Friday, December 31, 2010

A Look Back III

I'm spending the last week of 2010 reminiscing all the crazy things that happened with my bunch from the nest. One common theme that I've had this year is the inability to keep my kids in clothes. So I'll close the year out with one about my little nudist from June:

6 Words

"I need to speak with you." Is a statement that when uttered by your child's care provider upon you're arrival in the evening makes even the most seasoned parent shudder. No matter your mood prior to that statement- you exhale loudly, shoulders slump and ask, 'What did he do know?'

The subject of that statement in this instance was WC. Now, he's a pretty good kid and rarely ever gets into trouble. But when the boy does something, he doesn't half-ass it. He goes after being in trouble with the same intensity as being well behaved. It's all or middle ground. And his trouble is never fighting or anything malicious. It stems more from the fact he's a free-spirit...I guess that's the way to describe it. CJ's troubles always stem from him believing the world should revolve around him and to hell with anyone who doesn't agree- but then he is three & we're working on it.

So, on this day I arrive to the 6 words spoken by the head camp counsellor and she pulls me off to the side.

My son and some other boys- all 6 yrs old went to the bathroom connected to the gymnasium and as with any gym bathroom there's a shower room. They decided it would be fun to take a shower. So they all strip naked and are running around in the open shower room. I'm unsuccessfully trying not to laugh as she describes discovering a shower room full of wet naked little boys. So they all had to have a talk about private parts and not romping around with the parts God gave you flapping in the breeze.

Both of the boys run around naked all the time at home- after a bath & before pj's they run streaking through the house, squealing with laughter. Nudity isn't anything that I've raised them to be ashamed of. But it never occurred to me that he would do this with total strangers. It was all innocent. I've had multiple discussions with him about his private parts and not allowing anyone to touch them. And he's not to touch anyone else and if someone asks him to then he needs to say no and go tell an adult. I keep that a running discussion that I bring up periodically- usually during the bath time. But now I've also had to tell him that he can't get naked at day camp.

My Dad laughed hysterically when I told my parents what their grandson had done. And his comment was about how smart the boy is. Smart? Smart?

I don't get how organizing the first grade nudist colony can be considered smart?

Wishing everyone out there a very safe and happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Look Back II

Today I am posting what I still think is the most frightening thing to happen in 2010
Originally posted in February from our trip to Pennsylvania:

If Your Brother Thinks it's a Good Idea...

There we were, sitting around my friends living room. The Mallomar incident (see below) had come and gone. We sat there talking and laughing; the children were quietly playing upstairs. It was too quiet...for too long. As a seasoned mom, this should have tipped me off. But really, they had their back pack from home filled with games and an entire chest of toys, crayons, markers, etc. up in our room. Why would they possibly need any other form of entertainment? Why would they go roaming around in some one else's bedroom...let alone her husbands closet? What would be so interesting about a man's wardrobe?

I've been a mom for six years; oh how I should have known better than this...

Back downstairs Jay, Michele, her infant twins and myself sat blissfully unaware that, the tweedle brothers had located an old wooden rocking horse that Michele had carefully hidden away in the back of Peter's closet. They ever so stealthily removed the horse from it's hiding location and silently slid it across the wooden floor over our heads. WC had formulated a plan for this horse. I've often said that if he jumped off a cliff that CJ would follow...not only is that literally true but CJ will also allow WC to send him off that cliff first.

Perched at the top of the stairs, WC put CJ on that horse.

The worst crashing noise I've ever heard in my life came bounding down those stairs. From my vantage point all I could see was wood and feet. Initially I didn't know which child had come down. Jay, who was sitting in direct view of the bottom of the stairs saw it, in slow motion. He was to the crash scene first and pulled CJ up and immediately handed him to me.

CJ was in hysterics. I sat down with him and began to inspect him for damage- there just had to be something broken. In those rare moments of real danger I've noticed that I manage to sort of automatically stuff any emotion relating to 'my baby is hurt' sort of thing. I don't genuinely become scared until after the fact; then the Oh My God sets in. I felt around his head, I moved his limbs, poked & prodded his body listening for him to cry in pain instead of the scared wail. I couldn't find any obvious damage- how could that be?

While I examined CJ, Jay went to find the obviously missing piece of the puzzle- WC.

We turned Sesame Street on tv to see if that would help draw his attention away from what happened and help calm him. It worked. But it didn't help make sure he didn't have a concussion because a two year old watching Elmo isn't exactly the most responsive thing in the world. While he watched, I continued my examination and feeling for lumps and looking for bruises. I began to ask him questions about what was happening in the show and he could tell me. Sometimes it would take a minute to respond but he could tell me. It appeared that he had some redness around his left eye- we figured it would be black the next day.

How did he go down those stairs on a rocking horse and not end up with something broken?

If I had fallen down those stairs, I'd have ended up in a full body cast.

After a while, he climbed out of my lap and began playing again. That night when we went to bed, I poked him to make sure he would stir. Something I learned the last time I had to watch him for signs of concussion.

The next morning, he had a spot near his left eye but no bruising. How?

Then, the thoughts about how it could have turned out scared the hell out of me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Look Back

Today, I am reposting one of my favorite memories blogged in 2010:
First posted in February from our trip to Pennsylvania.

The Mallomar Incident

My children. I love them, but they test me. They test my skills, my nerves, my patience, the limits of my insurance. It's like their hobby...if you will. And taking them to another state didn't prove to damper their experimental tendencies. It may have amplified it.

Our first evening settling into the home of our gracious hosts turned out to be a bit more exciting than any of us could have ever predicted.

She offered snacks and of course Jay and the boys don't turn down food. I was happily hugging babies so I stayed in the living area while the others disappeared into the kitchen. Jay and Michele return to the room leaving the boys at the table with their snack- a chocolate marshmallow cookie for each of them.

There we are conversing like old friends do when you haven't seen each other in a long time. And we proceed to talk for a while not even noticing the older children are still in the kitchen. We're holding babies and having a lovely chat when in toddles CJ...

He looks like a gluttonous squirrel with lock jaw. There had to be at least two whole Mallomars shoved in there. Unlike the squirrels take, chocolate on the other hand...melts.

There's a slobber and chocolate goo oozing down his chin. He seems okay with this.

Immediately the thought hits my brain & I look at Jay, "Did you leave the box of cookies on the table?

He responds with that dear in the headlight look and took off into the kitchen.

It would seem that he did. He handed each of them one cookie and left the room leaving two children unsupervised with an entire box of cookies.

Between the two of them, they split eleven Mallomars.

Probably with WC doing the handing out. One for for me. Mom will be so happy that we are sharing.

All I could do was shake my head and laugh while Jay cleaned up CJ.

Now I'm not saying that mom's are perfect, cause we definitely are not. However, I do not know of a mom who would have left those cookies on the table...that's all I'm going to say.

Luckily, they did not get upset tummies from this but the surge of sugar through their systems may have had a little something to do with their shenanigans a little later that afternoon...

To Be Continued...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over
their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and glory of the
Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do
not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the
Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and
lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising
God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
     and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."  Luke 2: 8-14 NIV

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Kids + A Christmas Party

Tis the season for the thing I dread- the holiday party. This is the fun, festive time where we dress up our boys and try to pass them off as normal human beings. At ages 3 and 7, these creatures cannot, yet, be described as “civilized,” try as I might. The phone call came in and she invited us and yes, you can bring the children. They have girls. They do not understand what they are doing.

After a thirty minute drive in which I threaten them for the duration of, we arrive. Our hosts Christmas tree displayed proudly in the front window of the formal living room. The rest of room and house decorated to the hilt in garland, bows, lights and all sorts of shiny trinkets. A bead of sweat runs down my back. The boys are gone. They are off to explore their new winter wonderland. I should have stayed with them.

In the kitchen I helped our host put together some platters for the buffet. I was putting the finishing touches on a platter when the unmistakable sound of glass shattering came from the living room. I knew. Before I even moved, I knew. Like when the phone rings and you know it's bad news. I didn’t have to see CJ standing there in the middle of shattered glass to know he was the culprit. Six kids in the house and I knew. When we walked into the living room there were only two kids in there. CJ standing stone still with water and glitter everywhere- he was in complete shock. And WC across the other side of the room repeating “CJ did it” until I told him stop. He wasn’t about to get blamed for this. But unlike the rest of the kids, he didn’t abandon his brother completely by fleeing the scene.

Then I realized the object had been a snow globe. My best guess is that he picked up the snow globe and went to shake it but he dropped it. The glass of the globe had all but disintegrated against the hardwood floor. The largest shard of glass didn’t even measure an inch. The rest of it barely bigger than the glitter and it all blended into one wet mess. I picked CJ up by his armpits and sat him in a chair. He’d already removed his shoes and I didn’t want him cut by the glass. I made a mental note to look for his shoes. He initially protested but stopped when he saw the look on my face. We sopped up the water and I picked up as much of the glass by hand as possible and tried to sweep some more. With the floor dried our host brought out the vacuum. I hope we managed to get all the glass up. I apologized profusely. But our hosts didn’t seem the slightest upset or even surprised.

I released CJ from the torment of his prison- the chair where I made him stay while we cleaned. He promptly ran off to join the others in play. And not ten minutes later, WC appeared and informed us that CJ had thrown up in the middle of the girls’ bedroom floor.

