Monday, April 13, 2015

Last Monday

Y'all. I haven't blogged lately because I have ALL THESE CHILDREN.  I really love writing, but they love being fed, and having clean bottoms and being on time for school, and sometimes those things interfere with each other. And yes, I do know that there are some people who even have more than just two children and they manage just fine. I am not them.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children she didn't know what to do
And you'll notice that the mother is nowhere to be found in this picture because she is hiding in the closet eating all the easter candy and drinking gas station wine. 
The End. 

Enough about that. I don't judge your choice of modular shoe homes. 

Let's talk about last Monday. It was the day after Easter. When The Boy woke up he was already grieving because there was no more Easter bunny toast. On Easter morning the Easter bunny had left a trail of plastic eggs into the kitchen where he (or she) had cut some sandwich bread into the shape of a bunny for toast. But alas, he (or she) had only left two pieces and it was all gone, and the boy was in an Easter candy hangover funk and was so, so sad that he might never recover. So I offered that maybe I could cut some bread into a bunny shape for toast, and he reluctantly obliged. Turns out I cannot come CLOSE to the artistic skill of the Easter bunny, whose precision and dedication apparently match that of a festival chainsaw-log-statue-competition. 

You would think that precision would be difficult with the large awkward mitten hands, but whatever. 

Eventually he agreed to eat said ruined toast and eventually, much to everyone's surprise, he recovered. So we were off to school, where I promptly dropped him off without a snack for his class despite it being our turn to bring snack. Luckily, I was completely unaware of this blunder and it caused no additional morning stress. For me, at least. Sorry, teachers. 

When I picked him up he told me that no one was snack helper. His sweet teachers didn't even call him out on it. He said they had leftover snacks from the cabinet- cheese crackers and graham crackers and gold fish, and I guess whatever else they could muster up. Then I checked the snack calendar and my blissful ignorance was shattered when I saw The Boy's name listed. We had let down a room full of 3 year olds. Oh, the shame! And once I realized and said it out loud, The Boy found an opportunity to be crushed. Just minutes ago he was happy and chatty, but upon hearing the news, he realized he should be disappointed. "I didn't EVEN get to be snack helper!" he wailed, confidently defeated in his newfound injustice. "Oh buddy", I said "don't worry. This is going to happen a lot more times in your life." 

I know you're thinking that we should have called it a day and headed home. But, I'm not prone to learn from my mistakes and decided to take ALL MY (two) CHILDREN to the grocery store. We've done it before, and we've survived. What could possibly go wrong? 

BeYoYo is getting big enough to sit in the buggy, but they hadn't actually done that at the same time yet. I started getting him out of his car seat when my hand touched something wet. A friend on Facebook once said she could sum up the entirety of her mothering experience with the question "why is that wet?" In this case, it was poop. He'd pooped up his back and blown out his diaper and leaked into his car seat. Gag. The Boy was whining for his fruit snacks. BeYoYo was laughing as I was gagging getting everyone out. I handed The Boy the fruit snacks, as he was still recovering from the toast and the snack incidents. We walked inside and straight for the bathroom. I parked the impossible to steer BACB (Big Ass Car Buggy) outside the bathroom and carried BeYoYo in, with The Boy trailing alongside. I let The Boy eat his fruit snacks standing beside the changing table, because I needed a minute, okay? I peeled BeYoYo's clothes off him, wiped him down, changed his diaper, changed his clothes, and got him upright again, all while he was trying his best to flip to his stomach and/or sit up. This took approximately 75 minutes. 

Then the real dilemma presented itself. HOW, pray tell, are you supposed to WASH your HANDS in this situation? I see 4 options. 
1. Hand the baby to the toddler. This does not seem safe, for anyone involved. Poop-on-hands is definitely safer than 3 year old in charge of slightly smaller 8 month old.  
2. Hand the baby to a stranger. There wasn't one, even if I was comfortable with that. 
3. Buckle both kids in the BACB and leave them unattended outside the bathroom while you wash. (I promise you this buggy would not have fit inside the bathroom). 
4. Put the baby on the floor. Considering my high school friend said cleaning the bathroom in his after school job at Publix was worse than his tour in Afghanistan, that didn't seem viable. 

I went with option 5: Don't wash your hands. I procured a baby wipe and thorough gave my hands a bird bath, buckled everyone up in the BACB and went about our business. Later my friend Kati reminded me that I could've buckled BeYoYo in the changing table and left him there while I washed. This never occurred to me, so bird bath it was. Our whole shopping trip I kept getting a whiff of something gross and was continually paranoid that I had poop hands. 

