Thursday, April 17, 2014

We Have A Revolt!

The boys favorite place to be is outside. They love to run around in the grass and especially love to follow daddy around the yard "helping" him with different projects.

There are times that I just can't stop what I'm doing and run around the yard with them and, with the weather the way that it's been, I also don't want to be outside!

Hubby discovered a work around for this on rainy days or days when I am too busy to be able to drop what I am doing and go outside. We open the inside door to the garage (with the big door closed) and let them come and go as they wish. They love this and it keeps them occupied for long periods of time.

We've moved all of the dangerous gardening tools to the shed and put the other harmful stuff up where they cannot reach it, etc. Can't baby-proof 100% but we've moved the obvious stuff.

I told my mom that we let them play in the garage and she immediately replied, "Well, I hope you're not letting them play with the tools!"

Really???

I'm not sure if it was because I was exhausted or just tired of these types of "well-meaning" comments, I replied in a rather sarcastic, snippy manor, "You mean I should take the hacksaw away from them? We were going to let them practice trimming the hedges by lopping off their fingers with the pinking shears. Guess we should stop them..."

Yeah...this is what I deal with.

I love my mom to pieces but her constant diatribe of ridiculous comments can really get under my skin sometimes.

I have a home-based cake business and am often up until 2am working a cakes for delivery. There are plenty of days that I am exhausted but have to be up because of the boys. When the exhaustion factor has taken over my fuse gets very short. Not so much for the babies but more so for stupidity!

On those days in particular I avoid Walmart...Just no patience for that sect of society.

The boys are usually a source of amusement for me but some days they leave me at my whit's end...this would be one of those days...

They have figured out how to open the powder room door and usually do so yelling, "BOO!" at whomever is sitting on the potty. This initial introduction is then followed by the shouting of the word pee-pee more times that you can imagine any creature uttering a word. It was cute the first couple of times, now it's just annoying.

When I am not looking they like to open the door and play with the toilet brush - yuck! or remove the toilet paper and roll it around on the floor. I get absolutely nothing accomplished because my time is spent moving them from the door to a toy hoping to divert their attention. As of right now there is a five gallon bucket of spackle topped with a three gallon bucket of ceiling paint in front of the door to keep them out of the room.

Needless to say my productivity is non-existent today.

My eyesight has gotten worse over the years which is a good thing in a sense...it's heightened my hearing which is much needed since I can't see around corners without stopping whatever I am doing...Hence the reason I work until 2am.

I have come to know the sound of certain toys, the door to their bookcase, the cabinet they play in etc. It's the silence and the odd noises that get my attention. On of the noises that I'm sure I'll never tire of is that of my husband struggling to control the boys.

We usually bathe the boys every other night, unless they are really dirty from helping daddy in the gardens. The other night after bath time and after putting them into diapers I went back into the bathroom to drain the tub and rinse the ring of boy funk down the drain. As I was finishing up I heard, "Uh, no, no, NO!!! We have a revolt, we have a revolt!!!"

When I walked into the boys' room the Engineer was standing in the middle of the floor completely naked - diaper nowhere to be found - poking himself in the penis and giggling. Meanwhile hubby has the Stuntman in his lap - sort of - desperately trying to reattach the diaper that he had removed.

The Stuntman was across one of hubby's legs and doing the 'crocodile roll' trying to prevent the re-application of the diaper. He was moving so fast that he appeared to have grown another set of arms and legs.

Hubby looked like he was trying to put a diaper on a spinning octopus.

Both were making lots of noise but neither was coherent because they were laughing so hard.

Evidently the boys had worked together to remove their diapers.

The Engineer slowly pealed the tabs back on his diaper, across the room from daddy, who could not get there in time to prevent said removal and just as the Engineer was successful hubby turned to see Stuntman remove his diaper "Chippendale" style and fling it across the room - Please God do not let this be a premonition of future employment!

This, no doubt, will not be the last time they successfully remove their diapers and fling them across the room...I just pray that the next time they will be as clean as they were this time.

Boys...

I happen to love having a history with someone. Ours is short. We've only been together for 5.5 years but have managed to cram a lifetime into what amounts to a smidge more than half a decade.

Hubby refers to them as "adventures." We've had many.

I used to travel a great deal for work and from time to time hubby would join me to both help out and get in a little sightseeing. We have been to AZ (multiple times), Tennessee and Colorado to name a few. We always bookended the trips with personal time that included things like visiting the Grand Canyon, Beal Street and Zip lining in Vale!

We might not travel now but our days are no less exciting.

Rather than gazing at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon we now gaze upon the faces of our boys. We no longer risk life and limb zip lining across gigantic ravines. Instead, we risk our lives changing toxic diapers. Seriously! It's amazing how bad the end product of a grilled cheese sandwich can smell. We no longer dance to the sweet, soulful music on Beal Street but do silly dances with the boys on the playroom floor.