There’s a slight possibility we may not be invited back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Movies

Around my house right now Christmas and Holiday themed movies and shows are popular. New favorites and old classics are being played on the weekends and days out of school for snow. I asked them what their favorites are:
Thomas the Train (at Nana's house- we don't own it).
Charlie Brown Christmas
Merry Madagascar

Veggie Tales: Tale of St. Nick (I was suprised this one was number 1).
Shrek the Halls
Christmas Story (every time the dogs get the turkey, he yells why don't they get the gun?)
Charlie Brown
Phinneas & Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Charlie Brown
White Christmas
Christmas Vacation
Christmas Story

What about you? What are your favorite holiday movies? What takes you back to your childhood?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Faux Gingerbread Men

Ever since WC was two, we've been making cookies together for Christmas. We mix the dough, roll it out and cut out the cookies using different shape cookie cutters-WC's preference is the Gingerbread Man. But, like a lot of kids, actual gingerbread isn't a favorite. I came across a terrific recipe, simple, and more palatable for kids.  My apologies in that I do not recall where this recipe came from to give proper credit:

"Gingerbread" Cookies
1 (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 C butter
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

1. In medium bowl cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon; stir into pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets. On floured board roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.

After they have cooled, I let the kids decorate them using cookie icing and different candies or green & red candy sprinkles. Their favorite candy decorations are gumdrops and m&m's candies.
This has become a holiday tradition that I have started in our home. I didn't grow up doing anything like this and I find it's a ton of fun. If you don't cook or bake with your kids I'd encourage you to give it a try- even if you don't think you're any good in the kitchen. This doesn't have to be anything elaborate- the more simple the better. You can even pick up a package of sugar cookie mix from the store- if you can't make your own dough. It can get messy but they have fun, we spend time together and they have fond memories to carry with them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hark the Herald...Fairy?

The other night WC asked when we would put the fairy on top of the tree. Jay and I stared at him inquisitively for a beat then at each other before I asked him what he was talking about.

“You know, the lady with wings that goes on top of the tree.”

“That’s an angel.” Jay and I say in unison.

WC sees that we are annoyed by this and smiles. And he begins to protest that it is a fairy that goes on top of the tree. I tell him that it was not a group of fairy’s that announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. There’s a bad joke in there, somewhere. Of course with me annoyed at him, he keeps on because he thinks it’s funny and not likely to get him into trouble. I drop the topic and over the next few days make little jokes by referring to the fairy.

I imagine that most of our depictions of angels look nothing like the real thing. In the bible, when people encounter them, it is not described as pleasant- these people are terrified. They seem more like God’s night club bouncers than the ethereal images in our paintings and figurines. It got me thinking about our modest little angel on top of the tree. I bought her the first Christmas Jay and I had at our first apartment. In our barely 500 square feet of living space, we had to place the 4 ft tree on top of table because there wasn’t any floor space nor was there a way to rearrange it. We had little money and the angel was cheap and one of her wings is a little messed up. Over the next few years we’ve slowly moved our way up and down in world several times, bought a house and full size trees both real and artificial. Tree decorations have come and gone. The kids have made new ornaments and we’ve retired some that we never really liked anyway. The little angel has been our constant every Christmas. Jay has lifted up WC to put her on top of the tree since he was two. She is plain and slightly tattered, a reminder of where we’ve been. Even though my pathetic looking, little tree top angel may resemble a fairy more than a warrior of God, she reminds me that Jesus, himself, was born in a place where animals were kept. And this little angel will stay on top of our trees until she falls completely apart.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lookout

This morning I woke up to see CJ's little feet in my doorway. He sat on the floor in the hall with his little legs outstretched. The bottom of his flannel train pj's and bare feet were all I could see.
"Ready," WC called from the kitchen.
"You have the gumdrops?" CJ called back.
Ah, he was the lookout. Over the past few months WC has been attempting to train his little brother in the art of being the lookout. Fortunately for me, CJ hasn't quite gotten the nuances of the job, yet.
A few seconds later he skips back into my doorway and notices that I'm awake, he points to his still full mouth, "Gumdrops," he mumbles then skips, happily, away.
It was too cute and funny for me to be angry at them. And WC told me that they'd only had three gumdrops each. I'd bought them for when we make our Christmas cookies, but I'm wondering if they will make it that long...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Day of the Parade

It has flurried a bit here, nothing has accumulated. Since we rarely get snow in middle Tennessee this early in the season, it is an anomaly of sorts. The boys were beside themselves with joy at seeing the flakes descend. Which is nice, I’d worried that since their experience with snow two feet deep in PA back in February that the paltry bit that passes for snow in our area would only serve to disappoint them from there on out.

I don’t like cold, not one single bit of it. If I could live in an area that never dropped below 67, I’d be a happy camper. But when snow was falling on the day of our local Christmas parade, I for one became kind of excited. Being in a Christmas parade with snow falling down seemed like it would be a cool experience. WC was to be in the Christmas parade and ride on the float with his scout pack. Then, he asked what it was that he would do in the parade. I explained that he would get to ride on the float with the other boys going down the street in the parade. “Will CJ get to ride too,” he asked.

I had not a clue if non scouts would get to be on the float and I didn’t want to tell him yes and then get there and it’s not true. So I told him that I didn’t think so, but that I wasn’t sure. That’s when he said that he didn’t want to do it. I tried everything in my bag of tricks with this kid. Usually I can garner cooperation by telling him that all he has to do is go try it once, then if he doesn’t like then he never has to do it again. Nope. Nada. Nothing. He wouldn’t even agree to go watch from the sidewalk.

“I don’t want people looking at me,” he argued.

“It’s not like you’ll be by yourself,” I replied. “You’ll be up there with a bunch of other boys from your pack. And you play with the boys from your den.”

“I play with them, but I don’t really know who they are,” he responded. And that pretty much ended the conversation.

What seven year old talks like that?

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Threatened to Cancel Christmas

It always happens on days where we have tons going on. Maybe it's the magic of the season, the anticipation of toys or being hopped up on sugar but the kids simply will not behave. No matter what- we talk to them, use gentle correction or time out. On this day, however, all the usual stuff was falling on cemented ears in my house.  Of course I was by myself. We'd put up the Christmas tree and Jay stayed until he helped me put the lights up- at that point I released him. Because he needed a haircut- heaven forbid one inch of hair cover that melon. Outside has turned frigid and gloomy, they are trapped inside. They're using the house as a race track/wrestling ring. If my sister ever moves out, I may just cover that entire room in padding and lock them in there when they get this way. I call them to come help decorate the tree. WC, doesn't want to. Wait, putting up the tree today was his idea. We all always decorate the tree together.  I'm not decorating it by myself. And CJ just hung 6 ornaments on the same limb, backwards. WC, sulks his way into the room and after a while begins to seem like he's enjoying himself. Of course, he and CJ get into a fight. WC storms off just before we're finished and refuses to return. I replace the Christmas music cd that had been playing- I'm trying to be festive, damn it, with Shrek the Halls. This lures WC back to the room, but not to decorating.  There's a slinky in the box of ornaments, why? The tree is up and the tree skirt is MIA. Add to list of stuff to pick up.
Up next is my 4 hour window to wait for the new dishwasher- the old one died and handle broke into pieces.The good news is that the boys have made up from their spat. The bad news is that they've made up from their spat and are now running at a full throttle energy that I can't even muster in my dreams. They are destroying faster than I can pick up/clean. Where did the footprints on the wall down the hall come from? Three broken ornaments in 30 minutes, leave them alone. Ornaments are not toys. They are worse now than as infants. After repeated attempts at restoring order I popped like a champagne bottle that's shaken furiously. The instant the pressure of the stress is released, I know my outburst was a mistake. I felt better- but it was still a mistake. The two stared at me like a pair slack jawed yokels with the same expression- you were serious, who knew? I soared past simply telling santa that they were naughty straight to the complete cancellation of the holiday. I said I'd put the tree away and everything. I stopped short of telling them that I'd shoot santa if he tried to slip in a toy. Neither of them genuinely believed that I would cancel Christmas, so not really an appropriate thing to threaten. I broke a rule of discipline- never threaten anything you aren't willing to follow through with. Many a parent gets in trouble with this one. The second thing I did wrong was have an emotional outburst. Never discipline during intense emotion- you will inevitably regret it.  It was not appropriate modeling of behavior. Guess they know I am not perfect and I have things that I need to work on too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

When to give up on the Christmas Card Photograph

Home Christmas Card Photography of Kids

My son was two when I bought my first digital camera. Instantly, I fell in love with digital photography. The first December after this purchase, I had the brilliant idea to take a photo of my two year old next to the Christmas tree and use it for our Christmas card. My first mistake was to foolishly believe that I could get a two year old to stand next to anything. If I told him to turn around-he'd turn the wrong way. If I said to sit- he'd stand up. If I asked him to smile-he would smile the split second after I took the photograph. So, what's a novice mom and photographer to do?
A woman I work with came up with a great idea- he likes to sit inside boxes, right? Then take one of the boxes that our printer paper comes in (the company buys in bulk) and cover the bottom in wrapping paper and ribbon. Then throw some tissue paper and set the child inside the box. After about 35-40 shots here is the one that became our card:
WC as a present. Looking back on it, it would have been better if we'd had other boxes around. For a novice attempt I was happy with it.
I didn't attempt another card photo until CJ was two. I dressed them both up and took them to a Nashville attraction, Cheekwood. During December they decorate the mansion in beautiful trees and Christmas decor. The goal was a good photo of the two of them in a beautiful setting. CJ wouldn't have anything to do with this. Unfortunately due to a change in computers, I have lost the digital files that contained the photograph. Luckily, I had uploaded it to Shutterfly back then and can post the photo from there. Look for it soon.
The easiest photo, by far, came last year. I ran them an extra bubbly, bubble bath and I placed Santa hats on their heads and placed bubbles on cheeks and chins as "beards." They had a blast and it was quick and painless. Which is what you want when it comes to taking photos of your kids at Christmas and all year long. Young children do best with simple and fun wait until they are a little older before you go for elaborate. The more you want a great photo- the less likely you are to get it. Just have fun and don't stress. And take loads of shots. Be up for diverting from your original plan, you never know when you'll score a shot better than you ever hoped for.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks...

