Thursday, September 30, 2010


Smile for me please?
Oh Ahren......
OK Seth, smile for me? That's a good one!
What's in your bath tub?
Almost finished with the sweater I am knitting for Levi. The pattern is a combo of three different patterns and my imagination. I have a tiny bit more to go on the second sleeve and then I think I will block the pieces before I sew them together. Then I still need to knit a hood and a pocket for the front. I think I am going to knit a skull and crossbones on the pocket, but I may change my mind. He picked the style (hoodie) and the color (black).
The best sight evah! Sleeping boys. Proof they really don't have 8 arms and legs regardless of how it seems sometimes.
We went to a birthday party and the parting gift was 2 small candies coated in chocolate. We headed from there directly to a nearby store, at which point I realized Seth had made this mess. We headed home instead and Mommy ran errands by herself. Seriously, could he have gotten any chocolate in his mouth?
Someone got a hold of my camera and snapped this shot.....straight up the nose. Nice....
What in the world could be going through his head?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still "watching TV" here

So far so good. We had a wonderful weekend. Probably the best one we have had in a couple of months. yesterday morning Ahren had a rough time. Several meltdowns back to back over ridiculous things, and then a huge meltdown in the parking lot of the Children's Museum after their music class. If you saw a frazzled mom dragging a large wailing dark haired boy across the pavement yesterday, I apologize. He decided that I was not holding his hand the way he wanted and threw himself to the pavement in front of an on-coming car. Oh So Not Cool! I had my hands full and ended up grabbing the back of his shirt and pulling him off to the side out of traffic. I then shuffled my load, hauled him up under my arm and headed to the car. One dear sweet woman actually smiled at me and her smile made me feel so much better. It was one of those, "oh you poor dear, hang in there" smiles.

We spent a few minutes in the car reviewing safety rules and why they are so important. I also told Ahren I was very angry with him for risking his safety. I think he was surprised I was so angry and maybe he understood what I was saying. He doesn't hurt me when he talks 'garbage' but if something happened to him it would hurt me terribly because I love him so much. I don't know if he gets that. Then again I probably just informed him of how to really hurt me. gah!

Seth has been awesome since Friday morning, even trying to explain to Ahren what he was doing wrong. That was really sweet. He was trying to help me. Today is going very well so far. I have had to call 'garbage' on them a few times over the past few days, but now it has become a game and they giggle and try and get me to do it. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. It's working for now and that is the best I can hope for.

Oh, and the look on the museum director's face when Seth told me I was going to make him sleep in the barn for all day and I yelled 'garbage!' was priceless. Hee!!!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Whats on my TV

I know you are all dying to know what I like to watch on TV. Well today is your lucky day.

Psst. I have to whisper this so the dang Reality Fairy, who apparently reads my blog, won't hear me. You know how she is. The second I say something good, whammo, she smacks me upside the head.

Lately I have been really getting into the quirky shows that ShowTime puts out. Things like Weeds, Dexter, and The Tudors. You have to love a pot-dealing single mom and a forensic scientist/serial killer vigilante. And King Henry VIII? Sexy and scary all at once.

Ever since my talk with the boys yesterday they have been really, really good. All smiles and hugs and regulated. I don't know what I said, but it has been working.

I also really like Bones and House. Then there are my perennial favorites, the cooking shows. I love Top Chef, but have you seen Top Chef: Just Desserts? Those people are INSANE, especially that Seth guy who looks like he is about to go into a violent Roid Rage and kill someone. I mean seriously, the guy was under his table sobbing and calling for his Mommy at one point, and then screaming at people all wild-eyed not long after that. Then he says he wants to make it up to everyone and apparently that means dumping another contestants food on the floor and then crawling around under that guy's feet yelling, 'just step on me'.

I wish I knew exactly what the secret was and why it helped. I know this won't last, other issues will arise, but oh how nice is it to have one lovely, normal day where everyone is happy.

