Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If I had ever been here before I would probably know just what to do.

Don't you?
If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel
I would probably know just how to deal
With all of you.
And I feel
Like I've been here before...

-- Crosby Stills Nash and Young "Deja Vu"

Do you ever feel like raising children is just one big scene from "Groundhog Day"? I have the same conversations with the Short People EVERY FREAKIN' DAY. To illustrate, a typical trip in the car goes a little somethin' like this:

ME: "Okay, everybody hop in. No India, that's Katie's side. Wrong side, India. This is your seat. Hop in. Hop in. Hop in!"
SP: (Lots of standing there staring at the car doors with blank expressions, running far into the yard, picking dandilions.)
ME: "Let's sit in our seats. Sit down. Sit down. SIT!! Kate. sit. on. your. bottom. (said through clenched teeth)"
SP: (standing up in car seats or milling around in the floorboard) "What's this thing in the floor, Momma?" "Can we have a Tic Tac?" "I want to hear 'Willin'!" "No, I wanna hear that sad song!" "Where are we going?"
ME: "EVERYBODY please sit in your seats. No, you can't have a Tic Tac. We are listening to the radio. We're going to grocery store...."
SP: "I can't hear the radio" then "unitelligible gibberish" only audible to dogs.
ME: turning down the radio "I can't hear you. Can you speak up please?"
SP: "unitelligible gibberish" only slightly louder this time.
ME: turning the radio off "I. can't. hear. you."
SP: "Can we have another Tic Tac?"
ME: "I'm driving, girls. I can't hand anything back to you."
SP: "I can't hear the radio!"
ME: turning the radio back up "can you ask nicely? Thanks."
SP: "unintelligible gibberish"
ME: "If you keep talking to me when the radio is on I can't hear you. Do you still want the radio?"
SP: "Yes!" then "MOMMY!!!!! I need unintelligible gibberish"

Where is the learning curve? Why must we do this EVERY DAY? Do they ever learn to get into the car and their seats without seven or eight prompts? Will they ever even figure out which car seat is theirs? Do they ever realize that I cannot hear them over the radio? They are plenty loud at home; why do they speak in a whisper in the car?

It's a good thing they are cute. And they have been extra cute this week. I think they are relieved to have their Mommy back. These are some of the bon mot from the last few days.

Kate: "There's the stool (school) that's full of pimientos (this one took me a while, but I realized she meant asbestos)"

India: "Momma, I broke my elbow during the war of 1812 and I died" (? I have no idea...don't ask)

Kate: "I had a little mad on my face when they wouldn't give me a turn in the wagon"

India: I know what that sound is; he's playing a hormonimonica"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Diamond girl,

You sure do shine.

Glad I found you,

Glad you're mine.

-- Seals and Crofts "Diamond Girl"

On March 12 Kitty Cat Kate turned 3! She is a constant source of amusement, consternation, affection, energy, frustration and ethusiasm in this house and we celebrated her birthday with all the pomp and circumstance we could muster.

Which wasn't much.

I've not been posting, as many of you are aware, because I've been incredibly SICK for about 3 months. Sometimes things got a little better, sometimes a little worse. Since the last post things truly tanked, worrying us that I was heading for the hospital. By the time of Kate's birthday I was barely functioning. We canceled our plans to go to the restaurant of her choice and even postponed her birthday party. Tracy's parents came up to help with the Short People and brought a new tricycle, which seemed to lessen the blows, but I have felt incredibly guilty. Hopefully she won't remember, but I will.

We have just returned from Charlottesville and a second visit with the immunologist. He thinks I have something called Selective Antibody Deficiency with Normal Immunoglobulins (SADNI). It's pretty rare; rare enough that my other doctor said "Huh?"...he's never heard of this. We are running more bood tests for confirmation, and if this is what I have it may mean gamma globulin injections to help maintain some semblance of an immune system. Through all this I have gained a ton of weight, which may or may not resolve itself with treatment. For this reason I was referred to an endocrinologist who wants me to try a new med that should be FDA approved in a few months. Don't know if I will be up for that or not; we'll see.

In the meantime I am taking whopping amounts of an antibiotic of last resort that eradicates all bacteria in your body, including the good kinds. I have to eat 2 containers of organic yogurt a day and monitor my digestive system like a hawk or I could develop some pretty nasty diseases from the treatment. I loathe taking medicine and just realized I take more pills than my 90 year old grandmother. The antibiotic is working, though, and today I finally feel like I might climb out of this hole and feel better.

