Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Superhero Comics

Click to see them!!

A HUGE thanks to Carla. Ryan is drawing you a thank you picture!

Monday, April 28, 2008

More Ick (just a little)

When I got the idea that I'd like to be a parent, I was thinking about mornings with the kids, not diving into bodily fluids that are all over the floor. Tonight Connor's cough got the best of him. he coughed so hard that he puked up his dinner while he was at it. It's another night of puking. We love the puke.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

(End Scene)

Mike and Amy stayed the night and we actually slept! :) Nora and Ryan slept in his room and Abby and Connor slept in their own room. wha-hoo. Anyway, the next day was full of running around the house. Mike played "monster" with the kids upstairs when it was raining. It was a fun day, but exhausting and I slept like the dead Sunday night.

I think the best part of the day, besides the game of monster and the company of good friends, was the non-stop eating festival. Tacos, Cheeze-its and home made pizzas. (BUURRRRP)

The one break I had in the day was nap time. I spent my "nap time" on the road to see my cousin Greg. He has had such a rough road over the last couple of weeks. A few years ago, he developed an angiofibroma in his nasal cavity, and had it removed. This week, I found out he had a new one and had it removed. They had to have his jaw cut open and give him a tracheotomy. I certainly see this differently now that I'm a parent. I empathise with his family and him. It's a tough struggle, and he's doing a fantastic job of finding a way through. They say he will be out this week, and I'll stop by if I can before he goes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Murphy's Law

The Murphy's visited this weekend... Mike and Amy came up to see our place for the first time. We have been out of touch now for a while, since they moved out of Mass. It was great to see Mike and Amy and the girls.

They stayed the night and after about an hour the kids went to bed... they finally fell asleep and we watch Borat. It was very funny watching that movie with Mike and Amy. It was something we would have done in college, so it just felt like the right thing to do with them.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sick Monkey

It is never easy being sick. You feel like you're missing out on things and that you are an albatross around every one's neck. I know I have felt this way about being sick this week, and to see Connor feeling this way today I have more empathy then usual. Connor doesn't complain about being sick, he just stops like a toy whose spring has unwound.

This evening we were invited to a friend house for some pizza and socializing with the locals. Lise and I saw Connor was a little beat, so we thought he'd give it a college try. He rallied for a bit and then wanted Mama to pick him up... then his heater went on and he was a wet noodle for about 15 minutes. He went as far as sitting on the couch, staring at the TV which was off. I picked him up and took him home... 1 short book and he was just about in a coma... this may be a long weekend, we shall see. I have friends visiting us and I hope we are going to give them something to take home. :(
Ryan on the other hand, couldn't be happier. He is entrenched in a group of teenage boys that tolerate little guys and they are having lots of fun playing games and being boys. Ryan would have probably liked having a big brother, one that doted on him, not the kind that hides your socks or drops mud in your hair before dinner. :) Anyway, he's having the time of his life and Lise is visiting her friend, and I got to blog... What did I say the other day about counting your blessings?


Yesterday I went back to the office for the first time in a week. It was a busy day and I was really tired when I got home. When I put Ryan to bed; I got him set up, read him a story and promptly passed out. This kidney thing is no joke. Lise woke me up and thank goodness, the Tivo recorded Lost for me (don't ruin it Emily). Back to work from home I go... Kidney in tow. I feel better, but I have to get some stamina. On the up side... I lost 2 pounds. 186.5.... 1 1/2 lbs away from my goal. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Snakes, Grapes and the Super Models

Working from home has certain advantages, a moment of privacy is very much welcome in the environment that I come into on a daily basis. As I have posted before I share my office with 3 other full time residence, and 3 or 4 other folks who float through. It's a great place but you do miss a quiet moment to think, and the room has been deemed "an ADD sensory overload cell" by some folks.

Today, besides my work, I found out he following things. First off, one of my workmates asked me if I was drinking cranberry juice. I said yes, and then asked if I was drinking real cranberry or the "ocean spray stuff" and I just assumed... it said "100% Juice - Cranberry". On the back it said "a cranberry cocktail with grape juice". Just what the doctor specifically DIDNT order. I was told low to no sugar... I checked: 31Grams for every 8 oz... *gads... it may be natural sugar, but it's as bad as a Coke!! My poor kidney. So I added real cranberry juice to my shopping list. (Thanks Susan)

Lise and Ryan came home from dropping Connor off at school, and since Ryan's had Connor needs it, as he is coming down with Ryan's cough. Ryan needs it because he has been evil and the devil fears rested children. :) After good naps, Connor painted some eggs Lise had for Easter-like emergencies and Ryan his helicopter and a truck he had made earlier. I must say... still very proud of his creation. It's good to see my old boy back and having some fun. There are some glimmers of his old self mixed with flashes of his rotten self, but good is winning over evil, so we count our blessings.