Our days are filled with bumps, bruises and boo-boos that need kissing and occasionally an ice pack.

The other night the stuntman took a header off the back of the sofa onto the hardwood floor. While he was screaming he kept putting his hands in his mouth and, I swear, I saw blood on his tongue. So I applied an ice pack to his mouth and he stopped crying.

About ten minutes later hubby and I noticed that he had a lump on the top of his head...his mouth was fine. Evidently icing his mouth was simply a diversion that caused him to stop crying...probably because he was trying to figure out why mommy and daddy were putting that cold thing on his face?

There are many times that the kids go bump that I don't react at all. I don't want wimpy kids that cry at the drop of a hat or every time they bump into things. They are going to bump into an awful lot of stuff in the next couple of years and need to learn that not everything is "cry worthy."

Granted I am not really an expert here, but I can say from my 17+ months of experience that they clearly look to us to see how they should react. I have even seen them fall down, pause, look at me, whine, wait for a reaction and, when they get none, get up and walk away!

I snap at people who freak out or make a big deal out of it when they fall.

Don't do it!

There are enough whiney kids in the world...I don't want mine on that list!

Much of their reactions to things are learned but there are somethings that you can neither teach nor prevent...Boys will be boys and there is nothing you can do about it!  

We live behind an Amish farm. They are a lovely, kind, God-fearing, hard-working family who welcomed their sixth child into this world last November.

Every day the older kids cut through our yard to get to their school house. It's a really long walk by today's standards and even involves traveling down a road a very busy road.

A couple of weeks ago I headed out to the store at about the same time the Amish school let out for the day. Seeing the kids walking down the road I slowed so that I could leave plenty of room when I passed them. As I neared them the oldest of the boys, in his adorable little straw hat looked at me, smiled and then did the 'Miley Cyrus tongue face' as I drove by!

I almost drove into a tree!

Aaaah boys!

I would be happy no matter what I had, but I have to say that I am beyond grateful that I have sons and not daughters. As one friend put it "I will forever be the queen of my castle."

There will be no PMS drama in this house unless it comes from me and as another friend said, "When you have a son you worry about that one boy, when you have a daughter you worry about all the boys!"

I was never a girlie-girl to begin with and the thought of having daughters brought on nightmares and anxiety attacks the likes of which were paralleled only by my PTSD from a car accident!

I have enough friends with daughters and enough nieces of my own to know that the drama can be painful beyond words and was truly terrified of the thought. Besides, I prefer tree climbing to Barbies any day of the week!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Helga Schnidt and Ass Wax

Lately it seems that the only time hubby and I get to talk to each other is after our heads have hit the pillows. It's the only time we are alone and the only time we can finish a sentence uninterrupted.

We love to talk about the things that the boys have done during the day and even imitate their actions or the way they try to say certain words like "bah" for bottle, "ha" (pat head when saying this) for hat but the best is the Engineer's new sign for the word icky. Here's how it works...hold your hand up, fingers open, palm facing you in front of your face, make a "raspberry" sound and pull your hand away while closing your fingers at the same time.

It's kinda fun, isn't it?

You can say the word, and if he hears you, will automatically do the sign. We've been teaching the boys sign language because they can sign long before they can form words with their mouths. Hubby does have a hearing loss, but that is not the reason for the signing.

Hubby's hearing loss is real, not the usual situational hearing loss that most men seem to have but true, diagnosed hearing loss complete with hearing aides...that he doesn't wear nearly enough. Needless to say conversations can be very interesting, if not confusing, and often take an extremely humorous turn.

A couple of years ago, while on the phone, the name of a friend of ours came up and he asked if I knew what he was doing these days. I replied, "I think he's an Aflac salesman." After a more than long pause hubby replied, "What's ass wax?"

Huh?

Wait, What?

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

He replied, "You said he was an 'ass wax' salesman."

"OH MY GAWD!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Not ass wax, AFLAC, AFLAC! You know like the duck, Aaaaaaaflaaaaac!"

To this day anytime we misunderstand each other, we just say "ass wax."

Despite his hearing loss, he is not the only one that has trouble deciphering what they've heard. The other night we were partaking of our usual pillow about our days and how tired we were - the Stuntman had been waking up in the middle of the night - when Hubby suddenly started talking about a woman named Helga Schnidt.

Totally confused, I asked him what she had to do with any of this and who was she anyway?

"Who?" He replied.

"Helga Schnidt"

"Who the hell is that?" he asked.

"How the hell should I know you brought her up." I said.

Hubby replied, "I said, 'You've had a helluva night!'"

I have no idea how I heard "Helga Schnidt" but hubby launched into a monologue about "the next shot-putter to the line is Germany's Helga Schnidt complete with a tightly wound bun!"

