Mommy's Juice!: October 2011   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Do Fat Heads Count As Decorating?

Last year my mother-in-law got me a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens.  I found this to be an interesting selection of magazine for me.  Truth be told, I’m more of a People or US Weekly girl than the do-it-yourself homemaker.  I immediately wondered if maybe she was trying to tell me something.  Had she caught on that her daughter-in-law wasn’t exactly Susie Homemaker?  That the only thing I have done to BETTER my home since moving in was preventing my husband from purchasing the Tim Tebow Fathead he wanted to put on our son’s wall?

After skimming the first two issues I could not have been more disappointed.  It was around the third issue that I found myself completely bored one day and actually read the magazine instead of just glancing over each page.  By the end of the magazine I must admit I was quite surprised.  I had actually enjoyed my reading. 

Not an enjoyed as in, “I can’t wait to put this magazine down, run to Lowe’s and buy that fabulous new pumpkin colored paint to redo the living room.”  But enjoyed as in, “wouldn’t it be nice if I actually had the money, motivation and desire to run to Lowe’s, buy that fabulous new pumpkin colored pain and redo the living room.”  It’s not that I’m lazy, nor that I don’t care about the appearance of my home, it’s just that I honestly don’t have that …. “thing” … that some people have.  That instinct of exactly what will make their home look better.  That drive to spend hours in antique shops looking for that one perfect item that will change the entire room.   That crafty ability to take a pine cone and turn it into this holiday’s latest rave.  And yet, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying every tip and tidbit Better Homes & Garden’s gives me each month. 

I’ve found my excitement at opening the post office box to see the latest BHG issue equal to the excitement at my monthly delivery of Cooking Light (another gift from the mother-in-law, and possibly another hint).  No, I don’t cook, but I absolutely LOVE to read cooking magazines and books.  Every month I’m scanning the recipes and cutting out the ones I’d like to try.  Try eating of course, not cooking.  I collect all of these in a cute recipe box which I scan each weekend.  I usually pick out two or three and include their ingredients on that week’s grocery list.  I pull out the ingredients each night and hand the recipe over to my husband.  “I was thinking of making this chicken pot pie tonight, what do you think,” I ask him.  Nine times out of ten the response I receive is, “I’ll make it, you just watch the kids.”  I’m not 100% sure if this is his response because he’d rather cook than watch the boys, or if it’s because he realizes I will probably ruin the meal if left on my own, but either way it seems to work out for everyone.

Now I just have to figure out a way to take my new Better Homes & Garden’s tips and work them into my husband’s to do list.  Come to think of it, maybe this was his mom’s plan all along….  Hmmm, smart lady!  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

WTF Mom!

Whether it’s a high-pitched scream or a series of ah, ah, ah’s, it’s evident that the baby is ready to talk!  Trey, who turned ten months old today, is clearly trying to tell us something.  I hear the poor guy scream out incoherent noises to me all day while I try to decipher exactly what it is he wants to express.  For now I just have to guess at what’s on his little mind.  Thus far here’s what I’ve come up with:

watching others eat: “WTF, where’s mine?”

being pushed around by his big brother: “you know I’m going to kick your ass one day.”

in the tub splashing water all over the bathroom: “might as well do it while you still think it’s cute.”

waking up in the middle of the night: “get your lazy ass up and feed me!”

having a diaper change: “this is so degrading.”

left with the baby sitter: “not this bitch again”

asked to ooh and ah on the phone to Grandparents: “you better be sending me a kick-ass Christmas present for this.”

moved away from the dog bowl he’s almost reached: “damn it, I was thirsty.”

crawling around the living room: “don’t you people own a vacuum cleaner?”

caught doing something he shouldn’t: “obviously I’m entirely too cute for you to actually punish me.”

getting sloppy kisses from the dog: “weren’t you just licking your ass with that thing?”

strangers get right in his face at the store: “if I smile will you please get that ugly mug away from me?”

all the young girls all want to play with him: "patience ladies, there's plenty to go around."

dressed in his cute pastel overalls: “you do realize that I have a penis right?” 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rock n' Roll Baby!

