Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Currently"...Copy-Cat Ali-Cat

I stole this from a friend's blog. It's a fun little interlude to the crazy that normally gets posted. 

Currently:



Listening to my boys spraying "scaries" out of their room
Smelling the cheesy pizza sticks in the oven we made
Hoping for more clarity
Wearing my favorite track pants and t-shirt
Loving the shipment of the slightly sweet chai mix that arrived today
Hating re-establishing healthy sleep habits for the boys after vacation
Needing more patience
Watching Felix steamroll over Miles's crotch with a suitcase
Running a half marathon by the end of the year...maybe
Counting on the positive imagery in my head to start paying dividends

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Trail of Tears

Tears...like "bears" not "fears" or the forced relocation of Native Americans.

(Witty titles aren't so witty when you have to explain them, huh.)

We're back! 
 We survived our 2+ week expedition to MA and OH. It was so wonderful seeing family, and even though my kids were possessed by Lucifer a few times, they were champs when it came to the plane and car travel. (I counted, and Miles has now gone on 9 flights in 4 years!) And they best be...I'm paying for 4 seats, now!


Before I start figuring out if I can assemble any series of worthy posts about our vacation for the blog (especially since our camera battery died after week 1, so I don't have many visuals), I thought I would start with some flubs.

When someone says, "you want the good news or bad  news?" I am totally a bad news first kinda girl.

So...let's just say that the phrase "like a bull in a China shop" can be refined to "like a Heintz in a household."

We literally "tore it up" on vacation.

You mean THESE two love bugs caused trouble? Don't let their 2 hour naps fool you. Dem got sum bite! (See proof that Felix sleeps with a tractor and goose? Actually, we are pretty sure it's a swan, but to Felix, it will always be a goose. And they are currently still on vacation at Grandma's house. Bedtime has been AWESOME since coming home. Does the sarcasm sting?)


If you ever need a reason to get new furniture, give us a buzz. I didn't think I had destructive kids, until I unleashed them in their grandparents' homes.

Wrap sheet:
  1. (Started on day 1!) Felix tears off the conveyor belt on Grandpa's old antique toy tractor (accident)
  2. Felix smashes Mahna's ceramic garden rabbit (accident?)
  3. Felix snaps apart Mahna and Grandpa's flower pinwheel (not an accident)
  4. Felix "eats it" in front of the town police station and gets blood on Mahna's purse (bloody accident, pun intended)
  5. Miles has a fever for 24 hours and uses a blanket that sheds all over Opa and Grandma's lake house couch (fuzzy accident)
  6. Miles drops Opa and Grandma's glass cup, smashes it to bits, and cuts his foot, and stains a sheet (bloody accident, pun intended)
  7. Our Subaru leaks 2 oil spills on Opa and Grandma's nice driveway (oily accident)
  8. Ants infest the Subaru and we (Eric) transported them into Opa and Grandma's house from the Dyson vacuum (unfortunate accident)
  9. Felix trips and knocks over an enormous pot and plant at Opa and Grandma's and splatters mud on the wall and soils the nice white carpet (Opa was none too pleased; but an accident)
  10. The boys break my beloved Timex watch. Okay, they didn't break it, but it fell apart, and I am currently feeling incredibly naked and never realized how often I look at my wrist
Despite the hiccups (and I did not include Felix peeing on the deck and Miles pooping in his underwear), I would say that even though our families might need tranquilizers after our tornadic (made up word I think) appearances, there is a part of me that really wishes we lived closer to everyone...

...even if it means obligatory child straight jackets.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tattoos are forever

