Friday, August 31, 2007

What a man, What a man, What a man, What a mighty good man.......

What a mighty mighty good man......

Are you humming along?
Good. Because I need to tell you about what transpired while Da Bug had me firmly in it's nasty little clutches.

It had begun early Tuesday morning, but I went to open up the Y at 4:45 am anyway, thinking I could muscle my way through my shift. I was wrong -- Da Bug may be microscopic but it is certainly mighty -- and I was stumbling back in the door by 7:00 mumbling incoherently to Mike that I thought I was going to die and that I needed to lay down.

Mike got up with the boys.
Mike made them breakfast.
Mike got Gibson ready for school and packed both their lunches.
Mike drove 30 minutes out of his way to drop Gibson off at school, making him late for work.
Then Mike called in the afternoon to see how I was doing and to ask if I needed him to pick Gibson up from school as well. (The answers were "bad" and "yes, thank you!", respectively.)
Mike left work early and drove 30 mintues to pick up Gibson. Then he called to say that he'd also bought me some Gatorade and would be home to drop it off. He also wanted to tell me that he needed to go back to work because he needed to take care of some staff training, but that he would pick up Landis and take both the boys to work with him so I could get some much needed sleep. So, he drove another 30 minutes home, dropped off the Gatorade, picked up Landis, and turned around to drive an additional 30 minutes back to work. He proceeded to run a staff training, which culminated in him needing to have a very serious talk with his new trainees about the importance of committing to the training process, and that not everyone would make it through -- all while 2 small boys were sitting politely at his side, burping and farting. ("I guess it probably made me seem less intimidating to the trainees" he said later.)

When they got home, Mike fed them dinner. Mike cleaned up the kitchen. Mike got them into the bath, and into their PJ's. Mike read them their bedtime stories, and tucked them into bed. All without ever complaining about any of it. All while I slept -- and occasionally drank some Gatorade.

So if you happen to see Mike, make sure you tell him he's a mighty good man. And tell him you heard it from me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Da' Bug - Encore Presentation

When my friend Alison heard about the nasty little bug that Landis had last week (and that I wrote about a couple of entries ago) she said to me, "Uh oh. You'd better start counting down. I always get it 4 days after the first kid starts throwing up." So I counted. Day 1........ Day 2.......... Day 3......... Day 4......... WHEW! I couldn't believe it, but I escaped unscathed.
Until this morning.
Day 8 to be exact.
And I'll spare you the gory details, except to tell you that it has me in it's big, mean, tummy churning clutches.......and it ain't pretty.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


We are going to the beach next week, and I thought it would be fun to put some highlights in my hair. Sort of a sun-kissed kind of look to celebrate the conclusion of a great summer. The tricky part here is that we're on a budget. There will be no $150.00 trip to the salon. And as it turns out, 2 of my friends are thinking of coloring their hair too. So the 3 of us (Janna, Janice and me) make plans to have a hair coloring party on Thursday night, and then head to Super-Target to buy some beauty-in-a-box.

On Thursday, Janice isn't feeling so hot. Janna and I decide that even though Janice is the one with the most experience in hair coloring, maybe we can pull this off ourselves. We meet over at Janna's, have a glass of wine, eat some kettle corn, and proceed to color our hair. It's around 10:00 or so when I head home -- hair still wet, but with my freshly painted highlights and I'm excited.

Friday morning, I get up to make the kids some breakfast. I walk out into the family room and come face-to-face with Gibson.

Gibson: "What did you do to your hair?!!!"
Me: "I highlighted it."
Gibson: "Well you look DISGUSTING!"

I look at Mike. He shrugs, but I can see that it's taking everything in his power not to fall to the floor, slapping his thighs and convulsing with laughter. And you know what they say........ Out of the mouths of babes......

I am now sporting a nice shade of auburn.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Da' Bug

We've had a rough couple of days. It all started on Sunday morning in the middle of the kitchen. There we were, having a little Norman Rockwell kind of morning, stirring up the ingredients for some baked oatmeal with peaches. The boys were taking turns pouring things in -- one does the milk, one does the oatmeal, one does the sugar, they both crack get the idea. We're all in our PJ's and I'm sporting some great bed-head when Landis turns around on the chair that he's standing on and says "Mommy, my tummy hurts." I figure he's probably got that nauseous feeling that occurrs sometimes when you don't get breakfast in soon enough, but no...... After he makes the announcement, he proceedes to throw up on the floor. Ugggghhhhhhhhhh! I feel so bad for him (I feel so bad for me too, but for different reasons) and as soon as we can ascertain that he is done throwing up, I tell him to go lie down while I clean up the mess in the kitchen. He gets as far as our bedroom and pukes all over the floor again -- at least 3 times. So, here we go....
I start scrubbing. I start at one end of the house and I'm not stopping. I'm channeling my baseboard-scrubbing, ceiling bleaching, white-tornado of a grandma, and for 2 solid days I clean while Landis barfs -- everywhere. He barfs in our bed, he barfs on the couch, he barfs in our bed again, he barfs on the other end of the couch, he barfs on the floor, he barfs in our bed, and finally -- yes, Thank the Lord, FINALLY -- he barfs in the toilet. (To date, our couch and our bed sheets have never been as clean as they are today. Well, maybe when they were brand new....) And while one child is throwing up, the other is giving a constant play-by-play. Gibson is pretty sure that it's his job to keep me up to date on all the details: Where, when, how much. Like somehow I don't already know.

