Weekend Update

Sick. Sick. Sick. Seriously, I haven’t been so sick in a long time. Blech. Pack your head full of cement and you’ll know how I feel. The best part was, DH got sick too- but with the stomach flu. Yippe! The kids have basically had the run of the place- what with both of us down. You can imagine our laundry room right about now. Yeah.

We missed Jeffrey’s soccer game yesterday- somehow, I don’t think they would have liked us to show up with our barf-bucket and my bottle of Ny-Quil. Beanie, conveniently, had a bye.

I just looked out the back window, to see Jeffrey, butt-naked, on the swing-set trapeze. One moment please….

Ok then.

If you’re looking for a good cold medicine, I highly recommend Alka Selzer cold and flu. Totally works, doesn’t taste nasty like Thera-Flu, and can be drank hot or cold. That, and you get to sing the “plop-plop, fizz-fizz” song in your congested head while you wait for the little tablets to dissolve.

“Oust” does wonders at getting rid of sick smell. Just thought you might like to know.

It’s finally starting to get cold here. We had our first fire of the year yesterday- which entailed Beanie flipping the switch on the wall and us all ooh-ing and aw-ing as the fire burst forth in our gas fireplace. Easy? Yup. This is my first gas fireplace, and I think something might be lost in translation. But you can’t beat if for easy.


Trying to think things out when you’re sick is a bad idea. (I woke up with a sore throat and a cough and my ears hurt) But I can’t help myself. When I picked Beanie up at school today, the teacher needed to talk to me. Seems he is having some behavior issues, which, truth be told, is not a surprise.

Beanie hasn’t had an easy go of it, and while I may joke occasionally about him being a pain, there really are things going on health-wise that we haven’t figured out. I’m not talking ADD or ADHD or even Autism- I am (almost) certain none of those things are our issues. But I strongly suspect allergies, food sensitivity and sensory integration problems. We have an appointment in October, and it can’t get here fast enough.

When Beanie was born, everything made him cry. Everything. Nursing, my milk, formula, having his diaper changed, baths, towels, getting dressed, temperature changes, carseats, riding in the car, baby swings- you name it, he hated it. I’m being only slightly flip. Beanie cried, seriously cried, for months and months and months. The only time he wasn’t crying, he was asleep. And even that was fitfull and light. The only way he could fall asleep, was not in my arms, but swaddled as tightly as we could, in his crib, with a low light and a fan on. Then, he would sleep.

When he was about three months, we accidentally found a formula that soothed his tummy enough that he only cried about 2/3 as much- and we used it until he was 18 months old. It cost us $400 a month. The doctors did all kinds of tests, including an ultra-sound and ECG on his little heart. Nothing showed up abnormal, but my mothers’ intuition has always told me, something is not right.

Recently, my cousin in California called my attention to a book called Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World. I am plowing through it- it’s the first time I’ve ever read anything that sounds like MY child.

The thing is, normal things, everyday things that other people either assimilate in their environment, or else tune out, Beanie cannot do. Rubbing with a towel after a bath therefore becomes torture , tags or crooked seams in his clothes are not just the nuscence they are for most pre-schoolers, they become like a TV, Radio and Vacuum on all at once. Full blast.

The other night, he was in the bathtub, and both his brother and sister had already been plucked out and jammied, and I went in to grab Bean. He was lying on his back in the warm water, eyes closed, ears submerged, silently floating. In his whole entire life, I have never seen him so… so… relaxed. Ever.

Underwater, there was no sound, only his breathing. His eyes closed, there was no input, the water surrounded his little body, and he found peace. Maybe for the first time ever.

I started to cry, and left him to his peace.

Pracitical Application and CF Bulbs

When I first wrote the post on CF (compact fluorescent) lightbulbs, it was from more of a “Hey, this is interesting and might merrit some thought” point-of-view. Today, I learned first-hand what cleaning up one of these little toxic nightmares really entails.

While taking down the kitchen (ceiling) light, where I though they would be safe, nice and high- and trying to be extremely careful, I dropped the bulb. Hitting the kitchen tile, the bulb blasted into a gazillion pieces, and all three of my kids were standing there watching, within three feet. (now, if you want to fault me for having them nearby, go ahead, but should a mama have to vacate the house just to change a lightbulb? Evidently, yes.)