At the end of a good day, I needed to go pick up my cranberry juice and some other things, so I left after putting Connor to bed. Lise called me at the store, and asked me to come back asap because Ryan wouldn't let her leave his sight. He has been telling me there is a snake in his room, and so tonight it took me from 7:45-9PM to get him to feel confident enough to go to sleep. I know it has something to do with his mental development,as well as age and his recent behavior. I know that this will pass and something will fill the void, but I hope it passes quickly. Lise and I will be doing some fun activities in his room during the day to help him get past it, and I hope tonight I gave him some skills to handle being frightened in bed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Did you say inflection or infection?"

Yup ... Kidney infection. I'm classic.(apparently) My Dr is less worried about how I got this than my pediatrician, and she seems to think that if I get more than 2 in my lifetime, that I should track down the cause. After getting some insight into what the tests are like... I'll pass for now. If I get another infection, or this one is tricky to get rid of, then I'll jump in both feet. When I asked how this could have happened, she said it wasn't common, but there are a few cases every year. So I'm OK
Then why the bear, you might ask... he's early. Today, Ryan was much improved. I think the amount of sleep he had, had a lot to do with it. But when we got to the end of the day, he was nice and asked me to go out for dinner. Lise looked soo tired, it was an easy decision to makeWe tried the "Killingworth Cafe" partly due to location, and partly because Lise had been there and thought they might have good Ribs. It was my first time and driven by Rib curiosity, I went. They ran out of Ribs that night (of course). That's OK, though... I had Spiderman and a Blue Power Ranger to join me for a 1/2 rack of lamb chops (was good.. not great) and a Lobster Bisque. I liked the townie-pubbiness of the place, but the food was kinda bland. A few other families came in, and there was very little to tell you. When I came out, there was a wooden bear that had been carved and I thought it made an interesting subject. It reminded me of a certain bear I gave my mom after coming home from California.. I wonder where she buried that one. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some April Results

"Take my kidney... please."

Another day in the paradise I call home. I worked from home today heeding my RN's advice and "taking it easy". It was weird not being in the office today, but I think they survived without me. It was good, because much to my physician's chagrin, Ryan kept Lise and I up ALL freaking night last night. (-8 hours.. yes) At first it was coughing and then it turned into being afraid, and then he just couldn't sleep. Both Lise and I are pretty much at our wits end with him on this. Ryan is coming in to his own and he wants to test everything... I don't think the car will hit me if I am in the road, and I 'm not sure I believe Dad when he says I'll feel worse if I stay up all night, but it is scary, so I'll wake up the house. Needless to say, I have moments of great anger + restraint + guilt + frustration + no sleep = crabby boy+ crabby kidney = bad daddy. I finally told him last night, that we are going to hang up a sign when we have been in there one time, and we're not going to come back after that one call... so he'd better be 100% certain that he "needs" us. Now for the fitting punishment... I was thinking dunk tank, or having to clean up a fraternity house in Hartford, but Lise suggested something like putting a toy away for a week. Man... she's nice.

Anyway... we're dealing with it. I called the Dr. and set up an appointment tomorrow for a follow up. Seems these Kidney infections need some attention, so we'll give it a little session tomorrow and see what I brewed up over the weekend. At this house, we just love a good medical drama. Last year it was my liver... this year kidneys... the possibilities are endless!!

Amidst being a complete grump from lack of sleep, we also found out, that Ryan has a loose tooth.... at 4 1/2? Well, considering he is acting like a misplaced 3rd grader and is built like one, it only seems to make sense. Now we wiggle it for everyone. He showed me and I told him that Grandpa would tie a string around it and the other side to a door... and when your Mom came home, he'd slam the door.... Ryan made a face like I dipped his hot fudge in an oil can. Then told me "people DON'T DO THAT" and went the store with Lise. When they got back Lise had a glint in her eye, and Ryan looked like he'd seen a ghost. Apparently, he walked up to some stranger in the store and said "I got a loose tooth" to which the man replied.... "When I was your age, my Dad would tie a string to one end of my tooth and another to a doorknob..."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stone free...

It's Sunday and I am feeling much better... To celebrate, we pushed me out and went to the trolley museum. It's very low impact, and the boys do love a trolley ride. Trains / Trolleys and other locomoted devices seem to attract a certain crowd... one that I'm not used to seeing. Today, we had a man in a hat who did not speak or move from his seat, but everyone knew his name (eek) along with a man with the worst wig I ever saw, a woman with an arm in the biggest cast you ever saw and a boy (prolly 18) who had died his hair black and was wearing a "Winger" tee shirt. Frightened as I was, I boarded with Ryan and Connor. We had a fun trip and the guide on our magical journey was a man who tells me he is a Civil engineer during the week. (these guys were all boyscouts... I know it.