Tonight as I was driving home with Jackson, our 3-year old, in the backseat, he screams over the Justin Timberlake song on the radio, “I want rock n’ roll.”  Um, excuse me??

I’ve never been that mom that puts the kid’s music on in the car.  I give them the cartoons in the morning, I eat the kid friendly dinners, I even catch myself coloring from time to time, but no way was I giving up my music!

My music tastes have always been quite eclectic.  When my ipod is on shuffle you can hear an Eminem song, followed by Green Day, into Jimmy Buffett, into the Allman Brothers, straight to Jay Z, over to Toby Keith and rounding out with a little Harry Connick Jr..  Aside from classical (and kids) music most genres are represented.

My husband on the other hand is what I would call a music “snob.”  He likes what he likes, which is almost entirely classic rock, and as far as he is concerned the rest is all trash.  He actually has this same mentality on a lot of issues:
-          Skiing is the ONLY winter sport, snowboarding is a waste of time
-          Fly fishing is the ONLY way to fish, all other forms of fishing are elementary
-          Budweiser is the ONLY beer worthy of drinking, all other beers pale in comparison

You get the point.  I, being an open-minded person, want to teach the boys to be open to all art forms, sports, and of course alcohol.  When Jackson was only a month old and I was bored off my rocker on maternity leave, we spent an entire afternoon watching VH1 count down the top 100 songs of all time.  I offered my young, impressionable infant, my feedback on each of their choices, along with a list of albums that we need to make sure would be in his future library of music.  The seed had been planted, I was ahead of the game.  Or at least I thought, until tonight.

When I asked him, “why rock n’ roll,” he replied that in Daddy’s truck they always listen to rock n’ roll.  Well in Mommy’s car we listen to all types of music.  At this he says, “but I just like rock n’ roll.” 
As if that didn’t hurt enough the next words he spoke were, “maybe when you grow up you can get a big truck like Daddy’s and you can listen to rock n’ roll too.”   

Maybe I should just go ahead and start shopping for ski gear and fly fishing rods now.  At least I still have time to convince him that Budweiser stinks!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And How Did the Hershey Bar Get There?

You know how you have some stories that just never get old?  Ones you tell your friends over and over and they continually ask you to repeat at parties?  At some point I think you get tired of hearing yourself tell them.  I’m totally over throwing out all the details on how I got the head cheerleader kicked-off the squad in high school.  I’d rather talk about politics than have to tell the story of how I was “banned for life” from a certain nightclub for my not-so-nice behavior.  And please don’t ask me about the time my mom yelled at me while I was in jail, everyone has certainly heard that enough times.

Another story that my friends find quite humorous took place shortly after my husband and I started dating.  Today I will share this one with you, but from here on out it too will enter the vault of “enough already.”  At some point people are going to start thinking I make this stuff up!

When my husband Travis and I first started dating, I was working as the Front Desk Supervisor at an athletic club.  A few days a week my shift would actually start at 5:30am in the morning.  For me it might as well have been 4am, anything before the sun is up is completely unreasonable.

Travis conveniently lived about a mile from the athletic club, while I lived fifteen minutes away.  When you have to get up that early you try to save as much time as you can, so I often stayed at his place to allow myself those twelve extra glorious minutes of sleep.  My wake-up routine consisted of putting on my clothes, throwing my hair in a pony tail, brushing my teeth and walking out of the door.  Showers, make-up and the rest could wait. 

Living in a studio apartment at the time, Travis’ place was equipped with only the very basics.  There was no separate living room so we would hang out on his bed.  When I would go to sleep early to get as many winks as I could, he would stay up beside me watching television until he fell asleep.  As I said, we hadn’t been dating that long when I decided to stay one night to save myself a little time, so we were really still in the “getting to know you” phase.  One of the things I had gotten to know thus far was that Travis had a HUGE sweet tooth.  He would literally sit down after dinner and eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s, often with extra candy thrown in for fun.  On this particular night it was a Hershey bar that had caught his attention as I started to drift off.

When I woke to the alarm at around 5:22am the next morning, approximately eight minutes before I had to open the club, I ran to the bathroom to start my routine.  With eyes barely opened I ran the brush through my hair.  Well, partially through my hair.  I immediately hit what must have been the biggest tangle in history.  I pulled to no avail and finally opened my eyes up enough to see: a giant Hershey Bar melted to the side of my head!

