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I’m Sorry!!!

12 Jul

I know I’ve been a bad blogger and not written for a couple weeks.  Kids sick, Mom Sick, birthdays, whatever, its been a little nuts.  So, I’m sorry, thanks for all the emails begging me to write something trite and complain about my Mother in Law, Husband, Nude neighbor, etc.  I’ll get right on that.  Tonight.

Maybe I’ll take up drinking.  I’ve heard it can be inspiring.

 
 

I am not homeless!

02 Jul

Why is it that I pay no attention to my own grooming until someone walks by and drops their spare change into my Starbucks’ cup, thinking I am a transient?  There is no greater motivation to schedule a haircut and wax than a total stranger mistaking me for a homeless person because I am so disheveled and unkempt.

Appointment made.

 
 

White Trash at McDonalds.

16 Jun

Today I had my girlfriend who is a photographer come to the house and take pictures of all three kids outside.  It was 10:30am, 95 degrees, and so humid that her lens kept fogging up.  Also, that rain I’ve been bitching about?  It made my back yard the consistency of a very saturated sponge.  I had to get creative since it was an outdoor shoot to take advantage of all my flowers, and since I am SO bright I had put everyone in white.  I know, I totally thought this one through.

So I get a vinyl table cloth and put my good white table cloth over it for them to sit on.  It was either that or Pottery Barn Train sheets, and I figured all white was a lot more neutral.  Also, for the first day in freaking eons, its bright and sunny, so the kids are looking over exposed.  I had to hold an umbrella and this round shade thingie that she brought to keep them in the right lighting.  They keep squinting and complaining about the heat.  Too bad.  I’m going to make some memories here, and you’re going to LIKE it, damn it!

So half way through the shoot one of her daughters, who is two and has similar allergies and digestive nightmares like Max poops her pants.  IN my house.  Her older sister comes out and announces this to us right when the kids are really in a groove and have opted to cooperate.  Its getting hotter by the second and I am soaked in boob sweat so I know we’re running out of time.  I volunteer to go handle the situation.  I can tell she is mortified, but really, its not anything I don’t see every day, a dozen times a day with Max, so I am unfazed.  When the shit covered toddler comes upstairs I see that its about the texture of warmed whipped cream.  Its bubbled up the back of her underwear, oozed out the legs and covered her dress.  Her older sister informs me that there are considerable amounts on my playroom carpet as well.  Oh!  Bonus!  I take her into the tub, scrub her down, dress her in her emergency outfit and her Mom comes in horrified and thankful that I’d helped her.  It surprised me while I was bathing her that I wasn’t even bothered.  I have been in so deep with these poop issues with Max for so long that its not even irritating any more, its like washing my hands.  Habit.  I even told my girlfriend I was happy to sit for her any time.  She seemed confused.

After we’re poop free and we resume pictures Ainsley vomited her breakfast onto her white dress, but mercifully on the lower part so we could barely see it.  Time for an outfit change, a black tutu, monarch wings and antenna.  Adorable, over the top, but HEY, I had two boys first.  There are never enough foo foo items to buy, force the child to wear, and take umpteen photos of.  She lasted, and was well behaved and I think we actually had GOOD shots of her.  At some point during the process I had called out in desperation that if they would JUST cooperate and JUST not smother their sister then I would take them to McDonalds to eat and play after we were done.  So of course, on the one day I’d rather stay home, they behave and earn the reward.

