Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dollar Store Drama

I was at the Dollar Store this past week.  Very interesting (and somewhat stinky,sticky, and grimy) place.  I needed a picture frame for Koley's room.  Boom.  Dollar store.  There were 3 people in front of me in the singular lane they had open.  Both had carts full of things.  No biggie.  I never mind waiting in line.  The first lady was wearing this big wavy shawl and looked to have cleared out the Christmas decorations.  The checker was scanning all these miniature nutcrackers and he was on like the 17th one and she said, "Wait.  Are those only a dollar?"  Apparently I was the only one who thought that was funny because I busted out laughing. Aaaaaand no one else did. The checker didn't even look up he just said, "Yeah."  And the woman ran off to get more. 
I mean.
Come on.
Everything in the Dollar Store is a dollar.  It's the premise of the store.  Everything in her cart he scanned before the nutcrackers were a dollar.  Each of the 17 scanned so far were a dollar.  How did she not grab hold of the idea?  I figured by the looks of her cart she certainly knew everything was a dollar.  She walked in under the huge green sign that said "Everything's 1.00"  Her total was $133.92.  I think the most I've spent at the dollar store was $12.  On balloons.
Then there was a couple that was probably in their late 60s or early 70s.  They had around 20 things and as they were leaving and I saw the man's cane leaning against the scan belt thing.  So, I said, "Sir, you forgot your cane."  I said it with a smile, may I add.  The man said all gruffly, "It's a WALKING STICK!" 
Sure looked like a cane to me... but it being the Yuletide... I kept it in and said, "Well, I don't want you to be missing your walking stick."  Still smiling! 
He snaps back:
"I only use it for balance!"
I was kind of at a loss for words.  I mean.  I obviously offended him by calling it a cane.  Which it was.  Crooked top.  Rubber stopper on the end. That little black cloth loop used to put around your wrist.  Used for balance.  It was a cane by definition.
But I didn't want this old guy more bent of shape than he already was.
I smiled at him and said, "Merry Christmas, sir."
"It's not a cane!  I don't need a cane!  This is a walking stick!"
At this point he was shaking his cane at me.  And I figured... what the hell.
"Well I'm SORRY I called your walking stick a cane.  I'm not up to date on the differences.  It looked like a cane.  You were going to forget it.  I was reaching out!  Helping a brother in need!  From now on...."
He interrupted:
"Young lady!  This is a walking stick!  Look at it!  Not a cane!  I get dizzy sometimes!  I have weak knees!  It's to help me walk!  It's a walking stick!"
"That's a cane. And I think someone just told you it was a walking stick to make you feel better."
"You're WRONG!," he shouted.  His wife started tugging at his coat. 
"I just didn't want you to forget it, man."
"I'm not forgetful!  And I don't need a cane!"
Erroneous on both accounts.
But, I told him Merry Christmas again and gave him a wink.
And you know what?
He winked back.

Goodwill to men after all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Letter to Santa from My 8-year Old Self

November 15, 1992

Dear Santa,
All I really want for Christmas is a dog.  My sister, Vicky who is also writing to you wants one too.  (She already got Pebbles.)  Could I please have a dog?  I'm trying to earn one but it isn't working out.  My sister, Vicky said she would help.  And the dog would be mine.  She said her pay would be a little dog to kick when it tugs her leg. 
Oh, by the way, How are you?
I Love You!

P.S.S.  In the other envelope there are pictures.  On the back it says what it is.
P.P.S.S.  If time send back pictures.

Few things I love about this correspondence to Mr. C.  1.) My use of commas.  Not always completely correct but I did try for correct comma placement.  2.)  My afterthought to ask Santa how he was doing?  3.)  How this letter is more about my sister, Vicky, than getting a dog for Christmas.  4.)  I asked Santa if I could have one.  Not if he would being me one.  Like my parents were Mom, Dad, and Santa.  5.)  Vicky's payment would be a little dog to kick?  What?!  It's a good thing Santa didn't bring a dog into our abusive environment.  Sheesh!  Not a big selling point there.  6.)  I told Santa I loved him.  Always say that too soon.  7.)  My post scripts.  I got the "PS."  Then made is "PSS."  Not knowing then (or for the next 17 years what PS stood for.  And, finally, making it "PPSS."  I guess just in case it was "PSS." (Which I think is what a snake says.)  Or in case it was supposed to be "PPS" and I messed up the first time.

I only wish I knew what pictures I sent him.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Sun Maid Sisters

Kole was staring at a box of raisins for a long time.  We're all familiar with the girl on the box:

Image Here.
He had his eyebrows all scrunched up and he kept turning his head back and forth.  After watching him for awhile I said, "What do you see on there?"
Kole said, "It's a girl."
"Who is she?"
"Andi?" he asked.
"Nope," I smiled, "Not Andi."
"Is it Julie?"
"Not Julie either.  That's the Sunmaid Raisin Girl."
He put on his most wrinkled up and let down thinking face and said, "Well.  I don't know her."
I guess he'd prefer to have one of his Aunties on his box of raisins.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cards Out

Lately, I feel like I have the body of a 28 year old and the mind capacity of a 98 year old.  Scratch that.  Body of a 68 year old... mind capacity of a  98 year old.
The wrinkles are getting deeper.  The skin is drying out.  Loosing it's flexibility.  My hair is gray.  Again.  I dyed it...oh...two weeks ago?  Could have been cheap dye.  Thoughts to ponder.  When I wake up all my joints are stiff.  I often fall over for no reason.  Like my knees just give out.  That's normally at 3 AM when I am stumbling (literally) into Joey's room to feed him.  I just feel old.  And it's starting to show.
I'd like to blame it all on the kids.  But Kole is pretty much Wonder(fully Behaved) Boy.  Always sweet.  Always tender.  Always caring and sensitive.  Maybe a little thick on the sensitive, actually.

