Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Party Hardly

Well my husband's annual work party is fast approaching.  It's always a killer affair, great food, great fun, great prizes!  Alas, it's not something I'll be getting to enjoy this year.  I'm sending my husband, though, to try to win some fabulous loot for us, but I have to stay behind with the kids.  The baby is in full separation anxiety / stranger anxiety mode, and bursts into tears if I hand him to someone else and walk away, even 3 feet away!  He also is not so great at taking a bottle.  I'm pretty bummed out about this, but on the other hand I don't think I'd be too happy leaving the baby just yet.  He's still pretty young.  I had trouble leaving him home with my husband while I went out shopping with my sister!  I'm still in that "I don't want to miss any of those little smiles!" phase.  The phase where you want to see every little thing, but you're exhausted and you need some kind of time to yourself to refresh and gather yourself together. 

Oh well, there will be other parties!  But this baby is only gonna be a baby once, and then this time is gone.  I'd rather use it wisely. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Poop/Shoot Dispute

Oh, "The Real America", how we love thee.  Gun totin', rural livin', right wingin', God fearin', "Real Americans".  So a dog drops a deuce in your yard... what do you do?  If you're a "real American" you shoot the dude who owns the little pooper, with your 2nd Amendment shotgun.  Can I get a "Hell yeah?!"  (maybe you can't see eye roll that goes along with that sentence.)

So, just so everyone is clear, this is the picture that other countries have of us in their heads.  I read about this story on the BBC news site in the UK.  I'm so sure that is what the founding fathers had in mind with the 2nd amendment.  Clearly there is no need for further gun control.  The government should just stay out of it.  Eventually it'll take care of itself when all the crazies out there have shot everyone who's dog has pooped in their yard, accidentally shoots themselves with their own gun, accidentally shoots their friends while hunting, and with the new "guns allowed in bars" laws in some parts, takes their gun out for indoor target practice with the dart board after knocking back a few stiff drinks.  I believe in the Bible it even says "Shoot thy neighbor if thy neighbor's dog leaves a shadooby on thy lawn." 

Oy vey.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Sad Heart

After today I may never read the obits in the paper again.  I saw the smiling face of a young man, and when I read the name I started to feel numb.  The little 3 year old boy who was so bright, so friendly, kind and amazingly smart, had passed away a mere 11 years later.  I had the privilege of having this child in the preschool class I taught.  He was one that stood out, and I have always remembered.  I still often tell the story of how he could recognize all of his classmates names, even ones that shared the same first letter (so there went the theory that he just knew from the first letter of their names!).  He was a shining star. 

All at once I felt immense grief for the loss of such a young life.  I felt what I'm sure is just a mere fraction of the grief and pain his parents must be going through.  I felt sad for the world that he did not have the chance to do more, to make a larger impact.  I felt such pain over thinking how could this child understand.  How do you tell your kid they are so sick, and worse yet, that they will die.  How do you watch your child struggle for years and go through brutal treatments for such a terrible disease (he died of leukemia), and finally how do you watch your precious child breathe their last breath?  I am trying to understand.  I'm trying to accept that this happens.  For most of the evening I've just been trying to breathe, and not to flood our house with the tears that can't stop. 

I held my boys closer tonight.  My oldest son tried to comfort me with hugs, he asked questions, he tried to understand what was going on to make me so sad.  As he was falling asleep, he touched my face and asked if my eyes were better now.  My husband was struggling to understand my sadness.  I tried to explain that taking care of a small child 5 days a week for months on end, you grow attached (to some more than others).  To me he is still 3.  To me he is the same age as my oldest child who means the world to me.  I don't know about other parents, but I immediately go to the fear of losing either of my own children.  It overwhelms me. 

I apologize for the downer post, but I'm not feeling funny or chipper, or even just happy.  I feel like I need to figure this out, somehow, but I also know that is impossible.  You cannot wrap your head around something this big.  Hopefully, writing about it tonight will be therapeutic.  My thoughts are with his family, and I hope they can someday find peace.  I don't know how they will, but I hope they can.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nothing Like a Dame

The world lost a Hollywood icon, and someone who worked hard to help others.  Elizabeth Taylor was one of those people you could see was beautiful inside and out.  I was always envious of her beautiful eyes!  Rest in peace, Dame Elizabeth, and comforting thoughts to her family.  79 years old seems young to me, but maybe that is just from working with much older folks over the years as a nurse.  Still, her life was full.

Jon Stewart's hair looks different.

I thought we had "The Social Network", but my husband has informed me that, in fact, we do not. 

So those are three unfortunate things for the week.  The rest of the week should be good, right?! 

The baby has been super cranky today.  I'm not sure if we're looking at a teething issue, or something else.  Maybe something digestion related.  My oldest son has been complaining that his stomach hurts for the past 2 days.  He has no other symptoms.  I try to get him to elaborate, but he doesn't say anything more about it.  I'll ask him again tomorrow, and if he still says it I think I might call to have it checked out.  Maybe it's from an injury from his fall.  That fall STILL haunts me! 

It was raining buckets today, so we did the one thing you can do on days like this... we built a fort.  My 3 year old kept calling it his pirate hideout.  We played Candyland in it, and even had the baby in there with us after his nap.  It was fun!  I highly recommend building a fort for any parent looking for a fun indoor activity that feels a little like outdoor fun.  :) 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Red 40 Experiment Results

As some of you may have already read, we were running a little dietary experiment in our home.  Our 3 year old son was suddenly becoming out of control, and I had read an article about the effects food coloring has on children's behavior.  Red 40 was the biggest culprit, triggering out of control behavior, hyperactivity, aggression...  Well, the one thing we had changed the week my son was suddenly displaying over the top terrible behavior, was he was eating a fruity, artificially colored cereal, unlike any of the cereal he was used to eating.  I decided it was worth cutting out all Red 40 to see if it impacted his behavior.  A few times we goofed up and gave him something red, and then we had to start from scratch as his behavior was bad, and was it coincidence or the dye?  So, now being off of it for a few weeks, we have noticed a remarkable change.  The biggest change is temper tantrums.  They are much less frequent, and not nearly as severe.  He's just had a few little mini fits here and there for a moment or two at a time, like normal 3 year olds.  None of these crazy long, drawn out total meltdowns. 

