Sunday, May 31, 2009

Conversation With My Mom

A short phone call.

My Mom: 73 and gorgeous. Homeschooled 9 children for at least 2-3 years each. Did not allow a tv in our home when we were growing up. Video games were punishable by death (to this day I still look around and break out in a cold sweat when someone hands me a controller). Hilarious.

Me: You know.

10:30 at night, on the phone.

Reason for call:
To see if I thought she could "pull off denim", even though "it's not technically in style anymore".

Snippet of conversation:

My Mom: Well, I guess Adam Lambert is gay.
Me: (thinking the name is vaguely familiar but not sure why or how, and after a long pause): I don't know who that is Mom.
My Mom: (exasperated with my ignorance) Okay, Dad.
Me: I still don't know who you're talking about.
My Mom: He's the kid who almost won American Idol, it was the upset of the century, he lost by one point!
Me: Oh yeah, hmmm, I think I could have told you that after Joel showed him singing Ring of Fire. Was that him, singing Ring of Fire?
My Mom: I don't know, I don't watch them singing.
Me: What?!
My Mom: I don't care about the singing.
Me: Well what on earth do you watch that show for?
My Mom: I just watch them get introduced and flip to something else. I like to hear what the judges say and then see the results. Everything else is just so modern, why would I watch that?


To summarize: My Mom makes fun of Me for not knowing who Adam Lambert is. My Mom has too many other shows to watch, to actually watch the whole American Idol show, and the reason it's even on. My Mom calls show "too modern" after making fun of Me for not knowing contestant's name.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coloring Elitist

Today one of Bo's friends came home with him. I was struck by how young he sounded when he spoke. And I realized I've gotten used to hearing Bo talk like a miniature 42 year old man. With a bad buzz-cut in place of a combover.

As Bo's little friend stood right beside me, I started looking through Bo's papers from school and came across a coloring page of a dinosaur.

It was colored like crap and this really bothered me. I don't like it when Bo does shoddy work, even if it is a silly coloring page. It just says "I'm lazy" and that's a trait we pride ourselves on hiding from the general public.

I held it up.

With an obviously condescending voice I asked Bo, "What is this all about?"

That's when Bo's sweet friend turned to me with big bright eyes and declared, "I cuh-wered it fer Bo!"

Uh. Er. Ahem. Right.

Carry on.

And yes, Bo knew exactly what I had mistakenly though and laughed at my faux pas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mother's Days Past

When J and I were engaged he told me about his plans to make me a ring (I heard "every year" but upon reflection, I doubt he was that ambitious about jewelry, even then) out of elements readily available in the foreign land where we'd be living.

We were going to travel the world, and save it, one micro-credit loan at a time.

We had plans to go to Bangladesh 6 months after we were married and begin our adventure.

Then I got pregnant with Bo. This was a big surprise (anyone who says pregnancies can't be a surprise hasn't done 2 things: 1, been around when I've found out I am pregnant and 2: passed me in the hallway) for us and we were suddenly compelled to change our life plan.

Of course, going to Bangladesh 4 months pregnant and giving birth to our first child in dirt hut in Southeast Asia wasn't really going to happen.

Because when it comes to saving the world, we're more of uh, what you'd call "Excuse Makers".

I often think about those dreams to travel the world and get clay rings, when I'm weary from dropping subtle hints to J that a made-up holiday is about to happen and he needs to revere it with something sparkly or chocolate.

My first Mother's Day, married to J, I was 9 months pregnant.

J got me nothing. Because technically, I wasn't a mother yet. This is true, but I was furious.

The next year was a wash. It's just not in J's DNA to acknowledge holidays. He loves Labor Day. It's the best holiday of the year because, you don't have to give anybody anything, and your main requirement is generally to show up with something to grill.

The next year I had a newborn Avee and almost 2, Bo.


Then we moved to Texas. J had a real job and he wasn't a stressed out, underpaid student. And to be honest, I was pretty much the most awesome mom ever, so I was really looking forward to Payday.

Nothing. In fact, he even booked his flight out of town about 4 hours earlier than necessary and never once acknowledged it was Mother's Day.

Whatever people say hell hath no fury like---that phrase was defined by me---Monday morning, the day after Mother's Day 2006.

I consider myself a pretty easy-going girl. And most days, J will agree. But this was a massive error on J's part.

