Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31, 2008 Marley and Sandwich Library

I can't believe it's the last day of July already, where has the summer gone?

Threw the ball for Marley this morning before taking Em to work then going to the Sandwich Library for storytime with Mr. Parsons. He read book on frogs then let the children explore buckets of pond water and use their aquatic extractors (spoons) to scoop up small animals and put them in the biotic organizers (ice cube trays) We had a couple of leaches, a whirly gig beetle, a small fish, and loads little microorganisms. Jen was there with Joey and Ruby so we passed off both Guitar Hero guitars (we've been borrowing theirs) a life bubble for the pond, and a cartridge for their leapster, as they are leaving for vacation on Saturday.

I was quite happy this morning to find that I fit into a pair of pants I haven't worn since before I had Danny. I haven't been on a scale, but I'm guessing I've lost nearly 20lbs in the last 5 weeks. Still committed to my goads, doing ab workouts, running/walking when I can. Just fruits/vegetables and seafood. I feel great. I even mailed my college application yesterday. It's all very exciting!

More pictures of Marley and the pups.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July 30, 2008

Wednesday afternoon and Marley and the puppies are doing great. They have all lost their umbilical cords and the pads on their paws and their noses are turning black instead of pink. They are very cute. Marley has settled into motherhood pretty well. Yesterday she wanted to play ball for a few minutes, and just now went out for a walk with Emily. She's reluctant to stay away from her babies for very long, but seems to be enjoying getting out once in a while.

Dan and I took Sampson for a walk around the neighborhood this morning.I spotted something dark on a tree by Pimlico Pond Rd and decided to take a closer look. It was what looked like a very dark Magicicada exuvia. I think it might be a cannicularis, I was very excited and will have to ask Gerry the next time I talk to him! Dan and I then spent some time at the beach and he played with his cousins Carl and Alex. Dan had fun pushing Alex off the raft, but didn't think it was so much fun when Alex started pushing him. Things escalated quickly and I knew lunch and a nap were in order.

I ordered the book "The songs of insects" which came in the mail today. The pictures are terrific, lots of information about different kinds of cicada's. Wish they'd shown exuvia for all of the different species, as it can be confusing trying to determine which cicada comes from which exuvia especially in reference to size. All in all, happy with the purchase. Also got one on the songs of frogs and toads since we are now housing, two Eastern american toads, one grey tree frog, and one albino african aquatic frog.

Took Marley for a walk tonight and she was happy to get away. She even joined us under the table at dinner time, which she hasn't done in the last couple of nights.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29, 2008 Pandemonium

Hey where is the sunrise??? I want to go for a run and there's no's already 4:44am ! Pups woke me up at 4 and I couldn't go back to sleep. I'm having issues with this new lifestyle, mainly my boobs are shrinking ! My bathing suit is getting loose, and my bras won't go tight enough. Does my body not know that the 50lbs of weight I need to loose is south of the border?!?!?

Energized and excited this morning except that I'll be running alone as soon as the sun does decide to get up since Marley is still recovering. Found an awesome little tree frog on the way to the beach yesterday. Dan and I fashioned a great new terrerium out of an old clear plastic toy box, some screen material and some hot glue. Fed him a few worms, small crickets and a pill bug. He's still too busy trying to escape to eat. Hoping he'll settle down today and treat us with some carnage! Our aquatic frog is incredibly aggressive, Dan put his finger in there yesterday and the frog latched on.

Busy day today, Em work, Dan Green Briar for Dino Days hopefully, we're on the waiting list, I'm going forward hoping they have a cancelation at the last minute, if not we'll probably walk/bike the canal. Tonight Nettie, Gram, Jessie and I are going to Foxwoods to see Pandemonium. Should be fun, Em doesn't get out of work until 4:30 so it'll be a hustle to get there for the 7pm show, but it'll be fine. No worries.

Picked Em up from work at 4pm and hurried back here to be picked up by Jessie and John at 4:30 to go to Foxwoods, we were cutting it close and arrived there at 6:52, just 8 minutes before the show started. John pulled up out front and let us out. Met Nettie at the door and we made a beeline for the show. Our seats were great and the show lots of fun. It lasted for an hour, then we headed out to the Hard Rock to find John nibbling at some Santa Fe spring rolls. He finished up then we made our way over to the casino where Jessie quickly lost $70. Disheartened we went to find Gram and Nettie who were in the smoking casino. Nettie was playing a penny machine and Jessie sat down next to her and quickly won back her $70 plus 82.50 more. She got up, grabbed her ticket and redeemed. That's my kind of gambling. We said our goodbyes and were on the road at 9:30 for the two hour ride home. It was a fun night, the show was amazing. My favorites were two very strong guys dressed from neck to toe in shaded white spandex suits. Their muscle control was unbelievealbe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

July 28, 2008

Em and I spent the night alternately up with Marley and the puppies, for no reason at all really except that the puppies would cry and we both felt we needed to interfere with Marley's natural mothering insticts. This morning we all woke to find a comfortable Mom and 7 happy fat pups. Marley is doing very well, and is now free to come and go from the whelping box at her leisure, although she clearly prefers being with her babies. Isn't nature amazing?
Danny's smile upon seeing the puppies this morning was beyond priceless.

