Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some Advice

I have been keeping this note from a parent  of a child I cared for in the NICU. I have had it in my kitchen drawer for over 2 years. I keep accidentally grabbing it to use as note paper, flipping it over, realizing what it is, and then re-stashing it as a sweet little note that I want to save. Recently, someone didn’t flip it over to see it was something special to me that I was keeping, and they used it as scrap paper. The note isn’t ruined but I think that maybe I should stop storing precious items in my kitchen drawers. Instead, I’ll just copy the content of the note here, where I can reference it when needed.

I don’t remember why this baby was in the hospital. I do remember his mother though. She was beautiful, young, totally together, and had some outrageous number of kids at home while her newborn was in the hospital. I’m not exaggerating when I say I think this baby was her 7th, and she was younger than me (that’s young!). I must have been having some hard times with just my 2 at home because we had a conversation about how the hell she manages all these kids and seems to absolutely love it.

After her baby left the NICU, she left me this note.

5-17-2008  Dear Fiona, Thank you for sharing such precious moments with me and Logan, today. I thought of two rules about being a mom for you. Its a silly rhyme, but its still true: Your children will learn from everything you do AND they won’t have to learn everything from you. SO do what you love, do it good, and be content knowing you did what you could. 


Is it OK for a parent of a sick child in the ICU to give their nurse some mental health and parenting advice?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who Is Raising Him?

Finn just dropped a big plop of yogurt on the kitchen floor.

I handed him a paper towel and said nothing.

He said to me with a little chuckle That’s OK, Mama. I usually just lick it up.

Beaches Bombs Bunkers Babes and Boobs

Ok, so this has nothing to do with boobs but that word just gets attention, especially on a family blog.

I have had 2 shandys and a glass of wine tonight. I am home with 4 kids (We didn’t clone Niamh and Finn. We have temporary custody of a couple of pals). I have made 3 batches of brownies in the last 24 hours. I bathed 2 puppies and supervised the installment of a dog poop septic tank. I think I can say boobs if I want to. This is my life. Go ahead and make fun of me. I deserve it. I used to have long hair. Then, I cut my hair and I look like a boy with mascara on. Boobs.

Anyway, where was I?

Ah, yes, I was camping. This time at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. The weather in Seattle was in the high 90s. 77 degrees is my upper limit of comfortable. After that, my skin itches, my freckles reproduce, my back sweats, and I pant like a dog, all while I point fans to blow up my skirt. So, getting out of Seattle when Seattle turned up the heat to kill the weak and the Irish was a really good thing.

It was the same old gang and their assigned adult.

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I love the same old gang. And this time I got to bring my new pups.


I’m lucky that I accidentally got the kids in a few photos. The next few months of their lives may not get much documentation. Niamh and Finn have recently grown in to their heads, so my gangly pups with their big feet get most of the camera time.



Pup Tent, get it?


Did I say Finn has grown in to his head? I didn’t mean that. Strike that. That may never happen.

While Fort Worden has some really cool bunkers and old military shelters, a Marine Science Center, and a Geological Museum all right there around the camp ground, we didn’t venture to explore any of it. We made it to the burger shack, in to town for lunch (eating at a restaurant is my way of camping), and across the parking lot to the beach. Other than that, we just moved our chairs around campsite #9, chasing the shade or the sun, depending on each individual’s skin’s preference, and watched the kids play on the old bombs (they may be buoys, we couldn’t decide). We barely even moved to take the kids to the toilet. I’d estimate about 75% of the kids’ pee went in the surrounding shrubs, 20% was in their pants, and 5% was in a proper bathroom. I’m sure that’s the way the Pioneers did it.

009005            042020052Meg barely brought enough food for her little family, but she did have a jog stroller and a mighty deck chair packed in her car.

058 061 065 066           067We don’t know this little girl but she liked our puppies so she’s cool in my book.                      

