Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reason #214 I Like Being A Parent

This morning, my children made me laugh so hard I cried. Or maybe I was crying for a different reason.

You decide. I'm tired of making the decisions around here.

Tank and Sunshine rose early this morning. Like, before the sun.. which is really stinking early because we just had that stupid time change. The first words out of their mouths... "Can we play Wii?"

My boys have a serious love affair with the Wii. I wanted the Wii for me, not for them. I knew they could play it too (unlike the PS3 and those nasty bloody-gory-kill-all games) so it was perfect! I could even work out with the Wii, and that was Bond's main motivation for getting it for me. It's a "work-out" system. Half the games we own are for work-out purposes. I haven't worked out with the Wii in three months.

Mario dominates these days. Mario, Luigi and my boys.

So this morning started like most mornings have started since Christmas, "Mom can we play the Wii?"

And like most mornings since Christmas, I rolled over this morning and said, "No. Just watch cartoons."

About an hour later (?) I woke up to a new argument between Tank and Sunshine.

Sunshine: "I'm going to play Ice Age."
Tank: "I don't wan nu pway Icshe Agshe. I wan nu pway Marwio!"

That went on for a moment and eventually turned into this...

Sunshine: "If we don't play Ice Age.. then we're going to bleed and die and go to Heaven!" (I don't know where he gets this stuff...)
Tank: "No!"

And this...

Sunshine: "These are your choices: You can watch a movie. Or you can watch me play Wii."
Tank: "No! I wan nu pway Marwio!"
Sunshine: "That wasn't one of your choices!"

And this...

Sunshine: "If we don't play Ice Age.. then.. then.. you're not going to play at all!"
Tank: (PUNCH) "YOU don't get to pway!"

Bond and I could hear every single word and instead of interrupting their escalating fight.. we laughed. We laughed SO hard! And we laughed even harder when they got into a Yes-No argument that played out so fast it could duel the Dueling Banjos routine.

Yes-No-Yes-No-YesNoYesNoYesNOOOOYesNOOOOO!YES!(PUNCH)(Sunshine screams) ... you get the picture. Hilarity in it's rawest form.

We've decided that Sunshine is the crooked politician. Like... where the heck was he coming up with these ridiculously outlandish threats? And did you like the choices he offered? "Here are your choices.. either I win, or I win." Not to mention.. they were arguing about which game they were going to play when, according to Mom, they weren't going to be playing ANY games. Just like the politician to base his argument off of something completely false, unfounded, and/or non-existent.

Tank is the enforcer. He didn't like it, so he fought back. !(PUNCH)! "YOU don't get to pway!" So there! Hahaha!

We also decided that Tank is going to be okay. I mean.. he was keeping up with Sunshine's lack of logic pretty well for someone 2 years his junior, which you'd think would be a huge disadvantage at this point! I mean, gee wiz. He's two! And he totally got that Sunshine was being completely unfair. Sunshine at that age was very gullible. "Okay," he would've said. Nope, not Tank. "Wrong!" (KA-POW!)

Please don't take this post the wrong way. We eventually jumped into the parent role. The kids did get in trouble.. Sunshine for lying, Tank for hitting, and both for screaming and crying. We just decided to let things play out first. We deserve to be entertained once in a while, right?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cookie Love

I made cookies today...

9 dozen (minus 2) chocolate chip cookies...



Don't those 2 empty spots just look so... empty?

I didn't mean to make so many of them. I just made a double-batch, because we're taking some to game night tonight, and I wanted to have some at home to for desserts. Bond was craving dessert last night after dinner. (I got dinner made, but not dessert.) I found some chocolates that he said didn't taste so great... I'm honestly not sure how old they were... but they couldn't have been that old.

*ahem*

Right?

Anyway. A single batch, I thought, made about 3 dozen.. but a double batch has made 9 dozen (minus 2).. so.. I'm thinking I was wrong.. that a single batch actually makes 4 dozen.. and... maybe I made smaller cookies this time, or something.

Enough with my bad math.

Just look....



At these amazingly tasty...



9 dozen (minus 2) (minus 3)...