We get to McDonalds, the kids eat well, then go to the playland.  I settle in and I begin hearing screeching that is so irritating it would peel paint off the walls.  After several minutes of waiting for any of the many parents sitting around to lay down some ground rules for their children I see that I am going to have to take matters into my own hands.  I climb up into the upper area and announce that the next child to scream will be sitting in time out, on their bootie with their back against the wall.  Some of them looked shocked, one girl said “whatever” and I light into her.  When I came down I faced the wrath of the 400 pound daycare provider that I had seen pull up in a five seater Ford Tempo with NINE children.  Booster seats you ask?  No, I think not.  She didn’t speak to me directly, oh no.  She complained on her Trac-Phone to her invisible friend about the raving bitch who was bossing around HER kids.  “Well, they’re just havin’ a good ‘ol time and she thanks [thinks] she kin [can] jus [just] cum [come] on in hair [here] and take over!”  Her friend commiserated with her for some time until she moved on to new topics, such as using her sister’s medicaid to have her many teeth fixed for free (she seemed to be missing several and what was left didn’t look as though it planned to stay for long) and how she’d discovered if she took all the daycare kids with her to the food pantry and claimed to be totally out of food, she could easily set stocked up for a good week or two for free.  She planned on making this a monthly event.  She highly recommended her friend borrow someone else’s kids, have them flash a pitiful face, and get some free grub.

 
 

Berry Patch Picking is Berry Overwhelming.

15 Jun

I met some friends at the local Berry Patch today.  Its a family owned and run Berry Farm and they grow acres and acres of blueberries, boysenberries, etc.  You can go out to the patches with a bucket they provide, pick whatever you want, or purchase berries they’ve picked and their amazing home made goodies in their shop.  Its fun for the kids, its an outdoor activity, its a great way to get cheap berries.

I am such a fool.

Its been raining here for four strait days.  The patch was one big mud wrestling pit.  I half expected to walk around a bend to discover Spike TV had convinced some twenty-something college attendees in desperate need of cash to be wrestling in a filthy pit in bathing suits I would have mistaken for a kleenex.    There has been so much rain that we were on the National News for flooding, so its not like I wasn’t aware there had been rain.  The weather promised morning showers with total clearing by 11am which did not happen.

It was terribly humid, so humid that my knees were sweating.  I had Ainsley in the Bjorn on the front of me because I realized when I stepped out onto the drenched ground that a stroller would not be an option.  So the boys had strict instructions on what color and density the berries needed to before they made it into their bucket.  I forgot to explain to the boys that the berries on the ground were NOT in need of squishing, were NOT grenades, and did NOT need to be mashed into their brother’s faux hawk.    I also was so intent on my berry picking that I neglected to realize Ainsley was perfectly capable of picking berries for herself and consuming them the ripe ones while masticating and rejecting the sour ones right down the front of her shirt.  Super.

We had lunch at the picnic tables provided by the farm, which would have been a delightful experience had the Farm owner’s several dogs and cats  not been milling around.  I used to love animals, until Max was born and we discovered that a simple lick from a Dog or a cat rubbing against his legs could stop him breathing in less than five minutes.  I now hate them.  So my lunch time was spent shooing an ancient cat away from my hyper allergic child and hovering over him with an Epi-Pen, should he react unfavorably.

Finally the kids were totally spent and all that was left was to allow them to ride in the jerry rigged train cars (cut open plastic barrels with wheels) pulled by a tractor.  As soon as I purchased tickets for all the kids a monsoon began.  Ten minutes later the children arrived soaked to their underwear, caked with mud from the barrels and they all wanted to “go again!”  Not going to happen.  I dragged all three back to the car with blueberry candy canes staining their fingers and faces while they whined and begged to stay because they were NOT tired, even though ten seconds after the car started they were all snoring and dripping blue drool down their shirts.

I’m wondering how a blueberry Margarita would taste… or maybe I’ll just use the berries for the cobbler and muffins and drink my booze strait from the bottle.  I hear its more effective that way.

 
 

CHIRP!

14 Jun

I once saw a movie with Jim Carey where he claimed to be able to make the most annoying sound in the world.  He made this throaty, deep, seemingly unending squeal like whine.  When I heard this I wholeheartedly agreed it was the most annoying sound on earth.  Oh, foolish woman.  I didn’t have kids at that point.

This afternoon when I returned home after a marathon of stores and errands with all three unwilling kids in tow carrying a lightly sleeping eight month old with a roaring double ear infection I heard a very abrasive chirp.  Oh dear God, No.  NO.  I just know its not time for the smoke alarm batteries to be changed.  Not when Ainsley is sleeping.  Not when the boys are are convinced they may die of starvation if I don’t set a prepared lunch in front of them in the next seven seconds.  Not when I’ve needed to pee for an hour and forty five minutes but held it because the thought of peeing an a crowded stall with a five and three year old staring at me while I balance an eight month old on my lap makes me want to simultaneously vomit and urinate.

