29 May 2009

7 Quick Takes: New Couch, Sick Baby and Prayer Edition

 When we foolishly purchased too much new furniture for our new house in Montgomery, Michael got suckered persuaded by the Nice Furniture Sales Lady to also purchase a 5-year "no questions" warranty on our entire order. It cost us a pretty penny, and I was weary of it. 

Hooooowwwwever, the living room table was replaced a week after we moved in (weird holes on the top and sides).

Our couch is a HUGE leather sectional that was purchased without really knowing what our finished living room would even look like (the house was still under construction). I liked the couch in the store, and the idea of the couch in our home because it has lots of sitting space for guests. Then, the couch arrived and Michael and I realized that it made our big living room look less-than-big AND it wasn't comfy. Who wants to nap away on a cold leather couch? Not I.

Fortunately, the couch was "diseased". It started peeling, shedding... like you would after a bad sun burn. I would routinely clean it with a damp sponge just to remove The Toddler, The Baby and The Dogs off of it, and each time it's "skin" would come off... 

So, we called. And to make a Quick Takes quick, they gave us in-store credit.

NOW! I get to pick out a new couch (something smaller, yet deeper so we can nap on it...), a chair and maybe a side table w/ lamp. SCORE.

I'm a little overwhelmed though... because....

(I am so clever) (not)

See... Our house was painted with builder's paint - if you attempt to "clean" builder's paint with a sponge or magic eraser, you will soon find that drywall is not the same color as your surrounding walls.

The colors were chosen by a hormonal mother who was overly tired and who was totally DONE with chasing a 2-year-old around a design center. In short - it's a darker green than I had imagined AND we have dark floors. The existing sectional is white, but leather so I could clean it. 

Problem: If I buy a dark sofa, the room will look very washed out (and DARK). If I buy a light-colored couch, it won't be light in color for long... TWO KIDS! DOGS! MICHAEL! CHOCOLATE MILK AND BOOGERS = MESS!


My proposed solution: PAINT THE HOUSE. I've been wanting to do this since I was preggo with Chase. Michael was on board for about 3 seconds before he backed down. He, however, is not the one who repaints the walls every 2-3 months from 4-feet high on down. 

So.. if I paint a lighter color... say...

"Hollingsworth green" (in something other than "flat" so I could scrub it)? (Swoooon.) (Source: Benjamin Moore and Note: NOT my living room... I chose this "template" because the floors are darkish but still not as dark as mine.) .....I could just wipe off the boogers. And furniture could be dark? WIN!

Now... someone tell Michael.


See that back room? That's the color my living room is now, only my living room green has a little more grey to it, so it isn't as sharp of a green (and honestly, my living room looks more like "camo green"... bleck). But that front room? oooohhhhhh...it's Benjamin Moore's "Hazy Skies"... GOR-GER-MOUS.
Moving on.

After much "discussion", Conner is staying away on his vacation tonight and coming home tomorrow. I miss him and will post again about the last day and a half without him.

Chase is doing better. The shot has given him very consistent bad diapers, so I am worried about his hydration levels. I gave him 5 ml of Imodium at 10 AM after having changed his 10th blow out diaper... an hour later, I found this:

poor baby

This just in: Apple is going to reimburse the nearly 40 bucks worth of iPhone apps that Conner somehow purchased even though it requires a password (and no, he doesn't know it) and I didn't put said password in. Sweet.

However, the customer service rep added this to her lovely email:
Please make sure that you keep your iPhone on safe location to prevent accidental charges. That way, you can review your selections carefully and buy them when you're ready. In the meantime, I strongly recommend you change your account password immediately. 

Hahahaha. My current location isn't good enough AND she think my 3-year-old has memorized my password (I stated in the dispute that he couldn't possibly know it [I even asked him to show me] AND that I've previously noticed that I can input the wrong password and it'll still authorize downloads).

Do you talk to God in your head? 

I always do, but I also pray to God in my head. Are there rules to this that I am unaware of? I just feel comfortable talking to God in my head, and I don't know if it "counts" as prayer. 

I guess I'm looking for opinions, advice or God's 1-800 number.

Find more totally spectacular Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

28 May 2009

Things I've Learned Thus Far


 This house is crazy quiet without my little monster man, Conner. Aside from Chase's occasional babble, which goes something like "Ida badada doooh" and "Ma ma dadada bbaaaaa ucgh"... and my random "discussions" with him, during the day it is very quiet. 

I understand now how Conner achieved his physical developmental milestones (like walking at 10 months) waaay before his social ones. I did talk to Conner, but between 8 AM and 5 PM  (sometimes 6, stupid 280 traffic THAT I WOLD PAY TO BE IN...) he never really heard two ends of a conversation. Granted, what Chase hears between Conner and I hardly constitutes mind-tingling and liberating discussions, but it is a truckload more than Conner experienced at Chase's age.

Chase was "late" (or rather, on time and not early) with most of his physical developments, like walking and crawling (crawling was way late). Conner was late with his social developments such as speech (almost 2) and, um, not running away from people he didn't live with.


Either way, this house is at least 30 decibels below average even with Chase's "BAAANG BANNG BAAAAAAAAAAAAANG" and endless "Tank you"s, "Byeee Bye"s, and "CHEEESE"s.

