Thursday, May 26, 2011

Battle of the Boobs

After more than sixteen months of breastfeeding, I am excited to report that my breasts have finally been freed from their indentured servitude!  To celebrate their new found liberation, I decided that my hard-working breasts should be treated to some luxurious undergarments.  After many months of being held captive in shapeless, unflattering nursing bras, they deserved to see the light of day a bit.

I therefore recently made a pilgrimage to the "mecca for mammaries," otherwise known as Victoria's Secret (I hadn't dared go there while I had been nursing, as it just seemed shameful to defile such high-priced undergarments with bodily fluids... even if those fluids were technically edible).

I walked into the store, tingling with excitement and anticipation --  I was finally going to have some sexy bras again! Three cheerful employees immediately descended upon me, eager to please, with tape measures ready. 

I was a tad nervous about what was about to happen. After all, my breasts had gone through quite an ordeal; during the past year and a half I had helplessly watched them undergo a complete transformation.  Much like cooked marshmallows, they had first puffed up and leaked sticky white stuff everywhere, and then, spent, they had drifted downward into limp, lifeless blobs. Given the right angle, they now bore a disturbing resemblance to what one might see on a woman grinding flour against rocks in Zimbabwe.

I held my breath and waited to hear my measurements.

"You're between a 34 and a 36C," the employee chirped cheerfully, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  At least they hadn't gotten significantly smaller; they had just changed shape and location.  There was hope!

The employee advised me to go with the 36, because it would be better to err on the side of having too much room than not enough.  I was promptly installed in a cute little room and given a box of bras to try on.  Anything that "worked for me" was to be hung on the post on the wall.  All other bras were to go back in the "reject box."

I tried on the first bra, and the transformation was both instantaneous and miraculous!  I had gone from saggy pancake breasts to something that resembled perkiness, and the whole operation had moved my boobs up about 4 inches.  I was amazed, and my boobs were VERY happy.

I did a little jig for joy, and that's when I noticed an unfortunate problem -- boing, boing, boing... the bra wasn't keeping "the girls" in place; there were several inches of floppage happening in all directions when I bounced.  It was an obscene, fleshy boob-show, and I was horrified.  I looked around for a call button -- I needed a boob doctor, STAT!

I couldn't find a button, and after offering a few weak cries of "Heellllooooooo" and getting no response, I was debating which would be the better idea: peeking out of the fitting room with just the bra on, or changing back into my clothes again and walking out to find someone.  I decided on neither.  I put the bra in the "reject" box and put on another.  Same problem -- boing, boing, boing.

This just couldn't be right.  I continued making my way through the box and had tried on all but one bra when one of the smiling attendants appeared again.  Her smile faded when she saw not a single bra hanging on the "this works for me" rack.  Apparently, nothing was working for my rack.  I hadn't been to Victoria's Secret in a looooong time, but I was pretty sure the Hop-and-Flop I was experiencing wasn't par for the course.

I did a little bounce to demonstrate the problem, and the girl frowned and admitted that something wasn't right.  She went off in search of a bra with "heftier straps."  Of course, the whole point of going to Victoria's Secret was to not buy a bra that could double as construction equipment, so at the mention of "heftier straps," I visibly paled.  As it turned out, it didn't really matter -- she returned empty handed anyway.

Determined to get something, I tried on the one item left: a rather intimidating multi-way, multi-function, strapless/halter/criss-cross push-up mega-bra.  It didn't look particularly comfortable, but I was desperate.

Lo and behold -- it worked!  My boobs were in the right place, and when I hopped, nothing flopped!!  I was overjoyed, and my boobs were happy too! (See visual aid below).
I barely even glanced at the price tag.  Whatever it cost, I was going to buy it.  I would be utterly humiliated if I walked out of Victoria's Secret with nothing that fit.  Clinging to the new bra like it was the last bastion of my youth, I walked up to the counter and charged $50 to my credit card with nary a flinch: a big feat, considering that most of the bras I'd purchased in the previous two years had been sub-twenty dollars at Target.

