Adventures in Potty Training, Part 1 of 3,673

June 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I shouldn't have even posted this | Leave a comment
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The scene is Daycare.  Evan stops playing suddenly and makes his “concentrate on pooping” face.  They check his diaper and its empty.  They decide to set him on the toilet.  Then he poops.  He POOPS!

Pooooooooooop!  In the potty!

He spent the rest of the day going to the potty.  He was very successful.  I picked him up and dropped him off at home and raced to the Big-Box Baby store to get him a toilet seat.  I raced home ready to tear it from its packaging and drag it and Evan to the bathroom loudly singing some sort of made up potty song.

I arrived to find my husband and son on the couch, sleeping.  Dang it.  No potty song.

When we get home the next day I get all excited and jump up and down saying, “Wooooo!  Potty time!  YAY!  Evan, let’s go TO THE POTTY!  WOOT!”

“no”

“please?”

“no”

So I unload the dishwasher and then lean down to him and say, “You know what I was thinking Evan?  You should go use the big boy potty!”

“yes”

So we head in and I plop him down and… nothing.  And in the week since… nothing.  He spends a lot of time on the pot… just sitting there.  Normally demanding I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider or Wheels on the bus, (but only the horn part, don’t even THINK about talking about the damn wheels!  Beep! Beep! Beep!  Only!).  We’ve read books.  We’ve colored.  He sits for a while and then whines: “Eh, eh, eh… all done.”

So before bath time the other day we sat on the pot for a while.  After about 5 minutes of nothing, I get him down, wash his hands and go upstairs to get his bath going.  I let him run around the house naked. 

Not even a minute later, Evan walks upstairs and with panic in his eyes proclaims, “Uh oh!”

“What?”

“UH OH!”

“What?  Where uh oh?”

He stabs the air with his finger-pointing downstairs.  “UH OH!  HELP!”

He leads be straight to a wet spot on the carpet.  Shoot.  He did.

He crouched down and pointed it out again in case I missed it. “UH OH!”

“It’s OK.  This is the kind of stuff we do in the potty you were on not 45 seconds ago.  We just need to get it cleaned up now.”

“YES!”

So I tear off a couple of paper towels and Evan snatches them and runs to the accident.  He gets on his knees and starts to wipe it up.  I try to show him how to press down on it to soak it up and the tutorial must have been .23850 seconds too long because he shouted “NO!” and continued to do it on his own.

“Fine.”  I walked back upstairs to finish his bath. 

When it’s time I head back down to get him and he is stuffing the wet paper towels in the trash.

This entire scene boggles my brain.  He recognises an accident, comes to me for help, gets the tools to clean it up, cleans it up and then throws away the trash.  Wow.  He’s not a baby anymore.

My only hope is that he has the same reaction when and if he POOPS on the floor.  I hope he wants to clean THAT up by himself too.

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A Quick Note on Marching

April 26, 2010 at 10:49 am | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I's for reals, The Others | Leave a comment
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You are now looking at a girl who has walked another 6 miles.

Wait…

You are now reading the words typed by a girl who has walked another 6 miles.

The March of Dimes / March for Babies walk was Sunday.  It was cold and rainy AGAIN, but we made it.  My husband, Evan, myself and the lovely Miss Di that watches Evan while I work… his other mama.  🙂

And oh did we make our goal: $480!  My goal was $400.  As a group “Evan’s Family” (be inspired by my naming abilities, people), we brought in $645!  A-freakin’-mazing!

We arrived and registered and took off. 

Evan’s a “Preemie in Name Only” type of preemie.  Early but healthy.  No NICU time.  We were so lucky.

It was so heart-breaking to hear and see people’s stories of babies that did not make it.  But it made the tales of babies that survived the odds that much more inspiring. 

The trail was treacherous and there were many a pick-up vans along the way to tempt us into giving up but we walked the whole damn way, damnit.  Evan walked for about 10 feet.  (Lucky bastard)  He was walking waaay too slow and had an aversion to walking on the sidewalk.  We need to practice that one I think.

All in all a good day.  I’m working on thank you notes right now.  I would like to get a special little photo like last year but he knows how to run now.  Here was last year’s:

Thank you.  So very, very much. 

Birthday, Doctor, Roseola and LAS VEGAS!

April 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I shouldn't have even posted this, It's OK to be confused... I am, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Me myself I and me again, The Others | Leave a comment
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Here is your last few week’s summaries of stuff that has been going on because for once things have been going on and I haven’t been here to tell you and I’ll try not to ramble on and on and on.  (Damnit.  I fail.)

April

1st – The first of the month is a hectic time at work for me.  It’s delicious.  I have a big fat list of things to punch out and I love playing the work horse.  Also the first was Evan’s daycare Easter party and I had a dozen little eggs ready to go.  I should have known the night before that we were in trouble.  Evan was fussy and started getting feverish and Wayne called at about 8 or 9pm to tell me he got a flat tire on the way home from fishing.  So while my husband was on the side of the highway changing his tire in the dark, I was struggling with bedtime and an ill toddler.  The next morning, Evan’s fever was at about 103 so I had to call in ‘Kid Sick’ to work.  I miss the 1st of the month and Evan misses his party.  I did get a lot done around the house.  Eventually however, Evan was getting ultra-cuddley.  Like, I would be standing on a step stool and he would climb up just to wrap his arms around my leg… or I would be washing the baseboard and he would lay his head in my lap.  Finally I took him to cuddle on the couch and he fell asleep.  I went back to cleaning and when he woke he was ON FIRE!  Well, not literally kinda, but his temp was over 105!  Panic Mommy in me wanted to run him to the ER or something but Level-headed Mommy saw that he was not acting sick… just a little uncomfortable.  All night we were dosing him and making him sip water and trying to cool him off. 

