Thursday, May 31, 2012
They both said they had what they needed and Maddie let me know she even laid hers out so it was ready for the morning. Three hours later I pass her room on my way to bed and had to laugh.
I think the plan must be to slide down the bunkbed ladder directly into the clothes. I want to be there to see it. She's so darn cute sometimes!
Seeing this early this morning reminded me of the old Ramona books where she tried to be cute by copying a commercial where the kid said the grown up had wrinkly elephant legs.
In all the washing we’ve mixed up absolutely everything. Maddie has been wearing miss matched socks everyday this week. We washed all the tights and put them in Maddie’s drawers. Turns out some weren’t actually hers. She wore these this morning. I noticed before she went out the door. She had my tights on. I sent her upstairs to get another pair. Knowing several pairs of mine would be in her bin if the first one was and we were running late I told her get the smallest one she could find. She came down with a pair that might reach from her waist to her knees if she really, really stretched it. It was Ashlyn. Finally she had to get two mismatched, dirty, Dora the Explorer socks that she wore yesterday. Poor girl. And I don’t have a plan for tomorrow yet.
This weekend’s project? Find the clothes for our bare minimum survival without opening our sealed laundry. I’m not ready to open stuff up again for fear of bed bugs or fleas. Whatever we’ve had around here making our lives misery for the last six months. Still, I won’t complain. I have a house. It may have bugs, but I have a house. We’re blessed and grateful for it.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Caught sight of this sweet ride yesterday and snapped a photo real quick as they exited the freeway. I was totally bummed to see the colors didn’t turn out. This baby was as pepto pink as they come! I think it might just be the Singapore version of the Cadillac you can earn if you sell enough Mary Kay products.
Jacob had some art work displayed in an art exhibit with his little buddies last night. We got exactly one picture before my camera died.
It was a real fun night. It was scheduled from 5 to 7pm so of course he fell asleep on the way there. Brian took the day off work so he could do a magic show for 100 of Maddie’s closest friends in pre-kindergarten then take yet another motorcycle class to get his license. It had already been a long day when we got all fancied up to go to the museum. Ben protested saying that he didn’t have to dress up to go to the art museum on his school fieldtrip. Cheeky boy!
After everyone was fancy we loaded into the car and braved traffic. Singapore is a funny place. You find the most interesting things in the most unlikely places. The art gallery they had rented out was in an industrial building right next to the shipping yard. The entry gate to the car park had two lanes: one for cars and vans, the other for container trucks hauling 40 foot loads to be shipped overseas. So typical here.
We parked and found the passenger lift at the end of the loading dock after passing four freight elevators that could fit a car inside. The art gallery was a lovely little place and his school had arranged for it to be catered. Wine for the adults, punch for the kiddos (and Mormons) and pigs in a blanket and other fancier finger foods for all.
We had a lovely time searching for art work of all the friends we know at our White Lodge Preschool campus and the other ones around the island. The theme of the night was the ocean so all the art work had something to do with their learning unit on the sea and sea creatures. Jacob’s was called “Octopus Whale” and he was very proud of it! As I mentioned he had fallen asleep so Brian carried him inside. He was limp and laying on his shoulder as we went in and even when his teachers greeted him and tried to wake him up. He remained a floppy as we walked around the room looking at the other pieces.
Finally the kids found Jacob’s piece. When we asked if he knew who made it a smile slowly grew across his face from ear to ear and he pointed happily at his chest. “I did it.” He was finally awake now. I wish my battery hadn’t died after someone took our family picture so could have taken a good one of his picture. They were really cool. They used some sort of a melted wax to draw the lines then painted in the color. The small animal in his picture is the octopus. The big one is the whale with a very large blow hole that makes Jacob smile every time he thinks about it blowing water up high in the sky.
