Sunday, August 22, 2010

someone please send some workmen over

Things have got to change around here.

I love doing projects, don't get me wrong. I love the planning, and prepping, the doing, and especially, OH ESPECIALLY, the completion.

But I'm feeling like the projects are overtaking my life. I don't even mean the painting of rooms, although by gosh, I've been doing a lot of room painting lately. It is more the fact that I let those projects, big or small, get in the way of my treasuring every day with my children.

Since May of a year ago when we decided to sell our house, I spent that May and June prepping the house for sale and finishing the basement, then keeping the house neat and clean and organized for all of July and August and September (which nearly pushed me over the edge), and then the house hunting for September and October, and then the packing for October and November, and then the illnesses and unpacking and projects for December and January and February and March and April (and holy smokes, can you believe we haven't had an ear infection since APRIL?) and then the injuries this summer and the projects I've been working on, I have been letting life pass me by.

I adore my children, and I have no doubt that they know it. I shower them with hugs and kisses and take them to museums and zoos and parks and schedule playdates and all of that, but I think I'm missing the little things. I'm not sitting with them and watching them push the cars around. Or sitting at the table to color with them. Or relaxing on the bedroom floor while I hear the many, many, MANY details about Buzz Lightyear's life story (what did we do before Buzz Lightyear, I'd like to know).

I'm not soaking every moment in because I'm folding laundry and worrying about the paint colors or whether we should tile the basement floor or carpet it or staring around at the mess and thinking about who is stopping by later today. I have to stop. I don't want to look back on my Gabe and Josie's babyhoods and toddlerhoods and feel like I missed them. I don't want to look around at a beautiful and put together house, but then realize I didn't notice them getting so big.

Who needs a nice pretty clean house if you're missing out on life?

how 'bout actual "face-time" instead?

Am I the only one who is sick of Facebook?

I seem to have a different opinion of what the purpose of Facebook is than several of the people with whom I'm "friends", and that opinion is that it isn't your platform for spewing your hatred or bigotry or close-minded political thoughts. And when I voiced that opinion, it is apparently me who is intolerant and ignorant.

I guess I thought Facebook was for, oh, I don't know, keeping in touch with friends? Not for condemning other religions, or posting your long-winded Bible thumping prayers**, or being generally nasty to anyone who disagrees with your opinions.

Ugh, alright I'm stopping now before I start being the offending person to all my readers. I don't know, I'm just not into it anymore, and I'm finding that I don't care about reading the reports from those supposed "long lost friends" who aren't really my friends, and I'm annoyed when I have to read reports from my in-town friends on Facebook rather than hear about them in real life.

Of course Facebook has its benefits, I guess I'm just grumpy and can't see those benefits right now. Grrr.

**Edited to add:

There are Biblical quotes, and then there are "Bible-thumping quotes". I consider those to be verses from the Bible that are very condemning of other religions or sexual orientations or the like. I think you know what I mean. Those are the Biblical quotes that bother me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

alert alert alert

They MAY be some movement on the whole third child front. We MAY have some compromise on the horizon, and there MAY be some swaying of the husband to allow us to wait a little bit longer than RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Do you see me doing a little happy dance on my kitchen floor? Oh wait, I'm stepping over a tantruming Josie and a pile of cars. Here I go again, more dancing.

I think the whole endless-injured-children-amputatedfingers-brokenwrists-loosenedteeth-dislocatedwrists-burntwithcoffee may be talking some sense into Josh. I'm not going to lie, though I'm thrilled to have a bit of breathing room, I'm a little sad too. I was getting excited about the idea about trying for another baby, being pregnant again (although not the whole vomiting nonstop for 26 weeks thing), and then that whole squishy delicious baby thing. I was especially looking forward to that baby thing.

But this isn't a no, this is just a postponement. Hopefully this won't come back to bite us in the tushies!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

coffee is a weapon apparently

I feel like a broken record these days, and honestly, if I were hearing all of this from someone else, I'd swear they must be making it up. Alas, I wish I were making this up, but it's all true. We seem to have been hit with the unlucky stick this summer. Another round of stories, though, and I swear you don't want to miss these.

So last week, as I mentioned, I took the kids to a local farm to pick up our share of vegetables from our CSA and pick some flowers. I was trying to keep them both corralled as we walked through the fields and Josie was acting like a total maniac, flinging her body against the plants and running through the fields rather than around them. I tried to verbally correct her a few times, but it wasn't working, so I made her walk next to me and hold my hand. A few steps into our hand-holding, Josie tripped or threw herself down or something of the sort, and I heard a popping sound in her wrist. She started whimpering and saying, "boo boo, boo boo" and stopped using her arm, exactly the same way she'd behaved when she broke her wrist. And then I promptly freaked out.

