Thursday, May 24, 2007

Huck Finn

Although I've never read Huckleberry Finn I do think Sam is Huck Finn reincarnated. That, or Jeremiah Johnson (movie starring Robert Redford in 1972). Today Sam went on a play date and the Mom took Sam and Alex to the nearby creek. When I went to pick him up I saw him wading waist deep in the creek and covered in mud. In the three hours they had been there the two boys had searched for a stick, found some string, found an actual fishing hook and fashioned a fishing pole. They dug for worms and managed to catch two rainbow trout and two salamanders. We now have a small trout swimming in our Sponge Bob fish tank. What do you feed a domesticated rainbow trout? I have no idea. He'll probably start by eating the poor beta fish we already have. Girls do not do this on play dates.

On another note, we still have raccoons in our yard. The two that we caught were female and male respectively. Critter Control Guy says there's probably a litter still out there. Last night we left the cherries out on the back porch and today they were completely gone. As long as they're not roaming around in the day I guess I won't try to trap them and send them to the gas chamber.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another Confirmed Catch

Service call from handsome Critter Control Guy $160.49

Marshmallows and peanut butter to bait raccoons $ 5.25

Sending two seemingly innocent, cute raccoons to the gas chamber $103.48

Tissues to wipe away little tears $1.99

Peace of mind that children will not be bitten by a rabid animal PRICELESS

Monday, May 21, 2007

Confirmed Catch

By six o'clock we had a confirmed catch. The raccoon looks so cute and scared in the trap. All of the children crowded around and cooed over him talking about the family that I was taking him away from and slipping pizza crusts through the little holes. What a mean Mommy I am and "who has a job where you take animals away from their families?; that must be the WORST job in the world!" I was afraid Sam and Victoria were going to chain themselves to the trap in protest. Sam says he won't be able to sleep tonight thinking about the poor raccoon being taken away tomorrow morning. And the worst of it is that they all think the raccoon is going to be released into the wild. They have no idea we are sending the cute little wallet stealer to the gas chamber. Literally. What can I say. Someone has to be the strong one. I just keep hearing Meryl Streep over and over in my head in that Australian accent screaming "The dingo stole my baby!" A mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do.

Raccoon Terrorizing our Neighborhood

The more I think about it the more likely I think it is that the raccoon got the baby robins. I don't know how he could have climbed up the umbrella pole but he is a mischievous one. Besides getting in the trash often, we have seen him out several times in the late afternoon this past week and chased him off both the front and back porches. The boys are always leaving the back sliding door open and Sunday morning we noticed the bread bag hanging out of the drawer clawed to shreds. Yesterday evening I needed my wallet and it wasn't in my bag. I retraced my steps, searched the car and called the stores I visited but still no wallet. I also noted that Sam's bag of candy was missing from my purse. This morning I glanced out the back door and there was my wallet amidst empty candy wrappers all over the back porch! The raccoon had come all the way into the house and into the front hallway and stolen my wallet and the candy from my purse in broad daylight!! Needless to say, I called Critter Control this morning and Kevin will be by sometime today to set a trap. They charge $49 for the service call and another $49 to "dispose" of the raccoon. It will be an exciting evening as we wait for the thief to be caught.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sad news

After watching all morning and not seeing the Mama Robin I peered inside to find no more babies. It appears she has abandoned the nest. But what happened to the babies? I can only assume that she moved them because the nest is still in exactly the same spot, i.e. the racoon couldn't have gotten them. I did a little research and did not find any information about Robins moving their babies. There is plenty of information about them abandoning the babies if they think they are in danger. It did say that Robins often build more than one nest. Let's hope that she was able to safely transport them to another nest. We will probably never know.

Baby Robins Day Four

I am worried because I have not seen Mama Robin at all this morning. She is usually in her nest when I look first thing in the morning and comes and goes frequently. Their was a raccoon on the table yesterday evening eating the grapes we had left out and I'm hoping that he didn't cause her to abandon the nest. That will break my heart!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What have I learned from my Mother?

I was inspired to write this post based on my own mother's post on her blog. I don't have a traditional relationship with my mother in a lot of aspects but WHAT exactly HAVE I LEARNED FROM THAT? I have learned that the maternal instinct is not one that always comes naturally but that doesn't mean that it doesn't come. I have learned that to realize your imperfections and embrace them is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn. I have learned that to forgive and let go of judgment can set you free. I have learned that if you really love it it's ok to spend a little more on it. I learned to tilt my head back while I put on mascara rather than raise my eyebrows so I don't create wrinkles. I learned that a bad day can be made better with a little lipstick and new shoes.

