Monday, March 30, 2009

The Great Garbage Truck Mystery

I tried to take a picture for this post but discovered that my camera battery was dead. Good thing too, since my photography class starts today.

Please keep in mind that except for some very brief trips to the doctor, hospital (not brief but still), grocery store, and court last week, I have been in the house with my son for 8 days now. So this is the most excitement I have had in some time.

The garbage truck has been sitting in front of my neighbor's house for an hour now. Blocking our driveway as well. And there are men in haz mat suits standing at the intersection onto our road. And a very strange looking garbage truck just rolled up and ran over our garbage cans that the garbage men left in the street. What? What is going on? Do you think we'll ever find out?

Friday, March 27, 2009

On a completely different note

I just pre-ordered this. About 30 seconds after the e-mail showed up in my inbox saying that it's available for pre-order.

I've tried to keep my complete, um... obsession? fascination? complete and utter adoration of Robert Pattinson away from this blog because some things are better talked about in private. But yeah, I've got it bad.

Did you know that the musical director for Twilight said that Rob is the most naturally talented musician he's ever heard in his entire life? Have you heard this man sing yet? Or play the piano? Or the guitar?

Yet another reason I'm thankful to be alive right here, right now. (And another reason to be melodramatic. But yeah, he's wonderful.)

We are lucky to live here. And now.

This will be a little sappier than normal. Right now this kid is hiding fruit loop filled plastic eggs all over the house for the massive family Easter egg hunt he has planned for when Daddy gets home from work.

On Monday he woke up with a croupy cough. Because he's got asthma, I kept him home in case he needed quick access to the nebulizer. On Tuesday he seemed about the same so I sent him to school. On Wednesday things went downhill quickly and yesterday he was diagnosed with pneumonia. This is our 4th bout with pneumonia in the last 3 years and thankfully, the least scary. We know the drill - pulse/oxygen monitors, strong antibiotics and lots of quiet time. He never seems to get it as badly as his sister and for that, I am thankful.

But as I was reflecting once again on the miracle of antibiotics this morning (the Easter egg hunt being a very good reminder of how quickly they can turn things around!) I was overcome with gratitude about the time and place we live. Of the three children my parents have, none of us would have survived the first few days after childbirth if it weren't for modern medicine (blue baby, RSV and 7 weeks premature respectively). Neither Charlie nor I would have survived his birth. And in the few short years of their lives, my kids have relied on asthma medication and antibiotics to get them through some very scary times when breathing didn't seem so automatic or certain.

Even putting aside the melodramatic (something that is very hard for me. I should have been a star.), the everyday stuff we take for granted is truly amazing. I can't see two inches in front of my face without glasses or contacts. And how about the ear tubes that help kids get over repeated ear infections and preserve their hearing? Ibuprofen to zap away those pesky headaches. Sunscreen to protect us from skin cancer. Fluoride to keep our teeth from rotting away.

So anyway, this morning I have been reflecting on all of that and feeling immensely grateful for living in this amazing time and place where we have access to these kinds of things. And because I am a little sarcastic and twisted in addition to being melodramatic, I've also been speculating that maybe Darwin wouldn't agree and would say that by all rights, our personal gene pool should have been wiped out quite some time ago, or at the very least, I should be a toothless, deaf, blind crone rocking on my chair in the corner of my niece's living room. It's plausible, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming to a layout near you

Charlie has been sick this week so we have been spending a lot of time alone together. Yesterday he asked me why I did something the way I did and I told him that he would understand when he had children. (I never believed those words would come out of my mouth but they did.) He replied "IF I have children." I asked if he had decided not to get married and have a family and this was his answer. "Well, mostly old scientists seem to die young so I might not have a chance to get married or have children. And even if I do, I'll be away so much doing my experiments on the moon or in Egypt that it might not be fair to them." It's a relief to know he's thinking ahead.

His field trip at school this year is a trip to the symphony and then lunch at a fancy restaurant. Part of the preparation is daily lessons on manners, most of which he has or will miss because he's been sick this week. He went to school on Tuesday though (the lesson was learning to set the table properly) and came home quite annoyed about the lesson he missed on Monday. "Listen to this. We have to take the girls' coats off, pull out their chairs for them and then push their chairs into the table. And THEN we have to take off our own coats and sit down all by ourselves. It's just not right." He does have a point.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All about the cute

One of the things I put on my Christmas list was a gen-u-ine photography class. I tried to take photography in college but the instructor felt I lacked artistic vision and I was in serious jeopardy of failing so dropped the course rather than mess up my GPA with an elective. A couple years ago I got a real camera and have played around with it a bit but am basically still clueless.

