Monday, November 30

A Hunting They Will Go!

I think that some sort of hunting season started today. Or maybe it has been going on for a while and I just noticed it. This morning at the gas station there were about 5 guys sitting around having coffee in their hunting clothes. Camouflage and BRIGHT orange vests. I don't really understand the logic in these ensembles. I get that you wear camo so that you blend into your surroundings, but then you put on bright orange so that you are not accidentally shot by a fellow hunter. So if you are going to wear bright orange, why wear the camo at all? You are not blending in, so what's the point? I have lived in the woods for 8 years now, and since that first winter I started to notice this odd phenomenon of trucks parked randomly on the side of the road. It took me a while to figure out (well, finally Dennis told me) that these vehicles which I previously thought were all broken down are really hunters. That does make more sense, I mean, how could ALL of these trucks and SUV's be broken down at the same time? At first I thought we could be in danger, I mean, some of these cars are parked VERY close to where we live, and I was picturing bullets zinging through our backyard. Luckily this has not happened. I guess they venture deep into the woods to do their killin'? Who knows. All I can tell you is that while I am not necessarily "for" the senseless killing of animals per se, I don't find too much wrong with the hunting in my town. I am pretty sure by the looks of these guys that they don't just hunt for fun. I mean, I think if they ever actually get anything, they are going to be cooking it and stewin' it and eating it up. Luckily for all the wildlife about, I have never, ever, ever in all of these 8 years actually seen a hunter emerge from the woods with a dead animal. I have never seen a dead deer tied to the roof of a truck. So either these hunters are really really bad at it, or the animals are really really lucky.

Thursday, November 26


When you have children I fully believe that a piece of your heart leaves your chest and lives outside of you, and it is so hard to have a piece of you outside of your body. It should be inside of you, safe and sound, but instead it is walking around out there, living its own life. On this Thanksgiving I am thankful that the little pieces of my heart are right by my side, snuggling on the couch watching the parade, sleeping in bed with their eyes half open, requiring all items from Thanksgiving dinner be separated and not touching each other on the plate. These little pieces of my heart take all my energy, all my strength, so much of my love, and I am thankful. I know that there are too many parents out there who have pieces of their heart scattered all over the globe, or pieces of their heart gone altogether, and when that happens I don't know how you breathe. So today I will remember even more that I am thankful for my children, and my husband and my entire family and my life. I am thankful for our health, our house, our jobs. I am thankful for that crusty part of the stuffing that hangs out of the turkey's butt. Yum, that's good stuff.

Tuesday, November 24

My Birthday Girl

Abbey turned 5 on Sunday. 5! I can't believe it. It really does feel like it was only yesterday that I checked into the hospital on that dark Sunday night in November, only to be told that although I was sure I was ready to deliver any moment that I was only 2 centimeters dilated and that I should walk around the hospital to get things moving. So that is what Dennis and I did, we walked around the deserted and quiet Medical Center, while I periodically clutched at my stomach and leaned against walls. Eventually of course she was born, at 9:23 am the next day. I spent the night laboring and watching old reruns of Wings on Nick At Nite. Remember that show? I still remember laboring all night with Jack watching C.H.I.P.S. To this day I can't hear that theme song or see Ponch or John without feeling uncomfortable and remembering pain. I also remembered very well that I wasn't able to get an epidural with Jack (too fast, no time) so I made sure I had time with Abbey. Every new nurse that came in I would say "Hi, nice to meet you. I am having an epidural." And then someone else would come in and I would say "Hi, I'm Kirsten, I'm having an epidural." I would even ask if they had it written down on the chart, just be sure.

But that is all far in the past now, and she is 5. She had a fun gymnastics party on Saturday to celebrate, with 12 kids. Then we went out to dinner with my sister & brother in law and their kids. Abbey and her cousin Shannon are only 7 days apart (Shannon being 7 days older which already she doesn't let Abbey forget) and they are best friends. I must say that its nice to have a 7 and a 5 year old. I feel like those ages are completely manageable. Well, most days. Some days. She is so five already though, so grown up. She always had been. Jack asked if that meant she would start kindergarten on Monday. Oh, I wish!

We gave her the Dora Links doll for her birthday, the new "teenage" Dora version for the 5 and older set. She is great, she hooks up to the computer and Abbey can navigate this whole online Dora world and solve mysteries, play games. And she can change her doll Dora too, along with the one on the screen. Make her eyes change color, change the color of her jewelry. And the doll talks. Its a little unnerving because you don't know exactly when she is going to talk. She's just a lifeless doll and then all of a sudden, "Hola!" she says to you. She scared the crap out of me Sunday night while I was spending HOURS downloading the content onto the computer. This is my only complaint about the Dora Links doll. It took FOREVER for the stuff to load onto the computer. I tried Sunday morning and it was taking so long that I thought it was malfunctioning, so I un-installed the program and started again. Then we had to leave to go to my parents for dinner so I stopped it again. Sunday night after the kids went to bed I told Dennis "I'm loading this bitch tonight if its the last thing I do!" and it took over 2 hours to get all installed. 2 hours!! Parents need to know this for Christmas. If they want their darling daughters to wake up Christmas morning, open Dora and start playing right away they need to install her well in advance.

There she is, my little pip. Happy with Dora. Not really sure what "pip" means but I think it's British and I am quite confident that it fits Abigail to a tee.

So I have a 7 and a 5 year old. How cool it that?

