Wean, Lose, or Draw

Recently our city’s zoo did a “Brew at the Zoo” event – a beer tasting held after hours.  It was a phenomenal success and sold out fairly quickly.  As I cannot stand beer, Will went with his father.  And since you can imagine that cops might just think that some impaired drivers might emerge (and rightly so), Oui Oui decided she’d be their designated driver.  To save some travel time, she came and hung out with me and the kids for a few hours after dropping the men off.

Both kids were a bit excited and thrown off with the change in the normal routine.  Felix, in particular, seemed like he was on crack.  I tried to nurse him and get him to bed while Oui Oui  ferried our husbands to the event, but that kid wasn’t about to succumb.  It didn’t matter how obviously tired the dude was.  He was not going to go to bed, damn it.

Finally, roughly an hour and a half later than usual, he decided he was tired.  Oui Oui ended up rocking him to sleep.  You know how it’s sometimes kind of hard to see something because you’re in it?  Well, 99% of the time I’m the one holding my son.  I rarely see anyone else with him.  Watching the two of them rocking, it smacked me upside my own head just how big, old, and long my son is getting.  He doesn’t seem that way to me when I hold him.  But he looked almost half as long as Oui Oui.

I always see my boy and see that giant candy-apple baby head and see a baby, you know?

I always see my boy and see that giant candy-apple baby head and see a baby, you know?

It occurred to me then that that’s most likely how Will sees him.  We still have angst about Felix’s unwillingness to wean (and all these damn ear infections and such don’t help).  Will always seems freaked out about how old and big he is – that he’s too big to still be nursing.  I always counter that Felix is still a little bitty dude and not even 2 years old yet; while inconvenient, nursing is not out of this world weird and creepy, you know?  But based on that perception – of seeing someone else cradle my little boy – I can understand a bit why Will might seem so freaked out about it.

Speaking of growing up, Stella is practicing having a full-sleeve.

Speaking of growing up, Stella is practicing having a full-sleeve.

We’ve started negotiations with Oui Oui to try to farm the dude out for a night or two.  That seems to be our best option at this point, other than to all go quite crazy with loads of crying and screaming.  If only we could get him healthy!!

From Ear to Eternity

Like so many children before him -his father and myself among them – Felix may be cruising for tubes in his ears.  Just last week we were back at the doctor’s office for the second time in as many weeks with what I like to call “ear snot.”  He hadn’t even been off of antibiotics for 5 full days.  Long story short, both ears were impacted, with the eardrum on the leaky one ruptured due to the pressure.

Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe snot?  You’ll think I’m nuts, but give me pee, poop, or even vomit over snot.  Mucous is just revolting to me.  And prior to my little boy, I never dreamed it could stream from ears.  Oh, and eyes.  Now it’s coming from his eyes.

Ear's looking at you, kid.

Ear’s looking at you, kid.

Looking back, I think he’s had an almost-constant infection for the past 4-5 months.  We’ve been on toddler Z-packs, Cipro (drops and orals), a few other random orals I can’t remember at this point.  He’s even had a direct injection.  He’s on Bactrim now, which apparently is the last stop on this train.  Bactrim, I’ve learned the hard way, is what treats staph.  We’ve also started him on some Zyrtec in case some of this is exacerbated by seasonal allergies.

So we wait.  And I have to force feed my son this medicine twice a day for two weeks.  The only thing worse than this might just be having to medicate a feral cat.  He fights, claws, kicks, screams, and cries.  This, in turn, agitates his sister, who becomes defensive of her little brother.  Not cool.  But the alternative is not great: a non-stop ticket to an ENT and tubes.  While I know it’s very common, no parent wants to think of their kid having to go under general anesthesia.

So cross your fingers and toes for us, s’il vous plait.  No to surgery.  No to snot, no matter what orifice it’s coming from.

Driving Kiss Daisy

Stella has really gotten into kissing.  Given that she’s only just 4 years old, I’m totally unprepared for this.  A couple of times recently when I’ve picked her up from school, I’ve gotten reports from her teacher that she and one little boy are a bit too affectionate.  Just the other day I witnessed it directly.  The teacher does what she ought to:  no shaming or anything, just a rather firm suggestion that they keep contact to “buddy hugs.”

