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Have you ever had a dream that’s stuck with you throughout the day?  One you just can’t get out of your head?

I need some catharsis, and I think sharing this dream as often as possible is the way to make it happen.

Last night, I dreamed about going to the hospital with my mother.  Because we were both nine months pregnant.  And she was in labor.  (By the way, she was doing a kick-ass job.  When we got there, the nurse checked her, and she was 9 cm.  She hadn’t made a peep.  Go, Mom!)

As Jason said when I woke up and shared said dream, “Father of the Bride 2, eh?”  Sure.  Only…scarier.

In retrospect, it’s hilarious.  During the dreaming…it was a nightmare.  You know how you reason with yourself during dreams?  “Oh, surely this is a dream.  Maybe it isn’t, and then what?”  This time it went a little further.

My internal dialogue:

Oh good lord.  Mom doesn’t have the energy or desire to have another baby.  I know she doesn’t.  What on Earth is she going to do with this baby?  I hope she’s not going to give it to me. I’m about to have another of my own.  I can’t go around with two newborn babies that are uncle and nephew.  What will I say when people ask if they’re twins?  “Oh, no, this one’s mine, but the other is my BROTHER.”  What is going on here?  I can’t ask Mom about this…she’s in labor.  That would be rude.  OMG, what are we going to DO???

Of course, nowhere in there did I realize that (a) there’s no. way. Mom would be pregnant, and (b) there’s no way I would ever be nine months pregnant.  My pregnancies simply don’t last that long.

When I told Mom about the dream, thankfully, she found it as hilarious as I.  She also reminded me that she’d probably be thinking the same thing.  (i.e., Aimee doesn’t want another baby!  I hope she’s not going to give it to me…)

It’s funny how the world around us plays with the subconscious mind, isn’t it?  I do have babies on the brain lately, since a dear friend gave birth last week.  In fact, I got to spend two hours at their home cuddling him while he slept today.

It was highly preferable to being a new mom AND a new big sister at the same time, I can assure you.

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  1. My best friend, aka my husband, aka Jason, aka my other half.  The other half description feels literal sometimes.  Together we make a whole.
  2. Two healthy, happy, loving boys.
  3. A fabulous relationship with my parents.  Who I actually like and admire and look forward to seeing.
  4. My sister, who knows me in ways no one else in the world ever will.  And still loves me anyway.
  5. Great in-laws, who made Jason who he is and have boundless love for all of us.
  6. Skype, Facebook, and free long distance, so 3, 4 & 5 don’t feel quite so far away.
  7. Heather, not my sister, who is still my best girlfriend, even though we don’t talk as often as we’d like.
  8. The June Mommies, who kept me sane when the kids were little and are simply great girlfriends now that the talk isn’t mostly about babies and toddlers.
  9. Jodi and family…making our life change of 2009 about a billion times easier than it might have been.
  10. Kelli, to whom I talk even less than Heather, but who always holds a solid place in my heart.
  11. 20/20 Lifestyles – the program holding my hand, guiding me, and pushing me while I become a different person, inside and out, and every single person associated with it.  Especially…
  12. Derik, my trainer, who has pushed me to find a strength I never imagined was there.  And Monika, my dietitian, who helped me figure out a healthier way to have eggnog while we decorate the tree this year.
  13. Amy & Brian, who introduced us to 20/20 Lifestyles and who are rocking it like crazy, themselves.
  14. Silliness.
  15. Snow in November.
  16. A new-this-year job that makes Jason happy, in an industry he’s always wanted to work in.
  17. The internet.  Oh man, the internet.
  18. The people it has brought into my life.
  19. Crustless pumpkin pie.
  20. “Thanksgiving kisses,” which Kalen bestowed upon me when I got up this morning.
  21. Music.
  22. Christmas music, which Jason will finally be allowed to play in the house in a few hours.
  23. Books.
  24. Yarn.
  25. Photoshop.
  26. Supportive bras.
  27. The purple house behind ours, which is probably classifiable as god-awful, but which makes me smile when I catch a glimpse of it over the fence.
  28. Gretchen, for counting her blessings and inspiring this list.
  29. Trumpets, pianos, and guitars.
  30. Marching bands.
  31. Healthcare and healthcare professionals who truly care.
  32. People willing to fight for healthcare access for everyone who needs it.
  33. People willing to fight to make the world a better place, in general.
  34. Holiday cards, which will probably start arriving next week.
  35. Mashed potatoes, because they make all my guys so happy.
  36. Trees, glorious trees.
  37. Electricity.
  38. Travel, not that we’ve done much lately, but the promise thereof.  The world and its people are amazing to experience.
  39. Eyeliner.  I don’t wear it (or make-up in general) often, but I love what it can accomplish.
  40. Games.  Board games, card games, video games.
  41. Love.  The meaning of life.  (It is, you know.)
  42. The smell of turkey breast with apples, onions, oregano, rosemary, and sage that is currently wafting through our home.  Oh. My. Goodness.
  43. A good stretch.
  44. Writing.
  45. Legos, because they make all my guys so happy.
  46. Teachers, both general ed and special ed.
  47. School staff.
  48. Therapists.
  49. Harry Potter (and J.K. Rowling).
  50. Blogging, and the ten or so of you who check in all the time.  Thank you.

