Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Academy -- Part II

(Part I)

After living in various places in California and Oregon we finally settled in Beaverton, Oregon, which was at that time a smallish suburb with rural areas of mostly hazelnut and apple orchards. It is ironic that although I now live an hour away, I work in Beaverton, which is now an overpopulated city (home of Nike!) with clotted freeways and photo-radar intersections. I drive by my old house occasionally to make sure they haven’t cut down the grape vine in the backyard. So far so good. Although they did cut down the apple tree upon which my dad grafted pears. Fascists.

The old house was pea-green and had two small bedrooms and one bathroom with a deep tub but no shower. The area under the kitchen sink was covered with curtains and it was where we kept the bucket for kitchen scraps which would eventually be put in the compost pile outside for our perennial vegetable garden. I shared my room with my obnoxious sister (I like you much better now, Mia, but at the time you were a huge pain, unlike me who was nearly angelic. Stop choking.) who is six years older than me. There were built in drawers in the room and if you opened them you couldn’t open the bedroom door. Which was how my sister locked me out of out room on a regular basis while she chatted with friends about Leif Garrett and Scott Baio. I retaliated by following her and her friends around as much as I could and asking obnoxious questions and steal her Bonne Bell lip gloss.

Our neighbor and landlord lived next door on a corner lot. He had a huge Queen Anne cherry tree and we’d climb high into its branches, eat cherries, and drop the pits onto cars passing below. On the other side of our house was the neighbor where I practiced piano before I had my own. She was old and her house smelled like old things but was extremely fascinating to me and I liked to explore it since it was much bigger than ours. Like my mom, our neighbor had a pantry with rows and rows of sparkling Kerr jars of tomatoes, peaches, applesauce. We made grape juice every year from our grape vines, dried fruit from our fig tree in the dehydrator and canned tomatoes from the garden. Every house I’ve owned as an adult I’ve had a vegetable garden and we plant trees. Currently we have apples, plums, figs, peaches, nectarines, pawpaws and olives. Trees are a very important part of my life. Must have trees!

I played by myself most of the time. I was mostly a Hot Wheels car girl and made roads in the dirt. I had a few dolls, but had the most fun with homemade paper dolls and the Dandelion Ladies (see instructions in my previous post) that Mia taught me how to make. Childhood seemed to last a lifetime, which was sometimes good and sometimes not. But elementary and junior high ended, as did life at the old house.

Friday, April 28, 2006

How to Make Dandelion Ladies
















1) Pick a dandelion, making sure it has at least a 3-4” stem.















2) With your fingernails, carefully peel the stem back into halves lengthwise, leaving about a 1” section of stem by the blossom intact.















3) Peel the halves into halves and halves again, careful not to break them, until you have several “streamers.”















4) Place the split stem into cold or tap water. Watch the streamers curl before your eyes!















5) Stand the finished dandelion doll on its blossom, which is the skirt. Now you have a curly topped, yellow skirted little lady. Make a dozen of them and watch how each of them curls differently.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Three Link Thursday

For this Three Link Thursday I'm going to list links that I visit regularly.


Kids -- Two educational and fun links for kids and great for homeschooling: Funschool and Starfall.

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Food -- I visit VegWeb nearly everyday for great recipe ideas and some of the recipes are my own. Epicurious is another site that gives me great ideas for great eats.


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Health -- The superb and scientifically based PCRM and the odd but also scientifically based Not Milk. Enter either at your own risk and be prepared to change your nutrition paradigm, if you dare!

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Ok, that was more like six links. Three, six, whatever. I was never good at math. Get over it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Joy

Burns, germs, aches, pains. Happiness.

My aunt and uncle are vacationing for a week in Welches, Oregon, in the mountains near grand Mt. Hood, renting a two bedroom condo. They invited us up and so we drove up there Saturday evening. It’s only a 40-45 min drive from our home and we’ve been there before, and while its very beautiful I don’t remember it being quite so gorgeous as it was this weekend.

Sunday morning we woke up and drove 15 minutes up the mountain to a snow park. We bundled the girls and took them inner-tubing for the first time in their lives. Fortunately, the park has a tow-rope otherwise I would have died after the first hike to the top, a permanent snow angel. After my multiple back surgeries I’ve never quite gotten back into shape and knew the day would likely kill me off, but nothing could have kept me away from enjoying my daughters’ play.

