Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It all started out rather lovely.

"They have a butterfly garden," she said, "The girls would like that, wouldn't they?" We agreed that they would, and made the plan; Hubby and I would make the hour drive on Saturday to meet my in-laws at a local botanical garden for an afternoon visit. We hadn't seen them in over a month, and it was time. Kids grow too fast.

A few days later we arrived at the gardens at about 3 PM, hours later than we had planned of course, and quickly unloaded our gear and our girls and headed on our way...first to meet up with the in-laws, then on to the butterfly portion of the gardens. Excitement was abundant.

The butterflies were graceful and beautiful...and mostly various shades of orange...dancing over our heads and landing once on Little...which she didn't much appreciate. Big spent the remaining amount of our time there chasing after the rest of them, trying to convince them that she, also, was a sufficient landing zone. Sadly, they didn't care. The rest of us watched and pointed and oooh'd and aaahhhhh'd with the masses as we walked around the swampy, humid indoor area, discovering that, really, humid does nothing for odors in a room full of people. Lovely. At one point we wandered upon a glass enclosed chest that was filled with various species of butterfly chrysalises, and even a few newly hatched butterflies waiting quite patiently to be released, and hit the jackpot. A volunteer approached at just that moment, allowing us to be there while she unlocked the glass doors and let the hatchlings fly out into the world for the very first time. It was beautiful, and the girls adored it...but 30 minutes of flying bugs was enough for them, and I concurred, so we moved on.

The outdoor area was lovely, and large. I couldn't even tell you how many varieties or even colors of plants there were to gaze upon. Big galloped a few yards in front of us, ever the independent one, while the rest of us hung back and mosied along in a more relaxed kind of way. Little, the luckiest of all, hung out in her stroller and allowed herself to be pushed along the path. No screaming, lots of smiles, pretty all started out rather lovely. At one point, about fifteen minutes into our stroll, we came upon an Asian themed area with a large golden temple-like building. There were stairs leading up to the building, and stairs on the other three sides leading down into various zen-like displays, some with still pools of water, some with flowers and benches, all very much right up Big's alley. So she ran and the rest of us sat and watched and just generally occupied ourselves while she burned off a little energy, you know, the usual. At some point, a few minutes into her routine, I joined her up on the building platform and sat on the steps while she showed me her very impressive physical abilities. I smiled, and then I noticed her pulling at the crotch area of her pants. "Potty," I thought, because I had seen this all before, and I figured that it was time to head back to the entrance, where the bathrooms were located. It was a fifteen minute walk from where we were, remember, and there was nary a port-a-potty to be seen amidst the dahlias and daisies. It was time to go. In what seems now more of a formality than an actual gesture of inquiry, I walked over to Big and, as I ushered her toward the steps of the building to head back to the path, I asked her "Do you need to go potty?" And of course she said no. She always says no, especially if, at the moment, she is entertained. I ushered her anyway...a mere three steps down...when all of a sudden she had a change of heart. "Yes, Mommy! Yes! I need to go potty!" she said, but it was already too late. "I'm going!" she said, as I cringed and quickly grabbed her under the arms and moved her off of the steps onto the grass, waiting for the streams to trickle down the insides of her legs and the puddle to appear beneath her...but there were no streams, and no puddle was forming. I was confused at first, thinking that maybe it was a false alarm and she could, indeed, hold it until we made it to the building, "Don't go!" I gasped, "Hold it! We'll go to the bathroom really quick!" I told her, but again she told me it was too late, she was already going...and suddenly the wind turned and blew in my direction, and it all made sense. Horrible, horrible sense. Dear Lord, it was a number two.

So there we were, at the far end of a public garden, a fifteen minute walk from any bathroom, more than an hour from home and Big had an obviously large, stinky poo hanging out in her underpants. "Hubby!" I yelled in a hushed tone, "Hubby, come here!!" and I think that by the look on my face he knew there was no time to mess around. He quickly ended the conversation with his parents and headed right over to my side, where I let him in on the secret. He cringed, and we began discussing our options. The best option, of course, was to make the trek back to the building, where I could take Big into the bathroom and clean her up...but as we stood there, commiserating, she got tired of watching us whisper and decided she was going to walk away from us, and that put an end to option number one. I wouldn't even call what she was doing "walking", it was more of an open-legged waddle at .01 miles per hour. Obviously uncomfortable, and gross, it was both horrible and hilarious at the same time. Clearly, we weren't going to make it more than ten feet from where we stood, so Hubby grabbed the diaper bag and the three of us headed up a little secluded path, which Hubby would later tell me was called a "serenity path"...oh the irony, to get down to business. A few minutes later it was anything but serene back there.

My portion of the clean-up was to take care of Big...Hubby's was to take care of the rest. At one point I looked up from my cleaning duties to find Hubby standing a few feet away from us, holding as little fabric between his thumb and forefinger as possible, staring at the dangling pair of soiled Littlest Pet Shop underpants with disgust and wonder. "It looks like a sling shot!" he declared, and at that point all composure flew out the window. It did. It looked like a puppy decorated, sparkly, white cotton poo sling shot, just dangling there between his fingers, as we stood out in the middle of a public garden...our little girl's dimpled bare buns exposed for the world to see...with the tour tram's speaker noise growing ever closer, threatening to expose our horrific, secret mission to the unsuspecting elderly who had climbed aboard expecting a G-rated botanical tour...and damn it, it was funny. So we laughed, gut busting laughter, for a good two minutes...and then we went back to work.

About a thousand wipies and a few minutes later, Big was all cleaned up, dressed in new clothes and happy as a clam, as she skipped, tra la la, back down the path to where my in-laws had seated themselves on a bench, with Little, while we went on our alternative adventure. Hubby and I, on the other hand, hung back behind the bushes for a few additional minutes, bathing our digits in copious amounts of anti-bacterial liquids, staring off into the distance in a sort of shell shock over what had just taken place. Only us, we thought, as we gathered our soiled belongings and made our way behind Big back down the path to rejoin our group...and it was then that it occurred to me. Something was missing. "What did you do with the poo?" I quietly asked Hubby, expecting that he would have placed it in the ziploc bag with the undies for us to discard in the nearest trash bin...but alas, I was holding the ziploc bag...and in it there were pants and terribly funky undies...but no poo. "Well," he began, "I needed a place to put the pants...and I didn't really think that we needed to pack up the turd and take it home with us, so..." I cringed, and prepared myself for the rest. "I tried to shake it out, but it wouldn't budge, so I grabbed a stick and impaled it, and it kind of made like, a poopcicle? So I took it and I tossed the whole thing over the rocks as far behind the bushes as I could get it." And I died a little bit inside.

"You left it there?!" I gasped...and he simply nodded. I mean I guess I could see his point...we did only have one ziploc bag...and the thought of packing an actual poo in with our daughter's clothes and taking it home with us was kind of horrible...and we were sort of out in nature, where many species had littered the ground with poo long before us...or so I told myself in order to alleviate some of the guilt I was feeling over the incident. If only we had packed some sort of orange flag, or warning sign in our bag as well, for the unsuspecting gardener who would soon be wondering how on Earth someone had smuggled a dog into the gardens. My sincerest apologies to that gardener...and to everyone who happens to travel that previously serene path in the next few days in general. Leave it to us to take a trip to a beautiful botanical garden and totally shit upon it...umm...literally. That's us...destroying the ecosystem one poopcicle at a time. Heaven help us.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The story of us.