Em had an ortho appt for her retainer today, they gave her a single red rose to commemorate the completion of her treatments, then she drove Dan and I to work. We arrived home in time for lunch and a nap.

My transcripts arrived in the mail today and after a quick glance I realized why Framingham State College asked me to take a semester off. If I remember correctly I'd decided somewhere towards the end of my second semester that I wasn't doing school anymore so I think that some of the scores for that second semester reflected that sentiment. It wasn't so much that I failed, but gave up and just didn't do the work. Wished I'd have stuck it out till the end of the semester so I'd have had more credits to transfer. I think I might have 9 credits eligible for transfer.
Emily seems so much smarter then I was at her age, I wonder why that is.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 27, 2008 Puppies!!!

It's 2:37 and I've been up with Marley since about 1am when I woke to hear her nesting and panting. We came out to the living room and I sat and petted her for a while. Her babies are moving all around inside so I wonder if she's just restless with their movement rather then actually being in labor. Time will tell I suppose.

We stayed up until about 3:30 when she settled down and we both fell back to sleep.
Her temps up till now have been
Wednesday 7/23 - 99.4
Thursday 7/24 - 99.4
Friday 7/25 - 99.2
Saturday 7/26 - 99.0
Sunday 7/27 - 6am - 98.6
3pm - 98.5
Supposedly we're waiting for a low temperature followed by a high one to tell us whelping will be within 24 hours. She's resting comfortably now.

Dan, Em and I went to feed the animals at Green Briar at 10am, and found out that Mrs. Prickles the hedgehog had passed. Very sad. Em fed the rabbits, Dan cut up apples for Emma and I took care of the Leonardo, Nina and Sir Speedy (the turtles)

6pm - Marley had a prolonged shiver followed by a contraction and some leakage so game on! Nettie is on her way.
6:27 - girl
6:57 - boy
7:10 - boy
7:23 - girl
8:04 - girl
8:21 - boy
8:44 - girl - this last one was very blond and very listless. Nettie worked on reviving it for nearly 20 minutes before she perked up. Took a while for her to start but she hasn't been quiet since!

10:43 our house is quiet again except for little squeaks coming from the whelping box. Marley's a great Mama dog! Here are some pictures of the event, Enjoy!

July 26, 2008

Woke up this morning to a bright crystal clear day and decided almost immediately to dress and take Marley out for a run. She seemed comfortable and I had no fear she'd start whelping in route. We did our 3.5 run up Pimlico Pond Rd, down Cove Rd, to Artisan Way, up to Rt 130 before cutting down the fire road just after Joe Jay Lane, to Sheldon which leads back to the fire road through the woods and out to West Rd. Marley did great, and I felt strong and dare I say almost fast, although I failed to time it. Arrived home before anybody was awake and enjoyed a few minutes of quiet.

Dan was the first up and asked what was for breakfast, he's never been much of a breakfast eater, but he's been very hungry lately, must be a growth spurt. Woke Em up at a little after 8am so she could get ready for work and drove her in. The guys were ready for a hike when I got home, and since Mike wanted to talk to Wayne Shepherd anyway we chose the West Barnstable Conservation Area and the Trail of tears. We pulled into the parking lot and I immediately noticed no sound whatsoever. We started our hike in, went about a mile and then turned back.
I really want Dan to like hiking so I leave the route and speed in his hands. My theory is that he won't always be this small and slow and if he loves doing it our pace and distance will pick up as he grows. Mike was a little more goal oriented but we managed to slow him down, enjoy the flora and fauna (of the latter there wasn't any) and let Dan run the show.

We visited with Wayne and Max (his wife) for a half hour or so, talking about the blueberry festival which is this weekend at Green Briar and at which Mike and a few other wood turners will be working.

Dan and I hit the beach for an afternoon of swimming, sunning and just hanging out with family and friends. An early night in the grove since we still don't have any power out there concluded our day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

