Thursday, May 7, 2009


Entry for July 18, 2008
The slug either made it's way to freedom or is now a dried out, crispy corpse somewhere in my house. Frankly, I don't want to know...
So, Charlie has half-days of school in the summer, so he's been hanging out with us more during the day. He is such a character. The weather has been rainy and the lack of pressure in the atmosphere really affects him. He needs that pressure and will try to get it any way he can. He's been asking a lot for hugs ("Gimme your hugs.") and bopping around like Tigger. He's really big and I am afraid he will be jumping and all of a sudden disappear right through the floor. He spends lots of time in his room drawing, which is his favorite past time. When I go in there to check on him, he will ususally say, "I'll be right back," which means he wants me to say that, and take a hike.
Noises affect Charlie. Most of the time he wears sound-reducing headphones to Mass, because the music can be too loud, or the pitch may bother him. He will usually say, "It's too loud," when a noise bothers him. It is good that he has learned these coping skills.
Several years ago, whenever Charlie would walk past me, I would see a glint of something shiny white. Frankly, I thought I was having a seizure or something. It was just a split-second flash and then it would go away. By some divine inspiration, I got closer to Charlie and looked in his ears. At the time, looking in his ears was a problem, because he was much more sensitive than he is now. He would either fight you or collapse in laughter and roll around so you couldn't keep him still long enough to look. By some miracle, I was able to keep him still just enough to peer in. PAPER??? There is rolled up white paper, stuffed way in his ear. And, yes, it was in the other side, too. {{{sigh}}}
I call the pediatrician and make an appointment. I tell the nurse to warn Dr. Murphy that he will be dealing with Charlie's ears. The poor man. I explain the situation to Joe and send him to the appointment, because he is stronger and can deal with Charlie's physical antics better than me.
It is hours before they return home. "What took so long?" I ask. "Dr. Murphy couldn't get the paper out, so he called a friend who is an ENT and asked him to do it. The guy said to go over there right away and we did. He got the paper out of his ear. There was a lot of paper."
My heart skips a beat. "Ear? Did you say, "He got the paper out of his ear?"
"Yep. All gone."
"Joe? The paper was in both ears."
I will not tell you what Joe said next. I will tell you, however, that Joe was able to remove the rest of the paper himself, with a tweezer. Charlie was miraculously cooperative. I guess he was all struggled out by that time.
Life with Charlie: very unpredicable, but never boring.

Entry for July 12, 2008
There is a slug loose in my house. A 3-inch long, fat, slimy banana slug.
The Backyard Naturalists Club was busy last night. They were out scouring the property for wildlife. Bella cought a toad, dubbed "Mr. Toad" or "Toadie" for short. Angelina found the slug. They put the toad in a large glass vase with some vegetation, sticks and a bit of water. Angelina made a home for the slug in a clean, empty jar. She added a rock, a bit of water and some sticks. We were discussing their finds and Angelina burst out crying. "The kids got a toad and all I got was a slimy slug!" she wailed. The other kids quickly agreed that both creatures belonged to everyone. Angelina was happy.
Before bed, we needed to find a way to give the animals air and secure them in their homes. Poking holes in the metal jar lid seemed too involved, so we wrapped some Glad Press 'N' Seal securely over the containers and poked holes.
This morning, Mr. Toad was there, in his little habitat, ready to greet the kids. The slug was gone. He had made a break for it overnight. All the kids made a collective yucky noise when they realized he was loose in the house somewhere. After a careful search, we turned up nothing.
So now the big, fat, slimy slug is somewhere in this house, slithering around. Only he knows where he is. Given my luck, I will be the one to find him. And I won't just stumble across him and cheerfully say, "Kids! I found the slug!"
No. You know it will be gross. Stay tuned...

Entry for July 06, 2008
It was hot today. Not just hot, but hot. A steamy, slap-you-in-the-face kind of hot. After Mass, on the way home, in the car, Charlie said, "Too hot. Go home, takin' a shower." So he took a second shower. Later, he went outside and emptied the plastic tub that we keep the outdoor toys in. He filled it with water and sat right down! He was happy as a clam, sitting in the tub with all his clothes on. It was so hot that steam was coming off his body. Then, he took the hose and doused himself. After that, he came in and took another shower.
After dinner, Joe treated the kids to a trip to the beach. I stayed behind and did the kids' jobs for them (aren't I a great mom???). They played in the sand, swam and got to pet some carp. They also spotted a hawk in a tree.
When they got home, Charlie took a shower. Then the kids had Jello, said the rosary and went to bed.
Charlie was wrinkled like a prune. But, he was happy. And clean. It was a four shower day.