Thankfully we survived the trip and made it home, where I whipped the car in the drive and made a bee line inside for the sink, scrubbing my hands like I was prepping for surgery before going back out to get the groceries and kids. Priorities. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Awesome parenting

BeYoYo was sick for a month. A month. We first went to the doctor on February 2, with a virus and pink eye, and a cough that was so strong it would make him throw up. She gave us some pink eye meds but said the virus would need to run its course. We love and trust our pediatrician, so we went on with life. We went back on February 9th for a 6 month well-check, and she said to give the virus a few more days.

I guess she meant 2 or 3 days. We gave it 2 or 3 weeks. Awesome parenting. I am not overly anxious about my kids' health, and The Boy brings preschool germs home, so they are bound to get sick, right? Every day I thought this will be the day! But his cough continued. March 1 I ended up taking him to urgent care because he hadn't improved. They said it had developed into an earache in addition to the coughy virus. Oops. I felt bad that he'd gotten worse. Maybe we should've gone back in sooner.  Awesome parenting. So we started on antibiotics and a steroid and more eye drops.

Here we are waiting for urgent care to open

Then on March 3, I took him back in to the pediatrician because he wasn't improving and he was coughing so much he wasn't keeping his meds down. I asked if we could get a steroid shot instead. She checked his oxygen, gave him a breathing treatment, checked his oxygen again, and sent us to be admitted to the hospital. She said his oxygen was low and he was having trouble breathing. I had no idea. I just thought it was a preschool-germ-causing-coughy-virus and poor guy couldn't even breathe. Awesome parenting.

We registered at the hospital, and even though our ped had called ahead and had everything prepared for us in advance, it was not a short process. We were finally ushered into one of those cubicles with a receptionist and a glass window and door behind us where all the world can see you. The receptionist needed a lot of information, and The Boy was getting antsy. He was even getting tired of the two toy dinosaurs that we'd stolen (okay, we told them we were taking them) from the pediatrician's waiting room. Awesome parenting. I had only planned on going straight to the ped's office and back home. Both boys had on their pajamas, and we didn't pack a bag for being gone any longer. As I was talking with the receptionist The Boy casually pulled his pajamas bottoms down, and looked at me in confusion with his pants around his knees before he said "Hey Mommy! I'm not wearing any underwear?" AWESOME PARENTING. I encouraged him to pull his pants up, and the receptionist laughed so hard The Boy got embarrassed and hid under the chair.

We finally got to a room and got both boys settled. My mom came to get The Boy and save the day in the casual way that she always does when I need her. Did I mention The Husband was out of town? I stayed with BeYoYo who got a chest x-ray and IV fluids and more antibiotics and steroids and breathing treatments. And oxygen. My poor baby needed oxygen and I hadn't even known how sick he was.

I stayed with him overnight and he was pitiful. He didn't smile or laugh or play, just slept and cried and laid against me. I felt so bad for him. Fifteen years ago that very day The Husband asked me to be his girlfriend. I'd not imagined when I said yes that 15 years into the future I would lie in a hospital bed with one of our two children while he was lying in a hotel bed in another town. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that this was not our everyday existence. He would leave early the next morning to make it back to us.

The next morning BeYoYo was feeling a little better, and improved significantly when he got to see his daddy.
These might be some of my favorite pictures ever

The Husband relieved me at the hospital, where the poor sick kid who we didn't think was that sick would spend another night. I went home to be with The Boy, who was missing his mommy and brother very much, "but mostly BeYoYo" he told my mom.  As I walked out of the hospital, I felt like the main character at the end of an action movie as they walk into the future hopefully but you can see explosions in the background. It was going to be okay, but it had been a helluva 24 hours.

The next morning I got The Boy ready for school. When I dropped him off and walked him in to his class there was snow falling down. And he had on no coat. Awesome parenting.

PS- I'm happy to report BeYoYo is back to his old self. I think he has largely forgiven us.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Islands in the Stream

The Husband loves to turn on some loud music on his laptop and jam out while he does things around the house. He really gets in a zone with his rock music whether he's working on projects with power tools or mopping the floor. So for years I've crept in when he wasn't looking and changed it to Islands in the Stream. Always Islands in the Stream. As you can imagine I find this hilarious and he does not. You have to have some things to keep your marriage fresh and interesting, after all.