Chocolate chip COOKIES!!!

There is more to cookie-baking in Colorado. It's not just.. follow the recipe. That doesn't work here. If you try that, then you get flat and crunchy cookies. That's okay, if you like that kind of thing.

But I like soft chewy cookies.

First thing's first.. you gotta use stoneware cookie sheets. Pre-heat them while you pre-heat the oven.



Stoneware baby, yeah...

Then.. you gotta add extra flour to the mix. For this round I added like.. 1/2 to 3/4 cups of extra flour.

And THEN.. you gotta take the cookies out before they're done. They have to be just barely browning on top. (See the minus 2 shot, just taken out of the oven.)



And THEN you gotta let them sit on the stoneware cookie sheet to cool and finish baking from underneath until the next dozen is done.

It's a very complicated process, yes. And I didn't even go into when you switch them to the cooling rack. But it's soooooo worth it.

And you can't forget your kindly neighbor who brings you flour when you've run out. And she brought muffins too. I don't have a picture of those... we ate them already. The muffins, not the kindly neighbor.

Don't be gross.

And so. To conclude... here is what 9 dozen (minus 3) (minus 4) cookies looks like:



Oh... *scoff* DANG IT!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Disorganized is My Middle Name

So I'm totally not the most organized person on the planet. I think organized people are amazing freaks of nature. And I often wish I was one of those freaks.

My disorganization speaks in every aspect of my life. In fact, the only routine I've had and kept for any amount of time is my shower routine:

Shampoo hair
Rinse hair
Condition hair
Comb hair
Turn up hot water
Brush teeth
Rinse mouth
Turn up hot water
Scrub face
Rinse face
Soap face
Rinse face
Turn up hot water
Scrub with soap
Rinse soap off
Turn up hot water
Rinse hair
Stand till all the hot water is gone

I really have to go in the right order, or I'll end up forgetting something. Is that psycho?

I guess I have a make-up routine too:

Foundation
Blush
Eye shadow
Eye liner
Mascara
Lip gloss/lipstick

So I have routines in getting ready for the day, which is funny because I have to fight tooth and nail to get a shower in during the day most of the time. Or I have to time my waking magically between Newbie's early-morning feeding and Sunshine's and Tank's wake-up, which of course changes every day, and some days that time doesn't even exist.
The one routine I have is tossed out of the realm of "organized" simply because I can't do it at the same time every day.

I guess there is another routine I've managed to manage. :)

Sunshine and Tank take a nap (most days).. and I usually put them down between 1:30pm and 2pm. I send Sunshine to the potty, and Tank and I go upstairs and I pray with him and he goes down well. And by the time I get back downstairs, Sunshine is ready to go down.. of course now that Newbie is involved.. and her nap time isn't perfectly regulated yet.. that kinda throws that routine for a loop many days...

Anyway.

My biggest problem lately with my organization-challenge-ment is dinner.
You see, Bond gets home from a long day at work and expects to eat something. (He asks so much! sarcasm) There have been a few successful weeks where I've made a menu for the week and cooked all week long.. and then there are weeks that I make a menu and it gets thrown out because we end up having plans all week.. and then there are weeks - most weeks - that I don't make a menu and I scramble to put something together, only to end up running to Taco Bell or Wendy's because it would just take too long to fix something at home. It's expensive and a waste of money and time and food.
I'm curious to know how many others are out there. People like me. Who don't like to cook only because it's too hard to plan the menu, shop for the right ingredients, and follow through with the meals - oh.. and dishes. Clean-up's a pain too.

Oh and I've tried the FlyLady stuff and other menu-planning things. I guess disorganized will just have to be part of my description for awhile longer. Maybe once the kids figure out how to sleep until 9am.. maybe then I can call myself organized....

Dream on, right?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

*Smack!*

Whoa... where did that come from?



Wow Colorado! What a storm!

I'm so excited about this. We were on our way home from grocery shopping. I'm not sure how long we were actually in the store, an hour maybe, but upon exiting.. the world had changed from dry and chilly to .. crazy snowy! There were already 2 or so inches on the ground when we were trying to leave. Bond brought the van up to the door so we could load up, and at least an inch accumulated on the van while it sat there waiting for us to get all ready and buckled.

