Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Playground

I went to the playground today. It was my idea. In fact, I have been to a playground more than several times over the past two weeks or so. But today, it was legit...the big time playground. As I pulled up, several dozen mini-vans, SUVs and station wagons lined the street outside the parking lot, meaning only one thing...I would be walking into what used to be one of my biggest nightmares... a bunch of stay at home moms and screaming children.

I pulled into the lot, and surprisingly enough, I found a front row spot. The girls jumped from the car and bolted into the playground...before i was able to give my speech about child molesters and random wild animals who prey on children who are not in close proximity of humans over 5 feet tall.

I unclipped the baby from her car seat, managed to grab my iced coffee, sippy cut and bag of fast food that I had grabbed for a healthy lunch and proceeded into the play area.

As usual, I neglected to remember that this was a donated playground for the handicapped that relies on donations to run. Embarrassed (however not enough to go back to my car) I reached into my pocket, took out an invisible couple of bucks and quickly motioned into the bucket so as to look like I was donating..just in care all the professional SAHMS were looking at me. ( i know, I know...oooo..ahhh...what a horrible little woman) anyway.

I as I chose my bench, I was at the very least, concerned that I could see the kids regardless of where there were in the park. I don't know who I was kidding...I knew I would be more interested in conversing with my girlfriends who were meeting there as well.

The first of the friends arrived. She brought with her a gaggle of children. One of which was a bit older, and seemed bored to be at a playground. Perfect for me..."Would you like to watch my baby?" I already knew she would be more than willing- I was her age once and I know what little girls that age like...kissing boys...err.. I mean babies..yeah..babies. And I was right on...see ya! Em looked a bit scared that I was sending her off with a complete stranger, but I really didn't care. Umm...I mean I cared... And I kissed her and hugged her and told her mommy would be right here for her. And I checked on her often.

I looked around. There were strollers, and moby wraps, and woman chasing their kids all over the place. I quite enjoy people watching and this was the most entertainment I had gotten all week. I mean really, I can watch my kids anytime...but this was a real treat.

I enjoy the hairstyles. Its rare to see a mom on the playground who has brushed, or better yet "blown out" their coif. Many don messy ponytails or half-buns. I prefer the tight pony with a headband to ward off flyaways. There are quite a few hats....not sun, or derby style, either.

T-shits and their husbands over sized sweatshirts seem to be the top of choice. I on the other hand, go in the opposite direction...and don a shirt that could be Ava's...too small I am sure.

Pants...Capris are the pant of choice for the playground mom. I guess because at this time of year, our legs are too white, too hairy, for shorts. Sweatpants are a good option as well... I prefer the latter....yes, even in public.

There was one mother there...who, from the back, didn't l00k half bad. That was, until she turned around. Baby in stroller....toddler in hand. And there it was. On a playground..with a hundred + kids. A t-shirt that donned the phrase "I used to be F*CKING IDIOT, But then we broke up". WHAAATT??? Maybe you or friends can't, but a lot of these kids can READ!!!
Although appalled, my 7 yr old was a bit amused (by the bad word). Not good.

I watched as nervous moms chased the little ones in a frantic hurry... "where is (insert ridiculous name here) have you seen (insert another ridiculous name here)?" Maybe if you gave your kid a name that wouldn't ensure her a spot on the stripper pole, or front row at the gay pride parade (not that there's anything wrong with that) your kid wouldn't be hiding in the Koi pond.

I think however, the best part of the visit was the announcement that came over the loud speaker " WOULD THE NURSE WHO HELPED THE WOMAN WHO PASSED OUT ON THE PLAYGROUND PLEASE COME TO THE OFFICE".

That tickled my fancy. I only wished I had seen it. It wasn't that hot...I can only imagine that she took a little too much of her kids ADD medication.

