Saturday, November 22, 2014

Adventures at the Square Mall

Our local mall is....sad. A few small anchor stores, a lonely food court, several cheap clothing choices. If Jesus were born in modern times he might be born at our mall instead of a stable. It's basic. It's called Georgia Square Mall, but my Columbian college roommate called it just "the square mall."

There was a parade welcoming Santa to the Square Mall today. The ads said there would be local marching bands, dancers, costumed characters, and "great fanfare." What fun! The Boy and I went early to make sure we didn't miss it. When we got to Santa's workshop nothing was going on. We waited. And waited. And waited. Slowly a crowd began to gather and gossip about who would be in the parade and where they heard it would start. This was also the first day for pictures with Santa, so lots of tots were dressed in their finest. The longer the waited the more kids melted down. Puddles of sobbing red velour and white faux fur dotted the floor. We continued to be on the lookout for Santa and friends, and luckily someone brought binoculars.

The Boy was content to sit on the nearby mall rides, and chase the remote control helicopter display around and around the middle kiosks. After 30 minutes I was ready to give up, but he was happy and he asked nicely if we could continue to wait. A mother clucked under their breath "this is SO unorganized!" while she scraped her velour puddle off the floor. I gave them my best "been there, done that" smile.

After 30 minutes a mall employee came out with a walkie-talkie and a Santa hat. Her name was Bernice, probably. She directed the line to move over to the side and several parents asked her questions. She was drunk with power, and told everyone everything she knew.

After waiting almost an hour The Boy and I went to check out a store. I was confident I'd hear a marching band when it was time. When we came out, I saw a crowd of people walking in Santa hats. Maybe they were here for the parade. We followed them, and it turns out they WERE the parade.

The parade consisted of Santa, Mrs. Santa, a cop, and a step team. Good thing we were on the lookout. We followed the "parade" to Santa's workshop. Everyone perked up and waved to Santa. The Boy was thrilled. "Mrs. Cwause waved at me!" he said. I was relieved he wasn't disappointed. 

Once we got to the workshop mass pandaemonium ensued. Someone came out with about a dozen helium balloons, and there were now about a hundred people. I thought a riot would break out. A group of kids dressed all the same started chanting "WOW! Word! Outreach! Worship! Wow!" Santa and Mrs. Cwause took their places inside the gates of the workshop and waved like celebrities on the red carpet. The step team started stepping, right in the middle of the crowd. Suddenly there was a single clogger in the crowd: an elderly lady with an eye patch and a name tag that said Edna. She had a handler with her. 

I was hoping Edna would clog for us.  She even had on clogging shoes that went clog, clog, clack when she walked. I asked The Boy if he'd like to get a picture with her. He declined. 

As far as I could tell, the show was over. Santa was caged inside his enclosure, and the step team and the WOW kids had disbursed. I told The Boy we could walk upstairs and take a look and then we were leaving.  On our way upstairs, a WoW kid gave us a gospel tract with a piece of candy taped to it that said something about Jes+us. We sat upstairs and spied below for a bit before leaving. 

As we were leaving we saw Jake the Pirate, and went to go say hello to him. But before we could get there, he turned and took off up the escalators, running from a group of kids. The Boy asked indignantly "Why are those kids chasing Jacob the Pirate?!" I had no answer. 

On our way out we saw Bernice appear with another bundle of balloons. She pushed quickly through the crowd like Beyonce through the paparazzi, stopping only to hand balloons to those she deemed worthy. She slowed momentarily in front of us, yanked a string from her bunch and thrust it at The Boy. "Here you go, honey, tell your mama to tie that to you" she said, over her shoulder.  Then, in the single most perfect moment of the morning, she came face to face with Edna and said, with all seriousness and a hint of irritation "Morning Edna. I can't talk. I've got balloons!" 

The Boy was happy to go home with a balloon. There was no marching band, and no Dora or Elmo, but we saw some characters all right. The Square Mall did not disappoint. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween 2014

We kind of love Halloween. Exhibit A, our porch:

Also, we love dressing up. The Boy was officially Superman and Beyoyo was officially Batman on Halloween but we like to experiment with other options too: 


A highlight of our Halloween festivities was the fall festival at The Boy's school, which was a hit thanks to games like don't-drop-this-cup-of-popcorn-off-your-shoe

And pretend-you-don't-know-this-is-someone's-dad-tying-a-prize-to-a-fishing-pole. 