We must have laughed for a good 20 minutes.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mistakes Are Not Failures

I now have a job demonstrating Dyson vacuum cleaners on the weekends working both Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Hubby and I made the decision to do this so that I could earn extra income and he could watch the kids and we wouldn't have to pay out anything for childcare. 

I know that right now you are envisioning the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman who pesters the "decision maker" of the home into buying a vacuum...Well you'd be wrong.

I'm paid hourly to stand in either Bed Bath & Beyond or Costco and demonstrate how a Dyson works, I do not make commission.

I've been a Dyson user for years and love their products. They are not gimmicks and really do suck...in a good way :)

Some things you might want to consider when buying one of our products: It really is covered under warranty for five years. If something breaks and you wait 7 years before calling customer service, it will not be covered and it won't be our fault. It's not meant to vacuum up water. There is no need to get insane about cleaning the inside of the canister and/or washing it out with water. Technically, it is the inside of a vacuum cleaner and no one really gives a rats ass if it's dirty. If you have that much time on your hands, you might want to consider volunteering with a non-profit, I'm sure they'd love your enthusiasm. 

I do not know where the mattresses, refrigerators or foot massagers are located. One would think that that the black shirt with the word "Dyson" printed on it would alert people to the fact that I am not an employee of the store but you'd be wrong. The shirt is my uniform, the people at Costco wear red vests and in Bed Bath & Beyond the employees wear name tags that say Bed Bath & Beyond.

If you don't bother to notice that my shirt says Dyson and ask me where to find a toilet brush, please don't be offended when I can't tell you.

Oh and please save the "suck" jokes...I've heard them all...

I am actually enjoying this experience. I have a marketing job that I do from the house. A cake business that I run from the house and a business that I am starting with my sisters-in-law so it's not like I'm not busy. The bulk of what I do, I do from home and love it. However, I love being out working with the public too. Most of the time it's lots of fun but once in a while I meet someone who is obviously hell-bent on being miserable and trying to take everyone down with them.

I'll never understand this type of person.

I'm a generally happy person. I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh. I even tried my hand at stand-up and did pretty well. I really have experienced the rush of "the roar of the crowd" and loved it! Why anyone wouldn't want that feeling I can't imagine but some people just aren't happy unless they have something to complain about!

Last week we had our bi-weekly moms' group get together. Normally we have a speaker and then break out into groups to talk about specific topics and other times we have craft workshops where we learn things like knitting or review a book. It's two hours of free babysitting with a hot breakfast with other moms...an experience worth it's weight in gold...but I digress...Last week we didn't have a speaker or groups so we just got to sit and talk. We were sharing funny child stories and one of the moms was telling us about her son - "a numbers guy" at the age of six - who loves to watch the numbers change on their digital scale. He has asked her to get on so he could watch the numbers on the scale and when it finally stopped he exclaimed, "Whoa mom! Look at all the points you got!" In his mind higher was better!

Winning! 

We talked about changing our perceptions of our weight and seeing it for what it was...a number. Granted, you don't want to make a point on getting a "higher score" every time you step on the scale - if you even own one - rather being should be ok with the number that you get. We are not all built the same, we'll never be Victoria Secret models but we are who we are, our spouses love us for who we are, that's why he chose us. We need to be ok with the "score" and find ways to be living examples to our children of happy accepting people who are comfortable in our own skin.

I have fought with my weight my entire life. Between mean girls in high school and magazines that showed emaciated girls as "normal" I've always had a warped perception of my own body. It wasn't until I had kids that I realized my "shell" doesn't matter as much as my heart.

I have done many, many things in my life. I have been married before...a couple of times, I've been a step-mother, manager, clerk, mechanic etc., but the greatest, most difficult, yet most rewarding thing, is being a mommy.

At the time, each job seemed like the most important thing I could possibly ever do and I did it with as much enthusiasm as I could. If you know me, you know I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I do nothing half-way...it just wastes time.

As important as those things were at the time they pale by comparison to my life these days. I'm not talking about kissing boo-boos or changing diapers. Yes, those things come with the territory but the unconditional, deep-rooted love that I have for the two tiny little men who call me momma.
The smiles and the giggles that I get when I play peek-a-boo or the hugs and kisses I get when I get home from my part-time job on the weekends or the warm snuggly feeling that I get when I rock them to sleep at night all contribute to the most amazing love I have ever felt for another human being.

I don't try to be perfect. I don't want to be perfect. I've learned way too much in my life from my trials and tribulations. I don't want my kids to be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are not failures unless you fail to learn something from them.

James Dyson doesn't look at things as failures, he looks at them as learning opportunities. I want my kids to grow up with the same attitude and drive to find solutions. If I'm constantly trying to be perfect I am never showing them how to improve only how they'll never measure up.

