Wednesday, February 24, 2010

After 20 years...

Mark and I have been together for 20 years. We started to date in March of 1990, and were engaged by June (we had been friends since '88, so we knew each other fairly well before dating). Here is how our conversations go now:


Me: Are you angry?

Mark: What?

Me: Are you angry that we're not getting everything done?

Mark: Why would I be angry?

Long pause

Me: So you are angry!

Mark: What???!!!


Me: Are you angry?
- I can tell he's angry by his non-verbals, but I want to know what he'll say.

Mark: What?
- He is stalling.

Me: Are you angry that we're not getting everything done?
- I won't be deterred.

Mark: Why would I be angry?
- Damn! This is a technique he learned from ME! Answer a question with a question and evade further discussion. Because it would be ridiculous to be angry, wouldn't it?

Long pause
- Another trick from my tool bag...maybe this conversation will just go away.

Me: So you are angry!
- Oh yeah...I see through your bluff!

Mark: What???!!!
- He can't believe I'm so perceptive.

If YOU would like some advice on how to communicate as a couple, we'll hire out for a small fee!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The springing of spring

All of a sudden, after a few warm days last week (which I barely noticed because I was writhing in the agony of indecision) the environment has totally changed.

I did manage to go walking out on the back 40 with the girls, and here is the evidence of said change (note that this is a child's finger, so this flower is really itty-bitty):

Yes, spring is rearing its lovely head. As we drive down to Fresno, we can see loads of wildflowers coming out in full force at lower elevations. This is going to be a fantastic year for flowers, I think, with all the wonderful rain we've had. Rain is wonderful, that is, unless you're an elementary school teacher...I've been around in the classroom to see THAT spectacle! Speaking of school...

Last week the kids had the week off. This is a break that has in the past been called "Ski Week", to declare its true nature. Now, however, it is called "winter break" to not offend those who don't ski (unfortunately, we're in that group this year, since we're not earning any money beyond subsistence). We'll also have a "spring break" at the end of March, beginning of April. Get it?

So here's one thing we did last week INSTEAD of skiing...turned on the Yoga Kids DVD.

The girls really got into it.

Until, predictably, someone got whacked in the face. Then only one is enjoying the yoga, and the other is sniffing her blankie on the couch (yes, they still do that).

But it all ends well by the end of the session. Here is the final pose.


*If you haven't done any yoga lately, this Sanskrit word (nah-mah-stay') can be loosely translated, according to wikipedia, as "I bow to you. The light within me honors the light within you." Now isn't that nice?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Color Craziness

I believe I may have mentioned in the past that we were getting ready to paint.

And that the paint selection was causing me some anxiety.

That I was having trouble chosing the direction for our home.

Here's the whole family up at the site in our primed-and-ready-to-go house.

Here are the colors of choice in their respective spots.

Oh yes, that color looks good with the cabinets. See? And I obviously have an eye for color judging by my snazzy clothing combination.

And here is a third color that I was considering using as an accent color.

See, wouldn't it look nice with these countertop options?


But the main color does look nice with the fireplace rock.

OK, here we go.


What the....????

Can that BE the same color????? All over my house?

What of my soaring walls and lightness and brightness?

I was going for warmth, but am I betraying the nature of the home we designed and built????

Should I go back to white??????

I thought it would be fun to play with color.

But this is NOT fun.

These are the troubles that plague me.

So we're going to take a break and go to Aunt Judy's for a few days.

This is nothing a little Shubert's ice cream won't solve.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Tomgirls

Yes, that's my new phrase of the day, to capture the combination of "let's poke it with a stick" and "I really need to wear a dress today".

What does one do when coming across a big pile of white goo?

Silly question!

Of course, that's only after Mark and I VERY DIRECTLY told them that they were not to touch it. For whatever reason, we decided sticks were OK, though.

Mick retreated after his initial frowning perusal. Wisely, I might add.

I say that because the episode with the sticks and the white goo did not end well. Perhaps I'm taking it personally, since it was ME the goo ended up on, but so be it. I'm not sure if I was more upset with Mae (the stick thrower) or myself, because...couldn't you just SEE it coming?

Now here is a different day, and a different attitude.

Look at that sweet little girl! Abigail has begun to enjoy "posing" for pictures.

Although she does have a tendency to overdo.

Mae is usually tougher to capture. Not that she never smiles, but the camera makes her smile evaporate. Usually into a scowl or some sort of crazy face.

