Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unexpected Item In Bagging Area. Please Remove This Item Before Continuing.

We're all stressy over here at the moment, not for one good reason, but a lot of little ones. First of all, my wife can't take the heat. Really, really, can't take the heat. Makes her crazy. Now that I've put the downstairs air conditioner in, things have been a bit better. Still, she gets home around dinner time, huddles in front of the A.C. for a minute or two, and then dashes up to our air conditioned bedroom to change - quick like a rabbit - so that none of the warm air from the hallway can take the chill off of her skin... and then a mad dash downstairs again, and on and on. This is how we spend our summers. My kids have adapted pretty well though, they'll just ask her things really quickly so they can get in all in - cause you never know when the next air conditioner dash might come. If she's eating dinner, and shifts a little bit to the right, Sam will say "momcanyougetmesomeorangejuiceplease!" before she has a chance to spring up. Lily, god bless her, tries, but isn't that fast, and by the time she gets a sentence out, Sara will be upstairs yelling "Joe, I think Lily needs something!" It's really quite remarkable, the speed at which she disappears. She's like a cheetah.
Second of all, Lily started potty training last week, and to be honest, may be wearing a diaper for the rest of her natural life. She gets the concept - knows when she has to go, and tells us its coming - but for some reason it freaks her out. She'll either cry when she sits on the toilet - or she sits there and goes "RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" accompanied by a "pushing face" and says, "Nope, maybe later." Then of course, she'll go back into the other room and pee on her chair. It's great fun. I know that the first few days are the worst, but she seems really stressed about it for some odd reason, and in turn it's stressing the rest of us out. Even Sam is a little edgy...
I started teaching last week too, which wouldn't be even worth mentioning if it weren't such a change from what I usually do. In the past, I've always taught adult classes, for college kids on up, and this is kids from 14 to 18 years old. Getting along with the kids is easy, but getting used to what they are able to do, and interested in, has been a bit of a challenge. Plus, the classroom conversations have changed from "I found a nice Gewurztraminer in the state store last week..." to "I found some beer from my dad's last 4th of July party behind our shed..." To be honest, I enjoy both of those conversations, so I really can't complain.
On the plus side, this Saturday is Sara's 36th birthday. One of the selfish parts of writing a blog is keeping a record of some of the moments in our lives just for me to look at... I know other people see this, but I feel a little bit like this is just for me. When I look back at the last few years online, I can't help but think about how much fun its been, the good and the bad. In retrospect, almost everything (even trips to the hospital, flirtations with injury or financial ruin) turned into some funny stories... mostly because she has been here with me this whole time. This year, on October 5th, it will be the 17th anniversary of our first date... almost half of her entire life. As crazy and frustrating as she is, there are days I am in awe of her... days when she is gone that I miss her so much it aches... and days when she is here that I can't imagine how I got this lucky. Plus, she's still hot, even though she is getting so, so old...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Petrichor Comfort

In a little break between this work and that work, I have a week off... which means I can squeeze in all of the things I've been neglecting. Some of the things, anyway...
First and foremost (this one is especially for you reg) I've been falling apart in the past couple of months, with some odd thing. So after endless prodding from my wife, I decided that losing feeling in my arms and legs and intermittent crippling pains for a month or two now was a good enough reason to go to the doctor. So far, my 'vacation' has been a checkup, some blood tests, a visit to a neurologist... and in the next few days an MRI; and an EMG - some sort of muscle-needle-poking test I didn't even bother to ask them to elaborate on (but a direct quote from Wikipedia "Because of the needle electrodes, EMG may be somewhat painful or extremely painful to the patient"... weehoo! those are my favorite kind of tests!) ... so I'm not sure what it is, but my understanding is that there will be needles, some sort of poking, and it sucks. I was thinking of having an online 'American Idol' type of poll, where one disease gets eliminated from the list of possibilities every week, until we have a winner. Cast your votes now, this years contestants are lyme disease, carpal tunnel, pinched nerve, herniated disk, and my personal favorite, the ever popular lyme disease peripheral neuropathy combo.
What I've been trying to do this week, to chill myself out a bit between running errands and getting ready for the classes I'm teaching this summer, is force myself to do nothing. Which, if you've never tried, is actually really hard. I was standing in the kitchen this morning, for example, and I found myself cleaning the stove. Really, I was thinking about what I should do before my appointment today, and I looked down, and there was a sponge in my hand. Creepy. Couldn't stop myself.
I did, however, manage to sit down in the tub for about five minutes before I accepted the fact that I just don't fit in a tub. Got to hang out with the chilluns at the park for a while, which was a cool afternoon... and finally did some weeding out front now that our garden is taking shape. The picture is a pumpkin blossom, by the way...
Anyway, don't have any roses out front, but dammit, I'm stopping to smell something.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kiera and the Mighty Turnip

As strange as this sounds, I was at a church picnic the other day... really, a church picnic. Last Sunday, Sara asked if I wanted to come to church with her, and before I knew what was happening, she was packing lunches for the after-picnic. On the plus side, it was a pretty mellow affair with tables strewn across the lawn, and plenty of non-church discussions flowing.
We picked a table where a woman and her three-ish daughter were already eating, purely for show... to appear like we are social... which we are not... In the bustle of settling the kids down at the table, the lunch Sara packed (which was actually a fairly healthy one, as far as lunches go) tumbled out on to the table, each part in it's own little ziplock bag. Faster than Linsey Lohan going to rehab, the kids grabbed the bags with marshmallows and Ninja Turtle fruit snacks in them. Since neither of us were in a mood, we let it go, and said that they could have them if they promised to eat their lunch after.
It was only then, of course, because god hates me, that we noticed the woman and her daughter staring slack jawed in our direction. After a somewhat long and uncomfortable pause, the perfectly blond and perky three year old spooned some sort of kidney bean salad out of her reusable container made of recycled materials and said matter-of-factly "We're vegetarians."
"Of course you are," I said, "because today my kids are eating corn syrup, sugar cornstarch, gelatin, and whateverthefuck a Ninja Turtle fruit snack is made of... and even though you might think one would have to be relatively healthy to qualify as a 'Ninja Turtle' fruit snack (the most violent, and I assume, the most energetic of all the fruit snacks) as opposed to a regular fruit snack, I'd bet my pants there isn't any fruit, vegetable, or even turtle in there. So go ahead, wee little blond child with perfect porcelain skin and frighteningly cheery disposition, let me open your soy yogurt for you (she really had one) while you eat your pasty red beans, cause in my house we're waiting for the scientific community to come around and change their opinion on childhood obesity."
Actually, I just sheepishly mumbled, "wow... a vegetarian... cool". So there we were, munching away at our crap out of bags that pollute the earth, while Kiera moved on to her Tupperware container full of broccoli and other veggies - which were raw, by the way... not even lightly steamed. Suddenly, she stuck her healthy little hand into the container and pulled out what for a moment looked like a marshmallow ("I'm saved!" I thought) and turned out to be A WHOLE BABY WHITE TURNIP. As if the whole picnic was captivated by our shame, someone from ANOTHER TABLE shouted over "hey Ann, does she really eat turnips?". "Sure," Ann replied, "I've found that if she picks something from the farm we go to, she is more invested in trying it."
Could it have been worse? Sure, I was just waiting for someone to say "hey Joe, is that a Ninja Turtle fruit snack? What's in those things?"
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