Monday, July 30, 2007

(yet another) Disaster Striketh

You may recall the Great Flood of '06, or the Well Water/City Water Crisis. Come, gentle reader, and view my guest bedroom, six short days before my parents arrive for a visit:
Oh yes, that is, in fact '70's era wood paneling, and rust/brown carpeting. Pretty, isn't it? Some of you may be hyperventilating, just at the site of the decor, but that is not the problem with this picture (believe it or not). I turn your attention instead to the large jet-powered fans, attempting to dry out the very, very wet carpet, along with portions of the wall. What happened, you ask? Funny story. Part of our sprinkler system in the back yard ruptured, causing massive amounts of water to pool next to the house, and then pour in through the wall in the basement. Right into the guest bedroom. It also went under the wall into the bathroom, into the hall, and just a tiny bit into Steve's office. Today, the "disaster cleanup crew" came by, as well as the insurance inspector guy, who took pictures and lots of notes. Tomorrow they'll drop off a dehumidifier, and with any luck, we'll be all dried out by Friday, at which point I'll quickly throw my guest room back together, in time for my parents arrival on Saturday evening. For a fleeting moment, Steve and I had mad fantasies about a fat insurance check, new carpeting, sheet rock, etc., but alas, we were whipped back into reality by the insurance guy, who explained to us that the first goal was to dry it out, and then retest for moisture and go from there. Not to mention, the ginormous deductible we have to pay. So, a bit of a hiccup in my one-week-before-house guests-arrive-cleaning-frenzy, but what can you do? As for the wood paneling and perfectly-preserved, 30-year old carpet? Our whole house has a bit of a "time warp" feel to it, so it just wouldn't feel right to modernize the basement. Not really, but that's what I'll keep telling myself.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yay, Camden!

This summer, Camden participated in the Summer Reading Program at our local library. For the months of June and July, we had to keep track of the number of hours that we read to him, and for each hour read, he got a raffle ticket. The library had all kinds of little boxes lined up, with a picture of a prize on each. All the kids that participated could put their tickets in which ever box (or boxes) they chose. Camden set his sights on a Spiderman pillow at the very beginning, and put his tickets (23 in all!) toward that. The drawing was yesterday afternoon, so the boys and I headed off to the library, and packed ourselves in like sardines, with all the other kiddos and parents. I was a little worried as to how Camden might react if he didn't win, because I didn't think he really understood when I explained to him that someone else might very well get the pillow. This, coupled with the fact that I peeked into the box holding all the tickets, and it was FULL. Anyway, as you can see by the picture, my sweet little Camden won! He was so darn cute when they called his name, and he had to make his way through the sea of kids to go and claim his prize. Camden loves books, and loves the library. I'm really happy that books are a part of his everyday life, and I hope it stays that way.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Homeward Bound

I'm so excited...I just booked a trip back east for the four of us, this coming October! Steve will stay for one week, and the boys and I will stay for three. Yes, this means I will be flying back to Idaho, BY MYSELF, with two rambunctious boys. At least I have a few months to fret about it! I cannot wait to go for walks in Topsham, go to Stonewall Kitchen, Freeport, seafood, see the ocean, visit with old friends, shop...the list could go on and on and on. I can't wait to meet my niece, Violet, as well as Baby Keller, and I am so happy that the boys will be able to experience Halloween on Barrows Drive! I am on cloud nine!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Summer of No Pants

No, not ME....Camden. Camden will not wear pants. More specifically, he will not wear clothes. He's always had, shall we say, "nudist tendencies", but this really seems to have become an issue about three weeks ago, after Camden saw The Lion King for the first time. You'll recall that he informed me that lions only wear undies, so therefore, he was unable to put clothes on and be The Lion King. Each day, when I have the gall to tell him it is time to get dressed, I'm met with pouting. The pouting eventually leads to foot-stomping, and ends with some really forced, fake crying. Yesterday, he announced he was going outside to play. I reminded him he had to put on shorts and shoes before he went out. Pouting. Stomping. Crying. We compromised on his fireman rain boots and called it good. I had to remind myself that at least he had something on...just a few months ago, we were constantly finding Camden out in the back yard, naked as the day he was born, prancing around without a care in the world. I'd take my eyes off him for a minute and he'd strip naked. So, at least he keeps his undies on now.
At dinner last night, Camden said, "Mummy, I am the ruler of the WHOLE world (pronounced "wor-wuld" by Camden), and the whole world can feel my ruling!" He doesn't take this Lion King thing lightly, let me tell you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm From Topsham

I'm still a little freaked out about something that happened at the library this morning. Let me preface this by saying that there has been a mom attending my story time with her children, and each week I think to myself, "Boy, she looks familiar..." So, after story time today:

Me: "This is going to sound weird, but you look so familiar to me, but I just can't figure out why."

