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Today is All Saints Day. This is the day when it is traditional to visit the graves of your family and tend them, leave flowers, etc. I feel badly because I should have driven out and tended the graves of my grandmother and her kin but it would have been several hours and I would have probably gotten lost, if I did manage to get directions from my father which might be a longshot. Probably over 10 years ago my grandmother commented to me that when she died this tradition in our family would probably stop. She is probably right.
Weeks ago I was in the Children's Museum. There was a woman with her daughter. She was speaking a language I didn't recognize. Then when she took her picture she said, in the midst of the other language, "Say cheese!" Yesterday I was there again and there were some women speaking to their children in what sounded like Vietnamese and one played with her daughter saying "Peek-a-boo! I see you!"
Isaiah will not nap for more than 20 minutes in his crib and left alone in our bed he will wake up quietly and try to crawl off the edge.
Arrived in Houston and decided to get a GPS with the rental car to help us find our way around. This proved quite fun. Had lunch at the Tortuga in Galveston and walked along the beach, hand in hand. Nice to touch the ocean. People should do this regularly, to reconnect with life. Checked into the hotel. Relaxed. Were too full for dinner so had drinks and I had a crabcake appetizer. Later Avenue Q which fully lived up to expectations. Then a very late dinner of mussels (me) and steak tartare and salad with tuna (him). And then we....
Another day in Houston. Woke up. Relaxed. Wandered around, enjoying the amazing weather. Had brunch with bottomless mimosas and I had pojoles (hominy stew) which had a tag in it that said "100% cotton." Hmmm.... Spent the rest of our time at the Houston Zoo which was very nice. Enjoyed the meercats. I told David as far as I am concerned all a zoo needs is alligators and bears, but the meercats are nice. Arrived home and got a lovely reception from Isaiah. Big smile and lots of waving at both of us. And big hugs from my big boy.
Finished rereading Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. I checked this out from the library thinking I'd suggest it for book club. Paged through it and just had to read it. Read it a couple of years ago as part of a book ring. This is a wonderful book intertwining the story of Sleeping Beauty with the Holocaust. There's a list in the back of other novels based on / worked around fairy tales and I am tempted to try a few of them. I also want to look into whether the story of the extermination camp at Chelmno's true. Haunting story.
It appears that when we gained an hour with daylight savings time ending, the 100 words site thought we lost a day. It's consistently one day behind on what it will let you post.
I'll be 40 tomorrow. I'm not at all upset about that. I am me. Being 40 doesn't change who I am or where I am in life. And I am feeling pretty good about where I am in life. I have two great kids, a loving husband, a strong marriage, a pretty good relationship with my family, and pretty much everything a person needs in life.
Isaiah can climb stairs now. We were in the back yard and I set him down and was feeding the fish. I turned my back on him for maybe 5 seconds and when I looked back he had climbed three stairs. As I watched he climbed all the way into the house, slapping each step on the way as if he were testing them. Also when I gave him a bath tonight I set him in the water without his bath chair. He was hugely pleased. He splashed and rolled about and just revelled in his freedom. It was hysterical.
November 8 - I am officially 40. I remember clearly when I was a teenager my mother had her 40th birthday party and someone gave her something that said "I'd rather be 40 than pregnant." She had a friend there who was 40 AND pregnant and I thought "Margerie's 40 and she's pregnant?! That's really old to be pregnant." I missed it by slightly less than 9 months. David made me steak wrapped in bacon. Yum! Zeke picked out carrot cake for me which was also quite good. I blew out the flame on a lighter after Happy Birthday was sung.
Isaiah is finally getting his eighth tooth in. He'd been lopsided on the bottom until now.
I am loving my roomba. It is not exactly efficient and it is louder than I thought it would be but it just scurries about picking things up as I go about my business. It definitely has made a difference in the amount of pet hair. Zeke spent some time feeding him scraps of paper. Isaiah waves at him. Johnny is slowly getting used to him. Batty has no comment. We call him Roomie.
Reina had a yard sale today to which I contributed a bunch of junk. We dropped by after the yard sale and poked through the leftovers.
Zeke: Look, Mom! They have a bunch of Rescue Hero videotapes leftover!
I wonder where they got those....
I took away four pairs of shoes that Reina, my 12 year old niece, had grown out of!
Later we had drinks with Carter, a friend of David's from boarding school, and his wife Theresa who were in town for an optometrists' convention. Then we went to Kyoto for sushi. Isaiah got covered in sticky rice.
