Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kitty Go House!

I bought Fin a pad for his kennel today. It's getting colder, and he tends to make a lot of noise overnight tossing around on the plastic tray. Now that he seems pretty well house broken, I thought, sure, give him a little comfort, right? Well, it seems somebody else has decided he needs a cushy bed too. Go figure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creepy Overnight Giggles

Last night at about 1am I herd rather hysterical laughter from Elliot's room. It was the kind of laughing that torturous amounts of tickling bring - laughter that's almost crying, and a little hard to distinguish. So I wasn't so sure when I first heard it that he wasn't crying.

He's done this before, laughing in his sleep, but not like this. It went on, sporadically, for about 5 minutes. Eventually it reached a level where I convinced myself that it was not laughing, it MUST be crying, because seriously, what's that funny when you're asleep?

I went into his room, and he had kicked off the blankets and he was staring at the ceiling shrieking. "I'm a terrible mom!" I thought, having let him lay there miserable, thinking he was laughing, and I rushed to scoop him up.

As I got closer, I could see he was beaming. The smile on his face was absurdly huge. No - not a bad mom, then. He *was* laughing.

But then I started to worry that this was some kind of seizure. He's had a fever on and off the last few days, and maybe this is some kind of bizarre, laughing bug. And I thought about how completely ridiculous I'd be rushing him in to the emergency room because of uncontrollable laughing. Not that the ER nurses wouldn't have loved telling *that* story... but I was barely able to walk from room to room, much less safely drive anywhere with him.

So instead I brought him in to bed with me. He continued laughing on and off another 10 minutes before settling down, and slept quietly - but fitfully - the rest of the night. Meaning he was quiet, but he kicked me. A lot. All night.

So today, I really wish he could talk so maybe he'd share the joke, and I'd have something to laugh about too, because mostly I'm exhausted, sleepy, and cranky today.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Better First

Here's our first (yes, implying that there could be a tradition in the works) Monkey Pumpkin! Hooray!

I used my "Mood-O-Meter" monkey as a loose guide, and tried to give him just a *little* creepy. I'm thrilled that I was accused of using a template (Thanks, Brad!). I hope he makes it till Halloween - don't know how fast Jack O'Lanterns decay.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Every Day Something New!

Today's first, you ask? Stepping in doggy poo! Hooray for new experiences.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Morning Blues

So last night while I was berating you for not reading (when it was my own fault, i know, for not writing) my roof was leaking. Karma? Maybe.

But still, I wasn't that harsh, and this is the NEW roof - the one that's only been up there a little over a week.

(weird. I'm suddenly craving a soft pretzel with cinnamon and sugar.. huh. And i'm NOT at the mall.)

Right. The roof. Leaking. You can get the details at FulcrumMonkey. The short version:

2:00am DripDripDripDrip
2:10am Text to roofer, sopping of water with towels
8:00am Text from roofer "be there asap"
11:45am (ASAP?) Roofers arrive, inspect, and determine it's "fine"
12:00pm I send them back for another look, because, well, there's rain in my house.
12:15pm Roofers re-caulk and leave, saying they'll be back if it leaks again
12:20pm Text job manager. Not happily.
12:25pm Callback from manager. Sincere apologies. Promises to fix any damage, make sure all is done right. More apologies.
12:45pm Blog
12:51pm Deep Breath, and off to pick up Boo. Need a little dose of happy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seriously? 2? Come on, people.

So I'm checking stat counter, and there's been lots of traffic lately. I've been all happy about that because I feel warm and fuzzy when I think you like my stories. And knowing somebody's listening? That totally rocks.

Then suddenly today there are 2 of you - TWO! - who've checked in.


Yesterday - 60. six zero. A lot more than two. And yesterday, some of you even came back for seconds!

Now - 2.

I'll admit it. Today - not nearly as exciting a day as days past, but still, I expect more of you, oh Blog-o-sphere.

Just for that, I'm going to make you wait till tomorrow for the story of the birthday cupcakes. So there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday Burgers

Birthday Boy!

Fries (crispy treats)

Burgers (cupcakes)

Little People Language

We had a little adventure today, and a lesson in communication as well.

Elliot had his two year checkup today. Except for his continued insistence not to talk, he seems healthy and developmentally on track, so the visit was mostly good. The doctor does want to have him screened by a speech therapist, which I'm all for, so they had to do a hearing test. He liked it, and when it was done, he signed for more. Kinda ironic - kinda.

Anyway then he had to get shots, which sucked. But I'm pro immunization, so what ccan you do?

He was a very good boy at the doctor's, and was brave even tho the whole staff was wearing (rather creepy) germ masks. I understand why, but seriously, it creeped *me* out a bit, so I'm sure the kids were loving it. Like the pediatrician isn't scary enough...