Mystery Woman: "Oh? Hmmm. Well, I taught P.E. at the elementary school a few years back, so probably that's it."

Me: "No, I don't think kids aren't in school yet."

Mystery Woman: "Oh."

Me: (ending the conversation) "Oh must just look like someone...I'm not from here originally anyway...I'm from Maine."

Mystery Woman: "Where in Maine?"

*Okay, usually when people ask me 'where in Maine?' I reply, "Brunswick", because nobody ever knows or has heard of Topsham, and once in a while, somebody has heard of Brunswick.*

Me: (deciding to break with tradition) "Topsham."

Mystery Woman: "Topsham? Are you SERIOUS? I use to live in Topsham!"

As it turns out, not only did she use to live in Topsham, but we were in the same class, with the same teacher, somewhere between 2nd and 5th grade. Every time I would see her at the library, I felt like she looked like someone in a picture, and now I'm thinking that it must be one of my class pictures from grade school. So, Mum, when you read this, please bring out my "School Days" book with you - - the one that has all my class pictures in it.

It really is a small world, because the town I live in now, is a lot like Topsham was, 25 years ago. Small, quaint, and nobody seems to know where it is!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Floating the River

Yesterday, Steve took Camden on his first canoe trip. They were gone for about two hours, floating down the Payette river. Griffin and I dropped the boys off, and the trip started with a splash as Steve attempted to get in the canoe. Camden was already in, and when Steve started to step in, he lost his balance and got a little wet! Thankfully, Camden didn't even realize what had happened, and mostly just wanted Daddy to hurry up and get in. So, off they went. They had peanut butter and jelly along the way, did some fishing, and plenty of talking, I'm sure. It is all that Camden has talked about since yesterday. He's been wanting to "build a boat" all day today, so we tried to make one out of Popsicle sticks but didn't have much luck, unfortunately.

Camden is at the age now that he and Steve are able to really start enjoying some new adventures together. Steve is such a patient father, and is so good to his boy. I'm not sure that there are words to adequately convey how attentive and involved he is. Camden and Griffin have a wonderful Dad.
Griffin was back at the doctor this morning, because he isn't quite himself, and has been rubbing at his ears again. Thankfully, they aren't infected, but are filled with fluid. Hopefully, it will disappear without becoming infected again. Poor little guy!

The library has offered me a permanent position as the Children's Program Coordinator, which is basically an extension of what I was already doing. It was only supposed to be an 8-week position, but the library board approved a proposal to have it year-round. It is perfect for me because it is just a few hours per week, most of which is done at home. I have really enjoyed preparing story time over the summer, and I'm looking forward to keeping it going. It is funny sometimes where life can lead you - - I never thought I would be doing something like this, and I'm excited to see what it might turn into, in the future.

Steve and I were talking this past weekend about our sweet Griffin Peter. We are both realizing that our little peanut seems to have a devilish streak in him. The boy is full of it. I fear I may have my hands full. He has mastered the "army crawl" and might as well be full-on crawling, because he can get anywhere he needs to go. He loves to get into everything he isn't supposed to, and then giggles when he does it. He frequently removes his own diaper, and yes, that has included one poo-filled diaper, unfortunately. Just this morning, I awoke to the sound of Velcro-ripping, and sure enough, there was Griffin, naked and giggling.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

King of the Mountain

I've been meaning to post these pictures from Steve's climbing trip for the past few days, but am now just getting the chance. The picture on the right is of Steve at the top of Borah Peak. He said it was a challenging climb with some hairy moments, but he's glad he did it. That being said, I think he feels the same way that I felt, after I climbed Mt. Katahdin - - glad that he accomplished it, but not planning on doing it again! At one point during their climb, they were at an area where they were holding on with their hands, feet, fingers, toes, etc. - - very steep and difficult climbing. Steve had brought along his ski poles to help with the descent. He had one strapped to his backpack, and his friend Jimmy had the other one. Well, the thunder started rolling in, and all of a sudden the ski poles started crackling and snapping from all the static electricity in the air. I can just see the two of them freaking out, trying to get those ski poles off their backpacks, all while, holding onto the ledge for dear life. Not funny, but yet...funny! Anyway, they all had a great time, had sore quads for a few days, but lived to tell about it.

