Thursday, January 28, 2010

Elyse the Destroyer

Elyse is rough on, well, everything. Her path of destruction is wide and far reaching, and her choice of victims is completely random. She's like a tornado that was let loose in a trailer park; some trailers sit completely untouched, while others end up in a cow pasture thirty miles from home. She is also quick which means that she can draw on the walls, knock over every surrounding picture frame, and completely dismantle your car’s engine in the time that it takes you to turn your back and answer the phone. I’ve witnessed it happen.

She has drawn on the walls with colored pencil and crayon. Books and papers are no match for her. She seems to only have to think about it and she can level a block building that Aaron has poured his heart and soul into in less than half a second. Do we even need to revisit the Christmas Tree Debacle of 2009?

Yesterday was no exception. 2:00 PM rolled around like it always does and she was showing signs of needing a nap. So I scooped her up and took Princess to her room to retire for the afternoon. But like usual, I no sooner closed the door behind me when I could hear her whooping it up. I figured that she would get it all out of he system and eventually give in to the sleepies and so I went back down to the family room to help Aaron with his latest Play Doh masterpiece; a mess that has yet to be cleaned up.

She seemed to be making more noise than usual, but she wasn’t crying or screaming so I was alright with whatever was taking place out of my sight. Things eventually got quiet and before I knew it, it was time to get her back up. When I walked into her room, she was already awake and sitting in her lap was the lamp from her nightstand and all around her were shards of broken light bulb. I don’t know how she managed to keep from getting cut. I don’t know if she actually dozed off in the middle of all of that wreckage. I am not sure if she broke it soon after I left her, or if it was more recent. All that I knew for sure was that I had to get her out of there and figure out how I was going to clean up the aftermath. I had no idea that one little 60 watt bulb could break into SO many pieces. About ten minutes later, I felt confident that I had gotten everything and then Mike changed the sheet before she went to bed later that night.

In the entire time that she was in her room, I never heard a sound that would indicate serious destruction. I am so glad that she managed not to cut herself, and as you well know, I have seen much, much worse in that crib post nap time. Short of removing everything in my house and wrapping the walls with padding or keeping her in a straight jacket, there seems to be nothing that I can do to keep this girl from terrorizing our house. I can only imagine what she has in store for us next. As long as she doesn’t end up in hand cuffs on the evening news I suppose that we will be able to handle it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

As You May Have Noticed...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, internets of all ages, behold my new blog layout!

Ta Da!

It’s not perfect yet as you may have noticed that my title is just a little longer than the space provided, but I’m telling you, after the incredible mental anguish and excessive emotional snacking, I am glad that I have found something that I am happy to unveil. Originally I wanted something a little splashier. Something that left no question that this blog is about motherhood, and kids, and poo, please let’s not forget about the poo. I even tried to design my own label for the header, cause I can draw a little and stuff, but finally I decided that I would just go with a template because I didn’t want Mike to have to commit me so close to our anniversary.

I have learned quite a bit about myself during this very short period of editing time…I don’t like HTML…I will never have a career in web design…I have an uncanny ability to find pornography even when Googling something as completely innocent as Elmo.

So this is the new Motherhood: Don’t Believe the Hype. I hope that you like it cause it’s gonna look like this for quite some time. The best part is that against all odds, I did it all by myself. I was starting to get so desperate that I almost had to ask Mike for help which would have meant that I would have had to admit that he knows more about something than I do. And there was no way that I could have done that because he is only allowed one of those moments a year and dude, it’s only January.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Change is Rough...Especially When You Have No Clue What You Are Doing

I am currently in the process of updating my blog to make it a little more exciting.  As I am completely computer/internet/HTML illiterate, this may take some time, so please excuse all of the template changes and updates until I figure out what in the world I am doing.

Thanks for your patience!

If I Worried About Sharing Too Much Information, I’d Have Nothing to Write About

Ordinarily, on a regular day to day basis, I am a fairly pleasant person. (Michael, no scoffing or giggling) I believe that I have a good sense of humor, I handle the stresses of motherhood well, meaning that I haven’t killed anyone or gone missing for an extended period of time, and I enjoy a variety of activities that make me a hoot to be around.

