Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gotta Find My Game Face

OK, I no longer have any time to screw around. We are seriously in the holiday season, and I have a ton of stuff to accomplish, not least of which is a birthday party next weekend. I need to get my head together, gather my focus, and get a game plan.

But first, the updates:

Mark does NOT need surgery (thank the Lord). He is in a cast for four weeks. He chose a blue one because it matches his team colors. Go team! Patti was the first one to sign it, last night after the Brownie meeting. She wrote, "Thumbs Up, Big Guy!" :D [and he successfully took a shower last night, using an AquaShield cast protector they gave us at the doctor's office. LOVE. IT.]

Brownie meeting went well. We made *gorgeous* holiday cards to send to the troops through the Operation Gratitude program. My head was a little spinny by the end (too much activity over the last few days), but made it through just fine. A. was not there.

It's looking like I'm not going to get a detailed description of this past weekend's festivities. So here's a summary:

Friday we saw Santa get off the Coast Guard boat. He saw Kira (and me, behind her--did I mention I know Santa?) and said, "My, you're really growing right up!" She was THRILLED. Then we went to see him at his workshop, got a picture (Mark actually participated. I was shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. Kira was too shy to talk to him.). Took a horse-and-carriage ride through town. Popped into the toy store. Went to the Green Thumb (display was rather disappointing compared to previous years, but Kira loved it). Went to the tree lighting ceremony and had hot cocoa and sugar cookies. Mark took off at one point and I couldn't find him. Then while looking for him I couldn't find anyone else in the group, either. Whopping panic attack. Once all together, Kira decided to hunt down Santa, as she was determined to speak to him. Once we got to him (he said, "Hey, I saw you earlier!") all she could do was stare and kind of wave.

Saturday the Strand Cinema was showing a free surprise holiday film. They weren't telling what the movie was until it started. That was really fun. The movie turned out to be A Christmas Story. They showed Wile E. Coyote cartoons before they played the movie. It was great.

That night was the Parade of Lights, which was rather short, about 20 minutes, but the kids had fun.

I'll post some pictures, and then I really need to get myself going so I can map out a plan of attack for the next few days. mk

Look, it's almost a smile on Mark's face!
This is Molly. She's 18 years old, and weighs 1650 pounds.
They're waiting on me, I'd better get my butt up there!
My mom at Planet Toy. She likes hats.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One of those friggin' weeks

Yesterday sucked.

Got a call from the school, they were calling all the parents to let them know that one of the first-grade girl's mother had died that day as a result of a car accident on Sunday. The girl is one of my Brownies. Apparently she was in school, and didn't know yet that her mom had died. They were waiting to tell her after school. What made this even worse for me was knowing that Kira had passed out her birthday party invitations that morning, and A. would be going home all happy and excited about a party.

It was a single-car accident, early Sunday morning, as a result of speed and poor road conditions. There was frost on the roads, and it was icy. There was an article online in the newspaper, and the pictures of the car were horrible. My Brownie co-leader's husband is a volunteer firefighter, and he was part of the rescue team. He said the pictures don't cover how bad it was. It took an hour to get her out of the car. They had to cut the dashboard in half to free her leg.

Anyway, the school was calling the parents so we would have a chance to tell our kids when they came home. The guidance counselor will be available today (and will apparently be spending most of the day in Kira's class, as that is the class that will be the most affected). When the kids came home, the very first thing out of Kira's mouth was: "Guess what? A. says she'll probably be able to come."

The kids took the news well. We moms are having a harder time with it. I've talked to a few yesterday, and we are all in shock.

I was so afraid of possible reactions from Kira. What if she refused to go to school, because A. went to school Monday morning and her mom was alive, and got home from school and her mommy was dead. Would Kira get extra clingy? How do I assure my kids that this wouldn't happen to me? How would Mark react?

Like I said, they took it well. Kira said that A. must be really, really sad. Then she asked how the car accident happened. (I didn't know then.) That was pretty much it. Kira went off to make snowflakes.

Mark spent a half-hour at MarkS's yesterday and while he was there I stopped next door at Patti's. While we were processing it with each other, our girls were running around happily shrieking. Patti and I aren't sure how today's Brownie meeting will go, whether A. will be in school today or not. It could go either way.