I was married once before, when I was 25, and divorced three years later. It was a really ugly, unhappy period of time for me, nothing I enjoy looking back on. If it weren't for Big, I would say things like "I wish I had never...blah blah." but getting Big out of that relationship makes the fact that I went through all that I did OK, as long as in the end I got her. In fact, it was having her that finally gave me the courage to set out on my own, knowing that she deserved a better life than the one I could give her when I was married to her father. So in a sense, having her saved me too. My little blessing in baby's clothing, I am thankful for her each and every day.

So, on our way we went...Big and I. She was about nine months old and I was a first time as could be. If it weren't for the support of my friends and family I'm pretty certain we wouldn't have made it out on our own. But we did. In the nine months that we were on our own, we managed to grow together...happy and healthy and strong. She was a joy. And at the end of that nine months, I met Hubby.

I had dated before him, after my divorce, but meeting him was different than anything I had ever experienced before. For me, HE was different...good different...and though I didn't know it then, he was my one.

Totally gun-shy from a previous marriage that ended in divorce, he wasn't quite as sure about me as I was about him. I knew he was nervous, distant even, because of what he'd been through...not looking for any kind of anything solid, he put it out there for me from the beginning, and I was unsure...but he continued to pursue seeing me, and I allowed it to go on because I enjoyed my time with him and I figured that, if nothing else, I was having a good time dating. So we dated. For about two months. And then it happened (or I should say, and then she happened). Already falling for him and his brilliant blue eyes and witty wisecracks, I did that thing that mother's tell you never to do as a young woman, you know...that thing I knew better than to do. I gave myself to him. Once. And though I went into it with my eyes wide open, and it seemed as if nothing had really changed in the morning light, from that night on everything changed. A mere two weeks later we discovered that there were now four of us where there had previously been only three, and two lines where I had prayed so hard there would only be one. And I cried. And he panicked. And for a few minutes the world stopped spinning for us, while our heads began spinning with the realization of what we'd done, what we'd created so accidentally one night, and the fear over how our lives, still so separate, were going to change as that "thing we'd made together" grew between us for the next nine months. And then, as if nothing had changed, the world began spinning again and life went on. That was in May. By July we had fallen in love. It was truly the most preposterous thing, but it was the truth. Amid the pressure of an unplanned pregnancy, and the baggage we were each carrying from our previous failed marriages, and the social pressure surrounding us to make a "go" of something we weren't even sure existed...we fell head over heels, ass over tea kettle in love with one another. And that was it for us. From the very first time that he told me he loved me, I was his, and he was mine in an unwavering, absolutely no doubt kind of way. We were married the following New Year's Eve.

As my belly grew over the months, so did Hubby's relationship with Big. From the very minute that he met her, I knew he loved her. Following her around my house with a Dora doll as big as she was, trying everything he could think of to get her to speak to was almost painfully obvious to me that he was instantly smitten. Much to my relief, in no time at all, it was clear that she was equally taken with him, referring to him more often as "her prince" than by his name. She was soon informing me that she was making plans to marry him when she grew up, and I knew that she meant it. It was love in that "you're the best daddy-figure ever" kind of way, and just as it was with me, from that day forward she was his, and he hers in that same unwavering kind of way. As if by magic, there suddenly stood before me a family of three where, until recently, two very separate, broken families had stood. It was a miracle...undeniably God's plan for us..and we were thankful and happy. My heart was full for what seemed like the very first time in my whole life. Things went on that way for a few more months; snoring on the sofa on Sunday afternoons and sausage biscuit hugs on weekday was simple, and simply wonderful. And then along came Little.

Little was born on a very cold, dark January morning. A planned c-section, we arrived at the hospital very early on a Tuesday morning for our "appointment" and in no time at all, with fear in our hearts and tears in our eyes, Hubby and I together embraced our newest little girl. Prepared for surgery and a complicated hospital stay, but having no idea of the terrifying, twisted and yet wonderful path that lay ahead of us in the next year, we held and caressed our soft, beautiful baby girl. Ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes...and one tiny broken heart, Little fought her way into this world with a spirit previously unknown to me...strong and so fragile at the same time. So perfect and so vulnerable, Hubby and I loved her from the very moment we gazed upon her beautiful little face. That cold morning, before anyone else had a chance to lay eyes on our newest tiny member*, so very suddenly, we became a family of four.

And that's how we came to be us; Hubby and Big and Little and I. Aimlessly adrift in the sea of life, we found our way to one another and unexpectedly became one, the four of us together. Our family, my dream come true. That is the story of us.

*Excluding medical personnel, of course.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Definition of Amazing

18 months ago today my Little entered this world. Right from the get-go she came in kicking and screaming, letting everyone know that nothing was going to keep her down and no one was going to hold her back. Isn't that the truth. It's impossible to describe just how much I've learned from this little person who grew inside my body...coming into this world imperfect, fighting for her life from her very first breath, she's never wavered in her strength and determination. She is the definition of amazing.

Happy 18 Months to my strong, silly, smart, amazing Little girl. Mommy loves you and thanks you for just being you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Love Being Wrong...

I had a minor electronic gadget emergency the other day. I define this as an electronic gadget emergency because the emergency was that my cellphone kept turning itself off randomly and refusing to reignite in any way shape or form until it was damn well ready. Really? Not an emergency, but in this day and age being without your cellphone feels like an emergency, especially when you've given up the good ol' landline in favor of the portable variety, and no one can get a hold of you without it. So after a week of being ready to run to the AT&T store and then having the damn thing magically heal itself, I had had enough. The phone was only a little over a year old and hadn't suffered any my knowledge anyway, I suppose with phone loving little ones running around you never truly into the store I flew, on my lunch break, and by the time I got there, I was not. happy. FEAR ME.

Cellphone salespeople have taken on a certain type in my mind, pretty much the same type as the used car salesman. Anyone who shouts at me and tries to sell me something as I'm walking through the mall with my two children, juggling goldfish, a sippy cup, and a leaky lemonade immediately goes on my shit list. (Also on my shit list? The nail file and hand lotion toting salespeople at the mall...but that's a different post on a different day.) I just knew, before I even entered the building, that I was going to be told that my phone was worthless, no longer under warranty, and that I was going to have to buy a new one. Knowing that I was not yet eligible for a "free" phone, as my contract isn't up yet, I was preemptively internally seething. Scam artists!! I thought, and I reluctantly walked up to the service counter and waited.

A few minutes later a not-really-noteworthy looking guy walked out of the back storage room and asked if he could help me. I hoped that he could. I told him the symptoms of my emergency and, taking note of his immediate frown, dreadfully followed him to his desk. A couple fiddles and faddles with my phone later, my worst case scenario was confirmed. Upon investigation, it appeared that the "moisture sensor" inside the battery compartment shined a brilliant shade of hot pink, which immediately told us two things: 1. somehow my phone had gotten wet inside and was dying a slow death (drool anyone?) and 2. the warranty on the phone doesn't cover this problem, and I was SOL. Lovely. So I swore. I really didn't mean to do it, but when the guy told me that I wasn't eligible for a free phone and that the warranty on my current phone was done-for, I let one slip. Yeah, the guy said to me in agreement, and for a second I questioned my automatic tagging of all cell salesmen as bad. Maybe this guy was decent...and then he talked some more...

Guy: Hey Girl, (I can't remember her name, but she was a salesperson sitting at the desk behind him) can you look this account up on your computer and tell me when her husband is eligible for a free phone?

