Monday, November 24, 2008
Teething comes with a variety of symptoms, and, of course, no two children are exactly alike in their teething experience. Loss of sleep, general grumpiness, explosive messes in diapers, and hair trigger crankiness attacks are just a few. And although Critter is indeed miserable, and has told me on more than one occasion with his red rimmed eyes and little Oooooooo’s and Owowowow’s for periods up to 20 minutes straight, it is none of the above listed symptoms I wish to dedicate this blog entry to. The symptom I wish to discuss is so bad, so awful, so fowl that it has sent me running for the tension tamer tea at 10:30 on a Monday morning.
Let’s talk snot. Critter’s nose has turned its self into Mt. Vesuvius. Usually when a child has a runny nose, you grab a tissue and wipe. But with Critter’s nose, that seems to be like taking a single two ply square of toilet paper and attempting to mop up an entire gallon of spilled milk. Between the snot and the gallons of drool, I have had to pull out the big guns- the softest most absorbent towel I can find. Let me explain why.
His eruptions begin with a steady bead of snot, flowing from one nostril or the other. And since the eruptions occur frequently, there seems to be no preference to either side. The boy’s nostrils are an equal opportunity eruptor. Before you can blink, things begin to bubble over, and there’s a river of clear ooze coming from the nose. The drool that accompanies the eruption begins to pool up in the volcano’s crater (Critter’s mouth) and escape with record setting speed over the outer ledge with a gushing waterfall of slightly thinner viscosity.
I swear it’s like being drawn into a natural disaster from which you clearly see coming but can not escape. There begins a low gurgle, an undulation of mucus, a deep breath, then, “Aaaaaaaaa-Choo!”
And I become Pompeii.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Critter has begun another round of teething, this time with a cough I might have to break down and take him to the doctor for tomorrow. I know as long as the copious amounts of fluid flowing from his nose are clear he has no infection, but his cough sounds really "congesty", which leads me to believe I may have to take him for his first "my baby is sick" doctor's appointment. 9 months really isn't that bad. I believe Smooch made it just over a year before he had to have his first round of antibiotics. And there I go again. I should really stop comparing the differences in my sons, they are truly night and day anyway.
We have scrapped our plans for a Christmas family road trip to Florida, opting instead to fly my Mom home for the holidays because, well, who really wants to spend 20 hours in a car with a 10 month old? My Mom recently had the unfortunate luck of being another victim of our crappy economy and lost her job, so my sister and I decided that our Christmas present to her should be a plane ticket up north so she can have some holiday cheer in the form of grandchildren. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that her daughters miss her. Nothing at all. She'll be with us for darn near a full month, and I'm starting to realize I didn't take into consideration she will no doubt be grumbling about being cold the entire time. Ear plugs are on my grocery list for the week.
Smoochie has his first teacher crush. He's always talking about "Mrs. S." and how he gets to eat lunch with her once a week because he never gets his paw card pulled in class for misbehaving. You can see him light up when he talks about her. It's pretty cute, and it keeps him working hard in school, so really, it's not a bad thing. A teacher crush is nothing like a girlfriend, which I fully intend to scare away all of. Which reminds me, I should get to work channeling Marie Barone.
Bonehead has his last CycloCross race of the season today. I will be more than happy to get his bike out of the back of our minivan so I don't have to load the groceries up on the side of the van anymore. It has become really inconvenient to avoid kneeling on the bread and eggs in order to buckle and unbuckle Critter in his car seat. I am making the family go hours early for this race so I can watch the women race for the first time. I'm actually a little bit excited about that. After 4pm today, I can put the cowbells away until next season.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I met my prince at 15. How many people are lucky enough to stumble upon their prince charming at such a young age? Immediately I befriended the prince, and soon we were inseparable, and he was my best friend. He knew all my deepest darkest secrets, and I knew I could trust him with my life. He was smart, funny, had a poet’s soul and a rebel’s heart all rolled into one. So when I was 19 (and he 21) and he proposed, I jumped at the chance to marry my sweet, handsome, romantic prince charming.