The next night, my hubby and I were scheduled to go out on a date (a rare occurrence these days)!  I pulled out a slinky black dress, wrestled myself into the "suck it in" elastic contraption I had purchased to hide the flabby rolls that had appeared since the bearing of my second child, and put on the new bra.  I donned my little black dress and assessed myself in the mirror. I looked good -- almost like my old self.

However, as I was getting ready, I noticed something weird.  My boobs were slowly going from perky to pooped.  The bra was simply not staying up as time went by, and as it slowly wiggled south, it took my breasts with it, resulting in the following unfortunate look:
Not. Sexy.  I couldn't believe it.  My bra was making my poor boobs look worse!  I had paid $50 for a dud bra!  And the worst part was that the little black dress was now out of the question, since I had no other bras that would even remotely work with it.  I took everything off and changed back into one of my regularly scheduled shapeless undergarments.

The following week I marched myself back into Victoria's Secret, found the first smiling employee I saw, and frantically relayed the entire story, all the while waving the offending bra around in the air as if I was at some type of sports rally for underwear.

She thought the problem was probably that the band was too large and suggested I try a 34....but not a C.  Apparently when you go down a band size, you go up a cup size (who knew?), so I was magically now a 34D.

I tried on the 34D, which kept everything in place nicely but felt rather like a boa constrictor wrapped around my ribcage.  Well, comfort is just one of those sacrifices we make in the pursuit of beauty, I thought. I purchased the new bra and headed home.

I arrived home and explained the whole scenario to my husband, who was a tad annoyed at the situation.  "Why the heck didn't you just return it?" he asked, staring at the new bra with incomprehension.  I tried to explain how important it was to have a nice bra.  He countered with, "So you paid fifty dollars for something that's extremely uncomfortable?  That's ridiculous!"

It was at this point that I realized I would have a really hard time justifying future bra purchases at Victoria's Secret. I sheepishly offered, "Well, at least now I know my correct size." 

"Great!" he said. "Go back to Target and get some cheap bras in your correct size."

So I did. I bought several functional, sensible, full-coverage bras at a reasonable price. And when I caught him staring at me while I undressed the following evening, I asked him what he thought of the new bra style.

He grimaced and said, "Well, it kind of leaves... everything... to the imagination, doesn't it?"

I gave him a patronizing smile. "Well, what the heck were you expecting?  VICTORIA'S SECRET!??" Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Husband has "Foot-in-Mouth" Disorder

Years ago I diagnosed my husband with "Foot-in-Mouth" disorder.  Perhaps your partner has the symptoms too.  It is characterized by the inability to filter ideas in one's head, so that every inappropriate thought comes spilling out of the sufferer's mouth, causing the sufferer to frequently "stick his foot in his mouth."

My husband has a particularly bad case, but that's okay -- I knew this before I married him. During one of our early dates, right before Valentine's Day, he asked me if it would be all right if he got me roses after Valentine's Day, because they'd be cheaper then.  I chose to view this glaring error of etiquette as a sign that he was a good provider, and careful with money. 

When I was 9 months pregnant and we were shopping for a Christmas tree, my husband spoke this jewel of wisdom: "Honey, why don't we get a short, fat Christmas tree this year!  We'll get your picture taken with it!  It'll be hysterical!" Needless to say, that one will never be forgotten.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when "Foot-in-Mouth" disorder reared its ugly head again a few nights ago.  My dear hubby was reading his email, and he snorted with laughter, got my attention, and said, "Honey, you have to hear this!  It's hysterical!"  Speaking through the chuckles, he quoted the following statement:

"Women marry men expecting them to change, and they don't.  Men marry women expecting them not to change, and they do."

He looked at me eagerly, waiting for affirmation of the quote's brilliance and hilarity. I furrowed my brow.  "So, what's funny about that... exactly?" I probed.  "Well," he said,"you women expect us to change, and we don't.  And we think you're always going to look the same as the day we married you... but you don't."

"Really?" I replied, with a thoughtful look.  "Exactly what would you say changes?" I asked, being careful to keep my tone non-threatening.  He said, "Well, you just look different.  Things start to go south and stuff." 

AHA!!!!  Now he was in trouble.  My face rearranged itself into an icy glare, and he suddenly realized he had been outmaneuvered. I was hunting him now, like a lioness stalking a wounded gazelle, and he cowered in the manner of a dog that regrets having just pooped the carpet.

