Thursday, September 30, 2010

I may never leave the house again

In another plot twist entitled OF COURSE THIS HAPPENED TO US... we spent another whole entire day in the EMERGENCY ROOM.

We stopped by a Gymboree store for the start of one of their sales, and Josie kept running away from me in the store. I told her to stop several times and finally said I was going to strap her into the stroller, so she ran behind the counter, tripped, and fell straight into the corner of an open drawer.

The extraordinarily sharp, razor edged, metal corner of the open drawer.

RIGHT BETWEEN HER EYES. On the bridge of her nose.

I heard the employee say, "Oh she fell!" and I heard Josie start crying. And then I heard another woman say, "Oh God, her face!" and my heart sank, and then my friend turned to me and said, "She definitely needs stitches."

By the time I made it around the counter, blood was pouring down her face. Everyone started handing me towels and tissues and bandages, but one look at her nose and I knew we needed an emergency room. It was disgusting. A huge open gash, indented in the center and then several cuts radiating outward with blood pouring down her face. And possibly a broken nose, from the site of impact.

I thought I might throw up for a minute, as blood dripped through my hands and down her shirt, and then I pulled it together, asked the woman to remove everything from my stroller where I'd been piling possible outfits, and rushed out the door.

Josh gave me directions to the closest hospital since we'd met a friend at a faraway mall, and I sobbed the whole way, and tried not to freak out as Gabe offered helpful narration from the backseat about how Josie was touching the gash and rubbing blood all over her face.

By the time I went to pull her out of the car seat, her face and hands were covered in blood, which in retrospect, got us checked into the ER rather quickly. Josh was on his way, so I fielded the initial check-in, and before we'd even been examined, he arrived to help with Gabe. I demanded that plastic surgery be paged, because this was a serious cut. In face, it was many different cuts, and right smack in the middle of her face.

The nurse was rather rude initially, even though I asked VERY nicely, and it was more of a suggestion really. He said it would be up to plastics whether they would come or not, and they might not think it was "worth it" to come down, and they might not respond to the pages, and it would be up to them. Josh and I said we'd really feel much better if they'd at least look at the cut, and he was super dismissive and insistent that they might or might not come. When Josh finally got a little annoyed and said that plastics refusing to come to even look at her face was unacceptable, the nurse just stood up and walked out before repeating again that it was up to them. Umm, okay? The resident and his attending agreed with us, though, thankfully, and agreed to page plastics since "we don't like to mess around with cuts like that."

Plastics, however, didn't answer the first FOUR pages from the ER, which oh my goodness! Are you really allowed to do that? In the meantime, Josie wasn't allowed to eat or drink. The poor thing was exhausted since we were missing her nap, and after 4+ hours waiting, I finally turned off all the lights and rocked her to sleep. Of course, 15 minutes after she'd fallen asleep, the nurse arrived to put in her iv. 10 minutes later, plastics FINALLY arrived- hurray! And said they were going to sedate her to put in the stitches.

From then on out, things went smoothly. Plastics was great, the attending had a baby girl about the same age and knew exactly how to talk to Josie. I was allowed to stay until they put her under, while Josh and Gabe waited in the waiting room, and 20 minutes later, we were done. The sedation wasn't bad at all, although seeing her go under, with her eyes looking all twitchy and strange, and then her coming out of it and acting totally drunk, was uncomfortable and not exactly something you love to see as a parent. The actual process, however, was not as terrible as I'd anticipated and she seemed most bothered by the blood pressure cuff, and then later, by the removal of the tape and heart monitors.

Another couple of hours later, and we were finally dismissed, 7+ hours after we'd arrived. It was a long, awful, no good, horrible day, and I suspect that tomorrow I will collapse into a sobbing disastrous heap. So many emotions are competing for space- relief, horror, sadness, gratitude, anger, where to even begin.

Tonight, though, I will be thankful for my safe, sleeping children in their beds. Tomorrow I will worry about scars and follow-up visits, and how the heck I'm going to keep her from touching the stitches. Tonight I'll just be grateful for those tiny stitches and nothing more. And I'll be closing all our open drawers. And buying some bubble wrap.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I wonder who McSteamy is

A coworker of Josh's heard some women in the bathroom referring to Josh as "McDreamy".