After that we had a quick lunch and head out for a gas up and then to the local airport. We had seen signs and sign up sheets for the closest airport and I wanted to ask about lessons... it was about twice the cost as if I went to Middletown, but it was a nice ride up to the airport and Ryan and Connor got to see 2 planes land and one take off, which was as exciting for them as if they few the planes themselves.

A Dingo Ate My Kidney

I just finished updating an old post with the picture of the day... I admit now that since 16-April, I missed a picture. It's a bummer, because, I hadn't missed a day, but I just couldn't do anything about it... but then I'm jumping ahead.

On Wednesday night I felt horrible after Lise went out... It took me a while to get the kids to bed, and I couldn't really motivate to get much done. I just felt very tired as only getting up at 4am and going to bed at 11 on a little cycle can do to a person. That night, Lise's good friend stopped by and the three of us finished off a bottle of wine together. It was very good, and I highly recommend it. It was a Cab by Simi and was perfect right out of the bottle. Not the smartest move by me, with so little sleep, but it was fun catching up and I think I fell asleep around 11:30. Up again at just before 5am, and I could barely move... I felt pretty bad and Thursday was a drag.

Now it is the end of Lise Appreciation week, and she went out one last time on Thursday night too. I put the kids to bed and passed out at 8pm. My stomach was aching and my back was hurting, and I felt like I might have a mild fever. Friday morning I felt good when I woke up and had to run out to meet the backhoe man, and have him remove two big rocks (7am, god bless him), the kids got to see the backhoe in action and loved every minute. The fresh air felt good, but my legs and back were achy like I had done 1000 sit ups in my sleep that night. When I came in for breakfast, Lise said I looked pale, and I told her I was starting to feel worse and worse... When I described my symptoms, Lise told me that I should go to the Dr... Of course I thought she was being a bit over the top... I was achy and had a mild fever... oh, and my pee kinda smelled bad. (TMI, I know.. but it was the BIG clue).

I called the Dr from my bedroom (Work from home thank god), and set up an appointment at 9am, and took a moment to collect my thoughts... I couldn't... 15 minutes passed and I suddenly realized that I was more tired than I thought. I called out of work sick, and slept... till 1:30PM, and then off to the Dr's office. They think it may be a kidney infection based on my symptoms and culture... not they are in the process of growing the bacteria to see what I have been mutating. I sure it will be some horribly simple thing, but the good/bad part was they put me on Cipro. (If you don't know why an antibotic this strong is best avoided, then take my word for it.)

Saturday, we took Ryan to the Dr, cause he has a bad cough and he told me that this Kidney thing is rare and possibly a bad thing and got me all wigged out. :( We will see what I'm growing back at the lab sometime next week, until then I'm on Ciprofloxacin. He also started telling me how they collected the urine sample wrong, and well... let's say, I 'm glad I didn't walk in there for my first visit. After my traumatic visit to the pediatrician, I went home, went to bed, and slept till dinner.. then back to bed, and out I went for the night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

4 yr old + sibling = Drama

OK.. so Today didn't start out in a stellar way. At 4:30, Connor woke up and I went to tuck him back in. At 4:50, Ryan came in my room and informed me he had wet himself (he really hadn't, much) and after using the bathroom, I changed him and back to bed... Now.. about a week ago I made a point with Ryan that he should try to go back to sleep in his own bed, and that we want him to go to sleep more. This am, he must have figured that he wanted a good reason to come back in, so he screamed at the top of his lungs and ran into the room as if he were being chased by lions.
Lise and I both shrieked and sat up in bed, I was ready to go fight off an intruder and then it struck me that the manipulator had struck.

There are many times that I defer to Lise's endless patience, mostly so I wont SAY something I might regret. This morning... I deferred to that patience to save the life of a 4 year old boy. I came back in after I started my shower up and told Ryan that I knew what he was up to... when I told him, he turned white as a sheet. I then informed him that the next time he did that, I was going to spank him and lock him in his room, even if I see someone in there, so he'd better think of a different entrance plan. He apologized, but I have to admit I fell horrible today, and Lise is planning on going out tonight and tomorrow night... so I hope I hold up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Did a Twister hit?

I got home today and.... the garbage was gone, the bulkhead was painted, the kids had a play date, and so much was done, and Lise and the boys were sane... Holy cow. I DO wonder sometimes how she does it. Lise always amazes me.