So now you know all about my TV habits. Of course, I never watch anything live....only on DVR or NetFlix. You just can't watch these with small children in the room. Heck, even Top Chef is full of profanity. They bleep the words but somehow Levi has learned to read lips. The day he told me what they bleeped, I quit watching live. Smart kids are such a pain! ;-)

Friday, September 24, 2010


Yesterday was not much improved over the recent behavior. Little boys had to go to bed early once again. I decided to cast on a sweater on my knitting needles and that definitely helped my stress level go down. There is something zen about knitting that lulls me into a happy place.

This morning, we had a meltdown in the car while dropping Levi off because....are you ready for this? I would not rent a limo to take the boys to school. Kaboom! And just that easily someones head spun around and pea soup shot out and only the seatbelt kept him from levitating. It was a short one thank goodness.

Then, 15 minutes later, we hit the mother load of emotions. This time I asked the boys to play somewhat quietly for 10 minutes while I caught the last little bit of a show I had DVR'd. I told them when I was done they could play the Wii. During that 10 minutes, they got louder and louder, moved from their room to the floor in front of me, and finally resorted to smacking each other to get my attention. I stopped several times to remind them of what I was asking them to do which would result in 30 seconds of peace. When I finished my show I told them that because they could not respect my wishes for 10 minutes, that they had to wait another 10 minutes before playing the Wii. And then the earth stopped spinning and began to shake and monsters rose from the seas to devour small towns and the sun turned blood red.

Seth lost it. He screamed and hit himself and scratched himself and kicked, and well, you get the idea. I picked him up and placed him on the bed and walked away. His screaming rose to the level of brain damaging. Then, the trash talk started. I hate you, you don't want me, I'm gonna burn this house down, you're going to leave me outside for all day, etc. The funny thing is that he doesn't really know any truly nasty things to say, so these are the meanest things he can come up with. Every few minutes I popped my head around the door and told him that as soon as he could quiet himself I would be in to talk to him. Well, it took a while. Maybe thirty minutes? And then he called out in his sweet pipey little voice that he was ready. So I took Ahren in there too and we all sat on the bed for a talk. I asked Seth why he was so upset, and he claims that he was angry because I wouldn't let him play the Wii ever again and that everyone always was hitting him and wouldn't stop when he asked them too. So I calmly explained that I only told them they had to wait 10 minutes and why I said that. I also busted him on the hitting part. I asked for an example of when he was being hit, and he couldn't come up with one, but I did remind him he got in trouble the night before for hitting his brother. That got me a smirk from him.

Then I asked both of them how Seth could have handled the situation better. We all came up with ideas. And then.....I called him out on the trash talk. I asked him why he says mean things and he said he was mad. I told him it was fine to be mad but that I would NOT put up with the trash talk. Then I got right down into his face and I told him saying those things were GARBAGE, and each time I said garbage, I tickled him. Garbage, garbage, garbage. Now that is going to be our cue word. if either boy starts in with the trash talk, I will yell GARBAGE and tickle them. A physical and auditory cue to break the cycle. Will this work? Heck if I know. This is desperation on my part.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's "No Ridiculous Questions" Day!

We have been dealing with some escalating behaviors here lately and by last night I was firmly in a dark, ugly place. The little guys had to go to bed early as a reward for some really awful behavior and I just sat there wondering if things would ever be better.
Besides the normal 4 yr old stuff (which is really hard enough in it's own right) there has been a huge upswing in the constant talking, loud uncontrolled laughing and screaming and spinning, hitting, kicking, peeing in the wrong places, mess making on purpose, breaking of safety rules and the ever-loved non-sense questions. These are things I can deal with pretty routinely. You might catch me doing some deep breathing at times, but I can do it. But....there is one thing that gets under my skin like no other. The out-of-context negative reaction. Let me explain that one.

The child does something small, like turning off a light and you ask them to please turn it back on. The child proceeds to go ape-shit (sorry for the profanity, but hey it fits) they scream and cry, kick and yell that you are never going to feed them again, you are going to throw them in the trash or you are going to make them stay in bed all day. Inside your head you are thinking 'what the heck?' Where did that come from. The answer is that they are putting all of their negative emotions into their reaction and doing their best to push us away. Hey, better to hurt us first than let us hurt them, right? There is no normal parenting technique that works here. If I punish them, I make them right and they only feel more sure that they need to hurt me before I hurt them. In our case, if I ignore them, they will escalate into dangerous behaviors and I just can't let them go there. Reasoning with them? Hah! You cannot reason with someone who has no grasp on reason.

