Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Night in the Life of Super-Mom

The other night, N came into my room around 11:00.  He had this confused but wild glassy eyed look and was sweating profusely.  As he has been sick and feverish, I was initially alarmed that his fever had spiked and I was going to have to take him to Urgent Care or something. This was the conversation that ensued.  

Me:  N, are you okay?
N:  I have a problem.
Me:  (feeling his forehead which was cool but clammy)  What is your problem?
N:  (tearing up)  Those guys are aiming their catapults at me!
Me:  Huh?  
N:  (glassy eyed silence)
Me:  What are you talking about?
N:  Catapults!
Me:  (Angrily) Have you been up playing with toys or something?  

*Editorial Pause -
It is known fact, in our home, that N will sometimes wake up at night, turn on his light once he realizes that everyone is asleep, and play with toys, only to fall asleep on the floor - which is odd because it is hardwood.  I have also found him asleep in bed in the morning, lights on, and under the covers is myriad of knights, horses, and weapons.   This deviant behavior resulted in the 'no light bulbs for you' (said in the voice of the Seinfield 'Soup Nazi') rule of 2007.  He has since earned back his light bulb rights, and thus the ability to see at night - with the carefully worded warning that I can re-possess his bulbs at the slightest infraction of their use.
*Resume Conversation - 

N:  (slightly frantic) Help me Mom!
Me:  What?
N:  The bricks really hurt!
Me:  What bricks?
N:  They load up the catapult with bricks and shoot it at me!  I need help!  Please!  

I realized that he was experiencing some sort of bizarre sleep-walking enactment of a dream so I got up to lead him back to bed.  When I put my hand on his back he was drenched with sweat so I pulled off his P.J. shirt, put a dry one on him and tucked him in.

Me:  (whispering) You are safe now.  The guys are gone.
N:  (mumbling)  Thank you.  You saved my life.

Yeah - that pretty much what Super-Mom's do.  My next feat?  To finish the laundry.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Lazy Mom's Dinner

So - since we have all been sick a few things are out of whack.  Namely, the house is a mess and I am running low on essential supplies. 

So - I decided for dinner I would take the kids to get a smoothie from a local store.  I was thinking that with the fruit juice and vitamin C booster, the drink would be good for their colds, and then we would go home to make sandwiches.

So - Z sipped his drink and cried (literally)  "I hate this - never get it for me again."  N sipped his drink, made a great and horrible face, grabbed his throat and involuntarily began to gag.  I threw their drinks away, not wanting to consume their germs, thusly wasting five dollars and some odd cents.  A and I enjoyed our beverages as we drove home, listening to the boys complain about my bad idea of getting a smoothie, and suggesting that we go instead to Maggie Moo's. When I told them that we were not going to Maggie Moo's we listened to them both cry and complain because they were thirsty and we were drinking in front of them.

So - when we got home, I could not find the supplies for sandwich making.  In fact, I was even out of the basic ingredients for the kids all time favorite meal - buttered noodles.

So - this is what appeared on each of their plates:
2 cheese raviolis (lean cuisine),
1/4 cup fettuccine Alfredo (also lean cuisine),
1/3 of a piece of left over pizza,
1/3 of a banana,
4 mini carrot sicks,
and all the orange juice they could drink.

To quote a friend - "The government requires that I feed my children.  There is no regulation for taste or quality."

Tomorrow I will go to the grocery store.  Even if I have to go with (gulp) kids.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In Memorandum

President Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints passed away today at the age of 97.   

I will miss seeing him on the stand at conference, I will miss the sound of his voice from the pulpit.  I will miss his sage advice and words of wisdom.  I am thankful to live in today's day and age - when access to his teachings are so easily accessible online.  I am grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - and thus my remote connection to such a great man.  He was loved and will be missed.  Thank you, President Hinckley for your inspirations, testimony, and love.

The Blues

I had this brilliant plan two weeks ago to quit taking a 'kids activity bag' to church.  With my youngest at 4 I figured that we could downsize a bit.  No snacks, one activity book per child, blank paper, and colored pencils all fit nicely in my large purse.  I tried it out last week, and found that it worked like a dream - except for the fact that I had left my cell phone in the bottom and it rang (Kristy) mid way through Sacrament Meeting.

