Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To the Doctor!

Tristan woke up in the middle of the night last night claiming his ear hurt. We gave him some Tylenol and hoped he had just slept on it wrong. My gut told me this wasn't the case, but I remained hopeful. Sure enough, his ear hurt worse this morning. So I made the dreaded call to the doctor's office to get him an appointment.

We got there and waited. Luckily there weren't that many kids there and I think we only had to wait 4 hours instead of the usual 4 days. Or so the kids seemed to think of the wait.
We got into the examining room and waited. The kids read books and complained. At the same time .. they're multi-talented like that.

Our beloved doctor finally came in. He was the pediatrician to both myself and Justin along with our siblings and my cousins. I don't always agree with him but I trust him.
He began looking Tristan over. It was an ear infection. Left ear was nasty and right ear was getting it too. There could have been no infection yesterday morning, this was a quick acting, nasty little bug. He patted Tristan on the belly and announced that he "has the crud."
He looked at me and asked if he'd been sick. I told him he'd had a cold and was taking a while to fight it completely off. He's like me, things can linger. He looked at me and asked how long he'd had it.
"I dunno, a while?"
"How long?"
"A couple of weeks?"

I hate that look. I really hate that look. It's that look that says "What kind of mother are you that you let your child be sick for weeks and didn't bring him to the doctor?!?" ... Um .. because he wasn't really sick the whole time??
That look says he doesn't believe me. I hate that look.

About the time that Tristan was 7 months old he had gotten a bad diaper rash which meant I had to go to the doctor.
It was a bad day from the beginning. He had peed through his cloth diaper the night before and I had bathed him clean in the sink. Apparently though I didn't get his head well enough and by the end of the day he .. well, smelled like a pee-head.
The appointment was late in the day, meaning we had a long, long wait. He was hungry, not feeling too happy, and whiny ~ it was the international melt-down hour. My pee-head son was NOT his happy-go-lucky self.

The nurse called us back and we went into the examining room. I had to undress him down to his diaper to be weighed and measured. I took him to the scales. Pee-head sat there a little more content. It was then the nurse noticed the scabby-like marks on his back.
"Bite marks??"
~umm .. I think she about fell over at this point. I'm pretty certain her mouth did hit the floor and her eyes popped out of her skull~
"Look, he has an older brother who is 2 1/2. He keeps biting him. We're working on getting him to stop" I tried reassuring her and explaining the true situation to her.
"Oh. Yea, I had a biter too." Now she was talking to me like the mom she truly was.

So we go back into the room and wait for the doctor. Not our beloved doctor, another doc we'd never seen who was on call and seeing people who were making the last minute appointments.
He came in and looked the diaper rash over.
"How long has he had the rash?"
"Well, he's had the rash for a while, but it started getting worse so I brought him in."
"How long has he had it??"
"I dunno, a week or two??"
There was that damn look again.
And my kid had healing bite marks on his back.
And he had Pee-Head.
And, as the doctor soon told me, he had a "regular" diaper rash that had then gotten infected. He gave me a prescription for some cream. I went out of there, my little Pee-Head tightly in my arms, as quickly as I could. I was certain they would call Social Services.

I hate those damn looks. I don't like running to the doctor immediately over every little thing. Which means we give things the unthinkable .. TIME to heal on their own (or with a little a little over the counter medicine, etc). But, when I finally take him into the doc, they give me that damn look. I also NEVER know the EXACT moment my kids get sick. Sorry, but I don't keep that stuff jotted down.

I hate that damn look.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Husbands & Wives & Married Lives OR Gorillas & Geese & How they Co-Exeest

Our oldest son turned 7 last week. This was the first year we held his birthday somewhere other than home (or a relative's house). He had a pirate-themed pool party at the Y. We were REALLY limited on how many people we could invite and so we opted to have a 'Family Only' pizza party later that night.
It was during his party that I realized something.

I'm sure this really comes as no shock to couples that have been married decades, but it really hit home to me during this party at the Y.

It started when we decided it was time for cake. I was going to be the one lighting the candle & presenting the cake, but first the kids needed to be rounded up & put in chairs. I asked Justin to help.

See the confused question mark?? It sounds like a simple request doesn't it? This is about the time I began coming to my above stated conclusion.