Break in here: Seth is on the kitchen floor screaming and kicking because I will not give him sprite to drink right now. At this point I am ignoring him for a moment. I gave him a glass of water and walked away. This time that worked. He cried for 2 minutes then got up and walked away like nothing ever happened.

I am trying a spray-and-pray approach. I try a variety of things. I joke, I tickle, I hug, I scream along with them, I sing, I do whatever I can think of at the moment. Sometimes it works like a charm and they are able to snap right back, sometimes it ends up in an hour long scream fest that ends with snuggling or a nap. And sometimes.....well sometimes I don't do very well. That leads me back to last night.

Wednesdays are tough days at work. I see 6 patients in 4 hours. I am tired and then have to pick the boys up late from daycare (late for us, about 5:30) The boys were tired and sweaty and hungry so we decided to just swing by our favorite sandwich place and get dinner for them. I placed the order, filled their drink cups and waited for our order. In the few minutes it took to make 3 kid's sandwiches I pulled boys off of the tall stools, stopped Ahren from eating ice out of the slop tray under the drinking fountain, pulled Seth off of the metal bars, etc etc. Our sandwiches came up, I grabbed the three bags and instructed the boys to carry their drinks with two hands. (I said this at least 4 times) Levi and Seth did exactly that, but Ahren insisted on carrying his by the lid with one hand. I knew that he would never make it to the car and his drink would be lost. So I did what any mother would do, I took his drink to carry it for him.

This is where the out-of-context negative reaction hit. He began screaming that I was never going to let him drink anything, he started hitting the chairs and tables (even ones with people at them) and kicking. My hands were full, but I managed to snag him by the arm and drag him to the door as he screamed he hated me. Got him to the van and put down the food and then had to wrestle him into a carseat, all the while another car waiting to pull into the empty spot next to us. (Great, more witnesses to our meltdown) He screamed the whole way home and kicked the seat in front of him.

By the time we walked through the door, I was livid. I took his drink and gave it to his brothers. (Way worse than throwing it out) I sat him at the table and informed him whenever he was done with his sandwich he would be getting a shower and into bed, and I did just that. Oh, wait, there was some threats and yelling on my part. And a bit of lecturing. Not very productive but hey, I was so not in a good place.

So today? I deemed it 'No ridiculous questions' day and I have informed them I will NOT respond to those questions, no matter how many times they ask. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What did you say?

Anyone with kids knows that the things that come out of their mouths are totally random and often hilarious. You will also realize that the same can be said about what comes out of your own mouths at times. Here is a sampling of some recent things I have heard/said.

Today I am not Levi. I am Astah Valentino.

Please do not put your sword in my hair while I am driving.

Mommy, I think I peed in the corner.

Bacon makes my brain stretch.

I want a football for dessert.

Mommy, are you going the speed lemon?

Mommy, Seth hit me. Well, he was thinking of hitting me!

Ahren, will you be my girlfriend? (Said by his brother...)

When I am five do I have to wipe my butt?

Mommy, you are not a jerk. You are my Mommy.

I caught a Fat Kish!!! (translation....catfish)

Does meat love make you bad? (had to have him repeat that one 3 times)

My butt is clapping for joy.

I ate a duck.

Quit saying the word 'crotch'!

I'm gonna get yer eyeball! (this one made someone pee their pants in hysterical laughter)

You got boogers in yer nose!

Fart fly.

Mommy, is heh a bad word?

Mommy, are you bigger than Santa? (Oh criminy, am I that fat?)

Do elves wear underwear?

Mommy, what is 'rectal bleeding'? (Thank you Discovery Health channel)

You are mean. You are super duper mean. (I hear this a LOT!)

Get your feet out of my pants.

Seriously, I often wonder if we even speak english. That is how often I do not understand what is being said to me. I spend my days in a perpetual state of 'Huh'?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

catching up in pictures

A face only a mother could love. Doesn't he look like a gremlin?

