Gratitude?

Occasionally someone will ask me if I think I am spoiling my kiddos.  I am shocked and appalled by this question.  The outrageous nature of the question, the total lack of insight into my life, I could go on.

Of course I am spoiling my children.  Most of us are spoiling our brats.  Last weekend for example,  I took my children to a child health event in our town called Babyfest and Kidfest.  It sounds like a child health event would lack pizzaz, but on arrival there were fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, bouncy houses, playground equipment and a petting zoo.

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Then we went inside and my children were instantly greeted with a swag bag to shove all sorts of free goodies inside.  They were shuffled off to play games for candy and prizes and a glass of lemonade and a cupcake was violently thrust into each of their little paws.  Oh, the humanity. They were given free teddy bears and run through a teddy bear health clinic, and then were forced to meet beloved characters.

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This is just a small representation of some of the swag they walked away with.

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After two hours of literally having free plastic toys and candy thrust into their hands and endless playing we geared up to go to lunch, at a Chick fil-A with a play yard.  While were in the car on the way to a completely child-centric lunch after leaving a completely child centric event,  my five year old looks at me and says, “Mommy, I think I’m going to need you to arrange me a playdate.  I am getting a little bored.”

Y’all, I just might choke her out.  I hope that she hasn’t learned this from watching me.  I pray every day thanking God for all that he has given me.  Maybe someday they will be grateful too.

 

 

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Puke

My second born child has been diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome.  It is a neurologic disorder and she wakes about twenty days of the month between one and five in the morning and vomits for hours, often dry heaving endlessly.  She has trouble eating and continually complains of a sore tummy.  It is better in the last two months since we have had the correct diagnosis and with the medication we have only had a couple of episodes.  So, that, along with being a doctor gives me more than an average level of experience with vomit.

She had a breakthrough episode the other night and when I went to wake her sister for school, I found my three year old asleep, hugging her “vomit bucket” which was pretty full of puke.  I had some mixed emotions about this.   I was sad as a parent that she didn’t call for me, and that she is so used to this at three years old, that she didn’t wake me.  But the part of me that has gone with very little sleep over the last three years did a secret dance of celebration.  It was a milestone akin to potty training in most homes.

Then, her older sister got some sort of bug a few days later.  About one in the morning,  Z leaned over and puked squarely on top of her sister.  I was thinking to myself that this was going to go badly with one kiddo puking and the other crying, but I was pleasantly surprised that Baby Bird has had enough experience with puke to know that this is no emergency.  In fact, she slept through it as I changed the sheets, and took the bazillion toys from her bed, and threw them all in the washer.  She slept through me wiping vomit off her face with a wet wipe.

She was completely nonplussed the next morning when I told her she had to take a shower because her sister threw up in her hair.   When she asked me about her toys, I told her, “Your sister vomited on them too.”

“My sister puked on my toys?” she wailed.  She was pretty upset about that.  Glad she is gaining a handle on this vomit problem.  On the up side, if someone can puke in her hair, and she can sleep through it, and just be mildly annoyed the next day, I’d say she’s half way prepared for college, so there’s that.

You Know You’ve Done it Too…

I was hanging out with friends the other night, you know, like you do.    We had enjoyed dinner and brownies, and we were all talking.  About this time, Baby Bird, my 3 year old approached to tell us something.  I scooped her up onto the table.  I couldn’t help but notice she had a giant hunk of brownie hanging from the tip of her precious curls.  I yanked it out of her hair, and did not have a napkin handy.  So, I did what every loving mother would do, I popped the brownie from my daughter’s hair into my mouth for ease of disposal.   One of my guests queried incredulously, “Did you just eat chocolate from your child’s hair?”

Oh Wow… how do I answer that one?   I am getting the vibe that I just did something in public that (although everyone has done in private) should be done in private.  What could I do but just own all that chocolaty deliciousness?

So I replied, “Yeah, I didn’t have a napkin (like that is going to excuse me eating food particles from my child’s hair).”  Come on people, for reals,  like you have never played, “Poop or Chocolate?”  We have all played that game.  It wasn’t something from the floor.  I knew  I had just given my child a brownie.  The odds were ever in my favor on this one, so I defend my actions and it was delicious AND I would do it again.

 

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Strep, Love and Vomit

I am experiencing the phase in life that many parents of young children know all too well.  My children are ALWAYS sick.   Two weeks ago the entire family enjoyed a good old fashioned case of strep throat courtesy my four year old.  This week it was pink eye.  In between was perhaps the worst of all.