July 25, 2008 Village People

My day started with a short 1.75 mile run followed by my 1st 12 minute ab workout since I've started getting healthy. I took Emmy to work then headed home to hang laundry and and take a nice long bath since Mike took Dan to Critter capers at Green Briar. The guys got home in time for lunch and a nap.
Since Marley is so close to delivery I decided to lay down for a while too, Dan was restless and never napped. Mike fell asleep immediately and I rolled around for half an hour before I gave up and asked Dan if he wanted to go down to the beach for a half hour before picking Emily up. He said sure, and off we went. Jessie, Janni and Sue Riss were all on the beach so when it was time to go they offered to keep an eye on Dan while I picked up Emmy. We arrived home just in time to get changed and packed up for the fair.
One of Dan's new favorite songs is YMCA and the Village people (yes, the original) were playing there so Em, Sarah, Dan and I hopped in the car and headed over. We sat in traffic for 15 minute or so, but not bad considering! We wandered around for a bit, held chicks, pet sheep before making our way over to the stage. Lucky for us we got there when we did and were only about 15 feet away from the stage. Em, Sarah and Dan manned out sheet while I went to find some food. Dan wanted pizza and fried dough. Emmy wanted Lemonade and I decided on Tempura vegetables. With feast in hand I made my way back to the kids. We sat and ate, until my phone rang. Elias was calling to ask if I was planning on going to Annual cicada testing in Ct tomorrow. It's a 2.5 hour drive for both of us and after collaborating for a few minutes decided it was too long for only an hour or so of Cicada hunting. Sarah and Em disappeared into the throngs of people and left Dan and I to wait for the show to begin. Dan's very social and made friends with the kids around us immediately. I noticed another homeschooling Mom sitting nearby and said Hello. Someone behind us had a blow up ball, tossed it up in the air and we instantly had a volleyball party. The kids were screaming, grandparents were whacking at the ball in the air...everybody was having a great time. The music stopped, the lights started flashing and we knew the time had come. The village people were great. They started off with American Man, went to Macho Man then did some songs I didn't know. When they got to the song "In the Navy" we were asked to stand to applaud our military and we didn't sit again afterwards. The music was upbeat and happy, the village people were lots of fun, and after a lesson on the YMCA moves we were treated with the song as the finale. It was about an hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish, but well performed. We had a great time. Made our way back to the car and home just in time for the Annual Riss family fireworks which were unpredictable but great and then off to bed. It was a long, great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 24, 2008

Dan slept in this morning so we had to wake him up to take Em to work. He fed the fish at Mahoney's in his footy PJ's. Dan and I went to get gas $4.15 a gallon and filled the tank at just under $80. Crazy! Then to the library to return some books, get some new ones, and stayed for Mr. Parson's Wild story time. He brought mud slugs, Dan liked the way they felt sliding on his hand. We had planned for Dan to ride his bike and I to run from the Recreational center at the canal down to the Boardwalk to meet Jen and the girls after the library but it was pouring rain and when we went by their house they were already home, so we decided to go to the canal and see if we could get a ride/run in regardless and logged 1.5 miles. We had a picnic lunch there then headed home for a nap.
Spent some time this afternoon on the hill visiting with Jess, John and the Riss family. Always a treat. Then home to make dinner and spend a quiet night at home watching Underdog.

July 23, 2008 Emmy's braces come off and Barnstable County Fair

Today's the day Emily has waited for. She's worn braces for 2 years and almost 3 months and can't wait to get them off. Her appt was at 10:15. Dan and I dropped her off then ran to the bank. We returned to find Emily still in the waiting room. I'm not going to miss these ortho visits! This appt was scheduled to be an hour and a half so Dan and I got comfortable with some magazines and started reading. Em was finally called in, and Dan asked me if he could go make friends with another little boy in the waiting room. "Sure" I said, it's our second to last appt. How much trouble could they cause. The two boys had a great time playing hide and seek around and under the waiting room chairs...some of them occupied. They were cute and generally well received so both Mother's allowed it to continue. Emily finally appeared at a little after noon and smiled wide, she looked great, and couldn't be happier, she was itching to try out the new chompers sans metal so home we went for lunch.
After lunch, Dan and I laid down for a nap. This afternoon we're headed to the Barnstable County Fair for the demolition derby, a highlight of our summer...we can't wait. Dan, Em and I arrived at the fair a little before 5pm and wandered through the animal tents. Dan liked the sheep, I thought the baby chickens were great. We made our way over to the face painting tent and Dan decided he wanted to be Spiderman. In the end a great choice, because people called him Spidey everywhere he went. Mike arrived and we decided we'd get some food before the long vigil protecting seats for the demolition derby. Mike and the kids got corn dogs. I ordered an onion blossom, the first food "off diet" in over 3 weeks. I know I'll pay for it in the morning, but boy did it taste good! Dan rode a few rides, the first a race car, the second was a mini roller coaster with Daddy. Dan's over 42 inches tall so he can ride most of the tot rides himself and was very excited!