Now don’t get all in a twist; we’re not talking slipping of the tongue or anything like that – just very enthusiastic pecking on the mouth, particularly after licking our lips. (God kids are nasty)

Other than the cute little boy at school, her choices for recipients of her affection are quite peculiar.  A few days ago it was Lightning McQueen.  Felix has a large plastic version which speaks when you push the button on the top.  For 2 days and nights, McQueen got to sit by her at dinner, on the couch, and almost made it into bed until that was vetoed due to the rather rigid and uncomfortable nature of hard plastic.  They had fascinating conversations, punctuated with plenty of kisses.

Yesterday, she started showering “Silver” with kind words and kisses.  “Silver” is what she calls my car.  Seriously?  Kissing my vehicle?

The strangest, however, has got to be A and B.  A and B are just that: letters pulled from that wretched foam alphabet “rug” on the kids’ bedroom floor. (Note to new parents: do yourselves a favor and resist this urge.  Sure, they’re cute, educational, inexpensive and easy to clean.  But you WILL BE PICKING THAT SHIT UP FOR YEARS, EVERY DAY.  It’s a big puzzle.  Children can’t help but to disassemble it on a daily basis.  It will drive you quite nuts.)  A and B have joined her for 3 meals now.  They discuss what foods they enjoy.  A and B get kisses.  I just don’t get this.

I’m prepared for the ultimate inevitability that at least one if not both of my children will bring home a date that I might not be crazy for.  This is pushing my limits in a strange way, however.  I’ve heard of imaginary friends, but this seems even more bizarre. Any ideas?  Anyone?

Beach-able Moment

We just returned from a week at the beach.  Compared to last year, it was a dream vacation.  There was very little drama involving little people, particularly during the drive to and fro.  This is largely thanks to the dual-screen portable DVD player and Despicable Me.  So we played it over and over and over again.  That is largely preferable to the kids screaming.



Not every moment was 100% happy....

Not every moment was 100% happy….

It was somewhat unseasonably chilly in southern Alabama, but we all made do.  By mid-week, the sun came out.  Hallelujah and all that jazz.


Mermaid/fairy hybrid?

Mermaid/fairy hybrid?

We found a way to keep Felix quiet

We found a way to keep Felix quiet

It was nice.  I got to eat lots of delicious seafood that we normally can’t afford.  I didn’t get to really sleep/rest much, but one day my children did sleep until almost 7:00 AM!!.  That was due, no doubt, to the daily routine of playground or splash ground followed by inadequate napping and at least 2 more sessions of swimming of at least an hour each.

Surfin' bird

Surfin’ bird

Mermaids chilling

Mermaids chilling

Gulf Shores' most famous tacky souvenir shop

Gulf Shores’ most famous tacky souvenir shop

The boy is not so sure about this place.  Calamari what?

The boy is not so sure about this place. Calamari what?

So now it’s back to the grind.  Damn it.



And what helped make coming home easier?  Our new mermaid bedding.

And what helped make coming home easier? Our new mermaid bedding.

On the upside, Halloween is coming.  The kids’ costumes are already in.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Boring blog, y’all.  Sorry.

Twice Bitten, Once Shy

Felix has settled in really well at preschool. He only goes three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  As with any kid going to preschool for the first time, there were some initial bumps in the road. Notably, String Bean wouldn’t eat or lay down for naps easily.  I’m pleased to say the napping thing has sorted itself out. I’ve asked his teacher and aide to come to my house to put him down at night.  They won’t do it.   Anyway, in all other aspects he seems to fit right in. He rarely cries when I leave him and it seems as if he really likes his teachers.

Having two kids in the same school, I’m pretty familiar with the way things work there now. There are two types of reports that you might get in your child’s cubby: behavior reports and ouch reports.  You definitely never want to see behavior reports. Those are the ones you get when your kid really shows his or her butt during school.   I’m pleased to say that we don’t get those very often anymore, and usually when we do, there are some aggravating circumstances involved – like the beginnings of a virus, a slew of new students, or something else out of the ordinary.

