Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumping Iron

Collin has turned in his 2009 Christmas wish list. Kindly, he's decided to let Santa purchase the more expensive items so that we don't have to spend our own money. He's very thoughtful like that. There was one "must have" gift that I found to be very interesting...a set of dumbbells.

I questioned him about it and this was his logic:

he will bulk up -> beat his dad in wrestling -> impress a certain girl at school -> become her #1 boyfriend (as he is currently #2)-> be the envy of the entire K4 afternoon kindergarten class -> rule the entire free world....mwah ha ha ha haaa

#2 boyfriend? Apparently she said that her #1 boyfriend is a bit more exciting than him. I have to appreciate her honesty. But what exactly constitutes "exciting" in kindergarten? Making milk come out of his nose?

I told him that I didn't think kindergarten girls were impressed with muscular 6 year olds. He just shrugged and said,"we'll see".

I guess on the bright side I know what to get him for a stocking stuffer - a unitard, steroids and a subscription to musclemag.com.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

He Really Does Love His Sister

Here is my favorite, yet concerning, interaction with Collin today...

Me: I'm taking Ana to the doctor's today for her shots.

Collin: Can I come?

Me: Sure, if you want.

Collin: How many shots is she getting?

Me: three

Collin: Do you think she'll cry?

Me: I hope not. She didn't last time.

Collin: I know (said with annoyance). Well I hope she does.

Me: Why?!

Collin: She's making me look bad!

PS - she cried and he walked out satisfied.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Woe Is Me

I took Collin to the doctor's on Thursday. He was diagnosed with a severe case of Hypochondria. It really didn't surprise me, all the signs and symptoms were there. The need for a cast when his new shoes hurt his feet, the ache in his leg caused by inhaling, the pain in his neck only when the dog barked, and the sudden bouts of nausea when it came time to eat his veggies. I never had genetic counseling when I was pregnant but I'm certain this gene is carried by the men on his father's side. Should I get him a medical ID bracelet?

I tried everything to make him understand the seriousness of faking an illness. I explained how it scares his father and me when he crawls on the floor moaning and hyperventilating until dessert is served. I even told him the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. But he looked at me funny and said "wolves don't live 'round here". It was a lost cause.

So I packed him and his crayon-written laundry list of ailments up and headed to the doctor. And after an hour of sitting among truly ill children coughing all over us we talked to the doc. I told her my suspicions very cryptically and let her exam him. Thankfully she found him to be healthy. But she was wise enough to know that he needed to have some course of action to follow. She told him that he could wrap his foot with a bandage and prop it on a pillow at night. He was ecstatic! He felt validated and I suspect somewhat "special".

As soon as we got home I had to wrap the foot. He asked me to start the wrap a little higher on his leg so that he could show the kids at school by raising his pant leg. When I was done he sat on the edge of the bed admiring his foot. He sat up a little taller, puffed out his chest and said, "this bandage makes me feel like a man!" A man?! I'm guessing he wants a shaving kit and power tools for Christmas?

I thought for certain that this bandage was going to be part of his identity for years to come much like Michael Jackson's glove. However, when he came home from school the next day he said that the s weren't really impressed with his bum foot. And later that night he reported that his foot felt better and he didn't need the bandage any longer. Hallelujah, you are healed! ...until he gets the flu from sitting in the germ infested doctor's office.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Tiffany!

Thanks to my friend Tiffany I found a new obsession. And thank goodness because all this free time was starting to get to me. I love www.xtranormal.com!!!

This is a peek into my daily life with Brian.

He told me to laugh it up now because it won't be so funny when he keels over. True, true.

And this just about sums up our dinner conversations:

Don't judge us...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today's Twirling Thoughts

Here are some of my observations and thoughts from today.

I was riding behind a pickup truck that had it's left blinker on for about a mile. I was caught off guard when he finally turned. And I wondered, was it coincidental that he turned left while his blinker was still on or does he just like to plan ahead?

