Previous month:
June 2009
Next month:
August 2009

July 2009

Notes For A Post

As Patrick cleared his place after dinner tonight a miscalculation caused his half empty glass of milk to travel south-by-southeast, bouncing as it went. Patrick instantly bleated, "I did that on! purpose!" as is his irritating habit whenever he makes a mistake.

I said, "It's just a spill" and I began to mop up the milk which was dripping onto a chair and the floor in equal parts.

Patrick (who must sometimes wonder if he really wants to see eight years old) then delicately extended his bare foot and proceeded to splash - once twice three times - in the growing puddle. 

I am not one who is generally prone to fits of loud temper but I have to say that there is something about being on my hands and knees under a table cleaning up spilled milk while the person who put it there starts to re-enact Gene Kelly dancing around the lamp post... well.

I responded. Vehemently. I was just doing the gritted teeth thing where I explained to Patrick exactly what I would do to him if he did not cease and desist immediately when I was distracted by Caroline. She ran over, pulled at my shirt and thrust her face belligerently into mine while she jabbered, "Yah shuh shuh yah yah!" Meanwhile, Edward materialized out of nowhere and smacked me on the top of the head with his palm. Twice.  

It was exactly like a pair of chipping sparrows swooping up to defend a hawk from, oh I don't know, what am I in this analogy? A crow? A dragon?

Steve detached Caroline from my collar. Edward was told (yet again; it doesn't seem to take) No Hitting. Patrick got another cloth and started to help me clean up. Peace reigned once more. Now that I am past both my initial and my secondary annoyance I have to say that I think it is charming that Caroline and Edward came to Patrick's defense. Misguided like a land war in Asia; totally unfair on its merits; more than likely to get them all grounded one day... but charming.

++

Confession: Three years ago I saw the Topsy-Turvy upside-down vegetable planter advertised on television and even though we inherited a big ol' garden when we bought this house I coveted it. Mightily. It was the closest I had come to calling the number on the bottom of the screen since Ronco advertised the Cookie Machine in 1976.

Two years ago we were strolling through the Mall of America when I saw an As Seen on TV store. I thought, now, what was it I needed that I had... oh! And I bolted into the store before Steve could stop me.

IMG_4486

I am on my second upside-down season and I love it. The enclosed instruction booklet advised using seedlings but I ignored them and my good sized to begin with plants are now enormous. While my actual in-the-ground garden this year looks like Waterloo circa 20 June 1815 (hail and cold have been unkind to everything but the zucchini; also we neglected to add compost for a few years so I suspect my soil is currently as nutritious as a Slurpee - the word spavined springs to mind) my topsy-turvy dirt bags are coming along beautifully. I was so inspired by them that I fantasized about creating an entire upside-down vegetable operation in our basement. Wouldn't that be nice? Fresh green things hanging like bats in the dead of winter? Unfortunately, I discovered very quickly that it is impossible to google basement gardening supplies without giving the wrong impression. I'll leave it at that but in case my ip address is on any watch lists... I just wanted to grow tomatoes. Big sticky green tomatoes.  

++

An old friend died on Friday. He died too young, although I am at an age now where I understand that everyone dies too young. We went to his wedding. He has two little girls. The funeral is tomorrow and I am grateful that my friend Noelle is willing to come watch the children for us because I think you should always try to attend a funeral when you can. Rest in peace, MFB.

++

Steve's birth mother was visiting with her husband. We have reached a point where that relationship feels comfortable, familiar. It was never awkward but there were years of newness and I am glad that we can now discuss people and places and personal histories without constantly referring to footnotes. It was a very nice visit and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully Steve's search for his birth family resolved itself. I feel very lucky in this regard.

++

Was there a time when I thought that I could exist without a Caroline? How is that even possible?

She ignites the spaces in between.

IMG_4398

Her word today was "oh". Soft and serious, "ohhhhhhhhhhhh." As Edward rode his pushcar around and around the kitchen (a skill she has not mastered) we cheered go! Edward! go!

IMG_4342

She pursued her lips and modified, "Goooooooooooo!" Then she gently patted his head before she shoved him onto the floor.

"Uh ohhhhhhhh," she gasped; her mouth a surprised cupid's bow, her eyes glinting with malicious amusement.