Seeing that his behavior is linked to the dye is both good and bad.  It's good because we can virtually eliminate it, and that helps him so much.  It helps him feel better, because those fits were not just hard on us, but they were terrible for him to go through.  You could see on his face, and the way he spiraled out of control that he was miserable.  He looked like someone drowning.  It's bad that they are connected, because Red 40 is in so much.  Basically I have to look at something, ask my self if it's usually red in nature, and if not read the label to see what they used to make it that way.  Sure, he'll have red food on occasion, like if we're at a party and there are red treats, so it will not be totally eliminated.  It will be eliminated in our house, though.  It's a bigger pain in the butt to have the bad behavior than to avoid red food. 

Maybe by sharing this info and our little home-study on the matter, someone else experiencing the same thing will get some helpful information they can use.  If I hadn't happened across the article I read, I would still have a miserable child who cannot get a grip to save his life.  Now, we have a kiddo much more calm and lots happier.  He's not perfect, but no 3 year old is.  If someone tells you they know a perfect 3 year old, they are lying.  I promise! 

So goodbye fruit snacks, pop tarts, fun & colorful cereal, purple Gatorade, and the Strawberry cake mix I bought not thinking about the fact that it would probably be a fake shade of pink.  Anyone want to take that off my hands?  Free to a good home.  I'll look up a recipe for homemade strawberry cake, instead.  It'll be better, anyways!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kindness Towards Others

Today my poor sister had to pass by a deer that had been hit, but was still alive, on the way to work.  Seeing something like that can be painfully sad, especially for animal lovers, which she happens to be.  Someone was waiting with the animal, and police were on their way.  Several kind passer-bys had called to report the situation.  Seeing something suffer can stick with you, and it is no way to start your work week, to say the least.

She posted about it on facebook.  People offered up their sympathy for the animal, and consoled her with kind words.  Then there was this one poster... this girl who told her that is how God wanted that deer to die.  WTF?!  So, God is in the business of inflicting pain and suffering upon innocent animals?  I knew there was some reason I decided to leave His party early.  In my opinion, anyone or anything that purposely wishes or causes suffering for any living thing is pure evil.  How horrible.  I feel sorry for this girl that she actually believes that.  Does that make her feel better?  To believe there is some immortal being out there deciding that some people or animals have to suffer, have to die gruesome deaths, have to endure torture or severe illness... that helps her?  She willingly subscribes to this group that believes that?  Forget it.  Count me out!  If a creator is going to be so cruel to his created, then that is unbelievably horrifying.  Heaven forbid something terrible happens to her family member or something.. she'll have to believe it's God's will that they had a long, painful, drawn out illness, or a brutal, violent death.  God wanted it that way?!  Please. 

I'd like to focus on the fact that, even though this poor animal had to hurt, there were people who looked out for it.  Someone stayed with it, several others called for help to end the suffering.  So, when I see the ugly in one person, I can turn away and see the kindness and compassion in others.  I'm sure glad they didn't turn away from that creature because they thought God wanted to punish that animal with a slow, painful death.  I prefer to leave the Earth a little better than I found it, not throw in the towel because something else maybe had a different plan. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Goodbye Love

Big Love is over!  ACK!  A show my husband and I loved to watch together, and it's gone.  I had no idea how they were going to wrap it up, so I'm not sure if saying I was surprised by the ending is much of an announcement.  Any ending would have been a surprise!  So, goodbye Love, we enjoyed our time with you.  Thank you for the laughs, the tears, and the exasperation.  I won't talk too much about the last episode, because I don't want to be the big spoiler for those waiting to watch it on their DVR. 

We are following up that heavy episode with The Roast of Donald Trump.  A hefty dose of stupidity and laughs to lighten the mood. 

On to other things, the baby kept us all entertained at dinner by squealing with glee before and after every single bite of his cereal mixed with prunes.  Oh yes, he screams for prunes.  Everyone was in stitches over it.  As if our table wasn't loud enough at meal times!  I wish I could get that excited over cereal and prunes.  Neither get so much as a "Hell yeah!" out of me, let alone shrieks of delight. 

Sarah Vowell has a new book out!  It's about the history of Hawaii.  I must get my hands on this book!  I have all of her other books, and they are all fabulous.  If you like non-fiction and prefer history be presented in a humorous, understandable and even relatable way, then you'll love her.  Check any of her books out.  You won't be disappointed.

And good news for those of you who've just been dying for a pot-pie cereal, my son has announced his plans to create this delicacy.  He is super excited about it.  Finally he'll have his wish of pot-pie for every meal!  Who knows what he'll come up with next.  Is this how Thomas Edison started out?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Retail Therapy

After a week of natural disasters, scary situations at home, an injured child, and just the usual stress of being a parent of 2 young kids, I was ready for some retail therapy.  Lucky for me, Gap/OldNavy/Banana Republic had their Give & Get coupon out for the weekend.  It was 30% off, plus an additional percentage of your order was then donated to different charities.  Well say no more!  I need no further excuse to shop.  So, off I went.