Needless to say, things here have been difficult, at best. I will say that it is nice to have a tentative diagnosis after almost 15 years of dealing with this off and on. And it is also nice to know that the DR doesn't think I have Wegner's Granulotosis, which is what one DR thought I had and can be fatal. The Short People and Tracy have been incredibly patient and our friends and family have been amazingly kind. Thank you to all those readers (I never knew how many of you out there read without commenting...I'd love to hear from you here!) who called or wrote. I also had many friends bring delicious healthy meals to help us through and so many friends who helped with the Short People in lots of ways both big and small. Thank you, thank you! And Kate, I will make it up to you...

Friday, March 09, 2007

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow
I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow
-- Irving Berlin "Snow"

Wasn't I just writing about spring weather? No, it didn't snow that much this week. The above photo is from Christmas 2004, right before Kate was born, and is a bit of a blur for me. If we didn't have the snapshot to prove it, I'm not sure I'd remember that it happened. India was 18 months old, I was 7 months pregnant, and very sick with bronchitis.
This recent snowfall was not nearly so dramatic. Lots of flakes but just a dusting on the ground. The flurries fell off and on for 2 days and was very exciting to the Short People, who just can't understand why folks in books and on TV are able to sled and build snowmen but they cannot. Even if it did snow enough here, it is flat as a pancake so sledding is not really possible. Snowmen...I suppose it happens now and then. Shells for eyes, I think?
The Short People love to hear Tracy and I tell them about sledding where we grew up. My neighborhood had fabulous sledding parties with bonfires, roasted marshmallows, and thermoses of hot chocolate. My senior year of high school our county received so much snow that we missed almost a month of school. My best friend and I had several sledding parties (Mike, if you are reading...remember those?). One of my neighbors and I used to build ramps and dare each other to ride down, and I have great memories of using a tractor tire inner tube to load six or seven people "pyramid" style and go down that way. We did most of our sledding in a field with horses, and it's a miracle that neither people nor animals were injured in these adventures. They were some of the best times from my childhood, and lack of snow and sledding is one of the saddest things about living on the Eastern Shore. I suppose we'll have to visit Tracy's brother in Abingdon (Hi, Brian!) so the girls can experience the excitement of playing in the snow.
If the other Turman girls are reading, then HAPPY BIRTHDAY GILLIAN!!!!! We love you and hope to visit soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ha sido un invierno eterno

Y loco me vuelve la nieve

Primavera venga ya

Venga la primavera venga ya venga
-- Dan Zanes "Queremos Bailar"

Roughly translated the lyrics are "it's been an eternal winter and the snow is making me crazy. Come spring, come...". At least I think that's what it says. All you Spanish speakers correct me if I've misinterpreted. By the way, Dan Zanes used to be with the Del Fuegos (remember them, my fellow children of the 80s?) and now does fabulous family music that is never hokey or annoying. Check him out at If nothing else, you'll love his hair.

If my translation is accurate then"Queremos Bailar" sums up the mood here. All the Turmanators are enjoying warmer weather, longer days, and that little something extra in the air that tells us spring is on it's way. Friday was so warm we spent the whole day outside. If you look closely at Kate you'll see her "white" shirt and pants are incredibly filthy with mud and sidewalk chalk. India spent most of the day carrying a stick in her mouth pretending to be a dog (our dogs gave her some odd looks as barked and panted, following them around the yard). We even went exploring through the field and into the woods where we all got sratched by briars and I found an old dump site full of intact bottles...really cool and I carried them home in my shirt so I was filthy, too. Tracy got home from work at a normal time for a change and we grilled and had a fire on the patio. It was wonderful; a taste of things to come.

Saturday was not as warm when our friends John and Susan and their daughters Ellie and Anne came for dinner. They brought a bucket of the Shore's famous Tammy's and Johnny's fried chicken (oh, unspeakably good!) and we planned to eat outside but a cold wind chased us indoors where the gruesome foursome wrecked the Short People's bedroom and wore every dress up item they could fit on their bodies. It won't be long, though, before that wind will keep us from wilting in the heat so I won't complain.

This morning Kate refuses to eat her vitamin:

Kate - "it too spicy" (huge grimace)
India -" Don't you want to be healthy, Katie?"
Kate - "NOPE!"