11 Hour Drive

November 30, 2010 by Rieshy



 It's an entire mongo-sized bucket of animal crackers, 6 bathroom stops, a package of Twizlers and 4 million pictures taken with my husband's phone... and 11 hours, of course.

I was not along for the ride.  My husband journeyed to and fro, solo.  Without whining.  He had fun.

I love him.

Now I just need to vacuum out the van.


Birthdays and Beyond

November 25, 2010 by Rieshy

I know that today I should have some sort of sentimental Thanksgiving post.  However I don't have a turkey in the oven for the first Thanksgiving in 23 years, so I'm not smelling the sentiment.

I am thankful though.  Thankful that my 18 yo son put the moral of the movie, "Beauty and The Beast" in a nutshell for me, "If your boyfriend is abusive and has anger management issues, don't worry, he'll magically get better." Maybe not a romantic nutshell, but a funny one.

5 of my kids are off visiting Grandma.  Yes, she is the best Grandmother in the world.  My two year old got to shoot a bee-bee gun today.  Does life get better than that?  Or actually, does life get better than having your two year old have the fun of shooting a gun without having to see it happen?  Starting to feel the Thanksgiving.

Oh, wait my two year old turned 3 today and my 8 year old turned 9 on Tuesday.  More Thanksgiving.

With my little ones away I set up my loom in the middle of the living room and warped it, all in one morning.  I got up and wove in the middle of the night for several hours and then slept in.  Can you hear the almost hysterical joyous giggle? Definite Thanksgiving, no turkey required.

My 16 yo bought me a huge Toblerone candy bar that we are all eating off of.  We had bacon, cream cheese and bagels for breakfast. The three of us left at home are practically rolling in fatty foods- all forbidden when the Littles, with their medical diet, are around.  Mmmmm, Toblerone.

I miss my younger kids though.

Speaking of my 2 birthday boys with their birthdays just two days apart.

Ben, just 6 at the time, spent some time pondering the eventuality of a shared birthday.  He came to me one morning to let me know that it would work fine to have the baby during his birthday party because,  
"Everyone can get here and then after we have the cake you can go in your bedroom and have the baby and then come out afterward with the baby for the opening of my birthday gifts."

Wasn't that sweet?  It actually sort of worked out that way.  Except there was no cake.

I think I'll go eat some more Toblerone.


Answering The Hard Questions

November 18, 2010 by Rieshy

My 4 year old, "I know Woody is a guy with his hand in a puppet.  But what is Woody made of?"

Um.  Thank you, Toy Story 3

We are going to see a local high school's production of Beauty and the Beast tonight.  I borrowed a copy of the Disney movie so my 4 yo would know the story.  Yes, I realize that was lazy.  I should have read the boys a translation from the French or at least the Norse version I have on my den shelf.  Alas, I choose to cook supper while the movie ran. 

My 2 year old's main dialog about the Beast, "He's mean.  He's mean.  He's mean. Hey, He's Nice Now."  My 4 year old wanted to know why the Beast was suddenly nice.

"Belle is a volatile human element that disables the Beast’s de-humanistic regard."

Explain that quickly and coherently to a 4 year old.  Maybe he became nice simply because he suddenly looked like Fabio.  -It was an early 90's movie after all.

A truly difficult question is: what exactly about Disney version of Beauty and the Beast drives my husband and older boys so absolutely crazy? So crazy that we all have to endure lectures about weary archtypes and poor reasoning skills? 

Maybe it's just because the Beast turns into Fabio.


What Are The Chances?

November 17, 2010 by Rieshy

First off, a rant.  Why do manufacturers of children's underwear put the picture of the action hero on the back?  Do they not understand that the child wants to see the hero?  Do the manufacturers not care that little boys everywhere run around wearing their underwear backwards, insisting it is in fact on right?  Do they realize that backwards-little-boy-underwear cannot, in any way, be comfortable or hygenic?

The end.


Last week my 4 year old And my 2 year old had an ear infection in their right ears.  Both of them.

Last week my 4 year old And my 2 year old's right eardrum ruptured, within hours of each other, and within hours of seeing the doctor.  Both of them.

Last week my 4 year old was playing with my 2 year old, doing an illegal spinning move on our piano stool.  Both of them.

Scalp wounds bleed.  Profusely.

Last week, after a week of viral illness capped with ruptured eardrums and scalp wounds, my boys were able to recupperate at home.  No hospital, no D10, less drama.  Both of them.


Our Thanksgiving plans are complicated and not set yet.  However it appears it may include me having 3 full consecutive nights of sleep.  3 nights in a row.  3 nights without gettting up to give nighttime meds. or feedings.  I'm rolling the meaning of consecutive about in my brain with cautious delight.


For The Record

November 14, 2010 by Rieshy

I bought a bushel of apples last Sunday and 8 gallons of milk.

My 11 yo decided to learn to bake pies.
She baked every other day.  We are enthusiastic about her new specialty.

The kids munched apples every few hours.

Over the course of the week I baked 5 loaves of bread and 60 rolls, cooked stews and soups. My 14 yo roasted chicken and veggies.  My 11 yo baked cinnamon rolls.  Then there were the pinto beans with Spanish rice. The sausage. The home made calzones. The pb&j sandwiches, the banana smoothies, veggies, a friend bearing pizzas, a youth group cook-out, cereal, yogurt...

It's Saturday night and the bushel basket is empty; my 8 yo just informed me that he is, "Starving."

I vacillated between responding with an incredulous guffaw or responding with thankful awe for our abundant larder..

For the record: I decided on guffaw and awe.