I wonder how many people were out getting their groceries too, because it took us over an hour and a half to get home in the storm.

Check out my view!



It wasn't JUST the horrible roads and non-existent visibility. For some reason, the van decided it didn't like my "Dirty Car" story.. I think it must have peed out all the anti-freeze or something, because the heater wasn't working! So the windows were all fogged up and we were all freeeeezing!

And on top of that, Newbie was screaming her head off the entire time! Bond can't concentrate well when she's screaming. So I crawled into the back and tried to calm her down, to no avail.

Amidst all the distractions.. the icy roads, the blowing snow, the foggy windows, the screaming baby, the loud pre-schooler and toddler in the back... Bond did such an awesome job driving us home. But I helped. I pulled out my awesome phone that had my awesome Google maps application and my awesome GPS capabilities. We were able to drive through a few neighborhoods instead of getting stuck trying to get up the hills with the rest of traffic. It was complete insanity and it was awesome.

(Baby screaming in the background.)
"Here, turn right here! And then this'll take us all the way to Austin Bluffs."
(Boys laughing and yelling in the background.)
"I can't see the road.. the snow is as high as the sidewalks!"
(More baby screaming..)
"Follow the trees!" I look down at my awesome GPS map phone. "See it curves around right here!"
(Tense pause between Mom and Dad, kids are all still screaming their heads off.)
"Okay this is supposed to be Austin Bluffs up here.."
"I can't see anything."
(Red traffic lights appear out of no where.)
"THERE!"
"Weeeeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeeee!"

Total. Aweosmeness!

Okay, so maybe I didn't say weee heee. But it was definitely exciting. It was like... a really really good movie, minus the explosions. I laughed.. I cried.. or wanted to anyway. But the sidewalks and following the trees and lights popping up out of no where... and the screaming kids... and the non-working heater.. it was all there. It made it all completely hilarious. And terrifying.

And it was such a relief to walk in the door of our home. It was much more peaceful than this...



Definitely more peaceful.. pretty, and calm.

As we sit right now, there are over six inches of snow on our deck. I'm thinking we won't get to go to Newbie's post-op appointment tomorrow without some SERIOUS early morning sun.

"Tank"-ing on the Potty Training

I. Hate. Potty. Training.

Hate. It.

With a passion. (That's a lot.)

I always thought Tank would be easier for some reason. Maybe it's because Sunshine was really hard to train.. and Tank started going tinkle on the potty when he was 18 months old. No kidding. I remember thinking, "Oh wow! I'm not ready for this! Maybe he'll train himself!"

Riiiiiiiight. Tank will be three next month (Holy moly where did the time go?!) And I decided last week to take away his diapers because it was just time. (Come on. The kid can play Mario Brothers better than his Grammy and Pappy, dress and undress himself, and has known what pee and poo were for quite a while. He can do this. Sadly, I don't remember what conversation it was that we were having when I thought, "Why am I still changing this kid's diapers?" Wish I did!) No training himself there, oh well. So now, I'm trying to train him.

But sometimes I forget.

And so he ends up going wherever he is... on the bench... or the couch... the floor... you know, wherever's convenient. (The toilet isn't convenient by the way.. it's in a WHOLE DIFFERENT ROOM.)

At least I can tell when he's gonna go poo. He usually runs downstairs by himself to play "Learning Journey." So as long as I can run after him and catch him, we can get him to go on the potty.

So... I guess..

...now that I think about it...

I'm the one who's in potty training at this point. Every 20 minutes..

"Tank, do you need to go potty?"

"Tank, let's go potty!"

"Tank, it's potty time!"

Oh and the bribing.

I bribe. Tank loves gummies, aka fruit snacks. He and his peers get them at his pre-pre-school class when they use the potty. So for the last week Tank has had way too much sugar.

And Sunshine pouts. He uses the potty, after all. Why can't he have a gummy too?

Why can't my 4-year-old understand that he got bribed too, when he was potty training? Why can't he remember that?