Story to illustrate point:
You know that high-five game?  "Gimme five.  On the side.  Up high.  Down low.  Too slow!"  I thought of it and figured Kole's a kid.  He loves giving high-fives, I'm gonna teach him that game.  So I'm walking it through it.  "Gimme 5!"  *slap and smiles* "On the side!" *slap and bigger smiles* "Up high" *big slap and giggles* "Down low"  He goes to slap.  I move my hand.  "Too slow!"  I start laughing and Kole crumbles to the floor.  Sobbing.  I'm, naturally, confused.  "What?" Through tears he says, "I'm not too slow, Mom."   

And as for Joey.  Eh.  He's so rewarding and happy during the day, I often forget he is possessed after the sun goes down.  Often waking up on the hour and howling maniacally.  Last night I was going to let the crap hit the oscillator.  I was going to wake up and feed him once then leave him to his own demise until morning.  But, the little squirt slept all night.  Well all night minus one 3 AM feeding... but that was the torture I had set up for him.  I just can't get inside this guy's head.   

I think the aging problem is two fold.  One being lack of sleep.  I want to hire a babysitter for a day just so I can sleep.  Uninterrupted.  I think I could go a firm 36 hours.  Number two would be The Mystery Head ache.  5 weeks ago I got a head ache on the inner tip of my left eyebrow.  I've had it ever since.  Medication doesn't make it go away.  It is constantly there.  All day.  All night.  No reliefAccording to my (ex) endocrinologist it is not related to my brain tumor.  But I've come up with just about every other reason you'd get a head ache and every way to make it go away and nothing helps.  Sometimes I get what I call "A Double Headache."  (Which.  PS.  Ken says is impossible.)  But it's when my normally annoying and painful headache is there and then the rest of my head hurts from normal things like crying babies and whining kids and loud trucks and solicitors.  Next Wednesday I've got an appointment to see a neurologist.  I'm hoping he'll help turn back the clock a little.  

Not only are my looks fading.
I've been getting tutorials from my little sisters on how to use Pinterest, Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, hashtags (which I still don't understand) ...wait... could that be hash tagged... like #stilldon'tunderstand.  Is it just anything as long as you don't put spaces in it?  I'm so confused by it.  And I'm still learning how to use my phone. That is 2 years old.  It flips open.  And doesn't have a keyboard.  Just digits.  Might as well give me my AARP card.  I deserve a 10% discount on lunches for all my embarrassment.

I was trying to find a picture of me suffering.
But I couldn't.
Isn't he just kissable?


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Happy Time in Life

1.  Joey is only waking up once during the night.  What the?  When the?  How the?  Beats me and I don't even friggin care at all.  It happened and I am beyond relieved.  I wake up feeling like I can't move I've been sleeping so long.  (<---- 4 hours)

2.  While cutting through what appears to be Devil's Snare trying to get rid of all the dead over growth in my new (really old really overgrown ) backyard I continue to find gems.  And score a little late fall sun.  Aside from the usual gemmies of snakes and empty Gatorade bottles and Walmart bags... I've unearthed a climbing rose bush, purple cone flowers, lilac starts, and a stable!  Okay... the stable wasn't exactly hidden.  But it was back in The Forbidden Pasture.  Which isn't at all verboten.  It's just scary going back there by myself.  You know.  There's.  Like.  Animals back there.  But that little stable is darling enough for me to clean out and make it a club house.

3.  My sister, Teener Weiner, came and spent the night last week and left 4 miniature pints of ice cream.  She was here Thursday.  Just found them today.  Gotta open my freezer more.

4.  I taught Kole how to give Nuggy Noses.  (Learning the alphabet and how to count to 10 can wait.) All on his own he decided that during the giving of a Nuggy Nose it is best to say, "Chuggy, Chuggy, Chuggy." *shakes head, shrugs, smiles*

5.  I carved a jack-o-lantern this year for the first time in many many moons.  The downside is that crap on the inside of pumpkins still makes me itchy.

6.  We bought ourselves flannel sheets for our anniversary.  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  It's like a new bed.  With a radiator built in.  Love it.

7.  I just finished reading The Joy Luck Club.  It was an excellent read.  There was a lot of those Chinese zingers.  You know those one liners where every word has a double meaning and it is deep stuff.  Loved that.  Loving the Chinese culture a little more.  I'm not about to hang swords on the wall or get a tattoo or anything.  But I will recommend The Joy Luck Club.  It says in there that Magpies are considered good luck.  Well guess who has a yard full of Magpies?  Little ol' me.

8.  I signed up for the paper.  I get The Trib.  Man, it makes me feel like an adult.  Reading the paper in the morning while I eat my Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 
Kole checkin out the Toys R Us ads.  Sitting in a chair he invented himself.

9.  If you put enchilada sauce on top of your homemade nachos (you know chips with grated cheese on top- pop in the microwave for 23 seconds)... you'll never go back.  It's like scraping your dish at the end of a good Mexican meal.  A little secret I learned from Table Magazine.