I still have no computer so am posting from my phone on 3G, which means what appears when I hit publish will most likely be a hot mess without any formatting. Kinda like the last post I did during a commercial while watching the bachelorette finale. My camera battery died with 1 week left of vacation and I forgot how to use a pen and paper so I am using my phone for recording moments. How GenY of me. Or is it the iGeneration? Anyway, today I had the tattoo discussion with miles right after the 20 minute discussion on who God is, whose belly he came out of, and why he is everywhere. Again, Eric was happily floating on a pool noodle while I fielded Miles's esoteric mysteries about faith. That, and vomit; Eric is never there to witness these difficult parenting moments. Right. Tattoos. So this guy had one heck of a back tat: an American flag that had old glory inked from blade to blade. I told miles that it was not like the ones he got at swim lessons, but that it would stay there forever and ever amen. Let me just pause. And if I weren't writing on my phone I could use spacing to get you through this post but it doesn't recognize line spacing. So this is more James Joyce than I want. Unpause. I am not against tattoos. They are just forever. And I am not sure I can think of anything I want emblazoned on my body. Nor can I think of any area of my body I am interested in drawing attention to. But I do joke with Eric and ask him how much he thinks it will cost to get a birth mark and gas cloud inked on my body. Stop me if we have had this conversation before..."Eric, do you think it would cost more than $100 for someone to tattoo a 2mm cherry angioma (to match the 800 I already have by nature)on my belly and a fart cloud on my bottom?" I hate the word fart, which makes me laugh at the image and idea even more. I don't mind if you have tattoos, just make sure the words are spelled correctly and you use an artist who uses sterile procedures. But I am not sure how I will react if my boys get one in the future. Especially after miles said this to me today after we toggled between the concepts of permanence and impermanence: "mom, I want to get two tattoos please. On this side of my leg an American flag...and on this leg a chair and a bench." Oh dear...go with the fart cloud kid. Furniture isn't a great conversation starter.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

6.

Hey hubby who reads this in fits and spurts when guilt creeps in...but you make yourself feel better about your sporadic reading by pointing out all of my errors like saying contingency rather than contingent... But that is why I love you. Well, and a whole mess of other reasons. I double toucan dare anyone to go through as much as we have in the past 6 years. And my hair is no grayer (thanks to clearance dye) and I am glad we determined that it was just your forehead growing and not your hairline receding. I love you. (and I hope you feel the same even though I just misplaced your coveted floss.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Inside-Out-Phantom-Limb-Syndrome

Okay Ripley's...believe it or not, I have discovered a new syndrome called the inside-out-phantom-limb-syndrome:


The LACK OF perception of sensations in an arm or leg long before the limb has been injured, bumped, bruised, or amputated. The inside-out-phantom-limb-syndrome is relatively common in toddlers and preschoolers, especially in the early months after turning 4. The syndrome is exacerbated by hunger and fatigue.


Here is how it presents. Let's take a hypothetical 4-year-old child named, um, "Giles." Giles hops out of the car to go into his house for lunch, and all of a sudden, he believes he has no legs.

He screams to a parent:
"I CAN'T WALK! I DON'T HAVE SOME LEGS!!!"

Sage parent retorts:
"Yes you do Miles Giles. I see them right here." (She places her hand on his legs to confirm that they have not, in fact, run off and eloped with each other somewhere on the west coast or something.)

He argues:
"NO, I DON'T HAVE SOME LEGS, AND I DON'T HAVE FEET. I CAN'T WAAAALK!"

There are variations of the syndrome. Sometimes it presents as:

"I don't have any arms. Pick me up!"
"I can't walk. My legs disappeared."
Or my favorite: "I can't talk! I have no words!"

In the beginning it was kind of funny. Then it got sort of stale...and now it just grates on me.

Listen, I know Giles expresses his fears and frustrations through this syndrome. I get that it is his way of obtaining control in a world that, at times, scares the poop out of him (insert a potty reference here that I am REFRAINING from making...). But kid, you cannot fool me; syndromes are the hypotheses of ailments. It ain't no theory, and I am not buying it.

Good thing I selectively have no ears and tell him that I cannot hear.

Touche, Giles...touche.






Friday, July 20, 2012

Things that make you go "hmmmm"

I am part of a lovely Mother's Group in my neighborhood.

And isn't it true that the second you use "lovely" to describe something you instantaneously think of women sipping tea with beautifully milled hats? (Okay, so I *may* have high jacked the profession of a Milliner and created a new definition of milled. My blog. My rules.) 

Statistically, I think it is made of mostly Moms who do not work outside of the house. (Is that the politically correct what to say stay at home mom?) But there is a contingency of us Moms who work outside of the home. It's tough when many of the group activities occur during 9-5 business hours, but I have found that over the past year, there have been more nighttime opportunities, and that the vibe is more inclusive of those of use who "cannot" (or do not wish to) stay at home full time with our children.

