Mommy's Juice!: September 2011   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Wordless Wednesday Wish

I’ve noticed the blogging trend of “Wordless Wednesday” as I hop around and visit friends.  As I’ve said before, I think this is a great idea however as the girl voted Most Talkative of the class of 1993 at Northeast Guilford High School, one that I don’t feel I could participate in.  That said, today I would like to focus on a different kind of wordless Wednesday, one in which I am able to enjoy complete silence from my three-year olds constant chatter.  

I suppose I can blame myself for this non-stop noise, I am the one with the chatty gene in the family.  But hey, I take breaks for a breath here and there.  This kid can literally talk for hours on end with absolutely no break whatsoever.  Take for example our trip to the grocery store on Monday.  The stars had aligned and there was exactly one car cart available (I so hate those things) that Jackson ran too and begged to use.  I put him and Trey in the front and off we went.  Here is just a sample of conversation from one aisle, where Jackson spoke to every single person we came in contact with:

“This is my little brother, his name is Trey, Trey’s driving, do you know my little brother?”

(in regards to the Halloween decorations) “We just saw a witch, did you see the witch, the witch is over there, go see the witch, she's for Halloween, you know what, I saw that witch for Halloween.”

(holding up a box of macaroni) “Look what I got, I got this, you know what, this is for dinner, will you have mac & cheese for dinner, I like mac & cheese, do you like mac & cheese?”

“That is my mommy, where is your mommy, do you know my mommy, you know what, her name is Andrea.”  Yes it is son, and Andrea is about to go insane!

Later that day as we were driving to the park my husband calls, “how’s everything going?”  "Well," I explained, “Jackson hasn’t shut up since opening his eyes this morning.”  This fact was confirmed as Jackson could be overheard in the backseat:

“Look mommy a deer, I saw a deer, did you see the deer, where did the deer go, find the deer mommy.”

My husband was laughing hysterically while commenting, “he’s so cute.”  Really?  I'd like to see how cute Daddy thinks he is when he’s the one stuck in the car with Mr. Motor Mouth.

Which is exactly what happened the next day as we were all in the car!  After a continuous twenty minutes of chatter from the backseat my husband yells, “Jackson, please be quiet.”  And there it was, it may have been brief, but a moment of silence had finally arrived, followed by an earth rattling cry with the words, “BUT I WANT TO TALK!!!!!”  And so he did, and does, and does, and does.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

He Said What?

It’s amazing how much quicker our second son is picking things up.  He sat up sooner than our first, crawled sooner than our first, laughed sooner than our first, and the list just continues to grow.  I have no doubt in my mind I’ll turn around in a few weeks and see him walking towards me.  I assume this is all due to the constant observance of his older brother and the desire to do whatever it is he is doing.

This weekend I sat and listened to him try so hard to form a word that actually made sense to the world.  Jackson and I repeated every nonsense phrase he was babbling and laughed out loud at each one.  This got me thinking that we were probably quite close to hearing that first word come out, and wondering what exactly it would be.

Jackson’s first word was “Boone,” the name of our chocolate lab. This didn’t surprise me in the slightest because it was probably the word that he had heard most often in his short life.  We were constantly yelling at Boone:
“Get away from the baby Boone”
“Boone, quit licking the babies bowl”
“Boone, quit barking or you’ll wake the baby”
“Off the baby’s blanket Boone”
“That’s the babies toy Boone”

So now I ponder, what will Trey’s first word be?  It won’t be Boone for two reasons:
1.       Boone has already been through the drill of a baby in the house and doesn’t need as much instruction anymore
2.       Needless to say the attention the dog is getting is considerably less these days

I spent Sunday carefully listening for the words most often being used in our house to try and get an idea of what that memorable moment might entail.  The results?  Well not exactly what I was expecting:

1.       Jackson: quite obvious of course.  Both my husband and I probably use our first son’s name more times in a day than a grocery store bagger says “paper or plastic?”  However, I don’t think Jackson will make the first word status only due to the fact that it’s two syllables.
2.       Stop: as in:
“Stop hitting your brother”
“Stop crying”
“Stop spitting”
“Stop pulling the dog’s tail”
“Stop opening the refrigerator”
“Stop talking”
You get the point.  This word very well has a good chance of being the first, though I would hate to have to record that.
3.       Poop: yep, this is probably the next most popular word in our home and the one that I pray doesn’t get placed in the baby book as Trey’s first.  I didn’t realize until listening to us closely on Sunday just how popular of a word this is in our home.  Not only do we ask Jackson about 20 times per day, “Do you need to go poop,” we also ask Trey multiple times “did you just have a poop,” and the dog, “do you need to go outside and poop?”  Aside from asking each other about our bowel movements, I’m not sure how many additional times this word can come out of our mouths.  I just hope it doesn't come out of Trey's too soon. 

Knowing this memorable occasion of a first word is just around the corner, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what comes out.  Out of the mouth that is, you’ve already heard enough about what’s coming out other ends.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Friday Funnies #8

Here’s a little chuckle to start off the weekend!  Have a great one!

Last week my son had us hiding from monsters, this week it was sharks.  Next week I am going to suggest we hide from mommy’s who have been stuck inside the house with two kids for ten hours on a rainy day.

What my dad says every single time he talks to our 3-year old on the phone: “I didn’t understand a single word he said.”

I pulled over this morning to say hi to a friend and while we were talking Jackson was screaming my friend’s name over and over again in the backseat as if his hair was on fire.  We paused at last for this:
Friend: “Hi Jackson”
Jackson: “You know what?”
Friend: “What?”
Jackson: “Boone took a big poop in the yard!”
At least he was interrupting with an emergency situation.

Am I terrible parent for not correcting Jackson when he says things like, “what’s that fer” instead of “what’s that for” because I think it sounds cute?

As I lay in bed a few mornings ago, trying to get a few extra winks of sleep, I continually heard Jackson requesting a “gorilla bar” for breakfast from his Dad, who continually repeated, “I don’t know what a gorilla bar is.”  After the twentieth or so exchange of these two phrases I finally picked my head off the pillow and yelled at the top of my lungs, “he means a granola bar you idiot!”

Is it too early to start using Santa as bribery?  I’ve already started threatening no presents from Santa if you don’t behave.  I hope it doesn’t lose steam before Halloween.

I fed Trey baby yogurt for the first time this week and his big brother was quite jealous.  I threw him a bite here and there but made sure Trey got the majority of it.  I guess he felt he hadn't gotten enough since when I turned around from throwing the empty container in the garbage I found Jackson licking yogurt off of Trey's messy face.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Gathering Place for Everyone

It’s amazing what you can pick up at the park.  No, I don’t mean trash or diseases, I’m talking about things overheard or seen that leave an impact on you.  I’ve seen shocking things, heard ridiculous things, and ran in to people of all walks of life.  Parks are funny that way.  There is no discrimination, no cost making them accessible to everyone, and location doesn't matter, if you are near a park and you need to get the kids a little exercise or just kill some time, pull right up.  

My all time favorite overheard park comment came from a mom who was watching her nanny play with her daughter at a park in Aspen, Colorado one day.   Needless to say Aspen parks wouldn’t be the norm, which this woman confirmed with the statement she made to her friend: “I can’t believe you only have one nanny!  How in the world do you do it?  If I didn’t have three there’s no way I could handle it all.” 

It was also from a visit to the park that I had my first argument with a toddler.  Jackson, at a little over a year old, was playing contently by himself one day when another little boy came up and started bossing him around.  He demanded Jackson leave any area he was playing in and wouldn’t share anything.  As his mother sat on a nearby bench and did absolutely nothing about his behavior I took it upon myself to let him know he was being very mean and should share.  I believe his response was, “well you’re not my mommy,” to which I replied, “thank God.”  Sure, maybe a thirty-something mom shouldn’t be picking fights with a 3-year old but someone needed to put this brat in his place.

