Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Best Friends

Levi and Voof at bedtime:

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Noah!

Today Noah is 9 years old! It was a busy day, and I got some good pictures, but I have to upload them from my computer first. I will post about the day when the pictures are ready.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Baby's Best Friend

For his birthday, Levi received a stuffed puppy from his Aunt Aimee. It is a cute border collie. Last week, I was playing with him and the dog, and making the dog bark at him, and he said his first word! He named the puppy Voof. You'd think he was just making dog noises, but seriously, he was pointing at the puppy and saying "Voof!" lol So that is the puppy's name now. They are so cute together. He really loves this dog. It is easy to get Levi to lay down for a nap or to go to bed; all I have to do is hold both him and Voof, then tell Levi that Voof is sleepy and lay the dog down in the crib on his side, and make snoring noises. Levi jumps right in and lays down next to Voof with his arm on a paw. It is soooo cute. Here they are together going for a ride in the van:

Levi and Voof
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We were in the van to take Samuel and Caleb to their first day of camp at the YMCA. Caleb was super excited to go, but Samuel was a bit shy and nervous. Of course that manifested itself in his behavior as anger and stubbornness. He dragged his feet leaving the house, getting out of the van at the Y, going inside at the Y, signing the paper that covers the discipline rules for camp, and carrying his lunch bag each of those places. In fact, he mostly kept dropping the bag on the ground. He also hid in the vestibule rather than come all the way inside. I was so embarrassed. And angry. I really was torn between crying and just hauling off and smacking him. Of course, I did neither. But boy did I feel like it. Here they are in front of the Y:

Caleb and The Grump
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And in front of the bus:

An excited camper
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An exasperated camper and The Grump
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Of course, you know the outcome of the day; they both had a great time. I talked to a counselor when I came to pick them up, and she said that Samuel told her he was afraid it would be boring, but that when she asked him again at the end of the day he admitted it was fun.

My mortification was not quite complete, however; I had had to wake up both Levi and Micah from their naps to go get Samuel and Caleb. Micah is not good when you wake him up before he is ready, and he demonstrated that at the Y. When he saw the room with all the fun stuff in it that the campers wait in for parents to come pick them up, he wanted to run right in and play. Of course it is only for campers so I couldn't let him. Well, you know that story too. He laid down on the floor and had a tantrum and I had to have Noah carry Levi so that I could carry Micah to the van. Wow I was making a bad impression as a mother yesterday!

It wasn't over today either. This morning I was carefully watching the clock to get the boys out to the van at exactly 8:00. I checked every 10 minutes to make sure we weren't late. On the second the long hand reached the 12 I looked and said "All right, it's time to get in the ... Aaaaggghhh!" It wasn't 8:00, it was *9:00*!!! HOW did that happen? OMG I can't even tell time. To make things worse, today was the scheduled field trip for the boys. The campers were going to have a tour of a potato chip factory. They weren't even going to be just at the camp, they were going on a trip! Waaahhh! I raced them out the door and over to the Y, and ran in the door to see if I could maybe meet the bus at the factory. The lady behind the desk was so nice. It turns out the busses went first to the lodge where the campers spend the day, and from there they were loading up to go on the trip, and they hadn't left yet. So she called and asked if I should drive the boys up to the camp or meet them at the factory. They said they'd hold up the bus for me to get the boys over there. Back out to the van I go, and hurry over to the lodge and we made it! Phew! I was feeling sooo guilty, I am so glad it worked out. When I went to pick them up today the report was that it was really cool and they had fun :-)

Tomorrow morning I will not make the same mistake of thinking it takes 2 hours to go from 7:00 to 8:00 LOL

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Black Hole

There is a Black Hole in my house. Astronomers and scientists everywhere can stop all their searching the cosmos to find evidence, I have one right here. It is not a big one, though. It doesn't suck up anything that comes near it. It is more sneaky. After all, if everything fell in, I'd know to keep things away from it. No, this black hole is selective. It only takes a few items at a time. However, once something falls in it, it is lost forever. Nothing can withstand the awesome force of gravity that keeps these items in its grasp.

I have lost many things over the years, but today so many things are missing that I am going to go crazy. I have a notepad with important numbers on it that I keep in the desk drawer of my computer desk. Is it there? Nope. Gone. Troyer and Noah went camping with their grandpa this weekend, so on Wednesday I got their bags out to pack for them. Fully half of Troyer's clothes are missing. Half! I have searched high and low in the house, in everyone's dressers and closets and under the couch and behind furniture and under beds. Nowhere. This morning Chris left to go up to the camp and join them for the weekend. The boys had asked me to give him a disposable camera that was left over from earlier in the summer, to bring up and take pictures. Do you think I could find it? Of course not! I spent 2 hours looking for it, but there is no sign of it.