I got stuff for everyone in the house.  It was very fun to pick out some things for summer, and to be out of the house alone for a little while.  When I got home, we all went outside to play.  It was the typical, windy March day, perfect for kite flying!  Then it was on to grocery shopping, and a quick trip to return jeans I had brought home for my husband last week and had somehow reversed his size so they were 2  inches too long.  Oopsie!

So it was a busy day, but we had a great time as a family.  The baby was saying "DaDa" to my husband, today, so that was an extra little happy thrown in there. 

Oh, and I totally hated Jeff's hair on Community this week.  I just had to say that.  Whew.  Glad I got that off my chest!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Big Bang

Last night my son put the scare in me so badly, that it ended 24 hours later with me ripping a toy off a wall and hiding it from my sight!

My 3 year old insisted on a shower last night.  I hadn't planned on it because my husband was away for the night, and I didn't want to juggle a baby and a 3 year old in baths.  The baby, being a messy, new eater, was sticky regardless of my several attempts at cleaning him off after dinner.  He was the chosen one for the bath.  But my 3 year old wasn't having being left out.  He hopped in the shower, and I started the shower head when the water warmed up, but it was on a strong spray.  He is afraid of the strong spray, so I always switch it to a lower pressure.  I did that, but he was sure it was still on the strong spray and as I started to rinse him he scrambled backward, and as the words "Stop!  You're going to fall!" came out of my mouth, he was suddenly up in the air.  I dropped the shower head in an attempt to grab him, and he slipped past my arms and cracked his head on a tub toy that was strongly mounted on the back of the tub.  He then bounced off and slammed his head into the bottom of the tub.  The way his head/neck/and back hit, I thought for sure there would at least be blood.  I was also pretty sure something was going to be broken, and I was praying it wasn't his neck or back.  It was a brutal fall.  It sucked the breath right out of me, and his screams were gut wrenching.  I grabbed him up, inspected him, consoled him, and found nothing wrong but an abrasion on his butt cheek.  He calmed down, but was the screaming about how the water on his knee hurt because he had a scrape from previously in the day on that knee.  So, I quickly finished washing him up so he didn't have water on his knee much longer.  When I got to shampooing his hair, he started screaming and sobbing that his head hurt.  I rinsed it off, and he wasn't crying anymore.  I got him out and started drying him, and he started screaming again because his head hurt.  So I looked at it again, and still saw no bumps, cuts, bruises, or even a red spot on the back of his head.  So, when I got him on his bed and was putting his jammies on him, he laid back and again with the screaming and crying about his head.  So I closed my eyes, and felt all over his head.  At the base of his skull, where it starts to turn under and the spine meets it, was a huge bump.  I looked at it, and it was severely bruised, looked like a horn coming out the bottom/back of his head, had a small split in the skin, and was as thick around as a golf ball.  On a 3 year old's head that is pretty large.  Immediately I felt extreme guilt for not seeing it before.  I always thoroughly inspect him when he's hurt, so I still do not know how I did not see that.  I also was contemplating if he needed to go to the ER.  Lucky for me, a neighbor is also a nurse.  As a nurse, I can think quick and help OTHER people who are hurt or sick.  When it's my own kid, forget it.  I forget a good 75% of what I know, and just feel overwhelming guilt and pain for them.  So I asked my neighbor to come over to assist me with our emergency.  She remembered to check his pupils for reactivity, and that they were even and not out of their round shape.  Then I remembered the dizziness, nausea, I asked him his age and name.... So with her help, my son and I both calmed down (I had to struggle not to cry for him, and every time I go in that bathroom still I feel sick.  I really thought he was going to be terribly injured, then was relieved he had just a scratch, then found the actual injury and was horrified and extremely guilt ridden.  What a rollercoaster.)  So we got ice for him (which he mostly kept on the top of his head because he didn't want to touch his "boo boo", and she helped get him dressed while I got the baby, who was now crying, and started to re-situate everything for winding down for the night.

My neighbor remained on call if we needed her, and my sister just automatically got ready to come and came over once we spoke on the phone about it.  The doc had said it could take 24 hours for symptoms of a brain injury to show up, and I had to wake him every couple hours through the night/day, so my sis and I thought it was good to just have someone else here just in case.  I kept him in my bed with me so I could carefully monitor him.  He seemed normal, aside for the pain he was in (even with medication!).  He was so difficult to wake through the night, but I'd get scattered, small responses from him as he tried to open his eyes or speak when I asked him to.  I hardly slept, as I kept listening for his breathing.  After Natasha Richardson's head injury that seemed okay and then she suddenly died, I was still very shaken and worried.

We made it through the night, and he was still very low key in the morning.  Then he started to pick up with his activity.  It seemed like he was a magnet for falls, and almost fell backwards off of a neighbors deck several times.  I was contemplating hooking him up with a coloring book and crayons in a small room and deliver his meals to him until his Dad came home today because I couldn't handle one more injury!  I kid about the room part, but not about not being able to take another injury. 

At this point, it has been more than 24 hours.  He has mentioned seeing some strange things, but I couldn't tell he wasn't pretending.  He has an active imagination, and loves to play pretend.  So I quizzed him on visual things through the day, and tried to figure out if he was just playing.  It seemed like that was maybe the case.  I'm still going to keep an eye on that. 

