Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vacation = Fail

As a mom, which is worse: the moment you look in to the back seat of the car and notice that your child has fallen asleep with only ten minutes left of the ride, and therefore realizing that naptime is officially shot for the day; or opening your eyes first thing in the morning AFTER your kids have already waken up, and therefore realizing that you have officially overslept and your opportunity to take a shower has already come and gone? Welcome to my world. Today is technically day two of our summer vacation together (since we won't count the weekend), and I have already failed.

On day one, I thought it would be fun to meet up with our playgroup friends to pick strawberries. And it was fun! We got to ride in a rickety tractor back to the field as I held on to the baby for dear life and prayed that I only felt like I was about to fall off. (there's no way I actually could have fallen, right?) When we got back to the field, CJ actually helped me pick some while whining the whole time that he wanted to go back to feed the goats. (um, sidenote: I hate goats. And most other animals for that matter. I did not like his suggestion). Ty sat his fat self right in front of the plants and picked and feasted, picked and feasted. We then moved on to the raspberries. CJ and his friend chased each other up and down the mile long rows of bushes in the 8000 degree heat while Ty continued to pick and feast. After about an hour or so, we walked to the car: hot, sweaty, and well-fed. I carefully placed the pallet of delicate berries on the hood of the car as I strapped the boys into their seats. I then strapped myself in and drove away. The pallet of deliciousness and hard work slipped quietly off the hood and tipped onto the gravel parking lot. (And yes, if you are wondering, this hot mess got out of the car and picked them all up.) The afternoon wrapped up nicely with a three hour nap and only a few small stones in the boys' snack cups. Me=Fail, but strawberry picking= success!

Supermom (that is me) decided to make dessert for the family dinner that was being held that night at my parents' house. Thirteen people warranted two Frozen Lemonade pies (courtesy of the food network) and some Funfetti cupcakes (because who doesn't love some Funfetti?) To make a very long story short, the boys threw outstanding tantrums and were actually pretty horribly behaved for most of the otherwise pleasant evening. We ate a fantastically fancy dinner prepared by our family from out of town, and my pies were a complete disaster. They didn't freeze, and were a total mess. Sometime around the eight thousandth comment of "hmmm, Jeni, what happened?" and my kids' screaming for no apparent reason, I started crying. Yes, right there at the dinner table. Real tears. Me=Fail.

Day two began with a trip to the gym followed by another playdate at a different farm (yay! more goats!) The workout was great, the friends were great, and The Boy's knee injury was also great. One second he was going crazy with all of his little friends on a gigantic jumping pillow, and the next second he was laying there crying. Me, thinking he was just being overdramatic as usual, encouraged him to stop crying and try something else. When he tried to run over to his friend and almost collapsed, I knew it was time to leave. So that brings us to now: ten o'clock on the night of day two as a full time Stay-At-Home-Mom (a job that does not come easily to me, in case you haven't noticed. But I'm determined to change that.) I'm still in my gym clothes, but The Boy has stopped limping. Here's hoping that tomorrow brings more sunshine and smiles and less tears and tantrums. Oh yeah, and maybe a shower too. It's happy hour and I gotta go. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's a Wiggly Party

It started with just one DVD. Yes, just one, and The Boy was hooked. (It's THAT addicting.) It then progressed to a different DVD every time we visited the library, dance parties to burned CD's in the living room, singing along in the car, trivia during dinner,purchasing our very own collection, and then we discovered the ultimate: our cable provider allowing us to access them (insert loud chimes while singing "AHHHHHHH" here) ON DEMAND!!! I knew we may have had a problem on our hands when he began pronouncing the word "car" as "cah", and "party" and "potty" became interchangeable. (well, they ARE Australian!). It seemed life couldn't get much better. I'm talking of course, about a crazy addiction to none other but THE WIGGLES.

So when it came time to start planning for the grand event, I could think of no better way to send my baby into year 3 than to throw him a huge Wiggly Party (and yes, this blog will be chock-full of Wiggles references. I apologize in advance if you don't get them. You're really missing out.)