What he really heard out of me was this. I had to repeat my request a couple of times while he stood there looking at me like I was honestly just squawking and quacking at him. Finally it seemed to translate. Either that or the kids had heard me repeat the request enough that they finally went and sat down. ~ This may have been his agenda all along. I think I have just discovered something else.

I had to tell him that my mother wasn't going to magically appear and handle these things, that I needed him to step up. I got another ape-look from him.
I began trying to cut the cake and again asked him for help. I reminded him again that my mother wasn't going to magically appear. Same ape-look. He finally told me that "that's why the other ladies are here." ~ Yes, he really DID say that.
As if on cue, some of the other mothers came into the kitchen, one after another to help me. The first came in and I thanked her and griped about my husband's inability to realize that he should be helping. The second mother came in and immediately asked if anyone else's husband was driving them up the wall because hers sure was.
It was then that I totally got that expression about women being like a gaggle of geese. We worked together getting the cake and ice cream out to everyone all the while squawking about our husbands when we were in the kitchen.

We managed to make it through cake, ice cream, and presents and to the pool. It was there that I realized that most ALL marriages are comprised of a gorilla and a goose.
We were sitting around the pool, some of us in it with the kids and some sitting on the edge relaxing. One of the other mothers was watching her husband in the pool with their toddler. He was letting the boy stand alone in the water and she was worried that he would/could easily fall into the water and go under. She began calling to him to please hold onto the baby. That the baby was in the water and could fall. That the baby was too young to be standing alone like that. Her husband just looked back at her with a big, goofy grin on his face.
Being married to a gorilla myself and being able to view the situation (as opposed to being in it) I immediately realized what he was thinking.

He had told me earlier that his job was to keep the baby from drowning. I'm pretty sure all he heard from her, at least given his big grin, was that he was doing a good job keeping the baby from drowning.

It's all about Gorillas & Geese and How they Co-exeest. ~ Yes, I know it is a typo. I'm trying to rhyme so quit being a douche.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kid Stuff & Being a Mom

There are definite "you know you're a Mom when" moments.

Like when you find yourself at the end of your rope, mad with despair, cursing to yourself "who keeps putting my spoon in with the other spoons?!?!" .. and you're dead serious. Damnit, don't they know my tea spoon doesn't go in with the other spoons??? I am trying to seek my almighty moment of Zen, I'm being good and not drinking coffee (or rum), so where the hell is my tea spoon?!?!??!

Yea .. that was definitely a moment.

Not all moments induce such madness. Sometimes you have to learn to laugh at it. Like when you walk past your kids' room as see this

and it isn't even 9:30 in the morning yet. Actually, I snapped this photo and sent a copy of it to Justin, with the message of how I know he doesn't think I make the kids clean up at all during the day .. so here. He was shocked and wanted to know when the photo was taken. I told him that not only was that mess done this morning but that yesterday they made a mess of that equivalence a couple times over. ~ They have to clean up for lunch so that gives them plenty of chances to try and out-do their morning mess level later in the day.
I laughed about this one. They did clean it all up before lunch.

I happened to be walking by the living room yesterday morning and overheard this from Shannon - Tristan, see these towers I'm building?? When you see these towers Tristan you're eyes are gonna SPARKLE!!! And you're gonna say "Who built these towers" (my note, he said that in a voice filled with awe .. no joke) and I'm gonna say "I just can't bear to tell you." (my note again, that one was said like it was the heaviest of burdens)
He kept repeating this over and over to Tristan.

And then some afternoons, as I am trying to get dinner ready, scenes like this occur:

4pm - Shannon, with great pride - Mommy, see what I can do with Foster! (sets rope toy on table) - Ok Foster, I'm not going to give you your treat yet. (begins gently pulling dog's tail around the dog, making dog chase his tail) See Mommy, I can make him chase his tail!! Ok Foster, now you can have your treat. - (to me) Sometimes he chases his tail himself and sometimes he needs help chasing his tail.

-5:20pm - I am beginning to make dinner. Tristan opens the cabinet doors beneath the sink, looks in & asks "How come that leads to the basement??" (it doesn't), Foster leans in and looks too, apparently wondering the same thing.