2nd – He woke up fever-less.  I took him to daycare and went into work.  Mid-day, I got a call that he was getting the fever back.  Bummer.  Wayne’s sister got in town that day from West Virginia and we were really excited to see her.  I picked Evan up and we went to Wayne’s Grandmother’s house.  He still had a fever and he was cranky, but OK.  Right before we went to leave, he started looking really unwell.  I picked him up and as we were saying our good-byes, Evan became a fountain of vomit.  3 times.  Right after a bottle.  All over himself, me and Grandma’s kitchen.  Wayne changed Evan, I changed me and Grandma & Sister cleaned up the kitchen.  I felt awful for everyone. 

3rd – My birthday.  I turned [inaudible] on this day.  Evan’s fever was down and Sister was still in town, so we went shopping and out to lunch.  I spent the day fearing that Evan would become a fountain again.  He did not. 

4th – Easter Sunday.  Evan’s fever was gone and when he woke up we sent him downstairs to inspect his Easter basket. 

He had a little rash on his neck.  I figured it was from the fever or something along those uneducated lines.  By the time we got to Grandma’s house the rash was really kicking in.  It covered his belly and back.  He didn’t seem bothered by it.  He was still cranky.  A cute little sourpuss.

 

 

5th – Back to daycare, back to work.  Evan still had the rash but Ms Di was OK with him hanging out.  Mid-day she calls and thinks it may be Roseola.  I call the nurse and she says to come in for an appointment.  Sure enough: Roseola.  Too bad it’s one of those ass backwards viruses that are all contagious but completely UNcontagious once any sort of symptom appears. 

6th – The rash is still hanging out.  I’m stressed because we are leaving in 2 days for Vegas.  As in LAS VEGAS but with child.  My bestest fabulous friend Stephanie is getting married on the 9th and we are all flying out to join her.  Packing, or more-to-the-point OVERpacking.

7th – Evan is being a complete asshole  butthead  boogerhead.  A cute asshole  butthead  boogerhead that I adore and love and is my pweashus! wittle! baybee!… but a temper tantrum throwing, inconsolable baybee as well.  Ms Di says the word EAR and I place the word EAR with AIRPLANE THE NEXT DAY and call the nurse AGAIN.  Nurse says EAR and APPOINTMENT and we head to the Doc’s office AGAIN.  Evan’s mood is improving by then and by the time the doctor walks in the room Evan is ready to great him with a full on smile.  “So, what’s up?” Doc says.  (As I’m editing… HAHAHAHHAHAHAAH!!!!1!! ROTFLMAO!!  What’s Up Doc.  I SLAY me)  “I’m here because my kid is super grumpy” I deadpan.  Evan giggles.  My god.  Sure enough his ears might-just-be-looking-a-little-pink so let’s-get-him-on-antibiotics-right-away because of the airplane situation, you know, TOMORROW.  I spend the evening packing up the last of our stuff as my husband is out buying stuff he needs last-minute, which is good because if he didn’t I would wonder what the aliens did with my REAL husband.  Wayne’s last-minute like that. 

8th – I work until noon and head home to load the car and button up the house.  Then I go to daycare to pick up and pajama-clad Evan.  He gets strapped in and we drive the hour and a half to Wayne’s work.  We pick him up and quickly dash to the airport.  And it’s a damn good thing we did because I would hate not to arrive 3 hours before the flight takes off.  SIGH.  Evan runs UP the terminal and BACK to DADA over and over and over. 

The flight goes OK and I have to switch this over to the

9th – because we are landing in Vegas and it’s now the 9th.  Just to sum that up for you.  We get checked in and get up to the hotel room.  And Mandalay Bay has no milk located in the miles and miles of its sin city acreage and I would say that they shouldn’t… they should have vodka and NOT milk because it’s VEGAS and not DISNEYWORLD but you would be SHOCKED at the amount of children I saw there.  Even that late.  Half of them weren’t even drunk.  Wayne ended up walking across the strip to an AM/PM for a gallon of milk and a cooler.  It worked.  We sleep.  We wake. 

We get together with THE BRIDE.  We pool.  Evan hates the pool.  I get ready.  I taxi to THE BRIDE’s hotel.  She get’s ready.

I capture gorgeous bride.

Stranger takes picture of us.

We wait for non-english-speaking limo driver that is lost.  We hop in the limo and head to the LAS VEGAS sign.  Wayne is there with a passed out Evan who is awesomely so cute in a little white shirt and tie.  We push through the masses and I listen and watch as THE BRIDE becomes THE WIFE.  It was beautiful and I know she’s so happy.  Then we are all back in the limo and smushing and drinking champagne (well, except for me cause its icky and Evan because he was asleep.  I’m kidding, he was awake but I didn’t have his sippy cup.  I kidding, I had a sippy cup with me but I was too lazy to take it out, so no champagne for him.  I’m kidding for fuck’s sake.  I’m not lazy.)  We arrive at dinner and are greeted with MEAT on a SWORD.  I casually grab a diaper and some wipes to go change Evan and find no changing table.  Restaurant is attached to hotel/mall – walking everywhere to find restroom with changing table – back in my seat lots of minutes later.  After the noms on a stick, Wayne and I and Evan head out to catch a cab.  Did you know that you can’t catch a cab on the strip unless it’s at a hotel?  We did and yet we started walking anyway.  OMG.  Ouchy-foooty-ouchy.  Hubby crying about shins in his splints or something.  Evan chillin’ in the stroller accepting hooker cards being handed out by non-english-speaking over aggressors.  We walk from the Planet Hollywood hotel to Mandalay Bay.  OMG. 

