Friday, November 1, 2013

A Week in the Life - Day 3

Stacy's Version

I didn’t fall asleep until well after 3. And then once I did, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Max came in because he was scared. He gets like that now and then. He’s a sensitive kid. He climbs in bed with me. Mark often sleeps downstairs when he’s on call so as not to wake everyone when he gets middle-of-the-night phone calls. He can answer them, handle them, and go right back to sleep, whereas I lie awake for a good 30 minutes after each call. So especially when he thinks it’ll be a busy night, he sleeps downstairs.

Max is a fairly restless sleeper. He’s getting less restless as he gets older, but in general, we start out parallel but usually wake up with him perpendicular to me and pushing hard with his feet. I don’t sleep quite as well after that. I rub his back and ask if he’s okay. He is. Parenting is 24-7. He feels better being close to me. I love snuggling with him.

8-something AM

Mark and Scout come in and Scout is ecstatic to see Max, who is sleeping. No matter how hard we try to keep her calm, she jumps all over him wagging her tail and sniffing/licking his ears. She is a joy.

I tell Mark about Max coming in scared and having a rough night. Mark gets ready. Kate is up and getting ready and comes in soon afterward. She looks tired. She has violin lessons this morning. It is Mark’s one set day off from the psych hospital, so he generally does a lot of this kind of stuff with the kids.

Try as we might, we cannot wake Max. He’s had a rough night and for the first time in a very long time, he doesn’t go with them and keeps sleeping. Again, seasons changing?

My own voice in my own head is getting louder. Doing these posts has really given a voice to the day-to-day details and it’s like I’m narrating everything I do as I do them, thinking of these posts and what to say.

8:50 AM

Mark and Kate leave for violin and tae kwon do. Max usually goes with them since they all go straight to tae kwon do after violin. Since he’s had a rough night, he stays in bed. It’s been ages since he’s done this – he loves tae kwon do, so he must be exhausted. I cuddle for a bit.

9:15 AM

The doorbell makes Scout flip out and I hurry out of the room with her so that she doesn’t wake him. It is the other half of the package for Kate’s BFF’s birthday.

I stay downstairs with Scout and putt around the house a bit and then cuddle with her on the couch, check email, read news, text with Mark a bit, and write more. It is a gray, rainy day. I can’t go upstairs and get ready, because I don’t want to wake Max up after his rough night. So, I get a bunch done down here while he sleeps.

I write a lot. I do not usually let myself write so much (though I should), but NaNoWriMo really gets us all doing more writing naturally and I have to say it’s fun and nice. This morning, I write down some frustrations I’m having – one of those “letters to write but not send” deals.

11:30 AM

Mark and Kate are back. I notice that my teeth hurt – I am clenching like crazy. I hate that! This is new to me and I do not like it. Mark and I talk a bunch – what else is new? I love it.

Mark and I clean the kitchen together and I have tea and talk more. I hope Max wakes up soon so I can shower. Our bathroom is right off of our bedroom, so I can’t get ready without a lot of light and noise in our room.

12:30 PM

Max has woken up and cuddled with me on the couch. LIFE IS GOOD! The kids are both busily typing up their week-in-the-life posts. I am LOVING reading theirs. We all talk and laugh a bunch at how funny we think we are (pretty funny).

Now that Max is up, I’m getting ready. It’ll be quicker today since I don’t have to wash my hair. That’s incentive for me to not procrastinate.

1:30 PM

I’m dressed. We’ve got a pot of chili on the stove and cornbread out of the oven for cornbread dressing. We’ll make that later along with the salad. It’s our turn in our co-op to make double dinner and take some over to the Johnsons. We got some stuff cleaned up. Mark and I have discussed options for tonight’s trick or treating adventure as well as several other things we’re coordinating/doing.

Mark and Max are off to Max’s 8-week “Run, Jump, Play” class with several other kids in our homeschool group. Right before leaving, I see Max eating a Kit-Kat bar and he tells me that Kate bought it for him at tae kwon do this morning. I love that our kids are great friends!

Kate and I are writing. We’ve cleaned up some. Now we’re going to watch Big Bang Theory together. We watch most episodes as a family, but every once in a while there’s some stuff that isn’t kid appropriate. This past week’s episode is one of those that isn’t great for Max, but Kate is old enough to see it. I love one-on-one time with my kids.

