Follow My Sorry Ass


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dizzyland

"Dad, I have a question. Do you know Buzz Lightyear? Do you know Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? I want to go to Dizzyland, Dad. I want to drive the elephant." -Zach, asserting his nostalgia for our first visit to Disney (and especially the Dumbo ride)

"What's the point? When I grow up I want to be a dirty hobo!" -James, indignant over having to study for a math test

"That's not funny." -James, a few minutes later, when I showed him Chris Farley's "Livin' in a Van Down By the River" thing on YouTube

"I want to live in a van, down by the river." -Will

"What's 'rollin' doobies'? -Elise

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars: The Name Nerd Awakens

So I saw the new Star Wars movie with the big kids last night. It was my second time (first was date night w/ the husband last Thursday night). And I could not wait to get home and search feverishly for a Kylo Ren Tantrum meme generator (so far I haven't found a good one, especially in gif form). Instead I made a Sad Stormtrooper.



Hashtag nerdy and obsessed with Nameberry.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Even More Celeb Babies Renamed

Maxima "Max" Maxine Eliana "Maxie" Zuckerberg

Saint Moral West, brother to North True

Marlowe Marlena Monroe, sister to Grey Rose Audrey

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Year's End

"I scienced the heck out of it." -James, stealing a line from The Martian when I asked him how his recent digestive system test went (He got a 94%)

"Hit me, Joanne!" -Zach, asking our beloved nanny to gently pat him on the back as he fell asleep at naptime

"Eh...muchachos..." -Zach, expressing annoyance at another kid at preschool

"Finally!" -Elise, relieved at no longer having to share a room with Zach

--

George has started to sleep more at night, so we've moved his crib to the "book nook" part of upstairs and let Zach reclaim his (their) room. It's the end of an era. As of yesterday I'm not camping out in there in the big-boy bed, next to the crib of an itty-bitty baby anymore. But the developmental leap (and big sleep milestone for our family) hasn't yet translated into more sleep for me, since I have to try harder to listen for George's grunts and other night noises from the relative comfort of my real bed. This is so as not to disturb Joe, who somehow manages to sleep lightly as the rest of us snore on in a blackness that is "darker'n a black steer's tuchus on a moonless prairie night". George did pretty well last night, though--he went from 10:30 or 11-ish p.m. to 4:30 a.m. and then went down again until 6:30.

(Sigh). They grow up so fast.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

More Zach-Talk

"No. Swear words. I wanna use swear words!" -Zach, when Will gently corrected him ('gosh-darnit, Zach')

"Dad, will you sing "Hatty-Birthday-To-You?" -Zach

"Hannaburger" [hamburger] -Zach

"I wanna see the wopter-copter [helicopter]." -Zach

Thursday, October 29, 2015

And Speaking of God

I went to a parent-teacher conference for Zach the other day, at his religiously-affiliated preschool. The conference was immensely gratifying, almost as much so as Elise's (in which her teacher reportedly said she wished she had a classroomful of Elises and compared her to J.K. Rowling! *Cough, cough,* genius daughter!).

Zach's teacher says he is doing wonderfully, talking up a proverbial storm, and generally getting along great. This is especially nice because I haven't even been the one responsible for bringing him to his school, packing his little lunch, or doing the majority of the Zach-upbringing, in months--except for schlepping him around to his siblings' after-school activities, and immersing him in the requisite swearing-while-driving.

Thank goodness for family, community support, and good help when a new baby is born.

So we're (Zach n' I) driving home from the conference and have the following exchange:

Zach: (singing, making preschool-sanctioned hand gestures) Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Give a little clap, clap, clap! Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Fold them just like that!

(bows head in prayer) God is great, God is good; let us thank Him for our food. A-MEN!

Me: Oh, you're praying before you eat your sandwich, just like you do in school.

Zach: Yeah!

Zach: Hey Mom.

Me: What.

Zach: (Shouting at top of lungs) G-D DAMMIT!



In retrospect, Zach's teacher seemed to be laughing about something and looking at me out of the corner of her eyes during the conference.

It's back to the Swear Jar for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

This.

This article is awesome:

http://www.kveller.com/i-am-a-feminist-mother-who-stayed-at-home/

Sunday, October 11, 2015

In The Fall of the Year


Zach's moment of zen: getting to hold BeeBee George







Saturday, September 19, 2015

All Eyez On G

Two weeks ago yesterday, George was born at 35 weeks, and at least two weeks earlier than I'd originally thought he would be. He spent a week in the NICU, not strictly due to the prematurity but because he was breathing too shallowly when he first came out. Thankfully, he is home now and doing much better. I am much better, too, now that I'm not itching nearly as badly (curse you, cholestatic liver).