Since it was getting close to 6pm I decided it was time to do some sitting. We climbed the bleachers, found the perfect spot and laid out everything we owned to save seats. The first year we made the mistake of not finding seats until the last minute and paid for it by having to stand for the entire show, a mistake we've not repeated. Now we go early, make friends with the spectators around us, and enjoy demolition derby warm up. At one point they pulled all the first heat cars around the rink, and one of the drivers went a little crazy with some lime green spray paint. He was sitting in the windshield of the car getting ready to paint something on the roof when he looked up at the stands, pointed at Dan and said "what's his name" We shouted Danny, which he then painted on the roof of his car. He immediately became our favorite. Turns out he's a backhoe driver for Bortolotti Construction (Mike Leone's company) and right up to the end would wave, and thumbs up Dan. He made it to the second to last heat before he lost reverse and was a sitting duck. When it was over he came over to shake Dan's hand. Dan was very excited!
We watched 5 heats of demo, the last was the best with two cars that just wouldn't die. Finally a winner was chosen, and the bleachers emptied. We wandered the fair for a while longer. Dan was really interested in the big year should be fun! Time to leave and Dan chose to ride home with Daddy. Em and I made our way over to our car. Emily was a little nervous about driving at night but after a wrong turn down a curvy, dark road, she was happy to find 151 and cruised right along. We made it home just as a thunderstorm was starting up. Dan put himself to bed at 11:23...I can't believe he stayed up and behaved so well late into the night. I checked E-mail before bed and found one from Derke who's looking to put together another group for testing on Saturday. We'll have to see where it is, and who's going... I might be game!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22, 2008

Dan and I took Em to work this morning and then headed over to the Francis Crane WMA.
We arrived and heard nothing, not a good sign when Cicada hunting. There are loads of paths and last time Dan and I relied on familiar objects to find our way out. This time I decided to teach Dan a trick to help us, thinking if he's ever alone in the woods and gets lost all he has to do is follow the arrows to find his way out. So when we came to an intersection we made an arrow pointing in the direction we just came from. We made a point
of taking several different paths in all different directions for about a half hour, then turned around and followed our arrows out. Worked like a dream, especially since there was nobody there but us to accidentally step on or dismantle our signs.

Dan and I headed home from there, did a lengthy bug hunting excursion to feed the toads, one of which escaped today. We built a Lego spider, had lunch and Dan went down for a nap.

I decided I'd work on school stuff. Filled out my application, contacted both Middletown High School and Framingham State requesting official transcripts be sent to 4C's. I'm very excited to be taking this step. Next is to find a job that I can work Friday, Saturday and Sunday's since those are the days Mike is off and days I probably won't have school. I imagine in the next few weeks life is going to get very busy and I'm looking forward to it.

Marley is definitely pregnant, I was able to express some colostrum yesterday so if any doubt remained, it doesn't any longer. She's due in just over a week. She edgy, grumpy and seems for the most part very confused. It's not like you can explain to a dog she's pregnant!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Group Photo from Wethersfield Connecticut 7-20-08

From Left to Right - Derke Hughes- NUWC, John Cooley PhD UCONN, Me, Elias Bonaros MD Cardiology, Barbara NP, Mike Neckermann (Sp) Bug enthusiast. Missing cameraman Gerry Bunker Cicada whisperer

July 20 Happy Birthday Dad and Connecticut

Happy Birthday Dad!
My day started at 4:30am, after a quick check of e-mail to make sure the day was a go, I jumped in the shower, dressed and woke Mike, who wanted to see me off. I got out the door right on time (5:30am) and headed north up 495 to the Mass pike. The morning was hazy, and being a Sunday at 6am, there was no traffic. Just me, the road, rolling hills, and fog laden ponds. Knowing that Gerry would be taking the Mass pike as well, I deemed the transition into Connecticut a good time to check on his where abouts. I was about an hour early so I thought he'd be behind me, but instead he was 5 miles in front. Great minds think alike. After a short conversation we agree to meet at the park behind the Wethersfield high school in Wethersfield, CT. It was an easy drive, on well marked roads. I pulled down a dead end street named Folly Boulevard which emptied out into a small parking lot, shut off the van and open the door to stretch a bit and as I did the most eerie, amazing sounds fill my ears. I immediately knew what I was hearing was choloromera go to the right hand bottom corner under cicada to find Swamp - Tibicen chloromera to hear what this Cicada sounds like. There's also a video at the end of this blog. I was always baffled when someone said they could hear more then one species calling. It seemed like they would all blend in together, but alas I found this not to be the case as I could distinctly hear Lyric - Tibicen lyricen as well. I was so excited that I needed to call someone and chose Gerry as the most receptive. "Gerry" I said, "I'm so excited I'm going to wet my pants" (I know Gerry well enough that I can say such a thing) "Gerry, these things are everywhere" He chuckles knowingly at this Cape Cod housewife who's just now starting to explore the world again and says "Well, go catch some!"
I arrived at this park little after 8am so I had a good amount of time to hunt before the others arrived at 9am, but had no luck. I would hear a call and walk towards it, but as soon as I got close it was quiet, but another would start up nearby so I would starting going for that one just as the first one would start calling again. It was maddening I felt like I was torn in two trying to catch these things.

Gerry and John Cooley showed up, I was introduced to the UCONN entomology master, and Gerry gave me a Tibicen exuvia he found that morning in Chelmsford, since I've been unable to acquire one of my own. Gerry immediately went off with a net and within a minute we had our first specimen. This is going to be easy I thought! Gerry took great pains to show me every part of this chloromera that was worth noting and I was amazed at the size. This thing was at least 2 inches from head to end of wings. Looks much different then the periodicals I'm used to seeing. The guys and I took off in different directions with our nets. While in the woods I heard a car approach, I was in pretty thick, but could make out the voices of a male and female and concluded that our Long Island contingent had arrived. I decided rather then venturing out and introducing myself that I would continue the hunt alone.

