Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Projectile Vomiting: Warning: may assault your senses like it did mine

I have to say that I have never seen anyone projectile vomit. That is, until last night.

Marissa clearly got a 24-hour virus, something that's been going around daycare. She began throwing up at 10 pm, first covering her ENTIRE down comforter in the largest chunks of curdled milk I've ever seen. She managed to spray the wall, the entire footboard, the hamper at the end of her bed and, of course, the floors.

So while I cleaned up this mess, Wayne held her and comforted her. As soon as it was clean, she immediately did it again, this time while sitting on his lap. It made a distinct, almost comical "SPLAT" sound as it hit the floor, his legs, her blankie and sheep, the seat cushion of the rocker, etc and so forth.

So once again, bring out the mop, strip everything down, etc. etc. I think I cleaned nonstop for two hours while she kept puking. We could never tell when she was going to do it until it suddenly came out of her, thus the reason why she covered nearly her whole room and the hallway floor before she finally stopped.

The icing on the cake had to be when I let Dax out during this entire ordeal, during one of my many trips to the basement to get a mop and rags. I came back through the area to let him inside, only to see that the cushion I had set outside to dry from my scrubbing it had some "new" water on it. Yep, he had marked his territory well on that cushion.

Remember earlier when I said I need to take up kick boxing? Well, I couldn't kick the dog, I couldn't assault the child, so today I have to call my neighbors and apologize for the obscenities that were screamed into the air around 10:30 at night as I stood outside, chunky comforter in one hand and peed-on cushion in the other, letting out my frustration.

Some day this will be funny. That day has not quite arrived.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Joke from KQRS

A priest walks into a bar and asks the bartender to pour him a stiff drink. The bartender can see the priest is troubled and says, "Father, what could possibly be weighing on you, a man of the cloth?"

The priest says, "Well, I can't really talk about it, you see the church frowns on it, but...well," and finally he blurts out, "I just had a fight with my boyfriend!"

The bartender, hiding his surprise, says, "I'm sorry to hear that, father. Why don't you tell me about it."

The priest says, "Well, my boyfriend called me a scoundrel and a pedophile."

The bartender says, "That's too bad. What did you tell him?"

The priest replies, "I said, 'Those are awfully big words for a 10-year-old.'"

Monday, September 24, 2007

She is Unbelievable

Our time with our children is precious, both in importance and in brevity. So every minute that we spend with them we want to truly enjoy. And then we have evenings like this one.

We had enough leftovers from prior meals that we didn't have to make a dinner, just reheat some plates and eat. So we were done eating surprisingly early, giving us more time together for fun. Wayne decided to pull out the Hungry Hungry Hippos game, which all four of us could play.

So we played together for about 3 minutes, until Marissa came over and sat on my lap. She did this in order for me to smell her and understand that she had a poop and needed to be changed. So I took her upstairs to change her.

Now for most people that's a 3 minute ordeal. But not with Marissa.

While I hear Wayne and Lindsey downstairs, playing away with just the two of them, she and I head upstairs. She brings with her some tennis shoes she'd worn over the weekend. As we get up to her room, she dumps out the approximately 2 pounds of sand that was in them, all over her floor. Great.

So I grind sand into her wood floor as I change her diaper, and then put her in front of the bathroom sink to wash her hands while I vacuum up the sand. Then as I'm putting away the vacuum, I see the water on its way out of the bathroom, into the hallway. Yes, she has dumped water all over the bathroom, so much so that it is escaping down the hallway.

What comes to my mind is, "Frickin' frackin' diddly whoppin' why do I get to spend all my effin' time cleaning up after this little twit, I'd rather be playing with her than picking up after every bleepin' mess she makes..."

[Note: Due to the high moral standards of some family members who I know read this, I have censored the above thought process. Hi Millie, hi Mom.]

Instead what I say is, "No no Marissa! Now help Mommy clean this up."

Some day I am going to explode. We parents cannot possibly hold in all of the frustration that we withhold from our childrens' ears without someday letting it all out.

I think I need to take up kick boxing.

