Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Short Career

So ballet only lasted a week.

So what.

We just had to get that out of our system so we could focus on more athletic endeavors (did someone say softball?).

We were going to give it one more grand finale shot when all heck broke loose right before the leotard came on. Can you force a 3-year old into a leotard and tights? Go ahead and try because this momma couldn't.

So we bailed.

It's a good thing Little Miss Twirly Pants decided to bail RIGHT AFTER WE PAID FOR THE DADGUM CLASS. But hey, as long as she's happy because IT IS ALL ABOUT HER, RIGHT? (cough, cough)

It is on to bigger and better endeavors. If we have any hope of beating out the Chinese, I've got to get her started ASAP because we all know they're competing IN THE OLYMPICS at whatever sport AT AGE SEVEN. (What? Did I say that?) We've got 4 years to crack down because this is serious business.

There is hope, though.

She came in last night after putting on her pj's (self-selected) and was wearing a #34 red & black bulldog jersey that at one time I believe belonged to my older brother(s). After a few lessons in the respect owed that jersey and the team for which is stands, she darted around the house chanting...

"I'm Herschel Walker, the Goal Line Stalker!"

but it came out a little different. More like...

"I'm Sherfel Walter, the Gold Arm Stomper!"

Hey, whatever works. We'll send her to Bulldog camp and show those boys what she's made of.

Football/ballet combo? Could be a hit.

It worked for Herschel.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Book

There used to be a big blue book in my parent's room when I was a kid that was filled with the most glorious information a little hypochondriac could ever ask for. It was like the Encyclopedia Brittanica of WebMd. On steroids.

My favorite part of the book, and the part I looked at almost daily, was the symptom checker. You start with a simple symptom, answer yes and no questions while following arrows, depending upon your answers. Ultimately it ends up at a diagnosis. Sweet freedom for a hypo.

There was one particular day(s) that I was concerned about some symptoms I was experiencing and like the smart 9 year old that I was, I took those symptoms to "The Book". After answering the many questions and following a maze of arrows throughout the entire book, my diagnosis became clear.

Sickle Cell Anemia.

I handled it ok but quickly knew I needed support. I took The Book with me for verification and presented my family with the news. What I didn't expect was how they would take it. Tears? Of course, I thought. LAUGHTER? Now how dare they. I was dying a slow painful death and I get LAUGHTER?

After a brief explanation of my "heritage", I find that this particular diagnosis may not quite fit my symptoms and I dive back in to The Book. This became a daily affair.

Fast-forward to this week.

I make a bagel pizza for lunch and a few bites into it, I realize someone must have emptied the salt-shaker on it. Saaaaaaaaalllllllltttttyyyyyy. Whew. Couldn't finish it.

Decide to snack on some Sun Chips instead. Well DANG. Which one of my kids got a hold of the salt-shaker and how did they get into the chips stored on top of the fridge?

Then dinner rolls around and I am so very excited that 1) Kara made dinner and 2) it's my all-time fave: manicotti and 3) I'm absolutely starving because I didn't each lunch. First bite in, I look around to see who's figured it out with me. I don't see any other looks. A few more bites in and I'm glancing for the salt-shaker. Seriously, who is playing this mad prank on me? Still, no one else notices the saltiness like I do, so as not to make Kara feel bad, I keep on trucking.

Later when I put 2 and 2 together and realize this may not be normal, I go to Mr.Web. Not quite as good a friend as The Book, but he'll do. And he again pulls through for me. A diagnosis. I presented Carter with the news because I knew I needed support on this one.

I didn't want to die a slow, painful, salty death alone.

So I accepted the truth.

I have an abnormal depletion of body fluids. Did you hear that? Abnormal.

Folks, I'm dehydrated. There, I said it.

Surely it wasn't because the only thing I had drunk for a few days had been coffee and Coke.

The treatment plan is harsh, but I'm willing to do anything to keep myself alive and salt-free. I must drink excessive amounts of water. Grueling and painful, but I'm a fighter and I'll fight this disease with everything that's within me.

Starting now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh boy.

I was so that parent.

And I so had that kid.

It was the trek to our first dance class (and yes, I feel it is our dance class because if I'm going to see this girl make The Nutcracker some day [which is the pinnacle of all things dance, right?] I'm going to have to go Bela Karolyi on her butt and do some home coaching).

I got out the video camera and Little Miss Twirly Pants showed her stuff for the camera. She had a case of the 'big head' and nothing could stop her.