Girl: Sure, it's October.

Me: Ughhhh. So I'm January and he's October. (knowing in the back of my mind that a new phone just really isn't in our budget at the moment. Crap.)

Guy: Umm, yeah. Hmmm...

Girl: Hey, you know, an older gentleman brought in a phone yesterday because he was having trouble hearing on it, it should still be on your desk. Works fine...doesn't have a battery cover though, so it's in a case.

Guy: Oh yeah. (finds the phone and picks it up.) If you want to use this one until October you can do that.

Me: *warily* What do you mean it doesn't have a battery cover? Cuz...uhhhh...I have small kids... (visions of my cellphone battery being tossed around the room filling my head...walking into the living room to find Little chewing on it...hmmmm)

Guy: *Laughs*Yeah that wouldn't work. I bet I could find a cover in the back...

And with that he got up and walked back into the rear store room, emerging a few minutes later with the phone...with a cover on the back. For me. FREE.

Guy: It doesn't have a camera, but you could have it until you can get a new one for free in October.

Me: *feeling guilty about only minutes earlier pegging him as a swindler* That would be great!! Thank you!!

Guy: OK, the I'll transfer your contacts over...just take a second...

And that was it. I walked out of there without them trying to sell me a single thing, with a phone that works fine, and a big smile on my face...and it didn't cost me a dime. Sometimes I LOVE being wrong.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Let Us Define Emergency...Shall We?

Well, the girls sleeping in the same room experiment has proven to be deceptively successful. Hubby and I had braced ourselves for a disaster of epic proportions when we moved Little's crib into Big's room a few days ago, but after 17 months of having her in our room, we knew it was time to bite the bullet and justdoitalready! Little is seriously the worst sleeper in the whole wide world, and we were just sure that she was going to wake up a dozen times a night and take Big's sweet, dream-filled slumber to hell with the rest of us, but that's not at all how it's happened. Contrary to our hypothesis, Little actually sleeps better in the same room as Big than she did when she was in our room, essentially going to sleep on her own. Color me shocked...and *delighted*! The first 2 nights of the experiment, they both fell asleep without making a peep and...wait for it...slept all.night.long. We're the people who only get to sleep through the night 3 times a week, remember?? I'm seriously still in shock. Warm, fuzzy, well rested shock. Sweeeeeeet.

The third night wasn't quite as good as the first 2. Little woke up around 10:30 in hysterics and refused to settle down on her own. Hubby (because he loves me and I was already in bed) got her out of bed and rocked her for 15 minutes. It was our first attempt at rocking Little to settle her down. Yes, ever. We braced ourselves...expecting the worst...and were overwhelmed with delight when it seemed to do the trick. She went back to bed without complaint and slept the rest of the night without a peep. Wonderful. Really, could we ask for more?? Didn't think so.

Gleefully, we allowed ourselves to cross our fingers and hope that we were headed into some sort of new and improved bedtime routine with the girls, in which everyone gets to sleep through the night and Hubby and I get to have our room back to ourselves. Three nights in a row without major incident, it was going so well...but it's what happened on the fourth night that really took me by went like this...

Everyone went to bed on schedule. Teeth were brushed, stories read, and two little girls went into their beds without complaint. All was quiet. Hubby and I joined them in slumber a few hours later, and passed out in our usual exhausted way. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

At approximately 3am I heard cries over the baby monitor that I keep next to my side of the bed. It was Big, and she was frantically calling for me. My stomach turned. When Big wakes at night, it's usually something pretty serious, and for her to be calling for me, knowing that Little was asleep in the bed next to her, I knew it had to be bad. In a fury of worry and fear, I leapt out of bed and ran to their room across the hall. Filled with dread of what I would find when I opened the door, I took a deep breath and turned the knob. I looked to my immediate right and saw that Little was, indeed, awake in her bed, but as of yet still laying down quite sleepily. All seemed OK with her, so I moved on to Big.

First things first...a quick survey of her and the bed proved to show that she hadn't had any kind of bodily fluid spill (as all parents know are the most frequent and most dreaded cause of middle of the night awakenings). I breathed a sigh of relief, and then knelt down by her bed and began the interview.

Me: What's the matter sweetheart? Why are you awake? (stroking her head)

Big: *sleepy whimpers* Mama, my feeeet! (points to her feet)

(And by this time Little is standing up in her bed waiting for her turn to converse with Mommy. Jumping. Cooing. The whole 9 yards. Great.)

Me: But what's the matter, honey? What's wrong with your feet?

Big: They're uncovered, Mommy! Look! (more pointing)

And sure enough...they were. Peeking out from under the covers were Big's ten little painted toenails, staring at me. So I covered them back up. And that was it. She woke us all up and called me into her room at 3am, because her feet came out from under the blanket. Seriously.

So, the emergency was averted, toes were once again covered and, aside from some crying from Little as I left the room, everyone was alive and fine. A few minutes later, the world went back into happy, sleep mode, and I once again joined Hubby back in our bed. Awake and worried, he asked me what had been wrong with Big...and when I told him, we both laughed until we were gasping for air. Ah, and death I tell you, those cold feet. Quite the emergency.

So Hubby and I have been in talks, and I think we're going to put out some sort of memo defining what constitutes an emergency in the middle of the night...maybe follow it up with some TPS reports on the subject. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Well, I suppose it was inevitable the we would eventually run into someone who would have come down with the H1N1 (aka swine) flu. My poor niece Mari came down with a high fever and cough on Monday after school, and has felt completely miserable ever since. A quick nasal swab at the pediatrician's office this morning confirmed it...she has the dreaded swine flu...or at least that's what we've been told. My pediatrician's office was quick to point out that it takes 2 days and a visit to a lab for a diagnosis of the swine flu to be confirmed. Technicalities, the other pediatrician says. I'll be safe and go with her.

So aside from feeling horrible about my niece's misery, this diagnosis also sparked something else within me...fear....anxiety...and all out panic. The diagnosing pediatrician recommended that my sister call me immediately and tell me to get my girls into our pediatrician for the Tamiflu vaccine, like STAT. I don't do well with STAT. Due to the fact that we had been with my niece on Saturday at the infamous birthday party (that I was so cool at, ha!) we've now been exposed. Oyyyyy. Given my girls ages and Little's cardiac history, they very easily find themselves in that danger zone for flu complications...which is why I always get them a flu shot...except when it's a completely new strain of flu and there IS no freakin vaccine. Then we're just SOL. Supposedly this Tamiflu stuff is supposed to help lessen the effects of the swine flu, should you be exposed and come down with it and be on the list of people with possible complications, like children under 5, and those with chronic cardio issues...see me hyperventilating??? get my hands on some...

So, that's how I spent my first day back at work after our little vacation...endless hours on the phone, 2 calls to the pediatrician, 3 calls to my sister to get details and facts that were requested by our pediatrician, and 3 calls between myself and one of our cardiology nurse later...we're not getting the Tamiflu. After all that, whyyyyy???? you ask? Well, because our cardiologist says that since Little's heart is working so efficiently and she is so healthy now, she feels completely confident that if we did come down with the oinky flu at our house, that Little would have no problem getting rid of it just like any other healthy kid. ::insert triumphant smile here:: You hear that world??? No special circumstances!!! No pre-existing conditions!!! I really don't think I've ever been so happy to be shot down!