It was a generally uninspiring day, but I am getting pent up for a good photo day. I'll make some time this week for something unique.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Glimpse of Summer

Today we went to the captain's. It was the first sign of spring for me... We were cold, but eat ate outside. I had a lobster roll and lobster bisque. I know my cousin Emily doesn't think much of getting a lobster, but it IS a BIG treat for me. It was fun eating outside again with my friends before I headed out for a meeting in Groton.

After the meeting I was heading out to home and hit a major traffic jam. It reminded me of when I lived in Fairfield county and drove to Stamford everyday. What was funny about it, was I waited all of 5 minutes and then things moved right along. I SOOOO don't miss the waiting in sweltering heat, traffic jams and unfriendly travels to the NY area.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday, Fuzzy Sunday

A beautiful Sunday morning and we thought... "Oh this is a good day to work like fools!" and we moved the swing set carcass out to the driveway so that we can call someone to pick it up... It's not that it's so heavy, but it's more that I have enough junk to send an entire Saturday making trips back to the Dump, and frankly, I'm too lazy for that. Now the yard is clear of the swing set... what next?

After dumping the swing set in a pretty heap, I went to the Home Depot to see if I could find a tool to help me remove the baseboard heat cover in the bathroom. The previous owner apparently wasn't a "marksmen" in the bathroom and the heater covers were rusted. ugh... Anyway, I ALMOST get them off, but there is this annoying lip under the existing covers, and you need to bend them or nip them off... No can do... I even bought a zip tool blade to no avail. The real trouble is it's only about 3" off the floor and 3" deep... too deep, and not high enough to use a tool that would make sense. The guy at the hardware store told me to use a sawz-all. ummm... he forgot that I'm up against the wall and don't have ANY urge to battle the hidden studs.

On my way home from the Hardware store I needed an extra moment to cool off. I have been going a a pretty crazy pace for a few weeks and took 10 minutes for myself and went to the beach. I took a couple of snaps. I really have been enjoying the sky lately. I know it may sound funny, but the colors have been very vivid and I've been missing the beautiful summer blue sky against the green. With everything just starting to pop. It's been inspiring, and I've been out looking for some big sky. This was the best I could do with my little camera.

After coming home and rousing the kids (hurray, another nap day), I took them for a walk around the block. It's 3/4 of a mile and they are tired when we're done, so I like to impose it on them on nice days like today. The sky got really dramatic and I was able to take a few pictures of it. The boys ate really well after that and played nicely. Now back to the grind.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

L.A.W. -Day 3

Saturday was a busy day that was topped with brownies and ice cream. After breakfast at the flamingo place, Lise took off with Brenda to run a few errands in Mystic. I took the boys out to get some supplies and when we got back, I got out my tools and tore down the swing set. It was one of the metal jobs with cement booties on the end of each pole. Once I got rid of the cross beams, it came down pretty easy. 10 years of rust was no match for my trusty impact wrench, and within an hour, it was a pile of scrap. I told the boys that a new play scape was coming soon, so they were excited to see the old one go. Lise was very happy to see it was down when she got home, and although we cant get it taken away for a few days, she was surprised how quickly it was dispatched.

The boys were overtired, so naps came easily and after they woke up, Brenda and Doug came back with the kids to celebrate Lise's birthday. We had a nice pork loin and green beans followed by brownies and ice cream. The kids totally hit the wall after some chocolate brownies, chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup. (I did too, actually). It was great fun and the boys passed out after dragging their overtired bodies off to bed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Birthday Dinner

After a full day of work, out we went to dinner at Scoozzi in New Haven. Another place was recommended but we thought we'd venture out with only Zagats as our guide. The restaurant looks like it is built to serve mostly outdoor clients in the summer months. Summer or Winter it would be a bit loud,and trendy, but still very good food. Lise and I found the front door after a little wandering through a coffee shop/book store off the main drag. It was fun to hang out with the college kids for a bit. Lise and I especially got a kick out of a few kids talking about how they were pissed that their landlord was keeping the deposit on the account of a "few broken windows". I mean really... you gotta expect things like that to happen... Ummm sure... right.I forget what it's like to be a young adult sometimes now. I guess there was a day where that wasn't over the top... After exploring Chapel street a bit, we finally got to the front door which looked like a little red booth with an elevator.
Lise and I both enjoyed our dinners thoroughly and split a 1/2 a bottle of Chianti. It reminded me of so many places I'd been to in NY city. It was a little crowded, noisy and busy, but we enjoyed every minute of time to ourselves. I don't get to spend time where we are not worrying about a child or a calamity, so it was nice to just sit and talk.
After Dinner, we shared some cannoli and a cup of coffee before we headed back to reality.

