Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Monday, February 26, 2007

Changes Are Afoot

When life gets so busy that things seem to run together (and the lines of things blur and fade so that it's hard to keep everything separate and straight), little things stand out.

Are illuminated.

Like the friend who suggests we take my kids mini golfing. For fun. Because she thinks it would be fun. Then, she plans it...
Like the baby running so quickly toward me when I returned from a couple of days away that he fell flat on his face, but he was so excited to see me that he didn't care; just got up and ran the rest of the way, laughing when I scooped him up into my arms...
Like the look on my dear friend's face when I told her I was worried she was compromising herself...
Like the touch of the most beautiful hands in the world...
Like the surprise of tears that come during a silly argument...
Like the laughter of your child...
Like the happy surprise of an email from a childhood friend...
Like those little glimpses of hope that things will be okay...
Like how it feels to be hugged by someone who will never stop loving you...

When I try to go through my days, these things stand out...other things are blurry. But these things are the things that matter.

I'm thinking it'll be a bit quieter here for a while. It's not what it's supposed to be for me anymore...I'm not free to write everything I need or want to write. Maybe someday I will be. But right now, I can't, and I'm sure my cryptic posts aren't very satisfying for you...though they're at least something for me.

I haven't figured it out yet.

I won't go away completely. I can't stop writing! And I know people check for pictures often (hi, Mom!)'ll just have to figure out what to do. I may leave this blog for pictures and updates on the boys, and start a new one somewhere else where I can write freely.

I love you.

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Moral Is: Only Kiss People You WANT To Kiss

My life is crazy. It’s a precarious balancing act, and my sanity wavers with the ebb and flow of change and of constancy. I’m not worried; I’m just acknowledging it.

You know how there are times in your life…times of flux? When that nice, safe grasp you had on everything around you becomes sort of slippery? And suddenly what you thought was down is up? It’s one of those times, friends, and I’m floating…waiting to see where I’ll land.

I’m not complaining. I like change. It feels good to know that things aren’t stagnant, you know? It’s exciting…makes me anticipate getting up in the morning. But I also tend to bend under strain a bit. It could go either way, really. Let’s look at an example:

I was thirteen years old when I started seeing a charming fellow who insisted everyone call him Burnt. Yeah, that’s what he CHOSE for a name. Insert eye roll here. See, I didn’t really care for Burnt coughhisrealnamewasChriscoughcough, but my friend thought he was rad, so whatever. Hey, I was thirteen, okay?

That, of course, was the age when kissing became very exciting. You had to do it! You must kiss your boyfriend a LOT. Which was okay, except for the whole not being very interested in my boyfriend thing. I tried to be interested. I did! But…well…dude wasn’t the sharpest guy around (I’m thinking you probably picked that up with the whole “Burnt” thing), and therefore NOT a stimulating conversationalist. I needs me a boy with brains. In any case…let me sum up:

-Didn’t care for Burnt
-Decided to go out with Burnt because my friend thought he was rad (dudes, I have so totally matured since then…please know this!)
-Kissing was mandatory
-I did not want to kiss Burnt
-I did kiss Burnt

So, yeah...I kissed him. And I was so, so stressed about it that something interesting occurred. Burnt had bronchitis. I caught it. Then, it morphed.

The bronchitis.

It morphed into mono. The kissing disease. It freaked the doctors out. That doesn’t happen! You don’t develop mono…you catch it from someone else who has it. Not me! I believe that I was so stressed and angsty over the whole Burnt/kissing situation that I got the most appropriate disease to express what I was going through.


Funny how the mind works, isn’t it? And interesting how our physiology reacts.

So I’m in a time of flux, dear friends, and it’s rather exciting…who knows what’ll happen! Like I said, I’m not worried. After all, I still have some old Zoloft in the cupboard…that's still good after a year or so, right?

But if I spontaneously combust, you’ll know it’s just my body reacting appropriately to the state of my mind.

And just to balance things out, I’ll tell you that I’ve also done amazing things in times of flux! But those are stories for other days…

Monday, February 19, 2007

Trying to Take a Left

Mom? Why do you talk when he can't hear you?
Why do you say those words?
He can't hear you, Mom.
But...he can't.
What did you try to say to him, Mom?
I only heard a little bit.
Why are you telling him to go?
He doesn't hear your words.
Why were you talking like that?
He has windows in his car.
And so do we.
So he can't hear you.
You were telling him to go, right?
I just don't know why you would talk if he can't hear you, Mom.
I just don't know.
He can see you but he couldn't hear the words.
Because how can he hear you IF HE CAN'T HEAR YOU?
What are we eating for supper?

...he couldn't hear you, you know.

This went on until we pulled into the driveway.

Aidan broke my brain.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cuteness Overload

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad

So I finally did it. I got their hair cut.

My children don't look like degenerates anymore!

I am a good mother*!
But let me show you! It's better that way. Caleb, before:

Stop it. He had been wearing a hat! Look, he's got an artist's soul! Look at him! So carefree and beautiful! He's a poet. An author. A photographer, maybe! He's NOT a degenerate!

