Friday, December 31, 2010

CONTEST! Last Day to Enter!


In case you missed the previous post, we are having our first ever "Poop In A Candle Contest!"  The prize, one million dollars!  Ha.  Joking.  It's actually an Apple Cinnamon Yankee Candle.  The candle that inspired it all.  I will not fill it with poop either.  Your candle will actually smell like Apple Cinnamon.

To enter email your funny kid pictures to poopinacandle@gmail.com.  It can be anything.  Just send me your funny moment captured on film with a short explanation about it.  The winner will be posted on our blog tomorrow, along with the runners up, with permission of course. 

Send your pictures!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!  See you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Poll Results Are In! All You Want for Christmas Is...

A CLEAN HOUSE!  The whopping majority of you, which is not many (you are still lame but getting better) have voted for a clean house!  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  Imagine if your house looked like the ones that are staged for new home buyers.  Sigh.  There would be no clutter, dust, crumbs, dirty windows, messy rooms, crayon filled walls, or laundry on the floor.  There would be no funky smells from a lost sippy cup, poopy diaper, or food item that your child has taken out of the kitchen and left somewhere other than the garbage.  We can dream, can't we?

The next highest vote getter was a day at the spa.  I just smiled as I typed this.  I have been to the spa twice.  The first time was with my girlfriend when our firstborns went to Kindergarten.  We needed a massage that day.  We enjoyed one hour of pure bliss.  We laughed when the massage lady asked if we wanted our glutes rubbed down.  I paused for a second and my friend assertively said, "Yes!"  Ok then, rub away on my tush!  The second time was a full out day at the spa with friends.  It was pure heaven. 

Spa services can be pricey, especially if you spend the day there.  I think moms need to treat themselves more often.  We seem to always feel guilty about spending money on ourselves.  Let's decide to do it more often.  I'm sorry husbands.  But hey, when mom's happy, everyone is happy.  Am I right?  I'm not talking a full spa day, just a manicure or pedicure more often.  Good idea.

Next runner up was uninterrupted bedroom time.  It's amazing how much your sex life changes after kids; particularly as they get older.  You need to become much more creative to keep the spice in your marriage.  That's fun though.  You can no longer strut around the house naked or in some lingerie.  You can't even walk around without a bra or in short shorts.  Everything must be done behind a closed, LOCKED, door, or when everyone is asleep. 

Man it is important to lock your door.  Yikes.  We recently had a surprise intrusion and it freaked me out so much I swore I would never have sex again.  Of course I did.  We are just more careful.  Besides, he still isn't old enough to know what we were really doing.  But, gross.  I don't want that to happen again.  So, even if your door is closed and locked, you must also be quiet.  Boring.  Most people say they are too tired at night to have sex.  I say, once you do it, you never regret it.  You just need to do it.  Now what about the morning?  You can even get a quickie in before the kids wake up.  Having kids changes many things, including your sex life.  It takes much more work, but it is so important.  I'm wishing all of you more uniterrupted bedroom time in 2011.

We'll go from sex to the bathroom (hmm, sex in the bathroom?).  This one got my vote, uninterrupted bathroom time.  Every time I go in the bathroom someone else needs to use it.  We only have one bathroom.  God forbid I need to pee.  God forbid I need to poop, which takes more time. I always forget to lock the door so someone always walks in.  Then they run out and forget to shut the door because I've screamed at them.  So now the baby can toddle in. She begins patting me and tearing apart the cupboards while I am on the toilet.  Great.  Whether I am in the shower, doing my hair, applying my makeup, or just counting to 10 so I don't lose it, one of them comes in or bangs on the door.  I want my own bathroom or at least uniterrupted bathroom time.

Finally, a couple of you just want adult conversation.  I remember the phase of life when you have a brand new baby, I'm guessing you're the ones who voted for this.  That seems to be the time you become a recluse.  You're afraid to leave the house with your baby because of the weather or uninvited touching.  If it's your first baby you won't leave your home for months.  The more kids you have the shorter that time period is.  When I had Elia, my fourth, I was at a halloween party 9 days after she was born.  Mommy needed out!  Mom needed to talk to an adult. 

So, you long for some adult conversation.  Friends call and you keep them on the phone for an hour rambling on and on about every boring part of your day.  You talk so fast your poor friend doesn't understand half of what you said.  I feel sorry for the mailman if he has to deliver a package to your door.  He is going to get an earful of your sob story that he wasn't prepared to hear.  We've all been there.  Whoever you are that needs some conversation, call me.  I'll let you ramble.  Be forewarned though I may put you on speaker phone and only reply with an occasional "uh, huh."  You won't care though.

Alas, nobody wanted their two front teeth.  I'm glad to know all of you still have yours.  Although, I was hoping for one funny story about it.

Now go vote in the new poll and tell me your New Year's Resolution for 2011.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I'd love to hear what your favorite gift was?  Simply post your comments below.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today...

I am wearing...  what Joe would call "A Moo Moo" which is really just a pajama type dress.  He actually bought if for me for Christmas because he thought it looked comfy.  I opened this present before I opened the naughty lingerie present.  Hmmm.  Anyway, this "Moo Moo" is pretty comfy.  It's definitely not flattering.  This lead me to google, Moo Moo, to see what it really is.  Based on Google's information, I am not wearing a Moo Moo.  At least I am now highly educated on this garment.  Based on the comfort of this gift, I'm afraid I may need to throw this pajama-ish piece of clothing away.  Otherwise, I may accidentally find myself buying more and living in them.  That will not be pretty.

I am wondering...  if we will actually stay awake to ring in the New Year on Friday.  All this wondering has made me determined to do it.  I am too young to be an Old Fart.  I will shout Happy New Year!

I am thankful for...  the Wii.  Yes, I said the Wii.  It's nap time and I have a headache.  The Wii is entertaining my boys and keeping them quiet.  Thank you Nintendo. 

I am overwhelmed by...  the laundry in the basement that is piled everywhere.  With seven people in this house I cannot put off laundry for 4 days.  Why do I not remember that?  I did start the laundry.  The pile is now growing in my bedroom.  It is all waiting to be folded.  I'll do it later.  I don't care if they are wrinkled.  At least they will be clean.

I am eating...  Hershey kisses.  As I am eating them I am complaining because I have to pull off the stupid silver wrappers before I can eat them.  Why don't they sell them without wrappers?  Chocolate chips aren't big enough.  I have decided I am appreciative of the wrappers.  My annoyance with removing them is making me eat less.

I can hear...  Elia bouncing in her crib and Gracie crying.  She is exhausted and just wants her sister to be quiet so she can go to sleep.  I feel a little bad for her so I yell at Elia to stop jumping.

I can't get enough of...  FOOTBALL.  I have become addicted to the NFL Network.  I cannot wait for the game Sunday.  Let's go Colts.  I'm pretty sure we will be getting a babysitter to go watch the game without the kids.  They moved it to 4pm.  That's the worst time of day to watch a football game with kids.  Peyton Manning is a genius.

I am going...  to bed early.  Tomorrow I am having coffee with some girlfriends at 6am.  At 7pm I am having Pepsi with my fellow PTO moms who I adore.  I need to go to bed early.  I'm looking forward to some girl talk tomorrow.

