Friday, December 21, 2007
But I'm also excited. I haven't been "home" in 1.5 years and I'm wanting it. Once we get to Nova Scotia, Christmas will be waiting for us. And while I'm no Christian, it will be festive-fun nonetheless. All of my siblings will be there, a first in many years. I get to meet my sister's new German fiancee. I'm going to get together with a group of my high school friends (not seen for 10+ years) as well as my good Uni friends! I expect to come back sated. And happy. And ready to go back to work (10+ days in close quarters with small children will do that).
For now, I'm packing, cleaning, and trying not to think about the long, long day of travel tomorrow (we leave for Montreal tonight where we'll stay with my brother and shove off first thing tomorrow morning).
Home, oh my sweet Nova Scotian home, here I COME!!
(And Merry Christmas Everyone!)
Monday, December 17, 2007
I know we are only a few days into our relationship this year, but seriously, do you have to come on so strong? Maybe you are only thinking of me and my cardiovascular health when you dump a fuck-ton of snow in my driveway for me to shovel at 6:30 a.m. (and continue to shovel for 60 minutes while all children cry in the car)? Maybe you think it's funny and are playing cute jokes when you are so freezing that all of our cars decide they've had enough and break down all at once due to the stresses of your cold? Obviously we don't share the same values and views on lifestyle. I'm sorry to say that I've had enough and I am dumping your wintery ass. If you continue to threaten me with your winds and snow drifts and freezing rain, I will get a restraining order. I'm not joking. Go fuck yourself.
I hate you.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I've been waiting for the "I hate you" for some time now. I haven't heard it yet. But you know, I haven't been called dumb in longer than I can remember. It's almost worse coming from a child. Don't get me wrong, it didn't hurt my feelings. What it did do was spark a conversation on how one should handle their anger (i.e., not with name calling).
The result: he scratched out his "mom is dum" and replaced it with "mom is great." That's right son.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
1. I never know what I'm doing. Pro: I'm always learning something new. Con: I'm always trying to figure it all out. It's never the same and I'm constantly pushing my brain to it's limits.
2. My schedule is my own. There is no punch-clock. Although, I do eventually have to get the work done.
3. Creativity: Dreaming up hypotheses, designing experimental designs, seeing if it works and then writing about it all. Wheeeeee!
4. Working with dangerous stuff: chemicals, equipment, massive amounts of magnetic fields. I think I actually accidentally ate radiation once (have I mentioned I'm not all that careful?).
5. Getting to say "yeah, I'm a neuroscientist" and seeing people go "wtf?"
6. Living in the world of ideas and getting excited over ideas with other people. It's like having sex without all the sex.
7. Playing at the edge of knowledge.
8. Taking coffee breaks with other grown-ups.
9. Belonging to a lab: experiencing group membership, being forced to hang out with new people (because you share the same space), being around youth (well, 20-something youth).
10. Getting to say the words "synthesis," "heuristic," and "caudate nucleus."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Lew looking scholarly
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Lewis is growing! He's got some of his first-year molars, he's waving bye-bye (a little late yes, but doing it nonetheless), he's nearly one sleep away from having enough confidence to start walking, and I think he has some words that include ball (bah), banana (nana), cat (dat), milk (mmmmm--okay, that may be stretching it). He needs to have ten (at least) by 18-months...but I'm not going to worry about it if he doesn't. Very recent development: he has separation anxiety! I know, it's crazy that he hasn't experienced this yet (at 15 months) but he's been a VERY mellow-fellow. I saw it for the second time yesterday at the in-laws' Thanksgiving bonanza as he was shy and clingy around all of the unfamiliar faces.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Because I have to go in everyday to monitor these little guys, sometimes it means that I have to take my babies with me. There are strict rules on the "4th Floor:" you must wear a lab coat at all times and you must wear booties. This is to keep the rat germs contained. It also means that I have to dress my tiny people in big huge lab coats (challenging). I've taken the boys twice and let them handle the rats. They were impressed, said they were "fluffy" (a strange descriptor) and were fascinated with their very large testicles. This precipitated a talk about the differences between boys and girls. I try to discuss girl anatomy whenever I get a chance as I feel responsible for educating my boys about clitori (multiple clitorises?). This was the boys' first time hearing the word "clitoris." I'm definitely going to be the weird mother who brings everything back to "sex talks."
Friday, September 28, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Maybe a garbage man:
Sorting the recycling...by taste.
The Lewy decimal system.
How 'bout a little splash party?
Just file this all under "M" for Mess.
I like that Lew is a blurr of activity in these shots as that is what he is in person: constantly on the move.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Watching for the bus.
For Junior and Senior Kindergarden, kids on Wolfe Island go to school on "A" days, which are Mondays, Wednesdays and random Fridays. This schedule is memory intensive and screw-up prone. I laminate the sheet that indicates "A" days and semi-permanently fix it to the icebox. Year one: no accidental mix-ups. But I think it's just a matter of time.
This year, I hope that Dex learns to read! This will also be the first year (of many) that he'll have homework. I'm dreading homework. I really don't relish the idea of having yet another thing to nag my children about. I'm hoping that he'll be so excited about school and learning, that he'll just do it without constant reminders. My fingers are crossed!
People keep telling us how once kids get in school the years just fly right by. It's beginning to feel that way. Next year Neville will be in school too. I'm trying to "be" in these moments but they are so full and fleeting. It's hard to catch them.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Science: 99% hard (well, not always--see above) work, 1% reward.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Those two black things, those are socks strewn on the floor.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Frankly, I was mostly worried about how guilty the dentist would make me feel about NOT being very diligent about brushing my kids' teeth. I'll be honest, we try. But sometimes it's hard. (I think that's the excuse the Canadian government gave for not doing something about global warming.) So really, we pretty much don't try that hard. I would say 80% of the time, Dex and Nev brush once a day, at the end of the day and poor Lew, I just realized, we rarely (read: Never Have Yet) brush his. Bottom line: there is much room for improvement and lots to feel guilty about. So I braced myself for the visit, realizing that probably, Dex would have cavities and they would be all of my fault.