I enjoy watching the kids discover something new and watching what they do with it. Just the other night they dug two new swim diapers out of the closet and had us put them on their heads. Yup! Hats! We've put those hats on them every day since. They love to run around in them and they are, of course, adorable!

I want their minds and their hearts to be open. I want them to be accepting of themselves as well as others and I want them to be happy.

We all dream that our kids will become doctors or lawyers or the next Pulitzer Prize winner but the fact is that I want my kids to be happy and know that they are loved more than they can possibly imagine, until they day their own kids are born...then they'll get it.

Maybe they'll find a cure for cancer or maybe they'll be in a Costco, politely saying, "No sir, I don't know where they keep the pickles, I work for Dyson."  As long as they are happy, my life will never suck.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Counting Blessings...One-handed

Yes there is such a thing as being too patient!

The other night the Engineer tripped and face planted right into the door jamb. After I got him settled down hubby was playing with him when the Engineer fell again and hit the same spot which was again followed by screaming.

Hubby is so patient, too patient in fact. He held the Engineer, whose screams continued to escalate, and just sat there on the sofa with him waiting for the 15 month old to settle down...which did not happen.

If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is really the definition of insanity, then hubby is truly nuts.

Since day one he has done virtually the same thing. While I believe that kids need to learn to soothe themselves, there are times when self-soothing is not an option and distraction is the better option.

I thought this was common sense...evidently it's rocket science.

When I tell him to move around, etc. he gets defensive like I'm picking on him. Noooo I'm here all day, I have to distract them fairly frequently and know what works because I'VE TRIED IT!!

Of course some days are better than others - which really goes without saying but, I've said it anyway.

Most days the boys are capable of playing by themselves. They will fight over toys, but usually find something else to play with once the toy has been removed. There are certain toys that we keep out of reach as they involved parental supervision and well...I don't always feel like supervising.

Since we began the liquid Zantac our nights have improved immensely. The kids sleep through the night almost all the time now...almost.

We've been battling colds lately. Large quantities of snot aside, it hasn't been bad during the day, but night time is another story all together.

At approximately 9 p.m. every evening, we settle the kids into their highchairs, dispense meds and brush their teeth. The Stuntman receives a dose of Zantac and liquid Rolaids and if needed the Engineer will receive a dose of ibuprofen. Most nights the Engineer gets jealous of the Stuntman's medicine and we have to give him a "taste" to settle him down.

Of course, he only wants this when he's not sick. When he is sick, giving him medicine is a terrible experience for all of us! It takes no less than two people to administer any drug. He fights, screams, cries and whips his head back and forth and no matter how you put it in his mouth, he spits it back out.

Honestly, I'd much rather give pills to a cat than liquid medicine to the Engineer. That being said, I do have more than 40 years experience with cats and only 15 months experience with the Engineer.

When the boys have colds they don't sleep well. Really, who does when they are sick? At least as adults we know what the problem is and how to deal with it. As babies they have no idea what is going on and can't be reasoned with. Crying makes their snot production go into overdrive and giving the Engineer a dose of anything in the middle of the night is not an option! 

Recently, the Engineer AKA The Urinator peed so much that he soaked his diaper, his pajamas and his crib and woke us, as well as the neighborhood, up with his screaming. We got him changed and because I didn't want to change the sheets in his crib at 2am put him in the big bed with us.

Unfortunately, the Stuntman doesn't sleep through the Engineer's screaming and he woke up as well. There was nothing wrong with him but he was now wide awake.

We only have a queen size bed, fitting the four of us in it is not really an option so I took the Stuntman down to the family room and snuggled on the sofa in desperation of recovering some much needed sleep.

Since the Stuntman's faulty dismount from the sofa, and subsequent stitches in the back of his head, we keep the coffee table pushed up against the front of the sofa so they can climb up and down without injury. I left the coffee table in place, grabbed a bottle of milk from the fridge and settled down on the sofa on my back with the Stuntman on my chest.

After a while, he wiggled himself between the back of the sofa and me leaving me on my side with my knees bent, which he didn't like. Eventually, he rolled over onto his stomach taking up the bulk of the sofa cushion and began kicking me to move my legs so that he could stretch out. I had no choice but to roll over onto the coffee table and try to sleep!

Needless to say it was a really bad night and when I finally did wake up my left arm was asleep and completely paralyzed.

Despite having the bed, hubby didn't really have a much better time. The Engineer does this thing with his legs when he is on his stomach where he "digs" with his feet which propels him forward. Hubby was awakened by whimpering to find the Engineer had traversed the head of the bed and propelled himself down in the chasm between the bed and the nightstand - head first!

Nights like this I try to count my blessings and think of the time with either boy as bonus snuggle time.