Interpreting Motherhood

November 10, 2010 by Rieshy

A Handy Short List Of Catch-phrases, Interpreted:

  • "Here Momma."- means that something disgusting and/or sticky is about to be handed to you, disgusting side up.
  • "We didn't mean to but..."- means that while you were out, rambunctious roughhousing or fighting occurred, and something sentimentally important to you was broken.
  • "Don't worry Mom, I'm O.K." - means that the car is NOT.
  • "Everyone in the class had a really hard time with the test."- means that your particular child got a frighteningly and unacceptably low grade on said test.
  • In the middle of the night if you hear, "Mom, I feel weird."- means that you need to fetch a bucket, pronto.
  • "I finished cleaning my room."- means "I desperately hope Mom is willing to accept a very loose interpretation of the idea of "a clean room."
  • "Don't worry Mom, it's not that bad." when spoken by a teen clutching a body part- means a trip to the E.R.

Andrew Peterson - Dancing In The Minefields (Official...

November 9, 2010 by Rieshy

I'd never heard of this band before- but I love the imagery of the lyrics.  My husband and I married young, in fact our 23 rd wedding anniversary is coming up.  

I plan on dancing with Greg for a good many more decades.  I'm just hoping for a few less medical minefields. 


Well rats, it looks like the link won't work directly- but you can click again and it will take you to the music video on U-Tube.




November 8, 2010 by Rieshy

Since it is medically imperative that my 4 year old eat every two hours, he of course, has never been a huge fan of eating.  I've heard lots of excuses over the past few years for why he can't eat, some are strange, some are funny, all are aggravating.  Yesterday I heard a fairly original one.  He claimed he could not eat because, "My left eye hurts and it makes me not able to eat... unless I watch a movie first."

Parenting is all about a good poker face.

Speaking of my 4 year old, I had to laugh last night when I was tucking him into bed.  Hanging on the wall over his pillow is a colored in picture of William The Silent.  Last year it was crayon monsters adorning his wall.  This year it's 16th century Dutch leaders.  Next year??


I'm sitting in the catbird seat today.  All my sick kiddos seem to be on the mend, take that, oh you dratted virus!  But even better, two dear friends have asked if I will "train" them to be able to take care of my chronically ill children in case my husband is out of town while I have to be in the hospital with one child.

Why Yes!  I will.

I'm feeling loved.  It's better than coffee.


Patience, Now

November 5, 2010 by Rieshy

My 2 year old has been running a low grade fever for a couple of days.  Anytime I put him down he's wandered behind me with his arms raised, casting a plaintive 3 foot shadow.  How many things can I not get done with my personal and beseeching 3 foot shadow?

I think I ought to blame Craig Evans for teaching about Patience recently. Thanks Craig.

I don't actually mind the shadow.  It's a sweet shadow that turns 3 years old this month.

Back to the fever.  My 2 yo's blood sugars have not been affected; he's so much stronger than my 4 year old.  An old fashioned cold- how utterly refreshing.  The prescription is cuddling, fluids and love: all things I have in spades.

It's such a joy to be able to care for my sick little one without I.V.'s and fear and waiting rooms.

The fact that my 2 year old constantly steals his 4 year old brother's cup, the fact that his cold/fever germs are everywhere is a fact that makes me think of patience.   When I was younger I always thought of patience as being the frame of mind with which we wait for something to happen.

Patience defined as a binding psychological empty space, a negative...

My 4 year old's body has never been able to handle a virus that causes an extended period of fever without requiring a hospital stay.  I don't know whether Jack will catch this cold.  If he does, I don't know whether his body will be able to handle it.  I've been learning that patience means not having to know.

Patience, in short, as the complete opposite of my earlier understanding.  Patience doesn't bind, it means living... now.  Living with freedom and joy.


How I Learned Mortality

November 2, 2010 by Rieshy

During middle school I received a speedometer as a gift for my 10 speed.  Yes, that was back when you proudly referred to your bike as, "my 10 speed," in order to differentiate yourself from the hoi polloi who were still riding around on bannana seated bikes with flags flying off the back post. 

I did what any self respecting, immortal, new owner of a speedometer would do.  I rode my bike at top speed to the top of the longest, steepest hill I knew of.  It happened to be the campus entrance to a graduate school.  The graduate school being at the bottom of the hill with the entry drive curving gently around into a parking lot.

That's when I learned that roads that gently curve at 15-20 mph actually come to a dead end when you are going + 55 mph.  To say that my life flashed before my eyes would be a lie.  The only thought in my mind after, "Wow, I just hit 50," was, "Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Thankfully my stop, which involved the destruction of some lawn, low growing bushes, and a fair amount of exposed skin was not-witnessed by any adult, and I was able to limp home.... bruised and non-lectured.

Of course I was not that quick on the uptake.  I had to test my mortality in a few more ways which included:
  • playing horse-back tag in a muddy and soggy pasture, bareback and without reigns- oh, in a pasture surrounded by an electric fence, a rather powerful electric fence as I found out.
  • running home in an electrical storm (mostly) avoiding the lightning.
  • Body surfing in the ocean during rip-tides without paying quite enough attention to the jetties.
I have to stop the list, I'm starting to have a belated panic attack and my children occasionally read my blog. 

The funny thing is that every one of these things happened when I was with the same friend.  I can't even blame her.  She was not a risk-junky.  I think all these stupid actions were my idea.

Wow, I was the friend I don't want hanging out with my children...

The advantage of all my stupid actions during middle school was that by high school I had learned a measure of caution.  I knew how much I valued the use of all my limbs. 

I'm thinking of these things because a handful of my children have still to progress through this process.  I shudder to think, I just hope they are all faster on the uptake than I was.