Apparently, my child is one of the only ones left on the planet who is so in love with the four singing gentlemen in brightly colored shirts. The party decor is nowhere to be found. As in discontinued, gone, not in any store. Anywhere. (Well, except for on their official Australian website. I love my son. I really do. But not enough to spend 85 million dollars ordering Australian party decorations.) So instead, I opted to spend a mere 83 million ordering them from Ebay. Hoop-de-Doo, I was about to stamp,stamp,stamp, clap,clap,clap, and wiggle my hips just like that when I found them! The plan was finally coming together.

So I went ahead and reserved a park pavilion. Not one of the giant ones or anything. Just a nice shady spot with tables where people could come find relief from the sun. After all, we had been getting record high temperatures during the entire month of May. So there was not a chance it could (gasp) *rain* on that day, right?!?! The invitations were sent, the food was ordered. There was no turning back now. We were all getting excited to point our fingers and do the twist with the Birthday Boy.

No matter how much I plan, I always end up running around like a crazy person at the very last minute. I get these wonderfully fantastic ideas in my head and then drive myself insane trying to execute. Like the cake, for example. I thought it would have been so cool to cut a cake in the shape of The Wiggles' logo, frost it using exact colors, and then outline it with rainbow cupcakes (frosted of course in the signature colors of red, yellow, blue and purple). Well, for starters, making rainbow cupcakes, while they may be cool, are VERY time consuming. Especially when you have to make and frost 40 of them. And they can't really be made to far ahead of time for fear that they will go stale. Not to mention the frosting, while also cool, is VERY messy. And it must be the perfect consistency or else it will melt. So I had that going for me. I honestly thought that I was ahead of the game this time. The balloons, banner, gift bags, stickers, pinata, and streamers had all come in exactly on time, and were waiting patiently in a bag on the table. The 50 pounds of potato, pasta, and fruit salads (yummy, yummy) had been made earlier and were waiting patiently in the fridge. So all that was left was the cake. The only problem was that I am the opposite of artistic, and it was 10 o'clock at night ("all I have left to do is frost, how long can that take?" I foolishly said to my husband when he asked what was left to be done). Luckily, he only muttered under his breath for a couple of minutes as I trudged in sheepishly to ask him to draw me a Wiggles logo that I could transfer on to the cake. I think the muttering may have had something to do with always waiting till the last minute, or not letting anyone ever help with stuff.... I'm not really sure.

And so began the Great Frosting Project. And the (gasp) *rain*!!! And so it continued. Somewhere lost in a land of crazily bright frosting in approximately 7 different shades, I created cupcakes, cupcakes, and lots more cupcakes. And listened to rain, rain, and LOTS more rain. Sometime around 1 in the morning, I realized that my party (ahem, I mean, my son's party) was supposed to be starting in just a few hours. And then it started raining in the kitchen. How could this be happening?!?! Oh wait- no- those were just tears.

I stumbled in to bed some time later, with an array of frosting splatters still stuck to my hair, wrists, elbows, and probably my face. I fell asleep dreaming of park pavilions floating away like the friendly pirate ship rocking in the sea. Morning came approximately 7 minutes after I shut my eyes, and The Boy almost peed himself when he opened his first present- the Buzz Lightyear that actually shoots the lasers! "Is today my happy birthday?" He asked. "Can we go to my party now?" I looked out the window at the near flood conditions. Seriously, what were we going to do? Our house was neither big enough for 40 people, nor did we really want it to be. We could have it anyway and then change our phone number so that no one would be able to get in touch with us to tell us their kid caught pneumonia, or we could take Mom and Dad up on their offer to save the day (again!) and host it at their house, which was only about a mile away from the original park site.

So I turned myself into Anthony Wiggle , and loaded a party in to the back of my car. Soon the house became Wiggle heaven. People were dressed as their favorite Wiggle, and all the kids had access to as many juice boxes, chips, candy necklaces, and of course cupcakes, that their little bellies desired.

Outside, it rained. It poured. It thundered and lightening-ed. And inside, the kids laughed. They played. They sang and opened gifts. And they could care less about the rain. I watched my son have an amazing time surrounded by wonderful people.