I went downstairs to check on my babies and could smell the foul aroma wafting out of their room, through the hallway and into the playroom (it seriously filled like 2000 square feet of space).  Any physician worth their salt can instantly identify that smell.  It was rotavirus.

I carefully investigated to determine who the culprit might be.  It was Baby Bird, the two-year old.  After lifting her unconscious body, it became immediately apparent that she had soiled her entire backside and the bed.  I plucked her out of bed and placed her on a towel in the bathroom.  In an emergency, the best thing to do is to call for help, so I leaned out into the hallway to yell for my husband.

Big Mistake.  Huge.

By the time I lean back in, Baby Bird has woken up and is spewing forth like a tiny Linda Blair.  It just keeps coming. Did you know that a twenty-four pound baby can hold up to a gallon of vomit?   Me neither.   It was on the floor, walls, my clothes, her clothes, in our hair, everywhere.   We put her in the bath and I set about cleaning up the puke when suddenly my husband, who is a sympathetic puker by the way, starts yelling for me as she starts puking in the tub and there is just so much puke.  Did I mention puke?

After a bazillion towels, a gallon of bleach, some plastic bags, and several days of reflection, I have come to one very important conclusion: Thank the Good Lord for Puke.

I have so many reasons to thank God in this situation.

  1. I have a wonderful husband who was willing to help me with my sick child.  Many women are in this parenting thing all alone.
  2. I had an almost endless supply of towels to clean up after my child and a totally endless supply of clean, fresh water.   I just think about some poor woman living with her toddler in a grass hut somewhere.  I am sure they have rotavirus in grasshutistan.  This poor lady doesn’t have an endless supply of clean fresh linens and clean fresh water to take care of their child.  Heck, they do not have enough clean fresh water for their child to drink probably.  Look at me with all my clean fresh water and towels.
  3. Being a doctor,  I had a readily available supply of nausea medication to medicate my child with.   I didn’t have to make the choice to blow this month’s budget in order to take care of my sick child.
  4. I have wonderful people willing to help me with my sick child while I work that I can implicitly trust with her care.  Did you see where I said people?  As in several.  As in several people that I can trust with my sick child.   Some people have NO support like this in their life.

So, yeah, I think I am pretty lucky with this stomach virus thing.  It could be a lot worse and is for many.  Thank you Lord again for your goodness in showing me how great I have it. wp-1486785740138.jpg

 

Defiance

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Recently it was one of those beautiful late days of summer where it is still warm and sunny enough to swim and I took the girls to the pool to play date with their best buds.   After a lengthy swim, my two-year old wanted a snack and demanded I take her puddle-jumper off to enjoy her goldfish crackers.  After a lengthy stay in the sun, Baby Bird decided she wanted to get back in the pool.

“Ok, but you have to put your puddle-jumper back on,” I explained.

“NO! I do it!” she loudly replied.

“No, Baby Bird, you have to put in on, you don’t know how to swim,” I patiently intimated.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!  I DOOOOOO IT!” she wailed.

This is when I thought to myself that this may be an excellent learning opportunity for Baby Bird.  Natural consequences friend, natural consequences.

I stood back and said, “By all means sweetheart, YOU do it.”

Confidently, Baby Bird approached the pool stairs.   She strutted her stuff down, one, two, three stairs, and then confidently strutted herself straight under the water and sunk like a rock.

I was standing right nearby and snatched her up and out of the pool in seconds asking, “Do you see now why you need your puddle-jumper?”

“Uh-huh,” she sputtered.

Since then, I have thought about my relationship with God.  I wonder how often I am standing there like a toddler with my fists balled up screaming, “I DO IT!”  I wonder how often he stands by and lets me suffer the natural consequences of my actions.   I am so grateful he is always standing by to pick me back up when I sink to the bottom.

The Roman Road

My husband and I were big fans of the show “How I Met Your Mother”.   On one particular episode, Barney’s friends were going to surprise him by introducing him to his childhood hero, The Karate Kid.  Barney is bitterly disappointed when confronted with Ralph Macchio insisting that he is not The Karate Kid and the movie is really about Johnny played by William Zabka.

If you have ever actually seen The Karate Kid, you will know that Johnny is the bully from the rival dojo who “sweeps the leg” to injury Ralph Macchio’s character.

