Catching up


Ive been the worst blogger lately. Okay, so not quite the very worst, but the fact that there hasn’t been a post since April and they were pretty sporadic for a few months before that speaks volumes. But! I was still maintaining some level of internet presence, by sharing funny situations that came up or things my kids said. I hope for this to one day become a sort of way for my little beasties to know how life was before they hit the big “record” button in their brains, so I’m just going to take this space up with a bit of an update. If this is the absolute least fun and it’s too long, skim it or skip it! We’ll be back to normal length blogs in no time! 🙂

January-

“Mom, I don’t think you can fit through there.”
“Through where?”
“The door.”
(Ok, I know I could stand to skip a meal or two, but geez!)
“What?”
“You can’t fit so you don’t have to leave anywhere for a while.”

The hubby walked in and caught our oldest (3.5) having, ahem, *relations* with a cup in the bathtub last night. I suppose we need to teach him to hang a sock on the door?

I handed a glass of juice to Bear, and Dash exclaimed, “Hey, that’s MY douche!”
Bear and I exchanged a look, suppressing a laugh.
“Oh, I mean juice! It’s not douche, it’s juice.”
Whew. That’d be one helluva mix-up.

I had a friend in town to visit, and although they’ve only even met a couple of times, Dash demanded that he wanted to go home to L.A. with his “Uncle.” Isn’t preschool a little young to be trying to move out?

February-

We were all sitting around the kitchen table and I was trying to explain that there was a point before Ozzie was a part of our family. I finished with, “that’s why he wasn’t here.”
Without missing a beat, Dash said, “Yeah, he was in Mexico!”

Dash calls our pantry “the bakery.” It makes it sound like we have a much less processed diet. Yes, even our crackers are fresh from the bakery.

Ozzie keeps telling me my coffee is “hottie.” I know they say, ‘You are what you eat.’ Can we also be what we drink?

March-

Remember before kids, when it was easy to marathon right through a season of [insert favorite show]? Now I am hoping to get one episode in before the kids wake up, because there’s no way I can actually watch anything that isn’t animated once they’re around.

I forgot about the time springing forward and got really excited for a minute when I thought the boys let me sleep in until 7. I looked at my husband and said “Yay! Maybe this is the beginning of them sleeping a little later. Maybe they won’t be up at 6 for the rest of my life!” He just gave me a flat look and said, “Time changed.” Le sigh.

“We found a really fun game! We fall down!”
“Then what?”
“Then we laugh!”

“Want some milk?”
“Yes! I want milk every hecking day!”
Oh, kids. Coming up with their newfangled phrases and being all jiggy and rad.

April-

“I want to stay home, you and my brother can go out by yourself. I’m a man now. Mans can stay home.”
My 3yo is feeling pretty independent. That or he thinks I’m crazy enough to unleash him on the house unchecked!

I’m sick, the boys are wild animals, and I turned to a halls cough drop for a little relief. The wrappers have inspiring quotes, and mine said, “Buckle down and go forth!” Well to that I say STOP JUDGING ME, HALLS! I’M HAVING A ROUGH DAY!

We’re watching Dennis the Menace, and out of the blue Dash asks, “Can I have my bow and arrows today?” I’m a little afraid considering source of his idea!

Dash told me his kids will be robots. So I guess he’s *really* into computers.

May-

“Mom, why was Daddy driving in his car with no pants?”
“Come again?”
“He was in his car.”
“And…”
“He was driving!”
“Uh huh.”
“And he wasn’t wearing pants so he had room to dance around!”
“Was this in a dream?”
“No, that’s silly. ”
“But it’s not silly to drive around without any pants on?”
“Yes! Because there’s not a lot of room for dancing if you have pants all over your legs!”

Every night, Dash gets out of bed a few times to play in the bathroom and put off sleep. He invokes this ritual by asking to “go potty” because he knows we won’t deny him that. Tonight was the first time Ozzie tried to get in on this. Nice try kid, but you don’t get to try that oh-so-clever trick until you’re out of diapers!

Yesterday we were at the grocery store and they had an area for kids to decorate cupcakes for Mother’s Day. Ozzie mostly just ate sprinkles while Dash decorated. This led to greenish teal poop today. For Mother’s Day, he made me something *extra* special!

