Saturday, June 30, 2007

I need a vacation...

Seriously. That could be my only line right now.

Here's the nutshell:

*Grandma and Grandpa are moving to assisted living. As in, at this very moment, my husband and family are loading a truck with their belongings and moving them in. The blessing of having your grandparents live until you are in your (ouch) mid-30's is that they get to be part of a HUGE chunk of your life. Be at your wedding. Know and love your children. The sucky part is having to watch the bottom fall out on their life. It's been hard, but what a privilege to return the love and care that I was given as a child. It's like walking on my heart to be part of it, but at the same time, I wouldn't have it any other way.

*We are putting our house on the market very soon. We just have to get the new carpet and flooring in, and we'll be good to go. No work needed to prepare for that. (HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

*The good news is that the kids both seem to finally be, well, you know. That word that I'm afraid to type and put out there for fear of jinxing it. It rhymes with smealthy.

*I'm tired. As in I could lay down and sleep for about 3 days. If I don't put on makeup, it is a certainty (hasn't failed to happen yet) that someone I know will tell me how tired I look. Heck, even if I do put on makeup, that's still a distinct possibility. Love how I must look to the world.

*All of my butt kickin' weight loss has once again been snuffed out. WHY can't I be one of those people that doesn't eat when she's stressed? I swear, it's like I can't NOT eat when I'm stressed. It's bad. I should get some willpower or something.

I think that's about it. Oh, other than me trying to be on the steering team for my MOPS group, be the co-volunteer coordinator for Mitchell's school and taking on another client.

Why do I do this to myself?

Did I mention that I need a vacation? Let me know if you'd like to paypal a contribution for the ol' vacation fund.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The only one in the family with this problem...

That would be me. And not sleeping.

The other three people in the house are sawing logs. They all looked about the same when I came down here, too...halfway between lying on their backs and sides, one arm up by their heads, and deeeeeeeep in sleep.

Me? Not so much.

I fell asleep at oh -- I would say about 9:30 pm on the couch. My husband woke me up at about 12:30 a.m. to go to bed. I halfway wish he would have just left me there because I'd probably still be asleep. Instead, I laid in bed awake for about 3 hours and then finally came down here to dink around. I should probably be folding laundry. Or doing other house related things...Lord knows there are enough of them. The thing is, when I can't sleep, I'm still tired enough that I don't want to *do* anything that requires effort.

Ohhhh - a yawn! Could it be?? I better go try to get at least a few more hours of sleep. I guess the sleep all night thing runs on his side of the family, huh?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Consipracy Theory...

Yes, a blog with no direction. Make that blogger with no direction.

I'm tired. Last night wore me out. I've decided I need to watch my kids more closely -- apparently they have some sort of secret code that I am bound and determined to crack. That's all I can figure out -- it was too well orchestrated to be a random accident.

My husband (poor guy) had to work late last night. Make that laaaaaaaaaaaaaaate. Which is fine, that happens. Usually, it's not a big deal. We do dinner. We do bathtime. We do bedtime, one at a time. Then Mommy (that's me) comes downstairs to do whatever she wants. Usually it's cleaning, laundry, dinking on the internet, watching shows, etc.

Last night we did dinner. (No problem.)

Last night we did bathtime. (No problem.)

Georgia went to bed, but unlike her normal waving night night and blowing kisses, she fussed. Her fussing turned into crying about 5 minutes later. About 5 minutes after that, it turned into screaming. SO, Mitchell and I took a break from his Ratatouille book that we were reading to go get her resettled. Mission accomplished. We finished his book and did his whole bedtime routine thing. (No problem.)

I came back downstairs. About half an hour later...I would begin what I now think of as the calm down, night night circuit.

8:45 - Georgia wakes up BAWLING her little eyes out. I come to the rescue, get her resettled, check on a slumbering Mitchell and head back downstairs to keep on cleaning up the kitchen.

9:00 - Mitchell wakes up SCREAMING for me (not good on the ol' throat, by the way). Again, Mommy to the rescue -- back rub, tear dabbing, music starting, forehead kissing -- and downstairs I go.

9:15 - Georgia's turn.

9:30 - Mitchell's turn.

9:45 - Georgia's turn.

10:00 - Mitchell's turn.

And so on ...

I'm sure you think I'm exaggerating that it was that closely timed, but give or take about 3 minutes on either side, it was LITERALLY every 15 minutes. I don't know what the heck was going on up there but strange things were afoot. (Kudos to my fellow horrible 90's movie watchers who know what I'm talking about.)

My husband gets home shortly before 11 p.m. and the first thing he asks me is what's wrong. I don't know what gave it away -- my half torn out bun, my t-shirt stained red with the nasty store-brand fake children's tylenol, the makeup that was halfway down my face and leftover from the day before (true fact), or if it was finding me in the kitchen sink bathing in my newfound love, Stoli Blueberi. (Not really, I didn't even make myself a drink last night but in hindsight, that would have been a stellar plan.) He told me tonight that I looked like I'd been run over by a truck. Always nice to hear.