No one is really hungry. I stepped on the scale earlier and found that I didn’t gain a pound from that eating fest yesterday (woohoo!) – maybe because it was pretty much the only thing I ate all day? I am not a snacker. I tend to stick to meals and light, in-between-meal snacks. I have low blood sugar sometimes, so I tend to follow my body’s lead. I don’t like to eat when I’m not hungry and in general I pace myself. Not a snacker. Not a sweet tooth. AM a food lover, though, so I really choose where I want to get my calories.

2:20 PM

Kate and I have watched the episode. I cried (again) during Howard’s song to Bernadette. Love that show. Anytime we watch TV, Scout demands a treat of us first. She’s very Pavlovian that way. We’ve gotten her a treat, snuggled with her, and filled her water bowl as well – she scratches at it repeatedly to let us know it’s time to fill it more for her. She’s adorably demanding. We’ve also folded laundry and cleaned the living room, rolling up blankets and tidying up.

Mark and I text a bit. He’s in Lancaster (a neighboring, Amish county) at that cool class with Max.

2:40 PM

Kate and I leave for the library to pick up items on hold. We take Scout because the weather is good for that and she LOVES whenever we take her on errands.

2:55 PM

We’re back. I love small towns. She picked up a book she didn’t know we owned, so she put it back in the book return. I picked up our book club book for this month – Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson. The librarians there love Kate – she is one of their best volunteers.

I’m getting hungry, so I grab a snack and call my mom. She used to call all the time but rarely does now, so I try to call every so often, a challenge since I really don’t call anyone and have to remind myself to actually use a phone at all for calling people. I kind of hate phone calls, because I like to have a chunk of time to talk when I make them and finding a chunk can be a challenge. I feel like we go from thing to thing to thing. Even these big stretches at home are filled with talking, coordinating, calendaring, reading, writing, school, housework, laundry, cooking, eating, cleaning up, texting, etc.

I have had a list of phone calls I’ve written down to make and for the past two weeks, I haven’t made any of them. I hate feeling blown off, so I try not to blow others off or hurry them off the phone. And I like to be able to set aside time for the call, because I suck at multi-tasking and I really try to be present and not distracted for the phone call.

My mom is in a lively mood and we’re on the phone for an hour and a half. I called while Max was at his class, figuring I’d probably be done by the time they got home. Nope. The conversation was overall fine until my brother came up and then it got heated. We generally avoid talking about him at all, since my brother is pitching a fit and hasn’t spoken to me in over a year and a half, but no one is allowed to say anything about him since he is her favorite. Ah, family dynamics.

Everything around me starts going crazy as we’re animatedly talking: Mark and Max are back from class, we’re trying to get dinner ready since it’s our night for dinner co-op, Kate has tripped and fallen on part of her costume that we now have to fix and this involves an errand, Scout is going crazy, costumes must be donned, texts coordinating trick-or-treating are dinging, the kitchen looks like a bomb went off – it’s craziness, so we hang up and I run out the door to find a replacement part for Kate’s costume.

4:40 PM

I’m kind of fuming from the conversation and kicking myself for getting agitated when tonight is Halloween and I want it to be nice for the kids. I try to shake it off – it takes me a while, but I am eventually successful. I run to McDonald’s and walk in. It occurs to me that this is the first time I’ve set foot in a McDonald’s in over three years (thank you, Supersize Me and Food, Inc.).

I get a lid for a coffee cup. Kate is dressing as a writer this year – she has a shirt that says, “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel,” glasses, a notebook and pencils, a bag that says, “I’m silently correcting your grammar,” and a Starbucks Cup with the name of one of her characters on it. She put together the costume herself, even making sure to order the tote bag in plenty of time. Some people have joked that she’s really not dressing up since she is a writer.

This year, Max is dressing as Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Mark has done an awesome job of making a homemade costume involving cardboard and two different colors of webbing spray paint. We fashioned spiked gloves out of knit gloves and spray painted plastic knives. He wears all black with a belt, 4 light sabers, and a very awesome helmet. Oh, and big black boots. He is so excited. He loves dressing up.

4:50 PM

I’m back, dinner is packed up and ready to go, and the kids have set the table. Mark and I run the meal over to the Johnsons. He fills me in on how the afternoon as been and I do the same. We hurry back, sit down to dinner (it’s delicious and we love co-op), and then get costumes on and take pictures.

Max has requested that we dress Scout up this year, so we do. She is a pumpkin and MAN is she cute! We’re not big into dressing her up and she isn’t that fond of it in general, but she is pretty cooperative and doesn’t even seem to mind it. She’s so so so so so so so cute. We love her!