So after, we went to the park. It's so pretty out today - maybe for the last time. We were playing on the really cool little kis playground at Carondolet, and Elliot met a little boy, maybe 5 years old, crossing the swing bridge. They looked at each other, and Elliot started chatting.

"Eeee eeh eeehhh ha ee," he said, and banged on the bridge. Then he said "Aaah ah eeeeh hmmm." and nodded his head a few times.

The other boy was watching politely, and when Elliot paused, he looked up at me. I said, "He's trying to tell you about something, but he doesn't know how to talk yet."

The other kid said "Oh. I know what he said."

Wha? Seriously? I was a little taken aback, and wondered about the possibility that children DO in fact have abilities to communicate that we know nothing about. Nah. Surely he was just a polite boy playing along...

Curious, I asked the boy what he thought Elliot said.

"Oh. We have the same shoes. See? Only mine are dirtier."

And they did. I'd gotten Elliot a new pair of shoes recently, and it seems his parents shop at Target too, because there they were - same shoes, different size.

The boy also told me all about the coast guard, and said I could drive the rescue boat, but he was flying the helicopter.

So there ya go - that is today's really cool encounter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleeping in Again

Well - I think I may have to start setting an alarm.

No, wait, I really don't need to. Actually, I may just need to work on my self discipline. Because the dog makes quite an effective alarm, in fact, and goes off every morning at 7am sharp.

But lately, Elliot does not. And can I tell you just how hard it is for me to get up and start my busy day when he's still asleep? I can? Oh. Ok. It's very very hard. He's there all snuggled up in bed, and I'm sure as heck not going to be the only one in the house with cold feet on the floor. Fin doesn't count - he has fur. And you better believe Ajax is still curled up in the blankies.

Yep. We slept till almost 9. And this the day before the Incredible Shrinking Party. Well, we're up now, and I'm off to do the laundry.

Have I mentioned Elliot has favorite movies?? Bolt and Cinderella. AND he now shakes his head no and nods yes. Still not talking, but we'll check in with the Dr. about that Wednesday.

Right. Laundry.

But you should be impressed i've managed to type this much while supporting a standing, squirming TWO YEAR OLD!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tossing Guilt

So I've been going through trying to clean for the party for the last week or so. In the process, sometimes I come across things I meant to do, and didn't. Things left undone, and I can't go back and do them now.

Today I found a stack of 20 thank you cards from Karl's funeral. I'd made a list of people I had to acknowledge, and slowly went through, able to do 5 or 6 cards in a sitting before breaking down. There were, I'm grateful to say, a LOT of cards to be sent. Unfortunately, I ran out of motivation? stamina? time? before I ran out of cards. Then they got buried under the masses of stuff.

Once, a few months after Karl died, I found this same stack, only bigger. I felt terrible that I'd forgotten them, and vowed to finish this time. I sent out a few more cards, but not all of them. It was still hard to write the words - to brush against those raw memories, barely healing. So I let the chaos take the rest of the pile again.

Today, when I found them, I felt terrible again. Then, I made a decision. I recycled them.

Perhaps a late thank you is better than none, but I have to believe you can forgive me, and I have to forgive myself, for not getting them all out. I'm done with feeling guilty about anything to do with Karl's death. I'm doing my best, and it just has to be enough for all of us.

While we're on the subject, I have to tell you that I mean to call more often - I do! - but maybe you don't know that I'm actually quite phobic about the phone. Ask my mom about the time she tried to get me to order a pizza. Actually, don't. It's not a good story for either of us. Let's just say that making phone calls is always a little traumatic for me, and maybe you should know that, so you know when I do call, well, it's more effort than you might think.

And I do beat myself up about it, but I think maybe I'm done with that too.

So here's hoping Earth Circle takes more than paper, glass, and plastic this week. I'm going to let them have a little something that wasn't on their list, and I'm not even going to rinse it out first.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Photoshop just crashed. Hadn't done much that I lost, but it had been running a long time. We'll see how it holds up.

Boo's napping. I'm supposed to be cleaning, but instead still working on the redesign. Perhaps this is a sign that i need to get back to working on the house, but you know, nothing motivates you to do things you've been putting off like the opportunity to procrastinate from something more important!

Go, design!

New design in progress. Woot!

I've been meaning to put together a more fitting design for some time, and am finally getting around to it. I'm still having to use a pre-fab template, but as i get back up to speed on dreamweaver, I hope to get a little more fancy. For now, at least it looks a little less out of the box. Hooray!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two years ago...

Dear Elliot,

Saturday, October 13, 2007 was supposed to be your birthday. A pressure system went through and made everybody in St. Louis go into labor that day, and I was no exception. At about 10am, I was sitting in the basement spinning some kool-aid dyed wool when suddenly, undeniably, my water broke. Which is a nicer thing to say than my pants got soaked and I went scurrying to the bathroom with liquid gushing out of me.

I know - right? Eeew.

