Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

When I was younger, I lived on a road that ended at the back gate to the government air-force base. It made for a nice quiet street (save for rush-hour times, of course). It was a beautiful place to live. The kids in the neighborhood ran wild as long as the weather was agreeable (meaning as long as there wasn't a torrential downpour or an uncharacteristically nasty blizzard). Our favorite haunts included the railroad tracks way back in the woods, a couple of choice spots by the river, and the cement pad. The cement pad was just that; a block of cement with a ramp leading up to the top, about 15 x 15 feet in size. It was at the very end of the street, in plain view of the gate and the buildings inside. Somehow, though, that gate acted as a barrier to a different world; we didn't understand it, and we ignored it for the most part. Our world ended at the gate.
There was something else at the end of our street, across the road from the cement pad. The ancient, run-down house was the subject of endless scrutiny and curiosity from us kids. Strangely, it was painted white on the side facing the air base, and rotting and gray on the other three sides. The house was lopsided and decrepit, and one of its upstairs windows broken. Some of the kids claimed that they saw shadows in that window, and the stories attracted even more attention from us.
The house was owned and lived in by the Grandfather of one of the kids that lived on the street...which is how I came to find myself paying a visit one day.
I rarely played with the boy, but that day there were three of us hanging around the place, and the boy claimed, for the first time, that it was his Grandfather who lived inside. We, of course, scoffed at this claim, which prompted the boy to knock on the door.
I remember the day exactly. It was overcast and I was chilly in my shorts and shirt. I was tired from the activities of the day, and the prospect of meeting the owner of this famous (at least in our little world) house was disturbing, especially as it had happened so spontaneously.
The man who answered the door looked as ancient as the house. His wiry gray hair stood at all angles on his head. He regarded us with suspicion, then greeted his Grandson. We were invited in, although somewhat reluctantly, and I was instantly taken aback at the condition of the interior of the place.
Before that visit, nobody was sure whether anyone lived in the house. No-one was ever seen coming or going, and activity around the house was minimal. If I had entered the house on my own that day, I still would not have been sure whether it was inhabited. The stove was, like the house and it's owner, ancient. The table was not much more than some thrown together planks of wood. I shyly asked the man where his fridge was, and he informed us (rather proudly) that there was no fridge; he kept his milk in a cool cupboard.
The three of us kids stood awkwardly in the dark kitchen. I wanted to run, and had since we entered the house. Though I was still in my years of shutting out my gifts, I had felt an undeniable presence as soon as we'd entered the house which had intensified as we'd passed the stairs leading to the second floor.
The old man seemed to be searching for a suitable topic of conversation. What he came up with was...interesting. He went to a cupboard, pulled out a large bag and showed us the contents. I was shocked (and my urge to run was reinforced with a vengeance) to observe that the bag was stuffed full of used needles. "What're those for?" I asked, unable to rein in my curiosity despite being appalled at the contents of the bag.
The man explained that he was diabetic and that he had to give himself needles every day. I remember him pulling up his shirt and tracing a pattern on his belly - the pattern he followed to be sure he didn't stick the same place too often and bruise himself.
Suddenly, the man looked up and his face went a deadly white. "DON'T GO NEAR THERE!" he yelled, and I jumped back a few feet, ending up against that old stove. The third kid with us, most likely made queasy with the whole charming needle story, had wandered over to the stairs and was peering up them. He jumped away at the shout of the old man.
"I don't go up there anymore. Nobody goes up there."
Those word turned my stomach and sent a chill up my spine. We hastily said our goodbyes and left.
His Grandson explained, after we left, that his Grandfather had gotten worse since his wife had died. He never left the house and, as he had said, had stopped going upstairs, which was where his and his wife's bedroom was. I asked why and my friend simply shook his head.
It was some time later that I was alone with the boy, and he told me more of the story. When he was young, he would visit his Grandparents. His Grandmother had an ancient record player and loved playing a certain song over and over again. She was a kind woman and he loved spending time with her. Some time after she died, his Grandfather was taking care of him, and he went to sleep upstairs. He woke up in the middle of the night, in pitch black, to a song so familiar that he instantly knew who was playing it for him. His Grandfather, he learned later, had heard her song many times, and eventually refused to make the climb to his bedroom anymore.
The story always made me sad, and year later when the old man died, I wondered if there was something somebody could have done for the man. Maybe he didn't have to be so alone...
When I visit home now, I always make a point to drive to the end of my old street, up to the back gate, and I feel a little hollow when I see the old lot where that house used to be. They've since torn the place down.
But that old feeling is still there. I've always felt that there was much more to the story of that old man and his dead wife, and I still feel that way. Something unsolved. The house is gone, but its' inhabitants...still linger.