But sometimes, I get a little sting of jealousy when I hear about all the fun the Moms have during the day with their children. Or, when a well meaning Mom posts this to our Facebook page:

"Staying home with the children can be difficult at times, but, I have decided that through it all my WORST day at home still beats my BEST days at work!"

Hear me out. I'm not going to go all postal on you.

Listen, I get it, and part of me doesn't doubt it. This Mom's feelings are her own evaluation of her situation, and I get it. 

Yes, I choose to work so that we may maintain a certain  standard of living. (One step up from Ramaan and straw mats.) And yes, there are days I am secretly breathing a sigh of relief that I am going into work after a really terrible morning getting the boys out of the house. I have never claimed to be a perfect Mom, remember.

But let me be clear that the choice is not easy, and has not come without guilt or regret. When there is ambivalence in a decision, hearing affirmations like the one above stings a little.

I pause. 
Go "hmmmmm."
And then breathe.

My life's choices may not be easy.
But I own them.

And I have to believe that at the end of the day, I am doing the best I can with the resources (physical, emotional, spiritual, financial) I have. 

Aren't we all?

Monday, July 16, 2012

32 Jumpsuit

I will be spending two weeks traveling on the east side of the United States with the my family, so I will pre-post a few things so you don't think that a bear has eaten me and my computer. Wish us luck. Traveling with toddlers and preschoolers can be both terrific and tragic.

Title too obscure?

So. I have a wedding coming up where they are requesting that guests where white, black, or go zebra. Easy Peasy. Who doesn't have a LBD in her closet? And I am trying to do a year of Goodwill and not purchase new clothing. But I'm weak at the moment. Blame it on the humidity. I perused J.Crew one night, and found a few cute options on sale, and if I order before July 18, I get an extra 40% off! Lucille dress in white
aaaaand, it has pockets!

Ella dress in white (pockets uh-gain!)

Kira dress in black

But then I felt a little urge to go against the grain. 
Maybe get something else and pair it with some crazy shoes or jewelry. 
(Although, do you think a splash of accessory color is not in the spirit of the B/W request?) 
 So I ponied over to "WHBM", which I haven't gone to since perhaps high school, dug up my inner Farrah Fawcett, and kind of fell in love with this Blouson Jumpsuit:
I start imagining pairing it with a green blazer I have so I can wear it at work. 
Dress it down, dress it up...I can wear it out on the town, but also to the grocery store. 
Versatility.
But then there is the whole bathroom dilemma. (Do I go adult diaper route?)
And the fact I might not have a chest to hold it up.
And who am I kidding--go out on the town?
And I hate the black sash and would probably just go belt commando.
And although the wedding is non-traditional, don't want to be the wanna be trashy Vicky Secret model without the boobs, looks, and airbrushing.

 Talk me off the ledge, folks...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gratitude revisited

I call this "five hours before the wrath of God descends on Eric's digestive track"


(I tell ya, I cannot get enough instagram. Just enough fuzzies on the filters to hide wrinkles, blemishes, and forehead veins.)

We had a lovely whirlwind weekend in Asheville prematurely celebrating (you know how this family rolls), our 6th wedding anniversary as well as our good family friend's 21st birthday. (We are deeply grateful to the M family for helping to make it happen.)

Eric is currently at running camp for the week, which must be awesome when you have not eaten in days and hold permanent court at a communal toilet.

Sometimes I love to shake my head with a giggle and be like, "only in my life!" And then other times I say things like, "gee willikers! This is poopy." (Just replace all of the words with expletives and maybe a tear or two.)

I've had a hard time gaining perspective this week, and am acknowledging it as my current weakness. I've allowed a host of unfavorable events build up and seep into my psyche. But I am consciously refusing this to let this turn me into one of Shakespeare's tragedies.

I remember when I was pregnant with Miles and had to keep a gratitude journal during those weeks I was too sick to even contemplate the miracle of life. I'm thinking of picking that back up after the past 2 weeks.

First, I am going to take a little breather and actually refrain from pouring out my soul on the blog of all the rubbish that has been slung this way recently.

Thankfully, my mom is currently in my residence and can give me life coaching in person (ie, I don't need to passive aggressively look for her support through my blog posts).

