Monday, April 30, 2012

Above and Beyond

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate cleaning the floors. It is, hands down, my least favourite household chore. If I could farm out one chore, that would be it. And yet somehow, I have mopped twice in the last twenty-four hours. The first one, I admit, was because the floor was disgusting as I had put off mopping all week since, as previously stated, I hate cleaning the floors. Since my eyes are so far away from the floor, I can get away with this for a while. But we invited guests over for dinner last night, and while they are good enough friends that they wouldn't judge me, I knew that I would be wallowing in shame the entire time they were over here if I didn't get off my lazy bum and mop. So I did. And was very proud of myself. And then this morning Littles accidentally dropped a jar of strawberry jam, which led to mopping number two. This is not an exciting story at all. I just want everyone to be impressed that I mopped twice instead of just letting the Dog lick up the jelly and leaving it at that.

In unrelated news, I lost count of the caterpillar kill count somewhere after 30, our house is also being taken over by moths, Tiny is officially rolling over and unofficially being an over-achiever by trying to sit up, and I love lightning skies after a dinner of tikka masala and home-made naan. The End. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Monkey See, Monkey Do

"A., what are you doing?"
"Nurse Rolly."

He then proceeded to handily burp Rolly as well. Not sure if I should be concerned or just die laughing. Oh wait, I already chose the latter.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cats and Caterpillars

"How doth the little caterpillar..." Wait, that's not right...

It has been one of those weeks. The ones that are best expressed by bullet points. So here goes:

  • I just finished playing in the sprinklers with Little Man while Tiny napped. The hundred degree heat demanded it. I'm not exaggerating--the car read 101 on the way to and from the library this afternoon. How is it only April?
  • Now Littles is playing musical chairs with Rolly. His stuffed animal dog. This needs no further comment.
  • Went in on Thursday for a check up on a hydrocele. Came out of what could possibly be the coolest children's hospital I've ever been in with a surgery date for a hernia and an undescended testicle. Boys are so much fun.
  • On a similar note, on Saturday, instead of going to a baby shower that I planned and threw, I went to the ER with Tiny. It was fun times as my 3 month old got snot taken, urine extracted, poop scraped from his diaper, blood drawn, and spinal fluid tapped. Also, he is One. Big. Boy. In our followup appointment with his doctor, we discovered that he is essentially fine and about half of the excitement that occurred might not have been necessary. Love it.
  • Our cat escaped this week and had his first overnight adventure. I spent the 20 hours he was missing feeling like an awful pet owner, trying to produce ulcers from the worry, and literally having nightmares about where he was (I also dreamed several times that he had returned, only to wander the house in the middle of the night to discover he wasn't yet home). I spent the following morning fruitlessly chasing our next door neighbor's outdoor cat, who, incidentally, looks annoyingly like Oswald. I did this twice. You would think I would learn. I then found Oswald perched in a window sill two houses down. He gave the most pathetic meow of gratitude when I picked him up but was not much worse for the wear...only a couple tufts of fur missing. Incredibly, he too is incapable of learning as he's tried to get out at least 4 more times since then. Intelligence is not his strong suit.
  • Today Littles tried to drink nail polish remover. He informed me that it doesn't taste very good. He did so by screaming and wailing emphatically. He was crying so hard that I thought he'd gotten it in his eyes as well as his mouth (and all over his clothes), so I gave him a liberal dousing of water before I realized that it hadn't gone anywhere near his eyes and most likely hadn't been swallowed. He doesn't seem too traumatized by the experience, but at least we know that nail polish will never stick to any part of him ever for the rest of his life. Including his tongue. I'm still airing out my bathroom.
  • Our house has been taken over by caterpillars. I'm killing them diligently. So far the death toll is at 15. I even had mercy on one and spared his life. Probably killed him the next time around. They don't learn either!
And the moral of the story is that this is the way the world turns and we don't learn. None of us do. We go on chasing our neighbors' cats and escaping from safety and invading evil maniac's homes and eventually we pay the price (whether that be with sore muscles, lost fur, or, gasp, death). That, of course, is my Deep Thought for the day. Jack Handey doesn't have anything on me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Elusive Hot Cup of Coffee

Every morning I play a little game with myself called "Can I make it to the bottom of my coffee cup?" There aren't many rules. You can't chug your coffee (because, then, what's the point of drinking it?) and once it's cold you've lost. Microwaving is a concession of defeat. You would think this wouldn't be that difficult. Sadly, I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually garnered a win. Incidentally, one of them was yesterday--I managed to bribe Littles with leftover "woofles", strawberries, and whipped cream. Oh, and syrup. Lots of it.