I got lucky this time. Slightly crazy, but in a smiling way.

Here are the girls running to meet cousin Scotty as he comes to visit after school. He turns 10 this week, and is wonderful with the girls...a good pseudo big brother. And no, he doesn't like having his picture taken either.

He finally relented, or maybe just wanted to check for obstacles. But of course it is impossible to capture all three happy faces at once.

Maybe a little Photoshop? I can cut and paste the good faces on so I can have all three?

And I can have bigger boobs, less wrinkles, and whiter teeth while I'm at it! Sold!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fun at Uncle Johns

As we head into a week of drywall texturing, we did take a break and visit Mark's brother, John, and his family in Morgan Hill. Their sister Karen was out for a conference, so it was a nice time for 3 of the 8 kids to visit together.

Mark and John are "Irish twins", meaning they are less than a year apart.

They are very close, and enjoy shooting people together. Of COURSE we wouldn't let our girls watch it though.

Our own twins like to play computer games together too! I loved how this picture shows their big green eyes.

Weather permitting, we always go for a walk in "The Meadow". Aunt Karen was like the Pied Piper.

The whole gang.

The salamanders were out. Mae is always our critter-picker-upper.

She is very clinical and gentle in her examination of the little beastie.

Abigail, on the other hand, shies away from a buckeye with a suspicious looking tentacle.

So you see, even these "identical" twins can be quite different!

We walked a good five miles on our hike, with no complaints, and no requests for piggy back rides (of course, that may be fall-out from last week :-) ) . But we were all impressed with how the girls hung in there. All in all, a wonderful weekend!

Oh, was there a football game of some sort? No wonder the park wasn't very crowded!

Friday, February 5, 2010

To stitch or not to stitch

Quite the night last night. No pictures. You'll thank me later.

We were headed out to the trailer last night after a lovely dinner with my parents, Mark and I both carrying a girl on our backs piggy-back style. I recall as I stood up with Mae on my back that she was getting HEAV-VEE. Went out through my folks' back door, turned to close it, and just slowly toppled over backward. That's Mark's account, since he saw the whole thing. I just slowly, completely, lost consciousness. I woke up with Mae screaming in my ear, and Mark yelling in my face. I had no sense of where I was or what had happened. Mark was upset with me, and I didn't understand why. Mae was screaming, and I didn't know why.

Turns out, Mae was pinned under me as I was laying on my back. Mark scooted me out of the way, and tended to her. She had a cut on the back of her head, which we ultimately concluded was not serious enough to get stitches. It was about 1/8" deep, and after the initial copious head wound bleeding, did stop flowing. We decided to try Super Glue to close the wound. Note to all who try this--the idea is to close the SURFACE of the wound, not bond the interior of the wound back together. We messed that up a little. But I'm sure the wound will heal despite our best efforts.

After Mae was stabilized, Mark and my mom examined my head, which as it turned out, was much worse. The laceration was much deeper, and although I did not want to go to the ER, Mark and my mom were pretty insistent that it needed treatment. So off to the ER we went.

The closest medical facility to our home is 45 minutes away, so in addition to the known ER wait, you also have 1 1/2 hours on the road. We launched off on our medical mission at 8:30 p.m. We got back to the house at 2:10 a.m. We were exhausted! And the craziest thing was, we went for nothing! Actually, we gained a lot of peace of mind, but that's so abstract, isn't it? Initially, the ER doc proposed that we staple the wound. As we explored alternatives, especially those that did NOT include a return visit to the ER to remove foreign objects, we ultimately decided that the wound would heal just fine by itself, if I could just leave it alone.

Which meant walking around with a clump of bloody matted hair today.

Which I did. All day. I have personally redefined the "comb-over".

Tomorrow...a shower!

But really, the ER doc was more concerned with the loss of consciousness, especially without any sense of it coming on. She was concerned enough to order a CAT scan. Which in turn concerned me.

The CAT scan revealed nothing wrong. So WHAT could cause this event? As Mark and I started to piece together our impressions of what had gone down, we realized there was a very strong probability that Mae had choked me out. My 5-year-old took me down with a chokehold. The signs all fit. I found through a little research that a tight compression on the carotid and/or jugular can cause a person to pass out within seconds. Mae does play a previously funny game of not really holding on as she rides on my back. I never realized the potential repurcussions.

So parents be advised, those piggy back rides can be pretty hazardous!

But I won't give them up just yet.