msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
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So then I bought a new fridge

Recovery

Blistered baby foot

Today's disaster is...

More Flight of the Conchords hilarity

Pothead!

Old-School Baby Care

I got Jetty!

A long week, this one

Time out - less work and more paying attention

Life Before Death

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April 27, 2008

So then I bought a new fridge

Our refrigerator sucks ass. We bought it from the previous owners of our house, because we didn't want to move our old one from the townhouse. It looks nice, but like I said...it sucks ass.

On the left back side of the fridge shelves, things freeze solid. They also freeze solid inside the vegetable crisper. In case you are wondering, freezing is not exactly fantastic for vegetables. They get nasty and mushy. Frozen lettuce anyone? Horrible. So turn the temperature up a bit you say? Ah but then on the top shelf and on the right, it's too warm. If I turn it up any more, then food outside the cold spots will spoil.

The icemaker has been touch and go for about a year. You set it to give you ice cubes and it crushes the ice. You set it to crush ice and it gives you cubes. Finally it gave out completely. We have had no ice at all for a month or two now.

Did I mention that this fridge sucks ass? Oh, and we already spent a few hundred bucks on fixing an electrical problem. There was a wire underneath that had frayed all the way through. Sweet. That meant not only no ice, but no water. It was nice to have the water dispenser fixed, but then the icemaker went out again.

After I had the pot lid fall on my head the other day, I really, really needed ice. No ice to be had! I ended up using a bag of frozen succotash to soothe my bloody bonk.

Then today, I really could have used a bit of ice to cool Adrian's burned feet. But did we have ice? HELL NO!

I was so goddamn mad about the refrigerator being constantly on the fritz, I went online while Adrian was sleeping in my lap today and bought a new refrigerator. A nice new refrigerator, the kind I want, with refrigerator on top and freezer down below. None of this ridiculous side-by-side space-wasting bullshit. No more cold spots freezing my produce and ruining it.

Before you think I'm some crazy, extravagant shopaholic, let me tell you that I have several years worth of points earned on my credit card. I didn't even know I had them until recently, when I clicked on a link on my online credit card statement and found that I had 160,000 points. 160,000 points can get you a lot of fancy stuff. I was mulling it over, trying to decide what to get with my points, but today's events clinched it. I don't want anything with those points more than a new refrigerator. Especially since I otherwise can't afford to buy one.

When you are having a very bad day, it's nice to get a free new fancy refrigerator. Next emergency that arises, at least I'll have ICE.

KitchenAid 24.8 Cu. Ft. Architect Series II

Recovery


Pasta ring on his finger, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Here's the burn victim, feeling much better after napping for two hours with bags of cold water tied around his feet, and lots of ibuprofen.

Blistered baby foot

Lessons learned today:

1) If you are a baby, do not take off your shoes and then step onto a hot deck that has been baking in direct sunlight for several hours.

2) If you are this baby's mama, do not ever take your eyes off the baby or he will do something like take his shoes off and step onto a very hot deck.
P.S. Motherhood completely sucks sometimes.
P.S.S. Who the hell knew that our deck could get hot enough to blister feet?

Today's disaster is...

Honestly, I can't believe the shit that happens around here lately. Skylights randomly shatter, I'm collapsing in the driveway, getting locked out of the house on a freezing-cold day, I get horrible, incapacitating infections, or maybe just heavy metal objects fall on my head and dent it. My head still hurts, by the way. I can barely even comb my hair.

Regardless, I'd just like to give a big "What the FUCK?" shout-out to the universe. Cut it out, will you?

Today's disaster happened to Adrian, not me. I don't know which is worse. It's pretty goddamn horrible when something bad happens to your baby. On the other hand, my kids rely on me to take care of them, so they are fairly well screwed when things happen to me, too.

It was very warm this morning, and the kids were happily playing in the backyard together. Somewhere along the way Adrian took his shoes off. He would have been wearing the shoes that *don't* come off easily, but one of those mysteriously disappeared last week. Argh.

