I got blisters on my fingers!

This is a very long catch-up post. Settle in.

First, I would be a total ingrate if I did not make it a point of acknowledging the fabulous weather we've been having here on our island. Not now, of course. Now it's cloudy. But lately we've had a ridiculous amount of sun and temperatures in the sixties (um, that's the twenties for those of you who actually live in this country). Kurt, despite being coated in uranium derived, spf 300 sunscreen, is already tan, providing the surest proof yet of Jeff's paternity.

Jeff is teaching summer school until the end-ish of June, and then, despite our constant assertions that, no, no we're really going to stay put for once, we'll start traveling again. This is the price of living a billion miles from everyone.

I continue to not have a job. It's not an emergency or anything. We don't have any debt or really expensive vices, but it would be nice. Everyone has been forthcoming with suggestions as to how to find a job ("Have you checked a job search website/paper/school?"), and I thank you all, because I know you love me. If you've gotten one of my patented snarky responses ("Well I had considered just skywriting my resume on the next sunny day, but check the paper you say? That's some next level shit…"), please understand that it's because I'm frustrated with the process, not with you. I'll behave better next time, promise.

So I will continue trying to enjoy being a stay at home mom in spite of being spectacularly bad at it, and combing the literature for longitudinal studies of the children of absentee mothers versus stay at home mothers who drink all day. Surely the NSF has thrown some money at this! I've also gotten to do some creative writing, mostly late at night when everyone's asleep, and it's not nearly as frustrating as I remember it being ten years ago. Low expecations are key.

But to get back to the catch-up part of this catch-up post, let me show you some pictures from last month (!)of Maria meeting Aunt Jo and Uncle Rick, and re-meeting Eva (and Anya, though I didn't get a good picture):



I later heard that after the above photo was taken, Eva demanded to have her feet kissed by Aunt Jo also.


Maria liked everybody, end of story. Kurt was sweet and challenging, but when he got really stressed, he would grab his bunny and pacifier and go sit in the dog's cage. No, really:

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I would pick up one for home use, but I don't need to give social services any more cause to investigate me.

As I mentioned before, my brother Rusty came to visit, and actually encouraged Maria to pull his beard:

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(Shortly after the above photo was taken, at Butchart Gardens, a group of Japanese tourists came over and started snapping pictures like mad. These were people of all ages, clearly delighted by Maria. One of them actually picked her up to reposition her, and it happened so fast I was really too shocked to say or do anything. Anyway, I think it speaks volumes of good stuff about Japan that the unabashed love of small children is such a pronounced part of the national character.)

Maria is doing great by the way. She giggles, she rolls around on grass, she plays peekaboo, she giggles. In many ways, she is a lot like Kurt was at her age, except she points, which is something Kurt picked up only recently. It feels weird and disloyal to Kurt to be relieved that Maria may not have his neurological quirks, but I am. 


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Kurt is Kurt. One of a kind. Simultaneously awesome and insufferable. He takes his books to bed with him at night and "reads" them until he falls asleep. He's started to ask questions in earnest ("Where's Daddy?" if Jeff is gone, for instance). He says "Buh-bye airplane!" in a wistful voice when one flies overhead. He remains devoted to his Bunny.

His fascination with/fear of dogs is priceless. A few weeks ago he got ahead of me on the trail and disappeared over a hill, only to come running back at top speed with panic on his face. I expected several German Shepard sized dogs to come galloping up behind him, but instead I saw one dog, smaller than our cats, and on a leash. Of course, as soon as the beast in question was a good distance behind us, Kurt was all goodwill again. "Buh-bye, doggie!" he cried cheerfully. "See you next time!"

And of course he loves his sister. With careful, cookie-oriented scheming, Kurt will now sit on the potty with his pants off, which has yet to result in any actual pottying, but which is a big step nonetheless. Today he demanded Maria be put on the potty, too, and he cheered and clapped for her while she sat, totally confused by what was happening to her.

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But of course what fun would it be to behave all the time, so he balances out the cute with the screaming when he hears the word no, the constant pretend falling down followed by an hour of the world's fakest crying (there will be no Oscars in this boy's future), the throwing of heavy objects at the sister he adored two seconds ago, the running out into the street (we live on a quiet cul de sac, but still), the complete inability to just walk into the freaking house when we get home (instead of needing to run up and down the driveway two dozen times first), and the screams of protest when I ask him to do, well, most things. It's not like he won't do it. It's just that he needs to scream first. It's taxing.

So that's our story. 

Kurt loves to play Band Hero with Jeff. Well, he loves to play drums while Jeff plays guitar. This is 28 seconds of Jeff and Kurt playing "Tom Sawyer." Playing a Rush song with his son is perhaps the highest, sweetest parenting moment of Jeff's life….



9 thoughts on “I got blisters on my fingers!”

  1. Maria is an angel. Kurt is a handful but hilarious and oh so loveable.
    Jeff can be a rock star being handsome and his long hair. Don’t know how he would react to adoring females throwing panties at him. Probably pull out the disinfectant wipes. And that thought has me choking on laughter.
    Your job search will pan out soon. THE job will come, probably fall in your lap when you least expect it.
    Glad that Rusty visited. After being at home for so many years taking care of mom and dad it’s good that he can now take time for himself.
    Love you the Canada Niehaus family.


  2. We are sure you will get many protests to your statement, we beg to differ – you are a terrific stay-at-home mom. The amount of patience and calm that you exhibit each day are a wonder. Kurt AND Maria are very fortunate that YOU are there mom.


  3. PS – so sorry about the blisters on your fingers – we want you to know – from out point of view – they were worth it 🙂 Love reading your blog!!!!!


  4. I concur whole-heartedly with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Marlo. You are indeed a superb stay-at-home mom. Your patience is insurmountable as far as I can tell, and it’s true Kurt and Maria are lucky to have you.
    Glad to hear that you’re learning Canadian temperature readings and that Jeff is rocking out the Canadian tunes. Way to immerse yourselves! 😉
    Brilliant blogging, Jayne. I look forward to more!


  5. If you meet the stay-at-home mom who feels like she’s got it all figured out and DOES, I’d like to meet her. Actually, no. I really wouldn’t. Anyway, I think part of the deal is wanting to do the impossible and, therefore, always being disappointed in yourself. But you’re the only one who’s disappointed in you.
    Kurt’s cage makes me want to laugh and cry and kiss him.
    There’s nothing wrong with being happy that Maria is pointing. It’s crazy to think that loving and supporting and accepting Kurt would necessitate wanting Maria to be exactly like him.
    I love you J.Q.A.


  6. what wonderful pictures, your kids are so cute..you describe things so nicely, I feel like i was just visiting you! I’m glad Rusty got to visit…and the weather looks nice…love ya…anne


  7. That’s a great blog Jayne! Kids look good, loved the dog cage pic hey when you want to be in your own space whatever works. Both kids look healthy and happy.


  8. By the way: Kurt in profile in this video looks weirdly like Luke. Or maybe it’s that Luke’s profile resembles Kurt’s.


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