Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Ugly Shoes

Sometime in the very early part of this pregnancy, my left foot got all jacked up. Specifically, the bottom heel of my left foot. At first I thought I had just pulled a muscle and I figured I'd just try to keep off my feet as much as I could for awhile (HAHAHAHA) until it healed itself.


Then it was summer and I thought maybe my sandals were making my feet hurt and if I spent a few days wearing my running shoes, my foot would heal itself.

Nope again.

Though there was no denying the fact that the days I tried to wear sandals were the days the pain went all the way from my heal up my leg and into my back, rendering me more or less crippled. And on the days when I wore my running shoes, while not pain-free for my foot, I could at least walk without limping.

This is why I now wear my running shoes every day, all day. And I HATE IT. Because running shoes are just . . . ugly.

Unless I'm actually running or exercising (which I am not now, ever), wearing these shoes just makes me feel sloppy. And although I am the last person to offer myself as a sacrifice on the alter of fashion, I also don't like looking sloppy. So every day I schlep through the day in my maternity jeans and running shoes, feeling like a caricature of a frumpy mom.

But since the alternative is not being able to schlep at all, I wear the damn shoes. And cross my fingers, toes, and eyes that whatever this foot issue is, it will disappear after this baby is born so I can once again wear some non-sporty shoe.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Take Two

According to my archives--the only way I can ever pinpoint exact dates for anything anymore, and that right there is reason enough to keep up with this parade of drivel--it's been almost exactly three months since A. attempted camping with both Charlie and Cubby. You may recall that it didn't really work out.

But now Charlie is a whole three months older and more mature. He is, as he will remind anyone who forgets, a big boy. Plus, he's now used to sleeping (more or less . . .) in the same space as his brother.

So A. is trying again. At four o'clock this afternoon, he loaded all the camping stuff plus both boys into the wagon pulled behind the lawn tractor and drove up into the pine plantation on our (very accommodating) neighbor's property.

I think Charlie may actually make it through till morning this time, although I wouldn't bet the farm or anything on it.

As for me, I've already scrubbed the grout in the shower, had a nice phone conversation with my mom, and eaten my dinner. Further excitement will probably include some ice cream and maybe, if I'm feeling really wild, a movie.

Or maybe I'll just go to bed at 8 o'clock and actually get a full night's sleep for the first time in over a week.

Check back tomorrow for all the exciting details. You know you want to.

Update: Yeah, never mind. The lawn tractor came chugging back to the house at 6:45 this evening towing two very dirty boys. As soon as the sun started to set, Charlie had been very clear that he was ready to go home. So A. brought him home and then walked back to the campsite with Cubby. Charlie was very pleased by his forest adventure and in quite a good mood. He was also totally wound up and not so much down with the idea of "bedtime."

Oh well. At least I got a few hours to myself.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


So, you ask (well, one of you asked, and I'm sure my mother wants to know), how is it going with the two feral boys in one sleeping cave? Funny stories there. Though they didn't seem all that funny at the time.

On the first try at putting Charlie down for a nap in the new room, it took me over an hour to get him to sleep. In the accompanying screaming and thrashing, he smashed into my mouth with the top of his head and slightly loosened one of my front teeth.

Off to a rousing start! (The tooth is fine now; no permanent damage.)

That night he didn't go to sleep until nine o'clock, which is well over an hour after his usual bedtime. Cubby tried very hard to be helpful, even telling Charlie a bedtime story involving a bear trying to steal honey from some bees and covering himself in old rubber tires so he wouldn't get stung. The bear got the honey and then went for a walk in the woods, during which there was a thunderstorm, but those handy rubber tires kept him safe from the lightning.

It was a really great story. Almost worth the other 74 minutes I spent trying to get them both asleep.

Charlie woke up a couple of times that night, as well as too early the next morning, which in turn woke Cubby up, which meant some really cranky children (and mother) the next day.

The next day the before-nap hysteria lasted 45 minutes. Progress! Of a sort. That night was another nine o'clock finish. This might have been my lowest emotional point in the whole process, as I imagined never getting an evening to myself again and instead listening to screaming and dealing with bed-escaping children for hours every day.

But then on Monday, Charlie went down for his nap with no screaming. Just like that. I called A. at work to share the miraculous good news.

Bedtimes still require that I literally sit between them--there's a chair between their beds--to keep them from talking and keeping each other awake for an hour until hysteria sets in, but they're both going to sleep by around 8 p.m. Charlie still wakes up on occasion at awful times like 2 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. and I have to get him back to sleep, but that's just Charlie, not the room.

So, in sum, we're not really where I'd like to be yet (that is, to the point where I put them in their beds, sing their lullaby, close the door, and walk away), but it's better. Bearable. And I haven't sustained any more physical injuries. Success!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hooray for the Autumnal Equinox!

What, you're not excited? Well, get excited, because Cubby sure is.

Do not ask me why the First Day of Fall has assumed such importance to him, but it has. And it assumed some importance for me, too, since I've been getting kind of tired of being corrected anytime I would make some statement about it feeling like fall or being fall. EVERY TIME, Cubby would jump in to remind me that it's not fall yet, Mom, the calendar doesn't say it is. This, from a child who can't read.

