Thankfulness, in Restrospect

November 30, 2004

Okay, so the kids have been sick, and the hubby’s been sick, and I’ve been sick, and I’ve been too busy, and I didn’t hand in my third grade essay titled “What I’m Thankful For,” which is grammatically incorrect anyway, it should be “Things for Which I am Thankful” or “Counting My Blessings” or “Oh, Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You that Thou Hast Blessed Me So” or some other such sentimentality. Forgive me. The dog ate my homework. Also the sun was in my eyes, and I was wasting too much time at Dooce.

Seriously though, I do have so very much for which to be thankful; and I am very truly grateful for the many, many blessings in my life, namely:

Deputy Dad, my sweet hubby, who is kind and hard-working, a wonderful, hands-on Daddy, and the kind of sweet, sweet, man who says things like, “You’re a terrific Mom” (even when I’m not being so terrific at that moment) and “You look great” (without my having to fish for a compliment).

The Drama Queen, my oh-so-very-grown-up seven-year-old-going-on-fifteen, who is smart and witty and makes me laugh, even when I’m TRYING not to, and who will always hold a special place in my heart as my firstborn.

Miss Attitude, my trying-to-be-very-grown-up six-year-old, who is very smart and cute and is exceptionally funny when she mimics her big sister and gets the pronunciation wrong and says something TOTALLY bizarre and hilarious, such as “Broccoli is A BOMB!”, and who will always hold a special place in my heart as my youngest daughter.

Baby Boy, my growing-up-way-too-fast five-and-a-half-month-old, who is so sweet and beautiful and perfect, he literally takes my breath away, who makes me laugh and cry simultaneously when he smiles at me with those HUGE blue eyes, and who will always hold a special place in my heart as my youngest child and only son.

My husband’s parents (Yes! My in-laws!), who welcomed me with open arms into their family, who have been married (to each other!) for over thirty years, and who have shown this emotionally damaged gal what a REAL family feels like.

These are just a few of many blessings I am so very grateful for. I could go on and on…..

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, a few days late. But hey, leftover Thankfulness is soooo much better than leftover turkey, right?


Le Freak, So Chic

November 24, 2004

I almost ripped my earring through my ear yesterday after some unknown object touched my neck. I was loading Baby Boy into the car when I felt it…
Now, people, let me tell you: anything that lands on my skin uninvited is automatically assumed to be something of the insect or spider variety: something evil, probably with wings, which has invaded my space and intends to bite, sting, or otherwise molest me, after which it will make off with my first-born child as I lie naked in a pool of blood.

The only appropriate reaction to this type of invasion is, of course, a full-on FREAK OUT, complete with flailing arms, tap-dancing legs, jumping up and down sporadically, and running in circles like my hair’s on fire. Only, since I was holding Baby Boy with my left arm, I was forced to contain my grand maul seizure to the right side of my body. There was much flicking of the hair, swiping of the neck and flailing of the arm before I was convinced (though not completely) that the offending evil was gone. Somewhere in the process my right ear screamed in pain, bringing me to my senses (somewhat), and making me realize what I never wanted to admit….My Freak Out dance? Shameful. I probably look like Elaine dancing on Seinfeld. And someone could really get hurt.

A Pine Tree Air Freshener in the diaper wouldn’t hurt, either

November 20, 2004

I love the way a baby smells right after a bath. After he’s been shampooed, scrubbed, lotioned, powdered, waxed, detailed, and sprayed with New Car Scent. Mmmmmmmm.

Did you know?

November 20, 2004

One advantage to getting up by yourself for the baby’s 4 AM feeding (while the hubby sleeps, blissfully oblivious): upon your return to bed, you can totally steal the covers BACK.

Baby Boy 5-month Newsletter

November 14, 2004

Dear Baby Boy,

Tomorrow you turn five months old. Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye. It almost seems like you’re a different baby every couple of weeks, you’re growing and changing so quickly. Gone is the tiny newborn blob we brought home from the hospital; we now have this intelligent and charming little baby in our lives. Intelligent, because you are so extremely observant. You are constantly interested in and watching everyone and everything around you. In the last week or so, you’ve been reaching for everything near you, including Mama and Daddy’s tea glasses. When Daddy let you touch his glass the other night, you put your hands around it and pulled it to your mouth; then you put your mouth on the rim and actually tried to take a drink! Like a little grown up! What a smarty pants!

And charming…oh Baby Boy, you are so very charming. Your smile doesn’t just light up a room…it lights up everyone in that room, too. No matter what kind of day I’m having or what kind of mood I’m in, when you smile at me, I simply can’t NOT smile back. You’re irresistible.

Last Monday you started rolling over from your back to your belly. And now you can’t seem to stop! Every time I lay you down on your back…BLOOP! There you go, before I know it. Changing your diaper has become darn near impossible. Can you just lay still for one minute, child? But no, there is too much rolling over to be done!

Besides the rolling, rolling, rolling, you currently enjoy playing with your big sisters, pulling Mama’s hair, and bouncing. Oh, the bouncing! You are showing us what the term “bouncing baby boy” is all about. You absolutely LOVE to bounce! You bounce up and down in your bouncy car. You bounce up and down in Mama and Daddy’s lap. In fact, you will pretty much use any surface your feet touch as a springboard for more bouncing action. You must have the strongest legs in the baby kingdom!

You also like to grab everything within reach. We’ve started calling you Mr. Grabby Hands. You especially like to grab faces (especially Daddy’s, your sisters’, and mine) and TRY TO EAT THEM. We call this “giving kisses,” because it sounds so much better then “practicing cannibalism.” I mean, seriously child, sometimes you attack our faces with such voraciousness….well, let’s just say it’s a darned good thing you don’t have any TEETH yet!