After sliding down several times, Sydney informed me she had to go potty. So she and I stomped into the lodge at the top of the hill while her sister and daddy stayed behind. Anyone who has gone skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or any other snow activity knows what a pain it is to use the bathroom. Double that with children. They ought to make a suit with a built-in urinal system, or maybe diapers like the Chinese do when waiting in line at the subway.

We were alone in the 12 stall restroom. I carefully peeled the layers off Sydney. I had both girls’ and my own hats and gloves stuffed in the front of my ski jacket. As I bent over to do the post-pee dabbing, I dropped my black knit hat into the toilet. I snatched it out, hoping to have been so fast that the fluid molecules hadn’t touched the hat molecules. Right.

I lifted Sydney off and rushed to a sink, filling it with hot water and soap. Sydney watched me with great interest. The old faucet didn’t have hot and cold marked and I blasted the cold water to rinse my hat. Instead, the water went from Hot to Blister and I burned my knuckles.

By the time we got back outside David and Summerlyn were at the bottom of the hill, so Sydney and I tubed our way back down and I handed David all the gloves and hats, handing him my own last. He looked down in surprise at the soggy hat in his hand, but not so surprised as when I told him I fished it out of the toilet. That was amusing for a few moments until I told him it was washed. But still.

That night David, who apparently still loves me, and I left the twinlets with my aunt and uncle and we went to Don Guido's, a good Italian restaurant in Rhododendron. The food was excellent, save for the garlic bread. We sat in a half-circle vinyl booth, surrounded by several others, so we felt like we were on the teacup ride at Disneyland, the Italian version, expecting to start spinning any moment. Soft rock from the seventies played overhead and David and I looked deeply into each other’s eyes and spoke the lyrics in time with the music, in very droll tones.

“Every sha la la la, every whoa uh oh, still shines. Every shing a ling ling…”

The other patrons probably thought we were on leave from the state hospital, as we snickered our way through our pasta. But that’s our way of bonding. The most romantic thing was later when we crawled into bed, smiling. Not because anything was going to be any action that night but because our tiny girls were sleeping in their sleeping bags at the foot of our bed and we were comforted by their presence and our hearts were in love with the togetherness of our family.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Health Alertment!

Alertment! (As the girls would say) as of last night:

"If you pinch your nose shut for years and years until Jesus comes, you will die." -- Surgeon General Summerlyn (age 4 years 11 months)

The Great Debate

The following is from Cartago Delenda Est via radaractive.

How many Darwinists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Charles Darwin: None. But if it could be shown that the bulb entered the socket without a series of clockwise turns, my theory would absolutely break down.

ACLU: None! We have separation of church and state in this country.

Eugenie Scott: None. To say a Darwinist did it is not a scientific explanation.

Panda’s Thumb: None. To say that light bulbs don’t screw themselves in is not a testable proposition. You can’t prove they don’t. That would be an argument from incredulity. You are committing a ‘Darwinist Of The Gaps’ fallacy.

Generic 1: None. Time and chance are sufficient. Eventually it is inevitable that the bulb will be in the socket. Say, in a billion years.

Generic 2: None. The quintessentially non-random process of natural selection is sufficient. Those objects capable of giving off light when screwed into sockets will be in sockets. Those that aren’t will be in the trash.

Richard Dawkins: None. A light bulb that gives off 1% light intensity is very much worth having. A bulb sitting on the shelf at the supermarket gives off a certain amount of light. One in the cupboard at home gives off more. One five feet from the socket gives off more, and one two feet away even more. One in the socket gives off the most of all. It is therefore inevitable that the bulb will reach the socket.

Stephen J. Gould: None. The bulb jumped into the socket when no one was looking. Gradually.

Kenneth Miller: None. The bulb was already serving a function: providing rigidity to its corrugated packaging on the supermarket shelf. Co-option did the rest.

Theistic Evolutionist: All of the above explanations are substantially correct. But the more important question is the meaning of the light.

Philip Johnson: One.

Michael Behe: One.

Stephen Meyer: One.

William Dembski: One.

Guillermo Gonzalez: One. But isn’t it interesting that other light bulbs allowed the Darwinist to see what he was doing as he screwed in this light bulb.

Darwin Chorus: Oh, yeah? Which Darwinist? What is his name? If you won’t tell us that, you’re being disingenuous, and therefore no one screwed in the light bulb!

Flying Spaghetti Monster: Two. But don’t ask me how they got in there. Oh. 'Darwinists'? I thought you said 'fruit flies'.