I know exactly where each of these things should be, but not only are they not there, they are not anywhere. We have lost other things over the years too. Troyer still asks about when we will find a Woody doll that went missing 5 years ago. Things like that I can just let go. Oh well. But now I am just going crazy. Too many things missing, just in the span of 3 days! I know, we just moved here, and we are still disorganized, and they might just turn up. But these are things I know I saw recently. They have no reason to be missing! Aaarrgh!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Happy Birthday Levi!

Levi turned 1 year old on Saturday! Wow, the year has been busy! It's hard to believe that just last summer we were starting to get our house ready to sell, Chris was starting his new job, and we were trying to figure out when he should start his orientation.

He sure is a cutie :-) He is my best natured child; even tempered and easily entertained. He is not afraid of strangers and likes to be held by lots of people. That is nice at church, where so many ladies are baby hungry ;-). He is also the earliest walker, at 10 months, and the slowest to grow teeth. Most of the others had a full mouth of teeth by their birthday, Levi has just the 8 in front, and 2 back molars so far. Troyer had all of his baby teeth by his birthday. Then again, Troyer has all of his adult teeth now, including his 12 year molars, and he is not yet 11! Levi walks and runs everywhere, and can climb like a mountain goat. He gets himself into a lot of trouble, lol. He is usually a good sleeper, though the past few days he has woken up once a night half way through needing a snuggle and drink of milk. He also wants to play, so I have to walk him up and down the hall to show him that all the lights are off and everyone is in bed. He usually is convinced and will then lay down and go back to sleep.

There are no plans for another baby at this point, so Levi is our last. He will be the baby forever. I hope his sweetness and good nature will last into adulthood.

For his birthday, we had a little party for him. My sister Aimee was here with her kids, Danny and Katie, so it was more than just the brothers, which was nice. We only did cake, and Aimee gave him a cute stuffed dog. All the other boys have "pet" dogs, so Levi needed one. I didn't get him any presents because, really, what does a 1 year old with 5 older brothers need? I hated the thought of getting him new clothes, knowing that there wouldn't be another baby after him to use them. That just seemed like a waste. And same goes with baby toys, he already has plenty. So he will get some cash in the bank instead. This really is better anyway, since a lot of the relatives that used to send money in cards for the older boys are now gone, and he doesn't get much.

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We also all went to a picnic after lunch. Chris' coworker invited all her officemates to her annual picnic out at her farm, along with their families. I made sure it would be ok for Aimee to come along, and as expected it was no problem. The drive up there was a bit nerve wracking though. When we started out from the house it was the hottest day of the summer, and we were wondering about the sanity of an outdoor picnic when it's 100 degrees outside. But, it's about an hour and a half from here (I can't believe that woman drives that distance every day even in winter to get to work and home again!) and half way there we had to go over a mountain. Well, there happened to be a thunderstorm going on on top of that mountain! It was very scary. We thought about turning around, because really, what fun was this picnic going to be for the kids in the rain, with no swimming? And I was so worried about a tree getting blown over on top of the car! But we got over safely and kept going. A lot of cars had stopped along the side of the road to wait it out because it was so hard to see, but we kept going. I figured by that point we might as well just get there and get inside her house to wait out the storm. Wouldn't you know it, about 2 miles from her house, the sun came out and it was beautiful! There hadn't even been any rain there. It was a bit cooler, too, maybe only 85, which is perfect for swimming.

We got there and jumped straight into the pool. It was a lot of fun! The kids all had a great time, and it was neat to see them all swimming so well. The swim lessons paid off! Even Caleb, who hasn't had lessons yet, was doing great in the shallow end, jumping in off the side and going under the water. He was fine as long as he could touch the bottom with his feet. Micah and Levi loved it too, taking turns with either me or Chris getting towed around and pretending to swim. Samuel almost got up the nerve to try out the deep end, but never did get out there without a float. I think it is the first time I have had a chance to do some real swimming in over 10 years. I did swim at my dad's place 2 years ago, but his pool isn't deep, so you can't dive in it. I actually dove off the board twice this weekend! Aimee assured me I didn't look very bad LOL. I just couldn't resist. It makes me wish I had a pool.

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We stayed about 4 hours, and then headed off home again. We were hoping the kids would be really tired and sleep well, but of course they didn't get to sleep until after the adults! And they were still up by 7 am. Ugh! lol They are paying for it now, though. They have been very sluggish this week.

Today Levi had his 12 month check up, and did great. He is 21 lb 4 oz, and 29 in long. Not quite as big as Caleb or Micah were at 12 mo, but bigger than the other 3. I told the dr that he is right on track for my group. He got 3 shots but didn't even cry, and had his iron retested, because at 9 mo it was low. This time it was 12.5, so very good. He minded the band aid on his finger more than any of the pokes, lol.