My cat was basking in the sun when I knelt down to pet her. I buried my face in her long, soft fur. It smelled remarkably like the hair of a new baby doll. It brought me back to my dollies, my childhood and to magical Christmas mornings. I reflected on this with a small smile on my face for a few moments. Then it occurred to me that what I was smelling was actually a mixture of cat saliva and "fresh scent" kitty litter.

I went to the recycling bins again today. I tore apart many cardboard boxes so that they would fit in that stupid narrow slot. I broke a nail, stepped in some mud and remembered that my brother in law told me recycling was a waste. He said the pollution and energy used in transporting and recycling the materials outweighs the benefits. I broke a nail doing it so he better be wrong.

I cooked mussels tonight. I never realized that the mussels are alive before you cook them. I killed them. Their tiny little shell lives weigh heavy on my conscience. They opened up hoping to escape the intense heat only to have the hot sauce (butter, white wine, garlic...mmm) boil them alive. It's all so cruel. When Brian didn't eat the last eight I thought I would cry for the lives that were taken in vain. I don't think I can make them again. But I will eat them again because it's important to know who you are and I'm a sensitive hypocrite.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Path Not Taken...Yet

I'm antsy again. Brian came into our bedroom the other night to find me on the laptop very absorbed. He asked what I was doing.
Looking for a job.
A job?
Yes, a job.
Oh, uh...oookay. (aka-I'm not going to ask)
Of course I'm not in a position to have a career right now unless our mortagage and need for food require it. We have a new baby and a part-time kindergartener that I want to spend time with. But at the end of a day filled with diapers, time outs, dishes, missing socks, and messy snacks the idea of a career sounds so...well, glamourous.

I don't regret staying at home despite my need for accomplishment, feedback and a paycheck. I'm putting myself on hold for them. Call me a martyr. Of course, I'm sensible enough to know that if I worked I'd probably want to be at home. We always think the grass is greener. And we always want what we don't have. Or is this just me? If so,...how embarrassing. This is why purusing the help wanted ads satisfies some craving for me. It's like window shopping or walking through a beautiful showroom. I stroll through looking at all the wonderful things I could have- there's a little thrill or rush. The ideas, the changes, it's all so alluring. But when I calculate the price, I can't afford it. Emotionally, I can't afford it. And then I shut off the computer. I put the clothes in the dryer and let the dog out. I go upstairs and put my hand on each child's chest. I feel the up and down of their breathing and I know I am exactly where I need to be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There's a reason they call it a waiting room.

What do you get when you cross a half naked baby, a five year old and a doctor's waiting room? You lose your freakin' mind! I realize that joke did not make sense but neither does waiting like a million hours in an exam room, with small children, to see the doctor.

It was Ana's 4 month check up today and her appointment was scheduled for 11am. I had to think hard about how this particular doctor's office ran. If I arrive early will it be first come, first served? Or will they refuse to acknowledge my presence until the clock strikes 11? I decided to take the middle ground approach, I arrived at 10:45. Turns out they are in the "1/2 hour after your appointment" camp. Didn't see that coming.

Finally we get into the exam room and wait...and wait...and wait some more. Now you'd like to think that if they're going to call you back into the exam room it should mean that the doctor is going to enter in the near future. Collin is constantly asking questions like, "where's the doctor?","what's taking so long?" and "can I play with the needles in this red trashcan?". While he's talking he's rolling on the floor, taking the doctor's stool on a spin across the room and using tongue depressors to do a walrus impression. I'd be willing to pay more than my co-pay if they would have a clown or magician on standby for such occasions.

Finally the doctor arrives looking shiny and fresh. I want her to at least appear haggard. You know, make-up running, panting, hair disheveled, all because she has rushed to get to us as soon as humanly possible. But no, I think she was finishing her coffee while googling herself.

She inspects Ana, kicks her tires and tells me that her head is too small. Is it shrinking? She says not to worry as long as she is where she should be developmentally. All I can picture is her growing up with a normal body and on her neck rests one of those shrunken heads you see in copies of National Geographic.

She also explains to me the importance of cleaning in all of her thigh fat folds and possibly using diaper cream in there if I find her chaffing. God, she does have my genes.