"What...exactly...and be specific...has gone south?" I demanded.  He panicked. "I don't know!  I wasn't talking about you specifically!"  He was desperate to avoid digging himself any further into the massive stinkhole he had created.

"Oh, really?" I was staring at him like I was trying to melt the flesh off his face... and it was almost working.  He cracked.  "Well, you're always wearing those weird sleep bras, and when I ask you why you're wearing a bra to bed, you tell me you don't want your boobs to be sitting on your ankles!!  So what am I supposed to think?!"

I was upset now. "Well, I'm just trying to prevent them from going anywhere, okay?!! I want them to stay where they belong!  I mean, it's not like they're that different than they were before we had kids!"  All lies. Truthfully, breastfeeding killed them, leaving flaccid, empty baggies hanging where there used to be perky mounds.

My hubby nodded enthusiastically anyway, agreeing wholeheartedly with anything I was saying at this point.  After all, he knows a crazed female when he sees one.

I sulked quietly, and he took my silence to mean that the conversation was over and the matter had been settled.  He announced he was heading to bed and went upstairs. I followed a few minutes later, still fuming.

I settled in bed next to him, sighed audibly, and opened the book I was reading.  He tapped my arm and said, "So, are you up for some nookie?"

Pregnant pause... I took a deep breath and struggled to stay calm.

"No." I said through clenched teeth.  "My sad, saggy boobs are just too tired." Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 16, 2011

My son, the MetroSexual?

"Well, he's all boy!"  That's what I've heard from friends, relatives, and strangers for the past four years.  My son farts and then laughs hysterically, bangs his head into walls on purpose, streaks through the house naked... giggling as he watches his "parts" flopping around, digs in his butt for goodness-knows-what, snorts like a pig and thinks it's brilliant, punches himself in the head to make his little sister laugh and, well, you get the idea.  When most people who have children witness these behaviors, they simply nod and smile, and say, "Well, he's all boy, isn't he!" People who do not have children generally look at me with distaste, as if I have produced some type of spawn that isn't entirely human and shouldn't be running about freely.

Recently, however, my darling child has begun manifesting some behaviors that garner a completely different reaction.  He will often violently protest if we don't let him pair a particular shirt with a certain pair of socks, and he is constantly complimenting girls on their attire, especially if said attire is covered in flowers or butterflies, which he finds particularly flattering.  This has made him quite popular among the ladies, by the way.  And, as he is more than a little precocious, he has taken this positive feedback to mean that he has an extensive knowledge of fashion.

So, he was over the moon when I asked him if he'd like to come out with me to run some errands -- one of them being selecting a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding.  He proudly climbed into our minivan, ready to take on the role of personal stylist.

At the store, he watched me try on dress after dress, furrowing his brow and saying things like, "Now twirl, Mommy, so the dress poofs out.  It doesn't poof out enough -- you shouldn't get that one."  He took his role very seriously, and he genuinely seemed to enjoy huddling in the little fitting room with me while I tried on dress after dress.

Shortly after making our selection, we were passing racks of clothing when Evan stopped in the "missy" department and excitedly snatched up a black shirt emblazoned with gold sparkly lettering that read "NICE AND NAUGHTY."  He proudly announced that he had picked it out for Daddy.  I tried to tell him that Daddy wouldn't like it, but he insisted.  It was only when I proved that the shirt would be too small for Daddy that Evan relented and let me return it to the rack.

We then stopped in the purse department to do a quick walk-through. I had recently ordered a purse online, but I had made the amateur mistake of failing to pay attention to the measurements listed, and when it arrived I was distressed to find that it was roughly the size of a small carry-on suitcase.  Now I go out to run errands looking like I'm prepared to invade a small country.  I told Evan that I needed a smaller purse and invited him to help me join the search.

He immediately ran over to a display and selected a black clutch that had a shoulder-strap attached, holding it out to me like a prize.  Unfortunately this prize was covered in huge fake rhinestones, and it gave the effect of having been viciously attacked by a drunk person wielding a Bedazzler.  I scowled at it, to which Evan responded by slinging the bag over his shoulder, smiling and strutting up and down the aisles to demonstrate how pretty the purse was, and to give me an idea of what the handbag would look like "in action."  He was extremely disappointed when I told him I wouldn't be buying it.