Today, I am thankful for the family that I will be spending time with. Time with our loved ones is short and I’m blessed with plenty of the everyday little things that make up a lifetime. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my Savior Jesus Christ. And for my good health and the healthiness of my children and family, I am grateful. I’m thankful for my hubby- Even though he can drive me crazy. I’m thankful that we get up every day and have jobs to go to that day.

I’m thankful for all of the people in the military serving overseas and here at home. And for their families- it is the love and support of those holding down the fort at home that allow them to do their jobs. I’m thankful for the freedom that their sacrifices provide.

I’m thankful for the examples that my late grandparents set- that through hard work and perseverance you can achieve. I’m thankful to my parents for sticking it out together, through thick and thin. I’m even thankful for that embarrassingly insane extended family because, I’ve discovered that ‘normal’ is boring.

I’m thankful that WC has figured out how lucky he is. And that not everyone in the world has the same advantages he has had. I’m thankful that CJ’s temper tantrums have eased and that he’s started giving out hugs on a regular basis. I’m thankful that I get to be their mom.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Two years ago today, my godson, Alexander was born in silence. We knew when she went to the hospital, if they couldn’t stop it, that he would be born into the arms of Jesus. Alexander, who was wanted more than anything and not only by his parents, was simply still too early for the NICU.

I spent the days in silent prayer vigil, almost constantly praying, going through the motions of my days. I’d prayed until I fell asleep then I’d wake in the middle of the night and continue praying. I waited for an update to tell me that everything would be alright and Alex would stay inside the womb where he belonged. I held onto the hope until news of his arrival came. My godson had arrived and left this world.

Because of his prematurity his parents were allowed to have the labor and delivery of their choice, free of medical intervention. In peace Alexander was delivered lovingly by his father. They said their goodbye in private.

Every so often, I wonder what Alexander would look like today. If his arrival hadn’t come too early, if he had been on-time then who would he be today? He wouldn’t be turning two, no, he’d still be in his first year on the way two. He’d be learning to walk and into everything. Would he look like his mom or dad? What color would his hair/eyes be? I’d get texted photos of him happy & smiling.

So, Alexander’s story doesn’t end there. His legacy lives on. His arrival gave his mom’s doctors just the information they needed. The very next year, Alexander’s parents brought home his younger siblings- A brother and a sister, twins, who were healthy. Without him, they wouldn’t be here. His time here may have been very short compared to some…but his impact is lasting.

Monday, November 22, 2010

When To Stay Home

I discovered yesterday that I should not leave the boys in the care of their father during a Titans football game...even a bad one. It's a total cliche about men being unable to tend to their kids while the wife is away. I'm a firm believer in 'you helped make them, you help raise them' mentality. And normally, Jay does a good job with them. I learned a long time ago to just accept the fact that things would be accomplished differently under his watch. But as long as everyone is alive and pretty much in same shape as I left, we're a-okay. When I arrive home from a trip at the store yesterday, I discover WC, shirtless. Odd, but not that unusual. Then CJ enters the room...oh how I wish I'd thought to grab the camera. There he his Thomas the Train undies and his arms were still in the sleeves of his shirt but the rest of it stretched across the back of neck to his shoulder blades looking like he was wearing a woman's shrug. Where were his pants and why was his shirt half off? The only thing CJ said was that he was stuck inside his shirt. From the look on Jay's face, he obviously hadn't a clue to what was happening under his nose...

In the spirit of upcoming Thanksgiving: I am thankful that WC does not have homework this week and only one more day of school!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Season Lost

Last Sunday I went to the grocery store with WC. He wanted to do a cooking project and we needed some ingredients. We usually put together a simple desert that he can construct by himself. Now that he's gotten a little older, I wanted him to do something a little more challenging, but that he could still complete successfully. I settled on rice krispie treats which involved mostly melting and stirring. His challenge would be that I would ask him to measure the ingredients- a handy real life application to the math he's learned in school. He wanted to decorate them up for fall and use candy corn. He really just wanted a bag of candy corn and saw an opportunity. But, at the store, down the candy aisle, not a single bag of candy corn could be found. We went to the "seasonal" aisle and we discovered red and green as far as the eye could see. I stood there, dumbfounded, at all the boxes of Christmas candy. Christmas Candy? I still have ten pounds of Halloween candy in the kitchen!  There's a six foot snowman waving at me from aisle 16 and it's 75 degrees outside. Where did Thanksgiving go? Did I miss something? I mean, I have enough trouble keeping up with what day it is. I complain the year is slipping by me, but this is ridiculous. We've gone straight from "give me candy" to "give me toys and candy" without stopping somewhere along the way to be grateful. I suppose that gratitude doesn't sell. But, this girl isn't buying a single Christmas item until after Thanksgiving.
 And in this economy retailers are trying to squeeze every last dime we have out of us-in order to stay afloat. That is every one's goal. While, I will admit that we all need to have enough, business and personal accounts alike. I'm not sure that the idea to start Christmas earlier and earlier every year isn't rooted in greed for some. They make more money if they can convince a population of people that they can buy their way to making a perfect Christmas. And having the perfect Christmas is the key to happiness. Now who wouldn't be happier with a six foot waving snowman?

Monday, November 1, 2010


Here lately I'm finding that I do not have enough hours in a day. Between a fairly long commute (31 miles one way), the full-time day job, my children, spouse, editing and polishing my story, studying up on grammar, thinking about my next story, blogging, researching agents and the publishing industry...I might be leaving something out... You get it. Loads of items on the list and only 24 hours in a day with 6-7 of them devoted to sleeping and 8 of them taken up by the folks who deposit money in my account and give me health insurance-there's little time for the other things. My exercise regimen has fallen by the wayside because otherwise my sleeping would fall to around 5 hours. And to top it all off, now I'm sick.
But, two things came to light last week that made me drop almost everything in my list above. Report card day happened. For the most part, it did not surprise me, he was where he needed to be for most things and the items that were on the lower side I knew about, except one. It leaped off the page and slapped me square in face and told me that I was a terrible mom. Okay, not literally, but it might as well have...An item at the bottom of the page was checked that said 'I have a good self image.' I verified with the key needed to decipher the report card-it meant-needs improvement. He doesn't have a good self image? Why not? He's intelligent, good looking, good could he not feel good about himself? There's nothing wrong with him. I tell him all the time how wonderful I think he is...don't I?
The teachers written remarks in the comments section stated something along the lines of that he is easily frustrated and he swings back and forth between perfectionism and half-assing it. I'm paraphrasing here.
Me, being me, I then research kids on self esteem and self confidence and building of both. My initial findings centered on attachment parenting and infants...And that's great and all but I have a 7 year old and whatever happened as an infant is gone. I don't get a redo of that. Did those months I spent in postpartum depression have that big of an impact? Surely all of the nurturing that I've done since then have made a bigger impact. I've gone in search of more. I've read and went down lists of items to build your child's self esteem and checked them off one-by-one. Then something stuck out- make time to ask your child questions and converse with him/her and really listen to the answers without multitasking your adult responsibilities at the same time. This shows your child they are important. OUCH! Nope, I haven't done that in some time.
Also, there was to get down and play with your child in activity of their choice and put aside your phone, computer or whatever else you have to do. For at least a little while.
And that is what I have done. I will, of course continue to blog. But sometimes it might have to go on the back burner to put some special boys first. And I hope to continue to research the subject and provide some entries on my experience in attempting to build him up. I'm not sure why he's such a sensitive child, he always has been. My main job is and always will be to parent these children and grow them into good men.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Know Natalie

Something no one wants to go through. Stop by and give this mom some support and pray for their healing. Go, grab your kids and hug them tight and appreciate every single second.