This describes perfectly how I felt yesterday afternoon watching my eldest play.  We has just come back from church and Z was playing with her stuffed animals.  She placed Spot, her favorite animal in “jail”.   I asked her what Spot had done to land himself in the clink.

She replied, “He didn’t do anything wrong, Mommy.  He was just telling people about Jesus.”

Then she stage whispered conspiratorially at her sister, “Baby Bird, if you tell people about Jesus, they may not like it, and you may end up in jail.”

True words kid, true words.

However;  I find it really disturbing that playing out this scenario, my daughter picked for herself the role of Roman Centurion rather than Early Church Martyr.   I think she may have come down on the wrong side of history on this one.

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We went back over her Sunday School lesson emphasizing that it is a noble thing to be persecuted for your faith, but I am not sure at four she is ready to appreciate this truth.  I did hear her tell her sister later, “You might end up in jail for it, but you should probably tell people about Jesus anyways.”

At least this is a step away from being the jailer.

 

A Letter to Boogie

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Dearest Boogie,

I remember the day you came into our lives.  You crept so timid, and hungry into our back yard.   I thought you were a puppy because you were so small, and I thought you were brown because you were so dirty.     We fed you and cleaned you and you became part of our family.

I remember you first trip to the vet when they said, “She has heartworms.  It is going to be expensive to treat,” and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

Remember the trip to the Grand Canyon with Mommy and Daddy?   Not every dog gets to go to the Grand Canyon.     We took you with us everywhere and I will never regret that time spent with you.

I remember your second trip to the vet when they reminded us that you could get pregnant, and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

Remember all the things you destroyed?   Those three sets of blinds weren’t too bad, but that garage door was expensive.  How did you eat the wiring out of the wall?  I don’t know how you destroyed a metal panel from your kennel, but you managed handily.  Oh, and thanks for destroying the curtains, downstairs door and carpet at mom’s house.   That was a nice check I had to write.

That is nothing compared to your capacity to hoard hidden foodstuffs.  Remember taking that whole loaf of garlic bread off the counter?  You hid it in Daddy’s closet and he called it your “Strategic Garlic Bread Reserve”.  That wasn’t quite as bad as the time I had a ten pound sack of raw chicken thawing in the sink and came home to NO chicken.    I found raw cutlets shoved under pillows and in laundry hampers for an unfortunately long time.     I was really amazed that you learned how to open the dishwasher so you could use it as a ladder to the countertop.  You were such a smart dog.

Remember how we loved you SO much that two people who swore they would never have children decided to give it a try.    Dearest girl,  I owe my second and third baby to you.   I know there were times that you were a little jealous, but you were such a good big sister.   I love how even when you were dying that you insisted on doing the stairs every night to put them to bed.

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Thank you for sticking with me through both pregnancies and cuddling me at night.   You got up with me every time I had to pee or throw-up and went with me to the bathroom.  I will never forget that kindness my love.

Remember the first time your pancreas flared six months ago?   They said, “We can give her medicine but it is going to be expensive,” and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

I will miss giving you belly and face rubs.   I will miss feeling your beautiful silky ears.     Remember how you inspired Dr. Pepper to get his own dog and LuckyPup instantly fell in love with you and thought you were his mommy?   I don’t know how I am going to tell LuckyPup about this.   I still haven’t told your sisters.

Remember that phase before having human babies when Mommy wanted to dress you up all the time?  You were so tolerant.

You were our first baby and Daddy’s first dog, and I am pretty sure you were the best dog in the world.

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I am sorry that when they told me yesterday that it was liver cancer, that I couldn’t answer, “FIX THE DOG.”   I am sorry if you suffered a moment longer than necessary because mommy wanted to spend more time with you.   I am sorry that it has been hard for you to eat and drink for the last few days.  We just wanted to spend a few more moments with you, precious girl.  I will always appreciate that couple of days where you felt good and chased the gator like a pup and played with me again.

I know my father in heaven and I will see you again sweet puppy.  Say hi to Papa and Sammy Short Legs Daddy and all the people we love and miss.    I will be with you someday.

 

Love,

Mommy

Turnabout is Fair Play

It has finally come to the point that we have to watch what we say and do around Z because she will now loudly voice embarrassing personal information in public.   For example, a couple of weeks ago, we were on our way to her ballet class and I had pneumonia.   I started coughing, so I took a drink of my soda, and got to coughing so hard that I had to pull over and vomit.  When we got to dance, Z loudly announced to the class,  “Mommy was drinking and had to vomit out of the van on the way over her.”   Awesome kid, thanks for that.