 10.  My mug collection is really taking off.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Heart Melts.

There is something about meeting up with old friends.  What is it?  It's almost like magic.  Somehow, you feel more yourself even though you haven't seen the people for over 10 years.
Today, I had lunch with the Gomes'.  They lived in my neighborhood in Pittsburgh and went to church with us.  Me and Julie used to go to their house in the summer and play Risk.  For hours.  For daaaaays!  She'd bring us bundt cakes on our birthdays and sometimes bring one just for Family Home Evening.  We'd make fun of her because she said "dollars" funny.  She'd walk her Great Dane, Chester by our hosue and let us pet him.  Her boys would swim in our pool and jump on the trampoline.  We had cookouts together.  She knew me during that awkward (and horrendously ugly) teenage stage everyone (but Andi) goes through.  She was at Girls Camp with me.  She sent me money when I graduated.  She used to wear a pretty navy blue dress to church with a big sunflower barrette. I left home, grew up, and Facebook was invented.  We've been playing Words with Friends for a few months now.  Not the same game obviously.  She's really hard to beat, by the way.  She mentioned she was close to my town today and I casually mentioned we should meet up.  And you know?  She made it happen.  That meant so much to me.  We all met for lunch at Caputo's.  Me, Koley, Joey, Sister Gomes, and Brother Gomes.  All there. It felt so good to see them I cried.  I tried internally blaming it on the post-pardum hormones... but in all seriousness I was just overjoyed.  She and her husband bought me lunch (and bought Koley a HUGE chocolate chip cookie), they hugged me, they loved on my kids, they helped me pack up the car.  I felt like I was living on Caryl Drive again. 
And, today, when I was driving home I thought, She helped shape my life.  She helped me become me.  That's powerful.  And a little heavy for this here blog. 

They are good good people.
And it was good good good to be with them today.

Monday, October 22, 2012


It's been 7 years today since me and the Kenmo tied the knot.  I'm really proud of that.
There have been sunny times and rainy seasons.  And a couple friggin' tornadoes.
There have been peaks and there have been valleys.  And a chasm here and there.
It's been a marriage.
A good one.  Where we have to work things out.  And talk through things we'd rather push under the rug.  And sometimes I did slash do push them under the rug... until Ken hangs up a bathroom towel wrong and I explode all over him.
Hmph.  It's a marriage.

I'm not going to go into the rough times make the good times better.  Because our rough times never made our good times better.  They just made the good times further apart!  Wert!  The rough times have made me a more compassionate partner though.  Those are the times when I grit my teeth (or bite my tongue or turn the other cheek) and decide whether or not I'm going to stick it out.  I decided seven years ago I would.  Ken tries his damn-dest to make it easy for me.
I'll admit some of the newlywed-iness has worn off and when I see Vicky and Jenn I miss that period (or maybe I just miss life before kids.)
But there is such a confident comfort in our marriage than I depend on and love.
The white hot passion has turned down to a burning red... sometimes I mild orange... occasionally a pale yellow.  But it's still there.
We have each other for better and for worse.
Which I think is pretty good.
He makes me better.  

Post Script:  I asked Ken if he thought he'd get the 7 Year Itch.  He didn't know what that was.  After I explained it to him I asked again.  His response, "Yeah.  I'm feeling pretty itchy."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hide Your Kids. Hide Your Wives.

I'm not a bug lover.  I'm not even a bug liker.  I go to great lengths to avoid them and to avoid killing them.  I want them dead but I'm too scared to kill them myself.  Growing up I'd spray them with mousse so they would be trapped and unable to attack me and then beg someone else to kill them.  Later in life I would place cups or bowls over bugs or spiders and leave a Post It note that said, "There is a spider in here."  Yeah.  I was 23.  I did that at work.  As recently as a few weeks ago I texted my neighbor and offered to pay her $5 if she came down and killed a spider.  It's a problem I have.
But... uh... I'm nursing Joey the other day and one of those earwicks (or is it earwigs... I've never known) is climbing up the wall!  Gross!  Kole saw it and smashed it with his bare hand.  He thought it was "awesome."  I thought it "awesome" that I could use Koley to kill bugs for me!  Never thought of that. 
So, one little earwick no big deal. 
A bird feeder was left here and Koley loves to watch the birds (a habit he picked up from Big Grandpa George.) I picked up some bird food for him to feed the birds and we went to fill the feeder up.  Uh... there was like a beehive honeycomb thing IN the feeder.  There were a couple of bees on it but it didn't look like they were moving.  I'm not much of a risk taker so I made up some story about giving the bees a chance to pack up and move out before we fed the birds.  Two days later, Kole was still begging to feed the birds and those bees had not moved.  At all.  They had to be dead.  When Kole went down for his nap I got a broom and unhooked the feeder filled with old bee hives and carried it over to the garbage can... keeping it a safe 5 and a half feet away from me.  Well, I eventually had to open it to dump the dead bees out.  I opened it and jumped back.  Which was a good move.  Because the bees weren't dead.  Or maybe they were zombie-bees  because they came right back to life.  And started creeping around the inside of the feeder.  Lifting their scary wings and buzzing in unison.  I know they were chanting danger calls to get other bees to attack me.  It took about 25 minutes but I eventually got the three bees off the feeder.  I tried moving the feeder with the broom over and over and they just crawled right a long the side... like those lumberjacks that run on logs.  It was terrifying.  Once they were off the feeder I left it on the driveway and went inside to recompose myself and let my heart return to a normal pace.  By the next day I felt it was safe to access the feeder.  Kole and I filled it, hung it back on it's post, and not a single bird has shown up.
2 mornings ago I opened the floor length curtains over the back sliding door to let that morning country light in and Kole started his normal, "Good morning trees!  Good morning grass!  Good morning..." he was about to say bushes when a big old black spider made it's way out of the curtains towards Kole's head!  I screamed and pushed him out of the way.  The spider fell and I instinctively stomped on it 25 or 30 times.  Then vacuumed it up.  Just in case. The things we do to protect our kids, huh?  Kole cried because I pushed him "for no good reason."  Pa-LEASE!  No good reason?  If it weren't for me he would have had a spider in his hair.  All day.  Because there was no way I was going to pick it out.  It probably would have made a little hair web and laid spider eggs in there.  Psht.  No reason?  Whatever!  Ungrateful kid.
I was taking some trash out and on my way back in I noticed the biggest hobo spider ever was perched on the window pane by my front door.  Being the peacemaker I am, I walked around and used the back door.  From the inside I sprayed the cracks by the door with insect repellent... because spiders always use the door right?  I mean especially country spiders with all that country charm.    Later, me and the boys had to go to the store to pick up some milk.  The front door was obviously off limits with that spider perched there. So, I told Kole we'd go through the back yard.  He wasn't opposed.  So, we're walking through the grass and I am feeling good about not having to see that disgusting spider when I look down and what do I see?  A snake.  Kole sees it too and he's all scared.  His voice gets shaky and he asks, "Mom?  What's that?"
In my head I am going, Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh.  A snake. A snake.  A snake.  What do I do?  What do I do?  What do I do?
Out loud I say, "Hey look!  A little snake.  Hello, Mr.  Snake.  What are you doing by our house?  You need to go to your house!"
Again in my head going, "A snake.  Oh my gosh.  What do I do?  Red touches black... you're dead jack?  Red touches yellow you're a dead fellow?  You die either way?  What about green touching black?  Or is that light green and dark green? I think you die either way.  Oh my gosh.  What do I do?  A snake.  A snake.  A snake."
Kole looks at me.  I smile so he smiles and says, "Yeah.  Go to your house, Snake!"  Kole starts ducking down to get close to it.
"Give him some space, Koley.  He's probably just trying to figure out how to get home."
"Yeah.  You're right Mom.  Give him some space."
"That's right.  And remember, he's more afraid of us then we are of him."
And you know, when I said that, I realized that that is a lie parents tell their kids.
The snake did slither away after a few seconds and I ran to the car and locked all the doors.  You know, just in case that snake tried opening the handles.
He came back to play trucks with Koley later that day.
At least that's the lie I told Kole.
This picture was safely taken behind glass doors.
If only I spoke Parseltongue.