Until we actually arrived at dance class. That is where I saw the panic begin to set in. I saw the snail slowly begin to inch her way back into her shell.

Now even though I wanted to be Miss Tough Mom and throw her into the wolves of strange dancers in a large mirror-filled room, I just couldn't do it.

I hung out non-chalantly and did the whole "They're going to teach you how to dance like a princess and a butterfly" to calm the nerves. My attempts were proving futile.

When the moms started exiting, I thought, "Oh boy. Here we go."

And that is where I became that parent with that kid.

The parent who refused to leave her sob-induced child.

So we sat on the bench.

And watched other little adorable girls dance like princesses and butterflies.

"Are you ready to join them?" I ask more than once.

"Next time, Mommy. Next time."

Well, next time came around about 78 times and Little Miss Twirly Pants sat getting splinters in her ballet-clad hiney.

So we will take a week to think about it. We will try again. I'm going to turn Miss Tough Mom and send her into the wolves. I just hope the wolves don't send her back out for howling too loud.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tiny Dancer

That Elton John song has been our theme all weekend long as we gear up for what has become the biggest event of Tiny Dancer's career: beginning Kinderdance.

You would think we're sending her to college with as big a fuss as we've made over this.

We're about to send our "I won't talk or look at anyone that I'm not INSANELY comfortable with" to a dance class with strangers (and no parents allowed). Yikes.

We've gotten her little dance outfits together (which has been a hilarious process for my non-dance, athletic-sports-only self). I didn't know what a leotard was until this weekend. Or ballet slippers. Or tutus or any type of dance attire. I feel like a pro now.

She's been gearing up for weeks now and today is the day. We shall see if it all pans out. I'm hoping that once she finds out we can't be in the room that she won't run out kicking and screaming.

Though Buster doesn't want any part of the dance attire, he is working on his twirling skills in case he's asked to be a guest star in one of her recitals. They always need a prince, right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Daddy's Boy

My son loves his Daddy.

There is no question in the amount of heroism faithfully given to Carter as his Jeep pulls up the driveway everyday. All heck breaks lose. And I mean ALL heck.

Usually Mulan (her self-proclaimed Princess Ashley didn't last as long as I originally thought) is in the midst of a project or engrossed in some pure PBS fun to notice much else. Her brother, however, hears the Jeep enter the neighborhood. I actually think he calculates the minutes from Carter's "I'm on my way home" call. He gives him 13 minutes and then starts pacing.

Pacing turns into running. Running turns into falling. Falling turns into rolling. And by the time Daddy passes the threshold, a complete one-man wrestling match is in full effect waiting for his larger-than-life opponent to join in.

No time to transition out of work and into the home. It's WWF time. Lil' Bruiser vs. Big Man.

And that act is more a culmination of the day's "Daddy sightings". It begins when I make my coffee.

I drink coffee out of the same cup every day (and yes, I wash it on occassion). It's a great shape. It holds the exact amount of coffee I like to consume. And it has 2 pics of Elvis on it. A close up and a gold lame' outfit full-body shot. Lil' Bruiser points to each picture and gladly exclaims, "DADDY!" Then he says, "Hot!"

Oh, he's talking about the coffee.

Sometimes I forget and agree. "Yes Lil' Bruiser, Mommy thinks Elvis, oh AND YOUR DADDY, are hot. Oh? You mean the coffee? Yeah, that too."

Then we take a seat on the couch (while it's quiet and Mulan is still asleep) to catch up on the news. As soon as Matt Lauer's face appears on the screen, Lil' Bruiser once again exclaims, "DADDY!"

He didn't mention 'hot' with that one. But I....


Is there something I'm missing here? Because last I checked, neither Elvis nor Matt Lauer looked anything like Carter.

After those sightings, it's time to bring up Carter's blog homepage on our computer 72,000 times. We have a game in which I flip through some webpages and then BAM here's Daddy's picture. It's like he's seeing him for the first time.

Only it's 72,000 times.

And we have kissy lip markings all over our laptop screen.

I don't feel threatened by all of this love and adoration being doled out on my better half. I think it's quite cute actually. Especially on Saturday mornings at 7am when I hear "Daaaaaaaaddddddyyyyyyy" from down the hall.

I give the man a gentle nudge. I smile. I roll over and continue dreaming pure blissful Saturday morning dreams.

