Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's carve pumpkins tonight! Yea!
After all, it is an activity that falls under Messy and Uses Sharp Instruments.
How could it not be fun?!

Fascinating, isn't it? How one little ol' photograph can give an authentic representation of this chaotic, always on the move household! You just missed the cat...he scampered on by hoping to be ignored by the short ones.

Roaring at the Jack-O-Lantern...
important to establish dominance with these creatures!

Just one picture, please, where both children are looking
at the same camera--they don't even have to smile.
Just show me a face turned in my direction!

Ah, see...much better! Thank you.

(Yes, I realize I had my daughter out in the chilly evening without socks.
She would like you to know that socks do not go on feet
and would thank you very much to stop putting them there.
Same applies to shoes.)

At last. A pair of willing and co-operative

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All about the girl

Going over the growth charts (something I still don't understand) at Kyleigh's 1-year-old doctor's visit last week Rational Doctor mentioned that while Kyleigh was gaining on her peers in height, she was losing ground in weight. Since Tall and Skinny does not run in this family--unless she was blessed with some sort of freaky dormant Amazon gene--she must therefore be Underweight. Just up her amount of solid foods and lower her amount of formula, the good doctor said, and don't fret about it.

Hi. Have we met? Of course I'm going to fret about it!

I admit that it's just been easier to give her a bottle than to sit down and work with her on eating. Ever since she discovered that she can pick up food and put it in her mouth she has refused to eat from a spoon. It's been a challenge finding finger foods that she can and will eat. I'm pretty sure that she cannot live on peas, pears, cheerios and toast alone. Though she has discovered the Food of the Gods which is Macaroni and Cheese. That one is acceptable as well.

So there we were at super tonight--warm and hearty beef stew prepared by my wonderful Husband--and Kyleigh was screaming. Shaking her high chair tray and chucking food down at the cat. And I did nothing but sat there and denied her her bottle. I eventually bribed her with a biscuit and fruit spread. When I finally did give her milk she drank like she hadn't had nourishment for days, weeks even.

I have accepted the fact that the child is determined to hold onto her bottle for a little while longer. She's been doing really well with a sippy cup for some time now--as long as it contains either water or juice. Milk Must Come With A Nipple. That is law. And so shall it be. For someone who really doesn't talk much, Kyleigh is quite capable of communicating and getting her point across. On her birthday I made the mistake of presenting her morning milk in a sippy cup. Given the distance it traveled after she hurled it across the room I'd say she gets her communication skills from me.

Random bits...

For a while now every time Jacob gets into trouble and has privileges taken away he pulls himself together, looks at me with those blue eyes--all weepy and repentant--and proclaims, "Maybe tomorrow I'll try harder to...insert issue here (not poop in my underwear, stay in bed for my nap, not hit the cat with my blanket, not push Kyleigh over when she's in my way...the list is quite extensive). Brilliant. 3-years-old and he already has a grasp on the international concept of Tomorrow. Kesho. Manana.

Just now I attempted to reason with him and explain the concept of How About We Just Make It Through Today.

No, Mommy! I won't!

It went well. About as well as when I inform him that he doesn't get to tell me what to do.

And in today's Ironic Advice file...a comment I received on my previous post regarding my chaotic life--again. The advice was to simplify. To get back to basics.

These are the basics, my friend. I am a Stay-at-Home-Mommy with no outside obligations--granted I stay at home with two highly active, highly intelligent little ones and my husband works long hours and has a crippling disease for which he is on chemotherapy for the rest of his life and there are days when I'm parenting alone from dawn until dusk and I can't recall the last time I was able to take a lengthy enough shower to shave my legs and my children eat toast and eggs for supper because I missed out on the cooking gene--my life isn't complicated, just chaotic. This is as simple as gets. I cannot prune anything else without sacrificing family members--and as tempting as that idea is at times, it's just not going to happen. The three people that I share my life with are my life blood, my oxygen. They aren't going anywhere.

The animals on the other hand--they can go. Seriously. Free to a good home, or where ever. I'm not picky.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just breathe...

Once again I find the thoughts in my head crowded out by chaos and noise--and by that I mean just everyday life around here. There are one or two insightful and life changing posts peculating in my head. One day soon I'll get around to actually pulling them together into cohesive thought and writing. For now I'm just concentrating on breathing--in and out.