I walked into the kitchen and saw little feet poking out from behind the island, and ravenous “mmmm, yummy! Om, mmmm, nom nom!” sounds were coming from the same area. I assumed the boys were tearing into some chips or chocolate. I peeked around to see Ozzie going to town on some leeks from the garden. Parenting win!

Dash: When you give a girl some of your drink, she will be nice to you.
Me: It’s always nice to share.
Dash: When you give her the drink, you have to tell her not to hog it though.
me: well, you probably don’t need to say anything unless there’s a problem.
Dash: yeah, if there’s a problem. Like if she was trying to kiss me, that’s a problem. I just want to share and be nice, I don’t want her kissing me. She’s a girl!

The boys were fighting and I was in the process of brokering a peace agreement:
“Will you accept your brother’s apology?”
“No. I don’t like de’cepting his ‘pologies.”
“Why?”
“Because… I don’t remember why I’m mad!”

June-

The worst part about my kids asking for water 500x per day is that even though I know they will a) take a sip and then leave it somewhere to be knocked over; b) not even take a sip before leaving it somewhere; c) pour it on themselves and freak out, and also need new clothes; or d) pour it out somewhere and likely destroy something….. even knowing this, I can’t deny them a drink of water because even *prisoners* get as much water as they want.

To give them renewed interest in some of their old toys, I made the boys a little track to drive on. And it’s just masking tape, so it took 5 minutes to make, and will be just as easy to clean up!

Dash showed me that my artistic skills need honing. When he saw me making the parking lot spaces he said, “It’s a piano! How do cars play a piano?”

Ozzie isn’t usually the destructive one, but this AM he decided to step up his game. he dumped an entire container of mineral makeup all over the bed, window sill, and curtains. For those of you who have mineral makeup, you know that it is somehow magically clingy in a way that normal powders aren’t. This is the ONE time I wish my makeup would just come off with no effort.

July-

An overnight beach trip with the boys means eating out. There are only so many ways to nicely say, “Please don’t lick the ketchup cup.” I’m pretty sure they’re doing it on purpose.

“Mom, everyone knows you’re a girl. ”
“Yes, they probably do.”
“That means they know you have a vagina!”
“… uh, yes. Just like all girls.”
“That’s so funny. And you have a butt!”

Dash and Ozzie are using pipe cleaners and pasta strainers to do a little exercise in fine motor coordination. They had a blast!

Today Dash made me the proudest Mom on the planet. Out of the blue he asked for a “stesto-scope” and proceeded to explain that he needs to be able to look through the scope and see tiny germs because he can’t see them without it. I pointed out that what he wants is a microscope, and he said, “I KNOW, mom. And we need one, so we better go to a office because offices have them.” Not even 4yrs old, already a scientist.

The boys enjoy tomato soup, but I should’ve known the second helping Ozzie begged for wasn’t going to be eaten.

Dash and Ozzie had a blast splashing around in the wading pool at Pioneer park! I’m still waiting for Ozzie to grasp that water filled with dozens of grubby children is not the best for drinking.

While enjoying some cottage cheese, Dash asked what it was made of. I told him it’s made of cow’s milk. He said, “Aaaaand leaves! They use them to tickle the cow until he laughs and laughs and his milk turns into lumps.” His way sounds way more fun than reality so I just said, “Only girl cows make milk, but I suppose they might use leaves.”
“Oh, they do. I know it.”

August-

“If you want to stomp, get off of the deck. You can stomp on the lawn.”
“But that doesn’t even make too much noise!”

Ozzie wouldn’t sleep in his bed, or sleep in Dash’s bed, or even sleep in my bed. The only place he wanted to nap? Curled up next to the dirty laundry basket. Go figure!

Me:”Please don’t put your butt on the pillow.”
Dash, very offended: “My butt is not a butt! It’s a bottom!”
Ozzie, in a tone of recrimination: “Butt, butt, Mama!”
…At least they have each other’s backs.

When I told Dash he was officially 4 now, he said, “Wait, is four big? I think four is really big.” I told him four is as big as he’s ever been and he said, “I knew it! I thought I was really big, and I was!”

September-

Children have a sixth sense that tells them when their parents want them up early, because those are the ONLY days they sleep in.

