Monday, June 29, 2009

Yard decorations ..... OF DEATH

Whenever I talk about adding something to the yard to make it look nicer Jesse shoots the idea down with "I don't know, I worry about the kids falling and hitting their heads on that."

I was reading about compost bins (of course I was) and I read that it's a good idea to plant herbs all around the bins. I said maybe we should do that and then put up some small bricks around the edge to separate the herbs from the grass. The response was "I don't know, what if the kids are running around outside and they trip and hit their heads on the bricks?"

After we took the cancer logs out of our garden we toyed with the idea of putting granite blocks around the garden. Guess why that was nixed. "The kids might trip and fall and hit their heads on the blocks."

A rock garden? The kids might fall and hit their heads. A fountain? The kids might fall and hit their heads. An in ground sprinkler system? The kids might trip over it and fall and hit their heads on one of the 10,000 other death traps we have placed in our yard.

I don't mean to make fun of Jesse's fears. In fact, I understand where they come from. When he was a little boy he was dancing to a Disco Mickey album and he tripped ... and fell ... and hit his head.

Obviously this event had a profound effect on Jesse and it forever shaped the way he looked at lawn decor. I think if he had his way we would just put throw pillows all over the yard. It might look stupid but just think of how unalarmed we would be if one of the kids tripped and fell and hit their heads.

So what do you think? Are Jess's fears irrational? Or is he right to think that the second a hard object is placed in our yard the childrens heads will be drawn to it like soft, vulnerable magnets?

Two years ago I wanted someone to rub my nuts.
Four years ago I had an odd craving.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A really fun quiz about Elle

Today Elle:
a) dug up my rosemary, sage and thyme herb box.
b) dumped two gallons of bathwater all over the bathroom floor.
c) locked me and Joseph out of the house.
d) tried to knock me down the stairs.
e) slammed Joseph's arm in the door.
f) kicked Jesse in the head.
g) all of the above. In the span of about 2 hours.

Answer Key : g

I think she's trying to kill us.

One year ago today I added a chapter in Joseph's adoption story and spoke Minnesotan.
Two years ago today Joseph wanted the perfect wife.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Slip n Slide "fun"

We bought the kids a Slip n Slide for Christmas and yesterday seemed like the right time to break it out, what with it being approximately eleventy billion degrees outside.

The kids vibrated with excitement the entire time I was setting it up. They giggled and cheered as I hooked the hose up. They danced and and laughed as I turned the hose on. They frolicked and squealed as I adjusted the aim of the little squirty things.

When it was all ready to go they stood there in awe. And refused to go anywhere near it.

That's not entirely true. Elle put one foot on it and declared "I don't like this Slippy Slide. I want to go inside."

Joseph was a little braver and took a few trial runs. By trial runs I mean that he ran across the yard at full speed and then when he got to the Slip n Slide he stopped and stood there. I finally convinced him to lay on the Slip n Slide on his belly and let me sort of throw him down to the end. We did that for a few times until I realized I was probably violating the spirit of my doctor's orders to not do any heavy lifting or pushing. Plus I thought I head something pop in my chest.

We turned the Slip n Slide off and declared the day venture a huge success. No one slid off the end of the Slip n Slide and into the garden and got a pepper wedged into their nasal cavity. That counts for a good time around these parts.

One year ago today I took Joseph to a crackhouse.
Four years ago today Joseph was a Holla Back Girl.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I like it better when no one knows me

When I signed on with my agency to be a surrogate a second time they asked me if I would consider being a surrogate for a famous person. They told me they had someone specific in mind for me to work with. I found the idea very exciting and said yes without even really thinking about it.

Of course plans changed and I didn't get matched with a famous person. Certain circumstances came up and I was matched with my current wonderful IFs. I really like my guys but for a while I was bummed out that I was going to miss out on the "adventure" of famous intended parents.

Now I'm not so sad any more. The surrogate that is carrying Sarah Jessica Parker's baby is a surrogate with my agency. She's been harassed by the "legitimate" media and by paparazzi. People who know her in real life are cashing in by selling tabloids juicy little tidbits about her life. Two sheriffs deputies broke into her house and tried to get information to sell to tabloids.

Yeesh. I'm glad the celebrity match never came to be. I think I'm happier with my adorable yet anonymous IFs.

On the other hand ... I just read that Neil Patrick Harris is also working with my agency. How fun would it be to have a baby for Doogie Howser?

One year ago today I posted the best video EVER.
Three years ago today I posted about teeth.
Four years ago today Joseph had a mole removed and I painted his toenails.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I wish I knew how to quit you ..... oh yeah, I do

I am quitting Twitter.