Finally, on Tuesday morning (that would be day number 3 of barfing, in case you weren't keeping track) we make an appointment to see the doctor. I mean, I'm a fairly laid back mom, but I wasn't sure how many days he should be allowed to throw up before I was supposed to start getting concerned about it. The doctor assures us that he's fine. No fever, lots of energy, no complicated symptoms. Just your typical barf-bug working it's way through his system. "The reason he's probably throwing up so much" says the doctor "is that he's over-stimulated that muscle in his tummy that works to keep food down. He needs a little Zantac to settle things down in there. The bug will probably work it's way through his system, so if you see in blood in his stool, or if it smells like something died, call us because that could be salmonella. But he seems fine, and with no fever I'm sure it's just a bug." So we leave with a prescription in hand for Zantac, which for some reason cracks me up. My 3 year old needs Zantac. Does anyone else find that to be humorous, or have I just been breathing cleaning fumes too long?

We make it through the rest of Tuesday with no additional barfing. The mop, scrub-brush, and bucket are all put away. Toilets, floors, baseboards, walls, doors, windows -- all gleaming. The couch and the bed are cleaner than they've been in years. I know I've erradicated that bug and I'm exausted. That night (since I have to open the Y at 4:45am the next morning) I go to bed early, and as usual I am awoken at midnight by a small child standing next to me in the dark. I bolt upright. "Are you going to barf?" I ask. (Clearly, I'm a little gun-shy.) "No." he says. "I just want to sleep with you." This is fine by me since I will do anything to get a good night's sleep -- especially when I have to get up at 4:00am, which comes way earlier than it feels like it should. Still, I pry my exhausted body up off the sheets and stumble into the bathroom to wet down my bed-head. It occurrs to me, faintly, that for a room that is as clean as it is, it doesn't have the best smell. But it's 4:00 am and my brain is not firing on all it's cylinders yet. As I am drying my hair, the door to the bathroom opens. There stands Landis. "What are you doing?" I ask. "I want to get up." he says. "No. It's WAY too early. You need to be in bed." I say. "Either go get in your own bed, or climb back in with daddy." "No." he tells me. "I want to go with you." I'm getting a little frustrated with him because when I have to get up at 4:00 I don't really leave myself any extra time to stand and have a debate with a 3 year old. I scoop him up and place him on my hip, wrapping my hand around his bottom to support him. My intent is to carry him back to the bed. Instead, all of my senses come together to make a connection in my brain -- The slight stench in the air, the wet feeling on my hand, it's all coming from him. The bug. We're done with the barfing -- it's onward to diarrhea. Ugggggghhhhhhhhhh! Really?!?! At 4:00am?!?! I put Landis down and strip him of his clothes. I run the bath and tell him to get in. Then I kick the bathroom door open and say to Mike: "Get out of the bed. There's poop in it." Mike groans and rolls over, though it doesn't actually look like he's getting up. Oh well. If he wants to lie in it, it's his business. I have bigger things to tend to at the moment. I wash my hands, I wash his butt, I change my clothes. I open the bathroom door again. Turns out that Mike did actually get up. He'd stripped the bed for yet another round of double-washing, and then made his way out to the couch to go back to sleep. I get Landis re-dressed, re-tucked into bed, and make a mad dash out the door yelling over my shoulder to my already-back-asleep husband that Landis should eat nothing but toast or saltines for breakfast. And as I'm speeding down the street, trying desperately to get to the Y before those maniacal people eager to work out at 5:00am, I wonder to myself "Will there ever be a time when my life doesn't revolve around bodily functions? Ever?"

Please.......Someone? Anyone? Tell me some good news.

Friday, August 17, 2007

He said WHAT?!

I had a good day yesterday. A super-mom kind of day. I worked out, ran some errands, fixed lunch for myself and my boys, packed a lunch to take to Mike, prepped dinner so that it only needed to be put in the oven, and then went out to the whitewater center to do some guiding -- something I haven't done in years. It was great fun, and although I could feel the muscles in my body screaming at me about an hour in, it still made me feel like a robust 21 year old again. And it's heartening to know that at 33 I can still run circles around most of the hot-shot 20 year old boys out there on the water. So I came home around 7:30, at the end of a long productive day feeling quite smug with myself. I'm SUPER-MOM! I can wrangle 2 boys, guide rafts, and keep everybody fat, happy and well-behaved. Or so I believed.