I am hoping...  that my dear friend gets her baby girl soon.  Adoption is way harder than five heads coming out of my vajayjay.  I even get drugs for that. 

Around the house...  it's scary.  Please friends don't drop by this week.  It's a mess.  Such a mess.

One of my favorite things...  Joey's creative mind.  He got an airplane for Christmas.  It didn't come with a person because the cockpit is very small.  This morning I see him with one of my earplugs that he has turned into a fighter pilot.  The earplug fits in the cockpit.

Random Picture for Sharing...  Joe & Joey.  That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weeks of Work...Destroyed in Seconds

Ah, Christmas.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.  Stop singing.  Really though, it is the most wonderful time of the year.  It's funny how weeks of work preparing for Christmas are destroyed in seconds. 

I am not one of those women who plans for Christmas on December 26th.  My planning begins around November 1st.  Two years ago I finally decided to try out online shopping. Holy cow, why didn't I do that sooner?  Amazon.com became my favorite place to shop.  Great prices and free shipping, you can't beat it.  I shop in my pajamas, in bed, with a coffee in hand.  How great is that?  As the packages come in, I wrap the gifts inside.  No more mass wrapping on Christmas Eve.  That has made for a much more pleasant me come 7am Christmas day.

So, November 1st, for me, is when I start planning for Christmas.  I begin by questioning the boys about their Christmas lists.  They rattle off a the items and I take notes in my Christmas book.  Each Sunday I peruse the ads to check for sales on the wished for items.  Then I ultimately hit up Amazon to place an order.

The gifts come in.  The wrapping gets done.  The presents get hidden.  My Christmas book keeps the running tally of items that are in and wrapped.  Props to me for at least having that organized.  I've done my husband proud in this department. 

Moving forward to December.  It's time for baking.  I baked a lot this year.  Mid-December, it's gone.  There were many nights where I literally made myself sick from eating too many cookies.  Gross, I know.  But, I baked again.  A lot.  Why don't I bake this much during the year?  Oh yeah, because if I did, I would be fifty pounds heavier. 

The week before Christmas is all about tying up loose ends.  I'm making the list, and checking it twice.  A trip to the dollar store completes the Christmas stocking stuffers.  Next, I swing by the grocery store to stock the fridge and cupboards...again.  I make one last stop at Home Depot for rock salt.  Joey really wanted an ice cream maker.  Home Depot only sells a fifty pound bag of the salt.  Like Xena the Warrior Princess I throw that bag over my shoulder with pride.  This completes the last of my Christmas needs.  I am momma, hear me roar!

Christmas Eve, we arrive home and unload the enormous amount of presents they have already received from grandma.  Really, I didn't even need to buy anything.  We do our Christmas Eve things and get the kiddos to bed.  It's 8:48 and the five of them are asleep.  Game time.  My face is beaming a bit because I know I have mastered the planning this year.  This set up will be a breeze.  Yay, me. 

Strategically I begin to carefully place the presents under the tree.  It's all about the presentation.  My husband, Joe, is filling the stockings with goodies.  The cat is running through the presents like a maniac.  He gets thrown in the basement.  The living room is staged for Christmas morning.  I pause to admire my work and capture some pictures.  All the planning, and shopping, and wrapping, and number crunching, and hiding, and baking, and loading, and unloading, and setting up is now complete.  Here sits all of my hard work in its glory.  How beautiful.  The house is quiet.  It's picture perfect.  But, in less than 8 hours, madness will begin.  The magazine worthy, present filled living room, will soon be destroyed.

Like I predicted, 8 hours later, three bouncing boys awaken to tear up the beautiful living room.  They don't care about the presentation.  They don't stop to admire the carefully placed presents.  They see presents and they want them open.  Instantly, they ravage through the wrapping paper.  Soon, you cannot see the rug or the gifts that have been opened.  Paper is everywhere, boxes and those annoying wires that hold the toys in place, are scattered all over the house.  My hard work has culminated into a pile of stuff that has taken over the living room.  Weeks of work have been destroyed in seconds.  In the midst of the stuff are five children beaming with Christmas joy.  Santa has come. 

The beaming children make all the weeks of planning worth it.  Next year, I'll do it all again.  Before I could stop to think about that, I tore into my presents, and scattered paper everywhere, just like the kids. 

Memo:  We will not discuss the messy bathroom, sky high laundry pile, full dishwasher that needs to be emptied and refilled, and all the bedrooms that have also been destroyed this weekend.  That's too much to process.
 
Perfectly placed presents
The look on his face makes it all worth it!

The Mario figures were a big hit.
Jadon's fav is Luigi.

Elia enjoying unwrapping.
SOME of the mess.  I had already cleaned half of the mess so Gracie could walk without being injured.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Morning Madness

A typical morning in the Pasinski house is a whirlwind.  I like to think I’m pretty organized.  My husband would probably definitely disagree.  Getting five children up and ready on a weekday is probably harder than it should be.

Mornings actually begin at night.  I pack the lunches, sort through the school folders, and lay out clothes the night before.  In a perfect world the morning would be smooth and orderly because of the steps I take at night.  It’s not a perfect world.. 

Here’s a run through of how this morning started. 

I rolled out of bed at about 7:40.  That’s too late.  I run to the bathroom before I pee my pants.  A splash of cold water on my face helps to wake me up.  I run back into my room to throw a bra on so the boys don’t see "my girls" bouncing around in my pajamas.  Joey, Jadon, and Christian, have already been up for an hour.  Jadon is playing the Wii.  Joey is making a cut out paper doll.  Superman is on the front with Clark Kent on the back.  His artsy mind is already on the move.  I stopped to admire it because it was really cool.  Christian was frolicking around the house doing who knows what.

Everyday I knock on Elia and Grace’s door.  Elia screams, “Come in!” just like every other morning.  Opening the door I see both girls smiling and bouncing in their cribs.  Elia screams with excitement, “Hi mom!  I had a good sleep!  Where’s dad?  Where’s Joey?  Where’s Jadon?  Where’s Christian?  See Gracie!  Say hi to Gracie!  I missed you, mom!”  She bounces on the mattress while I change Grace’s diaper and get her dressed.  Her lack of hair makes at least that part easy.  She gets put in her highchair with a pile of Cheerios and a sippy cup of milk. 

Elia’s up next.  Today we have a mini argument about not wanting to get dressed.  I firmly tell her she has to get dressed or she will have a time out.  She instantly agrees and I let her pick out the shirt.  She picks a green one.  Now we need to tame the luscious locks.  We aren’t going anywhere so I throw it in a ponytail while she complains that I am hurting her.  She runs to the table for Cheerios too.

Today, the cupboards are pretty empty.  I have a habit of putting off grocery shopping until there is nothing left but random pantry items that aren't good for breakfast.  Joe is home because I have to take him to the dentist.  So, I decide Timmy Ho’s will feed us all.  I pull up to the drive-thru and realize I can’t hear the girl through the speaker.  Oh, right, I still have my ear plugs in.  Yes, I sleep with ear plugs.  And yes, I sometimes leave them in during the mad morning rush.  I am still able to hear the kids.  They are just a little quieter.  It’s an added bonus. 

