Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig

We arrived home at 11:00 am on Tuesday morning. Goodbye Leafy Green - Hello Rolling Prairies!!

  • Starbeans' temp was 103 the night we left; it broke on the way to the airport. Thankfully, he did very well - I pushed him around in the stroller and he slept for pretty much the entire flight(s). He had woken up sick that morning and his fever waxed and waned throughout the day.
  • It was a tough decision, but with 200-400 dollars in extra charges, plus no guarantee that Pumpkin and I wouldn't be sick the day we rescheduled, we decided to fly as planned. I am so thankful that he did as well as he did.
  • I walked what felt like 4 miles at the Minneapolis airport, to Concourse B. In case anyone is wondering, that is where they store all the baggage trucks - pretty much at the far north (or is that east?) end of the airport, right at the entrance. The only other flight leaving from that area was to Flint, Michigan. I didn't even know of that wing's existence!
  • Our flight from MSP left late and as I sat on the plane, all I could think about was how we would have been home, clean and in bed if were still living in Minneapolis.
  • I rode in a propeller airplane from MSP to FSD (Sioux Falls), with 15-20 other people.
  • Propeller planes are LOUD: Squeeze heard us land when he was waiting for us at the airport. That fact alone should also give you a good idea of the size of the airport in Sioux Falls.
  • We walked down stairs to get off the airplane - outside, mind you - then walking to the terminal, up the stairs, then down the hall and to the escalator to the baggage claim.
  • Baggage claim at FSD was, I kid you not, a total of 6 bags. Two of them were mine.
  • My nostrils were greeted with the pervasive scent of fresh-flung manure when we opened the FSD door on our walk to the parking lot. Parking for over an hour was 2 dollars.
  • After 10 hours en route, we arrived home. Our flight left at 12:40 am WA time: we arrived home at 11:00 am MN time (9:00 WA time) slept from 12:30 pm-7:00 pm, then again from 10:00 pm-8:30 am, then napped again at 10:30 am. Yeah, we were tired.
  • Pumpkin started getting sick last night, and today is his bad day. His temp was elevated, but not as bad as Starbeans' the night we left.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jog

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Enjoying the Green

Squeeze emailed last night and said that there was a snow and ice storm in the Rolling Prairies of Minnesota last night. Gak!! As my time draws near to go home, I don't know how I am going to go back to that. It is so BLAH to me, after a month of cool breezes - drizzling rain - sunny days - daffodils - tulips - budding trees - and all the glorious greenery. No wonder why every single April comes, and I continue to think: Shouldn't it be spring yet?

I mean, really: a snow and ice storm in April? Beautiful, yes...but so old by this point. Squeeze also said that I have missed the two biggest snow storms we have had since we've been there. In April. I need to continue reminding myself to be thankful for added moisture for our gardens. And who am I kidding?? I've just spent a month away from it. It has been lovely.

Looking out the window, I see a lacy-leafed maple soft-green with its new baby leaves and my parents' plum trees, dappled with light pink blooms and their darker pink leaves. It is so beautiful that I could just stare off in a haze for hours. [It actually took some time to complete that sentence, for all the I feel glazed-over and dreamy.]

Tiddly-winks and toodles to everyone, everywhere. I have some out-of-doors to soak in!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A First

I met a blogger today in real life.

Hi Jenni!!!

It was good; interesting; strange in the fact that it felt like we had already met. I was also glad to glean from the wisdom of an experienced mama. I asked a billion-and-one questions, weighing what she said carefully.

To quote myself, I said it so amazingly clear today: "It is like, all of a sudden, I don't know how to be a mama." I have come to a point where it feels like I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I mean, seriously? The life and behavioral well-being of this sometimes-disobedient demon toddler is in my hands?? Oh dear, he's not a demon. But he is most certainly sometimes-naughty. And brilliantly manipulative.

[And endlessly adorable, smart, funny, and sweet.]

I'm assuming these feelings are pretty normal, once one's own child hits 2-3 years old. [Mimi, can you relate??] I really appreciated watching a mom of older wee ones in action, to feel encouraged, brainstorm, and begin to germinate the seed of strategy. And to remember that bean and cheese quesadillas make a great lunch for a group of hungry kids. [I've got to write that down.]

Thanks Jenni!! I enjoyed our visit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

This one is for Laura

For any of you who have been checking in on me, sorry that I've been absent this past week! I am still at my parents' house in Western WA, soaking up daughterhood and trying to spend as much time as possible with my parents and maternal grandparents.