It seems like I have seen the worst of it.
Or at least that's what I thought until yesterday when I was outside playing hide and seek with Kole and I spotted this:

Not Joey's hand prints I can tell you that!  Could be Chimera.  Or Chupacabra.
Pray for us.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Three Month Columnist

Hi.  It's Joey.  Being a full 3 months of age now I feel it necessary (not to mention needed) to clear my name.  That tenderest of tender names that my dearest mother has apparently pulled through the stinky, slimy mud.
I am a good baby.
Somewhere in the last 90 days I've gotten a bad rap.  Unjustly, may I add.  May I remind you that it takes time to adjust to being alive.  It takes time to adjust to all the lights and noise and weird feelings going on.  It takes time to figure out how to make that old mom-bee happy.  Apparently she likes a quiet baby who sleeps all the time.  Well excuuuuuuuse me for breathing!  I am doing my absolute best here.
As proof of my hard work and sincerity in the endeavor of my life I would like to point out that I now have a fairly regular bed time.  6:00.  In the PM. I retire.  That's right.  I am tired at 6 and wish to go to bed.  And I go down without a fight.  Normally without even a slight whimper.  It just feels good to be in my crib in a dark quiet room (without that "Koley" running amok... who is that guy?) I then sleep until at least 1:30 occasionally as late as 3.  Then, and only then, do I politely ask for a little food.  And I mean little.  I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes here.  I don't need you to open the kitchen or call the Ritz.  Just a night cap.  Who doesn't like a night cap? Amiright?
After, I fall right back to sleep and I sleep until 7.  Now.  Deep down I wish mom would come get me and cuddle me right at 7 when I start my bearish grumblings.  But I understand the lady needs rest (selfish broad).  I try my darndest to keep it down... but once the engine is running... I just gotta rev it.  Force of habit I suppose.
I am happy when I am awake.
Aunt Julie may attest otherwise as I had an off day when she was here yesterday.  But, generally, I like to laugh.  Deep, hearty belly laughs.  Especially if you bite my belly or tickle my ribs or sniff really fast around my neck or rub my head.  I love getting my head rubbed.  Sometimes, when mom is changing my outfit I get the giggles just from the shirt popping over my head.  It cracks me up.  You know... if you even just talk to me... chances are I'll give you a courtesy laugh. Yeah.  I'm that good of a guy.
My resume of skills consists of:
Scooting backwards to rub all the hair off the back of my head.
Swatting those dangle-y bugs that light up and sing on my bouncy chair.  They never shush up.
Holding mom's hand.  I'd hold your hand if you came to see me.
Splashing in the tubber.
Rolling over.  (I've done it 4 times.  It's WILD!)
Sitting up on my own.  (not really... but it sounds good, huh?)
I'm a good, good baby.
I like being in my family.
I'm a little wary of the "Koley"  but I can see his heart is good and big.
Please don't believe all the hog-wash my mom puts on here.
She's always telling some sob story or another.
But, dang it, I love her anyway.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Being Greeted.

My local Walmart has two greeters.  They both work the same door (the grocery side) at different times.  They are not good at their job.  First, I can't figure out why Walmart has greeters.  Am I the only one who is uncomfortable around them?  I never know if I should make eye contact.  Does that initiate a "stop and chat?"  They are wearing a name tag.  Should I introduce myself?  Part of my goals from my birthday.... yeah... I set my goals from my birthday.  It's more my year that way.  Part of my goals was to be more open and friendly.  Walmart greeters should be good practice.
One guy, I'll call him Larry.  Is super tall.  I mean, taller than my Dad.  He's probably in his late 70s early 80s.  And for the first...oh I don't know... 45 times I went in and he was there...I nodded at him or said hello or waved.... he PURPOSELY looked at something else.  Um.  Hi.  Your job is to greet ME.  Not the other way around.  I'm stepping out of my comfort zone here can I at least get an eyebrow raise and a half nod my way?  It'd help.  So, this one time I went in... I waved and said, "Hey, Larry!"  and if wasn't all candied pecans and jello jigglers after that.  Now he sees me coming and pulls a cart out for me.  Asks how the little ones are doing.  Asks what I'm running in for.  Sometimes he touches my shoulder.  Eh.  That's a little too much.  Kinda get a little cringe-y there.  But I cracked him.  But it makes me wonder about all the other people who head into Walmart and instead of feeling welcomed by Larry... run past because they haven't broken that barrier yet.
The other guy... we'll call him Mike.  He's impossible.  First.  He's in a wheelchair.  So.  That's awkward for me.  Probably because I can walk and he's always pissed off.  If he looks at you he is scowling.  And, deep down, I've always figured people in wheelchairs really hate people not in wheelchairs even if they put on the whole "Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" facade.  But this guy, is open about it.  I've tried smiling at him a few times.  Not a good move.  I think he wanted to charge me with his wheelchair.  I mean to him, maybe he is thinking, like, "She's just smiling at me because I'm in a wheelchair and she's trying to make me feel better.  Like a smile can somehow make me walk again."  When really... I'm just doing it because One, I'm scared of him.  Two, It was a goal of mine.  And Three, don't we all try to go out of our way for the disabled?  It would be really cool if Walmart hired a handicapped person and they were really outgoing and fun and said hi to everyone.  I think it would break down some real social barriers.  But to hire a scrooge?  In a wheelchair? (Which I am not against or prejudice towards.... at all... I just think he is going to use his hellacious set of wheels as a weapon.)When I already don't know what to say or how to act or where to look?
What were they thinking?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Toddler OCD