Around noon I was finishing up washing a few dishes, and getting ready to go call the kids in to go to the Campbell Farmer's Market to do a little shopping. All of a sudden I hear a piercing scream from Adrian. The kind that strikes fear into a mama's heart.

I ran outside and he was on the deck in front of Dan's office on his hands and knees, screaming and wiggling backwards, trying to get off the deck. I knew right away that he was screaming because the deck had been baking in the sun, and was probably hot on his feet. I snatched him up and held his foot, only to feel a weird wrinkle on the bottom of it. Weird wrinkle?

I looked and his poor little foot was *already* blistered up, with a patch of white on the outer ball of his foot. I ran in to the bathroom sink and ran cold water over both his feet. Shit! How could the deck get THAT hot? It's not like it's made of sheet metal, it's composite wood/plastic! And it's not even that hot outside!

My poor baby screamed and screamed and screamed. I put his feet in a bowl of cold water and had Dan bring me a pair of earplugs, as my eardrums were in grave danger of being shattered. I couldn't get his feet to stay in the bowl though, he kept kicking in pain and splashing the water everywhere.

As soon as I took his feet out of the water though, things got much worse. I totally understood how he felt, having been through some bad burns myself. The second you take the burn out of cold water, that searing, flaming please-knock-me-out-until-its-over burn pain comes right back.

I put some thin socks on him, thinking that would help keep his feet wet and cool and also protect the incipient blisters from being scraped or broken, since he was kicking around a lot. After a while I took them off, since he kept pulling at them.

Finally I ended up tying ziploc bags full of cold water around his ankles, and that worked better than anything else. Adrian was still screaming bloody murder, but I briefly took the bags off and the screaming got a whole lot worse, so I put them back on. And I say that casually, like it was no big deal, but you try tying bags full of water around the feet of a screaming child in pain. Not a task for sissies, I'll tell you that. It took a while.

It was his naptime, and he had been screaming in pain for a solid hour, so once I got the bags tied back on, I rocked him in the rocking chair and he finally fell asleep. Still twitching and moaning though.

I had given him a big dose of ibuprofen at the beginning of the ordeal, so I was hoping that it would kick in at some point and give him some relief.

He slept two hours on my lap with the water bags on his feet, and just woke up a few minutes ago in a much happier state. His poor feet are a mess though. Big poofy blisters on the outer pad of each foot. His heel is OK, but the rest of his foot will take a while to heal.

So now what? Shit, he isn't going to be able to walk for a while, maybe a week. I wonder if he'll go back to crawling, or will he insist on walking and just scream a lot? I'll carry him around as much as possible, of course. Thank goodness for baby carriers. But now he's used to being independent, and moving around and playing without me.

Ugh, this is going to be a giant headache. On the other hand he has been out-of-control high-maintenance lately, pushing chairs and benches up to the counter and the kitchen table in order to get to all kinds of things that he shouldn't. Pulling dinner plates down, knocking over glasses of water, grabbing my cell phone, my keys...I haven't able to take my eye off him inside for more than a second without him causing some sort of of havoc. Outside has been a much safer place for him to be...until today.

Anyway, this might be a nice sort of respite, or pure hell for the next week. I'm not sure which. I'm just going to try to keep his feet as clean and dry as possible, and try to keep him from walking for as long as I can.

Jesus Christ...what next? Oh, pretend I never asked that question. I'm afraid to find out.

And yes, I do feel like a bad mom for letting him play outside without shoes on. Except I didn't know that he had taken his shoes off. Yep, I feel like a bad mom for that too. Sigh.

Photos of the feet forthcoming. Yikes, poor baby.

More Flight of the Conchords hilarity

Jemaine and Bret are so funny, and so musically talented. Dan and I have been watching the first season of their HBO show on DVD (thanks Netflix!) and cracking up almost constantly. I just bought the CD, too, which is just songs from the show, but only *some* songs, not all.