His reasoning was, he had forgotten. Fair enough. Traveling was very stressful on all of us, and probably him the most. And because he had forgotten, he was sure anything he said or did would come across as fake, forced, rushed, insincere, Walmerts check-out line impulse buy-ish. Basically he was sure I'd call his bluff (as if I would ever!). So his response? Say nothing at all.

At this risk of smudging my good name, I will say this: I sent him an email that got bounced back to me with this message, "We have detected this email contains harassing and abusive language and will not be sent to recipient." True story.

In the moment, it infuriated me. Now? Probably one of the more funny moments of my married life.

We worked through some issues and I felt like J finally understood that I needed some acknowledgment for all my hard work. There are no pay raises, no quarterly reviews, minimal feedback---I felt like it was his job to take advantage of Mother's Day to show appreciation. AND I wanted him teaching our children to show appreciation.

The next year---we were still in Texas, I was muy pregnant with Danyo and I was confident we had arrived at a place where I could keep my expectations reasonable, and J could understand my need for acknowledgment.

Total and complete repeat of the previous year. He forgot, and again assumed the best approach was to ignore.

I still have to see a chiropractor because of that day. My head spun off of my neck.

I had unwittingly become the definition of mentally ill. I kept beating my head against a brick will, expecting a different result. I really truly thought I'd get a different result. If you know J, you know that this expectation wasn't unreasonable. He's a good guy, he cares about me, I was sure I'd get a response.

So, after about 4 days of calling his hotel room and threatening dismemberment, and calling at 3 am and hanging up when he answered, and mailing him a box of toenails and slugs---I had worked through some of my anger and we communicated. J said some things I was sure indicated he understood me, and that this would not happen again.

Last year: He took the kids to get cards and wrote what they dictated. He got me something I wanted/needed. He "acknowledged" me. And he taught the kids to do the same. It was wonderful.

This year: I didn't say anything. I try so hard not to put him to the test, but I am a woman, and I simply can't help myself.

He and the kids brought me breakfast in bed. Avee ate all my bacon and Danyo face planted in the strawberry syrup trying to wrestle Avee for the last piece of bacon. There were fresh flowers in a Bubba Gump beer glass that lit up.

It made my heart smile.

But. I also got myself a little ring "for J to give me".

I thought that ring would fulfill me. I thought people would look at it and say, "Oh, your husband loves you." Or, "Oh, you must really be a good mother."

I was going to wear it proudly, knowing I had been treated well on Mother's Day.

I took it off because it hurt when I lifted weights.

Then I went to go put it on afterwards and remembered how much I really don't care to wear jewelry.

And no one had really even noticed it anyway.

And it just didn't fulfill me like I had anticipated.

So, every day I see this ring, sitting on the shelf in the bathroom. It would be so easy to put on my finger. And maybe someone will see it and all my dreams will come true when they realize how much my husband loves me and how amazing of a mother I am...

I can't put it on.

It reminds me of the worst in me. The shallow part that thinks the world needs to see something to prove what an amazing person my husband is. It reminds me that when I said I would marry J and when I was so happy to say yes to that question, that intrinsic joy of marrying someone so wonderful, wouldn't always be enough for my greedy self. It reminds me I have lost sight of what matters the most.

A man who loves me in all my different "shades". A man who tells me he loves me everyday. A man who constantly picks up where I leave off, and doesn't think twice about it. A man who supports me, encourages me, trusts me, laughs with me, and gives everything for me and his children. He does this stuff

Who he is, is acknowledgment enough for me. How he is, is example enough for our children.

If they made cards that said, "Honey, I love you so much, that even when I'm in the bathroom and I hear the kids disobeying you, I will call out, 'I'm almost done in here, and when I am, I better see three little kids listening to their mom!'"

I'm sure I'd have a dozen.

Because that's the kind of man he is.

I'm keeping the ring. Probably right there on the shelf. As a reminder of what exactly it is I want. I want exactly what I get, every single day.

And on Mother's Day---I want to be reminded of what I get, every single day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This Time Six Years Ago...

I had been a mother for about 7 hours.

Bo loves to hear about when he was born and when he was a baby.

I never tire of telling him about it.

After yesterday's post I got an email from my mom, noting that I hadn't subjected you to the more gory details of my delivery.