I know, I know. Try to contain your shock and horror and rage. You'll find a way to survive without my once a week tweets. I promise.

Twitter was always a mind numbing time suck but it used to be a fun mind numbing time suck. It used to be a fun way of keeping up with friends and bloggy buddies. Nowadays it seems like the fun stuff is few and far between.

When did Twitter get so crappy? And how did it happen? It's still full of the same great people who I know and love (in 140 character form) so it seems like it should still be good. But it's not, it's just not.

I blame retweeting. I understand retweeting important or helpful information but who needs to see "RT @someoneorother @whoknows @whatever @blahblahblah I am going to lick you at blogger!" a dozen times? Why do people do that?

BlipFM is on my list of culprits too. Seriously people, I love you dearly but I don't need to know every song that you are listening to. And some of you have really bad taste in music.

Tweeting when your blog is updated? Also bad. If I read your blog I already know it's been updated. If I don't then I don't care anyway. Tweeting contests and giveaways? It's fine if you do it once but more than that and you're wasting my time. Tweeting sales pitches for companies because you're trying to win something or are being paid to promote it? Tacky, tacky, tacky.

I don't expect anyone to change their tweeting ways just because of this bitchy post. I'm not even sure why I am posting this other than my chest is killing me today and it's making me crabby.

I guess the long and short of it is that I'm a Twitter quitter. Don't worry about me though. I've got Facebook and we're very happy together. Now if I could just find a way to convince people to NOT link their Twitter and Facebook accounts all would be right with the world.

This post was brought to you by having the sensation that your chest was trampled by elephants during the night.

Two years ago today I was pregnant and everyone was happy.
Three years ago today Elle ate a rock and I was really dull.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just call me Mother of the Year

Joseph lulled me into a false sense of security. When he was little I could give him a stack of books and he would be busy for hours stacking them and lining them up. He never got into things he wasn't supposed to. He didn't like the taste or texture of most foods so he never tried to eat anything he wasn't supposed to. I knew this wasn't typical behavior for kids but I guess I never gave a lot of thought to what is typical for kids.

Elle is typical. She likes to explore. She likes to get into things. She like to try new things out. She like to eat. She likes to taste new foods. She can be a little bit sneaky when she's trying to get away with something.

That false sense of security I built up with Joseph came back and bit me in the butt yesterday.

Elle and I were in the backyard. She was playing with a bucket and shovel and I was working in the garden. After a while Elle got bored and asked if she could go in the house to get another toy. Normally I would have gone in with her but I was up to my elbows in dirt and weeds and grass clippings so I decided just that one time to let her do it herself. After all, she's three and a half, it should be ok to let her out of my sight for a couple of minutes in my own house right? Right?

Not more than three minutes after going inside Elle came back out with a couple of toys from her room. She played and we chatted while I finished up my gardening. After about 45 minutes we headed inside and Elle made a bee line for the candy basket. From somewhere inside of it she pulled out a box of chocolate laxatives. I don't know why they were in there, I didn't even know they were in there. I laughed and said "Oh no Elle, that's not candy!"

"Yes it is!" she cheerfully responded. "I eated some already."

I look inside the box and sure enough, an entire bar of laxatives is gone. Elle ate twelve times the adult dose of laxatives then neatly closed up the box and threw the wrapper away. Then she went to her room, grabbed a toy and came outside to where I was gardening. And I didn't even realize she had done it.

Once I realized what she had done my jaw dropped to the floor. She looked so pleased with herself that a tiny part of me wanted to laugh but first I had to be sure she wasn't seconds away from shooting her intestines out at a high rate of speed.

On the back of the box it says "In case of overdose call Poison Control immediately."

A bunch of thoughts ran through my head. If I called would they yell at me for stupidly storing laxatives in a candy basket? I probably deserved it. Would they laugh at me? I probably deserved that too. Would they send someone to my house to take the kids away since I can't supervise them properly? Would this all go on my permanent record?

I put my worries aside and called Poison Control (after looking up the number on-line*) and explained the situation to a very nice man named Dave. Dave didn't yell at me or laugh at me. He was friendly, calm and informative. I was frantic and nearly in tears when I called but Dave put me at ease right away. He told me Elle would be ok but that we would probably want to stock up on Pedialyte and diapers (our precarious potty training situation has been shot to shit by this incident). The main thing though was that he reassured me Elle would be all right.

She has been all right. Oh, don't get me wrong. It's like a poop tsunami around here. Elle seems no worse for the wear though. In fact, she thinks it's just grand that she gets to drink special "teddy bear juice" and have her mama fuss over her. She's happy as a clam.