I think this is the very first time we've seen an HBO show that is still on the air, by the way. We're just getting around to putting "The Wire" on our Netflix queue, now that it has been on for five seasons and just ended a few months ago. Sigh.

Anyway, apart from Business Time, which is still laugh out loud funny every time I watch it, these three are my favorites so far. Be sure to turn up the volume so you can catch all the clever lyrics.

IF YOU'RE INTO IT
OMG, all the weird instruments! The rhymes with you, lewd, food and dude...

FOR ALL THE LADIES IN THE WORLD
The visuals for this song are not funny as the others, but the song itself is a total jam and the lyrics are of course hilarious. The song is longer on the CD. And it wasn't until I read the lyrics on YouTube that I realized that they are NOT saying "Just wanna do something special, *fuck* all the ladies in the world." But I 'll bet they are purposely trying to make it sound like that.

BRET, YOU'VE GOT IT GOING ON

Jemaine is so sexy. I love his "ogre that works in a library" look, and that smooooooooth deep voice. Yeah baby!


April 21, 2008

Pothead!

This afternoon I was cleaning up my garage/warehouse/workspace and opened up a tall cupboard. While I was looking at the shelf in front of me, a big heavy stock pot lid ROLLED OFF THE TOP SHELF AND HIT ME ON THE HEAD.

Did the flat side hit me in the head? No...that would have hurt, for sure. But not as much as being hit WITH THE FALLING EDGE OF A HEAVY STOCK POT LID.

What the FUCK. It hurt *so* bad. I was running in circles, alternately crying and shouting the filthiest obscenities I could think of. Thank goodness the kids were with Kim in the backyard and didn't witness that outburst.

When I finally could bear the pain enough to stop circling and swearing, I looked in the mirror and saw a bloody ridge on my head. The goddamn POT LID hit me that hard. Not like, major bleeding, but bloody, with a huge long lumpy ridge. Like the typical egg you get from a bad head bonk, except long.

Fucking POT LID! What was it doing up there, you ask? I don't know, last time I checked it was ON A GIANT STOCKPOT that I don't use that often. It certainly wasn't meant to be loose and rolling around. I threw that fucker across the yard though, with all my strength. Then I had to go back and pick it up, which totally sucked, because if I could I would melt that bastard down and bury it a thousand feet in the earth. ASSHOLE FUCKING POT LID. I HATE IT.

Several hours later, I have a major headache. And I still have a big bloody ridge on my head. I looked up skull fractures, but unless I'm puking or seeing stars, there's not much to be done. I'm not puking or seeing stars, I just have a bad headache, a stiff neck, and I'm totally pissed off.

Well, no more working tonight. I'm taking a break from work for now and going to watch some TV with an icebag on my head.

Old-School Baby Care

Not what your parents did. I'm talking about what your great-grandparents did with their babies.

It turns out that what they did jives pretty closely with what we modern moms do. I was reading "Infant Care" by Mary Mills West from 1923, and most of it was exactly what you read in standard childcare manuals today.

Baby care doesn't really change all too much over time. Being a good mother and taking care of your baby was hard back then:


Oh my god, can I just tattoo that last sentence on my bicep? Or at least have it printed on a T-shirt. Amen sister, amen. Being a good mother and taking care of your baby is still hard today.

I literally fall into bed at the end of each day, completely and utterly wiped out. Chasing after two boys is like running a marathon every single day. Well, Julian is not bad at this point, but Adrian requires constant monitoring, following, redirection and retrieval.

On other topics... breast was best back then, just as it is today. "Artificial milk" sounds pretty bad though, it was basically scalded cow's milk with sugar added.

But look here, what's this?



A soap stick! Yikes, glad I never had any issue with getting my kids to poop on the potty. Well, it took Adrian until he was about 3 months old to get down with the program in that regard, but it turns out that he just wanted to be held on the big toilet, like the big people. Once he wasn't so floppy and I was able to hold him there on my lap, no problem. He started happily doing his daily poops in the toilet like the rest of the family.

