Monday, December 21, 2009

Most excellently weary

We've been spinning around in the Christmas-bathroomremodel-Kellie-visit vortex for a few weeks now. Its been fun but I am a different person without normal routines. Josh has driven Kellie to the airport where she is taking the redeye to JFK, right into the maw of Christmas festivities and post-blizzard shopping. She's carrying many maps, wearing warm socks and planning to teach a tissue class in a circus school. I hope her flight is not delayed (more than expected).

Wren is in bed. He is in a rather hectic stage of mortal combat with Frost and also sweetly emphatic conversations. He tells me he knows things and then starts on a long story about volcanoes and birds and trails off into ambiguity and then "the END." I am having to work hard to keep the boys from their respective habits of provocation and retaliation. Right now its been fairly mild and largely driven by Wren's hair trigger perception of injustice. Anything Frost has Wren wants and anything Wren has Frost blithely tries to appropriate and then acts affronted that Wren was so "mean/ unfair / violent."

I had a long talk to Frost about impulse control and how we expect more from him and yet need to teach Wren to restrain his impulses too. Somehow this strayed to a discussion of king-hits and an ad campaign in Australia to teach young men that a single blow to the head could kill someone (as in a bar brawl). Frost said "how did we get from our conversation to THIS???" I guess it was a stretch but since Frost has been so much more helpful and responsible recently I felt it was time to give him more insight on why people behave badly sometimes.

Our Christmas tree is overflowing with gifts. Some of them are "pretend" presents from Wren who enjoys wrapping up things in dish towels, wrapping or kitchen paper and putting them under the tree. We have some presents for friends, some for the cousins who are coming up for Christmas eve and Christmas Day (big excitement).

Other news: Josh undertook the tremendous and poopy task of moving the chicken coop to the back left corner of the yard. We are going to build the chickens an outside run to accommodate their free ranging while constraining their poop. The yard is impassable to all but the most hardy farmer and even I am forced to change into garden boots before going outside for any reason. The poops are rising! I remember this from chicken raising in Canberra - the whole lawn was scattered with poop and we couldn't have picnics anymore.

Josh says we have a mosquito problem. I guess the weather has been mild and there is lots of standing water. We have decided to give up on the one rain barrel. It is a real problem to save water in Seattle. When its rainy season nobody thinks of watering but your barrel is full. Through summer, when watering is essential for all but the most drought resistant plants, there is no rain and the water barrel is filled only very occasionally. The possum and raccoons use it for a drink occasionally but they have torn through the mosquito screen and so its a perfect incubation dish.

Speaking of incubation dishes (or rather bacterial cultures) we forgot about the blue jello in the sensory table. Tip: NEVER forget about the blue jello in the sensory table. Its like a petrie dish and grows all manner of mouldy fur crud. Wren peeked inside and came and told Kellie and I that the jello had "fuzz" and "fur". I didn't want to look but when I did it far exceeded my worst nightmare. Kellie took a picture which I am loathe to share because you will think me a negligent parent. Even opening the lid of the sensory petrie dish I felt I was inhaling toxic spores (well, we all did..... we rushed the sensory table outside). I washed out my nose with a nasal irrigation teapot because the smell had me thinking of the spores and startlingly interesting critters starting a bacterial fuzz in my nose. It was going to be like an episode of House in which they figure out that I fell over because of the mould and next thing I would have Christmas in Hospital.

Uh oh. My early morning free form blog is going to have to stop. Wren and Frost have competing rules for a game of hunt the miniatures in the sensory table.

Today? We hope to see the gingerbread houses on display at the Sheraton. Oh, and I have to pick out the grout for the floor tile. Tiling can proceed today although we still have no fixtures and the actual use of the bathroom has not been given a date. We are going to PLACE the order for cabinets today - so they should be available in a few weeks which means the completion date for the project is somewhere in the first weeks of January. Be still my beating heart!

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