The kids get to dress up 4 times for various things this Halloween season – the Renaissance Faire a couple of weekends ago, Kate’s Halloween party this past week, trick-or-treating tonight, and trunk-or-treating with our homeschool group tomorrow.

Over a month ago, Kate informed us that she wanted to throw a Halloween party for her friends. She planned the entire thing, invited everyone, and set it all up. It was so fun to take her shopping for it. She prepared a list, coordinated everything, knew exactly what she wanted to do and made it happen. We had a full house of kids and everyone had a great time.

She wanted a happy/cute party, not a scary one, so her decorations and games reflected that. She had everyone bring a Halloween-themed food to share.  She is such a happy kid, always has been. Even as a baby, she cried so very infrequently that it was always odd to her when she would cry. I remember as a toddler when she VERY rarely cried, she would say, “Oh, the eyes, the eyes!” somewhat alarmed at the sensation of tears coming out of them. I am not exaggerating. We would wonder if it was awesome parenting (nurture) or awesome genetics (nature). Either way is a win for us. Heheheh.

Then along comes Max – as a baby, he would cry and make his will known, but could also be very content, too, particularly when all of his druthers were met (vibrating chair, etc.). He could go from zero to 60 to let us know he was hungry or whatever. He has always been a kid who is fun and mischievous and knows what he wants and when he wants it, states his opinions, says what he thinks with little-to-no filter, has his likes and dislikes and makes them known. He is awesome – honest, funny, compassionate, sensitive, energetic, cautious, thoughtful, creative, philosophical, fun, smart, gentle, active . . . again, nature? Nurture? A combination of both? Whatever it all is, we love them so much. They are great, great kids.

5:40 PM

We’re doing our usual picture taking on the front porch. The kids look great. They are getting so grown up. It’s bittersweet.

Our writer

Starkiller, from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Kate has requested trick-or-treating with friends this year – this works out since the Johnson boys want to, too, and we figure what the heck. Over the years, we’ve almost always visited a handful of houses of people we know. This year we did a combination of that and some great trick-or-treating on a great all-American “Leave it to Beaver”-type street here near the college.

6:00 PM

We do our traditional stop at our friend Peggy’s house where we see her family as well as Lisa’s (another friend). They’ve already walked down the street a ways. We take a picture of all the kids together. Another tradition. It isn’t quite 6pm yet, which is when trick-or-treating officially starts. While we’re taking pictures, a woman walks out of her house holding a bowl of candy and saying how much she loves this time of year as well as trick-or-treat night. I look over and see that it’s a super nice and funny woman from our yoga class. I believe she is a retired educator. I think again how much I love small towns! We then stop at two more houses we know. They are both on that great street near the college.

6:20 PM

Christie meets us with her boys who are fully decked-out in their homemade costumes and lots of face make-up. We take more pictures and then trick-or-treat until about 7pm. We see so many cute kids as well as many people we know. I love small-town living.

7:00 PM

We drive over to the haunted house near ours. A neighbor one street back totally goes crazy with his house and yard every year. The newspaper almost always covers it. It’s a big stopping place for many, many kids. There are lights, sounds, zombies, gravestones, ghosts, etc. His entire house front is like a big haunted castle. It’s really cool. We drive by it a lot for weeks leading up to Halloween and see it slowly growing and building. We then come to our house and the Johnson boys trick-or-treat at our house (our kids hand out candy) and then we all go over to their house and trick-or-treat there. Dave is on the porch handing out candy and is really ticked off at their naughty dog.

We talk for a while as it starts to rain. Perfect timing. We’re on their covered front porch and it’s pretty nice out for October 31st. It’s in the high 60s. The kids go inside to trade candy. After a while, the rain seems to slow down the trick-or-treaters, so we all head inside. Trick-or-treat night around here is from 6-8pm.

8:10 PM

We sit in their living room and talk and laugh and tell stories until – I kid you not – 12:15 AM. That’s right. We even stood up to leave at 11:15 and then proceeded to talk for another hour. That’s how it is when we hang out.

Conversations are flying, hands are waving, we’re quoting friends and Mad TV and loads of other things, doing impersonations, venting, griping, joking, laughing, and having about 17 different conversations at a time. It’s always like this. It’s awesome.

The kids are upstairs playing the entire time – 4 straight hours. Even the dogs play some and sleep a bunch.

