Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Photos by Anne Geddes
While chatting with my favorite friend last night the subject of having a baby in the house came up and the memories that come along with that.

Both of my babies are almost grown, ages 20 and a half and almost 17 so it's been a long time since there was a baby in my house. How I miss that. Well, honestly, not all of it. I miss the smell of a baby, a clean one that is, not a stinky one. I would go off to work and if I was lucky, my son's scent would linger on shoulder and I could smell him all day.

I loved the infant stage as my number one son just seemed to eat and sleep. I remember sitting in the recliner with him sleeping on my shoulder all snuggled into my neck. Heaven.

But then I loved the stage when they start to learn all sorts of new tricks, rolling over, sitting up by themselves, reaching for things (especially for me) and laughing. How can you not break out in a big grin when you hear a baby laugh?

Then I couldn't wait for my oldest to walk. What was I thinking? I missed the days when I could put him in one spot and he'd stay there. Oh, and then talking, couldn't wait for the day when he said that wondrous, magic word, "mommy". Is there any word sweeter than that? Until you've heard it 500 times in a day.

I remember the days when I would finally get to go to bed and I'd ask myself, "did I say anything other than "no" today?" Then I'd have to get back up and go in for one more touch of a little face.

What I loved was the wonder that I saw in my children's eyes. The everyday things that we take for granted but were new and exciting for them. Your children are all of your hopes and dreams wrapped up in a little bundle. I sometimes wonder how a couple could not want to have children and while I certainly respect their decision I can't help but feel they are missing something in their lives. Some people are not cut out to be parents and realize that. When you become a parent you look at the world differently. Things that you didn't notice or pay attention to suddenly come into focus. Sometimes the world is a kind and amazing place other times a dangerous and scary place.

While my house was once a home filled with whirling activity, noisy toys, crying, lost binkies, it's now filled with the sounds of computer keys clacking away with homework or more likely AIM, video games and voices that don't sound like children but young men.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Let me introduce you to our television. I love my television. It's a Sony Wega Trinitron 34" We bought it a few years ago when our 28" Sony bit the dust.
We debated going the HD route or not. The high def models were just coming out and were pretty expensive. We decided to spend all our tax refund on it since our former Sony lasted 15 years. At that time there were maybe 1 or 2 channels that broadcast in high definition.
Finally the high-def decision is paying off. More and more channels are broadcasting in high-def. High-def is wonderful and I hate to watch programs that aren't in HD. The only bad part is no more television in bed. I have to stay up and watch in the living room if I want the HD.
We hated the stand that the TV came with so Sean designed and built this entertainment center himself. It's in two pieces and is built around the stand. The TV weighs a ton. Ain't no one gonna steal this baby.
(Have had that happen once)
On another note, if Sanjaya doesn't get his butt voted off of Idol this week, I swear I can't watch it anymore. The hair alone is enough to kick him off.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Look Rather Green Today

Everyone has some kind of minor illness that they hate to have more than any other. Take Sean, he absolutely hates to have a sore throat. He's amazed when I have one and eat crackers and drink fizzy pop. Now me on the other hand, I hate any kind of illness that requires me to be near a bathroom.

Today I'm home sick because my stomach did not want to go to school. Not only that, it's seriously trying to talk my intestines into playing along with it's little game. I'm sure I have a student to thank for this little bug. Let me think, who was absent last week? I'll spare you any more details, you probably didn't want to know this much.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Life or Death

Meet Knut, a polar bear cub born in December in the Berlin Zoo. When he was born, his mother wanted nothing to do with him or his brother who later died. She abandoned them. The zoo took over the care of the surviving cub, bottle feeding him every 4 hours. Knut is now 3 months old and weighs 19 lbs. I'm a sucker for cute, little cuddly things. I prefer my men cuddly rather than hard-bodied. It's hard to believe that some animal activists are calling for his death.

Yes, you read that right. Animal activist, Frank Albrecht has lobbied for the killing citing that "he will grow up with a behavioral disorder for the rest of his life." Another activist, Wolfram Graf-Rudolf is quoted, "I don't consider it appropriate for the species that the little polar bear is being raised on a bottle. The animal will be fixated on his keeper and not be a "real" polar bear." I will give this guy credit, he does say that it's too late to kill him now.

Of course, I'm not an animal expert by any stretch of the imagination but I say give this poor bear a chance. I really don't think he will have any emotional or behavioral issues. He won't become domesticated. I just hope that in the end he won't harm his handler. He will grow into a dangerous predator and will have polar bear behavior. Knut should be treated as such. I'm sure the zoo will not turn him into a "pet" and respect Knut for what he is, a man eater if given the chance. Knut will live to see another day as the zoo has decided his life will be spared.

The way things are in the world with Iraq and all the other hot spots, this whole polar bear thing is small potatoes but people are upset about it. I agree that it just seems heartless and cruel for these animal lovers and activists to call for Knut's death.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm Smiling

Welcome Spring!! Oh, how I've missed you! You know Old Man Winter and I don't get along. He started out being very nice in November, December and the beginning of January. I thought he was a changed man. I would have sworn I had moved to Virginia. But, and it's a big but, his mild manner came to an end in mid January when all hell broke loose! I have no idea what pissed him off but between him and Canada, they bitch slapped us hard.