So I gave in one day. (Mistake.)

"Okay, Sunshine. How about when you help Tank go potty, you get a gummy too."

A few minutes later I hear..

"Good job Tank!" pitter patter of little feet, actually more like the cacophony of an elephant stampede, but whatever "Mom, I said 'good job.' Can I have a gummy now?"

*sigh*

I. Hate. Potty. Training.

Newbie, you better do me right. You're a girl. You HAVE to do this way easier than these big boy brothers of yours. Mmkay? Love, Mommy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

So Long, Gummy Smile - Part 1

Ah... Newbie's first tooth.

It has come too soon. Both Sunshine and Tank waited until their 7th month of life to start with the teeth.

But not Newbie. My sweet Princess of Drool cut her first tooth last Thursday morning. I had seen it coming, so I took some gorgeous gummy smile pictures, knowing that I would miss it dearly.

See? No teeth, yet.



But... she does look a little worried...



Hm.. must be she tried to do her own taxes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Zoo's Gone Wild! ...oh wait.

I took the kids to the zoo a few weeks ago. It was supposed to be warm. The high was supposed to be about 50 degrees. Woo! I think it might have been almost 40, because we went in the morning and it was gusty windy. Oh well.

Anyway.

I took the kids to the zoo a few weeks ago. I think the animals were all going wild... I mean, crazy. There was a peacock that was blocking the exit from the ape house. Kinda freaky, really.

There were like, 15 giraffes all jammed in together near the fence, begging for crackers. Usually, the giraffes are a little more timid. They might take your thirty-three cent cracker. They might take the one from the guy next to you. Depends on how they're feeling that day. But THIS day, they were begging.

"Plllease plllease give me that cracker!" That's what they would say if they had voice boxes and could make noise.



Sunshine went to feed a baby giraffe. He and the baby giraffe were at eye level with one another. A taller giraffe had other plans, and wanted that cracker. His head was hanging right over Sunshine's head. I said "Hey, Sunshine, look up!"

So he did.

And he got licked.

On the cheek.

And in the ear.

It was funny.

For me.

Sunshine thought it was gross and asked for sanitizer.



If the giraffes had even the hope that we had a cracker, they would let us pet them. Very unusual.

And then, back at the ape house -- I know, I'm really linear today -- the apes were going wild crazy too. I think they were bored.

One of them reminded me of Al from Married With Children. He was scratching himself.

And then, this happened.



The staring. It seemed like all the apes were staring at us. It was like WE were on display. Totally freaky.

And oh, my, gosh... the frogs. There were like, gabillions of them. My camera phone doesn't like to focus where I want it to. So this is the coolest shot I got of a bull frog staring at us.



I know, right?

Coolest thing ever.

So, between the freaked out animals and the freezing cold wind, I decided it was time to go home, and we did.

But it sure was a wild crazy day at the zoo!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - Newbie's surgery

The only good thing I had to dwell on about Newbie's surgery today was that I would get to smell the hospital. I've never had to be in the stinky part, and it's always been associated with good memories.. like... new babies. I love the smell of sterile. Clean. Sans perfume but still sweet. Maybe it's the laundry detergent. Or the hand soap. I'm not sure, but I love it. And I know I'm weird for that.

Newbie did amazing. She didn't start fussing over her hunger (I had to starve her before the procedure) until about 10 minutes before she went in.. when she fell asleep in Grandma's arms. It was cute. I kept trying to convince the doctors and nurses that they didn't need to use the general anesthesia.. she was already asleep! Didn't work.

So anyway, Newbie did amazing. I did fine until this morning, when I realized today had come. For real. Wednesday, March 10, 2010 was today. I couldn't think too hard about it this morning without wishing I hadn't eaten breakfast.

I did better once we were here (I'm at the hospital as I type) and I had six close friends and family members in the pre-op room with me. I had no idea how well-loved my almost-5-month-old baby is. How well loved I am. (Newbie ended up with eight visitors in the waiting room at once, not including her parents. We totally took over. If I'd known we would have so many there I'd have arranged a pot luck. That's what Baptists do, right? We eat!)

