Friday, October 29, 2010

The Guilty Train Conductor

Preschooler D was running with a wooden Thomas the Train conductor-guy in his mouth yesterday and -- you see where this is going -- Boom! He tripped, and wooden conductor-guy ripped a 1/4 in hole in the back of D's mouth.  Try not to think too hard about this.  It was not pretty a pretty sight. Blood, gore, upset parents, screaming child . . .

D managed to calm down before Big Daddy and I did.  I took him to the clinic -- um, D, I mean, not Big Daddy.  Nurse Practitioner Beth took a good look and said it was pretty bad.  He could have stitches, but she didn't think it was worth the trauma.  She told D he could not eat chips but would be ready for Halloween candy by Sunday.

On a side note, I love NP Beth.  I took a very sickly Colin into see her one time and he fell asleep on the exam table in the few minutes we had to wait. She came in and whispered, "Well, that not very like Colin.  He'll be better in 48 hours or bring him back."  It was almost 48 hours to the minute, but it turned around that day.

So, anyway, D was pretty quiet yesterday. He watched a lot of TV and went to bed without much fuss.  We thought it would be a long night, but it wasn't too bad.  This morning, though, he wanted Doritos and then he wanted Oreos and then he wanted cracker sticks.  No matter how sweetly I try to sell the yogurt, he wants what he cannot have.

Isn't that life?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Learning is one thing, applying another

Preschooler D and I were at ECFE yesterday and the topic was staying calm when in an emotional battle with your child.  The mommies were sharing the toughest battles they have with their preschoolers, and I just sort of sat silently.  A lot of their stories involved misbehavior in stores.  Please.  I mean -- is Preschooler D not the most precious and well-behaved child in the universe?  What problem could he be in the big picture?  Of course I stay calm.  I even mentioned this to the parent coordinator.  I said something like, "I don't know.  D is the tail-end child of older parents.  I guess I just have a high tolerance."

Then we went to Target.

We had my favorite s'daughter Shelby with us (and I don't just say that because she is the only one of my children who reads this blog), and we had barely made it past scarves and mittens when D took off.  I mean -- took off.  Down and around.  In and out.  Here and there.  He was leaping through a clothing rack when a Target employee caught him. She could not see me and could not see that I could see her.  She got a look in her eye that told me she did not have children.  "Oh! Oh! Oh!" she shouted out, glancing around for the irresponsible mother.  "Don't go through there, sweetie.  I don't want you to get hurt."

I came storming up.  "Thank you!  I have got it!"

"Well, I just don't want him to get hurt."

Yes.  Because he's going to get crushed to death by this rack of short sleeve Halloween-themed t-shirts. What state is this anyway?  Who can wear short sleeves on Halloween?

"Yes!"  I smiled condescendingly.  "I. have. got. it."

I picked D up by the scruff of the neck and keeping in mind the lesson on calmness I had learned at ECFE whispered very calmly in his ear, "Because you could not walk nicely next to Mommy and Shelby, I am going to plant your little butt in the cart where you will ride for the entire duration of this trip."

I sort of wish I had been paying more attention in class.  I'm not exactly sure I got it right.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday

Oh, friends and loved ones!  It is windier than ever.  I do not know if I am coming or going.  My insanity is at an autumnal high . . . or low.  My goodness.  And tomorrow it's supposed to snow.

While I retreat to my bed and pull the covers over my head, you read this simultaneously depressing and yet somehow encouraging poem by Shelley.

Ode to the West Wind
Percy Bysshe Shelley


O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou 
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill;

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!


Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head 

Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, 
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: O hear!


Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, 
Lull'd by the coil of his crystàlline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers 
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!


If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share 

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! if even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed 
Scarce seem'd a vision—I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd 
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud.


Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own?
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, 
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse, 

Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday on Wednesday

Oh, friends and loved ones, the wind has been blowing very hard and you know how I get.  Here it is Wednesday night, and we haven't had a Tuesday poem yet.

Let's salute my wind blown confusion with a tome from Minnesota's own Robert Zimmerman.  Sure he hasn't lived here since 1961, but he grew up in Hibbing and that's a lifetime of Minnesota right there, I think.

Blowin' in the Wind
Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Speaking of the Flu Shot

So, I had my flu shot as well last week.  Hopefully the flu shot will match the flu strains this year.  Do you remember last year I bought the movie Cleopatra so I could watch it when I got sick over the winter?  I never did get that sick.  It is still sitting in its plastic shrink wrap.

I'm just sitting here trying to decide if that should be my health care plan again this year -- buy a long movie I would like to watch.  It seems whenever I get so sick I must take to my bed, the only thing on TV is an America's Next Top Model marathon.

Now what movie would I like to watch this year when I am so sick I have time for two movies?  Gone with the Wind? Nah. Too windy.  Titanic? No.  Too watery. Something flowery from the BBC, perhaps?  Hmmmmm. I have to think about that.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Shot

I took Preschooler D for his flu shot today. The kid in front of us had a major melt down and was still not done when he came out even though he was covered in stickers and holding a bouquet of lollipops.  I was a little worried about D being scared by this, but he took it like a champ.  The frazzled nurse wanted me to lay down on D's arms while she gave the shot, but I told D we would just hold hands because there was no reason to worry.  I'm not going to say it wouldn't have been appropriate from some children to be held down like that, but I think D would have been more scared of his mother putting him in a death grip than the actual shot.