++

Steve received a tactful inquiry from a friend this week concerning the possibility of hosting another world's most dangerous slip n' slide/ turducken party. Here. At my house. Again. I can only assume he has been smoking some serious tomato because the last conversation he (the friend) and I had on the subject I was pretty lucid about my feelings re. return dates. Steve forwarded the email to me with a carefully worded "?"

Snuh.

++

More. Later. 


About A Porch

There is a door off our kitchen that opens onto a screened porch. It is a nice little space; shady, quiet and it overlooks the exact spot in our yard where Nature defeats Man as the raspberry bushes and maidenhair ferns sweep down from the woods every summer to engulf a Stella D'oro garden that the previous owners planted. The deer are especially fond of this corner. I suspect because it is like a casserole: "Leaf, leaf, berry, leaf... whoa, is that a lily? Delightful!"

The porch would be an excellent place for a dining table and some chairs were it not for the supergigantic hot tub that hunkers in a corner and takes up two-thirds of the floor. Steve is devoted to this hot tub. In fact, he remembered to bring it with us when we moved in much the same way I remembered to bring Patrick.

Steve, I think, envisions some distant (one assumes widowered) future in which he is joined in this hot tub by a parcel of stewardesses - each more eager than the last to hold his loofah - and until that day arrives he tends the tub with bromide and love. I, in sharp contrast, have no interest in taking a bath outside no matter how numerous or nubile are the flight attendants who join me (after all, they would only be there for my safety) and I dislike the thing the way some people dislike their Aunt Agatha. It takes up so much space. Space that could be better used for holding glasses of wine and a nice green salad. Not to mention the fact that for a while I was convinced that it was the electricity absorbing monster that was driving our bills up to the stratosphere.

I think it should go somewhere else. And it is possible that I might win this debate in theory; especially now that we have unplugged and drained the hot tub so its current function is to hold the trash can that in turn is a receptacle for, ah, diapers that have seen better days. However, in order to get it on the porch in the first place Steve had to take down a wall and every day when he wakes up he finds that he does not feel particularly inclined to take it down again. Besides the hot tub has nowhere else to go and although Steve has a few cocktail napkin sketches of some gazebo-on-a-hill thing that could house it with storage underneath for the riding mower; that design is not exactly at the lumber buying stage.

So we have this porch and we have this enormous hot tub and thus we can only access about 48 square feet of the space, split into two strips about four  feet wide and eight feet long (ah HA! the strips overlap at the ends - you know you were thinking it.) And although you could probably rootle up something clever to do with the remaining area I never have. So for now it just sits there empty.

Which is not to say it does not get used.

I like to keep the glass door to the porch open when it is warm out. The cats enjoy prowling around (such as it is - mostly they sit on the hot tub cover and verbally harass the squirrels) and Caroline and Edward love it. It has a ceiling fan, which is a never ending source of toddler wonder (what is up with little kids and ceiling fans? seriously. they stand there like zombies - happy zombies - watching the blades go around and around and around... .) Since the door opens to the exterior it is heavy and although it is not very tightly sprung it tends to slam shut when there is a breeze. Or whenever it occurs to Edward to slam it, which would be every five minutes. If Caroline is lucky enough to not be standing in the way at the time; the door will click shut with Edward (and usually Caroline) on the outside. I find this scenario rather peaceful but it tends to freak them out so about thirty seconds after a slam I will hear the muffled wailing of twins followed by beating on the glass. This means I have to stop whatever it is I am doing (this week it has been coughing) and go open the door for them again. This gets boring after five minutes.  

Segue: Once upon a time Steve's cousin gave us some lovely hand-me-downs including a very nice, very sturdy boy's shoe. Shoe, singular. I assume she probably gave us two and I lost one or maybe she lost one and forgot that she had done so when she put the other in the bag; in any event we just have the one now. Many times I have thought about throwing it away but then I stop myself - it's such a nice shoe, I cannot just throw it in the trash. I have considered donating it but, honestly, why on earth would a needy family want an unmatched shoe any more than I do? So for a long time it just sat in Patrick's closet. Then one day I moved it downstairs during some massive closet clearing project and it stayed in the laundry room on a shelf.

I was in the laundry room about a month ago when I heard the porch door slam followed by the inevitable wah wah bang bang. This time I grabbed the solo shoe on my way to the porch and I wedged it securely under the door, thus preventing the twins from closing it again. Way to re-purpose, I thought. Success!