Truth is, that stuff didn't happen until today.

So here it is...

Just kidding.

Suffice it to say, it was a very difficult delivery, Bo was over 9 pounds, I was as yet unfamiliar with the art of getting a camel through the eye of a needle. That's what that means, right?

My doctor, bless her sweet heart was very worried and really wanted me to get a c-section but I made her promise beforehand that she would do everything she possibly could to avoid it. Both my sisters had very difficult first deliveries, so we were prepared for it to go that way.

At one point I was pulling on a towel to help with the pushing, there were about 9 people all standing around me, half of them yelling at me to push, push harder, give it all I had, you simply have to do better than that, etc.

Then this tiny little slip of a nurse climbed up on my bed, on her knees and pressed down on me and literally pushed Bo out.

I had checked out and gone to my special place where people were telling me I was so pretty and could they please get me some more chocolate dipped strawberries? I barely noticed the nurse, and since everything was so chaotic, the addition of this unconventional method of getting a baby out, was barely noticed.

I didn't know I was done. I heard J cry out, "That's the most amazing thing I've ever seen!"

I heard someone say, "You're done, Nobody, he's out!"

I pulled myself up on my elbows and looked across the room to see this gigantic baby laying on a table, flailing his appendages around, not making a sound.

He was huge and I was sure my perspective was skewed so I didn't say anything at first.

My mom, was sitting in stunned silence, unwilling or unable to move, I'm not sure.

I said, "He looks so big!" My doctor said he was the biggest baby she'd delivered in her private practice (she was 29 at the time) and my mom said, "That's the biggest baby a Smith girl has delivered!

It struck me how she seemed to say that with pride. All I could think was, "Why did I have to earn that award?"

Bo didn't cry. He was just sweet and content.

Still is.

It's amazing to me that six years later I can still look across the room at him and be overcome with joy and pride. That he's mine. That we did that. That he came to us. That our hearts were every complete before he came.

Before we had Bo, I learned that J was a little nervous around newborns, particularly small ones. This kind of worried me. I imagined him skillfully avoiding Bo until he was well into his second year of life.

The nurses bundled up Bo and J tucked him into his arms and was completely at ease.

Second only to holding him in my own arms, I loved to see Bo nestled in J's arms.

About 40 minutes after he was born, it was a little after 3 am. The nurse suggested that J go get me some fresh fruit before the cafeteria closed. In this hospital, you had to go through the garage from where we were, to get to the cafeteria.

I was busy getting "mended" and J, being the good and attentive husband and father, carefully tucked Bo into one arm, waved to me and said, "I'll be back with some food!"

The nurse jumped up and said, "You can't take the baby with you!"

And then sat down and laughed until she cried. It of course didn't occur to either of us that perhaps our 40 minute old newborn shouldn't be hauled through a parking garage and off to a cafeteria, with a one-armed hold.

J has been a better father than I ever could have dreamed for my children, and Bo has been all a mother could ever hope for in a child. And both have had six years to prove it over and over.

Happy Birthday Bo. To know, know, know, you is to love, love, love you. Just to see your smile, makes my life worthwhile....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Six Years Ago Today, Part Dos

Consider this topic effectively milked:

Six years ago today I woke up feeling like hud. I woke up feeling like that most days, but today I just didn't have the oomph to push through. J worked at the same law firm with me, and so I told him I was staying home, and encouraged him to go in and fight the good fight for both of us.

I puttered around our little one bedroom, went for a walk, tried to find something besides Andy Griffith reruns or Days of Our Lives no avail.

Around noon I called my mom and told her I'd stayed home for the day. Because that is the kind of useful information with which I like to keep my mother informed. Daily. "Mom, today I bought yogurt." But see, that's what makes my mom the awesomest. She rarely says, "And?" or "So?" I mean, she sometimes does that, but I just ignore it and keep talking.

She did however ask me why I sluffed work. This woman delivered 9 children. Half of them out in the cornfields and kept working right after she delivered. I doubt "my hip hurts too much to go sit at my desk job and eat milkshakes" was going to fly with her.

I said, "My back hurts. It's not constant, but it's enough to really bother me when it does."

"So it comes and goes?"


"How often?"

"Oh, I dunno. It really doesn't last long, it just is uncomfortable."