However, it's really hard to count blessings when the fingers of one hand are paralyzed from sleeping on the coffee table which may be very sturdy but not the least bit snugly. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend Away

I will be starting a part-time job this coming weekend and had to spend last weekend in a training class in Chicago.

I left my house at noon on Friday and didn't get home until about 2am Sunday night/Monday morning.

Way, way, way too many hours without seeing my babies. Hubby was good about sending pictures but pictures are not the same as holding them.

I was ok until I got a panicked call from hubby because the Engineer had spiked a fever of 102 and he had no idea what to do. Although I purchase generic over the counter drugs I use brand names when talking about them. Advil is much easier to say than ibuprofen and ditto for Tylenol over acetaminophen.

Hubby was stressed which stressed me out and I began to panic. I don't panic often but this was utterly out of my control and I was freaked. In giving him directions I resorted to the easier to say brand names and he replied that there was not Tylenol.

O. M. G. Seriously!

I'm pretty sure that he's the only person in the world that doesn't know that acetaminophen is the generic of Tylenol. I tried to do my best to not yell into the phone.

I failed.

After a few minutes (he had to write down the directions) we switched from phone to FaceTime and when the Stuntman realized that mommy wasn't going to be coming out of the phone he began to cry which touched a cord in me had me choking back tears. It was awful. After saying goodbye and hanging up I sobbed uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. Every tear that I had fought back since noon that day cascaded down my cheeks.

I pulled myself together, remake-upped my face and went downstairs to grab some dinner and prepare for the weekend training. Despite my having a good time, my hubby and my boys were on my mind the entire time. Frequently throughout the weekend I would pull up pictures of the boys just so I could see them.

We never did the FaceTime thing again. It was just too much for the boys (translation: I couldn't handle it!). As it was if hubby put me on speaker the Stuntman would cry when I'd say goodbye. It really sucked being out of town. 

But, I survived the weekend.

Hubby had to get up and go to work Monday morning so he was in bed when I arrived home at 2 a.m. As I headed upstairs I noticed that he'd left the outside light on and when I went to the backdoor to turn it off I discovered that hubby had made a heart in the snow in the backyard.

He'd purposely left the light on so I would see it.

He's such a sweet guy!

I made my way up the stairs, peeked in on the boys, brushed my teeth and crawled into bed next to the love of my life.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gag!

I can't get over how fast time flies now that we have kids! It seems like just yesterday I was bawling my eyes out over another failed IVF attempt and here we are with 14 month old twins who are using sign language, trying to talk and putting things that are not trash in the trash can.

Not only can they put things in that shouldn't be thrown away but they take things out that should.

The kitchen trashcan has a lock on it that, when we remember to use it, keeps them from opening it. The diaper pails do not and the cans in the bathrooms are just open ones.

There are telltale signs that the children have been in the bathrooms: the toilet lids are down, toilet paper is on the counter or window sill and the trash cans are on the counter. They love to pull things out of the trash cans and hand them to me like their presenting me with the Crown Jewels!

The looks on their faces say, "Look mommy! I got you a used snot rag. Isn't it great?!"

Until recently we didn't worry about them getting into the diaper pails. I mean really, who opens those things if they don't have to. I guess ones nose needs to be higher than the lid to get the full effect of the odor but still...Gag!

About a week ago I was headed downstairs when I noticed the Engineer on the floor next to the diaper pail with a dirty diaper in his lap...a poopie diaper to be exact! He had one hand on the diaper and one in the poop and was looking a little concerned about what he was going to do about it.

Even he knew that this was not something that should go in his mouth.

I came close to screaming but bit my tongue so I wouldn't scare him into crawling away leaving a trail of poopie handprints on the one area of the first floor that has carpeting.

I picked him up, deposited the diaper back in the trashcan and headed into the bathroom to try to wash the hand of a 14 month old while holding him at the same time. I did manage but neither of us was happy when we it was over.

The other night I did that oatmeal in the crockpot overnight recipe - it was delicious by the way. I peeled and sliced the apples, put the apple peels, seeds, cores, etc. in the trash, turned on the crockpot and went to bed. The following morning when we came downstairs the oatmeal smelled heavenly. I helped myself to two (yes two) large bowls which I shared with the boys while they also had their morning banana and clementines.

About 20 minutes after finishing breakfast and cleaning up I was exercising my OCD by separating the kids' blocks, chew toys and stuffies when the Engineer rounded the corner munching on something and waving what appeared to be a slice of bacon. Mmmmm BACON!

Wait...where did he get bacon?!

Upon further inspection I discovered that it was, in fact, not bacon but rather apple peels that he pulled out of the kitchen trashcan...that I had forgotten to lock...again.

I made two New Year's resolutions this year. 1. Clean the office AKA the Abyss (See Flat Surface Disease). 2. Keep said office clean.

In an effort to keep this year's resolutions I tied a rope around my waist the other day and ventured into the Abyss while the boys were napping. I actually made really good progress and had to empty the round-file twice.