Ouch reports are exactly what you would think; you receive those whenever your child sustain some sort of injury or bobo at school. Granted, the school will call you if it’s anything involving the kid’s head or for something like fever or vomiting, but unlike the Stepford Academy our current school will only call if it’s absolutely necessary (i.e. diaper rash isn’t considered an emergency).  For the more run-of-the-mill scrapes, bumps, or other miscellaneous damage resulting from a kid’s general clumsiness or over-exuberance, they will write it up in an ouch report.  Stella has had a couple of those over the last year, but given her general size and toughness, she’s fared pretty well in that category.  My son may be another story.

The past two days he’s gone to school, my poor little dude has had an ouch report in his cubby.  It seems that some kid or kids enjoys biting him.  It’s not a huge deal. The biter or biters have not penetrated the skin. There have just been a few little bruises here and there.  My son just must be super tasty. I always knew he was sweet.

Why are you looking at me like that?  Why is your mouth watering?

Why are you looking at me like that? Why is your mouth watering?

It’s gotten me thinking though: if that nasty neem oil won’t work for weaning purposes, maybe I can put it on my son’s arms as some sort of toddler vampire repellant.

Pieces of Late

Since I rarely feel like I have a life outside of little children, work, dishes, dinners, and snot-prints on my black capri pants, I’ve taken to stalking following many celebrities on Instagram.  It’s not probably who you’d expect.  There are more than a few celebrity chefs, a small handful of actors from Game of Thrones (I can always hope for a teaser pic for the upcoming season), an author/illustrator, Dave Navarro, and….the weirdest of all, Dita Von Teese.  I can’t even remember how/why that one happened.  Maybe because she was on Project Runway recently?  Who knows?

Anyway, I don’t ever really pay close attention to what these people post.  I’m not that pathetic, after all.  But I kept seeing a massive increase in posts from Miss D recently so I actually read some comments.  Turns out, she’s launched her own lingerie line.  No big surprise there.  What is surprising is that one of her retailers is Destination Maternity: she’s made freaking sexy-ass nursing/maternity bras.

Where the hell was this shit 4 years ago?  I’ve been running around in these awful, ugly-yet-utilitarian things for years, feeling about as unsexy as a spayed hippo when I could have been wearing (at least) some saucy little brassiere under my milk-stained tank tops.

This.  This is what I could've been wearing (From Destination Maternity website)

This. This is what I could’ve been wearing (From Destination Maternity website)

Not cool, Dita.  Not cool at all.  You’re several years late!

The Pot(assium) Calling the Kettle Black

Both of my kids are tall.  We’re talking 95th percentile.  Stella has also usually been in the upper decks for weight, although that’s since scaled back a bit.  As a baby, she was the proverbial butterball and ate well almost daily.  Felix has been different.  While matching his sister’s percentile for height, he’s been consistently in the 25th percentile for weight.  This has started dropping, and the last time we had a regular checkup (vs. an appointment necessitated by ear mucous) he was down to the 15th.  My boy is a string bean.

Me and string bean out and about - probably banana shopping

Me and string bean out and about – probably banana shopping

He’s never eaten as well.  And what he does eat is disgustingly healthy and fat-free.  He has his own preferred food pyramid.  Here’s a comparison/contrast chart of my children’s favorite meals:

         Stella                                                                                   Felix
Her weight in summer sausage                                                 Banana?

6 egg whites in a sitting, wants more                                       Banana?

Cheddar cheese                                                                            Yogurt (with banana)

Peanut butter sandwich                                                             Oyster crackers (and                                                                                                              banana)

Ramen noodle soup                                                                    Asparagus (with                                                                                                                     banana for dessert)

Spaghetti and meatballs                                                             Mandarin orange

Broccoli                                                                                          Broccoli

Pepperoni pizza with black olives                                            The crust (only) of his                                                                                                            sister’s pizza

Chicken nuggets and fries                                                         Chicken nuggets and                                                                                                              fries and bananas

Cheetos                                                                                           Corn on the cob


Seriously guys: my son has eaten 3 bananas in a day and wanted more.  I’ve been afraid the potassium will be too much or that he’d crap himself to death.  He once ate 3 full ears of corn and the next day his diaper looked (and even smelled) like someone opened a can of creamed corn.  Why can’t he like fatty hamburgers and ice cream like a normal kid?!  I should have named him Belafonte.  Day-O, indeed.

