October 14, 2011

Fess Up Friday

    Since I’m back to blogging and am giving twitter another try I figure I may as well go back to my Fess Up Fridays. Confessions aren’t just for Catholics, yo.

1. When I was in kindergarten I shared the story of how our home had burnt down over the weekend. Our community at the time (we moved from there long, long ago) was a great one. By the time my Mom arrived to pick me up from school a good bit of items and money had already been donated. Yeah, that was all a made up story that an over active imagination and memories of the previous nights Rescue 911 (remember that show!?!) had produced while talking to other kids about how our weekend was. Some people would call that a lie. That just sounds so harsh. Plus I was only five. Five year olds don’t lie, they tell stories. Which I am now being introduced to as Caleb’s five year old imagination has begun to drift into the fictional tales section. Karma exists folks, karma exists. And when Ella and Emery get a few more years under their belts karma is gonna kick my ass Chuck Norris style.

 2. Exactly a month from today Jerry, the kids and I will be dragging out all of our Christmas decorations in preparation for setting them all up on the 15th. That’s right; we decorate for Christmas on November 15th every year. The 15th is also my birthday so Jerry really can’t complain too much and on top of that the man is smart and knows how to pick his battles. But while you’re all shaking your head at this just remember Macy’s has had their Christmas trees and decorations up since July. That’s right, July. Those folks start preparing for Christmas as soon as the dust settles from Independence Day festivities over there.

 3. I’m trying to jump into the world of twitter. But it’s slow goings despite moving my twitter app next to my Facebook app (which is prime real estate in app land). Here’s why:

  • For one I’m not witty enough to produce material for both. And I refuse to knowingly bring forth more crap material into this world. The Kardashian’s and Hiltons have the corner on that market covered already.
  • I’m illtwitterate. It’s like a secret language written by Ke$ha where every single rule regarding grammar, punctuation and sentence structure is thrown out the window. Webdings symbols flying at me from every which way, @#######!!!!!!!
  • I’m wordy. Too wordy for 140 characters or less.
  • A lack of tweeps. It just feels too awkward to go soliciting followers.

October 11, 2011

Drama Mama

   There are times in life when a good fit is oh so appealing. Like when that certain something that you’ve been saving for sells out before you can buy it. Or when a jerky teenager wants to channel their inner Paul Walker and drive their fastest and furiousest in a 20 year old Honda next to you in rush hour traffic. On a rainy day. Or when father time himself wants to drive 20 miles an hour in a no passing zone. And customer service calls to any company, at any time, in any country? Totally fit worthy. I’d even bump that recommendation to necessary if they transfer your call to a call center located outside of whichever country you reside in. Because foreign accents are always annoying when you’ve been listening to crap music for 15 minutes while you wait to explain for the 90th time what your issue is. Especially when the resolution to your problem is oh so obvious to everyone but the people on the other end of the phone line.

  For Ella though most things in life are fit worthy though. Can’t find her sippy cup? Time to cry. Don’t agree with waiting until after lunch to have that lollipop? Time to break out the mean muggin’. Followed by asking me every three seconds if she can have the lollipop yet. Just got the breaking news that you are no longer eligible for the lollipop because of your behavior? Cry again. Hard. Like your heart is broken, cartoons will never again air on TV and all of the malls in the world are now closed for business and there wasn’t even a going out of business sale to soften the blow. When it comes to drama girlfriend has it in spades.

  The thing is she’s always been this way. Two years of sassy attitude and going strong. We won’t count that first year of life, that’s traumatic for everyone with all those shots, teething, inability to communicate and the liquid diet followed by disgustingly bland food that rivals what your diaper will look like later. All this to say I’m raising raw talent over here folks. A talent like this must be shared. Talent scouts of America I’m talking to you. Beauty, brains, and theatrics she’s got it all. Next time your in need of an angsty toddler you’ll know just where to come. She’s got that role locked down tighter than the White House bomb shelter. Or safe room. Or teleportation machine. Whatever those folks on Capitol Hill are using these days.

From her role in Makeup, Interrupted. 

October 10, 2011

Coke, with a side of Vinegar.

As the numbers of children with childhood obesity has risen over the last decade or so, so has the controversy regarding nutrition in our children’s schools. Calls for a more balanced meal plan and the withdrawal of vending machines/soda have been heard in PTO and school board meetings around the nation. So imagine my surprise when Caleb came home from school with a can of Coke nestled into the bottom of his backpack today. Chilled, ready to drink and everything. It was a reward he said, given to him by his teacher for mastering a skill that he has been working on for the last few weeks.