Just yesterday I stopped to move a turtle to the other side of the road (because I am a great person, right?) and the turtle peed all over me.   When we arrived at our play date, Z proclaimed,  “A turtle just peed on mommy.  See that water?  It isn’t water.  It is PEEEEEE.”

So, turnabout is fair play.   Recently, Daddy had a birthday.  Z was given a donut at school for a treat.   She brought it home in a plastic bag and it looked a little weird.  When Daddy got home,  she brought it to him and said, “Happy Burfday, Daddy.  I save my donut for you, but I licked the sugar off so it won’t be too sweet.”    Very thoughtful kiddo.

And perhaps the worst ever happened two nights ago.  I was cleaning the back porch and I look out and both the girls are playing in mud.  It was adorable, except it hadn’t been raining in the last few days.   I said, “hey girls, where did you get that mud”.

“I made it with my pee,” Z proudly declared.

As I am staring at my children, horrified, Baby Bird squawks, “I play in PEE MUD!”  while holding her muddy hands up in the air.

Baths were had by all.  And by baths, I mean they were hosed off in the yard.

So, you see dear daughter, turnabout is fair play.  You have your pee story and I have mine!

The Worst Dairy Queen in the World- A Review

I haven’t blogged in some time, but something finally persuaded me to break my silence.   First,  I must disclose that I am not really a Dairy Queen fan, and my husband unabashedly LOVES Dairy Queen.   Recently we were on the way back from Nashville and had the distinctive pleasure of visiting the worst Dairy Queen in the world.

The worst Dairy Queen in the world is located right off of beautiful I-40 at exit 108.   We stopped in on a Saturday afternoon and it was completely empty.  I thought this looked promising because we were in “Off peak” hours and no one was there.  Boy was I mistaken.

First, as we tried to place our order, the clerk seemed puzzled by exotic items that we tried to order such as: burgers and fries.   I politely inquired as she was struggling, “Are you new?”    She replied with a confused, “No, I’ve been here for four years.”     This was not confidence inspiring.

We sit down and wait on our food.   The initial order gets literally every item we ordered wrong.    I sent it back…. 3 times.     I am not talking about small errors.  I am talking about Not. Even. Close.    Fortunately, they eventually got fries for the kiddos .  Z and Baby Bird declared this the “Best Restaurant Ever”.

At this point, my husband and I have been waiting over 30 minutes for our burgers.   The kiddos are asking for ice cream (face palm).  By now, we are in peak dinner rush and the place is full of customers (none of which actually have food).

Hubby and I start taking bets as to whether the drive thru is any faster.  He decides to go through the drive thru to get some ice cream for the kids in hopes that it will be faster.

About the time he starts through the drive thru, they actually bring our burgers.   Now, the kids are clamoring to go to the outdoor play area.   The outdoor play area is giant concrete pad with two tables.  It resembles a prison yard.  I take the girls outside to play and await ice cream.

My children start playing”dinosaur” with some children in the play yard while I struck up a conversation with their mom “Tina”.   Tina is hugely pregnant with three other children already in tow.  Wearing a tiny tank top, and sporting multiple questionable tattoos, Tina has not received her food either.

Amber informs me that it is no surprise to her that the service is bad.  She apparently went to high school with the manager, Amber.  She told me that half the time she gets take out there and has to call and tell Amber she is on her way back over because they screwed up her order, again.

“And these people want us to pay them fifteen GD dollars and hour?”  Tina asks, “I don’t think so.  They don’t deserve that.  They aren’t like those folks at McDonalds in Lexington.  Those people hustle.”

At this point it has been about fifteen to twenty minutes since my husband entered the drive thru.  He calls me and informs me that there are still three cars in front of him.  Unfortunately it is one of those drive thrus that is built so there is no possibility of escape.    Below, is the pictures of my daughters trapped in the Dairy Queen prison yard waiting on ice cream.

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Just one short hour after our arrival, my husband was enjoying his Dairy Queen burger while driving home.

 

 

Let’s Party!!!

A couple of weekends ago we ventured forth as a family to a children’s birthday party.  It brought to mind many questions about toddler birthday party etiquette.  The birthday party in question was for a two-year old and a five-year old set of brothers.  We arrived late due to being obligated at yet another, earlier toddler birthday party.   We arrived to a home full of running and screaming children.  Some of them were chasing each other, some were eating snacks, and others were playing with Playdough on the floor.

