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.

Happiness!

Happiness!

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.

Germ Limits


I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly logical, pragmatic person.  I dislike reacting emotionally to pretty much anything and everything.  I think that’s part of why being pregnant was such a drag; those hormones do a number on you, rendering logic useless.  In line with that, I think I’m pretty realistic about environmental dangers.

Hang with me here.  I’m not about to lecture about pollution.

What I mean is this:  I understand that in absolutely everything there is potential danger.  Water is awesome.  Water can also kill you.  Some studies say potatoes are great to eat, especially the skin.  Some studies say the skin is what holds onto toxins and other chemicals used in the growing process DAMN THOSE GMOS!!!  (Sorry.  Eyes rolling.)  I vaccinate my kids.  I sometimes “let” my kids eat food off the floor at home; they’re going to do it anyway, and sometimes I just decide it’s not worth vaulting over the couch to snatch that goldfish cracker out of someone’s hand.  Staph germs are everywhere, and not all of it is resistant to antibiotics.  Some nights teeth don’t get brushed.  And it’s all usually ok.

You can tell I have more than one child, can’t you?

All that being said, recently I surprised myself at being a total and complete neurotic nut-job.  I’m really kind of ashamed about this.

Oui Oui recently helped host a priest from Liberia.  You know, where the Ebola is.  Oui Oui also was supposed to watch Felix for me for an afternoon, so I could clean up my house in preparation for company.

Felix.  Oui Oui.  Liberia.  Ebola.

Hold. The. Phone.

I had one of those mommy moments where suddenly I’m envisioning my precious little boy with a hemorrhagic fever.  And then my daughter will get it, because those two swap more spit via sippie cup than any 2 high school sweethearts on a Saturday night.  And depending on what source you read, the mortality rate is up to 90% and sure they’re testing a vaccine, but my kids will be so sick that there will be no time and….

I turned into a raving lunatic.

I guess motherhood is another great equalizer in the battle for logic and reason.  And you know what got him that very same day?  A stupid ear infection.

Harem of the Dog


The stuffed animal situation continues to evolve around our house.  Stella earned enough good behavior stickers to visit the treat bin on Friday.  I just knew she was going to pick one of the Mater books I had recently tossed in there.  Nope.  She chose one of the animals that had been languishing in there for months.

I should explain.  About 3 months ago, McDonald’s had these Ty mini things in their Happy Meals.  Stella fell in love with one of these things – a tiny pink stuffed unicorn thing with huge purple eyes.  She named it Magic.  For about 4 days, Magic had to join the bedtime team.  I lived in constant terror that Magic would disappear.  I mean, it’s tiny.  A couple of times Magic slipped between the mattress and the wall and there was some pretty hefty drama.  So when I saw a larger version of Magic at B&N one day, I snapped it up.  If we lost Magic, I could spin some magical tale about how Magic got into some growth hormone and **POOF!** grew bigger and oh-so-much-fluffier.  It was genius.  Well, Magic fell out of favor so I threw Baby Huey Magic into the treat bucket where it remained for quite some time.  As for Magic, I hadn’t seen her in weeks.  I figured she truly had been lost.

When Stella chose Baby Huey Magic on Friday night, she somehow located Magic.  I have no clue where that thing had been.  Then came time for the naming ceremony.  First, the gender.  It’s a girl!  Great.  Now what’s her name?  Remember, we’ve been on a massive cuisine-based theme.  I was waiting for a Pizza or Sausage.  Instead we got “Andy.”  For a pink female unicorn.

Meet Baby Huey Magic....er, Andy

Meet Baby Huey Magic….er, Andy

Stella holding Andy.  Felix holding his beloved monster truck

Stella holding Andy. Felix holding his beloved monster truck

In the meantime, Pete the Cat (after being dragged absolutely everywhere for a week, including school), Noodles, Macaroni, and Mushroom have been relegated to the Stuffed Animal Harem.  They sit with all the other 2nd and 3rd tier animals, waiting to be selected for the bed.

Pick me!  Pick me!

Pick me! Pick me!

Kind of sad.

