Monday, July 28, 2008

Sippy Cups And Ink

Don't worry. I never let her smoke in public. Because I'm classy like that.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Things I've Learned This Past Week (And Didn't Necessarily Want To Know)

  • Children can throw up faster than a speeding barf bucket.
  • Strawberry Jell-O is SHOCKINGLY pink the second time around.
  • Sick poops smell like Asiago cheese.
  • I will never eat Asiago cheese again.
  • The baby finds her big brother's sippy of water exceptionally appealing when he is sick.
  • Eventually the baby will catch the stomach virus despite frequent hand washing and eternal optimism.
  • I may never catch up on laundry.
  • The amount of vomit and poop deposited on the couch is directly proportional to how new it is (Thank goodness it was cheap).
  • My couch cushions are capable of being hosed down (Thank goodness it was cheap).
  • I need to become more in touch with my inner Earth Mother who is infinitely more patient than my outer grouchy one.
  • Sometimes it's nice to have a sick kid cuddle up on your lap and spend all day there.
  • Snuggling with your sick kid(s) is more important than the dirty laundry, dirty kitchen, dirty bathroom.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

He Has An Excellent Grasp Of The Laws Of Physics

Jamie for the umpteenth time today:

"Mama please pick me up."

Honey I can't right now I'm cleaning off the table.

"But Mama I can't pick up myself or else I'd fall down."

Coffee And Vomit. Hopefully Not At The Same Time.

Why does sick always happen at night?

What started with two whiny children yesterday, culminated in up-all-night-cleaning-up-bodily-fluids-of-the-disgusting-smelly-variety. Seriously, my house smells like we had a Bulimic Convention last night and someone passed out complimentary Ex-Lax and tongue depressors.

It doesn't help that when Sabrina needs to puke she simply stops in her tracks, wherever she is, and lets fly. She sees no reason to even attempt to reach a toilet or garbage can. My mother delights in telling me repeatedly that I was the same way as a child. I suppose this means someday I will laugh as I watch Sabrina scrub her child's vomit from the couch.

I am now the proud owner of two children that resemble wet noodles draped over my couch. If noodles could whine, that would be my kids. Wet washrags have more oomph than these two.

I'm surviving on caffeine and the hope that they will be done before tonight.

You may have noticed that's two children I mentioned being sick. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Apparently I have three feet these days.

Unfortunately I still only have two hands. And one of them is firmly wrapped around a coffee mug.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Days Like These I Remember This Comment

"Mama are you sure you want to have another baby? Jamie's a real handful. And I am too sometimes."

Sage wisdom from Young Grasshopper.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hey Doc, Can You Do Something About These Thighs While You're In The Mood To Remove Things?

I thought nothing could possibly be worse than the stitches I endured post-childbirth. But you know? I think having stitches in my armpit outranks the nether regions on the annoyance meter.

How does one injure oneself in the armpit enough to require stitches? Well I am creative on the self-injury scale as evidenced in this entry. But this wound was professionally inflicted by someone of the medical persuasion.

Apparently having inherited the porcelain white Irish complexion of my ancestors, coupled with the habit of sunbathing with such protective measures as baby oil and iodine as practiced by girls brought up in the 70's and 80's, means that now that I am approaching middle age, dermatologists will be taking their proverbial pound of flesh.

Obviously from my armpit.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Think What I Can Do To Myself When They Start Selling Home Laser Kits

Every so often I get adventurous in the area of hair removal. What's that saying? "Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it." Is there a special quote for those who remember, but are so stupid they do it again?

Like most girls my introduction to hair removal was your standard disposable razor. Back then if you were a teenaged girl it was a requirement to own a Flicker razor (inspired by......birth control dispensers?). Its cute pink design went perfectly with the Tickle Deodorant.***

Nair was another popular option for hair removal. I'm pretty sure that Nair is simply tear gas in cream form. Apply the foul smelling glop to your legs, don't breathe for ten minutes, ignore the tears streaming from your eyes, and you'll be hair free in no time. I used Nair for the first time an hour before a Very Big Swimming Party. There were boys involved and bottles of the spinning variety.

My legs were smooth but the harsh chemicals in the Nair reacted with my skin in such a way that I looked like I had developed a nasty case of smallpox. Being a teenager, this ensured that I did not attend the party, therefore staying very far away from several boys I wanted to get to know better.

Or my Dad tampered with the Nair. It's a toss-up.

My second adventure into the realm of exotic depilation was a wax kit. It was a self contained unit that heated the wax in its own roll-on applicator making application simple and mess-free!