Fast forward to this week - I brought my bag/purse again, deposited the kids on a row with my friend (still no Hub - thanks again, Chris) emptied the kids contents for them, then took my purse with me, to the stand.     

Did I forget to mention that with all the drama of the week - the icing on my figurative birthday cake was that I had to speak in Sacrament meeting?  (The icing on my literal cake was a butter cream.)  

I could have sworn that I turned the darn phone off, but....

I spoke, it went as well as any talk could go - I sat down -rest hymn - next speaker - AND my cell phone starts ringing (Heather) from within my purse which was under my chair.
I have the ring tone set to this really great blues riff, which is neither reverent, nor quiet - thusly quite inappropriate background music for the speaker.  I didn't want to pull it out of my purse to turn it off, as that would draw more attention to the noise and it's source, so I shoved it further under my chair, hoping that no one would notice.  The people in the front row seemed to pick up on something, but fortunately the sound seemed not to have traveled beyond their range of detection.

So, other than the bishop who was looking around in surprise (both counselors were out of town today), the two youth speakers who were covering their mouths trying not to laugh, the speaker who visibly tensed up for the 30 seconds of hopefully unidentified noise, the organist who kind of 'tsked' from behind, and the occupants of the entire front row, no one noticed.

Da-da-da-da-da.  (Jazz riff)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stop Whining!

Okay - so after my big whine about not having a network I have to take back my words.  After reading my When I Needed It Most blog, my friend Chris Riker called me and kindly but firmly told me that she would have gladly given me a hand when I was sick and told me to put her number on my speed dial.  

Fast forward a few days - Today is my birthday - 34 - (hmmmm...mid thirties - many whiny feelings on the topic that I will just keep to myself).  The Hub is still out of town, I am still in recovery mode from illness, two of the three kids are not feeling well (though thank heavens not with what I had) so my b-day outlook was pretty bleak until......surprise!  Chris stopped by with a bouquet of balloons tied to a bag bearing the name 'Wegman's'.  Those who know about Wegman's understand that it could only contain good things!  Within the bag I found a take and bake cheese pizza so I don't have to make dinner for the kids, some home-made chicken noodle soup for me - a loaf of their yummy french epi bread - a 2 layer butter creme vanilla cake - AND a necklace and pair of earrings which Chris hand made.  

I would say that was above and beyond what anyone could expect from her network.  Thank you Chris!  You made my day!    

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dissed and Missed

When we were kids, two of my sisters (Becca and Heather) composed a musical masterpiece.  The crux of their ballad was that they wished to be magical in order to turn our Mom into a pie - so they could eat her.  (Mean old Mom - she must have done something awful.)  Now my own child is using imaginary magical vengeance on me.  He had been asked to pick up his room but was instead, playing with a plastic Harry Potter wand.

Me:  Hey Z, you are supposed to be cleaning your room - why don't you use some magic to make this mess disappear. 
Z:  (who paused his spell making to give me the stink eye - see picture) I wish this was a real wand with real magic.  Then I could dis-you-appear!

I took the wand and forced him to finish his task - earning myself a few Mean Mom points.  
Later, at dinner Z and I were going through our standard I-don't-want-to-eat-this-dinner-then-you-won't-get-the-delicious-desert battle when he angrily stated: 

Z: I wish I didn't have any Mom.
Me:  (with wounded soulful eyes) Oh!  I would miss you so much.

His anger dissolved, his eyes filled up with moisture and he started sobbing.

Me:  What's wrong?
Z:  I will miss you too!

When I needed It Most...

In the past seven years, we have moved from Utah to California, within California, back to Utah, and now to Virginia.  That is five locations for anyone who was counting.  Yesterday I was thinking about our nomadic tendencies and realized that though we have met many fantastic people in each location, and learned many great things from our experiences, each move has one crummy thing in common.  With each uprooting I have lost my support network, and upon arrival in a new location, it takes time to develop a new one.

I was thinking about this yesterday because I had the flu.  It was not a mild case.  It was an entirely disabling-Exorcist like-can I even crawl into the bathroom before I loose it- kind of case.  (Though still coming in second to a certain airplane bathroom incident.)  So as I lay on the bathroom floor, lacking energy to crawl back to bed after cleaning the commode - again - wishing that the Hub was not out of town - again- I started to feel sorry for myself.  I missed my friends who I could call at a moments notice to come and get my kids.  I missed my mom and sisters, who would have cleaned my bathroom for me, taken the kids for the night, or even stayed to keep me company in my commiserative state.  