So then I took Mark to basketball practice. Fifteen minutes later, the phone rings. It's Amy, the team mom, and Mark has dislocated his thumb and could I pick him up.

So off to the ER we go. Mark's crying, he's hysterical at the idea that they're going to put it back in joint and it's going to hurt. He finally calms down a bit. They took a set of X-rays to be sure there was no fracture. The doctor examined it, tried to get it back in joint but it wouldn't go. Apparently it was a complex dislocation, which meant that there was possibly some cartilage that had slipped in the socket preventing the bone from going back in properly. He put two shots of a local anesthetic in and tried again, and was successful (another set of X-rays to check), although the orthopedic guy on call said that Mark needs to come in today to his office to get checked out to see if there needs to be any followup surgery(!). Meanwhile, Mark's in a hard splint up to his elbow, and his basketball season is over. If he doesn't need surgery, he'll be in the splint for 4-6 weeks, the ER doctor said.

So today I'm sending him to school, but calling the orthopedic specialist first thing this morning, and then I'll have to pull Mark out at some point to go there. There's a Brownie meeting after school today that I'll probably have to miss, and an away game that Mark is going to miss (although he still chose to wear game-day clothes to school today).

Oh, and this morning there were TWO mice trapped in the kitchen, including one in the cupboard.

sigh. mk

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Water, Water Everywhere.....

So today has been the Day of Two Water Problems. (so far. knock heavily on wood.) First, when I came downstairs this morning, from my dining room I could hear a very loud hssssssssssss coming from the basement. Ever calm, my first thought was Holy shit! I've got a gas leak or something and as soon as the furnace kicks on my entire house is going to blow up! So I booked it to the basement stairwell and turned off the emergency furnace breaker. Whew. Crisis averted. But still hearing the hiss. Headed down the stairs, to discover that there was a pretty big leak spurting from the water tank area. (but at least it's not a gas leak or something! No explosions!) Further investigation, a phone call to my dad, and I shut down the main circuit breaker so the water pump would shut off and stop the leak. (had I been thinking more clearly, I would have first gotten a flashlight and my cell phone, as hitting the circuit breaker left me down in the cellar in the dark with a dead cordless phone in my hand.) Anyway, it turned out to be a shutoff valve leak, dad picked up a new one, installed it (I totally could have done that), and it was all fixed. Yay!

However, I think this was the last straw on Water Problem #2's back. After Dad left, went to go throw in a load of laundry, and the cold water was only barely trickling into the washer. Fortunately, I have actually had (and fixed) this problem before, so I pulled out the washer, disconnected the cold water pipe (remembering *this* time to shut off the water supply to the washer...who says you don't learn from past mistakes?), removed the filter screen, which was pretty much totally clogged with rusty chunks and hard water deposits. A quick wash at the kitchen faucet, reinstall, hook stuff back up and voila! all better.

What's cool about these two problems is that a) they were both quick fixes and b) total cost $5. It *has* thrown me off-rhythm a little bit, but still. It's a bit empowering to know that I've repaired my own plumbing problem today (and I totally could have done the other one, I had even told Dad exactly what the problem was, but he didn't believe me and had to come see for himself. I was, of course, right.). Combine that with the router I installed on my computer yesterday and the router I installed on *Dad's* computer on Thanksgiving (AFTER my computer-specialist aunt had spent five hours trying to get it installed....and I just gave it a try while she was in the shower, and got it on my first attempt....bwahahahahahaaaa), oh, and fixing the car door on the van on Friday (I don't know HOW I fixed it, but that's kind of irrelevant, isn't it?)....I'm feeling a little kickass.

I haven't forgotten about telling all about our festivities on Friday and Saturday....just don't have time at the moment. Need to go get the laundry switched over etc. I'll get back to you later. Promise. mk

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I Survived! (aren't you all relieved)

Well, the kickoff to the holiday season has been successfully completed. It has been a busy (and exhausting) few days.

Thanksgiving was very nice, not a lot to say there. Went home in the late afternoon, *should* have gone to bed early, did not, stayed up for CSI and Shark. I have an alarm clock where you can set two different alarms (very useful, I love that option). Alarm1 is always set for weekdays at 6:30am. Alarm2 is the one that I change around depending on when I need to get up. So I set that one for 3:30am. Shows over at 11, I figure I was sound asleep by 11:30.