"Pretty sure those are contractions. Why don't you time how often it hurts and how long, and then call me back."

I called her back 52 minutes later.

"Mom! It hurts every 17 minutes for about 45 seconds or so!"

27 years old. Pretty smart girl. Birthing class graduate. Multiple pregnancy books reader.
Didn't know I was in labor.

In my defense, and it's weak at best---it was all back labor, and I just wasn't expecting that.

My mom put down the hot pink blouse with the matching beaded necklace she'd been planning to buy, and went home to get her hospital bag. She lived in Kansas City, I lived in St. Louis.

I called my work and told them I was in labor. It was so exciting to have a real reason. I'd been a malingerer for so long, I needed this save.

Naturally I assumed that with this information, the imminent arrival of his firstborn son, J would rush home to cater to my every whim and be sure to not miss a thing.


I call back.

My co-worker yells incredulously, "He isn't there yet! J! GET HOME! YOUR WIFE IS IN LABOR!"

Half an hour later J walks in with an orange-cream milkshake. I didn't realize then, he was setting a precedent for entering the labor-delivery scene while enjoying cold dairy treats.

Around 5:30 the contractions were 5 minutes apart, but still not unbearably painful. We were sure I would be the exception to the rule and the baby would come fast and painlessly.

So we headed off to the hospital.

But first we had to stop and get gas for the car. Because we were on empty. The first time that had happened or even been remotely close in 4 months.

At the hospital they told me I was at a three and I could have an epidural if I'd like. I will note here, that such generosity with the epidural was never afforded again in subsequent deliveries.

I said no. I said that I wasn't in pain yet, and that I'd really like to experience labor. Part of me was also entertaining the idea of going natural. I wasn't opposed to either option.

My mom showed up at the hospital within seconds of us. It was excellent timing.

I had forced her to be there at the delivery. J and I had been married 11 months. I wasn't sure he wouldn't faint in the delivery room. Or try and go get Cheetos while I was pushing....

We got into our room and once it was established that I was okay, my mom started looking for American Idol on the tv. She was rooting for the "effeminate boy" to win, but was pretty sure the "big boy" would win. J and I had seen probably half of one episode, so we weren't up to speed.

I focused on working out an entire child, while they listened to Reuben and Clay duke it out vocally.

Then it started to hurt. Perty dern badly.

At one point I was sitting on a birthing ball. Otherwise known as the exercise ball from hell when my trainer makes me use it. But there, in the hospital, it was a friendly ball.

I'm sitting on it, innocently. I'm trying to find something that helps me get through a contraction and distracts from the pain.

A nurse comes in and says, "Oh honey! That's not the right ball for you, hang on a minute, don't bounce on that anymore."

Awww, so sweet. She's going to get me a nicer, higher grade model, in a better color than aquamarine.

She came back with a much, much, MUCH larger, bright red ball and said, "I think this will suit you better."

My mom threw her head back and laughed right out loud. She herself had been thinking that ball didn't stand a chance against me and my 9 months pregnant bouncing self.

Around 9:30 I felt like I wasn't going to be able to go the whole night feeling this kind of pain. So I asked for an epidural.

By a little before 10, I was sitting on the edge of the bed, getting an epidural. J was fascinated and came to stand behind the anesthesiologist and in true J fashion, started asking questions. The nurse, who was working hard to keep me steady, barked at J, "Sit down and be quiet right now J!"

Turns out, the anesthesiologist was having a really hard time with me. I don't know why or how, but I do know that it took 30 minutes and when she was done, she was literally dripping with sweat. Since this was my first, I didn't know 30 minutes was an inordinately long time. I assumed the sweat was abnormal.

For the record, getting barked at like J did, would have made me cry for weeks. J didn't bat an eye. That stuff just doesn't get to him.

After that, we all relaxed and watched Seinfeld.

Around 11:30 they said I was a 10 and could start pushing.

I did.

According to some of the people there, some of them yelling at me, I was not a good pusher.

Bo wasn't born until tomorrow....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Six Years Ago Today

Six years ago today I was sitting at my desk, at a law firm, in St. Louis, Missouri.

I was very pregnant, and while I felt it, I didn't realize how much I was letting others know.