The first time I dumped the office trash into the large can in the garage I heard, "Do you need a tow truck, call me, I'm on the way."

Huh?

"Beep, Beep!"

Wait, what?!

I pushed on the top of the trash, "My name's Tommy and this is my Tow Truck."

Crap! That's where that toy ended up!

I began removing the stuff I had just dumped in, and looked into the bottom of the can to see a light blinking behind the white plastic of the bag from the DIAPER PAIL!

Eeeeeeeew! No no no no nooooooo not that...Anything but that!!!

I began to bargain...

I considered putting the lid on and pretending that I heard and seen nothing. But my conscience just wouldn't let me do it so, I tore a hole in the end of the bag and removed Tommy and his Tow Truck. Evidently it had been in the very bottom corner of the bag and had not contacted any of the poopie-ness that potentially comes with being in the diaper pail bag.

I refilled the trashcan, carried the toy truck into the house, promptly hosed it down with antibacterial cleaner, scrubbed it off with paper towels and then scrubbed myself off.

Poop doesn't particularly scare me. I mean it's just poop and it stinks but it's not like it's going to leap up out of the diaper and smear itself on me. Trash picking the diaper pail bag skeeves me out more than a poopie diaper does.

This is not the case for the hubby. He tends to freak out a bit about poop and I think I've figured out why.

When I change a poopie diaper I don't inspect or analyze the contents. I open it, scrape the poop off their butt, clean with additional wipes, wrap them in the dirty diaper and put it in the pail.

Hubby analyzes.

No wonder he is prone to gagging!

I try to feed the kids balanced meals and most of the time, to my surprise, I actually achieve this goal.

The kids will eat just about anything but hubby won't eat broccoli. He does eat peas, green beans, spinach and Brussels sprouts. Nights we don't do green we do carrots or corn - I know more of a starch than a veggie but I'm trying.

Recently we had a couple of nights of baked chicken with sweet potato fries and green beans. Well rounded meals complete with cookies for dessert. Unless we have fresh pears then they want nothing to do with cookies. But I digress...

Sometime during that week hubby was changing the stuntman's diaper when I heard, "The green stuff is not processing."

"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "that's interesting."

No sooner did I finish this thought did I hear, "DID YOU HEAR ME??? THE GREEN STUFF IS NOT PROCESSING!"

I replied that I did indeed hear him but that there was nothing I could do about it. I did, however, thank him for his observation.

Once he had finished the diaper change and washed his hands he remarked that it was really disgusting. I pointed out that if he spent less time analyzing it, he might not gag.  "After all," I said, "you're just changing a diaper, not trying to recover a pair of ingested diamond earrings."

He gagged.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No Big Deal Right?

I am blessed with a mother that is one of my best friends in the whole-wide-world.

She is smart, funny, sensitive and the one you want on your side in an argument - she should have been a litigator - and is the ultimate "momma bear" if someone she loves is in danger.

If you are in need of an advocate for medical services she will go to any length to help including calling the governor's office if need be. Most medical practitioners have never had a patient or advocate that arms herself with information the way she does. She has knowledge of obscure facts  and laws that most people have never heard of, never mind remember, and can recall details of a phone conversation from 1972.

Her math skills suck unless you want to know how much 25% off the sale price of an item is but her command of the English language is above par. She is one of the few people left in the world who can actually diagram a sentence or explain what a dangling participle is but ask her to plug in a printer and things will go to hell in the blink of an eye!

There is no such thing as a quick trip to my mom's house.

Knowing this, when I arranged to "stop" in last weekend, to return the wood splitting equipment that we had borrowed, I expected to find a list of things that needed to be done. The first of which was to tighten the faucet on the kitchen sink. Upon attempting to do so, we discovered that there was a leak in the drain pipe from the small (right) sink.

No big deal right?

Wrong!

I tightened it up. Fixed! Yay!

Or so I thought...

I crawled the rest of the way under the sink and tightened the faucet down. Whew that was easy. Mom turned on the water to make sure that the thing wasn't wiggling around anymore and next thing I knew I had dirty drain water spewing onto my face!

AAAAAACK! Shut it off, shut it off, SHUT IT OFF!!!!

Ugh! Now I have to call the king of all things water, AKA Hubby, and see if he can tell me what the issue is.

I got hubby, who was giving the boys their post nap snack, on the phone and told him what was happening, followed his instructions to a T and reassembled everything.

It didn't work.

I took pictures and sent them off to him so he could see exactly where the problem was and waited for the return call with further instructions.

So picture me sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the kitchen sink, phone pressed between my left shoulder and ear trying to follow his directions while he plays referee with the boys.