I caught him watching the Labor Day Telethon. Hopefully he didn't figure out how to dial the phone and make a million dollar pledge.
Every fall we do a really fun family activity. Our local mega-discount store will sell cotton t-shirts for about a dollar each. We load up on them, then using the same technique as tie-dying, we place rubber bands all over the shirts. Now here is the twist. We don't use dye, we use bleach water. Toss them in, soak until you like the color then rinse well.
Next, toss them in the washer and wash on cold with soap. Remove the rubber bands and dry.
The result are cool custom shirts for very little money. They are perfect for playing, sleeping in, and even wearing to school.
I tried to make this one look like bubbles.
Levi riding Buster. He isn't really putting any weight on him, but I thought the look on Buster's face was so comical!
Levi is my kitchen helper. Here he is cutting up celery while also wearing his ninja sword. Reminds me of John Belushi and his character on SNL.
Levi learned how to blow bubbles with bubble gum.
Levi learned what happens when you blow a really big bubble.
The re-decorated and painted boys bathroom. Much lighter and cleaner with the fresh scrubbable paint.

That's all folks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The simple frustrations

My biggest frustrations in life used to come from my career. Screening hundreds of genes to see if any had an effect on the protein levels in a disease state. Screening knockouts of genes to determine if there were hidden start codons that could lead to secondary transcripts. Determining the copy number of genes in animal models. Trying to come up with something that could lead to a breakthrough treatment for a devastating disease.

These days my frustrations are much simpler and more personal, and yet in a way possibly more important. I always like to think that in ten years when I think back to this time, I never would have remembered one experiment or gene sequence, but I WILL remember the time I spent with my children helping to grow them into wonderful people. It would have been nice to find a wonder drug, but I am creating some wonder kids.

So, speaking of simple frustrations, the car rider line at the elementary school is at the top of my list. Every year, they hand out maps of the car flow, post signs all over the campus, send home letters and e-mails detailing the correct flow and even resort to hiring police to direct the flow. And YET, some people just do not get it. It's not just that it disrupts the flow, but it causes dangerous situations. The other day I was in line and just as it became my turn to turn left into the lane, a large SUV came flying past all the cars in line and missed us by a fraction of an inch. I slammed on the brakes, the kids all snapped in their carseats, and the poor puppy went flying. (Note to self, get doggy seat harness) The stupid SUV just kept going. (Little Wendy unleashed a torrent of obscenities and wanted to chase the &$$# down)

Then there are the golf carts. Yes, we live in a golf course community and the school is right there in our neighborhood, making it convenient to use your cart to drop kids off. But people, obey the traffic laws, don't drive between cars, don't pass on the left and for heaven's sake do NOT let your 5 year old drive the cart! I live in fear that I am going to kill someone accidentally. Oh, and if you have younger children, do not plop them on the rear seat without seatbelts and then charge off. There is one cart where there is a small child in diapers hanging on the back every morning. If that child slips and falls off she will land right in traffic, not to mention possible broken bones, brain damage or worse. I want to smack that father every time I see them.

The school has been begging for volunteers. I am thinking that a good use of my time would be to sit out in front of the school each morning with a paint ball gun and 'teach' the rule breakers and idiots a lesson. Kapow! I have just marked you as a moron. Bwah hah haha hahahahh.

Somehow I don't think they will go for it........

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you only knew....

I try and be a calm, patient, graceful person. I try and treat people with respect and dignity. I try especially hard with my children because I truly believe that they learn more from watching us than they could ever learn by what we tell them. (Do they even HEAR what we tell them???)

But......inside my head there is Little Wendy and she has a cruel mouth, a sarcastic streak and a bad temper. She never shuts up either. Her constant running commentary on everything is one part maddening and one part comical. Here is what she was saying this morning on the drive to drop Levi off at school. (Remember, no one but me hears Little Wendy)

Boy 1 to Boy 2: Stop that, it's annoying.

Little Wendy: Yeah, right, like you have never been annoying! You, the King of Annoying, have some nerve talking.

Boy 2 to Boy 1) I don't have to stop it. You be quiet.

