Our Day (Sorta-Kinda) Out

I should have known the day was not meant to be when dear old cranky Aunt Flo showed up this morning, performing her usual gymnastics routine on my uterus and ovaries.  I might have suspected that the day would not be happy go lucky when The Dictator announced from the back seat of the car that “He did not want to go to the surprise, he wanted to go home”…..I should have listened to the messages that the universe was sending m but no, because I believe our family can have a decent day despite the occasional challenge….we ventured forth for a fun filled trip to the Toronto Zoo.

ZOO6

We were fifteen minutes late to meet our friends but I think that we made pretty good time considering we didn’t actually get out the door until 9:45 am and were supposed to meet them at 10 am.  After waiting in a line up that was far too long to secure our yearly membership to the zoo, we finally broke through the gates geared up for excitement that quite frankly just didn’t happen for us.  I’ve come to believe that the zoo is something that you should do with a smaller group of people so that you have the time to go at your own pace without worrying if you are burdoning the other people in the group.  Jacob is not a stroller kid, he walks every where we go and has done so practically since he learned to walk – it’s just who he is and its probably why he is so darn skinny….so we didnt ‘have a strolller and because of his curious nature he wanted to walk on every rock and doddle around, climbing and exploring and well quite frankly…he just wanted to be a little boy….but the Zoo was packed due to an event that was going on and it was all too overwhelming for him and or us.  I feel like I set him up to have a bad day, and I hate feeling like that….I know his personality and I know what he needs to have a good time and “keep it together” as I like to call it, but because we were worried about everyone else and making sure everyone else was getting to see everything they wanted to see……we rushed him, and encouraged him to move a long a little faster then we normally would have, and the end result was a not so happy little boy on our hands. I get so darn mad at my self when I do this to my kids, when I knowingly push them to act a certain way because I’m worried about what other people are thinking…it was his first time at the zoo at an age that he could comprehend, his mind is an absorbent sponge and instead of soaking in it all with him, allowing him to climb on rocks, look at leaves, and question us with his curiosity we pushed him to move from exhibit to exhibit at our pace, which in the end only hindered us from seeing much at all.

ZOO7

In the end, we did decide to leave the zoo early, knowing that we needed a “redo” when the weather was not so cold, the zoo was not so sandwiched with people, and when we were alone, just the four of us and able to go at our pace….we said our farewells to our friends and hopped on the zoomobile train that is free with our membership and took a spin around the zoo as a family before we climbed in the car and went home – I spoke with our friends when they got home and it sounds like they were able to have a good time, despite it all…..so it was probably the best decision for us to leave because it enabled them to see the Zoo in its entirety…..

ZOO8

Of course the day could not be without Jacob’s usual naive curiosity as he so poetically and loudly asked…..

Auntie Lisa, does that ant eater have a penis?!?!?!

It wasn’t even an ant eater but I think he was confusing the tail for a penis….you be the judge!

ZOO9

Pee on my Corn Flakes

I don’t even eat Corn Flakes, but if I did I’m certain I would be helping myself to a big old helping of already been peed on Corn Flakes.  It seems that we can not catch a break in this house because just when everyone started feeling better someone else had to go and get sick…this time it’s Violet.  We had such a wonderful weekend and them wham out of nowhere she started feeling and acting miserable…..by last night she was a great big mess of fevers, snotty nostrils, and a temperament quite unlike her.  Mike and I spent most of the night awake, trying to console her and as if the universe were not being offensive enough….I pulled a muscle in my neck/upper back when I lept out of bed in the middle of night when I was awakened by her screams.

I’m caling “uncle” as loud as I can….waving the white flag of surrender and giving the victory this time to the universe!  You win!  You went in for the attack and you managed to bring us all down so we are surrendering, hoping that you will show a little remorse for you what’s been going on and let us be.   I’d like to take my kids to the zoo this weekend with friends but at this rate we won’t be chattering with any monkeys any time soon.  It’s times like these when I want to forget that I’m a responsible grown up person and stomp my little foot in the middle of the room while shouting “it’s not fair!!!” but I know that it wont’ do me one ounce of good so instead I’m going to clean the house with bleach, toys and babies included – heh just kidding but that’s how I’m feeling right now!  I’ve got this feeling that viruses and bacteria’s are mutating on toys and surfaces because why on earth can we not get this bug out of this darn house?