  And there he stood, smiling so HUGE at both his accomplishment and his reward. And the loving Mommy in me wanted so badly to just share in this moment of excitement with him. But the protective/nutritional Mommy in me wants to call his teacher and ask why a can of soda was given to a 5 year old. What happened to good ‘ole stickers and trips to the prize box?  So now here I am stuck in limbo over deciding whether or not to call his teacher and complain. On the one hand I genuinely like the guy. He’s a great teacher, who Caleb adores and he’s also a bit quiet and shy. I almost feel like a bully for wanting to call and voice my displeasure at this “reward”. Also, I get that being a teacher in today’s society is tough. I have lots of teacher friends who feel at times that they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Education is increasingly becoming a fine line to walk as teacher’s lose their jobs for posting a picture on Facebook of the glass of wine that accompanied their dinner, and let’s not even begin to get into the controversies they face regarding discipline. So yes I get it, being a teacher is tough.

 But to me it seems fairly obvious that a kindergartener shouldn’t be given soda. Especially not a whole can of soda. A bit of my shock comes from the fact that my 10 year old who attends the same school has never been given soda as a reward (at least not that she’s told me). And in an increasingly liable society full of consent forms I kinda would’ve expected this to be covered on the 50 or so other pages of consent and authorization forms that we fill out at the beginning of each school year. Seems to me like this could’ve been squeezed in somewhere between food allergies and the approved lunch visitor list. Something like " May your child be given a caffeinated soda as a reward? Check yes or no. The school will not be held liable for resulting behavoir. Please be aware that consumption of the soda may increase trips to time out, the number of sticks pulled, the inability to nap during nap time and more frequent trips to the dentist may be necessary." Feel free to add that next year principals around the world. Your welcome.
 The other bit of shock I have comes from the fact that we only began letting Kayley have one orange soda or Sprite a week within the last year or so. So when I woke up this morning I really wasn’t expecting a Coke Controversy to be on today’s agenda of things to handle. Them’s the breaks in Mommyland, you just never know what’s waiting around the corner. In the end I’ll approach this the same way we do everything else that the kids consume which is all things in moderation and I’ll give him about half of the soda with dinner tonight. And in the meantime I’ll try to figure out whether or not I should call the teacher. And perhaps I’ll just add some vinegar to his cup so that it tastes so bad that next time he’s offered one he’ll politely refuse. Yeah, vinegar ought to do the trick.

August 9, 2011

Vicodin, the great pain reliever.

   The kids first day back to school was a doozie. So crazy in fact that by the end of the day I needed a Vicodin. The craziness began with my off-road parking in the morning when I walked them into the school and to their classes. Crazy, yes. Unexpected, no. It’s always an ordeal on the first day of school. So I deal with that, only to come home to an ordeal of another kind. It was called Find The Car Keys That The Two Year Old Hid Because Her Father Didn’t Put Them Where They Belong. Or FTCKTTTYOHBHFDPTWTB if you want to abbreviate it. We played that fun game for the better part of an hour until Jerry found the hidden keys in a desk drawer. Unfortunately for him he checked there after the trashcan. That’ll teach him. If wading through yesterday’s garbage doesn’t make him change his habit of just putting his keys any ‘ole place I don’t think anything will. We shall see.

   Fast forward a few hours and it’s now 2 o’clock and time to go get the kids from school. Before leaving the house I ask Ella no less than 3 times if she needs to go potty’s. Each time she says no. Why I took a three year old’s word when I KNEW she needed to go is beyond me. I assumed after a year of being potty trained that she’s got a handle on her own bodily functions. A mistake I’m still shaking my head at today. Because no sooner then I clicked my seatbelt after strapping both her and her sister in their car seat’s I hear a tiny voice from the back saying “Mommy, I need to go potty’s!” Seriously kid? You live for this stuff don’t you? So I ask her to hold it. Partly because I don’t want to be stuck at the tail end of the massive line I know is already forming at the school and partly because it’s 8000 degrees outside and I can’t leave Emery in the hot car while I take Ella potty’s. Taking them both in would be a 30 minute process too, so ix-nay to that. So yep, you gotta hold it kid.

  On average we sit in the car line for about 15-20 minutes before the older two are picked up, buckled in and we leave the school. On this day we sit for 54 MINUTES! Outrageous. It was a disorganized, bumper-car inducing mess. I’ve sat in traffic jams on the highway that took less time to clear then that carpool line did yesterday. By the time I finally had Kayley and Caleb in the car Caleb was a hot sweaty mess from sitting outside and roasting that whole time. Poor fella.