And then, just like that, it was over. We looked at all of his fabulous gifts and rehashed the day's events. Two days later we went to the library. I walked over to the movie section and said, "Would you like to pick a new Wiggles movie?" And just like that, it was over. He looked at me and said, for the very first time, "No thanks. I'll pick a different one." Whoa. Wasn't expecting that one. Nor was I prepared for the feeling it left. My Boy doesn't want the Wiggles? Today, it's the Wiggles. Tomorrow it'll be, "no thanks, I'll sleep by myself" and then, "no thanks, I'll just drive myself". And just like that, it'll be over.

Monday, June 7, 2010

birth story

every year on our birthdays my mom tells us the story of our birth. we all know every single detail of all three of my mother's labors and deliveries, but it doesn't matter. our head cannot hit the pillow on the night of our birthday until mom has told us all about how we entered this world. (and we better listen cuz she brought us in to this world, and she knows how to take us out...)

so in keeping up with tradition, here's a little story for my little man. CJ, on your third birthday, here is the ever-dramatic story of your birth:

the year you were born, we had what must have been one of the hottest springs in the history of Rochester. I was involved with everything at work- tons of committees and trying to help seniors graduate kept me there late every day baking away in my classroom with no windows and air conditioning that only worked when it felt like it. needless to say, i was HOT. like, all the time. and tired. the running around like a crazy person and the heat caught up with me at the beginning of may and my blood pressure got too high. i was retaining all kinds of fluid and my ankles disappeared. so, your hot mess mama got put on bed rest. i was due on june 1 and had every intention to stay at work until memorial day weekend, but that all changed a couple of weeks early. not exactly what i had planned. little did i know that this was just one weird thing to happen in a series of many.

well, june first came and went and i was still as pregnant as ever. and getting ridiculously anxious to meet you. fast forward a few more days to june fourth. i went to the doctor and they did something too awkward for a mother to explain to her son, so let's just skip it and say that i finally started having contractions. by the middle of the night they were horrible and we couldn't believe it was finally go time. i think your dad made it to the hospital in 5 minutes. after being admitted to triage and hooked up to the monitor, the nurse handed me two tylenol and said, "i know you think you're in pain, but just take these, go home, and get some sleep." WHAAAAT? surely she was wrong. she clearly had no idea what kind of pain was actually occurring every five minutes. well, clearly neither did i. after getting zero sleep that night, we went in to the doctor's office to find out what was going on. ok, go time again they said. hoping for better luck this time, we headed back to the hospital. it was the afternoon of june 5. my contractions had been steady for about 18 hours.

at some point that evening (now about 24 hours in), they decided to break my water. holy new level of pain. afraid of all pain medication up until now, i could no longer take it. i succumbed to the invitation of an epidural and felt instant relief. the only problem was that you still had no intention of coming out. your heart rate was all over the place. i needed two rounds of pitocin, a refill on the epidural, and a cloth on my head because apparently my body thought it was running a marathon. finally, the next morning, it was time. the whole thing is blurry from then on in, but they tell me this is how it went: your head came out, and then all of a sudden they pushed you back in and fled me down the hall. Apparently your heart rate had dropped so fast that they had to get you out immediately. you were born at 8:19 on the morning of June 6, 2007. it took two doctors and a crazy amount of drugs to get you out. you were completely gray and had to get oxygen pumped in to you right away. on the test that they perform right there in the delivery room, you only scored a 3 (out of 10), and you had to be taken immediately to the special care unit. i, in the meantime, was losing a ridiculous amount of blood, and almost needed a transfusion, but this isn't about me...

you were in special care with the tiniest IV i have ever seen in your little baby arm. you had all kinds of wires attached to you and your face was under a thing that looked like a cake topper. when i finally got to see you and hold you way later that night, you looked right at me with your huge brown eyes. we immediately had secrets. i love your eyes.

luckily, we had excellent doctors and nurses, and we got to leave the hospital together a few days later. from that moment on, there was absolutely no indication that you ever struggled at all. You are smart (like, too smart for your own good most of the time), funny (really funny, and I'm not just saying that because I'm your mom), and beautiful. Even though you frustrate the heck out of me, i love you more than i ever dreamed possible. some day you will grow up and leave me, and i will look back on these crazy days and hold all of these memories close to my heart. happy birthday, connor jay.