Michael Ruse: Are you trying to create a theocracy? The light bulbs in the reeducation camps will be depressingly dim. Unless they use candles. Do Christians know how to make fire?

Internet Infidels: First answer this: How many priests did it take to burn Galileo at the stake? Huh?!?

Panda’s Thumb: If a Darwinist had screwed it in, it would be an efficient fluorescent, not a wasteful incandescent. Therefore no one screwed it in.

Talk.Origins: We’ve observed all kinds of light bulbs in all kinds of sockets: flashlights, automobile headlights, Christmas tree lights, Las Vegas marquees. There is nothing special about this light bulb and this socket.

Richard Dawkins: None. Darwin made it possible to feel fulfilled sitting in the dark.

Update: Richard Dawkins has accused me of leaving out one of his best arguments, so I add it below:

Richard Dawkins: To say that it took a Darwinist to do the screwing in of the lightbulb is to explain precisely nothing. The obvious question becomes: Who did the screwing to create the Darwinist screwer? And who did the screwing to create that screwer? There would have to be an infinite regress of screwers. And if you invoke some invisible, mystical Unscrewed Screwer (for which we have no credible evidence) to start the whole thing off, why not just say that the lightbulb screwed itself in and be done with it?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Three Link Thursday

Now we know what "food" item we can send with our astronauts on their long trip to Mars.

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Say that five times fast.

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Ever have a song stuck in your head and say "What is the name of that song???" Well I do. And this site has given me relief. Don't say I never add anything useful.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bugs


I came home from work yesterday and my mom sent the girls home (my parents live across the driveway from me). David calls me out to the deck and says, "Come look at this now!"

I found him and Mom examining Summerlyn's scalp in the sunlight. I moved aside her hair and saw that her head was covered in welts, some raw. She was periodically scratching but not severely, and there were was no rash anywhere else except her head, so I doubted hives was the cause. Sydney also had a couple but they were smaller and less angry looking.

I am a triage nurse, a telephone advice nurse, and have almost ten years experience in that particular field. I can correctly identify probably at least 80% of rashes without setting my eyes on them. This one stumped me. The lesions looked like bug bites, but not mosquitoes or bees. They looked most like spider bites, but what from? The girls play outside but not in bushes or trees or tall grass. It certainly wouldn't explain why they have them only on their heads.

Their bedroom is a likely source. Not fleas, because those insects would be all over the house, not just their bedroom. Besides fleas love me and I have no bites. The lesions don't follow the pattern of scabies, either. The girls don't go to day care or school (except homeschool), so lice is unlikely, but can't initially be ruled out since they do play with other children and could possibly have shared a personal item such as a hat (although unlikely). I checked their hair carefully -- no lice. Adult bed bugs are about 1/4" long, and I didn't see any in their bedding.

I called the oncall doctor, but she didn't know either and when she found out I was a triage nurse said "if you can't figure it out I'm probably not going to either." She recommend I bring them in for examination today which I did. Another doctor saw them and she was stumped, too, although agreed it looked most like spider bites and gave her an antihistamine to at least reduce the reaction.

It is still a mystery. I spent the day bagging their stuffed animals and soft toys, washing bedding in hot water and bleach, and vacuuming. Sigh.

Are you scratching yet?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Friends and Enemies

Friends

I've had a lot of friends in my life and many who I've called my Best Friend. "Best friend" is, for me, a special category with levels. I've had many BFs over the years, for widely differently ranges of time. When I was 14 I had a glorious BFriendship that lasted one day. I had flown to visit my grandparents and other family in California and they took me to Six Flags Magic Mountain. My second cousin's boyfriend brought his daughter Tory, who was also 14, and I think from Alaska. We had never met before and have never seen each other again. But that day was glorious and I will never forget it. We were like soul mates and loved each other dearly that day. We went on dozens of rides and talked and talked. We both loved Normandy Rose jeans. We met up with my family WAY past our curfew to go home and got in deep doodoo. It was fantastic. I miss you Tory, wherever you are.

On the other end of the BF scale is a short list of individuals who have been my BF for many years, or perhaps not many years, but the closeness warrants an honored position. My sister Mia is almost six year older than I and she and I used to be enemies when I was a bratty eight and she was a mean 14. Now that we're both obnoxious pre-menopausal women, we are best friends.