Back home with breakfast.  Joey tells me Elia spilled the entire box of Cheerios in her room, again.  The boys attack the Timbit box like raging beasts.  God help me when they are teenagers.  Elia and Grace also happily munch the timbits.  It’s quiet, for a moment.

While they are eating, I stuff the backpacks with the folders and lunches.  I make sure I’ve signed the appropriate items.  I check the calendar to see who has show and tell, what color shirt they must wear, who has a party, what items are needed for the party, etc.  Shoot.  I need to wrap Christian’s exchange gift.  I dash to my room to wrap it up.  I leave it on the dresser because I am distracted by the boys who are running laps through the house. 

“Teeth,” I scream!

I grab the vacuum and suck up the Cheerios while they are brushing.  Elia is now in the bathroom with the boys brushing her teeth.  She has toothpaste and drool dripping down her shirt.  Gracie is yelling, “Down” because she is done eating. 

The following sentences are all said by me in the next five minutes.  Here they are in no particular order:

"Jadon, go put another sock on."
"Christian, stop rolling the timbits off the table."
"Joey, you cannot wear two Santa hats and the reindeer ears to school." 
"Jadon, take off your pajama pants and put your jeans back on."
"Boys, go put your pajamas back in your drawers."
"Elia, quiet down."
"Boys, go get your hats, coats, gloves and boots on."
"Boys, stop fooling around."
"Christian, go wipe your face."
"Joey, put Superman down and go get ready."
"Jadon, which library books are yours?"
"Who peed on the floor?"
"Where is my coffee?"
"Boys, zip up your coats.  It’s freezing."
"No Elia, you cannot go to school."
"Cat, get out of the way."
"Stop bouncing around the house."
"What are you doing?"
"Jadon, did you take your pajama pants off?"
"Ewe, what did I just step on."
"The cat box stinks."
"Where is your other glove?"
"Turn the lights off."
"Quit poking your brother."
"Elia, please quiet down."
"Who made this mess?"
"Christian, stop bowling with the timbits!"
"See what you are teaching your sister?"
"Your Christmas party is tomorrow.  I already told you that."
"Did I just step in someone’s pee?"
"Why is there toothpaste all over the sink?"
"Elia, put the kitty down."
"Joey, stop making that noise."

Five children are overly crazy because of the Timbits and the realization that Christmas is coming in just four days.

They hop in the car to go to school.  I had to drive them today because as I mentioned, I got up too late. We pull out of the driveway and I realize I left Christian’s exchange gift on the dresser.  I run in the house to grab it then drop the boys off at school.  I barely make it out of the parking lot and look down to see the exchange gift is on the front seat.  Back to school to drop it off.

Home.  I fall on the couch and take a deep breath.  The tornado has stopped.  We made it through another morning.  As I look around I see the destruction of the tornado's wrath.  I survived another morning in the Pasinski house.  Ah.  Before my butt can even nestle into the couch I am off to take Joe to the dentist.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

P M freaking S



PMS.  Premenstrual Syndrome.  Enough said, right?  Roseanne Connor depicts the perfect portrayal of PMS.  This is one of my favorite episodes.  You can view part 2 here: PMS part 2. If you have five more minutes, check it out.  Part 2 has some of the funniest stuff.  If you need to see how it ends that link is here:PMS part 3.  It's really hillarious.  Especially if you have PMS.  One of you reading has to be PMS'ing.

Dan Connor plays the perfect terrified husband.  I can only imagine how my poor husband feels every month when my PMS kicks in.  I'm sure he carefully considers every word that he speaks.  He probably stays out of my way as much as he can.  It's quite possible he tells the kids to do the same, without spelling out mommy's problem.  I wonder if when my kids get older they will fall out of the chair like DJ did in terror of the PMS.  Ha.

I hate PMS.  I hate feeling like a raging lunatic every month.  I'm not one to pay attention to my cycle on the calendar.  I don't know my period is coming until I get it.  (or don't get it!)  So, I get my period, Aunt Flow, my best friend, mother nature visits, whatever you want to call it.  Then, I think about the day before I got it.  I immediately feel bad for my family and anyone else I may have come in contact with.  Poor things.  God only knows what I said to them.  My husband knows when my period is coming.  God forbid he tells me because I'll freak out on him.  There is another comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond, that deals with PMS.  The husband, Raymond, tells his wife to take a pill.  She asks if he thinks it will cure a word that rhymes with itchy.  It doesn't.

It's probably better that our husbands see it coming before we do.  They can hide.  They can watch their words.  They can forgive us because they know the evil coming out of us, isn't really us.

PMS.  We are at the mercy of the crazy hormones.  There's nothing we can do.  Midol doesn't help it.  Chocolate does.  Then we gain five pounds because of the chocolate.  Ugh.

Yesterday, I had PMS.  Yesterday, I was Roseanne Connor.  I was happy one minute.  I wanted to attack my husband and scream at my kids the next.  Then I wanted to express my undying love to Joe and have a dance party with the kids.  I cleaned the house.  Then freaked out because the house got dirty.  I was a lunatic.  I wonder if strangers can spot a PMS'ing crazy woman?  Maybe they can see the crazy in our eyes. 

Thank goodness we have at least 28 days before the psycho comes out again.  Stupid PMS.  I am now going to get a heating pad and eat Christmas cookies until I puke.  Thanks, Aunt Flo.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poop In A Candle...CONTEST!

It's CONTEST time!

My son pooped in a candle.  The mom in me took a picture of the poop.  I have some other pictures of stuff my kids have done, nothing has topped the poop...so far. 


This lead me to think...   

Surely other moms have taken pictures of weird things their kids have done.  So, it's contest time!  My first one!  I'm giddy inside!  Think of it like America's Funniest Home Video's, minus the video, insert the picture.  I want to see your craziest, funniest, weirdest, grossest picture that you have captured.  There are no boundaries; anything goes.  Submit your photos to me at poopinacandle@gmail.com by December 31, 2010.  I will announce the winner on New Year's Day!

Shoot, now I need a prize.  Ok, um, I've got it!  The winner will receive an Apple Cinnamon Yankee Candle, since that's what started it all!  Hopefully, your child will not poop in it.  Although, that will be hiliarious if your child does!

Whoopie.  I'm excited.  Don't be lame like your poll voting.  I want to see pictures people!  Tell your friends.  Send me pictures.  With your permission I will post them on my site.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I'm loving your comments!  It's been so encouraging to know I am not the only one who has considered a tummy tuck, who complains, who reheats her Timmy Ho's, and even let's her kid eat rocks.  Thanks, friends.

Now find a crazy picture and email it to poopinacandle@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Barter for...Dinner?

Result of my BARTER

Tonight, I bartered for dinner.  If you are married you must know the term "barter".  If you don't, I'm sorry.  I will do my best to fill you in.  Men barter too.  It's not just for women.  It is an amazing tool in a happy marriage. 