In the meantime, I'd thought I'd share mine and Jacob's craft project yesterday--pumpkin painting! Any craft that involves Paint and Mess is his favorite. Took them two days to dry the paint was so thick!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kyleigh!

A year is far too short of time for the type of changes that have taken place at our house.

In one short year this tiny little bundle--all 6 and a half pounds of her--went from this...

to this...

And our family bonding time went from this...

to this...Kyleigh taste testing her new toys this morning.

Oh, and for the highly observant--that's Garnier Nutrisse "Sangria"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Random political thought of the day...

I may have mentioned in the past that while I don't agree with her politics, I do like the woman. But this right here is a perfect example of what makes this country a great nation--we mock ourselves.

We may be moving--rather rapidly--towards becoming a 1st world socialist country, but we'll survive that. However, when the humor is gone and we are penalized for poking fun of our leaders--then, my friends, we're in deep doodoo.

Sometimes... really is that good.
Children are occupied elsewhere--no one pulling his tail or messing with his feet. The dryer has been going all morning creating a warm, cozy kitchen. And a sun spot. What more could an old dog want?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Because you asked so nicely...

Stuck inside today tending to two of the lesser known dwarfs--Snotty and Coughy. The adoring, loving Husband actually called in sick for me last night and I was able to get some much needed rest. So I thought I'd give a little gift today...

Not quite the "thigh high wellies" but close enough!

Yes, the glamorous life of the Navy Airman (E-3) circa 1995. Stuck in Corrosion Control washing and greasing the massive, four prop P3 airplanes from dawn until dusk--any kind of weather. I remember being out there one night in the freezing rain. At least in the burning days of August we would just soak each other to cool off--but there wasn't a thing we could do to get warm!

Oh, and a link my dad sent to me this morning...I still may get my flying car yet!

As for me today...I am armed with boxes of tissues, cups of tea, sippy cups of juice and enough Veggie Tale dvds to choke a water buffalo--bring on the dreary, rainy Saturday filled with sicklings!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maelstrom in a fishbowl... slight upgrade from "tempest in a teacup".

Life is funny, ain't it? Get dealt one blow...pick yourself up just in time to catch the next one on the chin.

Husband's new meds are battling for supremacy in his body--both have the side effect of insomnia. Add that to his chronic insomnia and instead of canceling each other out he's morphed into a sleep deprived zombie stomping around the house at wee hours. Fortunately we have one or two books lying around for him to pass the time with. He can't even have a glass of wine to take the edge off.

So, fine--Husband is on these stupid meds he's going to take for the rest of his life. He's also attempting to stay on top of his school courses--and work. The baby has a cold. Jacob has good days and bad days with actually making it to the toilet before he pees all over the floor. And then...the other night his phone rings (Husband's, not Jacob's--what kind of parents do you think we are?)--and has not stopped since--Dude, just to let you're going to be all over the 6 o'clock news. Oh, and in the paper.

A "customer" from an incident a few weeks back filed a complaint. Excessive force. Apparently the department wasn't investigating quickly enough and she sought aid from the local advocate organization for her particular skin color. Who in turn held a press conference in her honor. And there she was--looking all victim like...small and helpless, tears streaming down her face...and accused my HUSBAND of excessive force and
racial slurs. Then, then, the newspaper went and printed it along with his NAME. So not kosher. The reporter also made sure to point out that the officer was white. No. Sorry. Apparently Mr. Big City Newspaper Reporter skipped class the day they discussed checking one's facts.

Of course I am not going to stand idly by while one of mine is being attacked. Not only have I never heard a
single racial slur of any kind from this man in the 14 years I've known him--he's not white. I emailed the reporter to let him know that the officer in question was actually of Native American heritage. Not white. Want to talk about a persecuted minority? Let's review, shall we?

A people group living in peace and harmony--enjoying their buffalo and trees and mountains, occasionally fighting amongst themselves and with the neighbors. Along comes Mr. Columbus--Look at this new land that I have discovered. I shall claim it for Spain. And England. Oh, all right, France can come play too--but you guys have to stay to the north, eh? All of you indigenous "Native" people--you're so stupid that you'll accept yellow fever blankets and whiskey as payment for the food that we're too stupid to know how to grow and land that you naively say belongs to no one. Bwah ha ha! Fine. Here, you may keep these little, tiny parcels of land that are useless to us anyway. But you must learn to speak like us and dress like us and you'll have no rights as a people group and
you'll like it!