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Chattanooga Trip Review

Our first evening in Chattanooga we chose to dine at The Choo Choo hotel. We'd chased the kids around The Creative Discovery Center all afternoon and we're interested in going far after we checked in. Our trip package included two meals at The Garden Restaurant inside the main building. Also, kids twelve and under eat free--cha ching--deals like that do not exist anymore.We strolled from our train car to the main building while attempting to keep the kids away from the train. The Garden restaurant is bright and airy with wrought iron tables and chairs. The hostess was friendly and we were seated quickly. There were about a dozen other tables full about five thirty on Thursday evening. The menu didn't have a large selection. The waitress left a lot to be desired. We ordered- Jay and I each ordered a sandwich and WC a cheeseburger and I don't recall what CJ requested. But after we ordered the waitress returned with rolls and told us that it would be a while since they had a bunch of orders. We looked around and with the place about empty were worried about the ability of the kitchen staff, if they couldn't handle this at dinnertime. The food arrived shortly after. Turned out the kitchen wasn't ill equipped to deal-it was the waitress. Jay's buffalo chicken sandwich didn't arrive with the blue cheese that it was supposed to; she said she would bring him some. He sat and waited, unable to begin eating with the rest of us. Nearly ten minutes passed before we saw her again. In the meantime CJ's cough that he'd developed that morning on the drive and now progressively worse the more tired he became. He'd also began this annoying habit of forcing himself to cough harder than necessary and sounding like he was trying to throw up; no amount of scolding would change this. And CJ's mood deteriorated throughout the meal until WC was hiding his face while at the table. I ended up taking him back to train room before WC and Jay finished eating. I needed to make sure WC enjoyed his food and was able to eat dessert on his birthday without his brother vomiting on the table. Also, I worried CJ's constant hack might ruin dinner for the dozen or so strangers surrounding us. And fittingly, after CJ and I left the restaurant, he didn't cough. We returned to the room and I ran him a bath. I've discussed the bathroom in my previous post. Our first night there was comfortable; we all slept well.
Now I've spent a little time in Eastern time zone and I've never noticed this before. The sun really comes up late...maybe it's the time of year? I'm laying there and the clock says seven a.m. and it is pitch black outside. It looks like the middle of the night. I had to remember that it was my six o'clock. It was odd, for me. And the kids were already bouncing off the walls. Can't quite comprehend why but every morning that we don't have school/work they are awake and up well before sunrise. On school/work day we can't blast them out of bed with a high pressure hose.This is the pattern without fail.
For breakfast we head back to The Garden restaurant (yes, even with the horrible service) but again we have free breakfast voucher and their breakfast is in buffet form. Oh yes, four free all-you-can-eat buffets for breakfast. Can it get much better? The same hostess from the night before sat us and she was really sweet. The buffet contained a good assortment of your standard breakfast foods and we all ate well, even the kids. My goal was to stuff them well because that day we were headed to the TN Aquarium and IMAX; so lunch would be late.
The Choo Choo hotel also has other dining options on site that we did not try:
The pizza place- we didn't want pizza.
A fine dining train car- I can't think of the name but the description in the book used the words elegant and romantic. Yep, not words used to describe places my kids belong.
And a restaurant where the staff also sings. The sign on the door stated that a 15% entertainment fee is added onto the meal and that didn't include gratuity. Personally, not my thing and I really didn't want to spend the money on that.
Would I recommend The Garden Restaurant in the Choo Choo? For the breakfast buffet, yes. For another meal? Maybe. With one experience, it is really hard to say. Maybe she was having an off night? Maybe you'd get another server. There is also a dinner buffet on Friday and Saturday nights. We didn't try it. But I think it would be worth a try.

Next entry: Aquarium, IMAX, Zoo and where else we ate.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chattanooga: Day 1

The morning we headed out on our trip, CJ developed a cough. The only thing we heard for the entire 111 miles was him in the back impersonating the hack of a 70 year old smoker. Not the way we wanted this thing to start. Also, I get horribly car sick-it only takes an hour of riding to flip my stomach upside down. I'm best friends with anti-nausea medicine. Only that morning I'd forgotten about it until it was time to leave. Guess who got to drive first? As much as I dislike driving Monteagle Mountain, I dislike vomiting more.
We arrive at The Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel and the kids get their first look at the row of train cars that have been renovated into hotel rooms and they freak. We get to sleep in one of those? The reservations person had told me that even though we couldn't check in until 3pm, we could pick up our package tickets at the desk as early as 10am and get started on our day. I think it was around noon when we made it there. I took the computer print out of the tickets that were promised with our package-just in case. But I found everything in perfect order. We hit the streets in search of lunch. At first Jay tried to drive but we didn't know where to park and the price of parking...I finally convinced him to return to the hotel and go for the option the desk clerk told me: park at the hotel and take the free electric bus, they run every ten minutes and go everywhere a tourist needs. We boarded the electric bus and rode. A group of college girls boarded at the next stop and one of them began talking to CJ about his Thomas the Train shirt and she knew names of the trains from the show. Then in conversation with WC, they discovered it was his birthday. Then the entire group sang 'Happy Birthday' to him. Not being one to like the attention of strangers, he was somewhere between delighted and mortified. 
Our first lunch there we hit Sticky Fingers BBQ. A guy Jay knows from the area recommended it. The food and service was good. A nice laid back place with a decent kids menu- they ate their meals well. And from there it was walking distance to the Creative Discover Museum. If you have kids that are three years or older this is a must-do place. They have an area for smaller kids and I may be wrong but I think you get more of your money's worth with them a little older than toddler. CJ enjoyed himself but I worried about him trying to keep up with WC on some of the things. This is a huge building filled with hands-on exploration, observation and play. At $6.95 for kids 2-12 & $8.95 ages 13 and older it is a steal of an activity because they can stay all day and not get bored.The giant dinosaur skeleton standing prominently through two rooms amazed them as did the big sand pit archaeological dig. Which was a slightly a concern for me with the potential for sand to be thrown into eyes or placed into the hats provided and dumped on a head. There are rooms devoted to different types of musical instruments. The percussion room was a giant hit with my boys. They played everything that they could beat in that room. As was the room with a projector that displayed whoever stood in front of the camera on the screen either in outline or color and it would change what it would do. The boys would start the player piano outside the room to play what sounded like a looney tunes song and dance in front of the camera to see themselves on screen- they had to have that musical accompaniment. The place closed at five and we about shut it down. Mama was tired and the kids wired.
Now I'd heard both good and bad things about the train car rooms at the Choo Choo hotel. But as much as the kids love trains we decided to take the gamble. I think, like most things in life, it's all about expectations. And lets face it, these are metal train cars and they were built as such. There's only a limited amount of space to begin with. I thought they made an excellent use of the space they had. Our room had a queen sized bed and a daybed with a trundle pull out. Everything was comfortable, the sheets were pristine white and even the trundle came complete with a thick twin size mattress, it would have supported Jay for a comfortable nights sleep. The only thing was when the trundle was pulled out there was no way to get from the queen bed to the bathroom. To remedy that we moved a chair over next to the door to provide a path. The bathroom, had this not been a train car, wouldn't have cut it in any other hotel. It wasn't nasty but the tub wasn't in great condition and the shower head moved around and was very low- and I'm short 5'2" and I had to bend down a tad to wash my hair. The heater in the bathroom didnt work- not that big a deal. I did like the little one cup coffee maker next to the sink-the only water source in the room. I started brewing a cup when I got in the shower and had a nice cup waiting for me when I finished. The towels were scratchy as hell, nice for a over-all exfoliation. But not generally what I want in a bath towel. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful. We received a phone call our first evening to see how we were settling in and if there was anything he could do.
I noticed a sign in the room that said something to the tune of as much as we've tried to sound proof there isn't anyway to completely sound proof a metal train car (makes sense when you think about it). Noises from your neighbors can be expected. Oh and the hot water heater only holds 30 gallons. That last one ended up not being a problem-just space out the baths. The first night I heard nothing. So I thought the sign was probably in response to some overly sensitive types being big babies. Then the second night I awoke to sounds of adults talking and kids playing. I assumed maybe people were right outside and rolled over- I'd taken some night-time cold medication and fell back asleep without problem. Then some time in the wee hours of the morning, well before the sun even considered rising, I woke again, to a strange sound...growling? What is that? Where is it coming from? I sat up. Jay tapped me. What is that?
"The people in the next room snoring," he replied. I started laughing. Oh my God, it sounded like a bear. He said that he woke and thought it was me until he realized that I was quiet. So, my tip on this is do not stay in the train car on your honeymoon or romantic get away. My final thought on the train cars- it was fine for two nights. I wouldn't want it for longer because the close quarters start to close in with two very active boys and a man. Bring ear plugs or sleeping pills.

My next entry I'll discuss the Garden Restaurant there at the hotel and some of the other things we did.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating Seven

This year for WC's birthday we decided to do something that we've never done. We decided that we were not going to throw a birthday party. Every year its nothing but a hassle from relatives asking us to work around their soccer schedule, out of town wiccan ceremony, to people who simply don't understand the term RSVP...a call, email or a text to say yay, nay or even maybe would be better than nothing. So I end up purchasing food and cake to serve an army because, lets face it, you don't want to be the host who runs out and risk being left with an ass load of cake. This past summer Jay wanted to go on a family weekend together before school started-one problem- he has to give a 30 day notice to use his vacation time. WC started school in two weeks. That idea shot but then I set my sights on fall break, which just happened to fall the same week of WC's birthday. So the idea of taking a trip for his birthday was born. But where? It couldn't be too far and had to be something he'd really enjoy.
A day or two later Jay emailed me a link to The Chattanooga Choo Choo website and a weekend package for two adults and two kids which included a two night stay in a Victorian Train Car that had been turned into a hotel room and tickets to the major attractions: Creative Discovery Museum, Aquarium, IMAX, Zoo and Model Railway Museum. Perfect. I made reservations the next day. For us it couldn't be more simple. Chattanooga is about a two hour drive for us. We'd drive up Thursday morning (his birthday) and stay the night and Friday night before checking out Saturday morning and hitting our last attraction before heading home. We told WC about our plans and made sure he was cool with foregoing his traditional party for a trip. He was all for it.
Wednesday before the big day I was taking WC to his yearly checkup with the pediatrician. Two minutes from the office my cell phone rang. CJ was sick at the daycare and I had to go pick him up. He wasn't running a fever but he'd had three bouts of a diarrhea and per policy, must be picked up in an hour. Luckily they gave me a reprieve to take WC to his appointment. But the future of a carefully planned trip hung in the balance of this child's digestive system and whatever was wrong.
WC passed through his checkup without hitch. She was very happy (as am I) with the sucess of the inhaled steriod at keeping his asthma symptoms in check better than ever. In his entire life he's never experienced such a long stretch of healthiness (Praise God!).
We arrived at the daycare as CJ's class was coming inside from morning outdoor play. He spotted us at the end of the hall and screamed 'Mommy' and flew down the hall as fast as his little legs could carry him, beaming smile he jumped into my waiting arms. He seemed perfectly fine to me. They confirmed he hadn't had another bowel movement since they called me. It didn't matter. I had the day off work anyway. So we went home, I still worried about the trip. The decided to prepare like we were going and pray that CJ didn't take a turn for the worse.