I told him about our two deviants upstairs and their seriously twisted 15 minute plan and predicted that since it was her turn, Shortstack would be wailing in about 5-8 minutes. He laughed and said "Oh, honey -- I'm so sorry" in that way that you know he truly WAS sorry but I'm not sure if he was more sorry that I'd been dealing with his two screaming offspring or that I was clearly losing my mind. We chatted about his day and like clockwork, my little girl did not let me down. He looked at the monitor, looked at the clock, looked at me and said "Wow. I guess you weren't kidding." Ummmm, yeah. Not kidding.

Since he was home, I decided to bring her downstairs and let him deal with her for awhile. (I don't mean that like "Here, butthead -- deal with her!" I mean that as in "Please, dear man, take pity on me and help." I feel sort of bad -- he just switched from the adult pool to the kiddie pool -- both were filled with cry babies yesterday. Anyway -- she was okay for all of oh -- about 10 seconds and then she just let loose again. The only thing she wanted was to cuddle up on Mommy's shoulders and rock in the recliner.

We finally trudged back upstairs and he thought I was nuts, but I decided to try and put her down one more time. His vote was for letting her sleep with us, but knowing my little hurricane the way that I do, I could almost guarantee you that there would be NO sleep. For anyone.

I did the whole hold my breath and tiptoe out of her room thing at about 12:15, I think. For whatever reason...she decided that yes, she was finally ready to give Mommy a break. Yeah, riiiiiiiiggggghhhhht. She just passed the baton, people. The up all night relay was now in the hands of the anchor -- our friend, Mitchell. Chris and I were laying in bed talking about how SUPER fun pretty much 80% of our life is right now (and I'm not talking kids -- just random crap) when our little man brought in the big guns.

I mentioned (like, in passing) in the last post that he just had his tonsils and adenoids out last week. Well, when he gets to the end of his pain meds, he doesn't like to swallow. At all. So, saliva tends to pool in his mouth and then it becomes a sort of steady stream when he cries. Or screams like a wild banshee. Both of which he decided to do at this point. He was trying to explain to us what was upsetting him, but it was quite difficult to determine what he was saying. Picture a drunk, not so adept ventriloquist with a large drooling problem who is in some serious pain and you will essentially have been a fly on Mitchell's transportation themed bedspread.

My husband and I looked at each other and without even saying a word, decided that he could just sleep with us. Neither one of us had the energy to keep this whole thing up all night, and it was clear that it was going to be an all-night affair. He headed downstairs for a medication refill and a popsicle and I took my slobbery mess of a boy to the bathroom for a little cleanup work. We all reconvened in our bed, got the medicine down, chased it with some water and snuggled in for the night. They boys slept great...I just sort of laid there, dozing in and out of consciousness.

Anyway -- it's now 9:15 and no one is making a peep. So far so good, but I'm sure I've just completely jinxed myself. My saint of a hubby is currently picking up the living room, as I've been instructed not to do anything but relax. I'm off to the couch and am still fighting the urge to make out with the Stoli.

I'll let you know.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I hate feeling helpless, especially when it comes to my kids. Really, I do. Hate. It.

My little man had surgery last week to remove his tonsils and adenoids...and that is a story for another day. They told us that his recovery would be about 10-14 days in total, with somewhere around days 6-7 probably being the worst, as that's when scabbing takes place.

Doesn't that just hurt to think about?

Everyone tells you that the only thing they remember is getting to eat as much ice cream and have as many popsicles as they want when they had the same surgery as a kid. Well, I've learned that if you've talked to one former tonsilectomy patient, you've talked to them all. It doesn't hurt as bad when you're little, you love the cold stuff, etc.

Well, I'd like to talk to someone's MOM. I'm telling you -- this has been a LOOOONNNNNGGG week for ol' Mom. When he's hurting, that medicine can't kick in fast enough. Yes, it's short lived, but he is in some wicked pain between dosings sometimes. It's different than your typical "Owie, I fell and scraped my knee" cry you get most of the time -- it is a "I HURT. Truly hurt to where it scares me, Mommy" type of cry and it breaks my heart in two and makes me feel helpless.

Sunday morning he was just a mess. I needed to go to the grocery store to grab some things and everyone else was still in their pajamas. Now, not only is going to the GS by myself a treat these days (yes, I know it's beyond sad) but I was just generally not in the mood to pacify ANYONE while there. I wanted to listen to my iPod, cross stuff off of my list and get out of there. When Mitchell learned I was going, it was an instant meltdown. I'm not talking tantrum, I'm talking meltdown approaching insane levels.

Now, if you just had surgery on your throat, you can probably guess that screaming at the top of your lungs is not going to be something that will help your cause. 45 minutes of that...well, you can probably just figure that one out. He was a mess. A. CERTIFIED. MESS.