Just this weekend at the park I watched a mom pull up and let her two boys out of the car.  I’m going to guess they were probably about five and seven years old.  As soon as the second one had left the back seat, mom pulls out cleaning supplies and starts deep cleaning the inside of the car.  As I was pushing my boys on the swings I looked over and noticed her boys had climbed the hill behind the park and were on their way over the fence that led to the road.  I ran over to the mom who was completely oblivious to what her children were doing and said, “hey, maybe you don’t mind this but your kids are up there climbing the fence.”  Her response, “yes, I do mind, but this car is filthy.”  Lady I don’t give a s*** about your car, I’m trying to alert you to how unbelievably irresponsible you are and the fact that your kids are about to be road kill!  Of course I didn’t say that, I just stood by and watched as she asked her boys to come down and then told them they had to stay on the playground, before turning back around to clean up more filth. 

I’ve watched the babysitters who turn the entire playground experience into an opportunity to yap on their cell phones while the kids they are “watching” run around doing whatever the hell they want.  I’ve seen the dad’s who have no idea what else to do with kids when left on their own other than show up at a park.  I’ve seen the teenagers smoking on swings and gossiping about school, who literally have no idea what second hand smoke means.   Then of course, there are the mom’s like myself, thankful that the weather has allowed us time out of the house, hopeful my 3-year old will wear himself out enough to take a long afternoon nap, and enjoying the entertainment from all the rest of you! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Sweet Revenge

First of all, I wanted to thank those of you who read Why Not Me and left such amazing comments.  It’s hard to share such a personal story, but so rewarding when you receive positive feedback.  For those of you who have stumbled upon this blog for the first time I would encourage you to read Why Not Me, as today’s post is a continuation of that journey.

After we had a few days to digest the information we had learned about our unborn son’s condition, we returned to meet with the doctor that had delivered Jackson.   She did another ultra sound and confirmed what we had heard earlier, that our baby did in fact have this defect called gastroschisis.  She also confirmed what we had hoped to hear at our earlier appointment, the sex of our baby, a boy.  Is it wrong that hearing it was a boy that would be facing this hard entry into the world actually brought me a small sense of comfort? 

Naturally we came to the appointment with a multitude of questions.  First and foremost I asked about their experience with gastroschisis.  They hadn’t seen a case in our area in many years.  In fact, because of the small rural community that we live in, they would not have the capability to care for Trey upon his birth.  For that reason we would need to make plans to have the baby in Denver, Colorado, the closest location with a hospital that could meet the baby’s needs.  Denver is a three and half hour drive from our home, with numerous mountain passes in between.  With a due date of January 7 and the knowledge of what those mountain passes mean in winter, this wasn’t exactly good news.  It also meant should I go into labor at home I would have to take a helicopter flight to Denver and I’m not a huge fan of flying. 

My doctor and the nurse who had first delivered the gastroschisis diagnosis could not have been more kind.  As my mind raced with everything from how I would explain my absences at work, to who would watch our 3-year old while we were in Denver for the birth, to how in the world we would be able to afford this extended stay in Denver while the baby recovered from surgery, they continued to comfort us with the reassurance that the doctors in Denver they were sending us too were amazing and would take such great care of us and the baby. 

Following the appointment we scheduled our first trip to Denver to meet with the high-risk pregnancy practice that would be delivering the baby.  My doctor had promised me she would request the top physician at the practice and I must admit I was quite disappointed when we got there and the doctor she had mentioned was not the one that showed up for the ultra-sound.  In his place we were greeted by a nurse who couldn’t care less if I was pregnant with a boy, girl or alien, followed by one of the least approachable, uncaring, coldest doctors I have ever met. 

All business he went straight to the ultra sound and began running down the specifics of what we were in store for.  Most of what he discussed I was already aware of: the delivery, the immediate surgery, the recovery time and of course the risks, the highest of which would be infection.  I had prepared myself for this conversation and felt strong enough to take every hit as it came, UNTIL…  After the rundown of expectations the doctor paused and threw in, “of course there is always the option of abortion.”  At this point the tears began to fall uncontrollably.  The truth was, the thought of abortion had definitely crossed my mind more than once, but had never been voiced.  The word abortion had never crossed the lips of our doctors at home, but now as we sat with this specialist and the word hanging in the air, everything started to collapse.