Little Wendy: Be quiet? Heck, that ain't going to happen. That child is NEVER quiet. The earth would sooner stop spinning.

Boy 1: I can talk if I want to.

Little Wendy: And talk if you don't want to, and talk if the moon is blue, and talk if your tongue fell off, and talk, talk, talk until the cows come home.

Boy 3: Mawwwwww-aaaaawwwwwm, he just touched my leg.

Little Wendy: Oh for crying out loud. What a big baby. He touched your leg while sitting next to you in the car. Call the Army, call the papers, call the President. Wah, wah wah.

Boy 1: I can talk. I can talk. I can talk.

Little Wendy: But can you shut up? Shut up? Shut up? SHUT UP!

So you see, Little Wendy is really not a nice person. Now I need to go clean my house because surely CPS will be knocking on my door later to investigate Little Wendy's role in parenting this brood.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I call Do-overs!

Have you ever had one of those mornings where the best thing you can think of is to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your head and call for a do-over? Yeah, that is my day.

It started out OK. Levi got up, ate, got dressed and happily headed off to school. When we got back from dropping him off I made breakfast for the other two boys. Bagels with blueberry jam (home made and very yummy) and sausages. Seth dug right in but Ahren declared he hated this food (which he doesn't) and proceeded to sit there with his hands over his mouth for the next ten minutes. Oh well, eat or not. The natural consequences will catch up to him later.

Then I hear the puppy madly digging at the couch and go to investigate. That dumb dog has half a biscuit in his mouth, stolen from Levi's plate on the counter, and he is burying it in the leather sofa cushions. While I am cleaning that up, I hear Seth say something about bleeding. Well, that gets my attention. I return to the kitchen and discover that he has taken the blueberry jam and smeared it over both his arms up to his shoulders. I blurt out WHY but get the 'I'm sorry, I don't know' response. When will I learn that they truly do not know why they do such things. I get him washed up. Ahren has eaten two bites of sausage and that is his whole breakfast.

I clean up the dishes, try and eat something myself, and ponder why oh why would a child want to slather himself in blueberry jam. No epiphanies come to me. While pondering this the puppy squats and pees on the floor in front of me. I throw his furry behind out and clean it up.

I plop the boys in the tub for some quiet and clean fun, and proceed to try and get some bills paid and letters in the mail. Oh no, now they are spitting on each other. I can see the tub from my desk so they can't deny what they are doing. After the second warning I drag them out of the tub and they are currently sitting wrapped in towels on different couches. I have given them the evil stink eye look and they are being very quiet. This won't last long, in fact Seth is now perched stark naked on the top of the couch like a little monkey.

Admit it, you want to be me. snort....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feeling it

I have a special story to tell. One that left me in tears earlier this week. Unfortunately, the story is one that might hurt someone's feelings. A certain special someone who made our family possible by their very selfless-ness. I would not hurt these people for anything, but the story is so powerful, I feel I need to share it. So forgive me if this hurts. It's not intended that way. It's just a celebration of movement forward.

We have started using a brand new daycare center for the afternoons when I need to work. (Yes, I went back because the children I served didn't have anyone else) This new center is small, personal, and very loving. The perfect place for my traumatized munchkins. The first few days were a bit rough. Wild behavior, no idea what expectations were, emotions up and down and all over the place. The owner and director spent a lot of time with my boys. They understood their issues and felt it in their hearts what they needed. I couldn't have asked for a better situation.

Then, on Friday, when I dropped them off, the director pulled me aside. She said that Seth had told her how unhappy he was at his old home. Then he crawled into her lap and told her, 'But now, now I have a Mommy that loves me'. And I cried. Right there and then, in front of everyone, huge happy tears. He has a Mommy that loves him.

He did before, actually several times. it's just that NOW he feels it. I am so sorry for the other mommy's that he didn't connect with. They tried. They loved him too. He just didn't make the connection. But now he is. I am so blessed. This child is feeling it. That is the best thing I could ever hope for.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grocery Shopping

As most mom's do, I do the major bulk of the grocery shopping and errands that keep our house running. And, as those of you with small children do, I do most of the running around with children in tow. But, as only some of you can understand, doing those errands with two small boys who have their fair share of issues becomes an exercise in patience and sheer determination.