Then I spotted a purse that was just the right size.  It was by Guess, and it was on final clearance for $22.95!  Twenty-three bucks for a Guess handbag?  I'm IN!!  I picked it up and examined it to see if it would do.  Now it was Evan's turn to scowl.  "Mommy," he informed me solemnly, "That purse isn't a nice color.  Don't buy it."  It was true -- the purse was an odd color that could be best described as "puce."  "But honey, it's on sale!" I tried to reason with him.  "No, Mommy, it's not pretty," Evan insisted.   I had to finally concede that he was right; no puce purse for me.

Evan then found a very small wristlet that was made out of a similar fabric as an old purse of mine (a purse one of my friends had scathingly referred to as my "dead crocodile bag").  He held it up proudly and announced, "Mommy, this purse looks like your old one, so you should like it, right?  Mommy, you should buy this one!"  It was teeny tiny, and I told him that, unfortunately, it wouldn't really hold much, so I couldn't really use it.  He then proceeded to cry.  "But I really want you to buy it.  It's really pretty," he whined.  "I'm sorry, Evan, but it's just too small," I replied.  He began to sob.  I was now getting funny looks from the passersby, who didn't know what to make of a distraught four-year-old boy in the purse department who was crying over a faux-croc wristlet by XOXO.  This was awkward, and I put the purse back on the rack and tried to usher him to a different aisle.  At this point he screamed "No!  That's NOT where it goes!"  I had mistakenly put the purse one rung higher than its mates, and Evan was having none of it.  He gingerly took the wristlet from where I had hung it and gently placed it with the rest of its kind, and then he sorrowfully followed me to the checkout so we could purchase my dress.

There was candy at the checkout, and the mere sight of it caused Evan to cheer up.  He spotted a set of lollipop vampire teeth and begged frantically for them, and I caved and bought them, vowing to brush his teeth like a maniac before bed. We then stopped at the grocery store, where Evan thought it was just the coolest thing to stand in the cart amongst the produce, lean forward, bare his fangs, make a nasty face and shout "Aaaargh!" at all of the customers we passed.  "Ahhh... he's such a boy!" said one mom with a knowing smile.  I had to chuckle.

Before bed, my husband gave Evan a bath.  Afterward, I heard shrieking and crying coming from the bathroom, and my husband was nowhere in sight. When Evan wails so horribly that he sounds like a wolf baying at the moon, I know he's really distraught. I went in to find out what all the crying was about, and Evan replied, "Daddy messed up my hair!  I was combing it and he rubbed it with a towel and messed it up!"  I sighed and left my son to primp in front of the mirror.  Ten minutes later he strutted into my bedroom, still completely naked, cocked his hip and posed and said, "Mommy, doesn't my hair look pretty?"  "Yes, Evan, it does," I replied.  Evan said, "Tomorrow, when I go to school, all my friends will tell me how pretty my hair is."  He smiled with delight, hopped down the hall to his room, and put on his pajamas.

I adore my son.  Ultimately, whether he loves football or fairies, soccer or spas, I will adore him equally and unconditionally regardless.  I watch all of his behaviors with a mixture of amusement and love, and a little bewilderment.  But what I don't understand is this: why would someone who spends ten minutes in front of the bathroom mirror, combing his hair into perfection, insist upon being photographed looking like this?

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Ants in our Pants!!

Springtime is upon us, so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised when we snuggled up for a movie last night, and there -- in the glow of the television -- a little spider came wriggling down from the ceiling, dangling and spinning right in front of our eyes as if he wanted to be part of the feature film.  

"Dammit!  I just killed one of these!" my husband shouted, pausing the movie and jumping up to smoosh the little bugger.  It was just a little golden house spider, and I've gotten used to these by now, as they come to visit us every spring and are pretty much harmless. (Although, I must confess to an incident during the first spring in our home when a house spider came spinning down in front of me in the shower, and I shrieked and screamed for my husband, who came running upstairs, expecting to find God-knows-what... only to see me standing right outside the shower, dripping, hopping up and down, shivering and naked, chanting "Spider!  Spider!  Spider!" and pointing frantically at the shower stall.  I am not proud of this moment -- but I think I have the support of most women when I say that, when you are enjoying a nice lather in your hair and you open your eyes to see a spider dangling directly in front of your face, it's damn creepy!)