He was fine.  He so fine, in fact, I had to remind Frazzled Nurse to give him a sticker and a lollipop.

I am sending you over to read my friend Tonya's blog today.  She is a physical therapist who is spending two months working in Haiti.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Out from the Dark

Did you watch miners come up from the dark yesterday?  I hope you did.  How many times do we watch the news and say, "How could God let something like that happen?"  I don't know most of the time and doubt I ever will.  I still choose to believe He is good.  Yesterday, I saw with my own eyes it was true.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday

The weather has been freakishly unseasonable here -- in the warm way.  My fellow Minnesotans say they love it!  Now while I agree it's nice that it's not unseasonably cold, there something a little strange about to remove your Birkenstock because there's a dead leaf stuck in it.

Here's a pumpkin poem that made me chuckle. Shake your stems, friends and loved ones.

Pumpkin poem

When all the cows were sleeping
And the sun had gone to bed,
Up jumped the pumpkin,
And this is what he said:

I'm a dingle dangle pumpkin
With a flippy floppy hat.
I can shake my stem like this,
And shake my vine like that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Beautiful Home

Colin and I were watching a TV show on the Home and Garden channel where people look at three different homes before they purchase one.  This particular episode showed people looking for a vacation home in Costa Rica.  The homes they were looking at had large infinity pools, stainless steel kitchen appliances, amazing looking bathrooms with views of the ocean from the spa tub.  I was sitting there trying to decide if (I had a million dollars) Costa Rica was the right spot for my second house, when Colin said, "I wish we lived in a beautiful home."

Oh! Right to the heart of my home making insecurities!  My house isn't clean enough.  I'm not a good decorator. Our house isn't big enough.  My child does not feel safe and relaxed in our home!

Very calmly I asked, "Oh?  What would make is a beautiful home to you?"

He did not hesitate a wink.  "Flat screen TV."

Whew!  Well, eventually that's probably something I can handle.  Right now our TVs are working perfectly fine, so he's going to have to live with them.

I chuckled on this subject again last night.  We were at a gathering for our new church when I overheard a one of the elementary girls talking.  It seemed she loved, loved, loved the carpet in the house we were at.  It was perfectly fine carpet, but plush in a way that suggests another decade.  Very similar to the carpet in my house.  What made me chuckle was that our group has gathered at this girl's home several times.  It was built by her father, the architect, with beautiful and modern hardwood floors.

Seems the carpet -- and the TVs -- are always greener at someone else's house.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday

I think I've had this problem before.  All the beautiful poems about fall turn out to be about lost youth in the end. This is true of our poem today as well.  We haven't had a poem from a chick for a while, so here's a little something from Bets.

The Autumn
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Church in a Cafeteria

Well, we have had our first church service. Some things went really well.  Some things need to improve.  It was our first time. Overall, it was a pretty exciting day.

Jeremy J took this photo from his perch at the drums. Now, there is a friend, loyal and true, who would haul all of his drums up from the Twin Cities because we needed a last-minute drummer with his own drums.  He has been playing music with Brent since they had to drive him to the gigs because he would have had to take his banana seat Incredible Hulk Huffy, otherwise.  Hard to balance your drums on the handle bars.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fritz T Gets Zapped

A few weeks ago Mom and I drove down to Cyberspace Sarah's for a baby shower hosted at the home of her new pastor's wife.  This lady was attractive and savvy and threw a great shower . . . and her little dachshund had a "bark collar" -- you know, a collar that gives a tiny zap to the dog when it starts to bark.

"Hmmmmm," I thought to myself.  "If that cute little dog can wear that collar, Fritz T certainly can."

Now, you know me.  Zapping my dog seemed like it was going to be something way out of my comfort zone. If you will recall, however, we've had some relationship issues this summer (Remember when I was going to drive over him with the car?) and I decided it just couldn't hurt . . . um . . .me.  I didn't know about Fritz T.

Anywho, I researched them online and discovered that I could either get one that automatically zapped Fritz when he barked, or one with a remote that I would use to zap him.  In the end I went with the remote because I could also give him a verbal cue like "Quiet!"

On the first day Fritz had the collar on, he started barking and going ballistic at a squirrel or cat he saw out the window. I steeled myself, gave him the command, and pressed the button that gave a buzz sound but no zap.  Nothing.  I gave him the command and pressed the zapper at level one.  Nothing.  Cranked it to three. Nothing.  Five.  Nothing.  "Quiet!" I bellowed and set it on seven. ZAP! Fritz stood very, very still and was quiet.

"Um . . . Fritz? . . . ah . . . good dog . . . are you okay? . . . thank you for being quiet."

And that, my friends and loved ones, was the only time I have had to zap him.  Three days later and I don't even have to buzz him with the sound.  He's still barking at the random blowing leaf, but he is responding the verbal command.  Hooray!

Now, I need him to stop peeing in the living room. What do you suppose the verbal command is for that? "Stop peeing!" ZAP!