Saturday, 31 December 2005

mama, don't let your babies grow up....

From the back seat of the car:

Cass: What's a New Year?
Me: It means the old year is over and the fresh new year is beginning. In the New Year we will have a little bit more winter, then spring and summer and fall. See, I was born in 1971, your Daddy was born in 1969, you were born in 2001, and Rosey was born in 2004! Tonight, it will be a new year! 2006!
Cass (mulls this over) I'm still four though, right?

He so wants to be five. I'm not sure why that's the magic number, but he's wanted to be five as soon as he got used to saying that he was four.

I looked at Rosey last night - she really isn't a baby anymore. She's a grand sturdy toddler, gallumphing around and getting into things, feeding herself and making choices - when did this happen?? Soon she'll be out of diapers and her crib.

This year went fast.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

testing his limits

It's a darn good thing I love my four year old, because he's going through a 'twerp' stage again.
Tonight everything was lovely - he greeted me at the door, gave me a hug, told me about his day, and we talked for a minute before Bugs Bunny snagged his attention again. Bear (who had been home all day with the kids) got ready to go see his Dad (my FIL is in the hospital - pneumonia, which has become an annual event this time of year) kissed the kids goodbye (Cass supremely unconcerned) and went on his merry way.

Half an hour later, I turned off the tv and announced it was time for bed. R headed for the stairs (she just thinks it's cool to read books in Cass's room before bed) and my boy, the one who had been so pleasant, fell immediately into a whiny sniveling heap.
He shot me an injured look. "But where's Daddy?"

I resisted the urge to look under the couch cushions (Nope, no Daddy here!) and told him Daddy had gone to see Papa. When Daddy got home, I was sure he would come and kiss Cass good night.
Cassidy was not happy with this news. 'But I want Daddy!'
No, Cass. Now come on, up the stairs. Do you want to be first?

No eager footsteps behind me. I waited. Rosey shifted from foot to foot like she was waiting for a gun to go off so she could speed up the stairs.

I waited.

His brow was all scrunched up now. Talking through his teeth, he said 'But I want Daddy!'
I clipped my teeth together. "And I want you to go upstairs!"

Even Rosey was still. I expected to hear Western gunfight music come up.

The cowpoke in the Spiderman pyjamas moved first. 'Oh, all right!"
Stomp stomp, up the stairs.

Three stories and prayers later, I turned out the light, gathered the baby, and whispered goodnight.

A little voice came floating out the door after me.

"Daddy would have read more books."

See? Whatta twerp.
It's a good thing I like him.

Tuesday, 27 December 2005

getting political for a moment

Have you heard about the baby gift bags? Massachusetts has decided they promote the evils of bottle-feeding and have banned them.
Amazing noone trusts us to make our own decisions anymore.
According to 2004 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 74 percent of Massachusetts mothers breast-feed, but only 39 percent are still breast-feeding when the baby is 6 months old, below the federal goal of 50 percent. Nationally, about 36 percent of mothers breast-feed at 6 months.

So Massachusetts has a higher rate than the national norm for the 6 month mark and they're still doing this? My God, does the La Leche League wear armbands and march in that state?

I tried breastfeeding my babies. Flunked the exam both times.
Speaking as someone who can't, I got really tired of that damned 'Breast is Best' slogan.
How (punch) many (slam!) times (thump) do you have to hit me in the head with what a baaaaaad mother I am? For new moms agonizing over every single thing about their babies, the guilt heaped on them is remarkable and incredibly unfair.

Four years ago: Bad latch. Shredded nipples. Low-to-no milk supply. Uninterested baby. (Guess he didn't like the taste of blood?) Fighting a massive c-section infection. I was holding onto the breastfeeding idea like a sword - I was a Good Mom. I would Breast Feed. Daily visits from nurses and lac. consultants. Something still wasn't right. The day we went to the doctor and discovered my son had dropped over two pounds from his birth weight I had a lactation consultant tell me I just wasn't committed enough.

After all, 'Breast is Best', right?

Fourteen months ago: Stormy birth. Infected c-section. Babygirl getting fed both formula and whatever colostreum they could hoover out of my breasts. We were in the hospital for eight days, and by the time we left even the lactation consultants were admitting that my milk wasn't coming in.

Breastfeeding isn't the only way.
It isn't the Great White Way, the Golden Way, or (jesus god) the Easy Way.

It is a CHOICE.

"My breasts, my business," she said. "Stay out of there."

Saturday, 24 December 2005

you know your frustrations are showing when:

In the supermarket:

Me: (elbowing past people to get to the frozen corn) Aaaah, Ffffffffff....(remembering young boy with me) Fudge!

Cass: I know, Mommy, There are too many fudging people in this grocery store.