I have learned to deal with the house spiders, and honestly, they don't really bother me that much anymore.  The giant black ants, however... well, that's a different issue altogether.  In the last two years, we have had an increasing number of huge black ants invading our home.  Having small children, I have stubbornly resisted the recommendations of others who have advised us to call a pest control service and have poison sprayed all over our property.  So, my sweet, well-meaning husband purchases little ant traps that he sets about the house, which the ants, frankly, completely ignore.  I have actually seen an ant march up to the edge of the trap, consider it for a bit, and then turn away, as if to say, "Well now, that's just beneath me."  My daughter, however, thinks the traps are pretty neat, and I've actually caught her with one of them in her mouth, at which point I completely freaked out and tried to imagine how traumatizing it might be to actually wash someone's mouth out with soap.  (She was fine, by the way... she only had it in her mouth for a millisecond). 

The situation has gone from simply annoying to completely unbearable as of late, however.  The other day my daughter Clara came running over to me, holding her hand out and shrieking hysterically.  When I unfolded her hand, I saw a giant black ant with its pincers embedded in the flesh of her little palm.  I was instantly revolted, but I needed to rescue Clara, so I ran over to the sink and blasted water on the sucker, which still didn't let go.  I actually had to pry the thing off of her with my fingertips, which still gives me the willies. *shiver*  ICK!!!  Something must be done!  

This, by the way, is a real picture, taken this morning, of one of the little buggers ON OUR KITCHEN FLOOR.   It obviously had a prize it its mouth when I snapped this (thank God for zoom lenses and macro... I didn't actually have to get very close to the creature), and it even stood still while I snapped its photo... then I squished it. 

I decided to do some research to find out exactly which type of ant we have invading our home.  I found the following paragraph in an article entitled "How to Identify Ants in Pictures" on 

Estimate the size, if possible. Most household ants are 1/8- to 1/10-inch long. Ants that are smaller (between 1/16 to 1/20 inch) than this include pharaoh, little black, bigheaded and thief ants. Ants that are larger include carpenter ants (3/16 to 1/2 inch) and large yellow ants (3/16 inch). Crazy ants range in size from 1/16 to 1/8 inch, and bigheaded ants range in size from 1/16 to 1/4 inch. Field ants and imported fire ants range in size from 1/8- to 1/4-inch long. 

Did you read that?  Did you see the names of the ants?  There's actually a type of ant called the "crazy ant?"  I would have guessed ours were certifiable, until I saw that they had to be really tiny to be considered crazy.  I did get a particular chuckle from the description of the fire ants as "imported," as if they are some rare decorative variety that one can order from a foreign distributor for a lofty price -- as in, "Hey, I know the standard around here is the black ant, but we have these beautiful red hardwood floors, and I think the fire ants would really accessorize nicely with our color scheme."  The article didn't really help all that much; all I know is that the ants we have are HUGE, they're nasty, and they mean business. (Oh, and upon further investigation, I learned that there really is an ant called the Piss Ant!  It’s a real bug!  Who knew?)

So while we have been deciding how to deal with the situation, we have been taking great care to not leave food lying about... to clean spilled sticky substances right away, and basically give them nothing of interest to chase after in our home.  But despite our best efforts, they still persist.  Little did I know that our work was being undermined by one cute little 16-month-old...

This morning I made a discovery.  I was rummaging through our recycling paper basket (kept behind the sofa in our sitting room) to find something important that had accidentally been thrown away, and as I was crouched on the ground, I happened to look under the end table, and there, to my wonderment, was a collection of half-consumed food that I thought my daughter had eaten weeks ago!

Now, Clara's a busy little gal who's always on the move, and she's typically known to ask for a snack and then roam around while she eats it.  It's completely normal behavior for her.  But I had no idea that she wasn't actually finishing her food; instead she's been eating bits of it and squirreling away the rest like nuts she's burying for winter.  I discovered her stash today, which included dried-out slices of orange, a large piece of a muffin left over from Mothers Day, a shriveled up bit of waffle, a now rock-hard piece of scrambled egg patty, some Cheerios, goldfish crackers, dried out cheese cubes, and some things that were frankly unidentifiable.  