Maybe Felix will have more animal loyalty than his sister

Maybe Felix will have more animal loyalty than his sister

Dry Me a River


You’d have to live under a rock to not know about the “wonders” of coconut oil.  Depending on who you talk to, this stuff can clear up acne, “cleanse toxins,” cure allergies, soothe dry skin, help with ulcers, and reduce cholesterol.  Just about everyone I know “pulls oil,” a practice of putting a tablespoon or so in your mouth and swishing it around.  The time required for this swishing is anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on who you talk to.  About the only thing coconut oil doesn’t seem to magically eradicate (so far) is cancer or ALS.

I finally drank the Kool-Aid and got some, and I’ve swished some.  I don’t buy the whole “toxin cleansing” thing for a minute. I did do a bit of more scientific (vs. granola) reading, and found that coconut oil is naturally antiseptic.   However, I do know that my own mother has struggled with gnarly allergies for eons and since taking up this practice has not had to haul around 6 pounds of pills and inhalers.  I can also say that when I have my act together and remember to do it, my nose does seem a bit less stuffy, and my mouth does feel somehow cleaner.  I realize that’s all anecdotal, but I guess it’s not hurting anything.

Regardless, one thing that does seem completely obvious is that oil moisturizes.  Since I’m prone to dry skin, I have occasionally used this stuff on my hands, feet, and lips.  I’ve even used it on my face every once in a while, and I gotta say it works without breaking me out.

With all that in mind, I did something stupid last night.  Really stupid.  Will was at work at the bookstore and the kids were asleep (barely).  I was watching TV and swishing when I happened to notice that the hair on my legs was beyond my own acceptable threshold.  Since Felix kept coughing himself semi-awake, I was reluctant to run into the shower.  So what to do?  I know!  I’ll do a dry shave using my magical coconut oil.

If only this little boy would sleep, mommy could shower and actually shave WITH WATER.

If only this little boy would sleep, mommy could shower and actually shave WITH WATER.

Bad idea, folks.  Real bad idea.

Yeah.  This sucks.  Sucks pretty damn hard.  At least my sandals match my skin.

Yeah. This sucks. Sucks pretty damn hard. At least my sandals match my skin.

Next time?  I’ll be hairy.

You Wean Some, You Lose Some


Weaning continues, somewhat unsuccessfully.  A few months ago, we had gotten to where he was only nursing at night, mainly to fall asleep.  The problem now is that we’re stuck there.

I can’t get my son to leave my chest alone.  I swear, if he had his way, he’d still be nursing on demand.  Granted, he just felt pretty lousy this weekend.  I get that.  He wanted comfort.  It also doesn’t help that he and I spend 4 out of 7 days of the week together.  The pediatrician has said cold turkey at this point is probably the best, but that’s going to be awful.  There will be screaming. There will be loss of sleep.  And while sleep disruption is nothing new to me, my husband and daughter don’t do so well with that.  What I really need (echoed by the doctor) is to pack my little boy off to some kind of 2-3 night slumber party/booby boot camp where me and the girls are nowhere to be seen.

Charming little s&*t

Charming little s&*t

In the meantime, I’m trying everything under the sun.  I’ve painted myself with lemon juice.  That doesn’t faze him.  I’ve made an effort to wear higher-necked tops so that I’m not exposed like some kind of buffet.  He tugs and tugs at the offending garment.  His latest trick?  He comes up to me, puts his face near my sternum, raps on it with his knuckles, and says “knock knock.”  That’s so damn cute and funny I almost let him have some.

Immediately after this was taken, he began to motorboat my chest

Immediately after this was taken, he began to motorboat my chest

What to do with this boy?!

Vrrooooom.

Vrrooooom.

A Time to Ill


Coming off of a long Labor Day weekend followed immediately by a telecommute day, I was actually pretty stoked to go to the office.  This wasn’t my usual “I’ve had too much togetherness” angst.  This was a “pick up my son at noon Friday due to vomiting, cancel our 5 year wedding anniversary date night, hold my daughter’s hair the next day when she starts to puke, 6 extra loads of laundry, by day 4 of confinement the kids are getting hostile, I’ve had too much togetherness” angst.