Your dad was about to sit down and grade papers. Seriously, I think that was a first - he actually had organized piles stacked on the dining room table, and he had a plan. He hated grading, so he was that much more excited when I announced that we had to go. Now.

We were both a little in shock, and a little panicky, but we made it to the car - me wrapped in towels and trying to find a comfortable way to sit without ruining the upholstery, your dad driving too fast and grinning ear to ear.

We checked in to the hospital around 10:30. When we'd pulled up, a man had been wheeling away an empty wheelchair - the only one in sight - and we flagged him down and convinced him we needed it more than he did. We'd taken a class about a month before you were born, and so we knew where to go, and off we went.

Your dad had already called half the people in the midwest between getting in the car and the time we got to our room, so we'd only been there a few minutes - just long enough for me to change into my hospital gown - when people started to arrive. Grandma and Grandpa, MawMaw and PawPaw, Uncle Brad, Auntie Beth, and Auntie Vanessa all hung out and watched Mommy labor.

I don't remember all of it, only bits and pieces. We were so excited, and everybody was impatient to meet you, but you weren't in any hurry, so the Doctors decided to help things along with a Petosin drip. Everything was easy till that kicked in, then I started to put Daddy to work massaging my back, neck, and hands as my body tried to shrink down to the size of a marble, thus evicting you from your cozy home.

What followed was a lot of joy. I can't imagine a room more full of love, hope, and expectation. We were getting so close! Contractions were only a few minutes apart. It was late in the afternoon, but we knew it wouldn't be much longer.

Then, a switch on the Petosin machine popped. We looked at it curiously, and soon the nure came in with some bad news. The staff, already overwhelmed with too many patients, had to deal with two emergency c-sections, and anybody who could wait would just have to wait. That meant no inducing drugs, so we hit a stand still. The contractions slowed, and we waited.

I don't know if it was an hour, or two, or more. It's hard to remember now. However long it was, it was exhausting and frustrating. When they came back to turn the drip on, and the pain started again, it was like starting all over from the beginning. I was tired, and afraid I wouldn't have the energy for delivery, so when they offered, I gladly took the epidural. We sent our family out in the waiting room, and the anesthesiologist came in.

For me, that was the scariest part of labor, and the most painful. I tried to relax, but couldn't, and I felt the needle go in. I thought maybe I had made a mistake, that this was worse than labor, but then, after two contractions that I was sure would make me pass out but for the adrenaline, it all went away. I could breathe and relax, and soon I fell asleep.

I remember people coming into the room quietly now and then to check on me, and I think I slept about 3 hours. It was almost midnight. The nurse came to check on us, and she said I was ready - we could transition to the delivery part of this adventure.

I psyched myself up for battle while your father rushed out to give a status update. The nurses had me do a little test push, and sure enough, there you were - ready for the world.

The doctor came in, along with about 600 other people. They encouraged me and gave me some last minute instructions, like "Push REALLY hard!" and we were off. The first contraction came, and the doctor said everything looked great, and she started setting up her baby-catching gear. One of the nurses grabbed my left knee and tried to put it behind my ear as she told me to bear down through a contraction. Everybody in the room cheered, and told me to push harder. The doctor joked with the nurses about not getting her dirty, they were all a little slap happy after what had been almost 24 hours straight of deliveries. We were the last, and the doctor was clearly relieved.

She was turned away when another contraction started. "Should I push?" I asked. I could tell you were ready to get out of there, so she said yes, and I pushed. Hard.

She turned just in time to see that you were on your way out. "Stop. Pushing. Right. Now." She barked. I did, and just tried to breathe, and out you came - tiny and perfect. She had me catch you myself - not something I'd planned, but I'm so glad she did. "Reach down," she said, "He's right there - reach down and get him."

12:46am, Sunday, October 14, 2007.

Not more than 5 pushes, and there you were, in my arms. That moment when you were born I reached down for you, and brought you up toward my face, and you looked right in my eyes, and you smiled. I may have been delirious, and may not, but I swear you did. And maybe it was because you'd left a trail of poop all across my thigh and probably on the doctor's shoes as well, but smile you did. Those 600 nurses made quick work of the cleanup, and soon you, your daddy, and I were alone in the room with each other - bewildered and amazed and overwhelmed and proud and so so happy.

We've been through a lot since then, but even at the worst moment - when we lost your dad - the happiness from that day has carried me. Your smile is the light of my life, and fills me with joy.

I love you so much, boo.

One day, I hope you'll show more enthusiasm about getting a cupcake for breakfast, and I hope you have fun today.

Happy Birthday.

Love always,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sleep or Blog

Not exactly the same devastating question as "Cake or Death," but a struggle nonetheless.

I've posted to FulcrumMonkey tonight, so you can check in with me there. But I thought I might throw a little graphic fun your way here too. So here you go - catch!