Friday, April 25

On my Mind and in my Heart

This kitty,
beloved by all in the household, is very sick. AD has taken her to the emergency vet in Milwaukee, after being referred by the local vet. She was never big, but now she can't keep food down, and has lost a lot of weight. Local vet says there is a "mass" in her intestines. The trip to Milwaukee is to find out if there is anything we can do.

We love you Mira.

Update 4/26/08:
The bad news: Verified lymphoma. Treatment focus is quality of life.
The good news: Otherwise, her health is good. After dosing with subcutaneous fluids and prednisone, she is perkier. If we can get her to eat and gain some weight back, she may stay with us a while yet.

Update 5/8/08:
Poor girl is very weak. If she wants to get on our laps, she might try jumping, but mostly just looks at us plaintively. She is still eating and drinking and asking to go out. So we indulge her, and let her eat tuna whenever she wants, sit on our laps even during dinner, and go out to sit in the garden in the sun even when the other kitties have to stay inside. Hopes of even a partial recovery are fading, so we just try to keep her as comfortable as can be and give her all our love.

Tuesday, April 22


Already you are so big.

Gone are the tectonic ridges on your head, formed by skull plates overlapping during your birth. Gone, too, are the puffy eyes, the baby acne, your foreskin, and, mostly, cradle-cap.

Already your hands are bigger, your arms steadier; they reach out with purpose to grasp a toy, my hair, my breasts, or anything else near enough to reach.

Already you can roll from front to back.

Already you wake to let me know when you want to eat, rather than sleeping until I wake you. Already you weigh twice what you did when you were born, and your cuddly baby fat jelly rolls around your arms and legs. You have grown to fill your #2 diapers, and are outgrowing your teeny tiny newborn clothes.

Already you have adorned most of my clothes and yours with spit-up.

Already you have rejected binkies, only to later decide they are sometimes okay.

Already you have discovered that the beautiful little thumb of your right hand is soothing in your mouth, and in so doing, have already let me sleep in longer stretches.

Already you have moved to your second home.

Already you have learned to be heard in this chaotic house.

Already you laugh, coo, and smile, and you have already learned to use these talents to keep my attention. You are delighted by playing with mommy and daddy and your biggest brother.

Already you have learned that your brothers can be very loud, but they are sometimes fun to watch.

Already you look like your brothers.

The Painter at 3 months

Already your beautiful face, rapt attention, and smiles charm all who meet you.

Already your eyes are lighter; daddy says they will be like mine.

You are already three months old.

Wednesday, April 16

Where does it come from?

I swear, now I have guilt about not feeling guilty about the right things.

I feel guilty for rather suddenly abandoning my job/coworkers/boss (although I'm sure they know there is a risk any time someone goes on maternity leave).

I feel guilty for deciding not to send the Painter to the (understaffed by our assessment and rather unappealing in any case) next school over for the remainder of his kindergarten year.

But shouldn't I feel guilty about things like not spending enough time with the boys, or not giving them all the best experiences, or buying all the best toys, or not using re-usable diapers? Ok, I do feel guilty about the last one. And, I guess I also feel guilty for dragging the Painter all over the world in his short life so that he has yet to develop any real friendships or have a birthday party with friends. That's close enough. Crisis averted.

Begone, guilt! You're not welcome here anymore.

So, now that I am in charge of educating my children, anyone have any tips, hints, ideas, or any clue what they are doing in teaching a kindergartener at home?

Sunday, April 13

One Step at a Time

It's been a week and a half since the movers delivered our life-in-a-truck. Time since then has been consumed with opening boxes. Sometimes we find long-forgotten treasures, or desired objects in unexpected places. Other times we find trash, or items due for unshopping.

Our house is starting to feel a sense of order, but there are still so many things to do:
  • AD finished the taxes yesterday and we happily will be receiving a refund.
  • Today, we successfully hosted a family birthday party for the Painter.
  • The plumber came yesterday to run a gas line to the dryer, and we have almost scaled the mountain of laundry that had grown since our arrival.
  • My computer was shipped back to my former employer, but I still need to send my badge and office key.
  • The health of our momma cat is up and down, and we may need to take her to the vet again in the next few days.
  • Received new cat ID tags in the mail, but still need to mail the applications for city licenses.
  • Need a never-ending list of miscellaneous items - bath tub stopper, litter scoop, dish drainer, recycling bags, kitchen pantry, bedroom curtains, bathroom shelf, ...
  • Still need to enroll the Painter in kindergarten for the remainder of the year. (I don't feel up to the task of home schooling right now.)
  • New car tags and drivers licenses
  • Make sure friends and family all have our new address and phone number - maybe even write some letters.
So many things leaves chaos in my mind. In the midst of it, I am easily frustrated with the boys. "Just let me finish this one thing ..." which of course isn't just one thing but fifty.

But what's important? Did we come here to set up a household? Well, yes, but that's not why we came.

Tomorrow I will try to remember to breathe, attend to the boys, and step through the list one foot at a time.

Home Again

A little bit of online fun.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Northeast
The Inland North
The West
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Turns out I talk like I'm from somewhere near here (which I am). I guess all the cross-country migrations have turned my northern Illinois accent into a southern Illinois accent, though.

Saturday, April 12


I thought, coming in April, it would be spring here.

Tonight the snowflakes swirl outside my window,
As sentiment still swirls in my mind.
A chaos of boxes and paper and belongings surrounds me.
I am happy/sad. I am excited/numb. I am tired.
I crave order.

Instead, the wind blows. The rain becomes snow.
The ground - too warm to accept this coat -
Turns glittering crystals back to their liquid state,
And greens the grass.

The boxes dwindle, relegated to the garage.
The dishes and pots find yet another new home.
The first crocus blooms drink in the rain.
My dreams reflect where I've been
And where I'm headed.

This is spring.