Friday, October 31, 2008

Magic and action

The Wizard and Ninja wish you a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outta the swing

As you could tell I was trying to do some limited live-blogging of our vacation. That may be boring as all get out for most, but I did it mostly for my Dad. When we planned our trip we had hopped he would be joining us. But because of the time off and money required to deal with the situation with my Grandparents early this year, he wasn’t able to join our Floridian excursion. And I just wanted him to know what we were up to. And that he was missed.

Our trip was lovely. We got to spend some much needed time with family. For those of you not clear on my insane disjointed family tree I will try to explain. We went to visit my 24yo half-sister Elisha (through my Dad), her husband Chris and their 2 yo Hunter and my ex-step sister Barbara (I say ex- because my Dad and her Mom divorced), her husband Ryan, their 12yo daughter Summer and 10yo son Sean. But honestly I try not to think with those labels of half and step, because family is family. If you are blessed to have good people involved in your life and those of your kids it doesn’t matter how much actual genealogy is involved.

We wanted to visit last year but when Ray was finally conceived it made it a difficult time for us to travel. So this was a long awaited trip. I am a bit freakish with worry about imposing on people so we didn’t feel comfortable squishing our family of four in the home of someone with limited space. And since hotel rooms are pricey and not really ideal for a family we decided it was most cost effective to rent a house. Our family lives inland and we thought if we rented a beachfront place maybe we could lure them to us for a little vacation of their own. And it worked. Everyone spent some time on the beach, and kicking around the house, eating big family meals and making little day outings. Everything went really well. Even flying with the boys went pretty smoothly. Of course vacationing with small children isn’t ever very relaxing, but it was good. It was heart-wrenching watching my boys play with Elisha’s little one and touching to see Barb’s older kids look after them. I have a bunch of funny little things I should eventually relate but the one I have to mention immediately is Noah’s fascination with Summer. Two years ago when we visited he was quite taken with her, and this time it was even worse. He was bordering on stalking. When she wasn’t there he was asking when she was coming back. He had to sit where she sat and do what she was doing. And he told me repeatedly that she was one of his "loves” and that he loved her more than anyone, except Mama of course. Sheesh kid, adolescence is going to be a bitch.

It’s insanity here. The city is going nuts about the Series win – and frankly not only don’t I care but I’m annoyed. I find it all to be so competitive, so us-against-them, so bandwagony, so reminiscent of rampant dangerous nationalism. Ahem. But that’s all in my humble opinion. Aside from screaming, honking and fireworks outside my house last night, there is some mayhem inside too. We’re excited for Halloween which takes some doing and organizing, and then Noah’s fourth birthday party is on Sunday and I have a hella stuff to do. Oh and on returning home our bags burst forth piles of laundry, both clean and dirty and we have to figure out how in the hell we’re going to get some of this shite picked up.

A proper blog entry about milestones and whatnot should come soon. At least before Noah’s fifth birthday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Making it less painful to travel

Not too surprisingly, the Orlando airport is more kid-friendly than most.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Can you imagine this as your regular shopping routine? Good lord.

Croc Hunters

Yesterday the kids really enjoyed the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.


One of Ray's new words is boat.

Got gator?



Enjoying an ecological tour of St. James River. Gators and egrets and herons, oh my.

Slow morning

The boys are taking time to relax and regroup before another busy day.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Radio Barbara

Aunt Barb holds a little listening party for the boys.

Baby Appetit

Gettin the troops fed before a day at the Alligator Farm.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The view from here

Nothing between us and the ocean but A1A.

Friday, October 24, 2008


A motley bunch out on the town on a crappy day.

Check and mate

I'm schoolin the youngins on the scholarly pursuits. But only in the wee hours of the morn.
Today might be a chess day. It's been crazy windy and rainy. So much so that I'm shocked this storm doesn't have a name. Word has it thought that the rest of the week will be lovely.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'd need bigger bags

We don't have to leave til next Wednesday. But already I'm wondering if I can abscond with Elisha and Hunter. I really hate being so far from people I love so much.


