Posted in Family, Hippy-Dippy Stuff, Parenting

Visions of Sugar Plums…

I did not feed my children anything sugary until they were 2. I figured, why give it to them when they don’t even know what they’re missing? Besides, no candy for them meant more for me.  🙂

Anyway, for Kevin’s first Christmas (he was 11 months old), his sister (7) wanted to decorate our tree with a candy-cane motif. So we hung candy canes, candy cane treestrung homemade peppermint garland, wove in red & white striped ribbon, and adorned the very top with our traditional Santa hat. It was super cute!

Now, because we were “family bed” people, Kevin didn’t have a nursery.  For that matter, he didn’t even have a crib to confine him.  He was, what I call, a “wandering baby”.  You just never knew where he was going to be when you woke up.

One morning during the holiday season (pretty sure it was “7 Swans a Swimming” day), I woke to odd noises emanating from the living room. Remember that sound your great uncle made when he was trying to suck a piece of pork chop out from between his front teeth?  Yeah, same sound.

A quick investigation revealed those wet, slurpy noises to be my barely-steady-on-his-feet baby boy, standing as high on tiptoes as footie pajamas would allow.  His neck outstretched like a Serengeti giraffe as he nursed the end of a no-longer-decorative candy cane.

He had bitten off the plastic wrap, then sucked the peppermint to a dangerously sharp point. The slurps and groans grew increasingly louder as he neared the end of his height range in relation to the dwindling stick of candy.

He pivoted quickly when I asked, “Kevie…whatcha doing?”

Verbal communication was not exactly his strong point, but the cuteness factor told me everything I needed to know.  He broke out in a 6-toothed grin, pointed at the candy stripes and enthusiastically implied, “Dearest mother, it’s not that I don’t appreciate your generous and abundant breastmilk, but woman…you’ve been holding out on me!”

Posted in Uncategorized

You Bet Your Aspergillus OR It’s Not that Easy Bein’ Green

Today is “National Clean Out Your Refrigerator” day.

Seriously. I don’t make this stuff up.

24c96-polls_grossfridge_2159_235036_answer_7_xlargeI fully intended to celebrate the holiday in style with green glitter, a Jell-0 salad, and possibly an old “Got Milk?” t-shirt from my breastfeeding days, but I got distracted by the final season of Downton Abbey, and, well, you know.

Better late than never, right? After all, if I wasn’t a procrastinator, my fridge would be all sparkly and organized and I wouldn’t have found myself donning the yellow rubber gloves to tackle this job, now would I?

I began with the top shelf, useful only for items under five inches tall. Spicy 3-pepper hummus, Manuka honey, cottage cheese, jams, jellies, and yogurt, because as much as I hate yogurt, I seem to be unable to not buy it. So, I checked the printed expiration date on the sides of each one, because yogurt tastes exactly the same before, after, and even WAY after it has “gone bad”.

The top shelf also contained seven – SEVEN jars of jalapenos. Why? Apparently to keep the 8 jars of salsa from getting lonely. I must have been planning a Cinco de Mayo party back in June when I discovered that Cinco de Mayo didn’t have anything to do with mayonnaise.  Anyway…I combined the half-empty jars, the mostly empty jars, and the one that seemed to have been saved for the juice alone, reducing the jalapeno count to three, but all of the salsas had crusty residue under the lids, so they had to go.

I discovered something on the middle shelf that required a Haz-Mat Team.
I’m pretty certain, at one time, that toxic Tupperware actually contained a half-eaten block of sweetened Philadelphia Cream Cheese surrounded by blackberries. Today, all covered in enough fuzz to be this year’s Chia Pet, it looked more like The Walking Dead in a Snap-n-Seal.

An Italian take-out box dripping with butter had been shoved onto the bottom shelf, and had collided with a carton of eggs, cracking one and overturning some heavy cream and a container of grated parmesan. The result was a petrified Alfredo Sauce strong enough to cement styrofoam containers to plexiglass.

Finally, in the crisper drawers, I discovered my first UFO (the “F” is for Fermenting), which appeared to be both a solid and a liquid in one gelatinous blob, and something that could, quite possibly, be a shrunken head from the Huambisa tribe in the Amazon Basin.

Or an old plum. Hard to tell.

After utilizing an entire bottle of vinegar (because I’m trying to be “green”), an entire roll of Brawny (because I’m not THAT “green”), the shop-vac and the air compressor, the job was complete.

I’m relieved “National Clean Out Your Fridge Day” only comes around once a year.

I’d hate to have to do this every week.

Posted in Just Funny, Parenting

Pooh Poo

My daughter was less than a month old when a new friend – well, she had the potential to become a friend but really we’d only jointly been at a few events and had managed to learn each other’s names and handbags. Anyway, she called to ask if I could watch her children for the day.

Now I’m as accommodating as they come, but I hardly knew this woman, I had no relationship with her little ones, and mostly, I just wasn’t up to it.  I was recovering from 9 months of pregnancy, 32 hours of labor, and 19 days of no sleep.  Plus, I had my hands full (literally) trying to breastfeed.  To expect me to shower, dress AND babysit a couple of toddlers was pushing me WAY out of my energy zone.  

