Archive for the Category ◊ Momdom ◊

20 Feb 2008 No Ragu for YOU
 |  Category: Cadence, Momdom  | Leave a Comment

(please sing as if singing the theme to The Beverly Hillbillies)

This is a story about a girl named C.
Who  didn’t like to nap as anyone can see.
One dinner time she was eating up some Ragu
and in the afternoon came some bubbling crude.
Poop that is, stinky pants.  Yucky.

Well the next thing you know, C wiped poop in her hair.
Wiped poop on her face, wiped poop everywhere.
Mom said, in the shower is where you ought to be
So she stripped the girl naked and tossed her in….um….there.

Yes, it happened.  After 8 years of parenting and two kids in diapers Cadence finger painted her body with poop.  Why?  I don’t know.    Some things Cadence does I say, “Well, wouldn’t YOU if you could?”  But poo painting?  I can’t say I want to ever do something like that.  I think it’s POSSIBLE that some ended up in Cadence’s mouth considering her propensity for putting EVERYTHING In her mouth, but that makes me want to throw up a little bit, so I’m trying not to think about that.

When I hit the top of the stairs I smelled her and the smell got worse the closer I got to the bedroom.  You know that scene in “There’s Something About Mary” when Cameron Diaz uses Ben Stillers’….um….stuff becuase she thinks its hair gel and her hairs all standing up and stuff.  That’s what Cadence looked like, but she used POOP as mousse.

I took no pictures.  I had to shower too because I decided the easiest way to deal with it, was just pick her up and carry her instead of trying to NOT get her poop on me.  Sigh.

Never a dull moment, I say.

14 Feb 2008 Love Day
 |  Category: Kids, Momdom, Suburbia  | Leave a Comment

I admit I’m still trying to determine what “casual” use of the Internet equates to.    I’m still not sure.  Apparently vacation planning shouldn’t be considered “casual” (and I agree. Vacation is freaking necessary!) but what is casual?  I really don’t know. I think I should have thought a little more about that.

Our Valentine’s Day celebration has wound down now.  Emily is sorting through her Valentines from her classmates (overseen by Smokey, her new Webkinz) and Eric is watching hockey (to Eric hockey=love and I guess it does to me too come to think of it).  Cadence is sleeping, hopefully having happy love filled dreams because she’s a baby and only lovely things happen to her.

Well, there have probably been a few less than lovely things, but Cadence’s balance of lovely things vs non-lovely things is pretty heavily weighted in favor of lovely things. 

I think.

And so, on Valentine’s Day it occurred to me that the concept of a “Stay at Home Mom” is actually a fallacy.  Today, I got up at 6:30 and showered and dressed.  I got the kids fed and took Emily to school at eight.  Cadence and I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things (party tray for mom’s group party, books for Cadence’s valentine gift) and then returned home where I ate a hasty breakfast and then wrangled dressed Cadence for our DUAL parties.
DSC_0103.JPG

We left home at 10:00 to ensure that I’d actually be able to park in the school postage stamp parking lot and I made some phone calls for some upcoming mom’s group events.

Cadence and I hit the school at 10:25 (punctual as never usual) and then the fun really began.  At first, there were just two moms.  I helped set up the food (the teacher is super organized and makes requests for the families and the kids end up with a nice spread of unduplicated and healthy snacks.).  I had a problem, though. I didn’t realize I’d actually be helping the party.  I thought I’d stand around and observe and be overwhelmed by the cuteness.  Not so.  I left Cadence’s stroller in the car anticipating being available to chase her around the class room.   But I had to manage snacks and activities and Cadence hit her head and got a gooseegg on her eyebrow within fifteen seconds of walking into the classroom.

Thankfully, though, Cadence had a great time and Emily is still thrilled to have us come to her things.  I know the time will be coming soon when she just can’t be bothered with us so I’m trying to make the most of this time while I can, but this is about LOVE, man, and not the lamenting of me.   