I think Koley has Toddler OCD which could be made up but is probably valid.
He is way too into routine.  Some people (Ken) might blame me for that because I love a good schedule.  But Kole takes it to a different level.
For instance, I've been wedging a baby blanket into his door at night.  This way he can pull and pull on the door but he can't get it open.  (Ha HA!  I didn't even have to spend a buck on those handle covers!  HA!) I don't think Kole ever really knew it's purpose was to seal him into his room at night but now, after all the bed time things have been done (bath with the yellow soap not the blue soap, dry off with the dragon towel not the stripe towel, fresh diaper before we brush his teeth with the blue toothbrush not the yellow one, Thomas the Tank Engine pants on along with the Lightning McQueen shirt, say a prayer... DAD says it, Special Talk, smooch this stuffed monkey, then Kole, THEN that monkey!)...When all that is done and I'm thinking "I nailed it.  No tears tonight."  Kole goes into hysterics.  I scream in my head and then calmly, with a smile, ask Kole, "What is it man?" 
"Put the blanket in the door."
And maybe it is just his age but he asks me ten stinking bazillion questions a day.  Most of them are repeated over and over no matter how many times I give the right answer.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  Dad's going to work.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  To work.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  He's headed to work.  He'll be back tonight.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  Oh, he's going to work.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  To work.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  To work.

I've realized if I give the wrong answer Kole snaps back.
Where's Dad going, Mom?  Dad is going to ShhhBooms.
No.  Dad's going to work?  Yeah, Kole.  Dad's going to work.

Where you going Mom?  To the bathroom.
Where you going Mom?  To the bathroom. 
Where you going Mom?  To the bathroom, Kole.
Where you going Mom?  I'm going to the bathroom. 
Where you going Mom?  Right over here.  To the bathroom.

You're going to the bathroom?  Uh huh.  I'm shutting the door now. Bye.

Once he gets bored of asking where me and Ken are or are going he starts asking about relatives.  But he normally gives me what he thinks the answer will be in question form.

Where's Granny?  Granny at her house? Yup!  Granny's at her house.(Repeat.)
Where's Big Grandpa? Big Grandpa in the hot tub? He might be in the hot tub, yeah. (Repeat several hundred times.)
Where's Greta?  Greta in the hospital? She was only there one day.  She's at her house now.(Repeat until you lose your voice.)
Where's PopPop?  On a hike? He's probably at work today.  (Repeat until your head explodes.)
Where's Gramma Ginger?  With Big Grandpa? No, she's teaching school today. (Repeat x Infinity)

Perhaps he just really loves his family and this is how he expresses that.
I'd rather he drew cards for them.

Once we've climbed the family tree Kole picks anything in the house, even things he already knows the name of and starts in.
What's this called, Mom? A pineapple.
A Pineapple?  Yeah.
What's this called, Mom? A pineapple, silly.
A Pineapple?  Yeah.
What's this called, Mom? That's a pineapple.
A Pineapple?  Yeah.
What's this called, Mom? A pineapple.
A Pineapple?  Yeah.

When I get sick of answering again I say, "I don't know, Kole, what IS that called?"
Sometimes his answers are right and sometimes.... I don't know.
Like the pineapple one.  I had just told him 300 times that it was called a pineapple.  Then,  I asked him what it was and he smiled really big and said, "CORNAPPLE!"

I don't even know what that is.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

As If Waiting For Christmas Wasn't Hard Enough

According to my Christmas Countdown App... hold it right there.... you don't have one?  You know they're free right?  And 2 year olds la-hove them.  At least my Christmas-obsessed two year old does.  Every morning while we're eating breakfast Kole says, "It's Cwismas today!"  And I say, "It is?  We haven't even put the tree up!  Oh rats!"  And he laughs and laughs and then asks for hot chocolate.  I tell him no way jose and he starts in again with "But... It's Cwismas today."

(Side note:  I say 'No Way Jose' a lot to Kole.  He tries to repeat it in similar situations but always leaves out the "way."  So it sounds like he's just always angry at our gardener.  "No Jose!  No Jose!")

According to my Christmas Countdown App there are 97 days until Christmas.  I'm dyyyyyying!  I can't take it anymore!  I wish Christmas were here today.  But even more than I want December 25th to be here....

.... I want October 13th to be here!
Because (I think it's my brother in laws birthday) WE'RE MOVING!