My all-time top of the list best friend has been in that position for over twenty years. We went to academy together. We were roommates, five girls in one small room. I occupied the middle position (earth) of a three-tiered bunkbed, my friend I'll call Henry (because that was my nickname for her years ago) was in the bottom (hell) and another girl on the top (heaven). We shared so much during those years, and it was a truly major and pivotal time for both of us. After graduation we stayed close despite her moving to Southern California (I in Oregon). She went to my college graduation and my wedding. I went to her college graduation and wedding. But as we both started families, and life got busy, our communication diminished.

While our drifting has been both our faults, I take the blame for not trying harder. I didn't call enough. I forgot to send thankyou's to every gift she sent. I am very sorry for that. I wish I could take it back.

I had hoped that one day, when our young 'uns were grown, that we would renew our friendship and I've dreamed of traveling to exotic places with her, we talked in the past of doing medical volunteership together.

But it's not to be. She has chosen to cut off the relationship and I went for two or three miserable weeks trying to stay in denial. It can't be true, I thought, 20 years, it's like sistership, you can't just not be sisters! Once I came to, I wept hard.

I have written her a letter I will send tomorrow. I apologized from my heart. I requested an appeal, but without desperation. I also gave her the choice (not that it's mine to give) to either cut if off completely, as she appears to wish, or that we just separate for now with hope for the future.

When Nikki died last week it made me think -- what is all this stupidity about? Why would we give up a friend? People die and you can't get them back. I don't want to give up my friends. You all are too precious.

Enemies

When I was in elementary, I had an enemy I'll call Connie. The weird thing was that she was sometimes my friend. Our houses were a few blocks apart and sometimes we'd play together. But in my memory she was a bully and said terribly mean things to me. I hated life in elementary. She left when I entered seventh grade and while school life wasn't peachy (adolescence was a generally horrible experience), it improved.

All my life she went in and out of my thoughts. I wondered where she was and what she was doing. Did she have a family? Most of all, I wondered if she was still mean.

Today, something truly bizarre occurred. Image you had some kid you went to school with, and you hadn't seen them since you were 12. Never heard from them again and had no idea what happened to them. Suddenly, one day, their name and phone number appeared out of virtually nowhere. This is what happened to me.

Last week I drove by Connie's house since I was in that area. I hadn't seen it for years. Then this weekend, my mom and I talked about her and her family for the first time in years. Then today a totally incredible and seemingly random series of events occurred and suddenly I saw her father's name in my computer (I hadn't looked him or her up). I was astounded and thought maybe it was same name/different guy. But then I saw her name and her phone number. I can't tell you how shocking it was. The odds are unbelievable.

I wavered as to what to do. Do I call? Do I let it alone? What if she's mean and the call is a huge mistake? What if she's not mean? I prayed about it. I decided to call, although I was very nervous. I decided if she didn't answer, then it wasn't meant to be. She answered.

"Um, is this Connie? Used to be Connie Smith?"

"Yes." Suspiciously.

"Um, this is Sheryle." And I added my maiden name.

Silence. I about had a cow. It was a mistake. She hates me. Why did I call? I remembered the times we were friends and decided to keep going.

I explained the incredulous way I'd gotten her number. I asked about her father. She finally said that she'd thought about me all her life. She told me that her elementary years were absolute hell and that I had been the main reason for it, because of the terrible things I'd said to her. I took this amazingly calmly. Then I realized something astounding. She had always thought I was the bully!!! What a twist of something I had considered truth and reality all my life.

I told her that I was sorry, truly deeply sorry, for anything I said or did to her as a child, and I'd hoped she would forgive me. She did forgive me and she asked forgiveness herself, which I readily gave. She's nice! She grew up to be a nice woman! We talked each other's families and exchanged email addresses before hanging up. An enemy now a friend.

Is there someone you knew as a child or even up to young adulthood with whom you've lost touch? I'm not going to add anything sappy here like to try to get people to contact old acquaintances. Sometimes it doesn't turn out nice. But those kids you have horrible memories of may have grown up to be totally different people. Maybe even decent and kind.

I believe that phone number didn't land in my universe coincidentally. God made it happen. I now have a peace that I didn't have before and I think Connie does, too. My hope is that all my life events, whether good or bad, losing friends or gaining them, will not embitter me but ennoble me. I hope to make a difference of kindness and compassion in my life and be known for that when I die, like Nikki is, not for any thoughtlessness or cruelty I have done. God help me.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Kidlets

My 4 y/o daughter, Summerlyn, comes into our room at about two AM. She whispers to her daddy:

"I didn't flush the toilet because I didn't want to make noise and wake you up."