Anyhow, we finished up Emily’s party LATE and I didn’t have the cushion of time I intended to have between the party of 22 second graders and the impending chaos party with my Mom’s group.  I adore my mom’s group.  Really.  I found it through Meetup and I HIGHLY recommend it, but the plain truth was there were 39 confirmed parents coming to the party.  Two dads.  A couple grandmas pushing the adult numbers to about 45.  Everyone, obviously, came with at least one child.  Probably half of the original 39 came with more than one child swelling our numbers to close to a hundred people.   But, it’s love Day.  And, the party started at nap time.  It seemed to me that an unlovely situation could occur but Cadence had a nice time.  She colored.  She played.  She hid inside the playhut tube….DSC_0119.JPGand she got cozy with other moms.  Thankfully, my group is full of friendly moms so they didn’t necessarily mind her lounging on them.  One she had met before and maybe she seemed the familiar to C, but the other was pretty much a stranger and Cadence was giving her cuddles (and calling her Mama, but she’s not realized, I guess, that Mama is a unique name because EVERYONE is Mama now, even Eric and the harder we insist that he’s Dada, the harder she laughs).

After staying at the party forty minutes longer than I intended (Cadence was not 1 hour and Forty minute late for her nap and I’m not going to get into our sleep issues around here, but let’s just say getting Cadence to sleep for certain lengths of time is crucial to ensuring that she’ll continue to sleep well).  Eric agreed to come home early so Cadence could nap through picking up Emily.  I was at home for about an hour before I was into the car again to pick up Em’s V-Day gift from 7-11 (They had the exact Webkinz she wanted. I could have gone to Hallmark, but I didn’t see a reason to drive out of my way and run the risk of not being able to get the gray cat she specifically wanted, so I bought a Valentine’s gift at 7-11.  Big deal), picked up Emily from school, stopped at Target to pick up the finishing touches for Eric’s gift and a giant raspberry colored ball for Cadence from Emily. 

I spent another hour at home before we left to go to Eric’s mom’s house so she could babysit for us in exchange for us loaning her Dell (my other love) for some book keeping she had to do.  We had dinner and now, after 9, we’re home.

Stay at home?  Whatever. (actually, tomorrow I DO plan on MOSTLY staying at home.  And I can’t wait).

24 Jan 2008 The Times They Are A Changin’
 |  Category: Emily, Momdom  | Leave a Comment

Emily will be eight.  In just a few short weeks.  I find that I can’t really find the energy to lament her growing anymore. It’s not that I don’t care, but I’ve finally discovered that it’s inevitable and that crying over it really doesn’t change anything.  In addition, I’ve found that there are things to love (and dislike) about each age and stage which somehow makes the whole ordeal more bearable.

One thing that I find most striking is the difference between my childhood and Emily’s.  Not materially, although that is a part of it.  Only 23 years separate the two of us.  Not even a quarter of a century and yet so much has changed from the time I was eight and now.

When I was eight we owned one t.v.  I have no idea what the size was, but it did not have a remote control and it had knobs you had to turn.    We had a box with a button on it that you could push in an attempt to turn your antenna to bring in better reception.  You could even turn the frequency to UHF and try to tune in more channels too.

Now we have two t.vs, our newest a flat panel, high def LCDtv.  Emily has never had to get up to turn the knob, nor tune in the antenna nor been impressed when a channel from a distant city showed up on the dial during certain weather patterns.    She has no time or patience for black and white movies or t.v. shows (not even watching I Love Lucy when I tried to share with her.  Maybe she’s too young?)  She has never lived at a time when there weren’t t.v. channels dedicated to children on 24 hours a day.  Now you can even get programming from PBS and the smallest of babies 24 hours a day.

She knows how to use a DVR.
She knows how to buy pay per veiw.
When I was eight we didn’t even own a VCR and cable consisted of a converter box that allowed you to tune in HBO.  Now we have about a bazillion channels and Emily is just as bored on rainy afternoons as I was when we only had a handful of channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and a few local affilates which have pretty much died off the exception being WCIU out of Chicago, locally).