Immediately swooping up Abby and Bean, I rushed all of them outside. I went back in to, a) open the windows (the only thing I could remember from the EngeryStar website) and b) pull up the website to see what I should do next.

Here is what it said:

How should I clean up a broken fluorescent bulb?

The following steps can be performed by the general public:

  1. 1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  2. 2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
    1. 􀂃 Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.
    2. 􀂃 Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

  3. 3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
    1. 􀂃 Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.
    2. 􀂃 Note: some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a local recycling center.
    3. 􀂃 Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.

  4. 4. If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
    1. 􀂃 First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
    2. 􀂃 If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.

OK, Mamas, does that sound like a safe and fun activity for your family? Empty the house, dont touch the debris, and double-bag it all. For. A. Lightbulb.

For about half an hour, I played outside on the kids swingset with them, then I went into my toxic waste-dump of a kitchen and began the tedious job of cleaning up without using a vacuum, broom and having no rubber gloves. I used the wet paper towels, per instructions and a stiff piece of paper. Then the Swiffer thing. Disposable pads are ok, I presume. Double bagged all the danger-shards and then, finally, did run the vacuum, just in case I missed a shard. (Paranoid about glass slivers)

So, why do I buy organic laundry soap, organic dish soap, natural and locally grown veggies, use cotton diapers, canvas grocery bags and natural fiber clothing if my lightbulbs are going to constitute a minor Chernobyl when they (and they will, don’t kid yourself!) break? What’s the point?

I’m sorry, but it just seems too dangerous. These things are not welcome in my home. If we are trying to save the earth for our kids, what’s the point if my kids get mercury poisoning or can’t have children of their own someday?

What, exactly, are we saving?

Two Things

OK, well maybe it’s three. Sorry about ditching the pictures. They were taking up too much room in WP memory. For some reason, my camera saves all my pictures as HUGE files, and I can’t figure out how to change it.

Next: Kids Meal toys suck. Across the board, no exceptions, they suck. Not only are the cheap, China-made landfill fodder, but they never work and always always alwasy lead to tears and wailing from my children. They see a toy, looking bright and shiny in the pictures, their little hearts lust after the shiny-ness, then they open a pale, cardboard immitaion of fun and the crying ensues. I resolve to never buy kids meal again. They are not Happy. 

I’m boycotting JoAnn fabrics. At least my local store. They got a wicked new manager- I’ll call her Galinda – and she wouldn’t let my kid use their potty today. All the ladies there know me, and we are always allowed to use thier potty- but not anymore! Today, Galinda had the gall to tell me they didn’t have a restroom, but I could take my ready-to-pee-on-the-floor six year old next door to the Tasty Trough and he could use thier bathroom. I unloaded my full cart right into her arms, and when she asked me if I would like her to hold my things for me to return, I told her she could hold them all day for all I cared, I wouldn’t be returning.

Didn’t hear back yet from the school.

Weekend Update

Man, I took a nap after church today, and I woke up on the wrong side of life. Grump city. No one come near me. When Beanie woke me up, I was all disoriented and thought it was Monday morning and the clocks were wrong and we had overslept and were late for school. Grrrr.

Abby has finally figured out how to go DOWN the stairs. She mastered “UP” a long time ago, but the _down_ system has stymied her for quite a while. Now I have to be even more aware of where she is…

DH and I went out to dinner on Friday to celebrate our anniversary. Like, real, fancy, dim-candle-lit restaurant. Very, very schee-schee. We do that so seldom, I had forgotten how much fun it is to get gussied up, put on some heels and feel pretty for the night. Dinner was easily 2-3 hours and I won’t even tell you what we spent- although it’s amazing how much less you spend when you don’t have a somalier bill. I got to wear my fancy new necklace, too- I really wanted to just tie the box around my neck, but that would’ve  been a little too trailer-park, ya think?

Went apple-picking this weekend. One of the perks of living in the Northwest… acres and acres of orchards and things to pick. The kids had a ball, and learned the difference between Jonagold, Gala, Macintosh and Pippin-  ripe this week. Next week the Golden’s are due to ripen. The boys pulled a handcart around the orchard, Beanie climbed to the tippy-top of a three-legged orchard ladder, and we left with two bushels of apples, three pumpkins and two gallons of fresh pressed cider. Mmmmmmm. I love fall.

