Monday, April 30, 2012


Looking at us, you'd never guess my husband and my packing styles. While we both look relatively low maintenance, my husband is an extremely heavy packer... and I'm lucky if I pack more than 2 pairs of panties for a 2 week trip.

Before the birth of our bouncing baby boy, this wasn't a problem. I'd toss a pair of jeans and a t-shirt into a backpack and hubby would dump the contents of his closet and half the linen closet into his military sized duffle bag. He'd tote his bag, I'd tote mine.


"OK, I have the baby butt paste, the baby carrier, the baby bath soap, the baby bath sponge, the backup baby bath soap in case the other one leaks, the lullaby player, baby books, baby videos, the big stroller, the little stroller, the baby backpacker..." he says while checking off his list.

"You forgot the rectal thermometer" I said dryly.

"Oh yeah!" he said while running for the closet.

"I'm kidding"

"Oh" he says while scribbling it off his checklist.

"It's not like we are going to a third world country. If we forget something, we'll swing by Target and buy a new one. Relax."

"But we may not be close to a Target. No need to take unnecessary risks" he says.

As one of the most passive aggressive people you'll meet, I'm not a fan of confrontation so...

I waited until he fell asleep to remove 90% of the contents of the baby bag.

Amazingly, we survived just fine without that rectal thermometer.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yes... he's brilliant

We've been enjoying Seattle, the sunshine bright and warming our skin each day. We wake up in the morning and walk to the local bakery, saying hello to the nice ladies behind the counter. A young couple stood in line behind us this morning with their 9 month old. Cash was smiling and laughing at everyone. Gleeful in a way I've never seen him before. He picked up his tiny hand and started to wave at the little boy. The parents saying, "Wow, he waves?!? He's so happy! What an amazing little boy! So bright! Our son isn't quite there yet." Did I say, "Oh no. This is the very first time he's ever waved"? Did I say, "He's usually a grumpy pants in the morning"? Nah. I smiled and pretended he's always like that. Great. I've turned ino the one of the mothers I hate.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Excuse me sir...

Cash has never been on a plane before so I was extremely nervous about our long flight north. We boarded the first leg of our flight and the flight attendant, seeing our small child, blocked off the rest of the row so we could have it to ourselves. Cash was mostly fuss free but he let out a few good wails from boredom toward the end. We got some dirty looks from the single passengers around us (karma for the dirty looks I shot to parents with young kids) but I smiled at them knowing one day, they'll likely be in my shoes. For the second leg, we were misinformed that the flight was completely booked and were not able to get a row to ourselves. More kids boarded, all at least a few years older. People would start to sit in our row, see the young baby, and move toward the back of the plane to take their chances with older, better behaved children. Something I have done many times myself. An older gentleman sat near us, looked at Cash, and said, "I've got six sons and three grandsons. Feel free to let him wail. Won't bother me a bit" as he wedged large earplugs into his ears and started to doze before the plane had even begun to taxi the runway. As soon as the plane wheels left the ground, Cash snuggled into my arms, and fell fast asleep. 10 minutes after takeoff, the 'safer bet' older children started screaming and running up and down the aisles. Fits were thrown, passengers mumbled. Cash continued to sleep. I wanted to shake the man next to us, "Excuse me sir? You can remove your earplugs. Since my son is being the world's perfect baby right now, I desperately need a witness." But he slept as deeply as Cash. The plane landed with a thud, the engines noisily revving, the man and Cash snored. We gently had to shake the man, he smiled, picked up his bag and de-boarded the plane. I panicked. "Um. Can someone PLEASE noticed I had a small baby and he was awesome?!?! Cause it's kinda a big deal!!!" But the only comments I heard were about the devil children at the back of the plane. Now I know how all the people feel who have seen Elvis since his 'death'. No one believes me and there are no witnesses.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Trip to the E.R...

Baby boy sliced the skin off his hand over the weekend. After a valiant effort, we were unable to get the bleeding to stop and were forced to make a trip to the children's hospital emergency room.

While filling out the required paperwork, the nurse asked how the injury happened.

"With a putty knife but not on my watch!" I shouted.

The nurse stared at me.

"Well. I just don't want you to think I let my kid play with putty knives regularly. I'm not a bad mom. I love my baby. Heck, I won't let him play with anything that has hard edges..." I babbled.

"We understand that accidents happen" she said, clearly judging me for being a nut job.

She motioned me to the next window, where the receptionist handed me a double sided 8 point font form to sign. Now, if you know me, you know I refuse to sign anything I haven't read fully - drives hubby nuts. I'm reading this paper, not holding up the line by the way, and the receptionist states, "You can just sign it and I'll bring you a copy when he sees the doctor."