When I say ordinarily, I mean for a good three weeks out of the month, but on the fourth week, oh the fourth week, there is a malfunction in the hormone sector and I become a raving, psychotic, lunatic with an unusually intense desire for all things sweet and sugary. I find most everything and most everyone irritating and annoying, and my eyes are drawn to every mess, crumb, and disorganized catastrophe within a twenty-four mile radius. On top of all of that, my mind races with endless projects and ideas, solutions and complications, until I am so flustered that I have no choice but to eat chocolate in all of its many forms.

I know that I have been challenging lately, but it’s not my fault. I plead innocent by reason of insanity because when I am dealing with THIS week, I have no control over who I am or how I feel. I don’t want to feel like a maniacal cyborg that wigs out when Aaron uses a green crayon to color Cookie Monster and then threatens to turn my cat Bella into a pair of furry mittens if she meows one more nails on a chalk board kind of annoying meow, but I do and I can’t help it. How am I supposed to act rationally when a typical thought pattern goes something like this:

“When is Aaron’s next doctor’s appointment? It’s been a long time since I organized the spice cabinet. If we remodeled the basement, I could put an office back in this space and everything would always be in order. Chocolate. I think that I want to knit an afghan. My babies are growing up so fast! Barney is a real asshole. Ice cream. I need a hair cut.”

Now you tell me, how am I supposed to be rational with that much crap running through my brain? It’s a wonder I can even dress myself in the morning.

To make matters even worse, Aaron and I seem to be hormonally connected because when I am experiencing the monthly frustrations and irritations that come with being a woman, he seems to get in touch with his feminine side and becomes just as pissy as I am; sometimes even more so. He and I are usually at each other’s throats by week’s end and we seem to be able to push each other’s buttons like nobody’s business. As soon as I feel better, he goes back to being only moderately difficult, but until then our house is like a war zone.

Thankfully, I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t think that it will be much longer until I am back to feeling like my usual cheerful self; Aaron too for that matter. Until then, you can email Mike your sympathies and condolences. On second thought…I’m the one that is really suffering here. Send me cake.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Elyse's Ear Update and Aaron's Five Year Well-Check

So Aaron had his five year well-check the other day and while we were there I checked to see if the doctor had Elyse's CAT scan report yet.  It showed that there are no tumors or anything that will need to be surgically removed, but she does have a lot of fluid in that ear, though the fluid seems unrelated to the spot.  The fluid could be cold related or she could potentially require a tube in that ear to help drain the fluid.  All of this is based on what our pediatrician had to say, but we won't know for sure until we see the specialist next month.  So thank you for all of your good thoughts and prayers, and thank God that it seems to be nothing more than a birth mark.

As for Aaron and his well-check...He is Super Boy.  He is forty-three pounds of pure muscle and with the exception of a very picky diet, he is super duper healthy.  The doctor asked Aaron what his favorite vegetables were and he clarified that chicken nuggets were NOT a vegetable.  He was all up-to-date on his shots which meant, to his GREAT relief, that he did not require any at that visit.  After his appointment, I took him for a celebratory doughnut which he thought was a fantastic idea.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why I Haven’t Posted In A Long Time…A Really Long Time…A Really, Really Long Time

So yeah, um, I haven’t posted in ten days. Not that I believe that I have this HUGE fan base that has been waiting with baited breath for my latest thoughts, I just feel like a giant loser for having nothing to say for so long. Well, that’s not exactly true. I do feel like a loser for not posting, but there has been a ton of stuff going on that has kept me from sitting down to lay in all out there. Here are a few things of note:

Aaron turned five on the 11th. F-I-V-E! My baby is growing up and is going to leave me. So, as I try to do every birthday, I went to great lengths to make his day special and show him just how much we love him…despite it all. Elyse and I ran around picking up balloons and ice cream and other birthday paraphernalia while he was in school for the morning. When we got home from shopping, I got to work on his birthday cake.

When their birthdays fall on a day separate from their party, I like to make them a special, homemade cake. This year, Aaron wanted a Scooby Doo birthday and what is more Scooby Doo than the Mystery Machine. So I channeled my inner Duff, and went to work replicating the Mystery Machine. It took two 9x13 Fun Fetti cakes, three huge cans of icing, a whole lot of food coloring, and three hours, but I created what I thought was a pretty close match to the Mystery Machine, if I do say so myself. What do you think?

When Aaron saw it he was SOOoooooo excited and he said, “Mom, it’s just what the Mystery machine should look like!” That made it all worth it. He was so proud of it that he took everyone into the kitchen to see it as soon as they walked through the door.

His party wasn’t until that Saturday and so I had a whole week of procrastinating work before the big day. Little by little, it all came together, and when we put it all out on Saturday, I thought that we had done a pretty good job.

After everyone ate, we had a real mystery for the kids to solve. They ran around the parish hall looking for clues with their magnifying glasses in order to find the “Creeper” that stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Five clues later, they found the mystery man who turned out to be Mike. He even said, “And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

Soon after, the party was over and everyone went home. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and I chalked up another birthday success.

Besides the crazy birthday stuff, another reason that I have been MIA is that I have been completely stupid for about two weeks now. Like, “do you have your head up your butt” kind of stupid. I was pumping gas last week and after I pulled out of the station and got back on the highway I heard a thump sound. I looked in the side mirror and realized that the thump was the door to the gas thingy (I am so dumb right now I can’t even think of the right description for it) and the gas cap was hanging out of the now closed door. I pumped the gas…put the pump back…and that was it. Oh well, at least I remembered to remove the pump right?

This past Tuesday, Elyse had her CAT scan for the spot on her ear drum. She had to be sedated and at times, I wished that I could have been. She looked adorable in her hospital gown and booties and she sat there in her bed as good as gold coloring a picture of a castle. I couldn’t get over how well behaved she was.

Just before they gave her the IV, the nurse gave her a sedative to help her relax. About ten minutes after it was administered, she looked over at me with these glassy eyes and laughed and laughed and laughed. My nineteen month old was completely wasted. She was cracking me up because she was so wobbly and she thought that EVEYTHING was funny. She reminded me of me after a few notorious steak fry nights, but that’s a whole other story.

Anyway, the IV was a nightmare. They had a really hard time getting it in and it took two IV therapists and about a half an hour to actually get one placed. When it was finally done she kept saying, “I sleep, I sleep,” but she couldn’t get comfortable. Because she was to be sedated, she wasn’t allowed to eat after midnight and she couldn’t drink anything past 7:00 AM. She asked me for a snack once earlier that morning, and I of course had to tell her no. Then after the IV was done, she asked for her cup. I told her that she couldn’t have it and she said in a very sad voice, “No snack….No cup.” It about broke my heart.

Just after 9:00AM, they took her back for the CAT scan which only took about twenty minutes and then she went to recovery for a while. By 11:30 AM we were all back home and the whole thing was over. Now we just have to wait on results which I just no are going to be fine.

Yesterday, I finally broke down and took my cat Hailey to the vet. We have been wanting to get her looked at for a while because her weight is a little out of control, but we kept putting it off. Then, for reasons that I am going to spare you from reading, I thought that she had an anal gland infection and I finally broke down and made the appointment. When we got there, the nurse told me to put her on the scale, carrier and all, and that she would weigh the carrier separate when we took her out for the exam. I put her on the scale and the numbers started jumping around like she was on the Biggest Loser when they finally stopped on 30lbs. Sure that was cat and carrier, but that carrier ain’t that big. After they weighed the carrier, it turned out that Hailey made up 23.3lbs of the total 30lbs. She should weigh more like 12lbs.

As it turns out, she does not have an infection, but she is fat and we have put her on a new canned cat food diet. We have to take her to the vet every couple of weeks to monitor her progress.

So that’s what I have been doing for the last ten days; Aaron turned 5, I planned a kick ass party, I got stupid, and my cat is fat. So how are things in your neck of the woods?

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Day That Aaron was Born

On the night of January 10, 2005, somewhere around 10:00 PM, I went to bed knowing that the next twenty-four hours were going to contain within them the most significant moments of my entire life. By this time the next night, provided that all went well, I would be a new mother. I was thirty-eight weeks pregnant and I was scheduled to have my labor induced at 6:30 AM the next morning. I knew that in order to have the strength that I was going to need for the next day, I would need to get a good night’s sleep, but my mind raced with thoughts of what the day would be like and of the little boy that I was about to meet.

I lay there with my hand on my belly as I did every night since the first time that I felt him move, enjoying his kicks and flips; trying to savor that feeling for the last night. This had been a wonderful pregnancy with absolutely no complications. I had enjoyed every single moment of the last nine months and I was actually a little sad that it was almost over. But those feelings were quickly replaced with an excitement that I could barely contain as I thought about what it would be like to hold my newborn son.

I was awake well before the alarm, and decided that it was time to get ready for the hospital. I was showered, dressed, and sitting on the couch when Mike came out of our bedroom to start getting ready. I was wearing jeans and my favorite yellow maternity shirt. I don’t know why I remember that, but I can see it all as clearly as if I am looking at myself in the mirror. As soon as Mike was ready, we headed out of the door into the bitter-cold morning air of January to begin the journey that would make us parents. I remember how clear the night sky was and how bright the stars were shining. We pulled out of the driveway husband and wife, but would come back home a mom and a dad.

We made it to the hospital and headed back to Labor and Delivery where I told the nurse my name and explained that we were there to have our baby. We were going to have a baby. I was going to be in labor and I was going to give birth to a perfect little bundle that was going to be half me and half Mike, and I would have everything in life that I had ever wanted. 

We were taken back to our room where I changed into a gown and got into bed so that they could start my IV. My doctor came in to break my water and start the Pitocin to get things moving. The nurse asked me if I was going to want an epidural, but I was all, “Oh no, I want to do this without drugs.” I really had no intention of getting any kind of pain relief because I really wanted to do it all completely natural like my Mom had done with the three of us girls. So the nurse smiled and said that if I thought that I would want one to just let the front desk know.

Now I had never really had any contractions during the end of my pregnancy and I was really unsure of what to expect. At the very beginning I thought, “Wow, um OK, I think I can handle this,” but that shaky confidence was short lived as about a half an hour in I started getting slammed with contractions one on top of another with hardly a moment to catch my breath. There was no gradual increase in intensity or frequency. One minute I was pretty comfortable, and the next I was in agony. I barely had time to get used to what a contraction was like before I was completely bombarded with them.

It was just after 7:00 AM when I told Mike to let the nurses know that I was going to need the epidural. Yep, I didn't even make it a whole hour before I was screaming for relief.  So much for the all-natural birth.  Anyway, it was after 8:00 AM that the anesthesiologist strolled through my door. By that time I was borderline hysterical and was begging for the torture to end. Once the epidural was in place though, I think that my head barely hit the pillow when the pain was finally gone. That anesthesiologist was my new hero and best friend.

After that, things progressed pretty quickly considering that this was my first baby. It was just before 3:00 PM when the nurse said that it was time to start pushing. The waiting room was overflowing with family anticipating the arrival of its newest member, and I pushed. Nurses came in and out of my room bringing in instruments and equipment, and I pushed. One push went into the next while time continued to pass still without a baby, and still I continued to push. I pushed constantly for over an hour and a half when somewhere around 4:30 PM my doctor finally made an appearance. She had me push just twice with her when she said, “Well, you can do this for another hour or I can give you a c-section now.” Are you insane lady? I have been pushing almost continuously for more than an hour and a half with just about no progress and you are asking me if I would rather be tortured for ANOTHER hour or make it all end now? Uh, yeah, give me the scalpel and I'll do it myself!

She tried to persuade my family to convince me not to go through with the surgery, but by then I was so exhausted that nothing anyone could have said or done would have changed my mind. I still tried to push all the way up until they wheeled me back to the OR around 5:00 PM. I don’t remember a whole lot once we were in there. I know I was freaked out that they would start before Mike had a chance to change and get in there, but he made it and things got underway. I remember feeling some tugging, and watching the masked faces of all of the people that were there when all of a sudden the room got quiet and then, at 5:46 PM I heard the most beautiful sound God has ever created; I heard my baby cry for the first time. I looked over to my left, and a nurse was holding him up for me to see, and he was gorgeous; 7lbs, 12oz, 20 ½ inches long.

We hadn’t decided on a name before he was born, but we had several that we liked. We knew that when we saw him we would know his name. As soon as that nurse held him up, we looked at each other and said, “He’s an Aaron.”


That was five years ago today.  Five whole years.  In a way it seems like so much longer than that, and yet in another I feel like it was just yesterday.  Happy 5th birthday Sweetie!  Thank you so much for making me a mommy.  I don't think that you will ever know how completely you have changed my life.  We love you so much and hope that you have a wonderful day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm Hungry and Diets Suck

Well, the holidays are over, the tree is down, and my Christmas cookie stash is long gone which means that I am officially back on the diet wagon once again. It’s a rather uncomfortable wagon with hard wooden seats that give me splinters in my tushy and there is absolutely no leg room, as there are two other passengers crammed inside with me. One is evil and tempts me with every sweet and decadence west of the Mississippi while the other is Jillian Michaels who will smack the hell out of me just for thinking about snacking or missing a workout.

I know that I shouldn’t really consider it a diet, but more of a life style change, blah, blah, blah. I’m hungry damn it. It’s not that I want to be able to scarf down all kinds of junk food all the live long day, although that would be fun too. I just want to be able to eat sensible things when I want to without constantly thinking about calorie content and how long I will have to punish myself on the treadmill if I go over my daily caloric limit. Plus, I don’t handle hunger well and it is making me a little, let’s say crabby.

I only have roughly fifteen to twenty pounds left to lose before I can just maintain my weight. Fifteen would make my driver’s license weight accurate for the first time in, well, ever, and twenty would put me at my official “healthy” weight as determined by the BMI charts. You should hear menacing, evil music in your head every time you read the word “charts” because I believe that they were created by a legion of insane health nuts whose sole mission in life is to make everyone else in the entire world loathe themselves and feel like fat, worthless blobs like the human characters in WALL-E who were so fat that they couldn’t walk and could only get around on their little floaty chair things.

I know that I just need to embrace the misery of the first week of dieting in order to get back into a healthy routine, and leave all of those pesky unhealthy habits in the dust. It will and does get easier the longer I stick with it and pretty soon it will once again feel like second nature. I also know that the changes I am making are not only good for me, but are also making an impact on the kids. Aaron is all about working out and the other day while I was running on the treadmill, he ran back and forth the length of the basement over and over again. I was on the treadmill for an hour and he was in constant motion almost the entire time.

So I guess that I had better start enjoying the view from my bumpy wagon seat because I plan on riding it all the way to the finish line. I bet that Jillian and I can jump the evil tempter guy and heave him off of the wagon so that we have a little more room to stretch out. On second thought, with the extra space she’d probably have me doing walking push-ups and other torturous workout moves which would mean that I would eventually have to toss her too, and I’m not ready to tangle with Jillian. That bitch is hard core.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Just Want to Kiss It and Make It Go Away

Last night, when I went in to check on Elyse before Mike and I went to bed, I couldn’t help but to linger there just a little longer than normal. She always looks so sweet and peaceful in those late hours, all curled up with her “mankie,” but last night, watching her sleep in the dark of her room made me tear up and I felt like my heart could explode with the love that I have for that baby girl.

You see, yesterday Elyse had to see a pediatric ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist. When she was six months old, I took her to our regular pediatrician for what I expected was an ear infection. When he examined her, he found that she did have an infection, but he noticed something else too. It seemed that she had a small red spot inside her left ear on her eardrum. He didn’t think that it was anything to be concerned about, and said that we would just keep an eye on it to be sure that it didn’t change drastically. But about six months later, when nothing had changed, but it still hadn’t gone away, he decided that she should see an ENT just to be on the safe side.

That doctor, though he hadn’t seen anything like this before either, also felt that it was nothing more than probably a birthmark that would go away with time, but he too wanted to monitor it. When we went last week for another follow-up, he decided that maybe it was time to check with a pediatric ENT who might have seen this type of thing before, and so yesterday we went to see the specialist.

I was absolutely sick with scenarios of how this appointment would go. I was terrified that he would take one look in her ear and give us the “this isn’t good” look. I don’t know what I would do if there was something drastically wrong with her, and I can’t fathom what it would be like to be a parent who does get that look from the doctor. But after he examined her, he assured us that this, like everyone else has said, is probably nothing more than a birthmark.  He does, however, want her to have a CAT scan early next week just to be sure that there isn’t anything behind the eardrum that would be causing the red spot, like a cyst or something.

While we still aren’t 100% sure that this really is nothing, every fiber in my being tells me that she will be ok. She has never had any hearing problems and the initial ear infection that revealed the spot has been her only infection. If this were something more major, I just feel that she would be showing more symptoms.

So please keep our baby girl in your thoughts and prayers, because she has been the answer to mine.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Parable of the Awkward Parenting Moment

Do you know how you can tell that you are about to experience a really horrifying, awkward parenting moment? You don’t know. That’s what makes it so horrifying and awkward. If only kids were like Tivo, then you could press their pause button until you figured out how to handle the situation. Plus, if they were really like Tivo, you would have gotten a message in your “messages” folder with a subject that would have read, “Awkward Parenting Moment Ahead…Avoid Your Child for the Next Hour.” Incident averted.

But kids are NOT like Tivo.

This afternoon, as Mike was getting Aaron ready to go outside to play in the snow and I stood at our desk trying to file a heap of paper work, Aaron hit us with the question that we have been dreading since the day that we saw the two pink lines appear on the little stick. They were just about to go outside when Aaron said, “Wait, I have a question. How do babies get born?” Really? That’s your question? Now? On your way out the door to play in the snow you want to know where babies come from? Wouldn’t you rather hear about why it snows?

Mike’s response was, “Uhhhhhhhhhh what do you mean?” My response was to quickly turn around so that I could hide my giant grin and uncontrollable giggles, as I was getting much enjoyment out of the fact that it was Mike who was thrown the question.

Aaron continued to explain what he was asking while Mike continued to try to answer Aaron with a series of questions that might throw the kid off and thus put an end to his awkward misery. Even though I was enjoying their give and take on the subject, my mind raced frantically trying to produce an answer that would appease Aaron without providing too much detail. Anytime that I have read about how to handle this conversation, the articles always say to answer honestly with enough facts to answer the question, but without more information than the child is actually wanting. There’s no need to get all birds and bees if you don’t have too, right?

As I began to realize that it is possible to have a thousand thoughts run through your mind without actually having one cohesive thought…it happened. Mike said, “I don’t know Mommy. What do you think?”

Oh, so that’s how it feels to be thrown under a bus. I always wondered. Thanks Honey!

So, I came up with an explanation that included God and the fact that all mommies have eggs in their bellies where the baby is placed and grows until it is time to come out. All true. No lies. Nothing lame about a stork or anything. He had a few more questions for clarity sake, but then he moved on and headed outside with Mike to play.

Here’s the deal…I really hate how we handled that situation. I always knew that someday that question would be raised, and I put a lot of thought into what I might say when that time came, but I never had a concrete answer ready. For me, I am just not comfortable with laying out the whole process to my four year old; five year old in one more week. I just don’t think that he needs all of the “mechanical” details right now, but I do wish that I had a response ready for him that was much less Bueller…Bueller...Anyone?

I know that there are many parents out there that wouldn’t think twice about explaining the baby-making process in its entirety, but here in the Hicks household we prefer the more conservative, less is more approach to these kinds of questions. I wish that we had been more ready to answer Aaron, but I think the answer that we I provided was sufficient given his age. He seemed happy with the explanation, but knowing Aaron as well as I do, if he has any more follow-up questions, he won’t hesitate to ask. And if he does, I will try my best to give him as much information as I feel is appropriate for his age.

So boys and girls, the morale of the story is when your son or daughter comes to you with a question that paralyzes you like a deer in head lights, you can count on your husband to heave you right into the oncoming car to save his own deer ass.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The First Aaronisms of 2010

While out on a hike with his Daddy:

Aaron: Did somebody build that waterfall with a bulldozer?
Mike: No, God put it there. And he put these trees here too.
Aaron: Did God build those houses?
Mike: No, but houses are made out of wood and where does wood come from?
Aaron: Lowes?

When Aaron and Mike go on their hikes, they like to take "talkie walks" to talk back and forth to each other.

Aaron doesn't use Q-tips in his ears.  He uses "those white ear picker things."

On our way back from the mall:
Aaron:  Mom, do you know what Aunt G's favorite elf is on Snow White?
Me:  You mean dwarf?
Aaron:  No, elf.  G's favorite elf is "Sophie."
Me:  You mean that G's favorite DWARF is DOPEY?
Aaron:  Dopey?  That elf is Sophie.

And round and round we went.

On yet another car ride home:
Aaron:  Let's drive home past where you and Daddy used to live.
Me:  Well, Mommy didn't live with Daddy when he was in the apartment.  We weren't married then.  I visited Daddy, but I didn't live there.
Aaron:  Where did you live?
Me:  With Grandma Rose and Pack Jack.

-moment of quiet-

Aaron:  Mom?
Me:  Yes, Aaron?
Aaron:  Did you live on the roof of Daddy's apartment?
Me:  ?!?!?!?!  Um, no.  I lived with Grandma and Pack.
Aaron:  (laughing) Oh yeah.  Don't tell Daddy I said that.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

There’s something so refreshing and wonderful about ringing in a new year. The world gets a clean slate and all of the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s of the outgoing year are in the past while the incoming year is alive with possibilities and promise.

I have always been a resolution maker, but typically whatever grand idea that I have had for a life-altering, year-long change goes out the window less than a week after making the pledge. What can I say? I’m weak in the will power department, but something miraculous happened last year; something wonderful and stupendous and fantastic. I actually kept a resolution which was to lose weight and get back into a shape other than round. I lost 55lbs and started running again. Two days ago, I ran six miles. SIX!

With the success of last year still dancing triumphantly in my head, I decided that if I can lose 55lbs, then there isn’t anything that I can’t do and so I began thinking about other areas that could use some attention. The level of their significance varies greatly, but they are all things that I think could use some tweaking. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Resolution #1: The Pop Elimination Application

Hello, my name is Amy and I am addicted to pop. I love pop. I could drink it all the live long day. It tastes wonderful with everything and as an added bonus, incase you weren’t aware, it has CAFFINE; glorious, wonderful, caffeine. When I reach mid afternoon and begin to feel my energy level wane, the first thing that comes to mind is pop. If I eat anything even mildly sweet, I want to drink a pop with it. Pop goes with pizza like Laverne goes with Shirley. If I could put pop in my morning bowl of Oatmeal Squares cereal I totally…well, ok, I wouldn’t actually do that, but the point is that I love it.

Unfortunately, pop is really bad for you, especially diet which is what I prefer to drink. I overheard a greeter guy at Applebee’s the other day talking about pop and how, “That stuff will kill ya. Especially diet.” I know, I know, but it’s soooooo good.

I know realistically that I will never be able to give up pop forever, but I definitely need to start cutting back. I am challenging myself to give up pop completely for one month and after that, only drink it occasionally. I am getting the shakes just thinking about the impending caffeine withdrawl.

Resolution #2: The Can’t We All Get Along Endeavor

I want to spend less time screaming at the kids and more time enjoying them even when they are driving me completely insane and the only way to get through it is to go to my happy place where I escape to a far away island where cookies grow on trees and there is an enchanted waterfall that overflows with Pepsi. This all boils down to patience and the fact that mine has been worn very thin as of late. I think that it is because I expect too much of them and I often forget that Aaron is only almost five and Elyse is just nineteen months. I need to be more laid back and let the cards fall where they may. It never fails that my worst days with the kids are the ones when I feel like I have a million things to do and stress over getting them all done. In truth, as long as we all have at least one clean pair of underwear and we are not swimming through piles of filth, everything will and generally does get done at some point. Not always in my timetable, but it does get done.

I need to learn to let go of the frivolous and appreciate the now. There will be time enough to clean the house, but the kids are only going to be this age once. I will never remember how often I was able to Clorox the toilet, but I will never forget the afternoons that Aaron helped me make dinner or the hours that Elyse and I spend playing with baby dolls.

Resolution #3: The Ducks in a Row Undertaking

While I know that in order to be successful with Resolution #2, I am going to need to chill out a bit, I also know that I am not a person who tolerates disorder and chaos well. This year I want to try to tackle some of the areas that cause me the most distress, and once and for all get a handle on them. This is probably a little like shoveling the sidewalk in the middle of a blizzard, but I feel that the success of Resolution #2 is directly related to the success of Resolution #3. And if both #2 and #3 fail, then I am going to throw my hands in the air, wallow in my failure as a human being, and drown my sorrows in a case of diet Pepsi. You’re nothing without a plan.

So there they are…The things that I want to work on this year. They all seem doable and not at all as scary as last year’s resolution to lose weight.

More than anything, I hope that 2010 will continue to find us healthy and happy.

Happy New Year everybody and good luck on all of your resolutions!