A final footnote, by the time I made it back downstairs from cleaning up Lindsey had lost interest in Hungry Hungry Hippos and it was almost time to start a bath for the two peanuts anyway. Another evening shot to hell. Sigh...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Changing of the Seasons

Lindsey is becoming more aware of the change of seasons, something Marissa is still oblivious to. She'll want to do certain things that only happen at Halloween, Christmas, etc, and we'll tell her, "When it gets colder" or "When the leaves start turning."

Our next door neighbor is expecting her first child -- her due date is late October. So during her pregnancy we would see her out and about and Lindsey would ask, "When's Jenna going to have her baby?" Our answer was, "This fall, when the leaves start turning and falling down."

Last weekend our neighbor's black walnut tree began shedding some yellow leaves, just barely turned. A gust of wind came by and the leaves swirled around us as we stood in our front yard. Lindsey looked at all the leaves, considered them for a moment, and then started jumping up and down.

"Mommy! Mommy! The leaves are falling! That means Jenna's going to have her baby!" She was holding her face "Home Alone" style, jumping up and down with excitement.

I think she thought that Jenna was going to have her baby right then and there. I said, "Yes, Lindsey, she's getting close to having her baby, but probably not today."

I just love Lindsey's sense of time. Something that happened in the morning is sometimes described as "a long time ago" or she'll say, "Remember yesterday when we..." and go on to describe an event that happened last winter. Apparently autumn is a single day. Whoosh! The leaves turn colors, are gone, and Jenna has her baby, all at once.

I'm sure Jenna wishes that were the case!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Minnehaha Falls

Marissa's "portrait" while at Minnehaha Falls. (She always decides she doesn't want her photo taken when I pull out the camera.)

And then there's Lindsey -- her eyes just pop in this photo.

One of our neighbors comments to us that we manage to spend an awful lot of time with our girls, despite working our two full time jobs. And I have to say, we do fit a lot in, which I'm thankful for.
For example, this weekend we spent hours on Saturday at the Fulton Festival, a little festival cooked up to help fund our neighborhood committee, which publishes a newsletter, does all kinds of neighborhood activities, and so forth. The festival was at the park we always go to, about 1 1/2 blocks from our house.
This year is was incredibly well attended and had LOTs of great music! The woman who organized the music is a casting director, so who better to be well connected and be able to get talent in for cheap? (Read "free.") Marissa and Lindsey spent lots of time in a bounce house, then Marissa got fussy and went home for a long nap. I took Lindsey back then and we closed the place down. Lots of freezies, roasted corn, face painting, animal balloons and dancing were in our plans! We finally shuffled back up the big hill to our house and made it home around 3:30, about the time Marissa awoke from her nap.

Then today we finally made it to Minnehaha Park. I've been wanting to go there all summer but was getting overruled by others. We went and it was worthwhile. The park has 167 acres of you name it, they got it. We drove into the park quite a ways and finally parked, thinking we would scope it out. Lucky us, we happened to park near Minnehaha Falls, which was a source of great amazement for Marissa. "Wawa! Wawa!" she would say, pointing. This was followed by a great game of hide and seek in all the large oak trees near the falls, which resulted in hungry tummies, so a picnic soon followed. After that, we managed to find a playground with a slide and monkey bars, the old fashioned metal kind that you can really hurt yourself on. The slide was made of metal, so you could really SLIDE down, Clark Griswald speed.

Hopefully we'll make it back there one more time this fall as the leaves are turning. It was gorgeous!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Teaching at Home

While our girls are in daycare all day, getting the quality, structured activities and learning that centers offer (cough cough, ahem), I always feel a tinge of guilt that I don't reinforce the learning at home. I get to see the girls for 3 hours every evening, two days on the weekends, assuming that I don't have to run errands or have other things going on weekends. So bottom line, when I see them I just want to enjoy my time with them, not drill them on ABCs, etc.

It wasn't until my mother-in-law and other family members were visiting that I realized how much I actually taught my girls...without trying to teach them.

I was making dinner and Lindsey was drawing with markers. She would draw a part of an object with one color, then pick another color and draw the next part, etc, often overlapping the colors. She started talking about how blue and red make purple (her favorite color), red and white make pink (her other favorite color) blue and yellow make green, etc. Millie asked if she learned that at daycare, and I realized that she had learned it with me, in working with fingerpaints and blending them together to see what colors they made.