To a house.
Ahhhhhhhh.  Exhale.
We've been in our townhouse for 1 year 1 month and 29 days.
It has served it's purpose.  But with the arrival of Josie (<---- I call Joey Josie sometimes.  I think it's okay since he is a baby.) our place seems so much smaller.  I think it's the crying.  The crying that fills the entire house.  Every hour and a half.  All night long.  Which is friggin' bizarre because during the day he is Mr. Sunshine and at night he is El Diablo.
I'd been begging Ken to move into one of the 3 bedroom apartments here.  That way it will be really super easy to let Joey cry it out. Oh, yeah.  I let my babies cry it out.  I'm heartless, cruel, and callous.  Ken didn't see how having an extra room would make that much of a difference (really?) but our rent went up.  WAH WAH!  And I happen to be cruising the local papes and found a gem of a house right in our price range.

It wasn't a hard sell:

I mean let's compare here...

Current Back Yard
Oh wait... let me give you a better angle... to make it look bigger.

Hmph.  No use.  Oh well.

Here's the future back yard:

Hello!  Come to mama!
 A few things I'd like to point out.  1.) There's grass.  Like enough for us to have a picnic on.  2.)  Those trees!  Look how big they are!  3.)  Is that a patio I see?  Are those burgers grilling I smell?  I hope someones bringing potato salad cuz we're having a cook out!

Here is the front yard where we live now:

Front yard fail. 
We are lucky we have the handicap spot in front of us so no one can park their junky car there.

Here's the front yard where we are moving:
Run Koley!  Enjoy the freedom of not having to dodge cars!
Run with wreck-less abandon, my son!
(Did you get the pun there?  Clever girl, that Patty.)

It's a great house.  (And for only $25 more than we'd be paying in rent here.)  I am obviously most excited about the yard.  And the land.  Oh, my dear.  Had I forgot to mention?  It sits on 2 acres.  Totally ours.
It's unbelievable.  I'm beyond excited.  Beyond grateful.

Now.  In fairness to Ken.  He picked the townhouse where we live now.  There are things I will miss.  The island in the kitchen.  The cute cubbie under the stairs we turned into a playroom for Kole.  The... the... Hmmm.  I won't miss the weird smell the downstairs bathroom always resonates.  Or the rotten kids playing di-RECTly outside my window.  Or the multiple daily walks to the dumpster.
But this place had some wonderful memories.

Kole and Ken became inseparable.
Kole learned to walk here.

...and eat on his own.

He got his first hair cut here. 
Kole switched to a big bed.
Okay... that wasn't the happiest memory.
But it's better now.

I got pregnant with Joey.
And this is where we brought him home...
...To be a family.
But don't think for one second that all that sentimentality is going to stop me from leaving this place in the dust.  Well.  Literally spotless... so we get our deposit back... but metaphorically... in the dust.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kole's Bad Habit.

Kole loves to eavesdrop.
Maybe it's part of the "learning process."
But I've had it up to here with the learning process.  Kole is learning more than a boy his age should learn.
Like, most mornings after breakfast Kole asks, "Gonna pump a bottle, Mom?"
Um. Awkward.
Or, if we're planning on not going anywhere Kole will say, "Put your bra on, Mom?" it funny?  Or crossing a line?  Or learning?  I don't think a 2-year old needs to learn about the lactation process or anything boobie related.  But my 2 year old knows way too much about it.
Back to eavesdropping.
First, I always thought it was ease-dropping.  As in, "Look at the ease with which I am overhearing this conversation."  Hmm!  Live you learn.
Kole has always been really quiet if I am on the phone.  I always just thought he was brimming with good manners and chivalrous conduct.  Turns out the little bugger was just eavesdropping.
I've learned this because after I get off the phone Koley gives me his re-cap.  Always in question form.  I hope that's a phase.

Joey drives Mommy nuts?  Sometimes?  At night?
Ken is at work?  Coming home?  Take out meat?
Gweta get better?
Anni more happy?
Gwamma's house Friday?

At first I was just impressed.  He can pick up so much so quickly.  But things have taken a mischievous turn.  For instance.  If I am on the phone with Ken and I call him "Ken" instead of "Dad" (saying Ken just comes naturally.) Kole will call him "Ken"  for the rest of the day.  "Ken coming home soon?"  "Ken cookin' dinner?"  "Ken changing his clothes?"  "Ken give me bath?"  He says it all with bright eyes and a big smile... like I know I'm supposed to call him "Dad" but come on.  We're all grown ups here.
Yesterday he had been calling Ken... "Ken" for about an hour and just giggling every time. I told him he needs to call him Dad.  More giggling.
I said, "You need to call him Dad or I'll take your trucks away."
It got real quiet.
Then a smile ten miles wide....and he said:
"Okay, Patty."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reasons to Go to the Gym

Ken signed us up for a Gym Membership.  Couple things here.
First, did I correctly capitalize that? "G"ym "M"embership?  I gets a little caps crazy.  But it does seem title worthy.
Real First.
I'm not obsessive about weight.  At all.  It's a number and it means nothing.  When I lived in Europe I learned the key to looking good is to simply wear your size.  Nothing tight and nothing baggy and you'll look fantastic.  Sorta been my motto.  Something to stand firmly by when I tell a size 0, 95 pound trainer... that I am a size 12 and weigh 167.  I say it with no guilt and no shame.  Not quite proudly... but I'm not embarrassed.
And I get an opened mouth look.
A look I have never known how to interpret.

