A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Been Bizzy

We were just discussing, about how bizzy we get on the weekends, and how other people seem to marvel at how we "go".
I recall a friend who once said, when I was pregnant with the big boy, about how she supposed I was gonna be one of those "Good Parents who DOES stuff with their kids."
I dunno - we just GO.
I don't want you to think I don't bitch a bit about it. I do, but usually I'm bitching because I am feeling bad or am cranky - not because we're out and about.
Maybe it's just me, but I think that the variety of places we go - museums, festivals, concerts etc....are GOOD for them.

And a lot of them are FREE. You just have to PAY ATTENTION.

Yesterday we did a festival at the twins school which included ungodly Georgia heat, and bounce houses (free) and a train show then when I came home the big boy and I made brownies. I've had people say WOW how did you do so much?

We got dressed and we left the house.

That is the secret.

You gotta get dressed and leave the house.

Pack a bag. And go.

That's it. That's the secret.

Events are in the newspapers and online.

Now you know our magic secret.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Steering The Ship

Most people never know what it really means to be a manager. They think we make schedules and balance budgets - and spend our time trying to make your lives hell. But in fact we spend our time like a ship captain - steering the ship through the waters, keeping progress forward and moving on in our quest.

When there is tragedy, when there is death and destruction - someone has to steer the ship. If you take your hands off the wheel, the ship can and will crash on the rocks. There will be chaos and there will be more problems than not if someone does not keep their hands firmly on the wheel - guiding the ship through waters that have turned to mourning and sadness.

Your manager doesn't have the luxury of falling onto the floor and sobbing, shrieking her disbelief at cruel fate. Hands on the ship - she balances the chaos with holding the course, holding steady. Your manager has to fill out forms to remove the dead from systems - writing the name of the one lost over and over, no matter how much it hurts. Your manager talks to other department heads, with a smile, assuring everyone that the ship continues on it's path - that we have the helm and not to worry.

She is in control.

She sees that all of you have what you need in grief counseling and time off. She sits and quietly plots and plans time off for team members to attend wake and funeral. Steering the ship while she plans, she holds tight to the wheel so that everyone is served best at this time. Your manager probably knew about the tragedy before you did, and spent the evening planning out what the needs of her team would be at this time - and how to continue onward while holding all team members safely close.

You probably don't see the tears shed in private, or the overwhelming sense of loss your manager feels. Because if you see it, you might feel overwhelmed too and that isn't productive or good for the team. So your manager pulls a tight smile and trudges onward - balancing balancing balancing. Your manager must show you strength and courage through adversity - even if they don't feel it themselves.

And your manager can never, ever take their hands off the wheel.

Not even to dry her tears.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It Wasn't All Bad

Despite the illness and the vomit, and the poop- don't forget the horrible torrent of poop all over the backseat of the car, despite ALL of that....it truly wasn't a bad vacation. I'm still reeling from it in a lot of ways, but still - there were high points.

Such as Dinosaur World!


And visiting the MIGHTY WURLITZER of my childhood which now resides in Ellenton Fla - at The Roaring 20s Pizza joint.....which was EXCELLENT as always!









Did I mention they had ice cream there? If you've never heard a Mighty Wurlitzer shake an entire building with it's power, well I can't describe it for you. But it's one of the great musical wonders of the world and I HIGHLY recommend it.



The best part, however, in terms of pure vacationy fun - was the beach. My Florida babies returned to their native sand and surf to dig and run and play. We needed to leave at about 2pm to get home at a decent time. We left Tampa Bay at about 9pm - that is what a good time we were having.



I mean you can't argue with this kind of joy - can you?





We miss you Florida, but we're getting settled here. I'll admit though, it felt like home, sitting down in those waters and letting the gulf roll over me.

But after our week of Spring Break......we returned and our entire world changed......because this happened....




That's right. We've got a week of Autism Pre-K under our belts. It's like we're pro's already.




Who knows what next week will hold??!?!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Being Invited Into a Threesome is Useful

It IS useful and I can prove it to you now, and teach you how to use this experience to your own personal benefit - both practically and emotionally/spiritually.