"Um, thank you sweetie. Now go back to bed."

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My friend's 3 y/o grandson sat in the barber's chair and declared, "I want to have a haircut just like my grandpa's -- with a hole in the middle, please."

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At about 2 y/o, the twins were sitting in our van while we drove home one night. In the dark we hear Sydney's tiny voice: "I need a bath."

David asks, "Why do you say that?"

"Because I'm tinky and have leprosy pots." She always dropped her s's back then.

"Good reason." Silently laughing.

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And this one today: the twins were playing "buyer" which means playing shopping. After a while they informed me that one of their customers didn't obey them.

"We told him to do something and he wouldn't."

"So we have to sacrifice him."

Spring and sacrifices. Hmmm. Sounds like Easter to me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Three Link Thursday

So don't complain about your phone bill anymore. I think I made a similar bill for my parents when I was 15.

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You mean all one has to do is pose holding up a bunch of onesies?? From a mom of real multiples, I hope they spend a long time behind bars. (Thanks to Ginny B. for the link.)

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Ewwww!! See, working is hazardous.

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Bonus Link (you'll be sorry I added it) -- reason #257 why I'm glad I'm a vegetarian: my recipe titles don't give my guests the dry heaves.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Redundant All Over Again


I am amused by two grammatical errors: 1) the redundant phrase, also called a pleonasm, and 2) the misused quotation marks. Sometime I’ll discuss the later, but this about the pleonasm.

My husband and his mother are the world’s redundancy king and queen. They get irritated with me when I catch them at it, which only encourages me. I wished I had written them all down, but I’ll share my favorites:

Blue Jeans -- David argues that not all jeans are blue, therefore it is not a redundancy. I counter that when most people visualize “jeans” they see the blue variety, not the pink or orange. Can he not just say “jeans”? Of course not, that would be too efficient.

Spaghetti Noodles -- Um. Ok. As opposed to the Spaghetti Pancakes, I guess, or perhaps the Spaghetti Milkshake. Just in case you were confused.

Tuna Fish -- Hello!! Good thing you cleared that one up for me, honey. If you’d just said “tuna” I would have been so confused, “Tuna what?? Tuna dog? Tuna broccoli??”

And my all time favorite:

Color Crayons -- As opposed to the box of whites.

Lots of folks throughout history have provided us with lovely examples of this pleonastic problem:

“And that’s a self-portrait of himself, by himself.” – Richard Madeley

“It looks like being a busy weekend on the ferries, particularly Saturday and Sunday.” – Peter Powell

“It was a sudden and unexpected surprise.” Old Bailey Correspondent for BBC

“It’s déjà vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra

“Sometimes you can observe a lot just by watching.” -- Yogi Berra

“If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure.” Dan Quayle

“When large numbers of men are unable to find work, unemployment results.” Calvin Coolidge

“Smoking can kill you, and if you’ve been killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” – Brooke Shields

Good thing those folks cleared that up for us. So, the moral of the story is that with just a little bit of advanced planning you can avoid the awkward predicament of the pleonasm. For some, but not others, it will be difficult, but practice will make the end result worth it, and others will be green in color with envy. Reward yourself with a free gift of tuna fish. Over spaghetti noodles.


Got it?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Three Link Thursday

My dear friend, who shall go unnamed, except that the first letter of her name is J and there's an "Anne" in it, suggested that I should change to doing a "One Link Wednesday." I, in my vast maturity, have only one thing to say to you. Get your own blog. Ok, two things.

Don't hurt me.

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Amazing. I've seen some of Julian Beever's artwork on an email once. The most fascinating thing is the photos that are not at the right perspective. (His site was down at this posting, so I'll check later to make sure the link works.) UPDATE: this link appears to be down at least semi-permanently, so I'll direct you to another link, once Blogger lets me!

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The next two links were given me by David. Thank you for keeping your eyes peeled, sweetness.

Ok, this one begs the question: WHY?

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This is origami. A single sheet of paper for each object. Amazing.