I mean, any house is a little quieter without this guy around:

One Child.... Pffft

My mother always said "you aren't a parent till you've had two children". I know, many of you singleton mother's want to put a bullet in my blog right now and share about 1.2 trillion stories of how it IS hard and that's because it is. I rolled my eyes every time she said it B.C. (before Chase). It's her saying, go ahead and give her hell in my comments section - she reads them...

But, mom has a point. This one baby thing? BAH-reeeezzzee. Even with that "single" child being sick it's a BAH-reeeeezzzee. He gets lots of attention and no one is trying to kill anyone. I can keep a better eye on him, so his "death by plastic bag suffocation" and "death by metal object in light socket" and "death by drinking an entire bottle of baby soap" have all dropped DRAMATICALLY.

Chase gets fed when he's hungry. Imagine that.

He doesn't get woken from his naps by yelps of "MOMMA! I WANT ICE CREAM!" and "BUT I DON'T WANNNNNA TAKA NAPPPP".

I have ONE child to load into the car. Hum. How'd we get to our destination 10 minutes early? Weird.

ONE child to unload, it's amazing how he fits into the buggy at the grocery store and pharmacy and then I have ALL THIS SPACE in my buggy for... oh... THE ITEMS I AM THERE TO PURCHASE.

Mind-blowing stuff here people.

My Free Time

I peed by myself people. Thrice. 

Oh, and you guys are reaping the "benefits", too. See all these blog posts? Thank me later. :)

Yet, I'm kinda bored...

But right now, I refuse to file that under "bad".
Oh, and my house is clean.

Miss you sweetheart. Try not to pee on Nanna's couch again, mkay?

27 May 2009

Day One And I'm Thankful

So, Day One isn't exactly how I had this whole Vacay For Sanity planned out, but the lesson in that is clear: NOTHING in life (especially with The Mom Job) is on your schedule.

Chase has run a mild fever for over a week now as all 4 of his 1-year molars are coming through. He's been generally cranky.

Then, Monday night post-bath - Chase is in pain and it's more than obvious. He is more than hot to the touch. Luckily, I am with the in-laws which happens to contain a doctor. Dr-in-law, as I refer to him, quickly calls in an antibiotic, Michael and him go to the 24-hour CVS and get a thermometer, MORE ibuprofen (we should buy stock) and the Rx.

And... we wait. The next day, I am expecting a child with less fever (say.. oh... I don't know.. my expectations were for it to be less than.. say... 103.6!). Instead, I have a child who will NOT let go of me, is curled over in pain, won't eat, won't drink, and is fighting his meds. The day's plans (which were going to be AWESOMMMMMEEE) were quickly trashed and there I am, holding Chase wondering if I really could scramble an egg on his chest...

Next dose of antibiotics comes and goes... we get back to Montgomery without Conner and the evening is a breeze aside from putting my house back together.

I put Chase in bed, blog and turn out the lights.

I can't sleep and it's then that I realize it's not because Michael is snoring... that noise keeping me from La-La Land is none other than Chase, moaning in pain.

Fever - 104
Fever - 103
Fever - 104

It's 7 AM and he's BURNING through Tylenol and Ibuprofen. While in a luke warm (mostly cold) bath, his auxiliary temp reads 102.9. In the NICU, I learned that auxiliary (under the arm or forehead) temps need a degree added to them. So, we are talking about a child who is not breaking a 104 fever WHILE medicated AND SITTING in the cool bath.

Dehydrated, delirious and completely limp, we haul him the the pediatrician.

Chest x-rays, blood work, throat swab - white cell count is double what it should be. He's dehydrated, but we decide that if he'll nurse (that's right - BREASTFEEDING an almost 18-month-old. SHOCK AND AWE), that would save us a hospital trip. He nurses, his temp falls to 102, and we wait.

(So SEE, my not having him totally weaned SAVED HIM A HOSPITAL TRIP. Eat THAT. (note: he was down to ONE TINY feeding until Monday... darn it.) )

Strep - positive, BUT he's been on antibiotics for 36-hours. He shouldn't be testing positive for Strep unless this is a very aggressive strand. He gets an antibiotic shot (BIG SHOT, sheesh) and a chocolate milkshake (not from the Peds office, silly... though... there's  a  marketing avenue you should ponder, McDonald's....).

Currently, Chase is sleeping/resting/moaning in his crib for nap.


I am thankful that GOD PLANNED this vacation for Conner. He's away from "the sick", didn't have to be dragged through the doctor's office and almost the hospital. He's having fun with his Nanna at Toys-R-Us (save me) and I miss him.

Had he of been here, I'd be ready to yank out my ovaries through my throat and pour vodka in my eyeballs. I would be fighting him to be quiet because his sick brother would be trying to rest. I would be BEGGING for a nap for myself, and feeling guilty for trapping Conner in the house when his blood yearns for RUNNING.

So, half a day down... and I feel confident that this plan was best - even though it clearly wasn't mine.

26 May 2009

A Parenting Vacation - Learning to Miss a 4-Year-Old

Conner is on vacation.

I am on a vacation from Conner.

Chase is taking a vacation with me away from Conner.

Conner is currently spending 4 whole days with his Nana, during which time I will be the keeper of one (note: I did not say mother of one - BOOWOOHOO! WHERE IS MY BAAAABBBBYYY). 

It's odd, really. This is the first time I've ever dropped Conner off some place that A) doesn't charge me by the hour or B) will not keep him for longer than a typical business day. In short: I'm kinda at a loss.