Eating his first ever Skittle.  Whereas his sister would have swallowed it whole and demanded the entire pack, he sat rather stunned.

Eating his first ever Skittle. Whereas his sister would have swallowed it whole and demanded the entire pack, he sat rather stunned.

Romancing the Stone Age

Today’s my birthday.  Honestly, with all the hullabaloo lately, I really haven’t thought much about it.  No, I mean it.  I really haven’t thought much about it.  I’ve had Stella’s party, my dad and stepmother in town, work, Felix and his oozing ears (New mom milestone:  anyone out there ever see “ear snot?”  I can now say that I have.), Will’s birthday, and planning for our upcoming vacation.  And I’m not really a “big birthday” kind of girl, anyway.

As I was making breakfast this morning, Will asked me what I wanted to do tonight.  I kind of looked at him like he was nuts.  We have no child care.  Hell, we couldn’t even manage to go out for our anniversary a few weeks ago.  We’re just not “night people-“ not anymore.  I had planned on figuring out something to cook while I was at the office and that would be that.  And maybe some wine.  Probably some wine.

Oh, and I want to thank you, son, for ensuring that my birthday was as long as possible by starting it at 4:20 AM.

Oh, and I want to thank you, son, for ensuring that my birthday was as long as possible by waking me at 4:20 AM.

And my punk rock Stella provided the singing.  That was pretty sweet.

And my punk rock Stella provided the singing. That was pretty sweet.

All that got me thinking.  When did stuff like this become so…..so….pathetic?  So old?  I mean, sure.  I’ve never been an “it’s my birthday so you’d better throw me a party” kind of girl.  But Will and I used to do couple stuff all the time.  At the very least, we would cook a good meal and get a semi-decent bottle of wine.  Light some candles.  Etc…  You know, sort of romantic.  In our old place, we’d even drink brandy in front of the fireplace.  Because you know how cold it gets here in south Louisiana….

I've posted this before, but this was us ages ago drinking champagne (Dom and rotgut) at a fishing camp.

I’ve posted this before, but this was us ages ago drinking champagne (Dom and rotgut) at a fishing camp.

Now?  Like every mom, I usually don’t get to eat warm food with utensils.  I’m too busy picking banana off the floor and refilling sippie cups and noyoucannothavecheetosuntilyouvefinishedyourchickenstoptouchingFelix.  If I do have wine, it is sometimes in a sippie cup.  And candles?  Really? Open flame with 2 young kids whirling around?

Things change.  I wouldn’t trade my kiddos for anything, although sometimes some alone or grown-up time would be rad.  But there’s no use crying over spilt sippie cups.  So I think tonight, I won’t cook.  We’ll all go out to eat, somewhere family-friendly – someplace with no candles or linen napkins.  And that will be ok.

Family togetherness....

Family togetherness….

Happy birthday to me.

Breest of Eden

It would seem my household is experiencing a golden age of the boob lately.  While Stella has been into playing dress up for some time (including my brassieres), she has shown a renewed interest lately.  If I put a bra down on the bed in preparation for dressing, she disappears with it like Gollum.  It’s Preciousssssssssss.  It’s cute, kind of.  Until I have to chase her down, boobs flapping, so I can clothe myself.

Some time ago, Will and I found these cool art board books on sale in New Orleans.  Basically they take a body part theme and showcase famous artists’ renditions of said part.  We have Lips in Art, Noses in Art, and – you guessed it – Breasts in Art.  We never thought too much about it.  I nursed both kids.  My boobs have been out and about quite a bit over the past 4 years.  And while I am ready for the girls to make their farewell public performance, we have been careful not to make a “thing” out of nekkidness right now (whereby “nekkid” is ok and not the creepy or subversive “naked” that we’ll get as the kids get older).  We just threw those books into the rotation and moved on.  Art is good, right?