Monday, February 27, 2006

My Mind Hurts

That is the time at which my beloved son woke up for the day.
Ok I just don't get it. How can an 8 month-old baby need less sleep than moi?
So, for the last three weeks, he's been waking at 4:30 every morning, and Jim and I have been pulling our hair out (and crying bitter tears, and writing poetic lamentations to our long lost love, sleep) trying to figure out what we can do to amend the situation. After trying to put him to sleep later, feeding him more, breastfeeding TONS, letting him cry (then wail, then scream, then puke), changing to cooler sleepers, then changing to warmer sleepers, turning the heat up, then down, putting him in bed with us, etc. etc. etc., we decided that maybe it was time to move him out of the hammock. We figured he must get frustrated not being ale to roll around when he gets uncomfortable. And it was so snug that he had begun to sweat, no matter how cool we tried to keep him.
That decided, the official project for the weekend was to move the old entertainment center out of the baby's room and into Caleb and Aidan's room, and set up the crib. Jim accomplished most of that on Saturday morning, and after I spent some time sorting old toys and organizing both rooms, things were looking pretty good.
Saturday night, Liam seemed to enjoy his first stint in the crib. He automatically rolled onto his side and there were high-fives all around. We had solved it! He was just uncomfortable! When he woke at 11:30 to eat, it was more difficult to get him back into the crib. Though he was sound asleep when I laid him down, those eyes sprung open with the voracity of a three-year old hyped up on sugar. It was to be a difficult night. He awoke for the day at 5am, but with use of the Force, I was able to put him back down (albeit in the hammock, still standing beside our bed) until after 6.
Last night was worse.
And I, my friends, am running out of both hope and hair.
Let's talk about something else, ok?
It's March break for Caleb and Jeff, so I'm sure this week will be full of the sights and sounds from various video games. Does anyone have a spare bedroom I can come stay/hide in for a while? Seriously though, Caleb is usually a joy to have around. He actually enjoys helping me with laundry and baking and other things like that.
Incidentally, tonight is my first appointment with the Psychologist. I am...EXCITED. Is that odd? I mean, not only do I get to finally address the worsening problem of anxiety/depression/panic/obsessive compulsive disorder, but I also get to (and this is far more scintillating) spend some time, sans enfants, out of the house! I've begun to think of it as a night out! Do you think it would be strange if I dressed up and put make-up on? What if I bring her a corsage? Hey, it might get me some meds quicker.
We had a crazy weekend, so I owe some peoples some emails. If you're one of those people, my deepest apologies. Let's chalk it up to a combination of sleep deprivation and a busy few days. Oh and the migraine. Can't forget that. Fun times!
I think I'll sign off before this entry degenerates and spirals even further into a sarcastic monologue. Let me leave you with a picture of my beautiful 6 year-old!

Friday, February 24, 2006

First Bath With Brother

Liam's been taking baths in the big tub this past week, and yesterday he and Aidan had fun in the water together for the first time:

Liam's hair can't quite reach the heights that Aidan's can:

But we tried:

Can we do this every day?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Which I Try To Figure My Nephew Out

My 19-month old nephew has a sock fetish.
Upon entering his home, a guest will find their feet the subjects of intense scrutiny from the inquisitive Gage. If said guest is wearing socks, their feet will be caressed, sat upon, held, and covered by a pair of bare, chunky little boy feet. It is strange and rather charming.
Gage's fascination with socks is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to intriguing tidbits about this little person. He is also...magical.
Well, I think he is. He must be!
Yesterday, I lovingly prepared some macaroni and cheese for him, and, placing him in the highchair, presented the meal, which was received with great excitement. He ate with exuberance, and creatively spread the pasta over the highchair tray. Pleased with his happiness over the meal, I stepped into the kitchen to rinse Liam's bowl and spoon. I had my back turned for 5.7 seconds. When I turned around, dear readers, I was quite shocked. The child had somehow covered my living room floor (carpet and wood alike) with macaroni. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that both couches, Liam's exersaucer, and the pillows had also fallen victim to this assault by pasta. How he wreaked such havoc in such a short time is beyond me.
Have I simply forgotten what this age is like?
Or is Gage an extraordinary little person?
Before leaving, my sister gave Gage a bottle of milk for the road. Without hesitation, he upended the bottle and began to shake it violently, spreading droplets of milk over anything in the vicinity. When he did deign to actually consume the milk, inordinate amounts of it were unceremoniously allowed to escape his mouth and soak the front of his shirt.
My fridge magnets found themselves apprehended (and thusly incapable of holding up the copious amounts of paper and art that occupy the exterior of the fridge) several times.
My senses were assaulted by spontaneous bursts of noise most frequently.
He exhausted me quite thoroughly.
And the child, he has the most liquid chocolate brown eyes. There is intelligence in those eyes. There is an inexplicable maturity, somehow. And he isn't free with his smiles, so when you manage to deserve one, your heart warms. You feel privileged. And his size! At 19 months, he is as heavy as Aidan, who is nearly 4. His arms and legs are admirably solid. He is not fat...there are no rolls of fat present. He's just big. His chest is barrel-like in proportions. His head, obviously the receptacle of an impressively large brain, invites exploration by palpation. In short, the child is large.
And those feet...those gigantic little feet that he insists on carefully placing on your sock-covered ones.
You want to eat them.
Well, you would, if they weren't covered in whatever he's most recently spilled all over himself.
He's charming.
He's crazy.
He is so, so adored.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ghost-Story Tuesday