When I was eight i could play alone undisturbed in the back yard for hours.  I could walk three doors down without my mom being in a tizzy. I even walked myself down the street, around the corner and to the bus stop, not a long walk in distance but certainly out of my Mom’s line of sight.  People gave out apples and homemade popcorn balls for Halloween.

After a local report of a child abduction I’m afraid of Emily walking to the corner without being in my line of vision.  Even last year I would stand in the garage and watch her at the bustop, a whole two houses away.  Just in case.  I do my very best to give her that freedom that makes up the happy memories of so much of my childhood, but the reality of the news reports gives me pause and my heart pounds hard in my chest when she takes just a second or two too long to complete a simple task outside that is out of my line of vision.  I’m thankful that one of her best friends lives directly behind us and that they are mostly content with playing in our adjoining yards, out of the view of strangers driving by and in my direct line of sight.

We inspect Emily’s Halloween candy carefully (though not as carefully as my Dad at the height of the needles in candy scare when he would literally run our candy under his metal detector discarding anything that set it off).  Our biggest concern now is peanut products, but we would quickly throw out anything not individually wrapped and sealed.  No more homemade popcorn balls, apples or cookies in the Halloween bag.  They’re a waste of money.  Who would eat them?

When I was eight we had tornado drills and fire drills.
Emily has “lock down” drills where the children practice hiding in darkened class rooms in case of the school being invaded by someone with evil motives. I was more shaken by her announcement than she was.  She was matter of fact, the point of the drill downplayed by kind teachers who made vague references to “bad” guys.  Emily’s mind can’t conceive, yet, of what those bad people could do and what sort of terror caused schools to practice hiding the children in silence.

In some ways, Emily’s world is worse than mine was at eight.  She has more homework than I did.  She can’t play with as much freedom as I did.  She spends more time in front of the t.v. and computer than I did.  She had to ride in a car seat longer than I did (and still could be in a booster seat by all rights).

But in some ways, her world is better.  So many people my age and older talk about how “bad’ things are now and allude to the “good old days” but honestly, I don’t think that’s the case.  I think we hear a lot more harrowing things because we live in a world with 24-hour news channels, desperate to gain our attention.  We live in a world with three hour long news programs in the morning, following by a half an hour of news at noon, 1 to 2 hours of news in the evening and 30 to 60 minutes of news at bedtime.  I mean, there comes a point when what’s going on locally isn’t going to capture any one’s attention and they have to turn to other communities.

But, I digress.  Emily lives in a world without boundaries or borders.  She can easily travel across the world.  She can connect with people across the world on the Internet.  In a minute.  She can see family and friends real time, in streaming video.  She can learn anything.  This week we looked up pictures of a Chinese Crested,  a hairless cat and a mud puppy to compare who was ugliest.  We live in an amazing time.  Truly.  Full of things and learning.  Is the trade off fair?  I can’t really say, but things certainly have changed.

07 Jan 2008 Memory
 |  Category: Cadence, Momdom  | Leave a Comment

The crying lifts me up out of sleep.  My brain is in a fog and I lay in bed for a minute, silent, hardly breathing, to make sure I heard what I thought I heard.  The cry rings out again.  A wail that turns into a plea for “mumum”.  I drag myself out of bed and stumble down the hallway.  The bedroom is lit in blue light and she is standing at the crib rail, sobbing.  Her hair is touseled and if it were lighter her cheeks would be pink from having been tucked under her blankie.

I coo at her and she stops crying and raises her arms to me.  I pick her up and she rests her head on my shoulder, her breath coming in little raggedy gasps.  She pats the back of my arm and I pick up her cue and pat her back.  We make our way back down the hall and settle into the rocking chair.

She uses her arms to push herself off of my chest.  She gives a glance to Eric, sleeping peacefully and the t.v. and then her head settles again, on my opposite shoulder with a distinct thunk.  She tucks her left shoulder under my chin and we rock.  The chair squeaks a little bit and makes a tapping noise when I rock backwards and it touches the windowsill.  We rest our heads on each others shoulders and I rub her back, her spine feeling like tiny little pearls under my fingertips.  She sighs and wrestles her arms down, under my arms, to lay flat against her body.  Her sign that she’d like to go back to sleep.