And after a few self-fulfilling prophetic moments from the blog, I think keeping negative energy off the screen may be a good thing.

So today I take a step back.
Take a deep breath.
And pray for no more vomit or diarrhea from my troops, m'kay?

And commit to feeling grateful for at least one new thing each day. While I will most likely keep my gratitude journal off of the blog, I christen the misson below.

  • Today, I am grateful that Eric soldiered through the sickness and is still at camp. This year he is forgoing any sort of payment (anonymously) so that one of his runners, who could not afford it,  can attend. I am grateful for his selflessness and resolve.
  • I am also grateful for the time my  Mom is getting to spend with the boys. Sure, it's exhausting and they can be mercurial, indecorous, and refuse to sleep...but there is nothing like seeing your children fall into the arms of their grandparent.

Smile on...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jagged Little Loveys

 Along with wishing my kids loved co-sleeping, I have also yearned for those kids who have bedtime "loveys."

...tattered scraps of blankets that smell like warm milk and maple syrup...overly rubbed bunny ears on a stuffed animal that lost half of its filling...maybe even a Wooby. ("And the next thing you know, you're strung out on bed spreads, Ken." Please do yourself a favor and watch Mr Mom.)

My boys have their own little pillow menageries of stuffed creatures, but they have never been the type to go postal if one goes missing at night. Miles had an affair with stuffed tiger named "Go-Go" for a spell, but lately he's been playing the field and doing some speed dating with his other inanimate bed friends.

Oh, I guess there were the few nights Felix insisted on sleeping with produce (predominately citrus fruits), but I think he read something about scurvy in one of his toddler books, freaked out, and then was experimenting with somnolence osmosis.

But now I can claim that Felix has (non-perishable) bedtime loveys!

 Yup. A tractor and a goose. (Please refer to them by their given names, "Tractor" and "Goose". I was pushing for "Otis" and "Toot".)

These things go into bed with him every night. Something about a tractor scoop or poultry dewlap makes this kid feel safe. I am thinking it's the farming gene from the Deysher side of the family.

Oh, Fe. What else would I expect from a child who eats watermelon slabs on a fork while totally rocking a pink sweatband?


Poignant post-script: funny...this lovey obsession sprouted (farm pun intended) almost a year to the day Grandpop Paul Deysher died, and Gradmom Lila Deysher had her first posthumous birthday. 
Coincidence? 

Sometimes...the universe just does things to make ya smile.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

And July in her eyes hath place

Let's see if any of my old high school madrigal singers can NAME THAT TUNE!
And if you scan a picture of us in the madrigal garb and send it to me to post and laugh at, I'll totally pretend to buy you a sloth.

July is upon is!
And it was time to force my children into watching live fireworks for the first time.

I title this iPhone gem: "Ear Muffs"

The only way to get a 2 and 4 year old to voluntarily lie down and watch loud and scary fireworks is to do the following:

Bribe them with rainbow lollipops at 8AM

(Did I mention you have to do the same with Mahnas? Although, they are a little more picky and need fruit, too. You know how grandparents are about fiber.)



And then you need to sit them in front of the Dunwoody parade to distract them with the world's largest potato float. No. Really. It was a  HUGE plaster potato on wheels.
(Clearly Felix was impressed.)


Finally, you must take a 3+ hour nap with them. (Darn...I *hate* those obligatory naps.)

Easy Peasy.

The boys both did great at the fireworks.
We determined they looked like fruit, sprinkles, and Christmas.
Miles also told us that they smelled like popcorn.
Eric said it was more of a charred molybdenum scent.

Happy Heat Wave To Most of America!

Rumblin'

I pretty much force interviews on my poor boys every fortnight. (I have to make all of those Shakespearean classes I took good for something!) You lucksters don't get to see the volumes of videos I have of these kids; I usually just pull the special reserves out of the cellar for the blog. 
 
The following is just another repeat of the same questions (and the same answers) of me interrogating Miles. Truthfully, I am just waiting until his favorite animal is no longer a reindeer. He still puts on the sillies and to me acts about one point one repeating his junior. But, the timing of the thunder clap in the following clip is just too good not to share. (Some translation, he says he is afraid of "loud noise".) Also, if you listen closely, you hear me ask him to say "hamburger" because he says it "han-gerber", but instead he says "han-gerber mugiss" because he anticipates me asking him to say "music" as well. You think we ask him to say words he mispronounces much???