The first hardest moment for me today was putting her down on the operating table. She'd fallen asleep in Grandma's arms and she stayed asleep after transferring her to my arms. She slept as we walked down the maze of hallways they call the hospital and slept as nurses and doctors filled the operating room. This morning she'd woken up, happy as could be.. oblivious that she was going to have a very rough day. So when the anesthesiologist said, "You can put her down on the table now," I thought, No... I can't. I held onto her for a little bit longer. When I put her down she woke up and cried. I held her hand as they stuffed the mask that delivered her sleeping medicine on her face and she fought it with all she had.. holding her breath and everything.. till her body made her gasp and she slowly fell asleep. And then they made me leave her.

God must have known I'd be a wreck walking out of there, because not 60 seconds later I saw my old pastor and youth pastor walking toward the waiting room. (Old and youth.. that's kind of funny. "Previous" is a better word than old. Because neither of them are very old in my head. Anyway.) I walked between them as we weaved our way through the maze and finally into the room that held so many of my friends and family members.

And then we sat there.
And talked.
And joked.
It was a little awkward.. everyone was there to support me. I almost felt like I needed to entertain them. We entertained each other for awhile, playing musical chairs to avoid talking over one another. Eventually my current pastor and my previous pastor ended up in one corner talking, and the rest of us broke out into pairs or groups of three and chatted quietly, sometimes poking into other conversations. I got to sit next to Bear and do math with him, and it was nice because I felt useful in a time of helplessness.

I looked at the clock a lot, and at 11:20a or so I thought.. she should be coming anytime now.. I looked over at the door and to my surprise and relief the surgeon was walking through the door, smiling at me from underneath her hospital-blue hairnet.

Newbie had her adenoids removed. They were pretty big for such a little girl. Her esophagus is narrower.. swollen.. and red, indicating that she's still having some acid reflux going on, even with her current meds. Her voice box is also swollen. I have pictures. I'll scan them sometime. They're neat. It's mild narrowing.. but it does mean that she'll be likely to get croup more and that when she gets sick it'll settle in that narrow airway. Super. We'll just have to watch her carefully. If it starts delaying her development or causing trouble, there are ways to dilate the airway.. but no worries about that right now.
The doctor explained that the next step is getting Newbie's reflux under control. So we're going to see a GI doctor next for that. We'll also have a sleep study done again in a few months after she's all healed up to see how her apnea is doing.

Everyone left at this point and Bond came with me to recovery to see Newbie while my mommy went to the waiting room till we could get in the room we'd be staying in overnight.

This was the second hardest part of my day.
Once we got to recovery, I could see that Newbie was fussing and struggling. She would sleep for a minute.. and then wake up and fight whatever it was that was bugging her. Grogginess.. or pain.. or hunger. There were two nurses over her trying to calm her down as I walked in to see her. One asked if anyone had explained everything to me yet, and I said... well. I don't remember what I said. But I do remember parts of what the nurse said.

Newbie had stopped breathing down in recovery. They'd had to intubate her (put a tube down her throat) again.. for the fourth time that day.. to open her airway to breathe. The combination of her central apnea, the anesthesia, and the swollen airway had stopped her breathing and turned her blue. I cried a little. And the nurses consoled me.

So anytime she got mad, Newbie would hold her breath, and her lips would turn purple. And when I was watching her lips turn purple, I'd forget about God.. I didn't even think to pray for my daughter. I just watched and panicked. Instead I focused on a little boy, maybe 7 years old, who got wheeled in. He was noticeably a cancer patient because all his hair was gone, even his eyebrows. I saw a nurse hand him a red Popsicle once he woke up and I liked how his eyes happily widened, along with his mouth, and how excited he was to have a red Popsicle. I didn't want to watch my baby struggle. It was too hard. I'd rather watch a kid happily eat a Popsicle. (Thank you God for all my friends and family that have been praying over this baby girl. Thank you for wise and calm nurses and the anesthesiologist that were by her side the entire time this happened. Thank you for keeping me from seeing all of the really scary stuff happen. And I'm sorry I forgot about you for a few seconds. Thanks for not forgetting me.)