Tonight, it's JUST Chase, Michael and I. When he went to the living room to watch his nightly dose of Blue's Clues, Michael and I turned the channel to something other than a (child appropriate) cartoon (note: I didn't just say cartoon - Michael loves Family Guy, Futurama and American Dad ... and I guess I should also note that he loves the Penguins of Madagascar... which IS a children's cartoon, but he likes it more than they do... digression set to occur... now).

And... and...Well? Nothing. It's just quiet.

Chase is sick (A-FREAKING-GAIN? YES! How? I have no clue, really) and so he drank his juice. No one pushed his chair over, stole his cup or blocked his view. At bed time, Chase got hugs from mommy and daddy, gave his typical goodnight kisses to both of us and went to bed.

Michael and I are sitting here, watching FoxNews (and Family Guy...) and it's 10:44 PM. No Conner. No "belly bumps" (full-on tackles), someone kicking me in the side, or telling me about his light sabers, dinosaurs or dreams of slaying dinosaurs with light sabers. There's no one to yank off my glasses only to do a "hard 3" on the cold bathroom floor. I didn't watch him brush his teeth and then "check" his teeth (Me: Ok... soo... *with brush in hand and in his mouth*, I see the top right is good *brush*, the top left is good *brush*, the bottom right is good *brush* and the bottom left is good *brush*... GREAT JOB!). The house feels so strange.

It is so strange, and I miss him.

I planned out this "vacation" for Conner to get some quality time away from his brother. To miss me and to go more than 3 minutes without doing something that earns himself a spanking, some time out and me wishing he were someone else's child.

For Chase, this vacation is to taste what it's like to have a mom, a dad, two dogs and no one that wants to body slam his face into the kitchen grout. 

For Michael, this is a glimmer of what it's like to gain his bed back (aside from the dogs.... and myself...). He can get up all 15 trillion times to do... whatever that is he does... in the bathroom at night (I think he's peeing, but he could be Toilet Sleeping) and not worry about waking Conner.

I am gaining back my sanity and my voice. I am going to recollect my Mothering Senses and pull together a Plan of Action directed right at my favorite little trouble maker. In all, I am going to remind myself what it means to actually miss my eldest child, try to store this feeling in my brain for all those times I am ready to Craigslist him, and remember all the wonderful things about his presence that makes this house our home. This is good for all of us and I am both so happy and sad about it.

Already, I miss him. That's a good sign. 

24 May 2009

7 Quick Takes: It's Actually Sunday.... Edition

Yeah... so... it's not very nice of me to post a Quick Takes on Sunday, when it's technically supposed to be a Friday thing, BUT... I had GOOD REASON. On Thursday, some amazing friends of ours visited our house for an entire 48 hours with their 3 small (and adorable!) children. So, I've been busy having tons of fun (and recovering), and am just getting around to blogging. Sorry!

Did I mention we had an amazing time? Yes, yes we did. Here's movie night minus Baby Lennon: 

Now, we are in Operation: Have  a Holiday weekend, which is going nicely... REST!

Do you know that I haven't blogged in like 4 or 5 days and that every day that I didn't blog, I thought about blogging or the lack of blogging? Do you know how much it bothered me that I didn't have new content on here? Is it sad that I felt BAD for people that came here and were all "dang, Amanda... where are you and what are you doing that is more important than feeding my blogging addiction/habit?" OR that you were thinking "ge'ez... she plugs away at this blogging thing 24/7, is she dead because otherwise, this is waaaay over rated..."

My sister-in-law's boyfriend and I are sitting here, in the family room, right this second debating.... Apple vs. PC. I am a long time Mac supporter - it runs better, it isn't exposed to viruses and malware like PCs (due to it's layered system), the graphics kick PCs rear-ends... etc etc.. and his argument? That PC people must know how to use a computer, that it requires more THINKING to USE the computer... 

I say that a computer is a tool, and that no tool should need fixing - that negates the purpose of the tool if it needs to be fixed. A computer should be easy to use and run without having to "defrag this" and "update software that" or "DEAR SWEET JESUS WHY DO I NEED TO UPDATE MY VIRUS PROTECTION AGAIN?"

I currently use an HP (PC, obviously), but own an older Mac latop and sometimes? I get so fed up with all the "allow this?" and "DAMNIT WHY ISN"T THIS WORKING thats" that I fire up that 5-year-old thing and computer away.... It's just SO FRUSTRATING (thanks mom for the free computer!!!).
I digress.

I signed up for Wyzant.com which places qualified tutors' "profiles" on a site and allows those who need tutoring services to find the best match. I joined the site because A) I'd like extra cash and B) I've seen other similar tutoring sites before, but this is the first that actually tested me on the subject(s) I expressed interest in tutoring in. (Well done, Wyzant). I received my first tutor request this weekend, and surprisingly... I'm nervous. I need the money though... so...

I have about... err... (checking....) 3 drafts that need publishing... So this is me finishing my waaaay late quick takes and promising better content this week. 

Have a wonderful (and safe) Memorial Day!

For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

20 May 2009

This Crack is Brought To You By Nickelodeon...