It's been almost a year since we've seen Elisha and Hunter. That is far too long.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Number of the day

For days he has been looking forward to writing numbers in the sand. He saw it on Sesame Street.

not so sure

He is both jubilant and overwhelmed by the beach today. It might take him a few days to warm back up to it.

Takin in the local flavor

Stopped for late lunch in Orange City. Now to get back on road for one hour drive to Flagler.

On the move

We're off. Well, actually we're waiting around in the airport. But soon we will be winging our way to Florida to see my sisters. Peace out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another blogger, another post about weight

At this point in my life I can’t indulge myself with time or money. And so at the end of a hard day when I’m looking to reward myself for making it through, just keeping it together until bedtime, I have food and drink. Something sweet, a margarita, a glass of wine – something to look forward to sharing with my husband as the night unravels. And yet I am well aware that it is these treats that are preventing me from losing the last bit of weight that plagues me daily.

As far as I am concerned there is a five pound difference between my pants fitting comfortably and looking good and being too tight and looking like a cow. In fact I look pregnant. Those pounds go right to my midsection, and I look like I’m carrying low. I plan on dieting but sense of entitlement overcomes my willpower and I get nowhere.

Last month I lost some weight. But then I got sick a couple of times and it took me forever to recover so I convinced myself that it really wasn’t right to diet and nurse. Ray nurses regularly – about 5 to 6 times a day, and he shows no interest in cutting down. I feel that I should wait until he at least cuts down to really go back on a stringent diet, but then I look in the mirror and I want to spit at myself.

I’m not a tiny, thin person and never will be. I’ve come to grips with that over the years. But I do want to be a bit thinner. It’s not the pant size so much as areas of bulginess that make any size fit uncomfortably. But it’s so damn hard to do the work. And when I’ve done some of the work it takes a snap of the fingers for it to come right back.

At least it is fall. In the last two weeks people keep commenting that I look thinner when in fact I have gained a few pounds. I can attribute this to two things. One – it’ getting colder so my clothes can be a bit bulkier and more forgiving. And two – people must think of me as heavier than I really am, so when they see me they think I have lost weight.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spot the boy

So Noah's rash is as we expected - just the end stage of his virus and not contagious. But damn does it look troubling. I keep trying to take pictures to depict just how spotty he is, but they always seem mild in comparison. I didn't send him to school today because activity and sweating make him itchy unless I dose him with Benadryl, and then he's a tired hot mess. The doc said he would be a bit achey and tired, and damn he is moody. (HELP!) It could go away in about a week but traces might linger for longer.

When it pours, it deluges

Last night Noah broke out in a head to toe rash. It's most likely an end stage of the virus he had last week, and not contagious. But we have a doc appt. this morning just to be certain. Poor guy is pretty damn spotty and a bit itchy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Health Update

Noah is a million times better today. Yesterday his fever and sore throat were gone but his energy level was still rock bottom. But today he is his vibrant, playful, chatty self. Thank the gods. It may take him awhile to be back to full-on Noah - he lost about three pounds in the week that he was sick and though that is the 10 percent difference that Weight Watchers demands, he was already a spindly little thing who was already in need of gaining weight. And so for awhile there will be offers of ice cream after every meal.


What do ya think? Does he look like me?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

zoo shoe riot

The morning before Noah's rapid decline, we met my in-laws for a day at the zoo. It was honestly the best animal viewing day I have ever had. It seems the animals were enjoying the fall-like weather and making a show of it. In the photo you can see a female lion literally resting at Ray's feet.


A kiss for luck. Took the boys to the horse races today. We sat outside enjoying the weather and being out of the house - without being too physically taxing for the recuperating boy. Ray was amazed by the horses and the ability to toddle around. We ended about twenty dollars down, but it was worth that and much more.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not just under but also out of the weather

It’s been a hell of a week. Noah has been very sick. The sickest he’s ever been. He has a severe sore throat that may or may not be strep. The doctor described it as being very ripped up and full of pus. Yuck. He’s had a fever of 103 for six days. He’s listless, whiny and clingy. He freaks out if I get up to get the phone. He falls asleep for short intervals and wakes up in a panic, wanting me constantly by his side. He whines “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama.” He’s not eating and barely drinking and I fear my already skinny boy is wasting away to nothing. He can’t do much walking or even sitting up unpropped and he spends much of his time watching preschool TV. After 52 hours of antibiotics I really thought he would have showed some serious improvement, but no such luck. It better turn around tomorrow. Not only am I at the end of my rope from lack of sleep, the constant unrelenting need, my inability to leave the house for days and my feeling so sorry for him, but I’m also a bit worried. I need him well.