[I know it took me an inordinate amount of time to realize that I could prop the door open. I admit that I am not quick, but if you give me enough time I get there eventually.]

My intention going forward was to leave the shoe on the porch for the summer and when we wanted the door open I would use it as a door-stopper. So I was baffled when the shoe kept mysteriously disappearing from the porch and reappearing in the laundry room with the rest of the shoes. I assumed that Steve kept taking the shoe away and I was a little irritated that I had to keep bringing it back. You would think with all the time Steve and I spend together the subject would have come up between us at some point, but no.

A couple days ago Steve was off on a raspberry excursion with Patrick and his friends. Caroline and Edward were scuttling back and forth from the porch to the living room. I wedged the door open. I drank tea. Then I realized that the shoe was gone and further investigation revealed that it was placed in a neat row with the other shoes in the laundry room.

EDWARD!

Of course. Naturally, Edward would be bothered by the shoe not being with all the other shoes. Of course he would then do everything in his power to free the shoe and return it to its natural habitat. It is so very very Edward. Have I told you about the time Caroline pulled all of the bibs and washcloths out of a kitchen drawer and tossed them merrily about the floor and I thought, oh damn it, I'll need to pick that up; only to return to the kitchen five minutes later as Edward was putting the very last bib back into the drawer? Or that if I leave their pajamas on the living room floor for more than ten minutes after I put the twinks into clothes for the day Edward will pick up them up and throw them into the kitchen trash? Twice now I have opened the garbage and discovered pajamas nestled at the bottom while Edward stands nearby looking self-righteous.

If ever there is a child who will not succumb to the old if you don't pick up these toys I am throwing them away line it is Edward. Oh yeah, he'll sneer, good luck finding room in the trash can as I have already thrown away everything I found lying on the floor of your closet Mommy. Besides, all of his toys will already be put away, most likely in neat bins that he has labeled by category. It will turn out that I had been threatening to thrown away Caroline's stuff but she won't hear me because she won't take the damned headphones off.

Huh. Where was I?  

So Edward has been moving the porch shoe and I'm just surprised that I thought Steve had actually been tidying.

We discovered a small green frog out there yesterday.

IMG_4329

This was very exciting.

IMG_4332

I was afraid that Caroline and Edward would scare the frog away with their chatter and proximity but this frog was very friendly. Or possibly hearing impaired. Maybe suicidal. In any event it stayed there for hours no matter how close Edward's jabby fat finger came towards it or how often Caroline shrieked, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!" and "SEE? SEE FRUH? SEEEEEEEEE!"

And it inspired the following scene, which... I don't know. What ARE they doing here?

A. Some freaky twin thing
B. Caroline is interpreting the inner frog using graceful movement (plus A)
C. Yoga (plus A)
D. They have been called to prayer at a pitch heard only by dogs and children (plus A)
E. You tell me (but I am pretty sure it is A)


Mentholyptus

We had three or four disturbed nights here. Really disturbed. Like, Edward woke up around midnight on Sunday and proceeded to cry for four hours. I gave him Motrin. I offered milk. I coated his eyelids in Aquaphor mixed with a little Aveeno anti-itch cream. I refilled the humidifier. I rocked him and I walked him around and I sang and I said shush shush shush until I thought my voice would crack and still he cried. It eventually created an interesting question in my mind, namely: if it is three in the morning and you have a dreadful cold of your own and you are so tired you want to curl up like a potatobug and the kid is screaming whether you are holding him or not; do you return him to his crib with your best wishes for a quick return to sleep and high-tail it back to your own bed with your fingers stuffed into your ears or do you continue to clutch him to your body in as soothing a manner possible while he scratches his head and yours?  

I don't know the answer to this. I ultimately did a little of both. I put him back into his crib but I camped on the futon next to him saying SHHHHHHHHHH. SHHHHHHHHHHHHH. SHHHHHHHHHHH. at thirty second intervals. I also had my hand stuck through the bars of the crib in an attempt to provide a palpable maternal presence while still lying flat on my face. He continued to cry and I am pretty sure he bit my fingers at one point, but he eventually wept himself into exhaustion. Then Caroline woke up.

I felt like death the next day but Edward seemed better. Well, better except for his face.