I was on the phone with a client, and had been for about 10-15 minutes when finally the man said, "Well I can see that I am just annoying you, so I'll just go then!" I was completely shocked and while, most of the clients at that law firm were exasperating, I took pride in keeping my cool and not ever letting them know. This man was not one of those in the first place!

"Sir, I am not annoyed at all, I'm sorry if I've made you feel that I am, I assure you I am not."

"Well, you've sighed like twice every minute since we've started this conversation!"

It took a lot for me to hold my shock, laugh, and baby in, right at that moment.

"I am so sorry. I'm nine months pregnant and I really just can't breath anymore and I didn't realize I was trying to so loudly."

This time, 6 years ago, Bo was still a dream in our minds. While I felt his daily, 2pm hiccups, and his very rambunctious in utero he'd be, how he'd look, how we'd feel, how we'd manage was all just a great big idea in our heads.

I was nervous about delivering. J was nervous about having to deliver. He kept our car filled with gas at all times. I wondered if (and secretly hoped) Bo would be born with a nice shock of bright red hair. How could I have known then that the J-Nobody combination only makes one model--bald bald bald!

I remember feeling very sad to give up my first and truest love---sleep. This was a real sadness, one I genuinely mourned. So many people told me, "You'll never sleep the same again" and that was just depressing. What they failed to include is, "you learn to function very well, while sleeping". I'm pretty sure I've done some of my best parenting, while asleep.

Six years later.
I have a sass-mouth, smart, adorable, curious, heart-stealing five year old who tells people he's six. "Well, basically six" when he sees me give him the eye. Yesterday he asked me what the heck I thought I was doing, when I was making an illegal u-turn. A few moments later he told me I was crazy. "Se-wee-us-ly Mom, yo' totally cwazy."

He worries about the details.
He talks with his hands.
He expresses his feelings a zillion years after the fact. Just like his dad.
He thinks he's smarter than he is.
And I love it.
He wants to be perfect.
He's funnier than he thinks he is.
He's much more serious than I anticipated a child of mine would be.
He wants to wrestle, play basketball, swim, and play t-ball when he's in high school.
He brags.
He finally stopped eating boogers, and now wipes them...on stuff. (Come over, any time!)
He's that kid at Thanksgiving that finagles his way to the grown-up table and says things like, "Did you know that sharks skeletons are cartilage and that bald eagles aren't really bald?" to other grownups and lives for adult conversation.
He's a follower.
He's good at doing chores.
He laughs hard, and you can't help laughing too.
He still blames me for things I couldn't possibly have done. ("You made me lose the race" when I'm in the other room.)
He is always surprised when I tell him he has to wear underwear every day.
He "pretty much has the driving thing fig-yohed out".
He is sensitive to what you say and what you think of him.
He adores his dad.
He barely has red hair.
He's still my baby.

Maybe if you're lucky, I'll post tomorrow about "6 years ago tomorrow"-- labor and whatnot.

p.s. I know this is a post about Bo (and me, really, if I'm being honest) but this needs to be said. Avee just took a call from Max and this is what I heard:
"I know it's you Max. I can hear you. I KNOW it's YOU. I'm still not talking to you Max. No, I'm not! Just come over, I'll talk to you when you get here. Whatever, Max."

If you don't know me in real life, I do NOT talk like that. Ever. This is not a learned behavior. She 100% came this way.

p.p.s I just caught Danyo walking a Target bag full of stuff I just purchased yesterday, out to the trash. So helpful.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Because I Think I Should Post

Every two years, since a year after my blessed union with J---I have had a baby. Right around this time of year, I have a wrinkly, cry-ey, poopy, leechy, precious newborn.

Or I'm ready to pop.

This year is the first two year mark that this is not the case. Although, I just made some delish, made-from-scratch buttermilk pannycakes, and I feel like I'm finna pop.

Another thing we've done every two years, or less, is move.

So I'm spinning around my house, itching to nest, pack, weed out, (I'd call it spring cleaning but Super Happy Girl thinks that's stupid, and I live to please my friends) and there's really no need. My house, in general, is immaculate. I'm one of those people who can't let the ice melt in an empty glass on my counter. If it's not in someone's hand, serving it's purpose, I'm washing it and putting it away.

I hope nobody else got a puddle of sarcasm on their keyboard just now...

So, I've been nesting.

And yelling at my kids for things they've done every day until now, and haven't gotten yelled at.