She tells me to bring her back next month to measure her head. Are there any exercises I can to do to bulk up her head? No. Compliments I can give her to make her head bigger? No. Any fruits or veggies that will help her head grow? No.

The nurse then enters to give the dreaded vaccine. She holds up the needle. I glance at Collin thinking he'd be nervous for her but I see a smile on his face. The smile says, "this should be a good show". He's kind to small animals so should I be concerned? Hmmmm. Anyway, Ana handles it like a trooper. Is there disappointment in his eyes? I don't look, I don't want to know.

For the rest of the day Ana is cranky. She gives that sad, exaggerated frown that breaks your heart but makes you laugh at the same time. She goes to bed early. I hang over her crib chanting quietly, "grow head, grow!". The next day all is right again until Collin comes into my room with one eye sealed shut with yellow crusties. He has pink eye. Are you kidding me?! It's off to the doctor's again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

You Can Play Too

This is my game, my perspective game. Trademark pending. You have my permission to play it too.

When I want to do home upgrades and can't ...

I like to pretend that our house rests in a remote village where the villagers live in huts around us. In this land, by comparison, our house is a castle. Our green Formica counter tops are envied by the village women, our 2 x 2 shower stall is coveted by the men and the master bath is revered by all for its beautiful pink tiles.

When I'm about to lose my parenting mind...

I like to pretend that instead of 2 children we have 10. I have sent 8 of them away to boarding school or sleep-away camp (depending on the time of year I'm playing) to give myself a break. And boom, mothering suddenly becomes easier! Occasionally I'll make a comment to my son about one of his "many siblings". He seems confused but it makes the game all the more real to me. And that's the point isn't it?

When my husband drives me crazy or pisses me off....

I like to pretend that he has purchased a 3 carat anniversary diamond, cushion cut with a bezel setting (the details are what really make the game work). He has been waiting for the perfect moment to give it to me. With this in mind I am able to draw deep from within and project award-winning calmness and patience...after all, it could be in his pocket right now!

When I can't bring myself to clean the house one more freakin' day...

I like to pretend that a earthquake shook our house two days ago. Pictures fell off the walls, dishes out of the cabinets...debris everywhere. I have just about picked everything up. It was an overwhelming job, as you can imagine. The only things left to do are the dishes, laundry, bathrooms and vacuuming. Not too bad considering the adversity I have just overcome.


I like to pretend that he has purchased a 3 carat anniversary diamond, cushion cut with a bezel setting.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Louse-y Job

I was searching the phone book today looking for the number to my son's new school...I was in the S's. A search heading caught my eye, SCALP SERVICES. Scalp services? Huh? What constitutes a scalp service and who needs it? I immediately thought of the Native Americans of long ago- but no that wasn't it. Well, well, what have we here...Lice and Nit Removal Service?!

Really? A real business that employs real people to pick real parasites out of other people's hair? And what of the employees? It took a minute for it to sink in that they had to seek out the position, contact the business, request an application (hoping that they, above all others, would be hired) and sit through an interview professing their desire to dig into the infested heads of strangers. Who were their references and did they brag about their nit picking experience in the interview?

I thought for certain that this must be the only lice removal business EVER. I mean, come on! I jumped on the internet and lo and behold...franchises! For a $25,000 franchise fee I could own my own "exciting and unique" business and meet "exciting and interesting" people. I've never had lice and (up until this point) had considered myself lucky but according to them I'm just too boring.

Personally, I think they could have done a better job of enticing others to join the ranks of lice and nit removal business owners everywhere. Maybe something like this...

Want to meet exciting and interesting people? Enjoy the shiver of the heebie jeebies? Yearn for the thrill of the chase while invading the personal space of another? Want to feel like a cowboy of your own tiny rodeo? If you answered 'yes' to these questions then the challenging career of Lice and Nit Removal could be for you.

FACT: Evolution tells us that lice want their baby nits to be nestled in a hair of opportunity. Only the most charismatic and intriguing scalps will beckon this picky parasite. The locks of the mundane offer little appeal to the louse.

Just think, their exciting host today, your awesome customer tomorrow!