Stay tuned for Wednesdays entry on our trip. Tomorrow I'll be leading my first den meeting for the scouts!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stuff People Say

At the scout camp I ran into a girl (woman) who I used to go to school with. I haven't seen/heard of her in a number of years. She wasn't anyone that I hung around but I'd known her since Junior High. Her kids are older than mine, I recall she said her youngest is eight. We stood before dinner Saturday evening and had that little I know we weren't friends but since I didn't hate you we'll politely catch up chat. When she discovered that WC is my oldest child she said, 'Wow, you certainly waited a long time.' I just kind of giggled and moved on, all the while thinking- really, I was 27 when I had him...that's waiting a long time? The more I thought of the comment, the more it pissed me off. One of my best friends in the world has had a long struggle with fertility and lost three babies to preterm birth. Because of that I'm very cognizant to these types of comments. I personally don't consider myself to have waited a long time. It took a year to get pregnant. I don't consider that any where near a struggle to have a child. Not that I think she meant anything by it. It goes into the slot of perception and experience. She's never had personal experience. But what if she said it to someone who really struggled with fertility, who didn't make the choice to stay childless? The hurt that sort of thoughtless remark could make. I cringe every time someone at work makes a remark to a guy there who has never had children with his wife. He says this is by choice-they don't want them. My thought is to leave him be. If the don't want them, fine. No harm. But what if this is just what they are telling people after years of trying or perhaps one of them simply cannot biologically. What business is it of anyone? We really don't know. I've gone off on a tangent now.
I'll close with one of my favorite quotes, "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

Thursday, October 7, 2010

WC Turns Seven

It's so hard to believe that WC is turning seven. It doesn't seem like seven years ago today he came into our lives turning us from a couple into a family.
This year instead of a party we are going on a family trip. I can't wait to post stories of our new adventure when we return.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spoiled Chick Goes Camping Part 3

We ended our service project, piled into the trucks and headed back to camp. WC's group was responsible for helping put out lunch- a laughable endeavor with 6 & 7 year old boys.  Luckily, lunch was sandwiches that people could construct themselves- we just had to organize the stuff on the table-while our teen aged Boy Scout helper circled like a vulture waiting on the animal to go on and die already. The boys had the afternoon free to play as they wish. We had a decision to make whether to sleep in the tent another night or pack it up and go home. WC & CJ both picked to camp out again. After CJ's over-tired meltdown of the night before I wasn't eager to repeat. But I did after all take a day off work and spent the entire day getting ready and the amount of time spent on set didn't seem worth all the effort for one night. Jay was okay to stay another night. So, we were staying. I made plans to avoid the boys becoming overstimulated. Before we went to dinner I set out the boys sleeping bags and put the sheets back on the air bed. I'd put it away that morning in order to avoid it getting dirty. The floor of tent was dirty. I'm anal and wished I'd brought a broom. After a survey of the others, I discovered no one brought a broom and I'm the only one who cared about a dirt on the tent floor. Okay, so I pretend to not notice the dirt. I get the sleeping quarters arranged and off we go to assemble our hobo packs. I'd never heard of a hobo pack before but it was the best dinner. A couple of the older groups had spent the time chopping the veggies and the chicken. Basically you take a piece of aluminium foil and spread butter on foil and top with your chicken or beef and peppers, onions, mushrooms, potatoes etc. throw some seasoning in and wrap up and place on an open pit of ready charcoal (some of the seasoned scouts opted to put theirs on their own wood campfire) for a half an hour. Even my picky sons devoured theirs.
After dinner they played some more and CJ went toe to toe with a ten year old over a nerf football. CJ picked up a football from the ground and walked around with it. The older boy came over and traded CJ a smaller foam ball for the larger, blue nerf ball. It was a fair trade and I didn't say anything- the child wasn't attempting to take advantage of CJ. The green ball was more CJ's size. But CJ didn't realize that the boy wasn't just looking at the ball but taking it to play. He angrily protested the trade. I attempted to convince CJ that the green ball was perfectly fine for him to play with. He protested on the grounds that blue was his favorite color. He then proceeded to stalk the boy with the blue nerf football. I told a group of laughing parents that somehow, some way, CJ would end up with the ball. I don't think they believed me, at first.And sure enough not fifteen minutes later here come CJ down the path, blue nerf football tucked under his arm.
Saturday night they were supposed to hold a bonfire with marshmallows roasting. But once the boys arrived back at the tent and discovered their beds ready, they wanted to go in and sit on their sleeping bags. Jay went to shower and the boys and myself sat in the tent with our lights and they played around. Until the cub master arrived bearing glow sticks. They selected green (WC) & blue (CJ) and then we turned out the lanterns and sat in the complete darkness, except those glow sticks. They whirled them around creating patterns. Jay arrived back and we all sat around with a flashlight on and talked. Then the shadow puppet show on the tent wall began. The favorite characters for WC were all "old, old." A rabbit, dog and bear. What makes them all old, old? I asked. A beard. He stuck a finger poking out from his puppets chin to signify a beard...and a beard meant old. I'm not sure where that association came from. From shadow puppets began story telling. WC asked Jay to tell him a scary story. "It was a night much like this," he began. "And a family much like us were sleeping out in a tent that kinda looked like this when they heard..." He scratched the side of the tent. I glared at him with the If you scare these kids I'm going to beat you til you can't move anymore look. "Then they heard it again..." He scratched the side of the tent. Both boys leaned forward in anticipation. Then Jay belched. And they dissolved into laughter and story disintegrated into the story of the "gassy ghost" haunting a camp ground. In the end someone gave the gassy ghost an antacid and all was well. We ended up having to tell several more stories all off the top of our heads. Jay asked WC to come up with a title and he'd make up the story. WC's choice was Thomas the Train and the Big Smelly armpit (what else can one expect from a 6 yr old boy). And Jay delivered another story that left them in stitches. At some point during the stories that followed, CJ climbed into his sleeping bag, covered himself with his security blanket and dozed off.
We fell asleep Saturday night to a much cooler evening. I'd held off purchasing sleeping bags for us simply because if WC didn't like it then I didn't want to be out more money than I'd already dropped. I wish that I'd brought more blankets. I froze my butt off. I also overinflated the air mattress. In an attempt not to feel like I was about to be thrown overboard every time Jay moved, I added more air. Now I didn't feel him move but now there was no give in the mattress what so ever. Might as well have slept on the ground.
The sun rose to a beautiful crisp Sunday morning. I walked back to the tent from the restroom just after dawn; someone had a campfire roaring. The smell hit my nose and it smelled like comfort. I climbed back into the bed and snuggled close to Jay, cause he's warm. And WC sits up in his sleeping bag and throws up. And thus ends our camping experience. The boys wait in my car while Jay and I pack up camp. Both boys threw up in the backseat while waiting. Just great...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spoiled Chick Camping Part 2

The boys lay sprawled across their sleeping bags wearing only underwear. There I sat between them, the tent lit by only battery operated lantern, fanning them with a plastic dinner plate. An overstimulated CJ had dissolved into a fit of tears a half an hour earlier at the mention of going to bed now lay still. Just when I thought he'd dozed off he would speak. If I could get them cool enough, maybe they could sleep. Then CJ asked me why I was fanning them with a plate. "To keep you cool," I replied. "Stop it and go to bed," he said. Gee, I work and I slave and I sit up in a tent in the middle of the night fanning you and this is the thanks I get. I went to "bed" and attempted to settle in for the night. At first light drops splattered against the outside of the tent. "Is it raining," WC asked. Jay confirmed it was and I waited for the freak out to begin (he's been very afraid of storms since the May floods). But he seemed to remain calm. Then the bottom of the clouds dropped out. I dozed on and off the rest of the night. I'd wake and reach over to the tent floor, praying that I didn't feel water. I'd find all dry and switch on the flashlight to see two sleeping boys across the tent and nothing dripping from the ceiling. And back to sleep if only for a short while. The downpour brought a cool breeze through the vents in the tent. We were comfortable, at last. The sun rose on Saturday morning to drops dripping from the tree leaves and signifying the end of my first night in a tent. Birds fought loudly overhead. I glanced over to find WC laying awake and staring up at the ceiling with a disgusted look on his face. He stayed that way for sometime before grabbing his pillow and diving his head underneath to try and drown out the squawking.
After breakfast we were off for our service project. All the boys piled into the back of a couple trucks to head down to the office. I loved the look on their little faces when they saw the big truck they would ride in. For our service project we were cleaning a new walking trail for the park. The little boys had to pick up rocks from the middle of the trail and line them along the edges. Even CJ participated. But his thing was to rearrange the rocks on the side of the trail. Keeping him on the trail was another time consuming activity. I voted CJ most likely to get poison ivy out there. However, one of the older boys managed to beat him to him by going out and pulling poison ivy directly off the side of the tree with his hands. He was promply whisked away to the office to wash. I'm just grateful it wasn't CJ!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spoiled Chick Goes Camping: Part 1