On our way out to the car we watched the diesel trucks in line to have their cargo boxes lifted up by those super huge cranes. It was super cool to see them in action. Usually we pass by on the freeway so we can’t stop to observe. Everyone thought it was a fun night but they were tired when we got home. We had a snack before we left and a light something at the gallery and had Gina planning to serve dinner when we arrived home at 7pm.
Traffic was heavy getting home or maybe we stayed to long looking at art and container trucks loading cargo ships but we got home at 7:30. Maddie had a sip of milk and went to bed. Jacob had a sip of milk and sat not eating for a long time before he headed to bed. Ben said he was fine but I don’t think he had a single bite before I just told him that his eyes were closed and maybe he should head to bed too. For three exhausted kids who couldn’t even stay awake to eat a single bite of dinner, they sure stayed up late in their beds. Darn second winds – especially at kiddie bedtime.
All in all we had a great night. Great job Jacob on your art work.
Jacob’s prayers are awesome.
Today he said, “and thank you for the thing that Maddie gave to me that she doesn’t get anymore that we are still going to share it.” After the prayer Maddie had to ask, “What did I give you?” He didn’t know.
Another great one. “Bless me because I’m sick and I’m not going to go to school today because I’m sick.” He had a cough a week ago and stayed home for a day – which was a mistake two times over. First because he wasn’t really that bad off, just phlemy from waking up, and was fine all day long. Second because he now tells everyone he’s sick and go anywhere or do anything and is convinced he should be quarantined to the house to watch cartoons all day long.
Best prayer line of the day thought was, “Bless everyone that is in our family. But not anyone that isn’t in our family.” So be careful out there today and watch out because you have officially been un-blessed.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
It was crazy to watch the babies come out of the mama fishy. I've had four babies and none of them were that smooth and fast. We noticed two of the four fish had swollen bellies at the beginning of the week. We got fumigated Monday when I hadn't totally planned it so I forgot to cover the tank this time. Loads of poison must have gotten into the water because everything was covered in reside. We lost one mommy and one daddy.
I checked out online and found it was definitely pregnant. It was important though to be around when momma fishy finally popped because she will eat her young. Lucky for us Ben noticed a single baby in the tank this morning. Then they were able to find three more so they took the momma and daddy fish into another tank.
Later in the day I counted thirteen babies. Ben says he's seen eighteen. The two or three born in the other tank after they were separated from the big tank were eaten up within thirty minutes while the kids and I packed lunches, did morning reading and put on shoes. Glad we had the chance to save a bunch. Now we hope they grow and we get to watch them for a long time.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I sat next to my friend Carrie at MOPS today and she shared the quote of the weekend with me from Ben. He had priced his toys mostly at $1.00 but had lots of things for $0.10. She picked up three puzzles and told him surely he could charge more than ten cents each for them. Guess he looked her right in the eye and straight faced said, "It's okay. I got them for free from Santa so I don't care how much." This Santa laughed so hard when she told me that. Like if it’s free to him in the first place, even ten cents is a profit so he’s cool with it.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Jeffery took an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half for the other two treatments of the entire house. Monday he spent two and a half hours just in the loving room and main floor areas. Our couch was turned upside down and we ripped the bottom fabric off to completely spray internally. Every cushion was doused. As in two days later and they aren't dry yet. We are unsure if we can keep it because it may mold internally in the cushions here before it dries making it useless and a health hazard.
The rugs were hauled to the curb after we could enter the house. They were totally saturated with toxic chemicals to kill everything in place rather than disturb them and spread the problem by making them all scatter. Brian rolled them up and took them both to the curb while I got the children settles into bed. In the morning I guarded the rugs. People often take things from the curb (like me) and thus people leave useful things on the curb (like me) for others to take and use. I went about my morning routine with every door and window thrown open watching. Finally the trash guys came by about 7:45. I anxiously walked to the curb and pointed to the rug and motioned to the truck. I smiled at my trash collector friend - we greet each other many mornings. He is so very kind and friendly but we do not share a common language so we speak the common language of sincere kindness each morning and exchange genuine happy smiles and waves. But this morning I am right on the curb and serious. My friend seems surprised. I motion again and he calls his partner to help him lift. His buddy looks equally confused. Couldn't someone use that? I firmly
motion again to put in the truck. They do but just to help them understand I turn my back to them and lift the back of my short revealing my back covered in massive welt looking wounds. Now we understand each other. The other friend begins pointing and yelling, "Pichu!! Pichu!!"which is incredibly close to the Spanish word I know to mean "bug" so I think we have bridged the language barrier yet again and off they go down the street until tomorrow with a kind smile.