CHIRP.

And then Ainsley wakes up, screaming because she wants to nurse, she wants her bed, she wants Motrin, her ears hurt and what the HELL is that noise?  Then Connor and Max realize there is a noise, a very loud, very irritating and totally awesome to mimic.  So the boys turn up their volume and begin Chirping while I am desperately trying to shove my breast in my screaming daughter’s mouth so she’ll fall asleep.   Now I have a stationary Chirp in the hall outside Ainsley’s room, and two mobile Chirpers milling around the house chirping, giggling, running into walls and kicking each other.  For whatever reason they felt the addition  of physical violence really enhanced the effects of the chirp.  Once I convinced Ainsley that she really did want to nurse and that her bed really was the best place for her and that I really was going to leave her in there so she might as well simmer down and hush up, I got the broom so I could beat one of the Chirpers to a bloody pulp.  No, not the kids, that one that runs on batteries.  I wish the boys ran on batteries so I could take the damn things out and get ten solid minutes of peace.

Even now, although I’ve killed the smoke detector and its no longer capable of making that evil noise, the boys have not forgotten what they learned.  They learned to emit what I have discovered to be the REAL most annoying sound on earth.  Its your kids copying the smoke alarm battery notification alert.  And unlike a smoke alarm you can’t shut your kids up with a broom.  Or you can, its just not moral or legal.

 
 

A Night Off? A Night Off!!!

13 Jun

This evening the two boys went with their Grandparents to a Theater in the Park show.  It was fabulous.  I mean them being gone, not the show.  They were picked up at 6pm and brought home about 11pm.  We still had the baby, but since she went to bed by 7pm I seriously feel like I’ve had a vacation.  Thats just sad.  But, I think Theater in the Park runs all Summer, and they have a Season pass.  So I’m thinking I need to make sure I hand deliver those kids EVERY SINGLE Saturday night.  Do they want a three and six year old tag a long every week?  I have no idea.  Do I care?  Only if they resist my efforts to thrust my children upon them.  I’m not above bribery.  They’re suckers for Mexican Restaurant Gift Cards.

 
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I have a moustache. Don’t be so smug, so do YOU.

11 Jun

It was recently brought to my attention that I have been sporting one wicked moustache and beard.  I don’t know how this came to pass.  I have a very fair complexion and most of the hair on my arms, legs and where ever else is mostly blond with a few brown  sprinkled in.  I never thought I’d be one of those women that you pass in the grocery store and spend the length of the cereal isle playing a guessing game as to what sex she REALLY is because no woman I’ve met looks as though she has pasted the hide of one of the Chipmunks on her her upper lip.  After seeing Miss Scruffy I was nearly convinced that I was just being obsessive and was going to let it go entirely when Max crawled onto my lap, grabbed one of the long hairs dangling from my chin and tugged, giggled and said, “Mommy!  You have hairy face like Daddy!”  That sealed it, I needed a hair exorcism.

So I went to a place my girlfriend recommended to me to have my eye brows, upper lip and chin waxed.  I have had my fair share of bikini waxing but never done anything on my face.  It wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, but I definitely wouldn’t do it as an extra curricular activity.  As needed basis only.  The woman that did it had a very thick Russian accent.  She was wearing four inch stiletto heels and a very tight low cut and short black cocktail dress that was very appropriate for the third date when she planned to get laid but not so appropriate for 2pm in the afternoon with Kansas 90 degree heat and 80% humidity.  When she bent over me her enormous pendulous breasts nearly smothered me while she was stripping the hair from my face.  I had the sneaking suspicion that I was being groomed by a girlfriend of a Russian Mobster.

