Monday, October 13, 2014

history lesson.

ek: "mommy! i learned about christopher columbus in school."
me: "that's awesome, sweetie! what did you learn about him?"
ek: "well, he had three boats."
me: "oh yeah? what did he do with those?"
ek: "well, he was looking for the earth. but mostly he was just looking for the beach."

Thursday, October 09, 2014

diagnosis.

my poor poor baby. on tuesday, jb picked the kidlets up from school and brought them home. hollis had "bug bites" on his face and the teachers had told justin that they thought he'd "gotten into some ants". i thought it was a bit crazy that ants had gotten onto his FACE and been able to bite him to that degree before anyone noticed, but i just kind of rolled with it. we had guests staying with us, so we put neosporin on the bites and he went to bed quickly and easily.

when he woke up wednesday morning, there appeared to be more bites. and when i changed his diaper, they were all over his groin and on his legs and stuff too. this seemed crazy to me, but i still didn't really think anything of it. i dropped him off at school and as i was backing out, his teacher ran up to me in the parking lot. she was like "i think he may have hand-foot-mouth". i knew immediately as she said the words that of course that's what it was. but since he didn't have any kind of fever, it never even occurred to me. i feel like a ridiculous person, but when ek had it, and everyone else i've heard of with it, it was accompanied by a fairly high fever.

anyway. poor little bug. i brought him to the doc and of course he's got it and it's a BAD case. this morning he woke up and it's even worse and continues to get worse each hour it seems. it's in his nostrils, all over his face and ears, arms, legs, bottom, groin. pretty much everywhere but his belly. amazingly, he's still eating and drinking and he's in fairly good spirits in spite of it all. i can tell it really really hurts him - he keeps pointing at his body saying "chin. hurts. toes. hurts. nose. hurts." this disease is gross and terrible.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

we survived!

justin is back and the kids, dogs, and i are all in one piece. ha. truthfully, this was the easiest solo-parenting time i've had. i guess as the kids keep getting older and easier to wrangle, it will just keep getting easier? which is awesome, but kind of sad at the same time since it means they continue to grow up, which directly contradicts my edict that they need to slow that right down.

anyway. it was a good weekend. emme was running a low fever for much of saturday, so after a nice long early morning jaunt to the park in the fall weather, we spent most of the day laying low at home - coloring, watching tinkerbell, playing with trains. i forgot how much fun leaf rubbings are, and we've been a wee bit obsessed with them lately.

magically, ek was feeling better on sunday, so we were able to attend a birthday party for one of her sweet friends from her old school at the thinkery. all was fine and good until we were leaving. some other friends had asked to borrow our pack n play, so i was unloading it from my trunk and i accidentally slammed it into emme's face. obviously, this was a complete accident, but it definitely hurt. the funny thing to come out of it is that she has not let me live it down. she keeps looking at me and saying "mommy, it really hurt me when you hit my face". killin me, kid.




Thursday, October 02, 2014

three dog circus.

jb is traveling for work and play this week, so i'm rocking the solo mom outfit for a few days. wheee. i must say, some aspects of solo parenting are super (way fewer dishes - not sure why, but it's awesome). but some parts can be rough - bedtime routine being the most obvious choice here.

anyway...i honestly don't mind it too much. yesterday we brought the kids to a special breakfast out before jb's flight since he'd had to work late on tuesday night and won't see them again until sunday. it was fun to be outside of the normal routine, for sure.


yesterday, after picking them up from school, i got out our halloween stuff. we don't have a ton, but i had saved a pile of toys from last year and they were super excited to be reunited with silly glasses, dancing frankensteins, witch fingers, etc. 



the other fun addition to this week is that we're dog-sitting for our friends who are on their honeymoon. for nine days. it's not so bad since i love dogs a lot, but three big dogs is a lot of dog all up in our house. last night, they were wrestling and playing and it was super cute so i tried to snap some pictures. which of course are blurry, but i think that almost captures the chaos even better. 

side note: the kids are hilarious with calvin (our dog-sitting buddy). he's a licker, which is not my favorite quality in a dog, but he's so sweet it's hard to be annoyed. of course, kids are delicious and the perfect height for much licking, so hollis has learned how to say "kicked off calvin!" with authority. unfortunately for him, his authority holds no water with calvin. ek calls him cal and tries to boss him around when he attempts to chew on their bathtub toys. i live in a (literal) zoo. 