10th – By today we make it back to our room.  We pass the hell out.  We eat.  We pool.  Evan still does not like the pool.  We meet up with THE WIFE and THE HUSBAND and THE BEST MAN.  We go eat.  (Did I mention that Wayne has a couple in him?)  Wayne is kinda drunk.  We go to a restaurant that has a GINORMOUS BURGER that they will give you for free if you can eat it in 5 minutes and 20 seconds.  Wayne is down for it.  I am mortified.  Evan’s getting cranky.  I leave early to get Evan situated and eating.  Wayne comes back all WHOA BIG BURGER and falls asleep.  I meet THE WIFE for FROYO and wish her a pleasant flight home.  I go to bed at a decent hour.

11th – Our last day in LAS VEGAS.  We eat and do touristy things. 

We head to the airport.  4 hours early this time to shake things up.  Evan falls asleep and

12th – we are mid-flight home.  Wayne is headed right into work so I am on hold EVER HEAVIER baby during flight and don’t let him kick neighbor and baby is only comfy if you are not.  I turn into ZOMBIE.  We land in Metro Detroit and I drive Wayne to work.  I drive Evan to daycare.  I drive my ass home and sleep.  Sleeeeeep.  Opps.  I mean, Bwaaaaaains.  Eh, I’m so confused.

Things are all sorts of normal now.  Getting prepared for the March for Babies walk.  Then 4 days later flying to Arizona and then 4 days after I get home from that flying to Florida.  On Mother’s Day.  Without mah baybee.  Again.  Something to whine about on another day.

Hey there, thanks for reading the whole way through, you one person you!  I have a unicorn for you.

Save Little Lives

March 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I's for reals, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy), The Others | 3 Comments
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“We don’t have time to induce you.  We have to take the baby now.”

Those are the words that I heard 10 minutes before my son was born.  It wasn’t like a hospital drama or my favorite show, House.  They didn’t tell me that “We don’t have time” meant that I didn’t have time and that I might have a seizure and die before the medication to induce labor kicked in.  They didn’t pull Wayne aside to tell him how dire the situation was or how sick and drugged I would be for the next few days.  They didn’t explain what HELLP Syndrome was and they didn’t tell me the risks to our son.  They didn’t talk about the risk of bleeding out during the c-section due to my non-existent platelets nor did they tell us what to expect from our preemie son and how he would be wisked away immediately. 

“We don’t have time to induce you.  We have to take the baby now.”

We nodded while trying to get the million questions we had bombarding our brains in single file.  Before that could happen, Wayne was handed scrubs and told to get them on and I was prepped for surgery. 

Then a little baby was born.  4 lbs, 14 oz.  First apgars were low, the second ones were better.  He got some oxygen, he got an IV, he got a heart monitor.  But he was fine.  He was almost fully cooked.  I got to hold my baby right away even if I couldn’t room with him for four days.  He was well enough to go home before I was.

We were lucky.

Sometimes, a TINY baby is born.  1 lbs, 6 oz. First apgars non-existent, second ones are low.  ventilators and feeding tubes and monitors.  Incubators and unpronounceable drugs.  These babies are not fine.  Not cooked.  They can’t be held.  They can’t come home.  Some don’t ever make it home.

That’s not fair. 

I walk for March of Dimes every year because that thought takes my breath away.  Take a couple weeks of gestation away from Evan and that could have been him.  It could be any of our babies.

What would I do without this in my life?

The March of Dimes looks for ways to make sure all pregnancies are full-term pregnancies.  They support these preemies and their parents.  They research treatments for vision, heart and lung defects.  They support NICUs.  The March of Dimes started back in the day to find a cure for Polio.  Guess what they found?  That’s right, a cure for Polio.  And when that happened they didn’t celebrate and go about their merry ways… they found a new mission.

I found one too.

My family and I walk on April 25th, in Grand Blanc, MI.  Come walk with us!  We have a new person or two (!) walking with us this year and I am so excited!  There are walks all over the nation, go here to find one.

Donate.  Click the button below or click here and sponsor my family and our cause.  Every dollar brings tears to my eyes because I’m so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people.  I’ve been tearing up a lot.  I try to act hardcore about it but it’s not working.

Get learnt.  Be a voice.  Mention HELLP Syndrome to your pregnant friends and family.  Know for your wife or for yourself.  We all know of at least 3 pregnant people at a time.  It’s not as uncommon as you might think.  I know of two dear woman personally that had HELLP as well.

H (Hemolytic anemia) EL (Elevated Liver enzymes) LP (Low Platelet count).  Basically means your red blood cells are being destroyed and not regenerating, your liver is failing and the goop in your blood that clots your wounds is low.  All of this eventually shuts down your liver and kidneys.  Seizure.  Coma.  Death.  It can be related to pre-eclampsia but there is some debate on that.  Personally, I didn’t present with pre-eclampsia symptoms (high blood pressure, protein in urine) but most women do.  I was also much sicker after Evan was born.  The fact that I didn’t “look” like a “normal” HELLP patient makes me appreciate my doctors even more.

My symptoms were a pain above my pregnant belly which I associated with heartburn and a backache.  (It was my liver and kidneys).  I felt nauseous and had a headache.  Some women also have blurred vision and tingling in their hands and feet.

Walking. Donating. Being a little HELLP expert.  You’re saving lives.  THANK YOU SO MUCH.

My Egg Hunt

March 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), In Evan's Words | 1 Comment
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Hi!  I’m Evan. 

Mama’s being lazy and hasn’t told you about the Easter Egg Hunt we went to at Aunt Stephanie’s house so I will.