During all this, I use the phrase “you bet your bippy,” surprising us all – including myself— and causing Dave to wonder where exactly he put his bippy. (I just looked it up and apparently a bippy is an unspecified part of the anatomy. I don’t even know what to do with that).

Time FLIES when we hang out and it’s always fun and easy. Kate comes down a couple of times and hangs out with us some. She’s getting to that age where she’s with the kids part of the time and the adults part of the time. She’s happy with both.

It is a great, easy, comfortable, funny, relaxed, fun night. We’re so glad they live here now.

12:15 AM

We leave after many, many hugs (particularly from Brennan). We get home and eat something healthy (chili for the kids, scrambled eggs and cheese for me, etc.) after eating candy tonight. We do “gratitudes and hopes” and hustle kids up to bed. Mark and I type up this stuff. We’re exhausted and NaNoWriMo starts, well, now. We’re not as prepared as we’d like to be with the book we’re writing. I’ve had several things I’ve wanted to get done before tomorrow. I’ve accomplished many, but not all. I especially want to finish one thing in particular – a personal writing goal. Ugh.

Mark's Version


I wake up, but not easily. Scout is slow to get moving as well, still sluggish from trying to digest her weight in beef. She does eventually get herself going and gets to the backyard. While she tries to take care of business I do a few dishes. I can tell Kate is up and showering because I lose water pressure in the kitchen. I think about throwing out the jack-o-lanterns that are slowly decomposing on our kitchen table. It's Halloween so I put them on the porch for one more night. I do worry that some kids will come smash them, but honestly they're so soft that anyone dumb enough to pick them up deserves the moist pumpkin goo that will get all over his hands.

I spend a few minutes to get dressed and gather up my things for taekwondo class while Kate gets her violin paraphernalia together. I try and wake up Max but he ended up in our bed last night because of some bad dreams. I can barely wake him so I guess he gets to stay home this morning. It's not a bad thing since he hasn't slept enough and that usually leads to him getting sick.

8:45 AM

Kate and I jump in the car and set out for her violin lesson. She plugs in her iPod and we have just enough time to listen to one song by Taylor Swift and one by Michael Buble. I can live with that. Thursdays are rough for her so she usually likes to ride in silence, but she's always willing to talk if I want to. Today we listen to music, we talk a little, and she reads a little. I take a slightly different route to her violin teacher's house so I end up passing the alley where I'm supposed to turn so I have to make a u-turn and backtrack. We still arrive in plenty of time.

9:00 AM

Kate's violin lesson goes well. Today she plays the Bach Double Concerto for Two Violins with her teacher. It sounds better than it ever has. I make notes on her practice sheet so she knows where to focus her practice time. Work on those arpeggios and holding out the tied notes. Even when she's tired Kate does really well in her lessons, and today is no exception.

9:30 AM

We always get to taekwondo very early so today we make a quick detour to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner tonight. It's our night to cook and deliver a meal to the Johnsons and knowing how crazy today is going to be, I think it's best to sneak the shopping trip in here.

10:00 AM

We arrive at the taekwondo studio and are greeted by our instructor, a baby-faced ball of energy, ready to push us to our limits. We get changed and stretch. I joke around a bit with one of the other black belts, a teen who is a really nice kid. I told him he could call me by my first name, but I think the respect built into the martial arts prevents him from ever calling an adult by his first name. I respond by calling him sir. He laughs, and our instructor tells us to line up.

10:15 AM

Death by taekwondo begins promptly. We bow to the flags, kneel and meditate, bow to our instructors and then begin our warm-ups. After the first ten minutes we are all breathing heavily and I'm already sweating like it's 100 degrees outside. As tired as I am, I keep up, and then we have to do push-ups across the room. This involves launching myself forward as I raise myself up, hopefully propelling me toward the other side of the room. I manage to move forward a couple of feet, so I'm only about 10 more push-ups from traversing the studio. Then I have to turn around and go back. It takes a few more push-ups for the return trip.

The rest of the class is spent practicing various roundhouse kicks (back leg, jump, 360, etc.). We end, as we always do, in a series of short sparring matches. I'm put into a group of three and we are told to fight two against one. I get to be one of the "two" for the first two matches, but that only means that I get to be the "one" for the final match. I manage to stay upright and conscious, and also defend myself pretty well.

11:15 AM

Slightly less hydrated than when we began, Kate and I drive home. We are greeted by our happy puppy, but Max is still sleeping. It's probably best since he has a big day ahead of him and he didn't sleep very well. I also start to gather things together to cook our dinner. Since we're making chili I thought it would be best to make it now and let it sit all afternoon so the flavors will blend.