So, this is how a normal trip to the grocery store shakes down in our world. First, I get my self ready, have my list, clothe bags and coupons and keys laid out. Now I have to get two boys to put on their shoes. Oh me oh my. They are both totally capable of putting on their shoes, but this one simple act can turn into a 30 minute battle. Shoes get torn off, socks thrown, there is kicking and tears and general unhappiness. By the time we all get into the van, I am already stressed and grumpy.

Next comes the battle of the carseats. Again, they are totally capable of getting into their seats and fastening the seatbelts. Instead, someone climbs over someone else and kicks them in the process, the seatbelts won't fasten, the carseat is crooked, etc etc etc. The van doesn't move until everyone is properly belted in. Safety above all else. Besides, I tried hooking the carseats on the roof rack but they scratched the paint.

Now the drive to the store. Mommy, can we have a surprise? Mommy, can we get candy? Mommy, there is a blue car. Mommy, mommy, mommy. They yell at each other because they keep interrupting each other with their non-sense jabbering. Someone is kicking the seat, someone is trying to roll the window down (they are locked) someone is tattling on the other someone. I listen to the radio and breathe deeply.

We have a pretty good parking lot routine. I get the boys out of the van and they have to hang onto my pockets while I get my purse and bags. Then we all hold hands and walk into the store. Seth goes in the seat of the cart and Ahren in the big basket part. If I need a lot of groceries I get another cart to pull along with us. Now the fun starts. I begin turbo shopping, moving up and down the aisles with stealth precision and a deadly determination. Along the way I deal with the constant double stream of jabber, the in-appropriate topics of conversation that pop up and make others stare at us, the super-loud voice of Seth and the constant whining of Ahren (he thinks if he tells me his butt hurts I will let him out of the cart) I have to keep an eye on the food because they are prone to mashing the food or opening items when my back is turned. (Did you know a 4 year old is capable of taking a bite out of a package of hotdogs, plastic and all?)

The check out routine is also pretty good. As I unload the items, the boys get out of the cart and then move to the sacking area where they have to stand with their hands on the edge. This works as long as I do not try and use the self-check lane. I did that the other day and Ahren began twirling all over the place, knocking over a display of gumballs. I kept reeling him in and having him stand next to me, but he was just too out of control to stay put. At one point as another woman barreled through, he flung himself right in front of her cart. I reached out and snatched him back, but instead of getting his shirt collar, I got him by his hair. Well, that woman gasped and looked at me like she wanted to smack me. How dare I pull my childs hair like that! Ahren, in the meantime, kept on twirling and bounced off another display case. She huffed out and I got the rest of the groceries and booked it to the car, looking over my shoulder for the police coming to bust me for abusing my son.

Again with the carseat battle, the jabbering drive and the fight to get mommy's attention. Unloading the groceries involves trying to get the boys into the house and stay there, don't let the dogs out because the little one runs away, try not to trip over boys with my arms loaded down as they plop in the hallway to take off their shoes, and fend them off as they try and eat everything I just bought.

What does help? Make sure they are not hungry. Make it as short as possible. Have a routine, like our parking lot one, that is never broken. Keep a sense of humor. Have a list so you don't forget something and have to make extra trips. Try incentives like they get gum if they do something, but be very specific about what it is they have to do. Just telling them they have to be good doesn't work. It's too vague. And if everything else fails, pull hair and buy wine.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day

Essie, over at the Accidental Mommy, wrote a fun post on Labor Day. (Labor, as in squeezing a small human from your womb, nothing to do with wage earning or unions.) She challenged us to write our own labor stories. Since I have 3 of the bio-type, I will make them the Readers Digest version and keep em short and sweet.

