Friday, September 16, 2011

A Lot Can Happen In Two Years: Like, 24 months can just fly by!

Two years ago today, I was totally ignoring Big V chow down on a slice of pizza because I was busy cracking up via text messages with my sister. For Christmas I hope she gets me a transcript from our phone records because that conversation was epic!

I look totally okay with this whole giving birth thing. Don't I?
I was scheduled to deliver a baby and things were going pretty well - I was laughing, V was eating - when all of a sudden a team of health specialists stormed my room and in twenty-five seconds had me racing down the hall for an emergency c-section. All I heard was trouble with his heart and dangerously low level and so your dad is from Australia? (That last one coming from the super spunky anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural about 45 minutes earlier.)
 
Someone's a little too giddy to get into surgery.
So cesarean it was! Big V was in charge of pictures. I wanted one the second the baby was born... I am now the proud owner of a pictorial play-by-play of the opening of my gut and filleting of my body fat. It's good stuff.
 
I remember they had trouble "getting him out." Essentially he was stuck under a rib or something and the act of dislodgement shook the entire table. I don't want you to break him! I screamed out. I wish you could see what your body looks like! It's so gross! announced Big V. (He was my hero.)

He smelled as sweet as he looks.
After they bathed him, I mean.

As it was, the baby was a HE. (Phew! Big time.) And he was fine. I didn't know that in the moment, though. Instead I was yelling at Big V to go with the baby! Go with the baby! because I was scared they'd lose him. They didn't. (Although there have been some days in the recent past where I wondered if perhaps there might have been a more pensive child we could have switched with.)

It seems so cliché but, yeah, they grow up in the blink of an eye. He's now this little man housemate with quirky habits and the insistence that he walk around in shoes not belonging to him. He jibber-jabbers like he's having these intellectual conversations with us except the only words we understand is moo, Mimi, and bees? which is always a question. Always.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for a meeting."

He is incredibly loving, which means he totally takes after his father. He gives big, squishing bear hugs, blows kisses and has just learned how to kiss a lady's hand. And a man's hand. And the hand of the strange woman waiting in line behind us at the post office.

He also bites, which means he totally takes after his mother.


Happy 2 years on this earth, Buddy!
He is temperamental and sweet and obstinate and charming and, well, just about everything you would imagine a child of two years to be. (And he's been working really hard on the obstinate part.)

In short, I wouldn't trade him for all the world. He is the epitome of Alan Marshall Beck's description:


Boys are found everywhere --
on top of,
underneath,
inside of,
climbing on,
swinging from,
 running around
or jumping to.
 
Mothers love them,
little girls hate them,
older sisters and brothers tolerate them,
adults ignore them
and Heaven protects them.
 
A boy is
Truth with dirt on its face,
Beauty with a cut on its finger,
Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.
 
A boy is a magical creature;
you can lock him out of your workshop,
but you can't lock him out of your heart.
You can get him out of your study,
but you can't get him out of your mind.

Might as well give up.
He is your captor,
your jailer,
your boss
and your master.

A freckled-faced,
pint-sized,
cat-chasing
bundle of noise.

But when you come home at night
with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams,
he can mend them like new with two magic words:
Hi, Dad!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A child is the greatest joy, the ultimate Blessing...

*office phone rings*

Good Afternoon. How can I help you?

Can you get two movies from the library?

(It's the Teen Bean.)

Um, no.

OH MY GOD, MOM!  WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GET SOME MOVIES FOR ME?!

Um... I am working.

OH MY GOD! I JUST --- UGHH!!! --- I CAN'T ---- OH MY GOD!

Or you could walk to the library and get some yourself.... (the library is about 5 blocks away)

OH MY GOD! I AM NOT GOING TO WALK TO THE LIBRARY!

....

Is it possible to actually explode from hormonal combustion?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boundary Waters Fires: Nothing to Complain About

I am incredibly allergic to smoke. When people who smoke come in the office I start sneezing within two seconds. It gives me a headache and leaves my throat raw and scratchy. My eyes get red and start tearing up. I think it's fair to say I would not have made a sexy smoker. Although I did try smoking. I so desperately wanted to be a smoker because I imagined that first deep inhale to be like an instant calming drug. Which it  is, I suppose, but wouldn't actually know about because I never could figure out that whole swallowing air thing. Really, smoking is much more complicated than what I am capable of.

Before going out to the bars I would pop some allergy meds and enjoy the rest of my evening dancing the night away. The next morning I would wake up sounding like the biggest bar hag you've ever come across. My throat would feel like it had been cut into a million pieces. It's kind of weird, really, but it's me.

And so, when I ventured outside today I thought (1) hmmm... it's kind of foggy... And (2) ah-CHOO!