I spent the next hour cleaning up after the fumigation. Everything was just covered. Floors were sticky. The laundry was now 100% contaminated because we set every single clean item right next to the couch and rug, sometimes even overnight. Ugh. So I made a feeble start until I woke Jacob at 9am to go to our last day of MOPS. I was glad to get away for a few hours.
Gina returned while I was gone and without any Ashlyn, Jacob, Maddie or Ben to interrupt her efforts had mad enormous steps at cleaning the house. My entire living room suite was spread out in the yard to sun and dry. The main floor was no longer sticky with poison. Things were collected and tidied up - the first two fumigations we had cleaned and tidied first but this time since we had the source Jeffery said don't move anything!
So we worked together all afternoon with her doing most the work and me doing one little thing between interruptions of motherhood. I thought over and over what a blessing to have her there. I can only imagine how my sharp tongue would have been unleashed because I have so much to do to make progress and restore my house to order and the children's needs just never seem to be able to be put on hold. Gina is my miracle. She goes and goes and goes.
I want to market to arrange the laundry folks to come pick up the clothes. We worked six twelve hour days and all of that has to be totally rewashed. We found multiple bed bugs within the "clean" clothes. So off to the laundry they go. Today we sorted by color and bagged them in airtight bags. Now they sit in the front yard. It's going to e expensive so we are only sending half but it feels freeing to be making that sort of fast progress. Then we also sorted by when we will need things. Next week. This month. Next time we see winter. Then the bags can stay sealed until needed. Make no mistake this fight isn't over. There are certain to be hundreds of eggs that will hatch and need to be killed - the spray can only kill the alive out of the egg variety of bed bug. But we are gaining ground now. We have a foothold. My soul has hope again and I feel like I can breath. Big breaths of chemical ridden air maybe but I can breath. Gina and Brian both feel the same. In fact Brian texted me back when I told him the horrific infestation we had discovered. He said,"I feel like shouting hurray!" who says stuff like that? Desperate, worn out people say that as they jump for joy.
I sorted laundry. Wiped down living room furniture. Dumped bed bugs out of diaper bags and trashed most of the contents. Threw out nearly an entire pack of pull ups for Jacob. I cleaned until after 11 o'clock last night. We collected lots and lots of bed bugs and put them in a jar. They aren't all dead though all we have caught thus far look sickly. We will observe them and see that they all die in that little jar. We had a good laugh over them. Gina squished one of them and said she was putting it out of its misery. I protested. I want them to all die a slow and miserable death so we should catch them all so I can just watch them be miserable. I dumped out Ashlyn's pack and play crib and there were so many bugs. It was awful. They were in her crib. Lots of them. And we kept playing with her on the rug. And letting her wiggle and stretch and be free there directly on top of the infestation. So yucky to think about.
My body is still totally covered with bites. It still feels like I'm on fire sometimes. And the itch is unbearable. I'm going nuts but I know it will be gone in a about a week. I'm praying it's fast. I am so excited about our next fumigation. To kill all the bugs before they feed. They can't lay new eggs until they feed at least once. I'm happy for now and up to my eyeballs in the laundry we are keeping. It's going to be a very long week still.
Now the rain is coming and I have to go move the laundry back in the house at 3:30 in the morning. Fun times.
"Maddie will you clear moms plate to the sink please?"