Granted, it does say to just use the soap stick for 2-3 days max, to get things started, but wow. That is definitely an old-school idea from another era. My grandparents were all about enemas and suppositories. My grandfather loved to joke with me about this..."Better give her an enema!" he would call out to my grandmother if I was misbehaving, and then shoot me a wink. I thought that was a hysterical joke too, probably because I've never had one. And because it had to do with butts, and butts are always funny.

The manual is totally right though...establishing regularity of habit is a big help, and not just for pottying. As a single person, I used to be very freestyle about things and I didn't like routines very much. I relished doing different things at different times. The longer I mother these kids of mine though, the more I learn how crucial daily routines are to their general well-being. If they can eat, sleep and poop at pretty much the same time every day, they thrive. One day of late meals, late bedtimes or missed naps and all hell breaks loose. Major crabbiness ensues, the burden of which falls squarely on me. And we all know that if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. A crabby Mama does not make for a happy household.

Here's a link to my popular post on pottying your baby part-time . Without the soap stick.

Anyway, not bad for 1923. In some ways I'll bet it's better advice than a manual from say, 1953. You can read the whole manual at the first link in this post. Quite interesting.

April 09, 2008

I got Jetty!

If you go back in the archives for this site, you will find this post, in which I covet a nifty whiz-bang potty called the DoBidet. It has heated seats, washes you with warm water, and even dries you afterwards.

Well, I never got one. Boo hoo. It was too expensive, and I wasn't really sure how it would be installed. Too mystifying.

That was a long time ago, but let me tell you...every time I sit on the toilet scrubbing my ass with half a roll of toilet paper post-poop, I feel SURE that there is a better solution out there.

Well whaddya know......there is! The Jetty! I randomly found it on some green product newsletter, was intrigued, and went to go check it out online.

First of all, it sounded easy to install. Second of all, it made sense, the engineering is simple. Third of all, I love the Indo-English copy on the site, which dished out fascinating facts like these, under the MEN category:
---------------------------------------------------

Personal Hygiene
Wiping with toilet paper does not adequately clean the hairy anal area. The process of wiping with toilet paper also greatly increases the chances of soiling one’s hands – despite this, 30 % of MEN do not wash their hands after using the restroom. The Jetty is a HANDS FREE cleaning device which provides a healthier way to feel clean, fresh, and confident all day long.

Intimacy

The Jetty will add an extra dimension to Men’s attractiveness – something they must experience in their intimate relationship!

Medical Conditions

Men often suffer from Constipation, Hemorrhoids, and various other medical conditions that make the use of toilet paper painful and undesirable. A precise and soothing stream of water from the Jetty lubricates the anus muscles as well as softens the hard stool, and thus reduces the discomfort caused during defecation.


----------------------------------------------------
Duuuuude, the hairy anal area is not adequately cleaned by toilet paper! Yuck. I had an immediate mental image of crusty butt boogers. Nasty!

I'm not sure what they are referring to in the "Intimacy" section, but I imagine that when crusty poop crumbs are no longer adhering to your hairy anal area, that would indeed boost your attractiveness, no?

Anyhooo.....I'm really glad that I'm not a guy. Nasty!

I was all ready to order anyway, and then I found that by entering the code "GW" I could get half off. Sweet! I had a few questions about how to correctly ID my toilet so I would be sure to get the right kind of Jetty, so I sent an email and got an immediate response from Amit in Jetty Customer Service. He called me and we discussed my toilet for about ten minutes, making sure that everything was A-OK. He did everything but come over and personally hose my butt. Very nice man.

The Jetty arrived, and it was exciting. Just reading the manual was awesome, mostly because of all the euphemisms used for your poophole, like "the dirty body part", "your private area" etc. But what was hilarious is that, amidst all the euphemisms, suddenly the manual would just bust out and say it...ANUS. And at one point they dropped all decorum and simply called it "Jetty - the best butt washer ever!"