But earlier this week I was feeling pretty duped. Happily ever after doesn’t leave the toilet seat up. Happily ever after doesn’t give you a 6 year old son with the urinating splatter pattern of a water balloon. And as I traveled about the house trying to make it at least presentably clean (feel free to insert a mental picture of a chubby hamster on a skinny wheel here) I was all kinds of grumpy. Seriously, the middle of the floor (in any room, pick a room) has a magnet for shoes that BELONG BY THE DOOR. How hard is it to throw something away when you walk past the trash can on your way to put it on the counter? My effort around here is futile, I tell you.
By Tuesday night, I was feeling much the same. I’d been totally duped with the whole happily ever after thing. How the hell did Snow White clean that house so cheerfully? It wasn’t even hers!
Hubby and I sat in our living room with our dueling laptops watching TV and Google chatting. Let me tell you, Google chat has been a lifesaver now that our son can actually spell and read. Talk about going out to dinner out loud, and the first time you mention Applebee’s and he’s jumping up and down cheering and the next thing you know you have no other choices. We can talk about all kinds of things while separated by a matter of feet. We can share stories or pictures of topics that are interesting that we stumble on. (Yes, we’re nerdy like that) The ironic thing is we still do it, even after the kiddos are in bed.
So when the link came over through Google chat, I thought it was just another funny lolcat that I hadn’t seen yet. I clicked on it, and I saw what happily ever after really was.
He had sent me a Google map. But it wasn’t JUST a map. It was a map of us. It started with a pinpoint at his parent’s house, for his front yard was the place where we met. It had most of our life laid out for me to look at, complete with an explanation of each dot. Our first apartment. The townhome we loved the best. The apartment we lived in (that I picked out all by myself because we were separated by the navy and half the U.S. at the time) that had train tracks behind it and when a train went by, the whole place shook like there was a 5.9 bringing the place down. The location of the birth place of both our sons. There it was, my whole life with Bonehead, all mapped out. I was looking at my happily ever after right before my eyes, which were, at that time, filled with tears.
Someone should write a book on the “real happily ever after.” The one that actually exists-complete with toilet seats and trippy shoes. Because although happily ever after isn’t Halloween every day, and although it is work and drudgery at times, happily ever after does exist. The moment you are looking at it, it might just be one dot on the map, but after a little while it becomes the history of you, me, and us. And as long as we continue to be lovers, best friends, and sidekicks, it continues to be happily ever after.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I am thankful for a roof over my head, nourishing food to feed my children, and warm winter clothing for them to wear. I’m thankful for my electricity, gas, and water. I am thankful we have a hot water heater that works, and a furnace as well, for winter life in Chicagoland would be brutal without either of those.
More than that, though, I am thankful for what I would have left if all of that were suddenly taken away from me- my family. My family is by far the greatest blessing, triumph, joy, and challenge of my life. And while most people count their blessings, I nickname mine.
Bonehead: My husband makes me laugh daily. Most people who know him know his dry sense of humor is backed by an intelligence that makes him quick on his feet and an easy target for saying funny things while simultaneously sticking his foot in his mouth by doing so. What they don’t know is that his heart and spirit possess a sense of chivalry and loyalty to his family that can’t be broken. They don’t see how hard he works to support his family, and the sacrifices he makes without asking anything in return. They don’t know that when he loves it is unconditional, that when he plays it is spontaneous and free, and that when he breaks down it echoes in his soul. No matter how much I might grumble about picking up after him, or doing his dishes and laundry, he is a blessing. I am thankful for every day I can look into his eyes and see them sparkle with laughter and mischief.
Smoochie: My oldest son gave my heart a home. He has always been a good boy, better than I deserved. He’s never colored on a wall, cut his own hair, or removed his own diaper for exploration purposes. What he has done is lightened my life with laughter, filled my heart with pride and smiled at me with his sweet smile. He has always had an uncanny ability to put others before himself, which made him odd at 3 years old, when he would readily pass up dessert to help someone in need of help. He has shown my heart how full and warm and happy it could truly be.