On the way to school that morning The Boy and I were guessing what some of his friends might dress up as. I foolishly guessed things like "a frog" and "batman." The Boy, however guessed that Henry would be dressed as a boot, and Violet Stone would be applesauce. We were both wrong. But oh well! The Boy is planning and looking forward to next year, since he already said he plans to trick or treat as......
a cracker. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fire station field trip

Today I went with The Boy's class on a field trip to the fire station. There is a special place in heaven for pre-school teachers.

First, they lined up outside with their backs against the wall, as is protocol. Ten kids went, and no fewer than 8 parents.  Kids left the wall, parents sent them back.  Parents took pictures. I had BeYoYo in a carrier and kids came over to touch him cautiously like he was a rare species of monkey. These guys did a happy dance:

A bike cop came to escort us on our trek to the fire department. The kids were IMPRESSED already. Everyone grabbed a tiny hand and we crossed the street and started our journey. As we walked, the kids started getting fatigued. They said they were tired. They said they wanted to be carried. They said they couldn't go on. They said they couldn't walk another step. It was a two block trip.

We arrived at the fire station and some cute fire fighters welcomed us and let us in. We passed fire trucks, fire equipment, fire men, and the kitchen. All very impressive, really. Naturally, the kids ran right for.......... the candy machines.

We got a tour of the building. The cute fire fighters started by addressing the parents. "If we get a call when the group is here, maybe everyone can just grab a kid and get them out of the way so we can get ready?"  Maybe we will.  

They sounded the siren and every single child covered their ears. 

The kids got to see their gear and climb in a fire truck. Parents said "don't jump on that", "get your hand out of your mouth", "get your hand out of your nose", "don't run", "stay with me", "take turns" and "no hitting".  


We watched a cute fire fighter put on his gear and the children were invited to touch him. The mamas were not. 

We got to see the sleeping quarters and might as well have taken the kids to Snow White's house they were so excited. It was less that they were excited to see where real fire men sleep and more that they saw a big open space and a beautiful opportunity. The girls stood nicely with their moms while the boys ran in circles around the room. Someone yelled "no jumping on the beds!" and the boys laughed. They ran. They were firemen and ninjas and super heroes and villains. They did 700 laps, complete with jumps and kicks and pushes and screams. We had been there 3 minutes. 

Parents corralled the kids together and the cute fireman asked if we had any questions. I did. "Do firemen hit?" I asked. He stared at me, blankly, searching my face for how he could help answer my question. "So, there's no hitting here?" I asked. "OH!" He said, his face lighting with recognition. "No. We do not hit. We don't hit or kick or pick our noses. And we always, always listen to our chief." Smart man. 

We corralled the kids for one more picture and headed back to school. 

If they were tired on the way there, they spent all their energy running around the fire bedroom and were SPENT on the way back. Kids stopped walking, forcing parents to stop and coerce them to continue. One dropped limp to the ground, refusing to continue. "Wet noodle" her mom said to the rest of us, as if we wouldn't understand. No judgement here. 

They said they were tired. They said they wanted to be carried. They said they couldn't go on. They said they couldn't walk another step. You'll remember these were the very kids who had energy to run like ninjas 5 minutes ago. They complained that they weren't in the front. They complained that they weren't in the back. One fell into a deep slumber one block in. When we were in view of the school, The Boy called out "I see my school!" like it was a desert oasis. 

Tonight when we were doing bedtime routine, we talked about going to the fire station and all the cool things we saw. I asked him what was his favorite part. "Playing outside" he said. That's right. Going back to school and playing on the playground just like he does every other day. There's a special place in heaven for pre-school teachers. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quotes from Labor

Now that I've had some time to reflect on BeYoYo's birth story and have processed it ad nauseum with the people present, I present to you: Quotes From Labor. You'll remember this is how labor went down, and these gems from The Boy's birth too. I'd been having contractions since 15 weeks.

I've been timing contractions for hours and they've been consistently about 5 minutes apart.
Me: I'm just going to call Anika (midwife) and see what she says.
Husband: About what?

Me (having a strong contraction) Ohhhhhhehhhhh.
Husband (to boy) Let's go play. I think mommy needs a minute.

Me: Anika said to come in if I want, or stay home until I can't breathe through them. Should we call my dad to come get The Boy?
Husband: I'm not sure you're in labor.
Me: Thanks, Doc.

Me: Did you call your mom?
Husband: No, I will once we know if you're in labor.

Me: We're going to go to the hospital to see if the baby is ready to come out today.
The Boy: I don't think he is.
Me: What's with you people?

At the hospital-

Nurse: what do you weigh?
Me: 700.
Nurse: Do you drink?
Me: No.
Nurse: Smoke?
Husband: Smoke what?
Nurse: Cigarettes.
Me: No.
Nurse: Do you-
Me:-wait. He's kidding. I don't smoke anything.

