Monday, March 31, 2008

A lesson on life and death

L learned his first lesson about pets dying this weekend and no, it isn't Sonny who seems to have turned the corner and is responding well to medicine.

L has had 2 fish since his 1st birthday. As of this past week, Lane is 2 and a half, so it has been quite a while. He loves his fish and actually does a great job of caring for them.

About 2 weeks ago, I decided that we needed a new tank. The one fish had grown quite a bit and they were starting to look a bit cramped in their old tank. Also, I had stupidly washed the tank with a rough sponge at one point and scratched the daylights out of the plexiglass. So a new tank was bought and it was BEAUTIFUL and much easier to maintain. Except it was huge and now the fish looked teeny tiny in this huge tank of theirs.

After a particularly good weekend with L, I promised him that he would get a new fish and dispensed B to go get a new fish and dog food at the local PetSmart. That was the beginning of the end.

B returned with not one fish (I was thinking a black goldfish to compliment our gold and white and red one, but I of course didn't share that with B), but 5. Four neon teeny fish and one black sucker fish to help keep the tank clean. Within a week, only the sucker fish remains. It died last night.

I guess one or more of the fish had a bacterial or parasite infection which quickly spread to the rest of the fish and caused their fins to dissolve. It wasn't a pretty death and I was devasted for both the 2 fish we have had for a year and a half and for L.

L helped flush the fish and truly seems to be uneffected by the whole loss. Of course, he keeps asking to feed the empty tank, so I don't think he has quite grasped that the fish are in fact GONE and not coming back, but we will get there.

I guess the positive side to this is that L finally slept without a light last night. Normally the tank light serves as his night light, but no fish, means no tank light and L finally is learned to sleep in the pitch black.

Now the good question is -- how do I thoroughly CLEAN the tank so we can get him some new fish in a few months?

R's rough weekend

I think L is starting to show some signs of jealousy and aggression to his brother. It is weird that it has taken this long to develop, but I guess since R is more mobile and L doesn't like to share, it is only normal that they are now getting in each others way.

R's may only weight 2lbs less then his big brother, but he seems to incur all the damage. As of right now here are his wounds:
  • a swollen/bum finger -- pointer finger on the right hand where L decided to slam it in the door of the bathroom (L apparently needs privacy when he goes to the potty now, wish I could be so lucky)
  • scratch across his forehead -- anyones guess where he picked that up from
  • scratch/red nose -- I believe this is another potty related incident but was L trying to close the potty lid while R tried to play in the water and resulted on the scratch/bruise/whatever on the nose
  • and finally a goose egg on his forehead. Yep -- another one! This one is from L's repeated bumps into R from behind. R usually wabbles or falls down and catches himself, but this time it was too close to the coffee table and R took a header into it.

I may sound like a derilict parent that all this happens while I am watching, but I am not. I know one of these days R is going to start beating L up right back and in the mean time L gets time outs for shoving. I vividly remember the time that The Saint closed my hand in the car door, where I was stuck for what seemed like 10 minutes (I honestly have no idea how long it really was, but my memory says that my mom came back out to the car to see what was taking me so long), so I know the door/hand thing is bound to happen many many more times.

Oh the joys of being a little sibling.

Friday, March 28, 2008

dating again

I gave out my phone number today and now I anxiously await the phone call.

Don't worry -- B thinks it is great.

The woman I gave me number to is Sara. She has a little girl just a bit younger than R and I kinda stalked her shortly after her daughter was born when I saw her and her mom walking down the street I live on. She was a young mom and she was carrying her daughter in a peanut shell. Needless to say, babywearing isn't popular in my area and so I lept at the chance to meet a similarly minded mom.

Then I was a bone head and didn't get a number. Shoot, I didn't even remember her name.

Out of the blue today I remembered that Fridays are story time for babies and toddlers at our library. I checked out the times and found that I was about 20 minutes from toddler story time. I have been wanting to do more one on one stuff with L, so I raced around to get him ready and out the door. Thank God I have the flexibility with The Wife being here. Well, who would sit next to me, but Sara and her little girl.

I couldn't for the life of me place her until it hit me with a ton of bricks.

She remembered my NAME!!!! I don't know why I am excited about that, but I gave her my number, told her I work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays and now I await the call.

As far as L goes, I was rewarded in my efforts with the biggest and longest hug he has ever given me as I was loading him in the car. I think we will be trying to make story time a part of our normal weekly routine.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The house of 17

There were 17 people sleeping in my house last night.

And yes, you read that correctly -- 17! 14 adult males, 2 toddle males and me.

B works for a large company that uses Mexican workers who come for 9 months out of the year (all quite legal and they pay taxes and they spend a lot of money getting their visas, so no one jump on that issue, thank you very much). They arrived yesterday only to find the apartment they are renting was flooded as a result of the landlord turning off the heat in the winter to save money a pipe freezing and then rupturing when the heat was turned back on.

Why do I have a bad feeling this is going to end up being more of a slum lord? I mean seriously, very cold northeast winters... who in their right mind turns OFF the heat?

So B called me and used the I need somthing voice and of course I said it was fine for them to crash at our place for the night.

Our tiny 957sq foot house, mind you.

Honestly, you couldn't even tell they were there. Well, other than the stampeed through my kitchen when the food arrived. They had just spent 4 days on a bus coming from Mexico and were forever greatful to just have a place to shower and hot food to eat. Most of them were repeats from last years crew and knew Brett well and were thrilled to see him and the boys. L's favorite -- Barney -- was there too and L planted himself next to him for most of the evening and was jumping up and down next to him this morning trying to wake him up to play. Before i left for work this morning, Barney cleaned out B's car, starting my car so it would be warm (for my MILE drive to the train station -- yes, I am THAT lazy in the mornings!) and was at last seen headed to the backyard to clean up all the dog poop that has accumulated over the winter (since B won't do it until it is warm enough for the boys to go outside to play). Is it any wonder why I am willing to go out of my way to help them too?

They should be in their apartment within the hour, but it was fun to have them for the night and I am sure I will be seeing a lot more of them for our various house projects this summer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Assvicing other moms

Turns out I am providing assvice to other moms without my knowledge.

The Wife and I were sitting on the couch on Friday morning waiting for the boys to wake up. I do the wake up routine with each of them every morning before passing them off to The Wife for breakfast. Friday morning, however, the boys were both sleeping in later then usual, so she sat down to chat. Granted we have broken conversations, seeing as she doesn't speak much English and I don't speak much Spanish, but we figure it out.

Friday's conversation was surprising to me though. Apparently, "I" am the expert mommy that she knows and she is now directing her daughter, who has a little boy 4 months older then R, to follow my lead. To say her daughter doesn't like it is an understatement.

So, as of right now I have assviced the daughter to stopping giving bottles, no more pacifiers, one nap a day, no more purees, no hard soled shoes except for outside, encouraged her to cloth diaper and had her reprimanded for not breastfeeding longer. I don't even like my own assvice.

To add to all this, the daughter is pissed off at her mom because apparently she loves my kids more than her own grandson. This is coming from The Wife's husband who works with B. Oh dear!

And to think I wondered why the Daughter stopped coming with The Wife to watch the boys (I told The Wife that the grandson could come too as I thought it would be good for all 3 boys to play together). *SIGH* I guess I have my answer.

Monday, March 24, 2008

a step backwards

For all of those who aren't mommy's, I warn you, this is a post about poop!

I was on the phone with my mom on Sunday evening. We had talked briefly in the morning so she could wish the boys a happy Easter, but for some reason I had to get off the phone with her, so she was calling back. We had only been on the phone a few minutes when I saw L pushing R out of his room and trying to close the door. It happened a few times, each time with R's fingers getting closer and closer to being pinched.

It also kept happening after I told L to stop in the "mean mommy" voice.

So I got up and headed into L's room, both to get him out of there and to move R so he didn't get hurt. I wasn't prepared for what I found -- both in sight and smell. Lets just say Easter chocolate has a whole new meaning to me. I guess the silver lining is that he was at least attempting to protect his brother and keep him out of the mess.

About 20 minutes later both the carpet, clothing and L were cleaned up and I resolved to be a little bit more persistant with making him sit on the potty at times. I knew potty training was going too well.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It is tourney time!

My favorite day of the year in the office is the day the NCAA tourney starts. Every year we do a client lunch and get out of the office for 4 hours. It is really great for group morale and we get to know our clients on a whole different level.

Last year I missed the lunch. I had been having contractions the night before and was exhausted. At about 11 I debated getting into the shower and getting ready to come into the city and by noon, I was dropping to the floor to lean over a birthing ball each time I had a contraction. By 2, I was thankful that I had decided to NOT come to the city because my pubic bone felt like it was on fire and by 4 I admitted that I really was in labor.

Granted, he wasn't born until early the next morning, and I probably could have made it to the lunch and back home ok, but laboring on the train wasn't my idea of a good time either. Although maybe he would have been born on the 15th (the day I had predicted he would be born when I found out I was pregnant) rather then the 16th had I walked the 15 blocks to and from the lunch site.

This year my school -- the Gators -- aren't even in the tourney, but it should be fun none the less.

And this year I won't be in labor for it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

crazy crazy

work has been nuts the last few weeks and in all honesty, all my creative juices have been used up in coming up with solutions for a probate case that I am working on (pro se mind you), so today I am going to mix it up and give a recipe.

Crocked Pineapple Chicken!
6 whole chicken breast halves without skin -- skinned and split
1 dash pepper
To taste paprika
20 ounces pineapple chunks in juice -- 1 can tidbits
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic -- minced

Arrange chicken in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika. In a small bowl, combine drained pineapple tidbits, mustard and soy sauce. Pour over chicken. Add minced garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours. Makes 6 serving.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sonny and getting old

As I mentioned before our oldest Golden Retriever had a seizure on Feb 29th. Our vet told us it was unlikely to repeat, but to let her know if it did.

Oh brother, did it ever.

Starting on Thursday night, Sonny started having 4 seizures in 24 hours which progressed to having a seizure every 2 hours by the time Saturday morning rolled around. Since he loses bladder control each time it happens too (which I can't fault him for, I mean he is so miserable and sad when it is happening that you know he would do anything just to make it stop), that is a lot of pee to be cleaning up. The silver lining to this is at least it continues to happen in either B and my bedroom, where the carpet is gross and we plan to replace it, or in the basement, where the floor is tile.

Phenobarb has helped (although he is still having some seizures and we are having to play around with his medicines), but as a result makes him fall down/over at a whim and the seizures make him clingy and antsy. Picture a 70lb dog who thinks he needs to be on your lap at all times while you are trying to also care for 2 kids under 3.

I can't believe the change that has happened to Sonny in the last 3 weeks. In February he was invincible and would play ball until your arm fell off. In March, he is a old dog that is losing control of his own body and who looks at you with such sadness that you question why you are drugging him at all and if it would be better to just put him to sleep.

B and I have had lengthy discussions about when is the right time to put an animal down. We aren't there yet, but we are playing at this grey line and it is sickening and heartbreaking to even contimplate having to make this decision.

When is it time to make that choice for an animal? And how do you explain to a toddler, who loves the dogs as much as his daddy does, that Sonny won't be coming home?

Monday, March 17, 2008

My baby is 1

Yesterday was R's birthday. I am still depressed that my baby is already a year old. He was great and wasn't a total mess after the cake either (unlike L!). Oh and can you tell he are walking? Don't mind the numerous goose-eggs on our head!

Friday, March 14, 2008

and the diagnosis is....

nothing at all wrong with him!

You would think this is our first time around.

Anyways, Mom Smoo is busy getting ready to celebrate her baby's first birthday, so come back Monday when her brain hopefully returns and she is able to form complete sentences.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

poor baby

R is sick. He is headed to the doctors this afternoon with B, but I guess he was quite the crank last night and most of the day yesterday.

On my list of things he may have...
  • 4 teeth coming in -- all on the bottom. Touch his gums and he will scream at you.
  • strep throat -- won't eat, won't swollow his bottle and pulling at his ears (my ears always itch when my throat hurts)
  • ear infection -- again the pulling on the ears thing
  • tonsilitis -- because I am not sure if kids as young as R can get strep. I heard not before a year, but since his birthday is just 3 short days away....
  • some flesh eating disease -- which would explain the rashy blotches on his legs and the general crankiness

Since I have a law degree hanging on my wall and not a medical degree, anyone else want to chime and and diagnose him?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Jabberwakie

L ... does... not... shut... up!


This is great news, right?! He is doing so well in fact that his speech therapist called me at the office today to tell me what a great job he is doing. Lauren and I usually discuss his progress on Wednesday mornings -- as I normally work from home Wednesdays. Since I had to come in the office today for various reasons, I didn't see her, but when she called she told me, she just HAD to call to tell me what a great job L is doing.

We both had a laugh over the fact that L doesn't just talk anymore, but rather tells elaborate stories. Granted the stories involve lots of hand movements, the repetition of a few words, but the story does come across. If R falls and bumps his head, L will tell us "ReRe ouchies bang head" and then proceed to smack what ever surface it was the R fell into. I get to hear all about the trucks that come up and down our street. The fact that the dogs went pee pee and poo poo outside. The fact the The Wife or B went pee pee or poo poo at some point during the day. Shoot, my mom can tell you that L's favorite thing to talk about is when R goes poop. Yep - he is all boy!

It truly is amazing the progress that he has made in 5.5 months. Mind boggling in fact. At almost 2 he would only say a handful of words and we couldn't even get a two word combination. Now we talk in sentances - although the grammer is poor! - and use hundreds of words.

I guess I am putting this out there because 1) I am so proud of L that I really could burst and 2) I want other moms to know that if you think there is a problem, get help. So many people told me not to worry about it, but I knew something was wrong and with just a little bit of help L has turned the corner and can amaze us in even more ways. Don't listen to that crap that he is a boy and "my uncles, counin twice removed didn't talk until he was 5 and now is a profession orator". You, as the mom, know if your child needs more help and it is way better to get the help now then play "wait and see" and have them behind in school.

Now, if only I could get him to stop talking at times.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Never enough

B is out of town for work until tonight, so that means I was home alone with the boys last night and will be home with them tonight. Last night, the evening seemed to fly by. I got home at 510 (which is so stupidly early for me, I thought I was going to have all the time in the world), played around with L for a bit, made dinner, got R up from his late nap (thanks again for that The Wife), had dinner, played a bit more, got them ready for bed and then it was bedtime. Home 2 whole hours early and I didn't feel like I got one more spare second with the kids.

Tonight is bath time too, so that is going to be one more thing in the mix and less one on one time with the kids.

I don't know if I will ever feel as though I get enough time in the evening with the kids. Granted, I know I wouldn't be happy at home with them all day too, but I don't know how much time I need with them at night to make me feel like I am not working all the time and missing my kids.

Granted, we will soon see how I do with more "normal hours" (at least I hope we will and I get an offer from the PA law firm SOON! I am DYING here with anticipation), but I have a feeling, I am going to be missing the boys just as much then as I do now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

yet another entry about pee

L is almost potty trained. It is weird how quickly he caught on to it too. Last weekend it was a fight to get him to even sit on the potty and this week he is asking to go pee on the potty and actually pees every time he asks. And other than during naps, he was dry all weekend.

Doing #2 is a whole other story however, but since he is still pooping in his sleep rather than during the day, I know there is next to nothing I can do about that.

I of course spent time going over this all with The Wife this morning, but I am sure that some how, some way she will manage to screw it up and he will revert right back to peeing in his diapers by Tuesday or so. Fingers crossed though that this is really the start of only one in diapers.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

chubba lubba

R is getting fat again.

I noticed this morning when I was changing him that he has an extra roll of fat around his wrists again these days. When he was about 6 months old, he actually had a roll within a roll around his wrists. Washing him was fun because you had to peel open these rolls to get him clean.

Then all of a sudden they went away and he started becoming skinnymini like his older brother.

But, the rolls are now back and I hope they stay for a bit. I believe, however, he is going to be like MamaC's daughter E and get chubby right before he shoots up a few inches.

I am just waiting to see if he in fact weighs more than L does now. L is about 27lbs at 28 months and I am betting that R is every bit of 25lbs. 16 months apart and only a 2 lbs difference.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The terrible twos

L has been 2 for a few months now, but the terrible part of the twos just seem to be getting worse and worse. He is becoming quite a defiant little boy at times and I don't know how to make it stop. If he doesn't want me to go somewhere he will get in front of me and push backwards. If I tell him to stop doing something he will yell back at me (sometimes just a scream and sometimes a NO MOMMY). He is much much worse with me than he is with B and I am trying to get to the source of the problem to find a solution for him.

We do time outs and they do seem to work quite well with him because a lot of the time he is just getting overwhelmed and lashing out, but the other part of the problem, I feel, is that I have been home less and less over the last few weeks as work has been hectic and interviewing for jobs has had me out of town a few times too. Could he be problematic because he needs more time with his mommy?

This used to be offset by the fact that we would have 2 hours together on Fridays for swimming lessons. Since we have put them on hold while the move comes together, we have no one on one time. Should I be making a bigger point in doing that again? And if so, WHEN?

Anyone else find that their 2 year old gets worse if they have less mommy time.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

and the wait continues

When you are told that they are interviewing more 2nd round candidates in 2 weeks, how long would you think it would be before they make a decision?

I need to stop obsessively checking my email account to see if I have heard anything.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Oh were to start

Leap Year Day was interesting. We did a "ribbet" day of sorts with coloring and crafts that had a frog theme to them. L seemed to have a good time. R enjoyed ripping up paper and trying to eat it. I made a cookie for all of us to decorate, but then burnt it beyond recognition, so that idea went out the window.

However, our day went quickly down hill right around 4. I was supposed to be on a call with a recruiter then. Didn't hear from him until 4:15 and that was just to say he would be calling back in 20 minutes. While it stressed me out, it ended up being a good thing.

During that time I was in my basement office with the dogs and Sonny -- our oldest 10 year old Golden -- had a seizure. To say it freaked me out is an understatement. I went screaming through the house for B (who of course didn't hear me at all until I was inches from his behind -- that man needs his hearing checked BAD!) who ran downstairs to be with Sonny while I hung out with the boys. Luckily it passed in about 2-3 minutes, but Sonny lost bladder control and the poor dog seemed so scared. 10 minutes later it was like nothing happened. Vet says it is normal for a dog his age, can last up to 20 minutes and if it happens again, we will do blood work. Normal? Dear God, I do not want to get old.

Then I was on the call and about an hour into it, I hear B say - oh fuck. That is never good. I peak my head out from the bedroom to see L's lovie, sans nose, being destuffed. Luckily it was only a nose job and I was actually able to sew him back together, but Puppy will never be the same. unfortunately L saw me sewing him together and constantly points to Puppy's new nose and says Mommy cut! GREAT, now the kid thinks I hurt his beloved Puppy.

We have had a rough few bedtimes and naptimes as a result of puppy's plastic surgery, but I am hoping that will pass too.

So, all in all, I am kinda thrilled leap year only comes around once every 4 years.