We’re making applesauce this week.  And DH has requested a pie. Oh, and we’re dipping caramel apples too. (Julie, call me if you got that water canner- I’ll send you a check!)

I should hear from the school on Monday regarding the preposterous spelling words. I’ll keep you updated.

I’ve been called to teach the Valliant 12 girls in our ward (congregation). Haven’t been in Primary (kids Sunday school at our church) for about 4 years, so I’m due. I like this group of girls, so now I just have to get my act together enough to teach every Sunday. Ought to make Sunday morning even more fun, eh?

DH is doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen right now. Either he felt like being nice, or he just got sick of not being able to find a fork to eat his ice cream with- wither way, I’m good. Speaking of DH, other day a friend of mine was over and DH noticed Abby had stinky pants, picked her up and went to change her. My friend interupted me and asked me if DH had just volunterily changed a diaper. Huh? Yeah, why? Aparently, this is unheard of in their house. I just assumed most dad’s did diaper duty nowdays- am I wrong? Is DH more cutting edge than I thought? What about in your house? Here, DH changes diapers daily- if I’m otherwise engaged, he just does it. Same with dishes, laundry and baths…

Jeffrey got the coolest birthday box from Crazy Chicken Annie. When he opened the box, the entire thing was full of crumpled up one-dollar bills. Mixed in were Koosh balls, coral, seashells, crystal clusters, acorns, leaves and several really cool feathers from her birds. Jeff carried the box around for two days, even taking the whole thing with us to Target to spend his loot. He managed three boxes of Lego with all those One’s. This is a birthday gift he won’t forget.

Mama Gross Out Moment of the Day

So Jeffrey got Abby up this morning and brought her into the kitchen where I was making breakfast. She had on her overfull, ready-to-explode-with-pee night diaper still, so I popped it off her and left her standing in just her nightgown while I went upstairs to get a clean diaper and some clothes.

Pamper and clothing in hand, I was half-way down the stairs when the smell hit me. Poop. Very much lots of smell of POOP. Oh Crap, I was only upstairs for, like, maybe two minutes, but…

I peek around the corner into the dining room, and sure enough, there on the floor are two bloppy lumpy little nuggets, and Abby is nowhere to be seen. Oh man. It’s not even 8 o’clock yet. Crap crap crap. Literally.

Abby is off playing in her play area.  The boys are oblivious- thank heavens Abby is going through a “poop-balls” phase, where things are, um, realatively solid and orbital in shape. All I have to do is make sure I found all the “balls”. Anything small on the floor today will be suspect and Lysol-ed.

Good Morning, Mamas. Have a nice day!

National Pirate Day

Just a handy reminder- t’ tide be National Gentleman o’ fortune Tide, an’ ye all ortin’ ta be ravagin’ an’ pillagin’ th’ villages an’ Target stores near ye. Let th’ kiddos run rampant an’ jus’ fer kicks an’ giggles, run yer blog posts through th’ universal Priate Translator. Happy Gentleman o’ fortune Tide, One an’ All!  Ya horn swagglin’ dog!

Happy Birthday Beanie

Dearest Beanie-

While you liked being the birthday boy yesterday, you weren’t so crazy about the phone ringing and people singing to you all day. You would run and hide, when the phone was for you. That’s ok, sweet boy.

It’s been four years since you popped into this world, screaming your head off, before you were even all the way out of my body. You still are a powerhouse of emotions and willpower. You amaze me daily.

When we talked about if you wanted a cake or cupcakes, you told me you wanted to go to the store and buy a cake- I think you might have been imagining a fantastic Nemo cake or some other confection, but when we got to the store, you picked the biggest, chocolately-est cake they had, and asked for your name to be iced on in blue frosting.

For your birthday dinner, you picked Tacos, and asked two friends to join us. The funny thing is, you won’t even eat tacos, but you wanted them- everyone at the table had overflowing tortillas, and you had a plate of Ritz crackers with peanut butter. That’s your go-to meal these days- breakfast, lunch and dinner, most of the time.