Did I say it was a long weekend?

Did I say it was a long weekend?

Water park, where at least there are hoses if you need it....

Water park, where at least there are hoses if you need it….

Maybe fudgesicles weren't such a good idea

Maybe fudgesicles weren’t such a good idea

At least this will taste ok coming back out....

At least this will taste ok coming back out….

We’ve had a rough week or so.

I’m probably going to be totally lambasted here, but why can’t we do an ice bucket challenge for stomach viruses?  Obviously they are not nearly as horrendous as ALS, but damn… Stomach viruses certainly impact more households.  There must be a way to eradicate them.  Think of all of the water/laundry soap we could save.

The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm

I guess “bucket” is in bad taste.  Stella spent much of Saturday night puking into one.

Sorry.  I’m done now.

The Seven Deadly Cinderellas


 

As parents, we have to shift our own habits in order to provide the most nourishing/least neurotic environment for our spawn.  We cut back on bad habits like drinking, smoking (where appropriate), and poor nutrition.  Or at least we’re supposed to.  All of us who are worth our salts want to be good, positive examples for our kids.

Another thing many of us have to give up or severely curtail is our enjoyment of adult entertainment.  NO, you dirty birds.  Not that kind of adult entertainment.  I mean standard adult programming with sex (not too  much sex), violence, drama,  and potty words.  You can no longer watch Game of Thrones, Hoarders, or Shameless at will.  You have to wait until your darling children are asleep.  And if they don’t sleep?  Well, be prepared to get a crash course in what it feels like to be over the hill and out of the loop.

All is not lost, however.  There is a wide, wonderful world of children’s programming. Today, I’d like to talk about a golden-oldie:  Cinderella.

We’ve been watching this on and off for a while now.  We’re kind of nervous about showing Stella anything with much fighting, as she tends to enjoy reenactments a bit too much if you get my drift.  Cinderella seemed safe.  And there’s singing.  And animals.  What’s not to love? I’ve not watched this since growing breasts and pubic hair, so it’s been somewhat illuminating.  I’ve made some notes about the movie – things that I didn’t notice as a little girl:

  1. Cinderella was stupid.  Exhibit A: Some bitch and her bitchspawn take over my house and enslave me?  There’d be some ground up glass in their tea biscuits.  I mean come on.  Who can retain such cheer and loveliness with that going down?!  Hasn’t anyone seen Oz?!
  2. Cinderella was stupid. Exhibit B: You fall in love with and marry a prince whom you’ve met ONE TIME while wearing enchanted clothing and riding to a ball in a PUMPKIN PULLED BY MICE?!  Even Anna from Frozen actually talked to Hans a couple of times before getting engaged. Maybe…
  3. Cinderella was high? It’s the only explanation.  The singing.  The talking animals.
  4. And if the animals were in fact there and speaking, there’s still other “issues.” Sanitation, for one.  I guess Cinderella didn’t worry about things like, oh I don’t know, salmonella?  Hantavirus, anyone?

    Please come defecate on my outstretched palm while I sing sweetly....

    Please come defecate on my outstretched palm while I sing sweetly….

  5. And the names. Come on.  You name a fat mouse “Octavius” and call him “Gus” for short?  Where do you even come up with that?  Call the damn thing Gus and get on with it.  The last thing you probably want is a pretentious mouse in the house.
  6. Was Cinderella Chinese? That’s the only explanation for those teeny tiny feet.  They must have been bound.  There’s no way that chick should be able to walk on those feet.  They look to be about the size of my thumbs.  And who says tiny delicate feet are the bee’s knees anyway?
  7. Lucifer: For starters, there’s no way Disney could get away with naming a character that in this day and age, no matter how nefarious.  But to be bullied by a cat?  A cat?  You are a pansy, Cinderella.  You deserve what you get.

    Cinderella: It's intense.

    Cinderella: It’s intense.

There’s tons more I could say (how does Cinderella herself always stay so clean?). And maybe I’m just cynical and jaded.  I do want my kids to have sweet, innocent things while they themselves are sweet and innocent.  But this?  Makes me want a lobotomy.  Hey.  Maybe that’s what happened to Cinderella.  Bippity – lobotomy – boo.