Or I turn around to see a battle scarred cowboy straddling a butter knife next to a severed foot on my kitchen island. You think I am joking. I'm not.

And you just sigh....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tales of the Sleepy Husband

The Saga Continues.

I come to bed. Justin is out cold, still wearing his pants. Here is how the conversation went:

Me, probably had to smack him a bit to get him to wake up enough to hear me: You fell asleep with your pants on.

Justin: We laid the fart down on the way in.

Me, apparently not too amused: Well, take off your pants!

Justin: Not me, but SPARTAN.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wishes for 2011

Inspired by Ms.Eleneaous' recent wish list blog and other wishes for the New Year that I've seen from people far more talented than myself, I have decided to share my wishes, dreams, and resolutions for 2011. Written in no particular order.


*Alaska - I have no photo to put here, but I will share this link: ~ Alaska decided to call to me the other day. At first I thought it was just a passing fancy, but it called twice in one day so I got the hint. I am going to Alaska. I am not sure when yet, as soon as the universe decides. I've put the request out there and am waiting to hear back.
Ironically enough Texas called to me last year, maybe the year before. I didn't want to go there, but I absorbed a lot from the calls sent. I think that was more about personality than anything else. But Alaska has called and demanded a visit, so I must heed that.

*Longwood Park - I blogged in March about Longwood Park and the trees that call to me. - I never got my quilt for spreading out under those trees. I will this year. Soon. And we will spend afternoons there.

*Unschooling Out & About - Having two children, having two boys, and being exceptionally frugal (aka - fairly broke) I am filled with good-spirited envy & longing when I see people getting to homeschool at places like local coffee shops. I won't spend money like that on coffee, and my boys wouldn't exactly be a good suit for such a spot. But I will resolve to trying to get out and about with the boys with more intention. Of course, without thinking about it we are out and about a lot, unschooling as we go. I would just like to give some of those excursions more intent and purpose. Perhaps taking books with us to Longwood Park to be read under those trees as we lounge on the blanket?

*A Pub - Proper European style that I've never been to in reality and so am just imagining in my mind. As I wrote that last wish above I realized that I would go into a pub and order a beer and hang out with my boys while they did a little learnin'. The pub I refer to in my mind is more of a local gathering spot and less of a alcoholics-only club. Newspapers on tables. People of all ages. Good fish & chips. Men in warm knit Irish sweaters. (Yea, the pub in my mind is also Irish) Good beer on tap. Craft-brewed beer. And some board games set up on a nice barrel or something - at least checkers.

*Quiet Mornings To Myself - I am close to achieving this one, if only because I only mandate being dressed before lunch thereby extending the morning out until .. well, lunch. Shannon has always been good about entertaining himself (why unschooling works so well) and is in fact busy doing crafts as I type this. Tristan is playing on the computer. There are a couple of sites we let them play on, ones that mix education and fun. Aside from the occasional call for me to help him, he will keep himself busy with that for a while.

*A Brewery Trip - Justin and I are overdo for another brewery trip. This could go hand-in-hand with my pending trip to Alaska, but it might also have to be a separate trip.

*A Flourishing Garden - 'nuff said

*Passenger Rail Service to the entire Roanoke Valley - Ms.Eleneaous put that one out there and I will second it. We sorely need it. I dream of being able to take day trips with the kids to D.C. without having to drive. ~ I will add the requisite of a perfect train station too. Old-timey feel, lots of real wood fixtures & furnishings, and a bakery/coffee shop inside that is NOT a chain location but that does also have some nice to-go lunches (sandwiches, etc) available for travelers.

*More Road Trips - We used to just get in the car and go wandering about. The economic plunge stopped that real quick. I think it is time to bring it back. Even if I just have to budget it in there (which takes out some of the magic but might just have to be a practical reality). We will pack a cooler and the Longwood Park Quilt. We may take the dog, as long as he doesn't eat the cooler & Longwood Park Quilt along the way. We will set aside a little money for the small stores we may wander into. Not a requirement for all trips but just in case. Finding small stores does help keep the magic alive.

*More Laughter & Love - Things you can never have enough of.

