Friday, October 31, 2008

Another One Succumbs

Only one more sister left to drag down into the depths of blogging! If you haven't already, drop over to see my younger sister at Ramblings of One Stuck in the Middle of Inbetween, where she will regale you with deep thoughts and big words. After that, stop by my little sister's blog, Another Stone in the Creek, where she will most likely be complaining of college life and the difficulties of planning her wedding. If my youngest sister heeds the pressure and gives into the joy that is blogging you all will be the first to know.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Find That Toy and Have it Shot!

I generally discourage the children from standing on things in order to look out of the window. It’s just not safe. But there are those times when no one is shoving or pushing and they just placidly stand there and look outside. They watch the occasional car drive down the street, or they observe the rain as it falls silently drenching the earth and making the backyard too soggy to play in. And they are quiet.

I like quiet. I like it so much that I hardly listen to the radio while driving. I don’t generally put anything in to the CD player, except Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber, unless I feel a little cranky. Then it’s usually Norah Jones or Christmas music. I like quiet.

The other day I allowed my love for peace and quiet to surpass my common sense. I decided to let the kids sit/stand on the ottoman together and gaze out the front window. As I went back to my vacuuming I had the sense of impending doom gnawing at the back of my mind. It was only moments before the first strains of a crying baby reached my ears.

The cry sounded like the normal my-brother-took-my-toy cry, not the wail of a maimed child, so I shut off the vacuum and turned to walk, not run, into the living room. When I turned the baby came staggering into the room with blood on her hands and face.

Times like these are when a mother has to try and soothe her wounded child while at the same time pushing that child to arms length in an attempt to discover where the blood is originating. The child doesn’t like this. All she wants to do is crawl inside of her mommy’s skin and be all better.

It wasn’t long before I found the boo-boo. After the little girl fell it would seem that she left behind a small triangular shaped piece of her lower left cheek when she came looking for me because it was most definitely missing from her face. She was so sad, and it hurt me to see my little angel with a raw gouge glistening on her perfect little cheek.

For some reason I was really anxious to determine exactly what was responsible for dealing such a blow. My son offered absolutely no help; he was very unconcerned with his sister’s plight. Perhaps it was because she wasn’t screaming at decibels as yet unknown to man that he didn’t think her situation to be grave enough to merit attention.

I picked up all the toys near the window and examined rough or pointy edges for speared flesh or fresh blood. There was none to be found. Anywhere. Chunks of flesh just don’t disappear. After a couple of minutes I felt really silly playing forensic detective guy and resigned myself to nursing my wounded child in spite of the mystery surrounding the wounding. Because, really, it doesn’t matter what rogue toy inflicted the gash so much as being thankful that it missed her eyeball. And the time was better spent snuggling the poor little girl with the mangled and puffy cheek until she fell asleep.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daddy Has Hair Where?

The four of us were laying in bed all snuggly warm last night when Big Brother was suddenly stricken with a look of serious concern. The little guy sat up and took a good look at Daddy’s shirtless chest.

Something clicked in the boy’s head and he realized that he and his Daddy didn’t have matching chests. Daddy has hair on his chest? On his chest? When did this happen? his face seemed to say.

The little guy pulled on the collar of his t-shirt and peered down his front. He furrowed his brow, and glanced at his Daddy’s chest again.

Well, that hair must have fallen from Daddy’s head and burrowed into the chest area. What else could it be?

“Put it back?” he asked with a good tug on the chest hair, and then a pat on Daddy’s head.

That didn’t work so well. He tried again.

“…has hair all over it…” he muttered as he plucked.

The child was really adamant that the chest hairs be reunited with the head hairs. The boy kept brushing at them like they should just simply sweep away and tumble to the ground. Then he noticed the armpit hair. That also received a good yank. It’s surprising that my husband had any body hair to speak of this morning.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank You, Tree, For Giving Your Life

I have been using far too many paper towels. What with the baby dumping the cat’s water dish multiple times a day, and the dirty-face-wiping washcloths getting holes in them therefore advocating further use of paper towels. It’s shameful.

For a while there I was really good about swabbing up a mess with old socks and stained dishcloths. But all the wringing out and the less than ideal absorbing power of said rags just became too much of a strain. I began to use more and more Bounty towels in my daily clean up.

This past weekend I had a bit of a breakdown. I was tired. I didn’t want to wash any more dishes. Ever. So we ate off of paper plates. Sad. I know. Another tree felled just to avoid some dirty dishes.