As if my kids weren't fixated enough on the Crack/LSD otherwise known as Yo! Gabba Gabba

Nickelodeon would like to proudly introduce The Jump Arounds

This mind-numbing, coma inducing song-and-dance group a-la High School Musical, but kinda younger and 14 times creepier, is taking over our children (well, my children) faster than Swine Flu on a pig farm in a rural Mexican town.


I don't GET IT. It's JUST choreographed singing and dancing with kinda gay "well dressed" (i.e. - matching) guys and girls who sound 30, look 20 and dress like they are 12. What happened to kids loving cartoons and puppets? Isn't Hannah Montana enough? 

Why can't they just stick to whatever brand of LSD they use to make my kids stop! dead! still! to watch Yo! Crappa Crappa Yo! Gabba Gabba. THAT, although I hate it, can deal with - they are puppets with poorly animated (ON PURPOSE, I don't get it... really) segways. 


So, thanks Nick. Can't we go back to the ice cream man being the drug dealer? I'm thinking that was just as effective in KILLING MY KIDS BRAINS, and ... a heckavalot better on my nerves.

19 May 2009

Who Wants Amanda To Stop Blogging About Babies That Have Yet to Be Conceived?

After this post, Mrs. Moose (who has been very spot-on with all her comments baby-related lately) had this to say: 
I don't think it's selfish to want another. You're not taking anything away from anyone by having a baby - but at the same time it's not selfish to not have more kids either. I think it needs to be a personal choice and each person if different. I have a friend who says it's selfish to limit the size of your family, but I disagree. She has 5 kids, and I think I would have to be committed if I had 5 kids. I'm not wired that way. But she is and it works for her. 
I think you (the general you) need to step back and examine your desire for another baby or not. Do you just want that newborn baby months and then when he/she becomes a toddler, you'd rather give them away?:) It's probably a good idea to skip the next kid. Do you desperately want another little one running around because your family isn't complete? Maybe it's time for another one. 

Several parts of her comment hit home.

First, the woman Mrs. Moose mentions with 5 kids. Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary (who has  2 boys herself, and several "maybe baby" posts as well) commented on the same post saying that if we agree that 3 is fine with us to try (or stop NOT trying NOT to...). If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't then it doesn't.

 I'd like to say we could do that, but with our track record, we'd be pregnant yesterday. (Please don't hate me if you are one who has or has had a difficult time conceiving. You'll never know how much my heart aches for you. I've even considered gestational surrogacy before, and haven't ruled it out, but for now I need to cement my family... mom stop googling "gestational surrogacy" and leave it at that, k?)

So, not "not trying" won't work, we will end up pregnant. Period.

The second part that hit home with Mrs. Moose's post, the part that REALLY struck a chord was when she talks about WHY we'd want another wee-one. Would it be just to have a baby in the house? I'm making sure to ponder that one long and hard. See, Chase is at a really fun age in Babyhood venturing towards ToddlerLand at full speed. Conner, well, he's amazing, but let us be brutually honest here - he's almost 4 and he's BOY. He's also on my last nerve about 75% (scratch that, 89%) of the day lately. I know SOME of it is his age, some his gender, but the rest? It's just him. He's loud, he is very, very active, he's needy (ok, in a positive term - he is very emotional and must have attention). Needless to say, he is NOT independent and craves any attention - negative OR positive.

Now, all babies grow up, and I'm certain at some point all children make their mother's wish they'd take a 6 hour nap in their rooms while momma hits the booze cabinet. 

BUT, there ARE ALL the AMAZING times I have with both my children, Conner so very included in that. I get to see the world through his eyes. I'm also positive that we have so many things to do and memories to make that only come with our children growing up.

The question Mrs. Moose asks is: "Is your family complete?" - that's what I am pondering now. I look at my two boys and sometimes I think yes. They are starting to play together (although sometimes rough = BOYS!). Conner loves his baby brother and Chase (when not being tackled or kicked) adores Conner. They are quite the pair. Michael and I have the ability to each take one. We aren't outnumbered, and sometimes, parenting is all about the numbers. 

And does there seem to be this clear line with the numbers game? Through all these posts and comments, I've realized that there appears to be a very clear divide: those who only want 1 or 2 AND THAT IS IT and then those who are ok with more than 2. There's really no middle. Only 2 or more than 2. Pick a side. Line in the sand.

Many of you pointed out the obvious - you have time on your side. So... I think this will be my last "maybe baby" post for a bit. I can not thank ALL of you enough for your thoughtful insights, encouragements and personal stories. It really has been a lot to think about and you've done nothing but help our family sort through things. I love you all... or as Funny Amanda would say: I totally heart your faces....

17 May 2009

To My Many Male Readers....