I called Josh and asked him to meet me at the ER, called the pediatrician to let them know what was happening, and then sobbed the whole way to my friend's house to drop Gabe off with her. Josie was whimpering in the car as we drove, and I cried along with her as I envisioned another cast, another long few weeks of plastic bags and worry, not to mention my concern that they were going to call Child Protective Services on me for the string of accidents. We made it to Children's Hospital quickly, got tucked into a room swiftly, and after talking with the nurse and a pediatric orthopedist, we agreed her wrist was probably broken again. The doctor decided to examine her arm before we took her back to get x-rays, and as he lifted her arm, he heard a pop and thought it possible that her elbow had been dislocated (nursemaid's elbow) rather than a break. They left us for a few minutes to see how she acted and within 2 minutes she was good as new, climbing the walls of the hospital room and singing her smooshed up version of the ABCs.

Another quick exam, and we were sent on our way with a clean bill of health, and an admonition not to hold her hand anymore because once an elbow dislocates, it is likely to dislocate again. Turns out after talking to Josh's parents, it happened to Josh TWICE when he was a baby.

You'd think that was enough for one week, right? RIGHT? Well, not in my world, apparently.

Friday morning, we head into Josh's work to have lunch with him, and he asks if we can grab coffee at a certain large chain coffee shop- hmm, let's say it rhymes with "farm trucks". I ordered a decaf iced coffee, and after waiting for several minutes, was handed a drink, which I tasted and discovered to be something besides a decaf iced coffee. I went up to the counter to ask the barista why it tasted so strange, and she said they didn't have iced decaf coffee so she'd made me something else. Umm, okay. I asked for a regular iced coffee, and although she said she'd make it for me, she seemed super annoyed at my request and then made me wait while she made several people's drinks ahead of mine. I was standing at the counter for about 10 minutes waiting for my drink with Gabe at my side and in the meantime, she began to argue with a coworker who was standing outside the drink area and became visibly flustered. She even left the drink bar and went to the back for a couple of minutes.

Anyway, she came back and finished two drinks, and then (seeming very annoyed) slammed a grande hot drink down on the counter. Can you see where this is going yet? She put it down so hard, the top popped off and the drink exploded across the counter, pouring scalding hot coffee onto Gabe. I screamed as the coffee poured all over him, and Gabe started screaming this horrible high-pitched shriek as the coffee hit his skin. I had just a second to react, so I grabbed him to pull him into the bathroom and as I touched him, realized how hot the coffee actually was, so I tore his shirt off of him and ran to the bathroom to pour cold water all over him.

Long, long, LONG story short, Gabe ended up being fine after the cold water and lots of burn cream and ibuprofen, although his chest and arms were red and inflamed for hours. The barista never apologized, the manager was apologetic but ultimately unhelpful, and after spending 20 minutes sitting in the store making sure Gabe was okay, she handed us her business card and two free drink coupons and said, "Please don't hate us. Come again soon!" Oh, and she claimed they didn't have accident reports and wouldn't let us fill anything out, although Josh insisted and we ended up writing it all up on a plain sheet of white paper.

I do understand that accidents happen, of course, but given the way the barista was acting, I don't think this was an accident. I would have loved to tear her to shreds, but I was so focused on Gabe, I couldn't find the energy to focus on her. Thankfully, Gabe is fine, but I spent most of Friday with shaking hands and feeling like I was on the verge of a panic attack because I couldn't stop envisioning how awful it could have been. If I hadn't torn his shirt off of him, if he'd been younger, if the coffee had been just a little bit hotter. It is enough to keep you up at night.

That's it. Another couple of shitty incidents to put behind us, and another wish that this is really the end of the bad luck. I am not joking when I say I am really really REALLY going to look into some kind of cleansing ritual for the kids, because this is getting ridiculous. I find myself walking around and waiting for the next shoe to drop, because this is a never-ending cycle. My one saving grace is that for most of the accidents (except for this most recent elbow dislocation) I haven't even been there when my kids have been hurt, so I'm spared the worst part of the guilty conscience. The worry is still there, but at least my guilt is kept to a (somewhat) minimum.

If you have some ideas for fending off bad mojo, please send them my way, because we can use all the help we can get!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

enough is enough

Dear Universe,

I don't want to be disrespectful or anything, but WHAT THE FUCK? Gabe partially amputating his finger and requiring emergency surgery was one thing, then Josie falling and breaking her wrist was another, then Gabe fell and bashed his mouth on the floor and loosened his teeth, but did Josie REALLY have to dislocate her elbow today? Really? Was that honestly necessary?