I asked the nurses a lot of meaningless questions about when she'd stopped breathing, just trying to get a grip on it. I'm so glad the nurses were patient with me. Newbie got calmed down eventually and slept. They asked if I wanted to hold her. Heck yah! So I picked her up, and it woke her up, and it made her mad, and she cried and fussed and her lips started turning purple again. I put her back down and we eventually got her calmed down.. again. About the time she really started waking up, they got a room available for us in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). We wheeled her there and things have been relatively peaceful since then.

She's been eating like a champ, and we're giving her Tylenol for the pain. She still holds her breath when she gets mad or is hurting. And she's had one episode of apnea that caused the alarms to go off. They've had her on oxygen the whole time, so even though she wasn't taking breaths, her oxygen saturation remained high. We've had to mess with her IV a little, and that was painful for her.. but that's better now too. Really, there are other babies up here that are way sicker than her. It's hard to hear small kids coughing or crying. But I guess it's normal in this wing.

There have been little miracles today.. like Bond's parents making the drive to watch Sunshine and Tank for us. It's typically a 4 or 5-hour drive for them, but a closed highway, dumb truck drivers and other traffic, and your typical Colorado it's-going-to-blizzard-because-you-need-to-be-somewhere snow slowed them down. They stopped at a half-way point last night and finished the trip this morning, arriving at our home 30 to 45 minutes before I had to leave for the hospital. Perfect timing. -- And my mommy, also making a drive to be with me, through the snow and yuck Colorado had to throw at us today. -- And the Medela pump the hospital graciously provided me. Those things. Are. Amazing.

So there's the recap of Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Bond would probably fix a couple details here and there and write it more intelligently, but at least I've got it down somewhere. And those of you who I haven't called or texted can kinda see what we've been through today!

Most apparently, I've been taken care of today. I experienced an outpouring of love from so many people. The doctors and nurses were all so helpful and kind. And Bond brought me Dr. Pepper, a giant KitKat bar, and a funny action-ish movie and hung out with me, patiently pausing the movie through every interruption.

And. I even get to sleep under the sterile-sweet smell of a hospital blanket tonight.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do the Mario!!

Remember "back in the day" when Mario and Luigi had their own TV show??



They had a song and it was "Do the Mario."

Swing your arms... ... something something. It goes along with the original Mario Brothers theme music. It's nifty. Hunt it down on youtube.com sometime.. you might regret it.. but maybe not.

Anyway.

Tank has his OWN version of "doing the Mario." Enjoy!

(The crackling in the background is Newbie playing with the plastic bag that holds her diapers. Don't worry, she's still breathing!)

(Hmm.. for some reason I only got 13 seconds of the dance.. missed the best parts! I'll have to try it again!)

video

Dirty Car

This.



Is Optimus Prime.



(Insert Big Exciting Music Clip here.)

What? I let the kids name the car. Big deal.

(Music putters out.)

Sunshine has a friend, we'll call him Titan. We met Titan and his mommy over the summer when I was buying cloth diapers in preparation for Newbie. While I never did get into the cloth diaper thing once Newbie got here, Titan's mommy and I have become good friends. That friendship must be why God got me interested in cloth diapers. We lived within pregnant-lady walking distance from each other for over a year before we connected!!

ANYWAY. (Hey, I'm allowed to digress on the blog!)

Sunshine and Titan are buddies and are in the same pre-school class too! So we carpool.

Almost EVERY SINGLE TIME that I have Titan in my car he makes a comment on how dirty it is. Usually he'll say something like, "You need to take your car to the car wash. It's muddy. Hey! There's one! Can we go to the car wash?" Today he looked around and said, "Wow, your car is a mess!"

Titan is five. This completely explains the brutal honesty. (Well.. someone needed to have the guts to tell me! Poor dirty car!)

So.. kids have it backwards, I think. They lie when you want them to tell the truth... (Yeah.. sure you ate your mashed potatoes.. that's why they're dripping off the ceiling.. right?) and they tell the truth when you want them to lie.

Who needs a clean car anyway? Sorry Optimus.. you're destined to be dirty.