“Mom?”
“Yeah buddy?”
“I just wanted to give you a hug. I don’t want to pinch you on your boobie or anything.”
“Um… okaaaaaay.”
I can’t help but feel like I’ve missed something here.

Iggy Azalea was on the radio and Dash called out over the music, “Why is she saying ‘I wear panties?’ This is a weird song!”

Ozzie (2) has heard Dash telling people he’s four now and so insists he’s also four. He can’t stand to be younger. If only they understood there’s a point where older is no longer better, it’d blow their little minds.

Dash came downstairs wearing angry bird boxer briefs and asked, “Can I just wear this today? I’m really comfortable.”

Ozzie snuck a green bell pepper and was eating it like an apple. Best part? He was just so excited that I let him keep it (since cookies are always confiscated), he actually finished it rather than taking a few mouse nibbles before abandoning it.

Dash learned an unpleasant lesson about how a wasp will react when you attempt to “clap” it. Hint: it isn’t with a polite request to leave it be.

“Dad, I took off my sweatshirt because my pants were getting too hot in there.”

October-

Dash-“I know why you got this string cheese, Mom. Because you love me!”
Me-“I do love you. I also got it for Daddy because he likes it. And I love him.”
Ozzie-“No! Don’t talk my Daddy like that!”
Me-“Don’t talk about Daddy like that? Hey, Bear, at least he has your back.”
Ozzie (indignant, touching Dash’s back)-“I my back! And my bruhr back!”
It’s a good thing this new baby is a girl. I need an ally; the boys gang up even when there’s no conflict!

This morning Dash woke up, climbed into my bed, and said “Let’s call Nana!” It was 6 am for us, which made it 5 am for her. I told him it’s way too early to make calls to Alaska. He came up with the best reasoning, “Oh. I bet they can’t get a signal when it’s so dark. The signal can’t see how to get to her house.”

“When I grow up, my kids will have a great toybox.”
I misheard him, so I asked, “Why should it be grey?”
“No, great! It’s gonna have arms!”
“A toybox with arms?”
“So they can pick up all the toys. That way I don’t have to clean up the toys before I go to work.”
“You could have your kids help clean up like you do now.”
“No way! The arms can do it.”

I met up with another mom to buy some used baby items. The boys were playing in the car in the driveway with the doors open while I was with her in her garage, gathering the items and paying her. As we drove away, Dash said, “I should tell you I had to go potty.” I told him we’d be home in a minute, where he could go. He said, “No, I went already.” With an inward sigh I asked where, imagining a wet spot lurking in the car. “On the grass in the lady’s yard.”

What’s with almost every kids movie having at least one parent either dead or else just gone? Or bonus to the ones with two parents who die in the beginning! Way to set up parents everywhere to have a hard talk at the beginning of every movie. Especially considering they probably put it on just trying to get a moment’s peace.

….And now we’re caught up! Whew 🙂 Hopefully now I won’t feel like there’s a glaring hole from April to nearly November. I mean realistically there is still the hole in posts, but now it won’t be glaring. Right? I’m going with it.

Sick Kids Suck


Warning: this gets gross and graphic. If you’re of a delicate flower variety and grossed out easily, you should check out another of my posts instead. You’ve been warned.

I woke up at about 3 am to the sound of Dash sleepily pawing at the door to my room. “I frew up all over my bed.” I hoped that this was just a nonsensical statement related to a bad dream, but went to investigate. Bear gave him a cursory once-over to check for puke before letting him climb into the bed, then promptly tried to go back to sleep for a couple of hours before he had to get up for work. When I got to the boys’ room I found a cranky Ozzie standing wide awake in his crib and a race car bed filled with a whole lot of foul mess, conveniently spread all over the sheets, blankets, and even the pillow. I set about that delightful bit of cleaning, and let the kids into the toy room to keep them from making it any harder.

This was a clear sign that I’d have an excellent day. And yet, at this point, I was still able to convince myself this could be a singular incident, a fluke, and surely not a full-force sickness settling over our house. Kids do wacky things! Sometimes they just toss their cookies for no discernible reason, right? Of course I’m right. I decided I’d play it safe by sticking to serving bland foods to help settle his tummy, but otherwise I’d just let him go on about his day.

