Tuesday, May 26, 2009

De ja Boo-Boo

Andy's cousin and his wife (our friends) had their first child this past Thursday, a beautiful 10 lb, 3 oz (oy) 21 1/2 inch baby boy. So I'm dedicating this edition of What to Really Expect to the new parents, Tim and Katie.

Last Tuesday, HRH was playing some sort of spy game with the neighborhood kids and was crouching under a bush keeping look out. It is at this point that our six-year-old neighbor, exhibited a slight issue with impulse control by dropping a rock on HRH's head. HRH emerged screaming from the bushes where he was met by the mommies and the daddy of the rock-dropper. The result was an inch or so gash above his left ear that my nurse practitioner neighbor determined did need stapling. (The laceration is in nearly the same spot as the one he got two years ago running in socks in the kitchen.)

Another neighbor yelled "I've got Gremlin. See you in a while!" over her shoulder as she headed to round up the rest of the kids. The daddy was last seen striding purposely home, rock-dropper in tow. I ran into the house, grabbed a dish towel and my bag, trundled HRH into the car, and headed off to the hospital. On the way I placed my third call in two years to Andy, instructing him to meet us in the Emergency Room.

For the next three hours, we compared notes with at least four other families who also entered the ER with dish towels attached to the sides of their childrens' heads. And one frustrated mom whose child appeared to be in fine health with no visible wounds. Turns out her two-year-old had shoved his dinner so far up his nose that they were unable to retrieve it (this time - apparently, this is not a one-time occurrence) and were instructed by the pediatrician to head to the hospital. No, I didn't ask what type of food was up there. Yes, I'm curious, too.

Once again, the state has not removed our children from our custody. Once again, all questions regarding "the incident" were directed to HRH. We engaged in a long conversation about impulses and the importance of controlling the more negative ones. There was a tearful apology from the mother of the rock-thrower. There was a sincere-ish apology from the rock thrower, himself, who spent a lot of time in punishment. And a sincere-ish acceptance of apology from the throw-ee. Followed by "Hey! Wanna see my staples?".

Staple-removal is today at 1500 hours. Wish us luck.

I can't help but think that all through this adventure, I didn't panic, I didn't get upset, squeamish, angry, or lightheaded. I have boys. This is what happens. It's done. Until the next time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Letting My Geek Flag Fly

We're having a pretty laid back Memorial Day weekend. Preschool graduation on Friday, birthday party yesterday, fishing on the Cape Cod Canal with the boys this morning (up early! fish guts! yay!), yard work tomorrow. As expected and *planned*, the highlight of my weekend just finished up about 45 minutes ago: Dinner with my husband at PF Changs (DE-licous!) followed by Star Trek on the big screen!

I'm not ashamed to blog out loud that I'm a little bit of a Trekker. I do have to say that I've always been more of a fan of The Next Generation than the original. Kirk always struck me as a bombastic, misogynistic boor (I may have been inferring just a teensy bit) and the show itself was pure camp. But Jean-Luc Picard was so cool, so cerebral, so very...80s. How could I not love him and TNG?

I won't give you a complete run-down of this Star Trek movie except to say that it totally kicked ass and I will buy it the very first day it comes out on DVD. I will also let you in on the thought that was occupying a big piece of my brain space during the entire 126 minutes of the movie:

This guy:
Playing this guy:
Is a VAST improvement over this guy:
I'm sure you can see my point.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't You Forget About Me

When I was a senior in high school, one of the kids in our class organized a spring break trip to Bermuda. I don't know what my parents were thinking but they agreed I could go. I distinctly remember the cost being $510.00 for a full week at the Elbow Beach Hotel. I got my first part-time job as a bank teller to pay for the trip. My boyfriend of two years was already in college but he and most of my best friends' boyfriends also arranged to come with us.

Come April, we boarded a charter flight and headed to what is still one of the best vacations of my life. We ended up in a little two-room suite cabana overlooking the beautiful beach below. Unbeknownst to any of our parents, our room ended up with me, my boyfriend, Stephen, my best friend, Chris, her boyfriend, Pat, my friend Sue, and her boyfriend, Chris. We also had Joe, Chuck, Shelly, Jen, Sean, and half our senior class coming and going as they pleased. Some more than others.

It was an amazing vacation in a fabulous place. We rented mopeds and explored the island. I remember swimming out to dance on a reef to the music of The Bermuda Strollers reggae band as they played on our beach. I remember the tropical fish swimming along the reef that could put Nemo and his friends to shame.

Some nights, we would sit in the piano bar singing along to standards with Sid, the elderly British piano player. And we would drink rum swizzles and mai tais. We would travel between groups of friends, exploring, talking, laughing, and drinking. With this our first shot at legal drinking (18 in Bermuda), you can bet we over-indulged but for the most part, we never got too crazy or did anything too dangerous.

Except for one classmate, Frank, whom everyone had completely lost track of. There were occasional Frank sightings assuring us that he was, in fact, not dead. During one evening's wandering, there was one such siting - as Frank was being thrown out of some girls' room. He could be heard asking "How can I love you if you won't lie down?" And then he was gone. Like Bigfoot.