Fast forward to present day. We have been exposing The Boy to a variety of music, and he's really soaking it up. He told me one day that his favorite song is Flight of the Bumblebees, which explains a lot. He'll choose a song and ask for it over and over, then perform various remixes for us. The Husband taught him about Two Kinds of Love from Rocky II and Queen's Flash, which he even sings the guitar intro to. I introduced him to Simon and Garfunkle and Johnny Cash, and maybe a little Taylor Swift. Imagine my delight when I got the idea to teach him Islands in the Stream! My hope was that he'd sing it all the time and drive The Husband crazy. It's like the prank that keeps on giving. So we practiced. And we watched YouTube clips. And we had kitchen dance parties. "And we wrely on each other. Uh huh. From one lover to another. Uh huh." Now that I'm typing it, I do note the inappropriateness of these lyrics, but stay with me.

Meanwhile, my six year old nephew sang "We will rock you" one time and the boy was hooked. Hooked. It was his instant fave, trumping anything we'd introduced. He sings it All. The. Time. He wants to hear it all the time. He experiments with voices and pitch and tempo and motions. Our house is like a full time Jock Jam CD that skips.

I get it. You don't have to like what I like. You're a free thinker, and I love that about you. You don't want to be a pawn in an elaborate scheme to prank your father, that's fine. But the other night at dinner....

Husband: ready to say the blessing?

Boy (solemnly bows head): God our father, God our father, we will, we will wrock you. We will, we will, wrock you. Amen.

He was serious. The Husband and I couldn't keep a straight face. Dear God, we will rock you. Amen. It was hilarious. It was inappropriate and irreverent. We laughed and laughed and nearly cried. The Boy looked at us, an expression of perplexity and curiosity and pride. We told him it was a great blessing, and it was. There's nothing like bringing your genuine self to God, complete with your naivety and your passions and your pride. And in that moment, without knowing it, and without meaning to, he won. Right in the middle of my planning and my pranking, I'd been Island in the Streamed. By a three year old and a six year old. The irony of these lyrics is not lost on me.

"Somebody better put you back into your place."

Here, for your listening pleasure, is one of the many We Will Rock You renditions. He's available for parties and mar mitzvahs. And blessings.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


This morning I took the boys to the grocery store, where I spent 1 million dollars on diapers and formula. BeYoYo fell asleep in the car so I brought him inside in his carseat and set The Boy up with a snack while I went back out to get the groceries. I might have left the door open.

I came back in and started prepping dinner before we had to leave for me to get to work. The Boy was enjoying his crackers and ants on a log (which he found hilarious), and then went to the bathroom. As I was cooking chicken I heard him crying from the bathroom. I found him with his pants wet around his ankles, distraught.

"The teetee wruined my pajama daaaay!" he said, wailing.
I tried not to laugh. I told him it was okay, accidents happen, and not to worry about it because he'd been doing what he was supposed to be doing.
"No I wasn't. (sniffle) I wasn't holding my penis because I was (sniffle) holding my cracka."
Then I noticed he'd also peed all over the floor. I told him not to eat in the bathroom, and went to get him fresh pj pants to save pajama day. He quickly began to feel better and went back to his ants on a log. I started mopping the bathroom. My phone bing-ed with a text notification, and it was someone from the church youth group starting a group text about how they should all live together next year. Bing. A response. Bing, another.

A few minutes later Prissy started barking. Being a beagle, sometimes she does this for no reason. I told her to hush and not to wake up BeYoYo. She didn't. I cooked, The Boy ate, she barked, I scolded, repeat. Bing. Then we saw a bird flying through the kitchen. He was panicked. He perched on the light fixture, then fluttered to the window sill, then landed in the pantry, then flew into the mirror. Prissy followed his every move, barking, running, jumping up on her hind legs, trying to get the bird, chasing, barking, repeat. The bird flew into the dining room, living room, landed, flew, perched, flew, panicked, flapped, flew, repeat. Priss was close behind. Meanwhile my phone bing-ed.

The Boy thought this was grand. He laughed and ran behind the two like a parade with each float getting larger and more delighted. I ran behind them all, yelling to please not wake up the baby. I corralled Prissy into our room so she wouldn't hurt the bird. Bing. We saw the bird dart under the sofa. I took a time out to call my friend Sarah, who knows a lot about birds. Bing. She didn't answer.

Me: If she doesn't answer you can leave a message telling her what's going on.
(Message beeps)
The Boy: What's going on?
Me: No, tell her what's going on with you.
The Boy: What's going on with me.
Me: No, tell her what's happening at your house.
The Boy: There's a burd in our house and Pwissy is twying to get it!