Sunday's are usually crazy.  My day went a little like this.  Wake up.  Shower.  Get 5 kids ready for church.  Go to church.  Come home.  Lunch.  Naps.  Bake cookies.  Laundry.  Boys out for haircuts.  Bake more cookies.  Clean kitchen.  Laundry.  Decorate tree.   Clean more and more in between all the other things I am doing.  Make dinner.  Just mac & cheese, one of those days.  Crazy children running around the house in Santa hats and reindeer ears.  Kids ready for bed.  Yada yada.  Phew.

Finally, the kids are all in bed and I am beat.  Joe asks, "What's for dinner?" (We did not eat yet).  I did not want to make dinner.  I did want a taco salad.  I say, "If you make the taco salads, I will give you an oil rub."  Deal.  That my friends, is a barter. 

See the above photo for my beautifully presented taco salad prepared by Joe.  After I am finished typing, he will get an oil rub.  A backrub with oil.  You give a little, you get a little. 

Many things are bartered for in this house.  I am usually bartering for something done around the house or for a new outfit I saw.  Let me be perfectly clear bartering usually includes some sort of bedroom activity. 

Bartering is reserved for the over and above things I do not want to do, like go to the store and buy stuff for taco salads, and then make the taco salads.
It works for us.  I wonder who initiated the first barter.  Do you barter in your marriage?  Do you call it bartering?  Share some insight with me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bellybutton Maracas & Dried Up Urine Sticks

Two events happened this week that made me take a good, long, look at myself in the mirror.  I had to stare carefully to make sure the person staring back at me was not a lunatic.  Maybe she was.  You know what, I don't care.

Last week I went into the basement to pull out my Christmas wrapping paper.  I bought one of those fancy holders last year that organizes and stores the rolls, tags, ribbon, etc.  As it turns out, it doesn't hold nearly enough.  At least I didn't need to buy more this year.  Too bad I did.  I'm sure I'll need it and if I don't, I can store it in my fancy holder.

As I reached up to pull the organizer off the shelf, there it was, staring me in the face.  At first glimpse, one would think it was just a forgotten Avent baby bottle sitting on the shelf.  Oh, but that is not the case.  This baby bottle holds something else.  I may actually be a little embarrassed to admit this one.  Who am I kidding?  I'm not embarrassed.  It's awesome.

In this four ounce baby bottle, holds five umbilical cord pieces.  I like to call it, the bellybutton maraca.  I wish I was a fly on your computer screen to see the look that is now on your face.  Yes, I have a bottle filled with bellybuttons.  Shake these hard nubs up and you have a maraca.

Think back to the day you found out you were pregnant.  The swirl of emotions you felt knowing that life was developing in your womb.  After reading all of the baby books you discover the umbilical cord is the lifeline that attaches the placenta to the fetus.  It is how your baby is nourished and the thing that keeps your baby alive. 

Move forward to delivery day.  Your beautiful baby is out and the doctor asks your husband to cut the cord.  It has become a right of passage for the fathers. 

A few days later you go home with your new baby.  You are carefully instructed how to take care of the leftover piece of the cord that is now hanging off of your beautiful baby.  I always found this to be quite gross.  You may read up on how long it takes for this life giving piece of anatomy to fall off.  Soon, it does. 

Where did it go?  Joking.  Although, we did lose one; Elia's I think.  It was in her bassinet.  Now what do you do with it?  I remember thinking with Joey, our first, "Do I just throw it out?"

The event was momentously recorded in the baby book, but now what?  I couldn't do it.  I could not bring myself to throw out a piece of him.  It was the source of life to his growing body for 40 weeks.  I remember there was an Avent baby bottle on the dresser.  I took off the lid and placed the cord into the bottle.  I screwed on the sealed cap and put it on a shelf.  Five babies later, there they sit.  I can even identify which one belongs to which child.  Freakish?  You bet.  The stubs seemed to get progressively longer with each child.  I'm not sure why, but by the time Gracie came that sucker was a good inch and a half. 

The now hardened pieces of umbilical cord are in the bottle in the basement.  I reminisced a minute as I peered through the plastic bottle.  I gave the maraca a delicate shake and placed it back onto the shelf.  They certainly can't be thrown out now.

This leads me to part two.  I was tackling the bathroom for the fourty-seventh time this week.  Staring into the medicine cabinet I decided to clean that out too.  Miscellaneous things kept getting tossed into the can.  Expired medicine, 4 extra measuring cups for medicine (how many do we need?), old hand creams, blades for with missing razors, and other weird things. 

How does all this stuff get in there anyway?  Then I hit the mother load again.  This time I pulled a pregnancy test off the third shelf.  Down tumbled four more right into the bathroom sink.  Yes, you have guessed it, these five sticks were my peed-on positive pregnancy tests.  Again, I'd really love to be a fly.  Each stick was clearly written in black sharpie which number pregnancy they represented.  The two lines still have a yellowish tint from my urine.  Gross.  There I reminisced again.  I remember being overjoyed while waiting anxiously in the bathroom for the wetness of my pee to move up the test and soak the results window.  What a rush.  Such excitement those tests gave our family.  I will admit to being in tears for the fifth test, but I got over that.  That's a story for another day. 

So there sat my five pregnancy tests lined up on the vanity.  The five pee sticks that revealed to me the greatest gifts I have in this life.  The five pee sticks that have changed my life.  These five urine stained sticks have made me who I am today.  I remember smiling as I put them back on the third shelf of the medicine cabinet. 

I'm really not a hoarder.  I don't like clutter.  I don't save every scrap of paper my kids have ever colored.  I do save the important stuff.  Sure, bellybuttons and pregnancy sticks are definitely not the normal thing one would save.  But I have an attachment to them.  . 

Hooray for bellybutton maracas and dried up urine sticks!

Bellybutton Maraca
Dried Up Urine Sticks


Thursday, December 9, 2010

To Cut or Not to Cut?

My body created life.  Life changed my body.  Parts that were once tight and firm are no longer, tight and firm. 

I probably missed opportunities to try to restore my body to its youthful prime.  It was after the fifth that I really started to work on it.  My baby making days were over so I had no more excuses.  The rationalization for not being conscious of my weight was I would just get pregnant again.  What was the point of losing weight just to gain it back?

After we were certain we were done having children, I worked hard.  I carefully watched what I ate and was able to lose 25lbs.  That was quite an accomplishment.  Then, I quit.  Seven more pounds would get me to my “pre-pregnancIES” weight. 

Unfortunately, I am convinced those seven pounds consist of the giant mass of fat on my stomach.  This giant flab hangs over all of my low-rise jeans.  I refuse to wear the “mom” jeans.  All shirts must be cut carefully to disguise this nasty display of fat.  That is a nightmare in itself. 

People and magazines tell you to be proud of your new mommy body.  Of course these are the mommy magazines.  Sure, I am proud of the fact my body made five beautiful babies.  I am not proud of the mommy body.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be super skinny.  There is extra baggage in my butt, on my thighs, and dangling off my arms.  I can deal with that.  The doughnut on my stomach needs to go.  My husband thinks I’m hot and I appreciate that.  I want to think I am hot.  I’m just being real here.