In my wisdom, I decided to try it out on my underarms. Both of them. At the same time.

My armpits emerged looking like red raw meat.

To add insult to injury, they looked like hairy red raw meat. Apparently that particular wax kit was only effective at removing skin.

A few days ago I bought a product called "Veet". It's a variation on Nair, also being a depilatory cream. It comes with a bladeless razor-like scraper that is supposed to aid in the removal of the hair.

The directions read, "After three minutes check a small section. If hair is not easily removed, leave on a few more minutes. DO NOT LEAVE ON LONGER THAN SIX MINUTES."

Is this six minutes from initial application? Because it took me at least six minutes to apply it to one leg. Are we meant to do one leg at a time? It's all so confusing.

So I'm frantically trying to bladelessly razor off all this cream that is now beginning to burn, kicking myself for the fact that there is just so much sheer ACREAGE on my thighs.

And wondering when the hell will I learn.

When do we get to quit worrying about this crap? Or will I be 70 years old someday trying to figure out how the hell to get my legs covered in wax unstuck from my walker?

***My apologies to those who missed the exciting experience of the 80's (or who quite possibly weren't even born yet) and have no idea what these products are. They, along with Bonne Bell lip gloss, Sea Breeze, Love's Baby Soft and copious amounts of hairspray were a requirement for participating in the 1980's.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I have not had an uninterrupted night's sleep in close to eight years and suspect I won't get one any time soon. I'm less stressed about it now.

I guess anything gets easier with practice.

But it's okay. I'm biding my time. Because I know someday they will be teenagers. Teenagers who like to sleep in in the mornings.

Revenge will be sweet.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sleep Saga - Part Three

The benefit of having two children that don't sleep is that you have exceptionally low expectations for the third.

This time I didn't bother with logs and charts, couldn't find the timers and sold the "How To" books. Frankly after 6 years of no sleep I was tired. Whatever made this kid happy at night I was game for.

I knew she was my last baby so if she wanted to co-sleep until she was 12 I really didn't care. I just wanted some sleep.

While I still can't say I've gotten one of those babies that comes home from the hospital sleeping through the night, or learns to do it at the three month mark (Remember, we don't do normal around here), she has been in most ways a very easy baby.

She nursed herself to sleep for nap and night time. I have always been able to gently transfer her to her crib. And when she wakes during the night, I just bring her to bed with me. This way I can deal with her from a horizontal position and everyone sleeps better. I know this flies in the face of all conventional sleep advice. Trust me I can recite the advice verbatim.

"Always put your baby to bed when they are sleepy but still awake. This way when they waken through the night they will know how to put themselves back to sleep."

"Never bring your baby to bed with you. This will create a habit that is very hard to break."

Go tell that crap to the Moms with normal babies. I happen to know bullshit when I smell it. As for the rules for getting your baby to sleep?

Whatever works.

There it is. The grand secret is out. After 7 years of intensive research you can throw all your books away and learn how to do it for free.

Just recently she has stopped falling asleep in my arms. I was a bit nervous about this and at first would lie down with her and wait for her to fall asleep before tiptoeing out of the room. While she seemed to appreciate this, it didn't seem to particularly impress her.

So three nights ago, I tried a little experiment. I kissed her good-night, placed her in her crib and said, "Night-night! Time to go to sleep. Mama will be back later."

No protest. No tears. No books. No timers.

Sabrina did teach me something besides how to function on 30 minutes of sleep per day.

Sometimes they just need the instructions.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sleep Saga - Part Two

When Jamie was born he slept beautifully. The nurses at the hospital thought he was a delight and practically begged me to let them take him to the nursery at night. Well, okay, that might have been the other way around, but he did sleep for most of the night the first few nights.

Once he came home he woke every three hours for a feeding but that was alright with me. At 5 pounds 13 ounces, he was a tiny little boy, and he needed to eat fairly often. But he was so different from his sister. When it came to nursing this boy was all business. No lingering one hour feeds for him. He could finish a feeding in 10 minutes flat. By 2 weeks of age he was sleeping through the night.

I was certain God had blessed me finally with a sleeper. He knew I couldn't handle two more years of sleeplessness. All those stories I heard about boys being better sleepers must be true. It was a dream come true. And I didn't even have to wait for the 3 month mark. That was when I heard most normal babies begin sleeping through the night.

We don't do normal here.

In a perverse twist of irony, Jamie began waking throughout the night almost precisely on his 3 month birthday.