At 12:20am, my alarm clock went off. Apparently there is some surprise Alarm3 that is cued to go off when you are just reaching REM-sleep the night before you have to get up at an insanely early hour and are already only going to have 4 hours of sleep. Seriously, though, it was a freaky thing. I checked both alarm settings, and they were NOT for 12:20. Nowhere on that thing could I find any reason for the alarm going off at that time. So of course, my next thought was Holy shit, I am going to find out tomorrow that someone DIED at that particular moment. (you will be almost as relieved as I am that I did not, in fact, hear about any deaths yesterday, or even today for that matter.)

So, back to sleep until Alarm2 did its job and woke me at 3:30. (yes, Elise, I DID actually get up then!) I was in line by 4:15 for the 5:00 opening. And was definitely not the first person there. But considering that the line ended up winding along the entire length of the building and then halfway up the parking lot, I was okay with where I was in line. Store opened, I got the bike and a few other items, checked out, and on my way to the second store. It was at that point 5:30, with a 6:00 open at the second store. There were four people ahead of me. So needless to say, no problems there. They opened five minutes early, too. By 6:20, I had gotten all the shopping done, had gone to Dunkin for some Munchkins, and was at my folks' house.

Still had the whole rest of the day ahead of me with lots o' activities, too. yeehaw.

I'd tell ya all about it, but I'm still exhausted, so I'm going to bed. More to come. mk

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bring on Black Friday!

Well, for the (third?) year, I will be attending the Black Friday sales locally. Fortunately, in our small-town region, we don't get a lot of BFpsychos who will pull out your hair or shoot you if you get the last $1 Barbie. Add this to the fact that this year I'm not even getting any "hot" electronics, and I think I shall survive the madness. Of course, I'm still getting up at 3:30am so I can get a good spot in line. You never know how many other people will be out there to get the $40 mountain bike at WalMart (that and the $20 NetGear router at Staples are my main goals). My parents are still deciding whether they want to go for the $200 stainless-steel gas grill.

Naturally, because I will be a zombie by about 9am from a combination of getting up too early and the stress of shopping, I will have no chance of a nap at all tomorrow. Following the completion of my Black Friday shopping, we have a full line-up of Christmas kickoff activities. We have Santa getting off the Coast Guard boat. We will then actually meet with Santa to discuss this year's gift list. I will unsuccessfully attempt to coax Kira into sitting on Santa's lap for a picture. Mark will slouch in the background. We will then load the kids and my sister onto the horse-drawn wagon ride 'round town. Will probably make an ill-considered stop in the local toy store to "just look around." Then a trip to a local nursery that does a totally kick-ass holiday display, different each year. At some point we will stuff food into the children. At dark-ish, we will join many other townsfolk for the lighting of "tree" made of lobster traps. Yes, it's a 32-foot tall lobster trap tree. I am not kidding. The "star" is a neon lobster. On the plus side, they serve free hot cocoa and giant sugar cookies. And the last couple of years, I have gotten to watch my daughter (and my mother) waltz 'round the town square to the tinny sound of piped-in Christmas carols. It is wonderful.

Anyway. All that, and then Friday night is "our shows" for me & Mark: Ghost Whisperer, Close to Home, and our favorite, Numb3rs. So come Saturday morning, I fully intend to SLEEP IN.

So anyway. Wish me luck on my shopping venture, and making it through the day's fun. And it really IS fun. I'll check in probably Saturday with results and, if you're lucky, PICTURES!

Some pictures from last year:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nothing to see here folks, move along

My life, for all its random running-around, is really quite boring lately. At least for those who are not markira.

I mean, *I'm* totally psyched to sit there on the bleachers and watch the boys run around and shoot baskets. But it's not like any of them are Michael Jordan or anything, so it's really not that interesting for anyone else. Even though one of the team members is like freaky-scary-attractive, in an I-only-mean-this-objectively-because-I-am-NOT-a-pedophile kind of way. It's just that he *so* does not look fourteen, and I am sure that his poor mom is having a heart attack about it. I say this with complete sympathy, because if MARK had those kind of muscles, and did that hair-tossing thing that this kid does, with those total bedroom eyes going on, and flirted with EVERY SINGLE GIRL in the seventh and eighth grade, I would absolutely feel the need to either lock him in his room forever, or heavily, HEAVILY invest in saltpeter. Fortunately, Mark is entirely too much of a geek still to attract that kind of attention. WHEW. But it does add an extra element of interest to the basketball games.