Sunday, however, I was determined to get my whole cup of coffee at my leisure. So instead of drinking it with breakfast, I poured it while Littles was in the bathtub. He loves his bath. It comes complete with Thomas the Train bath toys (have I mentioned he's obsessed?), so I thought there was no way I could possibly mess this one up. So Littles was happily puffing Thomas and Percy down the tracks towards the docks (always), and I was sitting on top of the closed toilet happily drinking a steaming hot mug of coffee while overseeing the buffering of those really useful engines. How could this possibly go wrong? And at that exact moment, Alex starts screaming blue murder as he unceremoniously poops in the bathtub.

So, naturally, by the time I calmed Little Man down from the trauma of being in a bathtub full of poop and got him cleaned up and got the poop-filled bathtub cleaned up and got the now poop-covered bath toys cleaned up (there was a lot of poop and a lot of cleaning), my coffee was stone cold. Figures. Tiny then decided to join in the fun by exploding his diaper everywhere, including on me. And all that to say, one day, some day in the far distant future, I will once again be enjoying hot coffee, and by then I can drink real coffee instead of decaf because I won't be nursing, thank goodness, and I will be missing those tepid sips of sadness because their absence will mean that my boys are all grown up and most likely out of the house. C'est la vie, right? You win some, you lose some.

With that said, no, I did not get my hot "cuppa" this morning either (we had tea today, not coffee). Also, Little Man had another poop in the bathtub incident today, except that he didn't really poop. He just screamed about it and demanded to get out of the completely poop-free bathtub. What....? All this excitement is beyond me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

When the Wind Wolf-Whistled (Ostensibly at Me)

I used to think that people were taking poetic license when they talked about the wind having voices. Then we moved to Oklahoma. Here the wind is a tangible presence. It's more than just the occasional errant breeze blowing the hair into your face; it's its own person, its own personality. And honestly, most of the time the Oklahoman wind neither slumbers nor sleeps. It has angry days, like the one where it smashed my Mexican dolphin wind-chimes into tiny glass shards. It has insistent, pestering days where its stubbornness makes walking with the double stroller twice the workout (and forget about running). It has comforting days when its consistency sounds like the ocean waves I miss in the middle of a land-locked state. The last few days though, our wind has been on a bit of a mental breakdown. It has growled, shrieked, whistled, pounded, hooted (no lie), and pretty much pulled out all the stops to give us a rip-roaring good show. I have to say, it almost makes me wonder if the wind's girlfriend broke up with him. He shows all the signs of trying to get over a lost love. Minus eating several pints of ice cream and crying in front of the TV while watching a chick-flick. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

A New Heart-Book

The boys and I stopped by the library today on a whim. It had been a while. It's been a while since I've engaged in much other than nursing, changing diapers, and surviving. But life begins again, and with it, the true necessities begin to take their rightful place. True necessities like books.

Little Man was jonesing for a Bob the Builder book. My disappointment in his literary acumen is unparalleled. You know, you try and try to provide your children with the finest things in life, and then you find them joyously rolling around in the pig sty of Bob the Builder. I allowed him one Bob book (against my better judgement), and then picked out four others that I would actually enjoy reading to him. And yes, I did have a great time reading Dr. Seuss's There's a Wocket in my Pocket. Except that now I'm just waiting for a Bofa to show up on my sofa (or a Zower in my shower, for that matter). My favourite pick though, happened to be If You Listen by Charlotte Zolotow. And, incredibly enough, Little Man miraculously (and thankfully) prefers it over the inane Bob the Builder book he brought home. The lucky truth is that I almost left without the Zolotow book. I already had four books for L.M., and was heading out the door when it caught my eye, and I grabbed it without really paying attention to what it was about.

