Friday, May 29, 2009

Tell me that face doesn't break your heart just a little...

Tristan has very toothpick-like limbs:

But Tristan got a mosquito bite that got infected:

And now let's look at them side by side:

The doctor thinks Tristan was scratching a bite and broke the skin and then while playing outside picked up a staph or strep infection. He's on some pretty killer antibiotics and I am grateful because the swelling is starting to blister and is just scary to look at. That horrible preview for "Drag me to Hell" (or whatever it's called) is all over right now and even though I try to turn it because just the preview creeps me out I've seen enough that I keep thinking something is going to burst through the skin of Tristan's arm and eat us all for breakfast.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It just never occurred to me to look first

So the other day Hugh and I were taking the kids for a bike ride. When they bike they are just fast enough to for us to get a really good power walk in while pushing Sebastian in the stroller and anytime I don't have to get on a bike thereby ensuring the womanly parts stay pain-free is a-okay with me.

Anyway, on the day in question, a beautiful, gloriously sunshine-y day I thought, you know what would be great? To come home all hot and jello-legged from this walk and pour myself a tall glass of cold Almond Iced Tea. I had this thought while Hugh was already outside helping the kids into bike helmets so I knew I didn't have much time but the kettle was still hot from my morning cuppa and I decided to throw caution to the wind. I flipped the kettle on for a fresh boil, grabbed the lemon juice from the fridge, the pitcher from the cupboard beside the fridge, and dropped them on the island. I went quickly to the pantry to get the tea, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts and threw them on the island. The kettle was just starting to rumble so I hurriedly measured out my ingredients, dumping them into the pitcher, finishing exactly as the kettle reached it's peak boil only moments after starting the whole process.

Perfect timing, I thought as I grabbed the wooden spoon to stir my concoction, noticing as I did, that the sugar hadn't dissolved at all in the boiling water. Weird. I stuck the spoon in to break it up and hit something hard. Weirder. I fished it out and came up with a ramekin (those things that you make creme brulee in ) and a small candle. Cuz those are normal things to keep inside a pitcher right? Now where did I put that candle? In my water pitcher, of course! Which was very similar to the time I lost the sugar bowl that makes its permanent residence on our counter. After a good ten minutes of searching I gave up and went to take some meat out of the freezer for supper and found my sugar bowl nicely chilling.

Despite candle and ramekin, I was optimistic my dream of cold tea could still be salvaged until bits and globs of wax came floating to the top while I stirred. Sadly, the entire thing went down the kitchen sink and I went outside no further ahead than when I started. When I got to the garage I said to Hugh, "you'll never believe what I just did."
He said, "Oh, I'm sure I will...."

To make your own Almond Tea:
In a large pitcher, which you've checked beforehand to make sure there are no surprises inside:
2 tsp - 2 Tbsp instant tea, depending on how strong you like your tea
3/4 - 1/4 C sugar
1/2 - 3/4 C lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp Almond extract
Pour 2 cups of boiling water over all, stirring until dissolved. Fill to the top with cold water.
Enjoy wax free!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The best laid plans

Hello? Hello? Anybody still out there?

Why does blogging make me feel like an alcoholic back on the bandwagon? Here I am. Again. Saying sorry. Again. For the lack of blogging and recommitting myself. Again. To be more consistent in my posting. Again.

I don't blame you if you read this and don't believe me, I'm not even sure if I believe myself. But as usually seems to happen I go for weeks (ahem. months.) with nothing, no material and no energy to make my boring glory into material and now here I am with about 3 blogs in my head and not sure where to start.

I was going to start with something inspired by a facebook conversation I am currently having with an old friend but then something kind of came up and hijacked the fun and games so I guess I'll start with that.

Hugh got laid off last Friday.

It started off as an ordinary Friday. Hugh left for work at 7:30, I left for a Mothers Day Tea at Preschool at 8:15 and then Sebastian had to have his 18 month shots at 9:40. When I think back on that morning I am amazed at how ordinary it was, amazed that there was no intuition or premonition of what was coming. But I suppose there never is. It's only after that you look back and think you should have been able to see it coming. It's only after that those moments become meaningful for the very fact of their ordinariness and being the last time you felt such things were ordinary.

The Tea was done at 9:00 and Tristan had a fever and we were out of childrens Tylenol so I stopped at Pharmasave. Driving toward the Public Health Unit I looked at the clock. I was early. Not as early as I had hoped because of our pit stop, but still early. I wondered if I'd have time to hit the Starbucks drive-through before our appointment but I turned left intstead of right deciding to save Starbucks for after. We pulled into the parking lot and the kids asked to listen to the rest of Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid which was playing in our cd player. And that's where Hugh found me.

It didn't register at first that he was wearing street clothes and that I had seen him off this morning in his ratty grease-stained work clothes. I was just pleasantly surprised to see him and opened the van door saying, "Hey! What are you doing here?" Which is when he leaned in and said, "I got laid off." And I sat there waiting for the punch line, truly not suspecting he was serious.

He stayed with the big kids while I took Sebastian in for his shots. I was definitely in shock. That stage of shock where you feel somehow removed from your body. I heard myself calmly talking about Sebastian's head circumference and weight and development. I saw myself undress him and hold his arms steady for the needles. I felt his weight as I held him to me "shhh, shhh, shhh'ing" him after it was over but it was like I was floating beside myself separated from my body by wisps of cloud and swirling mist that I couldn't brush away.

We went to Costco to pick up a few things and while the kids were waiting for some samples I texted Michelle the news. She texted back the F-word and I laughed out loud. Sometimes, there are just no other words. We went home, had lunch, put the kids down for a nap and then I cried. I cried for the sod that won't be coming for our backyard after all. I cried for the vacation in August we have to cancel that the kids are so excited about. I cried for no Starbucks. I cried for no Winners. I cried for Hugh's guitar being put on hold. I cried for a changing time.

But here's the thing. As sad as I am about all these things, as uncertain as I am about our future (do we stay? will we have to move? can we survive on EI making less than half what we made? will I have to get a job?) I actually feel a supernatural peace about it all. And I have learned how much I have grown and how much I truly trust God.

I've written very little about faith on this blog, choosing instead for it to be mostly light and silly but I have a deep faith and relationship with God. And I believe the Bible when it says that all things work for the good and that God has come to give us life to the full and that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us and though we go through deep waters and great trouble we will not drown, and when we walk through the fires we will not be consumed because He is with us.

And so we have determined that we will be positive and enjoy this time together. If our kids remember this time they will not remember parents who sat all day in pj's on the couch depressed and anxious and yelling at each other and at them. No. They will remember hours spent together walking and going to the park and playing games and laughing because truly, no matter if we stay or go, or I get a job, or however all those questions get answered, we have a very unique opportunity to spend time together as a family and we will not waste it.

It's easy to be cynical in this world. It's easy to live cautious of your happiness while waiting for the proverbial axe to fall. And it's easy to say, "Why God? Why do you hate me?" when it has fallen. And while it's true that the times where everything is going right all at the same time don't last forever, the same is also true of the opposite. The hard times don't last forever either. This is all part of the cycle of life and I don't believe that God loves me even though this happened. I believe He loves me. Period. And life happened. And I am strangely, divinely at peace and strangely, divinely excited about what's to come. At the very least I should have more time and energy (not to mention material) for blogging now that Hugh will be home everyday! No more excuses! No more falling off the bandwagon. I hope.