Thursday, August 30, 2007

So long summer

Enjoying the last of summer outside.

We began school this week. Fritz was so excited that he wanted to do his "school work" long after Alex had closed his books. Fritz mainly colored pictures of a dinosaur with the number one on his back and a plate heaped high with spaghetti which resembled figure eights. He signs his papers with his name Firz which is too cute to correct. As long is he is of good character, his name is of little consequence. Afterall, he has been my Felix, my Fritzgerald, my Fritzsimmons, my Whit, and now my precious little furs.

Adventurous Jane is in training for her future Tarzan. She climbed/fell out of her crib this past week. I placed cushions all around her crib, because she is too young not to be contained. I expect she will come toddling downstairs one of these nights and that will be the end of my peace.

This is love. Ben having been up all night the day before, comes home at noon and works on the roof till dusk to keep his family safe from those rabid intruders. He also worked on sealing the minuscule cracks in the interior of the second closet in our bedroom. Sometimes I panic going upstairs when it is dark. And I still keep rags at the crack under the closet door.

You can pray for us, tomorrow is our fourth set of shots. Last time, Alex had to be held down by three men and the needle broke because he was so tense. The pharmacy had to prepare another shot which resulted in more time in the hospital and Alex had to be poked again. His howls had a domino effect and the other children throughout the ER began to cry (including ours).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

45 Vaccinations

This past week we received a call from the county saying the second bat we caught in our house was rabid. Since we were asleep with the first bat, there is a chance we could have gotten scratched or bit by the bat. I have been feeling a bit rabid, but my kids have a way of doing that to me. Ben jokingly told me he would tie me to the tree in the back yard. It was Ben that turned around to show me he was foaming at the mouth the other night, but toothpaste has a way of doing that. As rabies is fatal, Ben made up our minds and marched us up to the ER. After following the exposure protocol, the entire family will receive 45 vaccinations over the course of the month. We will have another round tomorrow and two more rounds after that. It is getting increasingly hard to convince the kids that shots aren't painful. The nurses are exceptional and have done their best to amuse the kids with take-home water gun syringes, stuffed animals, stickers and lollipops. God again answered prayer by removing a huge financial burden from the visits with the kindness of the doctors and staff. ER copays for six people, five times was astronomical. Due to God's grace we have in writing the 4 subsequent copays will be waived. It definitely helped that Ben works there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Bull Rider

Ben and I met a group of residents for dinner at a restaurant that has a mechanical bull. This time Ben didn't don his cowboy hat and jeans, but he still was the cutest cowboy. He rode under the Texas flag.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This is NOT a Tall Tale

Last Saturday, I went to the neighborhood picnic a few doors down. Our neighbors are very friendly and we know more of them here than anywhere else we have lived. In the summer you see neighbors chatting with cold drinks in their hands while their kids play in the yard. Other neighbors stop to say hello when they walk their dogs around the circle. Beautiful weather perhaps promotes neighborliness.

At the picnic everyone brought a dish to share, there were sack races for the kids, a bike parade, a pinata smash, a wheelbarrow full of buried pennies in sand for the children to find. Bringing home a dollar fifty in pennies and three bags of candy lit up our kids faces as if it was fifty dollars and a mobile candy store. Sadly, Ben missed the enjoyable evening as he was on-call.

That night Alex, Fritz and Emily fell asleep to dream about the candy they would eat in the morning. I stayed up late as my custom when Ben's on-call. When I did fall asleep it was with the happiest thoughts of sweet neighbors and pasta salad.

BUT at 3:30 AM my dreams became terrifying. I contributed my vivid nightmare to the heat. I heard skittering sounds of nails scratching the wood floor and fluttering sounds as if something was flying above the four poster bed. I can remember thinking this dream seems too real and that's when I opened my eyes and turned on the light. Then I screamed. A bat was circling above my head. Our room is by no means small, but the bat could circle it incredibly fast swooping under our rod iron canopy and far too close to me. I know that bats have terrible eyesight so I was relying on my screams to keep the bat away from me. Being half asleep to be woken up to that was frankly the most frightening thing to happen in my young life. There was nothing brave about me, I sweatily squeezed my favorite pillow and resolved to charge for the open door on the bat's next circle. Once in the hall I slammed the door and stuffed some rags under it, so not a crack of light could be seen and the bat could not pursue me. Being panic stricken, I gave the bat far too much intelligence.

I tried to hunker down in the empty bed upstairs. I was hot, restless and worried that the bat would fly into my lamp and start a fire or drop guano over every square inch of the room making it a toxic waste site. I went downstairs and tried to sleep on the couch. I wished Ben had been home, he would have known what to do. Then I realized I could pray about it. And pray I did. And as I finished praying the garage door began opening and Ben walked in at 4 AM, unexpected by me of little faith, but a direct answer from God. He donned leather gloves took his fishing net and matter-of-factly marched upstairs. In a brief moment he had swooped the bat into the net. He released it outside as it tried to bite his fingers with its sharp teeth.

For those who don't know, Ben use to own his own nuisance wildlife extraction service. Being a master trapper of an armadillo duet, he won my father's approval for my hand in marriage, but that is another story. Last Sunday in the wee hours of the morning, Ben won my eternal gratitude and pride as he caught the creature of my nightmare.

The Bearded Baby

Santa Baby with a yogurt beard. A twinkle in her eye and an unbelievable belly.

Emily's hair

I have had a trying week with Emily. She has been terribly disobedient and destructive. And because I wouldn't let her have a cookie, she told me she hated me. Loving your enemies, doing good to those who hate you is frankly quite difficult. In the photo, her behavior caught up with her, she fell asleep eating her ramen.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pay No Attention to Me

It was only a matter of time before it happened. With all the other disasters Emily has orchestrated, I guess it shouldn't have surprised me to find long strands of blonde hair under the table. But I gasped nonetheless. If you look at Emily she tends to get upset and tell you to stop looking at her. Only this morning she began shouting at Jane because Jane dared to look at her while she munched her Cheerios. This said, I avoid looking at Emily. Why start an unpleasant scene? Therefore, I didn't even notice her haircut till dinnertime last night. After discovering the evidence under the table, believe me I took a good look at Emily. She has a crooked tuft of hair right in front. They can't even be called "bangs" because they are so short. If she had a happy disposition her hair would look only clownish, but as she tends to be a little black rain cloud, her hair depresses me further.

As I was writing these melancholy lines I thought of Winnie-the-Pooh singing, "I'm just a little black rain cloud, Pay no attention to me." That stanza is Emily's heart song. Alas, Emily may find her unusual hair draws unwanted gazes.

The photos above were prior to scissors. When I have the courage I will post her new look.