The indignant reply came, "But it's not Mothers Day."
Brian countered with a very logical, "We can still do nice things for other people. This is Others Day. So you need to do nice things for others and mom is an other."
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Last Saturday our hero Jeffery began. He came and didn't just spray the beds and bomb the rooms as we had done five times before. He did that plus sprayed Gina's room, the nursery, the playroom futon couch and the living room sofa and love seat. He was worried about the kids sensitive skin so he used the lighter of two chemicals in their room. We had to be out of the house for the entire day for the gassing of the entire place top to bottom.
Two days later jake had a few bites. I ran into Jeffery in the neighborhood and he came by to take a look. Still no signs of bed bugs. We had spent the previous day at the bird park and I had killed at least one mosquito so I crossed my fingers and hoped it was just that. A pesky mosquito. He said to call if the kids got any more. Next day nothing. Of course the following day they were back. Four bites on Jacob. Poor Jeffery scheduled a full house treatment again for Saturday.
Once again he sprayed the entire house. This time both bedrooms were to get the full tougher chemical spray. I felt great. Finally this thing was behind us. When we got home last night our mattresses were still wet so we set the kids up in the playroom on the futon and I was ready to pull out the blowup mattress yet again to sleep in the living room when Brian said he would much prefer the couches. So I took the big couch and he pulled the love seat cushions onto the floor.
This morning I awoke to bites. Not just two or three but lots and lots of bites. My final count tonight reveals 41 bites in one single night. This was not a great mothers day. I spent the day in tears. Crying and pleading in prayer for knowledge from heaven above. I was short with my children. Grumpy to my husband. Weepy at the church and totally broke down in the mothers room and poured out my soul to my sweet neighbor who lent a listening ear while we fed our little babies and missed the Sunday lessons.
What can I do that I haven't done. We have washed the laundry over and over and over. Our entire house is a mixed up disaster all in my attempts to quarantine the house and contain the problem. The stuffed animals were cleaned and bagged and stored two months ago. Special papers the kids have saved are also in air tight bags on the front porch still. Kids clothes were washed a month ago and moved to the office on the first floor. They have been leaving pajamas upstairs and clothes downstairs and going up and down in their underwear since April. Gina and i have washed so much this week. With hand me down clothes it totals ten years of boy clothes and eight years of girl clothes. Plus my things, Brian's and Gina's. Winter clothes and outerwear. And bedding and linens. Couch pillows. Dress ups and halloween costumes. Baby blankets and seats for the swing the bouncy chair. The list goes on and on. Gina started apologizing to the dryer every time she put another load in. At least that made me laugh a little.
And when we were folding and sorting them over a period of six days we sat in the floor. The floor that is just behind the totally infested couch. So now what? An entire week of twelve hours a days of washing. All in vain. None of it can be considered safe.
Jeffery returns tomorrow at one o'clock. I can tell even he feels bad for me now. I'm spent. I wish I could toss everything we own into the trash. Just quit. Move. Start fresh. I hope that against all odds maybe we have finally found the source. The couch that just keeps restarting the bed bug clock for us. I surely hope so because my spirit is broken. My hope is gone. My body itches all over and bites cover my shoulders, my back, my belly, my buttocks, my thighs and my knees. I even have three in my armpit. I'm physically miserable.
I pray last night was a blessing. My misery will pay off. I never would have slept there to find out if he hadn't tied the light chemical in the kids room that didn't work. This could have gone on and on and on forever. I had Brian give me a blessing tonight and I'm feeling more calm and a bit less desperate. Still I have not yet found the resolve to begin my fight again but maybe a good night sleep - in my bug free bed after a thick lather in hydrocortisone cream - can renew my will to continue to fight this fight and a fresh mind to know what is the right path.