It occurs to me after 30 or so minutes of no success that I should probably be hanging out with the guys that know how to catch them, since they do and I don't. I found John, who also hadn't caught anything, and walked and talked with him for a while, we came upon Gerry who also had failed to catch another bug. Feeling a little better at not being the only one not catching I took toward a different path across the park. Walking through the woods I suddenly felt and heard a squeal! I carefully pickup up my foot to find a chlormera under it, what luck, who needs a net, these things are on the forest floor! I quickly used my newly sewn net and put it over my catch, carefully made sure it was secured and quickly make my way out of the clearing with my prize. I arrived in the parking lot only to find out that my bug had escaped in transit. Seems my choice of fabric was poor, because on closer examination I found not one, but several holes. Of course, everybody was starting to come out of the woods and I had to tell the story of the big one that got away. I don't think they believed me. Derke and Mike Neckermann had shown up by this point and our group was complete.

I heard my name and turned to meet Elias and Barbara. She was grabbing something from the car, but Elias walked right over kissed my cheek and gave me a huge hug, he's such a sweet guy! He called Barbara over, and immediately I was drawn to hug her as well. I think it was the Polish accent that hit me most, and let me know she's not just a blond NY bimbo after this cute sweet cardiologist. I'm relieved.

John hears a call in a tree and requests Mike's 16 foot net. Mike arrived, passed it off to John who told us spectators to look out. In one violent swoop, John connected with the cicada and smashed the net onto the ground. The alarm squawk of this chloromera let us know he had a direct hit. Derke decided to brief Mike and Elias on the testing while Gerry and Barbara took off down the path, interesting I think. I poked around for bugs but was more curious about what the guys were doing. Eventually the group started bug hunting again in earnest. Hmmm.... As the morning gave way to afternoon and the sun rose higher the repore grew. Barbara is terrific, she's funny, smart and seems to think much like I do. 4 hours of hunting yielded 3 specimens and Derke concluded that it would have to do. I wasn't sure how this testing was going to go, because they're not like periodicals where you can do a simulated call and they'll call back. I assumed that Derke would be attempting to record the alarm squawk, not nearly as impressive a venture. Our caravan of 5 stop off at Tim Horton's to grab lunch, then we make our way back to John's house. We helped Derke unload equipment and then Elias, Barbara and I sat out front to eat while the others set up. I packed a lunch/dinner. Strawberries, raspberries, carrot sticks, grilled summer squash and zucchini, sweet potato and a piece of grilled salmon. Barbara commented on my diet which eventually led to the story about the last three weeks of no alcohol, diet and exercise. You can tell these two are good health care professionals, they listen well, and only ask questions for clarification. Barbara came here from Poland when she was 18, she didn't know the language, and didn't know anybody. She took a job caring for an elderly person while she went to school, worked her way through college and now she's a nurse practitioner. She's amazingly strong, and said she'd support me in anyway she could. Now I have two great friends on Long Island, and great people to visit if ever I want to go to the city.

Testing went poorly. After an 3 hours of trying to figure out where the vibration on one of the lasers was coming from. We unplugged every electrical outlet in John's garage, had his wife shut off the washer and drying in their basement and even the ceiling fan in the attic, it was deemed that the laser was broken. 6 people hunting bugs for 4 hours in 95 degree heat, driving at least 1.5 hours each way, some as many as 2.5, and 3 hours of pseudo-testing only to find out the major piece of equipment is broken. Sometimes it happens. Mike and Derke stayed in the garage and the rest of us took a break on the lawn. John brought out a specimen box with rare and bizarre cicadas that we were totally engrossed in. Derke came out and announced that he was going to do some sound testing which quickly sent all but Elias and I into the garage with the door closed. He and I were pretty consumed checking out this glass bottle with a clear liquid which contained 2nd and 3rd instar nypmhs. We took pictures, and I held the bottle while he videoed it while turning it ever so slowly. After about 5 minutes we looked up to find we're alone, we had a very nice conversation about life, love, work, etc. 20 or so minutes later, Derke announced the day had ended, testing was done, and we packed up. John, his wife and three young children had their garage back. We hugged and said our goodbyes.
I turned to Gerry, and said lets go home. He and I were both headed back via the Mass Pike and I had no idea how to get to the highway from there, so I followed him. The ride home was uneventful. Mass Pike backed up for 5 miles or so but smooth sailing from there. I was happily greeted by Danny when I pulled in and he was excited to see what I brought home. One chlormera and one lyricen cicada. We decided since we had no place to keep them where they would survive, and Danny didn't want to let them go, that we would let them live in the house with us for as long as they could. We urged them onto a Pathos plant that lives on our beam in the kitchen where one of the promptly began to feed. It'll be interesting to see if they call tomorrow! Emily is more then a little unhappy but oh well, if life here were a bowl of cherries she'd never leave!
All in all a great day. I got to be involved in something fun and made some nice new friends along the way. Tomorrow is another day, much like the ones before today, but I think I can go into it with a better outlook. What I do is very important, raising kids to be smart, secure, happy, well adjusted, and contributing members of society will hopefully make for adults with the same attributes. What more can the world ask for in a mother.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July 19, 2008