I've always been able to see energy. In fact, I was sure everyone else could, too. I remember, as a baby, knowing how my Mom was feeling because I could see her colors. I didn't understand when others couldn't tell that someone was scared, or sick, or tired. I remember one time when I was in Primary school, I was out in the schoolyard with friends. One of the little girls was sitting on the steps in front of the door, and I could see that her tummy was upset. It looked like a roiling, bubbling mass of brownish-green. "Look," I said to my friend. She didn't understand. "Look at her stomach." My friend looked at me like I was crazy.
I remember getting a surreal my whole world was turning on it's end. "She's sick...can't you see?" I looked at the little girl and saw the green mass contract and roll. "Uh oh!" I said.
That little girl puked her macaroni all over the sidewalk in front of the steps. And my friend got very quiet.
I started to pay attention to how others acted around each other. I cleverly slipped little comments into conversations with my parents and sister about what I saw. And I figured out that nobody else saw. Can you imagine how that felt? At five years old, I didn't understand why I was different, but I knew that I was. And I became scared. To this day, I believe that that is when I started having anxiety attacks. I would tell Mom each morning that my stomach hurt...and I was so panicked, that it truly did! I felt like people would know I was strange, so I didn't want to go to school.
Over the years I learned not to see. Sadly, I've never been able to see as well and as freely as I could as a little girl. But now, I've learned to use my gift, and unlike talking to the dead, this is a gift that I am thankful for, and that I love to use. It's not something so hard to "prove" as being able to...uh...see dead people, for instance!
I love that I can "turn it off" now so I don't have to know when someone's sick (I also feel how they feel when I connect to their energy - not always pleasant!) or tired or...whatever! But when I want to, I can see how someone is feeling, both emotionally and mentally. I can place my hands above their skin and feel injuries - old, new, or future. I can work in energy to balance it, and best of all, I can find that connection with people that is so easy to forget in my busy life.
It's especially fun when I'm bored. I remember traveling to work on the bus several years ago and figuring people out just by studying their energy. Or sitting in a long meeting and sizing up whoever was talking.
It's also handy when someone is hurting. On the way to Maine this past summer, Jim's wrist cramped from driving so much. He asked me to massage it, and I did, but also used my energy to help him feel better. He knew instantly. It's so instant, that result, and so tangible. Some people feel it as heat, others feel it as a tingling sensation. I did energy work on a friend last year who fell asleep in no time, it relaxed him so fully. Others are completely energized.
You don't have to see energy to be able to sense it, or manipulate it. In fact, we all use energy every day. Think about the last time you were trying to convince someone to see something your way. There's that feeling of reaching out, of trying to connect. It's the same when we're "feeling out" a person and trying to figure someone out. And what about that feeling you get when you look into the eyes of someone you love? That feeling that takes hold of your soul...and you know they feel it, too? We so naturally use energy all the time. I've seen some couple's energies flow together like it was one.
So, everyone always wants to know their colors. The thing is, colors change. Everyone has lots of colors, so I just tell the dominant ones. And colors mean different things to different people. To me, if I see a lot of blue or purple in your energy, you are a mellow person, for example. Flow tells me as much as color...if you have a smooth flow of energy, you're much healthier than someone whose flow is choppy or stagnant. I often see red around sore muscles, and darker colors around areas that are sick or infected. Inflammation is red or orange, and something that is healing is bright green, usually.
Energy is fun. It flows in and out of us constantly. And the coolest thing is that is limitless...we can't even fathom what it can do. I love discovering more and more about it. Quantum physics is fascinating to me because of all the mind-blowing things we're discovering about existence and structure and...oh, I could go on forever, but instead, I'll give you some fun exercises to do!

1) Before you go to sleep at night is a great time to open yourself up. Try to connect to the energy of someone you love who lives a distance away from you (someone you don't see often but know very well. Family is best). First, relax your body and mind until you feel very calm. Then, think about your person. Think about the last time you saw them, and about how they make you feel. Now reach out to that person as if you are about to talk to them, or like you're trying to get their attention. The easiest thing to do now is to figure out how that person is feeling. What are they doing? Where are they? What are they wearing? This works especially well if you can get your person to reach out to you at the same time.

2) You've probably seen this before, but it's effective. Do this with a friend or family member. Sit comfortably beside your partner and relax. One of you holds your hands palm up and the other should place their hands, palms down, about an inch away from the other's hands. The palms-up person should focus on moving his/her energy up into their partner's hands, and the partner should focus on taking in the energy of the other. This is fun because each person should feel different effects. If both partners focus on pushing their energy out, you should feel heat and/or pressure and be able to move your hands further and further apart, but still feel connected.

Working with energy is therapeutic for me, so if anyone has questions or requests for remote sessions/readings, let me know!

ps: My girl Kelly's written a great post about ghosties and energy...go see! Kelly, by the way, is one of those rare souls who totally gets me, and supports me 110%. I love you, Kels!

pps: What should I write about next week? Do you want a ghost story? More details on something I've already written about? Got any requests? I aim to please!

ppps: I am so conflicted about writing this...but is there anyone out there who had a small, dark-colored dog as a kid that was either named tutu or wore a tutu?

Ok enough post-scripts already! Have a good day, all.

It's Not Just a Title

I've made myself an appointment.
I don't talk about it much on here other than an occasional brief mention, but I suffer from panic and anxiety disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I've done very well with it over the years, and have worked it into my life seamlessly. If you don't know me very well, you'd never guess. I've also learned to recognize when I need to get some help, and this is one of those times!
I haven't taken any medication since I was pregnant with Aidan (and was very scarily depressed), and I've done well. But since I had Liam, I've been feeling myself slowly slide down that muddy slope of anxiety and panic, and I'm headed for that pit of depression that's so hard to crawl out of. My OCD has taken over my days; I obsess over being sick and maybe getting sick and my family getting sick. I mean, it rules my thoughts. The last couple of months of illness hasn't helped. But we've recovered! And I still feel awful. My mental state is translating into physical symptoms...or is it? I don't know what's real and what's not when physical ailments show up, now.
Everything sends me into a panic. Liam's been waking up at 4:30am every morning for about two weeks now, and I nearly cry with worry every time. That "this is never going to get better" feeling has gone from a whisper to a roar, and it's time to get me some good drugs to drown it out.
I'm not sure if it's PPD (I had it with Caleb and it was different) or just a combination of things, but I'm ready to feel better.
I used to be ashamed of these issues. I watched my Dad suffer as I was growing up, and watched my brother struggle for years before he came to grips with his issues. I saw how people reacted when I tried to explain what was wrong, and I see that look on people's faces when I talk about my anxiety. I get that...I mean, it doesn't make sense. I am so lucky...I have so much. Why let my days be filled with worry? Why be controlled by fear when I could be taking advantage of this time I have with my kids before I go back to work? I mean, it's so stupid to be so phobic about throwing up that every meal is a struggle. It's illogical! Why burst into tears every day because I'm so AFRAID...of what? I don't know...that I feel like I'm pulling apart at the seams? Some would say I'm selfish (though probably only those who haven't dealt with mental illness in some way). Some would say I'm just making bad decisions. Some would say it's no big deal and that I should just ignore it. Suck it up.
I know all that. I'm a pretty smart chick. But here's the thing (and this is THE thing that's made me able to accept my problems and get on with my life): I CAN'T HELP IT.
It's not me! It And I can't apologize for it.
So when I first admitted I had problems, I was sure life as I knew it was over.
But you know what?
It wasn't. Now, I accept my chemical imbalance and I deal with it however I have to to be able to live my life. I talk about it openly, and I recognize when I need help. And when I do, I get it fast.
So, it's a bump in the road. I can say that I feel hopeful because I have that appointment a week from today. And things will get better.
Until things get better, though, I may get the urge to write about it here.
You've been warned!