He's SEVEN. Good grief.

Aidan was incredibly enthusiastic:He, uh...well, he's been hinting (okay maybe begging a little...just off and on, though!) about getting a haircut...anyway**...anyway, the hairdresser was so impressed with his excellent behavior that she asked him to come back again very soon. She enthused and gushed and...well, she was excited. He sat still. He did everything she asked. With a smile.


voila! Look at the rapture on Aidan's face.

Here's another, for good measure.

Suave, hmm?
You may have noticed the absence of news about Liam's haircut. That, my friends, is because he did not get one. Why, you ask? Well, because he's never had one! He's scared! Oh! And I did cut his bangs so they don't get pasted to his nose anymore. It's cute! He can see very well. And, oh God...and he's blonde. His hair's all...shiny and blonde and curly! It's cherubic.
You can't make me!

I'm not ready!

runs away

**please refer to first asterisk (and corresponding reference)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It IS Genetic!

Remember my post about skiing a coupla days ago?

Well, as it turns out, my dear father has a story of his own...which, of course, proves that it's in the blood! It's not my fault!



It's actually more impressive than mine, and he's given me permission to post it. Thanks, Dad!



During my last winter living in Topsham, I went to my friend Lee's house and skiied down the little hill behind the house with him. I used Lee's big brother's skis and boots, and there was plenty of room at the bottom for me to coast to a stop or snowplow. So that was the extent of my experience, straight down Lee's hill, a kiddie toboggan hill really, and all the space and time in the world to stop at the bottom. I was satisfied. Lee wasn't, and he talked his expert skiier brother into taking us to Sugarloaf the next weekend. Hmm, a real ski hill, huh? Sure man, what could happen?
Well. We went. I don't think I mentioned that Lee was a lot better than me. He had nice skis and boots, the latest stuff. And to my mounting horror the week preceding, I had no skis. No boots. Mom helped me dig Patsy's old equipment out of a corner in the basement, and oh my, it was pretty awful. The boots were way too small. One of the bindings was gone, bootlaces substituted. We managed to find only one pole. Anyway, that's what I took with me to the famous Sugarloaf mountain. Lee's brother fed us beer on the trip there, and no pain was being felt. And, as God is my witness, I actually made it up to the top and skiied to the bottom of the bunny trail.
Funny how the human psyche is. Every fibre of my being was yelling Great, you did it, cool! Be satisfied. But I wasn't - I bet myself that I could ski that trail that Lee took, foolish, foolish me. Back up on the lift, not a lick of hesitation at the top, wham, away I go on the intermediate, and I suddenly found myself going like, I don't know, a significant fraction of warp speed, and hey, I don't know how to a) steer, or b) stop, a couple of very useful skills to bring to the skihill with you.
Well, yeah, I wiped out - the laces let go on the ski with no binding, I kicked that ski out from underneath me, and all I remember is the world going around and around very fast. Everything stopped spinning eventually, and I lay there kind of moaning, but somehow not hurting anywhere. That's when two guys arrived with some kind of contraption, one of them asking "holy shit, are you alright?" I tried to say "F off and leave me alone" but all I could manage was, "my ski broke". They decided to take me down the rest of the hill and to the lodge on the stretcher thingy, as a precaution I guess, and they carried me to a couch in the lodge. On the trip down the trail, I heard one of them say "man, I never saw anyone pinwheel like that and not break something." Pinwheel. Good word for it.
I've never gone skiing again, never wanted to. I brought one ski home with me (I don't think I even got a bruise), they couldn't find the other, and Patsy said "they were no good to use anyway." Yeah, Pat, I know...
I'm glad you're okay, and I'm glad I came through my pinwheel unscathed.


After I asked Dad if I could post it, he sent this:

You can use my story if you like, my blog is writhing in its throes, I think. One thing: I would absolutely love to go back there and watch myself wipe out. Just that, nothing else.

That tickled me enormously. A gem, is my Pa.

Guess What I Did Last Night?

These guys are amazing in concert. I just can't say enough good things about them.
I'm so glad they're coming out with a new CD.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some People Ski

Today, a friend asked me to describe my one skiing experience, and I was surprised...I have repressed that set of memories for so long that it's seemed more like a distant, fading dream (uh...nightmare?) than reality.

But it DID happen.

And today, I share it with you.


My friend Debbie and I decided to go skiing in Windsor (Nova Scotia) at Martock. It was the first time for both of us…I'd say we were 19. We drove there, and being diligent and cautious, decided to pay for a lesson first. It was a good lesson and we got the basics down. I could snowplow with the best of them, baby. I had the techniques mastered!

The last part of the lesson was going down the bunny hill. It was at that point that I discovered that even the teensiest smidgeon of speed blew my technique out of the water and I instantly became a train wreck.

The skis felt wrong. My feet were not supposed to be that long! The boots were all stiff! It just wasn't right. And you had to like…balance and stuff.

Anyhoo my friend Debbie was amazing. It was natural to her. She flew down the easy slopes and watched me from the bottom, cringing. I fell every time except that very first time during the lesson.