So, I'm considering us very lucky.  My kids are my world.  I have no idea how parents go on when something tragic happens to a child.  I made sure to give all the extra hugs and kisses I could today.  He wanted extra ones, so it really worked out.  When bath time came tonight, he was afraid to get in the tub.  I promised him, no more showers for a long time.  Sitting only!  So he accepted that, and we washed the dirt he was storing all over his body from happily playing outside with his friends throughout the day, and enjoying the gorgeous day.  I'm thankful for this day, another day with my beautiful boys.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Taking the night off from blogging, as my oldest son fell in the tub tonight.  We are nursing a head injury, and I have to wake him every couple hours.  It's going to be a long night, so it's only the essentials tonight.  Perhaps I'll blog about it tomorrow after he is in the clear. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


To start my post about unrelated things, I'll begin by mentioning someone I am related to.  My sister and I know each other pretty darn well, as most sisters do I imagine.  But sometimes we think so alike, it's a little freaky.  She sent me an email today, alerting me to the ability to pre-order a book she knew I'd like on amazon.  I had already pre-ordered that book.  She also pre-ordered the book, but now she is reconsidering that and putting dibs on my pre-ordered book.  She's pre-borrowing my pre-ordered book.  I love that, had I not been aware of this, she would have been there to make sure I knew I could have everything in place to get that book ASAP.  I love to read, and I love Tina Fey, so, naturally, I'm anxiously awaiting her "Bossypants" book.  Thanks, sis.

Also, semi-related, I need to shout out to my sister and mother for their help this week.  They are too good for us, but don't tell them that or they might find another family!!

I love to watch the Food Network.  As a chick who has struggled with her weight over the years, some years more than others, this is deadly.  I have an addiction, sir!  But tonight, they were cooking and eating chicken gizzards, and it was flat out sickening to me.  Perhaps I have broken my addiction.  Chicken gizzards will do that.

The baby is sitting up, now!  He can sit for pretty long periods of time, and is really doing much better with stabilizing himself when he starts to lean.  He is starting to realize that this new sitting up position is optimal for playing with toys, and with observing things around him.  At the same time I am realizing that my baby is becoming less of a baby and more of a kiddo.  *sigh*  It's so bittersweet. 

Tomorrow we are making green cupcakes!  We all have our green outfits ready to go, and we hope that everyone else remembers to wear green to avoid any pinching!  Happy St. Patty's Day Eve, everyone!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Must Sleep...

Why do both kids work together to obliterate any chance a Momma has to get any quality rest?!  My sons ganged up on my yesterday and today.  Last night, the oldest wouldn't go to sleep until 11:30, and then I went in to do the last minute diaper change for the baby, and he was awake and smiling.  He was full on ready to play!  Ugh!  So, I changed him and fed him again, which I knew that meant he would have more fuel for peeing out his diaper.  Then, he was STILL awake!  So I rocked him, and watched tv.  Then, I fed him again.... you get the picture.  It was nearly 3AM when he went to sleep.  Then he was up, soaking wet, at 7:30.  My oldest slept in due to staying up late, but I woke him when I got the baby down for a morning nap so he could eat breakfast.  I put breakfast on the table and then laid on the couch.  Then my oldest wanted to lay down with me.  So he was bumping me, squashing me, climbing on me, and then the baby only slept 1 hour so there was no sleep to be had.  Then, during the baby's afternoon nap, the same thing happened with the oldest crawling all over me as I desperately tried to catch some zzz's.  I figured they'd pass out at bedtime tonight, but the baby stayed up until 10:30, and I can still hear the oldest one in his room.  I have one last household chore to do before bed, but I'm doing it and then I'm going to bed.  I am going to sleep with my fingers crossed that they sleep well.  Also, I am going to hope the baby stays asleep when I do the diaper change.  Please, think positive thoughts for us!  I need to be able to refresh myself to be a good Momma tomorrow. 

I know my other Momma friends know exactly what I'm talking about.  We've all been here!

Monday, March 14, 2011


A lot has been going on for the past week or so, and I've been observing all of it.  As for my usual ranting, I haven't been feeling it....

Everyone is watching Charlie Sheen.  I have been, and I've been laughing at the insane things coming out of his mouth.  However, part of me knows we're watching a mentally ill person take an epic fall.  Most mentally ill folks spiral out of control in private, so the world isn't laughing at them as they fall.  Half of me feels bad pointing and laughing, but the other part sees that he is putting himself out there with such pride.  I'm sure someone has filled him in on how bad of an idea it is, so that half of me doesn't feel bad.  He could choose to not be so public about things.  Part of me wonders if it's not some elaborate publicity stunt.

So that was the light side of things...

Japan is also going on, and the bigger, actually important and relevant story.  There is nothing like real, unexpected tragedy to shake you.  It reminds us of everything important, and how there are no guarantees.  I have been watching others' reactions to this natural disaster, and I cannot believe how many appalling reactions are out there.  Right away people tie it to religion.  I don't understand how they don't see the contradiction when they say their God loves everyone, and he made everyone, and then they say he did this for some type of revenge.  So, which is it, he creates and loves, or he murders.  Which is it?  Thou shalt not kill.  Is it a do as I say, not as I do?  So, I'm not buying it.  Then there are others choosing to laugh at the loss of so many.  I cannot even get close to understanding how people are finding humor in the midst of all the suffering.  I mean, I have inappropriate laughter.  When I'm super anxious, even scared or see something that is overwhelmingly emotional, I tend to giggle as I protective reaction.  If that is what I saw going on, I'd see people protecting themselves from the situation , but these people are making actual jokes they think are funny.  There is nothing funny about it.  Inappropriate laughter has nothing to do with if something is funny.  So, it's not self preservation, it's cruel.  When I think, for even a second, about the horror and grief these folks went/are going through, it feels like I'm being suffocated. 

Now, to lighten things up before I am crushed under the weight of the world...

Bonus Kid-ism!:

My 3 year old:

"Oh, Mom, you're using Oxy Clean."
"Yes, how did you know that?"
"Well, it has stain fighters.  It sprays on blue, and when it turns white, it's ready to wipe!"
"Where did you hear this?!"
"Oh, I watched the Oxy Clean Show!"

My 3 year old, again:

(husband) "Why aren't you in bed?"
(son) "Daddy, Daddy!  I need somethin'!  It's complicated!"

