I've been ill again for the past week. Just beginning to feel a bit human today. That would make something like 13 weeks of 2008 that I've been ill, which is a lot even by my sickly, weakling standards. My immune system has never been very good. Someone half a block away sneezes and I'm down with walking pneumonia for a month. With the wee ones waking me all night and keeping me from napping during the day--not to mention cultivating germs a wiping them all over me 24/7--it's entirely hopeless.
Other than giving myself a rigorously enforced bedtime and taking melatonin to make it work (I am a terrible insomniac to top it all off), I just don't know how to strengthen my immune system which seems, in fact, to be worsening with age.
So give me any and all immune-building tips you've got. Herbal remedies, old wives tales, snake oil, whatever. Lay it on me. How do I keep from falling ill whenever the wind blows? We are, after all, about to take up residence in the Windy City.
We changed our minds about the house. Too overwhelming to contemplate and no way to know for sure that it wouldn't break the bank before we were through.
So today we're putting an offer on a condo after all. It's still a great location, though--about three blocks from the dream house and its kitchen is not in its living room and the bedrooms are a nice size. Besides, it has a little bonus room through some french doors off the master bedroom. And the master bedroom has this awesome-cool, built-in wardrobey thing.
So we are happy.
That is, we'll be happy when all this settles. I doubt they'll accept our first offer. But Cole looked up what they paid for it only one year ago and we came up with something we think is fair and would take ourselves, if we were them.
It has no outdoor space which was originally a deal-breaker for me, when we looked at it the first time. I was set on a balcony and/or a little yard like we have at our current building. But it turns out the unit we want has the roof rights, so Cole has promised me a roof deck by spring.
That just about does the trick, as I've always, always wanted a rooftop city garden.
The fact is, we could be a happy in a lot of different kinds of places and situations. So really, we're pretty lucky.
Recently I was discussing phantom crying with some new moms and one of them said her mother told her that when she had little kids, she could always hear babies crying in the air conditioner. Yep. Or the heating vents or the washing machine or thin air sometimes.
But I thought of that recently when the squeaks coming from my own bedroom window A/C unit finally roused enough curiosity that I went and looked behind the insulating board we have to take up the window gap and there was a squirrel sitting between my window panes.
The squirrels are always mucking around with our A/C units in the summer. I think they like the condensation dripping off the units on the outside. A couple of summers ago we had styrofoam boards for the insulation pieces and they chewed through them and made a huge mess of little styrofoam bits everywhere in our window sill. So this year we have a sturdy piece of plywood held in place with--of course--duct tape, which has pulled back a little at the corners by now.
I shooed the squirrel away and as she ran off, I realized that she had been sitting in a pile of leaves. Upon closer inspection I saw one of these huddled in a little ball.
I guess that during the couple of weeks we were away, the squirrel decided our bedroom window was a good nest location.
There was also at least one other baby there that looked dead, but I didn't see any others. It could be that they are well hidden in the leaves, though, as I have had trouble spotting the baby since then. Mama Squirrel seems to cover them well when she leaves.
Will they be okay in there, do you suppose? The A/C is continually running which doesn't strike me as pleasant for a nest, but the mother does seem to be doing her job. It's fun to peek in there through the little gap in the duct tape and spy on them. And now that I know what the sound is, the little hungry squeaks from baby/ies is so cute! I have been careful not to startle the mother since the first time I ran her out on purpose. But the one dead baby worries me that it isn't a safe spot for some reason.
I have no idea. I know nothing of squirrels. And I know the last thing the world needs is more squirrels and sparrows, but when they start raising children in your air conditioners, you feel a bit responsible for their survival nonetheless...
We found something we want to put an offer on. Wish us luck!
The details: It's a big house on a busy street that is half fixed-up and half a mess. That's why we could maybe afford it. It is one block from the intersection that is the bull's eye of our target neighborhood.
It is also, as chance would have it, right across the alley from the artist's loft that we are renting until January while we continue to shop or (hopefully) fix up our new fixer-upper. And when I say "artist's loft" I mean, "a loft belonging to an artist." It's an old machine shop with her studio in the first floor and her home on the second with a nice amount of baby-happy space and--get this--a public playground right behind. (This means the playground is about two doors down from our hope house.) The artist herself is also awesome. She's going to Puerto Rico for the winter to build a tree house on her mother's land to live in when she visits in future winters. We hit it off and she has promised Nat she will teach her to paint.
I just got an email from someone on an adoption list I'm on. I have removed identifying details, but here's the basics on the baby. If you want to know more, I can pass you on.
We got a call yesterday from the agency that our son came to us through. They have an urgent placement need. If you are homestudy ready and can travel within the next week or so, they really to find ahome for this little one quickly. She is a Baby girl, latino & caucasian, six months old. She was born very premature, has some mild cardiac issues which will need treatment in the future, she has a grade III brain bleed which does not appear to have a lasting effect though is at risk for CP, she is weaning off oxygen now, she has no feeding issues, eats very well, and is growing well. She is in New Jersey, and has been out of the hospital for 2 months. Fees will be negotiable.
The best part of the Rain Forest Cafe was when Cole got up to take a picture and was almost reprimanded by the manager, who thought that she--in her khakis and olive green shirt--was one of his employees wearing non-regulation shoes.
Lesson: Never wear khaki and olive green to the Rain Forest Cafe.