Apparently Travis had passed out in the night, Hershey bar in hand, hand on top of the side of my head.  What could I do?  There was no time for a shower, no time for a haircut.  I had no choice but to put on my uniform, rush to work, and sit there like I just got in from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  I’m sure you can imagine the faces of these health nuts, arriving to the sight (and smell) of my new hair accessory. 

Oddly enough, I didn’t break up with Travis like I had imagined doing that entire morning at work.  We have laughed about that story so many times it’s actually made the embarrassment of the situation totally worth it.  So go ahead, have a laugh at my expense, I’m retiring the story anyway.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Accepting the Facts

Today’s blog continues the journey of the birth of our second son Trey, who was diagnosed with a very rare disorder called gastroschisis at our second ultrasound.  To follow the full story please visit On A Serious Note.

After the first trip to Denver to meet with the high risk pregnancy doctors there were three things that I was having a hard time grasping.  One: that upon Trey’s birth he would have to go immediately into surgery and we wouldn’t have a chance to actually hold him.  Two: that Jackson, our two year old, wouldn’t be able to see the baby until he was released from the hospital because siblings were not allowed in the NICU.  And three: that Trey’s hospital stay could range anywhere from three to twelve weeks. 

I remember the lady that does my hair demanding that I come in within two months of my delivery date with both boys so she could touch up my roots.  Her point being that all pictures of newborn babies show the mom holding the baby and looking down, with roots in full view.  She didn’t want the reputation as the hairdresser whose clients had bad roots.  For some reason this continually popped in my head as I realized I wasn’t going to get that picture with Trey, because he was going to be rushed off immediately into a surgery that we could only pray was successful.

The fact that Jackson wasn’t going to be able to see Trey for weeks after he was born, along with the knowledge that there was a risk of complications with the birth and surgery, all be them low, made me very hesitant to even talk about a new brother while I was pregnant.  Most families spend this nine month period bracing the oldest for what was about to happen.  I spent it bracing myself and shielding Jackson from the difficulty that lay ahead. 

Not having friends or family in Denver, the thought of an extended stay there while Trey recovered was quite daunting.  There was no possibility that we would be able to afford a hotel room for that long so the hospital had suggested I visit the Ronald McDonald House.  Not having any previous experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities, I must admit, this didn’t seem like a very appealing option to me.  I feared this was a place of minimum amenities for low income families.  The realization of what Ronald McDonald Houses really are was both shocking and one of the most positive outcomes of this entire experience. 

I visited the Denver Ronald McDonald House while in town for my second visit with the high risk pregnancy office.  Not only was I completely surprised by what I saw, I left knowing that things might just be okay.  For a “suggested” donation of $20/per night we would be able to stay in a warm, clean, comfortable place, with an outdoor playground for Jackson, two indoor play areas, computer room, full kitchen with all appliances, free laundry and so much more.  We could stay there with our son, our mom’s, whatever we needed.  And we would be in a place with people going through similar situations as our own, which was a blessing to us all.  Volunteers of the Ronald McDonald House provide meals throughout each week.  In a four week stay there were only 2-3 nights that we had to worry about providing dinner on our own.  Volunteers were also on hand to provide much needed massages for troubled mothers, donations of tickets to area attractions (including the zoo which was HUGE with a little one), cleaning, and so much more.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, next time you are at McDonalds and you see the change box for the Ronald McDonald House, don’t hesitate to give.  This is an amazing organization doing so much good for so many!

On that second visit to Denver I also met with the pediatric surgeon that would be doing Trey’s gastroschisis surgery.  When she walked in the room my heart dropped.  She must have been at least five years younger than myself.  To think that someone of that age would have my newborn’s life in her hands scared me to death.  On the drive back home that day I had to grasp this fact, accept it and realize she wouldn’t be where she was if she didn’t deserve it.  In the end, I was exactly right!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Friday Funnies #9

Happy Friday Everyone!  Hope your weekend forecast is looking better than mine. Guess we'll be headed to the movies!
Oh, and be sure to check out my guest post this week on a great site: At Home with Rebecka

We took the boys on a long camping trip to Moab, Utah last weekend.  Moab is about 3 and half hours from our house.  About three minutes in to the drive my son asks, “are we here yet?”  This continued every 2-3 miles for pretty much the entire trip.

