Saturday, November 1, 2008

Quick update

We had fun trick or treating tonight. Wren was a little red dragon and Frost was a cowboy with a fake beard and mustache. Both were very motivated to "tick or teat?" [said in a high voice like a little bird] as Wren puts it.

Frost wearied of carrying his candy bag after a while, it was extremely full.

None of us is ill (touch wood) - Frost's morning of sniffles resolved - and although I have moments of panic when I hear someone cough or have a sun-sneeze, we seem to be doing OK for now.

I have yet to start packing anything.

I think I am in a kind of denial and taking it step by step. This step is to get over the weekend without illness. At that point I will start to throw things into bags.

I have managed to buy a replacement cellphone (if you find a white Virgin phone lying around you can recycle it!) with the same number. I have also been arranging basics like carpool for Frost (thanks Reiko) and building up a pile of toys to distract Wren in adversity. We still need more.

Mum and I had a quick trip to Value Village this morning and I found a pair of suede Birkenstocks in my size. They are brand new and feel fabulous so I had some luck! We also bought some Playmobil Union and Confederate soldiers for Frost which pleased him mightily.

I know that the reality of going away is creeping up on me. Last night I had a nightmare that it was Wren's surgery this morning and I had forgotten to stop him nursing in the night. I am also anxious and sad about leaving Frost for a week. I have never been away from him for that long before - the longest has been 2 nights for meditation retreat some years ago! He does not seem worried about it but I know I will miss him.

Tomorrow I have to do some errands but Mum and I hope to have time to take the kids for a walk in Discovery Park and perhaps have some fish on the wharf. Wren likes to watch the boats and seagulls. They both like the hunt for mushrooms in the forest.

The whole heart surgery thing seems surreal in this context.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Murder of Crows & no RMH

While Wren was napping this afternoon the house was besieged by crows. There were about 100 of them. They perched on the wires facing our house, filled the cedars to either side of us and watched us from the tall trees across the road. I cannot recall the correct word for a crow noise but it was not just cawing. It was shrieking and rasping and kwarking.

Their complaint?

Our fake crow Halloween decoration had fallen to the ground overnight and looked injured or dead. Some feathers had come off and a pinkish foam was revealed.

I went out (into the hubub) and brought it inside. They investigated then slowly dispersed. We now have a regular number of crows hanging about.

I also received a call from Ronald McDonald House to say that the big Mac did not have space for us during our stay. They have referred us to another neighborhood Inn at a discounted rate. We shall see and compare.

Frost has a sniffle

Frost has been blowing his nose this morning. He is super-vigilant about washing his hands and talks about germs. In the morning paper there was an article about rhinovirus surviving 48 hours on household surfaces. In a study of people with early cold symptoms they found the virus on fridge handles, remote controls, bathroom faucets, light switches and other commonly touched surfaces a few days later.

At this point I guess we just wait and see who gets what and what happens. There is nothing more I can do about it.

Meanwhile, Mum arrives from Australia this afternoon. She is coming via San Francisco and should be landing there soon. That will keep us happy and busy for the next few days and allow me to get things packed and ready if we do manage to keep well enough to go.

Here is the Frostism of the morning:

FROST: Daddy gets to do lots of special things in his secret times.
ME: When are his secret times?
FROST: Its between 10.30pm and 2am when we are not here.
ME: What do you think he does?
FROST: He gets to eat snack, do stuff on his computer and play video games.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008



We have decided to take keep Frost out of school until we leave to reduce the chance of contracting one of the fall infections going around. Of course, this is not guaranteed to work and Frost had a clear sniffle this afternoon. I guess we are doing our best and if he gets a cold and then Wren gets a cold it is just the way things will be.

We leave in 9 days - the day after election day - so he may have the chance to overcome a mild virus but not one of the seasonal coughs and colds that linger.

We had a good day of no-school. We took a bicycle ride around Magnuson park and watched diggers and rollers and compactors making playing fields. We discovered mushrooms hidden under leaves and threw stones into Lake Washington. For snack, we harvested some apples overgrown with brambles. Frost found a long stick and poked some down from a tree and Wren gnawed on one. They were deliciously crisp, sweet and cold.

Frost was interested in mushrooms and wondered whether gills versus pores was an identifying feature. I have promised to show him the mushroom identification guide this evening when the noisy-throwing-one goes to sleep.

Later this afternoon we opened our bale of straw and started to spread it around the yard. Frost lost a bouncing ball over the fence (ever time we play outside he loses a toy over the fence!)

Its time for bathtime and the bedtime roller-coaster.