   So I took them by DQ really quick to get a slushy drink so they could cool off and sip that while we waited for my doctor appointment that was scheduled just a few minutes later. Over the weekend I developed this swollen mass about half way down the back side of my left ear. And it huuuuurrtttttssssss. I can’t emphasize the pain enough. I slept only a few hours over the weekend because of the pain and by Monday morning I couldn’t schedule a doctor appointment fast enough. Luckily they could get me in. At 3:15. With all four kids who were either fed up from waiting in the car to go potties or from waiting out in the sun for the parking lot to be cleared. Fun times.

   So finally I have all four children with me in the small room meant to contain 3-4 people tops and our beloved doctor is examining me while Ella and Emery play at her feet and cling to her legs. And then Dr. Amazing does something she’s never done to us before. She leaves the room quickly with a “I’ll be right back” thrown over her shoulder as she leaves. She comes back soon after to tell me that I have mastoiditis and she had called a local ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Dr. and that he wants to see me NOW! She explains that this is a very serious bacterial infection that can quickly progress to meningitis, brain infections and death. So I need to “leave, go, he’s waiting on you now!”

  Fantastic. I now need to take my four children who are DONE withall of this and just want to go home and we need to head to another doctor’s office and find out how close I am to dying. Dramatic, yes. But also a true story. I called the hubs, who works nearby and he was able to meet me at the second appointment so that he could watch the kids while I had a nice little freak out session with the ENT doctor. I’m getting kinda wordy here so I’ll wrap this up quick. Dr. Love (I’ll explain why I now love him in another post later this week) checked me out with all of his cool ear gadgets and confirmed the mastoiditis but thankfully it was caught before hospitalization and surgery were required. He prescribed an extremely strong antibiotic that should hopefully clear this junk up but has a side effect of increased odds of muscle tendon’s tearing. Universe, I’m begging you now, PLEASE SPARE THE TENDONS! Also prescribed were the oh so lovely Vicodin that I can only take at night because of how sleepy they make me. After taking the kids to go wait at the pharmacy, it was now past dinner time and approaching the third hour of our post school insanity. I needed that Vicodin more than ever.

August 8, 2011

I'm baaacccckkkkk

    So this summer blogging and all other social media took a big back seat to the fun and lazy days of summer. We did all of the usual summery stuff like swimming, cooking out, visiting a water park for an hour before they closed it due to storms, and raving the nights away with glow sticks and music blaring while shaking our booty’s. Speaking of, Emery officially has more rhythm than I do. Her love of sauerkraut and penchant for speaking words that end in “ich” came straight from her Momma’s strong German heritage. But those hips of hers have more Latin flavor than our favorite Mexican restaurant. Girlfriend loves to shake it!
   But now the buses are once again rolling and the backpacks are packed. Both kids kept their backpacks from last year to use again. Obviously Caleb will outgrow his cute toddler size one after this year but hopefully Kayley can make hers last for awhile. I’m not going to bet on it though given the way she packs more in that thing than a hoarder going on a camping trip. If an impromptu survival mission comes up in class my money’s on Kayley. Her snacks, water bottle, school supplies and ingenuity should ensure she eats well while constructing a shelter out of paper, scissors, glue and three ring binders. I bet the folders will make awesome plates.

    The first day outfit choices are usually a lengthy process around here but this year they were surprisingly painless and easy. It helps that Kayley is able to pull together her own outfits for the most part now. Gone are the years where she would hold up striped leggings, a polo shirt, the dress shoes she wore in a wedding the year before, and a gymnastics’ hair scrunchy in all its 80’s glory. That kids a pro now at picking out tacky day outfits.  

    The kids school is thoughtful enough to provide all kindergarteners with matching t-shirts that herald the welcome of this milestone in an oversized, brightly colored wave of neon green. Thank you school, your too kind. They encourage the parent’s to dress their child in this on the first day and me being the follower that I am, I do it. Even though the brown polo, shorts and belt we had picked out is begging to be modeled. Oh well there’s always tomorrow.

  The shirts say Class of 2024. That just sounds so futuristic to me. Didn’t the Jetson’s live in that time period? According to Wikipedia they lived in 2064. So I bet by 2024 we’ll be flying to Caleb’s graduation in a hover craft and our home will be spotless for the guests thanks to our robot Rosie.

  We got to school and fought the insanity that is known as first day parking lot road rage and parent’s who aren’t familiar with the system used to route the traffic. Rookies. Once I abandoned hope for a parking spot and created my own parking on the side of the curb (extreme off-roading!) we made our way into the school. Poor Caleb looked like he was moving in as he made his way into school with his backpack on, nap blanket in one arm and his sleep mat tucked up under the other arm. I would have offered to help but I was too busy wiping tears and taking pictures. Plus he’s a big boy now and doesn’t need help. Cue the extra Kleenex. We followed the dragon feet that lead from the entrance to his hall while he greeted teachers and friends that were made last year in pre-k.