George Thomas B.
6.28 lb (I think!) He was a pretty good size for how early he was.
19" long

Here he is with Daddy.



The NICU thing was pretty strange, especially at first. It felt SUPER, ALL SORTS OF WRONG to leave the hospital without George. I kept having bad dreams when I got home; not that I got much sleep anyway because I was supposed to be up every 3 hours pumping, and even when I did get a little shut-eye I would wake up drenched in sweat. When he finally came home I felt incredibly relieved, and not just to avoid fighting the traffic to see him.

Also, I hate pumping.

So far, George seems to enjoy being awake often between the hours of 10pm and 5am, sleeping while being held, Skittles-flavored breastmilk, and pooping. He dislikes nasal cannulae and hiccups.

The kids are enjoying him, too. Even Zach has been pretty into him; he desperately wants to hold Baby George, but this is a dicey proposition for a two-year-old and a preemie. Maybe when he gets a little bigger and hardier (George, not Zach. Zach is plenty big and hardy--speaking of big, it is Will's tenth birthday today, and we just celebrated Zach's 2nd and James 11th. Quit growing up so fast, kids.)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Curious George and The Terrible Itch

Warning: Author is itchy and bitchy

I'm developing an obnoxious pregnancy complication that I had during my last pregnancy: obstetric cholestasis.

The nontechnical explanation is this. It's where you itch like you have a full-body mosquito bite, especially at night when you're (fer the LOVE of GOD) trying to sleep. Your palms, soles of feet, cheeks, upper back, upper arms, boobs, skin between the toes, and pretty-much-everything-elses itch. But yeah, especially the hands and feet.

It's getting bad enough that I've scratched open some of the skin on my feet from scratching in my sleep.

The technical explanation has something to do with the liver, gallbladder, bile acids/salts in the bloodstream, sensitivity to pregnancy hormones, a medication called Ursodiol, another medication called Benadryl, utter exhaustion, and wishing one were able to unzip and remove one's own skin. Oh, and weekly or twice-weekly fetal nonstress tests. And hand-wringing (mine), because stillbirth is a little more likely than in usual times.

The only thing that helps the itching is NOTHING WHATSOEVER OMG. It doesn't help that the temperatures outside have been hovering around 100.

The poor kids are sick of my being sick/bitchy and quite ready to return to school, I think.

The only good news is that I have some really awesome sitters helping me (Joe is away on a four-day bachelor party right now, because of course), and that this stupid complication means they'll be inducing me early again this time. Thankee Jesus--no need to worry about having a baby on the side of the 405.

My prediction is Sept 17th, though they (docs) haven't committed to anything yet. But the 17th would be good, because Will wouldn't have to share a birthday (his 10th birthday!) with Baby George. Did I mention we're probably naming the baby George?

--

Lately Zach has taken to lifting people's shirts, exposing their bellies, and saying, "Baby George?" He especially loves to do this to Daddy. I wonder if he is expecting Curious George The Monkey to come out of Mom's tummy at the end of all this, though, because that's one of his favorite book characters and the only frame of reference he has for "George".

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Death of a SalesVan

Our dejected minivan finally shucked its mortal coil.

It happened during our multi-state road trip a few weeks ago. We'd just reached an elevation of approximately 11,000 feet, near the top of Mount Crumpet or something like that (read: overlooking Denver and 45 minutes shy of our ultimate destination, which was my brother's house). We'd already seen the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and hiked briefly through Bryce Canyon. We'd stayed in and around the "parks" region of Southern Utah enough to be getting antsy of all the Mormon/cowboy weirdness, obligatory tourism, and blazing heat, and were driving intently toward Max and Megan's. The kids had only been mildly to moderately obnoxious that day, and Joe and I were just starting to shout to each other--over the usual child-related din--about how the minivan was doing with this grand journey.

Me: (puts feet up on the dashboard, and aims the A/C directly at pregnant torso) So how's the van doing?!
Joe: You know, it's actually doing amazingly well for being at almost 200k miles!

(5 minutes later)

Minivan: RATTATATATATAT! GRrrrrrrRRRRRR! (Horrible engine noises) *Car refuses to accelerate*

Me and Joe: Oh shit.