I politely told her I wasn’t up to it, maybe another time.

Half an hour later she called back, begging. A good friend was in town just for the day and they needed a little “girl time” for lunch and a chat. She had apparently called every one she’d known since middle school and absolutely no one else could help her out (Can you say “GIANT RED FLAG”?).  She assured me it would be quick and easy.  She would feed them lunch before she brought them and would only be gone an hour – hour-and-a-half – tops.

My head was trying to formulate the words to politely decline when I heard, “Well…I guess so,” exit my lips.

Darn my people pleasing.

Twenty minutes later she showed up at the door, informed me she hadn’t had time to feed them or even pack lunch, but they would eat just about anything I would fix.  Yeah?  Lucky me!  Ugh.

So I wrangled, fed, and cleaned up after two toddlers, while nursing one-handed (which may work for B-cup gals, but we DDs require two hands to accomplish this task without smothering our children.)

Once the lunch rush was behind us, my baby was asleep. I took her upstairs to put her on the bed. As I was descending the stairs a very few minutes later, I caught a glimpse of the 2-year-old turning a corner dressed like Winnie-the-Pooh. (Read: shirt, no pants.)  Oh, bother. Seems he had dropped his diaper…somewhere.

I quickened my barefoot pace to catch up to him, when…

I STEPPED IN IT.

AND THEN I SAID IT.

Not only was he dressed like Pooh, he was dressed IN poo. Up his back, down his thighs, and now which, thanks to the ripaway diaper, decorated my floors as well.

Two diaper changes, three long hours, four attempts at carpet cleaning, and one temper tantrum later (mine), this woman, who before noon had the potential to be my friend, returned to collect her little angels without so much as an apology for being late, an offer to have my carpet cleaned, or even a “thank you” for my time.

I’d say I learned a valuable lesson from this experience, but since it has been YEARS and I am still whining about it, probably not.

Posted in Just Funny, Parenting

oh say, can you see?

For those of you who have known me for say, longer than 28 minutes, you have surely already heard this story.  But I refuse to apologize for the retelling of this July 4th classic.  Much like our other unique holiday traditions: grilling pork chops for Thanksgiving dinner, sleeping in on Black Friday, and watching “Die Hard” at Christmas, this family classic must be revived in honor of the Fourth.

The summer I was barely pregnant with Kevin, my daughter, Kacey, was a very precocious, almost 6-year-old. One day in June, she marched down the hall of our apartment, donning her blue daisy outfit, hands on her hips as she proclaimed, “Okay mommy, I’ve been thinking about this. If I’m gonna be a big sister, there’s some stuff I need to know. I know it takes a mommy AND a daddy, but what I don’t get is how they get together!”

Bother. She’s FIVE. I had hoped I wouldn’t have to have the sex talk with her until she was like 12 or 35.

However, I’ve always held the belief that if a child is old enough to ask a question, she is old enough to deserve an honest answer. But exactly WHICH answer? How do I explain this simply enough for her to grasp without damaging her innocent little psyche? (“Well honey, you know on Sunday afternoons when mommy lets you watch a Disney video and daddy closes our bedroom door..?”)

Um, no. That probably falls under the “Scarred for Life” category.

And then I remembered Lennart Nilsson’s book, “A Child is Born”. Perfect. It even has tasteful photographs.

sperm humanSo I dug through all of my hippie birth books and soft-porn breastfeeding manuals, and proceeded to show her anatomy diagrams (i.e., “boy parts” and “girl parts”). After that, we moved on to images of the egg and sperm. We talked about how the female usually just has one egg, but the male has millions of tiny sperm and they swim around really really fast.

This is the point where swirling finger gestures were involved.

We moved on to prenatal ultrasound images, and ended with birth photos taken from a “northern” perspective. She seemed content with the explanation, and I breathed a sigh of relief that “the talk” (or rather, the first of many talks) was satisfactorily accomplished.

Fast forward ten days. We went out to the lake, along with my parents and 10,000 other people to view the July Fourth Fireworks Extravaganza. We sat on the bank of the lake amid the throng of spectators, when one particularly interesting firework exploded. First it burst white, then hundreds of tiny little swirly sub-bursts followed. It was gorgeous. The crowd “OOOOOHHHED” and “AAAAHHHED”, then my diminutive, but very loud daughter declared…

fireworks with swirls“Mommy, LOOK – SPERM!!!”

A hush fell over the crowd. Eyes stared and glared. Pretty sure my dad swallowed his tongue. My mother gasped in reactionary disbelief as though to say, “WITH WHAT SMUT HAVE YOU BEEN CORRUPTING MY GRANDDAUGHTER”S MIND?”

I, well I was mortified.

Kacey and I then had another talk. “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to candidly proclaim your truths, please, PLEASE remember we hold this truth to be self-evident: there are some things you never, ever say in front of your grandparents.”