IMG_4312  

Hmmm, can you tell how red and scaly his eyes are in that one? How about this one?

IMG_4300

Eh, maybe not. But they are. 

I tried many of your eczema suggestions (namely Aquaphor and water) but it seems we are in the middle of a flare-up and might need bigger guns. So it occurred to me to call our pediatrician's office and ask one of the nurses (go figure) what can be done about itchy eyes. She said that the eyes are tricky and if they are swollen at all they really need to be seen because it is hard to tell what might be going on. This made sense to me so I agreed to bring him in yesterday and - as an afterthought - I brought Caroline in so that she could get her ears looked at again (we took her in on Thursday when she had the fever - nothing.) Not that I thought there would be anything wrong with her ears this time, just that it seemed like an opportunity to check.

The doctor took one look at Edward from across the room and said, "Ah. Pink eye. Now let's see what else he's got."

And I said, "Pink eye? Really? Are you sure?" because in my experience when someone has pink eye their eyes are pink. Also gunky. Whereas with Edward everything around his eyes is pink and it is his nose and his cough that are gunky.

Goes to show what I know.

Pediatrician Visit Totals -

Infected Ears: 3 (2 for Edward, 1 for Caroline)

Infected Lungs: 2 (borderline. both Caroline)

Infected Eyes: 2 (plus maybe Caroline; plus most probably Patrick who was not present but who looked like a white rabbit when he returned home from camp. I am dosing them all liberally with my tiny bottle of opthalmic clear gold.)

What we never discussed, stupid me, was the eczema around the eyes for which I thought Edward was there in the first place and although I am sure they are all related in a very direct way (nose runs. eyes itch. hand goes from nose to eyes. QED) I think we will still need to manage the skin inflammation in addition to all the infections. However, this particular doctor always flusters me so it wasn't until we were driving home and I was on the phone with my friend Noelle (who had kept Patrick for us) that I realized we had made no headway on the Edward's eyes/Uncle Fester thing.

Which brings me to a Washington Post article I read this morning and a quote that made me raise my eyebrows. I have been dying to discuss this with someone. I'll link to the article but I am pretty sure that the Post requires a login so if you don't feel like getting one the gist is that a number of doctors object to online physician rating sites like RateMD. They feel (roughly) that such sites give a biased impression of their skills and that they rely too heavily upon incidentals like clean waiting rooms and not enough on brilliant clinicianship. Some doctors feel so strongly about this that they have devised agreements for their patients to sign, promising that they (the patient) will not discuss their care in any online forum. Which... yeah. OK. Good luck with that.

But the quote was this:

"The people least capable of judging quality of care are patients," said District internist Nancy Falk, whose mostly positive ratings are offset by those calling her curt and intolerant of questions, descriptions she denies. "They don't know what we know."

I found the contempt in that statement quite staggering. Now, I have known (personally) a lot of doctors and almost-doctors in my day. I get that their patients can on occasion be total pains in the ass and that every idiot with access to google (myself most definitely included) fancies themselves as a crack diagnostician these days. But I like to think that good health care is, by necessity, a collaborative effort. When Patrick was hospitalized I saw a veritable flotilla of different doctors and we all sat there wracking our brains to figure out what, exactly, was wrong with the kid - they struggled to think of some question no one had asked, something that might be helpful; and I struggled to think of some detail from Patrick's recent and/or distant past that might unlock something for them. The fact that everyone treated my efforts with respect meant something to me. Not just to my self-esteem (which is completely beside the point) but to my willingness to keep trying to brainstorm (which is not.) It was relevant that he had been treated for Strep C five weeks before. It might have mattered that Patrick had gotten a tick bite just above his ear on the infected side two month previously. It wasn't as simple as standing back and letting the experts work their medical magic. How do you care for someone when you pointedly exclude them from the process?

I went through seven OBGyns in ten years. A few changed due to a move on my part or theirs but most of them I dropped because they were insensitive or patronizing or both. There was nothing anyone was going to do to save our unbalanced fetbryos. I knew that. I wasn't looking for a miracle worker as I trooped through thirteen first trimesters. I just needed to feel like I was being cared for and I needed a doctor who would always be honest with me even when, especially when, they had news I did not want to hear. Later, once we were lucky enough to have unaffected babies, I needed a good doctor to get us through the clotting and the preterm labor and I think I had one. Although I do wonder if my personal feelings for her have colored how I view the care I received. Like, I don't know why my OB didn't choose to deliver Caroline and Edward earlier than she did when Caroline was so weensy. I do know that I trust her and I do think there was a valid reason - perhaps to that DC internist's point, maybe I just believed that my doctor knew things that I did not.