Sarah called right back and said her only thought was to open the door and try to shoo him out.
"Did I mention BeYoYo is sleeping right beside the door?"
Can you put him in your room? (I'm chopping chicken as I'm talking)
"No, Prissy is closed off in my room so she won't hurt the bird."
We decided to move BeYoYo somewhere and open the door to try to get the bird out.
"Did I mention I'm trying to prep dinner and I need to leave for work in ten minutes?"
She told me to keep her posted.

So The Boy and I went in the living room to investigate. I moved the couch out from the wall looking for the bird and exposing all manner of treasures behind it. The Boy and the bird were excited by every single thing, and The Boy said "My Wightning McQueen! My Wightning McQueen! My Wightning McQueen is behind the sofa! Can you get it?"  I told him I could not. There was also a baby Jesus back there. I said a prayer to the baby Jesus to keep us safe from the disease-carrying-bird. At some point the bird came out from under the sofa and was resting carefully just behind the door. I grabbed The Boy's family project from preschool- a poster about our family and started trying to shoo him out. He flew back into the living room, out of my sight. Bing.

Bird is in front of the car seat base, behind the door, above. 

Then I heard The Boy screaming. The disease bird has attacked him, baby Jesus! I just knew it. I ran to see what was wrong, and he stood in the dining room with a flashlight in his hand. I just looked at him as he cried. There was no bird attack. What was wrong? "My finga! My fingaaaaaa!" he wailed. Are you kidding me? The crank operated flashlight was stuck to his hand. The crank pinched him and wouldn't come off. I tried to uncrank it, which made him scream more. Bing.  I went to get lotion, but it was locked up in my room with the quarantined Prissy. I didn't dare open the door, she was already snorting at the threshold trying to sniff her way out. Bing. Bingbing. The Boy continued to cry. I texted my neighbor, but she wasn't home. I wrote back "K thNKs finger stuck in flashlight" with no further explanation. By now BeYoYo had been awakened by the bird or the crying or the barking, and he started to cry. Bing. I turned the volume off on my phone. By this time I was fairly certain there was going to be a blog post for today, and I took a picture for you.

I grabbed some baby vaporub from the living room and started using it to lubricate the flashlight. The Boy started to cry more, pulling his hand away from me, and pulling the flashlight off in the process. Success! I laughed out loud at the bizarrity of this day. It was now past time for us to leave. I told The Boy to put his boots on while I put the yet-prepped casserole in the fridge. BeYoYo fussed from his car seat while I threw everything from the kitchen in the fridge. "Can you give him his pacie?" I asked The Boy. "Shu" he responded, which is 3 year-old for 'sure'. He went into the hall to pacify his brother while I buzzed around the kitchen doing the bare minimum that needed attending to before leaving. "Mommy! Mommy!" he said proudly, "Come take a picture of BeYoYo! Come quick!" Ugh, we didn't have any time left.

I ran behind him to see what he was so excited about. He'd picked up BeYoYo's car seat and propped him up against the wall precariously. "Take a picture!"

Suddenly over his fussiness from being awoken by the bird/flashlight drama, BeYoYo thought it was amusing that he was trapped in his car seat, upright like a mummy in a sarcophagus.  Good day, King Tut. 

I instructed the boys to head toward the car and I loaded in two kids, a work bag, bag, diaper bag, two coats, a hat, and one "ants on a wog." I stopped in the cul-de-sac to pen a text to The Husband, who was in a meeting. I had 36 unread texts. Did I mention today is The Husband's first day working from home?

And it may be the last.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


You'll notice I haven't posted any cutesy pinterest-inspired DIY punny preschool valentine cards. Many of my facebook friends have posted some of the cutest valentines. It's not that I don't love pinterest. But this year we went with (brace yourself) bought cards.

And not just any store bought cards. When given the choice at the store, my son didn't choose cars or trains or superheroes or Curious George. He chose Frozen. And not Olaf and Sven and Christof, either. Straight up princesses. With artificially sweetened death sugar and chernobyl red #5 taffy that will rip your kids' teeth out. The week after the dental hygiene unit at preschool. So any of you other mamas who also didn't print labels saying "dough you want to be my valentine?" with homemade heart-shaped play dough, please know this is what we're sending to school tomorrow:

Tomorrow night you'll see the spoils from the Valentine parties. You'll see who has the creative parents who sent the awesome non-candy, age-appropriate, not made in China, organic goodie with a pun and we won't be on that list. We win zero points for creativity or avoiding cavities or preventing diabetes, but I feel like we win all the points for letting our son bring princess cards. Follow your heart, Valentine!