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

whine snark whine

Wow, what a day. My boss is never around except when I'm screwing up (what, does he have a secret speaker somewhere?) and I seem to be making lots of the middle-rank people happy while simultaneously doing everything wrong around him. He doesn't impact my work all that much but it's irritating.

Long commute home - and is anyone else tired of Christmas music?? - and I came in the house into pure bedlam. Now, Bedlam and I are usually friends. We go waaaay back. But tonight, I had a grudge against noise and hoopla. I wanted quiet. I wanted my childrens' shining faces reflecting in the Christmas tree lights as we talked about what they did today. I wanted to smell good smells as I walked in the door of someone else cooking. I wanted a drink. (I blame the season. I usually don't drink.)

Instead, the house was a mess and the kids were a wreck and Bear cooked chicken for dinner. That's chicken full stop.
Apparently his idea of a healthy dinner involves protein and nothing else. And then he stomped around and threw a whine because I asked him what he did today.

Dishes do not take ten hours.

Thank God tomorrow is Wednesday. Tomorrow, Christmas shopping. Huzzah!

I'm a glutton for punishment.

Saturday, 17 December 2005

hair blues

Still with the bad hair.

I called the hairdresser I've been using, and kept getting her voicemail. Last night I was in the grocery store, though, and chased her down two aisles, finally cornering her near the frozen green beans. We exchanged pleasantries and everything was lovely until I yanked off my beret.
Her face froze. "What" she said ominously, "have you done to your hair?"
I tried to explain, but she started lifting little pieces of hair to check the length, and it was distracting.

"There was an incident...." I began, "with gum!"

"Uh-huh" she said, shaking her head. "Haven't you heard of peanut butter?"

The good news? She's pretty sure she can do something wonderful with my disaster, and won't have to shave my head, as I originally feared.

"Oh, this? That's the family Christmas picture the year Mom was bald. Aren't the antlers cute?"

The bad? She's leaving on vacation and will be back in two weeks.

Two weeks with the mullet.

No. Can't do Christmas with the really bad hair. Must start calling other hair places.

Because I love my hairperson, but Can't. Do. It.

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

recovering

You know the old saying about the flu?
First you think you're going to die, and then you're afraid you won't?

I think I'm going to survive. Barely. Cough-cough. Em-hack.

Bear (who must, after all, love me, as he's put up with me the whole time I've been sick)
made me call in today. I was a chokin' and a'gaggin' and snurflin' and snorkling all night long. I don't think he got much sleep, either.

So today we packed the kidlets off to the babysitter, and I get to sleep.
Sleep sleep sleep sleep. God, what incredible luxury!

This weekend, when all this doom and pestilence started, I fell asleep (read passed out, clutching the Nyquil like a lover) on the couch where Cassidy had been recouping. He had developed a bracky cough, and since we can't get him to take cough drops, we were busy keeping his throat wet. The boyo lived on popsicles, orange juice, ginger ale, and gum. It was a good trick, getting him to always be drinking/chewing something, but his throat healed pretty quickly.

Where was I? Oh, yes, face down in the couch cushions, hoping for sweet oblivion. When I finally stirred my heaving coughing racking self off the couch, I found what Cass forgot: to throw away his gum.

It was in my hair. It was everywhere. And while peanut butter may work for the smooth shiny and unchemical-treated hair of children, there was no way it was ever coming out of mine.
As for the second most popular remedy: have you ever had your head rubbed with an ice cube? Have you? Hmm? Not comfortable, made even less so by the chills and shivering.

So I did what any self-respecting half out of her mind woman on cold syrup would do...I hacked it out with scissors.
And when I realized how much I had cut, I had to even out the other side a little.

This morning, I'm running my hands through my hair and realizing just how short parts of it are, and how long other bits are. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have given myself....a mullet.

So emergency call to the hairdressers today. And frantic online shopping for Christmas hats.

And to sleep, to dream about the days when I had hair.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

not a suicidal post

I hurt. Everywhere.

Neck, hips, back, joints.
I swear when I swallow the muscle in my tongue hurts.

My neck, while sore from my ears to the point of my chin, does not have huge puffy glands. What is up with that?

I ache.

The house is very warm tonight because I'm afraid one shiver,
and

I

will

break

in half.

Much Tylenol. Many bowls of soup offered. A few sips of ginger ale taken.

One of these bastards has given me the flu.

I'm begging the doctor to put me to sleep for awhile.

Monday, 12 December 2005

tagged

I've been tagged by the excellent Julia over at Major Bedhead to tell you folks five things about me.
Okaaay...

1. I own six non-working clocks. All old wood, antique-y things, most of which I bought off E-bay or dug out at garage sales and then realized I have no idea how in the hell to fix them. We have one man locally that fixes old clocks and I think he's a shyster, so they all sit forlornly around my house not telling time, waiting for me to remember to put them in a box and take them to Halifax with me. My favorite is an old Seth Thomas that my parents got for a wedding gift - that one (what, your favorites don't get special treatment?) is currently residing in New York, where my Dad is going to take it to a kind old man who will treat it gently and hopefully send it back to me so I can hear it chime again.