It now occurs to me that a picture of her "collection" would have added considerable interest to this blog post... unfortunately I was so disgusted by what I saw that I immediately scooped it all up, tossed it in the disposal and washed the carpet before I even thought that it might make for a funny blog pic.  But you get the idea.  At any rate, Clara's penchant for leaving food bits lying about is certainly not helping our ant situation any, and who knows what other pests might be encouraged to creep into our domicile, lured by the tempting sweetness of a week-old orange slice on the floor? 

Well, after our movie last night I decided to take a shower, and as I was just stepping in, a nasty black spider literally leaped at me from atop the shower curtain rod.  I dodged, but the spider jumped at me again, then got caught in the shower spray and was ultimately washed down the drain,  This was NOT OKAY.  Unlike the small, slow, harmless golden house spiders that do little more than hang out in corners and occasionally interrupt feature films, this thing was big, fast, mean, darn scary-looking, and tough to kill.  Plus, it had crazy jumping skills and had essentially attacked me in the shower.  

This means war.  Bring on the poison -- I'm calling pest control!!

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

"So, I was thinking you should buy YOURSELF flowers for Mothers Day!"

Ah.... Mothers Day.  The day when women all over the country hope their children might suddenly morph into angels and their husbands might be able to refrain from farting at the dinner table, and that everyone might just stop pestering them for one small day.  Meanwhile, men all over the country are racking their brains trying not to forget to buy flowers or cards or make phone calls for any of the special women in their lives.   For my husband, I imagine the mental preparation for Mothers Day goes something like this....

"Okay, who do I need to buy cards for?  I don't want any of the women in my life freaking out on me because I didn't honor her on Mother's Day.  Let's see... I have to buy a card for my mom... and make sure I call her... and I can't forget my grandmother or she'll be angry... and my mother-in-law -- I'd better get her a card too... can't have her feeling left out... and we should probably try to see as many of the ladies as possible.... okay, dinner with Mom and Grandma on Saturday... dinner with my wife's mom on Sunday... oh, and my aunt will be at the dinner on Saturday... can't forget to wish her a Happy Mothers Day, oh, and it's her anniversary too... got to get her a card for I forgetting anything? I think I've got my bases covered."

Thinking himself prepared, my husband picks up his sweet little boy from preschool and sees his son's arms full of handmade gifts for Mommy.  The little boy is bursting with pride, and my sweetie smacks himself on the forehead and thinks -- oh crap, I forgot about my wife.  An emergency stop on the way home to pick up a card, and he thinks -- okay, I'm in the clear.  Then, that evening, he sees an advertisement for Mothers Day flowers on TV.  Oh no, he thinks, I didn't get her flowers!  And at that point a plot hatches in his brain....

This morning my darling son can't WAIT to drag me out of bed to show me what he's made for me for Mothers Day!  (There was an agreement that, since it was Mothers Day, my husband would be getting up with the kids while I would be lounging in bed until two in the afternoon if it darn well suited me).  After several failed attempts to rouse me, eventually my son jumps in bed with me to get my attention because he just can't contain his excitement any longer.  Here, actually, is a picture of my little boy waking me to show me what delights await me downstairs.  (This is from the second set of photos taken, after I demand that the first set of photos shot when I am newly awakened, half-conscious and none-too-happy about it be deleted).

Once I drag my sleepy bum downstairs, Evan proudly presents me with a handmade bracelet, a beautiful construction-paper Mothers Day card, a hand-decorated flower pot, and a from-a-kit rainbow with googly eyes on the cloud that actually has a little thermometer attached.  I admit it... I melt.  As I am showering Evan with praise for his beautiful gifts, my husband says, "Um, did you happen to see my card?  It's sitting on the table."  Actually I hadn't seen it... probably because it was buried beneath the ten layers of detritus that had accumulated on the breakfast nook since he and the kids had been awake.  I read the card, but I honestly don't really comprehend what it says, because it's at that exact moment that I look up and see that my sweet hubby has baked blueberry muffins, and made me coffee too!  Epic win!  Happy Mothers Day to me!!! 