Now, on the one hand, of course I'm flattered on his behalf. I too think my husband is hot.

On the other hand, shouldn't I be somewhat alarmed? Do I need to spend a little more time visiting his office?

Monday, September 27, 2010

done. through. finished.

What was I saying about feeling relaxed and refreshed and Zen and all that? Apparently, I needed it, because Josie dislocated her OTHER ELBOW tonight.

I took the kids to the mall with a friend tonight to get out of the rain and let them run around a bit. All 4 kids (both of mine and both of my friend's) were acting crazy. Really batshit nuts and running all over the place and yelling and tickling each other and acting generally hyper. We asked them to calm down several times and threatened a bit and took away privileges, but something was in the air, so finally we packed them all up and left.

In the car, I lectured Gabe for a few minutes about appropriate behavior and why he was losing his Buzz Lightyear toy for the rest of the night and why he wouldn't be allowed to read any books, and blah blah blah. He acted all apologetic and understanding, so I decided I could risk a quick stop at the Container Store for some drawer organizers. It would be 5 minutes, I reasoned. It'd be okay.

Everything seemed fine, and I spent a few minutes picking out the drawer organizers, while Josie and Gabe chatted and laughed. Josie was strapped into the cart and Gabe was standing next to her. All of a sudden, Josie began shrieking in a bloodcurdling manner, and I looked up to see Gabe let go of her arm from the other side of the cart where he'd been pulling on it. She cradled her elbow in her other arm as the tears began pouring down her cheeks and she screamed, "Gabe broke arm! Gabe broke arm!"

I stood there, stunned, and literally seeing red. I was SO mad, I was actually afraid of what I might do in that moment. I just couldn't believe it. I threw what I had in my hands into the cart, while Josie continued to scream, "Gabe broke arm!" and in a moment of what I assume was shock, I PAID FOR THE STUFF (which seriously, what the hell is wrong with me?) and then walked out. As I was walking, I called the pediatrician and left a frantic message asking whether there was anyone still in the office (it was evening, by this time) or whether we should go to the emergency room. Then I called Josh and told him to meet me at the hospital. I spent a horrid few minutes slowing inching Josie into her car seat while she screamed, and then I strapped Gabe into his seat and then screamed at him like a crazy person as I started driving to the hospital.

It was not my finest parenting moment.

A few minutes later, my savior of a pediatrician called back and told me to bring her to his house. Did you read that correctly? He told me to bring her to his house so we wouldn't have to go to the hospital. He gave me directions, and 15 minutes later we were there, and 15 seconds after that, her elbow was fixed. She didn't even cry after that, although she repeated approximately 87 times, "Gabe broke arm! Sorry Josie. Eees okay. Gabe broke arm."


So much for feeling ready to take on the world. I may be booking another trip to Myrtle Beach for next weekend. Right after I wrap both kids in bubble wrap.

the zombie look is totally in

In a moment of pure and glorious selfishness, I decided to attend a dear friend's wedding this weekend ALONE. Totally and utterly alone, as in sans husband and children.

It was... well... FABULOUS.

The wedding was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and I left on Thursday afternoon and returned Sunday morning. Josh's mom was kind enough to come out on Wednesday to watch the kids while Josh worked, and then he took over on Friday night and Saturday until my return on Sunday morning.

My outrageously fun law school girlfriends were there, and we had the best time. I haven't laughed that hard or that often since our ridiculously crazy girlfriend's bachelorette party in April in Vegas. Remember? The crazy bride who made me take seductive dance classes?

We did an impromptu bachelorette party on Thursday night with hibachi, a karaoke bar, a piano bar, and a dance club, and stayed out until 3am. On Friday, we had a small shower and bridal lunch, then I spent most of the day sitting by the pool overlooking the ocean, reading a book and drinking pina coladas. I know, I hate me too. We followed up with dinner, miniature golf, and then another crazy night at the Myrtle Beach dance clubs until 4:30am. That same ridiculously crazy friend from above (T), did her signature seductive dance moves up on a platform at the club, and ensured that I was LITERALLY beating all the guys off of us with a stick. I flashed my ring and told guys I was married so many times, I actually scolded her and told her to stop attracting so much attention to us.