"Really!?! You think it's okay to leave your popsicle stick on the table like that!? What is WRONG with you..."

That's really all I have to say about that.

Bo is home from school today. Pretty sure it's a mental health day, but shhhh---don't tell him that. He thinks his leg is broken. It broke in the night. When he was sleeping. And so brutal was this break, that he couldn't make it to the bathroom this morning and peed on the floor outside the bathroom.

I'm feeling a little more compassion for him than I normally would in this situation because one, I'm just a nice girl like that and two, he really believes all this. And that is entertaining for me. I'll do pretty much anything for good entertainment.

Last night as I was fighting with Danyo to get to sleep, Bo sighed loudly, oblivious to Danyo's screams and the sweat dripping off my brow, and said, "I am so tired of doing stuff at school that I am way too super smart for." See, that's cute and funny, but it sounds like this, "I'm so ty-ode of doing stuff at school that I am way too supoh smawt foh." which is like, 5x's funnier.

I wondered when the way he was feeling at school would catch up with his desire to say it out loud to me. I asked for some more specifics and his complaint was with the same papers he's bringing home, that immediately send me into a coma when I read them. I have a hard time believing more than 3 kids in that class need that level of learning.

On the other hand, he draws pictures of him and a couple of his friends racing go-karts, under the title "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" because he wants to be Mario when he grows up. And right now, he's rocking himself on an ottoman and saying "pizzata" over and over. So really, how's a person to know that "learning" to read "I can run" is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllly boring him.

And lastly, when Danyo was born, I told him probably 4 gazillion times, "You are false advertisement buddy, you make me think I can have 12 kids." He was so sweet and easy and snuggly, and has maintained that description for quite some time.

I know that kids change as they grow, but the changes he's making, I can't take. He used to ask to go to bed if J or I were ever taking too long to get him there. In fact, just two Sundays ago, as we were about to walk out the door to church (which is also, exactly his naptime) he took himself upstairs and climbed in his crib for a nap.

But something snapped about a week ago. Part of me thinks it's a delayed reaction to my 5 day absence (three weeks ago!), or I worked all day Saturday last week (which I never do) or, he's just growing and changing and this is the new him...

He screams. SCREAMS at naptime and bedtime. When I go in to deal with him, he reaches for me so pathetically that I have to call for backup because I want so desperately to pick him up. When J deals with him, he basically yells at him, gives him dirty looks, and talks back.

We have no idea what to do. I've tried letting him cry it out (worked for Bo, never worked for Avee) and he has gone as long as an hour and a half with no stop.

Last night I pulled him into bed with me to snuggle, hopping he'd just find relief and give it up. He humored me for about 4 minutes and then got up to go about his business of toodling around the house. I put him back in his crib.

The only thing that works, is J laying on the floor in his room. Which is great, for a quick-fix, but not a solution. We moved him in with the other kids, because I thought maybe he was lonely. Yeah, he couldn't care less.

So, if anyone's faced something like this, and has some insights--let me know. He's also completely given up milk. Which is actually fine by me---he's going to be 2 in a couple of weeks, so he doesn't really need it anymore---but it seems weird that he's gone cold turkey at the exact same time he's freaked out about sleeping.

In the daytime he's mostly delightful. He's still sweet, smiley, and snuggly. He does have more opinions, and some OCD tendencies (which we find hilarious and endearing), and he can't talk---so he gets really frustrated when he has a want or need we don't understand. Which sadly, happens a lot.

J's back and my sanity thank you in advance.

Avee just exclamed, "Oh my holy smokes!"

That's just cute.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How I Know He'll Find Success In Life

Exhibit A:
(some random conversation in which the swine flu is mentioned)
J: (very proud of his homemade joke) Yeah, the swine flu the other white flu.
Bo: Uh, Dad---I'm pretty sure African Americans can get swine flu too.

Exhibit B:
J: (sticking his head in the van where all the kids are sitting) Who wants to ride with me!?
Bo: I do! Oh wait, no. I want to stay here with Danyo.
J: We cantalk aboutthe electromagnetic spectrum... ♫
Bo: Really!? Okay!!!