Mama kept telling me that we were going BYEBYE so I kept running to the bottom of the steps so she could put my SHOOs on.  Then she would say things like NOT YET and HOLD ON and LET MOMMY DO THIS AND THAT and I had no idea what she was talking about.  I opened up the closet to get my CO, but Mama shut it again and told me we’d put my coat on in a minute.

FINALLY Mama put on my SHOOs and CO and we gave DADA kisses and said BYEBYE.  Then we went for a car ride.  I watched the trees go by for a minute and then I took a nap.  When we got there, Mama said, “Yea! We’re here” so I clapped for her.  Inside we went and it was full of people.  I forgot how to wave and say HI so I stared at everyone.  Rudely. 

I was sat down so I could EAT.  Mama let me eat with a plastic big boy fork.  But only one.  I tried to get more but Mama kept saying NO.

Then Mama put on my CO and made me hold onto a big blue bucket.  We went outside and Mama started pointing at all of these bright little BALLs on the ground.  I picked one up and dropped it in my bucket.

 

 Mama started clapping and saying YAY EVAN!  So I kept doing it.

This was VERY SERIOUS work.  There were other kids around and they were PICKING UP MY EGGS.  Mama didn’t understand this and kept bugging me to LOOK AT MOMMY!  This is what I gave her:

LOLz

Anyway.  Everyone went inside and Mama and I sat down to look at all my eggs.  I was so proud.  Mama went to touch one of them and then had the nerve to pick it up.  I don’t know how to say WOMAN YOU BEST PUT THAT THING DOWN so I said something like, “EEEeeehhhhh!”  Mama said it was OK and held it up to me.  OK.  Then SHE BROKE MY EGG IN HALF!

You read that right.

BROKE IT IN HALF RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!  Of course I screamed at her.  My face turned red and I was shaking I was so mad.  She tried to give me some crap about BUT THERE’S CANDY INSIDE BLAH BLAH BLAH but I didn’t care of course because she broke this thing I had worked so hard for.  Parents just don’t understand. 

So after I stopped screaming she showed me that I need to break the egg, take the candy and put it in a baggie and then we could fix the egg.  So I did that.  Mama kept tryin’ to meddle in my business but I think I made my dissatisfaction clear when she’d try.

Then it was back outside to get some more eggs.

But Mama was sure to pop my balloon on that.  She kept saying, NO MORE.  So I put on my best innocent pouty face and said, “ALL DONE” and we went back outside right away.

Alas, it was all in vain.  I was pointing this way and that willing her to show me where I could find some more and she kept saying NO MORE.

Then she muttered those awful words: I TOLD YOU SO.  I’ll learn what that means some day.

BYEBYE,

Evan

I’ve been bitch slapped a few times in my life

March 19, 2010 at 11:50 am | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), It's OK to be confused... I am | 1 Comment
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When you have your first baby you are completely overwhelmed.  You can try to block it out until you walk into the Big Box Baby Store and you waddle rather quickly out of the store screaming WTFITSJUSTABABYTOOMUCHSTUFFWaaaaa!!  Then you return the next week and register for two of everything.  After you’ve received two of everything, you go out and purchase just ONE MORE of everything JUST IN CASE.  You know, 20 cute newborn excruciating-to-dress-your-newborn-in-but-you-don’t-know-any-better-YET outfits aren’t enough.  One more  – JUST IN CASE.

Suddenly, whether it’s with warning or without, your baby comes screaming out of your body.  Then it spits up on you… it pees on you… it makes you stick a thermometer up its butt… and then it bitch slaps you in the face.  It’s a bitch slap to get you to face reality – to keep you on your toes – to let you know: Why no, you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing.  You were all wrong before.  ALLLWROOOONG.  You find yourself in the Big Box Baby Store again, this time to purchase shit you actually need.

Life with baby starts to get easier (HAHAHAHHAHHALOLOLOLROFLLL!!!1!).  The sleep schedule might regulate itself.  The baby holds its own head up.  You both stop being so damn fragile.  You learn what he needs and what to feed him and when to put him to sleep.  It stops being foreign.  You’re a mom.  You’ve been to that war.  You can now share the secret handshake with all the other moms out there.

So I was in the coasting state.  The only thing I know about toddlers is that they become terrible at something when they turn two.  Then I hear it:

… no more bottles …

… NO, not even the morning bottle …

… potty training …

… crib transition …

FORGET the fact that Evan is a runner and even though it’s SO PRETTY outside and LET’S PLAY IN THE FRONT YARD means certain death because ROADS ARE EASIER TO RUN ON.  So let’s go in the back yard, you say?  I say: NO FENCE.  RUNNING TODDLER.  MAMA DOESN’T RUN. 

FORGET the fact that Evan now prefers to sit on the BACK of the couch.  You know, where your head goes. 

Forget that he loooooorves his spoon and fork and how funny it is when mama freaks out when you stick your fork in your eye (The boy has willpower when he hurts himself and you TOLD HIM SO so he pretends it didn’t hurt when you totally know it did but it still doesn’t offer the opportunity to say I TOLD YOU SO like you were told you got to say all the time in your Mommy Contract).

I’ve got the bottle thing DOWN COLD.  Diapers DO NOT FAZE ME.  I can lay Evan gently down in his crib even though I have to get in there a little bit myself in order to do it. 

But it doesn’t matter.  Those things are BABY things.  The potties and sippy cups and toddler beds I ignored in the Big Box Baby Stores are coming back to laugh at me.  I’ve just been bitch slapped.