When we returned to the hotel at 4:30am, we learned the hotel had given away our room reservation (insanity, I know), so after using our combined legal expertise, T finagled a free upgrade to a 2 bedroom suite, with a living room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, a gigantic terrace, and even a doorbell! It was so huge, our other friends went ahead and canceled their own reservations and moved in for Saturday night.

After waking up at NOON on Saturday, we ate pancakes at a local greasy diner and then took a swim in the ocean. The water was gorgeous and warm and the sand was soft and the company was lovely. We pulled ourselves away from the beach with no time to spare to get dressed and attend our friend's wedding. It was intimate and fun and I've never seen her look happier, and we danced until we were beyond sweaty, and then I stole every last sea star and sand dollar from the decorations and brought them home with me.

The rest of the night was spent down at the tiki bar, laughing, enjoying beachy drinks, and ordering pizzas. We finally retired to our room, where we decided to stay up for the rest of the night (yes, I'm still yawning), until it was time to drive me to the airport for my 6:30am flight. We sat out on the giant terrace and talked, and talked, and TALKED about anything and everything until it was time to go. We definitely soaked up every last bit of friendship during the time we had. It was amazing.

I was, however, totally fried all day yesterday. I basically stumbled through the airports in Myrtle Beach, Washington D.C. and Boston. I fell asleep before the plane took off and woke up when it landed, and could barely stay awake during layovers. Josh and the kids were sweetly excited to see me and had planned out a fun breakfast, and I barely kept my eyes open while eating before collapsing at home for a multi-hour nap.

It is great to be home, and I did miss Josh and the kids, but man, it was so nice to get away and worry about only myself for 3 whole days. I feel so peaceful and happy and relaxed, and ready to get back to my regular life. And best of all, I feel like me. Fun, and funny, and energetic, and interesting, and refreshed. I spent 3+ years never leaving Josh or the kids, and finally taking a little bit of time for myself feels really great. And thank goodness, being home feels even better. And best of all, this weekend, my parents come to visit for the first time in 10 months! Now I just need to recover enough to finish all these house projects before they arrive!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Josie gets a bit of the shaft around here these days. It is just that three and a half year olds are very demanding, it turns out, and so her delicious adorableness gets undocumented. That is unacceptable, though, because she is really and truly deliciously adorable and I want to remember these times for always.

Here are the top ten ways Josie is ridiculously cute:

1. Josie is a beautiful sleeper. An AMAZING sleeper. She takes (at least) one two hour nap per day, and sleeps an average of 12 hours a night without a peep. We go into her room with a sippy cup of milk, sit in her rocker while she drinks her milk and I sing her 3 songs. I tell her I love her and her daddy loves her and her Gabe loves her and God loves her and then I tuck her under my chin and breathe in the scent of her sweet baby smell. After a couple of minutes, she'll give some indication she's ready for bed- maybe a little restlessness, maybe a kiss for me, maybe a tiny little "bye bye Mommy" and she's off to bed. I tuck her in with all her "babies" and she bids me goodbye as I walk out. As I'm leaning over to pull the blankets over her, she'll say, "ah yub you" before I go, and it melts my heart every time.

2. Josie talks. Oh, this girl can TALK. Sentences, vocabulary, actual conversations, it is absurd the quantity of talking we are doing for 21 months. The other day I asked her why she'd taken off her shoes in the car and she said "ummm, because I no wanna." (she didn't want to wear them, I assume.) She narrates everything for me, "Gabe no no, Gabe crying, Gabe time-out." or "Mommy take a showah?" or "ah (I) want some yum yum." Yesterday as friends were walking up the sidewalk she yelled, "Hi Jane! Hi Steven! Come on!" She is all "please" and "thank yous" and "here you gos" and "ah help yous" and other general cuteness. The language explosion seems to have helped with some of the screaming, too. Instead of generally screaming at me, she'll scream "please please please more Mommy please please more" which is, um, an improvement I guess.