This mom of five wants to wear a bikini again.  I’ll wear it in my backyard for my husband to ogle me.  This mom of five wants to go into Victoria’s Secret and buy a bunch of lingerie.  And feel sexy in it.  I want to come home, put it on, and rock my man’s world.  I am definitely not as comfortable in the bedroom anymore.  You may think I’m insecure or self-absorbed; but whatever.  This has nothing to do with anyone but me.

This year I will enjoy the holidays.  I didn’t eat anything last year that wasn’t healthy.  I’m not doing that again.  When January comes I am committed to hitting the gym again and trying to work off this gut.  I am not sure how long I will do it.  Women keep telling me it’s never going away.  They are liars.  I’ve seen enough women who made their fat go. 

So: to cut or not to cut?  I’ve looked into it a little.  And by “little” I mean that I Googled it once to see what it cost.  I don’t know anything about it.  What I do know, is that I plan on living a long time.  I’m not sure I want to do it with 10lbs of fat attached to me.

Mom’s go through a lot to bring these precious lives into the world.  We are poked, prodded, stretched, and violated.  I think a little plastic surgery may be ok…maybe. What’s the harm in a tummy tuck; and a boob lift while we’re at it?  This mom worked hard.

Before you judge you should know, I haven’t scheduled an appointment or committed to anything.  I’m just thinking out loud here. 

My kids and husband love my fat.  I love who I was created to be.  A little fine tuning would be nice.  I will say I am against many other forms of plastic surgery.  So maybe I am being a hypocrite.  But that darn Victoria’s Secret bag keeps calling my name. 

Thoughts?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Poop Results Are In! Drumroll Please...

My first ever poll asked: "Has your child ever used the following as a toilet?"
1.  A Candle
2.  The Carpet
3.  The Playground
4.  A Friend's House (anywhere but the toilet)
5.  The Bathtub
6.  Other

It turns out a whopping thirteen of your children have pooped in the bathtub!  (Of course only 27 of you voted.  That's lame.)  I am very surprised that not one of my children has pooped in my bathtub.  We still have many years left so it could easily change.  This is one place I can understand an accident happening.  The bathtub is warm.  Body parts may be relaxed.  Next thing you know, poop.

Another eight of your precious little ones have pooped on the carpet.  Don't you feel better knowing someone else has scrubbed their carpets too?  Somewhere around the world at this very moment a mom may be wearing rubber gloves, sobbing and gagging as they try to remove a brown stain.  This happened to us.  We cleaned it several times.  After that, the carpets came out.

Now, only four of you have experienced the horror of their kid pooping at a friend's house...somewhere other than the toilet.  (Again, only 27 of you voted.  Lame.)  Whoever you are, I need to hear your stories!  Hopefully, it was at the kind of friend's house that didn't care.  Hopefully, it wasn't the friends whose house is meticulous and you are nervous to even sit somewhere.  We visited a friend over the summer and Elia was too busy playing to tell me she needed to go to the bathroom.  She had been potty trained for a month and up until that day had not had one accident...until that day.  Thankfully we were outside. 

Unfortunately, it was a blow out.  Yeah, you all know the kind of mess I am talking about.  There was no padded diaper to help with the mess though.  Her pretty pink Dora undies were smeared with poop.  The thick brown mess had already made its way up her back and onto her shirt.  I took her behind a tree in the backyard, trying to somehow save face.  The mess was no match for me.  Alas, we headed upstairs of the beautifully clean house and put her in their tub.  Elia giggled because she was getting a bath.  I was horrified that my daughter's poopy butt was sitting in my friend's mother's bathtub.  As they say, "poop happens!"

Moving on, two of your kiddos selected, "Other."  One of you confessed to the secret location.  One of you has yet to come forward.  Leave me a comment and let me know where!  We all need to know.

Finally, only one mom (remember, only 27 of you that voted.  Lame) has marveled in the playground poop.  This is another one I've not yet experienced.  I will admit to hiding my boys behind a tree, my car door, and even the garbage can to let them pee.  It was a lot of work to get five kids to the playground.  I sure wasn't going to load them all up and take them home because someone had to pee.  My question is where did the pooping take place?  Was it discreetly done up in a tower?  Did it come out during a trip down the slide?  Could the excitement of the swing lead it to be released?  Again, inquiring moms want to know. 

Poop happens.  It comes with the job.  There's the constipated hard poop, the poop that reveals the kids last meal, and the "pee poop" as we call it, more commonly know as, diarrhea. 

Thanks to the 27 that voted.  To the rest of you are lame.  If I mentioned your poop escapades above, please leave a comment and share your story.  It's more fun to hear from actual people. 

Be sure to vote in the newest poll: "All I Want for Christmas Is..."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I AM One of THOSE Moms

Before I had kids I always heard moms complaining about snow days and vacations.  They would count down the days during summer vacation anticipating the first day of school.  How mean, I thought.  I would never be one of those moms!

Flash forward to present day.  I AM one of those moms!  The boys had a half day and two snow days this week.  On Wednesday our basement flooded.  The kids got pink eye.  If you remember I took Jadon to the doctor on Monday and they thought it was allergies.  It wasn't.  Everyone except Gracie got it.  We're fine now.  There was just a lot going on.

So, this was not the week for snow days.  Doesn't the Superintendent know that?  As I turned my cell phone on Thursday morning I was praying there wouldn't be an email from he school.  Yes, no more watching the TV, a text message is delivered right to your phone.  That's when I realized, "I am one of those moms!"  Darn it.  I woke up Friday morning wishing for the best.  Oh!  Skunked again!  (If you know what movie that's from, leave me a comment.)

I beat myself up a little bit.  How could this be?  I am a terrible mother.  I reflected on the blog I had recently written about, time flying.  I beat myself up a little more.  Then I realized, I am not so terrible.  I am a stay at home mom and they are with me all the time.  School gives me a break to get stuff done.  School lets me enjoy some quiet time.  School helps me keep my sanity. 

Instead of sulking over the fact I am one of those moms, I will shout it from my rooftop, "I AM one of those moms!"  Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.  Let's stop doing that.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Newsflash!  We live in Buffalo.  It snows here.  Every year we seem to forget.  Why? 

Just like every other year we will shovel.  We will finish shoveling and the plow will snow us in again.  We will get stuck.  We will get annoyed.  People will drive slowly.  Big trucks and SUV’s will speed by those who are driving slowly.  Some people will slip and fall.  There will be snow days.  Sorry moms.  Basements will flood.  Or, my basement will flood, again. Children will eat yellow snow thinking they are about to try frozen lemonade.  They will realize it’s not.  Angry people will complain how cold it is.  If they put on the proper snow gear they wouldn’t be angry.  It happens every year.  The first major snow always seems to be a shock. 

Alas, the snow will melt. 

And the snow will fall again.  It will snow for about five more months.  It’s December for crying out loud.  At least we got this far without it.

Think of the positives.  Snow makes for snowmen, sitting by a fireplace, skiing and snowboarding, snow angels, White Christmases, hot chocolate, flannel sheets, and catching snowflakes on your tongue. 