So I have a question.  Just how in the name of all that is holy am I supposed to keep my kid in his bed when he’s not in a cage crib?  He can open doors, you see, and drawers!  How does he stay safe?  I can see him getting up in the middle of the night and then me waking up in the morning finding every coat in our closet on the floor with a pile of every sharp, shiny thing in our house on top.  He can also climb is damn changing table.  Speaking of changing tables, do you need one of those when you start using pull-ups?  What about wipes?  Do I pull down the pull-ups and wipe him down as he stands?  I don’t want him to smell all pee-y.  And just what do you do about the poo-poo in the potty when it’s all said in done?  Do you plop in the toilet?  How do you properly sanitize that thing?  Toliet bowl cleaner?  Bucket o’ bleach?  Dishwasher (EWW thought, Shoo!)?  Evan likes to stand in the potty right now.  Do I have poopy footprints in my future?

I was getting comfy in my routine.  I was OK with the little strides Evan would make where Wayne and I would look at him and be all OMG DID YOU SEE THAT OUR KID’S A GENIUS!   

Just how bad are the stares if your kid is sucking down a bottle and wearing a diaper at 10 years old?  I can’t be THAT bad.  I could probably deal with THAT.

It Just Is

March 12, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan) | 1 Comment

It’s Saturday and Grandma is doing her all day grocery shopping thing – shopping, getting her hair done, visiting with the other ladies.  Her granddaughter didn’t go with her this week and is home with her Grandpa who is napping.  The 10-year-old takes her place in the familiar setting of home.  TV on.  Toys out.  Imagination flowing.  She’s still in her pajamas and the May sunlight is warming the living room. 

The floor drops.  She cautiously looks around the room when she gets that feeling… the dive of a roller coaster, the fall you sometimes get on the edge of sleep, the hole when your stomach gets carved out with fear.  Nothing.  The television screen is still filled with Pooh Bear, the My Little Ponies are still scattered across the room.  She’s still warm.  Shook up, she blames her imagination and picks up Peaches ‘n Cream and a little hair brush.

The phone rings.  Carol, Grandma’s best friend, is calling for her.  “She’s still at the grocery store.  Do you want to talk to my Grandpa?”  A little confused, she says no and ends the call.  “Carol doesn’t talk to Grandpa on the phone… why am I being so silly?”  She thinks to herself.

Grandma is sitting on a salon chair, hair done,  and laughing the with stylist.  Suddenly she sits straight up and checks her watch, “My God it’s already 2!  I have to go.”  She’s just as confused with her sudden departure as the stylist is.

A little bored, the little girl toes the doorway into Grandpa’s room.  He might jump up and shout “BOO!”… a little joke he always played on her when he was not in a deep sleep.  He doesn’t do that and she goes back to the living room after she takes a popsicle from the freezer.

After the popsicle is gone and her mouth is stained red, her Grandma steps though the door.  The girl is uneasy and she doesn’t know why.  She watches her Grandmother put away the groceries and sits at the dining room table.  “I’m going to see what your Grandpa wants for dinner”, Grandma says as she walks down the hallway to the bedroom.  The girl watches her disappear into the bedroom as the floor drops again.

She’s remarkably calm when her Grandmother stumbles out of the room with a phone in her hands.  A phone that is bouncing around between her quaking hands.  The little girl looks into the huge scared eyes of her Grandmother and says, “Do you want me to go to Aunt Weezy’s house?”  She doesn’t wait for an answer.  She gets up, stuffs her feet in some sneakers and walks out the front door in her nightgown. 

Grandma manages to dial 911.

The little girl walks down the street.  Down past her other grandparent’s house; her paternal grandparents that live across the street.  She walks past Carol’s house, her Grandmother’s best friend who called earlier today.  She walks up to “Aunt” Weezy’s house.  An old woman who the little girl doesn’t know well.  A friend of the family’s like most of the people in the neighborhood.  There’s no explanation why she’s here.  It just is.

A fire engine rolls past her without a sound.  It’s lights are turning.  She little girl catches the fireman’s eyes and points him down the street.

She knocks on the old woman’s door.  “Something’s wrong”, she says.  It just is.  Aunt Weezy shuffles her into the dining room and pours her a glass of milk.  The little girl thinks about how much she hates milk as she take a polite sip. 

The world slows and speeds up at the same time.  It gets dark and she’s not sure if it’s nighttime yet or not.  Things get blurry.  The clock’s second hand isn’t moving as fast as it normally does. 

The little girl knows her Grandfather is dead.  It’s like she’s always known.  It just is.

Her Grandpa who fixed her breakfast and lunch and spoiled her beyond reason.  The man who took care of her and took her bowling with him and treated her like a best friend.  The man who played with her and was the closest and the world to this little girl.  He was dead.  It just is.

Then the world sped up so fast that she didn’t see it and she was suddenly walking back into her house.  Her house that was filled with friends and neighbors and police men.  Her house that was absent a Grandfather.  In the middle of all of that was her Grandmother.  She looked smaller which was inconceivable because Grandma is the one who works her tail off.  At night at her job and during the day at home.  While Grandma worked Grandpa stayed with the little girl.  The little girl wasn’t nearly as close to her Grandmother as her Grandfather.

She watched.  Police men sitting at the table after their shift.  Familiar faces doing familiar things.  Grandma talking to everyone; a cigarette in her still-shaking hand.  Grandma’s talking to someone and she’s OK and then she isn’t.  Something shifts in the little girl’s head and she purposefully strides over to her Grandmother.  She stands between her and the person she’s chatting with, suddenly protective.  She gets her Grandma an ashtray because the ash on her cigarette is about to fall and Grandma’s too distracted to notice.  She fills her Grandma’s coffee cup.  She says something to distract her when her eyes get wet again.