3. Josie's smiles. She is BIG personality. Big loud, big grumpy, big thrilled, and big happy. When Josie is pleased, though, she is really really pleased. She smiles up a storm. She is chatty and funny and charming and sweet and people tell us how adorable she is. She has two big dimples and they are stinking adorable.

4. Josie's hair. She has this totally crazy curly hair that is straight(ish) on top but then flips up into curls on the ends, and it makes her look like one of those old-fashioned Kewpie dolls. I swear her hair must be growing, but the more it grows, the more it curls, and it ends up looking like it is the same length. I'm a little bit at a loss for what to do with curly hair since mine is so straight, but there is no denying this crazy hair fits with her personality and adds to her cuteness.

5. Josie's snuggliness. She is a big cuddle bug and will come over to sit on my lap or fling herself across my body or wrap her arms around my neck. She'll press her cheek up against my cheek and then sigh, as if all she needs in life is this moment. She'll grab Josh's chin and turn his face from side to side as she plants tiny kisses on each of his cheeks with an audible little smack and then smiles shyly, because she is so proud of herself. She wraps her little arms around people's legs to give them little hugs and she calls out a "buh-bye, see you later" as we leave. She hugs Gabe constantly and tells us all she loves us often.

6. Josie's independence. I wouldn't think that such independence would come along with such snuggliness, but it does. She is crazy independent, much like her brother, and I have to watch the two of them like a hawk because at any moment one of them will wander off. I can walk into a room full of people she has never met, and she will say hello to everyone and then walk over to start playing with other kids. I joke that all I ever wanted was one shy timid child and I got the absolute opposite, but I couldn't imagine it any other way. She is fierce and brave and ready to take on the world (or as much of the world as 21 month olds can take on).

7. Josie is eating! This is a huge milestone for us since this child was 10 times pickier than her brother, but lo and behold, about 2 months ago, she started eating. Now she'll eat everything, and with gusto and lots of "mmm, yum". It is fantastic, and all of a sudden she will try Thai food and Indian food and asks for bites of everything and wants to taste everything we are eating and is furious if you say no or try to tell her it isn't baby appropriate. Finally, a great eater! And right in time for the toddler pickiness, so we'll see how it goes.

8. Josie is super clumsy. this is both cute and a curse, I guess. She is all go-go-go all the time, always speeding along to the next thing, so she falls a lot. She stumbles a decent amount, trips quite a bit, and still walks like a drunken sailor, even though she's been walking for ALMOST A FREAKING YEAR! Still, although I'm a nervous wreck, the bruises are kind of cute. The clumsiness is also pretty cute.

9. Josie is enthusiastic. About EVERYTHING. She loves to do everything, go everywhere (except be in the car, of course), meet everyone. She will sit in a high chair in a restaurant and wave at every single person walking by and yell "hello! hi! hello! how are you?" She runs full tilt everywhere, leaning slightly forward as she runs down the sidewalk, eager to get wherever she thinks she is going. She answers almost every question with a big "yeah!" regardless of the question. It is pretty fun.

10. Josie just IS adorable. It is beyond words, I think, just something intrinsic in her Josieness- or Jo-Jo-ness, which is her favorite nickname for herself. I don't know exactly how to put into words how cute she is, how funny she is, how brave and interesting and scrumptious she is every single day. If I could, I'd bottle up a little bit of her to spread around.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

the beach! the shops! the food!

Yippee! Yippee! Yippee!

We're off to Nantucket for one glorious night!

I'm so excited, I could scream! But I won't, because the kids are sleeping and that won't help our early morning departure.

It's a long story, but I started pricing out all these different day trips, and we decided on Nantucket for the day. The fast ferry to Nantucket, though, is twice as expensive as the slow ferry, and for the price difference, we could basically pay for almost a whole night of a hotel! (cheap hotel prices thanks to a weekday arrival, and the not-really-a Hurricane Earl) Plus, leaving and coming in one day was turning out to be super stressful, and this will make for a much more relaxing couple of days.