You started reaching for me a few weeks ago. Just with your hands at first, then with your arms…now you turn your whole body, reach your arms out, and leeeean waaaay over to reach your Mama. That ‘reaching for Mama’ thing? Well, I’ve been looking forward to that since before you were born. It’s one of my favorite parts of baby-hood. And now you have this whole ritual you go through when you see me: You look in my eyes, that look of recognition crosses over your face, you smile and raise your eyebrows, then you say “Unh…UUNNHH!!” and start pumping your legs; I hold my hands out for you, and then…the reeeeaching. Oh, Sweetie, you make Mama feel so special.

This afternoon I sat in the recliner while you took a nap on my shoulder. It was cold and rainy outside, and you were so warm and cuddly. I sat there and breathed your sweet baby smell and kissed your head; then I ran my finger along the back of your hand over and over, feeling your tiny little knuckles and marveling at how perfect you are. I was sitting sooo still, afraid that if I moved you might wake up, and the moment would be over. I just wanted to sit there and hold you and touch your hand and feel you breathe, and I closed my eyes and wished we could stay right there, right in that moment.

I love you, my Sweet Baby.


This is not a drill

November 4, 2004

Deputy Dad and I married young. We couldn’t even drink legally, but we got married and began our attempt at being grown-ups. A few years and two children later, we decided to become full-fledged adults and buy our first home.

Next on the list: a dog. We must have a family pet to leave in the backyard, untrained and unattended, preferably a LARGE dog who will leave huge piles of LARGE doggie poo all over the yard and will knock over the children with his attempts at LARGE doggie affection.

What’s next, you ask? Why, ANOTHER dog, of course! Because the first one is much too LARGE for the children to really enjoy. We must get a smaller dog to leave in the backyard, untrained and unattended, preferably one that is bouncy and spring-loaded and hyperactive, one that jumps up and down screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” like a three-year old with ADHD, and will knock over the children with his attempts at small doggie affection.

Now, you’d think that since we had taken such care to leave these dogs, untrained and unattended, in our backyard; and because we had worked so hard to grow them into the obnoxious, jumping-on-people-and-knocking-down-children dogs that they are, you’d think that the dogs themselves would be responsible homeowners. Not so.

Apparently, one or both dogs got drunk and passed out last night, while smoking in bed, which we ALL know you are NOT supposed to do; I mean, dammit, they post it on the back of EVERY hotel room door, DO NOT SMOKE IN BED, for crying out loud. But these irresponsible and drunken dogs did NOT heed the warnings of hotel rooms everywhere, and so we had a fire in our backyard last night.

Now, let me repeat that for those of you not paying attention….we had a F.I.R.E.(!!!) in our backyard last night. The phone rang about 3:30 this morning, and the police dispatcher is like, “ummm….[Deputy Dad]? What’s your address? Well, ummm, you’ve got a fire in your backyard.” And Deputy Dad and I are all “Holy Shit!” And I’m running around without my glasses on trying to find the fire extinguisher (which, Thank God in Heaven, was conveniently right there in the garage, right there in plain sight, right outside the back door, right where I could find it in my half-asleep state and without my glasses.), and Deputy Dad got the fire almost put out before the fire extinguisher ran out. (Did you know a fire extinguisher can actually run out in the middle of a fire?! WHAT are the manufacturers thinking??) And then two city police officers showed up, one of whom, thank heavens, had a fire extinguisher in his patrol car. And then the fire department showed up, and it was all I could do to keep from batting my eyelashes and sighing, My hero.

So. Everyone’s fine. The house is…okay. The brick was singed, and the eaves had gotten so hot that the paint had started bubbling. If the fire had burned for just a few more minutes, it probably would’ve caught the eaves (my HOUSE!) on fire.

And the closest window to the fire was, of course, Baby Boy’s room (my BABY!). I shudder to think what could’ve happened. (This is me, shuddering.) I could already smell a little smoke in his room, so he spent the rest of the night in Mommy and Daddy’s room.

Whew. What a night. Deputy Dad and I are exhausted this morning, ’cause, seriously, how can you go back to sleep after something like that? And Baby Boy’s tired, too, ’cause he just doesn’t sleep as well if he’s not in his OWN bed. And the girls? Well-rested and up bright and early this morning. They slept through the whole darned thing. They wouldn’t know anything about the ordeal if we hadn’t told them about it this morning. Which is good. They would’ve completely FREAKED OUT if they had awakened to all the commotion.

So here’s my Public Service Announcement for today: People, when the fire department says you should have smoke detectors in every room, on every floor, they are so not kidding. We currently have only one (ONE!) smoke detector in the entire house, and it’s in the hallway, outside all the bedrooms. If the house had caught fire, the smoke would have had to fill Baby Boy’s room and filter out under the door to reach the smoke detector; and by then……my poor baby……(This is me, shuddering again.)

So, thank God for the police department and the fire department, and for our back-fence NEIGHBOR’S DOG, who alerted our NEIGHBOR to the fire, so that our NEIGHBOR called the fire department. Thank God for our neighbor. Because, as it turns out, our dogs ARE completely and totally useless. They will bark incessantly at squirrels, birds, and non-existent boogey men. But if their doghouses are burning to the ground, in huge, flaming flames? Nothing. No barking. No panicking. No alerting the humans to the danger, danger, DANGER! Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Ungrateful mongrels. (Warning: tasteless pun ahead.) They are SO fired.