Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wild Woman

"Oh Baby Baby it's a wild world....


"...It's hard to get by just upon a smile,"

"...Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world,"

"I'll always remember you like a child, girl."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eye Can't Believe It

Apparently we are a house of slow blinkers.

He and Andy are in an Urgent Care right now seeing about a scratched cornea.

I wish I were kidding.

He is doing fine.  Just can't move his eyeball or else seering hellfire bumblebee stings make him curl up into the fetal position.  I remember that feeling all too well.  If you've ever scratched your actual eyeball then your toes just curled at the mention too. 

It happened last night.  Grayson wasn't tired so was playing around in his room but happily so.  He must've primed a plastic popper thingie (imagine half a rubber ball with no center) and then peered down on it to check its popping status.

Status ready.

Only things went awry and the thing popped up right into his face.  His scream let both Andy and me know he wasn't joking.  Seconds later out scuttled a freaked out Grayson clutching at his eye like an injured matey..

Ahoy vey.

Needless to say his parentals did what they always do.  Andy paced back and forth while manically crunching on the rest of his bedtime snack.  I Googled my ass off trying to find an open Urgent Care so as not to subject anyone to the ER.

One warm washcloth and three pep talks later, he was asleep in our bed.  We thought maybe we dodged a bullet and it was a near miss afterall.

Until he woke up this morning.  More hellfire and angry bumblebees.  Poor thing.

They should be in the waiting room now.  I'll give you an update later.

Grayson strongly recommended McDonald's pancakes on his way to the Urgent Care so I'm pretty sure our winky pirate is going to be okay.

Sticky with syrup but okay.

*Update:  Grayson is okay!  Our mighty Popeye does not have a scratch on his eyeball.  The doctor said it looked good and probably had a little one that healed overnight.  Andy said the drops they gave him in the ER made him buck like a bronco but took the sting off and he is now happily munching on pancakes on his way home.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh I Love a Rainy...Afternoon

My bunnies are asleep.  That's what I call the little hela monsters when their eyelids are closed.

It was one hela-va week (boo! Back to my day job).


 It snowed just enough to get rosy cheeked and brush burned.


Not to mention assaulted with a blunt object.  Stuff like this happened every 5 minutes or so.  I swear our household thrives on an unhealthy abundance of bipolar convictions.  Everyone's happy as possible one second then BAM!  Abby gets hit on the noggin with her favorite babydoll.  (Guess who threw it.  Don't worry, he received a Masters Degree after listening to Abby's dissertation on being nice to his "big sister" and not throwing AbbyDoots.)


 They made up over curbside snowcones.  Delish.

I'm trying to get used to the ups and downs of raising young children but I swear this is why I quit teaching.  Too much stress to keep things leveled all the time.  Not one of my strong suits.  I remember spending many a weepy hour in the office of the staff developer when I taught Special Ed, trying to get out of my contract.

Do they have mom developers?  Did I sign a contract?

No?  Oh well, I will just walk around and take pictures of pretty things instead:

 Something pretty?

Something slightly out of focus.  

Something left of center.  Heh.

Something sweet but ohso sneaky.

Something purple.

 Something pink!

Something with which to romp and play... include arm nipping as I took a turn on the toboggan.  Still unclear if she was trying to save me or ride shotgun.  

And finally, one slightly disturbing view of things that should not be outside (Look away, Nonie).

All the while, Pop was a consummate rockstar. 

I don't know how he was able to keep up with our chaotically active schedule and smile through it like he was getting paid.  He was, if you consider stealing all his M&Ms and Swedish fish payment.  Somehow, I believe he does.



But enough about Pop.

Just kidding.  I won't embarrass him too much because he's been known to grace the Internets but I will add that today we are mournful he is not downstairs in our kitchen stirring his tea.  His 75th cup of tea.  I think he was cold here.  I think I'm cold here, I'm on number 12th cup or so.   It's so hard to say goodbye to any one of our parents when they come to visit.  Hell, I'm pretty sure I get a little choked up when the Stanley Steamer guys leave. Attachment issues. Detachment too, evidenced by all the sad when I see brake lights headed away from here, the House of the Rising Delinquents.

So the bunnies are sleeping and I get to kick back and enjoy their presence without being their bellhop, take out chef, or referee.

 Oh I love a rainy afternoon.  It makes the bunnies so sleepy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Grandma

This morning Abby and I were invited to a new mommy group.  We were familiar with some of the moms and their children so introductions went well.

An hour later I was ready to go home.  And not just because I had on real clothing. You know why I was all set to part ways?

Because I was the grandma.  

And  I was 100% okay with that.  It's not that new babies don't interest me, I will hold one any time anywhere.  It's just that new mom talk is for lack of a better term, history for me.