Fast forward hours or days and Stephen and I find ourselves sound asleep on the pull-out couch in the middle of the night. I awake from a strange dream in which Stephen was sleeping on both sides of me. As I step out of the ether, I realize that there are indeed two people in bed with me. It was Frank! (Near as we can figure, none of us locked the door and Frank, in an attempt to locate home base, had stumbled into our room, found a cozy bed, and snuggled in.) I smack Stephen awake and tell him Frank is in bed with us! Mostly asleep, he opens one eye, says "oh, it's just Frank" and attempts to go back to sleep. Um. No. He's gotta go.

He rouses and agrees to remove our 'guest' from our bed. Frank is not a small guy and he's dead weight so Stephen enlists a sleeping Patrick from the next room. Eventually, they move him out to our patio and throw him across a lounge chair, where he happily spent the remainder of night. We think.

We returned home from Bermuda with only one serious injury (Jen, broken arm - moped accident), nobody pregnant, and our parents none the wiser.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Old House - The Reveal

The Painters are done! Click here for The Before.

And now I proudly present...
The After:

And one moment of abject panic when I prayed that these guys were as good as their word:

And (thank you, God), they were.

Next on the agenda? Onward and upward. Apparently, we need a new roof...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Excerpted from Gremlin's Mother's Day Project

My mother's name is CHRISTINE.

She is 50 years old. (nice)

Her hair is ALL AROUND HER HEAD. (this one's my favorite)

Her eyes are THE SAME AS MINE.


I like it when she HELPS ME PICK UP THINGS.

She likes it when I SIT AND STAND STILL.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Parenting: It's the Bee's Knees

Example 1: Mommy's little apiologist.

Gremlin: Mommy, do bees have tongues?

Manic Mommy: I...hmmm. We'll have to look that up!

(For future reference, yes, they do! They also have little pump thingies in their heads to suck the nectar.)


Example 2: How long before he asks me to drop him off around the corner from school?

HRH: Mommy, I don't like to kiss on the lips.

Manic Mommy: Not even me?

HRH: Sorry, Mom. I'm just not that type of person.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

The pay stinks but the benefits rock!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What to Really Expect - Part 2

Child: HRH
Age: 7 weeks

It's 5:00 am on a very chilly January morning. HRH begins to stir in his cradle beside my side of the bed. I reach over and attempt to plug him to catch another few moments of precious sleep. He makes a strange noise. Instantly awake, I flip on the light to find HRH struggling to breathe. I scream Andy awake. He jumps out of bed, into HRH's room across the hall, grabs the snot sucker off the changing table and suctions him, pulling out a nice little booger nugget. HRH begins sucking in air again like a pearl diver returning to the surface.

We bundle up our little prince in at least three layers of fleece over his 'jamas to ward off the pre-dawn chill and drive off to the emergency room. With the dome light on and me in the back seat, monitoring his every breath.

We arrive at the hospital and wait...and wait...and wait. (Have I ever mentioned that the effing emergency room is named after my father in law, who had been chief of emergency surgery until his death?) Eventually the baby is evaluated. Or, rather, we are evaluated.

ER Doc: So you say your son's nose was stuffy.
Us: Yep! And he wasn't breathing!

ER Doc: Do you have the heat on?
Us: Yes, it's set to 9,000. Can't have our precious getting all chilled.

ER Doc: And his cradle? Is it near the heat source?
Us: Yes indeedy! Right next to the radiator. But don't worry. We made sure our newborn baby couldn't reach out and grab it. We're cautious.

ER Doc: And this house that you just moved into six weeks before his birth? Does it have carpeting?
Us: Yep. Nice older (dusty) carpteting. We were going to pull it up but thought we'd leave it til spring to keep the room warmer. Besides, it goes well with the peeling wallpaper.

Baby's Diagnosis: Your child is "stuffy." I'll give you a minute to digest this complicated bit of medical information. Then go buy a humidifier.

Parents Diagnosis: Morons of the overreatcting variety.

(Moron) Manic Mommy: He's hungry. Is it okay if I nurse him?

ER Doc: Blank stare. Did anyone ever mention to you that newborns only breathe through their noses?

Us: Blank stare.

ER Doc: Yeah, they don't learn how to breathe through their mouths until later.

Us (later, to each other, not the doctor): Good fucking tip, don't you think!?

Still take HRH to see his pediatrician that afternoon. Just to be sure. Same diagnosis; parental mania/moronic-ness.
Buy a humidifier the size of a refrigerator (wallpaper is steamed off in a matter of weeks).
Alert every new/expecting parent we ever meet about the mouth-breathing thing.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Answer

It was a cheese sandwich, on whole grain, with mayo. Not grilled.

In restrospect, I can't say I blame him.

[This entire paragraph naming the six items he will eat without complaint has been redacted in an attempt to make myself look less self-critical than I actually am.]

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