In the meantime, my mother, who has always hated the pendent lights that hang over the island located behind me, turns them off leaving me virtually in the dark. As if that weren't bad enough, she either makes a comment or askes me questions ever time I make a comment to hubby.

Not only can I not see but I can't hear the guy who knows what he's talking about!

I had to point out to my mom that I WAS ON THE PHONE!!!

I seem to have followed his directions pretty well and got the problem fixed but we left the bucket there just in case!

Then I hear, "You know what I should have you do while you're here?"

Here it comes...

"I can have you hook up my printer," she says.

Oy vey!

She told me a few months ago that she needed a printer. The old one wouldn't work. So I researched printers and, because of the cost of ink cartridges, suggested that she go with a decent laser printer this time, sent her a link for a Brother color laser printer.

It's been in the box since it arrived at her house for at least two months.

So we begin the process of removing the old one, cleaning the dust bunnies out from under the desk and plugging in the new, wireless printer. There is a problem...her router is so old that it will not communicate with her new printer. She is going to have to call Verizon to get them to install a current wireless router for her DSL.

She then says, well the new one will still scan and copy right?

Scan? Copy? No! You told me you needed a printer...

So, I asked her what was wrong with the old printer anyway - something that as a result of hindsight I should have done months ago - and was told that she couldn't use it because it was plugged into my dad's old computer.

Wait, what?

I should have known...

This is the same woman that thought she could only access her gmail account on one computer.

Sooooooo....

I plugged in the old computer, connected the USB cable to mom's laptop, installed the drivers and voila, fixed!

Yep, it was that easy!

I'm reasonably certain that she has yet to call Verizon to get the router switched out. There are other work arounds for it but I'm not about to go there with her...ever!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sleepless No More...I Hope!

The past couple of months have been wracked with difficult nights. Not only has the stuntman not wanted to go to sleep but he's been waking up once or twice a night. We'd go a full week without incident, and then just as the pattern was getting established he'd start all over again.

To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. 

I'm a pretty high energy person and can usually get by on a couple of hours of sleep without a problem. I've been known to do this for days or even weeks on end but usually with a purpose like a trade show or something that would keep me so busy that I wouldn't notice the exhaustion. 

At the end of whatever the event was, I'd crash for a day and get the sleep I needed. If you've known me for any period of time, you'll know that this was my standard means of existence. 

This is no longer the case...

With a child that was only sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time - intermittently, I was unable to ever feel like I was rested. The worst part was that we had no idea when his bad nights would strike. 

The final straw came about a week ago when he had a particularly horrid night and was up at 11:00,       1:00 am, 3:30 am, 6:30 am and finally at 8. He would not lie down in his crib and spent most of the night on my chest in the recliner. By the time that night was over I felt like I'd been dragged through a knothole and didn't look much better either! 

Many of my friends and my mom, insisted that I call the doctor, which I did. 

The nurse called me back to discuss what was going on and said that he really should see a doctor, since he'd had a cold lately, they were concerned about his ears. Ok that makes sense but that wouldn't account for the previous months of turmoil. Anyway...

I threw myself together - even managed a shower - changed the kids into regular clothes and headed out. 

Our regular pediatrician wasn't in that day so he was seen by another doctor who after checking his ears, eyes, nose and throat declared him to be in perfect health. While this is a great and wonderful thing for which I am eternally grateful, this declaration will not garner sleep for any of us. 

She did say that if he is teething that I should use ibuprofen instead of Tylenol because it will help with the swelling that accompanies teething. She then went on to say that when he has his episodes, we could give him a teaspoon of Maalox and see if he settles down. If that works then they could prescribe Zantac for him. 

I called hubby on the way home and gave him the report and asked that he pick up the Maalox on his ride home from work. He couldn't find it but did arrive with a bottle of liquid Rolaids. We gave him both the liquid Rolaids and ibuprofen that night and every night since.

We have had six consecutive full nights of sleep! 

Our routine now involves putting the bottles of milk in the microwave to warm them and giving the stuntman his bedtime cocktail of ibuprofen and liquid Rolaids. Hubby heads to the sofa with the engineer and I take the stuntman up to the rocking recliner in the bedroom. 

We do this because the stuntman is too easily distracted by any form of stimulation. Doesn't matter if it's the television, the cat walking across the room or his brother breathing, anything will take his attention away from the task of falling asleep. 

For some reason when I try to put the engineer down, he wakes up. I seem to have better luck with the stuntman and hubby has better luck with the engineer. Once their bottles are finished or they are out, whichever comes first, we put them down for the night in their cribs. 

I can always tell when hubby is bringing the engineer up to bed by the sounds of the toys he collides with on his way to the stairs. One particularly distinctive sound is that of the Leap Frog Turtle who has these gears on his shell. Each gear has a different number of bugs on it. If you push on the gear it talks. 

The other night I hear, "Three bees buzzing. Bzzz, Bzzz, Bzzz" as he kicked the turtle. 