I also had his picture taken on Friday and it came out very nice. The pictures on the disk that I bought are off on the color, which disappoints me since it cost almost $15, but you can still see how cute he is :-)

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I love this one:
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Monday, August 08, 2005

A Few Thoughts

to add to my last post, in order to clarify to some readers who apparently are missing the point of that post, and of this blog:

1. This blog is about ME, not about the world and how I should work hard to make it a nicer place. As it happens, I generally do that (did I *say* that I was rude to my neighbor??? NO, because I was not; I let her in the house to use my phone, and said "you're welcome" when she left) but this blog is my little spot to vent my frustrations and anger when I need to. I am not here to have no-names lecture me on how to be nice.

2. I do think I "deserved" a thank you, as that is common courtesy; I do not think I deserve, nor do I want, "praise" for the favor I granted. What I would like is more sleep. I get very little of it, and I am not one of those people who can exist well on 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night. I do it, but not well.

3. Most importantly of all, I have heard from several other people as well as the anonymous commenter that in general it is assumed that a mother of small children will automatically be up at 6 am as a matter of course. WHAT? What gives people such an insane idea??? WHY would I be up anyway at that time of morning? (and by the way, in winter it is still dark at 6 am, and therefore qualifies in my book as still night) Ok, so let's go with the absurd idea that mothers of young children, who have gotten up 2 or 3 (or more) times already that night, will be up early (to cook a nutritious full course breakfast for her darlings, and wash dishes, and maybe throw in a load of wash in my spare time? Not in this house!) If so, wouldn't there be some lights on in my house? There were none on. If so, wouldn't I have answered the door after the first time the door bell rang? Or maybe the second or third? Somehow shouldn't she have gotten the message before the 17th time it rang???? And even if *I* were awake, and maybe some of the kids, is it a kind and thoughtful thing to do to make sure *everyone else* was up at 6 am???? Come on, you have to be a special kind of ignorant or insensitive to keep at the doorbell so insanely after it's clear that I am either not hearing you (i.e. alseep) or can't get to the door that quickly (maybe I have the baby on the changing table and can't come immediately without leaving a poopy baby to roll off the table, or maybe I am in the bathroom?)

Your lecture didn't do a lick of good, it only makes me more indignant. Next time sign your name.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A Great Start to the Day

I started my day at 6 am this morning. This doesn't count getting up at 5 am to nurse Levi, I still consider that the middle of the night (even though Chris was already in the shower when I got up). At 6 am, Caleb and Micah came running into my room to tell me the door bell was ringing. Sure enough it was. I asked, did Daddy lock himself out? (He has done this in the past but that is in the winter when he goes out to shovel his car out and wants to come back in and get his briefcase before he leaves.) No, not Daddy, someone else. So I drag myself out of bed, wondering who in the heck is at my door at this time of morning, and for what possible cause? It is my next door neighbor, who I have only met once before, when she came over to ask if Chris could trim the weeds around her fence because her lawnmower doesn't fit there. He does this regularly for her, she has never come back to say thank you. So here she is at my door. She has locked herself out of her house and needs to call her daughter to come let her back in. I'm so ticked off that I really want to say no, but how can I do that? So I point her to the phone and she calls her daughter. She already mumbled about how she keeps meaning to put a key outside somewhere but hasn't done it yet. I'm wondering myself why an older lady who lives alone does not have a cell phone for emergencies. I didn't say anything to her, though, and just hoped that she wouldn't make too much noise and wake up the rest of the kids.

After she left, and I tried to go back to bed while letting the kids watch a Thomas the Tank Engine dvd, I started to get angry. I was very tired, since I had only been up an hour before with Levi, and needed as much of the morning left to get what sleep I could, and she disturbed me, but that is not what really bothers me. What the heck was she thinking? I am not the only neighbor on the block! But I *AM* the only neighbor on the street with toddlers and babies! Could she wake up the older couple across the street who go out to mow their lawn at 7 am, they were probably up having coffee already anyway? Could she go to the house on the other side of her who only has one son who is 12 who could probably sleep through a tornado (or at least fall back to sleep after one!) But nooooooo, she rings the doorbell of the one person on this street who desperately needs all the snatches of sleep she can grab. The one house where the occupants are NOT likely to go back to sleep after being awakened anytime after 4:30 am. And let me tell you, she didn't just ring the doorbell and hope for the best. No, she rang it, and rang it, and when no one seemed to answer, she rang and rang and rang it. Super-obnoxiously. O. M. G. I am so ticked now. She barely apologized, and once in the house seemed to be glad for the chance to peek around and see what the inside looked like. She had already told me the last time she was over that she had never been inside. I am envious of the previous owner of this house.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

At This Point

I am just about ready to get a ball point pen and stick it in my ear and drain the darn thing myself! Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh I hate being half deaf! (well, half again as deaf as I already am, according to my lovely husband) When I bend over and hang my head upside down, it actually takes the pressure off my ear drum and I can hear pretty well, but it's not a very practical position for getting much done during the day. And really tough for driving ;-) Besides the huge headache from the blood rush, there's the view it leaves for everyone else to consider too LOL Anyway, I am taking it as a good sign that at least when I change positions I can feel a difference and movement of the fluid in my ear, and that maybe, just Maybe, it will clear up overnight? Oh please oh please oh please?