Then I nicely add "Oh, while you're up, could you be a lamb and shut the door and keep him quiet for the next hour or so? Thanks, that'd be great."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prayers from a Princess

Our bedtime routine consists of a little family time with the four of us. Daddy then puts Buster Boy to bed, and I put Princess Ashley (her self-proclaimed name for this week) to bed. We like to have a little "girl time" and talk about the day or tell stories or get excited about what's to come, etc. Last night, I asked her to tell me 5 things she's thankful for.

"Oh, you mean 5 things I'm grateful for?"

Sorry. Didn't mean to use such elementary terms.

And here is her list, in order:

1. I'm thankful that Mommy forgives me.
2. I'm thankful that God tells me things.
3. I'm thankful that Daddy tells me what I can't do.
4. I'm thankful that Mommy changed her band-aid.
5. I'm thankful that Mommy put on clothes.

I don't know where #5 came from. I do tend to wear clothes throughout the day, or at least most of the time.

I think it's funny that a band-aid I was wearing on my arm was grossing her out. It was at the point where it was half coming off and I kept pressing it back on. Eventually she just went into my bathroom and got me a new one.

Later, when Daddy came in to say prayers together, Princess Ashley said she wanted to say them herself.

"Dear Jesus. Thank you for God. Please help me grow up. Amen."

Amen, Princess Ashley.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One flew over the cuckoo's nest...

...and right into my stinkin' living room! There has been a takeover of my house. Feathers everywhere. Mr. Biggles is alarmed and looking like he was the culprit and confused knowing deep down he didn't get this bird(s).


Hundreds of thousands of tens of waterfowls (or remnants) lying in my family room.

I made a grandeous mistake today. It goes back 3 years ago.

As we were moving from SSI to da'wick, we thought it best to purchase new furniture (mistake #1 knowing we had a spitter-upper 5 month old and more kids to follow). The saleswoman, in seeing our spitter-upper who was accompanying us, said "You must buy this furniture. It's washable!" Hey, whoever thought of washable furniture? Sounded great. Cha-ching. Call it a purchase (mistake #2).

3 years and 2 kids later, that stanky nasty furniture is showing it's wear and tear. We tell visitors it's (fairly) safe to sit on and not to worry, it's our playroom furniture. We have no playroom.

Mistake #3: The big one. I thought, 'Why don't I make it an every 3-year job to wash this washable furniture?' So I began the process of unzipping the 72 cushion and pillow cases that come with this here washable furniture.


Who knew they packed waterfowls in there? WELL I DO NOW BECAUSE THEY'VE TAKEN OVER MY HOUSE. Who knows how many waterfowls had to be tarred and feathered to make my sofa and loveseat. I apologize. I was igorant. I would have opted for a less-feathery animal had I known.

At least the kids are having a blast. It's kind of like those dance clubs that do bubble night. Except it's not a dance club. And there's no bubbles. But you get the picture.

I think it's projects like these that move you from the Stay At Home Mom category straight into the Truly Remarkable Stay At Home Mom category. Take that, my feathery friends.

Now I've got 3 years to get this cleaned up before I start the process over again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh sweet goodness, what have I done??

The best conversation (to date) I've had with my Little Shnookum Princess Pot is as follows:

Mommy sayeth: "So what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Little Shnookum Princess Pot respondeth: "A SOFTBALL PLAYER!!"

Ahhh, melt my heart.

You wouldn't know it though based on her daily grind of figuring out what dress to wear (currently shorts and tshirts are prohibited), which would look best with her high heels, and even what color lip gloss to wear.

HELLO?? Is this MY daughter we're talking about??

I didn't venture near dresses, high heels, and lip gloss until I was close to 30. And it was still reluctantly.

About a year ago we had to take Little Shnookum Princess Pot to an orthopedic children's doctor to have her legs and feet looked at. Her hip twists to cause her thigh bone to grow a little off which causes her knees to knock and her toes to point inward. Very common and most children grow out of it. The doctor even said that people with this condition tend to be great athletes. I don't know where he got that info from but it sure made that trip worthwhile for me! The only prescription he gave us was to enroll her in ballet when she turned 3. Apparently ballet stretches and moves are very good for the hips and leg bones and will help straighten everything out a lot quicker.

Hmmm. Now that's gonna be an issue.

I can handle the "great athlete" aspect, but ballet? No sir. Mommy doesn't do ballet.

Until today.

I called the dance studio and got her in the last available slot for 3 year olds. I wanted to choke. They so non-chalantly said "We'll see you on such-n-such day. Just make sure she has on her leotard, pink tights, and pink ballet shoes with her hair pulled back."

Oh sweet goodness. Can you buy that stuff at Wally World?

I'm a lost cause.