Now, so many things have gone so very far south since the kids were born.  I never had a perfect body, but I had a nice shape.  I now look like a turnip at first glance.  My hair is constantly in a pony tail, not styled or fashionable.  I look frumpy.  I wear nursing bras instead of Victoria Secret Ultra Sexy.  Crocs instead of heels.  I feel like I keep noticing some new horrific loss of femininity each day.  I only hope that the process is gradual so the shock doesn’t cause a mass amount of wrinkle lines that force me to run to the nearest Botox clinic.

 
 

Food is Poison.

10 Jun

I met my girl friend at the Zoo today so the kids could burn off some energy while they ogled the animals and we could have a much needed gab session.  She said she’d noticed that I spent a considerable amount of time writing about poop.  I laughed about this, but on the drive home I thought about it.  We really, really, REALLY seem to have a bit more poo issues in our home than the average Joe family.  If my life were a Novel there would have been some foreshadowing, but looking back I just can’t recall any warning and I never had any inkling of the possibility that a such a lovely child could posses Linda Blair’s digestive tract.

Now, I had small glimpses of kids growing up, but I didn’t spend an excessive amount of time caring for very small children day after day.  I did the usual weekend baby sitting as a teen, but most of the kids I cared for were potty trained, with the occasional diaper wearing toddler.  I never watched a child with any kind of a food allergy, the most serious issue I had contact with was a ten year old with Asthma.    When Connor was born, he was a whiny over dramatic clingy baby, but normal.  He physically could eat anything we offered him, he just chose not to unless it was deep fried in oil and drenched in salt, or covered in a sugar and  butter mixture.  He stayed on that course for about the first two years of his life.  His stomach is lined with iron, he can eat half a pepperoni lovers pizza topped with a box of nails then polish it off with a double chocolate shake and sleep soundly.  When Max came along… to say the rules changed would be a gross understatement.  Someone took the rule book, put it in the microwave with an M-80 and set to detonate.

When Max was about six months old and started eating table food his stomach issues began.  We had a pizza night followed by a dozen diapers filled with a foul smelling bloody ranch dressing consistency of poop.  I was sure Max had food poisoning and put him on a strict BRAT diet.  Things cleared up  a bit, but as I gradually added foods back in he started to have diarrhea again, on not just a daily basis but an hourly basis, then a quarterly hour basis.  At this time I started to lose track of reality.  My husband started flying out of state on research trips for weeks at a time leaving me to care for a spontaneously shitting son and a three year old that had just given up naps and wanted my constant attention and unending entertainment.  I’d wake at least a dozen times a night to Max screaming in his crib and rush in to find him covered in foamy vomit and soaked with liquid diarrhea that saturated the sheets, his pajamas and after weeks of this had also totally removed the skin from his bottom, scrotum, penis, legs  and pelvis.  His skin was so terribly shredded there was no way to just wipe him off and put on a fresh diaper.  I’d have to start the tub and pour in some oatmeal bath.  I would peel away his wet clothes and very tenderly clean off all of the acidic poo by pouring warmed water over the areas, he couldn’t bear a cloth to touch it.  While he was calming down and letting the bath soothe his patchy skin I’d have to strip his crib.  Take off the sheet and mattress pad, wipe the mattress down with Clorox.  Put on the fresh linens, put the soiled sheets in the washing machine.  Get Max out of the tub, spray him from the waste down with dermoplast and slather him in diaper cream, dress him in clean pajamas, nurse him, dose him with some motrin for his painful skin and lay him down with a wish and a prayer that I’d have a solid hour of sleep before doing it all over again.  This was the several times a night routine for MONTHS.  At the beginning of each night I would lay out a stack of mattress pads, sheets, pajamas, diapers, dermablast spray, and Costco sized tub of diaper cream.  Each time I’d wake I would push the laundry loads through, first load to dryer, next load of dirty linens to washer so the soiled pieces would all be ready for the next evening.   I was so sleep deprived, so deep in a postpartum fog and so isolated that I forgot to stop and question if this was normal.  I hadn’t gone through it with Connor, so reason would suggest that it was NOT the natural way of things, but I was so exhausted and bewildered my brain had not even bothered to stop and examine the situation.  When I was on the phone with my dear friend after a particularly awful marathon evening she said, “I think you need to consider getting some food testing done.”  It was as if I’d been standing alone in a coal mine a mile  under the surface of the earth tasked with building a space shuttle with no light or tools and someone had just hand delivered me NASA’S finest and  an action plan.  I had been so deep in it, I was just in survival mode, just getting though, I never stopped to consider that I could make a change, ANY change, and things could get better.  His Doctor ordered allergy testing and we discovered severe allergies to Dairy, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts,Vanilla, and the Family Dog.  We made major diet changes for him, the dog went to live with family friends and I started sleeping though the night.  Max came back from the brink of extinction, and has grown into an amazing child.