  He quickly found his seat and started making new friends and catching up with old ones while he colored and I hovered waiting for him to show some sign that he wanted to blow the joint and be home schooled instead. Once I realized he was happy there for today I gathered the will to leave but not before I said a little prayer. It went like this: Dear Lord, I pray that you watch over my son and help him to play nicely, make friends and follow the rules. Also, I pray that you protect him from the freaky red-eyed and pantless bear. It scares me. A lot. Amen.

  We said our good byes and I went to deliver my fourth grader to her classroom. Which just blows my effin’ mind. FOURTH GRADE! Isn’t fourth grade when you start registering for the SAT’S and looking for after school jobs so you can get a car? I vividly remember that day six years ago when I anxiously prepared her for her first day of pre-k, knowing she would be fine and that everyone she met would love her but being scared of all the unknowns. What if some kid made fun of her? What if she fell on the playground and got hurt? Would the teachers recognize if she wasn’t feeling good? And more importantly would they call me or make her wait until she went home? That year flew by and was better than I could have ever hoped it would be. And now she’s one of the big kids in school, so big in fact that I no longer need to take her picture as she sits in her desk for the first time this year. Apparently that's no longer cool. Whatev's kid, I'll just pop back in and catch you at lunch instead. Say Cheese! With only one more year left after this before middle school begins and I price out chastity belts, lie detector kits, tracking systems and anti-anxiety meds. I should probably start on that now it sounds pricey. Maybe I’ll catch a deal on Ebay.

July 2, 2011

A reminder to keep more cash on hand

  Earlier this week Caleb lost his first tooth. A big deal on many levels around these parts.
Obviously it’s another milestone on his path into big kid land, which he’s this close to entering. But besides all that there’s kind of a ton of hoop la that goes into the teeth losing business.

  First there’s the whole wiggly tooth process. Of which I have no part. None. Nada. The minute I’m approached by a kid saying “look at this” while their mouth is open my eyes instantly seal up tighter than a bank vault to avoid the traumatizing sight of a tooth being pushed around by a tongue. It’s not natural I tell you. So for those days or weeks of trauma they are kindly reminded that Daddy will be home from work soon to check it out. I handled potty training and 10 times as many diaper changes, the tooth situation is ALL ON HIM.

  Then comes the actual tooth removal. Again I’m persona non grata. Did you seriously think I could handle that if I couldn’t even handle the preparation for it? Of course you didn’t. In most cases Jerry is here to handle this as well. And if not, well they need to learn to fend for themselves eventually. I’m close enough though that once it’s out I can swoop in to put the tooth in a bag and help them rinse their mouth out with salt water. When it comes to recovery and clean up, I got this.

 After night falls and bed time arrives is where all the real action happens though. On this night we placed the bagged tooth under Caleb’s pillow and left a small glass of water for the tooth fairy to drink from. Caleb went to sleep and I anxiously waited a few hours to go handle the switcheroo. Plotting and planning the whole time how to do it. Because unlike his older sister who could sleep through anything Caleb is a very light sleeper. And retrieving a tooth that has shifted to an unknown spot under your light-sleeping child's head and replacing it with money is like a high stakes black ops tooth fairy mission. If I mess it up and he wakes then I've shattered his tooth fairy illusions forever from the start. No pressure or anything.

   So I go to make the drop and realize that I’ve only got a $20 in my wallet. And it’s now 10:45, which in small town suburbia means my options for getting change are severely limited. The third gas station I came to was open so I waited in line for the six or so people in front of me to purchase their beer and cigs while trying not to breathe in any of their aromas. Distinctly unpleasant, each and every one of them. While waiting in line I passed time Facebooking away on my phone with tales of my adventures. The ever helpful Kalyn pointed out that Caleb wouldn’t mind getting the $20. And I’m sure he wouldn’t have. There were only three problems with that. 1. The tooth fairy’s gotta budget, yo. 2. Imagine the let down when the second tooth only banks him a buck. 3. Knowing my kids like I do I expect that there would be a sudden outbreak of mass tooth extractions as they pawned in teeth for cash. So the wait for change continued.

  I soon got back home and creeped into his room with some cash and green food coloring. (We place a drop of food coloring in the water so that the kids can see what color fairy came. )  I had to carefully move him in order to get the bagged tooth, ready all the while to implement plan B which involved denial with a side of distraction. I learned that from watching suspects get interviewed on the First 48. If it keeps them outta jail, then surely it can convince a 5 year old that the tooth fairy came and I was just checking on him, right?