My grandpa, age 89, is recovering in the local nursing home from a bad fall. He broke his sacral bone after a loud crash-landing in his bathroom this past February. Thankfully, my mom was there at the time, so she was able to help him immediately - how horrific if he had been there alone, with only my half-crippled grandma to help him. I remember my mom saying that the loud booming sound of his fall made her blood run cold. Can you imagine? He was hospitalized for a few weeks, then transferred to the nursing home and has been recuperating since, as he was unable to stand or walk. Amazingly, because of the astounding Solid Rock of a Norwegian that he is, even at 89 years of age with prostate problems and emphysema, he is actually making a recovery. He is able to walk with the aid of a walker, and will be going home soon. The physical therapists have been amazed by his strength, even in his weakened condition. It is really unbelievable, because a bone-break after a tumble at that age is usually the beginning of a fairly quick ending.

He will be going home this next Tuesday, as well as my Grandma, who has been staying with my aunt these past two months. I am so glad that I am able to be here, to participate, if only peripherally. I am making chili for them today, a double batch, to freeze in meal-size portions. I can help clean their house, and I've been visiting them as much as possible with the tykes.

It is so interesting, because he continuously goes in and out of reality - including remembering his grandchildren (he always remembers his children and their spouses, thankfully). Just yesterday, in a single half-hour visit, he went from, 1) not remembering me at all, to 2) remembering me as an infant: "You were a good baby," he said, after asking who I was, to 3) knowing who I am. It was crazy. He also asked about his car repeatedly [he hasn't driven in more than a year]; wondered where his bike was; wanted to go home; said, "Laurel and Lea [my aunt and Grandma] went to Canada yesterday and had a really good time"; and asked if his parents were at home. "Do you know how old you are, Dad?" my mom asked, to which he replied without any hesitation, "Seventy!"

He is the master of one-liners, even in his decline. My favorite recent story involving his wit [mixed with confusion] is when my brother and his girlfriend were sitting with my grandparents this past winter, at home in their chairs in their blazing-hot living room. Like most old folks, they keep the heat cranked to unbearable levels. My grandpa was sleeping, of course [he spends 80% of his daytime hours asleep these days], and they were talking with my grandma, going over and over her favorite stories. My grandpa stirred, started looking around his chair, then groggily asked, "Where did I put that darn hammer...?" My brother and his girlfriend searched around obligingly, then inquired, "What hammer, Grandpa?" He surfaced a bit, then said, "That's what I'm trying to figure out!" before drifting off into sleep again.

Oh, Lester. We love you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie...

Well, that's amooooooore. Nutmegg Mama introduced this to me via her blog and I can't - stop - singing.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Oh dear, small airports, and to be a daughter again

I'm in Western WA at my parents' house - we flew in Thursday morning, after getting up at 4:30 a.m. to get to the airport and spending about 9 hours en route. Funny, because in Minneapolis, it was 4-5 hours. We're living out there, baby: and, well, it added quite a bit of time onto any kind of traveling.

It actually went very well; both baby and toddler were even tempered and easy to entertain. It was such a relief, because much of my week [spent dodging carpenters and electricians, btw - the remodel wasn't complete until Friday, the day after I left] was spent dreading it. People's favorite thing to say to me was, "Boy, it looks like you have your hands full!" Yep.

And don't even get me started on the Sioux Falls airport - it looked like a rinky-dink bus depot from the outside. We were late, of course, and I ran up to the security stop panicked, telling them that my flight was leaving in 10 minutes, and I needed to get through. There were 20-30 people in line ahead of me and I fretted that I'd never make it in time. The security officer was quite rude, saying, "Yes, everyone else is too." I was incredulous, and said again, "Excuse me, my flight is leaving in 10 minutes - I don't think I'm going to be able to make it!" And again, she said, "Everyone else is too!" and then ignored me.

And really, everyone else was: just like she said. There was only one flight leaving from the Sioux Falls airport that morning, and that. was. it. Oh, the humiliation. My list grows with every passing month. I'm just not used to the smallness of it all. [Even more humiliating, my flight wasn't actually leaving in 10 minutes; I was somehow confused and we actually had a half-hour before departure. Doh!!]

Oh dear.

I must say, it feels so good to be home; it is nice to be a daughter again. I know that I'm always a daughter, but it feels so good to be home; taken care of; under my parents' roof: a daughter again. And the green-smelling earthy air! I could just faint in the bed of moss under my parents' plum trees and lay there forever, like a sleeping fairy. I'd get wet, of course, but it would be dreamy.