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

not enough coffee in the world.

hollis woke up at like 3-something this morning. flipping. out. he's a light sleeper most nights and can make some noises that we usually either ignore or block out with the bathroom vent noise, but it became very clear almost immediately that this was not the usual brief night waking. i'm not sure if it was a night terror or what (emme never had those, so i am confused by what i'm supposed to do, etc.), but he was super upset. i held, rocked, and nursed him for about an hour until he finally went back to sleep, only to wake again at 6:15. oh, sleep, how you elude me.

because i was tired, this morning basically sucked. my attitude sucked, which made me meaner than i usually am, which made me guilty and sad about the way it all broke down. ugh. all my clothes fit weirdly today, so i just feel half put-together (or not even that, as half put-together is about the best i ever do). my hair is doing some weird stuff that i don't know how to deal with. emme dumped every single book in hollis's room into the middle of the floor. she demanded to wear her elsa costume to school (um, no, dude) and flipped out over the heel of her socks being "rumbled-y". hollis had a conniption when i tried to change his shirt that was soaked through with drool because i put the bear shirt on him (he chose the bear shirt) and he changed his mind mid-wardrobe-change and demanded the shark shirt. then he got all withdrawn and sad and just held his shark shirt in his little hands. these kids know how to play me like a fiddle.

even writing all this down right now, i realize that it's nothing. it's just a day. i hate how being tired or stressed (or both) is like a virus taking over your brain, turning normal interactions into adversarial crappy parenting. this morning my mom told me that my kids are extremely demanding/difficult, but i don't really think that's true. i think they're just kids, doing kid things, getting in the way of all the other non-essential things that eat up my day. sigh.




Friday, September 26, 2014

the conclusion of the chair story.

ah yes. the chair.

our tale continues the weekend before my birthday this year. end of july, we head out on a double date with some close friends. dining and drinking ensue and we take turns discussing all the things. at whatever point, the chair saga comes up, and my friend wendy says: "why don't you just tweet about it?". this was in response to my having emailed wade after his "zach is a cokehead" email and not getting any response after three weeks and a follow-up email.

so. i took to social media. sunday morning, i composed a tweet along the lines of: don't use needto.com because they are not responsive, use taskrabbit (a needto competitor) for this type of service. it wasn't the nicest thing i could have tweeted, but it certainly didn't involve expletives or anything too incendiary.

well. by sunday afternoon, i receive a two-minute voicemail on my cell phone from wade, ceo of needto.com, himself. he's rambling and somewhat incoherent and clearly very upset by my tweet (side note: this is hilarious to me. a tweet? c'mon.). i call him back as we're on our way to the neighborhood pool with the kidlets. 27 minutes of sitting in the hot car later, i get off the phone with wade. he has basically cried on the phone with me, telling me tales of woe about how insolvent his company is, how i'm the only person that's ever had even a slight issue, how he invested his life savings into this, how he used to sell books door-to-door in college, etc etc. it was a full-on therapy session for mr. wade, during which i felt like a complete jerk. which is ironic because, again, I JUST WANTED MY STUPID CHAIR BACK. or some other sort of resolution. because that's what should happen when you're a BUSINESS. i digress.

in the therapy session, wade let me know he was in california trying to raise more venture capital and would be back in austin tuesday, whereupon he would follow up on his lead on zach's girlfriend and i could expect to hear from him wednesday. fine. wednesday comes and goes, so late thursday afternoon, i send an email asking how it went with the girlfriend track-down. wade replies with more excuses.