Today was pretty well designated at whelping box building day. Dan and I took Em to work, then went on to Walmart to see if I could find a net suitable for cicada catching. I found a fishing net, and bought some toole. Em called while we were there to say that they didn't need her so she was coming home and asked to pick her up on the way. Stopped at the car wash to give the van a quick vacuum. If I'm going on a road trip, I want to be clean! Since I didn't need the car seats in the back anymore I put down the rear seats and then had plenty of room for my cicada collecting paraphernalia. Got home just as Mike was pulling in with plywood. Dan had lunch and went down for a nap, Mike set off to fix the boat, and I went to the beach. Two hours later, and the boat abandoned I find Mike in the basement nearly finished with the whelping box, it's interlocking and looks great. He's so handy. I furnished a suitable (or so I thought) cicada catching net while sitting on the beach. My neighbors think I'm crazy.
Dinner in the grove followed up at dark with shower and bed. After all I have an early start tomorrow and a long day. I can't wait.

Friday, July 18, 2008

July 18, 2008

I'm going to Connecticut ! I spoke to Gerry today, he called needing my address for one of his data points and said I'd be welcome at testing if I wanted to come. I am so excited to spend a whole day doing something important and fun. It's a three hour drive from here, so I'll leave about 5:30am Sunday morning. First order of business is catching some annuals which I've failed to do here so far, so just that will be exciting. Derke is heading up the testing and he and I had a great repore for the testing here so it'll be fun working with him again as well as meeting some new people. Elias and his girlfriend Barbara are coming from NY, he's the guy I sent a dozen magicicada's to, and John Cooley who is head of entomology at UCONN. So that's my big news, and I can't wait for Sunday !
My neighbor Suzanne and I spent the morning in Hyannis shopping at Trade Joe's then to TJ Maxx and ended up trying on bathing suits. It was fun, she and I have quite a bit in common so it was nice. She's a nursing student with 2 classes left and also a vegetarian. Mike took Dan to Critter Capers and then to the glass studio to see if the owner needs any more glass blowing forms. After lunch, the boys took a nap and I headed to the beach and proceeded to nap there myself. Men's night at Leone's tonight so I'm off to shower.

July 17, 2008 Date Night

Dan and I had a pretty quiet day. Took Em to work, then Dan and I stopped at the store to grab dinner for he and Em for tonight. They decided they wanted tacos. Dan and I spent most of the day at the beach. Dan wore his life jacket out to the raft by himself, swam with the kids and even jumped off the diving board. He swam for 3 hours straight. No nap for Dan today and by the time dinner time came you could tell he was exausted. At 4:30 I jumped in the shower to start getting ready for my "date" We decided to go see Wanted with Angelina Jolie, and Morgan Freeman. Then go to dinner at Hemisphere's at Town neck beach. I pulled out a dress that I wore when I was newly pregnant with Dan and it fit. I was very excited and felt good that finally the weight was starting to come off. Mike was running late so we decided I would meet him at the theater. We arrived at the same time, bought our tickets and a small popcorn and found our seat in the last row in an empty movie theater, that didn't stay empty. The movie was gorey, but had a good plot and was worth the price of admission. We then jumped in the truck for the ride to Hemisphere's. It was a warm night and nearly a full moon and we choose a table on the outside deck overlooking the ocean. I ordered ceasar salad with swordfish tips, and Mike the filet mignon sirlion tips. Dinner was good but not fabulous, we were getting bit by bugs so time to go. We got home a little after 10 and after cleaning up after our "babysitter" we finally settled down on the couch. Mike with his drink and watched TV until I fell asleep and dragged myself to bed. All in all a good night.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 16, 2008

Wednesday and nothing at all to do today except enjoy the beautiful weather. After driving Em to work Dan and I arrived home to find a stiff north wind blowing. Perfect for sailing and he and I quickly gathered the sunfish sail, rudder, centerboard, and life jackets and headed down to the pond. We had a little trouble tacking out of the bouy lines but once clear it was smooth sailing and we had a blast. Made it all the way across the pond and just as we were turning around for what we thought was going to be a quick sail back to our beach the wind died. Instead of a speedy retreat we caught just enough wind to get us back before the air went totally still.
Lunch and a nap followed for Dan. I took to the phones and contacted Cape Cod community college for two reasons. One for Em's GED, the other to talk to an advisor about the nursing program. Em will probably be attending GED classes a couple of nights a week in the fall just to make sure she's ready for the test and to help her in any areas where she's having trouble. My advisor was as nice as could be and is sending a catalog and an admission form. I went to Framingham state colleges website and quickly located the area to request transcripts and did that as well. I finally feel like I'm taking the first steps and I'm thrilled.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 15, 2008

