Thursday, November 22, 2007

First they came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Perhaps my chance will come.

"I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come." --Abraham Lincoln

I'm spending my day attempting to finish my research for my sociological paper on trangenderism in childhood and adolescence. Happy thanksgiving! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Plans for the day fell through, so the kids and I are on our own. They're painting and coloring and playing together nicely, and I'm trying to work toward my future. We'll be having sausage and beans for dinner and chocolate-covered frozen bananas for dessert. We'll talk about all we are thankful for, and perhaps create some new traditions of our own. The day isn't about feasting, since spending a week's food budget on one meal simply isn't an option, and we won't be spending it with friends or family, but we do have each other. I love my little family, and I have much to be thankful for: my children, my home, my critters, my education, my spirituality, my strength. And antidepressants. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Two beers last night, and I was partied out. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My novel came to a standstill, but it's more I've ever written towards one before. And it doesn't have to stop with November.

This has been an insane month. Just nuts. I never thought this would be my life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Returning to The Scene of the Crime

Tomorrow I'm taking the kids to the dentist again. Last Wednesday we went for their check-ups and all went incredibly smoothly. While waiting, we read to each other, we chatted amiably, we garnered smiles from the admiring staff and clientele with our lovely display of family harmony. Sophie went back on her own for the first time ever, and despite the staggered appointments all three were seen at the same time and I had kid-free time in the waiting room and got 2 days worth of studying done. It was lovely.

Well. For a while.

The kids all got done in short succession and I had my hands full again. Leo had to go to the bathroom (single-user room directly off the waiting room/desk area), and I was doing post-appointment paperwork at the desk when my Leo radar blipped uncontrollably. I tore myself away as soon as possible and opened the bathroom door to see Leo fishing paper towels out of the toilet with his hands. Not the soft fluffy paper towels so many have in their homes, but the industrial brown cardboard masquerading as paper so often found in institutional settings and other places who find it amusing to offer water-repellent "towels" to their bathroom users.

So I do disgusting damage control, and pee real quick while Leo is washing his hands. And his arms. I rush us out to the waiting room where I've left the girls, and catch Sophie in the act of trying to uproot the fake plant. Nearly all eyes are on us since the magazines are six years old, the chairs are uncomfortable, the piped in music sucks, and our flurry of activity is eye-catching and impossible to ignore. As I have my back to the room of waiting dental victims, untangling Sophie's tentacles from the poor plastic plant, I feel.... a breeze. I freeze. My hand snakes around to my posterior, reaching for skirt, praying for skirt, desperately clinging to the hope of skirt, and instead finds my hot pink undies and bare thighs above my knee-high alarmingly striped socks, my skirt having mischievously crawled into the back of my underwear after my preternaturally speedy pee.

Oh, crap.

I whip around, untuck my skirt, and immediately return to Sophie patrol and pack up our endless waiting-room entertainment supplies. I bustle everyone out to the car, and hope that none of the same people are there when we come back for our appointments next week. Tomorrow.

And you know what? I never once blushed or felt embarrassed. Amazing what motherhood can do, I tell ya.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day in the Life (from Friday 11/9)

At what point does the day start when one gets no sleep?

After a tireless bout of insomnia last night, I finally nodded off only to be awoken 20 minutes later by Sophie needing to puke. I staggered off to the bathroom with her under my arm and let her hang over the toilet while I got a bowl, which we took back to bed. After 2 more rounds, I got up for good. And this is why.

Tuesday evening, Sophie swallowed two quarters, and they lodged in her throat. She could breathe around them, but we were directed to head straight to the ER, which we did. On the way there, they finally came dislodged and went all the way down, at which point I called the ER doc. After talking to him, I decided not to take her in, instead choosing to watch out for potential problems and keep an eye out for their re-arrival in the toilet. Thursday she had diarrhea. And last night/this morning was the stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. With 4 symptoms from the "watch out for" list, we headed to the ER at 4:30 this morning.

Despite the incredulous looks and comments at the ER of all those professionals who didn't think the coins would still be in her, the x-ray showed that there were still at the very top of her intestine. No blockage though, they said. While we were at the ER, I read them chapter 2 of Story of the World volume 1 (a re-read) and chapter 8 of Lions at Lunchtime (Magic Tree House #11). I gave Marian and Leo verbal math problems and spelling words, and Sophie chilled on the ER bed and watched "Sunrise Earth" on Animal Planet. We all got a good look at Sophie's x-ray which was very cool, showing everything from chin to pelvis, and it generated lots of discussion baout the skeleton and internal organs.

At 6am, we left the hospital with another list of things to watch for , and the kids talked about the gender of Spanish nouns and also used their Spanish names for awhile (Mariana, Leo, Sofia). We parked and watched the sunrise while listening to the Tao Te Ching.