As we ventured further into the party we found the host parents by themselves in the kitchen with one brave soul who stayed behind with her three year old to help supervise.  Apparently, several sets of parents just dropped their 3-5 year old babies off with a family that some of them had never met (although I think they are wonderful people).   They left them there from 10 am until sometime after we finally gave up and left around 2:30.

Let me clarify.  Some of this children needed assistance with both toileting and with eating.  Personally,  I think your child should be able to cut up their own food, and wipe their own backside before leaving them with someone you don’t know for a party that somewhat resembled a toddler cage match.

So,  readers, what is your opinion?  When is it appropriate to drop your 3-5 year old child off for four hours with complete strangers?   Furthermore, should you be concerned if the level of supervision does not meet basic standards for daycare ratios of adults to children?   Who among you look at children’s birthday parties on the weekends as a great opportunity to unload your child for free babysitting?  Am I crazy for asking this question, or just overprotective?  When did you stop going to birthday parties with your children?  What is the cutoff for this?

 

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When Tragedy Happens

With the tragic death of a sweet baby in our small community, emotions are high.  I can relate to and understand reactions that are similar to mine.   My heart aches for a family, a mother, a father,  a sister, a grandmother, a church, a community.   I grieve the loss of a sweet soul to eternity.

What I am struggling with, are the other reactions, the negative and hurtful reactions.   I cannot believe the insensitivity and some of the horrible comments.  I have thought long and hard about why people would be so cruel.

When they say, “I don’t understand why the family is profiting on the death of this baby,” what they mean is, “I am greedy and envious that I cannot exploit some tragedy in my life for financial gain.”

When they say, “That grandmother is too young, and too pretty…. That grandfather has too many motorcycles and tattoos…. That father had a run in with the law in 1999,” what they mean is, “Don’t look too hard at my family.   I try really hard to present an ideal picture on Facebook.  I don’t want you looking too hard at the skeletons and imperfections in my own life.  I don’t want to talk about my cousin who went to jail and my dad who is an alcoholic.”

When they question the searchers and law enforcement, what they really mean is, “I feel like a guilty jerk that I didn’t do my part by getting off my lazy tail to help by searching or sending a casserole.  My criticism of those who participated makes me feel better about how worthless I have been in this endeavor.”

When they say, “I don’t understand how anyone could lose a two-year old,” what they mean is, “I absolutely understand how this happened, because it (has, could, did, is happening) to me right this moment.  (I lose my two year old in my own house at least once a day.)  This is their fear and them reassuring themselves that it couldn’t happen to them, knowing full well that it is luck that it has not happened to them”

When they petition the government for a deeper investigation, what they mean is, “My right to salacious details and gossip is more important than your pain and grief.”

I hope and pray that those with a negative attitude will consider the pain of their words before making further statements.  However involved you feel in this event, your pain is nothing compared to that of a grieving mother and father.  Please measure your words.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear .Ephesians 4:29

The ‘My Little Ponies” of the Apocalypse

I have never been a “horse girl”.   If you are unfamiliar with what a “horse girl” is, look around you.  You will find them everywhere.  They galloped around as children, and pretended to by horses, and played with plastic horses.   When they became teenagers, they saved up money for riding lessons.  When they grew up, they aspired to owning horses.   I am not that girl.  There is nothing wrong with being that girl.  Some of my best friends are “horse girls”.

Imagine my surprise when the ONLY thing that Z asked for from Santa was My Little Pony figurines.  I asked her again and again and it is the one thing she requested.

I did what any other non “horse girl” would do.  I went on Ebay and ordered a crapload of used My Little Ponies.   Don’t judge me.   I know my kiddo.  When she says she wants My Little Ponies for Christmas, she wants to bathe in them and roll around in them, and those jokers are expensive.

We have been keeping Z’s behavior in check by letting her know that “Santa” got her some ponies, but she will start losing them if she isn’t a “good girl”.

The other night, she was being particularly naughty and I finally had it with her, so I said, “Well, I know one pony you wont be getting.  Santa isn’t going to bring you Twilight Sparkle.”   (Guys,  I was grasping at straws here.  The only two My Little Ponies I know are Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash.   Z burst into tears.

Daddy, the hero came along and told her that he is certain if she is good, that he can talk to “Santa” and get her Twilight Sparkle back.