that weekend was my birthday. i basically reached a catharsis after talking with my friend matt that i needed to just let it go and quit wasting everyone's time. which is solid advice. and probably something i should have done four months ago. or more. but whatever.

the following week, my heroic husband texts me during the day. he asks for a picture of the chair and for the number i have for zach, which i provide. the timeline went something like this:

afternoon: justin calls zach's number and someone else answers. justin asks for zach and the guy hesitates, says he lent his phone to zach several months ago and knows him. justin says he'd like to talk to zach about a job, if the guy has a way to get in touch with him.
moments later, justin gets a call from zach himself. he exists! they start talking and jb basically says "my wife is crazy, she's not letting this chair thing go, can you help me out?". zach says he has no idea where it is, but that last he saw it, he left it at the pedicab shop where he used to work (before he was fired for stealing or whatever...he didn't add that part).
justin calls the pedicab place and gets stephan on the phone, proprietor of said pedicab establishment. stephan says he won't be in until that evening, but he'll look around, but he doesn't think they have anything like that.

evening: we get the kids to bed and jb heads out. he drives to the east side sketch warehouse that is the pedicab hub. he walks in to said warehouse and sees a group of dudes sitting around on crates and random old busted furniture, drinking beers and playing video games. jb asks for stephan, and a guy says "that's me!". jb explains who he is again, stephan is unbelievably nice and helpful, although not optimistic that they will find anything.
this warehouse apparently has like a billion rooms in it, so justin and stephan meander through, opening random doors and then moving on when no chairs are discovered. about the third room they open has two dudes playing video games in the dark. stephan says "hey guys, any chairs in this room?". the dude sitting on a random mattress says no, but then dude #2 says "oh, hey, wait, man, this is a chair", gesturing to the chair he's sitting on. they turn on some sort of light, justin looks over and says "dude, that's my chair".

meanwhile, i'm at home, text-stalking jb, praying he's not being abducted. fortunately, the pedicab culture is a friendly group. they helped justin haul our chair into his car, then invited him to drink beers and play video games with him for a bit, which of course he did because this is how dudes work (i won't get in to how alien this would be in the female universe). during this portion of the evening, jb was regaled with everyone's stories about zach, who has been dubbed "holocaust zach", a nickname i will refrain from commenting on. apparently, he owes everyone beer and money, is the least reliable person ever, and is generally a bit of a loser. can't say any of this surprises me in the least.

as for our chair, during its stint at the warehouse, it seems some sort of gross dog made it its home. it's literally too disgusting to bring into our house, so it's living in the shed right now until i buy some new fabric and bring it to a real, legitimate reupholsterer. but, it's home. the end!




Thursday, September 25, 2014

policing.

last week (i think?) at ek's school, some police officers came to talk to the kids about stuff like strangers and law enforcement. emme loved it. she came home telling us all about how to say STRANGER DANGER in a super loud voice, so, there's that. she also got to sit in a cop car, which is among the top of the three year-old list of things that are awesome. these are pics the school sent. i am exceedingly proud that she's paying such close attention. and i love her face and her little demure pose in the cop car - she is too funny.



Monday, September 22, 2014

sandbox.

we got the kids a sandbox this weekend. seriously, why have we not owned a sandbox for their entire lives?

our original plan was to make one, because that is cute and fun. but with all the projects we've been trying to do at our house as of late, we just decided to bite the bullet and get a pre-fab one. magically, the one we chose fits perfectly in the little space below the fort in their playscape AND it has a lid. lid = key for so many reasons.

we have decided the sandbox is the zen garden of sibling-hood. they do not fight in there. they just giggle and dump sand on each other and spend long stretches of time hanging out. it's like magic.