I admit when WC asked if he could try scouts I was more than a tad apprehensive. After all, this is the same kid who used to be afraid of ants and butterflies. Not to mention, I'm not the outdoorsy type. I love to go hiking but at the end of the day I'm used to retiring to a rented cabin with a bath tub and a four poster king bed. So I wasn't too keen on the prospect of sleeping in a tent. BUT he's always been a timid child and afraid to try new things. When I put him in karate before kindergarten to boost his confidence, he cried every class for the first six weeks. So when he proposed quitting karate in favor trying something new I couldn't say no. So, I made up my mind to strap on a pair and go for it. I've discovered that the cub scouts is very much a family oriented organization. It is just as much for the parents as the child. There is no dropping your kid off for an hour and leaving (not that I would do that with my 6 almost 7 year old). The parents stay and our participation is vital to the success of the den. It's all about fostering family. I like it. Much to Jay's grumble, all four of us, were heading out camping. Thursday afternoon CJ threw up four times. He never ran a fever or acted sick. So we made contingency plans that one of us would have to take WC and the other stay home with CJ. Jay volunteered to stay home and I called him a little girl.
Friday afternoon I loaded my car and the kids and I headed out. Jay wouldn't be able to leave work early enough to make it before sundown. His only job was to fill the cooler and bring it.
I found the location and even the campsite with ease. Odd for me since I get lost in my own house. It was hot humid and nasty feeling. Unloading the car and setting up was misery compounded with the rapid loss of daylight--which did not bring relief. I could have wrung a gallon of sweat of of my bra easily. A very good chance of rain loomed in the forecast which brought the promise of cold front. At least then it wouldn't be 95 degrees...I mean is September, right? Hello? Fall...Autumn...change of season...where the hell are you?
Armed with their battery powered lanterns the boys headed out to wander the campsite and find people that WC knew. I followed along in the dark. Up and down the paths in and out and around trees. Please, please, please...I have to sit down! They began to complain about being thirsty...Jay still hadn't arrived yet. At that moment I discovered my phone didn't have reception. Phoneless, computerless...I was without any form of communication. A small seed of panic plopped down in my gut. How could I survive? Since my phone was down to one battery bar and pretty much useless except as an expensive clock, I shut it off and threw it into my bag. Inside the tent was hot as hell. Finally, I remembered that I brought their refillable water bottles and we headed off to the bathroom for running water. On our way back from the bathroom a man came from out of the trees and grabbed WC--it was Jay!
Stay tuned Wednesday for more of the spoiled chicks first camping experience.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Week In The Nest...

It has been nonstop this week. And I haven't had an opportunity to sit down and compose a cute little story in the midst. Jay had a job interview that would have meant moving away. So after several days of agony we were disappointed and relieved all at the same time when they chose someone who wouldn't have to move an entire family for the position. While it would have been exciting, I didn't really want to leave.
We've been preparing for the Bobcat badge in the Cub Scout world. And it requires more memorization that I have brain cells. He has to learn the Promise, Law of the Pack, motto, salute, handshake, and what WEBLOS means (I'm prob forgetting something). WC is a fast learner...but he refuses to talk to people he doesn't know so getting credit is going to be tricky. We'll get there, we always do.Right now I am preparing for our first ever Cub Scout camp out this weekend. And in my standard fashion, I have next to nothing ready. I find that I'm flying by the seat of my pants more and more these days. I have a tent...and that's it. I admit that it's a very important piece of equipment when it comes to camping out but I don't think we'll be very comfortable with just a tent. So, tomorrow is a whirlwind day of gathering camping supplies. This will be the first ever camp out for 3 out of our 4 family members (aunt cat refuses to even try). So stay tuned for next week there will be stories of this little excursion. And I sincerely hope that none of my stories end with the phrase, "So that's how we landed in the Emergency Room."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Somethings Not Right...

You know the feeling. If you have kids and the house is quiet while they're home and they're not hog tied in the closet and it isn't the middle of the night. They're doing something they are not supposed to. In my household that is pretty much the only time they aren't loud enough to drown out the TV at top volume.
Last Friday night, Jay and I were eating dinner. I decided to allow them to stay up past their normal bedtime. They were watching a Bugs Bunny DVD on the television in our room. That's right, my kids love the old Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes cartoons. New computer animation be darned, the old classics stand the test of time in the entertainment department. Even though they are allowed to watch minimal television, they are seldom quiet for very long even when it's on. So when they were quiet for several minutes it caught my attention. I'd began to feel uneasy when Jay asked me if I was just as nervous as he was. I nodded and agreed that I felt uneasy. Not thirty seconds passed when WC rounded the corner. "CJ peed in your bathroom floor," he announced. Jay and I stared at each other. "Then I had to take off my sock," WC continued. "Cause, I'd stepped in the pee and my sock was all wet."
"Where's your brother now," I ask (scared of the answer).
"He's standing in front of the potty waiting for you to come whip his butt." (I highly doubt that)
Jay falls over laughing. WC stares at him looking appalled. "This family is disgusting." He declared and stomped off.
Before I reach the bathroom I just assume that he'd stood in front of the toilet and simply missed. He's not supposed to use our bathroom because the toilet is three inches higher than the one in the hall bathroom and he can't reach over it easily while standing. But when I reach the bathroom and open the door the scene unfolded. There stood CJ in front of the toilet-yes. But facing the opposite direction. And the giant puddle square in the middle of the floor. I had to return to the kitchen to retrieve the roll of paper towels and to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
WC, even more appalled, is wondering aloud how we find peeing in the bathroom floor funny. It wasn't funny but sometimes if we don't laugh...we might go crazy instead.
While CJ was verbally reprimanded for his actions, I did not "whip his butt."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Easy Way to Wake Your Parents: Preschool Edition

In the hour before sunrise on Saturday morning I was in a peaceful, dreamless sleep. Unaware of the jolt that would send me from serene to my hair standing on end. A blaring light entered my consciousness. I thought for a brief second that perhaps I'd died and it was that great bright light we always hear about. Then..."I gotta go pee-pee" screamed its way into my ears. Now, I'm certain that I'm not dead...but I can't see. I hold my hand up to block the glaring light from our ceiling. Jay has jumped up and mumbling some version of what the ****is going on? "CJ, turn that light off," I yell. "But, I gotta go pee-pee," he replied.
I roll from the bed and stumble across the room holding one hand out in front of me. On a good day, I'm visually challenged. Now sans glasses and with scorched cornea's the world is a blurry purple splotch. "You should have just come up to my side of the bed and told me." I say. I switch off the light and he turns to huff away. "You made me sad," he yells. "You blinded me," I yell back. "Now get in that bathroom."
We take of that and I take him back to bed. "But, I'm hungry," he protested. I retrieve a slice of cheese from the fridge. I leave him in bed eating his cheese and return to my room. But my heart is still pounding and the adrenaline pumping through my system, so I'm not sure that I'd be able to return to a peaceful slumber. I lay next to Jay; assume he'd gone back to sleep. A couple  minutes later he says, "I think I may have wet myself a little."

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Lucky Man

Two weeks ago today Jay bought a "new" car. Not brand new but new to us. The decision came about to trade in his already paid for automobile when it began to have transmission issues. We were faced with a dilemma: shell out the money for the work and have to keep the car several more years or take on another car payment (my car has around 1 year left). He wanted to take the route of the buying. While I didn't want another car payment, I also didn't want the car to break down on his commute to or from work either. He drives long rural, curvy roads with little or no shoulder and in the dark. And I also didn't want to pay for a transmission, either. We were faced with a choice of pay now or later but we would definitely pay. Since he works for an auto body shop at a car dealership we chose to go through them and purchase from one of the many the guy owns. Over the past several years he's worked in different areas of the car industry and we've now purchased our last three cars from his last three employers. He came home two Friday's ago with his pretty, shiny toy filled with more bells and whistles than we've ever had on something with wheels. When he told me that his rear view and side mirrors dimmed and the side mirrors also have their own defrost I officially labeled him "spoiled."
The next day we were at my parents house dropping the kids off to attend a church pizza party with them. Their across the street neighbor and long time friend told my mom that he was now proud of us since we had the pretty new car. Without missing a beat Jay replies. "Be proud of us for the way we raise our sons not for the car I drive." This is why I love that man. For him things are still just things. It's a car. A mode of transportation and nothing more. It doesn't represent something we should be praised for.
A couple days ago I hit the interstate for my lovely morning commute when my phone rang. Jay never calls me that time of the morning. "I had a wreck," he said. Earlier in the morning it had rained. Rain no longer fell but the streets were still wet. He swore he wasn't speeding. He rounded a curve on the rural road he travels when he says he found himself spinning in the middle of road; almost like a hand reached down and spun the car. He never hit the breaks, didn't have any control, and all he could do was watch and anticipate where he would land. The car came to a rest about four feet from a telephone pole after sliding over the curb. The police officer later joked that he did a great parallel parking job. Jay found himself stuck in the mud and unsure of what sort of damage happened under the car. This is where he called me while waiting on the police and tow truck. But he came out unscathed. So, I went onto work and waited to hear what the damage was on the barely week old car.
His company's tow driver came out and pulled the car out of the mud pit. Back at the shop and cleaned they found a few scrapes on the underside of the side and bumpers...and that was it. No need to file an insurance claim. We only had to pay for the tow and the guy who looked the car over and realigned the tires.
I'm considering banning him from driving on wet streets. The last wreck he had (before CJ) happened on wet streets. He hydroplaned into oncoming traffic and was hit head-on. He walked away from that too. The car was totalled and he shouldn't have been able to walk away from that. Someone upstairs was definitely watching out for Jay. So many other variables that if had occurred would change this story entirely but lucky for us he's one lucky man.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Love is Blind