Once I got through the manual and wiped the tears from my eyes, I set about installing my Jetty. It *was* easy. The only part that took any thought whatsoever was adjusting the water pressure coming out from the wall valve, so that when I had the Jetty on at full blast, it didn't spray wildly across the room. No prob, I just turned the valve down until my Jetty had a forceful but not messy stream when wide open, and that was it. After that I became just another happy Jetty user. Very, very nice. You could practically eat off my bunghole, I dare say. It's pristine.

So the days passed, and every bowel movement was simply another thrilling opportunity to rock my Jetty. Yahoo! Until yesterday....

Yesterday I sat down, did my thang, and reached for the Jetty knob as usual. BUTT (heh), instead of the soothing, cooling stream of water pouring forth, I instead was REAMED by a freaking FIRE HOSE BLAST of water that blasted me so hard I swear a few drops came out my nose. Can you say "high colonic"? Whoa....it was shocking, to say the least.

I scrambled off the toilet, dripping wet and frankly... a little traumatized. What the hell had just happened? I inspected the wall valve and someone had turned it back up to its normal setting. Who? Who would mess with my Jetty like that? Dan? One of the kids?

I doubted it would be the kids, not because they wouldn't LOVE to mess with that if they could, but because the wall valve is hard to turn, and requires some strength. I don't think either of them could manage it.

I asked Dan and he just looked at me like I was nuts. True, the last thing he would do is mess around with toilet valves. Not his bag.

So it must be Beh, Housekeeper Supreme. Once I eliminated all the Usual Suspects, I could imagine exactly how it went down.

Beh is cleaning the toilet, as he does every week. He flushes, scrubs some more, goes to flush again, and then notices that the tank is not filling up nearly as fast as it used to. (This is a side effect of lowering the wall valve pressure, there is simply not as much water out as before. No biggie, I don't normally flush twice in five minutes anyway).

"So", says Beh to himself, "What is going on here? Ah, I see that the wall valve pressure is too low to fill up the tank quickly like it used to. The children must have changed the valve setting. I will fix this for Ms. Laura." And he cranks the wall valve back up to full volume, not realizing that he is at that moment dooming me to the aforementioned Fire Hose Butt Blast.

Anyway, I haven't mentioned it to him yet. There's not really a subtle way to bring it up. "Oh, BTW...I was almost blasted across the room by my Jetty the other day while lubricating my anal muscles with a soothing cool stream, can you please not touch that valve anymore?"

I did find out one funny thing, and that's that Dan thinks that the idea of a stream of water aimed at his "dirty body part" is horrible. He says he takes care of things just fine, and he will never, ever use my Jetty. At least not this week.

He doesn't yet know about the Jetty "adding an extra dimension to Men’s attractiveness – something they must experience in their intimate relationship!" And I might have to bring up the Anal Booger thing, because I'm not sure that I could stay married to someone whose hairy anal area is not adequately cleaned. Now that I have JETTY, I am particular about these things, you know?

Oh. My. God. I just went to the Jetty website to check something and just saw a blurb describing it as the "Groom of the Stool". That is simply too much. I don't know how I missed that before, considering that it's on EVERY PAGE.

Jetty makers, I love you.

April 06, 2008

A long week, this one

This week my babysitter Kim was out of town, as I mentioned in my previous post.

I started off the week thinking, oh, this is so great spending all this time with the kids. At the end of a week and a half of it, I'm thinking childlessness sounds pretty good. Yeesh.

I do OK when I can just let go of everything, but the thing is...I can't. I can't just let my customers wait forever for returned phone calls and orders shipping out. I can't let the house become a complete wreck, although it's constantly threatening to become that even WITH Beh here MWF.

So I race around trying to cram stuff in and slightly panicking at the thought of how far behind I've gotten, and then I start snapping at the kids and they get snappy and high-need right back and there you go.