Thursday, November 19

7 Foods You Had No Idea About

Here's a tip, when you tell Kai-Lan on t.v. to use the brain in her giant over sized head to answer her own damn questions, that means you need to eat lunch because you are obviously getting cranky. Luckily I heated up a panini mighty quick before I started swearing at the little sprite. Then I was perusing the computer and came across these ominous words: "7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips." Not that you shouldn't even just eat, but that should never even come in contact with your lips! I thought to myself, "it is probably stuff people don't ever eat anyway, like ammonia or peroxide" and decided to check it out. This, ladies and gentlemen, are the 7 foods you should never eat. I mean never, don't even think about it you might as well just throw yourself in front of a bus right now because you are going to die if you eat any of these things list:

1. Canned Tomatoes. Ummm, yup. I'm pretty sure I didn't see this one coming right off the bat. Something about a chemical in them is really bad for you? Good thing I'm not adding these to anything I cook, right?

2. Corn-Fed Beef. I personally have no idea what the beef I buy eats. I get it in the grocery store, in the beef section, and it doesn't say what kind of diet the aforementioned cow had. Upon further reading though the article says that you should get grass-fed beef, which you can find at Farmers Markets. Since I have never bought any meat at a farmers market, and am pretty sure that we don't even have farmers markets around here (especially in the winter!), we are screwed on the beef front, best to just stick with chicken.

3. Microwave Popcorn. Damn. We are in trouble.

4. Non-Organic Potatoes
. Pretty sure this counts that flaky kind that comes in a box or a pouch.

5. Farmed Salmon. Phew, we hardly ever eat fish, unless it is in the form of a stick, so we are all set here.

6. Milk produced with artificial hormones. OK, so maybe I just grab whatever milk is the least expensive and is 1%. Then I read you should buy Walmart's Great Value brand milk, because they don't use something called rBGH. I totally buy Walmart milk. All the time. Phew. I am a good mother.

7. Conventional (meaning non-organic) Apples. Apples. As in an apple a day . . . blah blah blah.

So I have to go now. I'm going to go and munch on an apple while heating up some microwave popcorn for the kids for a snack, to hold them over until their dinner of fish sticks and boxed instant mashed potatoes is cooked. Don't worry, I'll make sure they drink their milk.

Wednesday, November 11

Is It or Isn't It?

Jack came down with a high fever and cough and headache on Saturday and was down for the count for about 24 hours. By Monday morning he was up and about, playing video games and running around outside, but I kept him home anyway due to that whole "24 hour fever-free" rule for school. By mid-afternoon the buzz on Facebook was that SO many kids were out sick at our elementary school and so many more were sent home that they were actually cancelling school for Tuesday. No one knew what everyone had, although their symptoms were similar. Everyone seemed to have flu-like symptoms, but some of the kids were only sick for a day or 2, which seemed to be too short to be considered H1N1. Still, school was cancelled because they had over a 30% absentee rate, so Jack had yet another day off from school. Today is Veteran's Day so he is off also, making him pretty much forget what going to school is like. It felt odd, like our town was that doomed town from the movie "Outbreak" that they want to bomb to stop the spread of the virus. Everyone I knew had someone sick in their house. Our local WalMart ran out of Children's Motrin. It was freaky and crazy. One of my friends had to bring her daughter who is the same age as Abbey to the ER in the middle of the night because her fever was so high and she was having trouble breathing. Now its getting scary and too close for comfort. On Monday afternoon Abbey started feeling icky. Slight temp, no appetite. By Monday night at 3 am she was BURNING UP! 104 temp. It was scary. Tuesday she was the same, high temp, aches, "tummy" ache. Last night her temp rose up up and away again, to almost 104. I was wiping her down with cool washcloths and giving her ice water, sitting up with her listening to her breathe. It was a long night. This morning her fever seemed to break, and she has had a normal temp ever since. Ate bacon and eggs AND a sandwich. So now I am totally and completely confused and filled with uncertainty and questions. If she was sick for about 2 days total I wonder, was that H1N1? It certainly seemed severe enough at 2 am to be it, although then is that what Jack had too? Because he didn't really seem that sick at all, and if he had H1N1 then it must have been a mild version of it. So have they had it? Is it over? Or maybe its not done and they are going to relapse? Should I not get them the vaccine if and when it ever becomes available? Because they already had it? Or did they? Or was it something different? Am I going to get it now? Will we be able to go to this wedding we have scheduled for Friday night? The wedding where we have a hotel room, I bought a new dress and the kids are staying at my cousins? Will we? Will we? Stay tuned, only time will tell.

Friday, November 6

Still Kickin'

Just a little note to let you know that yes, I am still around. I have thought about blogging a lot in the last week. A few times I have even sat down to write out my thoughts, but then something happened/someone needed something from me, or we had somewhere we had to go to immediately and it fell by the wayside. Tomorrow is the last day of soccer for both kids and Sunday is the last day of Jack's CCD classes (for now) so I am hoping to feel less stressed and crazy soon. We'll still have activities but they shouldn't be so, overlapping. I am getting slightly worried about this whole H1N1 thing. My town is dropping hard. Tons of kids out of school and more getting sent home everyday. Our pediatrician did not have any vaccines available so we are pretty much out there blowing in the wind, susceptible to all germs that come our way. My fear is that once one member of the family comes down with it it will just spread through the house like wildfire. And since it seems to last at least 5 days, and then you have to wait 24 hours fever free to go back to school/work, I am thinking it could seem never ending. If the kids get it back to back and then I get it, I could be out of commission, quarantined in the house for by my approximation up to 3 weeks. That's a damn long time. Never mind the fact that from what I hear it just sucks. Fever and aches and pains and all this other stuff that I am in no way wanting to go through, and I sure as hell don't want the kids to have to go through.

Oh well, I can't worry about this right now, because as you know we are very busy.