The book in question.  See?  I'm not making it up.  Image borrowed from Amazon.

The book in question. See? I’m not making it up. Image borrowed from Amazon.

Well Stella found the boob book last week.  She was immediately fascinated, reading the title: “Breests in Art.”  Once I tried to explain to my not-quite-4-year-old that sometimes “ea” sounds like “ee” and sometimes it sounds like “eh,” she grabbed it and began studying the pictures.  Most of them are ok.  There is one, however, that shows something out of the Kama Sutra or something: there is a hand tweaking a blue lady’s nipple.  I neglected to photograph it, which is probably just as well.  I don’t want WordPress flagging me for porn.  She has tried to cop a feel since then.  Not cool.  We’ve had loads of conversations about boobies, butts, and bits being private.  That’s when I’m usually informed that “eyes are private, too, Mommy, like on Mater’s tall tales.”  I just ignore that part.  There’s no point in arguing that and it’s not relevant.

The book?  Confiscated.

When I picked her up yesterday from school, her teacher informed me that during a conversation about what you want to be when you grow up, Stella informed her that she wanted to be a mommy like me (using my first name, the little imp) so she could have big boobies.  Her teacher just laughed.  Overhearing this discussion, Stella proceeded to talk about “breests” the whole way home.

And Felix?  Not ready to give boobs up just yet.  On the advice of another blogger, I ordered something called Neem oil.  Basically, it’s so vile and smelly that it’s supposed to gross a kid out to the point they don’t want to nurse after you paint it on your nipples.  It smells like fermented dog food. I tried lemon juice with no discernable effect.   I haven’t tried the oil yet, as the dude has had an ear infection and that seems mean.  Still, I suppose soon I shall be enjoying this magnificent aroma with my son.  I apologize in advance to everyone if I stink.  I gotta do something.

What do you mean I can't nurse anymore?

What do you mean I can’t nurse anymore?

Four Your Eyes Only

We came.  We saw.  We partied.  Well, in a manner of speaking.

We had Stella’s 4th birthday party on Saturday.  It was almost 2 weeks before her actual date of birth, but given the travel schedules of various grandparents, early it would be.  This also means that her birthday celebration will last weeks.  Not that this is a bad thing to a kid.  This was actually our first time actually throwing the party, as Oui Oui had hosted the last 2.

We sorted out the venue.  We sorted out the theme, where Stella threw us a curveball by changing her adoration for all things mermaid to Lightning McQueen.  We had a major but fortunately temporary cake problem; you have to order these things way ahead of time.  Who knew?  We ended up with a cupcake tower topped by an 8” round.  The round never got touched, so it’s been frozen to use on her actual birthday.  Two for one cake!

The McQueen hat went fabulously with the Hello Kitty dress.

The McQueen hat went fabulously with the Hello Kitty dress.

Our accidental cake.  No complaints!

Our accidental cake. No complaints!

And who has ever had the pleasure of picking up balloons from a party store?  Yeah.  It’s like a damn clown car.  The kids loved it. But they almost had to ride on top of the car on the way home since balloons blow away and kids usually don’t.

You had to just close your eyes and pray when you backed up.

You had to just close your eyes and pray when you backed up.

All in all, it was awesome.  It was simultaneously stressful but easy.  Most importantly, Stella had a ball.  Our turnout was pretty good, although I still have to ponder the age old question:  WHY DON’T PEOPLE RSVP, damn it??  Sorry.  I’m done.  But most of that aggravation disappeared when I saw my daughter’s face when everyone sang to her.  After some of the issues we’ve dealt with – the language delay, all the different therapies, the Stepford Academy, awkwardness with other kids – it made my heart sing to see her surrounded by friends enjoying her day.



So we still have her actual birthday.  There will be cupcakes for her class.  To top it all off: a celebration at the beach at the end of the month.  Epic stuff for a 4 year old.  I’m happy to be along for the ride.

Running with balloons.  Better than scissors.

Running with balloons. Better than scissors.

And the dude along for the ride - just "borrowing" some balloons.

And the dude along for the ride – just “borrowing” some balloons.