Tuesday, August 18, 2015

smiley rainbow.

Ray's birthday is 8/19.
You wanna know how I remember?
8+1=9
8/19

For the past week I've been telling myself his birthday is on Thursday.  I even told two other people.
Only, it's not on Thursday.
It's tomorrow.
Maybe I got confused because by yesterday I thought it was already Tuesday. As a friend of mine said, "It's Monday and it's already the longest week of my life!!"

Please, someone out there, reassure me that the extent of one's children's cries does not necessarily indicate poor mothering. And that after the third time one's son deliberately "waters" the floor with his milk, juice, or water then it's okay to cry over spilled milk or juice or water.  And that when your son insists on messing with the gas stove controls a little corporal punishment is worth it, even if he cries even more than he was already doing (except of course when he was playing with the oven controls).
And that when your kid has a fever and you give him any form of fever reducer and he feels so great he thinks he can fly (literally) then it's okay to not want to give him any form of fever reducer ever again... even when his fever spikes at 105.
Don't worry, people.
I caved and gave him Tylenol when he said his head hurt.

Today was a rough day.
A storm is brewing and it always cools off just before a storm here.
So as Greg drives off to work for the night I sit alone on the back steps, tossing up a little "a little help here?!?" prayer and letting the breeze cool my skin.
I remember this rainbow I'd only been able to see from that same spot in the backyard. The rainbow formed an arc in the sky parallel to the earth.  I'd never seen a rainbow like that.  I said, "Look Ray!  A smiley face rainbow! Who put that beautiful rainbow there?"
He said , "Jesus!" Then he turned around and said, "Look Mommy! Now it's a frowny rainbow!"
smiling rainbow

Then I remember back to when he was born and we took him home for a day only to have to bring him to the NICU for 5 days and he was still jaundice for 3 more months and how we were so stressed.
And then I remember a friend of mine, a beautiful young mother who left this world a little more than 4 years ago. I see her embracing her children and her long curly hair and her enormous, gorgeous smile. Her arms were never ever too full for a hug.

Then I remember: it's not about the what; it's about the how.

The what is all the craziness happening right now.
The how is how I respond.
The how should always be with love, no matter the what.

And I think, a rainbow's a rainbow... even if it's frowning ;)

PS. okay, one more vent, I promise... for today... I discovered two piles of cat poop on the back porch. That's where we do our laundry. I am grateful it was not in or on the laundry.
A rainbow's a rainbow, right?

And I wrote that just so I could add the "poop" label to this post. It's my favorite.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

the enemy.

Greg is on night float this week.
He worked all last night.
He's upstairs sleeping.
And I just saw a rat on our front porch.

I passed the front door on my way to open a window for some airflow, the corner of my eye had caught sight of a large blob and in less than a second my brain registered, "something is not normal. grey blob, could be a huge toad, I should call Ray to see it... but they're darker gray than that... maybe it's dead... or maybe it's just a gray leaf" at which point I walked backwards to peak out the front door windows.

And I still was not sure what I was seeing because it didn't look like this...
or this...
The creature I saw sniffing looking around my front porch step at first looked more like this...
only not so fluffy.

I thought it was a mouse.  

I ran to get our in house pest controller, Georgia, who was napping on the BACK porch (wrong place wrong time, girl). The highlight of her day yesterday was killing a lizard who'd gotten inside the house. A mouse would make her week (and mine). 
I grabbed her and sprinting to the front door I prepped her for battle.
I looked out the window and didn't see it, but that didn't mean the creature wasn't somewhere out of my view,  probably right next to the door waiting to fight or flee as soon as I opened the door. 
So I cracked the door open for a second sending Georgia flying outside and plastered my face on the window to watch the show.

Nothing happened.

She landed with a soft plop and just stood there looking around. 
It was gone.
I even went outside and moved stuff around, no skittering mice anywhere.

I came inside and wanted to go tell Greg, but brain said, "he worked all night, he's sleeping, he's napping, he's asleep. wait til he wakes up... in 5 hours. walk away from the stairs."

So I turned to Google instead of my husband (terrible idea... I'll spare you the terrible rat infestation pictures I saw... thank you Google, I will never sleep easily again).
That's when I discovered that it was not a mouse but a rat.
Not just any rat, but a roof rat.
I had a roof rat on my front porch.
This is what Greg was protecting me from last month when he said: "Toni, it may not have been a mouse."
Me: "nonono! don't say it!!"
silence
Me: "So, can we please get a kittty?!?"
Greg: "Sure."