With every customer you're guaranteed hours (2 hr. minimum appointment) picking not only the scalps but the minds of some of the world's most thrilling people!

However, as with any job, it's not all glitz and glam. Occasionally a louse might be misled and accidentally inhabit the hair of someone less than exciting; dare we say boring. Those with a "can do" attitude will pass out his/her business cards and use this as a great networking opportunity.

The perfect candidate will possess a positive attitude, a strong stomach, nimble fingers*, and be extremely near-sighted.

*acrylic nails a plus.

Makes you want to rush out to get a business loan, no?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good Stuff?

Dear Good Stuff LLC,

Let me begin by saying my son and husband are a fan of the claw machine at our local Friendly's restaurant. MANY, MANY, MANY dollars have been spent trying to win adorable yet poorly constructed stuffed animals. I believe his college fund may have even been tapped for this purpose. On our most recent trip my son won a stuffed moon for his baby sister. He named him Moony. Moony is much loved. Moony goes everywhere with our family. Moony, unfortunately, appears to be in a constant state of arousal....

Who at Good Stuff LLC thought that a moon with legs would be cute? I find it hard to believe that no one, from the coffee fetching intern to the company executives, acknowledged or noticed the phallic nature that is Moony. He even has a scowl...he's horny AND angry. He makes me want to cover my children's eyes. If this pornographic, celestial stuffed animal got the ol' thumbs up I shudder to think what didn't make it off the drawing table. Breasty Bear? Pink Taco Paco? Whorey Whale, complete with embroidered lips around her blow hole?

However, because of my son's love for this toy (along with his pride for winning him) I have decided to embrace Moony. In fact, I was hoping that Good Stuff LLC would create a Moony accessory kit. Perhaps a wife beater, a cigarette and a can of budweiser would complete the look? Maybe a long, dirty trench coat? Or how about a baseball hat that says, I HEART ASS-TROIDS (a clever play on the whole moon theme)?

I have enclosed some pictures of Moony lounging about our house like some dirty old man. Please present these pics to your designers and ask them what drugs they were smoking when they sketched out this gem. Who knows, maybe that conversation will prompt them to dream up...oh,I don't know...Krack Pipe Kitty?

Wishing your company better judgement,

Kim Swed
Mother and Reluctant Moony Owner

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Zit Update

Down to 33% of its original size. After some calculations, we expect it to be fully gone by June, 2009.

Viral Vengeance

I'm told the weather is wonderful. I'm told the air outside has a spring-ish quality to it. "It's lovely" they say. I know none of this first hand, I am a viral carrying shut-in. Worse yet, my five year old is too.

The first day we are a cuddly pair. Getting under the covers to watch movies, passing each other the tissues, sharing chicken noodle soup and checking our temperatures at the same time. I am "loving but sickly mom".

The second day he has a little more energy and a lower fever, I develop an ear infection and must function on 3 hours sleep. He wants to play games and color. I want to lie down and cry in quiet self pity. I am "kind but easily irritated mom".

The third day his energy level has skyrocketed from all this rest. He is bouncing around and has lost his mind. I am drained, my ribs ache from coughing and I nearly pee my pants everytime I sneeze. Shoot me now. I threaten to take him to school if he feels good enough to chase the dog. He fakes a cough and tells me he's still sick all while jumping off the couch and yelling,"CHARGE!". I can't yell because I barely have a voice so instead I hiss in an ominous tone, "if you get off that couch one more time you're going to school". I am "don't mess with me mom", the worst kind. He knows I mean business. That is until 1pm when he informs me it is now too late to send him to school. When did he get so smart and cunning?

Tomorrow he is going to school! To emphasize this he will be going to bed in his school clothes. I may even hide his comforter tonight and suggest he wear his winter coat for warmth and slip his shoes on his feet while he's sleeping. Afterall, we can't get to school early enough. And I can once again curl up in quiet self pity.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Zit Update

For those of you who have asked about the status of my zit...
It's putting up a good fight. It's currently at 50% mass. I have to give it credit, it has stamina. But I will win...I will win.