As for the rest of us, both doctors that I spoke with today assured me that this flu is really nothing more severe than a normal viral flu strain...nothing that our bodies couldn't handle getting rid of on their own...especially Big, whose body has always been strong like bull. Excellent news...stupid media circus. In addition to that, we're currently more than 96 hours post exposure and *knock on wood* so far we're still healthy. This is very good for our anti-flu odds. I'm hoping that if we just keep knocking of wood, and crossing our fingers, and most of all praying like crazy, we'll all come through unscathed.

As for my niece, she's feeling much better if only the rest of her siblings can go without... Ack. Siblings.

Go away oinky flu!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Still Around

Yes, I'm still around. I know I haven't blogged since writing about my craft project plans and, well, I didn't want anyone to think that it had killed me. The hair pins actually turned out really cute and were the hit of the 10 year-old partay! (if I may say so myself *ahem*) And it actually only took me 2 hours (9pm-11pm) to make 25 of them! Who's shabby? Not me apparently! All fingers are still accounted for and only one of them suffered any burns, which is absolutely a new world record for me. So, aside from the fact that I discovered that 2 hours of non-stop hot glue fumes make me wanna barf, all was well. As for pictures, I was too lazy, er ahh, busy to take any before we got to the party. I've been promised a few to be emailed to me by my sister, but we'll see if that actually happens. (she has 4 kids, yo...some things don't happen, who can blame her?!)

So what have I been doing that's kept me away, you ask? Well Hubby and I just got back today from taking the girls to an indoor water park hotel for 3 days and 2 nights. It! was! AWESOME!!! for Big! She literally ran around the place and stuck her head/face into every stream of water available. She was my idol. Little was like, "eh...the water gets in my eyes and that's kinda uncool, man...meh." and Hubby and I were like, so in love with our children that we braved the nights of interrupted sleep, the flying elbows in the face from Little at 4am (when God sent us a thunder storm??? REALLY God????) and chasing Big and Little in different directions all over that freakin frackin place for what felt like an eternity...but it was all worth it to see their beautiful smiles. Of course leaving didn't come without drama, but we expected nothing else. It was very likely the best 3 days of Big's life to date...them's the hard parts. Right now Hubby stinks like chlorine, and my hair is supremo greasy from the pool water and all the extra washing...but that too shall pass...

So what do crazy people do when they get home (exhausted) from taking their 3 and 1 year-old's to a water park for 3 days??? Move the baby into the older sib's room, of course! Dear God, why?????? you ask? Because we like pain...and crying...lots and lots of crying... OK, we don't...but yes, we're really moving Little into Big's room today!!! We figure that they shared a room for the last 2 nights, so this is a window of opportunity to keep it going rather than having it be something totally new and weird. So, here we go...just shoot me now...

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm SOOO not crafty.

I'm just not. Never have been actually. The realization that my sister got the crafty gene and I didn't came early to me in elementary school art class. My sister's projects? Made it to the shelves and walls in my parents' house. Mine? Didn't...except a few that had mercy display written all over them. It's just not who I am. I am not artistic, I've embraced it. But sometimes, in a moment of insanity, I forget the details of my 30 years of past artistic failures and attempt to take on a craft today.

Tomorrow is my niece's 10th birthday party. She's at that awkward age when kids get difficult to shop for...too old for a toy, too young for make-up...I believe the popular word for it these days is the tweens. Well I'm apparently not good at shopping for a tween, because I have no idea what to get her for her gift. Until now, I've always been the cool aunt, who loaded the little ones up with nail polish and stylish clothes at an age when nail polish and brand name frocks weren't something my sister would consider buying for her own kids...but now, it's not so easy! I try to win them over with a mini-mani and my nieces look at me all oh nail polish? That's so, like, last year auntie Jen...and all of a sudden I find myself dangerously close to no longer being the cool aunt, but more the aunt who thinks she's know that one? EEK! But I'm only 30 dammit, I'm still way cool...and to prove this to everyone, I've decided to take on a bit of a project (aka potential craft disaster) as part of the ultra cool birthday present I'm giving my niece tomorrow: hand made embellished bobby pins. Random you say? Ah, would seem that way, but this morning when I discussed potential girl gifts with my sister, I was informed that my niece had only recently taken on the habit of putting such decorative items in her hair as a new hair style (see what I mean about the whole tween thing?) and it's such a recent style development that she really has none. SWEET! I thought...perfect! gift!, off to Target's hair accessory aisle I went, to search the rows and rows of hair thing-a-majigs, and when I got to the end of the embellished bobby Wasn't it only, like, 2 years ago that everyone was wearing those in their hair?? Well, apparently Target thinks it's a trend that's passed (and been replaced by the weird beady double comb up-do thingy? Whatever, Target!) which brings me to my grande scheme to win back the love and admiration of my niece...I'm going to make some!

So, crafty I am not...but I can totally hot glue with the best of them. (Can I do it without burning the crap out of my fingers? No, but who can really?) So what I decided to do was to buy a 90 pack (!!) of plain bobby pins and then take my sorry butt to the local craft store, where I would purchase a variety of glimmering, fancy, girly embellishments to hot glue onto said bobby pins, and voila! I'm back in the inner circle. So that's what I did...this morning. Embellishments purchased...extra hot glue sticks secured...and a 90 pack of bobby pins just waiting for me to burn the crap out of my fingers while I pathetically attempt to decorate them. Did I mention that the party is tomorrow? And that I have 90 bobby pins? And did I also mention that I have a history of getting grande ideas and biting off more than I can chew? Something tells me it's going to be a long and painful night... blog post to include pictures of the finished product...and a detailed description of my niece's reaction. Pray for me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sometimes I Just Don't Understand

I'm going to a funeral tomorrow...for a baby. 24 hours from this moment I'll be there. I'm sick to my stomach already. I've never seen a small coffin, and really, I wish that I could go my entire life without ever seeing one. I wish that this could be a world where all babies are born whole, full term, and they're supposed to. I wish that no one ever had to learn that, in real life, not everyone gets the happy ending that they should, and that sometimes even the youngest, most innocent of us all is taken too soon. And it's in these cold, hard moments of reality that I wonder why life has to be so terribly cruel. Parents should be allowed to look into the eyes of their child with joy and exuberance, not fear and anguish. They should be able to write chronicles of their child's life in a baby book, not an obituary. As a mother, my heart aches for any parent who has been through this and, all honesty, my heart begs to never be one of them.

Since Little spent her time at Children's, I've become so painfully aware that no matter how much you love your child, no matter how hard you pray, no matter how completely you devote yourself to your family, regardless of what kind of person you are, regardless of economics and everything else, sometimes you lose. And that's just a really difficult thing for my heart to swallow. I know that all of life is uncertain, but this, more than all other things in life, keeps me up at night. Why does this have to be part of the plan; the loss of children. And despite my hours of contemplation on the subject, I've yet to come up with a single reason.

