Except Prince Eric’s Love Nest. [read more]
Archives for September 2007
Lately I’ve noticed that Laylee is very restless in her sleep. She grinds her teeth, tosses and turns. Often when we go at night to check on her, I’ll notice her mumbling and grimacing and I try to sooth her and calm her down. Sometimes it works a little.
She also sleeps with her arms raised up above her head, just the way I do. I brought this up to Dan.
“Did you ever notice that Laylee sleeps just like me?”
“Yes. She’s disturbed.”
“No, I mean her sleeping is disturbed. She seems troubled.”
Ah yes. So Laylee gets her disturb-ed-ness from me. Magoo gets his sweet cherubic sleeping position from Dan, with his chubby arms folded under his little round head (Dan’s is more oblong). I’ve always called Dan a sweet sleeper and so is Magoo.
Now Magoo and I do have one thing in common in our sleep. When we wake up, we strongly dislike all people. We pull the blankets over our heads, grunt, squinch up our faces and sometimes growl. We need our space.
So Laylee’s disturbed and Magoo’s curmudgeonly. It’s nice to know I’m leaving a legacy.
At times, I have been known to spend money in a fashion similar to that of an imbibing mariner. This combined with my hatred of budgets and our need to put a new roof on the house has me and Dan taking drastic measures to save money. Each week we withdraw a small amount of cash from the bank to spend on groceries and other non-bill expenses. We spend the money carefully and when it runs out, we’re done. Period.
We’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and it’s amazing how much more aware I am of my usual spending habits when I run out of cash partway through the week and have to stay home to avoid buying the books, pomegranate drinks and “sale items” that seem to leap into my hands whenever I step out my front door.
The second week of our cash diet, Dan came home with a small stack of money. Since I do most of the family shopping, I get most of the cash and it came time for Dan to hand it over. He placed the twenties where any good husband would put several bills he was giving to his main lady friend. I giggled and forgot about it.
At Trader Joes that afternoon, I got up to the register to pay for my groceries and noticed that all my cash was missing from my wallet! Ack. I had just enough left from the first week to pay for my things and then I began to search frantically for the missing money. Up and down every aisle I dragged the kids, combing the ground with my eyes for a flash of non-edible green. NOTHING.
Sadly, I headed out to the car, loaded the kids and groceries and buckled my own seatbelt. Ouch. What was that? My shirt was so itchy. I pulled it away from my chest and looked down. Bingo!
It was a huge relief. I was relieved to have found the week’s money and relieved that Laylee was too young to ask me why I had lost it in such a strange place. I can only imagine the scene at the store if I’d discovered my lost allowance while at the register and dived in to retrieve it. From now on, I think I’ll use a wallet like a normal person.
For the past week or so, Magoo has been on some sort of weird food strike. He will eat cheddar cheese, anything that tastes similar to a fistful of sugar, and of course chicken nuggets.
He likes his nuggets dino-shaped and white meat only and he enjoys them with a subtle hint of ketchup glob.
Dan and our health conscious organic-loving neighbor were watching the kids play in the sandbox the other day. They were making pretend food out of sand and our neighbor wanted to get the kids involved.
They planted sticks in the ground to grow imaginary fruit.
Neighbor: What’s growing on your tree?
Layee: Cherries, bananas, peaches and strawberries.
They dished up bowls of sand for each kid.
Neighbor: What flavor of ice cream do you want?
Laylee: Strawberry banana chocolate
Neighbor Boy: Hazelnut Latte
And that was the answer to pretty much every question they asked Magoo. Who loves you? NUGGETS!!!! What do you want to do? I WANT NUGGETS!!!! Yes. We’re all about variety and nutrition at our house.
I will say that this weekend he discovered his great love of plums, or at least the first bite of plums, picked fresh from the tree. We were at a family wedding on a farm in Eastern Washington and we let Laylee and Magoo help us pick some fruit to take home. Laylee and I carefully laid our peaches into the box while Magoo ran from tree to tree taking one bite out of each plum he found, seeing the pit inside and exclaiming, “EW. YUCKY!” and throwing it back to swim away to freedom.
At one point I found a rotten peach in our carefully gathered box of fruit and so I picked it up and threw it behind the tree with all its good-for-nothing friends. Magoo’s face lit up. “OH FUN!” he exclaimed and began unloading the peaches and throwing them as hard as he could at the trees. I guess if you can’t spend your whole life eating nuggets, watching perfectly ripe fresh peaches explode is the next best thing.