A couple of months ago CJ fell in love with a giant zucchini. My former boss brought in a whole basket of really large squash and zucchini that she'd grown. I really like zucchini so I picked up one and brought it home eager to cook and eat it. The next morning, Saturday, the boys spotted it on the counter and decided to play with it. They took it into the living room and played with it mixed in with their real toys. Quickly CJ named it Squash and began carrying it around in the crook of his arm, like a baby. He carried it around and talked to it all day long. That evening as I planned my dinner, the included "Squash" I started to gather my ingredients together and went to retrieve the zucchini. Unfortunately when he discovered my plans for "Squash" included cutting it up and cooking it...he freaked. OMG, I hope he never discovers where his beloved chicken nuggets come from...well, for the time being. It would be ridiculous if say by 17 he still didn't know. So, my dinner plans changed. I figured in a day or two he would forget about it. The next obstacle came when he wanted to take "Squash" to bed with him. And, lets face it, I'm not up for that mom of the year award anyway. If it came to a fit or peacefully drifting off to sleep cuddled up to organically grown produce, I didn't see the big deal. But Jay put his foot down and said we couldn't let the kid sleep with vegetables. Fine. "I'm sorry sweetie, daddy says no." Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know parenting 101 the whole united front crap. Well I lay down the law a whole lot more, so let him take the fall for once. So, "Squash" sleeps in the kitchen where he belongs. And a couple days later CJ is still in love with it. So the third night, Jay hides "Squash." And sure enough the next morning CJ looks around for his beloved vegetable but gets side tracked before locating it and memory of it fades. Fast forward to this past Friday. I move the breadbox to clean and what do I find? That's right a shriveled, dusty, gross and no longer impressive zucchini. I cried a little.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sour Puss

When I arrived home from the grocery store on Saturday Jay and WC were watching a movie on television. CJ slept soundly on the sofa right where I left him. It surprised me that Jay was allowing WC to watch this particular film because I'd heard that it was not particularly appropriate for children. But the original had been a big hit with the kids. But for some reason they chose to use some rough language in the sequel. In less than five minutes of my arrival I counted two words that I didn't wish for my son to listen to. Jay and I glanced at each other a few looks of hesitance. Then after both S.O.B and B***h were used in the next few minutes Jay turned the channel. He explained to WC that they were using words that little boys shouldn't listen to. WC replied very seriously. "What? I'd never call anyone a sour puss."

On an unrelated note I'm now the mom of a cub scout. WC is now old enough to begin scouts. This child of mine that does not like bugs and has had a fit over tree pollen floating down on him wants to try this. He's given up karate for the time being, my schedule can't accommodate both activities. I'm hoping that it will help with his outdoor fears. We went to sign up on Monday and then Tuesday they had their pack meeting where the boys who earned badges over the summer received them. He and I went so he could see that. And I guess I must have blacked out somewhere along the way because I left there the assistant den leader for WC's den. And I must confess that I have never camped out a day in my life. And call me spoiled but unless there's indoor potty facilities this chick will not be involved. I'm willing to get a tent, supplies and give sleeping outdoors in old woods a shot but I am not doing my business in a hole. WC is absolutely ecstatic that I am going to be the assistant and that makes me happy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast

It seems that life has hit light speed since I had kids.  I'm not sure what is it about having children throws the time space continuum out of whack but every parent will tell you that life progressed slower until the day their first child entered the world. It is a moment that changes everything. Expectations form, plans are made and goals are set. You worry about everything from feeding, sleeping, diapers to crawling, walking, putting everything in their mouths and teething. Accidents and that first illness can throw you for a loop.The next day its preschool and then kindergarten. You worry about them making friends and can they act right...what do they say when you're not around (a particularly troubling worry for me)? Are they well-liked? Then as time passes you worry about those coming teenage years, puberty and beginning interest in the opposite sex.
My first grader arrived home the other night with a girls phone number folded on a little piece of paper in the pocket of his shorts. Seriously, a girls phone number? A little girl in his class (another 6 year old) told him that she liked him and she wanted him to give her a call on the phone! He was a bit mystified about the incident. And I am not happy. Sure, he's cute but what six year old girl passes out her phone number? I didn't  have the balls to hand out my number unsolicited even in college.
Here I was thinking I didn't have to worry about girls until he was older. And then I thought it would be him I'd have to worry trying to take advantage of girls. That I would need to try and drill it in his thick hormone driven skull to leave the girls alone. He hasn't asked to call her. I'm not sure that I'd let him. Her parents might feel the same way that I do.
I told my friend, Mooney, about it. He got all 'way to go boy' over it then I posed it to him differently. His daughter is a year ahead of WC. How would you feel if Nan gave her number to some boy? The laughter stopped. "Well, I wouldn't like it," he replied. He thought for a minute. "Not much I could do about it...but I wouldn't like it." Exactly my point. There's plenty of time for dealing with the opposite sex. No need to start so young. Why are these kids in such a hurry to grow up?
I want my sons to be innocent children for as long as possible. But in today's world that's a tough order to fill.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Control Freak?

Signs of a control freak:

1. Complain that the the homework help at your child's after school care is severely lacking.
2. The site director personally helps your child.
3. Still not happy because you only get to check over it and make sure it's correct.

Hi, I'm Terri and I just discovered that I'm a control freak. I did not know this about myself...okay so maybe I had a small inkling up til now. Sure, I didn't want anyone else to help in caring for my baby. 'I don't care that I haven't slept in three days put the baby down and step slowly away from the bottle.'  My mom had to pry him from my arms and make me leave my first day back to work. But all moms working outside the home go through that. I'm not controlling in every aspect only when it comes to my kids and other things that I'm passionate about.
 After what happened in kindergarten. My fault, I left way too much of his care in the hands of someone else whom I thought was going over his homework and doing the things he needed for school only to discover that my children were being parked in front of television for hours every afternoon. The disruption to his life surrounding this caregivers sudden departure from his life also resulted in behavioral difficulties in school. Luckily, I wasn't too late to salvage his kindergarten education. Partly because he picks up things so quickly he wasn't that far behind. This incident has left me with a sour taste.
But all working mothers have to relinquish some control over the lives of their children. Whether one works out of choice or necessity...for 4 or 14 hours a day or any combination of shifts. When we are away from our kids we give part of their rearing and education to someone else. Depending on your views this can be good, bad or mute. It's not a one size fits all sort of situation. I've seen many unique situations over the years that work well for all involved. Relinquishing the control does give me some anxiety. However, I feel that I can have good communication with his teacher and stay informed. I check his homework and read over the class work that comes home.

The call of motherhood never takes a day off. I've just been informed that CJ has shoved a ball of cheese up his nose. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Noisy Little Mirror

I'm sitting across the table from WC and it's taking all that I have not to reach over and smack him. I've been mislead by his after school programs boasting of homework help. They pretty much sit them in a room and leave them to their own devices. For a first grader who can barely read the homework directions are quite complicated. He cannot do it without someone relaying to him what he needs to do then badgering the living daylights out of him to stay on task. This kid's up for the world title in championship stalling. We had to start out this afternoon with me having to tell him that it wasn't correct. The child has a perfectionist streak five miles wide. At times it paralyzes him from doing things because he knows he can't do it perfectly. It's been a difficult thing to try to get him through with starting school. It's what I'm currently fighting with in his brain as he wipes his eyes and tells me that he isn't crying but that his eyeballs are sweating. No, he's frustrated because he wants to write some big long complicated sentence. He ignores my pleas to keep it simple. Then opts for writing sentences in which all his vocabulary words go "kerpal." I think he's exploding them on paper. But it has still taken him 45 minutes to write 5 simple sentence featuring a three letter vocab word. He finally completes his last sentence and takes off. I'm not going to stop him. I know he thinks what he's done isn't good enough.
I could sit here and pretend that I don't know where this comes from. But I'd be lying. I'm the guilty party of passing this personality on. Part of me thinks that should make me more understanding of him. But it drives me insane. My first semester of college I took a writing class. The first paper I received back looked like a massacre. The paper marred with red ink and it broke my heart. The professor liked my story and I received an A but that's not what I clung to. After that class I hung up writing for a while.  Time and maturity have brought me to a place of understanding what constructive criticism looks like. I've taken a couple online writing courses but found the criticism mild and unhelpful.  Right now I'm coming face to face with how much I've grown while in the process of editing my manuscript. During writing I mostly concentrated on finishing. So I wrote. I'd worry about the polishing later. Later has arrived and I feel that I'm still back on square one. Years away from anything usable...salable...marketable. I'm struggling with how far to polish and when to let the scene go. I feel the story is solid. But the nagging self-doubt comes whispering whenever I begin to feel too good about things. During the initial writing I had two friends who would read over it. One friend in particular is responsible for talking me down from the self doubt ledge many a time. Any time I thought that it sucked and why was I bothering I could run to her for that pep talk. But I'm at the point to hearing how great the story is doesn't cut it. It's time to push to make it better. And I'm going to have to listen to difficult comments in order to move forward. Here's to finding out how far I've come since that first writing class.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Moving Forward