For the first time since our arrival I think the doctor saw me not as his 11am appointment, but as a human being.  He began trying to utter a few reassuring words as the head physician opened the door and entered, “I have a note on my file saying that I needed to be at this appointment.”  Thank God for our doctor at home.

He took a look at the file, ultra sound, etc. and again delivered all the same prognosis’ we had heard from everyone else.  When he asked if we had any questions, the first one out of my quivering lips was, “should we be considering abortion?”

“Absolutely not,” he replied, “technically we can’t tell you one way or another, but I can tell you in my experience, I would NEVER recommend abortion for a gastroschisis baby.  Gastroschisis surgery has a high success rate.  Abortion should never cross your mind.” 

From that point forward the lead physician took over my care and luckily I didn’t have to see the “abortion” doctor again through my entire pregnancy.  He did however make a guest appearance to the NICU.  A few days before Trey was scheduled to come home we had him circumcised and wouldn’t you know the doctor on-call that day was Mr. Abortion.   When the NICU nurse returned with Trey after the procedure she had a big smile on her face.  “Did everything go okay?” I asked.  “Oh yes,” she replied, “although the Doctor is probably off to take a shower right now since as soon as he pulled the diaper off Trey peed all over him.” 

I don’t think I could have scripted it more perfectly!

More of our journey to come soon…   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Friday Funnies #7

It’s official, Travis & I have lasted 5 years in marriage and not killed each other yet!   Happy Anniversary to me and Happy Weekend to you! 

We gave the boys their first bath together this week.   Trey took it upon himself to mark this occasion by also making it the first time he pooped in the bath.  Needless to say, shortly after their first bath together, they got to have a second.

Hip, hip, hooray!  I no longer cook.  After making a tomato zucchini soup this week that neither my son nor my husband would touch, it was decided I should retire my apron.  If only I had known it was that easy years ago!

Do they make breath right strips for dogs?  If so I have a chocolate lab that needs a hook-up.  He’s causing me to get less sleep these days than the baby.

Watching the Broncos game on Monday Night Football, my husband went through more than his fare share of Bud Light’s, which he left sitting on the window pane instead of putting in the recycling bin.  When Jackson got up the next morning and saw the beer’s he stopped dead in his tracks:
“Look what Daddy did!  That is a BAD DADDY.  I am going to go tell him.”  He then proceeded to wake Travis up to inform him of his bad behavior as I sat in the living room laughing my booty off!

“Poopy in the butt!”  - My 3-year olds new favorite saying, which he repeats over and over and over.

The most not funny thing that happened this week: I returned home from work to find a BRAND NEW container of formula ripped to shreds in the middle of the floor.  The dog had eaten the entire thing.  Obviously he has no freaking clue how much those things cost? 

Me: "What did you do at school today Jackson?"
Jackson: "I didn't listen and I got in trouble and then it rained and then we played...."
Me: "Can we back-up to the didn't listen part again!"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Would You Like Sprinkles With That?

Mouse Mine Line #9

When I logged on to our bank account last week and noticed for the first time in many years that our overdraft protection had kicked in, I realized it was time to make some changes.  That second child put quite a dent in our measly savings account.  I am literally counting down the days until I buy my last tub of formula! 

So now on top of actually planning out our weekly meals so that we don’t go overboard at the grocery store, I've been looking for a part time job.  You know, since I have so much free time on my hands with two kids and a full time job as it is. 

I applied for a public relations position that would be a good fit and was called in for an interview last week.  I’ve been at my current job for nine years now so needless to say, I’m a little rusty at the interview process.  After being asked all the standard questions about my previous professional experience I was thrown a curve ball: “tell us about your very first job.”  Why in the world they would care about my part time high school job was beyond me but I played along, “TCBY Yogurt, not only my first job, but my favorite job ever.”  Well this answer seemed to perk their interest, “really, why?”  To which I replied, “think about it, every one that visits a yogurt shop is happy.  Even if they arrive in a bad mood, one look at that buffet of sprinkles, candies, hot fudge and wet walnuts, brings a huge smile to their face.”  I think I had impressed them, “Wow, I never thought of that!”  Well duh, why the hell would you of? 