Today you have pre-school, and you get to be the birthday boy- that means you get a crown and get to provide the snack. You love to be a helper, so you’re really excited about taking the Snack Swan and divying up the treats we bought.

When it’s time to leave for school this morning, you’ll put on your Transformers backback that’s as big as you are, your green “bug” Vans, most likely your orange “pretty pants” (that’s what you call them)- grab your bag of cookies, and march off into the wild blue yonder.

Baby boy, I’m proud to be your mama. I pray that we can always meet you halfway on your journey- because you are defninatley on a journey- and that you will carry in your heart how very much I love you.

Love, Mama

Random Midnight Thoughts

It’s the middle of the night. Well, almost. It’s 12:58, but I’ve always thought of between 2-3 a.m. as the real middle of the night. All my babies are fast asleep, there is no good reason to be up- and when the alarm goes off for morning carpool, I will be positively ugly.

Earlier I had a booming headache, and made the mistake of taking two Excedrin Migrane pills. Yeah, for someone with no tollerance to caffeine, those babies buzz you out. It’s hours later, and I still can’t even begin to fall asleep.

The boys helped me make dinner tonight. We had spaghetti and foccacia bread. Beanie was in charge of salting the water, pouring the noodles into the water, occasionally stiring the pot (with mom’s help) and watching the timer. Jeffrey was in charge of the sauce; he opened the cans of tomatoes (can openers are fun!), measuring the spices into the pot, and stirring while it heated. I made the foccacia.

I’m on the hunt for new light fixture for the outside of the house, and for the kitchen. There are eight lights on the outside of the house- can you believe that? Means I have to keep the cost of each fixture reasonable, or else sell an organ. The kitchen also need a new fixture, but I can’t find anything I like. What says “farmhouse kitchen”? I have already replaced the chandelier in the dining room, and the lights in the hallway and laundry room. Got some old schoolhouse fixtures, and they look vintage and awesome.

Yes, I wired them by myself. It’s not hard, and I don’t have the patience to wait for DH to get home. I want it done, and I want it done now. So I learned how. As long as the power is off, you really can’t hurt yourself- so I’m careful and so far, so good. Seven lights replaced in this house. About 15 more to go. Oh well!

The weather is turning cooler, finally. The wind is whipping around the giant trees we have in the backyard, and I suspect we will have a few feet of leaves by the end of the week. I love fall. I actaully dug a robe from the back of my closet to come down and write (thanks Heather O.!). And I put socks on for the first time tonight. Soon it will be time to go apple picking and pumpkin hunting!

Beanie will be 4 tomorrow. Well, I guess it’s today now. He wasn’t born until evening, anyway. He told me tonight he doesn’t want me to bake a cake, he wants to go to the store and buy one. Okie dokey dude, less work for mama, and a happy Bean is a good thing. He is birthday boy at school on Tuesday, and we’re taking cupcakes and he gets to wear a crown. He’s thrilled.

Abby finally has enough hair for little pig-tails. She looked so cute tonight with two whale-spouts coming from the top of her head and spaghetti mess all over her body.

The boys had their first soccer game this weekend. I was a little surprised at the outcome. Beanie wasn’t all that interested- he got in the game and when a boy immediately kicked the ball from him, he fell on the ground and burst into tears. He spent most of the next quarter on my lap, crying. For the second half, he managed to pull it together and get in the game, and he seemed pleased with himself. Mission accomplished.

Jeffrey was a surprise too. I half expected him to poop out and not want to play, but he was insanely into the game. At this level, we don’t even keep score, but boy, Jeffrey was keeping score, and he was ticked that the other team had more points. He as red-faced and heated and super-competitive. Hmmm. Ok then, now we just have to direct that drive in a good way. He can’t wait for next Saturday, when I claims he will score 100 goals. I told him a “good” soccer game can end in a 0-0 tie- yeah, doesn’t make much sense to this baseball girl, either.

This week I received a really nice size order for some quilt designs. That’s a bonus, and I’m happy to be in a show this fall. Enough about that.

I’ve decided to re-upholster (is that how you spell that??)  my couch in old-school mattress ticking. That ought to be kid-resistent, eh?

Enough mindless blather. Off to bed.