*Real Food - The delicious healing power of real food. We should always wish for such sumptuous things, and I wish it not just for myself and my family but for all of you. We all should wish for such decadent delights and true food. ~ And on that note, we will be trying our hand at cheesemaking beginning this week. We've made a delicious soft herbed cheese before, though I can't remember the recipe and it was a couple of years ago when we made it. But we bought a highly recommended book full of recipes and inspiration and we will set forth on this journey soon. (Keep an eye on for cheesy posts!)

*A VW Westy - Running, with a pop-top, & the rest of it too, in good shape. For camping excrusions and general road trips.

There are likely some more things I could list, but it is lunch time. Time to get dressed. Time to make the boys some real food to eat. Then it will be time for naps. And I am beginning to think all my dreams have come true.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tales of the Sleepy Husband


(warning: for those faint of ear or delicate in nature, you may not want to read these stories)

My darling husband has a very well-known reputation for passing out. Hard. This doesn't just occur when he's been drinking either, though it is true that the most notorious of tales to come to pass after a night of imbibing various concoctions.
We began our journey together as good friends. Immediately very close, Justin would often crash at my place 5 nights out of the week, either on the couch or in the second bedroom. Spending so much time with him allowed me to learn his mannerisms better than anyone else. It allowed my a chance to get to know how to deal with him when he passed out.

Lest you think I am by nature mean and evil, out to take advantage of a poor passed out fellow, let me give a little more detail. When Justin begins nodding off his eyes will close and his head will bob. He will suddenly jerk back to life and say something random with great emphasis. Which if you know Justin you will know is a sign of something as he is normally a quiet chap.
Once he is out, you can have your way with him.

When we were just friends the most I would ever do during these nodding off times was remove his keys from his pockets. We had a deal: if I could get his keys out of his pants pockets then he would admit he was too drunk to drive. *Safety First Y'all*

When we became a couple it became more of an issue to me to try and make sure he made it to bed. Why not let him just stay where he lay?? Well, he also had a little habit of getting up, wandering to another room, and .. well .. taking a piss. This is something that is rather humorous when you're not in a relationship with the person, but when you are and you are faced with having to clean up the mess .. well, a little bit of the humor tends to fade away. (In all fairness to him, it has been many years since he has done this, and it didn't happen all that often. But a couple times can still be a couple times too many)
He also was known to wake up and decide that he needed another drink or worse, that he was hungry. Bowls and plates of random foods would await me in the morning: ranch dip & veggies left out, cheese balls and chili, random Mexican-esque food concoctions (which sadly resemble what you might buy at most Mexican-esque restaurants), a pot of mac & cheese on the stove, or just noodles, cooked & forgotten about.
Getting him to bed was just much easier.
So, I would approach his passed-out ass and try to wake him to go to bed.

"Honey" I would nudge him gently.

No response.

"Justin, you've passed out, it's bed time." I would nudge him some more.

No response.


No response.

"JUSTIN, WAKE-UP DAMMIT!!!" I am yelling and shaking him.

No response.

I hold his nose shut. His mouth drops open .. he has out-smarted me. I give him a wet willy.

"I'm NOT passed out!!"

He wakes up and yells at me that he is NOT passed out.

Cuddled up

And then promptly passes back out on the couch with the dog.

To wake him up, and I swear I really tried everything else first, I have to slap him as hard as I can across the face. I swear that this is the only way to get him to even BEGIN waking up enough to go to bed. I have witnesses to this fact. Several.

Once he gets to bed he often talks. Randomly. Very randomly. Back when we were just friends I walked out into the living room late one night/early one morning. He was passed out on the couch. I heard him giggling. And I mean school-girl giggling. In his sleep. Suddenly he said "pussy" and then began giggling like a little school-girl again, and then fell back into his deep slumber.

And so this is how the Tales of the Sleepy Husband have come to pass. When you see photos of him dick-faced (drawn on) know that rules apply: 1)he didn't go to bed, 2)I gave him warnings that he was falling asleep and needed to go to bed or else would be dick-faced, & 3)he didn't go to bed.
Mostly though these will be tales of the random things that come falling out of his mouth. I've taken to keeping a notebook and pen beside the bed for just these moments. Much to his dismay I've also taken to video taping some of these ... but for now I will likely be kind enough to not share those.

This will be an ongoing series of tales until someone pays me mightily to put them all together in a book.