Critter: My baby boy is 9 months old, and in the space of 9 months has been the single largest challenge of my life. He has turned my life upside down and spit me out the other side, to be perpetually tired and weary. He has the biggest bluest eyes I have ever seen, and when I hold him close and look into them, he fills me. I have grown a second heart to hold my love for him, and although it is different than the love I have for Smoochie, it is no more or no less than that I hold for my firstborn. He has a temper. He will challenge authority. He will question everything and he will have his father’s ability to see things outside the box. I want to hold him close and protect him from the hard life lessons he will have to learn. I want him to stay my baby blue eyed blessing forever.
My nicknames are terms of endearment for my family, and I am thankful every single day for the joys and challenges they bring into my life. My family helps to make me who I am: A cook, nurse, entertainer, housekeeper, and too many more professions to name. Most of all, though, they make me a wife and a mother, which are the two most blessed titles I’ve experienced in my life.
*This post was created as an entry for November's Write Away Contest, which is graciously hosted by Scribbit each month.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Apparently, I know how to cause a ruckus with my blog party. I’ve managed to get my mom to ground me from another state, but that’s ok, because she’s going to be out of town for a while, so the party can continue for a bit longer (she’ll never know). I’m pretty sure I’ve also got my little sister jumping up and down screaming, “I TOLD you she wasn’t the angel you all thought she was!!! But would anyone listen to me? NoooOOOooo!!!”
To save my family more stress and grief, maybe I should tame things down for a blog entry or two, I wouldn’t want to get too out of hand.
For the answer to the game, I do not have a tattoo. Yet.
My Birthday is in two days, and I could get a tattoo to remedy that fact, but then I’d have to worry about a place that hasn’t been affected by flab or a stretch mark, which leaves my forehead. And I’m not really all that keen on permanently inking up a place that can only be covered by a Richard Simmons inspired sweat band. Besides, wrinkles will eventually set in there and what starts off as a heart could wind up looking like a ship lost in a stormy sea.
I am at a loss what to ask my husband for as a birthday gift. I am a stay at home mom, so whatever I ask for pretty much needs to be cheap due to our budget, the bad economy, you know the routine. I was planning to ask for a full night of sleep, but in the last week I’ve tried something new with Critter. I cut out all night time feedings, and although the first night was pure torture, we are pretty much through the worst of it. I don’t think I’m going to ask for a full night of sleep if I’m already pretty much getting it now (three straight nights and counting, I can’t tell you how good I feel).
So now I’m in a pickle. I have no clue what to ask for. Oh sure, I want the home made card from Smoochie, and I want that snuggle from Critter. But from Bonehead? For free? A personalized fork for scratching my neurotic spot? Maybe I should ask him to do dishes. In a loincloth. I think the steam would shimmer nicely on the jojoba oil, what do you think?
Please feel free to leave me as many comments as you would like for your chance to win the apron. Cut off time is 3pm central time tomorrow, November 12th. I will announce the winner as part of my Birthday post.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I never pierced anything myself.
I never snuck into my house after midnight.
I never snuck out of my house after midnight.
I never ran away.
I never snuck in (or out) through a boy’s window.
I never sailed.
I’ve never been to another country not attached to the United States.
I never shaved a large portion (the bottom half) of my head.
I’ve never been arrested and handcuffed.
I never got a tattoo.
I never…you know...smack dab in the middle of acres and acres of daisies (my favorite flower).
I’ve never been greeted at my door by a very large barking dog that wasn’t mine.
I’ve never been on a nuclear powered submarine.
I never pointed at a place on a map and then just went there.
I’ve never received a speeding ticket.
I never had a cavity until I was 32.
I never watched a meteor shower at 3am.
I’ve never seen a solar eclipse with a shadow box thing.
I’ve never danced around the kitchen with my son instead of doing dishes.
I’ve never gone to the bathroom outside.
I’m running out of wild and crazies here. Can you figure out which one is not true? I’m surprised I came up with as many as I did, since I’m a pretty straight and narrow kind of girl. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of my Blog Warming Party, and don’t forget to leave comments for your chance to win the apron.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Here's what you will need: 2 boxes of ice cream sandwiches (trust me, generic will be just fine), 1 large tub of Cool-Whip, 1 jar of caramel ice cream topping, 1 jar of hot fudge, and either 1 bag of Heath Bar miniatures, or 1 bag of Heath baking chips- whichever you prefer. You will also need a 9 x 13 pan of some sort.