The thing is, my husband and I were caught between a rock and a hard place. We realized that part of what was driving this behavior episode was not feeling good, even though he hadn't complained AT ALL yet that morning and slept all night, but no way in the world do we want to reward that sort of tantrum behavior with "Okay, okay -- stop screaming, you can go!" I mean, he hadn't complained about pain at all after initially waking up and we'd given him all the medicine we could give him at that point. I'm sure he was really tired and probably in more discomfort than he told us he was...and that's the thing. He can talk. He's 4, but I don't think he has the words and the ability to truly tell us what's wrong in situations like this. I also think part of it was, he and I had been glued at the hip since his surgery and this was literally the first time I'd be leaving his side in over 5 days and he didn't expect it. I think that definitely factored in. Regardless, it just didn't feel right to say "Okay, since you did such a fine job of displaying such awful behavior, of course you can come! We'd love to teach you that acting that way is exactly how to get what you want." Again -- we were torn, but him staying home was the best thing anyway. And even though I was doing all of the things that I knew were best for him, I still felt absolutely helpless.

So, we just went into our normal routine of dealing with tantrums -- which really don't happen much anymore. He'll get lippy with us, but the big, dramatic, heartwrenching meltdown thing is very rare these days. So, upstairs we went so that he could sit in a safe place (on his bed in his room) and calm down. When it was clear that the only thing he would be doing is continuing to scream at me, cry hysterically and try to grab me, we went to the next routine step -- removing toys, books and music from his room. It's really the only thing that will calm him down when he gets like that. Trying to hold him and cuddle him doesn't work -- he gets all combative. So, with a guilty heart, I would give a warning that he needed to sit on his bed -- that's all, just sit on his bed -- and believe me, he KNOWS the drill. I'd give him some time, count to 10 out loud, and then remove a beloved toy from his room while he grabbed my shirt, screamed at me, kicked the door, etc. This went on for about 45 minutes. Oh, and the windows were all open so I'm sure the neighbors really enjoyed the whole thing as well.

It's quite the pretty picture, yes?

Then, with a mostly empty room, my little buddy finally agreed to just lay on his bed and calm down. I also had to chuckle at the way he went about it -- he said "OhhhhhKAY!" as he climbed ontu his bed, as though I was the one who'd been keeping him from getting up there for so long. I sat with him, rubbed his back, helped him stop crying and encouraged him to just lay there and think for awhile. I went across the hall to clean the kids' bathroom and somewhere between the sink and the tub being clean, he fell asleep. The time that I checked on him and saw him asleep was 10:30 a.m. Now, keep in mind that this is a little boy who doesn't take naps anymore, and if he does, it's falling asleep on the couch at about 5:30 pm...just before bedtime on days when he's played like crazy in the morning.

Oh, and his little sister was downstairs with my husband during all of this, in case you're wondering. That's the other reason for moving upstairs -- she doesn't need to witness all of that.

ANYWAY -- so, he kept sleeping and kept sleeping. I kept checking and kept checking. Finally, it was time for me to leave with Georgia for a birthday party, and I'd been dreading that all day since he wouldn't be coming. We thought for sure that it would be battle number two...but it wasn't, because he was still asleep at 2:45 p.m. Yes - -over 4 hours later, and still asleep.

I went to the party, had a great time, but all the while kept thinking about my baby boy at home and wondering how he was doing. I knew my husband would be great when he woke up and was prepared for more tears and drama -- he was armed with medicine and many hugs -- and he has his own set of tricks to get Mitchell out of a funk...I wasn't worried about that. I just felt guilty for not being there...and...helpless.

I called as we left the party, at about 4:45 p.m. and he had been awake for about 10 minutes. Yes, he slept for 6 hours!! Chris said that he cried for about 5 minutes after he woke up, but after some Daddy cuddles, a Capri Sun, a popsicle and a dose of pain meds, he perked up. I'm sure that his tantrum induced the sleep in the first place, but obviously, he just needed some rest. Lots of rest. It made me feel a little bit better that he slept that long -- the tantrum most likely would have happened over something else that morning anyway because that's how he gets when he's that tired. (It didn't entirely remove my guilt -- part of me still thinks I should have just taken him to the store, and the other part of me is patting myself on the back for not taking him -- story of my life.)

When we got home, about 10 seconds after I put the garage door up as I was pulling into the garage, I saw my little man fling the door to the house open and wave at us with a huge grin on his face. THAT was what I needed to see -- my happy little guy was back. He and his Daddy were playing "Red Sox" in the living room while they watched the game and they were both sporting their jerseys and backwards baseball hats. He was happy to see us and loved the balloon that we brought home for him. I got a huge hug, a kiss on the cheek, and he told me "I love you, Mommy. I'm sorry I was so mean this morning. I was really tired." I kissed and hugged him back and thanked him for apologizing. And then I got him some ice cream.

All was once again right in the world.