And again:

(a "talking" toy) "Come play with me!"
(son) "Um, okay.  I'll play with you.  But you're just a toy." (as if he had to explain to the toy that it shouldn't talk because it was not a person.)

And one more:
(me) "Why are your ears so dirty?"
(son) "Well, there's a tiny little dirt man who lives in my ears.  He's making lots of dirt piles!"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Give Pause

I've been taking a break from yammering about the things I like to complain about for the weekend.  I did this out of respect for the real tragedies going on at the moment in Japan.  Please take the time to squeeze your loved ones, and appreciate the time we are given with each other.  We saw how quickly it can all be, literally, swept away from you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On A Roll!

Good things here at home today!  I finally got my wedding rings resized.  I dropped like an entire person's worth of weight, and so my rings were falling off.  Worse yet, they were falling off without me even feeling them fall, so I'd have to back track to find them.  I found them in some pretty bad spots, and was lucky that I didn't permanently lose them.  Now they are safe and sound on my finger, the correct size!  I also got another ring of significant emotional importance resized.  I will taken a few in here and there until all of them fit me again.  It's not so bad going down sizes, but if you want to resize a ring going the other direction it can be crazy expensive right now with the price of gold!  Just FYI.

I would like to give a shout out to Pottery Barn Kids.  I must say they do care about their customers, and take their concerns very seriously.  They immediately got back to my email, and provided excellent customer service.  I am very excited to receive the curtains I purchased for my son's bedroom.  The kiddo has had only white black out panels hanging from his beautiful window for nearly a year now.  I couldn't find curtains in the proper blue, or even a valance.  The black out panels are terrible, do not line up right so light gets through, and they are ugly as sin.  It'll be nice for this finishing touch to be complete.  He has a train-theme room.  I made a lot of the decorations myself.  I framed a beautiful photograph of a train engine I took, and hung it in his room as art.  I recommend that to anyone pondering what to put on their walls.  Use your own, meaningful photos.  Now with digital cameras, it's easy to pick good shots and to go online and order large prints.  Everytime I look at that train I remember the day trip we took with my son, and how much he loved it.  That is so much better than a generic picture from some department store (Though, they are nice, too for some things.  They just don't have the same meaning.)

My husband got a letter of recognition from a high ranking superior today.  He works very hard, and very long hours.  He has been getting a lot of recognition, though, and it's good to be appreciated and noticed.  People have been seeking him out specifically for things, and he has become quite the go-to guy.  We are very proud of Daddy here at this house! 

So you know when you're on a winning streak (an actual one, Charlie Sheen, not something you dream up as winning), and you hope it keeps going.  Your imagination can go wild imagining what other awesome things could happen for you.  Perhaps we should play the lottery!  It's our day, after all!  Maybe I should head into a cancer research lab.  Maybe they could use some of our good luck and positive energy.  Wouldn't it be great if that's how things worked?! 

Tomorrow we are going to the local MOMS club meeting.  We are hoping to meet some folks in the area, since we're still fairly new here.  We have met a lot of neighbors, but not too many folks beyond our neighborhood.  Our young sons could use some friends their age in the area.  So far, my oldest only has 2 friends close to his own age here.  The other kids are fairly older than he is.  We are crossing our fingers that we meet some new buddies!  Hopefully our good luck carries through until tomorrow at least. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Birth Days

I was a labor and delivery nurse.  I looooooooooved being a labor and delivery nurse, and my heart is still there.  I think of it, and dream about it often.  I wouldn't trade being at home with my boys for the world, so I won't be going back too soon.  My husband and I do talk about how I should become a doula.  I most love the coaching, the advocating, and the education involved, and a doula can really get involved with those things.  A lot of women don't know their options, their rights, or how to tell if they really do need that c-section their doctor is pushing them towards. 

One thing our society has lost sight of is that child birth is a natural event.  Women used to just go out to the woods, squat down, have a baby, and go back to their duties inside the house.  This was without drugs to speed labor, without planning the delivery date, without pain medications... it just worked out.  It's meant to happen.  I was just taken aback by how many people asked me what day I was going to deliver my youngest son.  I told them "I don't know.  How can I know when I'll go into labor?"  They were confused by my answer.  Then I realized, especially in the area I currently live, it is the norm now to schedule an induction for delivery.  WHY?!  The baby will come out!  You don't have to tell them to come out and make them come out when there is no medical reason to do that!  Plus, inductions can be long and extra painful.  They don't warn you about that!

The things I have seen have given me very strong opinions on all aspects of childbirth.  I have a clear understanding of what I would allow and would not allow during my own labors and deliveries.  I'd love to help other women understand the ins and outs and help them navigate the journey. 

So, I miss it.  Once a nurse, always a nurse.  Ladies, we're a tough bunch.  We are much stronger than men!  (No offense dudes, but you seriously could not survive childbirth.  Trust us.)  I would like to bring that out in women, and give them the confidence they need to get through the most awesome event of their lives.  Maybe one day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hurting the Hurt

The government is still going back and forth with this budget business.  Anyone else noticing the republican solutions are to cut programs that help the middle and lower classes.  The folks who are hurting the most are expected to take the biggest hit.  So not only did they preserve the tax cuts for the ultra rich, they aren't asking anything of them or huge corporations in the budget, either.  Talk about kicking folks when they're down.  Hello, you're being stepped on, people!  I'm still astounded by the people I see in the lower and middle classes fighting so passionately in favor of a party of folks who have none of their interests on their actual agenda.  They're just really good at tricking them into thinking that helping the folks who clearly need no additional help will somehow help them.  It never does, it never does.  When will people get that?  I mean, if that were true, why, in the 8 years before our current administration, did these lower and middle class conservatives not make out like bandits and bump up into the upper economic class?  No, their situation was made significantly worse, yet they still act like the other side is evil, and we need the conservatives to come fix what they broke in the first place!  Sometimes I feel that everyone around me is drinking the kool-aid.  It seems so simple to me.  No, not how exactly to fix everything, I'm not claiming to have all the answers, I just can plainly see which folks are having their interests catered to and who that is hurting.  I see people with foreclosed homes, on medicaid, struggling to feed their family, on food stamps so desperately hating the democrats who are trying so hard to clean up the terrible mess left behind by the republicans whom they are singing the praises of.  I do not get it. 