I could go on forever, but there are Yukon Golds in the kitchen awaiting my knife.  Happy Thanksgiving, all.  Be safe and happy.

Things I have learned today:

When you have laryngitis, it does more harm than good to whisper.  Try to talk with your voice, or don’t speak at all.  The latter is preferable.  My PA-C suggested a small white board.  That I do not have, but I do have about three trillion (give or take a dozen) partially-used spiral notebooks.  And slightly more pens.  The combo works just fine.

When you have to communicate with your seven-year-old via the written word, you can’t use your usual cursive-printing-hybrid scrawl.

Or substitute ‘w/’ for ‘with.’

You can, however substitute ‘@’ for ‘at.’  Thank you, internet age.

Even though I do a large majority of my communicating via e-mail and IM, there are still some things one needs a phone for.  And, if one is not connected to the Telephone Relay Service, a voice.  (e.g. Elementary school Safe Arrival Lines.  Oops.)

Short of having one’s mouth wired shut, it is probably impossible for an extremely verbal person to assist a ten-year-old with his homework without talking.

Friends and family are extremely helpful when they hear you croaking (literally, not euphemistically) over the phone.

Pharmacists can be very sweet and helpful when you present them with a sheet of paper that says, “Sorry, laryngitis!  Do you have…”

Both seven- and ten-year-olds respond quite well to being clapped at and whistled for.  This discovery, I believe, has definite training possibilities.  My future daughters-in-law will thank me, don’t you think?

When you communicate with children via expression, note pad, and hand gestures, they will be tempted to respond only in nods and grunts.  Hence, this page, which I’ve referred to several times this afternoon:

(The first page was quite neatly written.  That went downhill, and fast.)

This morning, I greeted the world with…silence.

The sore throat I’ve had for the past three mornings has apparently progressed into something more dysphonic.  (Ooh, big word!  Thank you, Wikipedia.)

So, just for fun, I thought I’d keep track of the things I want to say today that can’t quite make it past my uncooperative vocal chords:

“Stop messing around and Go. Get. Dressed!”

(This was replaced by loud clapping – to get his attention, a tug on his PJs shirt, and pointing toward the bedroom.)

“Did you pack a snack?”

(Meh, if he forgot it, he forgot it.  He’ll survive.)

“Absolutely amazing and astounding, something that is brought about by a miracle.”

(In answer to Nicolas’s question, “Mom, what does miraculous mean?”  I just stared at him with my eyebrows raised and whispered, Unnnhhh.  “Oh yeah.  Sorry, Mom.”)

“Have a good day!  Learn lots!  Don’t bite your teacher on the leg.*”

(I blew kisses instead.)

“Why are you washing your Legos in the bathroom sink?”

(More clapping, and a whispered, “What are you doing??”  Apparently, he thought wetting them would make them easier to pull apart.)

“Hello, I’d like to make an appointment to see the doctor this morning.”

(After a choke-whispered phone conversation with my sister, “Sick. No voice. Please call doctor. Make appointment,” and an email with details, my fabu little sis came through for me.)

And so to the doctor’s office I head.  Will there be a Part II?  We shall see…

*My Dad’s standard farewell in the mornings when we were kids.  Funny how your parents creep into your lexicon as you get older, isn’t it?

Great views & chilly wind

Chilly wind & keeping warm

Keeping warm & bright flashes

Bright flashes & goofy smiles

Last week, I decided to take the boys to see the Ballard Locks.  Jason heard my plans and begged asked nicely that we wait for the weekend, so he could go, too.  There’s something about the phrase “fish ladder” that’s intriguing, not to mention the sheer coolness of the locks’ engineering.  So we went today.

The Locks are pretty darned amazing.  We arrived as a group of small craft piled into the lock to make the descent from Lake Union to Puget Sound.

Boats going down!  They also manage to change the water the boats are sitting on from fresh to saltwater.  Lake Union is freshwater; the Sound, of course, is salt.

The engineering of it all is pretty darned cool.

But enough about the science, right?  We want to see the fish ladder!

Best. Sign. EVER.

You can tell by the look on his face how hard he’s working to get up that staircase.

Seattle = GREAT public art.  Everywhere.

Even at fish ladders.

I love saying that.  Fish ladder fish ladder fish ladder.

Huh.  All of that, and I didn’t get any pictures of the actual ladders.  In my defense, the fish weren’t doing much publicly-visible climbing.

We did go inside the viewing area to see some who were in between “rungs.”

Salmon!

Yum.

I mean, how cute.

I think this guy is a Chinook.  He was HUGE.

Dinner for six, at least.

I’m horrible.

It was pretty incredible.  We’ve seen fish that close before, of course, in aquariums.  But these are wild salmon, on their way “home” to whatever stream or hatchery from whence they came 2-3 years ago.  The ladder was built for them long before salmon habitat conservation was a major concern in the area, and it saves them from getting all smashed up in the locks.  Pretty great planning.