But this time I was ready for him. Armed with 5 different "How To Get Your Baby To Sleep" books, I was on a mission. I kept sleep logs and charts. I measured steps to the doorway. I had timers set for certain amounts of fuss time. Strangely enough all this charting and logging took up a lot of time I probably could have spent sleeping.

And Jamie was a puzzle. I was used to a baby that would be happy as long as I would let her come to bed with me and snuggle up. From day 1 Jamie liked his personal space. He preferred his crib thank you very much. He didn't necessarily want to sleep there, but he sure as heck didn't want to co-sleep with me either. Putting him in bed with me was and is like trying to sleep with a bag of worms.

Through very hard work and determination and adherence to my own version of a "How To Get Your Baby To Sleep" system, I was finally able to give Jamie a kiss good-night, place him in his crib where he would talk to himself for a little while before peacefully falling asleep on his own.

But like his sister before him, he refused to stay asleep. Again he didn't seem to grasp the hang of sleeping through the night until right before his baby sister was born.

Thus ensuring my streak of not getting a full night's sleep could continue unbroken.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sleep Saga - Part One

Sabrina was not a good sleeper when she was a baby.

Let me clarify that understatement. I didn't sleep for two years after she was born.

As a newborn she wanted to nurse every two hours. For approximately an hour each time. And because she would projectile vomit otherwise, she had to be held upright for 30 minutes after each feeding.

Thus leaving me 30 minutes to sleep in between feedings. This is assuming she actually slept in those 30 minutes.

Sabrina was like those dolls you used to play with as a kid. Remember the ones whose eyelids moved? When you would lay them flat the eyelids would close and when you lifted them up they popped open.

She was just like that. Except in reverse.

I read somewhere in those early days, that babies and toddlers do most of their growing while they sleep. Since Sabrina managed to grow from 6 pounds 15 ounces and 20 1/4 inches to 27 1/2 pounds and 34 1/4 inches in those two years with no discernible sleeping, I can assure you this is not true.

In an effort to comfort me someone told me that highly intelligent children require less sleep. This may be true. Sabrina is very smart. But still, in those first two years I would have happily traded a few I.Q. points for a little sleep.

Long after the days of round the clock nursing, Sabrina still required elaborate rituals to fall asleep and stay asleep. I actually had a small nest set up next to her crib composed of a large feather duvet and a sleeping bag so I could be somewhat comfortable while I would lie on the floor next to her, holding her hand and pretending to sleep in a desperate bid to entice her to do the same. Many nights it worked well. On me. And I would wake an hour or two later to find her peering through the bars at me with very open eyes attempting to see if her fingers would fit into my ears or nose.

Even after successfully ushering her into the Land of Nod, usually at some point in the night (assuming I wasn't still asleep on her floor in a sleeping bag) I would simply bring her to bed with me so that I could at least cope with her wakefulness in my own bed. I didn't view this as wrong, or a bad habit, it simply wasn't all that effective.

She Just. Didn't. Sleep.

When she turned two and I became pregnant with Jamie shortly thereafter, I found myself one night lying on her floor imagining myself 6 months from then hauling my extremely large pregnant self up from her floor. This filled me with such despair that I turned to her one night and said, "Sabrina, Mama can't keep sleeping on the floor like this with you. When Mama puts you to bed, you're going to have to just go to sleep."

And she said "Okay." And she has done so every night since.

As if she had simply been waiting for the "How To Sleep" instruction manual all that time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

At Least It Was Flushed This Time

Meredith loves to brush her teeth. I realized this when every time we would pass the bathroom she would point and yell "TEE! TEE!" She can happily while away at least 10 minutes in her crib "brushing" her teeth. This has proven helpful when I want to do something luxurious like pee in private.

This morning Jamie left the gate at the bottom of the steps open and after a few minutes I realized I no longer heard or saw Meredith. As usual she had taken the opportunity to climb quietly up the stairs.

She was standing in the bathroom, holding a toothbrush in each hand, neither of which was hers. One was in the toilet and one was in her mouth. I'm sure it's too much to hope the one in her mouth hadn't visited the toilet previously.

On a positive note, my toilet is minty fresh.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm Built For A Live-In Housekeeper Myself

Upon insisting that Sabrina help me by matching and folding a load of clean socks:

"But Mama I'm not BUILT for laundry!"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ten Years

To have and to hold
For richer or for poorer (mostly poorer)
In sickness and in health
In good times and in bad
For as long as we both shall live

Ten years and three beautiful children later, and I'd still say it again.