood, which puts us 1 1/2 blocks away from preschool, two blocks away from the elementary school, 2 blocks away from a grocery store and the public library and a dollar store and a pizza place, across the street from a friend from preschool, and on the same street as our home teacher!  Amazing!  The basement is unfinished but in really good shape, and I'm going to spend the summer turning it into a super playroom to get us through next winter.  I am also going to spend some quality time with all my books and bookcases, newly liberated from the storage unit after more than a year and only a little worse for wear (cursed water damage!), setting up our joint office/multipurpose studio.  It's gonna be so much fun to live here!
  • I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy because of lingering, ongoing health issues and a family history of not so good GI health.  The experience was, in a word, dreadful.  But the doctor ended up removing a polyp and biopsying a bunch of "inflamed" areas, so it was probably necessary, but oh. my. goodness.  SUCH a distasteful endeavor all around.
  • We went to Ikea TWICE in April, once in North Carolina on the way back from vacation and once in Pittsburgh this weekend after we'd been in the house a while and knew more about what we needed.  The first trip we got accessories and the second we got furniture, including an outdoor table and new dressers and a kitchen cart (my one and only tiny issue with our new house is the lack of counter space in the otherwise beautiful kitchen--real granite counter tops, ya'll!).  
  •  The boys have been adjusting to their new digs well.  The first full day we were here, I think they spent about 6 hours straight outside in the yard while I started to set up the kitchen.  They would ride their scooters and tricycles and bicycles up and down our driveway every day if they could.  E has been having nightmares and waking up in an unfamiliar bedroom has been a challenge for him, but I think he will settle down soon.  J loves living near a friend and closer to school and having so much space to run around in.  Their room is enormous, so even without a play room yet they have been having fun indoors as well.  Taking apart and putting their bunk bed back together caused the husband a few fits but now they are back in their beds and feeling more and more at home every day.
Whew!  That's enough for one month, I think.  More details and more pictures soon, but we've only had the internet for a few days now and there is so much to catch up on in both the real and the virtual worlds!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

'Tis another season

We're trying out a slightly different take on Easter dinner tomorrow.  I've always felt a bit odd having ham for Easter, but I couldn't think of a way to make the meal special without it being a repeat of Christmas or Thanksgiving.  However, this year, I was following a Pinterest path (you know, when you see something you like on Pinterest, following the pic to the actual site, browse around there a little while, and then follow their links to something much more exciting....?  is there an actual term out there for this yet?) when I stumbled upon this idea for an Easter dinner modeled on a Passover Seder. 

I'm not going to adopt her question and answer format (modelling is okay, but let's stop short of appropriation, problematic on so many levels) but instead we'll have brief statements explaining the symbolism just before we eat.  Emphasis on brief: I'm working with a 3 and a 5 year old after all, and they have the attention span of a gnat unless there are talking dinosaurs, dragons, or trains involved...unless there's a book to be read to them, but, big surprise, no book exists to explain the made up Easter symbol meal...yet! 

Oh, and we're skipping the lamb, because I really, really don't like lamb, and I think the fish is plenty for us.  (And yes, I am making the mango salsa pictured on her fish because I just couldn't get it out of my mind when I saw it!)  And unless I get really ambitious tomorrow, I will not be making pita bread from scratch and we'll have pre-made round pretzel rolls instead.  I still think it's going to be yummy!  And a much better way to celebrate the Atonement and the Resurrection than ham!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The indoctrination is almost complete

Today is picture day at preschool, and though J had an idea for what he wanted to wear, his choice proved to be too small (he is a giant lately!), so we had to move on to (my) plan B.  Only plan B was very wrinkled, so I told him I first had to find a coordinating (read: clean) undershirt and then I had to iron the shirt. 

"But Mommy," he said. "Daddy knows how to do the ironing and he isn't here."

"Yes, I know, but Mommy knows how, too."

"But Mommy, don't be silly.  Mommies don't iron!"

"Well, not usually, true, but they can in an emergency.  So I will iron your shirt today."

"Wait until Daddy hears this!"

Yes, yes, yes.  Everything is going according to plan!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When viruses attack!