I stare at her, "Doesn't that defeat the purpose? If I sign it, I'm committed to it. For all I know, I could be agreeing to sell my kid's body parts... WHILE HE'S STILL USING THEM."

She said, "It doesn't say that."

I'll have you know, I did not bang my head against the counter - as much as I wanted to.

We finally get into the ER waiting area where we are surrounded by screaming kids. On our left, a 2 year old suffering from a horrible allergic reaction that was disfiguring her face. On our right, a crush fracture leg and an arm needing sutures. In front of us, a kid recovering from a Grand Mal seizure.

By the time the doctor got to us 2.5 hours later, she asked what was wrong. After all that time listening to the horrible calamities befalling those children, I felt like saying, "My kid has a boo boo" especially since he had fallen asleep.

I felt vindicated when she pulled off the gauze and he was still bleeding... a lot. I'm such a bad mother.

Because the skin was sliced off, she couldn't do stitches and put on a blood clotting material. What she failed to mention? The stuff BURNS.

How bad and for how long?

48 of the longest hours of my life.

Hubby and I rocked our screaming baby for hours and hours, his shaking from the pain bringing tears to my eyes. I was holding him with one hand, Googling 'how to make a bubble boy costume' with the other.

Baby boy is doing much better today but he'll be stuck with his 'oven mitt' of a hand for our trip to Seattle.

No Bueno.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Before you murder me… let me clean…

I’ve become a fan of the Investigation Discovery channel. The channel replays the 48 Hours programs and lots of quality shows like ‘Who the @#() did I marry’ (focusing mainly on the spouses of murderers). I don’t know why I’m so crazy about these crime shows. Heaven knows they scare me to bits when I’m home alone. Maybe in my past life I was a criminal investigator and I’m hailing to my God given call. Plus, somewhere deep down, I think they help me to avoid my own murder by making my psychotically lock my windows and never answer the door when strangers knock.

Which has turned out to be a real problem for Fed-Ex deliveries… but that’s another story.

Anyway, I always stare in shock at the crime scene photos. Investigators take pictures of the entire house, ie the crime scene, as evidence. Most of the time, the houses are relatively clean. Beds are made, no clothes on the floor, kitchens free of dishes.

I remember the day when my house used to look like this. I gleefully spent Saturdays brushing the grout in my floors with an old toothbrush, inhaling the beautiful smell of bleach. I’d blare the music while dancing with my Swiffer.

These days? I’m lucky if all the dirty diapers land INSIDE the trashcan. There are baby toys everywhere. The walls are cluttered with the baby swing, the baby high chair, the baby exersaucer, the baby runner, the baby stroller… my house has never felt so small… or dirty.

As I watch the murder mysteries, all I can think is, “Dear Lord. Please don’t let me get murdered at this moment in my life. I’d sure hate to have photos of my house blown up on someone’s 50” TV. They wouldn’t even care about my lifeless body, they’d simply be confused as to why there are hairballs on my floor when I don’t have a cat. So please God, not now.”

I imagine a murderer breaking into my home, shouting, "I'm here to murder you!" (OK, so I don't actually think he'd say that, but roll with me here)

I'd shout back, "Wait! Let me Swiffer first! Oh. Could you hold the baby for a sec? I've simply got to scrub the toilet. Sure, you can have a beer, but only if you take out the recycling."

Hubby would come in the door, tired from working two jobs, and say, "Oh no! My wife is dead... hmm... but the house smells just lovely. I think I'll enjoy this a bit before calling the cops."

Sigh. Please, please God. Now is NOT the time for me to die. I'd be too embarrassed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Does This Pencil Have Spell Check?

My sweet niece mailed me a hand-written letter on Monday. It was carefully crafted on flowered stationary, her perfect handwriting showing the time she spent on it. Wanting to return the gesture, I decided to respond in kind. I shuffled through my house for stationary, finding none. I wanted to stay away from the computer since it lacked the personal touch she had extended to me, but I found myself searching online templates so I could at least have something other than a 8 ½ x 11 sheet of blank white paper to write on. I downloaded a flowered border, thankful it printed light lines for me to write on. I haven’t actually used a pen to write a letter in years, so I’m a bit out of practice at keeping straight lines.

I started writing the letter, trying to remember the format since I didn’t have Word to help me cheat. When I finally figured that out, I began to write… then quickly had to toss it out since mistakes in pen must be corrected with scribbles.