How dear my babies are to me. How closely I hold them to my heart each and every day. How tightly I wrap them in my arms and kiss their soft heads. Today I will do it a thousand times more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Embracing Exhaustion

I don't really have much to add to my blog today, just that I'm tired - as Little was up most of the night last night for unknown reasons. I have no idea what time she initially woke in the night, but after hours of having her toss and turn and whimper and cry between us, at 4:22 we broke down and gave her a bottle (I know the exact time because I'm the lucky one that got to get up and make the bottle. Sweet.). And when she was finished? She slept, which was wonderful...for 30 minutes...when she woke up crying again. So finally at 5:30 AM, at exhaustion's door, Hubby and Little and I passed out together, face down in a row, and slept the deep sleep of the dead. I don't even think I had the energy to dream. I remember nothing...until at approx. 7 AM when Big tapped me on the arm and asked if she could join us. Why not, right? Yes, scramble in, quick! And be stealthy...we don't want to wake Little!! So in she hopped...and I had no sooner gotten the covers over her when up popped Little, ready to play and thrilled with the arrival of her role model. A moan of disbelief was shared by Hubby and I. We did our best to play dead for the next hour or so, while the girls hopped and crawled and trampled on us, pretending to be horses and cats and a seemingly random variety of other barnyard and domesticated animals, until there was no denying it anymore, it was getting late and I had to get up for work...damn adult responsibility.

So that's my story today. I grumbled when I got out of bed this morning. I'm exhausted and undeniably cranky. And while it's tough...really really operate on such little fuel, I still find myself taking a moment to acknowledge how totally fulfilled and blessed I am to be at the point in my life when all 4 of us still fit in the same bed. I know there will be a day all too soon when our morning snuggle sessions will come to a very teenage attitude-y eww, Mom, don't kiss me in front of my for now, I'm embracing it. Even if it means that I don't get to sleep through the night for the next 5 years. So be it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Latest Find...

Do you see this picture?


That's my bathroom in the condition it was left shortly after Hubby and I put the girls to bed last night. Messy? Uhhh...yes. But SCREAMS a little girl and a baby RULE this joint...and so? I love it.

Sometimes right in the middle of a mess is where you find your joy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...

...get a really cute Medic-Alert bracelet and wear it while you make lemonade.

I'm in the market for a Medic-Alert bracelet for Little...for her pacemaker and such...and I was led here, to Lauren's Hope, by a friend of mine. (*MWAH* Sue) All I have to say is that if I were a little girl who had to wear a Medic-Alert bracelet 24-7, I would beeeeeggggg for one of these!! And if I were the parent of such a child, I would shell out the cash to buy her one, because really? Wouldn't it be wonderful to turn something they would potentially feel awkward and embarrassed about into something they could feel pretty wearing?! They are recommended for kids age 6 and up, so when Little gets a little older, you can bet we will be visiting this site and ordering one for her.

This company gets my big time, kudos, 5-star, you're a genius award (I just made that up...but really? it!).

For now, I ended up ordering her a plain, old stainless steel one with her name engraved on the front and the words "Complete Heart Block, Pacemaker" on the back...except they insist on engraving in all caps so it really says "COMPLETE HEART BLOCK, PACEMAKER" which seems a little !!!!!! and over the top to me, but hey, who am I, right? Maybe I should have added "HANDLE WITH CARE OR MY MOM WILL MAKE YOU WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN!!" be polite and give them fair warning and all. Darn. I'll have to make a note of that for her next one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Product I Love!

Hello friends. Meet my new favorite product...the Bibbity by Kiddopotamus. Everyone say hello to her...I'll wait...

Hands down, BEST bib I've ever tried. Made completely of rubber, there is no laundering this bib. All you have to do is wipe it down after each meal (when you're cleaning up the high chair tray anyway) and VOILA! clean bib ready for the next meal! (Can anyone say less laundry makes Mommy very happy??) I know what you're thinking...isn't a rubber bib kind of awkward and uncomfortable? Well, at first, I'll admit, I thought I had wasted my money, as it is a bit awkward to put on your child...kind of stiff and wobbly at the same time...weird...but if you press on through the initial awkwardness and use it a few times, I really think you'll soon find yourself all how did I ever live without you?? at which point the wobbly stiffness ceases to matter. As for discomfort? Little doesn't mind wearing it at all. In fact, I think she's clearly more bothered by my taking pictures of her during meal time than she ever was by the bib. She's all whatchutalkinboutwillis at me. (See below.) Nice.


And finally...the very BEST feature of the Bibbity...the pocket. ::angels heard singing::
In all honesty, I kind of stumbled upon this fantastic find when I was (aimlessly) wandering around our local Babies R Us one day (as I'm known to do because, really? Who knew pacifiers came in so many colors! And the rattles?? Gah!). I was merely looking for a cloth bib with a pocket for my little stain magnet whocan'tseemtokeepherstrawberriesoffherlap, when all of a sudden there it was! Since it's made of rubber, the pocket stays open creating a near impenetrable trap into which the renegade food pieces must fall. It seemed a little "Available on TV Only!!!" to me, but I thought, what the heck...I'll bite, and I bought it. Let me just say, Goodbye strawberry stains! You will not be missed. ::celebratory dancing:: See? It works! (Actual Goldfish and graham cracker demonstration seen below. Doesn't she have great eyebrows??)


And? My favorite part? (yes, there's more!) After the renegades fall into the pocket? Little reaches in and retrieves them...and...eats them. If fact, one day when Hubby found it next to impossible to get Little to eat a. single. thing. for him, he (in a moment of genius!) threw some Goldfish crackers into the pocket...and??? she ate them. Now tell me that's not worth $6!

So...for a mere $6...I'd say if you have a little one who requires bibs and haven't tried one of these yet...go out and get one right now! It will make you swoon. Promise.

(note: If it doesn't make you swoon (which I would find extraordinary but, you know, maybe you're not as easy to thrill as I am) don't even bother suing me...unless you really want a couple of half burned jar candles and a stick of string cheese...cuz, really that's all I have to offer. The Bibbity is not up for negotiation.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Too Many Episodes of "A Baby Story"

My 3 year-old has a birth plan. Yes, a plan all mapped out for the day that she'll give birth to her first child and make me a...*gulp* Grandma. And I won't be allowed in the delivery room. She informed me of all of this yesterday as she was sitting at the kitchen table while I prepared her lunch. All of a she sudden blurted out:

Big: I have a baby in my tummy, Mommy.

Me: Oh, you do?

Big: Yep. My babies are in my tummy, waiting for me to grow up and meet my prince so I can get married and have my baby.

Me: Oh, uhhh...oooooookay.

(Trying to think on my feet. What do you say to this, exactly? Explain birth control at age know...until the right prince comes along?! Explain how babies are made and why she doesn't have one in her tummy...but then have to explain why Mommy did?! Explain that sometimes princes turn out to just be ugly frogs who have a lot of hopping to do, so maybe settling down with the first one that comes along isn't a good idea?! So, I said nothing. Someone needs to give a class on these things. I suck.)

Big: Are you going to see my baby when I have her?

(apparently it's a girl, though she told me that there are actually 3 of them in there right now...2 girls (named Rose and Daffodil) and a boy (named Dave)...who knew?)

Me: Yes! I'm going to want to see your baby just as soon as she's born!

Big: Well, Mama...she's going to be red when she's born...and cry.

Me: Oh, she's going to

Big: Yeah. And she'll cry. You can't come in when she's red, but she'll get washed up and then you can come in and see her.

Me: Uhhh...ok. I'll pencil that in.

Big: Ok. **smiles triumphantly**

Me: **runs in and turns off the Discovery Health Channel**

So, I guess at least I'll be prepared when the time not be allowed in the delivery room and stuff. Glad we got that potentially uncomfortable conversation out of the way...20 years in advance. And how great of her to! Wait...I do have at least 20 years, right?? Maybe I should go make sure that that's part of the plan...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


What a boring word. The implication of it simply suggests that something is average, not extraordinary, not know, boring. And in most cases, simply put, boring is most cases...but not in all cases. I'll use the non-boring form of the word "normal" in a sentence to demonstrate, ok? Ready?

