Sunday, May 26, 2013

the dandelion takeover

The snow melted, the brown grass started turning green, and with it a billion yellow flowers started to emerge from the ground-- I have never seen as many dandelions as I have this spring here in Sachem. Dandelions dotted the grassy lawns, and within the white fences of the playground areas the density of these weeds was about 20 times higher. It was...impressive.

The yellow blooms stuck around for a while, then they all started turning into the fluffy seed pods. One afternoon during what seemed like peak fluffy-seed-pod-ness we ventured out, me taking pictures and the boys playing amongst the weeds. First, they did the traditional blowing of the seeds (likely why the place is covered to begin with).

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See? I wasn't kidding about the ridiculous amount of dandelions.

Then they discovered a much more effective method of dispersing the seeds...kicking with their feet.
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Lastly, they finished off the afternoon by gathering up all the now (mostly)empty dandelion stems to bring home and leave in a pile by our front porch. Zach's wondering if we'll have a mass of dandelions growing in that spot next spring...
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Monday, May 20, 2013

pretty lilacs and the passing of seasons

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One thing that's been fascinating about living in New England with its four distinct seasons, is how quickly and dramatically the landscape changes. I'm used to the lazier pace of Texas and California. There you really have two main seasons- a long summer, and kind of a mishmash of fall/spring hybrid the rest of the time. I remember in California flowers blooming almost any time of year, pretty flowers feeling like more or less a constant in our surroundings. Sacramento did have some gorgeous fall foliage, but it appeared in December and was quickly followed by spring flowers just weeks later.

Here, there are four distinct seasons to get through in 12 months- a long winter, and separate spring, summer, and fall. Each season has its own distinct features, and has to get through them in its prescribed amount of time. And so, in the fall you get leaves that start to turn, and you notice the changes from one day to the next, and a week or two later the leaves are falling. In winter you have snowfalls that transform everything literally overnight A warm spell then melts the snow, and again everything can look completely different. Now in spring, it's fascinating to pass the same trees and notice from one week to the next the very first emergence of buds, then the tree exploding into blossoms, and just as quickly the petals begin to fall and suddenly that tree that last week was covered in white flowers is a solid bright green of lush leaves, the ground below it covered in the fallen petals. 

It kinda feels hurried, gives me a sense of needing to absorb the beauty of this moment RIGHT NOW because it will soon be gone, or at least different. This feeling is probably made worse by the desire to photograph what I'm seeing, but having trouble finding the time to do so. On the other hand, I love watching the landscape change, how the same roads I drive every day look different and new all the time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy moms day

Today was a good day. I got to sleep in till 10am! The boys then presented me with their gifts of drawings of monster trucks. Zach presented me with his gift of a sweet little necklace with all our initials on it (I used to have a "mommy necklace" with D's name on it, then Quinn came along and I wanted an updated version but couldn't settle on a style I liked...this one may be a winner).
My mom's day gift- teensy cube with all our initials on it. <3
We rode bikes outside, hung out with friends, went to a birthday party. I talked on the phone with my mom, something I don't do nearly often enough. Oh, and D's on his 4th day of antibiotics and his Lyme rash is all but gone, so yay for that, too.

I suppose I'll go ahead and make this the sappy mother's day post that it is, and state the obvious-- how grateful I am for my kiddoes, who made me a mother. And for my own mom, whom I cannot imagine life without (even if we don't get to sit down and actually talk all that often). And, for all the other mom-types in my life, past and present-- my grandmothers, aunts, my sisters, friends. People whose love and support mean the world to me. I have a lot of people "in my corner" and I realize how rare that can be, how I lucky I am for that.

Happy Moms Day.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

damn ticks

Waiting area at DHMC. Poor kiddo got his first tick bite recently (that we found, anyway) and yesterday developed the rash around now we're starting a couple weeks of antibiotics to treat for Lyme Disease. =(
(As an interesting juxtaposition to my last post.....) One of my bigger apprehensions about moving to New Hampshire was ticks and Lyme disease. The thought of tiny bugs that bury their entire heads into your skin and hang around for over a day sucking your blood is incredibly creepy on its own, throw in the risk of catching a potentially life-long physically debilitating illness and yeah ticks scare me. I figured we'd have to deal with a few ticks while here, but hoped that with being diligent about checking for them and catching them early we'd have a low risk of having to deal with Lyme itself.


Donovan got a tick a week and a half ago. Zach found it (right by his right ear), I pulled it out, and was proud of myself for doing so with the nasty little bugger (seemingly) intact. That night I looked up symptoms of Lyme disease as a reminder of what to look for.  The thing about Lyme is if you catch it early it's treated pretty easily with antibiotics, but if you don't recognize the early stages it can become a chronic illness. So as I often do, I spent a night feeling all sorts of freaked out about the whole thing, then came to that place of realizing there's only so much I can do, and worrying about the other stuff is pointless, so I should just keep an eye out for symptoms and not stress about the rest.