My hopes were reinforced by the boys playing happily in the toy room for a while and then eating a light breakfast. Whew, no problem!

We were sitting on the couch watching a little tv together. My kid started to retch, and I foolishly didn’t have a bowl or bucket close at hand. I scooped him up as he spat a mouthful of ichor onto the seat of the couch and ran to the bathroom, only a few precious steps away. As we crossed the threshold,  vomit sprayed all over the nice new bamboo floor, creating a slick path to the toilet. I was just trying to get him over the toilet bowl, and couldn’t see that the traction of the ground in front of me had been compromised. My bare feel squelched down into the slick mess and I slid like a cartoon character hitting a banana peel, barely managing not to lose my balance. I lowered Dash so that his face was directed at the bowl just as he spewed out another stream, and then turned to get the light on so I could inspect the floor to see how bad it was. I also murmured reassuring babble to Dash, because I know throwing up is scary to small kids. What I didn’t think about was that a three year old doesn’t concern himself with aiming, and when I turned to look at the floor, he turned to look at me. Without thinking I swooped down to catch the vomit. Why the hell did I do that? Oh, joy, now I have saved the disgusting messy floor from being splattered, and have a handful of half-digested goo for my trouble.

I redirected him toward the toilet and rinsed my hands, then stood over him, patting his back and talking him through the process. I hate to be touched when I’m physically ill, but that is apparently not his puking style.

Having a sick kid sucks. Just the part where I had someone’s vomit on me is bad enough. That I would have to clean it from the couch and floor was no picnic either. That I had a half-crying, half-pathetic-whimpering child to strip out of soiled pajamas and to steer clear of spreading it everywhere while also trying to keep Ozzie from playing in it was just the icing on the cake.

I looked over at the clock and saw it was only about 6:30am. Why does a day have to have so many hours in it?

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Once upon a time, when the flu hit the house,  it meant I’d spend some time kneeling before a toilet, and some time snuggled up in some blankets and watching tv, and maybe sipping some broth or Gatorade.  I’d likely attempt to sleep away some of the day. Don’t get me wrong: it wasn’t anything to get excited about.  But when your kid is sick, and also young enough to not have the routine down, it is magnified a hundred times.  There is puke all over the house. There are at least three extra loads of laundry, but probably more like five by the end of the day. Even when they aren’t actively causing a vile mess, they want to be right under my feet, so they’re keeping me from accomplishing the clean-up in any reasonable timeframe. It SUCKS.

And then my own stomach started to turn queasy. Party on!

Say “Ahhhhh” for the Baby


Ozzie and Dash both love to play pretend.  They pretend to fix things with their toy tools, they pretend to build me a “big, fancy [car/house/rocket ship/whatever].” They dress up in superhero capes or monster masks and run around the house pretending to be good guys or bad guys, the identity of which is really hard to tell from the outside since both just mean they’re jumping around and yelling, “I got you!” The games of pretend are a constant, and switching between them happens frequently enough that even when I’m not sure of the game, I just roll with it until I know what they’re doing.

Recently, one of their favorite pretend games is cooking. I let them help me stir things and pour ingredients into bowls when I’m actually cooking. Sometimes when I’m feeling especially patient, I even let them scoop batter into cupcake pans or onto a cookie sheet. But it’s less common because it often leads to Ozzie grabbing a fistful of goo and going to town spreading it on every surface within his reach. This actual “cooking” has gotten them wildly interested in play cooking. They have adorable little pans and utensils from IKEA, and a few random pieces of play food, all of which get a ton of use.

Part of the pretend cooking entails them bringing me food and drinks they’ve whipped up and force-feeding me. Dash announces the items beforehand so that I can make the appropriate sounds, for example:
“Here’s a plate of carrot sticks!”
“Oh, yum! Crunch, crunch, crunch!”
“And here’s some juice to wash it down.”
“Oh thanks. Gulp, gulp, ahhhhh! Refreshing!”