Our campsite had a small sandy “beach” that led up to still river water.  As soon as we arrived our 3-year old ripped off all of his clothes and slid down the “beach” butt first.  I’m sure you can imagine where the sand went. 

I believe I have mentioned before how much I despise grocery store “car” carts.  We went to a new store last week where the car portion is on the front so you can’t see what the kids are up too.  At one point Jackson got out leaving his 9-month old brother strapped in.  As I was walking up to the line and lady runs up screaming to the cart.  Apparently Trey had fallen over and was just kind of hanging there.  I should really get a mother of the year award.

Jackson started swimming lessons on Monday.  I came fully dressed to watch.  I was soaking wet 10 minutes into the “lesson” as I continually had to push my screaming child in to the pool.  A friend of my husband's happened to be there with his kids and took it upon himself to video my pain and send it to Travis for a good laugh.  Guess who'll be taking Jackson to swim lesson's next week?

I read an article this week bashing the likes of Jennifer Anniston and Kate Middleton for “recycling” their outfits. If I had to wear a new outfit everyday to keep from being criticized I’d have to turn my children into Chinese sweat laborers sewing from dusk ‘til dawn.  Luckily, I'm able to wear the same pair of jeans three days in a row with not a soul noticing.

After a stressful morning I ordered a Bloody Mary while having lunch with the family.  When the waiter dropped it off and Jackson asked what it was I said, “tomato juice.”  The waiter walked away in hysterics why I explained that tomato juice is very spicy and therefore not for little boys.  He came back to check on us later and asked behind a huge smile, “may I get you another tomato juice?”   I just love it when everyone plays along!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Suck This!

I like to think of myself as an advice giver.  Make that a good advice giver.  I am asked for my opinion from friends and co-workers frequently and always give honest feedback, regardless of whether or not it is what I think they are looking for. For instance, if you ask me to tell you if your husband is being irrational when he tells you he’s not going to your parents for Christmas the answer is probably going to be yes.  But you may not expect, “yes, he’s being irrational and for that reason I would invite your parents to come to your house instead.” 

I gave my sister very sound advice the day she walked up to the bus stop with her head gear on and I told her to go inside and take it off.   Being the goody-goody that she is she told me, “no, the orthodontist told me to wear it as much as possible.”  I’m just going to take a guess that she wished she had listened to me when we got on the bus to roars of laughter and unpleasant new nicknames.  Being the good sister I am I of course took a punch at the girl down the street which calmed things down a bit.  By the time we rolled up to the school my advice had been taken.

Although my husband rarely listens, I have offered him many pieces of sound advice over the years.  Like the day he walked out of his job while telling his boss to f*** off exactly one month before our first child was due.  My advice, “don’t come home.” 

But today, I ask for advice.  I’m looking for a solution to the “thumb-sucking” issue.  Our three year old son Jackson started sucking his thumb at around two months.  At the time I remember thinking it was the greatest miracle to ever happen.  I had no idea how to make this tiny monster stop his continuous crying myself so it was truly a blessing when he figured it out on his own.  I just assumed this was a habit he would grow out of after a few months.  I assumed wrong.

In fact, not only has the thumb sucking continued, it has increased.  Initially he sucked to calm himself down or to help him fall asleep.  Now he sucks all day long.  I pick him up from school to find him sucking his thumb on the playground, looking in my rearview mirror I almost always get a shot of him sucking in the backseat, just yesterday at his swim lesson he was holding on to the floaty with one hand and sucking with the other.

We’ve tried to verbally remind him to remove his thumb from his mouth over and over but with no luck.  I’ve tried bribery but lately I have to save that card to ensure potty training continues.  So where to go next?  Hot sauce, gloves, amputation??  I am open to any and all suggestions so please send them my way.  Otherwise I might have a four-fingered, Mexican, OJ Simpson on my hands!