When we got home, L.M. poked through the stack of books while Tiny (yes, that's what I've decided to dub the baby for this blog's use) napped and I did a quick clean of the bathrooms. Then we sat down to read. And L.M. immediately picked up If You Listen for the simple reason that it had a train on the back cover, and he's a little obsessed right now. And so we began. The timing of this book couldn't have been more fortuitous. It's about a little girl asking her mother how she knows her father loves her when he has been gone for a long time and she can't hear his voice or feel his hugs or see his face. The mother responds by telling her that it's a type of listening, the way you listen for a far away sound when you can't see the source of origin (it's much more poetic in the book). So L.M. is sitting there looking for trains in the book, and I'm just feeling the unconscionable need to tear up as my mind is racing ahead to the deployment when Big Man will be gone for long months and I will be left telling my own children how much Daddy loves them when they can neither see nor hear him. And then I noticed that in almost every illustration there was a picture of the father hidden. I have yet to go look through and see if he shows up on every page, but his outline was in the stars on one page and hidden in a cloud on another, and I just absolutely loved it! Somehow so did Little Man, which brings us to now.

Little Man requested a re-read before naptime, and I happily obliged him. I curled up with Tiny and L.M. on the toddler bed and read it while trying to find more Secretly Hidden Fathers, and then I grabbed the book to come out to blog about it. But L.M. wouldn't have it. He sobbed until I agreed to leave it on his dresser. Who'd have thought? Guess I picked a winner.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In Which I Happily Become a Lemming and then Unhappily a Goose

Incidentally, the lemming part is completely irrelevant to the following story since it only involves me putting out the recycling since everyone else did and it then actually being picked up. The excitement of a suburban housewife... although does a military base count as a suburb?

Anyway, this afternoon I set out to bake some cinnamon bread for the sole reason that I promised our neighbor gold bars or the worth of up to half my kingdom in exchange for watching Trigger and Oswald while we were out of state. Considering that I own neither gold bars nor anything that would equate a kingdom, I thought cinnamon bread was my next best bet (naturally accompanied by a batch of homemade chocolate almond biscotti, which will not be shared with her husband who informed me that no one really likes biscotti--philistine!). So while Little Man was napping serenely, Tiny and I took a brief foray into the world of baking. Unfortunately for me, Tiny happens to be very distracting, and I was dumping out the dough onto the counter to start kneading (and wondering why it looked so odd) when I realized that I had left out the 2 cups of water the recipe called for. Yes. Really. So, to a chorus of "Tiny, your mother is such a goose" I proceeded to cover the entire kitchen with bread dough in an attempt to get the water to goosh in. Yes. Really. My prayers are with the bread that is currently rising on the oven, but my faith is smaller than a mustard seed.

I was glad, however, that I had the right son for my baking buddy. Sure, Tiny laughed gleefully at my misfortune and gurgled pleasantly as I transformed our kitchen into a floury, watery mess, but Little's favourite word right now is "dorkwad", and I'm not sure my fragile self-esteem could've held up to such truthful criticism.

Final note, I wanted to take a picture of the craziness as it was occurring, but sadly I am not followed around by a professional film crew and was unwilling to contaminate my camera with what I hope will be dough. I did, however, get this shot of us after I got things mostly cleaned up. Tiny is giving me his best look of sympathetic scorn.

Rejoining the Land of the Living

Let's be honest: I fell off the face of the earth. I've discovered that having a new baby, plus a toddler, plus an endless stream of guests followed by an impromptu pre-deployment trip to see family just does that to me. But things are starting to settle in again now. It helps that Tiny has been regularly sleeping through the night for a few weeks now, and that the spring cleaning was mostly finished while my sister was here, and that I'm actually starting to feel more like I'm purposefully living each day instead of just trying to survive until I can sleep again. So yes, here I am again. And I hope to be writing more regularly over the next few months. This is more of a possibility since I'm not having to take a nap every day. Just most days. So on the non-nap days, you may be graced by my presence.

In the meantime, I am here, enjoying my last few weeks with the Man before he heads off to training, cherishing every moment of him and the boys, tolerating the pets most days, and enjoying things like lemonade and wind-chimes and freshly cut grass. And that is all the current excitement. More to come, hopefully soon...