I begin cooking. Scout wanders in a few times to see if any of the meat will fall on the floor. None does so she heads back to the living room. I make sure to add the special ingredients--a shot of Jameson's and a can of Guinness--and let the magic happen. Boilermaker chili. So good.

12:30 PM

I have a few minutes while the cornbread finishes baking, so I try to catch up on Kate's day in the life post, and I read any of the blog comments that have come in so far. I'm still fairly stuffed from the bacchanalia that is a Brazilian steakhouse.

12:45 PM

I quickly shower, which seems to be my M.O. lately. I have to leave with Max in about 15 minutes so it really needs to be lightning fast.

1:10 PM

Max and I leave and head over to the Johnsons. We are all traveling together to our weekly Run, Jump, Play class. There are 8 of us that need to go to the class, 3 adults and 5 children, and our van only holds 7, so in order to go together we need to do take Dave's van. He has me drive since I know how to get there and his GPS actually took him the wrong way a few weeks ago. It also gives him a break, which sounds funny, but funny little things can end up affecting him physically for a long time.

1:45 PM

We pull up to the athletic complex where their class is held. This place is insane. It is a gigantic warehouse with different areas for a variety of activities. We pass the two rock climbing areas, scoot by the sporting goods store, make a right when we get to the 4 basketball courts, head toward a collection of 8 volleyball courts and make a left, and then arrive at the space where the kids normally have their class.

2:00 PM

Without being antisocial I try and catch up on my blog posts and reading. I'm in and out of the conversations with the other adults there, eventually working through topics as diverse as home renovations to national health care. We can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. The kids come out at various times to get some water and let us know how well the class is going. It is a series of obstacle courses, team games, and competitions. They are all smiles, no matter how sweaty they get or how much they are huffing and puffing.

3:15 PM

We all jump back into the car to return home. We go back on the same roads that brought us to the class, including winding through corn fields and crossing over a covered bridge. I've made this trip enough times that the novelty has worn off for the kids, but I still think it's really cool to hear the clackity-clack of the wooden bridge beneath the van tires. I notice that today all of the slowest drivers have taken over the road.

4:00 PM

After I park Dave's car Max and I climb into my car to hurry home and get dinner co-op ready. When I walk in I can tell Stacy is in the middle of a very frustrating phone call with her mother. She has so little time as it is to get to all of the things she'd like to, that phone conversations just don't happen that often. And this one is a doozy! I know she's really looking forward to trick-or-treating tonight so I'm frustrated on her behalf.

I have to reheat the chili, crumble cornbread for dressing, make a salad, and package everything so we can deliver it by 5:00. I ask the kids to set the table and also gather anything they need for their costumes. Kate comes down from her room and shows us a crushed Starbucks cup, which is part of her original costume. She apparently tripped while gathering her things and landed on the cup. Stacy, being the awesome mother that she is, runs out to get her a lid for the cup. We don't have any Starbucks nearby and Kate says it cannot be a McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts cup so we hope the mismatched lid will save the crushed prop.

4:50 PM

Stacy and I drive over to drop off dinner at the Johnson's. We don't stop talking at all, and we still don't get to everything we'd like to discuss. Blitzy greets me by sniffing the pocket of my jacket, hoping I have meat for her. I breeze in and out so we can hurry home, eat, and get ready for tonight.

5:15 PM

There is a seriously palpable energy at dinner tonight. The kids are both very excited to go trick-or-treating. They've already set the table for dinner so we can get straight to business. The chili is awesome, by the way.

5:40 PM

We are outside on the porch taking our usual Halloween pictures. The kids look great, and I even managed to get a costume on Scout. She is a pumpkin. I'm not thrilled about dressing her up since I have this aversion to dressing animals as people, but Max is super excited and Scout looks really cute. She doesn't fight it as much as I expected, probably because she would do anything not to be left at home tonight.

6:00 PM

We drive to our traditional first stop to meet up with some friends as they leave for trick-or-treating. We've never set this as a tradition, but for a number of years now it's become the norm. The kids all have a great time sharing their costumes and we take a group picture. It's at this point that we discover we don't have our camera so I use my phone, but we are definitely worried that we've dropped the camera somewhere. Not a good start.