On a lighter note, my husband told me last night that we were having a dinner guest today.  I totally killed it with some fabulous stuffed peppers, couscous, and salad.  Those peppers are just so good, I can't even tell you how good!  haha  We all ate a little too much.  :)  I also had the house all pulled together, and fed the baby and myself plus the 3 year old who wouldn't feed himself.  Who's the warlock now, Charlie Sheen!?!  I have Momma Bear Blood running through my veins!  Grrrrrrr!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where Does The Time Go

I saw a picture of my youngest son yesterday.  He was about a week old in the picture, and he looks like a teenie tiny peanut.  I looked over at him, after seeing the picture, and thought "You're enormous!"  He is just growing so fast!  The enormity isn't just a statement on his size, but his personality, his achievements, his eating and sleeping habits.  Everything just advances so rapidly when they are so young, but I don't have to tell parents about this.  We are all well aware!

The baby started making the "da" and "ma" and "ba" sounds recently.  He'd babble all day about "dadadadadada" and I was joking "Who is this "Da", and why is he so special?", but we were pretty sure he was just babbling since he never used the sound to address or call for my husband.  But, yesterday, when he awoke he called for "Mama" repeatedly, both in the morning and at naptime.  Then, in the evening, he wanted me to come get him while my mom had him (he's such a Momma's boy & is having some anxiety when he can't see me or just plain wants me to hold him), and he cried "Mama!!"  This happened two times.  My mother and sister heard it too, so it's official.  haha  My other son's first word was "Dada", as is most babies' first words.  But, the Mommykin that he is, of course he went with "Mama".  Today he didn't say it much.  He was all about blowing raspberries instead.

In addition to learning some new sounds, and asking for his favorite person, Momma, he has learned ways to move around the floor more quickly.  He rolls continuously from one point to another, and he still does an inch-worm move.  Today, he realized there was more to explore than just the living room.  He took off down our entryway, and then he bumped his chin on the wood floor.  That was the end of that.  The rest of the day he mostly stuck to the living room, within about 2 feet of the large blanket we have down for him to play on.  I like to have the blanket there so we have a place we avoid stepping on, but he likes to roll off of it, anyway.  At least I tried!

I'm thrilled to have a happy, healthy growing baby, but it can feel a little sad to see them grow so fast.  You want to soak up that short time you have when they are so tiny, snuggly, and innocent.  Am I wrong?!  As my husband puts it "They are irresistible!" 

So, maybe this isn't the most exciting entry, but it's exactly what is on my mind at the moment.  This weekend, and today I've been feeling this bittersweet emotion as I watch him transition from a passive, tiny newborn, to this active, growing child with his own personality, likes, dislikes, and habits.  When I wake up in the morning, he'll be in college! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011


As a parent, you know certain signs that point to all sorts of trouble.  If things are too quiet, something is going down in the other room and you better go check.  If a kid seems tired, and then they get into this giddy, super energetic streak you are looking at an over-tired kiddo who is going to fight going to sleep.  When my 3 year old gets all weepy and whiny, and almost everything makes him cry, it's usually because he's getting sick.  I'm not sure if he is sick or not, but about midway through the day the waterworks started.  He is not a cryer, even when he falls and hurts himself it has to be pretty nasty for him to cry.  If he gets to the point where he can't handle anything, and he's just sobbing... ugh.  There is usually something lurking.  So, time will tell, but I'm not looking forward to whatever is coming down the road that has him so beside himself. 

The baby, thankfully, has been sleeping through his naps and the night again now that we turned up his air purifier setting.  The neighbors vehicle is extremely loud, and it started waking him up every morning when they left for work at 5:30AM, and then if they went out in the middle of the day, it even interrupted his naps.  (I'm not angry at them, they obviously can have whatever car they want and they certainly aren't doing anything TO us or to upset us, it's just the facts... it wakes up the baby.)  So, I was trying to think of ways to fix this for him.  I'm hoping the air purifier adjustment keeps working for him.  I just heard them fire up the car, and he didn't stir, so crossing my fingers!!! 

I recommend air purifiers to parents with babies and small kids.  We've always had one going for each of our boys, and they've been pretty good sleepers.  My oldest was a better sleeper than the baby is, but the baby really is not a bad sleeper either.  He was sleeping through the night by 3 months old, and before that he would usually only wake 1-2 times a night, even when he was first born.  The wooshing of an air purifier helps me sleep, too.  I cannot sleep in silence, and I need total darkness.  I'm a pretty light sleeper.  So, air purifiers, not just for babies, and not for just cleaning up the air!  :)

We started the baby on cereal today.  I got formula to mix it with because he still nurses a lot, and I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night to pump.  Soooooo, since he has a dairy allergy he needs the ultra expensive, special formula.  Guess what, it tastes like ass.  Seriously.  I don't even know how babies who rely on that thrive at all.  I wouldn't eat that garbage.  My baby made the worst faces, and hated it.  So I dumped it, and made the cereal with water.  He loved that!  So I wasted $22 on the tiniest can of formula I could find.  The doctor warned me "it doesn't taste very good, and so nursing babies usually won't eat or drink it", but she didn't say "feeding this awful stuff to your kid is pretty obviously child abuse." 