Then went to Walmart, where I wandered around in a fog not able to remember anything that was on my list. On our way back to the car, we stopped to inspect a very freshly squashed mouse and had an interesting discussion about mouse guts, which led back to Sophie's x-ray.

We got back home at 7:15am, and Marian and Leo took the dogs out while I cleaned up their crate and fed and watered them all. The kids had a second breakfast, Leo ran off some energy outside for awhile, and now they are all watching Reading Rainbow and I'm getting ready to feed the kittens.

(And it's not even 8am. Most days I don't get up until 9.)

The kids watching a Reading Rainbow about Jewish cooking and culture. (Leo's getting peanut butter off the roof of his mouth.)
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Hungry little kittens waiting to be fed. (This is just the holding tank for feeding time. Their living quarters are much more spacious.)
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The runt, and my favorite. Heidi. I always feed her first.
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Marian got the big two some wet food while I fed the little ones. The big ones are in the process of weaning (they drink from the bottle a couple times a day). Here's everyone all full and happy.
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I watched most of "Animal Cops: Houston" with Marian while feeding the kittens. Leo and Sophie were in and out, and spent a good chunk of time playing together with dollhouse stuff upstairs.

Now the TV is off, Leo has requested math or pirate worksheets printed off the internet, and my stripey socks and I are settled in to work on a Sociology paper for a little bit. The kids are all playing upstairs at the moment.
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I got a good chunk of my paper done, and hope to finish it in one more sitting today. While I worked, the kids were all over the place. Leo did a math worksheet and played with the tunnel, Marian and Sophie dressed up, played upstairs, and then came and got in a fight with Leo about the tunnel, at which point I put it away.

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We spent over an hour at the shelter, where Leo slept in the car, Sophie played with Jack (the dog in pics), Marian drew, and the girls both constructed some kind of mud castle. I took pictures and got descriptions of about 15 dogs and still need to update their website, I got recruited to hook up their new computer monitor tomorrow, and I fed and watered the cats.

Pictures from the shelter:

Sophie with Jack, the best babysitter I've ever had.
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Marian drawing, with Jack checking in on her
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Part of her picture:
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After the shelter we came home, and Frank (the shelter guy) showed up shortly after bearing gifts for the kids, for Sophie's birthday. (He got all of them stuff.) Then the kids had lunch, I avoided a couple phone calls, and then answered when my dad called and talked to him for almost an hour. The kids finished lunch and played with their new toys while I was on the phone. Time to feed the kittens again!


All four of us piled up like a bunch of kittens and napped all afternoon. Then my friend came over with her daughter and hung out for about an hour or so, and then I watched Leo and Sophie play out front for awhile after she left.
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Marian is still asleep. Off to feed kittens and then humans.

I served the little ones their dinner (split pea soup, rice cakes, grape tomatoes) and then snuggled Marian awake and almost fell back to sleep myself. We finally got up and she had dinner while I fed the kittens and the little ones played, and then we went to the store. Evening snack has been had.

Everyone has done their bedtime hygiene and they're waiting on me to go read to them. Be back in a bit!


I read them a chapter from The Seeing Summer (our new read aloud) for bed, and Leo and Sophie are asleep. Marian is quietly roaming around. So far I've gotten my Sociology paper done and submitted and I finally finished updating the animal shelter's website with photos and descriptions.

I still need to study for an exam, do research for a research paper, get in about an hour of transcription work, and write some of my novel. And I'll watch an episode or two of That 70's Show and/or Whose Line is it Anyway? while I give the kittens their last feeding of the day.

Still plenty to do, but I'm signing out.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fiona rocks.

Crazy costumed kids.
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Witch girl.
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Captain Leo RedHook.
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Flower fairy.
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Ogress Princess Fiona.
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A Damn Full Day

Today was all about the kids. I've been having a hard time balancing everything in my life lately, and felt the need to drop most of it and give the kids my all today. We had a lovely time at the animal shelter, read more books than I can remember, worked on all kinds of homeschooling stuff, fed kittens, talked and talked and talked and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. I swung them in circles through the air, I chased them, they chased me, we played games, we watched kittens romp, we dreamed. We made lots of memories on Sophie's last day as a three-year-old.

After they went to bed, I got all of my studying done for the day, and surpassed my writing goal for my first day of NaNoWriMo. I know I may seem insane to take on this challenge of writing at least 50,000 words of a novel in the next month, but this is for ME. And after finishing today's goal, I felt energized and excited. (No, not THAT way.) Although I do have to admit that my intended wholesome and family-oriented young adult novel has somehow morphed into a lesbian romance.

The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
- Abbie Hoffman