Dear Husbands, Boyfriends, and Potential Husbands and Boyfriends,

   For the majority of women over the age of 10 (and many times younger), we ladies have a few days in a row in which we experience the shedding of our uterine lining and usually an unfertilized egg. I'm positive that most of you know about this "time of the month", during which we become monsters full of hormonal rage. 
 What I'm hear to tell you is very important, so turn off the television and unplug your ipod - use those things attached to the side of your head (better known as "ears") and actually listen (go ahead and google "listen" if you are unsure as to how this process works) (ok, you are reading this, but what I am saying is ABSORB THIS INFORMATION). 
 This time for women sucks - big time sucks. We'd rather not, but it's kinda required. You know how it feels to be punched in the Jewels? Well, what if you had to do that all day for 3-7 days every month? Yup. Thought you'd get that analogy.
 For a medical breakdown, I'm going to borrow some information from Dr. Google. A woman isn't just a giant a*hole, she's also experiencing any number, combination or ALL of the following:

  • mood swings
  • irritability
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • angry outbursts
  • confusion or fuzzy thinking
  • tearfulness
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • changes in libido
  • overeating
  • cravings, especially for salty or sweet foods
  • alcohol intolerance
  • acne
  • hives
  • abdominal and pelvic cramps
  • bloating
  • weight gain
  • headaches
  • menstrual migraines
  • breast swelling and pain
  • edema (visible swelling, particularly in the hands, feet and legs)
  • asthma
  • sinus problems
  • sore throat
  • worsening of chronic conditions like arthritis and ulcers
  • difficulty with coordination, being more prone to accidents
  • dizziness, decreased balance
  • heart pounding (palpitation)
  • nausea
  • fainting
  • urinary problems

   That's right. ALL THOSE THINGS. Now, remember the analogy about the Jewels? What if you were being hit there EVERY month for almost a week (and sometimes more) and ALSO had these symptoms?

  I'm sure I'm not the first person to point some of these things out, but what I want to add is this - what most of us absolutely HATE is when you say things like "Oh, is it that time of the month?" or "Someones got their period..." or "Why are you being such a B****H TODAY!?" (when you know we are having our monthly problem).


  So, dear sweet husbands/bf/and potentials, shut up. Stop asking and understand that we aren't just "being b****y", we are being women. Women who suffer monthly so that one day, we can POSSIBLY NOT have to endure through our "monthly visit" just to take on a whole NEW (and just as long and more complicated) set of crappier symptoms for nearly 10 whole months just to bring your chicken butt a baby.

Much Love,
The Mom Job

15 May 2009

7 Quick Takes: Edition #8 **Updated on #2

With one full day's warning, I managed to purchase a snack to contribute, acquire the teacher's present (and no, it wasn't a gift card to the liquor store...), find both bathing suits, pack their bags and not DIE from a certain monthly visit.

Here are the results (minus his classmates' adorable little faces) **(Oh, and HAAHAAAAA @ Bonnie who commented to say that she, at first, thought those were face masks a-la Swine Flu! That cracks me up to NO END! Mental image: Kids running through sprinklers, chasing each other with water guns, laughs and giggles all around ... only stopping for quick juice box breaks, pulling down their Swine Flu masks - ahhhhh, the Summer Memories...) (but then, notice Conner not wearing a mask, yup... that'd be me... "Yeah, my mommy was too busy watching House to get me a mask... But she tells me she LOOOVES me and to eat ALL my bacon....") ...um, picture....NOW:

So. Um. Yeah. 

School's over (for a month, until he starts VBS/Summer School), which is only 7 weeks. I signed him up for two reasons: 1) MY SANITY and 2) He had just become accustomed to the routine of it all and I felt he might not only miss it, but benefit from seeing some of his friends on a regular basis. That way, I think we might avoid some of the inevitable craziness and bad behavior once Fall school starts back.

Chase woke early yesterday morning. 

Without glasses, I couldn't really see him, but I did notice the floor in front of the crib was damp. I turned off his fan, and reached down to pick him up, only to realize I was holding a baby who was naked from the waist down. It's then that I realized Chase had disrobed himself and found sport on peeing through the bars of the crib.

Fun. Times.

Naturally, I was expecting to sleep a little later than, um... too early, this morning until Chase starting stirring at 6:00. 

I made the executive decision to let him wallow in his crib till AT LEAST 7. BUT THEN?

THEN, a neighbor started to MOW HIS GRASS at about 6:50 A-FUDGING-M. 

Are you JOKING????!!!!!?!?!?!?!?! 

We live in what I call "larger than Garden Homes", we have nice sized houses but on small lots (yay! less grass to cut!), so two houses down is like... um... RIGHT IN MY EAR WHEN YOU ARE MOWING YOUR LAWN AT ANY HOUR BEFORE 8! 

Noteworthy: These are same neighbors who wrote us a not-kind-but-not-unkind note last year about how our dogs occasionally BARK at BIRDS (and leaves, and the wind, and nothing) when we let them out to PEE and RUN (Lord forbid!). We monitor our dogs' outdoor time, and ALWAYS let them in if we feel they are barking excessively (like, more than 1 minute!). Not to mention the fact that we only let them out from 8-10 (during which time they nap in the sun...), then sometime around lunch, and then they come in till dinner and then back out for a quick pee at bedtime! I mean, what the chicken? Every other neighbor has a dog (that BARKS because DOGS BARK), so seriously?

So, when Michael approached these fine neighbors (last year) about their note, he calmly asked for any suggestions, to which the man neighbor replied "Well, I'd just go get a shock collar for both of them..." WHAT? You want me to, in cruel fashion, SHOCK my INDOOR dogs for barking while they ACT LIKE DOGS? Right dude. Keep dreaming...

Maybe I'll write HIM a note about how people who aren't one foot in the grave are SLEEPING at 6 in the morning. And when he asks if I have any suggestions, I'll recommend a shock collar for when he feels the urge to mow so early....

I was so incredibly exhausted yesterday that I let my children have Vanilla Wafers and Mott's Natural Fruit Snacks for two meals. 


Sue me.