Apparently the Minnesota Boundary Waters Fires are delivering smoke to good ole' Southeastern Wisconsin today.

Did I put my contacts in the wrong eyes again?

I think there's a Steven King book about this....
 I am now sniffling, sneezing, have a stuffy head and wish I could rest.

By the way, it also smells like burning plastic so it's kind of gross and makes me wonder why I bothered trying to squeeze out the last two pumps of my Burberry perfume this morning.

The whole thing simply baffles my mind. How can there be this much smoke and haze and odor from something so far away? Well, for one, there's about 60,000 acres currently burning (the whole thing practically tripled in size over night). It's quick. Very quick. Dangerously quick. And also, the way wind and weather works, the smoke has been picked up in the jet stream and is flying its way down to us along with the cool air dropping off temperatures we're not ready to get to yet. Can't it be summer for just a while longer? 

For the life of me I cannot imagine what it must be like for all the fire fighters battling the blazes. I cannot imagine the intense smell nor the frustrating blindness the smoke causes. I cannot imagine living any closer to it than what I already am. Godspeed, Minnesota.

That being said, people are not allowed to burn leaves in our quaint little village. This means that everyone and their brother has called me today to complain that someone down the street surely must be burning leaves. Or tires. And that I should go out immediatey, capture them and have them flogged in the public square. And this is getting terribly annoying. And so I say things like, "why yes, actually they are burning leaves.... 60,000 acres of leaves...." This whole business is getting on my last nerve.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to share with you that I've decided to participate in my church's Wednesday Evening Bible Study. They're doing something called Lord, Change my Attitude. Since I happen to have attitude I thought perhaps this would be somewhat applicable to my life.

The first chapter was titled Are you a complainer? and it went on to say how we really shouldn't complain but focus on the positive. And I immediately thought what the hell am I going to write about? Each day we are to read a couple pages and answer some questions. Day Two focused on sarcasm. I'm wondering if it's possible to actually fail bible study.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toddlers and Tantrums: One Time Out at a Time

I can barely speak in coherent sentences today because Big V left me alone to deal with the toddler. As in he went to the ball field to play softball.

All. Day. Long.

Saturday AND Sunday.

From 8am until 6pm.

Both days.

Absolutely I'm bitter. Like you have to ask?

The kid is going to be two on Friday but I wasn't going to say anything because things happen when kids turn two. But someone must have told him because he quickly put two and two together and came up with terrible two's which he has ramped into overdrive.

I put that kid in a time out roughly 587 times this weekend.

I tried to be all Super Nanny consistent about it, silently cussing Big V's life and soul while attempting to appear nonchalant and aloof that my not quite two year old was screaming hysterically, kicking his feet and pounding his fists on the wall while perched on a time out stool. (And I put that blasted timer on 2 minutes, people, each and every time.)

And then....

Dotter was laying on the couch playing with her Nintendo DS. Her fault for being so low to the ground. Next time I'll have her lounge on top of the piano. Anyway, I spy Cletus the Used to be Fetus Now Complete Terror look at her from across the living room. And his eyes glinted. Yes, there was a glint. And then the right side of his mouth flinched ever so slightly...

Off and running he sped across the room, both arms out in front of him, and with both hands he grabs Dotter's hair... and I mean grabs. He's pulling and yanking, and she's screaming for her life while trying to wail on him with an electronic device and he throws his head back and laughs. He's laughing while she's screaming while he's pulling while I'm yelling Stop it! Stop it! Let go of her hair! while attempting to pry his sweaty paws open and untangle her hair.

I know it probably sounds like I was having the time of my life, but ... I wasn't.

I threw Cletus into his crib, gobs of hair hanging from his fingers, and went back to comfort Dotter and try to convince her that bald is beautiful... when the Teen Bean told me I was so mean for throwing the baby in a major time out because, as she put it, he doesn't know what he's doing! He's just a baby!

"Just" a baby my Aunt Fanny. That boy had a glint! And the start of a sneer! No; he had control of the sneer which is so much more dangerous.

Come with me....

We walked into the bedroom where Cletus was sitting on the edge of his mattress, chubby little legs dangling through the crib slats, head resting forward, hands curled around the slats above his head... a pathetic baby jail scene to say the least (and yet he looked so gosh darn cute).

I turned on the light and he looked quickly up at me, all smiles and grins - "Hi, Mama!" Such a cheerful fellow. (I want to eat his chubby cheeks!)

"Do you know why I put you in time out?" I ask, still playing the part of the stern mother.

He puts his right hand on top of his head: "Mimi...hair...ow..." He frowns and his eyes are full of sorrow. (Oh my gosh; I want to kiss him!)

I turn to the Bean, "He absolutely knows what he's doing."

"Oh my god... that's so scary..."

I know. Trust me, I know....