I feel horrible though. What a stupid, stupid thing to have happen. It goes without saying that the laxatives should not have been in the candy basket. I don't know how they got there but that doesn't make it ok. I shouldn't have let her go into the house alone. I just should have been more careful all around.

Edited to take out some real Debbie Downer stuff. Sorry about that.

It's hard to feel like a successful parent when your kid is sitting on the potty chair and drinking her 4th Pedialyte of the day.

* Toll free at 1-800-222-1222. As for Dave. He's very nice.

Four years ago today Joseph was spooky.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Random Monday Musings

I am out of the hospital. It's amazing how much better I felt once I had that flipping tube out of my chest. In the span of five minutes I went from "Oh my god, I want to die but I can't even lift my arm to push the call button for the nurse to come kill me." to "Hey, let's stop at the garden store on the way home and see if they have any pepper plants on sale because I really want some more of them in the garden and oh by the way, does anyone have a brownie?" Literally.

A friend of mine recently told me that she likes to text because she can do it while she's on the toilet. I wish she never told me that because now whenever I get a text from her I can't help but wonder if she's sitting on the toilet.

On Sunday I bought Joseph some marbles and he instantly became obsessed with collecting all different kinds of marbles. Elle instantly became obsessed with what kind of container we would put the marbles in. All the way home from the store they kept up an overlapping montage of chatter. "Then next week I can get the blue marbles! But when we get home we will put them in a container! If I am extra good will you buy me two bags next week so I can get the red ones too? Will it be a big container or a small one? I think I like the black marbles the best but the orange ones are nice too! We need a container with a lid! Marbles..... container ..... marbles ..... container!"

Joseph started soccer last week. While Robby is not on his team (thank you Jebus) there is this other kid on his team who's a real little asshole. Is it wrong to say that about an 8 year old? Even if it's true? Because part of me thinks I should feel bad for saying that but then I see the kid roll his eyes when Joseph tries to talk to him and I not only want to say it, I want to scream it from the mountain top. (If you think I'm being harsh, the little asshole is this kid.)

One of my home-made upside down tomato plants has a tiny baby tomato on it. This caused me to do a small dance of joy. This morning I discovered that some of my pepper plants have tiny baby peppers on them. This caused me to do a small dance of joy. I never think about this stuff at the time but sometimes I wonder if my neighbors ever look out their windows and see me in my backyard gardening and periodically breaking into random disco moves.

Does anyone have a brownie I can have?

Two years ago today I hit a nerve.
Three years ago today we did Hawaii Minnesota style.
Four years ago today I had some thoughts on great Americans.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I am in the hospital with a tube sticking out of my chest. My right lung collapsed yesterday. I'm not sure how long I will be here but I hope it will be a somewhat shorter visit than I had the last time it happened to me. Right now I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be out by Sunday.

Frankly my dear, this sucks. I'm in a good deal of pain and there's not a whole lot that can be done about it. I'm doped up pretty well but having a long tube snaking through your chest cavity is just uncomfortable no matter how you slice it.

So can I ask you a small favor? Tell me a story. Tell me the funniest, strangest, silliest thing that happened to you this week. Then, go take a great big deep breath and enjoy being able to breath sans a giant chest tube. Do it for the kids. And by kids I mean me. Thank you.

Two years ago today I had morning sickness.
Three years ago today I was insane and wanted another baby.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I think it's chartreuse

I think most parents would agree that one of the worst things about being a parents is seeing your child sick or hurt. What parent hasn't looked at their ill child and thought "I would take that on myself if it would just make them feel better"?

Elle is sick right now and has spent the last three days laying on the couch. I keep looking at her and thinking "I would gladly take her place ...... if it meant she would stop asking so many questions."

The little bugaboo doesn't seem to have the energy to do much more than watch tv, refuse to eat and demand that I take her temperature. And ask questions. Hundreds and hundreds of questions.

Oh, it started out kind of cute at first.

"Mama?" her soft little voice called out from the pile of pillows and blankets she had situated herself in. "What color does blue and yellow make?"

"That makes green baby."

"Green? And Mama, what color does green and red make?"

"That makes brown"

"Brown? And Mama, what color does brown and black make?"

And on and on it goes. Now that we're on day three of the illness we're up to more difficult color combinations. "Mama, what color does aqua and green and purple and light gray make?"

Even worse than the color wheel inquisition is the non-stop requests for me to spell words for her. "Mama, what spells friend? And what spells cheese? Mama, what spells booger? rainbow? cracker? soap? monkey butt?"