I continue rocking, counting time in my head, one second to rock back, one second to rock forward.  The rhythm we established months ago in desperation at times and in comfort others.  Her feet twitch against my legs and I know she’s asleep.  I stop rocking.

I count in my head, to five or ten, to see if she stirs and I stand slowly and quietly.  Her feet kick for just a second having been unsettled, but I stand in one spot and sway for a few minutes and she relaxes again.  I make my way back down the hall and into the blue lit bedroom.  I reach into the crib and toss back her blanket decorated with little bugs having a parade (the lady bug plays a horn, a dragonfly holds a star).  I lower her into the crib and pull up the cover so all I can see is the tip of her nose and the top of her head.  She makes a few grumpy noises and i lean into the crib and rub her back in a circle, my hand on her blanket making a swishing noise.  She settles, her knees pulled up towards her chest, her butt in the air, her head turned facing the right.  The blanket rises and falls as her breaths join in symphony with her sisters.  I sneak silently out of the bedroom door and back down the darkened hallway.

14 Dec 2007 The first cookie of Christmas…

…spiced pumpkin softies from Woman’s Day. You can find the recipe here

Overall, these are pretty good. I skipped the pumpkin pie spice and just added some similar spices of my one (1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves). Emily gave them a thumbs up and the baby and the dog liked them too. Oh, and if you drop them onto your cookie sheet you have to flatten them.

Mine looked nowhere NEAR like the one’s in my Woman’s Day (there’s were tiny and very flat and round). Mine were big and sort of ….bumpy? The recipe claimed to make 60 cookies and I made 48 so I didn’t grossly over do the size.

I also used a pastry bag to pipe on the icing. It was easier, IMO, then trying to spread a dollop on each cookie.

05 Dec 2007 It’s Winter
 |  Category: Momdom, Suburbia  | Comments off

I don’t care what the calendar says. I don’t care when winter starts. It’s December, it’s twenty degrees, there are six inches of snow on the ground. It’s Winter. Our sleep last night was puncuated with the scraping sounds of the snow plow. Neighborhood boys were trudging through the streets with snow shovels over their shoulders, going door-to-door, charging ten bucks for a shovel.

It is winter.

Today I sat glued to the tv waiting for the school closing list to scroll by. I got snow in my shoes. I used the term “snow warts”. I asked for gloves for my stocking, the dog’s tie out was frozen and I had to take off his collar to get him into the house. Cadence pressed her face to the sidelights of our front door, confused and interested in the change.

It’s winter.

03 Dec 2007 hmph
 |  Category: Momdom  | Comments off

Friday afternoon Dell, my boyfriend, died. Eric spent an hour on the phone and a new boyfriend will be here soon, but not soon enough and I’m without convienent internet during the day until Dell’s 2.0 shows up.

Friday evening, Cadence came down with croup again and was having serious trouble breathing so that meant another trip to the Emergency Room.

Saturday we waited too long to go to the grocery store and ended up going in the freezing rain. we got sideswiped by someone driving a 10 year old car with no insurance. My poor mom-mobile.

Sunday i realized that it just wasn’t going to be in the cards for us to go to OH this month. i wanted to, but between the limited amount of time and the amount of money it would take, it just seemed to be a mismatch. We could have put the trip on a credit card, but we’re trying so hard to make good financial choices so we just couldn’t do it. We like to watch big spender on a&e and I had a What Would Larry do moment and Larry would tell us not to make the trip, so…..

Additionally, because we can’t seem to exist with indecsion and drama ;o) we’ve spent hours agonizing over the Christmas gift offer from Eric’s mom. To the point it’s stressing me out. I told Eric to just pick something. I’ll like it. he’s not that inclined to do that.

So, how was your weekend?

17 Nov 2007 At Odds
 |  Category: Love in every stitch, Momdom  | Comments off

I have several hobbies that I love and these hobbies come in and out of popularity in Jamiedom. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been very much in love with sewing and it’s been getting the bulk of my “spare” time. What this means is frequent trips to the fabric store, buying notions, fabric, patterns, trim and other goodies.