I haven't been here long enough to develop that kind of a network.  The kind that I can rely on for anything.  I thought of a few people I could call, that would have probably helped, but I didn't have the energy to go downstairs and find the ward directory.  So I just felt more sorry for myself, that I don't know anyone well enough to have their phone number memorized.  

I also felt sorry for Z, who had eaten a half a loaf of bread (his sustenance of choice when I feebly told him to find something to eat) and watched Scooby Doo all day long, though he wasn't complaining.  When A and N finally got home from school I was in bad shape, wishing that I could send them all somewhere, tearfully missing my network.

And guess what?  As soon as they realized that I was sick my children magically metamorphasized from my usually needy, often whiny, occasionally screaming pack of three to my own little network of support.  I suddenly had three little mother hen's checking in on me, bringing me water (which I promptly threw up), feeling my forehead,  and smoothing my blankets.  I should note that N and A did most of the 'work' while Z lurked in the background saying "don't touch me with your sick germs."  To hit credit, he is only 4 - and has inherited his father's germ-o-phobia.  

And so - I tell you this tale - not to gain your sympathy - but to tell you about my great network of support.  A ended up at a friends house for the evening, so N poured he and Z a bowl of cold cereal for dinner - AND he put the dishes in the washer.  He supervised teeth brushing (which surely was done within the range of poor to mediocre, but I let it go for one night).  He brought Z into my room for prayers, offered to say them, and prayed fervently that I would feel better.  He read Z a book, tucked him into bed, then went to bed himself.  When A got home, she locked up the house, cleaned the kids bathroom sink (a task often necessary after the boys brush their teeth), came to my room for her prayers (more fervent requests for my restored health), and put herself to bed.      

Today, I am feeling better, not 100%, but I can tell that there is hope.  And I am sure that before long I will be refereeing a screaming match between two of the three kids, reminding them to use their 'nice words and nice voices', and repeatedly uttering a combination of the phrases - 'stop it' - 'knock it off' - or 'how about we all spend a quiet hour in our separate rooms'.  Some of them will cry, all of them will whine, no one will do what I ask until I threaten punishment and feel like pulling my hair out at the roots....but they can't fool me anymore.

I know their true nature.  When push comes to shove - they are my support network.  And that won't change - no matter how many times we move.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

TIVO re-born

People who know me well are aware of my previous addiction to 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. Now, I know that this is not quality t.v., but a good vampire re-run is a great way to pass some mindless time. Besides, how else would I have earned that crucial blue pie wedge in Trivial Pursuit when our team was asked the name of the mythical portal that was hidden beneath the town of Sunnydale? (Answer: the Hellmouth, and thanks to me, we won the game so I won't listen to any more from my husband about my selection of viewing material.)

Now I have become acclimated with the GILMORE GIRLS, and I have to say that getting 'into' a series after it has been syndicated is way better because you get to watch one new episode a day, thus - the entire 7 year series can be viewed within a matter of months, without missing a single episode, thanks to my dearest of all night-time friends - TIVO.

So what was I to do when I received this message on my TIVO screen that my program information was about to expire? I called the TIVO guy who said that the phone lines in our area were going digital and that TIVO can't translate digitally - so I was going to have to do stuff with the modem and ether-net lines.  I had to wait a long week until The Hub got home and could fix the electronic problem.  

Peace at last.  My Tivo has been re-born and I can once again record, pause, and delete shows at my viewing pleasure.  Let's all breath a collective sigh of relief that I will now be watching the Gilmore Girls whenever I want - for someday, I may be on your trivial pursuit team and the winning wedge could be won based on my knowledge of Star's Hollow.  Who else will know the name of the proprietor of Dosee's Market, or the identity of Rory's female nemesis/friend from Chilton?  The list of Gilmore minutiae is endless, and I will study it resolutely until we meet in that forthcoming game of trivia.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Disgusting 'Facts' of Life:

So thanks to Jamie Lynn Spears' incredibly publicized teen pregnancy, and the ensuing playground gossip of her tabooed behavior I had to have 'the talk' with N. Ugh. After finishing up with the basics, he had only one question: "So when I'm all big and hairy down there - that's when I have to do it?"