Nev and I accompanied Dex while he had his appointment. He did a great job, got his teeth x-rayed and even let the dentist in his mouth. What we found out: Dex grinds his teeth, he'll probably have some crowding when the permanent teeth come in, it will be a while before his baby teeth fall out, and the Monday Miracle: NO cavities.
This is like putting off writing a paper until hours before the deadline, throwing something togehter at the last minute, and making an A: positive reinforcement for bad behaviour.
My first inside reaction was pride: I'm such a good parent. I should probably find another parent to brag about my amazing parenting skills. This feeling made me recall when Dex was a baby and started sleeping through the night at about eight weeks. I also attributed this to "my incredible parenting technique." (In my mind of course.) I soon realized my "skills" were imaginary and my parenting style had absolutely nothing to do with it (when, of course, he stopped sleeping). And so it is with the cavity-free status. Instead of feeling smug, I decided I'd just feel happy that I didn't have to see Dex suffer through the filling(s), and try to achieve the same cavity-free status on the next visit.
To achieve this means:
a) brushing twice a day and
b) giving the kids fluoride drops.
(Note to self: remember, Lew has teeth too!)
I'm sure I'll be able to keep this up for approximately one day.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The milestones that I really want to talk about are different than the developmental ones above. I want to highlight parenting milestones, the ones that there are no books for. Like, surviving your first multi-child vomiting-poop-fest illness while having it yourself, or losing your kids (yes, all of them at once) in the department store.
Here are our recent parenting milestones (warning, these are kinda gross):
1. Balanitis: that would be inflammation of the foreskin. None of my boys are circumcised and up until a month ago, this has not been a problem. I hardly gave a thought to the little foreskins running around the house. Until one evening, when I unwrapped Lew's diaper and found a raging, ulcerated, pussing, wound-like sore on the tip of his penis. It was large and looked horrible. I panicked: my child's penis is going to rot off. He'll be a penis-less freak. I resisted the urge to run screaming to emerg and took him to the doctor first thing the next day.
What ensued was 2-3 weeks of multiple percriptions and doctor consults to battle the persistent "infection." At first the doctor said, "well, one bout of balanitis does not instantly call for a circumcision." Three weeks later we heard: "well, if this next anti-fungal doesn't work, I'm referring him to a penis-ologist and he'll need a circumcision." In an effort to try to figure out the problem, it occurred to me to try paper diapers until the infection passed. Zappo! Two days in disposables and it was a thousand times better. But was it the paper OR the anti-fungal? Returning to cloth only brought a return of the inflammation. And then child number 2 started getting balanitis from wearing the cloth overnight. I'm feeling torn: happy that he will not need a penile amputation, sad that the cloth diapers and overnight wear are the problem (my beloved cloth diapers). Interestingly there seems to be an absolute lack of information on the internet about balanitis and cloth diapers. Outcome: I've decided to change detergents, only use cloth during the day, and hope for potty training (the last one is a joke).
Brace yourself for the second milestone:
2. Pinworms. This is an intestinal parasite. They are worms. And they get pooped out. And they are plainly visible, squirming away in the poop. Eating dirt is the best way to contract them. Better yet, eat some cat poop and you'll get them for sure (Lewis actually did eat cat poop). They are beneficial, thought to boost immune systems preventing allergies and depression. I knew one of the kids would get them, sooner or later, and I was wondering how it would all happen.
Well, it went like this: I discovered them shortly before breakfast while I was washing out Lew's poopy diapers one morning last week. A quick trip to the drugstore, a small does of pinworm killing medicine for all kids, and it seems they are gone. For now. Although the images of the worms permanently burned on my brain have given me a mild case of post truamatic stress disorder.
I'm sure there are many more of these "parenting milestones" yet to come. I'm giddy with anticipation.
I've got three boys, Dexter (5), Neville (3) and Lewis (one). Someone is always pooping, hungry, thirsty, getting hurt, ingesting non-food items, climbing furniture, peeing, playing in the toilet, fighting with each other, asking for candy, and spilling milk. And that's usually all going on in any five minute window.
I'm six months into 30. Currently, I work three days a week as a researcher in Neuroscience. That will change however, as I've just signed up to begin a PhD. (in Neuroscience) this fall. In fact, I officially start on the fourth of September. I plan to work 10 hours a week at my old job (researching), do my required course work, development my thesis, be present to raise my children, make all of my food from scratch, and continue my small on-line business (a hobby) of making and selling things made of fabric. And in 2008, we want to have another (our last) baby.
To add the the insanity, my husband Duncan (45) just started his own private practice in Neuropsychology this past June. Due to the feast or famine nature of the work, our fears of being hungry and homeless, and the "growing" phase of the business, he takes ALL work that comes his way, which means he's often traveling to other cities for a few days at a time each week. Some weeks I feel like a single parent and only see him a few minutes every other day. Other times, it's like he's a stay at home Dad. Often he stays up all night long working on deadlines.
Our current joke is that on a scale of 0-10 of intensity, we're at "fucking mental:" the setting at which you just go, go, go until your body bleeds and your mind breaks down. Presumably, one cannot go at this intensity for long. But this IS the life we choose. And as crazy and chaotic as it may be, I like the intensity of living full and living hard.
So ready, set: watch me GO!