Now you may wonder, "what does she have against Canada?" Absolutely nothing. We visit Canada every year. My grandmother and her family were born in Canada. It is a beautiful country with friendly people. I love Canada. Except when it sends us their cold, arctic air. Then I'm not so much in love with them.

But back to that bastard, Old Man Winter. In February he dumped 2 feet of snow on us for Valentines Day. Is that any way to treat a lady? He caused ice dams on our roof which in turn caused a leaky ceiling in the living room and foyer. I'm not talking drip, drip, drip. I'm talking about driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip, get a bucket! I will say this though, after a 3 year drought of no snow days off from school, we had two this year! So thanks for that Old Man. I'd better start being nice to him. I know he's not finished with us yet. March and April can be cruel months in the North. We once had snow on Mother's Day!

I know that under the 8 inches of snow we still have on the ground, that the daffodils and crocus are beginning to peek through the dirt. I'm very pleased that day light savings came 3 weeks early. More sunshine when we get it.

Spring officially starts at 8:07 pm est tonight and I'm ready. Unfortunately, Mr. Winter is still having his way with us. It's cold today, only in the lower 20's but it's sunny and will warm up later in the week.

Now I can start to come out of hibernation. What I love about spring is the rebirth of the Earth. The trees that were so stark and naked begin to swell up with buds and then explode with bright green leaves. Sometimes overnight. The first trees to leaf out are the weeping willows. There's one near our house and I watch that tree from a distance, like a hawk, waiting for it to get that yellowish-green haze.

Flowers are one of my favorite things on Earth. They're such a delight for the senses. The colors, shapes, scents and textures are just gorgeous. If you've never done it before, as the saying goes, "stop and smell the roses", look at the details. You'll see what I mean.

It's not just the trees and flowers, it's the little animals; squirrels, chipmunks, migrating birds back to their summer home and yes, even insects. You know how I feel about them. A soft breeze with the smell of damp dirt. Sleeping with the window open. The smiling, happy faces. Everyone seems to be in a better mood. I know I will be.

I'll leave you with the words of George Harrison.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Little darlin' it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darlin' it feels like years since it's been clear
Her comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Little darlin' the smiles returning to their faces
Little darlin' it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Our number one son is in his third year of nursing school. He attends a university with one of the best nursing programs and that has the highest percentage of male students, 16%. He started out in pre-med, doing one year of it. Just before returning for his second year he told me that he decided to go into nursing. At first I thought he was kidding me. Then he started telling me why.

Seems that he had been giving being a doctor much thought. He considered how much time and sacrifice it was going to take, how long it would be before he would be able to have a private practice and how much the malpractice insurance would be. He thought about how little time he would have with each patient as a doctor. He was aware of how some people may perceive him. Possibly as someone who couldn't hack med school or that nursing is for women. Everyone has been very supportive of him. Since the Viet Nam war there are many more males in nursing than ever before. I couldn't be prouder of him.

After thinking it over he decided that nursing would be for him. He is planning on becoming a nurse practitioner which is six years of school or maybe a nurse anaesthetist. Nursing is hard work but he's got what it takes.

A local hospital has a summer nurse residency program. You are assigned to a nurse and work with them, whatever their shift is. It is very competitive to get into, the requirements are high and the educational value is huge. They are interviewing now, but you have until April 3 to get your application in. There are 24 job openings and so far 73 applicants with interviews continuing. Number one son had his interview Friday, March 4. They called him on Monday, March 7. He was offered a job and will be working in the cardiac care unit. Did I say I couldn't be prouder?

I'm sorry this is such a bragging post but I love him so much it makes my heart hurt sometimes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Going South?

Every winter I say that I am moving South in a few years. The older I get, the more I hate the cold and snow.

I would like to live someplace that receives more sunshine than I get here. Somewhere that is green throughout the year. I don't like naked trees and here in the North, the trees are naked six months of the year.

But, I don't do well in extream heat. I melt. I like it between 75 to 80 degrees and not too humid.

I'm afraid of wind so a location that is frequented by tornados and hurricanes is out.

Then my father sends me pictures and news stories of weird things that happen in Florida. (My parents live there 5 months of the year)
Maybe this is their way of keeping me up North.

I don't want to worry about some rogue alligator snacking on my dog or ringing my doorbell.

Or snakes finding their way into my computer. I have enough computer trouble without that.

Not to mention the insect life down South. I am not a bug person. Yes, I realize the world needs insects in it. I just don't want them up close and personal in my world.

The Red Widow, a native of Florida as well as the Florida Bark Scorpion just make me cringe. If I lived down there, they would find me. I'm a magnet for that kind of stuff. I'm allergic to cats. If I'm at someone's home that has one, it loves me. It wants to be on my lap or around my legs.

I don't mind the little lizards that sun themselves on the patio or at the pool and scamper away when you go near them. They look sort of cute but do they get in your house? If so, that's one less lizard in the world.

When I reread this post it seems like maybe the South is not for me after all. Up here all I have to worry about is 2 feet at a time of lake effect snow off of one of the Great Lakes, the occasional ice storm, power outages, okay, I've lived with that all my life. We don't have tornados, hurricanes, scorpions, alligators, palmetto bugs etc.

It's a great place to visit but do I really want to live there??

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's coming!!

I'm seeing and hearing some signs.

Seven days.