Her job it so protect her Grandmother.  This strong woman in her life.  The one that used cooked dinner and clean house before a 10 hour shift as the girl sat on her Grandfather’s lap and played.  The little girl knew that now that Grandma had lost her husband, it is her job to be strong and protect her.  It just is.

She doesn’t cry.  Not for years.  Not about this.  She’s sad but abnormally logical.  She’s so sure that she has to be strong that it feels like a command from her Grandfather post-mortem.  She believes that her love for him is so powerful that she would get that message and trusts in it.

The bond with her Grandmother thickens.  They become friends and they talk openly and sneak out for ice cream in the middle of the night.  The little girl realizes that this woman loves her like her Grandfather did.  She’s surprised and she’s not.

20 years pass and Grandma is no longer that strong woman in body.  She’s a frail 110 pounds and recovering from treatment for lung cancer.  Her mind is still so strong and willing and trapped in a body that can’t breathe and can’t hardly move.  She has more doctors than she can count.  Her body continues to break.

20 years pass and the little girl is a woman and a mother.  She’s living on the other side of the country from her Grandmother and is still her friend.  She’s still feels it’s her job to protect her.  She has no idea how to protect her from her body. 

I cry.  I have for years.  This is too much.  I’m so sure there is something I can do, something I can say to protect my Grandmother.  I feel like I’m failing my Grandmother.  I feel like I’m failing my Grandfather.  My Grandma tries to tell me that there is nothing I can do to protect her. 

It just is.

Toddler Shopping Partner

March 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan) | Leave a comment

Evan has always been a quite decent shopping partner.  He’s a big people watcher and that always comes in handy at the grocery store or the mall.  When his mouth opens you can always stuff some sort of carbohydrate based snack in it and it will close.  He also has a fondness of getting items out of the cart to purposely drop them on the floor while practicing his innocent face and saying, “Uh oh.”

This weekend we had all sorts of shopping to do.  Saturday we met Stephanie and Miss Lea at the mall to look for dresses for me.  He did OK.  He did a lot of stareing flirty eyes at Stephanie and Lea. 

He did go into the dressing room once with me.  Imagine an enormous dressing room filled with bleach-blonde, fake-tanned 17 year olds trying on prom dresses.  When all you see is sparkles, neon orange poof fabric,  impossible pattern and color combinations and too much teenage skin showing: you’re there. 

Then there was me.  In a foot by foot dressing room with my son throwing Cheerios on the floor while laughing at me in his stroller.  After one dress I was boring apparently and Evan said as much, so I resorted to singing the ABCs whilst stuffing myself in various dresses.  Quite a different view than when I was trying on dresses for MY prom *mumble*ty years ago. 

At another store, Evan reeeeeeeealllly wanted to touch the bras.  OHH!  BRAS! GIMMIENOW!  But he couldn’t say that, right?  Because of his limited vocab and all.  So I say, “No Evan!  Don’t touch the bras!”  Then Evan starts yelling “BRA! BRA! BRAAAAAA!!!”  Another new word.  I’m such a proud mama. *mama sigh*

Then the HORROR.  The dishonor and disgrace that is shopping for a swimsuit.  A swimsuit hasn’t been on my ass in well over 5 years.  I head straight for the one piece skirted suits promising to make me pretty and 111 pounds thinner.  I picked one that may as well be a dress.  Even my very conservative husband was all: WTF is this?  Why did you buy a granny swimsuit??  It WAS a little grandma… I’m going to return it for something more “mommy”.  ANYWHO.  In the process of picking out said granny swimsuit I had to try on several with poor Evan in a cart crammed into a VERY small dressing room.  As I’m about to put on the first one: SNAP!  I look down and Evan is saying his version of DIAPER and SNAPPING MY UNDIES!  I haven’t got the proper mommy-non-reactive-to-funny-things-as-to-not-encourage-it and half laughed, half whispered: EVAN!  Since he was entertaining me he thought he would continue to do it.  I tried to get myself as far away from him as possible while pretzeling myself into the yards and yards of stretchy fabric.  He laughed some more and dropped Cheerios on the dressing room floor.

Yet I am forever screwed because of this face:

My 18 Month Old…

March 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Posted in As the Months go by..., Baby Weight (Evan), Love and all that other mushy stuff | 2 Comments
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(AKA: My One and a Half Year Old for those who aren’t into the whole month thing after Year One.  I’ll be over the whole month thing after Year Two.)

(I’m going to pretend that I haven’t been absent for 3 months, do you wanna do it with me?  AWESOME.)

… has words.  They are his own and some mean different things and some mean the same thing.  His favorite word is MAMA!  This is great, no?  Umm: NO.  Mama doesn’t mean Mom, it means MINE.  This is what gets screamed from the top of his lungs when we take something from him.  As in: MAMA BOOK!  MAMA BOOK!  As I take MY book away from his page tearing little fingers.  At first I thought he was saying it was MOMMY’s book, but he’s saying, “MY BOOK! GIVE ME BACK MY DAMN BOOK WOMAN!”  So some other words: Baba and Eat (They mean the same thing), Book, Ball, Dada (interchangeable for Mommy and Daddy), Dog, No (another favorite), Uh oh (used for all purposes) and some others.  He says most everything we ask him to say and he seems to understand every word we utter.  I can say, “Let’s change your butt!” and he will walk up to me with wipes. 

… is still a Yo Gabba Gabba freak.  If he wakes up in the morning before I’m ready for work he watches Yo Gabba Gabba (Or “GaGa” Evan-Speech) with his bottle.  He tries to make “Funny Faces” when that segment comes on and attempts to answer when they ask a question (What color is a fire engine? “Ehh!”).   Baby Einstein DVDs are a close second.  If you don’t know what Yo Gabba Gabba is, you are a pure soul and don’t go YouTubing it because it hurts bwainz.