 I beat a quick trail out of there and then shared my success amongst the Facebook friends again. Only to have my friend Genna point out how one mistake could have ruined everything for not only Caleb but his sister’s as well. I had already taken that into consideration which was part of all the anxitety. I had also considered that tales of Santa go hand in hand with the TF. When one illusion crumbles the other quickly follows. Maybe I'm making my kids naive but I want them to hold on to their childish dreams for as long as possible. Or until some little punk kid ruins it by spilling the beans on the playground during recess. Luckily all went well and Caleb was a very happy boy when he woke up and the legend of the tooth fairy will live to see another day and another tooth. Until that punk kid comes along. Children of the playground, I’ll be watching you.

June 27, 2011

The 2nd anniversary of an epidural-free labor and the birth of my Emeroo

Emery Faith,

  Your two years old now. Two years in the scheme of life is next to nothing. I'm positive there are canned vegetables in our pantry right now with a longer shelf life then the 730 days you've lived on this Earth.

  Like most things I do I've procrastinated in writing this so it's actually a few days past your birthday and all. But hey there are only so many hours in a day. It was either write this late or buy presents and bake cupcakes late. I think we both agree on which was more important.

  It doesn't seem logical, this love I have for you. And I wish that somehow I could express just how much I do love you. There will never be enough words.  Not to long ago I had only three children to call my own. And then you came along and showed us just how much we were missing. You've reconstructed the whole entity that is this family of ours and filled gaps that we never even knew were there.


  Two years ago I had prepared for your birth in all the same ways I did your brother and sister. Bags were packed, hospital admittance forms were pre-filled, arrangements were made for your brother and sisters to stay with Nanna and Poppa, and your nursery was all ready waiting for your arrival. So when the big day came, off we went to the hospital. It's really the place to be if you when having a baby. Especially if you want an epidural to be involved. Which I did. Because why WOULDN'T you want effective pain management when bringing new life into this world? Except that didnt happen. There are a whole list of reasons of why it didnt but we'll save that for another time. The important thing is I gave birth to you NATURALLY kid. No meds of any kind. And I will repeat that to you each and every year on your birthday. Because it bears repeating. On that day it was like I got a gold medal in the Labor Olympics. Today it's like I won the offspring lottery, Super Bowl and Olympics all in one.

  There are so many things that you do that make you the person you are. Your our little tongue-sucking baby who drags as many blankies as you can wherever you go. You will dance at the drop of a beat, all shaking hips and swinging arms, full of latin flair. Your fearless, jumping and climbing without a hestitation or second look. You are my little cuddle baby who has always been a Mommy's girl following me around the house or squeezed in next to me on the couch. These days you love to point out other people's baby's and have begun to play with baby dolls that you push around in their mini baby doll stroller. You love buckles and carry around a puppy dog backpack leash thing that I bought to try to contain you in public just so that you can constantly fasten the buckle. Your a little prodigy soaking up life around you and imitating everything you see, saying everything you hear.

  On your birthday you woke up your normal happy self, laughing and playing from your crib until I came to get you and sing Happy Birthday to you for the first of many times that day. We waited until Daddy got home from work and then after dinner it was time for you to blow out your candles for the first real time and open presents all by yourself.

 Much like your 1st birthday, shoving your face directly into the cupcake was your preffered method of eating, allowing for maximum icing consumption.

 After we got you all jacked up on sugar we headed outside to let you run and play while I tried to take pictures of you in your pink pouffy skirt. 'Cause really what better day to wear a pink pouffy skirt then on your birthday? You had other ideas though as you ran around like the wild woman you are. A good 85% of the pictures I take of you are from the back as you run away laughing at the fool who tries to contain you.

  I can't believe your two already. It's like the sands of time are slipping right through my fingers. In some ways I think its hardest for me to watch you grow in comparison to your siblings. We aren't planning on having any more children so watching you outgrow your baby days has a finality to it that I've never had to process before. I texted my friend Kalyn who lives in another state a picture of your cupcakes and said I was going to cry all over them. She told me not to cry that your only going to be 2, not 18. What she doesn't realize is that life around you moves in supersonic speed and that in Emery time you'll be 18 in like 6 months. At least I know that's how it will feel 16 years from now when I'm wondering how I got there so quickly in that corner rocking from the effects of empty nest syndrome. 'Cause when your 18 that empty nest syndrome is gonna eff all my stuff up. All of it.