While I am desperately trying to achieve the smallest task, Adrian runs around wreaking complete havoc. He deconstructs everything he touches. Pulls all the Tupperware out onto the floor of the kitchen. Turns trash cans upside down. Tears apart new disposable diapers. And while I am kept busy cleaning up the trail of destruction, he is meanwhile standing on top of a wobbly chair near some sharp points of furniture, waving his arms in the air. I just get EXHAUSTED.

It's like some ridiculous farce at times...this whole Buster Keaton act of Adrian's. I look away for a second (oh say, to deal with the whiny demands of a certain 4yo), look back and Adrian's dangling from the face of a clock 12 stories up above a busy city street. Not really, but almost.

April 01, 2008

Time out - less work and more paying attention

Well, not really, but sort of. My babysitter Kim has been on vacation since last week, so I decided to just take it easy on work and spend the time with the kids while she is gone. Kim was nice enough to find a substitute to fill in while she is gone, but J and A aren't the kinds of kids who happily latch onto just anyone. I'm sure Adrian would be freaking out with a new person, and I'd end up having to hold him most of the time anyway. So why bother paying money for the disappointed expectation that I'll actually be able to get some work done? Might as well just skip it.

On that note, I've been taking the kids to the playground, on long walks, kicking the ball around the backyard in the afternoons, that kind of thing. The stuff I used to do all the time, but now rarely get a chance to because of this whole *business* thing.

Don't get me wrong, I love my business and am totally grateful for it becoming a success so far. But I have been working every spare moment of the day and night for a year now, and quite a bit for the two years before that. It's crazy. I'm about to hire a shipping/receiving person to take that piece over from me, and it will be a relief. Of course I still have to interview several people, and train the person chosen. Not exactly easy, but oh well. Growing pains are inevitable.

I feel like I've been missing out lately. For example, Adrian is having a major, major developmental burst right now. It's so much fun to be with him and watch him evolve new skills, sometimes in the span of a single day.

Last week I finally realized that Adrian has been saying not just "Ehhhh DAT!", but actually "I WANT THAT". Like hello, a full-on three word sentence! Kim pointed it out to me a few weeks ago, but I didn't really HEAR it until recently. Then I repeated to him, "I want that!" and he totally enunciated it. Which makes me feel like a complete moron for not clueing in until now.

He also says:
"There he is!" (when someone like Julian or Daddy comes in the room)
"Look!" (to show me something that he finds interesting)
"Ick!" (trash or icky stuff)
and brand new as of yesterday, but in full and frequent use today:
"Uh-oh!" (indicating that something has gone wrong, fallen, spilled, broken, etc. A VERY frequent occurrence around here)
and then the old standby "Doggie!", which was his first word, and which was Julian's first word as well. This word is often blended with "Daddy" so that we don't know which one he's saying. Sometimes he does a chanted medley of "Doggie, doggie, doggie, doddy, daddy, doggie, daddy, daddy, daddy, doggie, daddy..."

Other new developments:
He points to his crotch when he has to go potty! This one is quite awesome. He gets my attention and then says "Dat!" while pointing to his crotch. He even did it at the dentist the other day. I took him in the bathroom and he took a huge pee in the toilet. Not too shabby for a 14 month old.

Tonight at bedtime he got my attention, made the "milk" sign and then pointed to the rocking chair in his bedroom. He even went over to it and patted it, like "Sit HERE." Very clear...he does not want to be nursed to sleep in the bed, he wants to be rocked and nursed to sleep in the rocking chair. OK! And then he went to sleep like a little lamb, rocked and nursed in said chair.

He has a huge interest in dogs, birds, and most animals. He says "DOGGIE!" loudly and excitedly any time he sees a dog. The tiniest little bird chirp outside also has his immediate attention. We have a very active bird nest on the front porch, and every time I take him out there he points to it excitedly and makes a little chirpy sound.