Lise appreciation day 2 and she's already asked for mercy. Tonight Lise told me that she didn't want anymore surprises... I am not certain I can oblige... but we'll see. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy B-day LISE!!!

Happy birthday to Lise,
Happy Birthday to Lise,
Happy birthday Happy Birthday.....
Happy Birthday to LISE!

Looks like that poor cake was attacked by hungry lions, no? Grisly!

I think Lise has had a pretty good day... I made fruit salad for the kids before I left, and snuck a card in her car. When I came home, I brought flowers and a VERY yummy cake. Since the kids were just about to go to bed, we had cake and then dinner. Connor and Ryan got Mommy some chocolates and a card. When she opened the box, Ryan asked for some. (sigh)

After putting the kids to bed, I gave Lise some trashy celebrity magazines and she took phone calls from the throngs of supporters and admirers. Lise's big present this year is tickets to see Billy Joel when he comes to town in May. I hope she likes it. Now I'm off to clean up the mess.

Lise Appreciation Week (Day 2) has 2 surprises. I can't tell you them until after they are sprung. Oh.. I'm sorry Lise, I hope I'm not I teasing you? :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grease lightenin'

I have decided that if I were to drive a garbage truck for a living, this would be the one I'd choose. Not that it's an aspiration of mine, but if given the option, I'd trick out my garbage truck and challenge cars to races at red lights. :) At least, that is what I told Ryan I'd do if I could choose. He told me that he'd drive the bat mobile garbage truck. After I put Connor to bed Ryan began speaking... and speaking and speaking... He was still talking as he was falling asleep. It was amazing.

Tomorrow is Lise's birthday. I have a few surprises for her, and since she reads this, I can't tell you what they are. :) Be sure to wish her a happy birthday!!! If you want to get her a gift, she is partial to flowers, nights out, cruises, large sums of cash, wine, expensive jewels and homes. :) All joking aside, I love her very much and hope the day is fun. Tomorrow marks the beginning of Lise appreciation week. I wonder what is in store for her over the next 7 days? :) We already have reservations for Friday night at Scoozzi in New Haven... Doug and Brenda visit on Saturday... and who knows what's next! Oh wait... I do. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Artist formally known as Ryan

Ryan fancies himself as quite the artist. Pretty much every day, I come home to a new picture or painting. If I don't actually see one, I get a story about one that was made at school. Mr. Ryan informed me tonight that he would be "featured" in an art show at school soon. Of course, all the kids get "featured" in the art show... but I believe we're getting a bit of an artist's attitude. :) Next month

On another note, Lise and I broke open a new bottle of wine that my friend Joe acquired for me. It has been quite
beneficial working with Glenn and Joe in our little office. They not only help me to make light of difficult times but they also entice me into spending money on wine and gadgets. When Joe had realized that I needed to buy an SD card, he had about 30 deals in my inbox within the hour. :) It's been alot of fun and I'm lucky to have this kind of company on a daily basis, however; I occasionally have to restrain myself. I don't have the disposable income they do... but I'm looking forward to it. Until then, I'll drink the wine I get at bargain basement prices and squint my eyes to imagine how my house will look when it's all done.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring Flowers

Bathroom completed

The bathroom is finished, and the toilet was the biggest hurdle. I have to first admit that I have never pulled out a toilet and replaced it. My potty-phobia was strongly tested when I had to clean up the wax ring (ick), and make sure the toilet was ready for it's next 10 years. To my horror, I found that just a little bit of the tile had gotten under the discharge pipe, and I couldn't bring the toilet flange flush to the floor. After I pondered this for a few days (and sleepless nights) I realized I had access to it from the basement and could give a shot at chipping it from below. I took out my $25 pneumatic chisel and was done in 3 minutes flat. Lesson learned, experience gained and I now am filled with joy as I dropped the toilet down and brought my first floor bathroom back in to the 20th century... now for the sink and it's sundry parts.

The first faucet arrived via special order and was the wrong model for my vanity. This was... disappointing at best as we had spoken to someone and described our vanity before the order. Luckily, they let us return it on Saturday morning and after my little dance with the toilet, I installed the fixtures we'd picked out at Lowes in the morning. It looks really nice and by Sunday afternoon, I was slapping in the trim. I have to admit, it looks nice and everything works better than it has since we moved in. I still have some paper towels under the drain, checking for leaks, and will check it in a few days to make sure we're ready to trust it. While I did that work, Lise cleaned out more trees and then pulled the last wallpaper from the walls in the formal living room. Death to the Pepto-Bismol room... Long live my future living room!!!