… has 6 and two halfs teeth.  Four top and center and the adorable little bottom two.  He’s currently working on 2 molars and he’s crewing on his poor hands and tongue night and day.  (Also: if you like your fingers, don’t stick them in his mouth)

… has a new smile for when the camera come out.  SQUINTY-EYE-MOUTH-WIDE-OPEN SMILE!  (This crushes my photographer soul that has gone into hiding and won’t find its way out until I get my BRAND!NEW!CAMERA! hopefully sometime soon – I want to see those big blue eyes!)

(OK so he’s pretty effing cute with this smile too.)

… still gets rocked to sleep kinda.  He doesn’t need it.  I can put him to bed tired and awake.  It’s for my sanity.  I like to rock my wittle boy!  Problem is he’s not so little anymore.  He can barely get comfy on me anymore.  I get lots of just-put-me-in-my-crib-already looks.

… will eat more if you let him eat like a big boy.  Give him a spoon, fork and bowl.  Let him eat anywhere but the high chair.  Have him eat whatever you’re eating.  Or give him Mac ‘n Cheese… he’ll eat more that way too.

… walks, runs, jumps, climbs, falls and does it all over again.  He has little fear and if he has seen you or some of the “big kids” at day care do something he must do it as well.  He was practicing standing on a toy and jumping off but he didn’t have the jumping part down yet.  So he was just stepping off and falling.  He thought it was hilarious.  I wondered if his bones were made out of rubber.  Between some “No, Evan.  Stop!  Get down.”‘s he “jump”ed off the toy and his jaw hit the floor just enough to hurt his sore gums.  He stuck his hand in his mouth and whine-cried.  You know the whine-cry.  I said, “I told you so” like I’m supposed to and tried not to run over and baby him.  Finally, he came over to me and wanted to be picked up and comforted.  After he was all better (a good 45 seconds) he calmly walked over to the toy AGAIN!  Seriously, Evan?  You’re going to get hurt again!  But he didn’t climb on it… he hit it as hard as he could and walked away.  Wayne was in hysterics!  Sometimes he has a laugh he can’t control and his face turns all red; I call it “A State”.  I told Evan he put Daddy in A State.  Evan laughed along with him.

… is in size 4 diapers and almost out of his 18 month clothes.  I have a complete 24 month wardrobe as well as a complete 2T wardrobe and the more I look at the two the more I think they are the same size.  Also Evan has more 24 month short sleeve polos than he can wear while he’s that size.  I’m not even going to have to wash them.  Hooray!  No laundry!

… loves to dance and clap.  If someone else is doing either he will join along.  I’m trying to get him into singing.  He can Doooo-doooo-dooo with the best of ’em.

… is going to LAS VEGAS in about a month.  I told him, “No drinking, no gambling, and no picking up ho’s” and then he told me he didn’t want to go if that was the case.  We’re going for Stephanie‘s wedding!  GLITTER SHOWERS!  Wayne and Evan will be at the pool a lot while there.  We were sure to get a hotel with awesome water holes.  I will be sitting in the shade in jeans and a t-shirt.  I might wear flip-flops.  Maybe.  We get to take a 4 hour plane ride with a 19 month-old on our laps.  yay.  I think I’m going to try to get back to Arizona to see my Grandmother on her birthday (April 30th).  I don’t know if I can bring Evan or not.  He was a handful at 9 months by myself.  I can’t imagine another 10 months added on that.  That’s like 10 months of pounds and stubbornness and back talk he’s learned.  I don’t think I’d be able to stop the other passengers from killing me if that were the case. 

… has too many toys!  I never understood that statement until now.  Cripes.  I’m buying PJs for all birthday presents from now on.  I don’t want to add to another parents misery!  This of course doesn’t stop me from wanting to buy every toy I see for him.  I try to remember the 3 rooms of toys he has and the thought usually goes away.

… had a cough for MONTHS.  So mysterious.  Mostly at night.  I didn’t know if it was allergies or asthma or nothing or we were imagining it.  A second opinion doctor refered us to a pediatric pulmonologist.  A couple weeks before the appointment Evan got pneumonia.  (It crushes my heart to even remember it.)  After the illness the cough disappeared.  We even cancelled the appointment.  So the cure for mysterious cough is pneumonia!  Tell your friends!  (No it’s not you people who got to my blog from looking up “Cure for mysterious cough”, see a doctor or two.)

… has a Mother with a theory.  I believe that as time goes by you love your child even more.  I’ve noticed this in myself and I’m terrified it’s true.  Is this a fact??  I can hardly stand it right now!  Will him coming home with a tattoo or getting detention counteract this at some point?  He owns me (is it proper to use “He pwns me” here? I’ve never got that one).  I am so screwed.

What a difference a year makes.

LAS VEGAS!

December 1, 2009 at 10:56 am | Posted in I have unleashed the crazy, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Rewind, The Others | 3 Comments
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AKA: Picturey-photo Spectacular!

AKA: The Post Where Stephanie Gets Pissed Because She’s In Too Many Photos

Two years ago on this day my husband and I were wed.  We opted for an “easy” wedding in fabulous LAS VEGAS!  JAZZ HANDS

(From here on in, you must do some mental jazz hands every time you read LAS VEGAS to get the full effect. 

Let’s practice:

LAS VEGAS! 

You guys are awesome.)

Our final plan was to meet everyone at our hotel.  Take a limo about an hour north to the Valley of Fire state park and get married among the red rocks.  Then we were going to trek back to LAS VEGAS and have some dinner at Battista’s Hole in the Wall.  Then it was everyone for themselves.