Enough with the "Bah Humbugs!"  Embrace the snow.  Put on your snow gear and go jump in it.  I bet you won't be able to do it without smiling.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Reheat My Tim's 10x A Day

My husband began a quest a year ago to replicate Tim Horton's coffee.  He asked for samples at the drive through of just the cream and sugar that goes into a double double.  That was the basis to the study.  He tried different machines and french presses and a 1970 electric percolator that he found at the Good Will.  After many failed attempts at trying to recreate the yummy goodness that only Tim Horton's can give us, he surprised me with a Keurig, which I had been "hinting at" for months.  I love the Keurig.  He is not a believer.  Still, I admit nothing compares to a Tim's.

Which leads me to admitting the following (after all it's the first step to recovery, right?).  I am a coffee re-heater. 

Usually once a day I swing through the drive-thru of my boy Tim.  Timmy Ho's, Timmy's, Tim to the Ho, Horton's, Timmy H's.  Take your pick.  There is something about their coffee that makes me happy.  It makes me very happy when it's fresh.  I sip it in the car a few times.  It's always too hot so I fold the lip back down and close it.  After I get home and unload the contents of the van, including the kids, I run back out to grab my coffee.  Once I get back in the house I set him on the back of the counter.  I've learned to set him on the back after many children have spilled it. 
An hour goes by and I realize I have forgotten about my boy Tim.  I toss him in the microwave for about 60 seconds.  Opening the lid, I smell the aroma of yummy coffee.  I carefully sip the now too hot beverage.  One more sip and I set him down again. 

Yes, my coffee is a he.  He's warm and comfy like my husband, he tastes good like my husband, and I feel happy after I am done with my husband, I mean coffee (you can keep that G-Rated or R-Rated, it's up to you).  This time I set him on the dresser where I am about to fold laundry. 

I bust through a load or two and then move on to the dishes.  My coffee cup frowns as he knows he has been forgotten again.  More time goes by and I begin to look for my coffee cup.  Retracing my steps I remember I left him in the bedroom.  Into the microwave he goes.  Another 60 seconds. 

By the time it beeps I am off changing a poopy diaper.  My microwave doesn't have that annoying beep that reminds you every 30 seconds that your stuff is done.  So, I missed my beep, and have forgotten about the coffee again.

Nap time comes and goes.  I need my 3 o'clock pick-me-up.  Coffee!  I turn on the Keurig but remember I have a Timmy's.  If I could only remember where it went?  I search the bedrooms.  I even search the basement thinking I brought it down to switch the laundry over.  Hmmm.  Finally, I find him, in the microwave.  That's convenient.  I add 60 seconds again and wait there until it beeps.  I am now smiling as I remove the warm cup from the microwave.  Carefully, I take a sip.  Nasty.  Reheated Tim's never tastes good after the 10th reheat. 

I have time to grab another one before the boys get home from school.  Quickly, I load the girls into the van and hit the drive-thru.  I open the lid and take a sip and close the lid. 

We pull into the driveway and repeat the cycle all over again.
Or in my case, "Always Reheated"


Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh My God! You Have Five!?

I have a lot to say about this topic.  Tonight I am exhausted so I will have to save the "a lot" for another day.  Here is a glimpse into my outings with the kids.

I took Jadon to the doctor's office today to rule out pink eye.  Thank God, we ruled it out.  I walked into the office carrying Grace and holding Elia's hand.  Jadon followed right behind. 

A nice woman said, "Wow!  You have three children!  How close in age are they?" 

I replied, "I actually have five." 

Then, with the most shocking face I have ever seen (not true, I've seen worse) she spit out, "Oh my God!  You have five!" 

I answered her questions.  What were their ages?  How many in school?  How far apart are the girls?  Are you having anymore?  How do you do it? 

Many people react that way when they hear I have five.  I realize five may not be the normal number anymore, but it is not freakish.  Really, it's not.  Maybe people assume I am trying to be the next Mrs. Duggar.  Nope.  I do love that show, but we stop at five.  (Thank you, Joe for doing your duty.)  Part of my decision to stop at five was because the van only holds seven passengers and I refused to move into a cargo van.  People would certainly think I was a Duggar wannabe then.

We shuffled out of the doctor's office in the same order we came in.  Past all of the onlookers in the waiting room.  Elia said goodbye to them all.

But, that's nothing.  If you could only see the looks we get when the seven of us are out all together.  I remember being at Ruby Tuesday's recently.  They sat us around a huge round table, which we filled.  Every one of the surrounding tables stared at us. 

I'm alright with people saying, "Oh My God!  You have five!"  You should see their faces when I tell them I am pregnant with twins!

...that twins thing was a joke people.


I was going to put up the picture from the professionals.
But this is REAL life!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yes, I Let My Baby Eat Rocks.

We were at the boys' football game over the summer.  This became our weekly Saturday routine.  It was always such a pain dragging Christian and the two girls there.  But watching my boys play football, was something I envisioned from the time the ultrasound technician declared, "It's a boy!"  As much of a pain as it was to pack up all the necessities I did not want to miss the games.  We lugged the stroller, the blanket, the cups, the snacks, the toys, the chairs (and my coffee of course).  Even if I managed to see only 2 plays, it was worth it. 

Christian and Elia would play with the other kids but Grace was harder to please.  Under the booth where the announcers worked, was an area filled with tons of rocks.  The rocks were about the size of a golf balls.  Maybe a little smaller.  I was standing at the sidelines cheering on the boys while Grace sat about 3 feet away in the rock pile.  She was perfectly content sitting in the rocks.  After one of the plays, I walked over to check on her. 

Grace had black drool pouring out of her mouth.  She was grinning from ear to ear.  I squeezed her cheeks and out plopped a rock.  I told her, "No."  She smiled.  I walked away closer to the sidelines again.  Sure enough, upon looking back, her cheeks were large and she was cracking somewhat of a smile.  Again, I squeezed those fat cheeks, and out fell the rock.  Once more, I told her, "No!  That's yucky!"  She smiled again and laughed a little.  I stood there a minute and walked away. 

Seconds later I looked back and yep, she was eating rocks again.  This time I didn't move.  I honestly did not care.  She wasn't going to die.  Really, there is no need to call Social Services.  She was quiet and happy, eating the rocks.  It was allowing me to focus on the boys.  Christian and Elia were playing Ring Around the Rosie and Grace was eating rocks. 

I was standing about a foot away from her at this point.  My "mom eyes" were carefully observing her, but definitely not stopping her.  Then, I noticed two women standing behind me watching in horror.  I could read their minds.  "Where is her mother?  How awful!  She could choke!  Oh, how disgusting!"  I remember smiling to myself.  I thought about saying something to them.  It was funnier to let them watch her.

I'm hoping some of you moms that are reading can relate.  When you get to the fifth child, your fears are not the same as when you brought home your first.  You sanitize the pacifier every time it falls to the ground.  You even keep the pacifier in the plastic holder between uses.  Bottles are always sterilized.  You carefully clean your hands with Purell a thousand times a day.  Strangers and even friends are not welcome to hold your precious child.  I'd say by the time I got to the third baby it was a different story.  And by the fifth, well, she eats rocks.  I am OK with that.  I think she's OK with it too.