These moms were lovely young women.  Some stayed at home and others worked outside the home.  Some brought their children to an in-law for childcare, others sought help from an au pair or a coop preschool.  Lifestyles were varied and conversation flowed easily.  It's just that the conversation centered around teething, Ferberizing, sleep cycles, weight gain, percentiles, and baby carrots.

I literally played with the Yorkie almost the entire time.

Again, the ladies were great and their children (some even Abby's age) wonderful.  I was simply out of place amongst a group of people who were still beginning their families.  I've graduated that phase of my life and really don't wish to go back in time.  It was okay while it lasted but having kids older, conversational, and able to exist away from my constant watchful eye is heavenly.  I don't wish to go back to the way it was.

Give me a room filled with people chatting about arthritis, menopause, Pinot Noir, and presidential nominees and I'm all ears.

Until then, I'll be here ice skating with kids who have access to mobility and bad words should they so desire to use either one.

I am a grandma and honestly could not be more pleased.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Poor Pop

Andy's on travel for a week so we shamelessly kidnapped Pop for several days.    

Abby has been breaking him in ever since.

Pop has been a trooper and surviving ungodly early bugle calls (Grayson pounces) at 5:30 in the morning.

Last night I heard him tell Nam on the phone that the day was "a little crazy."  I laughed out loud because I thought the day went swimmingly.  I guess one person's smooth is another person's crazy.

Poor Pop.   


Poor Pop's kneecaps.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teacher Abby


Here's the thing.

I hate playing with dolls.

Yes, hate is such an ugly word with iron black clouds and vampires hissing inside it yet I still declare:  I hate playing with dolls.

Ah, there is such freedom in the truth.

The problem is my daughter loves playing with dolls.  In fact, there are approximately 12 thousand new water stains on our carpet from all the tea parties she has had with her and her gaggle of children.  She cannot get enough of the tea parties.

Abby is an active parent.  She doesn't give them something "so fun!" to do and then run like hell to load the dishwasher.  She sits with each bald headed baby and lovingly applies lipstick to their nostrils.

Abby has the patience of a saint with her children.  She will gently rotate their stiff plastic limbs back and forth until they are the correct longitude and latitude for sitting on their own.  No Boppy, pillows, or couch cushions needed.  How does she do it?

She fondly and sweetly fawns over each of her babies to read with them, spoon feed them raisin soup, or place kazoos and recorders in their frozen grasp for "Music Class."

"Call me Teacher Abby," she corrects if I ask about the contrail of toilet paper leading to the living room classroom.  In her world, every class needs a red carpet.

Abby has the mom thing down so well she even screams at disciplines her children when they misbehave.  I find the same one, a hot mess of a doll, face down in a box of Forgotten Toys almost daily.  It's a mouthy one.  Time-out doesn't even make a dent.  This one will most likely be the reason Abby will think she's going through menopause in her thirties (ahem).  It will probably also make her cry when it tells her it forgives her for being so grumpy.

So you see, try as I might to do the right thing, I shamefully buck some requests to "change this one for me, Mommy" with every load of laundry, sweep of my broom or menu planning I can muster to take me away from more child rearing.

"I cannot love your children, my Dear," is probably what her 3 year old self hears when I busy myself with plucking feathers off my imaginary Derby hat.  And tragically, worse is what I fear she feels, "I cannot love you."  

I want to explain to her:  It's just that I am chipped goods.  Beautifully and unapologetically fractured from the heart up.  You will be too one day and it will serve you well.  But now you are soft, innocent, and vulnerable to the bruises the world will inevitably give you.  Oh, how I want to protect you from those bruises but someday they will serve you well also.  Enough bruises and you learn how to navigate (all by yourself) away from things that hurt you.

One day you will rather play in the rain, search for ladybugs, build forts out of old prom dresses, make cupcakes, play too many hours of soccer, walk the dog, do your taxes, or cut off your own arms but play with these silent wide eyed creatures that require something of you.  Something of you that you no longer have to give.

But for now Teacher Abby, you show me the way back.  You are the mommy I am striving to be.  I had sound nurturing to give once but years, days, hours, cruel and interminable minutes between 4 o'clock and 2012 have filled me up with a labyrinth of survival tactics, brick walls, and empty coffee cups.
Today, if she asks?

I will do my best to hold her baby.  Love on her baby.  Play with her Sharpie faced baby.

And maybe, just maybe, she will know what a great teacher she has become.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Last night I happened on the show, "Cloning Your Pet," and of course I could not look away.

The premise was simple.  Sad wealthy people paying to have the DNA of their beloved pet return to them by way of science.  Somewhere, I think it might have been Korea, scientists spliced, diced, and mixed up deceased dog genes in a lab until years later (ten years in one case!) some sweet surrogate female boxer dog gave birth to a Doberman Pinscher. In other words, not her genetic offspring but instead the serial code of Eccentric Rich American's Beloved Late Pet.

What the who?

Who the what?

This really happens now?!?!?!