But i have conflicting issues.

First, I love to collect “things” that relate to my hobbie. I love to collect scrapbooking goodies. I love collecting paper. I love collecting yarn and right now I LOVE collecting fabrics. Thursday I was cleaning up the bedroom and amassed a huge pile of fabric (well, huge for me) that needed to be washed in order to be ready for projects. I was rather embarassed by the amount that was there and I said to Eric that I REALLY shouldnt buy ANY more fabric until I used some the yardage that was here. And he agreed, but a trip to Joann’s yesterday found me with 6 more yards of fabric to do “something” with (granted, all three have current projects planned for them, but still….)

And this is where the “at odds” part comes in. I find that I’m actually MORE productive when I have LESS things standing between me and my projects. Searching through piles of fabric, patterns and notions seems to squash my creativity and productivity and I understand that around me. At my core, I think I’m a minimalist, and I try to remind myself of this when I’m out shopping (only buy what you need, don’t buy just to have), but I seem to have a materialistic devil on my shoulder that urges me forward to buying things I have no plans for just to satisfy the part of me that is materialistic.

11 Nov 2007 Murphey’s Law
 |  Category: Cadence, Emily, Kids, Momdom  | Comments off

You all know it right? Basically what can go wrong will?

About six weeks ago, Emily got her annual cough. Emily gets this cough around the start of the school year and it lingers, on and off, through Christmas and into the new year. The past several years, we would run to the doctor and get sent home with meds. for her nebulizer. This year, we decided that we weren’t going to run to the doctor. We knew what she had and how to treat it and started giving her nebulizer treatments. But, this year Emily decided to change it up and started coughing so hard she would throw up. That accounted for three trips to the doctor and a just about that many days of missed school too.

Cadence, during this time gets a runny nose and a little baby cough. Nothing too horrible (and the cough was so little it was almost cute).

This week Monday, Emily is back to school We have a clean bill of health. We’re off the nebulizer for the first time in weeks. We get a call from the school. They think Emily has pink eye.

So, we’re back to the doctor. We get eye salve. Emily misses ANOTHER day of school to make sure she’s no longer contagious. Weds. morning I notice that the bloody patches Emily has on her eyes have gotten worse. I suck it and get her another doctors appointment and she misses a half a day of school. She has a < href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subconjunctival_hemorrhage">subconjunctival hemorrhage. She gets two different eye medications and a note so she can go back to school. The doctor makes a quick inspection of C’s eyes and pronounces her clear.

Thursday, I notice Cadence has a little baby fever and her runny nose is back. When she wakes up friday morning and starts “talking” it becomes obvious that she has Croup. Argh. We treat her at home, but she appears to be having trouble breathing over night from Friday into Saturday so we get out of bed and talk her to the ER. She has a breathing treatment, a chest x-ray and a steroid shot. We got home at 4 a.m. and cancel our activities for the biggest part of the weekend.

And now, to make matters worse, Cadence woke up from her morning nap with a goopy eye. Sigh.

06 Nov 2007 Bliss
 |  Category: Better Half, Kids, Momdom  | Comments off

Eric just got home from work. It’s starting to get dark outside and I have the side table lamp on. XM is playing Christmas music and even though I’ll be sick of it in a couple of weeks and then will lay off until right before Christmas, things feel cozy.

Emily was home from school today because she has pinkeye which isn’t so blissful, but Cadence just woke up from her nap and I can hear Emily upstairs, with her tambourine, playing and Cadence is screaming with glee.

Not long before Eric got home I heard the alarm going off my cell phone. I leaned over next to the chair to see where it was and found the bag from McDonalds that we had for lunch. I gathered it up to threw it away and realized that Cadence had been using to hold goodies including the remove from the ceiling fan, the DVD remote, a hem marker and my memory card reader.

And now the baby is downstairs and Emily is running in joyous circles and even the dog is joining in and I’m just about the luckiest girl in the world.

Really. :o)