If letting Grace eat rocks allows my boys to see me cheering them on; then fine by me.  I'll let you in on another secret.  Over the summer we were at a friend's house with a sandbox.  She ate sand.  We hung out with our friends.  Grace ate some sand.  It came out in her diaper the next day.  It was gross, but she was fine.  She has also happily munched on mulch at the playground, gummed some sticks in our backyard, and licked god knows what that she has found on the floor of my house.

Moms know best.  Whatever makes life a little easier for you, is OK.  Obviously, I am not advocating locking our kids in a closet.  But I did just tell my friend with a three week old that she could lock the door to her older son's room at nap time.  I did it.  Nap time is sacred and locking your child's door keeps him in the room and allows you to get a break.  My child fell asleep 95% of the time anyway.  And by the end of the week I didn't even need to lock the door.  We'll talk more about that at another point in time.

So, I let my baby eat rocks.  If I have offended you for it, I apologize.  Wait, no I don't.

Not the day she ate rocks, but at a football game.  She had another item in her sights.

On the move.  Making her getaway.

Score!  Gracie found a stick!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Every Mother's Nightmare

My sweet baby girl, Elia, has been a delight since the day she was born.  She was a very easy and content baby.  After having three boys it was such a joy to be blessed with a little girl.  Her name means, God has answered.  During my stay at the hospital I remember just holding her.  I didn't want to put her down.  I knew that when I went home I would have to share my time with her three big brothers.  So, I held her.  Of course I did send her to the nursery overnight...those two nights of uninterrupted sleep would be my last for a while.  I took advantage of that luxury in the hospital.  Each morning I woke up excited to go get my sweet baby.  I wheeled her back to my room and held her in my arms.  I was careful to admire every inch of this masterpiece.  She was an amazing baby.

The next three weeks were heaven.  She was quiet and happy.  So easy going.  Then she began to vomit every time that she ate.  My second son Jadon had terrible reflux problems, so I was not too concerned.  I remember going through tons of burp cloths because he would throw up so much.  But, as that first day of vomiting continued I remember thinking that something wasn't right.  When she vomited it was so forceful.  It would eject up to two feet.  The noises she made after eating were weird.  The amount that came out of her ever so small body were too large.  I decreased her feedings and waited until the next morning.  Maybe it was some sort of bug.  Three older brothers can do that to a girl.

After three days, she was not any better.  I called the doctor. and the nurse went through what I am sure was the scripted Q&A.  She had suggested all the things I had already tried; decrease the feedings, hold her upright during the feeding; and burp her longer.  I explained that I had done these and this was my fourth child (not that I know it all, but I think we moms have a sixth sense about our babies).  She told me there was an opening the following day.  I accepted the appointment as I began to cry.  I apologized and told the nurse I needed her to be seen today.  I did not want to wait that long. 

My husband already suggested it was Pyloric Stenosis.  I had never heard of it.  His father and brother had it, which is why it was familiar to him.  Pyloric Stenosis is the thickening of the pyloric sphincter that connects the stomach to the small intestines.  The thickening blocks the food from passing into the stomach.  Vigorous contractions of the stomach try to force the feedings down, but as it becomes tighter, the contractions result in projectile vomiting. 

At that point I was a wreck.  I began searching the Internet for all the information.  That is always a bad idea.  Studies consistently said that Pyloric Stenosis was rare in girls.  It is common in 1% of healthy babies.  Over 57% were first born.  Males were more common at a rate of 5 to 1.  So, Elia being a girl, and fourth born, had me thinking her odds were in her favor.  Surgery was the only way to correct this.  I did not want my three week old having surgery.

I got to the doctor and Elia had just had a bottle.  She vomited there so the doctor was able to see it first hand.  Elia's skin was wrinkly: a sign of dehydration.  The doctor said we needed to go to Children's Hospital immediately.  It was highly probable she had this condition.  At that point I was sobbing and she had me call Joe.

When we got to Children's Hospital they hooked her up to an IV right away.  Because of the statistics, the initial doctor did not think she had Pyloric Stenosis.  They needed to do an ultrasound.  The technician was gone so we had to wait until the morning.  They would not let Elia eat during that time.  She was on an IV receiving fluids, but they told me she may become fussy because her stomach would still feel hungry.  That was all I could think about the rest of the night.  My poor sweet girl felt hungry.  How many babies in this world are sharing that feeling around the world tonight? What a sad thought.

They came in to get her the next morning.  I was eager to get in there, but fearful of the answer.  As soon as they placed the wand on her belly it was confirmed.  I sobbed again.  All I pictured was my fragile baby with tubes in her mouth placed under anesthesia.  It didn't seem right.  The doctors reassured me this was an easy procedure that it would be done laproscopically.  Three tiny incisions would be made.  The procedure should take thirty minutes at most.

I remember holding her in a pink and brown leopard print blanket.  I loved this blanket.  I had to have when I saw it in the store.  It was the first thing I registered for, because I could picture holding her in it.  I could not stop crying. 

I kept reminding myself that this situation could be so much worse.  I thought about how many families faced things that were far more difficult.  There were parents  holding terminal children in that same hospital.  This was a simple procedure. 

The doctor who would perform her surgery had such big hands.  I kept thinking about those huge hands cutting her small little belly.  I will never forget handing her off to a nurse.  I gave my baby to a stranger that would put her to sleep and cut her open.  That was the scariest moment of my life up until that point. 

We sat in the cafeteria waiting for them to buzz us.  They literally gave us a buzzer.  It was like Red Lobster on a busy Saturday night.  The waitress gives the customer a buzzer, and when the table is ready it flashes and buzzes.  A buzzer?  Really?  When the surgery was over it would buzz.  So, like hungry customers we waited for them to buzz us.  I stared at it; waiting. 

It finally buzzed.  The surgery was over.  We hurried to the waiting room and waited for them to call us.  The doctor said the surgery was very successful and she should wake up within a half hour.  When she woke up and the tubes were removed we could go see her.  That was the one thing I did not want to see.  My sweet Elia, non-responsive with tubes down her throat.

I think an hour or so went by and nothing.  Some parts are such a blur.  Someone came out and told us she was slow to wake up, which happens.  "Of course!", I thought.  So, we kept waiting. 

I stared blankly at whatever crap was on the waiting room tv.  We paced up and down the halls staring at the same artwork over and over.  We watched as other people left because their children were ready.  Another hour went by and nothing.  Finally, a little while later they came back.  They explained that Elia was still not awake and she needed to be transferred to the PICU (Pediactric Intensive Care Unit).  They told us to come with them.  I was not prepared for what I would see.  This tiny being, on this regular sized hospital bed laid there with tubes down her throat.  The image is still in my head.  I completely lost it at that point.  We followed her to the unit.  The doctors up there explained what all the numbers on the monitors were.  We needed to wait until she was breathing on her own. 

In the PICU were about 12 other patients.  I remember one was a small child with Cystic Fibrosis that was constantly being pat on the back to help clear her lungs.  Another mother stood by her young son who was in a car accident.  He was wrapped up and also had tubes in place.  I felt so much pain for that woman.  Seeing her made me thankful that Elia's condition was so minor in comparison. 