The dirty dish fairy, in her drab brownish colored dress, still swooped down into our sink and deposited a stack of spaghetti stained plates and coffee splashed mugs. Not to mention loads of forks, spoons, and other assorted serving ware.

There still remains that moment, when all the dishes are sparkly clean, that a person can look into the sink and see the bottom. I love that moment. I just wish it would last a little longer. In this house that moment is just that- literally, a moment. Maybe if I stop buying groceries the sink would stay empty for a while longer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prepared for Anything

Last evening I had my first experience with a child wanting to wear something a little out-of-the-ordinary out of the house. As we prepared for an errand my son insisted that he wear his safety goggles. You know, in case something sharp flew at his eye or he fell over into a crowd spear-bearing elves.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Here's a Tip for All You Bearded Fellows

My husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in June, and I have known him two years besides. Even still he continues to do and say things that come as a surprise to me. I don’t know why I should be surprised, as I really don’t put anything past his doing.

Last summer I purchased a fingernail brush because it is much easier to scrub dirt from beneath a toddler’s fingernails with such a tool as opposed to scraping it out with my own nails. The small rectangular brush is generally kept in the downstairs bathroom because that is where the children are washed up after playing outside in the dirt.

The other day, Sean came into the living room where I was having a moment’s rest and asked me if I had seen the little brush that belonged in the bathroom. I queried him as to which little brush he was referring to, as we only have one hairbrush and it is of the normal hairbrush size.

“You know, the little white one,” he insisted.

“You mean the fingernail brush?” I asked.

“Oh, is that what it is,” he replied, “I’ve been using it to brush my beard.”

Evidently, the man thought I had gone out and bought him a special brush just for his beard (he is the only one in the house that sports one, so whom else would it be for). He tells me that the bristles are just right for beard grooming. Why I would have purchased a special beard brush, put it under the sink, and not told him, “Hey, see this little brush? It’s just for your beard!” I don’t understand.

It’s good to know that every time I kiss him I get grungy fingernail dirt ground into my chin. Yep. I suppose I’ll have to start chin cleansing after every kiss because he doesn’t seem to have any intention of giving up his claim on that brush. Maybe I should get another one and label it “for fingernails only- no beards allowed.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Take Note

More and more of my friends are starting blogs of their own. While I think this is really, really great and I love to read about what is on their minds, they have got to take it easy! I have two troublesome children to take care of over here and very little time for the computer, let alone reading. I don't have a laptop that I can use for Internet purposes, and my desktop computer is in an out-of-the-way place that makes it difficult to use while the kids are awake. If I leave them alone for five minutes to try and catch up on blogs they sail books in the toilet, eat cat food, and tap dance on the dining room table. So please hear my plea! If at all possible coordinate amongst yourselves so that no more that two of you post on any given day. That way I can keep up with your blog and not be up until midnight.

Okay. The real reason that I posted this was to highlight these new blogs. So go ahead and check them out- you'll find links to them on my sidebar. Just make sure you don't forget about me after you read all of these wonderfully written blogs. If you click on over to my not-so-little sister's blog, be sure to say "hi" from me.

Also, my Etsy shop is officially up and running. There isn't a whole lot there right now, but it's a start. Kudos to my sister for designing my shop banner! Now, if I can just get her to design one for this blog...

If I Hide it Back Here...

I thought that my furniture had escaped the artistic hand of my son. Not so much. When I tipped the left back cushion on my couch forward yesterday afternoon there were long black lines slashed across it. Considering the fact that he could have chosen a much worse spot to doodle I tried to keep my wits about me and stay calm. I am proud to say that I didn’t shout. Much.

Of course the first thing to do was to call my mom and see if she could suggest any way in which to eradicate the marker from the cushion. It would seem that none of her children had ever done such a thing, so she wasn’t sure what to recommend. After mom, I find the Internet to be a great source for information on such matters. Apparently other people’s children have done things like destroy furniture through art.

The two most popular suggestions for my dilemma were to apply hairspray or Oxy Clean carpet cleaner. Since I don’t own hairspray I thought I’d try the Oxy Clean. After one treatment the lines are still visible, but greatly diminished in darkness. I realize that I should have taken before and after pictures, however I was in too much of a rush to see if it would actually work.

I scrubbed that couch so hard that I’m surprised I didn’t burn a hole through the fabric with the friction of my elbow grease. The young man received quite a brutal scrubbing as well. Permanent marker isn’t super easy to remove from flesh. And I thought that if the consequence of drawing on oneself was a fierce and brutal washing the child would be less likely to repeat such behavior in the near future.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Inappropriate Artwork

This is what happens when Daddy teaches that it's fun to draw smiley faces on to fingers.