We bought cool hats and were proud of how hot we looked. We decided to take pictures of each other on the top of a teeny little hill nearby (most likely just a pile of leftover snow). She got a sweet picture of me before I fell on my face.

We went up in the chairlift thingies and I immediately fell upon exiting the damn thing.
We decided the chairlift thingies weren't my thing and took the "easier" way up: these little bars you sit on while your feet are still on the ground? Yeah it took like half an hour for me to get up the hill because I kept falling off the stupid bar. I let it drag me for a while, but the employees of the place seemed to frown on that.

Tried the chairlift again (Debbie was sure it was just bad luck!). This time I fell ON someone.

I was disenchanted.

Debs decided to try a harder hill. I watched her from the bottom, resting on my poles. She flew down the hill, shooshing from side to side. It was graceful. It was gorgeous. It was inspiring.
When she reached me, her face was bright and happy.

"I'm going to do it without poles!" She announced. My stomach flipped, but I encouraged her.

She did do it. Easily. Smoothly.

I was inspired.

Somehow, in my stupor of exhaustion and disenchantment, the continuously negative experiences of the day faded under the light of my friend's enthusiasm and obvious talent.


Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "UH OH."

And you are right to think that.

I lost my confidence about a quarter of the way up the chairlift. I was frightened.
After I fell off the stupid chairlift AGAIN, I stood at the top of that monstrous hill and watched Debbie sail down it again, effortlessly.

By the time she reached the top again, I was feeling a touch desperate.

"Just snowplow all the way down!" said she.

And off she went again, like the wind. Like a cool breeze…like grace itself.

So, I went.

I started very slowly, meandering back and forth, snowplowing often. About a quarter of the way down, I was feeling relieved. This was going to be okay!

Then it happened again. That little burst of ill-obtained self confidence that had no bearing in the real world.

And I went a little faster.

Once I started going a little faster, there was no slowing down. This was a steep hill. I just kept going faster and faster and faster and was feeling rather terrified when I had this thought:

I'm going to fall.

The power of the mind is amazing, isn't it?

I fell. I fell so hard that I rolled and tumbled and slid and rolled some more…smashing my face into the hard, packed snow, losing first one ski, and then another, and then one boot and then the other…I didn't realize my glasses were gone until I dug the snow out of my eye sockets.

When I finally came to a stop, all I could do was start to cry. It was like every bad event of the day had culminated in this final, painful climax, and I was JUST. SO. DONE.

Like I said, I had snow packed into my eye sockets, so I couldn't see. Once I solved that, I realized I couldn't hear. Getting all the snow out of my ears was difficult. The next order of business was clearing my mouth and nose. Yes, every orifice in my head was packed with the evil stuff.

My socks were covered in a layer of snow, and it was packed up into my snowpants so tightly it was like having my legs encased in ice.

After clearing myself of the snow, I began the search for my skis. Please keep in mind that I was crying quite freely the whole time. It was pathetic. So, when a ski patrol person finally happened upon me, I was crying and my nose was running and I was crawling around trying to find my boots and skis and stupid glasses.

She found my glasses right away, and it was like the heavens had opened up and showered blessings upon my soul.

One of my boots was waaaaaa-haaaaaaa-aaay down the hill, so she got that while I put the other boot back on.

When she came back, I had composed myself a bit. She offered to help me put my skis back on.
I remember how incredulous I felt when she said that.

How sure I was that she was insane.

"Um…no. I'm going to walk down."

Wait…was she…yes she was! She was looking at me like I was crazy!

She commenced to try and convince me that everything would be fine; that I could make it no problem; I was halfway down!

I had fallen a loooong way.

Somewhere in there, in her attempts (smiley, sunny attempts at that) to convince me, something broke.

In my brain.

And I started to cry again.

I walked away from her while she was still talking.

I slowly made my way through the traffic of skiers to the edge of the hill, and trudged down, crying silently this time, feeling miserable.

I remember the patrol girl shooshing past me, glancing at me with concern on her face.

I hated her.

Debbie waited for me at the bottom of the hill, her hair blowing in the wind, her cheeks rosy.

"What happened?" she exclaimed.

"I want to go home now" I replied.

And that was my first and last skiing experience. I just don't think I'm cut out for it. And even if I am? I will most likely never be motivated to find out.

The End.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jim

Today is Jim's Birthday.

He didn't like his cake at all. He totally didn't eat two giant pieces.

Okay that was sarcasm. But Aidan really didn't like the cake. Who doesn't like angel food cake? I don't even know this kid!

He opted for one of his favorite foods instead, and was much happier for it.

Liam? He loved it. Very, very much.

I got a comment on Flickr today about one of my photos of Liam. Saying how cute SHE is. Hrm. Haircut time, perhaps.
The day was spent in a very leisurely fashion, mostly playing games and lying around like slobs. Here are the boys at their happiest, with Uncle Jeff.Happy Birthday, Jim. May you have a lovely time at the Superbowl party.

Me? I am going to stop cleaning the house and lay around like a slob a bit.