ps: Happy Birthday to my little brother Jeff, who inspires me every day to be a good person. Jeff, I hope you know how much Jim and I love you and appreciate you, and how adored you are by Caleb, Aidan and Liam. I'm so proud of all you've accomplished, and of all that you aspire to be.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I Love House, But...Oh! And My Ass Is Gone

House, M.D. is our new favorite show. We love it so much that we rented the first season and watched it within a couple of weeks. So, when the show got something wrong I was irked. Irked because...well, aren't they supposed to research this stuff? And because I love the show! I love Hugh Laurie! He can't be wrong!
It happened in the episode where House sees a woman in the clinic who appears to be pregnant. After performing tests, they discover she is not pregnant, but has a large benign tumor. The woman refuses to have the tumor removed because she loves her womanly shape and is afraid her husband won't want her anymore if she is smaller. To make a long story short, House discovers she's having sex with other men and that some of her five children aren't his and bribes her into having the surgery. The basis of his accusations? She and her husband have brown eyes, and some of her children have blue eyes...and that's impossible.
But, Hugh! It is possible! In fact, it's the opposite that is true: two light-blue eyed parents cannot have a dark-eyed child.
I shall demonstrate:





See, Hugh? See? I forgive you though. And I forgive you for dropping acid and soliciting the services of a call-girl, too. Because you have some serious issues. Oh, and you entertain me.

Our weekend has been pretty nice. It's been the first weekend in several weeks that we've all felt good enough to venture into the out-of-doors. Jim took a picture of me before we went to Ottawa:

I figured I'd better record it because this is the skinniest I've been since I was, like, 12, and it probably won't stick. He also took a picture from the side because I was complaining that my ass sort of disappeared along with the weight:

See? I was right! Look at the excess material! Just hanging there! With no filling! So I made him take this one:

Ah, there it is. Phew! You don't think it would be weird to walk around like that, do you?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

So, the day is over and I am one tired biotch. was ok. We survived!
Can I say thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your advice and support? Yeah? OK!
You guys rock.
I was even able to play monster with the boys tonight which is always fun. I love scaring the crap out of them. I contort my body and lumber slowly after them while they squeal and run as fast as they can. Occasionally they'll come too close and get tickled as I make ugly, monster noises. Then I freeze and they slowly inch their way toward me, giggling and trembling. I don't move a muscle...then, when they're starting to feel ok, like I'm not scary, I JUMP and growl menacingly.
They love it. And you know what? It takes surprisingly little energy. So, it's a win-win all around.
Everyone is doing better now. You'd never know Caleb, Aidan and Jim were sick. Liam is still stuffy and having a hard time sleeping, and of course you know I'm still recovering. But things are (knock wood) looking up.
Here are a few pics from tonight:

I'll leave you with an inspiring conversation with my brother, who stayed home from school today guessed it...he's sick.

Jeff: Did you know Leslie Neilson is from Regina?
Me: Vagina?
Jeff: REgina.
Me: Vagina?
Jeff: Ugh.
Me: You know the cat's licking your leg, right?
Jeff: It's ok. I do it to her all the time.

Just so's you know, my brother brings out the unsavory in me. It's HIS fault!

Well, I'm off to bed to try and sleep with the sound of freezing rain pelting against the windows. Night night.

This Is Me, Soliciting Advice

Dear Internet,


Jim has missed embarrassing amounts of work and I am fending for myself today, despite still feeling like I may expire soon. I'm a little worried about how to get through the day, so I thought I'd ask all of you what you do during these times. Here's the dealio:

-I just started eating small amounts yesterday, but am still quite nauseous.
-I am still very weak; I blacked out yesterday after carrying Liam upstairs (we were in the bedroom and I was able to put him down safely).
-Liam is quite a hands-on, needy little one. He will watch a Baby Einstein video, but only if I'm sitting next to him, talking to him about it. He doesn't want to be on the floor; he wants to be in my arms. And when he's in my arms, he wants to be bounced, or tickled, or to engage in some other type of one-on-one interaction.
-I am tired. Liam's been awake most of the last two nights. We figure he's not feeling well either.
-There is no family nearby who can help out.

So, oh wise internet, I beseech thee - how do you deal with this type of situation? How do you get through?

I'm thinking it's taking me extra time to recover because of various simultaneous afflictions (ie: the infections, the bronchitis, the breastfeeding...). But I'm about ready to be done with feeling like crap, ya dig?

Incidentally, I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's day full of chocolate and sex and kisses and shiny red hearts and cake and not feeling like crap!



ps: In light of the fact that I am quite tedious when ill, and also due to the fact that my blog has taken on a rather monotonous tone lately, I offer you the following picture in hopes that you will remember that we over here at Crazy-ass family can also be adorable:

Observe the blue eyes and the questioning look. Regard the care which is taken during the attempted consumption of the key toy. Couldn't you just eat him up?

Well you can't! He's mine.