Daddy better thank his lucky stars that his Mini-Me didn't decide to permanent marker the furniture while he was at it.

He choose to color his sister instead.

At least she's washable.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cars, Food, and Bathroom Water

I’m not sure what chromosome carries it, but my daughter got my predisposition for food-love. I really, really love food. A lot. Meal times make me happy (especially when I get to cook in peace without a screaming child attached to my leg). When I taste a bite of something that is particularly yummy I have been known to do a little dance right there in my chair. Just thinking about it makes me salivate.

My sweet sixteen-month-old child has not made too much of an effort at speech yet. She has a smattering of vocabulary under her belt, but she has made it quite clear that she has no intention of doing the repeat-after-me thing (the thing where the parent exaggerates facial expressions and says, “w-w-w-w-a-a-a-t-t-t-t-e-e-r-r-r-r”). And then, in the last week, she pops out with three new words. Three. New words.

The thing that has me totally cracking up is that all three words are food items. “Chicken.” “Pancake.” “Cookie.” The last one being her favorite. When she is not in the kitchen tossing cat food around like confetti, she can often be found in front of the pantry shelf playing store. Today she plucked a package of graham crackers from the shelf and lobbed it into the toilet. Unopened packages of graham crackers float in toilet water.

There appears to be an unusual fascination with bathrooms today. While putting the baby to bed this evening I heard the noise of gushing water in the bathroom sink. When I arrived on scene to investigate I found that my son had about half a dozen of his cars lined up in the sink and fully submerged. He was washing them down with a moist wipe. I guess they were dirty. At least their paint will be sparkly when their undercarriage rusts out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Those Fatal Accidents Can Kill You

I think I should make it a goal to watch my husband more carefully when he is out cutting and hacking away at the lawn. After having conquered the yard this past weekend he informed me that there was a moment during the process when he thought his life to be over. He showed me his wounded neck and commenced with a story so funny that I gave up trying to maintain a grave expression and laughed feverishly until I thought I would lose consciousness.

While handling the weed whacker a stone or small chip of something was hurled at Sean’s neck by the spinning-line-trimmer-of-doom. One moment he was somewhat happily flaying the jungle grasses in the back yard (I say “somewhat” because he loathes this chore) and listening to his iPod, the next he felt something pierce his throat at the speed of sound and, he believed, lodge itself into his esophageal passage. Being the calm and conscientious person that he is, my husband was instantly convinced that the hour for his passing had come.

Though half demented from the excruciating pain he was able to formulate a plan of action in his mind to up the odds of his survival. Immediately dropping the trimmer he purposed to make his way toward the house in order to collapse in front of a window, thereby increasing the chance that I would look out and see him lying, gravely wounded, in the grass. (As he hadn’t actually mowed the grass yet, this probably wouldn’t have done him any good because I feel quite sure that if the baby had gotten away from me back there, with the grass as high as it was, I wouldn’t have been able to spot her upright body over the top of the grass let alone his prone form).

As he stumbled through the tangle of crab grasses and fescue and dandelion weeds, he recalled to himself the annals of fatal weed whacking accidents and found little consolation that his name would soon be added to this elite list. Because, he informed me later, people generally die from fatal weed whacker accidents. Who knew?

This is where I get a smidgen fuzzy on the details. I think Sean must have found the courage to actually feel his neck and subsequently realized that not only was there no gaping gash, but there wasn’t really even any blood, because he just turned around and finished up the yard work before coming in to regale me with tales of near-death and further excuses to forgo mowing the grass completely. I do think that the blow to the neck may have caused some temporary impairment though since he didn’t come directly to Nurse Mommy for a pat and a kiss and Band-Aid. The poor brave soul. Maybe it’s because I’m not a very good nurse; with me it’s more like a “you’re fine” and a shake of the head and a Band-Aid. Better to keep on mowing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Well Hello Garbage!

All of this time I have been worried about my daughter throwing things of importance into the trash can when it would seem that it was myself that I should have been worried about. At this point it seems unclear how much longer I will be in possession of my full mental capacities. Since the birth of my second child my memory grows faultier by the hour; my to-do lists are becoming more detailed and the little blocks on my calendar are more crowded with monotonous points and reminders.