Ozzie, at not quite a year and a half old, is still pre-verbal (I know, right? He’s such a lazy jerk. He could probably talk if he’d just make a real effort!). This means he just approaches me and says, “Ahhh!” while making an open mouthed example of what he wants me to do. He’s still only got about half of his baby teeth in yet, which means that his adorable face is twice as irresistible. When he walks up and says, “ahhh,” it’s just about impossible not to play along. Then he usually touches my lips with his hands or a toy spoon or fake corn and says, “Na, na, na!” Which is Ozzie for “Nom, nom, nom!” He’ll do this a few times, then wander off to pick up a different toy and repeat the process.

Tonight, he was playing with the toy grill while Dash, Bear and I sat nearby watching TV. He came up to me and made his adorable “ahhh!” face, and as per the norm, I opened up my mouth. He proceeded to place something in my mouth. I jerked back in surprise and spit the item into my hand to examine it. Im not 100% sure, but my best guess was that it was a fuzzy crumb of old food. The fuzz was from carpet fibers, but I’m not ruling out any other foulness clinging to this.

I clean my house. My husband cleans our house. But despite our best efforts, there are still times that I find a hunk of old bagel wedged under the couch, or half chewed mouthful of chicken sitting at the bottom of the toy box, dried and barely recognizable. When I stumble upon these little hunks of food, I usually just think of how gross kids can be, and wish I didn’t have to find old dried out bits of last week’s lunch hiding in all the dark corners.

Unfortunately now I can say that by far, I would rather be the one to find these little gems, rather than have one of the kids discover it and sucker me into putting it into my mouth.

My Disaster Sense is Tingling


I just came downstairs from putting in a load of laundry and heard Dash singing, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m sorry and I hope I’m not going on time out!”

I looked around and nothing is messy or destroyed, and in fact, it looks exactly like it did a few minutes ago when I went upstairs. Ozzie isn’t crying and doesn’t appear to have been pushed or had his toys taken away.

I can’t tell if I should relax and accept that this cute song was a fluke, or if this is just the calm before the storm, and by “storm” I mean I’m about to find a giant gaping hole in the wall, or some kind of disgusting mess involving body fluids.

When there’s nothing clearly wrong, I only feel more suspicious.

My Baby is a Manipulative Punk


Ozzie is still getting the hang of the idea of using a spoon to eat. He has the capability, but the patience is much harder to master. It was the same way with Dash, so I’m guessing this is a thing many babies go through. They hit a stage where they pick up a piece of food with their fingers, then set it onto the spoon, and attempt to eat it. About half the time the food falls off the spoon before reaching their mouth. Since Dash did this, I’m sure it will eventually lead to normal spoon use with Ozzie as well.

With gooey things like yogurt or mashed sweet potatoes, he does better at scooping with the spoon, but still seems to feel like that method is for use at the beginning, while you still have patience. Once that wears off, fistfuls of goo are grabbed and shoved at his face, with some making it into his mouth, and whatever’s left on the hands is then run through his hair.

Some small part of me, despite knowing that babies are just messy, cant help but think this crap is on purpose. See, just like Dash, Ozzie loves bath time. I mean, he loves bath time. And he tends to get a good hand-washing and face wipe-down after every meal, but if it’s in his hair? that’s an automatic trip to the bath my friend, every time. He doesn’t rub dry foods through his hair. Why bother? There’s no bath needed if mom can just tousle those crumbs right off his head. So. My baby is an evil genius. Ok, so not “evil” per se, since conning me into giving him more baths per day than he probably really needs isn’t exactly torturing small animals and shanking babies in the sandbox. But still.

Then when I give in to his little bath time manipulations, and I think I just want to glare at him and splash his face and teach that little beast to try to like baths!… (even though I can’t, because he’d cry if I glared at him and then he’d win cause I’d feel guilty), well, then he grabs my hand and makes a game of giving each of my fingertips a kiss, then hugs my hand to his face and says “aw, mama!” and melts all my grumpyness.

He’s very calculating.

Why Don’t I Ever Learn?


I just had the gall to attempt a bathroom break while Dash and Ozzie were awake. They were playing nicely (because that’s how they lull you into a false sense of security), and I was fooled into thinking this was my chance! As a back-up, I even put on NickJr., just in case the rocket ship toys didn’t hold their interest for the full five minutes I planned to be distracted.

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I really should have known better by now.

When I ordered them out of the pantry, little Ozzie stood up and crunched his way across the kitchen floor, with rice crispies and raisin bran bits falling from his clothes and leaving a little trail in his wake. Dash, without a hint of irony in his tone,  said, “Look at the mess my brother made!”