I mean, isn't he cute, though?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Poopy Ghost Story Tuesday

I am so glad I wrote this post yesterday. I finally succumbed to the barfy virus. Yep, I did. BUT I didn't barf. The power of the mind is a wonderful thing. I did, however, sit on the toilet for 7 hours straight and poop so much that I got dehydrated and fantasized about water...water...oooooh. Swimming in it; immersing my whole self in cool, clean water, and opening my mouth so it would fill me up. I was too nauseous to drink, but I would put some water in my mouth and swish it around so my tongue would stop sticking to the roof of my mouth. Nothing has ever tasted sweeter (the water, not the roof of my mouth. That tasted bad).
I'm trying to drink some Powerade now.
So here's my post; please don't be sad. It's not's really just a long answer to a question I got last week.
Must lie down now.


Do you ever think it is just your imagination going crazy or is it always really an entity?

I always question myself. Well, almost always. Some things are easy to be sure of. When I physically see a ghost (versus “seeing” with my mind, I guess), I’m pretty sure it’s really there! Also, reading for someone is a lot more straightforward; they’re there with me and can confirm what I’m getting. Interpretation is where I run into trouble. It’s tough, sometimes, to try and figure out what a ghost is trying to tell me. Think about how hard it is to understand all the nuances of someone you’ve only just met…it’s work to be sure you’re getting what they say and taking away from it what they intend, isn’t it? Now, imagine that that person doesn’t speak your language…or only speaks choice phrases or a few words. Imagine that, instead of saying, “tell her I remember that time she fell off her bike and skinned her knee,” they make your knee hurt, show you a bike, and make you smell the antiseptic used to clean the scrape. Then, after you get these images/sensations, you have to figure out what to do with them. Is this a warning? A memory? An anecdote?
It’s not always that fuzzy. Sometimes it’s like watching a movie in your head; all you have to do is tell the person you’re reading for what you’re seeing, and they understand. Sometimes, you get the clear feeling of receiving a warning for someone. When I used to do this a lot, I often found that people would come to me for a reading hoping to hear from someone, and would get something else entirely, or nothing at all. The frustration of this was always hard to deal with, and always made me question whether I was doing the right thing by using my gift.
My issue with always aiming to please has caused problems, too. For example, a few years ago, someone who heard about what I do over the internet asked me to read for her (remotely). I had no details except for her first name. I sat down with Jen and Jeff (we often did this together, especially when we had specific requests), and we all opened up. Nothing. Nada. I couldn’t even be sure if I was connecting to her energy. We tried some more. Again, nothing. We decided to take a break and we did another remote reading which went very well, then we went back to the woman. At first, nothing. I was so eager to be able to report something to this woman that I opened up as much as I could, and looked for anything.
Suddenly, I saw a little boy who was ill…I felt hot and knew he had a very high fever. I got that he would have a seizure, and that he would need to see the doctor. Then I got some strange images: a castle with water beside it, and trouble with the police. None of it made any sense, and I was frustrated (especially because Jen and Jeff didn’t get any of this…I usually used them to confirm what I saw).
I remember writing to the woman and telling her that everything felt odd about the reading, but reporting what I saw nonetheless. I was embarrassed and upset when she wrote back, confused…none of this applied to her. She didn’t even have a young son, nor was she close with anyone who did.
So of course I question myself. I wonder if I’m making this stuff up. I doubt my abilities, and I always, always consider just shutting it all out. This time, I did the same.
The next day, Aidan (I think he was 16 months old at the time) spiked a temperature. I’d never seen him so sick. He was lethargic and Tylenol wasn’t touching his fever. After hours of holding him, he fell asleep, and Jim and I went to bed, too. A couple of hours later, I woke to the sad sound of Aidan whimpering. I got him out of his crib and began to change his diaper in the dimly lit room. I talked to him and noticed he wasn’t interacting with me. I knew something was wrong, and ran him into the bathroom and put him on the cool floor. His eyes stared blankly ahead and he was shaking all over. A seizure. We were terrified, of course. We called 911 and took him to the hospital, where they helped to get his fever down and recommended he see his regular pediatrician in the morning.
On the way to the doctor, Jim and I argued, and he was speeding. We were pulled over and Jim got a ticket. Even after this I didn’t clue in that it was this that I had seen the other night while trying to read for that woman. It was only when we arrived at the doctor’s office, which is in an old building with turrets and a stream beside it, that I realized it. I had tried so hard to see something for this woman, and when nothing happened, I reached even further and saw something important that would happen to me and my family.
So I guess all of that is to say yeah, I question myself. But no, I can honestly say now that I don’t believe that my imagination is getting the best of me. Sometimes, I interpret incorrectly. Sometimes, I just don’t see clearly. But I do see this stuff. For better or worse, I see it. And who knows what the heck I’m supposed to do with it! That’s why I like to concentrate on energy work. It’s much more concrete…and the results are always clear.
Next week I’ll write about energy, I promise!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Please Be Gentle

Oh God.
Ok here are a few songs. Songs which I am playing. On Siobhan (thanks Shevon!)! Uh, that's my flute.
Before you listen, know this: I screwed up. I screwed up lots. Some little baubles and one big huge note which does NOT belong. But you know what? I recorded and re-recorded until my throat was dry and my neck was killing me! So this, this is as good as it's going to get tonight, I'm afraid. Also remember that I have only been playing since November (and hadn't played for about 15 years before that).
But I love it. Playing makes me happy. If listening makes you happy, I'd love to hear it. But if listening makes you snicker or laugh or make fun, I would not so much love to hear it. See, it may take some of my happiness away.
And that would suck.
(If listening makes you fart or burp or have some other unexpected reaction, I would indeed like to hear! How cool would that be? If I had the power, through tootling my flute, to make people pass gas spontaneously? I would be some sort of wacky superhero. I would dress in tights and go to banks and if I suspected that someone was going to rob the place, I would play my flute and everyone would start dropping bombs (figuratively speaking!) or floating air biscuits or letting 'er rip and the bank robbers would be all, "We can't rob the bank now! We are passing gas uncontrollably!" and I would be famous and stuff.)
Ok! Here you go (they'll take a minute to load):

The Gentle Maiden
O As I Was Kissed Yestreen
Fayne Would I Wed


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Coming Soon...