And I'm sure that everyone is entirely maxed out on hearing cute-Girl-Scout-stories, even if I *had* any, which I don't particularly, even though it seems that entirely too much of my time is sucked into the Girl Scout stratosphere, especially when you consider that we only meet every *other* week. Yet I am somehow always working on Girl Scout stuff. Huh.

I'm not really sure where all of my time disappears to. Because these two activities have somehow drained me totally these last few weeks. Well, that and the housework and the bills that have to wait to get paid because X's place of employment seems to still be unable to actually send child support payments in a timely fashion despite having four years of practice at it. Plus we have the new therapist that I have so far had one session with, and have my second tomorrow. I'm not sure how well this is going to work out, but am willing to give it the ol' college try (how long do we get to say that when we graduated 13 years ago? Is this like a lifelong phrase we have free access to? What do you say after the expiration date on that?)

And yes, I am babbling, and no, I really have nothing at all of significance to say.

Oh, quick funny. Or at least, *I* got a chuckle, but in my present state of mind, that means very little. I was reading a Michael Crichton book called Airframe, which deals heavily with all the wonderful things that can go wrong with airplanes. Picked this book up secondhand. And towards the end, I found that the previous owner had left a bookmark in it. Which airplane ticket stub. What kind of IDIOT reads about airplane dysfunctions anytime surrounding a flight? Anyway, I got a chuckle.

Now I'm going back to reading another Michael Crichton, which I have just discovered (five pages in) that I have *already* read (I HATE that, but I can't remember all the books I've read just by title, or even the plot summary on the back/front insert, so it occasionally happens that I get duplicates). I had this just happen to me with (yet another) Michael Crichton, Rising Sun. I'm seriously considering tanking this one and going on to a Ken Follett I have upstairs, Key to Rebecca.

OK, so now that I've bored everyone, including myself, to tears, I'm off. mk

Friday, November 17, 2006

Onset of the Kid-Ghost

I can already tell....I will no longer see Mark in any location other than his bedroom, except perhaps for fleeting glimpses as he makes quick jaunts to the refrigerator, or perhaps the bathroom.

He brought the laptop home from school today.

As part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, Mark's school has an Apple PowerBook G4 for each student in the 6th, 7th & 8th grades. This is the first year that the 6th graders have had them, and a special school board meeting had to be held to amend the policies to allow for it. The kids are assigned a particular laptop at the beginning of the year, and after the parents have had a short training session (and paid $25 for insurance), the kids can bring them home.

The program has been going for a few years, and was just renewed. The older laptops were kept, and are being used in the younger grades, although those kids can't bring them home. So Kira, who is in first grade, is also getting some laptop experience in school.

Mark's upstairs right now creating a slideshow.

And holy cow next week when I pick up the wireless router. mk

Monday, November 13, 2006

Small Town Shopping SUCKS

Mark wears glasses. As a result, when he is playing sports, it is recommended that he either wear sports goggles, or have a sports strap for his regular glasses. Last year I picked one up for him, that I think he wore *once*, and then it disappeared. I somehow managed to find it over the summer (I have NO idea how...but it probably had something to do with him absolutely not needing it at that time). His basketball coach this year specifically requested that he wear one.

SO. He wore it for his first game. The next game he was with his dad. I sent the sports strap. This game, mind you, was LAST WEDNESDAY. This morning, I'm doing the double-check that he has all his gear for tonight's game (I know you see this coming):

mk: Basketball uniform?
Mark: Got it.
mk: Clean socks?
Mark: Um.....yeah.
mk: Basketball sneakers?
Mark: In my backpack.
mk: Sports strap?
Mark: ummmm....I think it's in my sneaker. [note: this is Mark's idea of safekeeping.]
mk: I want to SEE it.

Mark goes to get it. Brings it to me, along with his backpack and ONE sneaker.
Mark: It's broken.

It was indeed broken. Missing a piece, even. Which could not be located. SO, being the dedicated mom that I am, I go once again in search of a new sports strap.

Mind you, I did this search when basketball first started, when we could not initially find the one from last year, which thankfully showed up just in the nick of time. But meanwhile, I had searched at Reny's, TJMaxx, WalMart (sports AND jewelry sections), JCPenney (you never know, and I was there anyway). No luck.