Sunday, November 11 - My birthday party. David did a wonderful job. He makes me feel so special. He made gumbo and butter beans and sangria and was a great host. Had a great time. I was a little disappointed that my mom and sister didn't do more. For my brother's and for my sister's 40th birthdays we got together and decorated their houses in an over the top fashion. I guess that's what I get for turning 40 after Katrina. And, hey, Jenni doesn't have a spouse and Adam's spouse has no idea how to celebrate anything. So I rule!
Sunday morning we went upstairs to the Sunday school room. I set Isaiah down, turned around. Zeke wasn't there. I scooped Isaiah up, went into the hall. There's Zeke. Returned to the room, looked around, thinking "Where's Isaiah?" As I scan the room I begin to panic. By the time I say anything I'm really panicking. "Where's Isaiah!?" Zeke: "Um, you're holding him." I knew that.
Last night Zeke was taking a bath. "Mom! Come see!" I come in and he says "Look at the silver balls on my penis!" You know how air bubbles sometimes look on your skin?
My father doesn't understand email. He is living in Annapolis for a semester, teaching at the naval academy. He occasionally will send an email, generally with a letter attached in a word document, with the comment that I should pass this along to my siblings. Um, you see where it says "cc"? But if I said anything he'd probably wonder why I was making a big deal about such a little thing. I once witnessed him telling my stepmother to call Federal Express to come pick up a package. When she suggested he do it himself he looked downright confused.
Zeke is playing hide and seek with Isaiah. Zeke is hiding. Isaiah is playing with a basket of plastic fruit. Zeke: "I know what he is doing! He's playing Follow the Enchanted Orange. It is believed that if you put down the orange it will roll toward the one who you are looking for." Me: "Well, that is very clever of him." A few minutes pass and then Zeke peeks out and Isaiah looks at him, dropping the orange. Zeke: "Oh! He found me!" Apparently having a 9 month old brother can be very similar to having an imaginary playmate.
Finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, the next book for my book club. Reading the first chapter I wasn't sure I was going to get through it. There's a horrific description of Chinese foot binding. I cannot believe that women used to do this to their little girls! They break their poor little toes and crush them up underneath their feet, and they do this over a torturous period of days and months. All so that they can marry well because the sicko men are most attracted to women with really deformed feet who are seriously debilitated.
This morning I was cleaning up the living room. I turned my back on the child my maybe 5 seconds, I swear. I was in the same room with him! I turned around and he was chewing on something. He was about 3 feet from the laptop computer and was chewing on the = key. I took it from him and turned to the computer. On the screen the antivirus program had popped up a window: "Threat detected!" Yep! That's a pretty big threat. That kid could wipe out your whole operating system. Or at least eat all your keys.
Earlier Isaiah was on my lap and I was letting him chew on a pen. Zeke saw that Isaiah had a pen and snatched it, saying that Isaiah could get the cap off and choke on it. I told him it was fine, I'm watching him. Zeke: "Well, a boy has to watch out for his little brother."
I took the boys to the park yesterday and he while I was showing Isaiah the ducks Zeke get on his stomach and was digging about in the swampy mossy gunk at the edge of the lagoon. Home and in the bath!
The ducks have been acting strangely. Saturday I took Isaiah to Audubon Park to feed the ducks. I finally found about 5 or 6 napping among some plants. I tossed some bread in and they looked at me with an expression that could only mean annoyance. Monday I took Zeke and Isaiah to City Park. Still had the duck bread so we made another attempt. The ducks were distinctly uninterested and I watched about 5 different groups off people also try and be turned down. One guy had a bag of dog food which he said they usually like. Nope.
Finished rereading the 1st Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events book, The Bad Beginning, to Zeke the other night. These are pretty good. I've only read the first two because Zeke lost interest last time. This time I asked him if we could read the series all the way through. He tends to lose interest in series after a few books and want to take a break which annoys me because I like to just plow right through. I try to remind myself that bedtime reading should be what HE wants to read. But I have to like it too!!!
I have been in Florida for Thanksgiving and could not submit any 100 word entries. I therefore have some catching up to do. We all went to Sarasota for Thanksgiving with my grandmother: David, Zeke, Isaiah, and I; Mom; Jenni; and Adam, Minh, and McCaleb. Chris drove from Georgia met us there. Reina and Haley were in Texas with their father killing things. This is what they have done for Thanksgiving most years now. We flew out on a 6:30 a.m. flight which meant we left the house at the wee hours of the morning. And that's the first 100.