Guess what? I'm not going to talk about how much Biaxin blows (so much, in fact, that I've stopped taking them) and how I STILL feel like turd! I'm going to tell you, instead, that Jim's found a way to record me playing my flute so you can hear it!
Whoa there! Settle down a bit, people! WOW, you guys get excited easily.
First, I have to wait until I have the energy to play.
Then, I have to try and make the recording sound good. That could take a long, long time, folks.
Then, you have to promise me that you'll have low expectations. That way, I'll sound great!
Seriously, I haven't played in over a week, and I'm missing it. But considering I'm out of breath after walking to the kitchen, it's been out of the question. Today, I have resolved to put the flute together and maybe stare at her a bit.
Yes, her. My flute is a girl. Maybe I'll even name her. Has to be something special, though. Hey, I'll ask all you wise people! What should I name my flute? Hmmmm. Something Irish would be appropriate, but not altogether necessary.
Ok I'm going to go now. I am so boring when I'm sick. My brains are mushy.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Here Are Some Pictures And A Conversation Because I Feel Too Much Like Crap To Write A Long Post But Apparently Long Titles Are Fine

Here's Aidan after a particularly difficult-to-execute poo:

A Bruins fan in the making:

Now, for your entertainment, a conversation that took place between Jim and I whilst I was reclining on the couch, weak with illness:

Jim jumps on top of me.

Me: Get off! What are you doing? (I weakly try to push him away, but my strength fails me)

Jim: We're going to make sweet love. (He buries his face in my neck)

Me: Jim! I'm too sick to joke around. (I begin to giggle breathlessly) GET OFF ME, MAN!

Jim: It's gonna be beautiful.

Me: Uuuuuuggggghhhhh....

Jim: You can barf on me a'll be so perfect.

Ah, they say laughter is the best medicine, right?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I love Jimmy

I was 13 years old the summer I met Jim. Every year, my friend Shannon and I would go to Sherbrooke Lake Camp, a church camp a few hours from home. That few hours away felt like a universe away when I was little, and that other world I got to live in for a couple weeks each year was every bit as important to me as my own home.
This particular year, I had dressed in my ultra-sexy stretch acid-wash jeans and one of my Metallica t-shirts on the day I arrived at camp. You want to make the best impression on the first day, you know. Shannon and I were walking toward the admissions area to check out who else had come since we'd found our cabin, and I noticed some boys hanging out on the step of one of the cabins to the right of us. Jim was one of those boys, and he loved my acid-wash jeans. Well, he loved my bum in them, anyway.
At 13, and having had the example of my parents relationship to go on (uh, not good), I was rather timid about the whole boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy thing. That's putting it mildly. So when another camper (a girl from Jim's hometown) informed me a couple days later that Jim liked me, I was rather afraid. At 15, Jim thought that tripping me at the washstands while everyone brushed their teeth was a charming way to say hi.
I did not.
He tried, people. He tried so hard to get close to me, but I had put a wall up as soon as I thought he may want something more from me than I was ready to give. He was relentless, though, and we quickly became friends. When we discovered that he lived only 20 minutes from us, Shannon and I vowed to keep in touch with him.
And we did! The three of us did everything together. We went to movies, ate pizza at the local pizza joints, laughed over...well, everyting. We had fun. For the next two years, we were friends, and we were happy. Well, Shannon and I were! Jim made it known quite frequently that his love for me had not diminished. That he was suffering without me. That even though he went out with other girls, he only really wanted me. I ignored his professions of love and continued on with life. I had boyfriends...nothing serious, of course (timid, remember?).
Then one night Jim called as he always called. But this time, he said he was thinking of asking Sandy out. Sandy went to my school, and somehow, that felt a little too close to home. I was bothered. I tried to pretend I wasn't bothered, but I so very deeply was.
Could it be that I loved this boy whose affections I had shunned without so much as a second thought for two years?
I talked to my best friend, and she encouraged me to do what every teenager with something important to say does: write a note. So I did. And I put it in my pocket, and I went up the street to see Shannon. Shannon, incidentally, consistently and tirelessly predicted from the start that Jim and I would end up together, married with kids someday.
When I got home that night, I dug in my pocket for the note. Not there. The note was not there. The note that professed my love. For Jim. Had fallen out of my pocket. At Shannon's house.
Desperate, I called Shannon and asked if she'd found it. She hadn't, but demanded I tell her what it was about. I did, and the rest is history.
The day after Jim and I became a couple (so you wanna go with me? Ok.), Jim called and told me that he had woken up that morning scared that it had all been a dream.
We've been through so much together, including teenage angst, my parent's divorce (and various other interesting events concerning my rather wacky family. Love you guys!), University, many, many jobs...and so many other things it would take forever to list them.
My life could so easily have been very different. You know that cycle of poverty everyone always talks about? Being with Jim made me see that I didn't have to continue it. I saw that I could do anything I wanted. Jim supported me through depression, through illness, through having various family members in the psych ward, through...everything. He is an amazing father. An amazing husband.
And one hell of a wonderful person.
I'm several days late, but I think I'll be forgiven, considering Jim was puking on his birthday.
Happy Birthday, sweetheart. I met you seventeen years ago. I am so thankful for that day. Thank you for being you, and for loving me, no matter what.
Good thing I wore those jeans, eh?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ghost Story Quickie