You might be saying to yourself, "Self, Gidge has flipped her wig - she's talking about threesomes and emotional growth."
But I'd say "Just follow along."
See, once upon a time - about oh say, 15 years ago, I had this really really jackass boyfriend who got it into his head that he and this FORMER girlfriend of his (okay not formal girlfriend - ummm friend with benefits?) and I might make for a spectacular naked puddle of human jello.

Yes indeed he did.
And he was surreptitious about it - smooth even. Did the old "Oh I want you to meet one of my best friends" routine. VERY smooth.

And then we both figured out what was up.
And politely declined.
What we DID do however, was become friends ourselves. Good friends. The kind of friend who even if I didn't talk to her for three months, if she showed up on my door with a bag and said "I have to move in with you," I'd be like "Yeah, ok - no worries."

Because I don't have to be all up in your face 24/7 to love you like that.

And she's the type of friend who LIKES going to goofy places like Dinosaur World with us - despite it's goofiness.

And while we were in Florida she offered us respite from our Vomit filled tent.




And we were able to sleep in the unbelievably luxury and comfort of the best bed in the entire world (it seemed this way after the night in vomitopolis). It was extremely convenient for the morning when I woke up with a sky high fever and wishing I was dead.



It was far better to writhe and sweat in the guest bedroom of a friend than a vomit scented, super heated tent down on the waterfront in Florida.


And well, a huge bonus that might not occur to adults but was not lost on a certain six year old.


She has dogs.




Dogs that will do tricks for you, even.





Which from what I can tell, when you are six, is about the best thing ever. It almost even makes up for missing two days of vacation because everyone is so sick. Almost.

So the only real point, is to say that you don't actually know where you are going to find your friends, but it's probably important to remember that some of the best ones you will ever meet - might be standing in the unlikeliest of places.
Love you Kris! We miss you already.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Larry The Lobster Had No Idea


So we saw THIS in a restaurant in Florida.

Yes, you drop in a dollar, and play Ye Old Claw game - but instead of dropping down a .50 value stuffed toy, it drops down a live lobster. THEN - what you can't read is the little sign says that "They'll cook it for you right there, or prepare it for you to take home and cook."
Dude, that is messed up. I'm GAMBLING with a living thing's life. Don't get me wrong, I eat lobster. But you know, I don't PLAY with them first.
I'd say what restaurant but we really like this place and I don't want to dog this one lapse of judgment on their part - and after all, it IS Florida...............

There Were No Portents Or Omens - NOT ONE!

We loaded up the car - quite literally, and innocently began driving south for our first real family vacation.








It wasn't our fault. We couldn't have known. How were we supposed to know that what started out as almost just spitting up for Baby Birdman would turn into Pukefest 09? HOW WERE WE TO KNOW?


We resorted to making him wear this bib in the car which actually did catch the puke just fine, but still, it didn't ever really occur to us that it just wasn't something he ate and he'd get better.



Kids throw up sometimes then BOOM they're all better and you just move on.



We were still pretty optimistic about our short trip to Florida though, as we pulled into our hotel at our stopping point in northern FLA.



I suppose we just should've known it wouldn't be that easy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

They Are Someone's Children

I had a friend in Tampa who got a nursing gig at a nursing home that was especially for children. She had done some of her school work there, and had a huge heart and felt it would be rewarding to work there. These were the "second twin" of twin to twin transfusion cases - the ones where it all goes so wrong and one baby has brain damage etc, or other causes of the same. Mostly, as I recall, it was twin to twin transfusion cases.
When she had worked there as a student, it had been rather clinical to her, check their stats, record numbers, change their diapers - do the sort of things students do so that the RNs can do their jobs.
But when she graduated and went back as a nurse, she told how it had all changed for her the first week - when her duties were more personal and involved with these children who were babies that would never change. Because when she opened a dresser and saw neatly folded little Disney T-shirts, and shorts, and underoos that this child would never even be able to wear - that some parent had lovingly and hopefully deposited there, it had struck her deep in her heart.
These were someone's children.