And that concludes the history lesson for the day. Not too shabby for having been taught American history in a British school, huh?

Where was I? Oh, yeah
...the reporter replied to my email. He explained that he took the characterization of the arresting officer from the victim. She's being charged with a DUI...among other things...and he just took her word that she was harassed and assaulted by a white officer? Unbelievable. And he has yet to correct his story. Un-freakin'-believable.

The morning following the incident in question, the Husband shared the arrest report with me. Lots of facts. All by the book. He did everything he could to not fight this woman who was bound and determined to
not go to jail. Later he wrote his own account of the evening. And I was able to see it through his eyes. His feelings. He is being raked over the coals for a split second decision and that one decision enabled him to come home to his family--unharmed and untouched.

The sunny side is that no one--
no one--who matters...his family, his co-workers, his questioning his actions or his integrity. His department is standing behind and beside him 100 percent.

The story has actually been moved off the front page--apparently there's a presidential election happening soon and the media feels the need to report on
that. The newscasters didn't even bring it up last night. I'm sure someone will make sure it's brought back to everyone's attention when her court date comes around.

Until then, I've got my thigh-high wellies on and we're just weathering the storm.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

At the Pumpkin Patch...

An afternoon well spent.
Beautiful warm--non-fall--weather.
A pumpkin patch bursting with pumpkins!

Jacob and Daddy cutting the perfect pumpkin free.

Walking back to the tractor, carrying our haul.
All the pumpkins you could carry--$20.
Not a bad deal--there were no rules about having your 3-year-old
carry the little ones.

Every now and then the Photo Gods smile on me.
A perfect shot in one take!
Just don't look too close--her eye is still swollen and bruised.

Riding back in the tractor on Daddy's lap--a fierce hold on her prize green pumpkin!

Then, off to enjoy dinner with friends. Yes, indeed. A day well spent.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The noise and chaos--within and without--of late have made it near impossible to be anywhere close to introspective and that has allowed cobwebs to build up in the corners of my head. I need to sit, de-clutter and take stock of what I have. As one of my commenters very sagely advised--I need to gain some perspective.


Earlier this week as I was in the other room piddling about doing nothing, my son injured my daughter--resulting in a trip to the emergency room. Actually, it was my panic that sent us to the ER. The baby was fine all along.

Perspective...a couple of days later a dear friend called to tell me she had spent the day before in the ER with her daughter (five months older then Kyleigh) who fell down a flight of stairs and landed in a still, crumpled heap. She managed to escape completely unscathed--minus a few bruises--but it took several hours of CT scans and doctor examinations to come to that conclusion.

Yes, our daughters could have been hurt much worse. Yesterday they were both laughing and enjoying picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch together.


Almost nine years ago my husband took himself and his sore wrist to the military clinic. He was diagnosed with tendinitis and given Motrin--the Navy miracle drug. Over the years it has not only worsened, it has also spread. A civilian doctor diagnosed it as non-rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed Vioxx. Vioxx was later pulled off the market due to it's nasty side effect of killing old men--or something to do with heart attacks. Veteran's Affairs agreed that his infirmity was indeed a service related issue, granted him partial disability and the privilege of being seen at the VA hospital. Then, after all of these years of progressively getting worse, taking more and more pain medication--which was slowly eating his stomach lining--and no real answers other than, "Yep, there's something wrong, just don't know what it is", we finally got an answer.

While we were on vacation a couple of months ago Sean ended up in so much pain that he could barely walk. The second day we were at the beach, he was laying on the floor with tears in his eyes and decided that maybe it was time to go find a doctor--and I was at the door with the car keys! The elderly country doctor listened to his tale, took one look at his hands and called it. Psoriatic Arthritis. The VA doctor confirmed the diagnosis a couple of weeks ago with a round of lab work. It is a full body disease that works through the auto immune system. And if left untreated it would cripple him. One theory is that this was chemically induced. A side effect of something he was exposed to on one of his trips out to play in the desert.