Nurse: Are you HIV positive?
Me: No.
Nurse: Have you been exposed to Hepatitis B?
Me: No.
Nurse: Have you been exposed to ebola?
Me: No.
Nurse: I'm kidding.

Anika: So, it looks like you're dialated to about a 4.
Me: No. No. No. No. It has to be more than that.
Anika: I'm sorry.

Me: Anika, this beeping is irritating me. I cannot handle it anymore.
Anika: we can turn your baby's heartbeat down if that would help.
Me: Thank you.

Me: Anika, I have an important question.
Anika: Yes?
Me: What percentage of your patients would you say shave their stuff?
Anika (laughs): what??
Me: Labescaping. What percentage?
Anika: I'd say 40.

Me: Anika said she can break my water.
Husband: Are we having a baby?? Are we staying here?
Me: Are you KIDDING ME?

Husband: I just sent a text to my mom with a picture of a baby picture from google and told her he's here. Ha!

Me, to Husband: I'm never doing this again. Do you understand?
Husband: Yes.

Me, to 20 year old sister: this is what happens when you have sex.
Sister: No. Stop it. No.

We had a plastic lime juice bottle that we froze so the husband could roll it on my back during contractions.
Me: Where's the lime? I need it.
Husband: I don't know where it is. Here, this will do. (Rolls diet coke can on my back).

Anika checked my progress.
Me: (Expletives)! I told you there's no more room for anything else in there!

Beast from within me: DID. YOU. JUST. SAY. 'CALM DOWN'?!
Husband: I said [the contraction] "it's coming down."

OBGYN: I'm Dr. Leach, and I'm here to do the C-section.
Me: Thank you for saving Terri's life. She's my friend.

Anesthesiologist: I'm the anesthesiologist, and I'm here to talk to you about the spinal.
Me: I don't really want to hear about it.
Anesthesiologist: I have to tell you about it to get your consent.
Me: Fine.

Mom: I can't believe you told the doctor you didn't want to hear about it.

Sister: At least-
Me: -Just be quiet.

Me: I'm never doing this again.

Me: Is this my last contraction? This is the last contraction I'm ever going to have.
Anika: It's ONE of the last I bet.

Me: Anika, tell us about a vasectomy.
Anika: that's not my end, hon.

Me: Oh, no. That's another conttttttttttractionnnnnnn.

--In the O.R. --

Me: This looks like an alien abduction in here.
Anesthesiologist: But with better company.

Nurse: Don't touch anything blue.
Me: I'm pretty sure I'm not going to touch anything.

OBGYN: Don't touch your leg there! That's sterile! Someone get the straps. (Proceed to strap my arms down).

Anika: We need you to bend over, make your back a C for the spinal. You can hold on to me.
Me: (Expletives) but I'm having another contracTION. That's the last one, okay?

Anesthisiologist: Can you feel this? (pokes all down my leg)
Me: No.
Anesthesiologist: That means the spinal is working. I was poking your leg with a needle.

Me, to husband: I'm never doing this again.
Husband: Okay, you don't have to.
Me: You can get a vasectomy.
Husband: We don't have to decide right now.
Me: There's nothing to decide.

Anesthesiologist, mid surgery: Hi, I'm Dr. So and so, your new anesthesiologist.
Husband: what happened to the other one?
Anesthesiologist: shift change.

After baby was born and doing well, The Boy came to meet him.
The Boy(looking at his brother): Is he born?
Me: Yes, he's here! He's here to stay.
The Boy: Why?
Me: Once you're born you're always born and you can't go back in.
The Boy: Can I get back in your belly? (Lifts my dress to head in)
Me: NO. No you definitely cannot.

Donna is the lactation consultant.
Me: He's getting hungry, and I want to see if his latch is okay. Can you call Donna?
Husband: Hey, ask for the Wolfman!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Greatest Baby Gift Ever

Okay, the greatest baby gift ever was baby Jesus. But the SECOND greatest baby gift ever was this, compliments of my friend Kati:
Yes, that IS a onesie with Gary Coleman's face on it. Winning. 

Also, in an unrelated story, the baby that was born in the room next to us at the hospital was named Kole. We never met Kole but he was my second favorite baby there because he had a sign on the door that said "Kole was born fresh!" No, I am not kidding. Because there's nothing worse than a stale newborn. 
The star to the right of Old King Kole's crown is the one. 

Thanks to his new onesie, BeYoYo is fresh too. Whatchu talkin' about, Kole?