They weren't just patients, or bed numbers, or duties to check off. Someone loved them. Someone had hopes and dreams for them that had been smashed by mother nature and cruel fate. And that someone had folded underoos for a child who would never sit up on their own, much less be potty trained.

Tonight as I bathed my own children, I sat on the edge of the tub crying, remembering this story. My oldest boy asked me I was crying "because of the brothers?" and I said yes, that I was just sad and that everything was OK.

But I took a little longer washing their hair, and smoothing in conditioner, then carefully rinsing it out. And I slathered them with peppermint candy scented lotion - hoping that when someone tomorrow was near them they would catch the scent and think they were sweet - as I think they are sweet.

Because they are my children.

Tomorrow they start school in their special class for autism.

And I am scared to death.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The New Mandatory - 2 Kids or No Kids

Okay I've decided that, after consuming beers with Sarah and raving on about the things and people we hate (and love).............that I think there should be a rule.
It's about your reproduction.

You need to have at least two kids, or none.

Now, stay with me, I've got a reason. It's a good one.

When you just have the ONE kid, well - you're a freak. You worry about shit that doesn't matter, you flip out over the littlest stuff, you're ridiculously over protective - because you have the luxury of being so.

And well, it isn't productive. Or even reasonable.

Example? Oh, ever see those people who completely cover up the baby carrier if there is the slightest wind? Or, just a light rain? Because we all know human babies can't HANDLE a little bit of rain or a slight wind on them - it might DAMAGE them in some way that is irreparable.

Or the people who FLIP STRAIGHT OUT if their kid eats some sugar. Unless your kid is a diabetic or has some wild food allergy - well, ummm.....your kid is fine. Don't let them live on sugar. Be a parent. I'll even admit this - I WAS GUILTY OF THIS SIN.

That's right. When I had the luxury of being a singleton's parent (I didn't know they called a baby born on it's OWN a special name but they do,it's a singleton) - I once about STROKED OUT because my best friend spooned some cake with icing into my 9 month old son's mouth. Inside myself I about SCREAMED "HE'S NEVER HAD SUGAR OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" and felt all righteous about my incredibly brilliant and superior parenting and she obviously had NO FUCKING CLUE what she was doing because MY BABY DIDN'T EAT SUGAR.

Sigh.

As Sarah so aptly put it, now I'm more of the "Yeah my kids are outside licking dirt and then we'll be hitting the McDonald's - later."

When you have more kids, you have to become more practical. Okay licking dirt is bad most likely but in the grand scheme of things, you learn to prioritize. IS THIS GOING TO KILL THEM being the big distinguisher. If it's not going to kill them, you just learn to deal with it differently and are less MANIC and PARANOID - and it's a little easier on you even if it's more hectic.

I think that there are a lot of really NORMAL parents out there who have just one kid, I think it's responsible to look out for what you perceive to be your kids best interest - example, you kid isn't feeling well and you can't put your finger on it - so you say you're gonna be cautious/protective with them.......that's LOGIC. That's a good time not to play with other kids and we other parents appreciate it. We don't want your germs or the possibility of your germs.

But covering up your 8 month old with 3 blankets over their FACE so the WIND doesn't blow on them - well that borders on the insane.

I promise you, evolution has equipped us with the ability to handle WIND. Or, if you like - YOUR LORD GOD has also given you this gift. He also made the wind, so you know, really - enjoy the wind. It's a gift.

OK rant over. I'm having another beer now.

Shut Up - my kids are in bed.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mommy Bloggers Loose in the ATL


Sarah is in town and we took the opportunity to lift a pint or four. We tried to go to a local joint I like but I guess it's a sign of the times - they didn't renew their beer license. So we walked across the way to Friday's where the food is lame but the beer is cold.