My family was visiting relatives in Maine, and I shared a bedroom with my cousin for the duration of our stay. I was about 12 years old, and for many years, had closed myself off to spirits as much as possible.
We were having an amazing vacation. My sister and I are very close in age to the youngest two of the cousins we were visiting, and our days were spent in the pool, or making ridiculous recordings of made-up plays and radio shows.
After a long, full day, we started getting ready for bed. I went down the stairs to the basement, where my cousin's bedroom was. I didn't bother turning the light on; there was still enough light from the windows to be able to see my way to the bedroom. When I reached the bottom of the stairs and looked toward the bedroom, I saw a woman sitting between me and the bedroom. In the dim light, she sort of glowed, and in an instant I realized that this woman was a ghost. My heart hammered in my chest. The woman, sitting on a chair, stared straight ahead so I saw her profile. She wore a long dress and a small hat, and clutched something in her lap.
My next actions may seem rather strange to some. Well, to most, I guess. But as I said, for many years, I had closed myself off to these types of happenings. When I realized that I saw these things when nobody around me did, it made me feel so...alone. So when I learned that I could ignore my gifts...I did! Also, I was happy...I was having a wonderful vacation. No ghost was going to ruin it.
Such was my resolve to ignore these events that I screwed up my courage, and began walking toward the bedroom. The woman sat very still, and I was sure that she would vanish if I showed no fear. The only sound I could hear was my heart pounding in my ears as I came closer to her. She did not vanish. Still, I comforted myself with the fact that she had not yet moved or acknowledged my presence at all. Maybe...maybe she couldn't see me!
In a few more steps, I was walking past her, sweating and trembling. I fixed my eyes on the bedroom ahead and told myself that she would be gone as soon as I turned on the light. As I walked past her, I perceived some movement out of the corner of my eye. She turned her head to follow me. The entire right side of my body heated up and tingled with the acknowledgement of her presence, and a wave of nausea rolled over me.
My walking sped up considerably, and I let out a great gust of breath (which I hadn't realized I'd been holding) when I reached the bedroom. I flipped the switch, and nothing happened. I flipped it again: off, on. Off, on. In the few seconds that the light took to flicker and finally burst to life, my world seems to be closing in and suffocating me. I was aware of every noise, every shadow around me. I could hear footsteps upstairs, and laughter of one of my relatives.
With the light finally on, I whirled around with the hope of finding an empty basement.
The woman sat stiffly, just as she had before, but her head was turned all the way to the right, her eyes fixed on mine.
I hastily grabbed my toothbrush and whatever else I had come down to retrieve, and nearly peed with relief when I started back toward the stairs, and she was gone.
I joined my cousin in the bathroom and casually asked if anything...strange...had ever happened to her in the basement.
"Oh, you saw the ghost?" she asked.
"We have a ghost."
"Well, thanks for the warning!"
I told her all that had happened, and later, as we settled down to sleep, she told me all that had happened to her family. There had been strange sounds, the feeling of someone jumping or sitting on the bed of both my cousins, and other events, including strange behavior from the bedroom light.
Interestingly, I visited my cousins in Maine again during the summer, and both my cousin and I saw an orb of light. Both of us are sure of who it was (we even found an old picture of her after I described how I saw her), and I am positive it is the same woman I saw that night when I was twelve.


I have a sinus infection.
And a throat infection.
Oh, and bronchitis!
And the nausea...oooooh, the nausea.
I have a prescription for antibiotics. Can you believe the doctor told me I should wean? Because it's taking too much out of me? He seemed shocked that I was still breastfeedding at 8 months. I took great pleasure in telling him that my first didn't wean until 18 months.
Anyway, I've lost 10 pounds and look like turd.
Everyone else is better!
Poor Jim will have to take a couple more days off work; the doc says I have to stay in bed to get better and frankly, I want to get better.
Ghost Story Tuesday is still on, but first, I must feed my baby. WITH MY BOOBS. Take that, Doctor "no, there's no such thing as taking supplements to increase milk supply!"
Then I will nap.
Then, I will write!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Crazy-ass News - Monday Report

Good morning! I'm Tree and I'd like to thank you for tuning in to Crazy-ass News. Please feel free to call me the Harbinger of Doom. Or Doomy for short, if you like! I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are in good health and great spirits on this Monday morning, wherever you may be.
This weekend's Winterlude celebrations were unfortunately affected by the weather. The ice sculptures had a difficult time holding up, sadly, and attendants of the very popular winter-time celebrations were disappointed at the closing of the canal. The 3C temperature warranted a ban on the traditional canal skating. The National Capital Commission hopes that this week's cooler temperatures will bolster the event's success, though they report that they are pleased with attendance, despite the weather.
Today's weather will include 2 to 4cm of snow flurries, winds gusting to 20 km/hour, and a high of -5 degrees Celsius.
In sports, I have no idea what happened because sports bore the hell out of me, so I'll direct you here and here. *
I would now like to issue a warning for those of you who have grown tired of the copious complaining that has been going on here at Crazy-ass family. It's about to get worse. For those of you who would rather not subject yourselves to this, I would like to invite you to click on any of the links to the right. While the links are in need of updating, all present links are worth visiting! How about Eve, who is expecting twins? Or my sister, who LOOKS like she's expecting twins, sporting a belly at only 7 weeks pregnant? Very exciting stuff. Dad Gone Mad is always good for a laugh. And for some excellent wit and writing, why not try Breed 'Em And Weep?
That said, I'd like to move into the top story of the day for my most devoted readers (I *heart* YOU, by the way).
The Eakins family continues to be assaulted and smashed to smithereens by illness. In recent news, I have reported various afflictions wreaking havoc on the family, the last being this past Saturday, when both James and Caleb were puking their respective guts up and Tree (*ahem*...that would be me) was feeling rather horrible as well. I am dismayed to report that, after a barf-free day on Sunday, Caleb began throwing up late Sunday night, and was found to be suffering from fever yet again. Jim is recovering nicely, however, Tree, while not having succumbed to the nausea which has plagued her relentlessly for days (yet!), has fallen victim to fever and what feels like a rapid hardening of cement in her sinus cavities. Latest reports indicate that the left sinus area is causing such pain that a wicked headache has ensued. Double vision was had in the early morning hours, as well.
Attempts by the diligent husband to get his ailing family members into the doctor proved unsuccessful.
Young Liam, who is perhaps displaying the most cheerful disposition of any of the sickies, still has a low fever and continues to bark like a seal.
This newscaster, for one, is hoping that this family finds some relief, and soon!
Ghost Story Tuesday is, as of this writing, still scheduled for broadcast at our regular time, despite the state of the author (you see how devoted I am? You see?), barring any sort of barfing episodes. If the author does finally succumb to nausea, however, all life will be put on temporary hold.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Thank you for tuning in, and good day.