In case you haven't read my "maybe, baby posts", I'd suggest starting here , and then there are 3(?) other posts on the same topic... I have one follow-up post for this weekend. Woot!

For more Quick Takes, head on over to the Conversion Diary.

13 May 2009

Amanda Fails At Being One of THOSE Moms, Edition: REALLY BIG NUMBER

I could kid myself and say it would have been an emotional day filled with special pancakes and extra care in the shirt-picking-out arena. But, that could be a partial lie.

Ok, I would have still made him pancakes, but it would be the same pancakes I make every school morning - the kind out the freezer section and done under a minute. However, I would have picked a shirt that didn't already show the wear-and-tear of the Preschool Life, permanently marked with the badge of all that is 3-year-old Kindergarten better known as purple grape juice. 

I am proud to say that without prior notice that today would be Conner's last day of school, I did wash his hair in the sink before school, although he protested every single second. I am a little less proud to say that the quick wash wasn't for Last Day of School Pomp but more because it  looked as if he'd slept in a batch of french fries.

So yes. Today was Conner's last day of Pre3s. No, I didn't know until I went to pick him up and each child came out with a personalized sand bucket, obligatory laminated hand print art and the letter of the day... "Z" (which meant !THE E    ND!). 

"See you on Thursday at the party!" says Mrs. Conner's Teacher.

"Ah. Oh! What?" I reply in my most dumbfounded tone.

She directs me to The Room Mom, who then informs me that the party would be at her house, to bring a bathing suit and that they'd have a slip-n-slide.

Which means ONE thing: FAIL!

No end of the year gift. No special breakfast. No extra time to pick out an unstained shirt. No "aww.. honey! Today's your LAST day!". No, I just threw him in class, blew some kisses, and went home to... umm.. do laundry? No, you guys don't believe me (for good reason...).

No special cupcakes delivered or perfectly inspired and coordinated gifts for his classmates, just me and a dumb look.

We didn't get the month's calendar because we were on vacation and then flooded out last week.

My fault? Eh. I mean... not totally.

But, should I have known? Well, I knew it was coming (I do know my month's of the year, and I've noticed an influx in young people being out during the daytime...)

To say I'm bad at these kinds of things would be the understatement of the year. I don't get parties and their rules or gifts and their rules. To me, it's just like I feel we should all come together once a year and swap money with each other. In the end, that's what we are doing, right?

I can bring the 4th batch of cupcakes to this party. Who needs another batch of  cupcakes? I am, for the record, going to call Room Mom and ask if she needs anything, because seriously, she's amazing. But, I feel like I missed something.

Maybe I missed out of the ritual of it all - the extra special "It's your LAST day of Kindergarten with Mrs. Conner's Teacher BABY!". I mean, don't I owe Conner that? Totally.

But the rest of this stuff? The goodie bags and 12 dozen individually decorated cupcakes? It's just not something I get.

The teacher gift I understand. She put up with Crap-a-la Conner for 10 months. Does the Liquor Store sell gift cards? Surely, that's an appropriate gift (and if not appropriate, certainly warranted). 

For those of you who are good at this stuff, kudos. Not. Me.


That's good enough, right?

12 May 2009

Selfish or Selfless: The Baby Debate Continues

Wanting another little person, little smiles and little feet... little fingers and toes and kissable tummies and cheeks, wanting all those things is not selfish. It's natural.

But already having those things, packaged into the most adorable little people known as Chase and Conner and still wanting more, is that selfish?

It's very selfless to be a mother. To give up sleep and energy, careers and oodles of cash (or I'd like to THINK oodles of cash if I were working), is pretty selfless. You give and give and give, and aside from the heartmelting hugs and nights when you catch them sleeping all angelic like, most parents don't get a meaningful "thanks for everything" until said children are in their 20-somethings IF they are lucky.

It takes patience, luck, tears, some serious balance, and lots of love to parent two small children - and sometimes, it can be the most under appreciated job on the planet. You scrub boogers off walls, pick dirt out of ears, fight tooth-and-nail over teeth that need brushing and short-order cook yourself silly for your tiny Nazi children.

It's selfless to want more of that. To offer everything and not expect more than sharing the life of a child.

But, is it selfish to want more? Possibly, it's the most selfish thing anyone able to produce babies can do AND it almost seems like those of us who are fortunate enough to have more children are selfish to stop, too. I am no stranger to the Infertility community online (try The Stirrup Queen, she's amazing). I feel for those families, and it makes me think that I'm selfishly being comfortable with just two. Just. Two. Isn't that enough?

I once said that I didn't want to have a second after Conner because I thought "if I am this bad of a mother, if I can't get the dishes clean or the laundry done or some other mundane task completed, then how could I ever add another little person to the mix and expect anything to get better."

I thought that I'd be a worse mother if I had two kids, like twice the mess would make me half the mother.

But I couldn't have been more wrong. I think I've quoted her on this subject before, but I'll say it again, Staci once told me that you just do what you have to do. That's it.

She's so right.

Yes, I complain. I complain more in person that I do on here (could that even be true? yes. yes, it is). When I can't get the laundry caught up, and the dishes are mounting and I'm the only person who's picked up a toy in a week, I loose it. It's incredibly frustrating. And to do all that The Mom Job requires is selfless. Very, very selfless.

Selfish to want another? Selfless to raise that child. What a pickle.