Oh good, hubby's on his way upstairs. 

Not realizing that the poor little thing was still in front of him he hit it again this time making it sing, "My friends are traveling on my back..."

Oh. My. Gawd!!! I can't laugh, I can't laugh, I can't laugh! I'm going to wake the stuntman! 

The kid is a champion power-napper! He can be asleep for five minutes and if woken up, will be awake for another three hours. Each night when we climb into the chair I boot up Lullaby World's Lullabies For Babies To Go To Sleep on You Tube. Not only is it visually interesting it is mind numbing and helps the stuntman achieve the perfect level of trance that lets him pass out in obtain a very deep sleep. 

Thank goodness too because the combination of noise from downstairs and my giggling would certainly wake him up. 

Hubby reads my blog so he knows that I pick on him about his clumsiness. He can't deny it and will even make comments about whether or not what he's done will end up on the world wide web. Some of what I post actually seems to impact him albeit not always in a good way.

Back in August, I wrote about his 18-inch disease. (See Shiny) Right after that post I caught him standing in front of the sink, coffee mug in hand trying to decide if he was going to put it in the sink or actually open the dishwasher.

I laughed.

His mug ended up in the sink.

His 18-inch disease improved for a little while but honestly not very long.

Last weekend, after he finished his coffee, headed over to the sink to put his coffee cup in it. I had cooked breakfast, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher but there was still a bunch of stuff in the sink that needed to be hand-washed.

I heard this loud, aggravated sigh come from the direction of the sink and when I asked what was wrong he said that there was so much stuff in the sink that there was no room for his mug. I replied that he could put it in the dishwasher, which is where it belonged anyway.

"I can't," he replied with a wicked gleam in his eye. "I have that disease." 

Just

There is no "just" when you have kids.

Before children, which has only been 14 months, if we wanted to go out for dinner all we had to do was grab our coats and head out the door. Every aspect of our lives has changed since we had kids. Not only can we not "just go out for dinner" but we can no longer "just run to the store," "just take a nap," or even "just run upstairs for a quickie!"

I have learned to tolerate soggy cereal and I have even stopped eating oatmeal for breakfast as I can't stand it when it's cold!

I was relatively prepared for the change in lifestyle, and since having children was such a long endeavor, I welcomed the changes...I thought.

I would no longer be jetting around the country for work or spend my evenings line dancing.

I was going to be a mother and had every misconception about that experience running through my head that you can imagine. My days would be full of fun times with happy-go-lucky children, who were brilliant and charming...I thought.

That still may come; for now however, my days are filled with dirty diapers, barf, drool and whining.

A. Noise. I. Despise!

I can't stand whining when it comes from any kid, and maybe because it's coming from mine, I really hate it. I mean really, it's sooooo annoying. I called my bestie the other day to ask if I should feel guilty for wanting to lock my kids in the house and go for a long drive because the stuntman was driving me crazy.

No one in their right mind romanticizes the idea of snuggling with a whiner! So I was largely unprepared to deal with a child who does. Hence the desire to take a long slow drive around the block...alone!

If you say that you've never been irritated by your child I'm just going to call BS now!

Don't get me wrong here. I love my boys. They are beautiful, adorable and extremely cute. Most of the time they are really happy and I love spending time with them and learning to see the world all over again through their eyes. However, they can also drive me nuts.

The whining is enough to put me over the edge.

Teething has truly sucked beyond words but they won't be teething forever. However, I'm a little nervous however, that they will whine forever.

The stuntman's primary form of communication seems to come in the form of whining. He does it when he has something that he wants me to open, he does it when his brother refuses to let him steal the toy he was playing with and he does it when something is wrong.

The volume seems to be the only way to tell the severity of his need.

He's sort of a sky is falling type of kid. He whines all the time so it's pretty hard to know when there is something serious.

The good news is that he has learned the word "ball." Well, we think it's ball. Bottle, bear and ball all come out as "bah." You have to look at what he's pointing at to decipher his intention.

Last night for about two straight hours he walked around the first floor of the house saying, "bah." As irritating as it might have been, he wasn't whining!!!

Thank God for small favors!

Lately, the boys have been into sharing their food with us. They fight over toys but are more than willing to give daddy or me a bite of their grilled cheese, PB&J sandwiches, crackers, etc.

This morning, while I was cutting up their oranges, the engineer had finished is banana and Cheerios. By happenstance their highchairs were close enough that they could reach each others hands. I looked up from the cutting board just in time to see the stuntman reach out with a handful of banana and Cheerios to the engineer who took it and put it in his mouth.

They were sharing with each other!!!

Not only was this ADORABLE but for children who often whine and hit each other over the head with toys when they don't want to share, this was nothing less than amazing.

Think I'll just go say a prayer of thanks.