I am my same "pre-baby weight."  Which also means nothing.  Because, for those of you who haven't had kids, you can be that same weight you were pre-child and look totally different.  For those of you who have had kids... quit hating.  I just lucked out.  And am married to someone who was obsessively strict about what I ate when I was pregnant.
Words to describe how I look: Saggy.  Droopy.  Downwardly.  Slack.  Floppy.  Baggy. My boobs are there but not perky like when I was 20. or 21.  or 22.  or any age before I had Kole.  (< 26).  And my butt?  Hangs out with the back of my knees.  Even my arms have become...dangle-y.
I realize these problems can be solved with a new bra, some Spanx, and a tanning pass.  That's my normal go-to.  (Add whitening strips to the mix.)  But a nice new bra would get ruined (and stinky) from breast milk and I tried to get my Spanx on.  *sigh* They aren't going past my knees.  I can't justify paying for a tanning pass when it's still sunny and hot here.  But the double down side it my Jergens Natural Glow just ran out.
Dead end.  Dead end.  Dead end.
Then Ken comes home with this Gym Pass.  (<--- Caps again. ??)
Therein lies my salvation.
Generally I would label myself as a Non-Gym Rat.  I don't like gyms all that much.   Or should I say I don't like gyms much at all. Mostly because I sign up, pay the fee, and then don't go and I feel like I wasted my money.
I've been going everyday for a week.
Minus the one day I didn't go.
After going once, and realizing confirming that "It is true.  I don't like to work out"  I have still kept going for 2 reasons.
1.  No kids are allowed at the Gym.
2.  Every machine has its own TV.

Who WOULDN'T go work out?

When I come home Ken asks what I did.  Elliptical.
How far did you go?  Hmmm.  I don't know.
How many calories did you burn?  Oh! I don't know.
Were you in your target heart rate?  Beats me.  Did you know Kourtney wants to have a water birth?
Is Kourtney someone you met at the Gym today?  No.  She's one of the Kardashians.  That's what I watch when I go.

And poor Khloe had to go and watch a real water birth with Kourtney.  Psht.  Tough stuff.
Ken says I should go and focus on my long term goals.


Goals like buy my own TV so I can watch it at home without putting on work out clothes?
Good goal.

(I am down 3 pounds in one week.  Something is working.  Oh!  ME!  I'm working...out.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What Am I Missing Here?

I watched The Artist last night.  
(Look at me!  Putting the kidlets to bed and enjoying a night in front of the TV.)
I was in the mood for something... artsy.  And with the given title and the Academy Award backing it up I felt confident it would be golden.
I was let down.
Was I missing something?
I like to think of myself as an Intellectual.  A Renaissance Woman.  Some call me a Brainiac.
Fans.  I'm only repeating what they have said.
So being the Deep Thinker that I am I felt like this movie should have spoke to me and my sagacity.
Eh eh.
Sure, I enjoyed it.
But I didn't "Picture of the Year" enjoy it.
I wasn't moved to make changes in my life or to treat people people or to donate to ASPCA.
I wasn't even moved to watch more black and white movies or listen to 1320 AM.
I was just moved to return it to the RedBox and hope it returned my $1.28.

Image Here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not a Good Week To Be My Kid

Before I started laying down the hard law on these 2 kiddos.... they had a couple... accidents.
As if the confidence I had in my Motherhood wasn't dwindling enough right?

First.  Joey.
I was carrying him downstairs to make breakfast and I fell.
Down 5 steps. 
I was on my back and sliding and the baby came with me.
I swore (The "S"-word.) as I saw and heard Joey's neck bounce off his arm pit.
I was pretty sure I killed him.
He cried for like... an hour.
Nothing was injured.  I checked over and over and over again.  I didn't even take him in.
He was just really shaken up.
I got a couple bruises on my legs and back and right forearm.

Second.  Kole.
I was in his room nursing Joey. 
Kole was turning his fan on and off.
I tried getting him to play with something else.
Not working.
Then he unplugged his fan.
Playing with outlets isn't something kids should do.
It's not something anyone should do.
I stuck a wet paperclip into a light switch once and it knocked me clear over!
So, obviously, I immediately told Kole to stop and I stood up to go over to him to make him stop.
Not quick enough.
He put the plug in his mouth...
Oh the tears.
He wasn't hurt.
He was shocked.
And shocked.
Shocked by his shocking.
Shocked by his shocking shocking.
That's kinda a funny word when you think about/look at it.
He kept holding up his fingers and looking at them.  As if he was surprised they were still there and looked normal.  Instead of black and shriveled.  Like Dumbledore's in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. 
I bet Kole's blood was just zooming through his veins.
He kept asking, "What happened?  What happened?"
I explained that he got shocked and that's what happens when you touch plugs.

And then a light dawned on me....
"You can also get shocked if you jump on the couch, or smack the baby, or don't listen to Mommy."
He looked at me with his eyes real big and nodded.  Knowingly.

You gotta look for that silver lining.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Melting! Melting! Oh What a World. What a world....