Dan and I took Em to work this morning and then made a quick trip to Stop and Shop for a birthday present for Ruby who's birthday was Sunday. Dan decided on some playdough and I agreed, nice and messy....still getting them back for the racetrack they gave Dan when he was just two! We came home, did a little housework and were headed down to the beach just as Buzz and the girls were arriving. It's our first Tuesday without the girls, yet here they are. Dan was glad to have them to play with and Buzz and I had a chance to chat like adults for a while. It was a nice diversion. We'd planned on meeting them at the tide pools but Dan went down late for a nap and since low tide was at 4pm we missed it. I did take the opportunity to write an e-mail to Mike trying to explain to him all the things I've been battling with the last few weeks, including enjoying attention given to me by others. He suggested a date night on Thursday which I agreed to. Hopefully we'll have a good time and will have a chance to work on some of our issues.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 14, 2008

Took Em to work this morning then Dan and I headed home for a swim. Spent the day cleaning the house, while Dan took an early nap. Then he and I went down to the tide pools to see what we could find. We found several mussels and lots of periwinkles, and even a sea cucumber which Danny called a sea pig, he liked making it squirt water. On the way back up to the car I said to him "come on baby" and he said "I'm not a baby" I said, "you'll always be my baby" and he said "Mom, someday I'm going to grow up and have my own family, then I won't be your baby anymore" As much as I wanted to argue with his logic, I failed to see a purpose. What a smart 4 and a half year old I have.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 13, 2008

The bout of sickness in our house has passed, thankfully. Mike spent all day Thursday in our bedroom except for a cigarette break here and there through out the day. Emmy had to work so Dan got out a couple of times to take her to and fro, but other then that spent most of the day layed out on the couch as well.

Friday Mike went to work to make up for the day before, Dan had his last Nature Detectives class at the Game Farm and had a great time. I used the time to walk the canal, 4 miles total.
Men's night was at our house, but because of an upset stomach (the bug) I went to bed early.

Saturday morning I went for a 3.5 mile walk, then took Em to work. Dan and I spent about an hour at the Francis Crane WMA looking for annuals with no luck. We did find a pretty orange flower, and really cool brown and orange moth, and a blue jay feather. Got back just in time to help Mike put in the speed bumps before lunch. Dan and I spent a good part of the afternoon at the beach, while Mike napped. Picked Emmy up at work and returned to attend Janni's 5pm cocktail party. That broke up at about 7pm and we all congregated in the grove for dinner.

I've still not imbibed, and have eaten no meat, dairy, or grain products in almost 2 weeks. Fruits/Vegetables and seafood only. It's working for me and I even found my hipbones yesterday! Haven't seen them in a while! Ran 3.5 miles in 50 minutes today!
Came home and cooled off then Mike and I installed the new speed limit signs we made. Put Dan down for an early nap so he and Emily could go see Wall E at 3pm. I did some shopping and put groceries away, then returned to pick up the kids. Later we encouraged Mike L to take us for a boat ride. We did a slow tool around the pond, then did it again at high speed. It was a great ride and nice to be out on the water!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 10. 2008

As expected it was a long night. Dan and I went out to the living room to sleep for the night, Dan made himself a nest on the floor and alternated between being sick, fast asleep, or rolling around in pain. A thunderstorm rolled through at about 2am and I was up to see it. My stomach is very flippy floppy this morning and I intend to eat nothing until it settles. Mike got up a little after 5am, had a cigarette, and sat down with a cup of coffee. He was about half way through when he ran off to the bathroom. Great way to start the day. So Dan's asleep, Mike went back to bed, and I'm here's 6:05am.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9, 2008

Another day of the mad rush to Famouth to take Emmy to work then back to Sandwich so that Dan can get to his class on time. I brought Marley with us and decided that she and I would do 4 miles on the canal while we waited for Dan to be finished at 11:30. The day was hot but had a great wind. Marley was enthusiastic as we walked toward the Sagamore bridge. On the way I noticed a high pitch whistle which I knew could only be a T. lyricen cicada. I was thrilled and went to see if I could find it with no success. The tree line was edged with tall grass and lots of poison ivy. I was glad just to hear them call. The walk back from the bridge was really warm and Marley was definitely feeling it. We made it back to the parking lot and water at 11:15, time enough for a quick drink before heading back to Green Briar to pick up Dan.
Laurie and I made Speed limit signs while Dan napped, then went down to the beach for a swim and to roll up the moonbounce that's been here for a week. After dinner Danny started complaining about a stomach ache. I'd seen this before in Seneca on Tuesday and immediately knew it was going to be a long night...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8, 2008