Kaytee: My first baby, the child who made me a mother. That little bugger went two weeks overdue and I did not know a person could be just that uncomfortable and survive without sleep. They induced me at 7 am and my body swung into immediate rhythmic contractions. I contracted like that for many hours, with the nurse cranking up the pitocin every 15 minutes like clockwork. By 6 pm (yep, 11 hours later) I was at 3 cm and they could break my water. Things picked up after that. Finally, about 10 pm, I decided I needed some pain meds. They called the anesthesiologist for an epidural but the 'promised to be there in 15 minutes' turned into an hour. By the time he walked in the door I was ready to push. So without an epidural, I pushed three times and my sweet baby girl was delivered. Seven pounds, one ounce and 21 inches long. She looked exactly like her Daddy.

Ashley: Two days before my due date I woke up in the morning and when I stood up liquid began trickling down my leg. I thought I had wet myself (not that surprising seeing as how a small human had her head firmly wedged on top of my bladder) but the fluid kept coming all morning, so we headed to the hospital. I didn't feel any contractions until about 2 pm. Then they hit hard and fast and although I again wanted and epidural, there just wasn't time. Ashley flew out, without time for her head to even mold so she had a big scrape and bruise on her head where it hit my pelvis on the way out. In fact, by the time I felt the urge to push her head was crowning and the nurse was screaming for the doctor. He ran in and helped me to deliver her body, me with my hands under her arms. Yep, I literally delivered her myself. I still had to pay the doctor, though. Rats!

Levi: At 34 weeks I ended up in the hospital with a heart arrythmia (mine, not the baby's) and very low amniotic fluid. Four days of total rest and then they sent me home for bed rest. I spent the next 3 weeks having ultrasounds every other day and trying to rest as much as possible without losing my mind. At 37 weeks, during my doctor visit, they noticed the baby's heart racing, then slowing drastically. They walked me directly into the hospital and prepped me for surgery. Levi was in a very awkward position, not head down, but with his head flexed backwards. The doctor pushed and pulled and even enlarged the c-section incision but couldn't get a hold of him. He ended up using forceps to finally snare his head and deliver him. (Chris was telling me what was happening and he announced 'here comes the salad tongs'. It took me until the next day to realize what the heck he was talking about!) Levi had some breathing difficulties so they kept him in the NICU for 24 hours. In fact, I didn't get to see or hold him until 8 hours after he was born. Poor Chris spent those hours running back and forth, snapping photos to show me, and trying to be there for both of us.

You already know the stories of Ahren and Seth. This blog chronicles their 'labors' and subsequent entry into our family. Of all my babies, Ahren's labor was the most painful. There are no drugs for that kind of labor, it was truly a 3 year labor of love. Seth, on the other hand, was a miracle baby. No pain, no wait, just delivery and joy. I guess I have had a child just about every way possible. Induced, natural, c-section, long ordeals and short ordeals, international and home grown, boys and girls. Each a unique and wonderful addition that makes us complete.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Random Tidbits and Ramblings

The other day I saw someone describe a person who yearns for older, simpler ways as 'crunchy'. Things such as pickling and canning were mentioned. Hmmm. I did a lot of pickling this summer. I am the recent purchaser of the Ball Home Canning System. I made jelly and jam and spent a morning picking fresh organic blueberries for my family. I love to bake from scratch. I want to get good at making home made bread, cheese and wine. That is a goal of mine. So am I 'crunchy'? I don't think so. I think I am'crusty'! That is a good word for me. Crusty. Yeasty. Heady. Old....fashioned, in a way. I just like simple, true things. The blue of a turquoise and a spring sky, the feel of a small childs silky hair, the warmth of sunshine in the fall, the smell of fresh cut grass and a bonfire. Simple and clear. Smells, sounds, touches that mean something. Joy is in the simple things. That's me.

