Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alleluia, Praise the Toilet

After many months* of trying to destroy his mother by waking up at random times of night and then at five a.m. for the day (or earlier, Lord have mercy on his punishing toddler soul), just this week Charlie switched up his sleep routine. He now goes to bed just before 8 p.m., as before, sleeps relatively soundly and does not get up for the day until about 6:30 a.m.

That sound you hear is me weeping with relief.

A.--he of the silver tongue--told me my face is looking a lot better this week. Which means that I've looked like exhausted hell for the past, oh, five months or so? Super. But it's all better now!

So of course I decided to celebrate this blessed event in my life by jacking it all up. Specifically, by moving Charlie out of the tiny room adjoining ours and into Cubby's room down the hall.

This had to be done before the arrival of the new baby in December, of course, who will occupy the tiny room. I've wanted to move Charlie for some time because of the presence of the half bathroom accessed through that tiny room. I use the toilet at night, you see, thanks to that same baby, and it's very frustrating to have a toilet located literally six feet from my bed, but inaccessible because of a lightly sleeping child. So I have to get up, trudge down the long hall, remember not to fall down the one step right before the bathroom, use the bathroom, then trudge back.

This same down-the-hall bathroom, by the way, is unheated in the winter. It's punishing to use in the middle of the night in December, to say the least. Better than an outhouse, yes, but not much.


I really, really wanted that convenient bathroom back, but Charlie had to be moved first. And I couldn't find it in my heart to do that to Cubby, who would no doubt have awakened to a punch in the face or something equally loving at 4:45 a.m., given Charlie's terrible sleep patterns.

So I waited, hoping those patterns might change. And they did. Finally.

There are now two beds in Cubby's room. We moved Charlie's in there this morning, and the two of them promptly climbed into their respective beds to "practice" sleeping. I obligingly sang a lullaby and shut the door. Then I stood there and listened to Cubby instructing Charlie that he was not to escape from the room, that he was to stay in bed. And then Cubby sang "Rockabye Baby" over and over again.

I suspect it will not all go so swimmingly tonight, and I fully anticipate some rough nights and mornings as we all get used to this new arrangement, but at least I can seek solace in my handy toilet.

Little things, my lovelies. They make this life bearable.

* My archives tell me since at least May. How handy to have an accurate record of misery!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Definitely Worthy of a Frame

My parents wanted to get a picture of the whole family while they were here. So one day when we had all gone to the dinosaur museum and thus were dressed in somewhat respectable public-worthy clothing, they attempted a full-family photo.

This is what my dad sent me:

The Family Blackrock goes to town.

So. One kid trying to escape, one kid making a gross face, one very pregnant-looking mother*, and one perplexed-looking father. Yup. That's about right.

Immediately after this picture was taken, I asked my parents if they wanted to get a picture with the kids. They did, but then Cubby jumped down from that rock and somehow managed to ram his head right into the corner of that sign in the background, resulting in much wailing and tears. We elected not to take a photo at that point. Although it might have rivaled this one for memory-capturing.

* My powers of self-deception must be greater than I thought, because I really didn't think I look this pregnant. Or this tired. But the camera, I've heard, doesn't lie, so there you are. Pregnant and tired. My life's truth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Triumphant Return of Drivel

Yes! I once again have access to a full-sized keyboard (kind of hate you, Kindle) and can regale you with the hilarious tales of my fascinating life.

Now I just have to think of some.


Well, there was the time a few days ago when I had to take Mia to the veterinarian for a routine heartworm test, so I loaded the dog, my children, and my parents* in the van** for the twenty-minute drive to the vet. Charlie had just awakened from his nap and wouldn't climb into his carseat. So I put him in.

And then he lost his damn mind.

He does this if I don't let him climb up himself. I know he does this. But sometimes, I just have to get somewhere, you know? So I strong-arm him into his seat, capturing his flailing limbs and restraining his arching, rage-filled tiny body so I can get somewhere on time. Then he screams for ten minutes. Or more.

This time we were lucky and he only screamed for about five minutes. They were an unpleasant five minutes, though.

Meanwhile, my dad was sitting in the very back seat, right in front of Mia, who had a close encounter with a skunk only a week ago.

Screaming child, skunky dog, and a twenty-minute drive so I can take my dog to the vet? Why yes, this IS how I entertain visitors to Blackrock!

Now aren't you glad I can once again type normally so you can all share in the excitement of my life? Thought so.

* You'd best believe I purposely scheduled this little chore for when my parents were around to watch the kids. There is nothing worse than my vet's office for small children: very small office, very nervous animals, very, uh, spirited children and a staff that are more animal-friendly than child-friendly all add up to one bad situation.

** I may have neglected to tell you that I now drive a mini-van. Kind of inevitable with the three kids and all. I'm pretty sure this means I have attained full rock-star status.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Only for You

I'm sitting here using my mother's Kindle to write this, and . . . well, don't expect too many words.

My GOD, this is irritating.

But hey! My parents are visiting, which is always a plus. Best babysitters ever. I even left them in charge today while I went to the Small City to buy a computer.

I failed. But never fear, my lovelies! I will.persevere and one day again be the proud possessor of a fully functioning computer. Oh happy day.

In the meantime, I must go cook some pork chops. Till we meet again . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2014


G*ess which le**ers on my keyboard don'* work. Did yo* g*ess? Clever yo*.

Be back when *his incredibly annoying *roblem is fixed.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What Matters

A. just took the children up to the ram pasture to cut cane poles from the bamboo growing there. He wanted to take them fishing and realized he left his fishing pole in Mr. Jason's boat last week. No worries, kids. We have plenty of fishing line and bamboo. Daddy can fix anything.

When A. comes home (or, more painfully, first wakes up in the morning), it isn't more than five minutes before Cubby is demanding Daddy Monster. Which means the children race hysterically around the house, screaming with laughter, while A. lumbers after them, moaning like a mummy and making ineffectual lunges for them. It's probably the most popular game in our house right now.

A. has a set of boxing gloves from when he took boxing lessons a few years ago. He gives one to Cubby and one to Charlie and they tag team him, boxing one-handed and landing blows with impunity while he yells in mock helplessness and falls to the floor.

The MiL was reading a book a little while ago entitled, Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked, by Paul Raeburn. I didn't read the book, because I don't need the science to tell me what is obvious in my own house.

Do fathers matter? Unquestionably.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Reputation To Live Up To

After dinner this evening, I remained in the kitchen to wash dishes and blanch green beans for freezing*. A. was refereeing the after-dinner revelry in the living room. Tonight's revelry seemed to be awfully scream-y, in a slightly hysterical way, but since there was a responsible adult present in the living room, I ignored the noise and carried on.

A. came in the kitchen after awhile and asked me if something was wrong with Charlie today.

"Not that I know of," I said. "Why?"

"He just keeps having fits. Over really irrational things, like a person sitting on a couch cushion."

"He's two," I said. "He has irrational fits all day. That's why they're called the Terrible Twos."

It's cute how innocent A. still is, isn't it?

* A paltry two quart bags. It's not going to sustain us through a long winter or anything, but I suppose it's better than nothing.