Start by layering the ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of the pan. It's OK to leave room between them. In fact, it is actually preferable so the good stuff can ooze down in the spaces later for added yumminess. Notice the sandwiches that have been cut to fit at the bottom of the pan. It doesn't have to look pretty.
Next you pour THE ENTIRE JAR of Caramel topping over the ice cream sandwiches. Try to spead the wealth evenly-ish.
And I forgot the pictue of the next step, so this one will have to do. If you bought the candy bars, open them and crush in a plastic bag. Once you have crushed pieces, you'll want to sprinkle about 1/2 on top of the caramel topping.
Next add 1/2 the tub of Cool Whip.
Repeat with another layer of ice cream sandwiches. More sandwiches will fit on this layer. I'm not sure why, I just notice stuff like that.
Spread out the remaining Cool Whip.
Now go ahead and sprinkle the rest of the chips on top.
And for the very last step, heat up about 1/2 cup (or more or less depending on your preference) of hot fudge and drizzle on top. Make sure you freeze for about an hour before trying to cover the dish, because otherwise you will loose all your yummy toppings when you remove the lid.
Hubby will be taking this beauty to work for a pot luck day they are having. I meant what I said about shipping it out. Usually, I put it in a tinfoil pan so I can just leave it behind and not worry about the dish.
Be sure to leave a comment or as many as you would like if you are interested in winning THE APRON. For each comment I receive, I will enter your name in the drawing for the winner, which will be announced on November 13th. I hope you are enjoying the party, tune in tomorrow to see what I've got in store next.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Every good party needs a little music. So I grabbed my trusty MP3 player and charged it up real good. I've thrown it into shuffle play mode, just to mix it up a bit. Music can say alot about a person (or not), so lets see what my little shuffle is saying about me today.
Before I get started, I thought I'd share something most people don't know about me. I'm a lyric queen. I memorize lyrics, and can sing along with just about anything played near me. If I like a song and don't know the lyrics, I actually look them up online in order to remedy that fact. And while Bonehead is the expert on 80's music trivia, I am the lyric queen. Which is why he waits for me to mess a line up when we're in the car together so he can pounce with a triumphant, "Ha! I heard that."
Which never fails to turn me beet red.
Anyway, out of my 4 hour play list, here's what my trusty little machine pulled out for the party:
1. Life in a Northern Town- Sugarland. This song is actually a fairly recent purchase, I have only had it for a few months. I'm pretty nostalgic about the original, and I happened to really like this version when I heard it.
2. Geek in the Pink- Jason Mraz. I discovered the joy that is Jason Mraz on You Tube shortly after my son was born. In one of those late night mommy and me parties. And let me tell you, Jason Mraz can seranade me anytime.
3. Hurricane Party- Cowboy Mouth. I saw Cowboy Mouth perform at a small
divebar here in town, and let me tell you, it was one of the funnest small venue experiences I have ever had (second only to our wedding anniversary when we visited the same bar for punk rock night) I keep hoping they will come back, because I would so be there. Before I went, I knew one song. That performance made a fan out of me.
4. Rock and Roll Heaven's Gate- Indigo Girls. The Indigo Girls are my all time favorite band, and have been since I was the tender age of 14. As a matter of principal and devotion, I try to include at least one of their songs on every play list I create. Unless its a workout playlist, then I tend to lean toward more techno-y kind of stuff.
5. Hey Julie- Fountains of Wayne. This song, too, is a recent Itunes purchase, and I haven't had it for too horribly long. It makes me want to tap my toes and I can tell you that in the past few months Smoochie and I have danced around the kitchen together many times while preparing dinner. So now it's not only fun, it's special, too.
6. You Won't Make a Fool Out of Me- Flogging Molly. I married a Freckly, Red Headed Irishman. And although he drinks next to never, he did inherit the Irish metabolism for whiskey. I have a fondness for "Irish American Celtic Punk" that doesn't limit itself to St. Patty's Day.