Battling Childhood Addictions

I was talking to the mom of one of Collin's classmates. I explained to her that we are having a challenge with Collin's new found love, video games. It's like he's an addict and can't get off the stuff. He gets moody when you interrupt his play and when he asks you to help and you don't do it right, look out. And we're talking educational Leap Frog games too! Yesterday he lost his mind and yelled at me for losing his guy. Of course I pulled the plug and sent him to his room. I decided he needed to purge this evil from his system. He needed to go cold turkey.

Today he is a new child. He's rediscovered his tinker toys and has built all sorts of "inventions". He's been kind, polite and patient. However, his second love, TV is on in the background. I don't think he gets too absorbed into it. It seems like he checks in with it here and there. It's more like a cerebral pacifier. I do realize that I probably shouldn't allow this but I don't think it's all bad. The other day he told the kitten to get off the table in a loud and deep voice. I told him that wasn't very nice and he says,"I'm just being assertive". I'd like to take the credit and say that I walk around here all day spouting large, smart, educational words but come on...I asked where he learned that word from and he said,"TV". See, some educational value.

Now I do worry when he hands me something and says,"but wait there's more" or when I say we'll go to the store later and he says,"better act now". Last week he told me that we need the As Seen on TV door draft guards. I told him I wouldn't buy them and he said in a judgemental tone ,"ok, but you're throwing pennies out the window." I bet he wants to be Billy Mays for Halloween. I'm too afraid to ask. Ok, maybe I will concede that some limits need to be set but I can only handle one battle at a time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Merry Zitmas to Me!

I know you see it. You know you see it. And now you know I know you see it. I want to address the elephant in the room. My holiday zit, here on extended vacation. Every Christmas it arrives in time for family photos and gatherings and sticks around for the New Years celebration. I thought perhaps I got lucky this year when I woke up on Christmas with my face unadorned. However, that was short lived. At least it arrived after Christmas, after the photos had been taken. haha! But I will tell you, what it lacked in timing it made up for in intensity and duration. I believe it's here for the long haul.

This is no pimple. Pimple are tiny, pesky and passing. Pimples rhyme with simple and dimple. This is a zit! Even the word sounds harsh, mean and angry. There's no covering it up. I started to wear a turtleneck today until I realized that it actually framed the zit. I decided instead to wear something low cut to draw the eye down and away. It's really the best solution I could come up with. I'm fighting it with everything in my arsenal. Slowly, bit by bit, I think I'm winning some battles. But I've yet to win the war. If you see me this month don't say,"oh, it's not that bad" or "I hardly notice it" I'll know you're lying and I won't appreciate it. Just acknowledge it, maybe nod and say hello to it and then we'll carry on with normal conversation. We'll both be more at ease once we've addressed the big, fat, no good, elephant in the room.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reflecting on Tradition

I was cleaning out our spare room when I came across this letter to my Aunt from last New Years. Here is an excerpt:

Hi there!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I wanted to thank you both for your kind words about both Collin and our new home.

We all had a great Christmas with one exception (it's the same exception every year), the dog...Mr. Bojangles. Every Christmas Eve Brian buys his mother Godiva Truffles and leaves them within dogs reach while we go out. And every Christmas Eve Bo finds and eats all 18 Godiva Truffles. When will they both learn? The scene that plays out when we get home is always the same. Brian yells at the dog for being so stupid, calculates how much money Bo just cost him and inevitably utters the phrase,"I brought you into this world and I can take you out!" I have to believe his dad used this phrase alot and this must be a knee-jerk response to anger because while Bo does appear to have my blue eyes and Brian's dark hair he is not biologically ours. Anyhow, while he is screaming I am setting up my cleaning products because we both know that Brian will pretend to be asleep while Bo is throwing up and I will be the one cleaning it up throughout the night and into the early morning. So while everyone is peacefully sleeping on Christmas Eve I am cussing and cleaning up what can only be described in both smell and color as hot cocoa vomit, or as I have come to call it....
hot "Bo"coa. I have to admit that over the years I have become resigned to it and have even begun to consider it another cherished family tradition. Brian, however, gets angrier and angrier. Perhaps he is angry at himself and his apparent inability to stop this occurrence.....