Let me first introduce you to Fancy. 

Fancy was my kinda gal.  White, cheap and in the need for some lovin’.  We found her on the clearance rack at a local wedding dress boutique.  Her zipper was dodgy and she had some loose strings but she fit and $59.  $59.  Fifty nine frickin’ dollars!  EVERYTHING ELSE I purchased for the wedding was much more expensive than her.  So she was christened Fancy.  (After the Reba McIntyre song, Fancy.  “Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me dooooowwwnnn.”)

MOH4L* Stephanie went dress shopping with me.  I’m sure she saw more skin than she cared to.  I think she took it well… look how happy she is here:

(*Maid Of Honor For Life – because I read somewhere that once she’s in that position she has to do defend me forever.  The trip to LAS VEGAS sealed the deal.  She’s easy.  Don’t tell her I said that.  Don’t worry… she doesn’t read my blog.)

Wayne and I left for LAS VEGAS with a foot of snow on the ground and my little Civic that had a slow leak in one tire.  We were way prepared for that and brought a tire-blower-upper thingy that plugs into the cigarette lighter.  What we were NOT prepared for was the dead battery we came home to but I digress.

We made our home in the Paris because I stayed there before and liked their bathrooms.  Wayne made his first ever wedding decision and asked for a smoking room at the front desk.  Eww.  I went out and bought candles immediately.  I whined about how Fancy was going to smell like smoke.  I may or may not still bitch about it to this day.

We were real nice and planned the wedding for December 1st and let everyone know about it in October.  We’re thoughtful like that.  Even so we had most of our important people fly out to be with us.  Wayne even had HIS BOYS:

The day before our wedding it rained.  In LAS VEGAS.  It’s a desert.  No fair!  I spent the night with Stephanie in the hotel room watching the Weather Channel.  Religiously.  My internal clock woke me up every hour to get an update.  S-T-R-E-S-S.  It was in the 60’s and it might rain.  On my outdoor wedding.  With my 73 year old grandmother in attendance.  ARG! 

Morning of: No rain.  Wind.  HELLA WIND.  Whoa doggie.  I had my hairs did at the salon upstairs and he promised the curl would hold.  He wasn’t kidding.  My hair was still curly when I woke up the next day. 

Grandma and Uncle Mark arrived from Arizona in the nick of time.  Grandma of course had some time to take in some poker machines downstairs.  Priorities People!  We’re in LAS VEGAS!  They were heading right back to the airport after dinner.

The whole gang was there.  We were off to the beautiful park!

Then Oh My Fuck.  No one told me we were walking up a canyon.  That my grandmother with COPD and Stephanie’s flip flops on was going to have to walk up a canyon.  But of course, she did with no bitching and was the first one up there.

Then suddenly.  It started.  Our wedding.  After 6 years of “patiently” waiting we were getting married!  And the officiant could not be heard above my inner dialogue.

“OMG, we’re getting married!”

“Shut it Amber.  You’re in the middle of the ceremony.  Concentrate!  What if you’re asked a question?  I think there’s a question that gets asked in there!”

“You’re still inner dialogue-ing, Amber!”

“Who knew I’d be thinking these thoughts as we were getting married?”

“STFU AMBER!”

Also the pastor kept addressing Wayne as Don.  I almost stopped him to tell him he had the wrong info before I remembered that my in-the-process-of-being-married-to husband’s name is Donald Wayne.  I’m on top of things.

Wayne’s wedding ring could have easily fit around my wrist.  If there was a Big and Tall department in the jewelry store, he would have had to shop there.  The ring you see here (not his wedding ring) is his late grandfather’s Teamsters ring.

Everyone was on their feet.  People thought they were successfully hiding beer cans.  No one sat in the seats for which I picked this place out for because who wants to stand the whole time?  My peeps do, that’s who. 

At last!  It was done.  Wayne was hitched.  That wagon would be me.  You know, a skinny wagon with sparkley wheels.

It was beautiful there and Fancy done good.

Here are all of our lovely guests that ended up being prettier than me. 

Then we all piled in and headed back to LAS VEGAS!  To celebrate, we popped some bubbly.

Which I can’t stand.  Then off to dinner!  I ordered spaghetti and ate none of it.  Between being nervous and wearing white I just sipped water and then gulped down the cappuccino they serve at the end of the course.  That has crack in it.  Seriously.  Go here next time you’re in LAS VEGAS if only for the cappuccino with crack.

Then we had the cake to cut.  In the middle of a crowded restaurant.  We had lots of onlookers.  I felt GLAMOROUS.  That was until Wayne shoved cake UP MY NOSE.  I got a little twinkle in my eye and got a little cake on his chin and he gets all revengey so I got buttercreme UP MY NOSE!

After emptying a tissue box, we walked about LAS VEGAS.  And my feet hurt.  So I walked around barefoot.  It was wonderful.  In Cesar’s Palace some chicks waiting to get in the club told me I looked beautiful.  We were spoiled by the staff when we sat down to gamble.  They wanted to load me up with alcohol.  I’m a lightweight.  A featherweight!  And it’s icky.  You heard me.

Later, my husband took me back to the hotel room, helped me out of my dress and… dropped me off.  I was exhausted.  What?  We’d been living together for 6 years already and we were in LAS VEGAS!  He went out to enjoy the night with his friends and family.  I soaked my poor funky feet in the bathtub.  I think he got in at 4am. 

Later we had LAS VEGAS to ourselves.  We did all the touristy things and we gambled and we ordered room service and movies. 

It was done.  I was Mrs. McNamara.  42 days later I would be with child.  Insta-Family!

w00T!

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