Justin tried to find a local class but it's just not something readily available in the middle of December so there was no photography class under the Christmas tree for me this year. And then somewhere I stumbled onto a recommendation for this class:

(and while I'm thinking about this, would one of my blogger friends please tell me how to correctly insert a link so that just the name shows?)

and I begged and pleaded and whined a little bit, got on the waiting list, lucked out and scored a spot in the March class and voila! I am now taking a real photography class. It looks as though there will be homework every day for nine weeks. I might be a little bit crazy.

But back to the moral of the story. The moral of the story is that my camera bag is not really a camera bag at all but rather a beat up junky video camera bag that I grabbed at Walmart one afternoon as we were leaving on vacation so I could try to keep sand out of my "good" camera. And somehow I lost the camera strap that came with the camera and in another bout of spending money quickly and unwisely, I got a junky replacement one at Ritz camera that falls off every 5 minutes.

So... of course I needed a real camera bag and a real camera strap so I can adequately participate in my real photography class. Which will help me avoid taking anymore out of focus pictures like this one.

Purple and orange. Seriously. My favorite colors in the world together. On a camera bag. Does it get any better than that?

And polka dots. Green ones. Which look nice next to purple and orange.

I am overcome with the cuteness. Surely all of this cuteness will help me to take better pictures. Probably not. But I'll feel cute while I'm taking out of focus pictures on the automatic setting and that is the moral of this story.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hello again

It has been a busier March than usual here at the Monkey House. Over the weekend, however, I slowed down the pace and went to my favorite scrapbooking crop of the year with my girlfriends. I did very little scrapping. But I did make this:

Last week my friend Paula shared a gorgeous canvas from the Pottery Barn catalog. I decided that I would join her in trying to recreate the picture. It was a much more time consuming process than I expected but I like the end result.

I also made this. Ali Edward's fans will recognize this as a lift of a butterfly collage she made last year. I figured while I was making butterfly stuff for Grace's room, I might as well do one of these.

And I made this. Because when my children came to visit me at the scrapbooking crop (yes, I'm that kind of mom and have that kind of family... okay, they really came to take advantage of the hotel swimming pool)... anyway, when Charlie saw that I was making things for Grace's room, his face became a little downcast. I could see that he wanted to ask if I made anything for him but didn't want to cause any trouble.

I would say they are all a hit. Grace carries both of her pictures around into whatever room she goes into. Charlie set his up on his nightstand. That's all a mom can ask for.

So why pictures and not much scrapping? I'm so glad you asked. Three weeks ago Justin and I went skiing for our belated Valentine's Day getaway. It was 70 degrees that weekend and the conditions were less than ideal. I stopped to adjust my boot, fell trying to get back on the trail and broke my thumb. (The strange part of this story is that the last time I skiied at this particular resort , I fell in the exact same place and seriously injured my knee. That day I also followed my father too closely off a jump, he fell, I ran over his hand and broke his thumb.)

Anyway, for the first week the thumb was very bad. My doctor said she was going to get me into an orthopedist to evaluate whether it needed to be casted. (The referral finally showed up in the mail 2 weeks after I injured it and I figured there was no point in a cast at that point.) Last week it started to heal but was very sore and weak and I just didn't think I could manage most of my scrapping tools. I still can't write legibly. So I decided to work on those projects instead. It turns out that with my hand brace I could use most of my tools just fine so I did get a few pages done over the weekend.

At this point, I still probably need to go to the orthopedist because I suspect there is some nerve damage and it's definitely healing a little bit crooked. But it is healing and should be well functioning soon. You never realize how much you use your thumb until you can't use it!

March is normally the calm before the storm of baseball/soccer season but this month I worked full time while my father was out of town. It also happened to be a month where we had many more court appearances/hearings scheduled than usual. He is back now and I survived. But I especially enjoyed having the last 5 days off. Soccer and baseball start this weekend and it will be full on craziness until June.

After making it through most of the winter without getting sick, both kids came down with something yesterday and I am taking the morning off staying home with Grace until Justin comes home at lunchtime to relieve me so I can go to work this afternoon. His work has exploded over the last month (construction as a leading indicator of the economy?) but the good thing about being the boss is that no one will question you if you say you are going to work from home. Whether he gets any actual work done? That's a different story!