I dont like pee on my Corn Flakes, on my Rice Krispies or my Cheerioes….so it’s got to hit the road.

Anybody have any suggestions for how to kick a bug from your house when it just seems to want to hang out and party?

Party Planning as Time Slips Away

Life has been barelling forward at a pace I’m not quite accustomed too and every week I have had just enough time to blink before Sunday has arrived and a new Monday has returned.  I feel incredibly frustrated with how quickly time is flying by in 2009 because I had high hopes for this year and a list about ten miles long of the things we were going to do as a family, none of which have come to pass as of yet…but gosh darn it I’m really hoping to get that trip to the zoo in this coming weekend.

Today marks the first official “holy crap his birthday is in 2 weeks” day of planning for Jacob’s birthday party.  We are having a smallish party this year with about 15 people including children, and Jacob has requested a pirate party – ok I can do that.  I’m not really sure that Jacob understands what a pirate is except that he knows they like treasure chests and say “yo ho blow the man down” – heh.  I’ve already gone ahead and ordered some party supplies off of ebay including pirate plates, napkins, a foil balloon, some loot boxes shaped like treasure chests and my mom picked up a cool pinata in the shape of a treausre chest…a la Pirates of the Carribean (not our theme but it works right?).  I think I’m going to keep the food quite simple and have some pepperoni and cheese pizza with fruit of some sorts (watermelon maybe?) then some snacky snacks like cheesies…I’m not ordering a cake but rather I’m going to make some home made cucpakes with little pirate flags stuck in them that I picked up from Michael’s Craft Store.  I’m not really sure if we’ll do any party games aside from the pinata…although I did see a cool “pin the eye patch on the pirate” game that I could probably make myself using some of my scrapbooking supplies…..mostly I’m just hoping its a nice day out so that the kiddies can enjoy my mom’s new swimming pool!

I am a crazy party planner (think organized, not bridezilla….heh) and I like to make lists of the things that need to get done so I guess that’s the point I’m at in regards to Jacob’s party…..the needing to figure out what has to get done part I mean.  I definitely need to put together the loot boxes for the wee ones but primarily there isn’t too much planning because we’re just ordering pizza which is easy as pie if you ask me!  Over the next couple of days I hope to get a good idea of how many children are going to attend and that will help me better know what needs to get accomplished.

For now, I have resigned myself to the fact that for the next couple of weeks at least…..time is going to continue slipping away from me and before I know it, it will be my own birthday….

Maybe I can relax on that day.

Happy Birthday to me right?

Heh.

4 Months Old

Violet Grace

DRESS8

Tummy Roller
Night Sleeper
Squealer
Baby Girl
Angel Face

DRESS1

Sister
Daughter
Lover of Exersaucer
Pouty Lipped
Big Smiling
Giggler
Tongue Sticker Outer

IMG_0941

Silly Girl
Happy Girl
Mommy’s Girl
A Pleasure
A Wonder

A Joy

Pity: Party of One, Your Table is Ready

I’m sick.

I’m not sure exactly when I started feeling so crummy but at some point during this past week it must have snuck in on me while I was caring for my children who were fighting off their own illness.  The thing that’s so profound about parenting is how readily we are willing to put taking care of ourselves on the back burner while we do the things neessary to care for our children.  This is not one of those cheery, sarcastic, humourous, typical Mama Melissa type posts but rather its a poor Mama post!  That’s right, for once I’m going to lay on the floor sniffling and whimpering about my own misfortune because that’s just how I’ve been feeling lately and quite frankly, I could use a little sympathy.