obviously it is too soon to tell if this will be an ongoing trend, but the sandbox was only operational from saturday evening (30 minutes pre-bedtime) on. i would estimate they spent a good three hours in there, resulting in at least 900 mosquito bites (despite my best attempts at warding them off) and a pound or so of sand in their clothes, hair, bathtub, etc. i think that's a good pre-indicator of success, right?

waiting patiently for sand. 

can't be bothered to look at the camera.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

advice.

last night at bedtime, i asked emme what ms. denise said to her today. it's part of my attempt to get her talking about her day, even though she's fairly good about it already. she put her hand up to her mouth in universal secret-telling gesture and stage whispered to me "never marry a man you just met that day". i love that girl.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

eating crow.

today i learned a rough lesson. or faced a part of myself i didn't really like facing. or i ate crow.

i haven't liked hollis's teacher since he started at his new school. i don't really know why. i had a bad attitude going in to their transition to the new school, and i have looked for things to be wrong. consciously or unconsciously, i have "wanted" to find stuff to complain about in the environment.

with emme's classroom, i was only able to hang on to the negativity for a couple of weeks. because she articulates her opinions about things, and because the change in her was SO obvious, i had to accept that the new school was good for her, in spite of the flaws i still complain about.

but hollis. hollis has been a different story. he doesn't speak much yet - certainly not enough to communicate rationally what's going on every day. and he's extremely attuned to me and my attitude about stuff, as i am to his. so he and i have been sponging off each other in a negative feedback loop for the last two months.

on tuesday, h's teacher called me to tell me he was complaining about his bum. he'd had a big poop in the morning and was fussy and complainy from that point on. i picked him up early because kk had come into town, took him home, and saw that his bum was rashy and hadn't been 100% cleaned from his poop. to be fair, when you diaper standing up, it is nearly impossible to get it completely clean without really digging. and, hollis isn't exactly in the easiest state of mind regarding diaper changes these days.

so. he stayed home yesterday and played with kk and had a great day. we're struggling with him for sleep transitions and eating right now. a lot. but mostly he was fine and in a great place. i want to blame this rough patch on school. this morning, kk came with me to drop them off before she headed back to louisiana. hollis's teacher asked how he was doing, and i responded (rather jerk-ily) with news of his diaper rash and dirty bum, etc.

after dropping ek off and getting back in the car, my mom pointed out how rude i was to hollis's teacher. i am not a person who takes criticism well in any capacity, so i know she was scared to mention this to me. but, even though it destroys my ego to think about it, i had to acknowledge that she is right.

i have never given hollis's teacher or his classroom a fair shake. i have been defensive and ready to judge and be disappointed since the first day. in looking back on my interactions and conversations with ms. m, i am utterly embarrassed. i can say that i was being protective/trying to defend my child. but there is no reason for my behavior and countenance to have been what it's been. i'm not a rude or mean or bitchy person, really. i don't know how i've been operating like this for two months. as much as it SUCKS to come to terms with this, i am really glad my mom pointed it out to me. i needed someone to just call me out, just a little bit.

after dropping mom off, i drove back by the school. the babies were outside playing and ms. m was preparing the room with snacks, so she was alone. i offered an apology, told her i was sorry i had been so rude. no matter where my head/heart is with all of this, she did not deserve for me to speak to her that way. there's a way to talk to people and i know what that is. anyway. i told her the transition to this school had been really hard on me/our family and that it's devastating to me to have hollis break down every morning when i drop him off. but also, there is still no excuse for my bad demeanor. i never really think about what a hard, thankless (mostly) job it must be to deal with all those kidlets all day long every day. and the parents. and the other teachers. that is not an easy job, and i know she's not making zillions of dollars.

so. she gave me a big hug and told me it was ok and that they are going to take good care of my baby. and i am going to continue to work on my role in the whole dynamic. i don't want my little dude to be unhappy going there because he senses my hesitation/annoyance/negativity. it's hard to be wrong sometimes. haha.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

day five.

bye bye breck. glacier hike. picnic. throwing rocks in the lake. collecting rocks. aurora. farewell colorado.







































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