still thinking

The days are getting cool and sadly I realize that school starts in less than 2 weeks. I am not a parent who looks forward to sending the kids back into the arms of their teachers. I actually like having them around. I enjoy their company. I am the first to admit that sometimes they drive me completely crazy, but so does my husband and I still like him, too. Families get on each other’s nerves, it is normal. I just know that when the kids go back and the house is empty, I will miss them. I will go from seeing them all day to only a few hours a day and even those hours will not be our own, they will be filled with tasks and chores not of our own choosing.
Right now I am on the front deck with the dog and my computer. It is cloudy and gray and not particularly warm for August. I have 4 kids running around the yard somewhere – a 10, 8, 5 and 4 year old. They might be catching frogs in the pond or climbing the apple trees in the backyard. They might be playing hide and seek in the tall grass or playing in the treehouse. A few minutes ago I helped pull thorns out of a toe and now they are off again. They appear out of nowhere, demand either medical care or food, and then when their needs are met, they go off again to be independent, happy kids. Until school starts.
Today, they build forts in the woods, then pick wild black berries for a snack and create stories to act out in their private lair. They yell and run and jump and collaborate and act like kids. Next week, they sit at their desks and hold their pencil the right way and raise their hand to talk in an indoor voice. Why, exactly?
Still figuring out the answer… any thoughts?


No Place Like Home

Back to the insanity of daily life… but boy, it was sweet while it lasted. We unplugged – there is no internet or cable at the camp – so we played cards and read books and took walks. We also just sat on the deck and looked out at the water and talked.
We saw bald eagles fly by… yep, seriously. Sam and Maggie went fishing and caught nothing and had a great time doing it. Daddy untangled lines and untangled hooks and did not have a great time doing it, but he would rather do that than be at work, so there.
Maggie’s favorite part was riding the carousel and she would have happily done so for hours at a time had we let her, but we did not. We also went out in go-karts and Sam loved that, while Moira and I realized we have absolutely no future in NASCAR. Maggie adored the little go-karts and drove like a pro, except when the attendant raised his hand to tell her to slow down and she raised her own hand, gave him a high 5 and kept right on going. Even he giggled.

Daddy and Moira got goofy – I’m not even sure what they were doing, I only know daddy regretted doing it the next morning when he climbed from bed moaning – ouch.
We were all tired, in a good way and we slept well and ate well and it just felt so nice to be together. Then we had to pack up and head home and the girls were sad. Until I told them they could finish the left over ice cream for breakfast. All better… and the Water House will be patiently waiting for us to come back.

You Nork, You Nork

Start spreading the news, we’re leaving today… wait, no. No, we aren’t. You Nork will have to wait. We are packed, stacked and ready to roll out in the morning for our almost-full-week of vacation in NY, when Sam, who has been a little blah all day, says, “Can you take my temp?” And sure enough, a fever. Not too high, but a fever none the less. Is this connected to the weird rash from last week? Could it be Lyme again? Do we leave for NY and hope for the best? We decided to wait a couple days and post-pone rather than cancel the trip. I kind of want to wait and see where the fever goes (hopefully nowhere.)
Last summer the Lyme was such a nightmare for Sam. He suffered through days of fever, chills, fatigue and feeling awful. When we went to the doctor and diagnosed the cause, we still had major issues. He was 7 at the time and the most effective antibiotic for Lyme at that age is amoxicillin, but he is allergic to that. The most effective drug for 8 and over is doxycycline – we were about 7 weeks from Sam’s 8th birthday, so the consensus was – we’ll go for it. My question – his Dad is allergic to doxycycline, could Sam be allergic too? Mmmmm…(picture Winnie the Pooh -think, think, think) good question. Our doctor’s office called the CDC, we waited for call backs, they researched the question… meanwhile Sam is spending the second week of July on the couch dressed in flannel pajamas, wrapped in blankets, too sick to even enjoy extra Wii time. And that is SICK, let me tell you! Finally, on a Friday afternoon (we’d initially gone to the doctor’s on Tuesday) we get a call saying the doxycycline is go. They call in the script, I call the pharmacy and am told that that medicine requires prior approval from the insurance and the process takes 24-48 hours. Starting Monday. Really???? When our doctor found out about this she was FURIOUS and called in a 4 day supply of the medicine and put it on her own credit card. How awesome is that? Wait, because this story gets better. We get the medicine, give him his first dose Friday evening. By Sunday morning he is covered in a strange red rash. We go back to our doctor (yes, on a Sunday morning we see our own doctor in the office.) She confirms what I suspect – Sam is indeed allergic to doxycycline. He needs to be off it for 24 hours before he can start a new medicine. What medicine? Well, after another round of research we have to special order a drug from a compounding center in Boston and then drive 45 minutes out of the way to a pharmacy that will agree to mix it (it comes in brown glass bottles.) Sam does okay on this medicine (I can’t even remember what it is) for two weeks, but the symptoms don’t entirely go away. By late August we are back at the doctor and put on another round of the brown-glass-bottle-antibiotics.
Sam has had no lasting effects, thank goodness. But when he starts with a fever and loss of appetite, I get a little nervous. Hopefully by the end of the week we can head for You Nork. Maggie is looking forward to seeing her booster seat (we keep one out there, not sure why this a highlight for her, but she is weird.) I am looking forward to sitting on the deck and looking out at this… only wish I enjoy a cocktail while I enjoy the view, but the medicine I am on for Lyme disease doesn’t allow for it.  You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.
river house view too
river house view


On the way back from visiting Gram Cooley and cousins in Maine last evening, and the kids are giggling in the backseat. Then, a sudden silence that quickly says something is wrong. Scott looks in the rearview mirror and yells, “Is she choking?” and I turn and see Maggie is gagging but can’t talk. A look of complete panic and fear is on her face. Even as I yell, “Pull over!” Scott is pulling over. Meanwhile I have unbuckled and am half in the backseat, unbuckling Maggie from the car seat and trying to maneuver her into Heimlich position. Thankfully, I was able to get the chips she was choking on up. Crazy scary. A few minutes later and the car is parked crookedly on the grass at the side of the median. Maggie and I are standing in the grass and I am handing her a bottle of water and she’s shaky, but okay. And she looks up at me and says, “I’m sorry I spit up in the backseat.” My baby. Such an amazing, quirky funny girl and I love her so much. Thank God she is okay!

I caught her the other day enjoying little light reading…. Webster’s unabridged dictionary, in case you’d like to add it to your own summer reading list..


And she shares my woe when it comes to driving the kids around town….


She watched her big sister shave (milestone!) for the first time and later, after mulling it over, asked, “Mom, is that really arm pit whip cream?” My girl!