If I really think about it I would say that my cold and flu like syptoms appeared two weeks ago but then things started to get better so I brushed my own health and well being aside when Jacob started getting feverish.  I trudged along and somehow made it through the week but by Friday night I was starting to realize that I wasn’t feeling so hot myself – I spent most of friday night awake coughing and most of saturday with a headache, cough and congestion.  By midnight on Saturday I knew something was not right….I felt completely different from any other typical cold I’ve ever experienced – I was pretty much awake the whole night with a fever and chills…coughing my guts out and feeling exhausted.  When I finally pryed myself from the bed on Sunday morning, I decided not to go to Church with the family and stayed home with Jacob while Mike took Violet…..at this point I was having excruciating pain in my chest and ribs when I inhaled, coughed or sneezed and I could barely make it up two stairs without feeling like I was suffocating – I sent Mike a text message telling him that I felt we needed to go to see a doctor when Church was over.

I’m not a doctor person.  I get all sorts of anxiety when I go to see doctors that are not my own family physician but I knew that it was needed and my doctor is not available on the weekends.  We got to the Urgent Care center and with my dry cough and fever I immediately got dropped into the “possible swine flu” category and was quickly put in an isolation room complete with my own pretty yellow mask – turns out (as I tried to tell them at urgent care) that I didn’t have swine flu but x-rays did reveal that I have pneumonia in both lungs….crap. I left the Urgent Care center with strict orders from the doctor to rest, take my antibiotics and some pain killers and use an inhaler when breathing gets tough….no longer then an hour after we arrived, we were back on our way home…..

I’m having a pity party tonight though….

Much as I needed it, and much as I wanted…..rest did not come today…the pain is just too much.

Maybe tomorrow?

He Doesn’t Need Therapy Afterall!

We’ve had a long week, one of those weeks where everything is upside down and inside out and you can smell the stank of your exhaustion when you realize you haven’t had a shower in over 2 days. I’ve been trying to blog as often as I can but with two sick little ones it’s been a rather difficult task to sustain, but I’m trying – I promise.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before, about how easily and readily Jacob has always adapted to the changes in his life. Generally, for the most part he has always been a sort of go with the flow of things kind of kid and it seems that’s how he’s been taking the whole new baby in the household situation. Since bringing Violet home I’ve waited patiently and knowingly for those moments of jealousy that would let us know he’s sort of kind of not okay with her being in his space….but they haven’t come. I guess it came as a huge surprise to us when Jacob (after a long day of fevers and doctor’s visits) blurted out a loud assertive….

“I WANT MY HOUSE BACK FROM VIOLET!!!”

I whipped my head around so fast I’m sure I probably got a touch of whip lash and made a mental note that “this was it….this was the moment we had been anticipating and planning for”…my heart started beating a bit more rapidly as Mike and I exchanged that look that parents exchange when they’re talking through their eyes – you know that look that says “what should we do now?” and after a few moments I asked Jacob what it meant to him that he wanted his house back from Violet? I’m not sure what type of response I had anticipated but what I got was a repetitive resounding….

“I WANT MY HOUSE BACK FROM VIOLET!”

“I WANT MY HOUSE BACK FROM VIOLET!”

“I WANT MY HOUSE BACK FROM VIOLET”

Not feeling we we really knew how to talk to him about it we snuggled him into his bed for the night and spent a few moments talking about it between us after the kids were sound asleep….plotting and planning for what we might say when it comes up again and sure enough as I was passing him one day he pointed into a room and said loudly…

“I WANT MY HOUSE BACK FROM VIOLET!”

I turned my head to look at what he was pointing at and saw the following which use to be his toy that we had stored away for Violet and told him that we’d put it in Violet’s room when she was bigger…

I sighed a huge sigh of relief knowing that I guess he is not going to need expensive therapy afterall and had a moment of stupidity – of course this is what he was talking about…..

It was only his most favorite toy EVER as a baby.

Violet just might have a hard time using it afterall…..we’ll see.

Angry Mama

It takes a lot to get me truly mad – I’m not talking about sorta kinda mad….I’m talking about totally pissed off angry steam whistling from my ears mad. There are not a lot of things that can trigger me to be so enraged but a sure fire bet to get me all riled up is to go after my children.