Who cares the reason? I'm thrilled! And now I'm off to frantically pack for our quick little getaway! Hurray!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I hate the word staycation

Hypothetically speaking...

If you had no extra money, and your husband was taking the week off from work, and you had NO extra money, what would you do?

Would you try to scrape something together and take the kids away for one night somewhere fun? Or would you do day trips? Would you go to the beach? A pool? Miniature golfing? Thoughts?

Also, Gabe starts school on Wednesday of this hypothetical week, so we have intro classes on Wednesday and Friday for an hour and a half.

Ideas? Bonus if you have New England specific ideas! Double bonus if they are toddler and preschooler appropriate! (can you believe Gabe is almost a preschooler?)


I read each and every comment, of course, and I always take your comments to heart, even if I don't necessarily agree with them. When one anonymous commenter told me the situation with Tango and Murray was all my fault, I was initially hurt and then reconsidered and thought, "well, yes, probably." But whether it was my fault or not, the dogs were now stuck in this unhappy situation with crazy children and we had to come up with a solution.

But. But. But. The comments to this post made me laugh out loud! Disgraceful! I've been walking around the house exclaiming "disgraceful!" in a Southern accent and then cackling gleefully! I love it!

It's a good thing my anonymous commenter doesn't live here and hasn't met the many, many, MANY moms in my neighborhood who have a full-time nanny while they are full-time stay at home moms! GASP! Some of them only have one child! And have help! Holy smokes! I refuse to believe that pinching pennies to send my child to a top-notch preschool that happens to be a grand total of 15 hours a week is disgraceful.

Hee! Disgraceful, indeed!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I'm going to miss the little bugger

Gabe starts preschool next Wednesday (SOB), which deserves a post unto itself, but there's been a lot of questions from moms around my neighborhood about what activities Gabe will be participating in this Fall. Now, Gabe's preschool is (unfortunately, in my opinion) five days a week. I would have been thrilled with 3 or even 4 days a week, but the school only offers a 5 day a week option, and the school is amazing, so we're going to do it. Given the fact that we're going from no days a week of school since March (!!!), I'm slightly worried about the transition to 5 days a week.

On the one hand, I think he'll be fine, because Gabe always surprises me. He's more ready for life changes than I ever am. On the other hand, I think he is going to be Exhausted, with a capital E. I suspect we are going to have a resurgence of nap love and perhaps some grumpy days.

All of this led me to the decision that we aren't signing up for any additional activities because honestly, isn't 5 days of school sufficient? He is still only 3, for goodness sake! My thoughts on this, however, are clearly unpopular with several of my friends. Today one of these girlfriends told me her son is taking 3 classes in addition to his preschool- soccer, swimming, and t-ball. Another friend is putting her son in an activity every single afternoon, in addition to 5 days of school!

Is it me or does this sound insane to you? I get tired just thinking about doing this much driving.

I am considering maybe signing up for one class, after I see that Gabe is firmly and comfortably settled into the school schedule. I'm thinking perhaps by October, if I see that he is ready or interested in something else, then we'll look into one class. ONE CLASS. Not 3 or 5 or 7.

Now, if I thought my friends were horrified when I mentioned that we weren't signing him up for any classes, you should have heard what they said when I told them what classes Josh and I were considering for Gabe. Dance. Not just any dance, but a series of different dance classes that includes ballet. GASP! Yes, I was told today that ballet is inappropriate for boys. And that they'd never put their son in any dance classes, and even if they wanted to, their husbands would forbid it. In fact, I may actually "make him gay".

Hee! I'm still chuckling over that one.

I'm less worried about Gabe taking ballet than I am with the fact that Josie is OBSESSED with Rod Stewart. Obsessed. Every time she hears a Rod Stewart song she proclaims from the back seat, "I yike dis song!" This is her absolute favorite song, oddly appropriate, I thought.

So what do you think? Yay or nay on the ballet front?