We put the flashers on and pulled over into a weigh station area for large commercial vehicles that was right near the tippy-top of the mountain pass. The kids started to get nervous, but we reassured them that everything was going to be fine; we just needed to put a little bit of oil in the car and all would be right as rain. Somehow we managed to coast in the far right lane to a gas station, where Joe poured in, like, four quarts of oil. The van was still loud, lethargic, and very unhappy. And the minute the guy at the repair shop heard the noise the car was making in an idle, he began to shake his head in a way that was both definitive and sad.

"The damage is done," the repair guy prognosticated. Due to some kind of loose bearing rattling around all over inside, the engine was probably minutes away from seizing. But that wasn't before he informed us that there was exactly jack-sh*t on the mountain in terms of towing, car rental services, or places to comfortably stop (other than where we were standing). We could cut our losses now or we could try to make it through THE ONE LAST TINY HILL of the mountain pass (about 3 miles long) before a long downward trajectory to the city.

Naturally, we decided to try to coast it.

100 feet into the THE ONE LAST TINY HILL, the van went to the little diamond mine in the sky. Indeed, it proved to be worth more dead than alive because the junkyard (after much ado and effort to get the title) offered us more for it than the CarMax dealership would have, had it been in any way serviceable.


(This was taken after Triple-A finally showed up and the van was towed to the bottom. And Zach was the only one who didn't get the memo about making a sad face.)

Anyway, the van's long-coming martyrdom was a sacrifice that won't soon be forgotten; we got a much nicer car after Megan came and picked us up. The American Dream was alive and well for us that day, as we bought a very-gently-used, pricey foreign dream car with all the accompanying bells whistles, extra seats, and safety features.

Fast forward to today: I take four kids to the DMV to register a vehicle purchased out of state and only cried twice in doing so. Alas, that is a story for another day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Toddlers Are Funner Than Tweens

Today we were running an errand that required being in the car for awhile, and we were short on time. Being a mother of nutritious integrity I made a hasty lunchtime stop at the Bad Place of Poison Burgers.



Somewhere along the line, James decided that throwing his entire hamburger across the minivan and calling me a b*tch was an age-appropriate and prudent way to communicate his displeasure with my particular choice of eatery (point taken). His reason for the insult--which was technically not swearing since he spelled the word out instead of saying it--? The burger smelled "like chemicals" and was giving him a headache.

"Fine," I said. "Starve." And sentenced him to clean out the whole minivan by himself. Because, like Tina Fey, I Will Not Have That Sh*t.

Anyway, the commotion of all this prompted Zachy to start chucking McNuggets at my windshield from his carseat. But hey, at least that made me laugh a little bit and marvel at his hand-eye coordination. Things took a turn for the worse when, shortly after that, I peed my pants for good measure a few times while sneezing and driving. This was also the same day I discovered that one of my favorite bloggers, The Coquette, has been DELETED by Tumblr for what is sure to be a very, very foolish reason (she completes me! Well, she and Julie Robichaux).

....Just in case you're ever wondering what that smell is when you're driving my van.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Man in the Mirror

Some stuff that came home in Elise's backpack this week:






“They chew the babies [sic] food and barf it back up…”

I'm imagining the lesson: "and that's what's known as 'parental regurgitation behavior', kids. Okay, class dismissed for lunch."



Not sure what to think about this, entitled The Mirror.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why I'm A Little Bit Scared

Top 10 Reasons I'm A Teensy Bit Scared To Have Another Son (Yes, these are all sexist)

10. My downstairs bathroom already smells like the reptile house at the zoo; more boys in our family = more packs of neighborhood boys coming over and missing the bowl.

9. Potty training and the accompanying public urination phase. (My big boys used to do it from the top of play structures in public parks.)

8. Even more broken bones and trips to the orthopedist. (James just got his cast off after he'd climbed the fence for a "shortcut" and fell onto the concrete fountain in our backyard.)

7. More trips to Wal-mart to buy cheap shoes. And socks. (Will wears out a pair of sneakers every two weeks, then the hole(s) in his shoe creates the same problem in his sock.)

6. The noise, oh the noise! It's just gonna get louder up in here. (Zach is entering the screaming two-year-old phase.)



5. The punching, oh the punching!

4. More years of accidentally stepping on legos with bare feet and gingerly putting away lego creations for safe keeping.

3. Energy requirement: I'm tired just thinking about chasing another little boy through toddlerhood.

2. Needing to remember all the Thomas The Tank Engine characters' names, personality traits, and political orientations for that much longer.

1. It's a little bit scary how sweet a son can be.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Toddlerspeak: A Few Definitions

Big Tom (n.)- See Also: Grandpa Tom.

Big Truck (n.)- (1) Any large vehicle; (2) alias of Uncle Chuck.