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Oh, and J*Anne? Consider yourself mooned.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Academy -- Part I

There were worms on the tips of every cob of corn. Ten minutes after my parents drove away, I was assigned the task of husking corn. I stood outside where tables had been set up in a row so that workers could prepare the corn for freezing. There was a large bin of fresh corn on my right and I grabbed a cob and peeled back the husks to expose the plump yellow kernels. But the very tips were underdeveloped and the home of plump green worms. I had the choice of chopping off the tips with a large knife, machete-style, or thwacking the tips on the corner of the table. I then passed the peeled, de-tipped and de-wormed cob to the girl on my left whose job was to slice the kernels off the cob. She looked at me, friendly, smiling with crooked teeth, hands slimy with corn. She wore a blouse, a long denim skirt, and her sneakers were brown with dirt. I didn't know her and couldn't quite smile back.

Peel, thwack, peel, thwack. My wussy girl hands, used of scholarly pursuits such as reading and writing, became red and sore. I knew no one around me. Even the geography was foreign – dust, alfalfa, sage brush, and tumble weeds – it was if I had fallen off a plane over an alien planet. How did this happen?

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I was born in Medford, Oregon, home of the llama tours, joining my family that consisted of Mom, Dad and sister Mia who is almost six years older and viewed me with suspicion. About a year later we moved to Costa Rica, my mother’s homeland. Dad attended the university for a degree in theology, Mom was working hard taking care of us girls, and I was busy eating anything I could get my fat little hands on. I started walking at seven months and was into toddler exploration, the extreme version. There wasn’t a crib from which I couldn’t escape. There wasn’t a closed door that resisted my advances, nor a kitchen cabinet I couldn't scale.

One day, my grandfather walked in from a day working on the tropical ranch and removed his muddy shoes by the door. Intrigued by the caked mud, I hurried over. Apparently one brown morsel looked promising and so I did what any one year old would do (if they were me). I ate it. My mother rushed over to try to stop me, but she was dealing with Sherry the Extreme Baby. She couldn’t have pried the dirt out of my mouth with the Jaws of Life.

Tropical dirt is, naturally, chock full of microscopic life, most totally unknown in North America. Within 24 hours I developed a very high fever. I was taken to the hospital and many tests were run over the next few weeks, finally deciding I had a parasite. After a couple weeks my kidneys started shutting down, so my parents decided to take me back to the States where I finally recovered.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sweet Elusive Sleep
















My babies spent four days in the hospital nursery before we took them home. I distinctly remember putting on their tiny little preemie outfits, which were too big for them (they were five weeks premature, but very healthy). David and I tucked them in their car seats and looked at each other, knowing what the other was thinking. The hospital is letting us take them home. Just like that. What do we know about parenthood. I remember crying at home later, because I was sure that I would do something wrong and these little beauties, smaller than our cats, would not live.

What I didn't realize was that God gave babies an alarm system. Every three hours, 24/7, they cried. David and I would wake up and he'd get Summerlyn this time and I'd get Sydney. I breastfed one and he didn't breastfeed the other. I didn't make enough milk to feed both girls all day, so I pumped every day for a year (watching my cracked and bleeding nipples sucked 1 1/2 inches into the tube...oh, sorry, too much information).

Then we'd change their diapers (or maybe we did that first, it's all such a psychotic blur) and wrap them into tiny bundles like pupae and layed them side by side in their bassinet. They shut their tiny eyes and fall into baby slumber, pacifiers periodically quivering. We crashed into bed, trying to squeeze all the sleep possible out of the next three hours. Then the baby alarms would go off "Waaaaaaa!!!!" and we repeated the cycle. Every three hours. For SEVEN MONTHS.

You see, we never had children before, and the parents we knew never had twins and so didn't know what was "normal." It wasn't until the babies seventh month check up that their pediatrician told us they could have been sleeping through the night by five months. When she said that David and I looked right at the girls, blearily, "why you little...." The doctor just chuckled. Oh. Very. Funny.

Who knew how long this would have lasted had the doctor not told us? They are nearly five now -- would they still be waking up at 0200, "Mama! Daddy! I'm hungry! Peanut butter and jelly sandwich!" Sounds absurd, but you may not grasp the full psychoses of the sleep-deprived mind. At least by 13 years we could have just scheduled an ongoing, rotating delivery from the nearest 24 hour pizza shop.

That night we put them in their crib and turned the light off. Three hours later the alarm went off, "waaaaaa!!!" David and I just rolled over and sighed happily. (Yes, we checked them and comforted them, of course.) It wasn't easy, but within three nights they slept. 12. Blessed. Hours.