Edited to add:
*My husband, upon reading this, has informed me, between alternating outbursts of laughter and bouts of disbelieving snorts and shakings of the head, that apparently, there was some sort of large sporting event yesterday. One Super...uh...Bowl, I believe. Many apologies to those of you who are savvy in the world of sports, and special congratulations to Pittsburgh fans, who are currently dancing in the streets.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


2:00am - Jim informs me that he has been puking. He continues to do so until 10:30am
2:30am - Liam awakes with a barking cough. Croup.
2:00am - 6:00am - I spend these hours feeding Liam, sitting in the bathroom with the shower running as hot as possible to clear him up, and listening to him struggle to sleep. I have not slept since 2:30am.
7:00am - Caleb throws up, and is still doing so at 3:00pm.
Me? I feel horrid. Like I will throw up very soon. I am trying to hold off until Jim's a bit better. Thank God for Jeff, who has taken care of Aidan and Liam all day (I am there as much as possible, of course, and am still breastfeeding).
Can anyone answer this? My whole body feels like it's been steamrolled. I am shaking, and haven't been able to eat yet today. I've had two cups of water and some sips of Gatorade. Can my milk supply hold up? Has anyone felt like this and NOT puked?

Lastly, today is Jim's birthday.

Have you ever wished you could crawl in a hole and stay there until things are better?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sick and Thankful

I can't remember the last time I felt 100%. Seriously. I mean, I haven't slept through the night in over a year. I am plagued by viruses. And if I'm not physically ill, at least one of the kids is. My anxiety and panic, I acknowledge, needs to be medically addressed, and soon.
I am tired.
Today, my head cold (and accompanying nausea) has morphed into the kind of sick where you can't breathe through your nose and raspberry jam tastes like vinegary gel littered with seeds.
So! I have decided to tell you what makes me feel better, ok? Let us dwell on the positive.
My husband is wonderful. He is. He's been home from work for two days taking care of us. He encourages me to sleep in whenever it is possible. He tells me I'm hot even when I haven't showered in four days and my belly's hanging out. He wants to kiss me, even when I'm sick. He does anything I ask him to...and sometimes, he does extra. I love him. He makes me better. He keeps me sane.
My children, sick as they are, are funny, and cute, and brilliant. I want to eat them up, all of them.

I weigh 124 pounds. I guess all this illness tends to take the pounds off. I will say, though, that despite being svelte, I feel weak. Not good. I must get strong again.
Would you like to know what makes me feel the best?
When Liam wakes up from a nap, I go to get him from his hammock. He can be quietly babbling, or yelling, or screaming - it doesn't matter which - as soon as I enter the room, he laughs. Sometimes it's a sweet "hello" laugh; sometimes it's a desperate, "Good LORD, woman, it's about TIME!" laugh. Then I lean over him and tell him he's beautiful and he smiles and reaches for me. When I pick him up, he presses his warm little self into me, burying his face in my chest, and wriggling his legs excitedly. Without fail, he then presses hard against me with both hands so he can study my face. When he meets my eyes he giggles and reaches...sometimes he grabs my ears, sometimes my hair, sometimes my neck. He takes hold and pulls, and I receive the sweetest gift one can experience: a baby kiss. He used to just open his mouth and bounce off of whatever part of my face he could reach. Now, he opens wide, and finds the same spot on my jaw every time, then sucks energetically. He pulls away, studies me again, then buries his face in my neck, breathing quickly, often bouncing in my arms.
I have never felt love so pure from another being. At 7 months old, this beautiful boy has learned to express his joy at my presence and his love for me so clearly that it smashes my heart to pieces every time. Just when I think that that intense ball of emotion in my chest can't get any more intense, it bursts and fills my whole body.
He doesn't like to sit. He hates when I leave the room. He sleeps horribly. He would rather be held than play in his exersaucer or watch a movie or be with his brothers.
But the child, he loves so huge.
I am so, so lucky.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

So, How's YOUR Week Going?

Our week has sucked rather royally so far. Instead of getting better, it took a turn for the worst last night.
Two days ago:

A feverish Caleb. The fever rages on today, my friends.

An exceptionally grumpy little man. Although he seems to be only marginally ill, his spirits are suffering most noticeably.

Today, we've added to our ranks of the ill:

Observe a very sad Aidan, after a night of vomiting. Note the plastic container at the ready.

Isn't he cute, though? Even with the faint scent of spew emanating from him? Gently wafting to my easily-offended nostrils?

So, how are you?

*Edited to add: Apparently, Pingu has amazing healing properties: