Monday, March 30, 2009


About five days before leaving for a trip we are really looking forward to, an awful virus starting spreading itself from family member to family member.

This virus seethed its way through the most defenseless and innocent members of our family to a sloth-like pace.

I ended up taking those defenseless and innocent family members to a doctor who told me there was very little i could do on behalf of the tinies besides use her handy tongue depressors as poo scooping devices to collect feces from a horrific diaper and deposit it into a laboratory specimen canister or two.

Clad in latex gloves, I addressed a barely substantive diaper with my little wooden tool, specimen canister in hand, and I managed to fill that specimen canister just shy of the "fill to here" line before deciding I would whiff no stronger, get no closer, spy no deeper, for the sake of depositing a few more molecules of the vile in a vile.

Specimen canisters hardly ever fill at 9am, when there is plenty of time to get to the laboratory. They almost always fill at 4:45pm, when the lab closes sharply at 5, and you live precisely 15 minutes away.

Little innocents with gastrointestinal issues- well, they're still yours and you still have to love them when they decide the next best time to relieve their gastric strain is in the bathtub while you are trying to relieve their angry rashed bottoms in a soothing oatmeal bath. What's a little more meal in the oats anyway? You still need to rebathe them once you figure out how to slosh the tub to an adequate state of post-poo clean.

... but I'm sorry, what was that you were saying? About what a hard and awful day you had today? Really?? You poor thing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Self Expression

Regardless of bedtime for my children, wake time is consistently between 6 and 7am every single day. Though that's a fine waking time for any grown adult, when we try to live like teenagers, as Todd and I do, we find it helps to have an occasional catch up day. Every weekend, Todd and I will do each other the courtesy of taking turns with the kids so the other may have a sleep in day.

Saturday, it was Todd's turn to sleep in. Abigail kept asking when she could wake Daddy.

"You CAN NOT wake Daddy," I told her.
"Well, when is he going to wake up then?" she replied.
"When he gets up!" I said.
"I want to wake him up NOW!" she said.
"I'm sorry, you may not."
"That makes me ANGRY!!!!" she crossed her arms, and stuck her nose in the air.
"I'm sorry to hear that. You're allowed to feel that way," I said.

I then continued doing something busy that felt productive, but showed no true results. A few moments later, she got up from the kitchen table, where apparently she had been coloring with her markers, and handed me a picture.

"What's this, Abi?"
"It's a picture of me pushing you!" she said.

I was very groggy and a bit grumpy myself, but even so, I saw this as quite something. Clearly she wanted to push me because she was upset. Yet she didn't push me... and that was good, right? I mean, parenthood is largely about tiny wins, yes? At the same time, it was an affront to me, her mother, albeit, a graphical affront. So, should there be a punishment for drawing out what you want to do instead of actually doing it? Well, I wasn't sure. Yet, I was grumpy enough to not let it pass without some retribution.

I picked up her marker, grabbed a piece of paper, and drew a picture of me putting her in a timeout for pushing me.

Just look how sad she was!
That'll teach her.

Monday, March 16, 2009

mortality and children's songs

my daughter is a delightful (read: INSANE) five years old. it's a fun age, five. you can almost hold a real conversation. you can count on the five year old to get herself dressed (though it might be in pink striped tights, a leopard print skirt, and a blue tank top in the middle of winter). you can count on her to do her own 'wiping', if you catch me.

... but occasionally you get the warped view into the tiny little exploratory mind, and you have to wonder where you went wrong.

abi has adapted the 'hickory dickory dock' song to meet her developmental need to vex me.

"hickory dickory dock.
the mouse ran up the clock.
he got the hiccups and then he died,
hickory dickory dock!"

if that was all, it might not be so bad. however, she mixes it up. in fact, the song is rarely about a mouse. it's more often about her brother or the dog.

"hickory dickory dock.
braeden ran up the clock.
he got the hiccups and then he died,
hickory dickory dock."

that bugs me a little more. i mean, i don't like to hear about my son dying, much less of the hiccups. talk about losing faith in the local health system.

... and sometimes it's me! sometimes i run up a clock, get the hiccups and die! i don't rightly have a scheme for how i'm going to go, but i'd be horrified if i expired from hiccuping! just think of the mortifying obituary:

melissa passed this weekend after quite randomly scaling a longcase clock. the incident misaligned her diaphragm, causing her to hiccup to death. she expired surrounded by her survivors: husband todd, son, braeden, and daughter, abigail, who prophesied this event at the age of five. services will be held on wednesday. in lieu of flowers, please send pocket watches.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for Pool"

i've decided to start training for a sprint distance triathlon. yes, i know it's a bit ambitious, particularly for a mom of very little people who has never really been very athletic, but i'm on it! i ran some before having braeden, and helped inspire running in my sister. she, has now inspired triathlon-ing in me. well, now don't get your hopes too high, it's not like i am registered for a race or even have one picked out, but i'm taking the first steps, and well, that's something.

the thing is-- i can't swim. i mean, i'm fine at not drowning. i have the survival piece covered, but the act of propelling oneself from here to there in some organized fashion? well, i'm not much more successful than a bloated whale corpse carried on the tide. nonetheless, i have decided to try this thing, so... i am committed to aspiring to something greater than 'whale corpse'.

now, in this interest there is one very important thing that i must do, and that is SWIM. in a pool, because lakes in this part of colorado aren't swimmable for much of the year, and the last time there was an ocean in these parts, my closest DNA similar was likely a trilobyte. the local YMCA is fit to accommodate. the trouble is, it HASN'T accommodated.

on two separate occasions this week, i have made an effort to go swimming at the tri-lakes YMCA pool, and both times, my plans have been thwarted by some child who, in a most timely manner, decided to... well... defecate in the pool. responsible pool operators that they are, the Y closes the pool for some extended period of time to zap in a heavy dose of chlorine. well, and then i'm faced with a) not swimming or b) waiting until the pool opens again, if possible (not possible last night, when the kid crapped at about 8pm, and the pool was scheduled to close at 9.15 anyway), and thinking the whole time about the extra chlorine/kid poo spa treatment i'm getting. so i haven't been swimming all week.

now, come on, mothers of the tri-lakes region (and now i'm starting to sound like Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man)! if your child is still in the range of "questionably potty trained", there should be a swim diaper on that tailpipe! some other paying YMCA members have ambitions to climb up from 'whale corpse'! i consider hours i spend in the lap lane to be golden. helps me cultivate fish sense, and a cool head, and a keen eye. these pool closures are causing quite the set back. now i know all you folks are the right kind of parents. i'm gonna be perfectly frank. when you don't take enough precaution to swim diaper wrap that free-willed rear, there's more suffering than your sweet embarrassment!

i have no choice but to hope i'll find a solution that will allow me to get into a pool, but there's no doubt... we got Trouble, my friend.

Friday, March 6, 2009

another interview

a dear friend sent me a link to an interview one of her friends did with her own children. it was sweet really. i gave abi the same interview. turns out, it was un-bloggable, but upon completion, she decided it was her turn to ask ME questions. so, as a viable substitute, here is Abi's interview of ME:

Abi: How much do I love you?
Abi: NO. All the way to heaven.

Abi: How do you know how much I love McDonald's?
Me: I know how much you love McDonalds because you get happy when we say we're going.
Abi: I don't get happy when we're going. I get CHEESEBURGERS.
Me: Yes, but first you get HAPPY, then you get Cheeseburgers.
Abi: Yes, but if Mom-mom's not coming in with us, I'm not coming.

Abi: How do you know that I hate taking shots?
Me: I know that you hate taking shots because you tell me so, and because you scream louder than anyone ever screams ever (she had her 5 yr old vaccinations today. oye)!