Little's heart tests today showed that she has normal heart function.

And another...

Little's echocardiogram showed a normal, healthy, just-like-everyone-else's-heart, heart.

Can you even believe it? No more heart failure. No more function issues with her pacemaker. No more oral medications to improve her heart function. Her heart function is normal! I mean, sure, she'll still need her pacemaker for the rest of her life, but as long as her actual heart muscle is healthy, she should be able to live a totally normal life! Thank God for normal!!

Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Because Sometimes I Just NEED to Be Mad

Yeah, so this really isn't my best week. I'm a big, crabby, assholey mess inside...and I'm not even up for changing my mood. I am, instead, wallowing in my funk. Kind of counter productive. Meh.

So of course part of what's bothering me is what's going on with my Dad. He does seem to be doing well after the surgery and has already passed the "which toe am I pinching" test put before him by some of the surgical staff, a good sign that he's getting the feeling back in his legs, (and thank GOD for that), but, unfortunately, I have one more mountain to climb yet this week and I'm struggling just a wee bit.

Little's quarterly cardiology and pacemaker check-up is scheduled for tomorrow morning at Children's Hospital, and I am all sorts of nervous about it. My pretty girl hasn't had an echocardiogram in nearly 6 months, and tomorrow she will be having one to check on the function and health of her heart in a way that can only be done with an echo. I seriously can hardly breathe in anticipation. And it's silly, really, for me to get so worked up about it, as the last echo she had showed nearly *normal* heart function...which was truly more than we could have hoped for at the time...but 6 months have gone by since that last test, and my head knows that in that amount of time, anything could have changed in there.

It was only a little over a year ago that we originally found out that she was in heart failure in the first place, and less than a year ago that she had her last surgery and things started to improve for her health-wise. All of it recent enough for me to remember every grueling detail of what took place between those two dates, though I suspect that I'll never forget. And while, most days, I'm able to stay really positive about things, reminding myself how truly lucky we are to have a, now, healthy Little with us each. and. every. minute. of. each. day, some days I just can't help but get pissed off about all of it. When I read articles about how Complete Heart Block only occurs in 1-2% of all pregnancies in mothers who have autoimmune issues (so that's an even smaller percentage of the population), and that only a percentage of that 1-2% of babies will require a pacemaker, and only a percentage of those babies will go into heart failure (and it's like, 5% people, not 50%...which makes her, what? Like 1 in a million??) I just can help but get pissy that all of this happened to my otherwise perfect little girl. My beautiful, spunky, sweet little girl.

If only I'd known that I had an autoimmune issue, maybe we could have been under the care of a rheumatologist who would have been on the lookout for the early symptoms of her condition...if only I'd had my ultrasound at 20 weeks instead of 18, maybe we could have caught the heart block sooner and stopped it from becoming so severe...if only we could have fallen into that other 98% of autoimmune pregnancies whose babies turn out healthy and fine...if only so many things. And sometimes, I just NEED to be mad that my little girl is the 1 in a million, because it's really not fair and the sheer bullshit factor of it all just pisses me off...and that's where I am today. Be warned.

So tomorrow we'll begin the routine, that we've come to know so well, of getting Little ready for her sedation and her echo. And we'll take deep breaths as we sit by her bedside, watching the reds and the blues of her blood flow flash up on the ultrasound screen, while the tech. measures and the doctors evaluate, and we'll pray like we've become so accustomed to doing...and we'll wait because that's all we can do. And I'll be hopeful. And I'll stay positive. And I'll take whatever news the doctors give us with as much gusto as I can fathom...tomorrow. But today...I'm just going to wallow and be angry.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prayers for the Big Guy

Ok, not the Big Guy, but my big guy. My Dad is having spinal surgery today, and I'm all sorts of fidgety nervous about it. It's not like he hasn't had surgery before, probably more than the average person actually (two knee replacements, an ankle replacement, and an eye surgery in the last few years) but this one is different. Today the stakes feel much higher.

Imagine the most stubborn, hard headed, independent person you know...I'll one?...OK, now multiply that stubbornness and independence by 50. That's my Dad. A good old fashioned, macho, hard shelled, tough as nails, pride filled, hard headed man. The kind of man who refuses to use a walker during the recovery for his knee replacement surgery because, really? A walker? He'd rather not. That kind of man. So when my Mom told me that a few months ago he had electively stopped driving because he didn't think it was safe anymore, I knew something big was wrong.

A few weeks later Hubby, and the girls, and I went over to my parents' house for a regularly scheduled Sunday dinner to find my Dad using a walker to get around the house. It was then that I really found out what was going on. My Mom told me that my Dad's legs were going numb, and threatening to give out when he was up and about, so he had decided that it was probably better for him to just use the walker. Except I knew that for my Dad, there was no just using a walker. I *panicked* but didn't let it show. They made him a doctor appointment. That was about a month ago. Since then things have only gotten worse.

Following the doctor appointment, my Dad quickly went from walker to wheelchair...wheelchair. Essentially too proud to ask anyone for help previously, my Dad now found himself unable to really do anything without the assistance of someone. He went downhill so fast. The reality of it all was written all over his face, almost like embarrassment. It was almost too much for me to even meet his gaze, for fear of seeing the look in his eyes. Horrible is really the only word I can use to truly describe it.

The MRI reports showed that the nerves that run from my Dad's spinal column to his legs are being pinched by a malformation of bone in his spinal column (caused by osteoarthritis), causing almost all feeling in his legs to be cut off, hence the weakness and numbness. The only way to fix this is to go in surgically and "clean out" that extra bone formation, un-pinching the nerves and *voila* giving him feeling back in his legs. If all goes well, once he recovers from the surgery, he'll be able to get up and go and do whatever he wants again. However, since he's been unable to be active for quite some time now, the recovery process may turn out to be a little more drawn out than usual in my Dad's case. In fact he mentioned the words rehab facility...and frankly it's too soon for me to be able to wrap my mind around that.

Of course, when I talked to my Dad last night he made no big deal of what lay ahead of him today, talking mostly about how he was dreading getting up at 5 AM to get the ball rolling. I tried to talk to him a little bit about the surgery and he quickly changed the subject and asked me what the girls had been up to in the 24 hours since he had last seen them. When I told him that Little had taken 5 steps in a row for the first time last night, his voice filled with sparkle and pride, as he gushed about how my daughters are "really something". Just like him to avoid the topic at hand if it has anything to do with him suffering. He really is such a stubborn man, but it was nice to hear him smile.

So as I sit and therapeutically type this post, I wait. I've already heard from my Mom once this morning, to find out that my Dad has been taken back to the surgical room. That was almost an hour and a half ago. We should have about another 30 minutes to wait before we hear how everything went. And of course, I'm anxious to find out, but also well aware that that's not where the nervousness ends, because then we get to wait and see how the recovery goes, and whether the feeling will return to his legs. And really all I keep thinking in the meantime is please, God let it be good news...

Update, 12:09 PM: He's out of surgery. Surgeon says things went well and he's stable. He'll be in recovery for a while, then move up to his room. Good news!