Jacob has been sick with a nasty virus for the past four days and the most aggravating symptom of that virus has been an incredibly resilient fever that has been resistent to any of the typical fever killers (tylenol & advil). We tried really hard to wait it out, take care of it at home, and let it sort itself out because we don’t want to be lugging our kids off to the hospital every single time they have a sniffle – but this fever, it wasn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Yesterday Jacob’s fever hit a high of 105.3 degrees Fahrenheit and when we found him passed out asleep on the floor between the stairs and his bedroom we packed up the gang and headed on our way to our local Urgent Care center. Now, I wouldn’t be telling the whole story if I didn’t add that we do not often chose to take our children anywhere else except for the Sick Children’s hospital in downtown Toronto because, simply put…they know what they are doing there and there is nobody better that deals with children – but that night, last night, we were hoping to just verify that it was a virus that would run its course and get home without a drawn out waiting experience.

When we arrived at the hospital Jacob’s fever was still 104.7 F despite the fact that we had given him tylenol just an hour before and the doctor who did not strike me of the bat as a friendly guy….wanted a urine test from Jacob so they stuck a bag over his penis with a whole whack of tape and Jacob was instantly annoyed as you might imagine you would be if you had something stuck to your genitalia – his reaction was to cry, loudly and beg us to “TAKE IT OFF! TAKE IT OFF! TAKE IT OFF! Now that you’re picturing my half naked son, tears steaming down his cheeks, crying his head off with a bag stuck over his penis…I bet you can never guess what happens next…..

Footsteps are approaching our room in the hospital…

A nurse peers her head into our little space and says “The doctor wants you out of here because your son is being disruptive”.

As the words spewed from her lips I stood in front of her with an exasperated sort of stupid look on my face that I’m sure frightened her because she took a step back from me as I questionned her about the decision that my son be expelled from the urgent care unit because he was crying….because they smacked a little plastic bag over his penis….because surely my ears were mistaken right? Well I guess my voice got a little loud, or perhaps she was just reacting to the steam barelling out of my ears, but a few moments later another nurse poked her head in to “make sure everything was alright”……I looked at Mike and told him to take Jacob to the bathroom and take the bag off his penis, because THIS was the very example of why I do not chose to take my kids to any other place besides a pediatric facilty, where other children are sick and crying and snotting and no parent or other patient or doctor is annoyed by that because we all just agree that it sucks to be there for the child and the parent too.

I spent the next few moments gathering our belongings and shaking off the anger and insult of having just been “expelled” from the urgent care center and as we were waiting to sign the form saying that we were “discharging our son against medical advice” another woman who was there wth a family member approached me and exclaimed “this place is a piece of work huh?”…..to which I responded with a resounding “oh yeah, a freaking ridiculous piece of work”. So, we’re signing the forms that the doctor who could care less about my son with the 105 degree fever is forcing us to sign because he really didn’t want us to leave leave….he just wanted us to go wait outside with our half naked, raging fevered, crying, penis bagged, annoying, loud, snotty child. Apparently, we were supposed to wait it out anywhere but the actual urgent care center and come back when he had peed – right. If only I could have the guts to use a four letter word that starts with an F and is then followed by a YOU….but of course I don’t have the guts because I’m too nice….so instead I packed up our family, signed their pretty form (the one that made me the bad parent who signed their sick child out against medical advice) and I left.

I am guessing the urgent care center realized the error of their ways because they called today to inquire about the health status of my son – I missed the call and they left a message but I’m certain, if I had answered…my response would not have been pleasant.

We went to the Hospital for SIck Children today when Jacob’s fever continued to climb, he gave a urine sample, he cried his annoying Mommy I’m so sick and I dont’ want these doctor’s to touch my cry…and we didn’t get kicked out.

He has a sinus infection, a red right ear drum, and the start of a possible respiratory tract infection – according to the pediatrician we saw it’s typical to have 4-5 days of persistent fever with these things….because of Jacob’s history of reactive airways we have to watch for the familiar signs that Jacob was going into respiratory distress and return if he got worse.