2. I miss having a dog around the house. I don't miss the dirt, the hair, waiting outside in the freezing cold during that last night walk, the constant need to shovel the yard or the barking, but I miss the way they're so happy to see you at night, everynight, and that look of 'And what wonderful thing are you going to do today?' Dogs can be so peaceful.

3. I am epileptic, and have been since I was sixteen. My last seizure was about five years ago. This is probably genetic (both my grandfathers had 'spells' when they were in their twenties) helped along by the trauma of a car accident. I've had seizures in some pretty interesting places - behind the counter at Dairy Queen (waking up with firemen standing over me and a bra full of Nestle Crunch was something a girl doesn't forget) in a crowded movie theater (I never did see the ending of The Cutting Edge), at the top of a flight of stairs (yes, I did fall down) and on a bus. Guess I've just always been about the attention-seeking behavior, hmm? I am medically controlled these days and much less likely to flop like a flounder.

4. I doubt very much some of my friends from five years ago would recognize me. Two kids and fifty pounds later, my complete style has changed. Trying to fit in where I live has made me more standardized. Putting the kids first has made me feel less important. Some days I look around and wonder where I went, y'know?

5. I love heavy blankets and a cold bedroom to sleep in. We keep two quilts on the bed and the ducts are shut leading into our bedroom - Bear is a furnace and I like the crispness of the morning air. I am also a pillow whore - I have to have at least three, tucked in and around me.

Yay! Now I get to pick my victims! (rubbing hands together)
How about:

Bean and Sprout
Galloping Cats
Life With Our Girlie!
Underwater Clown Conspiracy
Crazy..er..Dysfunctional

It will be interesting to see who does this. Some of these people are freakin' crazy busy.

Saturday, 10 December 2005

after the storm

Whoo-ey did we have a storm last night! The two hour drive to get home (30 mph, tankyoubeddemuche) was a little hair-raising, but the snow was incredible!! Then I got home, home to my family (which still feels like a gift - I have a family! I'm still amazed and delighted.) to fractious kiddies and a tired husband, home to a twinkling Christmas tree, a good fire going in the woodstove, and hot tea in my favorite mug.

I even dug out my Eeyore slippers. It was that sort of night, where you want a little extra comfort.

The wind was whipping around and I kept hearing sounds like something was hitting the house - tree branches? Falling icicles? Desperate wildlife? - but Bear declared it was only the snow on the roof sliding down. I noodled on the computer for a bit, and then Bear decided he should take a shower now while we had power (the wind was rising and all bets were off. You see where I'm going with this, don't you?)

He jumped in the shower, lathered up with shampoo and body wash (I gots a nice-smellin' man) and was telling me "I think the power's going to go......" PITCH BLACKNESS. He had time for a few curses before it sputtered back, too! I have no idea what he would have done if it hadn't. Heated water on the woodstove? Now that's pioneerish!

But the best part of the night was when we discovered the noise from the roof wasn't snow or icicles, it was thunder! We had a real fire-cracker of a storm, complete with pink lightning and huge, booming thunder. I've never been in a winter thunderstorm before - I've never heard of them before - and it was a treat to watch.

Even more so because Bear was there with me and the kidlets (bless 'em!) slept through the whole thing.

Sunday, 4 December 2005

going to war

The battle has begun.

You see, the dreaded sniffly cold has hit my house.
Cass is whistly (haul out the puffers and the mist machine, yo ho ho) and Rosey seems fine but had a croupy cough this morning. Both will be just fine, given a few days and some cough medicine.

My husband, of course, being the bearer of the mutant gene that makes all illnesses on the house rebound off everyone else and land on him full force, is whinging and whining about how horrible he feels, how terrible, how awful.... and yet I can't help but notice how perfectly happy he is to wallow in the recliner, flipping channels with a languid hand.

Flinging germs at everyone right and left, I daresay.

Any attempt to get him to 'go lay down, for godsakes!' is met with a manly sniff and a cough and pronouncement that he is feeling

a little bit better, but still pretty awful.

He may yet be traded in for a newer, more germ-resistant model.

I have the Mommy-gene (it's like a shield. Zing! Off, damn germ! Ching! Off, ribbons of pus!) to protect me.

Mommies are the protectors of the house.
Our plastic likenesses should be sold as action heroes, complete with suitable action attire and deadly weapon.

I have no symptoms of cough or cold. I, alone, will have to man the battlefield with my trusty medicine dropper and tissues, a roll of cough drops jammed in my hip pocket.

But I don't think the towel tied around my shoulders is going to impress any bad guys.

To the trenches!