Update to my update, 3:23 PM: He's in his room, awake and on pain meds. So far so good. YAY! OK, no more updates. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Signs of Summer

Hand Picked Flowers in Vases

Teeny Tiny Painted Toenails


The First Popsicle of the Season

Little Girls Planting Flowers with Grandmas

Hubby Passed Out on the Couch in the Middle of the Day from Tree Pollen


Ahh...yes. After taking her sweet time, I think she's finally here. Sqeeeeeeee!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Teething and Hooha's and Baseball and Such...

Yes, is a variety post. One that will be filled with small snippets from the lives of me and Hubby and the girls...because really? Nothing BIG is going on. So, there it is. Let us begin. teething. Or least that's the word that's been used to account for the random stretches of vicious crankiness and sleepless nights that have been ongoing in our household for the last 11-1/2 months. At 4 months old, when this whole craptastic mess began, I took Little into see her doctor...fearing that something must be wrong with my sweet little girl for her to be acting this way...and was told that her gums were swollen and ripe (eww!) and it appeared that the horror we were experiencing was all attributable to good old, run of the mill teething. Excellent. No drugs for that. So, holding tight to the pediatrician's reassurance that she would soon be getting a tooth, and all of us a little relief, we bravely soldiered on through the sleepless cranky routine, waiting for the day that the freakin frackin first tooth would appear and save us all. And then it did...approximately 8 months later. Yes, 8 months, friends. Dear God. And in the last 3-1/2 months, since the first tooth popped through, we've seen the arrival of 4 more front teeth and all 4 of her first molars...and have nary had more than 3 nights in a row of sleeping through the night. In 11-1/2 months. And really? It's killing us. Slowly. But I have hope. Since the discovery of the final molar's first point this week...I have new found hope that we are nearing the end of this phase of torture they like to call teething. Three more molar points, a few bottom teeth, and 4 eye teeth and we're done with this part of the gig...and my heart will leap with joy upon their arrival! So, you know, we should be sleeping great in about another year or so. That's reassuring.

And now...our next topic...Hoohas. As the mother of 2 young girls, it is inevitable that I will have to deal with some Hooha issues at one point or another, so it is unfortunate, for all involved, that I suck to it so much. Really, at the mere mention of the function and/or technical names of any one of the many girly bits we are all brought onto this planet with, I blush like a 12 year-old. I fumble. I stumble. And I embarrass myself during each and every conversation about these things. It must be really fun to watch.

Without going into too much detail, Big has has something similar to a diaper rash for a bit now and it just isn't going away. I've tried this and I've tried that and finally, when she started crying about it, I decided it was time to call her doctor. The first time I called, about a month ago, I got a nurse who made a comment about how little girl Hooha's are different than our Hoohas in that our girly bits are so much looser than theirs (and yes, she used the technical names). And all I could think was "Did she just comment on the condition of my girly bits?? Together with her girly bits??" because, dear Lord! I'd rather prefer that my girly bits not be generalized, thankyouverymuch! And now? I'll never be able to look her in the face again...especially now that I know what I know about her most private of areas. It just isn't right.

And try upon try, hope upon hope, none of this nurse's *sage* advice has made this issue go away...and Big was in tears again last I sucked it up, and called her Dr. again this morning. This time? I have to bring her in. Joy. When I informed Ms. Big that we would be heading to see her Dr. this afternoon so that he could help make her owie not so owie anymore, I was met with an exasperated response. "WHAT?!" she said, "He can't look at my butt!! My butt is dirty Mom!!" and it was at that point that I was reassured that this is going to be one big, fumbly, embarrassing cluster *&^%. I can only imagine what she'll say in his presence...and I can can only wish that I'll be able to handle it without dying. Should be fun.

And our final of. Tonight...if I live through Big's appointment this date night. Oh thank GOD!!! Yes, it is with great anticipation that I've been waiting for the arrival of this day. Hubby and I are going to Miller Park tonight to watch the Brewer's play dinner time...and we won't be home until loooooooong after bedtime. Can I get a Hallelujah?! Grandma, being the brave soul that she is, has agreed to come over and not only feed the girls dinner...but also...put them to bed...both of them. And I suppose that unless you've been present for bedtime at our home before, you're wondering what the big deal is. And then I would have to explain to you how, for some reason, as the clock strikes 7, our wonderful, beautiful, precious, girls hit the wall at 60 miles per hour, and turn into...well...tired, mischievous little heathens...and I can say that because I gave birth to both of them. So tonight, I'm going to sit in my plastic-y stadium chair, and have a drink, and watch some baseball with Hubby...and I will enjoy every. last. minute. of. it. All hail Grandma!

The End.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm So Friggin Proud

Big: *waves an imaginary magic wand over Little* Bippity Boppity Boo! You're a friggin reindeer!

Me: Did you just say she was a friggin reindeer???

Big: Yeah.

Me: Oh...uhh...OK. Just checking.

Big: *smiles*

Me: *horrified*

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lady Wha? Wha?

I happened to be driving in the car this past Sunday when the American Top 40 Countdown reached the number 1 song. Usually, I find this a rare, but fortunate occurrence...usually. The number 1 song in the whole entire country last week was this one. Really America? I mean, it didn't make my ears bleed or anything, but I was under the impression that a song needed to contain actual me old fashioned.

And while I'm at it, why does this song get so much damn airplay? I can plug my nose and sing "oh babah, babah" a few dozen times if that's all it takes to make a million! And that fake laughing part? Makes me want to take a pencil and poke. out. my. eardrums. Seriously.

And I realize that everyone is different. Maybe these songs give you some sort of urge to shake your booty...I've never been one to frequent the dance clubs so my booty pretty much doesn't get that urge...not in public anyway. The only urge they give me is the urge to change. the. station. Fast. And yell "lalalalalalalalalalalalalala" until they're gone.

I'm getting old aren't I? Next thing you know I'll be shouting things like "Turn down that racket!" and calling people whippersnappers. Lovely.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beware...the fog!

If I've learned one thing through becoming a parent, it's that you should never expect things to go as planned. Ever. Everevereverever. If at some point you actually find yourself on schedule, it is at that very point that you should stop what you're doing and take a mental survey of the scene around you...because you know that at some point very soon...the shit is going to hit the fan. For example...say it's a regular Monday evening...a bath night. Your children are squealing with glee at the idea of said upcoming bath, and you actually find yourself with plenty of time to complete the pre-bedtime to-do list that you've mentally layed out for yourself. Too good to be true, right? Indeed. And so I discovered the other night...

Everything was going well...pretty much as described above. The girls were in the bath together...bath time rituals were well in progress...shampoo in Big's hair...rubrubrub...rinserinserinse...whinewhinewhine...a little soap in the eyes, and little water in the mouth, rinse and repeat. You know, the usual, and then it was Little's turn...and here's where my "on schedule" evening went incredibly astray.

I had no sooner dunked Little's wash cloth in the bath water and turned to grab her shampoo, when I turned back to see a strange fog of darkness, and field of buoyant debris suddenly surrounding her. "Oh, dear God" I thought, and I knew immediately what it was. It was that which I had been dreading since deciding that giving the girls baths together was a good idea. It was poo fog. Without thinking, I gathered as much breath in my lungs as I could muster and screamed "SHIIIIIIT!!! Hubbbbyyyyyyyy!" and then moved into action as fast as I could to try to minimize the collateral damage. I grabbed a stunned Big under the arms and tried to lift her out of the tub as fast as I could, before the fog made it's way over to her side of the bath water. Not yet sure what was going on, she initially resisted my efforts at being removed, and it was at that point that the emergency mode switch flipped inside my head and the urgency in my voice became apparent to her. She looked up at me questioningly and, without thinking, I looked straight into my 3 year-old's face and yelled "Get out! Get out! It's pooooooooooooooo!!" which got her moving just a little bit faster. Heh. (Desperate times, you know??) Hubby then came running into the room to see what was wrong (As I don't normally scream expletives in front of our children. Really.) and upon entering the room, stopped on a dime and joined me in my utter sense of horror as, for a moment, we paused and stood in solidarity at the edge of the tub...looking on in awe and disgust while our smallest family member smiled and cooed up at us from a bathtub full of dietary disaster. Disaster, indeed.