I promised the story of the virus to end all viruses.  Here it is, but be warned: it's not for the faint of heart.  Or the weak of stomach.  Or the delicate of sensibilities.  (Or anyone, really, but it's what I've got!)

Two weeks ago, the boys and I were over at our friend's house for our weekly "our husbands are too busy" consolation dinner.  We get together once a week on the day our husbands have to be at church meetings late and have dinner and let the kids play and generally enjoy ourselves on what would otherwise be a pretty un-fun evening.  It's great!

At some point, her two year old daughter had a massive diaper blowout, the kind of mess that you find up a child's back and smeared across something important, in this case, the couch.  Her son and Toddler E pointed out the mess to us and we set about immediately cleaning up.  My friend took the baby to the back for a full body scrub down, and I attacked the couch with all the upholstery friendly cleaning supplies I could find, both of us remarking as we went that this particular poop explosion was very odd looking.  (Cue foreboding music here.) After we were all cleaned up, we finished fixing dinner, ate, and said our goodbyes.

Two days after that, at another church function, her son threw up. (Music gets louder.) The next morning, so did Toddler E.  (Music climaxes.)  That same day, both my friend and I felt sick, like we had been run over by trucks sick, like we couldn't stay awake sick.  We spent the next two days nursing sick kids and trying not to vomit ourselves. 

We congratulated ourselves on making it through the weekend, or at least I did, until the husband got sick.  Very sick.  For a week straight.  And when the husband is sick, it's really pathetic.  He is a good patient, but his patience was tried by the unending nature of his illness.  He was even contemplating missing church, which is unheard of, but by Sunday he was feeling much better, so he went.  We all did, happy to be out from under the virus.

Except that during Sacrament meeting, J said "I have to go potty" with an urgency that alarmed me.  You know how sometimes when you look at your child, something in the face tells you something is very, very wrong, often before the child even knows it is?  He had one of those looks.  48 hours later, he was still sick, lethargic from all the fluids he'd lost, listless because he felt so bad, and not a happy camper.  He pulled himself together enough that I sent him to school, but, in fact, he was still feeling so bad he had a meltdown of epic proportions and I had to bring him home, at which point he fell immediately asleep.

And now, today, he feels 90% better...and I feel 50% worse.  Will it never end??  At some point in there, when I was symptomatic the first time, I had an already scheduled visit with the GI doc and he just called yesterday to tell me I was bacteria free, confirming my suspicion that this is just the worst. virus. ever.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Carolina dreamin'

You know how earlier I was all "Winter isn't so bad!"

I was wrong. Because, yes, winter can be fun, what with the small children enjoying the snow and the sledding and the pretty pretty pretty. But then it just keeps going. And going. And GOING! And somewhere in my acclimatized to warm days self, a part of me has started a silent scream that I am pretty sure will continue until the cruelest month either turns out to be less cruel or does in fact result in May flowers...and not more snow!

My disillusionment started a little while ago, when I was driving home from preschool one day and realized that the air, the clouds, the road, and the yards were all the same color: dirty white. For some reason, I found this profoundly depressing. As in, I had to drive home immediately and take a nap depressing. And now, here it is snowing again today, when it was 68 on Sunday. When we got to church, J got out of the car, looked around, and said with a bewildered tone in his voice, "It's not cold!" I felt the same way. More importantly to me, the sun was shining and you could see blue sky. Oh, how I miss blue sky! The sun peeked out from behind some clouds the other day and Toddler E said vehemently, "Go away, Sun! I don't like you in my eyes!" It was all I could do not to pull over and give him a long lecture on why we love the sun, oh yes indeed we do! But I had to remember that he is so young he doesn't remember the endless spri-sum-fall that is South Carolina.

Fortunately, I have the perfect antidote to the winter of my discontent: a vacation to the beach! Yes, at some point in the (undisclosed to the Internets) future I will be heading off to points south, specifically Edisto Beach, SC, for some fun in the warmth and sun. The husband's parents are meeting us there; we will have two condos between and 4 swimming pools between us. We have approximately one day out of the whole week planned, and I think we're going to try and keep it that way. I'm bringing pool noodles, sand tools, sunscreen, swimming suits, the husband and the boys, and not much else. And I am so excited I can hardly stand it!