It has been extremely hot for the past few days, and the boys and I have been pretty much hiding out in the basement. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when we'll get a little break in the weather and it will *only* reach 92 degrees. Steve is putting an air conditioner in my kitchen tonight, so that will make a huge difference, since I spend most of my time in there, it seems!

Only one more Story Time left - - next Tuesday. The summer reading program sure did go by fast. There is a chance that the library might have me continue with it, but I haven't heard for sure yet.

Counting the days until my folks arrive...only 17 to go!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


My poor, sweet father took a nasty spill at work yesterday - - he was coming down the stairs in the stock room with an armload of shoes and missed a step, or slipped, and broke the fall with his face. He spend a few hours in the local emergency room because he needed stitches, but luckily he didn't break any bones. He's so lucky that he wasn't hurt any worse than this. Camden heard me talking about his grandfather's accident and wanted to see the picture, and when I showed it to him he said, "Oh! My poor little Papa!" Then, he wanted to know if Papa's eye would still look just like this picture, when my parents arrive in three weeks, because he wants to see the injury up close, apparently. I told him I was pretty sure it would be a lot better by the time they arrive, and I think he was slightly disappointed! Hope you feel better soon, Dad! We love you!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Lion King

Camden is my costume boy. He likes nothing more than to get completely into character (for the record, he does have undies on in this picture...I just noticed he kinda looks nekkid). He saw The Lion King for the first time last week, and then proceeded to watch it over, and over, and over - - taking advantage of the fact that he was ill and we were letting him lay on the sofa and watch videos all day! Anyway, he's been asking all week for me to make him a lion costume. I frequently make him masks and fashion simple costumes for him, but I just couldn't seem to come up with anything that looked remotely like a lion. This is where trusty ol' Target comes in. We stopped there after going to the dentist yesterday (another perfect appointment for Camden, by the way), and lo and behold on the clearance rack were a bunch of preschooler-sized hooded towels. Thinking on my feet, I said, "Look Camden! A lion costume!" Four dollars later, I had one excited boy, and I was off the hook with having to continue to try to come up with a lion costume. So now, Camden refuses to wear anything except his undies and his new outfit. Silly me, I tried to get him to put on some shorts yesterday, but he quickly reminded me that Lions only wear undies, NOT shorts.

I've been feeling rather crafty lately. I use a flannel board when I do story time at the library, and I've been wanting one for at home, but they are pretty expensive. I found some instructions on line so that I could make one, but with all the materials, it was still a bit more than I was willing to spend. As luck would have it, I had a brainstorm in the middle of WalMart the other day. I bought a piece of foam-backed poster board, a yard of super soft flannel, some ribbon for a decorative border, and $6.00 later, I had my own flannel board. Then, you can make story sets out of felt that stick to the flannel. So far I've made three little story sets (5 Little Apples, 5 Green and Speckled Frogs, and The Beehive). The boys love it, and we are having fun with it. Griffin is just starting to take an interest in being read to, and he loves music. Camden has always loved things like this, so I think it will be getting a lot of use.

Another thing I really like are paper garlands. A former neighbor of mine use to have one for each month of the year, which she hung above her front door, and it looked so cute. I've seen a bunch on line recently, but thought I would try to make one. It is kind of hard to see, but it says, "summer". I wanted to hang it over the fireplace, but couldn't get it to stay up, so it is over the kitchen doorway instead. I don't know if it counts as crafty, but I made some cherry jam last week, too. I haven't canned anything in years, and I forgot how much fun it is. One thing I realized though, is that it is really a two-person job. I was having a hard time sterilizing jars, stirring boiling jam, etc. without really messing things up. Next time I'll remember to ask someone to help me!

Everyone seems to be in good health again, thank goodness! Tomorrow I have to take Griffin to the pediatrician to have his ears checked to make sure the infection is gone. Tomorrow evening, Steve leaves with some friends to climb Borah Peak. He has been looking forward to doing this for quite some time, so he should have fun.

As for me, I must run and prep dinner!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You Know It Is Time To Join Weight Watchers When...

...a stranger rubs your belly and asks, "and is this another little one on the way?"

Yes, this happened to me. Today. No, I am not kidding. Rubbed. My. Belly.