All the Right Stuff(ed)


Stella now has quite the entourage.  For a child that never had a “lovey,” she’s making up for lost time.  We’re fortunate in that there still is not one (or two) furry friends that she must have anywhere she goes, but there are certainly some favorites from the crowd of fuzzy faces.  Two of the originals are Sweet Kitty and Flat Kitty.  Sweet Kitty is this small white tiger we got at the aquarium in Houston almost 2 years ago.  Flat Kitty is this random pillow pet mini she got for Xmas one year.  I don’t know what makes Sweet Kitty sweet.  Flat Kitty looks like roadkill.  Ergo, Flat Kitty is quite an appropriate moniker.

A while back, we started a behavior chart.  Good days = stickers.  Enough stickers = a treat.  The treat box contains all sorts of different things she can choose from:  books, small stuffed toys, and even some snap-pops at some point.   Two of her entourage – small stuffed kitties with giant eyes – came from this box:  Noodles and Macaroni.

Yes, she named them herself.  Noodles and Macaroni, along with Sweet Kitty and Flat Kitty are all girls.

2 nights ago, she earned the rights to choose another prize.  She chose a pink spotted octopus toy with giant eyes.  I asked first if it was going to be a girl octopus or a boy octopus, feeling quite certain of the answer.  The damned thing is pink.  I stand corrected.  It’s a boy.  Then she named it.  Mushroom.  Mushroom the male pink spotted octopus with enormous eyes.

I’m pretty curious what’s next.  Marzipan the sea otter?  Queso the frog?  Pizza the giraffe?  Only time will tell.

Anyway, bedtime is interesting trying to juggle so many friends.  Right now, she has to have Mushroom.  Sweet Kitty and Flat Kitty are a must.  Pete the Cat is currently trending in a huge way.  Pete has gone to school already a couple of times.  Pete has to be buckled into the car seat with her.  Pete has to have his own stool at dinner.  Pete went on our Sunday picnic, riding in the wagon.  Pete is the shit.  For one night only, I was able to sit Noodles and Macaroni in the Gallery, the place where the lesser friends live.  Last night we had to have them all.  At 7:00 PM, I tucked Stella, Flat Kitty, Sweet Kitty, Noodles, Macaroni, Pete the Cat, and Mushroom into her twin bed.  That’s a lotta fluff and cuteness for a single bed.  And there must be a roll call before the tucking in process in complete.

Stella's new BFF.  Will's new Significant Other.  The Other Feline?

Stella’s new BFF. Will’s new Significant Other. The Other Feline? (Image borrowed from Google)

That’s probably why- in part – last night was terrible.  Felix showed his butt.  I think it’s because he only ate peaches last night for dinner.  He started waking up at 7:00, maybe disturbed by the shifting of mass in the room caused by Stella and her entourage or the whispered roll call.  He woke up twice more before 9:00 when I finally said F it and took him back to bed with me.  At 10:45 Felix woke up again and decided that the big bed was a jungle gym.  I tried to settle him back down to no avail.  Finally, I went out and told Will (just coming home from the bookstore) I had to have the couch.  For some reason, when Felix gets that way, I’m able to settle him easier on the couch.  No biggie.  Will could use the big bed. We all just needed to sleep.  Who cared where?

At 1:15, Stella came bolting out of her room with Pete the Cat and Mushroom, joining me and Felix on the couch.  This is a regular couch, not some ginormous sectional.  After being kicked and shushing her for about 30 minutes, I finally led her back to the big bed to sleep with her daddy.  Felix and I slumbered on the couch until 5:00, only once awakened by the barfing of a cat.

Will doesn’t remember his daughter’s less-than-subtle entrance into the bed.  He was so tired, he didn’t even realize she had been in there.  The only clue he had was awakening next to an unfamiliar body: Pete the Cat.  Will said he felt violated.  Pete didn’t even buy him dinner first.

Here’s to sleep tonight.  I may drug every single one of us.