Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things That Go Bump! in the Night

At 12:30 a.m. this morning, I was woken out of a deep sleep by the sound of toenails clicking on our bedroom hardwood floor.  I laid there in the dark, half-asleep, thinking that Ron must have forgotten to put Happy out in his kennel.  In light of all the potty accidents we've had lately*, I knew I should take him outside for a few minutes and then put him in his kennel.  But the lazy half of my brain sleepily murmured that I could clean up any messes in the morning.  I agreed with the lazy half of my brain and started to drift off to sleep.
The second time I heard the toenails, I snapped to attention with a different thought - had I remembered to put Johnny back in his cage?  He'd been running in his exercise ball last evening, and at least three times I had thought to myself, "I really need to put him back in his cage before I forget" but I couldn't remember actually doing it.  Oh crap.  That feeling got even stronger when I found his empty exercise ball in the kitchen.  How he got out is a mystery, but I suspect he bumped into a chair while he was speeding around and the door popped off.
I got out of bed and blearily looked around in the dark.  I couldn't see anything but wasn't really expecting to.  Johnny isn't really that big, after all, and there are tons of hiding spots for a small hamster.  I decided my only choice was to make a hamster trap.  I found an ice-cream pail, put some treats at the bottom of it, and started looking around for something to use as a ramp (the theory being, he'd climb the ramp, see the treats at the bottom of the bucket and drop down, then not be able to get up again).  My sleep-addled brain wasn't cooperating and I couldn't find anything sufficiently ramp-y that would allow him enough traction to actually climb it.
Time for Plan B.  I got a flashlight and started looking behind the dresser and the bookcase.  The flashlight hadn't been on for more than 10 seconds when I felt whiskers brushing against my ankle.  I shone the flashlight down and, lo and behold, there was Johnny looking up at me with his beady eyes.  He came right to me, like a dog or a cat would.  (I suppose he was probably hungry, after being out half the evening.)
After putting him back in his cage, I tried unsuccessfully to fall asleep in spite of the snoring taking place next to me in the bed.  I finally moved out to the couch, where I listened to Johnny happily reuniting with his exercise wheel for the next hour before I finally dozed off.  Shortly after that, Natalie woke up and started crying so I moved back to the bed with her in tow.  And then Sam woke up and decided to join the party, leaving me approximately 2 inches of sleeping space.
Ron slept through the whole nighttime drama, and the kids got to sleep nice and late this morning.  I still had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to head off to work.  *yawn*
*Happy has not been the only source of potty accidents.  A few days ago, Natalie removed her diaper and then took a dump in the hall.  After I cleaned it up, she still excitedly pointed out the spot to anyone who'd listen: "Poop there!  Poop right there!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Slàn leibh, Frank McCourt

I was never really a Michael Jackson fan, so all this hoopla about his death has seemed a little over-the-top to me.  I was over it about 5 minutes after I heard the news.  (Obviously, I'm in the minority here, or it wouldn't be STILL all over the news, two weeks later.)  No doubt, the guy made some good music, but what I mostly remember him for is the child-molestation accusations that have overshadowed his life for the past 20 years.  Whether or not he was guilty, I don't know - but at the very least he was a sad, strange man-child who made some bad decisions.  Honestly, I can't help but feel a bit sorry for him. 
But I was very saddened to learn this morning that Frank McCourt is critically ill and not expected to live.  Angela's Ashes is on my list of top-10 favorite books of all time.  After reading it with my own eyes, I listened to the recorded book version (which Frank McCourt himself read aloud)  It was so powerful to hear his story, in his own words, read by his own voice.  So sad but yet uplifting.  And, improbably, laugh-out-loud funny at times.
The likely loss of Frank McCourt affects my life much more than Michael Jackson's death did.  I feel a bit as though I'm losing an old friend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Have Similar Feelings About Cleaning

Freeing the world of obnoxious cleaning equipment, one colorful feather duster at a time.

I wonder what color his poop will be tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Foot fe*tish

Sam walked over to my friend J, bent down and inspected her toenails, then gave the big toenail a few rubs with the pad of his thumb.  Then without saying a word, he stood up and walked away.
J looked at me and said, "What was that all about?"  I chuckled nervously and joked, "Oh, just a bit of a foot fe*tish.  He gets that from his father."
But the truth is so much more than that.  I think it started when he was a wee baby who didn't like to sleep in his crib.  I'd camp out in a sleeping bag on the floor next to his crib and snake my arm up through the railing so he could hold my hand and know I was still there.  He'd rub my fingernails gently as he drifted off to sleep, and then I'd carefully disentangle my hand from his grasp so I could make my way to my own bed.
Until he was about 2 years old, he also insisted on rubbing my fingernails when we were in the car for long stretches.  I'd finally have to say "no more" when my arm threatened to fall off from the weird angle it was at in order to reach his carseat.  Then I'd listen to wails of "Hand, hand!" as he begged for me to return my beloved fingernails to his possession.
One day his daycare teacher mentioned to me that he liked to rub her fingernails as he fell asleep.  I felt oddly betrayed, thinking But I thought MY fingernails were the only ones he loved
When summer came around and the bare feet came out, it became obvious that toenails were far superior due to their larger rubbing surface.  Recently, Sam told me how much he loved my toenails.  "They're so....rubby," he explained.
I think maybe I see a future for him in podiatry.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Update in Picture Form

There's been a lot going on around here and I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed; thus the lack of posting.   I don't even know where to start so I'm just going to post some pictures as a little snippet of what's been going on the past couple of weeks.

We had a garage sale.  What a disaster that was - hours and hours of work, and barely any garage-salers were out that weekend.  But Natalie had fun helping me put price tags on items.

Every waking moment that I'm not at work, I'm chasing kids and dogs and trying to keep them out of trouble.  Notice how, in this picture, there is one running child and the other two are poised to take off after him?  That's typical of any given moment.  The good news is, they all sleep REALLY well at night.  Me, especially.

A rare moment of stillness, captured for eternity.  I wouldn't have believe it, either, if I hadn't snapped a picture.

Two seconds later, Natalie has had enough of that business.

A 4th of July trip to the farm, and for Sam, a "tractor" ride with Grandpa.  He'll be talking about that for months to come.

No pictures of the snotty noses I've been wiping non-stop for the past week as Natalie and I fought a monstrous cold that attempted to replace every living cell in our body with snot.  You're welcome.