For a while D seemed fine, he had random colds and things but nothing out of the ordinary for a 5 year old. I kept checking his tick bite to look for a rash (one telltale sign) and asking how his joints felt. Everything seemed fine...till last night when I noticed a big red patch around the bite spot. It was still there this morning, so we saw a doctor this afternoon and he confirmed that it indeed looked like a classic Lyme rash. Ugh. D started a course of amoxicillin tonight, which he'll take for a couple weeks and hopefully that will be the end of that. I'm just glad he got the rash so we could recognize it and get it taken care of. I'm still kinda freaked out about if any of the rest of us gets it at some point, and most of the symptoms are kinda general so unless you have (and recognize) the rash or the joint pain it can be easy to overlook.  But again, not much we can do other than try to be vigilant. I am kinda considering dousing all our clothes in permethrin and suspending my usual avoidance of DEET repellants...

So I guess our New Hampshire health curse struck again. Related aside: this was my third trip to DHMC this week alone. I was also there on Monday for my first follow-up MRI (to check on my incision site and get a baseline image for monitoring the spot in case of tumor regrowth), and on Tuesday to talk to my doctor about the MRI results (as expected-- everything looks fine, I'll be back in another 6 months to check again). I'll say this, in our experience DHMC is a really nice hospital and they have a pretty awesome setup especially for kids. But I'd really like not to have to keep going there so often. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

cliched things about time flying by so quickly...

I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized that Zach has less than 3 weeks till he's done with his first year of business school.

Holy whoa, you guys.

Beyond that, in just over a month he'll leave for SF for his summer internship, a thought that strikes a wee bit of terror into my heart. Those will be a long 10 weeks (11, actually, because I am the world's most loving and understanding wife and agreed to let him stay an extra week to go backpacking).

And one year from now we'll be getting ready to pack up and leave this place. We will hopefully be headed back to the west coast, back to people and places we know and love and miss and that will be exciting and wonderful...and yet, I feel so much sadness at the thought of leaving here.  I guess I've grown a bit attached to these people and places as well. I saw a quote recently, I don't remember it well enough to quote it exactly, but it was something about how we diminish our joy by envisioning the end of it. Which is so true and something I've been guilty of in the past, so I'm trying not to do it here-- I'm trying to push that sadness out of my mind and instead remember that we still have a whole 'nother year ahead. Another year of experiencing all four seasons, of gawking at the incredible natural beauty of the Upper Valley and the way it is constantly changing, of trips to the playground and the woods and riding bikes around the circle, of being able to step onto my front porch and see my kids' best friends' houses. There are things that have been challenging and difficult about our 10 months here so far, but there's a lot that has felt almost magical. I know there are still many amazing things to come, I don't want my envisioning the end of it to get in the way of enjoying that.

And then there's summer. It did kinda stop me cold when I realized Zach's only got about another month left here with us. Every time we have a difficult bedtime with the boys, or in the morning when it takes everything I've got to drag myself out of bed at 5am to go soothe a crying Quinn, I'll think to myself, "How the hell am I going to survive this summer by myself?!?" Thankfully I won't be totally by myself-- my in-laws will be up here for about a month, and other family may be visiting later in the summer. Also, there's a good group of other families who'll also be staying behind for the summer, and a neighbor's nanny I've started using a couple hours a week who'll be able to provide some childcare over the summer months. I've got plans and schemes forming in my mind of how to get our little community together so we can all help each other through what will probably be an equal parts awesome/terrifying summer, and what sorts of help I need to ask for and arrange for myself so I don't lose my mind in the process.

And here, again, I want to enjoy the last weeks of having Zach around vs focusing on dreading his leaving.  The next couple weeks will be busy with schoolwork, and then he'll have a couple weeks of downtime before leaving where we can hopefully just hang out and make the most of that time together. I at times oscillate between being a hopelessly hopeful optimist and a pragmatic pessimist, I'm working on ignoring the pessimist voice right now and favoring my optimistic side.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

cm blog circle: shooting through glass

This month's blog circle theme was "shooting through glass." For the first few weeks I wracked my brain trying to figure out what to do with it... then one day I broke out every glass object in the house and just started playing around, and below are my two favorites out of what I got.

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Then recently Quinn and I went to the kids museum nearby and I took this pic of him watching the fish and I think it's neat and also fits the theme, so here it goes.
Watching the fish at the Montshire.

Next up in the circle: Candid Joy Photography


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