Abi: Where do you know I like to go?
Me: I know you like to go to Pump It Up.
Abi: YES, CORRECT! But a little more... I love going to Fox Run.

Abi: Where should I go when I miss you?
Me: Well, to see me, of course.
Abi: Yes, but what if you're far away?
Me: Buy a plane ticket.
Abi: But what if I don't have one?
Me; We'll BUY one.
Abi: But what if there's not any at any stores?
Me: We'll order one on the computer.
Abi: Good job! That's what I would do.

Abi: Why do I love playing in play areas in McDonalds?
Me: Because you like to make new friends.
Abi: oh, yes. good thought. but BECAUSE I LIKE PLAYING.
Me: ooooooooh.

i think she started feeling like an interview was, in fact, a test- a series of questions a person answers with distinctly right and wrong answers. well, regardless, we still had a lot of fun bouncing questions off of one another and discussing our answers. i think though that we need to start spending a little less time at mcdonalds.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

comfortable child, happy mommy

i admit it. i've been putting the book down in the interest of things closer to my heart. you know... the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book? it was wearing on me, you see... ever since the part about how fussy bratty babies often grow up to be fat kids (wha-!?).

in truth, though, Braeden's waking has become more frequent. not his feedings necessarily, but he wakes up three or four times between 7:00pm and 10:30pm. so okay. i admit that it's irritating. once again, i decide to pick the book up and at least see what dr. marc weissbluth suggests as a course of action for little Brae. i mean... i can always choose to ignore it if i want.

so i skip ahead to the section for children aged 5-12 months old. i'm ready to play in the dirt a little; get down to the nitty gritty. it's time for some serious action items. i read the introductory paragraph:

"Our goal is to establish sleep habits, so we don't want to get sidetracked by worrying too much about crying. When your two-year-old cries because he doesn't want his diaper changed or your one-year-old cries because he wants juice instead of milk, don't let the crying prevent you from doing what is best for him. Establishing healthy sleep habits does not mean that there will always be a lot of crying, but there may be some in protest. If you find this to be unacceptable when your child is four months old, then please reconsider this chapter when he is nine or ten months old."

see, already, they are preparing for me. from introduction they are trying to bait me into the concept that i need to ignore my initial instinct (can someone please tell me why i should be ignoring my natural maternal instinct??? right. because some doctor clever enough to be published, thinks my little lovely needs to establish sleep habits).

well, okay. let's walk through these little parental examples, because no, i'm not one to stop changing the two year old that cries for at a diaper change, or give in to the one year old who prefers juice of the apple over juice of the moo, but are these examples true paraellels? i'm an experienced mom here, people.

if the two year old kicks and screams for the diaper change, i try to soothe him/her to the best of my ability. i try to make him giggle by telling him how stinky he is. i distract her by letting her hold the clean diaper or a toy. i do it as quickly as possible, and when it's through, move right on to the next thing. i don't just plow through the change, unreactive, and walk away once it's done.

the one year old who cries without juice? i don't just give her a cup, and walk away; i try to soothe him/her to the best of my ability. if baby's smart enough to consider options, he can choose between milk or water. the choice alone takes away from the mandate, and having nothing at all is also an option. besides, how long is the thirsty baby going to cry with a sippy cup tucked in his smoocher?

the baby who wakes up crying from tummy aches or bad dreams or loneliness or whatever else causes him discomfort? i try to soothe him/her to the best of my ability. all i need to do is pick him up. hold him a little while. maybe change him or give him a bottle- stuff i do for him all the time. no games or manipulation required.

maybe it's not easy to distract the two year old from her diaper change. maybe it's not easy to make the one year old drink milk. picking up my nine month old because he's crying in the dark? easy.

already i'm less irritable about those night wakings. looks like i'm putting you down again for a while, doc. i don't think it's how you meant it to work, dr. weissbluth, but thanks for your help

Monday, March 2, 2009

has anybody seen my blog?

i can't seem to find it.