I go on to write about our son, parents, blah, blah blah...

the point is this,

After reading this it occured to me that we didn't buy the truffles this year, hence no hot "bo"coa. I know I should be ecstatic but it sorta saddened me that another holiday tradition has fallen by the wayside. What's next? My holiday zit (which rivals Rudolph's nose) won't show up? No holiday party in which I make an ass of myself? Never losing my credit card at least twice while shopping? These are the unwelcomed traditions of our family but they are expected, dealt with and then laughed about. When they are gone something seems amiss. Then again, maybe I won't miss the zit.

P.S. I also realized that our dog requires more maintenance and bodily fluid clean up than our child.

The Foam Monster

It's 9:30 am and I should be at the gym. Everyone who saw me pregnant with Collin 5 years ago knows I should be at the gym. I want to have only a baby bump this pregnancy. It actually hurts to look at those old baby shower photos. I looked like a tick left undiscovered on a dog for several weeks, engorged. I will NOT let that happen again!!!

I have to pat myself on the back though. Until recently I have kept up my spinning and body pump routine. I say recently because my sleeping (or lack there of) has rendered me useless on some mornings. Last night's debacle included only 1 bathroom break but a string of nightmares. The last nightmare I remember is Brian, myself and a group of strangers getting arrested in a foreign country. I don't know what we did but I remember frantically scraping price tags in foreign currency off of DVD's, scattering cat food and hiding my passport. What kind of sick and twisted scam were we into? It's a bit concerning but no matter, I think I have the solution to my restless nights...enter, The Foam Monster.

This baby is going to give me the rest I've been missing since my belly's popped out. I can't get into the specifics of The Foam Monster for legal/invention stealing purposes but let's just say it involves 6 feet of foam, an electric turkey carver, someone's objective measurement of my belly and of course, most importantly, minimal dignity. Brian is concerned with the whole "is this safe?" aspect. He thinks I should be consulting a doctor, maybe a chiropractor or at the very least an engineer. Meanwhile, Collin won't go in my room alone. Apparently six feet of green foam standing on end against a wall is a little intimidating (a problem for my marketing department). But we all know that with Mr. Bojangles' current problem (see previous post)there's no way I can risk laying down green foam, with a hole in it no less!

Well, off to Kmart to buy a turkey carver. As for exercising, I promise myself that I will do Kegel exercises all the way there and back. If I do enough of them maybe one day I won't have to cross my legs everytime I sneeze. Something to shoot for.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lucky You

I have never considered writing a blog before. And I have never made a New Years resolution before. Oddly enough, I have decided to make a New Years resolution to write a blog. Why now, you may ask? Well, with another baby on the way I'm afraid all the little things that happen every day that crack us up, amaze us and give us our "ah-ha" moments might get lost in the chaos. It may be nice to have a place to reflect and laugh about it all. Not to mention, sharing those tiny details of our life with friends and family will keep us close in heart.

You may wonder why this first post is entitled Lucky You. You, my friend, get to hear about the current stressful situation that has occupied my every waking moment for the last two weeks...Doggy Diarrhea. Mr. Bojangles is in a terrible state. And while I do feel bad for him I feel even worse for me. I never know when, where or on what. I walk around the house like a detective sniffing for clues. Busy carpet patterns only add to the confusion with their poop camouflaging ability. Damn them. The worse part is Bo thinks he's helping by going on the area rugs instead of the hardwoods. I can only conclude he thinks they're a type of indoor grass or something.

But I will tell you that he has never eaten better in his whole life! Everyday I make him boiled chicken breast and rice in hopes to control the uncontrollable. I've never seen him so excited at mealtime. I'm starting to wonder if he's putting two and two together. In fact, I tried to give him some Imodium AD and he resisted as if to say,"what? and ruin this gravy train?".
Ok, maybe there's no diarrhea conspiracy on his part, I'm just losing it. Spend all day walking around your house with your finger on the stain remover trigger like you're the Sh!t Sheriff and your thinking would become a little skewed too.