It feels good to get that whine off my chest. I wonder what my sweet kids will remember about this when they are older. Probably mostly that the "rules" just kept changing. Where their clothes were kept was different every week. Where they could play and what they could get out. Different. Different. Different. They need this to be over as much as I do. To have consistency again and clear expectations. That especially hard on sweet Jacob who has cried himself to sleep more than once scared of the bugs that will bite him. I'm sure in his trumped up three year old imagination they are huge scary monsters rather than tiny little annoyances. So I'm off to sleep on the bare mattress until my super husband returns with clean sheets sometime around midnight. Good night for now.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
We wrapped up the sale early so the pest control guys could do yet another fumigation. This makes number seven since this whole thing began. I'm so tired of it all. I did however at least get a laugh out of the note Ben left for our potential buyers at the garage sale. "pest control in progress not hear". At least he didn't write anything announcing our problems to the world.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
This morning has been one of those mornings with timers beeping, babies crying, demands being made at every turn. Finally we get so I can read a book to Jacob and enjoy a minute while I sit on the couch and feed Ashlyn. Then in my mind I need to get some plans put together for Ben’s birthday party which is TOMORROW. I am holding and burping Ashlyn on one shoulder while I google “lego party game ideas” online with my other hand on the laptop. Jacob, needing a little more attention tells me, “Now put Ashlyn away so you can read another book to me.” As if she’s a book or a toy. Silly boy. I think her “away” spot is probably the pack ‘n’ play crib in the living room but I’m not entirely sure. Hopefully it’s not in a dresser drawer. And the timer beeps again…one more load of cupcakes are cooked so I can construct a lego block cake. Chaos!!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
“My body NEEDS some juice, Mom.” He’s an addict.
Jacob is giving me trouble lately. The kid opens the fridge all day long about every fifteen minutes. Ben and Maddie both went through this too. It’s the stage when I use the child proof locks to keep them out. He has stolen M&Ms, poured juice all over the floor from a full container attempting to put it in his cup without me knowing he was having his tenth cup before lunch, he takes candy and just plain holds the door open looking for stuff to eat for so long I’m pretty sure the ice cream will melt.
Today he jumped up and asked to eat noodle lunch with me. Fine. We got a plate and he had the noodles filled with chicken and vegetables. But he got full after a couple bites and put it in the fridge. Then he wanted milk. He only drank half and wanted to put that in the fridge. Next Maddie wanted a snack so she had yogurt. Of course he was there. He ate lots. Now it’s Ben’s turn and he is having fruit cocktail and there is Jacob. Nope. Finish your lunch. And quit trying to sugar up and eat candy or ask for goldfish or trick-or-treats or juice or cookies.
Ben brought home his first homework sheet with division on it this afternoon. He was reading it aloud to himself while he worked, “Twenty four divided by X equals six.” Brian and I had been talking just a few days ago about one of the students he is tutoring and about how some kids just don’t get math when you throw letters into the equation. Their brains don’t work that way.
Interested to see what he thought about this new kind of math I commented to him, “Hey! You can’t have letters in math can you?”
Shrugging his shoulders he blew me off by saying, “The X just means a number.”
I wanted to yell, “You got it!! Not everyone can do that!” Proud parent isn’t really the right way to describe how I felt because he hadn’t really done anything yet but it made me really excited for him. Maybe I was just feeling proud to know he has the potential to excel in what Brian and I both enjoy. We’ve always been able to relate to this kid. Both of us. Little by little his personality and gifts are showing. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to loving that he’s a bit of a numbers kid. I don’t know how we’ll handle a kid wanting to pick a major on “the other side of campus.” Won’t be long until we find out…Maddie and her free, creative spirit isn’t far behind him in age.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
I rolled down the window and Brian slowed down for me to take a picture and was hit with the strong aroma of cocoa. Isn't that just to fantastic? I had a life dream to visit Hershey, Pennsylvania so we did a fast weekend road trip up there the week before Jacob was born and you could just smell the sweet chocolate scent all along main street. That Cadbury cocoa smell brought back some great memories today.