6:10 PM

We're not far from home so we drive home and discover the camera on the dining room table. Phew! We stop at one of our neighbors' houses and the father sees Kate and thinks he's seeing Stacy. I tell him Stacy's shorter. We chat for a few minutes about how fast the kids are all growing up. Trick or Treat.

6:15 PM

We park near another friend's house and wait for the Johnsons to arrive. They are meeting us tonight since we know of a really good neighborhood for trick-or-treating. They are running late, which isn't surprising given the complexity of the costumes involved. We decide to walk a couple of blocks to see some other friends. Stacy stays behind to make sure the Johnsons can find us.

6:20 PM

We get back to where we're parked and meet up with Christie and the boys. Their costumes look great. We take a quick picture and get to business. Our kids normally just go to a few of our friends' houses, so this year is the first time they've participated in the annual festival of knocking on doors and begging for candy. We have a great time trick-or-treating together and Scout is especially happy to be out walking. It's unseasonably warm so it's a great night to be out. She does try to leave some tricks on a few lawns, but we stop her since we didn't bring any trash bags.

7:20 PM

After a fairly productive hour, we head back to our house briefly so we can pass out candy to Rich and Brennan. Then we head over to their house to show Dave the costumes and to hang out. He's on the porch waiting, and he's generally pleasant. Except, Blitzy was a bit naughty and Dave, having a heart condition, couldn't quite keep up with her. So when we arrive, Christie is already taking care of dog issues. We hang out on the porch talking while the kids all go inside to trade candy. The trade of the night goes to Kate. One packet of Fun Dip for like 10 chocolate bars.

8:00 PM

Trick or Treat Night is now officially over according to the towns and townships. It may sound strange, but it's nice to have a designated trick-or-treat time. It eliminates those people that wander up to the porch at 10 PM looking for that last minute sugar fix. We hang out at the Johnsons and have something near 12,000 different conversations simultaneously. I think we actually finish 3, but that's OK. There is a lot of laughing and we all feel great afterward. At one point the dogs have a wrestling match on the couch between Stacy and me. There is lots of neck biting and growling. It only lasts a few minutes and then they go to sleep. Thank you, dogs.

11:15 PM

We notice that it's getting late so we give the kids a five-minute warning.

12:15 AM

"Five minutes" later we leave. When we get together with the Johnsons there is some sort of Einsteinian time paradox going on. It's like a migrating wormhole.

12:25 AM

Recognizing that the last 6 hours have been a dental and gastrointestinal nightmare, we all have a healthy snack before bed.

12:45 AM

Exhausted, Stacy and I sit down to recap our day and at a few different moments she elbows me so I'll wake up. I write enough and make enough notes that I'll be able to finish up in the morning.

1:00 AM

The hospital calls with a request. I tell them I'm not on call tonight. The nurse acts like I'm an idiot because "I asked and they said you were on call." I'm not sure who "they" are, but "they" need to check the schedule before calling the wrong guy at 1:00 in the morning. I just hope they make sure to let everyone know before someone calls me at 3:00.

1:50 PM

We decide to skip watching something funny before bed because: a, it's freaking late; 2, we don't have anything to watch that is THAT funny right now; and d, it's freaking late. I give Stacy a cranial treatment, which we hope will cure the 4 AM insomnia.

2:15 PM

Lights out and time to sleep. Morning comes early tomorrow.

Our rotting jack-o-lanterns
Starkiller and Mockingjay


Anonymous said...

*falls off chair, astounded* Your family is so different from mine. My parents are up at five... but then, they usually go to bed at like ten. xD They're always bugging me about sleeping in.

Nice Halloween costumes, by the way!

LMW said...


Oh, my word, I thought I was weird for feeling a little emotional during Howard's song. I'm glad I wasn't alone.:) Actually, I just mentioned this to a friend who is here and she said that she cried during the song too.:)

I'm not big on phone calls either. There are certain people I can talk to awhile, but I mostly have to make myself pick up the phone to call somebody to chat...and I only do it if I know that it's a gesture that a specific person would appreciate from me or if I'm obligated to return a call.

That's too bad about you and your brother. I'm lucky that I'm close to my siblings, but one of my sister's and I had a falling out for about 4 months, which was a lot for us. I know that's nothing compared to a year and a half, so I can't imagine how it must feel for you, since 4 months was painful enough for me. Strangely though, our relationship is stronger and hasn't had a hitch since that 4 month break, which was like 13 years ago now.