Perspective...although he most likely returned with an unwelcome souvenir, he was one of the ones who returned. My children have a father who comes home to them every day and I have a husband whom I love beyond life itself. The other perspective is that this could have been a much worse prognosis. The disease, while not curable, is at least treatable.

This morning my husband began taking a medication that he will continue to take for the rest of his life. It is a form of chemotherapy that is being used as an auto immune suppressant. It has the usual side effects of chemo as well as the ability to destroy his liver. I bought him a miniature bottle of a fine 12-year-old single malt scotch that he enjoyed a couple of evenings ago. It'll be his last.

Perspective...he's on chemo lite for a form of arthritis. Not full blown chemotherapy for cancer. Once again, I get to keep my husband for a little while longer.


I grew up around war, starvation and poverty. Politicians growing rich and fat while the little people went to bed hungry. We're facing an election here. Bickering politicians are taking up far too much oxygen. But I have the right to say that. And I have the right to vote--a vote that actually matters and counts. The women who went before me made sure of that.

Tonight I sit here in comfort and peace. Two precious little ones asleep upstairs. The dog softly snoring on the floor beside me. Quiet. I am so grateful for what I have. For what my life has turned out to be. There were so many crossroads in my past where I could have gone a different way. I can't imagine that any of those futures could possibly compare to the one I chose.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Mommies United

Sniff, sniff...wiping grateful tears away...may I say, once again, that I have the most supportive readers in the whole blogosphere?! taking the comments to heart--I shouldn't feel too guilty regarding the
black eye my daughter is now sporting? Oh, and that one was totally my fault! She was climbing over me to get to the window sill and slipped. The sill caught her right between the eyes.

Good thing her doctor's appointment isn't for an other couple of weeks--give all of those bumps and bruises time to fade. Though I'm sure she'll have a fresh crop by then!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A mother's guilt

Yesterday afternoon my son stabbed his sister in the head. Following extensive Mommy CSI I was finally able to ascertain the truth of what went down. Well, not really. He kept changing his story. But I did figure out that the weapon used was the tail rotor of his Playmobile police rescue helicopter. They were playing. She either took something of his, got in his way or merely existed in his space and he hauled off and whacked her in the head with his helicopter. The tail rotor just happened to be at the exact angle to put a neat little--albeit profusely bleeding--slice right on the crown of her head.

She and I spent a couple of hours as the guests of St. Mary's ER--the only local hospital with a pediatric emergency room--only to be told that she was fine. I already knew that. Go home and just watch her for signs of trauma. She can go to sleep. But wake her up at some point to make sure she's responsive. Or so said the nurse practitioner with no children. If this baby goes to sleep and is sleeping--I'm not waking her up. No. You can't make me. I may check and make sure she's breathing steady, but no way am I waking her up!

Today--she's fine. She was fine last night. I just got freaked out because the wound wouldn't stop bleeding. I know head wounds bleed. The one Jacob sustained back in February that required four stitches left at least a pint on the picnic table he picked a fight with. But seeing blood gush out of my baby's head was more than enough to send my Mama Bear instincts into overdrive. These are my children. I do everything I know of and that is within my power to protect them--from everything. If I could figure out a way to stuff them back into the womb I'd probably consider it.

But all of that doesn't matter, does it? I failed to protect that baby girl in her own home. Her sanctuary. Where she should be safe. And Jacob? He felt more remorse over the fact that he lost story privileges tonight than for the fact that he hurt his sister.

Talking the ordeal over with the Husband last night he said he was just hoping that Jacob would grow out of it. Really? How old are you and your brother? Because I seem to recall some sort of ruckus last time the two of you got together. And just because you called it Showing Examples of Your Latest Martial Arts Move--it was still a sibling fight with scrapes and bruises.

Spare me the "boys will be boys" line of thinking. My sister and I fought. Vicious and dirty. The only thing that kept us from carving each other's flesh with our fingernails on into our adolescent years--other than the fact that she bit her nails and I didn't--was the fact that she was shipped off to boarding school two years before I was. And then we sort of reverted back to an odd form of parallel existence.

So is this some sort of DNA coding? Are children born with the knowledge of fighting just like they are born with the ability to throw themselves down on the grocery store floor in a full on melt down? Or was this something that I have taught him? Has he been allowed to watch too much television? Too much Star Wars? Too many episodes of The Mummy? Or is this my DNA showing through?