Dan and I are passing our love of photography on to the children. Lately Laylee’s been using my camera to capture the world from her perspective.
I try to make them chuckle nervously.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve cried when I’ve gone to doctor’s offices, not every time but more often than I’d like. OBGYNs are the worst, but I’ve been known to cry at the dentist too. It’s not that I’m in physical pain necessarily, usually just moderate emotional trauma.
Inherent in any trip to a medical professional is the assumption that there’s something “wrong” with you. I tend to sit and stew about just how “wrong” I really am. The longer I wait the more troubles I can drum up.
I may be at the dentist for a regular checkup but when he asks me to open my mouth wide, I’ll remember that it hurts to open my mouth wide because I have a sore jaw… because I grind my teeth at night… which keeps Dan awake… which makes me an inconsiderate wife… which, why am I blaming myself when I’m the one in pain… which what if my jaw just freezes one night and I have to eat everything through a tube… and by the way, why do I eat so much… I really need to start working out.
THERE’S JUST SO MUCH WRONG WITH ME!!! And then as the doctor approaches, a small tear will trickle down my face as my heart silently mouths… “Please fix my teeth and make me normal… please.”
Don’t even get me started with my inner pleadings for normalcy at other health venues. Let’s just say that by the time I get used to my new normal after childbirth, I’ll likely be going through the changing and the flashes of hotness.
Guilt also contributes to the tearing up.
“How active are you?” = “Do you EVER workout, you lazy slob?”
“Date of your last pregnancy?” = “When are you gonna try for another baby, huh, huh? You’ve already told the whole world you’re baby hungry, why can’t you just take the plunge? Your kids really need more friends.”
“Do you floss regularly?” = “Do you floss regularly?”
Get off my back man! May I weep into your freshly starched white jacket?
So to get over my nerves/emotions/guilt at the doctor, I do what comes naturally and try to make them laugh. I don’t know how many points you score for cracking your doctor up while he’s delivering your 10 lb. 8 oz. baby, but it’s a lot. How about exacting a giggle from your psychiatrist as you joke through chattering teeth during a post-partum panic attack?
I have scored these points and many more, keeping the docs entertained while maintaining some sort of dignity and personal reputation, even if it is a reputation as the world’s only paper-gown-clad, non-flossing stand-up comedian.
Well this weekend my back went out and I lay around icing and heating myself and taking pain killers. I cried in my own home because my back problems are a major obstacle on my way to readiness for child number 3. How can this body carry a child if it can’t even hold my noggin upright for an extended period of time?
So today I went to a new physical therapist, yet another attempt to get my body back into shape after last year’s car accident. I knew that if I’d already been crying about my back at home, I stood next to no chance of remaining calm and visibly sane during a checkup, especially if they were nice. Nice doctors are the WORST for setting me off. I needed to come up with some good material.
When I got in and started filling out paperwork, I noticed that it asked for a name and also a NICKNAME. Hmmm…. I wrote down “shmoopy.” It’s a special little something Dan likes to call me for romantical love.
I handed the paperwork to the receptionist who carried it into the back. I could hear whispering. “… filled it out… only put the blank there so we’d know what people want to be called… snicker snicker… look at this… I’m not sure… hope she was being funny… pretty embarrassing.”
From what I could hear, I got the impression that they were worried that I thought they really wanted a nickname and that little precious pet name was all I could come up with. It sounded like the whole office was called in to consult and then she called me back.
“Kathryn. We’re ready for you,” she said with a face as straight as a pin.
“Oh man. I thought you were gonna call me Shmoopy.”
She squinted her eyes a little to size me up, unsure whether I was kidding or not and explained apologetically that they had only put that line there so they would know what name people preferred to be called.
“I was just being silly.”
So after my session, she called out to me with a grin, “Do you need to schedule another appointment Shmoopy?”
“You know, I love it when you call me that!”
While I was “researching” the Harriet Carter catalog for blog fodder, I came across a pore cleaning device “as seen on TV” and felt it was ridiculous, possibly useless, and I must have it. However, I was unwilling to pay $7.95 on the off chance that one of my pores could be cleansed of impurity.