Anyway, it occurs to me that if I had seen my actual pediatrician rather than Dr. AlwaysTooBusy yesterday I might have remembered/felt comfortable enough to sit there until I remembered to say hey, yo, what about all the scaly pink stuff around Edward's eyes? Not that I blame the doctor, it was my fault for not bringing it up again (I felt chastened after he said "pink eye" and who knows? maybe there is nothing else to be done or maybe the skin is reacting to the virus and it is not eczema at all and the drops will work just fine on everything. maybe.) 

I don't know. I am rambling here, trying to finish my thought before the finks wake up from their glorious post-amoxicillan naps. What do you think? Have you had very bad doctors? Very good ones? And are the ones that make you feel warm and fuzzy necessarily the ones that you think provide good care? And to return to the broader point of the article (if you read it) do you think doctors should be able to control whether their patients type out for a broader audience what they have no doubt already told their co-workers and friends? Just for fun I checked out some of my favorite and least favorite doctors on RateMD. I was amused to see that the guy I haaaaaaaaaaated, the one whose tie I wanted to staple to the exam table, got a very shabby overall rating - on a scale of 1 to 5 he was a total ass. 

PS I have an ad up for Hallmark. My theory is that bigger companies use bigger media buyers who are then used by other bigger companies and that if my blog generates nice a click-through rate for Hallmark I might get other ads in the future. Since I use my meager blog revenues to buy things like cheese this pleases me. So that's what's in it for me if you click on the sidebar link. What's in it for you? Well, the idea of having Hallmark send me birthday reminders (as mentioned in the ad) kinda made me yawn. I keep that sort of thing on a birthday calendar which is thumb-tacked to the bulletin board in the laundry room and my understanding is that there are any number of electronic devices out now which can be programmed in such a way that you need never forget a birthday or anniversary again. So, meh. But! I went to their website and discovered that in addition to e-cards (which I kinda like) Hallmark is offering actual paper cards that you can personalize online and they will address and mail for you. I think that's cool and I know that nothing excites people, especially the ten-and-under set, quite so much as their own name printed on something. So, happy (belated/future) birthday YOUR NAME HERE and click on my ad, won't you? 

PPS Thank you so much for the series suggestions. We had watched the first four seasons of Foyle's War but when you reminded me of it I checked to see if they finally released the fifth in the US and they have. So that is next in our queue. I also added, um, pretty much everything else you said starting with the new Dr Who. I shall become a pop cuture maven. Oh and Steve was appalled that I left Firefly off a list that reported to reflect his views as well. We loved Firefly.  


Mini

So that was brief. Seriously, how long did my post-vacation haze of well-rested contentment last? Five minutes?

Steve, Caroline and Edward have all been felled by colds. Caroline woke up from her nap yesterday with a fever over 104 (รก la bum, but still - I could have baked a cookie on her forehead.) Edward woke up from a dead sleep at midnight and proceeded to cough his way into inconsolable hysterics for the next three hours. He finally fell asleep sitting bolt upright in bed next to me. It was weird to see, actually; he looked like a garden gnome, all hunched over with the nightlight casting a pointy hat shadow from the blanket. And Steve... hell, what is there left to say about my husband when he has a head cold? That he was beautiful and brilliant? That he loved Bach and the Beatles and me? Patrick is FINE and GREAT and has never felt better in his et cetera. He's the one that worries me, of course, because a) he is absolutely not to be trusted; and b) he is the family member most likely to have his lymph nodes explode. 

I guess the lesson here is that no good vacation goes unpunished or, alternately, you cannot rub your hands over every surface between Minnesota and Vermont without picking up a virus; nor can you then repeatedly cram your hands into your sister's mouth without giving that virus to her. Who knew, Edward, who knew?

My intention was to dedicate this evening to a long and chatty post but instead I am taking my rattling cough, my streaming nose and my mug of salt soup and I am going to bed. We have a one adult per illness rule around here and apparently it's not my turn to be sick, so I'd better sleep while I can.