Then at bathtime we pulled out the old bath letters that we had put away some time ago, and Lindsey had to pick out which letter went with which phonic sound. I would say, "Show me the letter that goes "va va va" and she would pick out the "V." Sure enough, that teaches, too!

Marissa can count to three, because at the end of three is usually some activity -- jumping, being tossed into the air or thrown onto the bed. I guess that's a good thing, too.

And, as expected, "toot" and "poop" are currently Marissa's favorite words.

Thank Daddy for that one!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lindsey's Question this morning

This morning I was getting ready for work and Lindsey was sitting on our bed, chattering away. She says to me, "Mommy, I want to ask you a question."

"Yes, Lindsey?" I say.

"When mommies have babies in their tummies, can they eat?" she asks.

Wow, what a great question, out of the utter blue.

"Yes, Lindsey, mommies can eat when they have babies in their tummies. And when they eat, the baby eats too, and the baby grows bigger and bigger," I say.

"Oh! That's really neat," she says.

Yes, that is.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Visit to Wisconsin

We spent Labor Day weekend visiting the fam in Wisconsin. Now, I know Minnesota is right next door to Wisconsin, but I have the distinct honor of being from a town on the very Eastern side of the state, right next to Lake Michigan. While it's a nice place to grow up and a beautiful place to come home to visit, it's a helluva drive with two little ones in tow.

Luckily our drive over went amazingly well - 6 1/2 hours total, only one meltdown. We arrived just in time for some sidewalk chalk drawing, and for Grandma "Loud" (as Lindsey says my mom and stepdad's last name) to bring out toy after toy. Finally at one point, after all the new toys had been dragged out, Lindsey says, "Grandma, may I have another toy?" At least she's polite in her greed.
Saturday we went to the South Shore Festival, or whatever it was called, right on Lake Michigan. Big surprise, the rides were the biggest hit with Lindsey. But Kristi and I had quite a laugh, too, riding the Tilt a'Whirl until we were almost sick. (It only took one ride.) We were spinning quite fast and laughing so hard that I nearly peed. The ride operator was chuckling at us as we got off. We also rode "The Scrambler" -- remember that thing?? I felt like I was in a big mixing bowl.

We got the biggest kick out of the warning sign on "The Scrambler". Check out the frownie face on the guy who stood up during the ride! Bummer for him.

Kristi said something to me about always looking at the people in the crowd, wondering if she'll recognize some old classmates. Then she realized that she was looking at all the high school kids before she realized she should be looking at the middle-aged people with the families! Ain't that the truth! I'm just a FEW years out of high school, right? Still look like I could pass for a senior, eh? Ummm....yeah, not so much.

That evening we had a visit with my friend Chuck, his wife Kerri and their little baby, Claire, all of 9 months old. She is about the happiest giggliest baby I've ever seen, who justly earns the nickname "Porkchop" with her rolls of fat on her legs and arms. What a cutie!

Sunday morning Michelle, Steve and nephew Paul came to visit for a few hours, as did Grandma Janet. You would think that with Marissa and Paulie being a few weeks apart in age that they would play together more. But I think the sister/girl thing was a bigger draw for Marissa, and Paul was just too enamored with his cars! It's just amazing how different boys and girls play! They finally all had some together time in the sandbox in the back yard.

Sunday evening we enjoyed a dinner out with Kristi and Ned, at a restaurant on the lakefront with outdoor seating. It was so beautiful out, and the breeze was just perfect. It was a fabulous break from kid-dom.

The one scourge of our weekend was, as it seems to always be when we travel, getting the girls to sleep. Lindsey only napped one day, and every day she went to bed well past her normal bedtime, usually around 10 or 11. One night it was nearly midnight before she finally passed out, while in mid-sentence saying, "Can I just have one more......" I almost wanted to wake her to ask what she wanted one more of, but thought better of it.

You would think for all that tiredness that we would have a quiet drive back home with two sleeping girls catching up on some shut eye. But alas, they were both up for most of the drive, though we did get a good hour-long respite when they both finally konked out at the same time. The drive home took us about 8 hours due to unscheduled stops, crabbiness and general chaos. Traffic was great, kids were not.

We got home at about 8:30 Monday night -- both kids were sleeping by 9:30. Aaahhh! Sleep, oh wonderful sleep! I got 9 hours of it myself that a row.