I think what my mother may not realize is that the journey she has taken WITH me has taught me more than what she alone could have taught me had she been "the perfect mother". I am proud of the mother that I am and know that I still have a lot to learn. I am grateful for the relationship I have with my own mother and so look forward to all of the years ahead of us, growing as mothers together.

Baby Robins Day Three

I was trying to shoot a picture today and either the mama or papa robin flew right into the umbrella and scared the SHIT out of me. They were definitely trying to tell me to get away from their babies. I will still try to get a picture each day but I don't want to disturb the family unnecessarily.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Baby Robins Day Two P.M.

THIS is the picture that I SO wanted to capture! The babies heard me coming and thought I was their Mama bringing them food. They are all ready and waiting with open mouths. I love it!!! Two seconds later they were laying down flat because they realized that I wasn't their mother. Priceless.

Baby Robins Day Two A.M.

All of the robins have hatched. If you click on the picture you can see that their feathers are a little fluffier. The dark blue circles are their eyes. I just read that baby robins jump from their nest when they are about 13 days old. It takes them another 10-15 days to become strong fliers.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. My loving husband brought me flowers and a card on Friday and a confirmation for a night in a hotel! I was going to go BUT I cancelled(I reserved the right to use that night at a later date).I really wanted to wake up to those three smiling faces on Mother's Day. They were so excited to give me my gift and breakfast that I was definitely glad I stayed home. I was treated to a plate full of doughnuts and a massage cushion! It was so very sweet. Chad took all of my normal duties and I was able to relax, take a nap and then go shopping and to the movies by myself. It was a beautiful and relaxing day. We ended the day by going to the neighborhood tavern, Sunny Jim's, for a burger & wings. We had never been to Sunny Jim's before but it is your typical Pittsburgh tavern (as far as I know). I really want to go back sometime for their "Mega Karaoke" contest. I am still puzzled by the scary, tattered dogs that roam the roof of the restaurant though. No joke.

Happy Mother's Day

Two little robin's have hatched! It's hard to even tell what's what from the picture but if you click on it you can see it bigger. Chad, Sam and I each took a peek and then we saw Mama Robin nervously hopping around in the yard watching us so we quickly scooted inside and two minutes later she was up there feeding her babies. When Sam saw them he said, "Awwwhhh, their so naked; and so cute!"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lessons Learned

It was a learning day for me and Lucy yesterday. The first lesson I learned happened on the way to take Henry to school. Lucy had taken off her shoes and socks in the car, as usual, and was leaning forward to look at them on the floor beneath her. Henry and I realized at about the same moment that I had forgotten to strap her in! It was one of those slow motion moments where you see what's going to happen but you can't stop it. BOOM! Lucy leaned so far forward to look at her shoes that she tumbled head first out of her carseat. I think poor Henry was just as scared as Lucy screaming "STOP THE CAR!". I pulled over, rescued poor little Lucy who has never fallen so far in her short life and comforted Henry who is ever so protective of his baby sister. I'm not sure exactly what lesson I learned. Always strap Lucy in, of course. I'm sure I won't forget that one for awhile. Even Supermamas make Stupid mistakes. You would think after three kids I would at least have the carseat thing down.

Moving on to my second lesson. It was 80+ degrees yesterday and without central air I put Lucy down for her nap with only a diaper on. Knowing how adept she is at those little velcro straps on her shoes I should have known that those big diaper tabs would be no match for her. I went in to wake her up so we could leave to pick up Sam and found her on her tummy, knees tucked under her and cute little naked bottom up in the air. I wish I could have gotten a picture. She sat up, hair matted from the pee spot she had been sleeping in still looking as delicious as can be. I swear she is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Thank goodness she had pooped twice already before her nap.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sam's quote of the day

"My testicles are tingling"

That is a new one in the quest to put off bedtime . . .