It was an excellent time with one of my bestest friends. And we only trashed some of you, as the beers went to work.
You may worry amongst yourself who you are. We aren't telling.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bass Pro Shops Is Rocking The Customer Service - NOT

Soooo, you know we might not be the outdoorsiest of all possible families but our kids like the festive atmosphere and fun tank of giant fish, wild animal vignettes made of real dead wild animals and the like.
We don't BUY a lot in there, because I like said - we're not terribly outdoorsy, but we've bought this and that over time. Today however we were poking about in their camping section because we are toying with the idea of going camping. We were just having a look-see, you know, checking out what might be there that wasn't at ye old WalMart (guess what, not much + it's all twice as expensive).
REGARDLESS - Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is a lot of fun to putz around inside of so we were having a sort of fun short trip when we noticed that man, they had a lot of employees there - TONS of them. Standing around, not doing anything, not greeting people.......

  • Case in point - five employees behind a counter all huddled into one corner talking - a customer is STANDING on the opposite counter with his wallet and credit card out. He's TAPPING his credit card and they aren't flinching. Not even bothering to look around. Ummm, hello - in this economy? Are you FIVE EMPLOYEES really ignoring a guy with his credit card out?
  • Next up - the rude cashier. We've drug out kids to the check out where we're gonna buy them two little chairs and we get them into the closest line - we're next to check out. Blonde check out girl says "aisle 5 is open." which I understand is STANDARD cashier fare - she was trying to be helpful. What she doesn't know is that between US and aisle five is a minefield of crap that they've put in our way- stuff for our kids to touch and break and bother and want and truthfully, it's NOT WORTH IT. SO we say politely "No thanks we're good." At which point she stares at us blankly - and sort of angrily. Then, another aisle opens up - and she tells us about that one again - and we again tell her NO we're good....which obviously pisses her off. She checks us out, doesn't say thank you or have a nice day or BAG OUR STUFF or OFFER TO BAG OUR STUFF and turns around and goes to help the cashier behind her bag stuff.

I'm sorry Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Did we bother your cashier? I mean, was that a problem that we didn't want to change lines? Was it wrong of us to be happy where we were and just want to wait our turn? Because we were pretty happy there in line, having had a mostly good visit despite SEEING bad service in action - we'd never been mistreated by you.

Here's a little tactical advice. Reduce your headcount. Keep your full timers who are paying for mortgages and families and lose the teenie boppers. This will cause the people who remain employed to be more inspired to WORK if there aren't 85 extra people on the floor.

Or, instead of taking the slash and burn management style here is an even better idea.

Training. Get some. Quickly. I can recommend books and seminars.

Or, you could visit a Cabela's Store.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Some Are Special, Some are SPECIAL



My big boy has the sweetest heart. Yesterday he organized an egg hunt in our living room to help his brothers practice for today's Easter party at the twins club.

He wanted them to be able to do a good job when the easter egg hunt started - and to get some eggs (last year we got the shaft as some parents seemed to think it was ok for their kids to take 50 eggs even though we each only contribute 12 per kid).


Yet sometimes, even saints get worn out. And as he raised his voice at his brother and demanded he LEAVE him alone......I called him over to me, where he promptly broke into tears.

As I held him tight, I perceived an injustice that had been done to him over the past few weeks, even though he wants for nothing.

The past few weeks have been all about his brothers. ALL ABOUT his brothers. Almost all conversation, trips, events, schedule juggling - all activity has been about them, their autism and them being "special".

So as I hugged him close, I posed that question gently - asking if he felt left out or worn out by it.......and he sobbed and sobbed and said yes and he was sorry. And choked and cried and just fell apart - sounding every bit the little boy he is.

I kissed his cheek and told him I was sorry, but that we'd had to do these things to help his brothers. But I also assured him that he too is "special." But that he's lucky, because he isn't "special" in a way that makes his mommy secretly cry every day......but rather in a way that makes her heart soar with joy and want to never stop hugging him.

And that he is indeed, whether he knows it or not, unbelievably special.

Unseasonably Warm

So this global warming thing.......tell me more.

When we first moved into this house, one morning when I was bleary eyed I SWORE the thermometer outside my kitchen window said "120". So I think "that can't be right" but then I get busy and forget to look again. By the time I checked it again - it was 70 degrees.
So you know, when I saw this early this morning when I woke up (shut up it was like 10:30 on Saturday ok not early) you know I had to prove it!