It's not even like she's writing it down! She's just asking for the sake of asking. Of course I have to answer all of her questions because I am not a heartless monster and I don't have it in my heart to deny her the on thing that seems to make her feel better.

Now, does anyone know what color red, orange, black and purple makes?

One year ago today Joseph believed that honesty was the best policy.
Two years ago I hoped I was pregnant.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I am the master of the double entendre

This short, silly post should not be read by parents, grandparents, brothers, small children or other living things.

Dear Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs,
Come on over to my house. I've got a dirty job you can tackle.

No, that's no good.

Hey Mike Rowe! Why don't you come here and clean my drain pipe?


Mike, you can sort and ship my maggots any time.

That's terrible.

Mr Rowe, you can feel free to root around in my .....

Let's not even go there.

Oh, I've got it!

Mike Rowe, please come over to my house so that my husband can thank you for the weekend long marathon of Dirty Jobs that resulted in him being a happy, happy man.

years ago today I had an embryo transfer.
Four years ago today I was pregnant and craving odd things.

Friday, June 05, 2009

I'll have the insecurity with a side of angst please

Today I went to run some errands with the kids and I forgot my phone at home. I felt NAKED!

The whole time I was shopping I kept thinking that I heard my phone beeping and I would reach for it to check it and I would remember that it was sitting at home. Each time it was like a tiny stab to my heart.

People are used to having constant access to me. I always have my phone right by me. All I could think when I was shopping was that surely people were trying to call and text me and email me and get in touch with me and I had let them down by leaving my phone at home. Oh, the humanity!

By the time I got home I was worn out just thinking of how many people I was going to have to explain to why I was incommunicado for all afternoon. I came in the house and grabbed my phone, sweet relief flooding over me.

No missed calls, no emails, no texts.

Now I just feel sad.

One year ago today Jesse said something kind of dumb.
Three years ago today Joseph did something kind of sweet.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gardening in fashion

Friend: You're getting really tan.
Me: Oh yeah, I guess. It's just because I'm outside every day though.
Friend: (long pause) Yeah, that's usually what causes that.

After it was pointed out to me that I am getting tan I looked at myself and realized that I am starting to get darker but only on the parts of me that my capri pants and t-shirts leave exposed. My solution was to start wearing tank tops and shorts when I garden. I told another friend about this but I accidentally said I wore strapless shirts when I garden and this led us to giggle for about five minutes at the image of me in a tube top.

I decided the other day to try and get more sun on my legs and garden while wearing shorts. Small flaw in that plan. We have grass clippings in between the rows in our garden to keep the weeds down. I kneel on these clipping while I am weeding and what not. I am allergic to grass. After a half hour of weeding and kneeling and watering and crawling I had huge red welts from my ankles to my thighs. Nothing to make you feel smart and sexy like a giant rash from an allergy that you forgot you had.

One year ago today I added a chapter to Joseph's adoption story and did a meme.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Can you cook pasta in the bathtub?

Our dishwasher is broken.

This is not a good situation for us. I am not a Washing Dishes By Hand type of person. Under the best circumstances I am a Load The Dishwasher Grudgingly type of person. Under the worst circumstances I am a Let's Drop All The Dishes On The Floor On Purpose So They Break And We Don't Have To Wash Them And Also Let's Just Throw Away The Silverware And Eat With Our Hands type of person.

We're in a bit of a "financial lull" right now so when the dishwasher broke we decided we had two option. First, we could declare it an emergency and break into the emergency fund. Second, we could deal with it for a short time and wait till things were a little less lean, cash-wise. Guess what option I was pushing for. Now guess what one we chose.

For the first couple of days my strategy was to lay on the couch and look very tired so that Jesse would see what an emergency the situation was. This didn't work. He didn't notice the pile of dishes in the kitchen and he didn't notice me sighing dramatically on the couch.

My second strategy was to just wash certain dishes. Plates and silverware aren't that bad to wash. I decided to do those and then skip the pots and glasses. That worked fine until my children were reduced to drinking milk out of measuring cups.

Now my strategy is to wash the fracking dishes but to really, really hate it.

I wish I was as quick a thinker as Jesse. His strategy is to wait until I start a load of dishes and then say "Oh! I was just about to do the dishes!" and then sneak out of the room. The man is a genius.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to take my dishpan hands and go wash some pots otherwise I will be forced to cook dinner by holding the food in my hands and waving it over the hot stove. I don't want to do that three nights in a row.

Three years ago today Joseph liked Double Dare.
Four years ago today Joseph was cute and I was pregnant and boring.