What happened next is sort of a blur. I know that I wrapped Little in a towel and handed her to Hubby to quarantine her while I searched my soul for a way to somehow, someway clean up the mess. Taking a deep breath, I reached my hand into the toilet, I mean bath, water and pulled the drain plug...watching as the frighteningly identifiable floaty pieces of filth made their way down the drain. Big wrapped herself in a towel and sat in a crumpled pile at my feet on the bathroom rug, repeatedly bringing various parts of her body to her nose and sniffing them, while begging me for reassurance. *sniffsniff* "Mama, do my feet smell like poo?" she said. *sniffsniff* "Mama, my legs smell like poo." *sniffsniff* "Mama do I have poo on my hands?" I held back my giggles as best as I could, while reassuring her that she, in fact, did not smell like poo and was going to get a shower really really soon..."Just as soon as I find a way to remove this bathtub, destroy it, and bring in a new, clean tub that has never been violated to the likes that I witnessed this evening" I thought. But in the end, that just wasn't I cleaned it up...which went something like this: rinserinserinse, bleachbleachbleach, gaggaggag, rinserinserinse, and repeat...and after about 10 minutes, we were back in business.

So back into the tub Big went for a shower, while Little (rather joyfully and obliviously) waited, covered in her own filth, for her turn to be de-germified. Big was a champ, Little would prove to be more difficult.

You'd think the story would end here, really, in that "isn't that bad enough??" kind of way...but such was not our luck. It seems that all that silly waiting around stuff had taken it's toll on our Littlest girl's mood, and by the time we were able to get her into her second round of bathwater, she had had it up to here *points to eyebrows* with this whole fiasco. As her bath chair had been violated minutes earlier in poo-gate 2009, it was no longer an option for me to use to keep her from having a tantrum and drowning herself, as she was threatening to do in her own "I can't talk yet, but you know exactly what I'm saying" baby I called in the big guns. I asked Hubby to come in and help me. Sensing my desperation and Little's quickly deteriorating mood, Hubby cut to the chase and decided to forgo the whole trying to hold the slippery baby under the arms routine and instead rolled up the legs of his jeans and bravely climbed in to stand in the tub next to Little. His mission: to get a firm hold on Little while I suds'd her up and rinsed her off as fast as I could so we could get her crabby, tired little baby buns to bed. Easy enough, right? And then he saw it...

Hubby: What's that?

Me: (in a dismissive tone) What? *scrubscrubscrub*

Hubby: THAT! *points emphatically to a teeny tiny, but quite obviously present poo flake floating ever-closer to him as he stood, ankle deep, in the bathwater. Every move he made to thwart it, instead brought it that much closer.*

Me: *Trying not to lose my poker face* Uhh...that's poo residue! *shudder*

Hubby: (grimacing and visibly dying a little bit inside.) Oh, sonofabitch!!!

And it was at that point that I actually started to laugh. REALLY LAUGH. And Hubby did too, really! Because in a crappy (excuse the pun) situation like have two can either get all crazy frustrated and cry about it, or you can find someway to laugh about it. We choose to laugh. Because really? The day we lose our sense of humor is that day you may as well call up the insane asylum and tell 'em to reserve a couple of beds and a game of checkers for Hubby and I. There's just no other way to survive this parenting gig in our household.

And by the end of the night everything had eventually worked itself out anyway...everyone was clean, the girls were in bed asleep (albeit an hour later than we had planned), toys and bath seat had been restored to pristine poo-free condition, and we found that we had a brilliant new song to sing to crack each other up...made up by my fabulous composer of a Hubby and sung to the tune of "Stuck on You" by Lionel Richie, it goes...

"I'm Stuck on You

I'm a little piece of doody that came out of your poo

Yeah I'm ooooooon your leg

It's been a nasty day."

Yep, still makes me laugh. Thank God.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sister Love

My girls really love each other. Sure, they're 2 years apart, at a time in their lives when 2 years makes a world of difference...but they really do love each other. How do I know? It's the little things that make it obvious to the way Big does everything she possibly can to make passive aggressive quiet/loud noises in our bedroom during morning snuggle time (AKA, Big is a super early riser and neither Hubby nor I have the energy to peel ourselves out of bed at that ungodly hour, so she climbs in with us until we're alive) to wake Little up...quiet enough to not get in trouble for making noise but loud enough to maybe, possibly wake Little...or the way she sits straight up in our bed each and every time Little breathes loudly or makes little body noises as she's turning over...hoping upon hope that it's a sign of her wakefulness. That's love. There's also the way Little cries big, salty, pitiful tears every. single. time. Big walks out the door into the vast outdoors and leaves her for any reason and any period of time, regardless...and then the smile that tears across her face as she endlessly bounces and squeals with glee upon Big's return. That's love. Or the way Big asks to have Little ride in the same car as her in the rare instance that Hubby and I need to take 2 separate cars somewhere...and then tries to hold Little's hand in the backseat when we're on our way to said destination. Love. But the most recent evidence I have of this, obvious, all consuming, makes a Mommy thankful to be alive sisterly love, is the way that Big leaned over to Little this morning in the living room, and planted a big red lipstick-y kiss smack dab on Little's rosy cheek...leaving the evidence of her love right there, in the open, where Hubby and I could both admire it. Now that's love. How on Earth did we get so lucky?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Cleaning?

What is this urge to "spring clean" that everyone is talking about? I don't recall ever getting one...ever. No, really...E.V.E.R. I get the urge to spring shop for new clothes and fun flippity floppity sandals. I get the urge to spring play outside with the girls. I get the urge to spring start projects around the house that I'll get halfway through and then curse myself for starting them. And I totally get the urge to spring drive with my windows down and sing at the top of my lungs. Lots of other spring urges going on here...just no urge to clean. I guess I just didn't get that gene. I feel does my house...and most of all, so does my husband. Damn you Mother Nature!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The hiatus

I's been a while. OK, more like forever in bloggy years, where you're supposed to update your blog everyday in order to keep an audience, or whatever the standard is that's been set by the serious blogger people who, like, do it for a living. But you know what? That's just too much work for me...and pressure. And really? That sucks. So as I came to this realization a few months ago, I kind of did a symbolic kick to the curb motion and abandoned my blog in a sort of figurative "eff that!" kind of thing. *ahem* (sorry blog) But during my latest blog hiatus I've come to the realization that I was maybe a bit too harsh with my decision making, and I'm just coming back to say that I've reconsidered my tone, and I'd like to resume my previous position of editor and author of this blog...if the internet will have me. **bats eyelashes** I mean, the vastness that is the internet, what is this one blog? Nothing. Probably just one of a million mommy blogs, nothing that's going to impact the way the world turns...but whatever. It's my teeny tiny, insignificant blog opportunity. And I'm taking it. So I'm me, hate me...resent me for taking a hiatus (but please don't)...I'm back.


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