Three Little Eggs

I snuck a picture yesterday of our three little eggs. Mrs. Robin is so brave I think. We were all on the back porch this past weekend grilling and eating at the table right beneath her nest with a million kids running around and she just sat on her eggs without moving. What a good mama. Maybe we'll have babies by Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Ten Things Before I Die

  1. I want to live by the ocean
  2. I want to travel to a real jungle
  3. I want to go on a real safari
  4. I want to love my body
  5. I want to have no regrets
  6. I want to know that I loved with all I had
  7. I want to say everything I have to say
  8. I want to have no fear
  9. I want to really test myself physically
  10. I want to find my passion

Friday, May 4, 2007

Robin's Nest

I am completely fascinated by a robin that has built her nest beneath our patio umbrella on the back porch. At first I thought the kids were just gathering dirt and twigs and crap for one of their brilliant but impractical projects, i.e. something for me to clean up. We soon realized that the dirt and twigs and crap kept reappearing under the umbrella. Someone (thing) was determined. Then one morning we actually saw Mrs. Robin and by noon a complete nest appeared. I hadn't even been able to put away my laundry during that time but this little bird created the most intricate of homes for her soon to be laid eggs. I had been told not to disturb a nest because the mother might abandon it so I ever so stealthily climbed atop the table and peered into the nest a couple of days later. I found three beautiful blue robin's eggs! I lifted the boys up during the afternoon when I knew she would be gone and threatened them with their lives if they ever tried to disturb the nest.

Since then you cannot keep me away from the window. She is always there first thing in the morning, sitting atop her eggs quite protectively. Sam (not-so-secretly) wants the robin to abandon the nest so he can give the eggs to his snake but I am determined that won't happen. I love to see which way she is sitting because she is obviously trying to evenly distribute her warmth while keeping a watchful eye.

I read that the incubation period is 12-15 days and my guess is that it's been about 4 or 5 days so far. I will keep you posted and if I'm lucky enough I will get a picture.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

What do I want for Mother's Day?

Henry asked me a few nights ago at bedtime what I would like for Mother's Day. The first thing that came to mind was a night by myself in a hotel. One uninterrupted night of sleep on crisp, clean sheets without crumbs from someone's bedtime snack. To be able to wake up anytime after 6:30 am without someone in my face asking me 10 times in 15 seconds "can we go downstairs now". To listen to the hustle and bustle of the city rather than the baby I feed, clothe and diaper all day long call for her DADDY as soon as she wakes in her crib. I always let her stay a little longer when she does that. To lay in bed as long as I like and then get up and have a quiet cup of coffee without three little people demanding three different breakfasts all at once all the while negotiating with me about how nutritious the meal has to be.

But then last night I went to bed wondering what I might want if Henry asked me that same question 10 years from now. I think I will long for the nights when little boys climb in my bed in the middle of the night just to be close to their mother; their warm little bodies pressed right up against me. To wake up to a little face ready to kiss me despite my stinky breath. I will miss them tugging at me to get out of bed while updating me every time the clock changes by a minute because someday they will likely prefer me to stay upstairs. Soon my baby girl will be too big for her crib and I will miss the days of her little face so happy to see me (even if I'm not daddy) so I can rescue her and she can be a part of the morning frenzy.

So this Mother's Day I will remind myself to relish it ALL because it will go by in a flash. I will know that I am needed and that feels good. I will remind myself that I am good at my job and someday they will appreciate that. I will be ever so grateful that I am a mother of three beautiful, healthy children with lights in them so bright that they help to keep mine shining.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Metaphor for my Life?

I was on the gazelle today watching Oprah and it was all about clutter and how your house is a metaphor for your life. Well, I don't really have THAT much clutter so I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not embarrassed to have anyone over or anything like that. BUT . . . I cleaned out my diaper bag the other day and oddly enough there weren't any diapers in it. What I did find among the God knows what was encrusted on the bottom of it was about 6 different colored pens, 6 different shades of lip gloss, 2 Swiss Army knives, 2 bottles of infant tylenol, one pink baby shoe, two pkgs of unopened flushable wipes, one movie ready to return to Netflix, one movie ready to return to Giant Eagle (both movies still not returned but due today), two pkgs of Kleenex, various receipts, an empty diapee and wipee holder, plastic container full of baby wipes, a very cute raincoat of Lucy's, grocery list pad, Weight Watcher booklet just waiting for that next weigh in sticker, Trident bubble gum, cell phone . . .. that is all from memory; I'm sure there was more. If that's a metaphor for my life I think I'm in big trouble. The good news is I cleaned it out before I watched Oprah and now it's pretty clean and organized. So I think I'm on the path to recovery . . . stay tuned for what I find when I clean out my car.