I thank you for sparing us another cast for the next few weeks, which was what I sobbed about on the way to the Children's Hospital emergency room, but I could use a break from all the injuries. I think I've had my fill for a few years, maybe even enough for the rest of Gabe and Josie's childhoods.

If you're trying to send me a message about the whole having a third child thing, which is how I'm interpreting this, maybe you could send a telegram? I'm definitely getting the hint.

Respectfully Yours,

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

answers answers and more answers

I promised you some answers, and you all were pretty tame in your questions, so here we go...

A couple of weeks ago, One Tired Ema asked why the third child has to be right this minute. Ahhh, One Tired Ema, that is an excellent question indeed. I ask myself that very question pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY. Alas, Josh is adamant that if we are having a third child, it needs to be now. His sister is 4 years older than he is, and I suspect that may have something to do with it, because she and he have always been in dramatically different places in life, so although they get along well and love each other and all that, there hasn't been much "sharing of experiences". Josh's other reason, is that he doesn't love the knee deep baby/toddler stage of diapers and sleeplessness and never-ending demands, so he'd like to lump them together rather than make them last even longer. Regardless, I tend to be of the mindset that parenting is hard. Different hard at different stages, but I don't think it gets much easier so more spacing seems better to me. My original intention was for Josie and Gabe to be farther apart in age than they actually are, and we all know how that turned out.

I'm also desperately hoping not to have another winter baby, because two December birthdays in the thick of flu season are really enough for me. A pregnancy in the near future brings us into the late Spring/early Summer bracket and I'd be thrilled with that, although ideally I'd love a little more time. I've begged and pleaded and cajoled, and he really really really doesn't want to wait any longer. It is annoying, and frustrating, and we've talked this to death, but in the end, I really really really do want a third child, and I'll be thrilled with another baby, close together or not. I'm putting the spacing out of my mind, and hoping we don't have trouble getting pregnant. The first two were quick and easy, but I've learned from my many reads in the blogosphere, that is no guarantee for subsequent pregnancies. So wish me luck. And have no fear, I'll share as soon as I know anything.

Kai asked, what is one thing you wish you had done before you had kids that you didn't get the chance to do? This is a hard question, Kai, because I feel like we waited a good amount of time before we had kids (5 years of marriage, 8 and a half years of dating). I guess the easy answer would be to have traveled more, although we've traveled together a ton (25 countries is our latest count, I think). There are many, many places I wish we'd visited, though, like Egypt and Africa and Indonesia and India, and many other places that aren't particularly child appropriate. We also had more disposable income prior to having kids, so although we are totally willing to travel with kids, we just don't have the money right now. Most of our travels are to visit the grandparents, and those are purchased with mileage from Josh's work travel. The harder answer, if I was really pressed, is that I wish I'd found my life's calling work wise, before we had kids. The thing is, I enjoyed working at a law firm up until I got pregnant, so I didn't feel pressure to find something else. Once I got pregnant and then had Gabe, law firm life (or at least the law firms I've worked in) were totally incompatible with my vision of myself as a mother. A fulfilling career would have been nice, and there are many moments where I wish I'd found it before I got pregnant. I have big plans, though, and I think (hope) I still have plenty of time to figure things out.

Stacydh asked, what is your ultimate fantasy? Oh, Stacy, my ultimate fantasy is to move to Paris permanently, or at least for a few years. I worked in Paris in law school for 2 months, and seriously, SERIOUSLY, I loved it. Adored it. Wanted to kiss the ground every single day. I can amend my fantasy, though, to say that I'd be willing to live in a variety of places for a few years with Josh and the kids. Josh and I talk about it all the time, and whether it would really be feasible to save our pennies and for Josh to quit his job and move somewhere like Buenos Aires or Madrid or Rome for a few years with the kids. His job gives us the option of moving to Germany for a few months, and if that works out, for two years, and I am super on board with that move. The hitch in that plan (besides the whole leaving our friends and family and being horribly lonely) is the kids. We love our new neighborhood and the school district and as the kids get older, it gets harder and harder. We were actually supposed to be in Germany right now, from last January until this August, but it didn't work out for a variety of reasons. Anyway, I'd love to live somewhere different and fun and exciting for a good length of time. Not that exciting of a fantasy, I guess.