Warning: Parenting is Gross.


By the time my maternity leave was over and I was going back to work, I felt like I was a little more adapted to the process of getting everything together to go out with the baby, but I was still so worried about being caught out unprepared that I had a suitcase-sized bin of “just in case” items in the trunk of my car at all times. I had all of the diapering accessories, of course. I also had the binkies, spare baby clothes, nose suckers and every other baby item known to man. I was set for every baby-related emergency I could imagine, but Dash would show me at his four month check-up just how badly he could take me by surprise.

I was in the Army at the time, so our pediatrician was located in the military hospital on post. I left work and swung by our daycare (also on post) and arrived at the pediatric clinic. I checked us in and the receptionist told me to “undress baby down to a dry diaper.” The room was a little chilly, so once he was undressed, I held him against myself and put his blanket over him. His tiny body was so small that with his head on my shoulder, his bottom still didn’t reach down to my lap when I sat down.

The waiting room wasn’t quite packed, but was pretty full of other parents and their babies, about half in uniform like myself. This waiting room was for the “Well Baby Clinic,” where one could be reasonably certain the other kids were not poisoning the air with all manner of horrible infectious germs. People looked around at the other children, some making polite conversation about each other’s little ones.

Dash gave a big sigh and a little wriggle. I looked down at my beautiful baby boy and thought what a wonderful baby I had. He suddenly tensed and smiled. Uh oh. Then the hushed whispers of other parents lulled into a particularly quiet moment, and Dash pooped. Loudly. A couple of quiet laughs tittered through the room. We’re all parents, here. No one is very grossed out by this kind of thing. I scoop up the diaper bag and step into the restroom attached to the waiting room. As I remove the blanket to place it on the changing table, I see that this was no standard diaper mess. This is a blow-out, and I am not talking about a party. I’ve dealt with plenty of messes that a diaper couldn’t contain at this point, but usually, Dash was wearing pants or at least some pajamas to act as a second level of protection and most importantly, to help with containment.

I looked down at myself and the front of my uniform was covered in baby poop. I was momentarily paralyzed with how disgusting this was, as I tried to think of how to best fix this in the most efficient way. Dash was looking at me in confusion, or perhaps amusement. Once my initial revulsion wore off, I pulled off my blouse and saw that my undershirt had only a very small bit of liquid that’d made it through. I removed it as well and rinsed it off in the sink, then set to trying to rinse away the worst of the mess from my blouse. It was beyond what I could manage in a public restroom sink.

A woman walked in and saw me there, standing at the sink in only a bra, trying to manage my little crisis as quickly as possible. I can only imagine what she was thinking as she decided she really didn’t need to go that badly and walked out.

I dried my undershirt under the hand drier until the wet spot on the front was damp rather than soaked, and put it back on. I wadded up my blouse with a sense of failure and I set about cleaning up my fithy baby, who was happily looking around the room and just enjoying our little outing. Being covered in crap was all in a day’s work for him.

I walked out of the restroom and knew that my

restroom visitor had not been shy about sharing. Everyone was looking right at me, most with looks of sympathy.  One woman helpfully informed me that the nurse had called for us and they told her we were in the restroom. I walked over to the stroller and grabbed a plastic bag to put the soiled shirt into, just as the nurse returned to see if we were ready. The rest of the visit was mostly unremarkable until we left.

On the way out of the hospital it was like doing a walk of shame. It isn’t uncommon to see people walking around in uniform on a military installation. It also isn’t uncommon to see people wearing civilian clothing. It is unusual to see someone walking around half in their uniform and wearing only an undershirt. This is acceptable when soldiers are doing heavy labor or working in very high heat, but when it’s about 45 degrees outside, chilly enough that most people are wearing a coat, it stands out. I was cursing myself for having skipped wearing my own jacket, but since I was only going to be going from the car to the hospital doors, then would want to remove it rather than be too hot, I felt like it was just unnecessary. Add in that there was a big wet stop over the front of my torso, and I got quite a few strange looks.

That was the first time I felt like parenting itself, and not just childbirth, is a lesson in humility. It definitely wouldn’t be the last.