“%$@(@*##*@” I think to myself.   I didn’t get her a Twilight Sparkle.  That’s why I told her Santa wouldn’t bring her one.  Now I have to go buy some REAL, NEW #(@#(*&# PONIES!  So frustrated.  Thought I had really managed to cheap out on this pony thing.  Thanks Daddy!

The Nonlinearity of Parenthood

So, I have oft wondered why my house has been a tragic mess since the birth of my second child, and I have heard it said that the work created by additional children is exponential, not linear.   This astonishing correlation was proved true tonight.

Behold the list of things I can accomplish with both children present:

–          Maybe pee, but definitely not by myself

Behold the list of things I accomplished in an ninety minutes while I only had ONE CHILD:

  • Changed from work clothes into comfy clothes
  • Peed
  • Sat on floor and fed the baby
  • Put all household laundry away
  • Emptied two dishwashers
  • Reloaded two dishwashers
  • Watered the plants
  • Cooked a made from scratch meal
  • Paid a bill
  • Wrote a personal letter
  • Realized I forgot something and revised personal letter
  • Changed clothes again into work clothes
  • Applied linseed oil to the patio furniture
  • Picked up dog poop
  • Made chalk drawings with Baby Bird
  • Took relaxing bubble bath (not kidding y’all)
  • Put clothes back on Baby Bird
  •   Took adorable videos of Baby bird

Suddenly everything is clear.  No wonder life was so much easier with one baby, and it is nice to be productive for a day, but I wouldn’t have life any other way.

They Dont Build Things To Last

My sweet Mother is seventy-four years old and she still works full time.  This is most certainly by choice.  She could retire.  She probably should retire.  She wont retire.  Dr. Pepper has offered to buy her a house where we live so that she can enjoy Little Z and Baby Bird, but she stubbornly refuses.    She has been a hairdresser in the same small town for fifty-four years, and she has no intentions to stop teasing blue-hair into football-helmet shaped blobs anytime soon.  So, she should be pretty savvy about all things hair related, so I had no concerns about showering at her house a few weekends ago when I had forgotten my own hair supplies.  Imagine my surprise when I was greeted with this monstrosity:

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This is the world’s oldest, and perhaps most-unsafe hairdryer.  Notice that it is held together with a conglomeration of duct tape and electrical tape.

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I cannot recall ever seeing a metal label welded onto a modern hair dryer.

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That is correct folks, the off switch is broken, so this baby is always on.

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And, last but not least, no GFI, so if you drop in in the bathtub while luxuriously drying your hair during a soak, forget it. You are most certainly dead.

So, I assumed that since it is incredibly old and unsafe that it would be an incredible, unregulated hair-drying experience made of pure fire.  Imagine my disappointment to find that I would have been better off heading down to the local McDonalds and using the hand dryer to style my locks.   It is both dangerous and useless.  I know a certain elderly hairdresser who is getting a new hairdryer for Christmas!!!!

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My Dad Drinks

An evening with underdaddy

Underdaddy

I have tried to be good, really I have. My cautionary tales of trying to be careful of what you say and do around children have apparently been in vain. There really is no way to guess what can be misrepresented.

I am responsible for the bedtime ritual of tucking the children into bed and I love it. Not only because it starts off adult time but because at the end of the day I get a few minutes with the girls to wish them well for the night and give hugs and kisses. For about a month now they have asked me for themed hugs at bedtime. Themed just means that I am supposed to act like a different animal and give them hugs like that animal might (an elephant uses big flappy ears and trumpets).

The first night I gave “Turkey” hugs where I would proceed to gobble my way…

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You’re A Bad Parent

Here is a great post by my friend and fellow blogger, Underdaddy to the rescue

Underdaddy

You are a bad parent. Yes you.

You feed your kids crappy food. It may be all they eat but you allow it.

They drink too much juice at bedtime.

They stay up too late.

You use the television to babysit. And it is Spongebob.

You avoid some fun things because you don’t want the stress of managing the swirling mass of kids.

Does one have a saggy diaper that needs to be changed? You probably missed that because you were staring at a smartphone huh?

You forgot to brush their teeth before bed.

Your three year old just said, “Shit!” in context.

Your kid handed you a book at bedtime and you said, “Not tonight, daddy is tired.”