So today I searched WalMart again (even though I have checked each of the probably dozen times I have been there since basketball started). Looked at Olympia Sports. Shaw's Supermarket (the guy at Olympia said that's where his dad always got them). Midcoast Optical. None of these places even CARRY them. Even the GLASSES STORE!!! I have now checked, over the course of a couple of weeks, seven different stores in a tri-town area, with absolutely zero luck.

However, while I was doing the grocery shopping (and mentally thinking about somehow supergluing the glasses to his hair or something), I desultorily glanced through the health and beauty aids department at Hannaford....and FOUND THEM.

The stupid things were $1.39.

I bought all of them. mk

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Are you Cool?

Grrl Genius just made a post I love. It's about letting go of your Perfectionism. Specifically in this one, I focussed on the Coolness Perfectionism.

My comment to her basically said that as mom of a preteen, I will now be automatically denied any rights to coolness by my very existence, so I might as well embrace my inner geek and enjoy myself with my uncoolness. I've never actually BEEN "cool," but my perfectionist tendencies have internally berated me with this failure every minute of every day for so long it has now become ingrained. I am in a constant state of comparison with everyone I see, invariably to my detriment.

But what IS "Cool?" Is it the wearing of current fashion? Or is the totally unselfconscious grabbing of whatever is clean and just going with it? Is it the most expensive haircut, spending an hour applying makeup every day? Or is it a shrug and a ponytail & lipgloss? We've been trained by the media to think that poses and pouts are what makes cool.

The people I envy the most are the ones who are comfortable in their own skin. Who don't feel the need to follow every trend, chasing the cool factor. People who wear what they wear for the fun and function, not in a desperate attempt to fit in. People who talk because they have something to say, not just to make noise. People who laugh at their mistakes, shrug, and move on, instead of freezing in the total horror of a misstep. THIS is what I think is "Cool."

I know a lot of "Cool" people. I'm not one of them. But this different "cool factor" is something to strive for. So, are YOU cool? mk

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dang, I need a nap. Also, boring shopping post.

It's a rainy yucky day here, just the best type of day to curl up with a good book and some cocoa. Or to take a nap. Or both.

I have been productive today, although not in any form of housework. This morning Mark discovered that he had exactly one collared shirt that still fits him. And he didn't like it. He needs to wear a collared shirt and a pair of not-jeans on game days, so this was a little disconcerting to discover. So he put on a short-sleeved plaid madras shirt that he wore for school pictures TWO YEARS AGO. It is a 10/12. (See my Freak Boy post about how Mark is currently in a 16.) Nothing I said convinced him to wear the shirt that actually fits him, that he apparently no longer likes, although he has worn it several times this year. I did prevail on the pants, since the ones he originally had on with the teeny shirt were tan jeans, and they have to be not-jeans. (and while he is gone today and tomorrow those tan jeans are going to disappear. Again with the too short.)

So I had shopping to do. Collared shirts and not-jeans. And I discovered that he is at a really annoying size, where a man's size small is too big, but a boys' XL is too small. And then if I *did* find something that looked like it might actually fit him, it was usually butt-ugly. Or out of budget. Or, often, both. I went to four stores and managed to find two pairs of not-jeans, and five shirts. (Local shopping options suck.) I hope to hell it all fits and meets with the approval of Mr. Mark, 'cause I do NOT want to be running all over the place doing returns.

The OTHER productive thing I did was FINALLY get my ass down to the clinic and set up an appointment with a therapist. I will meet with her on Tuesday. It would be reallyreallyreally great if we "clicked" and I could get on track with some therapy, as I have been out of it for I think three years and that is far too long. It was much easier to do than I had feared, I had gotten it built up into this huge mountain of an issue that was blocking me from getting it done.

NOW I am going to go find something to eat, as that hasn't happened yet today and the body is definitely protesting that oversight. I'm trying to avoid the nap that I am desperately craving, in hopes that I will then actually be able to sleep tonight, as I got about two and a half hours of really bad nightmare-ridden sleep last night.