Ray however is perfectly healthy and chomping at the bit. He’s a bundle of energy and has been fairly content to storm around the house and tear everything apart. He is a destroyer of worlds! He is actually benefitting from Noah being sick – suddenly all the toys are HIS. He can play with it all and no one will try to lay claim to it.

But before this blight of illness descended on our home – was anything new? It’s hard to remember. Here are a few things that stick out:

Thanks to repeated watching of episodes of the first season of The Muppet Show, Noah has developed a crush on Connie Stevens. It must be something in the way she sings “Teenager in Love” and “Close to You” or how she dances divinely with Bert. Whatever it is, Noah’s got it bad. He has written her a fan letter asking her to come to our place so that he can dance with her. He later told me that I should invite people over to watch their dance. As soon as I get confirmation of a date from her people I will send out the formal invites. No guests please as space will be limited.

Noah is constantly asking us to tell him stories at bed time. They have to be about Halloween and they have to be scary. And no psychological dramas either. He wants witches, ghosts and monsters. The one caveat is that at no time within the story should Noah and Mama ever be separated. Apparently we must face all evil together. Mark is gifted at narratives on the spot but mine are often pretty lame. I’ve learned that if there is a funny noise Noah can easily overlook the general lameness of the narrative. Oh and for awhile all stories also had to include Connie Stevens.

The two weeks before Noah got sick we were in a constant state of movement. I adore the fall weather. It energizes me and drives me to make the very most out of every day. And so we were at the Zoo twice, the Discovery Museum, the new Please Touch Museum (incredibly awesome! You must go, Lonna.), Linvilla Orchards, Frankilin Square, etc. And Noah’s in a phase where he doesn’t want a good time to end. So any time it was time to leave a place or leave a friend he’d ask me why friends and family members could not live with us and why we couldn’t live at The Please Touch Museum, the Zoo, etc.

Mark returned from his Sacramento business trip with a stuffed Orca whale with “Sacramento” embroidered on it. Noah named him “Spot the whale.” The title is very apropos as I’m constantly trying to spot that damn whale. It’s really the first stuffed thing that Noah ever really attached to and he’s asked to take it with him everywhere. And of course then I’m having to hunt for it later.

Ray is still in a super fun stage. He’s talking all sorts of hysterical gibberish. Every time I’m on the phone with someone they invariably say “Is that Ray?” about all the yapping they hear in the background. He’s big into balls, marbles, trains and cars – more classicly active boy than Noah was at this age. He likes to move cars around on the floor and make car noises, throw and roll. And of course I can’t help but mention the temper. If he’s doing something he shouldn’t, like putting a crayon in his mouth, and you give him a firm “No,” he will invariably throw that thing to the floor as if to say “FINE! Have it!” I try not to laugh but it’s hard.

Edit: Noah’s strep test is negative. Doc says he has either Mono or Adeno virus. Antibiotics of no help. Just have to wait it out. Told me to call her this weekend if he gets worse. Lovely.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Old friends

Three years ago I met Susan and Holly in the park. Like me, they were mothers looking for companionship for their kids and themselves. And so just under one year old Noah had his first peer group with Tripp and Frannie. We had playdates, picnics and field trips together. And though Susan, Holly and I are very different women, our bond as mothers and friends is strong. Without them my life and Noah's would have been so much dimmer.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bust a move

We do alot of dancing and singing. This morning Noah and Ray started dancing together and it just about made my heart explode.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monkey see

It is amazing how much Ray picks up from Noah. I 'm certain that at this age Noah had little interest in drawing. But since Ray sees Noah slaving over the page he must draw too.

Back at Linvilla

Linvilla Orchards is one of my favorite places. It means family, tradition, wholesome local produce and good old fashioned fun. I take this picture of the boys on the pumpkins every year and hope to some day make an album of them.