In parting:

Panda ears two ways

IMG_4052_2  

IMG_4053

And I remembered what I wanted to ask you. Netflix again. Series recommendations, again, please. We finally made our slow way through the first season of Mad Men and started on the Tudors. Although I like the Tudors in theory (and Steve brightened the first time a lady-in-waiting shed her kirtle - ah! history!) I am finding myself depressed by the fact that I know when and how everyone dies. I am like Cassandra, all, enjoy that peach, Thomas More, because... well. Tsk tsk.

For you, off the top of my head, we liked Slings and Arrows, Weeds, Deadwood, Rome, Arrested Development, Veronica Mars (sigh), Battlestar Galactica... what else? Oh that British series was very funny... Coupling. I loved Farcape but Steve says I need to stop admitting that, as if a fondness for cheesy SciFi makes me somehow uncool.

Cough cough. Damn it.


Fort.Night

I was on vacation.

Specifically, I was on the best vacation I have ever taken in my entire life; including (after judicious consideration) that time my father took me to Disneyworld for my eighth birthday. We went to [edit: Tyler Place in] Vermont and it was amazing. As I announced on Friday: "I have never had so much fun and..." I held up my hand as Patrick opened his mouth, "I DON'T CARE whether you or you or you or you agree."

Not that the rest of the family didn't enjoy themselves; they did. Every morning at 8:30 a delightful woman named Barbara showed up at our cabin to collect Caroline and Edward and wheel them off for breakfast followed by five mommy-free hours of snacks, songs, swimming, lunch and the occasional boat and/or hay ride. Patrick joined a cadre of six and seven year olds for woodworking and fishing and rock climbing and nature walking and general whatnoting (he also was breakfasted and lunched, although as he tells the story he ate nothing but pineapple and bread for seven days - like I care.) Having disposed of the children Steve and I would roll up to the inn where there were all kinds of good things to eat. On the first day I ate ten pieces of bacon. Then I gave the matter some thought and returned to the buffet for six more. We mini-golfed. We shot arrows. We did a low ropes obstacle thing that was surprisingly fun despite a rocky start (team building began with a trust circle where you close your eyes and flop backwards and - without naming names - SOMEONE, SOMEONE who I really should have been able to trust dropped me. but I forgive) and an undignified ending (to scale a twelve foot wall Steve and an accomplice threw me into the air without first checking to see if anyone was ready to catch me - they were not, I dangled like a participle.) I took three naps on three successive days that each lasted over two hours and for the first time since the twins were born I feel like I have actually gotten enough sleep. And if there was anything nicer than watching Barbara leave with the twinkles in the morning it was knowing that she would be coming back at 5:30 in the evening to take them off to dinner before returning to put them to bed while I shamed myself during karaoke night.

We went to camp and, like I said, it was the best vacation ever.

In no particular order:

- It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes me to get one family ready for a week's vacation. I literally spent all day, every day the week before we left getting organized and packed. I had a four page list of things I wanted to bring, especially Patrick's passport and birth certificates for the babies so that we could take advantage of being so close to one of my favorite cities in the world and go to Montreal for a day. Oh how I love Montreal. So it was disappointing that I remembered everybody's travel documents but mine. I was bummed about this for the first half of the trip but Patrick later crossed the border by boat and he assured me that the water on the Canadian side looked exactly the same as the American water, so I wasn't missing anything. I told him, yeah, but Canadians themselves are seven feet high and purple so it really was a shame we didn't see any. Not to mention the fact that every street corner in Montreal has racks filled with free chicken pot pie. He is uncertain as to whether or not he believes me.   

- It then took me two full days to unpack and do laundry.

- JFK has got to be the worst freaking airport in the entire world. OH MY GOD. We flew out with a connection through Detroit and although it was a horrible hour of the morning (we left here at 5:30 am) the trip was surprisingly bearable. The return through New York, however, was a misery. They kept putting us on little shuttle buses and letting people afflicted with both vertigo and a death-wish zip us under the wheels of massive, taxiing 747s. Since Steve had the brilliant but only marginally effective idea of strapping car seats on either end of our stroller - picture if you will a six foot long stroller with full-sized car seats fore and aft - we could only move in one direction and we took up enough room for a family ten times our size. As an aside, we opted to bring the car seats with us on the plane. This was less in deference to keeping the twinks safe and more in hopes they would recognize the futility of even trying to escape (looking at you, Cypress Caroline) and just sleep. It mostly worked, too, so the embarrassment of pressing through airports like a circus caravan was worth it.