A Word to the Wise: Those cute little tank tops that are in fashion now, do not hide your post-baby flab/muffin top. They make you look pregnant. Or fat. Or both.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I Love Me Some Starbucks

Can I just tell you that I am madly in love with the Creative Genius at Starbucks who keeps dreaming up all of these crazy Frappuccinos? I mean, seriously - - Raspberry Mocha? Yum. Yes, in case you were wondering, I really did take a picture of my Frappuccino, and my egg sandwich. I had a rare day out this past Thursday, and what better way to spend it than on the patio at one of my favorite Starbuck's locations, followed by taking myself to see the movie Evening. I hadn't been to the movies since I'd taken Camden to see "Cars" last year, and the time before that was before he was born. I love, love to go to the movies by myself - - it feels like such a treat. Anyway, I really recommend this movie. Bring your Kleenex if you go.

I find myself reading more and more blogs lately - - there are so many wonderful blogs out there in cyberspace. A few of my close friends have blogs, and I love being able to read about what they are up to. I also love to read blogs of total strangers. Some of my absolute favorites right now include Goodyblog, which I read about in a magazine - - it has so many neat products listed, and it is fun to go through the archives. Another great one is Baking Bites - - a great baking blog. I have been reading Friday Playdate for a long time, and I love how honest Susan is, without being negative, whiny, trashing her husband, or anything like that . Be sure to read the "about Susan" section in her blog - - her description of herself is hilarious. A blog that I just started reading a couple of weeks ago, called Sweet/Salty, is wonderful. The author's writing style is beautiful, and it seems as though her soul pours out through her fingertips and appears magically on my computer screen. She has recently experienced a devastating loss and writes about it with such eloquence. Be sure to check it out.

As for me, I feel as though my blog has taken a nosedive these past couple of weeks, as I've been occupied with sickness morning, noon, and night. I don't want to jinx myself, but everyone seems to be on the mend. Today is the first day that Camden hasn't been running a fever, so life feels a little more normal. In the coming weeks I'm hoping to get a little more creative in this space - - I seem to have a bunch of little projects going that I'd like to share. For now, I must run and fix dinner!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

...and still more!

Steve and Camden just returned from the emergency room (no, I am not kidding), and Camden has strep throat. At least we now know the source of his 48-hour fever! So, both boys are on antibiotics now, which I'm hoping means that we are on the road to recovery.

Oh Wait! There's More...

About 30 minutes after I posted last night, Griffin woke up and proceeded to scream for nearly 2 hours without ceasing. Long story short, he and I made a trip to the local emergency room, and arrived home after midnight with a prescription for antibiotics, and a double ear infection. Thank goodness for Steve, who played nursemaid to Camden all night long, while I took care of Griffin. Both boys are sleeping peacefully now. Hopefully there will be no more excitement in this house for a while!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

And So It Continues...

...sickness, that is. All I can say is, I'm sick of the sickness! This is getting a bit ridiculous. After 12 days, Steve is finally back to feeling like himself. As for me, I had three days of feeling fine, only to be ill again last night. I have myself convinced, however, that I too am on the mend now. Unfortunately, now my sweet Camden is sick. The weird thing is, he has nothing but a high fever. That is his only "symptom". It started yesterday afternoon - - I took his temperature before dinner, just because he seemed slightly off - - not quite my regular Camden. It was 102 degrees at that point, and reached over 103 degrees in the night. We took him to the doctor today, and of course, his temperature was normal at that point in time! The doctor said Camden was apparently trying to fight something, and to just keep our eye on him. We got him home this afternoon, and his temperature started climbing again. He slept for a good part of the afternoon, and is now resting on the sofa here in the family room, as I type this. I called our local "Ask a Nurse", because I was getting uncomfortable at how high his temp was climbing (103.2), and they told me to page our pediatrician. Unfortunately, he is off for the holiday and I had to call the doctor on call. Bad, bad experience! I really hate to badmouth anyone in the medical profession - - what a tough job they have - - but, there is no excuse for rudeness, or making a parent feel stupid for being concerned about their child. I guess we have been spoiled by Camden's pediatrician - - he is such a nice man, and has always taken the time to talk with Steve and I about any concerns we might have. He also makes himself available at all hours (except, of course, over the 4th of July holiday...shucks!). Anyway, I've rambled on enough. I needed to vent. I don't like to see my children sick (who does?). So here's hoping Camden will wake up in the morning and be fever-free.

Our air conditioner died two days ago, and the temperature is supposed to reach 105 degrees tomorrow. Luckily, Steve is installing a new unit in the morning. I'm so thankful we have a finished basement to retreat to - - it is nice and cool down here.
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