Ha! My mom says "You bet your bippy" sometimes! I never knew where that phrase came from...and I guess I still don't.:)

Wow! late dinner. Midnight snack?:)


Ha! Thanks for the update on Scout's digestion after her hearty meat meal.:)

I love how supportive you guys are as parents. I was oddly touched by your simple act of making notes on Kate's practice sheets during her lesson.

Ha! You guys even beat me in the staying up late department.:)

To both of you:
I'm still loving the accounts of your day from your individual perspectives.
This is fun!

Dr. Mark said...

Nevillegirl, we're pretty terrible with sleep, and this week has been so much worse than usual. Don't use us as examples of healthy living! ;)

LMW, I love that son, too. I'll admit it--I cried a bit, too. So great. Wow! Two people who even know the word "bippy." I don't even know what to say. I'm glad you appreciate the digestive updates. I'll limit myself to the canine variety since human digestion isn't quite as compelling to most people. I'm glad you're enjoying these.

Stacy, great review as always. And once again, we've both captured different nuances of the day. Thursdays are always a bit interesting since this is a day where I tend to be in and out a lot more with classes and things. Even then, we still have so much fun together. Maybe we stay up late because the thought of being apart even in sleep is too much to bear . . .

Emily Foley said...

Bed at 2 am? I would die. Also, you should give us your chili recipe so we can take it to the ward chili cook off and make everybody drink beer at church. That would be hi-larious.

Sorry about the phone call Stacy! My mom never calls anymore either, weird.

Boquinha said...

Nevillegirl, up at 5?!? That sounds inhuman to me. :P Do they bug you about sleeping in, because you do it and they don't want you to or because they'd like you to do more of it?

I figure humans are adaptable. I've had jobs that have required me to be up at 5 and to work by 6am. I did it and I did it well. But if I can avoid that kind of schedule, I do.

LMW, you're not alone! It was such a sweet and funny episode. I think Howard is one of the best developed characters on television. So much growth over the years. I really like what they do with him.

Growing up, My brother and I always got along well enough (he is 13 years older than I am), but we are so WAY WAY different from each other. Very different people.

He has always enjoyed teasing me, mocking me, and getting me in trouble (by instigating or flat out lying or pretending I've done something I haven't) - he is just like that. I'm the emotional, sensitive one and he's often preyed on that really. And made fun of it. I don't know if I'd say we've always been close, but we've always been "fine" and have always gotten along well enough.

This past year, he asked me to do something that I didn't feel comfortable doing. I knew that I could not do it in good conscience, so I let him know that and told him I loved him, but couldn't do what he was asking me to do. It wouldn't be honest and I didn't feel right about it. He hasn't spoken to me since.

I am all about family, but I also recognize that just because you share DNA doesn't mean that you're obligated to each other or have to be the best of friends. I think most people have family members who aren't nice and/or friends who are like family. If you take the "family obligation" part out of the equation, you can see who the real gems are in life, whoever they are. It's sad at times, but true. Sometimes reminding myself of that perspective helps.

Late dinner? We ate at 5 - is that late? Oh! Yes! A midnight snack, too. It's like having "second dinner."

And thanks for the feedback! We've come close to quitting doing these a couple of times, but your enthusiasm is helping us more than you know, so thank you!

Mark, awwwwwww. 24-7.

Emily, this week has really been absurd. I don't even feel like it's a fair representation. I'd say that normally, we're in bed closer to 12 and up before 9 (Mark's up at 7:30 on work days), with some variations now and then.

Heh. Well, since the alcohol cooks off, they wouldn't truly be drinking beer, but they WOULD be eating extremely tasty chili. :)

LMW said...

I was referring to the midnight snack that sounded as tasty as a dinner.:) When I have a midnight snack, it's typically something lame like crackers or something.:)

I agree with you about family. DNA or the people that you grew up with shouldn't obligate you to consider someone family. That's sad about your brother. It's especially sad that your mom doesn't see/trust that you've made a good decision. I'm sure it does your heart a lot of good that your kids are friends. I've got several siblings that are 10-20 years younger (many of us were adopted) than me and I can't even imagine treating them your brother treated you. I wouldn't say that I have a maternal feeling toward them, but I certainly feel a warmth toward them makes me want to protect, and certainly help, them when I can, not antagonize them. I'm no expert on family dynamics, but while I think family is important and my sibling relationships mean a lot to me, I certainly would not participate in a relationship that sounds like the one your brother and you had. It's cliché to say, but life's too short to feel like you have to watch your back from your own sibling. Ick.
I will say that family dynamics fascinate me, so I appreciate that you're being as honest as you can about it here, because I know it'd be easy to just leave that part out.