- Edward's eyelid eczema is doing much better with the Aquaphor, thank you. Also, weird as this sounds, I think the multiple trips to the chlorinated pool really helped him. His arms and legs are much better. 

- Patrick got accepted as a Davidson Young Scholar. This is a nonprofit out of... uh, I don't know... not here... Utah? no Nevada... that provides educational assistance for kids like Patrick. I'm very pleased. We like his school and want to keep him there but we needed some help figuring out how that could work and I think Davidson will be able to provide this.

- Edward made a friend at camp. I don't know why I think this is so amazing and cute, but I do. Every morning they would go do stuff at the toddler playhouse and Edward would seek out a little boy named AJ so they could push a rocket car together. Caroline, meanwhile, would scout the perimeter, dancing her little Cricket dance (on her toes, shoulders wiggling) and try to climb out the window.

- Patrick's favorite part was the fishing. Much to my surprise Patrick is turning into quite the outdoorsman; all raspberry-picking, lichen-discussing, mushroom-hunting and small mouth bassifying. I asked if he had made any friends in his group.

"Oh YES," he said. "There's this one kid that I just love."

"What's his name?" I asked, pleased.

"I don't know. Look we're just here for the week; it's fine. Did you make friends?"

I thought about the low ropes group that objectively critiqued my centers of gravity as they decided the best way to turn me sideways and cram me through a hole.

"Nevermind."

- Patrick continues to be healthy, knock wood. His pediatrician has given him a month to be fever and -itis free or... actually I don't know what the "or" is. Tonsil removal? Another round of IV antibiotics? I just know that I keep prodding Patrick's neck and that I stick a thermometer into his mouth every time he opens it (not really. ok. yes. really.)

- Edward was given his first pair of sunglasses and now he wears them all the time. I mean all of the time that he is not holding them in one hand and gesticulating with them like a professor. Like a cool professor. A professor of jazz, maybe.

IMG_4188 


IMG_4138

- It is becoming clear to me that Caroline has an addictive personality. She tried goldfish crackers for the first time at approxiately 3:10 Sunday afternoon. By 3:28 she had grabbed both of my ears, pressed her nose against mine and hissed, "FFFFFFFFFSSSSSSSSSH! FFFFFFFFFFFSSSSSSSSSH!" I would say they were like crack but that's kinda an insult to crackheads. Then there is her music. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that Caroline decided she needed music playing at all times but she has taken over Edward's music player (fair trade for Eardeer and Legdeer I suppose) and it is hard to get her to let go of the damned thing.

IMG_4172

Patrick dressed them all today.

This is the Salute to Edward version.

IMG_4192

Note that she moves but the music thing remains firmly in hand. The entire time she had "A You're Adorable" on loop. God help us all.

- At the beginning of this post I was heading toward some specific question. Something that I have been meaning to ask. Now I have no idea what that was. Damn it. Any questions for me?

- I missed you and I hope you had a nice couple of weeks.

- An amusing/disturbing aspect to Edward's sunglass obsession is that he still has the iris cysts that (we think) make it difficult to see when the light changes. So as soon as he gets his sunglasses on he almost invariably careens into a wall. Oh, and he puts his fat hand up and says, "EYE!" He did this to me today and I said, "Eye? Yes. The glasses are on your eyes." And he put his palm into my face and repeated "Eye! Eye! EYE!" And then I realized he wanted me to slap his hand: "High five!"

"Eye eye!" 

He's going to be the cool one, I just know it.

PS Yes, the Tyler Place. Loooooooved it. In fact, I think I am in love with it - as I keep thinking about it and I wonder if it is thinking of me... . As far as I know they have a few openings later in the summer so if the idea of ditching providing stimulating summerfun for your children while you nap compete in the mini triathalon appeals to you then by all means give 'em a call. Two caveats: it is not cheap by which I mean it was expensive (and no, we could not really afford it this year) and if you go and love it so much that you tell everyone you know and then there is no room for me next year I shall track you down, create a trust circle and drop you.