Things here have been great. Danny's attending a Nature Detective class at Green Briar on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week and already had a great time chasing butterflies, and dragonflies, finding turtle shells, snakes and muskrat poop.
Em's working and earning money. Probably the most notable event of this past week was finding out that as of this week I'll only have the girls every third Friday from 2:30 - 7:45. Advance Spine Centers closed Buzz's office so he's going back to Barnstable Family chiropractic and since he will have Tuesdays off they won't need me any more. I might have to pick up a part time job somewhere but it'll be fine.else'sI'm going to miss having the girls but after today I maybe not! (Just kidding) The day started off with Ruby being very under the weather and concluded when Seneca threw up all over the living room and Joey learned how to take off her diaper and peed on the floor. Dad was promptly called and Mom picked them up early.
The other exciting event of the last couple of days was attempting to smuggle a dozen Cicada down to my buddy Elias in NY. Long Island had their own emergence of Decim's but it was light and he didn't get his fill. I still have plenty and volunteered to send him some. The post office originally said shipping them wasn't a problem, then called yesterday afternoon to say they couldn't ship them over state lines. So down to the local pack and ship I go, after explaining to the guy what's going on, and that they'll be used for research purposes only he jumps on board to help me get these guys down there. I left the box at 5:04pm last night and Elias signed for them at 10:15 this morning. Talk about service. I'm happy to report that even after being cooped up in a box, over night on a plane, 6 cicada's arrived in NY alive, well and calling like mad! Very exciting!
It's been a week of no drinking, it's going better and was easier then I expected. I've also run over 15 miles in the last week and am eating only fresh fruits, vegetables and fish. I think that makes me a vegetarian. I feel terrific, my vestibular issues have all but vanished, and I'm already starting to see some weight loss and as a bonus I came out of the whole experience with a couple of really terrific new friends.

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4, 2008

Dan and Mike are taking a nap, and Em's at the mall with the Morse girls and Sarah. I have some blessed quiet time to regroup. First off I'm doing well. No alcohol in three days, still eating only fruits and vegetable, and walked 3.5 miles this morning. I feel terrific and am already noticing some weight coming off. So far these changes are my secret. After really thinking about the things that have gone on over the last week, I'm entirely less concerned with my feelings of restlessness in the marriage and a little more concerned in doing the things that are going to make me feel good about myself. I hadn't really put the pieces together, but Em is nearly an adult, she not just getting by now like she was when she was in school, she's now thriving. Her boss told me they liked her so much they were going to keep her on staff. Most of the seasonal help will be laid off. Subconsciously I think it's a huge weight off of me. She's doing in on her own, and she's doing it well. At this point what more can I ask.

As for Danny my whole world has basically revolved around this little boy. But nowhe's growing up, he plays with friends more then me, he can dress himself, nearly bathe himself, feed himself, there's less for me to do. I think 4 is the age where a child moves from the baby years into the child years....these are my favorite by far. Anyway, these kids have been my whole life for so long, I forgot I have a life too.

So here's my thinking. School in the fall for me. I want to go back to school to be an RN, then go on to midwifery. It seems like such a long road, and Danny is still so young. But if I do a class or two at night, by the time Dan is Emmy's age I'll be that much closer to achieving my goals. So that's the plan for now. I haven't had a chance to talk to Mike about any of this yet. I kind of like that I'm doing this just for me with no questions why. I also haven't told him I've stopped drinking but I'm sure he knows something is up, for the last two nights he's asked me repeatedly if I wanted wine and I just said no thank you, yesterday he brought me home some Smirnoff's which I really like in the summer, but I didn't touch. I can tell he's starting to wonder what's going on. I did comment the other night after declining a glass that I was tired of waking up with a hangover, so I don't think he'll be surprised.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 3, 2008

Things here have been stressful. I've had a little growing to do over last few days. I took a good hard look at my life, and where it was going. It's very easy to fall into complacency. I've had over 50lbs to lose for more then 7 years. I've dieted on and off but always end up giving up, because what's the point. We like to eat, it's just what we do. I've also found especially in the last couple of years that I'm drinking much more frequently. I decided about a year ago that I would only drink red wine, at least it's heart healthy, but I was drinking it just about every night. Not so healthy. I exercise off and on, I like to run, but it's very difficult to squeeze in when you have a 4 year old, and very easy to put off. All these things combined made for a fat, hung over, lazy and otherwise unmotivated woman on a pretty regular basis. I have no body to blame but myself. My life is what I make it. Now I strive to do what it takes to be happy with myself. My biggest fear is that I will outgrow my life as it is now. Mike is very happy with the life we live, enjoys all his habits and I'm not sure what he'll think of this woman that needs to transform for her own sanity. I presume time will tell.
Strangely, I have eaten no meat, or dairy in nearly 3 days. I'm not sure why except that all of a sudden the thought makes me nauseous. I feel surprisingly good on my fruit and vegetable only diet. A cleansing of sorts. I've stopped drinking, it's been two days now, taking my vitamins, going to be early, getting up early, and even this morning went for a run. It's a good start, just need to keep it up otherwise I'm likely fall back into my life of sloth. I'm great with habits, I just need to make these new life changes habit. Good thing I evolve quickly!