As Max has grown, we allow him to have very small amounts of dairy and soy which can still cause severe diarrhea .  The lining of his stomach and intestine become so inflamed he just can’t process it .  He takes probiotics and we are very cautious but still try to allow him to enjoy a french fry now and then.  The crazy poop episodes are a result of that imperfect diet.  We can’t allow a nut item of any kind, exposure to nuts can be fatal, but letting him eat cheddar goldfish crackers is simply part of being a child and research suggests that small amounts of exposure are necessary to aid his body in learning to process trace amounts.

So, now it seems as though Ainsley might have some food allergies as well, she has some testing next week.  My girlfriend asked me what I would write about if I didn’t have to worry about poop under towels in the hallway, midnight sheet washing and scrubbing shit from underneath fingernails.

I have no idea.  But I have a feeling I don’t have to worry about that.  I see no end to the excess of poop in my future.

 
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In this house, we dance with pants ON.

09 Jun

I rented  a movie for Connor today as a reward for his good report card.  We put the movie, Chipmunks 2, on in his playroom downstairs (read: where I would not be forced to SEE or HEAR it)  when the other kids went to bed.  I went downstairs to check on him and discovered him in the bathroom, pants and underwear off (having just finished going the bathroom I guess) doing pantless air guitar in front of the bathroom mirror.  When he saw me he said, “Oh hey Mommy… I was just… dancing.”  Yeah, son, without your freakin’ PANTS!

 
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My Max.

08 Jun

Three years ago today I had a baby boy that I thought I would trade for a girl in half a second if given the opportunity. He required tubes and wires covering his entire body to sustain his life and couldn’t breathe on his own. I was not allowed to touch him. My husband stood above his isolette in the NICU for four hours strait trying to keep him calm while he was on CPAP in hopes he wouldn’t need intubation if we were able to keep him from fighting the mask. I was not allowed in, “the shock” they said would be too much for me to handle. I was brought photos for inspiration to pump breast milk that I wasn’t sure my child would ever eat. Doctors carefully explained the unexplainable, Max had just stopped developing in utero, no reason, but his lungs were too small, he’d forget to breathe if distracted or in a deep sleep, he was small, his heart had a PDA, he wouldn’t hold his own body temperature at a normal level, he needed a feeding tube. No one had a date in mind when he’d be okay or even IF he would be, when he could nurse, when he could be held… just don’t expect too much, don’t ask too many questions and don’t make any plans.

Screw you. Screw your diagnosis. Screw this.

The Doctors painted a picture of this road, the road that Max would take. It would be long, hard, full of tears. Lower your expectations, take a step back and let it evolve and don’t push. Think of it as a slow walk, you’ll get there, maybe, but walking takes time. Max didn’t follow that plan. Max didn’t walk. Max grew wings. Max flew.

Today Max turned three.  A boy who doctors frowned over and tried to “prepare” me to lose instead drinks life as if it is the air he breathes. He is passionate, daring, inquisitive, strong and determined. If Max doesn’t succeed at step one, he tries again, and again, and again. He never stops until he not only completes his task but excels and thrives at everything he does.

He is a child that has so many restrictions, from his diet to his activities, but he doesn’t recognize boundaries, he defies them. He is amazing, he never questions if he CAN do it, before he even tries something he knows he has succeeded.  Its in the bag.

Happy Birthday to the boy I wouldn’t trade, can’t live without, and teaches me about what it means to be alive every day.  I love you Max.

 
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