I awoke this morning and had hardly started my day when I realized that I had meant to mail in payment for my wonderful new gas range. Glancing in the letter slot where bills-in-waiting are stored in order of their due dates, I quickly ascertained that said appliance bill was not where it belonged.

Swell. I then recalled having seen it mixed in with some bills I had paid earlier in the week. I checked the filing cabinet and the computer desk. No luck. In my mind’s eye I could see mailing envelopes and superfluous bill inserts floating down, down, down into the depths of the kitchen trash can, and I wondered if, somehow, the unpaid Sears bill had gotten mixed in with the wrong crowd and headed into the dumps.

In the past I have peered into the scary wasteland of kitchen garbages and wondered if there was anything important enough to warrant plunging an arm into its depths. Well, today I took that plunge. While holding my breath of course.

I halfheartedly poked around in the mess that seemed to consist mostly of coffee grinds. Everything was slimy and mixed up together and saturated in coffee grind juice. It was gross. It really wasn’t fun, so I thought I would look around the house again in an effort to locate the bill before I had to do some serious riffling. Unfortunately the envelope hadn’t magically appeared anywhere that I could see.

Further postponing my morning sustenance and life-giving java, I trudged back to the garbage can convinced that in order to find my statement I was going to have to take that refuse by surprise and force it to hand over my bill. I gingerly hung a plastic bag on the kitchen chair and sorted the yuck from the kitchen can into it. Still no bill.

But wait! The garbage from earlier in the week was tied up and sitting at the curb waiting to be picked up and hauled away to a huge rambling dump never to be seen or heard from again! There was no time to lose. Still in my pajamas, I peeked out of the front door. I looked up the street. I looked down the street. I wondered if I should riffle through the can while it sat on the curb or if I should drag it into the back yard before dumping it and scrabbling through it like a rabid raccoon.

I opted for leaving the can on the curb and just looking through it really, really fast. As Providence would have it, I untied the top bag and there was the long lost envelope with my bill statement lying right on the top and soaking in coffee grinds (of course). From now on maybe a grown-up should follow me around the house and make sure I’m not sticking stuff in the garbage can that doesn’t belong there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Perchance Her Next Word Will Be Yo-Ho

My readers may remember my husband started a new job about two months ago, which rendered us insurance-less for a short period of time. He is a month out from the end of his probationary period, so we are still in that “short period of time” time. I knew that it would be practically useless to hope that we could make it through without a visit or two to the doctor. I’m quite sure that there is a terrible sort of chuckle coming from the final resting place of Mr. Murphy at the prospect of so much fun to be had at my expense.

A few weeks ago, my daughter awoke with a suspicious looking bump on each of her eyelids. I have been keeping one of my eyes on them, and while they haven’t gotten any larger they haven’t disappeared either. Being overcome with tiredness yesterday afternoon, the little munchkin stretched out upon a pillow and succumbed to what is known in mommydom as the wonderful “nap.” With smiling eyes I gazed down upon my lovely little bug.

It startled me to notice that her right eyelid was swollen and covered in a purplish-bruisy sort of color. Not being a panicky sort of mommy, but a cautious one nonetheless when it comes to eyes and things of that nature, I called up the pediatrician’s office to see what could be done. Of course, with it being an eye and all, they wanted to see her.

I wasn’t ready to have my pocketbook plundered over what was likely an allergy related problem, and I thought it would be nice to be able to purchase some other necessities, like food, this week, so I purposed to put off the visit for a day and see how things were looking in the morning.

It was a nice sort of morning. The kids slept until the unheard of hour of 8:30am and I was feeling pretty cozy in my pajamas. I plucked the baby from the bed and was about to plant a smooch on her cheek when I noticed that she was looking out of her right eye through a slit. I considered the fact that she could be practicing her pirate impression, but given the redness and the swelling I thought this was unlikely.

At this point there was a smidgen of alarm present in my visage. That’s it! I’ve blinded my poor baby for life because I didn’t call for an ambulance to rush her and her puffy eyelid to the doctor yesterday! She’ll grow up only being able to enjoy the turning of the leaves with one eye and we’ll have to buy her an eye patch and a parrot for Christmas!

The swelling quickly abated to a more manageable degree of inflammation, but I feared that putting off a visit to the doctor for one more day might prove to be imprudent. It just wouldn’t do for a teeny little girl to have an eyelid as big as her whole face, so I called up the office and flew into warp speed to get everybody ready and out of the house in time to make the appointment.