Elia laid there covered in her pink, fuzzy, leopard print blanket.  Her eye lids would flutter as Joe talked to her.  I stood there and held her tiny hand.  Her surgery took place the day she turned one month old.  All I wanted was for her to wake up.  After five hours had passed I was getting so nervous.  Joe kept telling me she would be fine.  The doctors were positive.  But all I kept thinking about were the "what ifs"?

She woke up shortly after midnight.  Nearly seven hours after her surgery.  She had a bad reaction to the anesthesia.  My heart was at peace.  My baby girl was awake and now healthy.  I remember the doctors pushing her bed out to move her to recovery.  We walked past the other patients that were still in crisis.  I stared at the woman with the young boy and said a quiet prayer for her and her son.

The next day she began eating but was still vomiting.  This was normal.  The doctors said she needed to hold down five straight feeds before we could leave.  This took several days.  She was still hooked up to an IV and a bunch of wires.  It was awkward to hold her.  Five days later she was released.  She was 100% healthy.  It was like none of it ever happened. 

Today Elia danced around the kitchen singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star which concluded with the "Big Finish" that her dad taught her.  It consists of a drawn out ending and a raising of her hands.  She is a joyful, happy, amazing baby girl, with the cutest Buddha belly you've ever seen.  Three small scars serve as a reminder of that difficult time.  I rarely think about it.  What I remember more is the other children in the PICU.  I wonder how they turned out and if they got to leave.

I don't ever want to be back in that place.  It's scary.  It's every mom's nightmare.  For a while after, my mind was consumed with the possiblity of the worst happening in the future.  One day I realized that I have no control over it anyway.  We pray for protection for our children and believe for the best.

I am thankful that Elia is now a bouncing 2 year old.  It's my prayer that my children bury me when I am old.  I think it's every mom's prayer.  I still live with some fear of the opposite...me burying one of them.  But life is too short to live with that fear.  Reflecting on Elia's time in the PICU helps me remember.



Elia, 3wks old; on her pink, fuzzy, leopard print blanket.
The leopard print is around the edges off picture :)
She is sleeping with it today.
 

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Black Friday!

My phone vibrated under my armpit at 4:20AM.  I flung my feet over the side of the bed and crept quietly into the bathroom to get ready.  The house was quiet.  I maneuvered through the house by the light of my cellphone.  Crap, I dropped the phone.  I paused, hoping my clumsy hands didn't wake anyone.  It's 4:45 and I am out the door.  Many cars are on the road.  I pictured the crazy lady from the Target commercials behind the wheel of one of the passing cars.  Have you seen her? She wears a red jumpsuit and is hilarious.  Then I realized that crazy lady had probably been waiting in line since midnight.  I drove past Target and saw that the parking lot was completely packed.  Cars were even parked in the surrounding stores and restaurants. 

Those people are crazy!  Maybe.  I was not on my way to hit the sales. I do plan on going out one year just for the experience.  Maybe I will make a jersey for myself with some kind of "scary shopper" name on the back to intimidate people.  I will definitely put black lines under my eyes.  Ha, that will be fun.  I don't think I will plan on an actual list for which to shop.  From what I've heard I might be disappointed.  I'll also pack a lunch in my purse.  Black Friday is the thrill of the hunt, the opportunity to save a few bucks, and maybe to spend some time with friends.  Yes, I will attempt the madness one year on Black Friday.

Today though, I had the privilege to hang out with my girlfriends.  Yep, at 5am.  We range in age and stages in life but we have become trusted friends.  Some of us hang out during the day but that forces us to chat while our kids interrupt us every 5 minutes.  Night times don't usually work either.  When we have a babysitter, I want to spend time with my husband.  No offense friends.  We have been meeting for a few weeks now.  I'm pretty certain we'll be adding another early morning too.  A time when we can just hang out, laugh, and forget about any other burden for a bit.  Friendships change so much as we grow.  Trusted friends are hard to find.  Friends have been there during the worst times and cheered during the best.  My friends make me a better wife, a better mom, and a better friend.  Some of us may not talk all week.  But I can guarantee that if I had a problem, I could call them and they'd be there for me. 

7 o'clock comes and we all part ways.  I feel refreshed.  My spirit is rejuvenated.  I realize when I get home I am back on duty.  The kids will be awake and the house no longer quiet.  Joe will be on his way out the door for work.  Even though I have been up, I am not tired.  The time that I have spent with the girls has been well worth the lack of sleep.

I think about Black Friday and the sacrifices people make to get up early, stand in the cold, and wait in long lines.  They are doing it for the pay out.  They may be doing it for the rush, the tradition, or simply for fun.  That is why I got out of bed at 4:20AM today.  I want this to become a tradition.  I want to look back fondly on the time I have spent with friends.  It was a sacrifice at first.  Sleep is so good.  But I'm telling you, time spent with friends is so much sweeter.  The pay out is far greater.  Maybe next year, we will tackle Black Friday together.

Have any fun Black Friday stories to share?  Leave a comment!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Name is Amy, and I Am a Complainer.

One day I asked my husband if I was a good wife.  He said, "Yes, but you complain a lot."  I said, "No, I don't!"  He said, "Yes, you do."  I said it again, "No, I don't."  I went on for a few seconds like this and then asked for examples.  As soon as that sentence came out of my mouth I wished I hadn't asked. 

Here were some of his responses.
- You complain about how much housework you have to do.
- You complain about the kids being crazy.
- You complain about me being late from work some days.
- You complain about the people upstairs.
I won't continue.  I'm pretty sure there were quite a bit more, but you get the drift. 
 
It was all true.  Hearing him tell me was hard.  I knew I was this way.  Although, I wanted to think that it wasn't something I did all the time.  I mean, in the grand scheme of things my life is good.  What do I have to complain about?
- I chose to be a wife and to take care of the home.  That includes the housework.  I am lucky to have a husband and five children to take care of.
- Crazy kids equals happy, healthy, kids.  One day I will miss the craziness of it all.
- My husband has a job that provides for us all.  If he is late, it's for a good reason.
- The tenants upstairs basically pay our mortgage allowing us to live in our house for almost nothing.
 
I don't want to be a complainer.  How do I be a wife that doesn't complain all the time?  Most people spend Thanksgiving, giving thanks for what they have.  It's a day to count your blessings.  What if I thought of everyday as if it was Thanksgiving? (Without the food of course.  That would just lead to a much fatter me.)  If I had that attitude would I make it through the day appreciating it more?  Maybe I am on to something.  It seems so simple.
 
Since the day my husband told me I complain a lot, I have tried to pay more attention to my actions.  I don't always get it right.  It's hard to not complain when laundry is never ending, pee is always all over the place in the bathroom, dishes always need to be done, the kid upstairs turns his music up too loud, Joe is home late and I am juggling dinner and homework and baths, the kids are screaming through the house playing some weird game they just made up....I'm exhausted just typing it!  Instead of complaining I want to focus on the positives.  The things I complain about are the things I am most thankful for!  How weird is that? 
 
I am now going to watch Buddy the Elf and do some laughing.  Surely I can make it through the movie without reverting to my old ways.  I am even going to enjoy a piece of pie, happily munching the crust that Joe burned!
 
Happy Thanksgiving!