I made a big chicken pasta salad the night before we left with leftover chicken. Mom came in and had some and Jenni came over as well. When Jenni arrived she was crying. Apparently she had a kidney infection which had crept up on her and she was in intense pain. She had called her doctor and was on antibiotics but this does not make the pain go away and also the fear of being away from home while ill. The morning we left she decided to stay home, and then changed her mind and came with us. Poor thing.
Jenni spent a lot of the trip lying on the couch and soaking in the tub. She really was a trooper. Adam spent a lot of the time totally absorbed in football on the TV (asshole). When visiting your almost 93 year old grandmother you turn off the TV every so often. Whenever it was suggested that he maybe turn off the football he just ignored the person. Whoever decided that Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect time to OD on football should be flogged. David was a wonderful gentleman and helped with cooking and cleaning and ferrying of my grandmother.
My grandmother does not approve of drinking alcohol or smoking. We had rented two small houses in this little condo complex for accommodations for our motley crew. After dinner one night I excused myself to the other house for a minute. Mom followed me. Turned out we both wanted a drink. I made myself a cosmopolitan and went to return to the other house. Mom: "You can bring that back there?" Me: "Sure, mine just looks like a glass of cranberry juice." Mom drinks white wine. I suggested we get red food coloring but she wanted a cigarette as well.
I had a hard time deciding what toys to pack for Zeke for this trip. What does the child need? I ended up packing a few books, a board game, and some markers. I did fine. He spent most of his time playing with the rocks from the landscaping outside the house and a bunch of dirt from some construction work, and the seaweed, shells, and sand at the beach. One day he collected a bunch of jellyfish blobs and made a sand and jellyfish cake and decorated it with seaweed. The night before we left he made a sand....
and seaweed sandwich and fed it to the surf. He leaped back when he accidentally got his foot wet. Then he looked surprised and told me the sea had touched him to thank him for the present. One morning he asked me if it was OK if he and Junior played Guess Who on the porch. (Junior is a long standing imaginary friend.) I'm thinking, "No, I think Junior is a bad influence. I don't want you hanging around with that kid."82 We played Apples to Apples as a family two nights. Zeke won the first night. He was pleased.
Back to the present. I finally joined the Parenting Center and for the past two afternoons have brought Isaiah there. It is great to sit back a bit and for him to socialize with some other little ones. (Of course, as soon as he starts socializing I can't exactly sit back but at least it is a change of pace.) Today there was a mom there with an infant and a preschooler. The infant fell asleep and she placed him in the crib that is there. Then she went to the outside play area with the preschooler for some time!
Mom gave me the Granny report card. Chris has too much hair. Isaiah's clothes didn't match except for the last day. And McCaleb doesn't know how to cut a pie. Not sure what that's about. She didn't cut them in squares or concentric circles or anything. The good news is that Zeke didn't get any bad marks!
Changing the subject. Granny slept in the same bed with her mother until she got married at the age of 24. She was the youngest of 7 and after she was born her father moved into a different bedroom. Perhaps there's a connection....
Finally finished Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs. I have a million books waiting around to be read but I was volunteering at Zeke's school and there were these boxes of books donated to the school's library by a publishing house. The books were mostly not at all appropriate for elementary and middle school so they were up for grabs. So I grabbed. This is a murder mustery. I have read one of her books before. They are a serial with a forensic examiner as the main character. They are pretty hackneyed but enjoyable enough. But her titles are dumb.
Finished rereading The Reptile Room to Zeke, the second book in A Series of UNfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. When Zeke asked me to start reading the series to him again I asked that we read them all the way through. Last time we only read the first two. At the end of this one he once again asked that we take a break from them. I think they are too sad for him. He likes the evil and the mystery and the blood and gore but he cannot take the sadness. He is my tender hearted little Stephen King.
My sister is having kidney problems. I am worried about her. I wrote about how she was in pain during the Thanksgiving trip. She finally got a Cat scan last Friday. They found a large kidney stone was blocking the ureter and just holding all the infection inside that bad kidney. They put in a stint that afternoon and got out the stone but there are lots of little stones left. She is going in two weeks to have those taken out as well. She works part time so all of this takes away from her ability to make money.
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