Last weekend I purchased a case of a super-duper vitamin supplement fizzy drink mix. I will not share the name because I am still trying it out and I don't want anyone to think I am promoting it at this time. This drink mix is loaded with vitamin B12. In fact, it has about 46,000 % of the daily dose of B12. It also has a lot of anti-oxidants and such. All things touted to be very, very good for a body. Normally I don't buy into the 'it will change your life' mentality of something that doesn't have good, solid science behind it, but in this case I had been reading recently about an inherant vit B12 deficiency in people/kids with ADHD. In some cases supplements of high doses of B12 made a world of difference. As in, no prescription meds were needed. Since B12 is a water soluble vitamin, meaning it can't build up in the system and become toxic, there is no hazard to trying it. So I bought a case of 20 days supply. Each day I mix up a bottle of the drink and I give Seth 1/4 of it and I drink the rest. I have had more energy and much better focus, plus I feel happier. Now I am well aware of the placebo affect so I might just be WANTING to feel something, so at this time I reserve judgement. Seth has also been calmer and happier, but we are also still getting him adjusted to prescription meds. So again, I reserve judgement. Still, I am encouraged. The past week has been really, really good. So good in fact we are having a little boy sleep-over tonight complete with a tent in the living room and a Wii competition. I never would have dreamed of trying this just a few weeks ago. Then again, I may never, ever do this again....we'll see how it turns out.

A Wee Gull: Ahren is a hoot. He is always talking about something and I rarely have any idea what it is he is saying. It's not that he doesn't speak clearly so much, although he has trouble with some letter sounds. Its more that he is so very random that I have absolutely NO context for what he is saying. The other day he began talking about 'a wee gull'. Now we see gulls all the time being this close to the ocean and all. Still, where did he get the Irish-sounding 'wee' part. Who knows. Maybe off of the Disney channel? Then he mentioned sitting in the front seat of the car. Ok, what does that have to do with baby birds? I am totally lost. Then suddenly it dawned on me. It was 'a wee gull' to allow a child in the front seat of a car. Say it with me, 'a wee gull'. (Hint: run it all together and you get....illegal) So baby sea birds do NOT want small children in the front seat of cars. Are you with me?

Yesterday I heard Levi laughing and the whirring of some sort of mechanical something-or-other. He crowed out loud how FUN it was to play this game. Huh? What the heck was that noise? I rounded the corner to find him punching all the buttons on my printer and laughing as the lights flashed, the ink cartridges zoomed back and forth and it made all kinds of buzzing, beeping noises. Gee, I wonder why I need a new printer every 18 months.....

Friday, September 03, 2010

Two weeks as a SAHM

I am now officially two weeks into the school year and two weeks into this SAHM gig. (SAHM = stay at home mom) Work is begging me to come back. Seems that even though I turned in my notice more than 7 weeks ago they have not hired anyone to replace me. That means they have lost over $4000 in the past two weeks from having to cancel therapy. So I have made a deal with them. I will work 1-5 pm weekdays and the kids will go to a new play care center nearby. They are supposed to be hiring someone and I will train them, then hopefully I will have more flexibility with my schedule.

This will allow me to work with the little guys in the morning (Seth is so close to learning to read, he is really motivated to learn. ) I will make a little money and have some interaction with adults. The care center picks Levi up from school and will help him with homework and I will pick them all up at 5 pm each night. That gives me time to cook dinner, pack Levi's lunch and backpack for the next day and still not be stressed out. I think this is going to work.

Now, to all of you who told me I would not be bored being at are soooo right! I am LOVING it! In addition to having time with the kids, I have been tackling special projects. I just finished re-doing the boys bathroom. It still had the nasty flat builders paint which showed every greasy fingerprint, toothpaste smudge and vestiges of the purple-foam kid soap debacle from a couple of years ago. I re-painted it with a durable semi-gloss in a lighter color, re-caulked the tub and toilet, put up new towel bars and tp holder and got new towels, shower curtain and decorations. I also scrubbed and bleached every square inch. Man are boys pigs. Little urine spraying pigs. Little trash-can missing, splat on the wall pigs. Little black ring in the tub pigs. I figure it will look (and smell) good for at least a day or two!

My next project is to re-arrange the master bedroom, clean out some junk and make room for the treadmill to go back in there. I have been taking the boys and puppy on a walk each day, but the treadmill will be my backup for days like today which are stormy. Wonder if I can teach Buster to walk on it? I think I will try!

I also have to admit that I have managed to watch the first 5 seasons of Weeds (the Showtime show) over the past two weeks. I am addicted to that quirky show. There is something so charming about a beautiful single mom who deals weed to pay the bills. It totally cracks me up. The only weed I ever have dealt with is the kind that I hit with RoundUp in my flower beds.