The next night however, after processing the information, he had a few personal insights:
"You said it was a way married people show they love each other. I think it is the way married people show each other how disgusting they are."
"Is that thing disgusting and violent, or just disgusting?"
"If I got shot while I was doing that thing would it be violent then?"
"When Dad was disgusting it's too bad he didn't pick my egg first - then I would be the oldest."
"What house did you and Dad live in when you did that disgusting thing that made me?"
"Do I do it at my party when I get married - oh wait - I better not do it at the party - I don't want people to know that I am disgusting."

I was in physical pain - trying to control the hysterical laughter that threatened to erupt with each comment or question. Needless, to say, my feeling that he was not mature enough to handle the facts of life was dead on. If not for some choice information being shared during recess I could have put it off for a while. D@#% that Jamie Lynn Spears.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Apparently it is time for some resolutions...

1. I will pursue greater understanding of 4th grade mathematics in order to be of some use to Miss A's homework endeavors when the Hub is out of town.
2. I will not buy Mr. Z anymore Velcro shoes. I spend way more time adjusting the 'tightness' of the shoes to appease his OCD tendencies (this one's tighter, now this one's tighter, now this one a little more, oh - now this one is too much!) than I would to just tie some laces.
3. I will avoid the phrase "I don't care about the PlayStation" when Mr. N gives me yet another play by play of awesome moves in his latest Lego Star Wars adventures, thus avoiding a large, green eyed, tearful look of betrayal and despair.
4. I will not restrict my kids to one treat each (followed by a mild lecture on proper eating habits) and then hoard the bag of chocolate for myself.
5. I will not buy bags of chocolate.
6. I will accept the fact that 'I watch much less T.V. now that I have TIVO' is an incorrect statement.
7. I will seek help for my TIVO addiction.
8. I will practice patience and wait until the Hub comes home to help with large projects. This will aid in the avoidance of pitfalls such as trying to move a queen sized mattress and box springs up two flights of stairs by myself and the possibility of breaking a toe.
9. I will be more prepared to answer questions from Miss A such as "Mom, when I grow up do I have to wear those underwear that crawl up your butt?"
10. And while we are on the subject of butts, I will not walk past Victoria's Secret in the mall if my kids are with me in order to avoid hearing: "Oh sick, I can see her butt!", and the ensuing, never-ending-till-I-threaten-punishment butt comments, rhymes and bad jokes from the two boys.
11. I will not walk past Victoria's Secret in the mall if my kids are NOT with me in order to avoid the "My butt/stomach/thighs/etc. will never look like that underwear model's" depression.
12. I will clean my bathroom's before they rival the befouled condition of a convenience station commode in the middle of the Mojave.
13. I will put aside the cleaning of said bathroom (who cares about sanitation anyway?) to spend more time with my kids.

And that is just for starters.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Apparently I Over Dose on Tylenol...

Last night I had a killer head ache so I grabbed a bottle of Tylenol and dumped a few in my hand. Okay, by a few I mean four. And though I realized that the quantity was definitely over the dosage recommended on the label, I took them. The headache was that bad. (In my defense, I always take 3 because 2 never works - and I take them very rarely.) About 45 minutes later I was in a dead sleep on the sofa. This ordinarily would not seem so strange except that it was 4:30 in the afternoon and I was supposed to be listening to Mr. N read. He woke me up, announcing that he was done with his 30 minutes so I groggily called Miss A over to complete her reading. I slept through her half hour as well. After she woke me up I trudged into the kitchen to make dinner. I thought I must be sick - I had zero energy and felt like I was going to collapse, so I chopped up a few apples and reheated various leftovers from the fridge for dinner. I sat with the family, not eating, because I felt so I was drugged - which is when I glanced at the bottle of Tylenol on the counter....

Yep. 4 Tylenol PM are definitely too much. I will, in the future make close note of my drug of choice as well as the recommended dosage.

When I got home from Scouts tonight (a room full of overly hyper Wolves and Bears) I had another killer head ache. After yesterday's O.D. I sent my kids to the basement while I enjoyed a very large diet coke before tackling homework and dinner

Apparently Pirates drink Coke...