Mike was tucking the boys into bed when I got home. So I sat down at the table to enjoy a few enchiladas -- still smiling to myself, wrapped up all smugly in my super-mom cape. About halfway into my enchiladas, Mike appeared in the kitchen. "I think you need to have a talk with your son" he says. Uh-oh. "Why?" I say. "Well" he says, "at the doctor's office today, when the nurse came in to take my stitches out (removal of fatty lump, no cause for concern in case any of you are wondering) Gibson looked right at her and said 'You're big.'"
I stopped chewing.
He continued.......
"I didn't say anything and neither did she, so I wasn't convinced that she heard him." Mike pauses and looks at me and I know it's going to get worse. My super-mom cape is begining to unwind itself from my body. "I guess he didn't get the reaction he wanted, so then he said very loudly so I know there is no doubt that she heard him: 'YOU'RE FAT!'"
I suck in air so sharply that I almost choke on my enchiladas. I sit at the table, hand over my gaping mouth, horrified, as my super-mom cape comes completely unraveled and lands in a heap at my feet. "He got in big trouble, and I've talked to him about it, but I think you should too" said Mike. I nod and push back from the table. I pause to kick my disheveled cape into the corner, and then I make my way up the stairs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gibson's Quote of the Day:

"My Lovey is magic. It makes me think good things."

Queen For a Day

I've just recently realized that I am influenced in my speech by whatever book I happen to be reading at the time. The diction, the dialect, the writing style, it all apparently has a subtle affect on me. For instance, I'm currently 365 pages into Queen Of This Realm, which is a work of historical fiction that is written as if it were the memoirs of Queen Elizabeth the 1st. It's great and I am thoroughly enjoying it, but that is beside the point.

The point is that as I was reading a bed-time book to my boys the other day I said something that made me do a double-take. I forget what book it was -- maybe Mother Goose, or Where the Wild Things Are -- but it was making them laugh. That laughter turned into them standing up on the bed and belly flopping back down onto the mattress. (It doesn't take much to distract them....) In my frustration with them I said, rather sharply, "BOYS! Shall I stop reading?!?" And there it was. My double-take. Shall? Did I just say "Shall?" I can't even imagine when was the last time I used that word in any sort of conversation -- but it occured to me that the Queen "shall's" all over the place. (Perhaps I even used a slight English accent.....) By the time I am done with this book, my discipline will go something like this: "My lords! If you do not stop this insolent behavior at once I shall conclude my reading immediately!" Or maybe "Pray you do not disobey me again or you shall be sent to the Tower with great haste! Surely such wise gentlemen as yourselves understand that should you not come to your senses shortly and obey my commands, you shall find yourselves on the rack!"

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hand Puppets

Landis is a little boy with a big imagination. We joke that he could entertain himself for hours in a paper bag, and for a while now he's been really into his "hand puppets". (If you are curious as to what those hand puppets might be, hold your hand up in front of your face. Now pretend to have it talk to you in the same way that you would if it were actually in a puppet. Yep. That's it. No additional costume necessary.) He can get lost in his own little hand-puppet world at any given moment in any given day. Yesterday I was watching him brush his teeth, but he didn't know I was there. Right in the middle of brushing he abruptly stopped, spit, and layed his toothbrush down on the counter. Up came the hands.

Says the left hand: "Hi"

Right hand: "Hi"

Left hand: "What are you doing?"

Right hand: "I'm brushing he's teeth."

Left hand: "Oh. Ok."

And then he resumed brushing........

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'll be over here.... under this pile of laundry

I have a bed wetter. God love him, he pee's up the bed every single night, pretty much without fail. Which, in turn, means that I can NEVER get ahead of the laundry. Piles of sheets and soaking wet PJ's follow me everywhere, pushing and shoving their way up to the front of the laundry line. (Oh, don't tell me about pull-ups -- we use them, and he fills them to overflowing. And don't tell me to limit his liquids -- we tried. It didn't work. The real dilemma is that he sleeps like a rock. The act of peeing doesn't even make him stir. It's amazing, really, to watch him sleep, or to try to wake him up. But I digress.........I believe I was bitching about laundry....)

Why is it that once you have kids the laundry is never, ever, ever done? I bust my butt all day, schlepping things from washer to dryer, dryer to couch (I will admit that I fold from the couch while I watch Oprah. There has to be a silver lining somewhere, doesn't there?), and if I'm lucky I manage to get it all neatly folded and back into seperate laundry baskets in seperate bedrooms, ready to be put away at the end of the day. Sometimes I even manage to get it put away before day's end, and then I feel SO accomplished. "Ha ha ha!!! I beat you, laundry! I am crossing you off my list! You are done!!"

But the laundry just smirks at me, for it has only lulled me into a false sense of victory. You-Know-Who emerges from his nap, soaking from head to toe. Mike comes in the door from work and discards his sweaty, filthy clothes onto the pile that has already begun to form. Then bathtime hits, and the pile grows.

Is it too much to ask that my family not wear clothes, or use towels, or washcloths, or need clean sheets...........Just for one day?