Then, the stars aligned and by some miracle the DOLLAR STORE got in a shipment of the coveted pore cleaners. These particular cleaners were not “as seen on TV” per se, but they were as seen at the DOLLAR STORE, which meant that they would only cost approximately one dollar. I dug into my piggy bank and indulged.
The box claimed that the device would provide a personal spa experience. I am a person and I like spas and experiencing things. Great-o.
Inside the box there were no instructions, just this helpful warning insert.
There are a few things I love about the insert.
1. The CAUTION — “Purple spots or scars may appear on your skin.” With the use of this device, you must forever choose between dirty pores or purple spots and scars.
2. The fact that PORE CLEANER is always typed in ALL CAPS.
3. The part where it says “do not use PORE CLEANER if you have pimples or any skin inflammation.” What exactly are you supposed to clean out of your pores if you’re not someone who’s prone to pimples or skin inflammation? Also, if the cleaner does what it says it will do to your skin, everyone who uses it will have skin inflammation. Maybe you can only use it the one time, until your skin becomes inflamed and then you have to stop. Or maybe you can only use it once on each patch of skin until your entire face turns purple and then you have to stop. Maybe you can only use it on that really soft part of your skin right behind your earlobes.
4. That you cannot use the PORE CLEANER for more than one minute around the nose or 4 minutes around the cheeks, chin or forehead. You cannot use it ever around your eyes, the top of your nose, head, hairline border, or on areas of thin skin, or on the same point more than twice.
After all this I put a battery in, started her up and pressed her to the very thick and unblemished tip of my nose. Nothing. Nada. Not even the promised purple polka dot.
Well that’s just one more thing I’ve seen on TV that I’m not willing to spend a dollar on. For a real spa experience, I guess I’ll need to shell out at least a buck and a quarter.
Spouses? Spice? Spizals?
This Tip Tuesday is about tricking your kids… in a good way… in a way that helps them become better people because they have no clue what’s really going on with their parents… in a way that masks your neuroses so that they can develop neuroses of their own without having to resort to following in your oh-so-strange footsteps.
Dan hates mushrooms and olives. I, on the other hand, have taste buds. When we were first married, Dan would pick things he didn’t like out of his food, while I sat mortified until I exploded and said that once we had kids he could NEVER NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. I would not raise finicky kids. Period.
This was a sore spot in our marriage. Then we had Laylee. She didn’t talk much, drooled frequently and seemed unfazed by Dan’s mountain of black olive bits. So he carried on. Eventually I could see her eyes beginning to focus, she began speaking in full poetic verse, complete with 5-syllable words in iambic pentameter and I knew it was time but Dan was reluctant to change.
So we developed a system for picky spouses/spice. When I make something that contains a rogue element which Dan finds repulsive, I will dish his portion carefully to avoid giving him too much of the hated item. I will then make some comment about how tasty the mushrooms are and beg him to share his with me… for love… and chivalry.
He always concedes to do so, thus looking like a hero instead of a Picky Mickey. The children see how desirable the item is if I’m begging for it and grow up to be happy mushrootarians. And the peasants rejoice.
I know you all have weirdness. How do you hide it from your little peeps?
This lovely little book about potty training has done a number on me. Just binging up the topic of potty training now that Magoo’s nearing 2 and a half makes me twitch a little. I delight in the fact that he’s not showing the signs of readiness. Rather than looking forward with excitement to that milestone, I find the signs of readiness alarming because I am not yet ready and do not want to deal with training him when he is.
I thought reviewing Karen Deerwester’s book of answers might be thing I needed to push me towards the next big step in Magoo’s development. Not so. She has a very calming and relaxed approach to potty training, describing how each parent should come up with a personal plan for each child to help them become successful, given their unique personality and temperament.
She tells parents to chill out, advice I definitely could have used when I first started with Laylee, convince I should train her the same way I was trained even though we are totally different in temperament. I created an emotional and physical battleground in our little condo that I shudder to remember, so insistent that I be “right” about what her body was doing.
Reading the calming and enthusiastic book actually stressed me out more because of all the questions she addresses. Laylee was never afraid of toilets! Oh no! Maybe Magoo will be. Laylee never pooped in potted plants or behind furniture. Ack! Maybe Magoo will. The advice in the book was good and covered a really wide range of potty training issues. I guess I just don’t want to need all that advice. I’m hoping Magoo will self-train before the age of 12. Here’s to pleasant dreams and happy fantasies!