The baby has been waking up and saying "muh muh muh muh muh muh muh muh" over and over again until we go get him.  I'm wondering if he's trying to call me because he is awake and hungry?  Are we gonna skip Dada as the first word and go straight for Mama?  He can say Da, but he doesn't say it TO my husband yet.  He just babbles it, and babbles it a lot.  My first son said Dada first, then Mama, and then Bob.  We had no idea who this Bob was he was talking about, and he said it in this loud, growling/shout.  Then we figured it out, we would yell at our cat Molly in the same type of voice, and he was trying to imitate it.  He couldn't say Molly, so it came out Bob (kind of like Baahb, so we could see how that was a little like Molly).  So, we called her Bob too for awhile.  So we will see what path his little brother takes.

I earned my sleep tonight!  This is the first time I've sat down, other than to feed my children, all day.  I had a spare 15 minutes between cleaning this entire house, doing several loads of laundry, and going to the grocery store, and I used those minutes to have bike races with my oldest son outside.  So off I go!  Nice, relaxing day tomorrow with my mom and sister.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Update Time

Update on the crazy MIL birthday party... We got an email about the menu.  She will be making baked ziti, which is full of cheese.  She was there when my son was diagnosed with a milk allergy, and is very clear on the fact that I cannot eat that.  It really seems like she does not want me to participate at all in this party.  The one time in 11 years I have dietary restrictions, and for her grandson whom I nurse, and she cannot make sure she has something I can eat.  My husband has food preferences (not allergies, he just doesn't like cheese, butter or cream), and my family has been respectful of that for all 11 years.  As I just mentioned, my husband doesn't like cheese and so she never makes things with cheese for us when he's around, but now that I can't eat cheese she's all about making it.  Just like never mentioning bowling ever, and now that it is not convenient to be in a bowling alley with an infant, she is just dying to go.  Ugh.

Update on the new range.  I'm still in love with this oven/stove.  I had 3 loaves of challah baking today, and 2 were in the convection oven.  Total perfection!  Best loaves yet.  I also used the middle, 5th fish burner, while using 2 other burners.  Everything fit on, and the grill I got for that 5th burner was awesome.  We had steak with a red wine mushroom sauce, steamed asparagus, and challah.  Good Shabbos!!

Today has been a very long, and very productive day.  I finally got my license switched over to reflect that we have changed states.  My rings are being sized, since my fingers have shrunk.  I did a massive Target run.... the list goes on.  So now, after a home pedicure, I'm off to bed.  Goodnight!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doing my homework...

I'd like to start off tonight's post by pointing out my own stupidity.  I gave my son a tall, cool glass of red fruit punch today.  So much for testing how he does without red 40 for several days.  Guess we start from scratch yet again.  What I do know is that he couldn't listen to save his life tonight.  I had put away that drink, but I had gotten it out for company, and then forgot to put it back.  Then, in a tired moment, gave it to him since we were out of milk, and he didn't want water.  Bad Momma.

Anyway, on to the meat of the post.  I have to go to the DMV tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to this about as much as I look forward to getting a root canal.  The last time I went, I stood in line forever just to find out that was a line to see if you would be allowed to stand in the real line.  I didn't pass.  She had a problem with one of my pieces of proof that I now live here.  So, my husband has off tomorrow, and I'm going to try again.  I have 4 different items that are on the list of approved ways to prove you live at your address.  I'm sure she'll find a way to try to turn me away, anyway, but I'm loaded!  haha  I will get into the actual line!  I have everything ready to roll.  I also have picked out an outfit and how I will wear my hair.  My old license is terrible.  This one must be better than the last. 

They always tell you to smile at the DMV for your picture.  I always tell them no.  When they ask why, I explain that I want my picture to be realistic, and if an officer needs to ask me for my license, I will not be smiling. 

At least I have an iPhone this time.  I'll have a way to occupy myself.  Hopefully I won't be there so long that my husband needs to bring the baby in to nurse.  The DMV is like a menagerie of the most unusual and exotic germ species.  I feel dirty just driving past it!  I'll have to take a lysol bath when I get home.  Why are they always so disgusting?  And then ours has these charming old coots standing outside trying to tell people to impeach the President.  One of the best things I ever saw was this older white lady in a housecoat and curlers just tear into those guys.  They asked her to come talk to them, and she said "No I will not!  You guys are such losers."  She told them to get a life, get a job, and get over it!  It was great.  I always say I am going to show up early one day and set up a free cookie stand where they usually are.  I mean people are already pissed off enough going into the DMV.  No one needs political nut-jobs standing outside harassing people.  I'd like to stand there, hand out free homemade cookies, and tell people to have a wonderful day.  That is what people actually NEED at the DMV.  That and hand sanitizer.

I should probably turn in early tonight, to get my beauty sleep.  I need to look young and refreshed in my photo, and not like the tired early 30's mother of two young boys that I am.  I mean I guess I don't NEED to, but it would sure be nice!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crazy Far and Near

Today was thee day for the insane to shine.  First, we hear of Westboro Baptist Church, and their win in the Supreme Court.  My deepest sympathies to Christians who have to share the lable with members of this cult.  Even more so for the families who have been and will continue to be bullied by these opportunistic bottom-feeders.  If I believed in Satan, I'm sure I would recognize his face in theirs.

Next up in the line of crazies, Charlie Sheen.  Enough has been said on him already.  Just let us know when he implodes.  NEXT!