Where do I sign up?

Forget university Kids, there's a chance I could have my Sweet Sadie back in my arms when she passes!

Sorry Honey,  you can't have the commuter car we have been saving up for because !hallelujah! we can someday have a puppy Sadie to generally never stop touching whenever she's within arm's reach.

(She's fine by the way, I'm just planning.)

Would you, could you?

(I could, I would, I would indeed.  Remake a Sadie if we had money.  Not with a fox, that would be mean.  Nor in a box, that would be unclean.)

The whole show was outrageous yet compelling.

Sixty minutes were spent watching owners wring their hands over their broken hearts in prayer (?) the cloning procedure worked this time.  It was heartbreaking to see the grief, the hope, the insanity, the overall boundless love these people had for their pets who had passed on.

But, I had to ask myself, is it right to synthesize an exact replica of a spirit who may not want to come back through the porthole of puppydom?


I don't know but let me tell you...

Only fifty THOUSAND dollars would be keeping me from doing it myself.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another Mouth to Feed

So we've entered some uncharted territory here at our house.

Grayson has an imaginary friend.

His name (today) is SignaMaForce and from what I can glean from  conversation(s) SignaMaForce has the ability to fly, eats anything, and can shoot some sort of power lasers from his incredibly deft (maybe multiple?) arms.

Yesterday I heard Grayson chatting with someone in his room.  I thought he was talking with Abby until I realized he wasn't. He was carrying on with someone who...umm....hello?.....was not there?

Uh oh.

I won't pretend I didn't look around the room for poltergeist or maybe Boompa in her little tan running suit.

Granted, all the studies (you know, the studies I've never read) say it's healthy for a young child to develop an imaginary friend.  It's just that I'm not really sure what to do with all of that.  Do I talk to him?  Do I try to figure out where his eyes are to make eye contact? Do I shop for new bed linens in case he is mortal enemies with Spiderman?

Today, however, is a new day and I kind of like the guy and hope he joins us for dinner.  Grayson says he likes broccoli.

In this video I had to put SignaMaForce in a time out for scaring Abby. After some minutes hugging my leg, Abby decided to bribe this fearsome new interloper with Graham crackers and dried cranberries. In this case, Mama taught her well. To woo any man, imaginary or not, you must first appeal to his stomach.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


As parents we are always trying to foster independence in our children.
  • Pick up your room.
  • Put on your shoes.
  • Brush your own teeth.
  • Empty your own wastebasket.
  • Dirty pajamas go in the hamper, not crammed behind the bathroom door and left for ruins.
Then the thought occurred to me.  We know why we do this.  But do they?

So this morning, before school, I asked the kids why they thought we wanted them to do more for themselves lately.

"Because you are so tired."  Grayson blurts out automatically.   Oy vey.
"Because I'm SIX now, Mommy!" Abby sings even though she just turned three.
"Because one day you will be bigger and you will need to know how to do these things for yourself.  Mommy and Daddy won't be there to do it for you."  


You'd think they'd ask where we would be.  Where they would be.  What would happen to our little happy family when they grew up? 

"I'm going to be a Marine," announces a very decisive little boy.
"And I'm going to be a DOCTOR!" Abby declares with two gummy vitamins crammed in one side of her face.

Good.  Nobody wonders about the elusive aging process or why we, their parents, will not be still tying shoes on the stairwell or harping on jackets in the doorway when they are bigger.  Innately, they must get that they will eventually be in charge of themselves.  Masters of their own bodies.  Engineers of their Own Fates.  Decision Makers, Drivers, Conversation Starters, Zipper Pullers, Accountants, Cooks, Cleaner Uppers, Girlfriends, Boyfriends, Broken Hearted Souls, Home Owners, Victims of Internet Scams...  

I think I need a paper bag.

No, this is good.  I don't want them to worry.

Seconds later, in the car, Grayson asks if you can drive to San Diego.  
"Yes, you can drive but it's faster to take a plane."
"Yeah, but where do you sleep?"
"Ummmm, sleep?"
"Yeah. When you go to San Diego, where do you sleep? Do they show you?  How do you know where to go? Like, are there beds in the Air-O-ports or how do you know where to go? Does everyone get off the plane, you follow them, and I mean, what happens next?"

Okay, I finally get it.

"You mean like when DADDY goes to San Diego because he's a Marine, where does he sleep? "
"Yeah, I'm gonna need to know all of this if I'm going to be a Marine, Mom."
"Yes, I suppose you are right, Honey.  But you will.  You will learn all of this and we will show you an airport and Oh My God, I'm so sorry I made you clean up the mess in the kitchen before we left.  There is time, Honey.  There is plenty of time to learn so try not to worry about it all now."

So you see, Dear Mommy Who is Pushing Independence Like it's Happening Tomorrow, slow it down.  There is time.

Don't rush them.

You will regret it if you do.