I’m more than a little excited that the estimable Auntie Leila shared a link to this piece I wrote yesterday about Wednesday evening’s “Crazy DC Meet-up.” Views to this very young blog more than quadrupled within a couple of hours after her share. (!!!) Ahhh, the power of Facebook and a well-loved blogger…
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I missed last week’s 7 Quick Takes because we were away on vacation. The obsessive-compulsive part of me regrets that I missed a week. (I hadn’t done so since I started the blog at the end of May.) The more pragmatic part isn’t sweating it. Vacations with young families are hard work! And I have been dutifully complying with Jen’s “7 Posts in 7 Days: An Epic Blogging Challenge.” One need only glance at the interior of my home to tell. Partially-unpacked suitcases sprawled open on the floor? Check. Dirty laundry still tied up in shopping bags? Check. Dining room table cluttered with stacks of never-packed clothes and wrappings from packed snacks and toys? Check. Before we arrived home, I had been hoping to take a page out of Rachel’s book and have everything unpacked and put away as soon as we got home. But, ah, no. Too tired. And too much blogging to do.
— 3 —
As I type this, my sister-in-law is in labor with her fifth child. She and my brother already have four girls and they don’t know the gender of this baby. I only have one brother. My father has no brothers who carry on the family name. His father did, but his only brother had all daughters. We literally don’t know anyone else with our uncommon surname but my brother’s family, my parents, and my grandmother. So… no pressure, guys. None at all.
(Seriously though, we looove baby girls in our family and would be thrilled to add another little doll to the mix. And as I personally feel destined to have all boys, I’m happy to have as many nieces as I can get.)
UPDATE: It’s a… GIRL! A healthy baby girl! Yay! Congratulations, Eric and Michele!
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I heard two really, really interesting stories on NPR the other day. The first was a Fresh Air interview with Keith Lowe, the author of Savage Continent. It was fascinating. And heartbreaking. The book describes Europe in the wake of World War II: the physical destruction, the breakdown of law and order, the loss of institutions and lives, etc. It was horrible. And yet there was so much in the interview that I could relate to, either in simple human sympathy, or because I’d encountered someone who’d lived in Europe at the time. There were all those stories told to me by Nina’s grandfather. There were those told to me by our sister-in-law’s grandmother, who fled Germany after the war. There were, of course, the World War II veterans I had met or continue to know.
If you’re a history buff, I highly recommend listening to the interview. If you’re not, I recommend it anyway. I always like to take in books, radio, TV, and movies that teach me something about what it is to be human. And that make me feel connected to people who have lived in different times and different parts of the world. Savage Continent most definitely fits the bill. You be sure to check out the interview; I’ll check out the book.
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The second was a segment on All Things Considered that concerned an innovation in nursing homes called The Green House Project. Given that we just visited my husband’s stepfather in his nursing home last week, the topic was fresh on my mind. Ed happens to be, at this point, in a very nice, new, comfortable kind of a nursing home. But it still feels like an institution. And I’ve been in other nursing homes that feel like scary, depressing institutions. Are these the kind of places that I would like to live out the last days/months/years of my life? Absolutely not. Nobody would. Everybody would (I wager) rather be at home. Their own home would be best, but somebody else’s home would probably be acceptable too.
The Green House Project seems to come pretty close. From the brief piece I heard, Green Houses represent the best of both worlds: private bedrooms and baths for each resident, staff present 24/7 to care for them, no more than 12 residents at a time, a look and layout similar to a suburban home, an open kitchen, shared meals, and lots of flexibility. And believe it or not, they’re often more affordable than a standard nursing home. I find it all very interesting and encouraging. If you do too, I hope you’ll listen to the segment.
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Our town had a little parade last night. (Random, hm?) I packed the boys into the stroller and walked down the road so we could take it in. We found a nice little spot next to our neighbors and spent a lovely hour chatting, viewing fire engine after fire engine, startling every time an engine blared its horn, clapping to the beat of the bands, enjoying the cool air and the beginnings of a pink sunset, and getting pelted with candy. It was wonderful – such a lovely break from our regular evening routine. The boys were so happy. (I was too.)
— 7 —
Let me tell you, it was a very good thing that we had such a nice beginning to our evening, because the end? It didn’t go so well.
Wait – do you get queasy easily? If so, stop reading now. Thanks for stopping by! Nice having you here!
If you don’t, however, and you’re one of those people who enjoys reading about vomity children as long as they belong to someone else, then read on. I’m your gal. My ultra-sensitive-gagging-boys have given me more vomit stories to share with you than you could ever hope to read. If you’re a Conversion Diary reader, you may remember Jen’s Poop Fates. Well, maybe I called down the Vomit Fates with my “My babies hardly ever spit up!” comments while they were still in their infancies. Because ever since – ever since they were gagging on solid foods and mucous, that is – they have both produced more than their fair shares of vomit.
Right now, it’s the 21-month-old. When I got back from the “Crazy DC Meet-up” Wednesday night, my husband greeted me with a “Well, both of the boys are sick.” What had been just ‘a 3-year-old with slightly congested-sounding breathing’ quickly turned into ‘both boys definitely have very drippy, gunky colds.’ That night the little guy coughed, gagged, and threw up. Not such a big deal – I got him to the sink in time.
Last night, though? Just as I was sitting down to write my 7 Quick Takes, the 3-year-old came down to tell me that his brother had “frone up.” I went up to my bedroom to find my husband (who had been reading the boys their bedtime story) and the little guy and my pillow and my bed (down to the mattress – thank goodness we have a guest room!) all covered in vomit.
“Oh, well,” I tried to tell myself. I’d needed to change the sheets anyway: the 3-year-old had peed on them that morning.
One big clean-up later, the boys were settled in their beds. Until we heard some more coughs. And gags. This time the little guy had vomited all over himself and his bedding. Another big clean-up (and another addition to the washing machine) later, he was finally settled down and sleeping.
Good thing he’s so cute: