Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Traumatic Experience

Yesterday when I went to pick Punkin up from school, I was rushed at the door by a lady who I did not recognize.

"Before he sees you, he swallowed one of those little arts and crafts pompoms and he's pretty upset. He threw up and he's crying."

"Um, are you the nurse?"

"Yes I'm [name unintelligible because she was rushing]. He seems okay, but I'm afraid to give him anything to drink. I don't want it to move in to his airway. But he's breathing and talking fine."

I went to find Punkin in the bathroom with his teacher and as soon as he saw me, he started bawling.

"I (breath) swallowed (breath) uh (breath) POMPOM!"

He was so upset. He kept saying it was in his throat and he was coughing like he was going to vomit again. I wrapped my arms around him and let him cry and told him we would call the doctor and that he would be fine. I snagged one of the pompoms for reference and started to get his things to leave. His teach sidled over to me when he wasn't looking and said "He asked me if he was going to choke and die. I wanted you to know that." The nurse stood next to her nodding her head solemnly.

My heart skipped a beat. Awesome. Now his teacher thinks I'm exposing my child to morbid information about death and how he's going to die one day. I tried to laugh it off.

"Oh. Uh, ha ha. Um, yeah when I tell him not to put things in his mouth and he asks why, I tell him he could choke."

Which is true. He and Skeeter both like to play a fun game of "Let's See How Many LEGO We Can Fit In Our Mouths!". So when I tell him not to do that and he asks why I say because you could choke and he says "and die?" and I say maybe.

So now of course, I feel terrible about even entertaining the idea. But honestly, I feel like he needs to know how seriously hurt he could get. So on this day, when he had this traumatic experience, I told him "This is why I tell you not to put LEGO in your mouth".

"Because I could choke and die?"

"No, you're not going to die" (because I felt awful that he thought he was going to die)

"So....I'm just going to keep choking?"


I had no idea what to even say. Punkin saw a dead squirrel with Austin one time, and Austin tried to explain to him that the squirrel wasn't going to wake up because it died. I could tell after they came inside and had that talk, Punkin was having this internal struggle of trying to figure out what it meant to never wake up. Maybe he was too young to explain it and have him understand. I guess I just feel like this is the circle of life and there shouldn't be anything scary about that. Of course I don't want him to think he could die at any moment. But I also want him to know that life is precious. And that some times we lose people we love and that's just the nature of living and that living is so wonderful. So I don't want to shield death.

Being a parent is hard. I'm certain most days that everything I'm doing is wrong. Maybe this is wrong, too. All we can do is follow our gut.

But to the pressing matter at hand, Punkin is fine and he's rather looking forward to the prospect of pooping out the pompom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I am thankful for all of the things I should be thankful for. Healthy kids, an awesome husband, friends, family and food. All of these things bring meaning to my life and have shaped me in to the person I am (yep, even food). It's easy to focus on the negative in life, but there is so much positive here that I really have no excuse.

In addition to these blessings, here are some other things I'm thankful for that I honestly could not live life without:

1. Plastic Mattress Covers - If not for the ingenious invention of the plastic mattress cover, my 4 year would have gone through 4 or 5 mattresses by now, I'm sure. Potty training is the worst, but night time training, for us, has been even more of a struggle. Plastic mattress cover and I are BFF.

2. My Shark Vacuum Cleaner - Because y'all. It can suck up the massive amounts of dog hair that my dog leaves behind every time she, you know, breathes. But it can also suck up pieces of sidewalk chalk and vacuums my hard floors without kicking little pieces of dirt shrapnel at me.

3. Magic the Gathering - I love my husband. Like, a lot. But sometimes when he goes to play Magic on Sundays, I can put the kids down for a nap and then crawl in bed and watch Gilmore Girls and eat pie and no one is there to judge me. It's fantastic.

4. Harry Potter - Because it feels like home every time I crack one of those books open.

5. Leap Pads - With the added benefit of all of the educational games that my kids have definitely benefited from, they keep them quiet in moments where I just really need some quiet. Basically they keep me from locking myself in a closet and hiding under the pile of shoes I never wear but can't get rid of.

6. My iPhone - Because sometimes I need to Facebook and watch Hell's Kitchen at the same time, you know?

7. VPK - Since Punkin has started VPK, he falls asleep like a champ at night. No more in and out of bed. No more asking for glasses of water he doesn't need (see item 1). He's in bed by eight and most nights he's out and snoring by 8:15. It's glorious.

8. Fresh Fruit - Because on nights when all I can muster after working all day and getting home at 6 is a PB&J (to the delight of my children), fresh fruit at least makes me feel like I'm offering something with some sort of health benefit without having to expend any extra energy.

9. 5:00 PM - amirite?

10.  Weekends - During the week I really only get to see my kids maybe 3 or 4 hours a day before I go to work and before they go to bed and my husband maybe an hour or two longer. The weekends are my time to actually be able to get in some quality time with my family, even if we stay home doing laundry all weekend. Livin' for the weekend, baby.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Lessons in Motherhood

When Punkin was a baby, I heard all the time about what amazing patience I had. I was in that new motherhood phase of thinking things were going to go exactly how I wanted them to. I was going to raise him this way and discipline that way and only organic food all the time ever! In my defense, Punkin was an amazingly good baby, so it's just as much his fault as it is mine (joking!).

But then something happened. Something called "toddler" came over my child and I'm afraid my patience was worn very thin. Especially with the addition of a little sister to hit and push and steal toys from.

One day, when I picked Punkin up from school after an especially frustrating day in the office, he sat in the back seat playing with his Leap Pad while I drove thinking about dinner and jammies and bed time. Punkin has a new found love of recording himself and then playing it back so he can hear it. His Leap Pad has one such game. So he's sitting in the back seat recording himself screaming. This awful, deep, incredibly loud scream. After telling him three times to please stop screaming, I lost it. I yelled as loud as I could so he could hear me over his screaming "STOP SCREAMING!!!".

"Sorry.", was all he could meekly say. I felt immediately relieved that he stopped. Happy with myself even, that I made him listen to me.

Then I realized, he recorded that whole exchange. Pretty soon the sound of myself screaming at my child was being played back to me over and over and over again from the back seat. Me yelling and him saying "Sorry.".

Needless to say, I felt so bad. I sounded out of control and scary. To myself. What did I sound like to a 3 year old?

This was a lesson I needed. It's so easy to just snap. It's so easy to take the easy way out and throw a temper tantrum just like Punkin would. It's hard to keep your cool.

So, I make the extra effort to understand why he's upset. Most of the time, if I get down on his level and speak to him about why he's feeling the way he's feeling, I avoid a fit. One time he was upset about something or other, and I sat down on the floor of his bedroom and just talked to him.

"What are you feeling right now?"

That was all it took to start the conversation. He told me why he was upset, I offered a solution and told him it was okay to be sad. At the end of it, he gave me a hug and said "Thank you for making me feel better, Momma." and I wanted to cry. Why couldn't I do that all the time? How hard was that, really? I had my shining motherhood moments, but lately it seemed like I was losing my cool more than I was offering solutions.

So, I make the extra effort as often as I can. Sometimes it doesn't work and I have to put him in time out or take away a toy. But most of the time, it does. When he cries, we take deep breaths together (something Austin actually discovered), and when he's upset, we talk about our feelings.

It's important to remember that while it's our duty to teach our kids, they end up teaching us as well.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I'm about to confess something here that I haven't confessed to many people. Mostly because I think, as we all do, I tend to judge myself harshly as a mother and I'm forever comparing myself to what other moms are doing. Because, you know...they're probably doing it better.

I was brushing Punkin's teeth one night when I noticed one of his teeth looked kind of off. There was no hole or spot, it just looked a little...different. I don't know about you, but when I get an idea in my head, be it that Austin has wrecked on the side of the road or that Punkin has a mouth full of cavities, I obsess over it. So first thing the next morning I called the pediatric dentist and set up an appointment for Punkin, which wouldn't happen for a couple of months because they're SO busy all the time.

It turns out my obsession this time was well called for. He had 4 cavities, and one tooth that looked suspicious. I wanted to die right there in that little room with the kid sized chair and the overly smiling hygienist. Her smile flickered ever so slightly when she saw my face and every employee I came across after that (the dentist, the billing lady, the receptionist) was sure to tell me how sometimes these things happen and they get kids in there all the time who need crowns and roots canals, so it was good that we caught it early. I just kept saying "I swear I brush his teeth".

I got in the car and cried. I felt like the worst mother in the history of ever. I mean really? Five cavities? At 3 years old? How does that even happen?!

So I had to really stop lying to myself and take a look at the fact that yes, there were some nights I simply forgot and figured it wasn't a big deal. There were some nights he may have had a gummy or piece of candy after brushing his teeth for going poop in the potty. I never flossed his teeth. Ever. For some reason in my brain, I didn't even really think it was possible for a kid to have this kind of damage at his age.

I never had a cavity until I was in my 20's. Austin on the other hand, not so much. His first root canal was in elementary school and his teeth get cavities like squirrels collects nuts. Apparently that's genetic, and apparently Punkin has his Daddy's teeth.

Today we went in for the second and what I thought was the last round of fillings. Turns out when they were working on him there was yet ANOTHER cavity next to an existing cavity where the rotten apple apparently was on it's way to spoiling the bunch. I wanted to throw my purse down and stamp my feet at the dentist.

"But I brush his teeth EVERY DAY! With a special ELECTRIC toothbrush we bought! AND we floss whether HE LIKES IT OR NOT! AND HE EFFING HATES IT!"

The dentist went on to explain that bacteria are like bugs in people. Some people have bigger bugs than others. Punkin apparently has some very big bugs in his mouth and there's not much I can do about it except for watch his sugar intake in snacks and juice and be diligent about oral hygiene.

The moral of the story is, I suck and my kid's mouth is going to cost me a fortune.

(For all of you who say dental insurance is a crock I LAUGH in your face. Between Punkin and Austin, it's saving me all kinds of money!)

My sweet boy at the dentist. He's such a trooper.

Friday, December 6, 2013

This Year

Is it just me, or does time go so much faster when you have kids?

I can't believe another year has come and gone. It doesn't seem like very long ago that we were celebrating Skeeter's first Christmas, and now we're creeping up to her second and Punkin's fourth!

This year Skeeter has learned to walk, talk, run, play and love her baby dolls. Punkin has learned how to argue and the pros and cons of having a little sister (pro: someone to play with, con: attention stealing demon baby).

Punkin is getting so much closer to four and I can't believe he's so big. He's like a little person now. Potty training is still a work in progress if you can believe it. He's super at going pee during the day and he's even pooping in the potty regularly now, we're just dealing with a couple of accidents here and there and he's no where near ready for night time training. Honestly, as long as he's pooping in the potty, I'm down.

Skeeter is learning new things every day. She loves taking care of her baby dolls. Feeding them and putting them to bed is her favorite game. She gives them hugs and kisses and gives them a bottle. It's so sweet. Don't get me wrong, she can show an attitude really quick if she feels the occasion calls for it. But overall, she's such a sweet baby and we can't get enough of her.

I like to think overall, this has been a year of growth. Austin and I have had some moments of realization about life and we've tried to grow from them. We've been helped immeasurably by friends and family, especially since one of our cars was totaled when Austin was hit by a drunk driver in October (he's fine, thank goodness). It shed a whole new light on thankfulness and a good lesson of not taking things for granted. I hope we can carry that with us when times of feeling sorry for ourselves pop up, as they tend to do.

I hope everyone's year was as good as mine, and I hope in the new year I can tend to this little blog more often, no matter how few people read it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Do Exist!

Hello! This blog is still here! I'm still here! Promise!

I guess I got so busy with tax season (like, really busy) I neglected the blog, and then after tax season I kind of felt like I had nothing to offer. But now I'm back with just maybe a little bit of news to share.

We just moved in to a new house and wow. It's so nice to have our own space again. It's a bigger place than we've ever had and it really feels like we can breathe and spread out which is always nice. It's pretty in the middle of nowhere for us since we're so used to living on one side of town, but there are lots of frogs and other critters (even gators sometimes apparently? yikes!) to keep us company.

Skeeter is a year old and ugh she's so huge. She's walking all over the place and saying a few words. She loves to eat (and how dare you if you're eating something...anything...and you don't share with her) and she loves her Bubba and Pooh Bear. She's such a sweet baby. She's very quiet most of the time and so well behaved when we're out. We just love her to bits.

I've shared this here before, but I never wanted a girl. Because I'm a girl and I remember what it's like to be a girl and I just didn't want to have to deal with a child going through what I went through. But having a girl is so fun. Having a boy is pretty special, but having a girl is pretty special in a different way I think.

Punkin is growing up too. It's amazing to me sometimes when we're having a conversation that he can actually sit and have that conversation with me. He can tell me about his day and about what he likes and especially about what he doesn't like. It's a fun trip in to his brain.

I'm in school for early childhood education and it's going great so far. I'm really enjoying learning about how my kid works. I don't know that I'll ever really pursue a career in early childhood education, but learning about it is so much fun. It's nice to have something for me.

Austin is traveling like a crazy person with no kids for his comedy. He's gone three weekends in a row in August and I'm already dreading it. I'm proud of him for relentlessly pursuing his passion and making things happen for himself. He's getting paid to do what he loves, so I can't complain too much!

And now here is a lovely picture of my almost grown babies.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Come Back Kid

Hi! I'm still here!

This tax season has been so unbelievably busy. Just ask my very disgruntled husband. I went back to full time in February and since then I've been working nights and weekends whenever I feel like I need to catch up. Which has been often. It's exhausting and I think I've been sick for a month straight now. Between working nights and Skeeter still getting up in the middle of the night to nurse (torture!) my body is protesting.

Punkin turned 3 at the beginning of the month and to celebrate we took the kids to Disney. It was amazing. Punkin had a fantastic time and we had a fantastic time watching him. Skeeter was an absolute doll and besides having to make a quick trip to urgent care for an eye infection, everything went great!

They're both getting so big. Punkin is growing by leaps and bounds. He speaks like a little person now and the terrible three's are upon us! We're still working on potty training, but so far we're at a stalemate. He'll pee in the potty when he feels like it, otherwise he'll just pee in his pants if he's too busy. Don't even think about poop. He absolutely refuses to poop in the potty.

Skeeter is almost a year old! 2 more months and my baby will be a toddler! I can't even believe it. She's so very close to walking. She can stand on her own and it's like you can see the wheels turning in her brain to make herself take a step, but she ends up just falling to her butt. Soon! She's also saying words all over the place: Mama, Dada, Bubba (for Punkin), num num, banana, paw paw, night night...it's like she's picking up a new one every day. She'll be as big as her brother pretty soon, and her brother will be starting kindergarten. Where does the time go?

Austin and I are, of course, getting lost in the children and the general every day mess that is life. It's hard for us to get out at the same time, so I'm really trying to have just us dates at least once a week on the weekends. It's hard to make it happen, but I feel like it's getting more and more important for us to just be us together instead of parents and employees all the time.

Tax season ends April 15th, so I probably won't write again until after then! Here's hoping I survive!