11 May 2009

Revenge Tastes of Strawberry Yogurt

I had a nice post for today, all about mommy hood, parenting and all that jazz. 

BUT, I spent the latter half of my mother's day violating Dora, and honestly, it's way better than some thought provoking blog on The Mom Job.

Instead, I present to you, The Mom Job: Vindicated Edition.

Chase woke early Sunday morning in a generally irritable state. He wouldn't sit still for long, acting a bit cranky, and I wrote it off as him finally getting his lower two teeth (the ones on the side, he has 4 top, 2 bottom middle at 17 months).

Michael's family came for late lunch to visit, and his mother carried Chase around outside in the balmy 90-degree weather for a spontaneous water gun fight. When Chase came in around 1:30, after a short jog around with a wet, hot diaper half-filled with sand particles and poo, in an exceptionally irritable mood, I didn't blame him. I changed him and noted that his "area" looked equally as irritated and threw some diaper rash ointment on the matter and whisked him off to Nap Land.

*I use this stuff for the bad diaper rash, it works fastest and contains oat essence and willow herb along with zinc-oxide: 
He fell asleep almost instantly after spreading his tiny legs as wide as they'd go in a frog-like poition

"Poor kid..." I thought.

He woke, even more angry, several hours later. I changed his diaper only to discover that his "diaper rash" was not diaper rash at all, it had spread down his thighs, up his crack and his Family Jewels were now swollen 2-3 times more than normal. I'd seen this before in Conner - yeast infection.

(Quick Mommy Note: Yes, boys get yeast infections. Actually, one of the few "down sides" to breastfeeding is that your baby is receiving constant antibodies, which kills both the "good stuff" and the "bad stuff". Thus, yeast infection)

I called the FIL (Dr. he is), requested an Rx for Nystatin to be called into our 24-hour pharmacy, called said pharmacy who in turn informed me that it would be between 1-2 hours. Wonderful.

In the mean time, Chase cranked up the cranky, and couldn't walk. He would stop and squat and cry. I took his disposable diaper off  and put on a cloth one, as I know they are more breathable (I stopped short of letting him roam free, he IS a boy... and boys and their toys is a different blog post all together).

It was when he started just sitting and crying that I googled "home remedy for yeast infection in toddler". Numerous results came back with anti-fungal cream this and special mineral oil that, none of which I had. But one result kept popping up that I did have, but I chuckled off at first: "apply probiotic yogurt directly to affected area" it said....

I kept searching, laughing with Michael about how we only had Dora the Explorer Yoplait Strawberry flavored yogurt, and that I didn't think that was how Nickelodeon had intended Dora be treated.

But, then there was Chase - crying, swollen and clearly in need of instant relief. We fetched the little Spanish speaking fat-faced girl and her monkey with shoes side-kick from the fridge. I turned to ask "Do you think he'll want Strawberry or Cherry?". Michael shrugged that it didn't matter, "he's not eating it". Ah, good point.

We undressed Chase and placed him in the tub. I peeled off the top of the yogurt and Michael and I looked at one another and laughed nervously, again. 

I'll spare you who won the honor of becoming the Applicator, but there stood my darling 17-month old baby boy, Family Jewels deep in Dora and Boots.

I stopped. Suddenly, all these years of "Da da Dora, dadada Dora, DORA THE EXPLORER!" and "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm THE MAPPPPP" came crashing into my cerebellum. For so long, I'd wanted to take that little fat-faced girl, monkey and cousin Diego to Customs and kick their hind quarters back to whichever Spanish-speaking country they'd come from. Oh how they annoyed me so.

And now? Now I'm spreading you allllllll ova my son's testicles and smiling because THIS is what sweet revenge tastes like - strawberry flavored yogurt.


Chase spent the next hour slathered in Dora's fruits and his berries became notably less irritated. He took a luke warm bath and sat naked with Michael and Conner for the next hour as I retrieved the prescription.

This morning, he is still swollen and irritable, but getting better. 

And I, on the other hand, am feeling vindicated and a quite confident I'll never eat yogurt again.

08 May 2009

7 Quick Takes: Edition #7

It's supposed to be Mother's Day this weekend, right? Then why in the BANANAS are my children and husband driving me crazy? I would like to propose that during the entire week prior to Mother's Day (and your birthday), that the following occur:
  •  All Sci-Fi channel "movies" and "shows" be suspended and replaced with Disney movies that play on repeat without commercials. (Husband available to clean, children occupied... check check)
  • Only ONE lunch and ONE dinner will be cooked, no short orders allowed. If anyone becomes hungry in between those times, the pantry is in the kitchen. Eat whatever.
  • Allotment of one hour each night for bubble bathing/eyebrow plucking/toenail painting or just... blogging from the bathroom without interruption.
  • At no time shall any of these statements be uttered: "MOMMA!" "Will you _____?" "Are there any clean towels?" "Should I do the dishes?" (seriously, DO YOU HAVE TO ASK?) and "WAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

I fought a monsoon yesterday and to shorten the story I will copy and paste my Facebook status from the situation:
Amanda got up, woke sleeping children, tried to drive Con to school, pulled over twice due to no visibility, shin deep in the parking lot, dropped Con off, turned around to get Con once it was noted that the atrium was flooding from the baptismal, dragged Con and Chase back to car with water up to Con's knees, drove home in 10 inches of water... and is now trying to dry all of our clothes, shoes and bodies. Lesson learned? Stay in bed...
Sadly, a few people died from the freak flash flood, several injured and lots of damage.