Exhibit C:
(First thing this morning)
Bo: Mom, I went poop this morning.
Me: Okay.
Bo: Uhhh. A lot.
Me: Are you okay? Is there a mess? Are you clean? What's wrong, why are you telling me this?
Bo: Well, it's just that, it seems like it has to be diarrhea since there was so much.
Me: Oh. Okay.
Bo: Soooo....
Me: So what? Are you feeling yucky?
Bo: No.
Me: Well, what's the problem then?
Bo: Well, my teacher said if you have diarrhea, it's probably swine flu and not to come to school.
Me: Ohhhh. Right. Pretty sure you're okay. Is there another reason you'd like to stay home?
Bo: No. I just don't want to get in trouble for having swine flu.

I bit my tongue because I'm trying not to be so sarcastic with or around Bo all the time, but I really wanted to say, "I'll write you a note that says, 'Please do not give Bo detention for having diarrhea or swine flu, he didn't mean to'."
Bo picks up on my derision of the school and that's probably not a good thing. Since he repeats everything.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Photo Shoot, Nobody Style

It's time for the posting of Bo's new violin song. I waited too long to record this because he's anxious to move on to his new song and feels like playing last week's song is beneath him.

Plus it was half an hour past his bedtime. Reviewing the footage of what I've recorded, reminds me that sometimes I am a crappy mom. Saying the word crappy in front of my kids is the least of my offenses.
He was sick of making mistakes, so his solution to the problem was to play it fast, with no regard to timing. So here's (Impatient) Lightly Row.

And lest you think I sugar coat things on my blog...
A video I like to call "Behind The Scenes"

Last week Avee got in the mud. The girl who won't wear long sleeves because that's not a princess sleeve. The girl who hasn't worn pants since the Bush Administration. The girl who thinks talking in a voice higher than her natural voice makes her sound cuter. The girl who's stolen every tube of lipstick, lipgloss, lip luster, lip plumper, whatever, that I own. The girl who has designated all our positions in life, to maintain her status as Princess....
wouldn't stay out of the mud.

But she got a little on her face.

When I pointed it out to her, naturally she wanted to see it:

This face made me laugh for a good 6-7 minutes.

And finally, the baby. The sweet little pudge-wudge who isn't as much a baby as I'd like to think.

His one sheer joy right now, is "being" a big kid. Sitting with the bigger kids. Sitting on them. Playing with them, playing near them. He is so thrilled to be able to possibly pass as one of them. I love catching that look of achievement on his face. It's the same look he has when he goes down the stairs upright.

But I love his dirty looks even more.

I managed to catch one on film. I believe at this particular moment I pointed out, in front of all the cool kids, that his poop, did in fact stink. And that it needed to be taken care of. Unfortunately, by me.

In this first photo, is the ever-so-slightly raised eyebrows, combined with the relatively expressionless face. This particular look I did not discover until I was well into my 13th year, and it was not honed until sometime around my third wedding anniversary. It says, "I'm not even going to dignify that with a response"

When I persist in calling him poopypants and baby talking to him and assure him the dignity of a response is not needed, just 2 minutes with some wipes and a new diaper.... I get the full dirty look.

It's awesome. I think he might be flashing some gang signs too.

Upon further review, I'm noticing a striking similarity to the photo of Avee, looking at the dirt on her face. A little less "dirty" with the eyes and a little more "skeewompus".

Who knew I could have so much fun exploiting my children on the blog?

Heh. Pretty much everyone.

Friday, May 1, 2009


This morning I stood on the front steps and watched you walk off to school. I couldn't stop watching you--my baby--almost 6 years old, saunter off to school.

I watch your back pack swing and tap against your back with each step you take.

I notice your walk is similar to mine. You try to walk quick and purposefully, but a slow meander is all you can manage.

Your red hair---I love that it shows you are so obviously mine.

You have.... blue eyes.... sense of humor..... love of chocolate.....

Yesterday you told me how you spelled out the words to "Risen' up to the challenge of our rival" all the way home from school, making it pretty much the longest spelled word ever.

I still catch myself spelling things out in my head. It's weird and useless, but we are who we are, right?

My heart breaks a little as I watch you go, so big, so suddenly it seems. I remember staring down at your little newborn alien-looking face, searching for visible signs that you were mine. Your big hands, your little ring of red hair.

You are mine, mine, MINE!

I watch you turn and stare at the neighbor sitting on her porch.

Your finger is completely buried up your nose.

And then I remember, you are your daddy's too.