There were just too many scribbles to be considered respectable…especially coming from an ‘adult’.

So I started fresh… with a pencil.

I wrote away, talking about Cash, the dogs, etc. Pausing for a moment to review my work, I noticed there were some misspellings. I don’t think I even own a hard copy of the dictionary so I found myself typing certain difficult words in Word, letting it correct my atrocious (a word I CANNOT spell without help) spelling.

I then realized my young niece (turns out, a word I often misspell ‘neice’…and I can’t even spell ‘misspell’ without help) had likely written the letter without computer assistance…which only made me feel like a bigger idiot.

I looked at the letter and realized I had interchanged ‘their’ and ‘there’. Sigh. I’m lost without my green grammar squiggles (great, just discovered I can’t spell ‘grammar’ or ‘squiggles’ without help either).

Really, it was so nice to receive the letter, but…

I didn’t need it pointed out that I’m a buffoon without my computer holding my hand AND…

That my 10 year old niece is 100 times brighter than me.

*Note* Argh! And according to the green squiggles, it’s stationEry, not stationAry. Paper, not an exercise bicycle.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I’ve said it before… a lot... I’m struggling with those last few post-baby pounds. I’ve been sticking to a diet of lean protein and lots of greenery, limiting my sugars - even fruits. Sure, I wanted to lose the weight to feel better but more importantly, I wanted to lose the weight to fit back into my old clothes.

I shop for jeans every 10 years or so, so I was desperate to fit into those blues… well, without muffin top action.

Those nasty 5 extra pounds clung like some of my ex-boyfriends.

Fed up with counting calories and watching my food, I gave up. I launched into rolled tacos, carne asada fries, and demolished a pint of Chubby Hubby. I started drinking beer again. Easter weekend, I jumped into a dish of pesto pasta, and topped it off with a locally brewed beer, and followed that with two glasses of wine. Easter Sunday? Jelly bellies, eggs with cheese, and snickers bars.

Monday morning, I carefully pulled out the scale from under the bathroom sink. I gingerly stepped on it, knowing I’d likely packed on 5 more pounds in my week of ‘giving up’.

The red numbers ticked upward and my heart slowly sank…

Until the numbers stopped…

One pound UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight.

What the..??

There is a God… and He LOVES me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Alzheimer’s Struggle…

My grandfather had Alzheimer’s. Even when his mind was long gone and he had become violent, my grandmother refused to put him in an assisted living facility. Sometimes he’d crawl up on their roof, reliving his days of being a war pilot. Other times, he’d angrily hit her. But she simply couldn’t let him go.

I don’t remember a time when grandpa didn’t have Alzheimer’s. In my pre-teen mind, I do remember wondering why grandma didn’t send him away. I was completely confused as to why she put up with his antics.

My husband’s grandmother has suffered from Alzheimer’s for quite some time. She has progressed further and further, now to the point of barely being able to remember things longer than a 10 minute period. We went to their home yesterday and she asked over and over about our son. Was he a boy or girl, what was his name, whose baby was he. I answered every question as though it was the first time she asked it, understanding that she was being her sweet self. She may forget everything else, but she remembers what it was like to be the mother to an infant.

As I watched her watch my son, I figured out why grandma couldn’t send grandpa away and why Chris’ grandfather can’t either.

In our youth, we see hospitals and assisted living as temporary. They make us better and we move on. For the elderly, hospitals and assisted living is permanent. It’s the end.

I saw his grandma through his grandpa’s eyes. No more Easter Sunday’s. No more holding hands after dinner. No more sitting side by side while watching the evening news. It won’t get better.

As I crawled in my bed last night, slipped my arm around my husband’s waist, and snuggled my face into the back of his neck, I realized I couldn’t say goodbye either. For the first time, I finally understood my grandmother’s decision. I’d want to hold on for as long as I could possibly hold on.

Alzheimer’s sucks.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Ride on the Short Bus...