The other night I stood in the baby product aisle of the local grocery store. I stared at a bottle of baby wash for several minutes. This simple bottle of baby wash left me dumbfounded. I didn't know whether or not to buy it. The kids needed more soap but they are no longer babies and I don't buy anything else out of this aisle, anymore. It sounds crazy now just thinking about it but that bottle was so much more than soap. I have to come to terms with that I will never have another pregnancy. My pregnancy with CJ was filled with maternal fetal specialists, monthly blood tests and worry. An anomaly in the structure of my blood cells caused my body to view the fetus as a foreign entity caused my body to mount defenses to destroy it. Thanks body. It's a condition that they couldn't predict or do anything about except damage control if necessary...and after the full disclosure of worst case scenario we were pretty much terrified. The fun thing is that it isn't present with pregnancy number 1. Only subsequent. Now I also have a negative blood type and a husband who is positive. So, with WC I had taken my Rogam shots to keep a similar situation from happening due to my negative type and all was supposed to be hunky dory. It wasn't. The antibody doesn't cross the placenta until it reaches a certain level of parts per million. And monthly blood tests were ordered to keep an eye on this. After months of hoping, praying and let's be honest bartering with God we had a healthy baby boy. He was three weeks early but considered full term and without an issue to be found.  The specialists advised that with subsequent pregnancies it would be worse that my body's defenses would be stronger against the fetus. We decided not to be greedy. The grace of God allowed us to come through healthy.We decided not to be greedy. The grace of God allowed us to come through healthy. So I opted to count my blessings and undergo a tubal. Why chance it? And I've never looked back or second guessed that it was the right decision for me. But with CJ now out of diapers I find myself missing having a baby. I walk past the baby section in Walmart and it feels odd not needing to stop in. The indecision over whether to buy baby wash brought it all to the surface. Do I want another baby? The more I dwell on it the fact is that I'm not feeling that I want a new baby. I miss my babies. I love the boys - crazy and amazing all in one little package. Watching them grow and develop is something I wouldn't trade. My problem with it is that it all is going by too fast. I need one year to last three or four.But since I like my life with them right now and they've moved on from the baby stage then I should too. I put the baby wash back on the shelf and finished my shopping.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adventures in PT

I once read somewhere that potty training a toddler would test the parents patience and be both emotionally and physically draining. But that the experience was twice as hard for the toddler. Think about it, they spend the first one and half to three years (give or take) of their lives doing a basic bodily function one way and no one minds. Suddenly their caregiver expects them to do a 180 and to recognize the signals that we automatically take for granted but they've never thought about. Not only we expect them to recognize these but then take appropriate action. It can be confusing. There are all these theories out there as to the appropriate time to begin the process of teaching a toddler to use the potty. Arguments are abound as to "early" versus "late." And pros and cons of each. Years ago most children potty trained shortly after they could walk. But with the advent of the disposable diaper and working mothers, these days it has been pushed to the average age of three- an little earlier for girls.
WC was three when I was expecting CJ. The thought of two in diapers-even disposable was not appealing. Luckily he was ready. I used the timer method. I took a long weekend, he picked out his new big boy underwear and the diapers were gone with exception of night. Three days later he was fully potty trained.
Fast forward to CJ. This child has been doing things his own way since he surprised us by arriving three weeks early. Silly me set out to potty train him the same way that worked for WC. Now I could make him go sit on the potty when the timer went off but I couldn't make him actually go in the potty. He would sit there and then leave the bathroom and promptly urinate in the kitchen floor. We spent weekend after weekend being frustrated. Downtrodden, I abandoned trying for a few weeks. His daycare provider insisted on using pullups for the convenience. They don't help. Pullups are a diaper. I think I kept my cool in front of him fairly well while wanting to scream. I swore that I didn't think the child would ever potty train. Then the strangest thing happened. One day he declared that diapers were for babies. And was decidedly not a baby. I told him if he didn't want to wear the diapers then he had to pee in the potty. That was all she wrote, except for a couple of timing accidents. He decided he was going to wear underwear and not diapers. This child is going to be my trouble. He can do anything he puts his mind to, then problem will be what he puts his mind to (or doesn't).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Finally Finished!...well sorta

Four years and 112 thousand words later, I have typed the words "The End" on my novel manuscript. In the days leading up to this I have been ecstatically happy. And I could not wait to get to my lunch break and continue typing. I took merely a minute to bask in the glory of those words. I'm aware that I will not be leaving my beloved characters behind anytime soon. Now comes the revision and editing process. This is a scary process...I've been so wrapped up in getting it all out and now it's time to go in with a hatchet and kill my child. Well, maybe not kill but take it down a couple of inches. Some parts I look forward to cutting because I know it sucks...And now I begin the cutting. I've read numerous works and taken online writing workshops and I hope these things have prepared me to craft the best story that I can.
The title of my work in progress has been All That Remains. I look forward to sharing more about this work while I go through this process.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where do they come up with this?

By now nothing my boys do really suprises me. I'm handed stories by
their other caregivers & experience many for myself. Still when I
picked up CJ from daycare I was not prepared to laugh this hard. Ms. C
began by setting the story of them all sitting around the table having
an ordinary time coloring. CJ goes to the potty, he's been wearing
underwear exclusively for over a week after he simply declared he
wouldn't wear baby diapers any more. She turns around to find him
standing there without a stitch on- shoes, socks, everything gone.
"I naked," he declared.
"Put your clothes back on," ms. C tells
"But I naked," he states.
"I can see that but you have to put your clothes on"
"But I naked," he reiterates. Smiling, proud as a peacock.
"You can't be naked out here"
"You sure?"
"Yes, now get in that bathroom & put your clothes on."
And she finally wrangles my littlest streaker back into his clothes.

Why oh why can't I keep these children clothed in public?

Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Have Been A Fly on the Wall

When CJ went to the dr for his checkup but had a fever and step they
wouldn't give him a shot that he was due. I needed to bring him back
when the fever was gone. Naturally, during my week off- when this
would have been easy, I forgot. So, I asked my mom to run him back
over to the pediatrician. All they had to do was go in and the nurse
would give it to him, no copay no dr. Simple.
Mom calls me later that afternoon and begins the story with how happy
CJ was to play with the train set: see prior entry for his love of
trains. The nurse steps out calls his name and he hits the floor like
a bag of cement screaming, "I don't want to see the dr." Mom attempts
to coerce him into standing. She lifts him off the floor but he
refuses to put his feet down. He's sprawled in the middle of the
waiting room floor chanting that he doesn't want to see the doctor. My
mom begins to yell back at him "your mother is making me do this."
while trying to drag him across the floor. Eventually unable to gain
compliance she picks him up & carries him into the back alternating
responses to his protests with that his mother was making her & that
if he's good she'll buy him a toy. Back in the exam room she can hear
the women behind the front desk laughing hysterically.
Oh, I wish I could have seen that!
Mom declared that never in her life had she had any trouble taking a
child to the doctor. And not to ask her to do it again. Awww mom...

Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mom Makes Plans...God Laughs.

Friday morning I was all excited. A mere four hours of work, lunch with hubby, a well check up for the three year old and I was on my way to one week of freedom from the 9-5er. Then CJ woke up. Unlike WC & myself, he is a morning person. He hits the ground reving his little engine and he's off.
Except this morning...he laid there like a slug. And I knew...
He left with Jay, as normal and I wondered and worried. When will the call come?
When I arrived at work I called the daycare to let them know I would be there early in the afternoon to take him to the dr. I asked how he was doing because he wasn't himself that morning. And God- love them. The morning girl had noticed the same thing and had taken his temp- 99. He was simply wandering around the room looking lost. They would keep me posted. Poor baby.
On my way down the interstate to meet Jay for lunch, they called. 100.2- still not high enough to warrant a pick up, but they knew he would be leaving at 1:30 anyway. He was napping.
I called the pediatrician to see if they would still see him. They would, except if he was due a shot then I'd have to bring him back.
He was still asleep when I arrived- his security blanket in hand. She woke him up and he crawled into my arms and lay limp on my shoulder.
There are many pros and cons to the doctor office train set. And CJ's love of trains brought them all screaming to the forefront. He didn't want to leave the trains, for him that was why he was there. He asked about them in the car on the drive. He was pissed when it was our turn. If I could have had a dime for every time he told the nurse, 'no', 'stop it', 'don't touch me' or 'I want the train'. I'd be a wealthy woman. She commented on how she'd cut him slack for being challenging because he isn't feeling well. Oh, you poor delusional woman, this child is a challenge when he feels well and pretty damn close to impossible when ill. We never could get his hearing checked- but trust me there's not an issue there. He hears perfectly fine- what he wants to.
He wasn't any easier with the doctor. I was so sick of hearing about the stupid trains by the time she arrived I was ready to jam the tongue depressors into my ears and take out my ear drums.
After the examination she decided that she wanted to swab his throat- it was very red. Assume the position- which is fairly similar to giving a cat a pill except we don't wrap the child in the blanket- but now that I think about it. It's a fairly disturbing scene to the non parent. Hold child in lap, wrap leg around his (to keep him from kicking the dr), one arm wrapped around his waist to secure both of his and one hand on his forehead to hold his head back against my chest. There was my exercise for the day. After the swab she let us return to waiting area and the much heard about train set to wait while the culture developed. CJ now happy. Me very, very worried about the results of the swab. And of course the receptionist announced that we needed to return to our room due to the fact the culture was positive for strep. Are you *&^%$ kidding me! I'm starting my vacation! Strep!  ARGH!