You just made your kid cry for wanting your attention. You are frustrated because they want to spend time with you and you are busy with something stupid. They only want…

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The Marching of the Army Worms

WORMS

We moved into a beautiful new home last September. Although this is a great time of year to move (non-adjacent to major holidays, generally good weather, none of your friends can claim they are “away on vacation” to get out of helping you), but it is not a good time of year for sod. The end of September is generally right before our first freeze in Tennessee.

This has resulted in my husband (who previously gave not a crap about our yard) becoming nearly obsessive about his yard. He has over-seeded the lawn with various concoctions recommended by sundry sources. We have now bought a John Deere Tractor, a seed spreader, a pricey zero-turn mower and various other lawn care implements.

I have had to listen to a barrage of “Do you think my grass is growing?” and “What do you think of my grass?” and “Does the grass look good?” and “Have you looked at my grass?” endlessly, till I want to throttle him.

So, imagine my surprise surrounding events of this week. Wednesday morning I let the dog outside and step out into my lush yard only to notice brown spots everywhere and upon closer examination I see them: ARMY WORMS.

It was like a whisper, a hushed idea in my brain. First, people on the news were talking about these things, but that was an abstract concept. This happened to other people’s yards, not my yard. Then, an overheard conversation about a coworker’s ruined yard, but that was them not me. So, I knew when I saw the dreaded ARMY WORMS that my husband was going to FREAK OUT.

I ran back inside to wake him with the news of our latest crisis. I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder on that episode of Little House where her and Almanzo were trying to save their first crop from the locusts and they were both exhausted in the fields with torches in their hands, but their corn died anyways. Considering my husband’s reaction to imagined threats to his yard, I braced myself for his reaction to a real threat. What I was met with was the statement, “Can I sleep twenty more minutes?”

Color me irritated. First of all, I am a good country girl, and as all good country girls know, you need some malathion around. For the uninitiated malathion is poison. It pretty much kills any bug, or creepy crawly anytime, anywhere. But, when we were moving, my husband insisted that we get rid of my malathion. He will tell you that it is because I spilt it in the garage…. twice… ,but that isn’t the reason. It is because I married a socially conscious, granola loving, Yankee who doesn’t appreciate the importance of real poison. He said things like, “I don’t want that poison around you while you’re nursing.” Personally, I believe that poison will make the baby tougher and more resistant to insects.

So who ended up driving to three different stores in the next town over to get a less deadly insect poison? This girl. I will say that my Hubby donned the backpack sprayer like Almanzo did in that one episode of Little House with the boll weevils and saved our sod. My hero.

You stuck what? Where?

            In nearly ten years of being a physician, I have pulled foreign bodies out of every orifice of the human body.  I have washed bugs out of people’s ears (and peas, and corn) and pulled bits of foam out of nasal passages.  I will not even begin to address the other orifices and the things I have found there.  This is not that kind of blog.

            Every time I have pulled a popcorn kernel out of a toddler’s nose as their mortified parents protest their embarrassment, I have been smug.  I have smugly informed them, that it is really common and a “lot of kids stick things in their nose or ear.”  Inwardly I was thinking, “Yeah, stupid kids.  Not my kid.”

           That was until today. 

          Z has been picking her nose for about two weeks.  We have been trying to discourage this behavior, and we thought it was just something she was going through.  We tried to not make a huge deal about it.  We hoped she would grow out of it.   Finally, I had it with her today when she kept her finger in there for about an hour straight, and being the competent physician I am, I dusted off the old bulb-suction and went to town.

          I saw something back in the back of her right nostril.  I thought to myself, “This is the mother-load of boogers.”  I suctioned several times, and it moved forward, but not enough to get out, but enough to make it apparent that this was a foreign body.  I asked her if she stuck something in her nose, and she giggled, “Yeah, Mommy.” 

          This is where my expert medical training came in.  I grabbed a set of curved Kelly forceps from the manicure kit, and told my two-year old to “hold still”.  With the illumination of a flash light, and a couple of fishing expeditions, I was rewarded with a chunk of styrofoam, and a smiling toddler saying, “Thank you, Mommy.”

 

IMG_20140607_164528_461

            I found myself examining this, thinking to myself, “When was the last time we had a package delivered with foam?”  and, “How long has that thing been in her nose?”  She has been having trouble sleeping at night and now I am second-guessing if this was the problem all along.  Oh, and don’t forget the amazing diagnostic skills that allowed this physician to overlook a giant piece of foam in her toddler’s nose for at least two-weeks.  Mommy fail.  Doctor fail.  I guess it why they recommend not treating yourself or your family.

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