Entry for June 28, 2008
There is nothing really going on. It is summer. The kids have been outside a lot. I've been rearranging things in the house to suit us better and washing a lot of sheets (because 4-year-olds don't wear pull-ups to bed). We are just coasting along. But I am aware that some of you check the blog regularly and have been disappointed in the lack of a post. Since nothing hilarious or horrendous has happened lately, to keep you entertained, I will now tell you what is known in my family as The Dead Girl Story. However, I will preface this by saying that this story happened before I turned 40 and my eyesight was good. Now that it has begun to go, I no longer find it as funny. Here goes...
When we lived in Illinois, my parents lived diagonally across the street from us. They could see the front of my house from their front porch or from some of their upstairs windows. Early one spring morning, after I had put Charlie on the bus, I get a phone call from my mother.
She talks in a conspiratorial whisper, "AnnMarie, have you looked out on your front porch lately?"
"No," I answer, "Not since I put Charlie on the bus and put out some bags for Amvets."
"There's someone sitting on your porch."
"Huh? Are you sure?" I ask, incredulously. "Maybe it's the Amvets guy sitting for a minute between stops?"
"No, your father and I have been watching for 20 minutes now. It's a girl. AND SHE"S DEAD!!!!!!!!! Go out and look on the porch. There's a dead girl on your porch. She hasn't moved since we first saw her."
"Mom?" The hair stands up on the back of my neck. "You're saying there is a dead girl on my porch. I don't want to look now."
"Go look," she prods, "I'll hold on."
Reluctantly I put the phone down and go peek out of one of the small windows in the front door. I try to look without really looking because now I am scared. No dead girl. All I see are the 3 bags I put out for Amvets. I go in the kitchen where I left the phone.
"I don't see any dead girl, Mom."
"You didn't open the door and stick your head out, did you? You have to stick your head out. She's sitting on the stairs. AND SHE"S DEAD!!!!!! She STILL hasn't moved!!!" I hear my father in the background say, "I'm going over there!" "Don't do anything! Your father's coming over!" my mother yells.
What am I gonna do?
Then, in a moment of perfect clarity that never again will be attained by me, I ask my mother, "What does the dead girl look like?"
I can hear my father shut the front door to come over. "Well, she has light brown hair and she is wearing a white shirt and blue pants. AND SHE'S DEAD!!!"
Composing myself, I ask, "Could it possibly be the brown paper bag, the white shopping bag and the blue shopping bag THAT I PUT OUT FOR AMVETS????????"
"Hold on. PETE! PETER! It's NOT a dead girl! It's bags!"

Entry for June 16, 2008

Genevieve's 4th birthday. What an event. It was just us family to celebrate, so we tried to make it special. She wanted Chinese food, so we had Chinese food. After discussing the cake for several weeks, we decided on a strawberry shortcake decorated with a Strawberry Shortcake decoration.
All day she would be playing, then stop for a moment and say, "I'm so happyyyyyyyyyyyy!" Once, she came up to me and said, "Mom, I need to go to the bathroom, and I need help." I reminded her that she was 4 now and she promised to go by herself. "Oh, yeah," she says, and happily skips away.
When present time came, each time she pulled something out of a gift bag, she would say, "Cool!" Except she would pronounce it "Coowal!" (Yeah, she has parents who grew up in the '80s.) She got the Tic Tacs, gum and gummy worms she was pining for, and also a bunch of other stuff. She opened up the tea set from her grandparents early and played with it the whole day. Later she opened lots of crafts and art supplies (courtesy of another set of grandparents), some new, fashionable outfits and computer games and a Disney Princess hippity hop ball. She bounced around on that like Ricochet Rabbit. After a scare, we had to make a rule that it stays downstairs.
Genevieve is looking forward to eating candy, chewing gum, having teas, blowing bubbles, creating with play dough and Moon Sand, drawing, cutting, pasting, playing phonics games on the computer and hopping around. What more could a 4 year old ask for?

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