Of course I barely get half a bite in my tummy before my 16-month-old daughter comes toddling my way, screeching "Mama!!! Mama!!!"  and whining to be picked up.  I look over at my husband for assistance, who, now that I am awake, has returned to his default weekend behavior of putzing about on the laptop.  I now have both kids hopping around my ankles like puppies.  My daughter is screeching to be held, and my son is shouting, "Isn't that the most BEAUTIFUL bracelet you've ever SEEN, Mommy?  Isn't that a nice card I made, Mommy?  Do you like it?  Isn't it the best card you ever got?  Isn't your bracelet pretty?  I made it all by myself!  Do you like your rainbow?  Look -- there's a butterfly on the flower pot!  Don't you LOVE the flower pot?  I KNOW you like butterflies.. is it your favorite present EVER???" etc, etc....

"Um, honey, a little help here?" I plead.  My husband glances up at the kids, says, "Hey, let your mother eat her muffin, okay?" and then goes back to tapping away on the computer.  This has the expected effect, which is to say, no effect at all.  I quietly pick up my coffee and muffin and leave the room... I will eat my breakfast in the freaking bathroom if it means I can do it with some peace and quiet.  It is Mothers Day, after all, and I will have ONE STINKING DAY where I can eat something without having to relinquish half of it to my kids or be barraged with requests that come at me faster than rounds from a rapid-fire machine gun. 

After breakfast, I realize that...oops... I actually haven't yet purchased a card for my own mother.  As I am frantically getting ready to run out the door to pick up a card before my mom arrives at my house for her Mothers Day visit (I realize at this point that, no, I won't be getting the shower I'd hoped to enjoy before my parents arrive), my hubby stops me and says, "Oh, and, um, you'll notice I didn't buy you any flowers.  I was thinking... I know how much you like flowers.... I thought you might like to pick out your own this year.  Maybe while you're out getting your mom a card you can stop at the nursery and buy yourself some flowers for Mothers Day.  You know -- that way you can get yourself whatever you want." 

Whatever I want?  REALLY?  Okay then... I think I'll skip the local nursery.  Instead, tomorrow I'll be driving forty-five minutes to visit a grower who specializes in rare plants, and I'll be buying myself a rare and expensive orchid that I saw featured a month ago at a plant show and have been dreaming about ever since. It's from Hawaii, and it's darn near one of the most amazing plants I've ever seen!  And it shall be mine! 

Actually... I guess I don't mind so much that my husband forgot to get me flowers after all! 

Happy Mothers Day with love to all you moms out there!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I told you to get your HANDS out of your BUTT!!!

As the mom of a four-year-old boy, I've come to realize that boys have a fascination with certain parts of their bodies.  My son is absolutely crazy about his butt.  To Evan, his butt is just about the most amazing thing our there, only occasionally coming in second place to what we refer to as his "parts."  For right now, he doesn't know that his "parts" do much besides pee, and of course, flop around when he runs naked (which he gets a big kick out of and loves to show off on a regular basis). 

Recently, my darling boy has started a new habit of digging around in his "parts."  I sort of expected that he would do this; after all, every man has to "adjust" from time to time, right?  And I've pretty much heard that men are generally obsessed with their equipment anyway, so it was nothing to be surprised about when Evan began poking around down there. 

Unfortunately, this harmless adjusting and curious exploring has now expanded to include him digging about in his rear.  The first time I saw him do this, I figured perhaps he probably hadn't wiped properly after using the potty, and that he was a little itchy or just not clean.  So I dragged him to the bathroom and wet-wiped his bum, while he screamed and protested and couldn't understand why on earth I was digging in his butt.  I tried to tell him that, frankly, I was trying to figure out why HE was digging in his butt, and that I was attempting to make him comfortable so that such rooting about would not be necessary. 