*upon reading my post, my beloved Bonehead pointed out that others may think he's from Ireland. I married a freckly, red headed American man OF IRISH DESCENT, just in case there may be any confusion*
7. Who I Am- Jessica Andrews. I am the spitting image of my Father, who happened to be the spitting image of my Grandmother, and I am the only one in the family to inherit her green eyes. It's a sentimental song to me, and I try very hard be a music Genre Snob. Although, I do tend to run screaming from anything classical with latin lyics. It's probably all the time I spent in choir in school.
8. Green Fields of France- Dropkick Murphys. I love this song, and we've already established my love for this genre. That's all I've got.
9. Black Horse and The Cherry Tree- K T Tunstall. Even though I've heard this song no less than 1000 times, I still haven't gotten tired of this song.
10. Little Bitty- Alan Jackson. Another recent purchase. I bought this song with the sole purpose of serenading my little Critter. Because he's so little bitty. (Smooch was a tank, I fully expected another tank. What I got was a peanut. So, Little Bitty it is)
11. Bonus Track: Battle of New Orleans- Johnny Horton. Because it's just fun.
I have to confess I cheated just a tad. The actual shuffle mode on my play list pulled up a total of 3 Jason Mraz songs (imagine that), and so in the interest of variety, I hit fast forward once or twice.
Stay tuned for tomorrow, the party food edition of my Blog Warming Party, and please feel free to leave as many comments as you would like. I'll enter your name once for each comment left, and announce the winner of the apron on November 13th.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Your husband, in proper fitting jeans, is lust and desire personified. How do you manage to let him out the door to go to work every morning without ravaging him to the point of exhaustion? Most women in your position would have him chained to the wall in a flatteringly lit basement, wearing nothing but loincloth and a thin film of ginseng and jojoba infused body oil.
Silly boy. That spot is already occupied by Dwayne Johnson. And occasionally, the Culligan Man. And I need to keep you handy to reach the items in the top cupboards.
What is the speed of light?
You, the great physics buff that you are, have asked me that question no fewer than 1000 times over the course of our marriage, and have told me the answer just as many. But I can assure you of one thing: If you ask me again tomorrow, I still. Will. Not. Know.
You can take any two people out drinking next Friday, who’s going?
You, of course, because life never fails to be interesting with you around. And for the second person? Oscar the Grouch. I’ll bet he’s a real hoot after a martini or two.
You keep your cards pretty close to your vest, tell us something about you that would make your Mom spit out her teeth.
(Quick explanation for those not in the loop: Years ago, our family dog jumped as my mom was bending over, and knocked out her front teeth. Some sort of partial bridge was then made as a replacement, and she has been forced to laugh with her hand over her mouth ever since, lest she spit them out. Occasionally, she is taken unawares, and they have been known to go flying.)
Can I get back to you on this one?
No really, we want to see your mom spit out her teeth, it is funny as hell.
OK. Let me just say that on occasion, I might use YOUR salad fork to scratch
my neurotic spot. I MIGHT. Hey. I’m just sayin’.
What is the deal with your profile picture? How come we can only see part of your face? Why is it cropped like that?
A partial face image is intriguing. And in the interest of intrigue, I figured I would give you two options and let you choose which one is more accurate. I am either performing unspeakable acts of debauchery in the photo, or I cropped out a bad hair day and a serious PMS blemish.
The Princess Bride
Who was in that movie, you know, with that one guy, and it had that song in it?
That would be Patrick Dempsey.
You said you knew Bonehead for almost 4 years before you married him, how did you manage to keep your hands off such a fine specimen for so long? Your humorous online persona belies your scheming calculating nature, how did you finally snare him?I had to wait for the chains in my basement to free up. Then I pounced.
What do want to be when you grow up?
A writer. In a perfect world, I would make us millions with my words.
Bonehead’s friend Steve-why do you blush every time his name comes up these days? Should bonehead be worried?
Uhm...Ahh...I had a dream. And you told him, so now he feels the need to pick on me, too. It's a good thing I'm such a good sport.
And this concludes my first ever interview. Please tune in tomorrow when my Blog Warming Party continues.
Please feel free to leave some comment love in order to enter your name in the drawing for the apron.