Chatty Cricket makes me laugh because she asks, how do you keep your hair so shiny? Funny you should ask, because lately I have felt that my hair is very dry and brittle and not shiny, and I attributed it to weaning Josie. I don't know why I think that is giving me all these hair problems, but maybe something to do with fluctuating hormones or something of the sort? Anyway, when I'm not having dry and brittle hair, I will wash my hair and condition with any old shampoo and conditioner (store brands mostly) and at the very last minute, as I'm climbing out of the shower, I rinse with freezing cold water. Then I use Alterna Hemp Straightening Balm on my towel dried hair, and let it air dry. Once it is totally dry, I'll make an assessment of how much frizz we are looking at- if it is quite a bit, I'll heat up the trusty old flat iron and do a 30 second flat ironing of just the top layer of my hair. Literally, 30 seconds, just enough to smooth it out. I adore my flat iron and will be forever grateful to my sister in law for introducing us. If it isn't too frizzy, then I do a tiny bit of Macadamia Oil on my palm and smooth it on, and voila. Instant shine.

Linda asks, what is your favorite birthday memory? I actually can't think of my favorite birthday memory. Isn't that kind of lame? I guess the year I was pregnant with Gabe and I had my big ultrasound right around my birthday was kind of fabulous. We went out to this cute Argentine restaurant outside of Boston, and I was looking obviously pregnant for one of the first times ever, and my parents were in town, and it was super fun. Another year, Josh made me a sunflower cake, entirely from scratch and cut out the shape and stem and leaves of the sunflower. When I turned 15, I had this huge party, and then my closest friends slept outside in a gigantic tent and we had cake for breakfast.

Oh wait, actually, I do have a really great birthday memory. When my parents first moved to the United States, it took them several years to get citizenship, and in the meantime, they couldn't go back to Argentina. When I turned 10 was the first time my parents had been back to Argentina in 12 years, and my parents reconnected with all their family and old friends who they hadn't seen in over a decade. They used my birthday as an excuse to have a HUGE party with everyone they'd ever known, and it was a blast. Ahh, turning 10 was so much more fun than turning 32.

Kellie asked, do you ever regret not going back to work? There are several different reasons for this answer, but I always return to no. I'd always planned on going back to work, and I certainly revisit the question quite often, but I really love staying home with my kids and I wouldn't change a thing. Going back to the first question above, I wish I'd had a career I really loved before I stopped working, but there is no question that I was not meant to go back to a law firm. This is the best "job" I've ever done, and this is the happiest I've ever been. I get impatient and annoyed and frustrated and all the rest, but I also have tons of fun with my kids and I really and truly don't believe anyone could raise my children better than me. Plus, I want to swallow them whole most of the time. That being said, I've been considering going back to school and I go back and forth and back and forth on that idea every couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Beth asked, what on earth did you do to be struck with all this bad luck? Seriously? Just tell us. I won't judge you ;) Oh Beth, I wish I knew because then I'd go atone for my sins or do the appropriate voodoo or Wicca or whatever the heck I need to do. Honestly, this is getting ridiculous. This summer has been fun, but I've HAD IT with hospital visits and doctors and surgeries and crazy emergencies. Yesterday we had another emergency x-ray for Josie because she was BREATHING FUNNY and they were concerned she'd swallowed a foreign body and I walked out of the doctor's office and almost screamed at the heavens, "WHAT THE F&$%?" but I didn't, and she didn't swallow anything but she does have severely enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Make what you will with that information. I'm taking a break from listening to doctors for a little while.

And lastly, Anonymous asked, how are Tango and Murray? Well, the hardest question by far to answer, but they are doing really well. They are really happy and healthy and less stressed, and I miss them desperately. There was a stretch about a month back, where I was literally crying every couple of days because I'd see people walking their dogs and it would break my heart and I'd burst into tears while driving. The truth is, though, as much as I miss them, and as much as I wish they were with me, there is no doubt in my mind that they are happier and better off living with a couple with no children. They have this totally fabulous life where they go to work with their new mom (she works in a holistic medicine office) and they are smothered with love and the patients all visit them and ask for them and their new owner adores them and spoils them rotten. It is the life they wanted, and I couldn't give them the same stress-free life they'd had before Gabe and Josie and I believe they are happier now. I was devastated to hear from their new owner that Tango had a health scare where he had to have cataract surgery which resulted in some complications and they went through a tough couple of weeks, but he is doing really well now. Moments like those are the hardest, because I wonder what Tango must be thinking and whether he wonders where I am. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, both Tango and Murray love and adore their new mom as much as she loves and adores them, and they've forgotten all about me. That would be my greatest wish, well, that and a happy life for them. I miss them, but the kids are happier, the dogs are happier, Josh is happier, and I am less stressed, that's for sure. Happier probably isn't the right term for me, but I'm okay.

Thanks for all the questions! That was fun!