He makes a "playing boy noise" that is completely adorable. He will get a toy car, or a toy plane, or even a toy animal, and while moving it around he makes a noise like "kshhhhhhhh", except it's in this little baby voice...so unbelievably cute. It's like the embryonic version of Julian making car vroom noises, or animal growling noises.

Tonight he had a toy alligator in the bath and was making the "kshhh!" noise with it, then he had a little picture book before bed and in it was a photo of an alligator. He pointed to it, said "Look!" and then made the growling/vrooming noise. Cute!

I keep trying to film this stuff on my Flip, but as soon as I break it out he and Julian want to come and grab the camera and watch videos on it. Makes it very difficult to capture anything...frustrating. I feel like every video ends with an outstretched hand reaching towards the camera.

I've been testing him with little things, like I say "Let's go outside!" or "Put it in the trash!" and he responds by leading me outside or putting a piece of paper in the trash. He understands! So now I'm making a big effort to *explain* things to him, rather than just treating him like a passive participant.

He gives delicious little kisses. He comes at me and sort of mouths the point of my chin. Sometimes in the morning he wakes up and sleepily presses his open mouth against my cheek for a few seconds, then makes a little smack noise afterwards, like a real kiss. Can't begin to tell you how sweet it is to wake up to sweet and loving baby boy kisses, it's worth all the middle-of-the-night headbutting.

I am doing a lot of signing with him, but so far apart from "milk" (which he uses way too frequently!) he hasn't signed back to me. I THINK he signed "More milk" yesterday, two signs together, but I might have been imagining it. Or maybe not. He does understand the signs I use with him, he just doesn't do them back to me yet...except for "milk". Just like Julian.

I think pointing to his crotch is a great potty sign. Much easier than trying to do a "shaking T" (for toilet) in ASL...which is not so simple for little hands. But anyone can understand the crotch-pointing.

Julian is also having a burst in his verbal skills as well. Today he used new and surprisingly advanced words *four* times to describe things. Now ask me what those words were...I can't tell you. Don't remember. Mommy brain. I just remember being surprised and thrilled four times today by something that Julian said, a turn of phrase, an idiomatic expression or big new word used properly in context. I swear I'll commit them to memory from now on. At least *one* to use as an example. Argh.

I'm getting rather desperately behind in my work, but eh...as long as I get stuff shipped out within a decent timeframe, I don't feel too bad. I do feel bad about sitting here writing this when I'm so behind on customer emails, but then again, this is a bit more important overall.

Tomorrow is a full day. I have a Pilates Reformer class in the morning, which I really enjoy, then it's off to work at Julian's preschool (with Adrian on my back the whole time), then home for lunch and THEN hopefully I can get some work done. I bought new wire shelving for the other wall in the garage, so hope to nearly double my storage space. Plus I got a sweet new shipping table for the middle of the garage, so I no longer have to pack boxes on top of the freezer chest, for crying out loud, and I can store boxes underneath. But yeah, now to assemble all this new stuff and get it organized. Sigh. Plus keep shipping on a regular schedule, moving towards hiring someone, updating my website, etc. Very, very overwhelming.

But I'm trying not to think about that right now. I'm thinking about my little boys, and what a nice week we've had so far, and how fast this time goes before it's gone.

Life Before Death

Wow. These photos were taken of people before and after their death. Be sure to read the text. Very powerful.

Apparently there is one of a 17 month old baby that is in the actual exhibit. I'm glad they didn't include that one online, I don't think I could have handled it.

So sad for the people who had miserable, joyless lives that were then cut short. The woman who waited her whole life for retirement and then got cancer! Ugh. Carpe diem, indeed.

But the old woman in the last photo who spoke about becoming "one of the million, billion grains of sand in the desert"....that was nice. I suppose I think that way too. Not that I'm not terrified of death. But I'm not so terrified for *me* at this point. I've done a lot of things and lived a joyous, full life so far. I'm terrified however, at the idea of leaving behind two small and very needy children.

If no one is depending on you, then I think death becomes a different thing entirely.


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