Off. mk

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

And the first game is a W

Boys had their first game tonight. They won, 41-8. Mark scored 4 of those 41 points, and assisted in at least 4 more. He did really well for his first game, and for being the youngest boy on the team. Mama was proud. :D

I had us stay for the girls' game afterwards, even though it isn't a requirement. The girls lost. 30-9. It was interesting to watch them in comparison to the boys, because while the girls weren't as skilled with ball handling, they were MUCH more willing to take it to the ground wrestling over the ball.

Tabitha King wrote a fantastic book that focusses a lot on high school basketball (among other, um, high school "sports"), called One on One. It's my favorite of Tabitha's books. If it weren't for some of the more "mature" subject matter that is intertwined throughout the entire book, I would have Mark read it just for the basketball descriptives. [side note: Tabitha is an excellent author. I highly recommend her books, with the exception of Small World, which is just odd. But her other stuff is excellent. side side note: Her sister Marcella was my high school Spanish teacher. And yes, Tabitha is Stephen King's wife. But her writing style is completely different and totally worth your time. Check her out.]

Anyway. I've got some stuff to do, including getting Mark's uniform washed, as he has another game tomorrow after school. That one's an away game. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna take a miss on that one, mostly due to my car being rather unreliable at this point. I could probably catch a ride with another parent, but I'm not really comfortable with that quite yet. X is going to the game. The height of weird would be if I caught a ride to the game with HIM. Not even gonna ask. (although it would be very interesting to hear how he would phrase the refusal. Because I think he would rather have surgery without anesthesia rather than be trapped in a car with me for a couple of hours.)

Gone. mk

Friday, November 03, 2006


Cars are a lot like toddlers when they're sick. As soon as you take them to the doctor, there is no sign of illness. Couldn't be healthier.

Just got my Intrepid back from several days at the mechanic, during which it never once exhibited the behavior that brought it there (refusal to start at irregular intervals with increasing frequency). (And in fact, it started up and I DROVE IT to the mechanic.) Every time Mike went out, it started right up. So we brought it back home, and I have been cautiously driving it around this week, and it has been behaving beautifully, reliably starting every single time I go out to drive it. For four whole days. I truly do love my car when it's working.

So tonight when we went out to pick up Mark from basketball practice, Kira says as she is climbing in, "So, Mom, do you trust your car now?"

And it wouldn't start.

Kira jinxed it. mk

p.s. When we got BACK from basketball practice, I tried it again and it started right up. I think it is out to get me. mk

Freak boys

One of the other basketball moms was asking me the other day what size feet Mark has. He's about a 9 right now. So she said that she had a pair of Nike basketball sneakers that her son Justin had worn for about a week and was complaining that they hurt his feet, and she'd give them to me if I wanted. They were 9.5. I said sure, that'd be great. (later checked the fit of the Nike basketball sneakers that Mark is currently wearing, and he's about ready to grow out of the 9's, so this is awesome to have the extras.)

So anyway, ran into her tonight when I was dropping Mark off at practice, and she said she had the shoes with her, because she took Justin down today to get new ones. And then she said, "No wonder he said they hurt his feet. The ones we got today are 11.5's." He was wearing sneakers TWO SIZES too small.

Now, for those who have not had preteen/teenage boys, you may be thinking, What an incredibly neglectful/unobservant mother to not notice that her son needed new shoes! How cruel! How awful!

Well, let me tell you. Boys at this age grow at an absolutely freakish rate. Mark grew an inch a month during July and August. He started the school year (September, mind you) wearing a 14, and some 12's. He is now in a 16. About every other day he comes downstairs wearing a pair of jeans that fit at the beginning of the school year, that are now way too short. He was wearing 6.5 shoes at the beginning of the summer, and is now in 9 or 9.5. And he is ELEVEN.

Freaks, I tell you. mk

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cannot think of Title

I'm more than a little fuzzy-brained today (hence the complete inability to think of a title for today's entry), but I do know that once again I have found something better to do than the enormous mountain of laundry that continues to grow and grow until it will eventually fill the entire house.

I am going to the hospital to visit Nevan.

My very good friend Claire delivered her baby on Oct 23rd, unexpectedly. Six weeks early. He was born at Maine Med in Portland, but has now been transferred to PenBay, so I'm gonna go check him out now that he's had a couple of days to settle in.

Having no idea what I can do that will be comforting or helpful to a preemie (I'm sure just my mere presence is not nearly enough), I'm going to go make a fresh salad for Claire. I'm sure her life has been filled with take-out and cafeteria food in the last week, which is no way for a new mom to take care of herself. So I will force-feed her vegetables, making sure to omit the tomatoes that she hates. I will probably also bring her fresh fruits.