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You can pick your friends...

'cause I'm not going to pretend
that I don't pick my nose
that's just the way it is, my friends
that's just the way it goes
this is who I am
what I do
and what I say
if you like it, let it be
if you don't, please do the same
I fight with love
I laugh with rage
you gotta live light enough to see the humour
and long enough to see some change
-Ani DiFranco, Pick Yer Nose


Right after I publish my pumping book, "Pump up the Jams and Pump out the Baby Food" (book on tape narrated by Morgan Freeman clearly), I'm going straight into penning "The Tao of Ani DiFranco". I just have to get that whole punctuation inside or outside the quotations thing down. Yeah, and dilute that nauseating stream of consciousness thing I do. 

I love me some Ani: pre- and post-lesbianism. And I love that my older musical elitist brothers hate her. Outside of The Beatles' ("Hey Jude" and "Yellow Submarine" specifically), there is no other artist I love to belt out in the car. 

They say no one's finger fits as comfortably in your nose as your own.

Felix's sensory organs all have a little special sumthin' sumthin' going on.

Ears: broken
  • Low set ear scare (at his 1 month appt the pediatrician told me that his ears looked too low set, which according to Google, does not bode well for subsequent gene pools. Thankfully, it was an aesthetic anomaly I relate to both the inhospitably small uterus he grew in, and the terribly small luge he birthed through in T-minus ten minutes.)
  • Crinkle in one side's helix/antihelix (see above for hypothetical and unscientifically founded explanation)
  • Chronic ear infections leading to tubes
  • Clogged tubes leading to tubes...again
Mouth: crowded and angry
  • Just before his 2 yo birthday, the pediatric dentist assured me that he would be getting extensive orthodontic care due to a significantly small mouth and crowded teeth.
  • Have I mentioned before he's part cannibal?
Eyes: enormous
  • This boy's eyeballs literally look like two glossy golf balls protruding from his head. (To be honest, this isn't a bad thing. I love his eyes. They are just, well, huge.)
Nose: over picked
  • I have a nose picker.
  • Worse? I have a nose picker who then CONSUMES HIS BOOGERS!
"Oh Ali, all kids pick their noses at some point. It's not like he has picked it so consistently that it has bled...Oh. It has?"

Yup. This kid dives, digs, and does damage. He knows it is rude, but there is no shame. He does it at school. He does it in the bath. He does it when watching television, taking a nap, going to sleep. And he has done it so much that it has bled a number of times.

Okay, I can sorta-not-really-but-in-a-way understand the picking aspect. What I don't get is the eating part. Do boogers have some sort of mineral he is missing from his diet? (I am pretty sure they are non-nutritive.) Does this officially qualify as pica? You know like those people who eat potting soil and couch cushions.

Why couldn't he be a hair twirler or a thumb sucker? He better hope his charm and enormous eyes make the girls (or boys, I don't care as long as he's happy) forget about the whole digging for gold thing.

I have to say, even when Felix is "naughty", I secretly think he's cute. Sure, I'll put him in the quiet chair and reprimand him, but lord this boy just tickles me to the core. Until he picks his nose. Then I am in full disowning him mode. If in public, I quickly make sure to say so everyone can hear, "FELIX! Stop with that bad habit your father taught you!"  You know, just to deflect any assumption that he learned it from me. Just kidding!

Speaking of gold, let me end with one little "nugget" that I need to share because no one likes to suffer in silence.

Scene: Felix is in the bath with Miles (you know, filled with dirt, cooties, boy drippings, slugs, snails, and puppy dog tails), and starts in on his nose. I take his hand away from his face, but he swiftly ingests the booger. "Okay. Fine. You get an extra calorie for your daily intake. Let's hope it falls in the protein category." I get Felix out of the bath and start flossing his teeth. I'm expecting a grape peel, chicken "string" (you know what I am talking about) or mango fiber...but what I floss out is none other than a BIG GREEN BOOGER! Felix and I both look at it and say in concert "EWWWW!"

And then without pause he asks, "I eat it?"