The other reason I consider TCBY my favorite job ever is the fact that it was one of the few jobs I’ve had in which I had no real responsibility.  Make sure the topping scoops are even, keep the yogurt servings at the correct size, and make sure the toilet paper in the bathroom is stocked. 

My second favorite job of all time was as a ride attendant at what has to be one of the most redneck amusement parks in the nation, Tweetsie Railroad.  This little gem of a vacation spot was located in the town I went to college in and I spent a summer working there before my senior year.  Like TCBY, an amusement park is another place where you are generally greeting people in a good mood.  But that wasn’t the reason Tweetsie comes in at number two.  I loved working at Tweetsie Railroad because:
1.       A large portion of the staff was made up of the school’s football players stuck in town for the summer.
2.       A large portion of those football players happened to be extremely hot!

A day at work flies by when you spend the majority of it flirting.  And I’m not even going to go in to what happened after work!  

My initial job at Tweetsie Railroad was as the conductor on the kid’s train: Mouse Mine Line #9.  That’s right, I drove a train.  That is, I drove a train until the day I had a caboose full of five year olds screaming “faster, faster,” to which I obliged only to derail Mouse Mine Line #9.  I was then demoted to the toddler plane ride which let me tell you was no party at all.  But on a positive note it was closer to the chair lift which the football players were in charge of.

I miss those laid back jobs of minimum wage pay, but obviously they wouldn’t be realistic today.  Although, since I am looking for part time work and I do have experience in flirting, I mean customer service, maybe I should grab an application from the local ice cream parlor on the way home from my real job tomorrow.      

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why Not Me?

I’ve created a new page here at Margs for Mommy titled, “On a Serious Note.”  However, I have yet to post one blog to the page since I put it there.  So today I put the humor aside briefly and share a serious side.  It doesn’t pop up often, but when it does I hope others will find it beneficial.

A year ago today I was five months pregnant with Trey, our second son, and scared to death.  I had found out earlier that summer that Trey had a very rare condition called gastroschisis.  The condition was discovered as my husband and I sat anxiously awaiting for the nurse to tell us the sex of our baby at a three month ultra sound.  Instead of hearing the anticipated, “it’s a boy,” we listened as she went through the body parts:  “Here’s the hand, and here is the mouth, and this, this is what we call gastroschisis.”  And just like that my entire world changed. 

She continued, “gastroschisis is a very rare condition where the intestines are actually growing on the outside of the infant’s body through a defect in the abdominal wall.”  WHAT???  This could not be farther from what we had expected to hear when we arrived that morning.  I honestly could barely comprehend what was happening. 

Further explanation continued as I lay crying hysterically on the table.  The nurse left the room briefly and came back with a large medical book in which I noticed she had purposely placed paper over the photos of a gastroschisis baby upon birth.  I assume she realized that these photos would be more than I could handle at the time, and she was exactly right.    Continually she repeated statement that, “this is something we can fix, of all the bad news I ever deliver to parents this is one of the easiest because I know your baby will be fine.”  She explained he would need surgery upon birth and would have to be in the hospital for an extended period of time to recover after that surgery. 

Knowing we would want to learn more about what we were about to face she offered us information on various websites to visit while strongly encouraging us to stick to those sites and not just Google gastroschisis.  Well of course I didn’t listen to that advice.  Google gastroschisis I did, and some of the information I found took the wind right out of me. 

It is that particular instance that has encouraged me to write this story.  If there is ever another parent out there that is delivered the same bad news as we were delivered that day, and they too run to their computers to Google this new word in their vocabulary, I pray that my story pops up.  I want them to know, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY!  These next few months will be some of the hardest of your lives, but you are lucky, not only is this a fixable situation, it’s one that will leave you so much more appreciative of the gift God has given you.    

My Google experience did in fact lead me to some encouraging stories, but many more discouraging ones.  In hindsight, I think that’s just the nature of the situation.  When things turn out perfectly fine I would imagine people are less likely to share that information with the world.  But when things don’t, one may feel more inclined to write about it. 