If anyone has any experience at all with preemie moms, could you make some suggestions for ways I can help/show support? My mind is a blank. mk

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day After

Well, we survived last night. It was a little hectic after school. Mark had basketball practice from 5-6:30. This seriously screwed up the plans for the night. So, as soon as the kids got off the bus, I popped Kira into her costume, we headed out for the 15-mile drive to spend 5 minutes visiting my sister, then another few minutes at the old daycare, then to my grandparents' house, then to my parents', then (already running late to get back to the school for basketball) at my friend Tracey's parents' house, then had to stop back at the house so Mark could change into shorts & shirt, rush to the school to deliver him to practice 10 minutes late, fly to Eddie's house to drop off the goodie bags that are a tradition, then 10 minute drive to Camden to do the trick-or-treating. Were *supposed* to meet up with Patti and her kids, but they were running late and I had my berserker schedule to keep to, so it didn't work out and Kira and I were on our own. The first couple of houses Kira was very nervous, but then the ladies at the door went nuts on how adorable and creative her costume was (we got a lot of that last night), and she was golden. Had a hard time holding her back, actually.

We didn't get to t-0-t very long, and had to stop midway down Pearl St. in order to do the other side and get back to the car. And because I was wearing stupid shoes that were great for walking, but not for any faster pace (note to self: wear sneakers next year), we wound up being 10 minutes late picking up Mark from basketball. (which he was fine with, and he wasn't the last kid there, so that's ok)

Home before seven, and then feed the kids, get showers, wade through the mountains of treats to bring them to some semblence of order, and then collapse. Whew.

The sour point of the evening was a phone fight with my parents. I fielded about a billion calls from my mom throughout the day, asking me whether I had gotten in touch with Patti, what my plans were, whether Kira was going to be doing Camden with Patti, etc etc. (which did NOT help my frame of mind, I already had enough pressure, and she was adding to it, but whatever) Anyway, they called WHILE I was trick-or-treating to remind me that I had to pick up Mark (like I didn't already KNOW this), and then AGAIN to ask whether I was on my way back to get him (which I wasn't, and I *knew* I was running late at that point). You know that point where you aren't actually late yet, but you know that no matter what you do, you *will be* late, because there just is not physically enough time to do what you need to do before you get to where you need to be? That's where I was. So I cut the call a little short, because talking was distracting me from my mission, which was to get Kira back to the car. (it was dark, there were tons of people, I had a phone in one hand and a flashlight in the other, which left no spare hand for Kira. Jettison the phone call.) Promised to call once I was in the car.

Made promised phone call, so that they could each get on an extension and tag-team berate me for being late. I was saying "it's okay" and Dad started with "MARK'S not okay, he's waiting" and I just cut him right off with "I AM GOING AS FAST AS I CAN, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO????" At which point *HE* gets all offended and decides he needs to get off the phone. So I snapped, "Fine. Goodbye." and hung up.

So there will be awkwardness the next time I talk to them. Yay. I actually DREAMED about this last night. I dreamed that they apologized, saying that they realized that I was doing the best I could, that I was only one person, and that they knew that yelling at me while I was in the car on the way to pick Mark up was not helpful, and that in fact I WAS a grownup and didn't need their lecturing. Sigh. It was a nice dream. Won't happen, of course.

Impossible Timeline markira Had to Keep:
3:00 kids get off bus
3:30 in car, ready to go, Kira completely costumed (we made this one)
3:50 at sister's, to be followed by:
grandparents (4:15) <== we got stuck here, visited longer than anticipated
parents (arrived there at 4:35)
Tracey's parents
pick up McDonald's (this didn't happen)
15 minute drive back to house (so needed to leave Rockland by 4:40 at latest--didn't)
stop at house for Mark to change clothes (did not take into account poky-ness of child)
5:00 drop Mark at basketball practice (5:10-5:15)
5:05 drop off goodie bags to Eddie's (5:25)
5:15 arrive Camden (actually arrived around 5:40)
6:15 leave Camden (left 6:30)
6:30 pick up Mark from practice (6:40)

Anyway. I'm off. I think sneaking a mini-snickers will help. mk