I get e-mails every day from the ‘What to Expect’ website. I signed up while pregnant to see the weekly progress of the baby development but didn’t realize this service would extend past the birth. At first, this seemed like a great idea. I could see what to expect my child to be doing, important milestones, etc.
Seemed like a good idea.
It ISN’T a good idea.
Now all I’m concerned with is how SLOW my kid is. The actual website says my kid is right on track, the other mother’s on the message boards? They have me feeling as though I should make my kid wear a helmet, apply for state aid for his disabilities, and research special needs schools.
“My kid is walking!”
“My son is reading!”
“My daughter can recite the alphabet!”
“My son is looking into colleges!”
Meanwhile, my kid is still working on not choking on his own spit.
I’d like to reach through the computer and punch those moms.
Today, I received an article titled, ‘Is My Baby Gifted?’ outlining 6 signs to look for to determine whether or not your kid is a genius. “Maybe my kid is!” I thought. “Maybe all those other mothers are nuts!”
Is My Baby Gifted?
Wonder if your baby is a budding genius? Here are six signs to look for.
Is he always ahead of the game? Does he do everything early, meeting developmental milestones well before his peers? Does he have a very good memory?
Well… his memory isn’t truly great. He’ll start crying then suddenly stop and look around confused as if he forgot the reason he started crying in the first place. I have no idea where he got that from. I never go into the kitchen and, oh hey, scissors! I need to cut the box open in the dining room. Wait. Why am I in the kitchen?
Is he a good problem-solver? Gifted babies may show off their creativity and originality by tackling a challenge in a surprising way.
He realized he needs both hands to crawl. When he wants to get somewhere and take a toy with him, he puts it in his mouth and crawls there… but then again, my dog does that too.
Does he make connections? Can he take knowledge he's learned in one situation and apply it to another?
My son figured out how to blow snot bubbles and laughs hysterically when he farts. Genius? Probably not. But my husband thinks it’s a great party trick.
Does he have trouble sleeping? In a gifted baby, this could mean he has a hard time dialing down on the stimulation so he can get some z's.
Baby boy has NO problems sleeping… but I do. Does that count?!?
If your baby does show many of these signs, he may well be gifted.
Great. The message boards will be all aflutter about all the future geniuses. At least Cash is really, really good looking. When brains fail, at least looks can pull you through. I mean really, does anyone listen when Brad Pitt talks?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Keeping Secrets

Don't tell my husband but I'm keeping a huge secret.

Hubby takes care of everything he owns. He meticulously scrubs, oils, and maintains his tools. He lovingly puts them each in their own 'home'.

Unfortunately, he is the same with kitchen tools... our pots and pans included.

Me? Unless it's technology, I beat it up. Pots and pans? Yeah, them too.

So when hubby read the fine print on our pots and pans that said, 'NOT DISHWASHER SAFE', he told me to never put them in the dishwasher lest I wash off their teflon.

As a tired mommy, oh who am I kidding, LONG before I became a tired mommy, I was a tired working lady. A tired working lady who HATES hand washing dishes. I mean really, why the heck else were dishwashers invented?

So, while hubby slaves away working nights or going to school at nights, I...

oh man, I shouldn't admit this...

I put the pots and pans in the dishwasher.


In the morning, I sprint from bed and throw the pots under the stove, pretending they haven't been scoured by our mechanical cleaning machine.

This morning, I forgot I put his precious pans in the 'evil' dishwasher so while he told me about his day after work, I told him to sit on the couch, kick his feet up and I'd bring him a drink.

"Oh honey, you deserve a break and I love you so much" I said, sweat dripping from my forehead hoping he wouldn't catch my lie. I practically tripped over our rug while bringing him his beer, running back into the kitchen to throw the pans in the cabinet.

He didn't catch me this time (actually, he thought I was awesome for being such a cool wife bringing him beer)...

but eventually...

he'll catch me and...

I'll pretend it's the first time.

By the way, the teflon looks fine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Thanks a lot baby…

The last few mornings it’s been a little chilly (I’ll ignore the snickers from my family back east). I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight but my ‘re-organized’ body can’t fit into my pre-pregnancy pants quite right so I wear dresses because I’m WAY too cheap to buy new pants. Since I work on the coast, I deal with the icy wind off the water in the mornings. I stare with envy at those wearing nice wool pants as they scurry into the building.

This morning, I darted into our building, shivering as I pressed the elevator button. A woman wearing thick slacks asked me why I dared to wear a skirt in this weather.

“Well, I had a baby and I can’t quite squeeze into my pre-pregnancy pants yet” I said with a smile.

“How long ago did you have your baby?” she asked.

Clearly this lady is childless or too many years have passed since she gave birth. The proper response should be, “Well you look great!” - even if the person doesn’t. I’m aware that my chest sits 3 inches lower, my hips are wider, and my chin is a double. Lying to women post-pregnancy doesn’t count. There’s an asterisk in my Bible on the 10 commandments near the ‘Thou shalt not lie’. It says *except to pregnant women or women who have given birth in the last year… well two (I may need to buy a little more time).

“8 Mo…er… weeks ago” I lied through gritted teeth.

I also believe that lying in response to stupid questions is perfectly acceptable as well.