Pedantic? My son? I can't imagine where he got that.

I must admit that there is something sort of satisfying about a day in which the hours of light and the hours of darkness are equal. It's as if the universe is in balance or something.

Or something.

Anyway. Happy fall, my lovelies!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alleluia, Praise the Toilet

After many months* of trying to destroy his mother by waking up at random times of night and then at five a.m. for the day (or earlier, Lord have mercy on his punishing toddler soul), just this week Charlie switched up his sleep routine. He now goes to bed just before 8 p.m., as before, sleeps relatively soundly and does not get up for the day until about 6:30 a.m.

That sound you hear is me weeping with relief.

A.--he of the silver tongue--told me my face is looking a lot better this week. Which means that I've looked like exhausted hell for the past, oh, five months or so? Super. But it's all better now!

So of course I decided to celebrate this blessed event in my life by jacking it all up. Specifically, by moving Charlie out of the tiny room adjoining ours and into Cubby's room down the hall.

This had to be done before the arrival of the new baby in December, of course, who will occupy the tiny room. I've wanted to move Charlie for some time because of the presence of the half bathroom accessed through that tiny room. I use the toilet at night, you see, thanks to that same baby, and it's very frustrating to have a toilet located literally six feet from my bed, but inaccessible because of a lightly sleeping child. So I have to get up, trudge down the long hall, remember not to fall down the one step right before the bathroom, use the bathroom, then trudge back.

This same down-the-hall bathroom, by the way, is unheated in the winter. It's punishing to use in the middle of the night in December, to say the least. Better than an outhouse, yes, but not much.


I really, really wanted that convenient bathroom back, but Charlie had to be moved first. And I couldn't find it in my heart to do that to Cubby, who would no doubt have awakened to a punch in the face or something equally loving at 4:45 a.m., given Charlie's terrible sleep patterns.

So I waited, hoping those patterns might change. And they did. Finally.

There are now two beds in Cubby's room. We moved Charlie's in there this morning, and the two of them promptly climbed into their respective beds to "practice" sleeping. I obligingly sang a lullaby and shut the door. Then I stood there and listened to Cubby instructing Charlie that he was not to escape from the room, that he was to stay in bed. And then Cubby sang "Rockabye Baby" over and over again.

I suspect it will not all go so swimmingly tonight, and I fully anticipate some rough nights and mornings as we all get used to this new arrangement, but at least I can seek solace in my handy toilet.

Little things, my lovelies. They make this life bearable.

* My archives tell me since at least May. How handy to have an accurate record of misery!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Definitely Worthy of a Frame

My parents wanted to get a picture of the whole family while they were here. So one day when we had all gone to the dinosaur museum and thus were dressed in somewhat respectable public-worthy clothing, they attempted a full-family photo.

This is what my dad sent me:

The Family Blackrock goes to town.

So. One kid trying to escape, one kid making a gross face, one very pregnant-looking mother*, and one perplexed-looking father. Yup. That's about right.

Immediately after this picture was taken, I asked my parents if they wanted to get a picture with the kids. They did, but then Cubby jumped down from that rock and somehow managed to ram his head right into the corner of that sign in the background, resulting in much wailing and tears. We elected not to take a photo at that point. Although it might have rivaled this one for memory-capturing.

* My powers of self-deception must be greater than I thought, because I really didn't think I look this pregnant. Or this tired. But the camera, I've heard, doesn't lie, so there you are. Pregnant and tired. My life's truth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Triumphant Return of Drivel

Yes! I once again have access to a full-sized keyboard (kind of hate you, Kindle) and can regale you with the hilarious tales of my fascinating life.

Now I just have to think of some.


Well, there was the time a few days ago when I had to take Mia to the veterinarian for a routine heartworm test, so I loaded the dog, my children, and my parents* in the van** for the twenty-minute drive to the vet. Charlie had just awakened from his nap and wouldn't climb into his carseat. So I put him in.

And then he lost his damn mind.

He does this if I don't let him climb up himself. I know he does this. But sometimes, I just have to get somewhere, you know? So I strong-arm him into his seat, capturing his flailing limbs and restraining his arching, rage-filled tiny body so I can get somewhere on time. Then he screams for ten minutes. Or more.

This time we were lucky and he only screamed for about five minutes. They were an unpleasant five minutes, though.

Meanwhile, my dad was sitting in the very back seat, right in front of Mia, who had a close encounter with a skunk only a week ago.

Screaming child, skunky dog, and a twenty-minute drive so I can take my dog to the vet? Why yes, this IS how I entertain visitors to Blackrock!

Now aren't you glad I can once again type normally so you can all share in the excitement of my life? Thought so.

* You'd best believe I purposely scheduled this little chore for when my parents were around to watch the kids. There is nothing worse than my vet's office for small children: very small office, very nervous animals, very, uh, spirited children and a staff that are more animal-friendly than child-friendly all add up to one bad situation.

** I may have neglected to tell you that I now drive a mini-van. Kind of inevitable with the three kids and all. I'm pretty sure this means I have attained full rock-star status.