Conner and Michael say the Lord's Prayer every night (I am usually putting Chase down during this time). Last night, I just so happened to partake, and it was heartmeltingly adorable. Michael would say 4 words at a time, and Conner would repeat. 
M: "Our Father..."
C: "Hour Fadda..."

M: "who art in heaven"
C: "who aren't in heben"

M: "hallowed be thy name"
C: "how would be dy name"
My favorite:
M: "but deliver us from evil"
C: "but liver us from ebels"
M: "for thine is the kingdom"
C: "for hind is da dingdome"

Have I mentioned how well Chase is sleeping through the night? I really don't want to jinx this, but now I nurse him for about 2 minutes, put him in his crib and JUST LEAVE. That's it. I don't hear from him until almost 8 AM!

Want to know a secret? Publix glazed doughnuts are a million times better than Krispy Kreme AND cheaper.
And no one is paying me to say that.

You guys remember the package Maggie sent me, right?

Well, in it she included some Ramen... but PEOPLE! It was NOT THE NORMAL RAMEN. I am literally salivating just writing this. It was oniony and asiany and unbelievably awesome. Best part? I can't find it anywhere.

So, Maggie helped and found something similar (Tung I is the brand) on Amazon and I'm going to try that. If it's not comparable? I'm having someone in Seattle send me a box of Ramen and I don't care how much it costs.

My Ramen is now dead to me.

Speaking of Maggie's Box-O-Cheung, I'm thinking about (finally) doing my giveaway of a Box-O-Amanda next week. Random stuff from my house sounds fun, right? Right.

Oh, and what's a 7 Quick Takes without a picture, here you go:

For More Things to Click and Read, go here.

06 May 2009

Boys Will Be Monsters...

I was watching them, swear, but I am only one person.

During Pre-school time yesterday, Chase managed to empty an entire bottle of unopened green apple scented detangling shampoo (a gift, I don't really have a need for it, boys = short hair). I was on the potty, and knew that Chase was playing in the only un-secured bathroom cabinet. Every container in said cabinet is baby & bath related: baby powder, bath bubbles (unopened), a few combs, some duckies, baby lotion (unopened) and one container of plastic sealed tear-free baby wash. 

SOMEHOW - while I was, um, unavailable, Chase managed to unscrew the top and then somehow picked off the aluminum seal on said shampoo.

By the time I was finished, which really wasn't long (and he was 8 feet from me, but blocked from my site by the potty room door), he managed to empty the whole thing and began "drawing" on the floor with it, all over the door leading to the closet and on the cabinets. I cleaned up the mess, and was thankful he didn't get it in his eyes or mouth. 

Flash forward: Lunch time. Conner is home and playing with his rocket ships in the master bedroom and bathroom. I was making lunch when I went to check on him and was met mid-living room by the smell of my favorite Febreeze Air Effects Spray, Baked Sugar Cookies (a seasonal Christmas scent). Normally, this makes my mouth water, but by the time I was in the master bedroom, I was holding back vomit.

He managed to empty an entire can of this stuff in a relatively small space. He tells me he was using it to "blast off", but I still can not comprehend how he was even able to stay in the bathroom. The air was thick with baked cookies and the whole house soon smelled like Santa Died.

It took all day to get rid of the smell and a half can of scrubbing bubbles to get the residue off the bathroom floor.

Get worse? Nah.

Last night, Michael worked late teaching one of his classes so, he wasn't here. I was making dinner when Conner comes to me showing off his freshly washed hands. Note: Conner NEVER washes his hands without scolding. So, the mommy instinct kicked in.

"What was on your hands that you washed off?" I interrogated.
"The purple stuff," he replies.

Hum. Purple stuff. I know of nothing purple... I get to the bathroom and there on the counter top is my $40 Clinique Moisture Surge Moisturizer (the only beauty product I really splurge on as it lasts me almost a whole year and WORKS to both moisturize and not feel heavy - NEVER breaks me out). It's open, and 1/4 of it is missing. I about DIED.

I take him to his room, and talk to him about "asking before you play with something that is not yours" and other similar lessons. He says "I'm so reawwy sowwy" about 15 times and I leave him to marinade on his wrong doings (I hope he did...)

Whilest I was time-outting that child, wanna know what the other did?

Well, sitting quietly in prayer is not the answer. 

He was in the Bathroom of Massacres emptying out ANOTHER BOTTLE OF BABY SOAP THAT HE SOMEHOW OBTAINED OFF THE SHELF ABOVE THE TUB. And this time, he had more skill in the matter and an obvious attack plan. He had it on the shower, IN THE SHOWER, all over the tub, the walls, the cabinets (AGAIN!) and obviously the floor.

I cleaned everything, again.

Once finished, I plopped down on the bed with a sigh as I chatted with Staci about all the mess and the hours of cleaning (and how bad my house smelled, gag). As soon as I finished the story, Conner comes in to tell me something.

"Momma, I spilled my chocolate milk on the floor with my feet".............

All-in-all, I think the days damages amount to something in the 30 to 40 dollar range, at least 10 last nerves, all of my marbles and a dollop of my sanity. Like my mom said yesterday "...and you want another one?". Woman has a point.

I Blog For...