Now, onto my dear mother-in-law.  The woman who cannot drive the one hour and twenty minute drive to our home because she "cannot afford the gas", but goes up to Rhode Island every chance she gets.  We have a family reunion planned there for August, and we were apprehensive, as I mentioned in a previous post, about staying in the same rental home as a bunch of other people.  Mainly this is because our oldest son is an energetic handful, and a lot of the people going are retired, or could be retired, seniors.  He gets extra crazy around company, and shows off and is loud.  He will need a place to go calm down and rest at the end of the night, and throughout the week.  So, of course, she was expecting we'd stay there, and was expecting our money to pay towards the rental.  All without asking us, mind you.  So she called today to tell me she's going up to Rhode Island next week, and she'd like to take me and the boys with her on the like 8 hour plus trip.  I don't know where we'd stay or if she was planning on driving for over 16 hours in one day, but we don't really get along well enough to spend that much time in a little car together.  Now, add in a baby who screams in his car seat.  He frantically sobs and hyperventilates as if he is being injured.  It is extremely upsetting to listen to.  My oldest child starts screaming back at him within seconds to calm down.  It is very loud and very unnerving.  I do not look forward to the trip in August, let alone doing it by myself now with my mil when I know the baby can't handle it.  At least in August he may be older, and hopefully grown out of his screaming in the car.  So, I explained to her why it would be a disaster, and she assured me that it would not bother her at all to hear the baby screaming and crying.  Well I'm so glad she can tune a baby in emotional distress out, but he is my son and that would drive me to tears.  Not to mention the added noise of the 3 year old screaming at him, and having to sit beside his screaming brother.  That is upsetting to him, too.  Then I have to stop every 2 hours or so to feed the baby.  Then the baby's sleep schedule will be a mess from being in the car all day.  I told her we were planning to stop halfway in August when we go, and she said we could do that next week.  Great, who is paying for that?  It would just be me, her, and 2 angry and upset little boys for days on end.  Fabulous.  She kept trying to convince me I need to "break them in" to the ride.  I told her if I went now and it went badly, which I can almost guarantee it will, I would not go in August because I couldn't convince myself to do it again.  At least in August, if it goes bad, we still get there for the reunion.  So she assured me she goes up all the time, so the opportunity will come up again.  Great, so about the gas you can't afford to come see your grandkids....

It was my mil's birthday yesterday, and since she found out we took our oldest son bowling for the first time at my mother's suggestion, she now has to take him bowling, too.  So she wants a bowling party this weekend.  Great, an infant at a bowling alley.  This kid has so much trouble taking a nap away from home, but it will be impossible at a loud bowling alley.  Plus everyone touching the dirty, oily bowling balls, and then touching the baby.  I don't love that idea.  So, she said it's fine.  She has no problem if the baby and I need to stay at her house.  Great.  I was totally dying to drive for an hour and twenty minutes to go sit alone with the baby in someone's house with two pit bulls that hate me and aggressively bark and growl at me and my kids, and that I equally hate.  Then I get to drive an hour and twenty minutes back home when the rest of them are done with their bowling party.  She is so thoughtful and considerate.  I wouldn't complain at all if this was something she usually does, and it was tradition.  I wouldn't expect the world to stop for me, but she NEVER has requested anything like this ever until this very moment when it's just not the greatest situation for me.  She even said that other family members said "Well what about her and the baby.  The baby won't like it, and neither will she."  She said she thought it would be fine, and we could just be at the house.  So, it's not just me.  She can't even drive here to have us pay attention to her and entertain her all day and go home, but she expects me to drive up there to do nothing?  Craaaaa-zay.

So, there you have it.  This day has been a great one for the mentally infirm.  Now, I need to go look at some alcohol and wish I wasn't nursing a baby, cause I'd sit and drink for a good long while after today.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Teachers, The Ultimate Freeloaders?

Oh Fox News, no wonder even Sesame Street took a jab at you.  ("I only watch Pox News, now there's a trashy network!" said by a grouch *no, not Oscar*)  The current ridiculousness coming from their programs, that I had the misfortune of coming across, is their attempt to convince people that teachers are living large at the expense of the country.  Yes, I totally believe the folks who are responsible for educating our young citizens, are in fact taking the country for a financial ride.  Can't you just feel my eyes rolling?  They are clearly overpaid  for what they do.  I mean they just have to teach our kids, prepare them for the future, lead them in the right direction to keep them out of trouble, deal with dead beat parents, contract every single germ their class of children who clearly don't know how minimize the spreading of whatever illness they are carrying bring in to them, spend their evenings and weekends making lesson plans, grading papers, doing parent teacher conferences, advising extracurricular activities, and spending their summers continuing their education.  I'm sure there are things I left out, but I'm sure they are also equally unimportant. 

On Fox News, they were trying to argue that teachers are indeed overpaid, and that they simply work until 2 or 3, then go home and do nothing for the rest of the night.  They also do nothing all summer long.  I'm not sure what kind of teachers these folks knew, but I cannot think of one of the teachers I have known in my life who had that kind of sweet deal.  I've never known any teacher to be flaunting their millions, and sailing away in one of their many seaworthy vessels the second school lets out for the summer.  They were painting them as greedy do-nothings, who had easy, unimportant jobs that were not worth their pay. 

We pay our teachers ridiculous salaries, alright.  They are totally underpaid for what they do.  Our children's future is in their hands.  They can prepare our kids for college, and for the world.  They are not only an intellectual influence on our kids, but also social examples.  They can inspire, counsel, and even comfort our kids.  Sure, there are bad teachers, as there are always those who do not do well in their jobs, and we do need a way to handle that.  But, let's not get carried away and start acting like teachers are a group of swindlers, freeloading thanks to the taxpayers, and bamboozling us out of money for nothing. 

Maybe these guys really did have bad teachers, and that's why they feel that way.  Maybe their teachers did such a poor job, and that is why they are so ignorant and uneducated.  But please, give them a spot on national tv to share their brand of stupidity with the world.