Looking back I'm glad it was gone when we were out there.  
Georgia is still a kitten and while she kills all the moths and lizards in the house, I'm pretty sure this thing would have taken her out.
Because, let's be honest.  The rat looked like this... and yes, they do exist.
until we meet again, roof rat.
Greg, maybe we should get a dog.


PS. A small wire fell off my desk onto my foot while I was writing this and I screamed and jumped 3 feet in the air, because I thought it was the rat and the rat is obviously out to get me.

And here's a pic of the boys to banish rodents out of your mind.
sweltering heat. "Jimmy stop spraying me! You're getting me cold and wet!"

Thursday, August 13, 2015

muddy toes.

Long time, no see! 
How is your summer going?
Loads of excitement over here. We've moved out, moved about, and finally moved in.

This morning I was changing Jimmy's lovely diaper. He was on the bed (which is on the floor) while I was sitting on my knees on the floor.  I was wiping him off when the diaper started moving closer to the edge of the bed.  My hands were occupied with poopy wipes and barring Jimmy's hands from grabbing 'down there' because that's what he does no matter how messy it is down there.... anyway, my hands were full.
The diaper rolled off the bed.
And landed in my lap.
Face down.
Did I mention it was a poopy?

I hope your day is going well. I really hope you don't have another person's poop on your pants.  
But if you do... commiserative fist bump!

Now, here's a way too long summary of our summer.

MAY 31: MOVING OUT
Greg was working super hard, right up until the day we moved out... which also happened to be our 5th anniversary and my 30th birthday. 
Initially some of Greg's brothers were going to come help, along with his sister Anna. 
Then we got a phone call that no one would be available to come. 
Not a single person.
That left Greg and me.... and Greg and me... oh yeah, and Ray and Jimmy to move e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
(hyperventilating yet?)
Fast forward about five minutes and we receive another call. 
Anna was coming a few days early to help with the boys and last minute packing. Michael would be coming, and Michael's friend Neil.
Who is Neil, you ask???
"Some women give birth to girls, some to boys; my mother gave birth to a legend." - Neil
Michael and Neil dominated moving day, avoiding a moving truck by packing our stuff into Neil's pickup, and squashing it all into a 10X10 storage unit.
look how they packed our stuff in the unit. aaaahhhhmaazzzing.
pre-move: playing in a nearly empty house with Aunt Anna

pre-move: they're cute


They all watched the kids that evening so Greg and I could go out for my 30th birthday/our 5th anniversary dinner. They're incredible. 
happy anniversary, Greg!

JUNE 1-JUNE 14: GEORGIA 
ATLANTA
Anna drove with me and the boys to my parents' house in Atlanta. Jimmy and Ray had a blast playing with my brothers and sisters.
having fun, ray?
Aunt Abigail with her nephew Ray
beginning of a mile walk. Jimmy's behind smiling Ray and running the wrong way.
end of the walk. "mommy, Jimmy's not coming faster!"
goofy Uncle Joseph (my brother, not to be confused with Greg's brother Joseph) with Jimmy

HABERSHAM
Then we went to the Hamilton's house in Habersham to visit Greg's brothers and sister.
Shortly after we arrived I was walking Jimmy around out side and thankfully chose to wander around the swing set instead of actually using it.
holy wasp nest, Batman!
he loves his rain boots. so do I.
Uncle Danny looking out for Jimmy
"hi, Daddy! we miss you!"
"I miss you too!"
baseball game AND Elvis... sure, Greg, I believe you.

*******UPDATE********
I forgot add... I woke one morning while in Habersham to a text from my friend of 19 years/matron-of-honor/super awesome bestie, Jeanne.
to which I replied YES!!!! even though I was in my pajamas and I had to meet her in less time than I could reasonably get ready and get the kids ready and drive there.  
Jeanne always waited for me... no matter how long I took, she always waited. 
proof: me, Jackie, Jeanne, and Natalie
we all still hang out together whenever we're in the same state!