I spent only one afternoon reading these stories of strangers who had been in my shoes.  After that I decided to leave it in God’s hands.  I would listen to the advice from my doctor’s, do everything I could to remain positive and healthy, be the best mom I could to my then 2 year old, and be thankful for the gift I was to receive.  In all honesty, I think my entire outlook on life changed during this pregnancy and not one time did I ever utter the words, “why me?”  Instead I moved forward with the strength in the thought of “why not me?” 

After taking a few days to comprehend what was happening, my husband and I decided that we would only share our unborn child’s condition with a few close loved ones.  I just couldn’t bear the thought of people feeling sorry for us because of what we had to face.  Having a baby is a joyous occasion and I planned to keep it that way. 

This blog is just the start of our journey.  Over the next few months I hope to continue posting about the remainder of my pregnancy with Trey, the breakdowns that occurred during that pregnancy, the bed rest, the preparation for what was to come, the birth of Trey, the surgery, the recovery, my stay at the Ronald McDonald House, how we juggled Trey’s hospital stay with our two year old, the support, the tears, and the overwhelming joy.  But for now I’ll just sign off with saying, if Google brought you here please have it bring you back.  You aren't alone and I hope I can be of some help.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hide the Booze, Daddy's Clocking Out!

So for the two or three of you who actually stop by frequently, I apologize for being out of the loop this last week.  For most people Labor Day weekend means bbq’s, boat rides, camping trips and any number of other fun activities.  For me Labor Day Weekend means around-the-clock work.  I work in the business of special events and our very most special event, a large music festival, takes place over Labor Day weekend.  I haven’t had more than a few hours sleep since last week and am running on fumes.  But I happen to have just enough fume left in me to share a little of the week with you guys!

Basically from last Monday on my husband had to go on full-time “daddy duty.”  I find it amusing how daddy duty becomes an occasion.  In the days leading up to daddy duty he needed time to prepare, a weekend fishing trip, a few mornings of sleeping in, basically letting mom handle all duties until he officially went on the clock.  And of course, now that Daddy duty has ended and his time card has been punched, he needs wind down time, again letting mom handle all duties while he refreshes. 

Before I continue I should mention that my husband is actually the one that does most of the deep cleaning at our house.  He’s the one that pulls out the vacuum cleaner, scrubs down the base boards, mops the floors.  However, I am the one that does the day to day maintenance, the small things that totally add up if you don’t keep on top of them.  For whatever reason my husband is incapable of taking his dinner dish, rinsing it off and putting it in the dishwasher, yet he’ll spend an hour scrubbing every shelf of the refrigerator until they are spotless.

When I arrived home after my first long day of work, I walked in to find dirty dishes all over the kitchen, every single baby bottle half full and sitting beside the sink, toys covering one side of the living room to the other, and my husband lying on the couch, drinking beer and watching television. 

Completely exhausted I started to do my usual clean-up and then decided, nope, let him figure it out.  Three days later I walked into a clean home.  He had finally gotten the hint that I wasn’t going to take what very little time I had to myself to pick up after them and apparently the mess had finally gotten to him.  

Pleased with his turn around I decided we should get a babysitter on Sunday afternoon and give my husband some free time to come join me for the last day of concerts.  He arrived at the shows around 4pm and an hour later I noticed he seemed a bit tipsy so I asked, “how many drinks have you had,” to which he replied, “plenty.”  Not exactly the answer I was looking for. 

By the end of the shows at 9:30pm he was SMASHED!  Something he assumed he deserved after watching the boys for the week.  So instead of sleeping in on Monday to recover from my busiest week of the year, I got to rise and shine at 6:30am with the boys while Daddy slept away his hangover.

So is this how it works?  A beer for every hour left alone with the kids?  A booze filled celebration of the fact that you were actually able to clean the house up on your own?  Imagine if mom’s worked on this mentality. We’d be drinking mimosa’s for breakfast, followed by a glass of white wine at lunch, a martini with dinner and a beer to go to bed on.  I love a good cocktail but I think that might be a bit much!  I wonder if daddy was thinking that as he lay in misery yesterday.