080 083084085 088 087And then we went home. And on the way home I created a bit of a ruckus with Washington State Ferry Security when I parked my car right up against the arm that stops you from driving off the dock. Apparently, that’s exactly what the poor excited man thought I was getting ready to do, drive right off the dock. You see, what really happened is, I was the first car to get in line for the next ferry. The ticket agent just told me to drive up to the line. There is no sign to say STOP before you get to that arm- the one protecting the public from the end of the dock. SO, I just drove up to that point, stopped the car, and starting texting on my iPhone. The man was close to hysteria when he ran to my car yelling Lady, what are you doing?  Texting? I replied. Geez, its not like I’m crazy or anything.

Friday, August 20, 2010


056 033 Same Dog, Same Kid. 37 days between photos.  Unbelievable.

When I weighed the pups the day we brought them home, and then again 4 days later, they had each gained 2lbs….in FOUR DAYS! Sure, I can gain 2 lbs in under an hour but 2 lbs was a 25% increase in their body weight. I decided this was something I needed to somehow document.

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I’ve been weighing the pups every Sunday and writing down the numbers, which shock me every week. It’s taken Niamh nearly 7 years to get to 40lbs. These showoffs are going to get there in less than 6 months.

Here’s what we’ve got so far.

                       8 weeks             9 weeks             10 weeks           11 weeks

Fred                8.2 lbs                11 lbs                12.4 lbs              14.2 lbs                                                       Gus                 8.6 lbs                11.8 lbs             14.4 lbs              16.4 lbs

We will soon be moving to a nearby island just like Emily Elizabeth did for Clifford.

Why They Need A Daddy

If they didn’t have a Daddy, or at least a Daddy like the one they’ve got, they would never go to festivals like The Bite of Seattle. The Bite of Seattle isn’t like a grand festival of exotic foods for which you get tasty little bite size samples. The name of this event is misleading. The Bite of Seattle is really just concentrated booths of fair food, without the fair rides or petting zoo.


Even if their Mommy would take them to places like The Bite of Seattle, she surely would not let them have snow cones…..


followed by food on a stick……….


followed by strawberry lemonade……….


But she would let them have the balloons.


And she wouldn’t mind the crash after the sugar high either.

You Totally Want To Be My Neighbor

Ok, so there is a lot of screaming coming from our house. We are horrible groundskeepers. We don’t have furniture for you to sit on when you come visit. I don’t knock on doors with plates of baked goods or organic veggies from my garden. HOWEVER, the lovely people who live around me are really good parents. They have lush gardens with fresh veggies and berries. They own couches. And, then DO knock on doors with plates of birthday cake, cookies, and cobbler.

Not enough to convince you? We also have a liquor store within stumbling distance. The Gas Station for emergency hormone loaded milk, eggs, vegetable oil, and packaged cookies so old that a visible layer of dust covers the top box on the shelf. A taco truck that has gained citywide recognition. And, we have Golden Oldies (shame what happened to the place. I swear, I don’t have any super powers. Even though I have been dreaming of a cute clothing boutique moving in to the space, filled with jeans and tunic shirts and cute but practical shoes, I don’t think that all my wishes could have made that minivan crash through the store’s wall. Or, maybe I should test my super powers out one more time just to be sure. I would really like a low carb, low fat, pastry and coffee shop to move in to the old Winchell’s spot. Wish wish wish. twitch of the nose. wave of the wand. Let’s see what happens, eh?). Could you want anything else?

Oh, you could want more? Like friends gathered on the lawn for a ‘mallow roast? Yep, we’ve got that.




More? How about a block party complete with a Blues Clues Bouncy House and live music? Uh huh, we’ve got that. 

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Even more? Ok, what if I told you that we have a kiddies parade every year with marching bands, drill teams, fire trucks, and pirates? Oh, yeah, we’ve got that, too.

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So, Brooke, you can keep your Green Wally ‘Lard. I’m staying put (but I wouldn’t mind being invited for dinner some time) .