However, after careful observation, I have now concluded that Evan just generally ENJOYS fumbling around in there, especially if it's right after he's gone potty, which just makes the whole situation that much more disgusting for those of us trying to run a hygienic household.  The other night at bedtime he was doing his usual routine... he pooped in the potty and then came into the bedroom to put on his pull-up and pajama pants.  He hadn't washed his hands, so I prompted him to please go wash them.  He responded by flopping face down on the floor, rump in the air, and reaching around behind him to dig about while laughing hysterically at my annoyance. 

I believe I responded with some hysterical rambling that went something like this, "Oh my God, you are not touching ANYTHING until you get yourself into the BATHROOM and wash your HANDS with LOTS and LOTS of soap...and why are you digging in your butt anyway.... I said to stop digging in your butt.... your butt is dirty!"  To this he giggled and shouted "Dirty butt!!!"  at me, while continuing to forage for God-knows-what in his backside.  

I finally convinced him to get off the floor, at which point he saw a can of almonds that were sitting in the hallway and went straight for them.  I screamed, "Nooooo!!!!!  Don't touch ANYTHING!!!"  But by the time I got to him he had already taken the lid off and begun reaching into the container.  I screamed "Don't you put your hands in there!" in the nick of time, at which point he looked at me quizzically, lifted the can of almonds to his face, stuck his tongue in the can, and began slurping up almonds like a pig at the feeding trough, pausing occasionally to lick the salt off the inside of the container walls. "Get your face out of the almonds!  We don't stick our tongue in the bucket!" I practically screamed (I am amazed, by the way, that my 16-month-old actually managed to stay asleep through this entire fiasco). 

Evan just looked at me innocently and replied, "But you said I couldn't put my hands in it."  "Yes," I replied, "but I also said you couldn't put your hands in your stinking BUTT!!!"   He grinned, shouted "Stinky Butt!!!" and took off running down the hallway, parts flapping, enjoying the heck out of himself. 

I imagine this too shall pass.  In the meantime, I am watching that butt like a hawk and buying large quantities of anti-bacterial wipes.  Apparently, in my son's case, we really do know "where those hands have been!" Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blood, Poo, and Snot -- Oh MY!

As a mom, I learned a while ago that I was basically always going to be covered in some manner of nasty substance -- be it sour milk, vomit, drool, pee, snot, or, well, pretty much any other manner of bodily excretion or sloppy food mess.  I've learned that wearing black is a particularly bad idea, especially when one of my children has a runny nose, which is... let's face it... ALL THE TIME. 

When I have the rare occasion to go to the mall, I often wonder if the people around me are fascinated by the slime trail that covers my shoulders... which is basically a combination of drool and nose drippings resulting from my 16-month-old sucking and teething on my shirt. 

My 4-year-old has recently become completely fascinated with poo.  He has been routinely asking me to watch him poop and then interpret the shapes.  While normal children look at clouds and say -- "Hey, that looks like a bunny rabbit," my son sees snails, dragons and sharks in his poops. I suppose I should just be grateful for his creativity, but honestly, it's not a very appealing game for the one not doing the pooping.  And to be clear -- no, I do not play this game when I AM the one pooping either. Last night he was particularly excited by a poo that he insisted had a really long tail.  Too much information? Sorry, I digress....

Usually it is my children that are the cause of me being covered in bodily fluids, but this morning I had the rare treat of waking up to bloody sheets.  Not the kind of bloody sheets that happen when you forget that it's your time of the month; these sheets were bloody because my husband had had back surgery nearly two weeks ago, and last night he thought, hey, the wound doesn't look THAT gross any more... maybe it doesn't need a bandage over it tonight.  Um, I could have told him otherwise if he had asked, but no... he just figured it would all be fine.  So early this morning I was awakened by my husband's sheepish voice saying, "I have a problem.  I need you to bandage me up."  I dragged myself out of my sleepy stupor to notice that he had blood literally pouring down his back, and all over the sheets.  LOVELY. 

I tell you -- a few years ago, I probably would have passed out at the sight of this.  But I think I realized today that being a mom has prepared me for levels of grossness that I otherwise would have never been able to deal with.  Instead of freaking out, I calmly cleaned him up, scolded him for not bandaging it, and put on a new dressing.

Moms wear many hats, and I guess I can take a little pride in adding the official title of "nurse" to my resume.  Now to change the sheets.... Stumble Upon Toolbar
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