The real kicker – when we got home tonight after spending the day at the hospital we discovered that Violet had a high fever.

Being a parent is such a joy I tell ya.

Every day is such an adventure.

Welcome Back My Old Friend

A good friend is someone who comforts you during difficult times and offers strength to sustain you through them – so it is not a surprise that an old friend of mine has snuggled its way back into my life. I have a love-hate relationship with my dear friend “caffeine” but over the years we’ve been able to part ways at the times that I deemed it inappropriate to hang out together. The first time we said our goodbyes was when I found of I was pregnant with Jacob and I can recall that goodbye as though it just happened yesterday – I drank my last diet coke at McDonalds the day I found out that I was expecting him and we never hung out again until just after the babe was born.

Caffeine, just like addictions to other substances (food, alcohol, drugs, bad polystester clothing) has an ability to sneak back into your life when times start to get difficult – so it is no surprise that I cracked open my first diet coke during Jacob’s say in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I remember being so exhausted from the long emotional delivery I had endured and devastated that I wasn’t going to be bringing my wee man home from the hospital when I left. There was a plan put in place where I would stay in a parent room at the hospital that would allow me to stay nearby and care for my son when I could – and I have a distinct memory of me sitting in the room listening to a nurse tell me all about my son, everything they would do, when they’d call me to feed him, that they’d knock on my door every 2 hours so I could feed him through the night…..then I remember going back to my parent room with my mother and That Daddy Guy, taking a deep breath in and sobbing. I was exhausted physically and emotionally….i was recovering from a c-section and a labor that lasted 4 days in hospital and my baby, the one I had been waiting to meet for 8 very long months, the one that we might have lost if not for my instinct that something was wrong….that baby was sitting in a room being cared for and monitored by people that were not me. It’s common knowledge that in human nature we chose to either fight or flight when stress arises and this time, unlike me in every way, I chose to fly…I needed to get out of the hospital where I’d been for 10 days already, I needed familiarity, my shower, my bed and so I looked at my mom with tears in my eyes and said…”Mom, I feel horrible but I need to get out of here, I need to go home” and I remember her reassuring me that it was okay to go home, and that it would probably make me feel good to have a nice sleep and shower in my own home….she was right. That night I ran away from the stress of it all, to the comfort of my home and into the arms of my old friend – caffeine, in the form of a diet coke. Mike and I ordered pizza, kicked up our feet and I remember cracking open that can like it was going to save my life….and that night, it tasted the best it had ever tasted – it only took one and I was hooked…just 10 hours after I had left him, and after several calls to the N.I.C.U to make sure he was doing well, I returned to the hospital to care for my son, feeling very refreshed and ready to stay in the parent room and take care of him – I was lucky to have that room, most people do have to go home every single day.

After we brought Jacob home from the hospital, I continued to welcome my dear friend to comfort me during sleepless nights and like a good friend she helped me feel regenerated after those early long nights but eventually the long nights went away but my friend stayed….I was hooked on her companionship as I had been in the years past. It should have come as no surprise to any of you that I was able to get off the “juice” the moment I got pregnant with Violet ( I had already drastically reduced when we decided to try and conceive) and much to my surprise I stayed off the diet coke (my own personal form of heroin) for some time after she was born….sadly, not too long after – the weather was cold, the days were long and I cracked open my first can and never looked back again. I wouldn’t say that the habit has gotten incredibly out of control as it has previously, but it is easily headed that way and so it’s time for me to take steps to kick this old friend to the curb once and for all.

I was watching the Oprah show yesterday and saw a clip where her buddy Dr. Oz was talking to a woman who drinks 9 litres of diet soda a day!!! 9 litres! If I ever thought my problem was at a maximum out of control level,I was certainly proven that there are addicts more addicted then I. I can’t recall exactly what Dr. Oz said but it was enough to invite me to start reducing and eventually eliminating the diet coke from my daily regimen so I’m starting with cutting back in the amount this week and then hopefully in the future my goal would be to only have diet coke when we go out to a restaurant or when we order pizza – I think that sounds like a fair deal right?