A very wise woman once told me that sometimes peace of mind is worth paying for. Actually, she tells me that a lot. She’s my mom. And not being able to see the afflicted eyelid herself, she settled for giving me that nugget of wisdom again. She’s right. Even though it can be expensive at times, peace of mind is really priceless.

The doctor couldn’t say for sure why the eyelid is swollen, but it’s not infected and it doesn’t look to be causing any harm or discomfort. Now that a professional has examined it, I am positive the eyelid will be back to its normal size by morning. If I’m wrong and the baby wakes up with a monstrosity of a lid tomorrow then at least I know it’s nothing to worry about and I can get to work on that eye patch with a clear conscious.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Think I'm Feeling Mutinous Against Me

It is possible that I have crippled my hands. I’m not sure. Some sick part of my brain decided that I have been underwhelmed lately and suggested that while I was making some cute felt barrettes for my little girl I may as well make a bunch more and start a shop on Etsy. So a good portion of my “extra” time this week went to brainstorming designs and cutting felt and stitching it together. My poor fibromyalgia ridden hands are so not thanking me.

When I awoke this morning my knuckles were so stiff and swollen that when I tried to wash some dishes a couple of hours later I kept dropping the silverware, and my fingers held the sponge so loosely that I was having a difficult time actually scrubbing anything.

I have a lot of work left to do, as I have only perfected one design so far. That’s not very much. At any rate, I hope to have my shop up and running by the beginning of November. Once the whole situation is pretty well under control I am hoping to add other merchandise as well- stuffed animals, maybe blankets, we’ll see what else comes into my maniacal brain. While you all are waiting for my great and wonderful storefront to go up (snort!) check out the total amazingness that is skunkboy creatures. I can’t get over Katie’s animals. They’re great. Really. Check it out. They’ll make you smile. Seriously. Click the link.

I Have Been Awarded

I received my first award for blogging. Believe it or not, it was not an award for "Most Boring Blog" nor was it titled "She Thinks She Can Write?" So needless to say, I am pretty excited. Thanks to FawnDear for bestowing this award upon me and my humble little blog. Fawn is a creative seamstress, mother of six kiddos, and inspires me to get off my butt and get to work with her tales of decluttering. She says, "Faith...shows her creative artistic style through her writing. I'm so waiting for her to get discovered, be offered a book deal and then let me pay her a bucket-load for a signed copy. Several times I catch myself just wishing she would go on and on and not stop. I love her talent for putting two words together and not sounding like some hick like me." I have three things to say about that: it is so nice to have such lovely things said about me, I really don't think she sounds like a hick, and my husband sure doesn't wish that I would go on and on and not stop. Arte Y Pico Award

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just Me

It’s late. I should be in bed with my eyes closed and my brain shut off, stretched out on the very edge of the edge of the bed with my sweet little girl pressed against me. But the house is quiet. There is the stillness that comes only with the night, when the steady deep breathing of my children assures me they’re asleep and the world outside my window seems quiet and untroubled, not reverberating with highway traffic and people shouting up and down the street. This stillness beckons to me- “Enjoy me, bask in silence.” So I do. I read. I hear the sound of the pages as they rub my fingers in turning. I write, and commune with the click clack of the keyboard. I plan. I create. I dream. And when I finally fall exhausted into my bed and pull the covers up to my chin it seems I have only one eye closed before the sounds of the morning trickle into my ears. Alarm clocks, a toddler in search of the toilet, the coffee pot gurgling down in the kitchen. My body aches with tiredness. I want to finish my sleep. But I am needed, so I drag myself out of bed and wonder, was it worth it, staying up so late to taste some freedom? Most days, I must say “yes.” For a few moments I was just me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Dawning of Autumn

Fall is here. The still air has that crisp snappiness to it that makes it feel blustery outside when not a blade of grass is stirring. Soon the sound of crunching leaves will articulate every footfall. Before long, the morning chill will necessitate that the oil furnace be cranked up and we will be able to feel our hard earned dollars escaping from the floor vents to wrap us in a thin layer of warmth.

Already I have had to resist the urge to listen to Christmas music. Mind you, I haven’t been able to resist it every time. There’s just something so comforting about listening to Bing and Dean croon. I can’t give in to regular listening for at least another month though. If I start listening to “Marshmallow World” and “Silent Night” now I’ll be sick to death of them by Christmas.

Not only that, but when I hear the strains of “Santa Baby” it makes me want to bake cookies. Lots of cookies. And then I forsake all other food groups and just eat cookies, and eat them and eat them. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around I won’t even be able to eat a roll. It’s a vicious cycle.