While in Utah over Christmas break, I purchased four very large magnet boards. One for a fundraising project for Mr. N's school class and one for each of my kids rooms. Traveling home with these boards was a challenge (please see previous post - traumatic travel - for refrence to a large box) My plan is to modge-podge (coat with clear adheisve like product) scrapbook items around the wood frame, and today I was at a craft store with Mr. Z, looking for paper and supplies. I had instructed Mr. Z to keep his eyes open for any pirate stuff to go with his swashbuckling room. As I looked for items that would somehow bring my mental picture of these projects to life, Mr. Z brought me a sheet of stickers and said, "Here is my Pirate stuff."

I was confused. The stickers were adhesive depictions of glass bottles filled with what I assumed was cola. The tiny bottles were not labeled so I suppose it could also have been Root Beer, or Dr. Pepper, etc.

Me: This isn't Pirate stuff , go put it back where you found it.
Mr. Z: Yes it is Pirate stuff - it's bottles of Rum.

Needless to say, I am not embellishing Z's magnet board with any type of alcoholic beverage.

And has anyone noticed a slightly irreverent theme to many of my blogs?

Who is raising these kids?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Apparently we travel traumatically...

We just spent our New Year's Eve in various modes of transportation. The Hub had left Salt Lake earlier for work related purposes, so it was me directing, three sleep deprived kids, and all of our Christmas loot. I don't know why I thought that a 3:00 pm departure time from SLC with an 11:30 pm arrival in Washington D.C. on New Year's Eve would be an appropriate time for travel - but - that's what we scheduled.

Firstly, the car ride to the airport was mildly eventful due to our slightly late departure time compounded by the glaring 'empty' light indicating a forthcoming fuel complication. We made it, fortunately with a slight amount of time to spare for our 3:00 flight, even with the unscheduled pit stop.

Our first flight (SLC to Atlanta) was unremarkable, except for it's drama and duration - three tired kids on a 3 1/2 hour flight, bereaving our departure from Utahan family and friends with many tears and exclamations of discontent over our exodus. The arrival of snacks and drinks did much to placate until both boys somehow simultaneously spilled their Sprite in their laps.

The second flight was less sorrowful but contained some interesting life lessons that I was not quite ready for the kids to receive. Miss A started reading aloud to me from a book that she received for Christmas. Suddenly she asked 'what does S.O.B.mean?' Other than defining it as a curse word, I did not go into any descriptive details. Yes, my carefully selected book, based on fond childhood memories has passed along some vocabulary nuggets that I did not remember it contained. As I finish up this conversation with Miss A, Mr. N leans across the aisle and in a marginally hushed tone (that could only be heard by the people a few rows front and back) asks:

Mr. N: Mom - did you know that Brittany Spears sister is pregnant? (He was sitting next to a boy of about fourteen)
Me: Um - (trying to decide how best to have a birds and the bees lesson in a public forum) Yes, I knew that.
Mr. N: Did you know she was sixteen? (He holds up a magazine, presumably from his seat-mate and points to a headline.)
Me: Yes, I knew that also.
Mr. N: Why would a teenager want to have a baby?
Me: (very aware of the people in the rows around us who are raptly listening to my explanation) That is the sort of thing that happens to a teenager who makes bad choices.
Mr. N: Yeah, way bad choices. (Not that he know what those precise choices are.)

I instructed him to play his game boy for the rest of the flight and made a metal note to have a somewhat serious discussion later. I thought the drama was over but when Mr. Z dropped some things on the floor and I bent down to retrieve them, he rather loudly exclaimed

"Oh my *** Mom! I can see your underwear!" And so I discussed, again rather publicly, the third commandment as well as being discreet about things like underwear.

After arriving at Dulles Airport, securing 2 smart carts and loading our five suitcases, one large box, eight carry-on's and four coats, we progressed towards the Washington Flier services to catch a cab. Fortunately we were first in line.

And so, at 11:55 we were headed home - listening to a certain Maryland based radio station that broadcast a rather obnoxious selection of rap. Our New Year's count down was conducted by a female D.J. (possibly intoxicated) who mentioned that her resolution was to 'get some'. Me, the kids (one sadly contemplating family and friends, one having a all out fit over some injustice involving seat belts, and one obnoxiously screaming happy new year...over and over and over), and the cab driver listened to the radio as the D.J. spent some time discussing her New Year's goal of finding a man.

Ahhhhhh - Metropolitan D.C. - Virginia.....
It's good to be home. (Seriously)