I can almost guarantee you that if I were to sit down and retake the Meyer's/Brigg's personality test tomorrow I'd still come out a solid INFP. Introvert, something with an N, Feeling, and something with a P. I'm ruled by my emotions. I've tried working on that the past several years. But mostly it's the emotions that pull the strings. My family can attest to that. They don't have to leave comments or anything--honestly, you don't--but they are the ones who know. My children have the DNA coding that will enable them to abruptly stand up from the dinner table, knocking their chair backwards, screaming, "Don't mock my pain!"

I knew going into this whole Motherhood thing that there would be drama. I suppose I was naive to think that maybe there would be less drama than there really is.

Yet as flippant and trite as I'm making this ordeal to sound, the guilt is almost overwhelming. I wasn't in the room with my children yesterday afternoon. I heard Kyleigh cry. But she's at the point in her life where she gets pretty pissed off if someone--her brother--takes something from her. If pushed, she will push back. I thought that's all it was. I didn't go investigate. By the time I did go see what was going on she was fine. Except for the blood caked in her hair. And blood drops everywhere--speckling various toys. Jacob was even attempting to read her a story. And she is fine. Yesterday she just wanted us to stop messing with her head--literally--and leave her alone.

But I have to live with the fact that I ignored her when she cried. For all of my "Am I doing enough to protect my children?" form of parenting, I ignored her when she needed me. And I wasn't even doing anything important. See? Emotions. Don't even try to bring logic into this because that wasn't one of the letters that showed up on my personality test. I don't do "Logic". Especially when it comes to my children. But, guilt? Oh, yeah. That one I do.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An odd assortment of mail...

A few days ago the postman delivered an invitation. At first I thought it was for my parents--they've used this address in the past. Then, no--that truly was my name on the envelope. Someone, somewhere must have had a dyslexic moment and reversed the numbers of my age. I can think of no other reason why the AARP would be sending me an invitation for membership--even had a card all engraved with my name. To the best of my knowledge I haven't purchased anything beige or wicker in the past several months. (Yes. I know that's a stereotype. But I was offended, People! And a little hurt.)

My first gray hairs showed up when I was in high school. My experiment with hair colors tapered off when my son was born--my gray roots showing all of the sudden ended up at the bottom of the priority list! Well, thanks to that little envelop of love we're breaking out the Nice-N-Easy this week. How does some shade of purple sound? Oh, maybe you can help me choose a different shade--I've run the full gamut of hair colors. Except platinum blond. Please don't even suggest it.

And in the "How Ironic Is This?" category--somehow my name and address was put on the mommy-to-be lists. I am once again being bombarded by baby formula and new born diaper samples. Before you even say it--No. They do not know something I don't know. In spite of my cleaning frenzies and odd eating habits, there is not another little one on the way. Besides, the husband will tell you that I always eat weird stuff. Being pregnant had nothing to do with it.

So if you happen upon this headline out in cyber news somewhere:
63-Year-Old Gives Birth! Obviously Unstable New Mom Claims Immaculate Conception! It's not me. Honest!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Yep...we're in the Funny Papers...again.

Yep, that right there. That is my life--sword, action figure, broken lamp and all! See how glamorous my life is?! No one could have foreseen this!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Law of Chaos...aka The Law of Jacob

Chaos, pandemonium and the frequency and decibel level at which a 3-year-old will demand chocolate milk will rise in direct proportion to the importance of information the contractor is attempting to convey to the mother--all multiplied by the number of veins popping out in the mother's forehead as she attempts to restrain herself from murdering her children in front of the chimney sweep man. Subtract X and you have the formula for the formation of Black Holes. (This same formula can also be applied to telephone conversations)

Oh yes, the very same Chimney Sweep who, upon observing the weakened state of the mother, attempted to ease her pain by suggesting that he can just go ahead and take care of the necessary work today--since he's already here and everything. Yeah, not going to happen. Just because I somehow cannot find a way to complete a sentence does not mean that I'm actually impaired in anyway.

The ironic part is that a fireplace was one of our top "must haves" on our list when we were house hunting. We should have specified working and functional. Instead we settled on oh, my Lord, we're all going to die in our sleep if we use our fireplace. And now it appears we won't get to use our fireplace this winter either. Phooey.