Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking back

I finally got around to uploading and sharing pictures and realized there were a lot that were surprisingly familiar. The one on top is our last Christmas in NY - 2007 - and the ones on the bottom were from this year. Time flies. How did the boys get so big?

The whole motley crew.

R getting in on opening presents. I can't believe he is only 9 months old here!

And there was a time when L would sit and smile for a picture with his brother.

Hope 2008 was good and lets all hope for an even better 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

taking a tumble

Right before we left NY, I took both the boys to Target. I know we were in the card aisle. I think I was picking out a birthday card for B's grandmother, but it could have been pretty much anyone of the ILs (I don't do cards for family -- they know it, I think it is a waste of money). L had insisted on sitting in the seat part, so I put R in the basket. He was just above the edge and didn't really think twice about it. L has been in the basket countless times.

Well, R apparently reached for something. Did a full flip out of the cart and landed flat on his back. I heard the sickening thump as his head hit the concrete floor. Everyone else in the aisle scattered and I scooped R up and soothed him. He might have been all of a year old. He had a goose egg and I forced L out of the seat and kept R fastened in tight the rest of the time (which was seriously all of about 5 minutes because I thought I was going to puke and I just wanted out of there). I called B and bawled my eyes out. But apparently I didn't blog about it. Wonder why. I usually have no problem pointing out that I screw up just as much as the next person, even as a mom.

Well take a wild guess what happened today? Yep -- L, fought me to get in the seat and not in the basket. I relented. R was in the basket. We were searching the clearance Christmas stuff at Michaels -- looking for Christmas cookie cutters. R apparently saw some Christmas decorations that he wanted as I was looking down the aisle and next thing I knew I heard a gasp and then that sickening thump again.

This time, apparently being taller, didn't work in his favor. This time he landed face first on the floor.

He is either the toughest kid ever known to man or something slowed his fall. Or he learned to break his own fall. Yes, he ended up with a bloody nose and a very small bump on his head, but for the most part -- he was unharmed. The older woman (where the gasp came from) in the aisle though freaked the hell out, which made it worse. But in the long run she was helpful as she had tissues and I didn't and I needed something to mop up his face.

The one who had the bigger fit - L of course. Both because I walked away from him (I was in eye sight and was keeping an eye on him too) and because I then again forced him out of the seat to put R in close to me.

R is fine. Actually happy as could be this evening. Checked his eyes before nap and bed and they are dialating properly and all. I am just feeling like a bonehead. Once is a mistake. Twice is just dumbass on my part.

Although there was no crying to B this time. I am starting to learn with R, the ER and I are going to become intimately familiar with one another. Considering he likes to stand, and therefore flip off of, chairs, it is only a matter of time until he splits his head open like both his parents have -- many of times (I think my record was 2-3 times in the same week! What a joy I must have been).

This very well may be one of those Grandma's paybacks.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

Ok, so I am a few days late. Things have been strange here at the Smoo household. We did Christmas morning with the boys on the 25th. My parents came to watch them open presents. It was all over and done by 930 (remember, we were going very simple this year). Had a nice big breakfast and that was Christmas.

On Christmas night we took the boys to the local ski slope and went tubing with them. That was a big hit.

Other than that, it has been blah. Which is a huge change from our normal, split Christmas between NY, PA and IL routine. While it was nice to be home for the holidays, it was also a little uneventful.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas with my sister and her family. This is when the boys will be spoiled by the grandparents. That is when we will do a Christmas dinner. That is when it will feel more like Christmas.

Right now, it just feels blah.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry tooting Christmas

I can't remember the last time I worked on Christmas Eve. Maybe it is the Christmas spirit -- more likely it is the fact that other attorneys don't want to give up there vacation/holiday time -- but litigation proceedings tend to stall over the holidays. Today... not so much.

at 3am B got the call to head to work to deal with ice.
talked to him at 620 -- he should be home by 8
which is about an hour later then I need him here because I need to leave to drive to another office -- should take every bit of 2 hours due to the weather.
Oh and I need to hurry BACK to my own office because I need to get my assistant a Christmas present yet -- any ideas there
Maybe possibly I will be in my own office at like 4-6pm

There is a house to be cleaned. Groceries to be picked up for brunch on Christmas Day. And some final presents to be wrapped.

Oh and not to forget L still has to buy a present for R.


Oh and did I mention again that the roads are a sheet of ice and bleck. Joy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So you know that post I did. Yeah -- that half-assed post that was obviously done while sitting squarely in front of the TV. The one where I was only half aware of what my fingers were typing and it wasn't related to single other thing in life.

Ok -- so I apologize for that.

The real reason for my lack of posting and blah posts is that I am overwhelmed right now. A little overwhelmed by the fact that there is this holiday that has been fast approaching and is now less then 36 hours away. And a lot overwhelmed by the fact that work... it is killing me. Oh and of course this killing me is smack dab at the same time that B happens to be home with the boys ALL DAY LONG and smack dab over the time that I am supposed to be taking off work to be with the kids -- you know next week.

Things slowed down to a nice even pace over Thanksgiving and I got downright lazy during that time. Then I noticed I was actually a little slow. The billing year also starts on Dec. 1, so I was aware my time will now be monitored... CLOSELY and my hours will now affect my bonus and therefore my bottom line. So I asked for more.

Oh holy shit is all I have to say. I now have two PAGES of a to-do list. Many days spent out of my home office, which of course kills the billable time while I drive from place to place. I have to learn to multitask and dictate letters and pleading while driving (there is no law on that, right???) and get a handsfree thingy because that is the only time I will talk on the phone anymore -- the 2 hours of commuting.

And this isn't a short term issue. This is easily going to carry me through June 1st. As half the problem is that I have agreed to cover for another, more senior, attorney out on maternity leave -- for 6 months!

So happy freaking holidays.

Oh and guess what... the boys all of a sudden seem to like me and miss me when I am gone. Wonderful. Guilt all around here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

too much TV

I watch too much TV. I have come to my realization tonight. We DVR almost everything. Tonight B and I were watching Little People, Big World and Mike Detjen died. B and I were both bawling our eyes out.

Watching how the kids react really hit me too.

I know it is normal to emotionally react to it, especially since it is a show we always watch and are involved in, but seriously, sitting on your couch bawling isn't normal.

I know it is coming, but the first lose my kids are going to experience is more than likely going to be the loss of a great-grandparent. I don't know how L will react to it. I know he still feels the loss of our dog Sonny and still asks about him frequently.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not ready for Christmas

B and I had just another one of the many Christmas parties we had to attend last night. Bopsie and Popsie spent the night with the kids. Now that we are past all the "must attend" things, I am realizing how seriously behind we are in our Christmas preparations.

With 5 days left here is what needs to be done:

  • Menu for Christmas needs to be decided on and purchased
  • Cookies need to be made
  • The package going to the ILs in Illinois is still in the back of my car
  • I have actually gotten the Christmas cards ordered... too bad it was just a day ago and I don't even thing they have been shipped to me.
  • Wrap every last present we have
  • Oh and this little thing of going to see Santa
Yeah, I am totally on top of things this year. Good thing the kids are still only on the cusp on knowing what the heck this is all about.

Oh and add another thing to the list.... find a freaking CHURCH. I want my kids to know the REAL meaning behind this holiday.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Even Steven

Growing up, my mom was pretty anal about keeping my sister and I even. Even in the number of presents she got and even in the amount she spent. There were times we would get a random pack of socks to even us out. It required lots of paperwork, double checking and stress.

The Saint and I never felt "even" though. Granted there were times when I thought I had a better Christmas then she did (the year I got my Cabbage Patch kid or my science lab kit or even the year I was given my contacts for Christmas). But there were times when I though she had it a little better.

This year, I am trying to keep my boys Christmas even -- mainly even in the number of presents they open. However, I can't even remember the things I have gotten for each of the kids (I hid them in different places. Now I come across them and "remember"). I meant to spread everything out this weekend and see where we stand. I didn't get around to doing that.

We had a rule that they only got 3 presents. I have totally blown that, but not by much. (Although I have 3 puzzles for Lane -- is that one present or 3?).

Price wise -- I don't have a clue if we are even close.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

now onto 2 therapists

On Tues. night, B and I met with R's new speech therapist. It was just a formality to sign all the paperwork. While she was a little surprised that they recommended him for speech services, she totally agreed he needed the help.

On one hand it is nice that the expert agrees with mommy, but on the other hand, I really really really wanted someone to look at me and say -- he is just perfect, what could you possibly be worried about.

But this isn't some fantasy and in reality a true speech delay/potential oral fine motor delays is not a big deal compared with the alphabet soup I was given with L. Goodness knows the electric toothbrush trick has been a godsend to end the drooling and if he is in the perfect mood he will pick up a word or two when you try to get him to repeat what you say.

(This weekend he said Gators while doing the Gator Chomp)

So now our count is up to two therapists. Same as L had. I hope in a year I call roll my eyes and just wish R would just stop talking already

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Silent morning

I emailed N yesterday and asked her if she had a secret in getting L to stay in bed past 630am. She didn't, but apparently my talking about it has triggered something.

L has been potty trained for more than 6 months. For more than 2 months, he hasn't needed a pull up during his afternoon nap. However, we still have a hit or miss on being dry in the morning, but it seems like when he gets up at 630 in the morning to go potty he is dry.

Today he slept until 720. I thought for sure I would have a mess to clean up.

Nope -- totally dry. Although he insists that there were two drops of pee in his pull up. I guess he would know. Had the whole thing been on video, it would have been hilarious. Me in my robe, towel on my head, running through the house, carrying L, while he grabs his penis trying to hold his pee.

At some point here I need to put him to bed in just his underwear and see how he does. But it really seems to be my hang up and not his.

I just wish I knew what happened last night or this morning which got him to sleep until 720 so I could repeat it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The birds, part 3

Remember back when I had an issue with birds. You know here and here?

Guess what -- the birds are back. This time it seems as though a bird has come to think of our house as the safe haven. You see our front door does provide some cover from the howling winds and snow flurries that we have this morning seems to be inviting to an injured bird. I stuck my head our of our front door in the hopes that the unlocking and opening of the door would cause it to fly away.

It is still there.

It also is leaking various fluids out of its body and is missing half of its feathers on its back. I am just going out on a limb here and assuming it had a run in with the cat next door.

It is one lucky bird (I know -- I doubt it feels very lucky). Little does it know that Spookie has already destroyed that cat during the one time it came to our house and Spookie was outside. It took days to get all the clumps of orange hair out of Spookies claws.

Poor bird also probably has no idea that just on the other side of the door that it is so comfortably hiding against is the king of the bird killers.

Add that to my list of reasons why NOT to put a doggie door in at this house. I forgot how many times I had birds and bird feathers in my house last spring.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Seeing O

Last night I had my class. I don't know how much I have talked about this class before, but the quick and dirty on it is that it is a group of 40 of us that meet bi weekly and talk with non-profits in the community about board openings. It is suppose to make us better leaders in the community. It is a fun group of people and I love the non-mommy/non-work time.

My class last night though was our volunteer ideas/class project time. Many of us had thought of ideas. I had sort of stolen one from W because I thought it was a great idea and sounded pretty easy to execute. It was Jeans for Gene Awareness on March 20. It should have been on 3/21 which is National Down Syndrome day, but since that is a Saturday, it doesn't work for the purposes we needed. My idea made the first cut, but not the second. So if I want it to happen, I will have to do it on my own.

Anyways, I keep getting off the point of this post. I ended up talking about O a lot last night didn't hurt that I got a text telling me O had bronchitis last night during class too). O is W's youngest daughter. When O was born it was a total shock to W and everyone around her that O has Down Syndrome. W went through all the screenings and everything came back clear. But that sucker punch to me was just that -- a shock and sucker punch, but not a knock you on your ass blow like it was for W and her family. I felt sad for W and her family that their dreams of a "perfect" family had evaporated overnight. Felt bad for the extra work they would have to deal with. Felt bad that she was dealing with any and all of it. I also worried that I would lose one of my best friends because we wouldn't have anything in common.

In retrospect, I was a total freaking idiot.

O -- she has always been and continues to be one of the cutest kids I have ever seen. Every picture of her that I can remember over the last 6 months to year shows this giant smile. R is smiley, but nothing like O. She is a doll and just so much fun (down to the open mouth kisses she gives). I love watching the boys and her sister play with her. They aren't always gentle, but they are not judgmental in the least and it warms to heart. I hope and pray that my kids will forever carry with them that different isn't wrong, just different.

Then as I was bragging about how well O is doing hitting all typical milestones and is just the light of everyones lives someone asked me a question that surprised me. It was asked "does she look like she has down syndrome?" (let me just note -- the question wasn't meant to be mean, I think the person was thinking that I was either wearing rose colored glasses or maybe O just had a "touch" of Down Syndrome or something - whatever the hell that means). I thought about it for a second and then responded... I have no idea. That is the truth. To me O looks like her dad and her sister -- sorry W -- maybe she will be like E and start to look more like you as she grows up. There are times when W will send me an old picture of E and my first thought is that it is O. I don't look at her and see anything but O -- a sweet, adorable little girl that you can't help but want to hold and hug and who can make you giggle in seconds with her antics.

And for that, I have to thank her. She taught me that different is just different, no more or less. I hope I can continue to carry that with me for the rest of my life too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Super Why

"L, please let Dixie out to go potty."

L, do you want milk or juice for breakfast?

L, the toaster will ding when breakfast is ready.

L, put the wipes back in the green potty.

Mommy needs to go dry her hair.

Can you play while mommy gets dressed?

Do you see where this is going? Every last freaking statement, question, comment is met with a why. Sometimes it is said with the most whiney drawl to it which really means -- I don't wanna. Then we have the true why said out of curiosity. B and I are counting our lucky stars that it hasn't turned into "... but why" but who are we kidding. That is right around the corner too.

Now, if only we could get R to say pretty much anything unprompted we would be headed in the right direction.