Started Friday night.
Joey went to bed at his normal time.  After Arsenio Hall was over.
An hour later he was up.  Wanting to watch infomercials.
We don't have cable... or an antenna... but
3 hours later he was still up.  And screaming.  Screaming himself into rigamortis.
I propped myself up with pillows on the couch so I wouldn't drop him when his cries became my lullabies and I would fall asleep.
Around 4 AM I noticed between his wicked cries there was coughing.
Once the rest of the world woke up I called the pediatricians office and in we went.
On a Saturday.
The doctor made me feel like an idiot.
It was the "on-call" doctor not our normal guy.
Some of her ringers:
"Don't you have other kids that have been sick before?"
"He hasn't even had these symptoms for 24 hours yet?"
"Apparently, you've never heard of the common cold."
I wanted to punch her in her big buck teeth.
I settled for Joey doing an explosive dookie on her exam table after she put a thermometer in his booty.
One point Team Poulsen.
The rest of Saturday was a daze.  A sleep deprived, snot infested daze.
I fell asleep at the bottom of the bed as I was changing Joey's diaper that night.
Sunday me and the baby skipped church.
Kole skipped his nap.
*Lightning Strikes.*
Never is there a good Koley after a nap is skipped.
All I heard was "No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No."
In all different voices.  In every different pitch.  Occasionally with a toy thrown at me.  Always with tears.
I blamed it on the no nap.
Monday proved me wrong.
Kole took a nap and added smiles to all his "no's."
His aim was more accurate when he threw.  There was more force behind it.
At least he was smiling.
He tends to wait until I am nursing the baby to act out.
Like I've got a baby on me and he'll start jumping on the couch.  Or climbing on the piano.  Or hanging off the TV.
What can I do?
I'm basically stranded.
And he knows it.
Beyond that he seems to have found out that there is no consequence in this house for bad behavior.
Good behavior is well rewarded.
Bad Behavior... is....
... becoming more popular.
In a small attempt to feel in charge of something...
I did some rearranging in the house.
I wanted to do something to feel like the baby was taking over everything in the black lagoon.
So I moved the computer and desk down to the kitchen with the intention of moving the crib out of Kole's room and into my room.
I can get work done (you know Facebook, blog-gawk, read Post Secret) while Kole eats breakfast or lunch.
And the baby will be 15 feet away from me at night instead of 18 inches.
It ended horribly.
I only got as far as lugging all the computer wiry stuff down to the kitchen table.
I tried hooking it all up.
I couldn't get the Internet to work.
Neither could Ken.
We worked on it until 11.  Went through several customer service reps... who all told us to buy a new router.
Do they feel like failures when they can't solve a problem?
Or is that just me?
So after 2 trips to Walmart... we bought the stinking over-priced modem.
Ken bought some ice cream novelties on the last trip... because I had been sobbing for hours by this point.
Nothing seemed to be working.
Joey wasn't sleeping.
Kole wasn't listening to me.
I didn't feel like a good wife.
My grand DIY rearranging project was only half done.
The Internet went kaput-sy on me.
The good little girl from Kansas threw a bucket of water on me and I was certainly melting.
And then my mom called me. 

And I saw a rainbow.

I'm in control.
Joseph has started sleep training.  No more sleeping until noon and expecting me to just pick up after you. You little pip squeak.
Well, I'll still pick up after you because you're practically paralyzed at this age... but I'm serious about the no more sleeping until noon.
And Kole?
You've got rules now.
No more hitting the baby.  Even if you're just pretending.
No more jumping on the couch, piano, bed, or stairs.
No more sneaking into Joey's bouncy chair.  You're going to break it.
No more fighting the diaper changing.  When you stink, I will change you.
No more whining, crying over nothing, and no more throwing yourself on the floor.
You're gonna eat what the rest of us are eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  (The rest of us... being me.)
Your days of open menu have just ended.
I'm not a chef.
I'm not your best friend.
I'm not interested in your excuses.
I'm your mother.
If you break a rule, if you talk back, if you yell at me....
...No trucks.
I know.  Major pressure point.
You are not a grown up.  You're 2.
I'm the boss around here.

Good luck getting used to it little cubbies.
Just try and stay out of my way.  Just try!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What's Lurking

Today I was changing Koley's stinky diaper.  To get graphic there was a big lump of soggy stinky poop in there.  I made a big scene about it to make him laugh. 
"Ew!  Gross!  PU!  This needs to go straight outside! Yuck!"
Kole was laughing and when he stopped he looked at me with a big smile and said pointing down, "Turtles in 'ere?"
I was thrown.
"Turtles?" I asked, "In your diaper?"
"Yeah!  Stinky turtles out my bum!"

It all became clear. 
I think Dad has been using some interesting boyish vernacular.
And Kole hasn't quite caught up.

*shakes head.  raises one eyebrow. sighs.*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Laying It Out There

I turned 28.  Feels good.  As Andi said, "28 just SOUNDS elegant. Like you say it with a smile, nod, and with closed eyes."  So now when people ask how old I am that's how I respond "28" while smiling, nodding confidently, and with my eyes whimsically closed.  Of course, no one has asked me yet.  
I think people generally stop asking after you turn 10.  Like you hit double digits.  We can quit counting/asking now.   Ken made my all-time favorite cake.  Angel food cake with real whipped cream icing topped with Heath.  He surprised me with the candles.  Such a dearie.  And the good news is when I'm turning 82 we'll already have the candles for the cake.

As part of my celebration I took a trip back to Idaho.  Ken-mo had to work.  Boo hiss.  So it was just me and the little guys.  The car ride was great aside from all the screaming, whining, kicking, and food throwing done by Koley.  But we arrived.  A little weary... but in one piece.   I stayed at my Mom's which is as close to Heaven (aside from that birf-day cake) as it gets.  I napped.  I hot tubbed.  I watched TV.  I remember seeing my kids...but mostly Grandma Ginger had them.  She was either rocking Joey or driving trucks with Kole.  Or both.  All I had to worry about was whether I wanted Ranch or a Vinaigrette on my salad.  For my biggest news Joey suddenly snapped out of his devil-like trance and started sleeping at my mom's.  Sure he still had his fuss-bucket time but it was so much shorter.  And then he slept.  In the way that gives the phrase, "I slept like a baby" its validity.  From 11:00-6:00.  Oh, I am reborn.  He is reborn.  And he's kept it up too.  2 kids isn't so bad once you start sleeping more than 3 hours a night.  I'm borderline enjoying this.  

Here's the highlight reel:

28. Certainly a Peak of life.
(Those old lady arms are really photo-shopped on.  Mine are trim, sleek, and muscular.)

Loves loves loves tucking his shirt in for church.
And standing on the counter certainly was a treat.

Monkey-Watching with Granny Sheri

Such a playful, fun, doting Granny. 
Kole La-HOVED being back at the Tautphaus Park Zoo.
Especially with a Granny to play with.

After an hour or so of swimming in the Hot Pool at Gramma Ginger's, Kole needed some nourishment.  Via Lunchables.  Eaten in the nude.  Kole threw his inhibitions and propriety to the wind and snacked out.  With it all out.

A needed and joyous reunion with Natters.

Koley at the Splash Park back at home.
He likes going in mouth first.

Dad making it a leetle more fun.  As usual.