"Pensieri, non sogni" by Flavio Ronco.
“Pensieri, non sogni” by Flavio Ronco.
I was trapped. My fingers slid uselessly across the face of my cell phone, and the incessant clanging followed me wherever I tried to run until I finally realized it was a dream, and then I was awake. It was 2 a.m.

I stared at the pale rectangle of light at the other end of the room for what felt like hours, trying to figure out what had precipitated the noise in my dream. I tried to think happy, non-anxious thoughts, but I knew something must’ve happened in the real world to cause that sound. It wasn’t the alarm clock; that was the usual offender, but Rockford was sound asleep. The smoke detector wasn’t going off, and no one was playing drums anywhere in the house. So that only left one possibility: Burglars.

So much for happy, non-anxious thoughts.

I listened with all my being for the intruders and tried to figure out what I’d do once I finally saw a silhouette in the doorway. I didn’t want to wake Rockford until I heard something else, something definitive. And then, at about 2:15, I heard it.

I coughed. Loudly, and a lot. An incessant clanging rising up straight from my larynx. I got up, too tired to feel foolish, and took some cough syrup. The coughing wouldn’t give up that easily, though, so I moved to the couch so Rockford, at least, could sleep in peace.

I wondered if the antibiotics I’ve been taking might have contributed to the vividness of my dream, but Googling “zithromax dreams” only led me to a message board full of people who believed it had made them lose their sense of smell or given them dissociative disorders or an uncanny streak of good luck. (I don’t know. Just reporting the facts, ma’am.)

I completed two levels of the dumb Facebook game I’ve been playing, and then Pete joined me on the couch.

“I can’t sleep, Mama.”

“Me either, buddy. Would you like some warm milk?”

He nodded, and we went to the kitchen. He clutched his blankie and quietly sipped a small glass of milk. I held his hand, and I tucked him back into his bed.

“Try to sleep now,” I said. I kissed his head. “I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mama.”

By 4:30 he was smashed against me on the couch, all long-limbed and stretched out and radiating little-kid heat. I held him close.

“Mama,” he said at 8 o’clock, “I would like to watch ‘Super Hero Squad.’ ”

“OK,” I said. And then I went back to bed and slept for one solid, blissful, uninterrupted hour.

I don’t have to try not to breathe, Michael Stipe.

This weekend my head was so thoroughly congested that my teeth hurt, my voice echoed around in my head and I couldn’t taste anything. It drove me to Extreme Measures. I’ve been hearing lots of talk lately about the wonders of apple cider vinegar, so I Googled ” ‘sinusitis’ and ‘apple cider vinegar,’ ” and I found a number of recipes for hot beverages that were supposed to ease the symptoms of a sinus infection rather miraculously.

So I grated some ginger, added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a little cinnamon and a whole lot of honey and then poured some hot water over it and let it steep for a bit. I must’ve been wildly powerful, because I could taste it. It was a sharp and not necessarily a good taste, but it was a taste after a day and a half of tasting nothing at all. By all accounts it smelled rather hideous, too.

But did it work? I sipped it slowly — I can’t take big sips, because then I can’t breathe — while watching “Downton Abbey” (speaking of which: Tears. Big, ugly tears. That’s all I’ll say about that,) and by bedtime there was no noticeable difference. I’ll let you know later if it turns out that the vinegar concoction is indeed a wonderment. I hope it is, because I’d like to be able to taste some of this week’s meals, which shall be as follows.

Monday: Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce

My fascination with Chicken and a Pan Sauce continues.

Tuesday: Baked potato soup

I’ve also been making soup once a week for the past several. It’s been so cold and rainy lately, this one sounded like it would hit the spot.

Wednesday: Cheeseburgers

I think cheeseburgers have become Pete’s favorite food.

Thursday: Leftovers

I don’t think I’ll want a leftover cheeseburger, but leftover soup will be just fine.

Friday: Pizza

Maybe we should’ve watched “Thor”

Homeschool at ButterscotchSundae.comThis was one of those weeks where I would’ve like to have stayed home every day. (And by “one of those weeks,” I mean it was a regular week. I have hermit-istic tendencies.) Alas, the children have activities every day but today. I think all the running around on the other days makes today all the sweeter, though, especially since it’s 20-something degrees and icy outside and I don’t have to leave the house at all.


This is the best Viking ship I’ve ever had a hand in building.

I found the Vikings fascinating when I was a kid (still do), but they didn’t seem to capture Poppy’s imagination all that much. The only thing she was really enthusiastic about in history this week was building our Viking longboat, which we did this afternoon following the instructions from They also have a nice video about the process:

You can read Poppy’s take on Vikings on her blog, which we remember to update periodically.


Pete has been asking for awhile now if I’d order a handwriting curriculum for him, so I finally got McRuffy’s Kindergarten Handwriting. And he hated it almost immediately. I’m not sure what he was expecting, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t think I’d make him redo his work if he rushed through it.


It’s looking like Poppy might not get to her 1,000-page goal for the BookIt program this month, even though she finished two Magic Tree House books this week. She didn’t want to read anything that wasn’t one of the MTH books she had on hold at the library, and she had to wait about a week for them. So she’s fallen behind quite a bit. Maybe next time she’ll just read something else in the meantime!

Pete hasn’t quite mastered this week’s Bob book, so we’ll keep at it next week. He’s picking out words here and there on signs, etc. We’re making progress.


Pete practiced dribbling in the garage earlier this week, and Rockford reports that he had a very good basketball practice. His first game, last weekend, went well. He passed the ball both times it was in his possession, and his team did pretty well. They don’t keep score at this level, so I can’t tell you for certain whether or not they won.

The heat at the ballet studio went out moments before Poppy’s ballet class this week, so she had a very chilly 45 minutes. Picture eight little parka-clad girls leaping around the studio.

Poppy completed the requirements for her first American Heritage Girls badge this week. It was the “Internet Adventurer” badge, and it took her about half an hour to complete. She read most of the handbook this week and has decided that she wants to earn almost every badge.


Math was studied.

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