On the way home, we went to a great burger joint in Ballard.  I had a salmon burger.  With tartar sauce.  Yum.

The crash that reverberates from beyond the bathroom door indicates a flagrant disregard of some rule or another.

“HOLY cow!  What was that??  Are you okay?”

“yes.”

“WHAT was that??”

“i was…hanging…on something. and it fell.”

“WHAT were you hanging on???”

[Door opens]

“this.”

Towel bar in hand.  Left towel bar holder in hand.  Screws – which had been installed without anchors, thank you previous owners – ripped out of drywall.

“You were HANGING on the TOWEL BAR?!?”

“yes.”

“I. You. I can’t believe this.  Put that down.  I’m not dealing with this right now.  You can tell Dad when you get home and ask him to fix it.”

Retreat to den.  Seethe.  Congratulate yourself for not exploding.  Feel slight guilt over pushing the repair off on Dad when you’re perfectly capable of fixing it in five minutes.

Hear sniffles.  Sniffles turn to sobs.

Enter child, head hanging, sobs at maximum, words incoherent.

“I can’t understand you.”

“I. *sob* Don’t. *gasp* Deserve. *sob* To have. *gasp* ANY. *sob* Fun. *Choke* Today.”

“No fun?”

“No. *sob* I tried to fix it. *gasp* But it won’t STAY! *wheeze*”

At this point, hyperventilation seems imminent.

“Come here, sweetie.”

Hug.  Breathe.  Repeat.  Again.

“Would you like me to help you fix it?”

“yes.  please.”

“Okay, then, put some shoes on and come out to the garage with me.”

Lessons learned by him:

~ The importance of drywall anchors and how they work.

~ Righty tighty, lefty loosy.

~ How towel bars are assembled.

~ Why we have rules against treating the household fixtures like a jungle gym.

Lessons learned by me:

~ We have some teeny-tiny hex wrenches.

~ Bathroom lighting is even worse for photography than the rest of the house.

~ My baby’s growing up and learning unprompted responsibility.

~ I just might be doing something right in this whole parenting thing.

randomtuesday

  • I’m enjoying summer break quite a lot this year.  The kids seem to be having a good time, too.  I do wonder, however, if they realize how lucky they are that I haven’t succumbed to the urge to knock their heads together during one of their many squabbling sessions.
  • Mom and Dad are down in Oregon again, looking at houses.  No, no contract on the one in Georgia (yet!), but they still wanted to look around and see what’s available.
  • By the way, how adorable are my parents?  This is what nearly 42 happy years of marriage looks like:

  • Hmm.  42.  Sounds like the answer to something.  Or everything.  And yes, I know Mom doesn’t look old enough to have been married that long.
  • Dad wouldn’t, either, but for his gorgeous white hair!  Since he was a young(er) man, he’s been looking forward to the day when he’d have a nice, thick head of white hair.  When I told him a few years ago that it was starting to turn from grey to white at the crown, he got pretty excited.
  • We got a notice last week that we would have to switch Kalen’s maintenance asthma medicine to a mail order refill in order to keep it on plan.  Okay, fine by me.  However, when I went online to do the transfer yesterday, I found that Jason had to approve my ability to see our kids’ prescription histories.  Excuse me?!?  I’m their MOTHER, for crying out loud.  Someone’s going to be getting a nasty phone call.
  • We finally have our new dishwasher.  The drama got much more intense than when last I updated you, but suffice to say it involved three separate attempts to deliver over a two-week period, and a nearly two-hour visit from an electrician.  BUT, we have a new dishwasher!  It’s a nice one, too.  Nice enough that I’m going to have to sit down and read the manual to figure out what all the different buttons and beeps mean.
  • Hey, it’s Tuesday!  If you’d like some more randomness, try checking at Keely’s place.

Sweet Shot Day

We drove to Kirkland for dinner Monday night.  We do that now and then, when I want to see the water.  Afterwards, we wandered over to the marina.

Kalen saw other kids wading and was eager to give it a go.

Nicolas was having none of that.

He was all for the stone-skipping lesson, though.

(Yes, we waited for the ducks to move down the beach a bit.  Can’t have that kind of mishap on my conscience.)

He managed a couple of good skips.  I imagine we could have stayed there for hours, had there been more flat rocks available.  And had the ducks stayed down on the other end of the beach.

We had some more exploring to do, anyway.  I can’t tell you how much I wanted to hop in that boat and head off across the lake.

I’m sure that would have been a surprise to the people in it.

I think I’m adding “be a boat owner” to my Someday List.  It’s somewhat further down the list than “be a dog owner again” and significantly more attainable than “own beach front property.”

Someday.

In Haiku and Photos

Talking with new friends
Fresh in from California
When did they grow up?

Grilling with his dad
Just like countless times before
But it’s been too long

Quilts laid out for kids
Food is the only thing that
can make them slow down

Now lighting sparklers
Twisting and twirling around
Grabbing – OW! Burned hand

Night is winding down
Friends drive off; burn is treated
Happy, happy day

My boys

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