Elmote (n.)- A device that, when pointed at the TV, summons Elmo to the screen.

Gramma Kiss (n.)- See Also: Grandma Kris.

Nack (n.)- a fruit snack.

Monday, April 27, 2015

You've Got Male: Part Two

Boy #4 is a go! (And thank you, higher powers that be, for an apparently healthy baby!)

Elise was a little sad that it's not a baby sister, yes. But she is okay now.

OMG, what am I going to do with FOUR BOYS running around my house?!?!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Acronyms

"Take me to church, I'll whistle like a dog on a Saturday night..." -Elise, singing her interpretation of Hozier

"ELISE is an acronym. It means Eggfart Leprosy Idiotic Stupid Elephantitis." -Will, apparently unaware of wet-lab immunoassay ELISA

"Oh yeah? 'WILL' stands for Whalepoop Idiotic Lame Loser!" -Elise, without missing a beat

Monday, April 13, 2015

You've Got Male

I have no idea whether we're having a boy or girl this time.

Might be finding out the baby's sex in a week, when I have my regular doctor visit, if they can squeeze me in between regularly scheduled ultrasounds. But if they can't, and I'm still in suspense, I am not waiting until 20 weeks, y'all. I'm gonna go blow $100-150 on an elective 3D u/s because this is my last time doing this whole pregnancy thing and I refuse to be reasonable.

Besides, I need a way to mark the passage of time other than puking.

My dad is here visiting, and yesterday Elise asked him what he was going to dream about that night. He said, "I think I'm going to dream about your [baby] sister!" I promptly reprimanded him; she is already putting on a brave face and saying she's cool if the baby ends up being another brother, but dude. That is gonna be, like, too much to bear if she is hearing that "sister" ish and the baby ends up being brother #4 for the poor girl.

Oh well. Elise's teacher (wonderful lady) has been busy telling her about how she grew up with FIVE brothers and everything turned out okay. Thanks, Mrs. DeChellis. We love you!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ish My Kids Say, Tween Edition

Some of my kids are getting kind of mean-ish and tween-ish.

Examples:

Will called Elise a "can of butt juice" yesterday, inciting me to gag (stupid pregnancy-related nausea).

Less benignly, James called a fellow fourth-grader at school an "ugly lesbian" and chased him off the playground. When I heard about this incident from my good momfriend, I gave him a stern, for-ten-year-olds version of a lecture on hate speech and took away the computer (travesty). Then, today, he informed me that all I do is "drink Coke and nap all day." Oh, how I wish that were true, mine-angry tween-ish child.

And to top it off, Elise is really fond of making catty comments about James' birthmark within his earshot. That's all I need, for him to develop a massive complex about your standard-issue hyperpigmentation, because we aren't all neurotic enough around here.

That's pretty much it. Zach hasn't hit the mean comment phase yet, just the literal one where he says, "hit!" and hits you (hard). New baby is being a little bit mean, making me a little bit sick still, but that I can abide.





Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dear Baby #5

Dear Baby #5,

I can vividly remember writing this letter to your next-oldest sibling, who is now a toddler. I was in dire straits in the days I was expecting him--off my antidepressants, ill with hyperparathyroidism, guilt-laden, catastrophically stressed, supplicating to the pregnancy gods that things would work out. All is much better now (knock on wood). Nevertheless, there are some things I would like to ask of you.

1. Could you please stop making me vomit so much. I know that sentence is supposed to have a question mark, but it is a firmer request than that. We are coming up on 12 weeks. The broken blood vessels in my eyes tell me that this much heaving (in addition to this much Zofran) can't be good for either of us.

2. Could you please try to avoid making your grand entrance to the world on Will's birthday (September 19th)? Will shares so much with everyone; I don't think he will want to share his day. Any other day is preferable, even the anniversary day of the 9/11 tragedy. I assume you will stay put through James' (8/5) and Zach's (8/22) since you aren't technically due 'till 10/8.

3. Could you please, please allow me to have some energy this weekend, when your dad will be out of town, sailing to Catalina the Channel Islands with his buddies (cue ominous Gilligan's Island theme music: "a three-hour tour")? It'll be just me plus your four sibs, until Meryl and Aunt Kay and Uncle Chuck and get here to visit and help. Have mercy, little plum-sized fetus.

4. It would be awesome if I didn't pee my pants when I cough, sneeze, or puke (see #1). I know this is outside of your control, but it can't hurt to ask.

5. Please don't develop complications or give me delivery surprises of the unpleasant kind. I'll try to keep my liver and other organs happy as best I may.

Thanks. I love you.

Mom