In answer to your question Lisa, of course I always beg them to stop, but usually not with my hands over my ears, and mostly while simultaniously putting them on /ignore so that I don't really notice if they have stopped or just started a new round.

And for a further aside, this /ignore thing is getting addictive and habitual with me. While we were in the doctor's office on Tuesday they were pretty rambunctious (that's a polite way to say obnoxious and loud and unruly) but it took seeing the look on one of the receptionist's faces to realize that something was going on that I needed to stop, namely climbing on chairs to make tunnels for brothers to walk under, which to the untrained eye screams "accident = liability" (to the trained eye it screams "people will think your kids are monsters = you're a rotten mother if you let them keep that up!")

Here's a Nifty New Development

Not only is my ear not better yet, it is worse. Today if feels like it is swollen (though visually it is not) and more stuffed than ever. On top of that I found out that now sounds at certain pitches resonate inside my ear and makes a sound in my head that is akin to the noise a microphone makes when it gets feedback. Plus my own voice and chewing echo like crazy. Can you visualize me holding my hands over my ears crying to my children "please please please Please PLEASE stop your whining and crying and screaming!!!!" I called the dr back this morning but she said I need to give the medicine at least one more day to unclog my ear before we try something different. I can bet you if it were HER ear, she'd be taking something stronger by now!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


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This past Sunday we drove the boys up to a cabin on the Susquehana River to see some friends of ours. We have been friends with this family since college, before any of us were married. Chris and Scott shared an apartment for a while, even, and had some classes together. When Chris and I hooked up again after graduation, he and Scott had both gotten jobs in the same town and were going to the same church. Debbie and I had babies together (my 10 yo is 3mos older than her 10 yo) and spent lots of time at church, working on their house (they bought a fixer upper), and just having fun together.

About 6 years ago Scott was lured away to a new job in North Carolina. It was so hard to see them go so far away; we knew we would only see each other once a year at most. Sometimes 2 years would pass by before we'd get a chance to see each other.

Last fall Debbie called me up and said "what would you think of us moving to New Zealand?" Truthfully, I just laughed out loud. These two have always talked about moving far away, but to someplace like Colorado or Oregon. New Zealand just sounds crazy! I guess a head-hunter had called Scott to try to recruit him to come down there to work. This is how they came to be living in Asheville, but at that time Scott was getting really run down and fed up with his current job. I guess he was feeling the same way again at his new job, but wow, New Zealand seems kind of extreme, you know? Well, I guess it sounded romantic too, because they decided to seriously consider it.

After looking into it, and actually going down there and interviewing for jobs, they decided to go for it! So this spring they sold their house and put all their furniture in storage, and today they are leaving us for their biggest adventure yet! By the end of the week they will become Kiwis! They said they are planning to be down there for 2-4 years at least, maybe more depending on how the kids are doing in school.

So this weekend, we got together one last time with all the kids, and just spent the day hanging out. We had such a good time, like always, and it was sad to go; it is hard to find such good friends. I am hoping 2 years goes by quickly. I know that when we see them again, it will be as though only months had passed instead of years. So Good Bye old friends! Have fun on your adventure!


Did I mention that the boys had all passed around a cold last week and that I ended up catching it? Well, I'm not sure now if it is the same as what they had or not, because I am soooo worse off than they got. I usually don't get very sick at all, but ugh I feel horrible. It started off with fever and went to sore throat. I tried to tough it out, and avoid going to the doctor, but Sunday night my ear plugged up and I could not get it to drain. It was annoying, being that I couldn't really hear out of that ear now, but it didn't really hurt, so I hoped that maybe it would clear up on its own.

But last night it started to bother me enough to keep me up at night, so this morning I found a doctor and made an appointment. When the doctor looked at it, her exact words were, I think, "Yuck!" LOL I guess it should have been hurting me more than I felt it. So now I have a prescription for amoxicillin (she said she could give me something stronger but since there is that small chance that I could be pg - WHAT? LOL When I said but we used that ahem oh so common and cheap otc form of birth control, she just laughed and said unless my tubes were tied or we weren't having sex at all, they consider there to be a chance. ROFL) and I am waiting for it to kick in. I took my first dose before dinner tonight and I confess, I was hoping to feel some difference by now. But obviously, since I am up at this time of night I am not feeling any better yet. Waahhh I sure hope dose #2 in the morning helps!