I have a friend whose father uses beer for his chili. I'd never heard of it until him, which wasn't until last month.:)

I imagine doing these daily posts is quite a commitment, so I really appreciate how you two are keeping it up!:)

Boquinha said...

Ha! I often eat eggs, Dutch babies (Yum!), and stuff like that for midnight snacks.

I'm with you - family dynamics fascinate me! I've always enjoyed sociology and anthropology classes. That's sweet how you feel toward your siblings. They are very lucky to have you!

I love feeling "looked out for" - I've always felt that way from my grandfather, father, and husband, so I do have very good men in my life and feel very lucky about that. Even my son often asks me how I am and how I'm feeling and looking out for me - it's cute.

And along those lines of DNA not determining all the gems in your life - we have a family friend that is more family to me than many of my extended family members. I've known him since I was 2 or 3 and he is like part of the family. He also makes me feel very looked out for and I love when he visits and whenever we see him. I know without a doubt that he loves our family. I love and value him very much and he is not related to me by blood.

As for my mom, I think she does support my decision, but she just doesn't want to hear anything negative about my brother. What's frustrating is there was a while when he wasn't speaking to her (he does this whenever things don't go his way) and I listened to her anger and hurt over that every single day that it was going on. Now that the shoe is on my foot, she doesn't want to hear it. And generally I really don't discuss it. I just avoid the topic altogether. But every once in a while, when he does come up, I call a spade a spade. I get that he's her son and that it's got to be tough for her to hear about his faults (though I also think - who cares? We all have our own stuff and no one's perfect - I think everyone needs to "own their crap."). I have no problem with her maintaining a relationship with him. I just get annoyed with the elevated status he gets even when he's acting the way he does. And it's always been that way (except for when he was being a jerk to her). Double standards suck.

It is so true - I'm a big believer in surrounding yourself with good friends and avoiding the toxic. Over the years, I've gotten much more in touch with recognizing my feelings and how my environment affects me. It helps you make positive choices for yourself, you know?

The chili - a local restaurant has AMAZING chili and when we asked what it is that makes it so good, they told us. We did some research and sure enough, it's a good secret for making excellent-tasting chili! It's amazing the difference.

And thank YOU for the encouragement!

LMW said...

Oh, yes, double standards certainly do suck. Drives me crazy, though I'm sure I'm guilty of setting them sometimes. I hope things can work out somehow though at some point.

Emily Foley said...

Alcohol actually doesn't cook out of food. Not all of it anyway Some of it does, but not all of it. Common mistake though! I hate to use Wikipedia as a reference but the information is actually true. Also, I'm not judging--remember the chicken marsala incident at Carraba's when I was pregnant with Zoe? :)

"A study by a team of researchers at the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and the US Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish based on various cooking methods. The results are as follows:

alcohol added to boiling liquid and removed from heat: 85% alcohol retained

alcohol flamed: 75% alcohol retained

no heat, stored overnight: 70% alcohol retained

baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture: 45% alcohol retained

Anonymous said...

@Boquinha: Nope, they think I should be up and started on schoolwork early! :/

Boquinha said...

Heh, yeah, I know it doesn't *all* cook off (maybe that's why it's so tasty! :P), but food cooked with it is worlds tastier than food cooked without it. Even cookies baked with vanilla technically have some alcohol in them. My one friend uses bourbon instead of vanilla!

And yeah, that story is hilarious.

Dave Johnson said...

Best chilli I've ever eaten - seriously. Mark is a genius. Also, FYI I found my bippy - turns out I left it at the boy's dentist last week. Stopped by on my way to the grocery store and it was still there - no one noticed it sitting under a chair in the waiting room for four days. Bizarre. I had to re-calibrate it but it's working fine. Close call, that.

So cool to share Halloween with you guys too. We had a blast afterwards even if I was ready to kill the dog. It's nice to hang out like "in the old days," even though WE LIVE HERE NOW.

Also, I'm drunk posting from Mark's chilli.

Dr. Mark said...

Dave, great comment. I am glad you found your bippy, though. Abandoned bippies are not always treated with respect. Sometimes you have to call professionals to either dispose of them or reattach them to the original owners. Close call indeed!

Glad you enjoyed the chili, for whatever reason.

Boquinha said...

Drunk posting from the chilli . . . bwahahaha!!