Heh. Look at me…..already making deals! It’s like making a deal with the devil really.

A True “Mother’s” Day

This morning millions of women in North America and other parts of the world woke up to breakfast in bed, flowers, special gifts wrapped in pretty paper, and homemade cards – slap a little family togetherness in with that and whammo…you have a typical Mother’s Day. I’d love to say that today was all of those things for me but it simply was not. There were no flowers or handmade cards and my breakfast came in a take out container from a local greasy spoon type breakfast diner – and my children we’re not happy smiley “so glad you’re my mom” little beings today.

I haven’t been feeling well this week and my closest friends and family have been aware of this fact….so I’m not surprised that instead of flowers this morning I had a preschooler puking at the foot of our stair case and a near four month old with the start of what might be her first real cold. Mike and I spent most of the day trying to take care of Jacob who was definitely far sicker then his sister and after a quick run to retrieve something we had paid for and left behind at Walmart, we hurried back to continue taking care of him….Mike’s mother (who had been watching him while we were gone) remarked that I was having a true “Mother’s Day” and I instantly agreed that today was definitely a day where I needed to “Mother” my children.

It’s now late into the evening, my children are asleep – one with the fever and the other with her nosed so blocked up that she’s snorting her sleep – and I’m sitting her folding laundry and blogging…it seems just like every other day. It is indeed what we mother’s do you know – give up our “day” to take care of our children, because we know that “Mother’s Day” does not mean that we cease being mother’s at all – in fact, it Mother’s Day while it’s intention is to honor Mother’s, is truly a day to feel blessed, and fortunate that we have been given the gift of motherhood at all. I guess that today has really been an opportunity to be reminded of that…

The worth of a mother cannot be shown by the flowers she receives, the jewellery around her neck, or the little chocolates lined up in a box…rather the worth of a mother is shown in the love she offers her children, the 40th time during a busy day that you’ve wiped your sons nose, the 12 th diaper you’ve changed…..it is exhibited in a well cooked meal, a comfy hug, a smile, a tear and so much more….

Indeed I did not have the Mother’s Day that I expected but I did in fact have a Mother’s Day like any other Mother’s Day….a day filled with loving on my two children, who so dependently need and rely on me for their understanding of this world….

I am a blessed mother indeed….but I certainly wouldn’t mind if my children felt better tomorrow morning.

Celebrate Good Times – C’mon!

My mom had this amazing ability of making the celebrations in our lives seem like they were really important and I have distinct memories of these celebrations as some of the most joyous times of my life. Now that I have grown, left the nest and created my own family…I feel the need to continue in the same manner with my own children and I have to say that so far I’ve really been enjoying it all.

DSC_0353

Yesterday marked the 32nd birthday of That Daddy Guy and the day was filled with doing fun things while Daddy was at work like baking and decorating a cake, wrapping presents and preparing a special meal. I spent much of the days leading up to this day, trying to get Jacob excited and helping to understand what it meant that Daddy was having a birthday and in the end the only thing I think he really understood was that Daddy’s birthday was going to be a great day because he got to eat cake. Ha. I was quite impressed I admit that Jacob was able to remember our plan for Daddy’s birthday when he ran down the stairs and proclaimed a loud exuberant HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY when he woke up in the morning.

DSC_0355

I really believe in the importance of celebration and tradition within families because I feel like it is on these special days that family members are able to come together, put the craziness and fast pace of everyday life behind them, relax and enjoy each other. I feel the need to help create good long lasting memories for my children the same way my mother did for me, so that one day they’ll tell their children, my grandchildren that their birthdays or Christmas was always special because Mom always made them that way…..just thinking about it gives me the warm fuzzies.

DSC_0358

We have a lot of celebrations coming up here in the next while and I’m particularly excited about a few of them – I look forward to making them as memorable as possible in my own way….hoping that its the start of many good family celebrations….

Maybe as the years pass my own children will have a particular fondness for the memories we’ve created…..

Or maybe they’ll just use it as evidence that I really am not all there. Ha.