She had hugs and smiles and chocolate shakes waiting for my grumpy shoe-less kids.  Lost time vanishes when you're with friends.  
did I mention she has 5 kids? practically all are potty trained and know how to tie their shoes. 
did I mention she's a supermom????
 So wonderful to see old friends. It was a refreshing visit.

JUNE 15-JULY 15: RIVERSIDE JACKSONVILLE
We stayed at an AirBnB rental that was only 1/2 mile away from Greg's office. It was about 115 degrees the week we got there (no joke) and the thermostat read 94 at night. 
Jimmy standing in front of the wonderful AC unit the landlord gave us
There were lots of places to walk.  And a huge tv for all the rainy days.
pleasant bridge and creek, and oh, look... see that sign? 
 warning: flesh eating bacteria will swallow you whole if you touch this water
 stray cat with one eye who loved wrestling with Jimmy.
we walked to the healthy food store where I bought smoothies, chocolate and cheese puffs.
he's offering you a 'cheesy dibble'

Greg's grandmother passed away while we were at the Riverside house. I got to buy Ray a suit (adorable!)  so Greg took Ray with him to the funeral... which was 6 hours away and let's be honest, taking Jimmy would have added to the misery...by which I mean my misery... by which I mean everyone's misery.
Uncle Luke down from Wyoming, Ray, Grandma and Greg
Uncle Patrick, Uncle Joseph, Ray, Uncle Danny, Greg

in case you're wondering what's so funny, they're playing a slap each other on the back with increasing intensity until someone gives up game. they're crying out in pain ... ahh, brotherly love
Grandma getting a kiss from Ray (good boy, Ray!) 
 Uncle Ben after driving all the way from NY. 14hrs?
Greg and Uncle Ben
oldest to youngest (exception for Ray): Ben, Patrick, Ray and Greg, Tom, Kevin, Luke, Michael, Anna, John Paul, Joseph, Danny and Sam
Grandma and Grandpa bookending the family.
Why, Hello Uncle Sam!
post ceremony nap time
how grown up, mature, Hamilton brothers treat each other: place multiple creepy dolls around their sleeping brother Ben.
ray says "so rude."

JULY 15: MOVING IN
Greg's family and my sister Veronica came down to help us move in. Then they stayed a few days to help us unpack and get settled in and hang out at the beach with us. I was so grateful that we had enough room for all 9 extra people to sleep... some more comfortably than others (apologies to those who had no bed, or couches much too small for their freakishly long Hamilton legs (eh hem, Joseph?)
Side note: Did you know that I am a hair taller than Greg when sitting down? My mom said when she saw me in a full piece swimsuit, "You look so funny! you've got this loooong torso and these itty bitty legs!" Then made an animated sound reminiscent of Fred Flinstone's twinkle toes bowling dance.
The first night we were here, Greg saw a mouse... or a rat... he won't tell me which. What's the best rodent-of-unusual-size prevention?
We got her a a mega pet adoption event.  I sent the Anna and Veronica off with the kids while I looked at all of them.  Finally I saw this furball, and I was about to agree to adopt her when Anna walks up and said "Oh that one! She's super playful with the kids earlier!" Done. 
We get home and I hadn't wanted to name her because Greg is allergic and I thought we'd have to return her. Greg sees her and says, "How about Georgia?"
Side note: our first conversation ever was about Georgia (our home state), and our first dance at our wedding was to "Georgia on my Mind".
Anna and Veronica were soooo helpful at the adoption event.  They share the middle name Rose.
meet Georgia Rose, our kitty who likes to wrestle with Jimmy.

Grandpa Hamilton bought a sandbox, swimming pool, and swing set so he can play whenever he comes to visit ;)

Before we moved into this house, Ray's been saying, "Mommy, I don't like this house (Riverside rental). Can we go to (insert Aunt or Uncle's name)'s house!"
The day after we moved, Greg was driving with Ray and he pulled into our street and Ray yelled, "Look Daddy, we're home!"

We are settling in beautifully. Time is flying, there's still one or two boxes to be unpacked.
I take the kids outside, on the open porch or in the yard... we get outside!
Ray's been in shoes all summer and he's got sensitive feet. When we head to the playset I ask him, "Do you want your shoes on?"
"No," he says, and climbs up the slide.
Barefoot Jimmy begs get in the blue swing.
I'm looking at their dirty, grimy toes and I that's when I know: we're finally home.