As my visit was cut short by a call from my mom needing a ride from the airport, I gave one last scope around the grounds. A sigh followed by the thought " I am so lucky to be able to stay home with my babies, and take them to the playground, zoo, or wherever"

(what i really thought was " Wonder who will go out with me tomorrow night..I need to blow out my hair, but a nice outfit on and have a couple of cocktails") Call me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fever and Chills and Dead Birds, OH MY

I almost died last night...well at least that's the what is felt like. I was at Ava's softball game until about 7:30. It was cold. So when I got home and was still freezing, I assumed it was a lingering chill from being outside. I lay on the couch, covered in a snuggie, with a hot coffee until about 10pm. I had a sore throat as well...which had progressively gotten worse as the night went on. I scooped up the baby and proceeded to my bed...something I rarely do before 11pm.

Within about an hour, my throat had begun to swell...I didn't realize this until I tried to swallow, and there was so little room in my throat, that I had to force it down with a hard gulp. This in turn made me pee a little bit. (child bearing occupational hazard #53)

Next came the cold shivers. I was shaking so badly the entire bed was vibrating. I knew I had a fever as well. I was sweating along with the cold shakes. My entire body ached. Emma was laying aside me and I knew she was due to get up for her hourly dose of boob. I didn't feel like it.
Every so often, during the night, she begins the ritual "" her mouth opens and her heads begins to shake back and forth looking for her fix.

I lay there, thinking about baby they chirp for their mothers to drop food into their tiny beaks. I started thinking that I would rather forage for worms than nurse this kid all night in my condition.

I needed to get up and find a thermometer....just to see HOW sick I was. I couldn't get myself up. Finally, I had to pee so badly. The walk to my bathroom is amount 10 feet and another 5 or so to the toilet. I barely made it. My body was weak and I felt delirious.

I made a pitstop at the closery and found a thermometer. Not the one I wanted, however. This was a rectal thermometer. I pondered the ramifications of using a rectal thermometer in my mouth and decided I didn't care. I mean, how bad could infant fecal matter be (?) This thermometer was not like a normal one. It is short, and round. The part that gets inserted is only about an inch and a half long (which is clearly ingenious of the manufacturer). I quickly learned that what is good for the butt is not good for the mouth. (clearly a line you have NEVER heard before). It was difficult to keep the little metal tip under my tongue without holding the round end firmly in my hands. As I sat on the toilet, I noticed the toilet paper had somehow made it to the floor. I had to reach for it and somehow keep the thermometer in my mouth. I grasped the bulbous part with my teeth and held on tight...this nearly gagged me.

It worked and the beep went off. It read 102.3. I wasn't sure if if it were accurate so I mustered up the energy to grab the laptop and google "oral temperature with rectal thermometer". Hard to believe there was nothing on the subject.

Back to bed I went, this time wrapped in my biggest, warmest robe. It is now about 2am. I was still freezing. I had started thinking that this is why God gave us mothers. I needed someone to rub my hair. Bring my water to keep me hydrated. Put two little white pills in my hands and tell me it will be alright.

Just then, I heard the pitter patter of little feet. Per usual, Liza was on her way to my room. "Liza...liza..are you awake? I am very sick and I need medicine". She looked at me with crazy eyes and mentioned something about oatmeal. She was sleep- walking so I let her be. She crawled into my bed. Great.

I lay there, still delirious. It's funny what the mind thinks of as you lay in the night, alone, sick. I thought about writing an autobiographical book about all the people who screwed me over in I would detail every little horrible thing about them. The evil thoughts that were rushing throught my brain were hardly recognizable as I am normally such a good, Christian person. (smile). I even came up with my pen name. (which I cannot divulge at this time as I may just write this book someday)

At one point, i was concerned that the heat from my head was going to melt the red plastic container I was laying in. I must have been half asleep/half awake at this point.

As Emma awoke AGAIN, I came up with an idea which I lovingly names MY BREASTEST NIGHT NURSE. I wanted to make a simulated boob. It would have straps that went around baby's head, but not so tight that she couldn't take it off. But then, I would need a body seeing as though she likes to pinch, scratch and slap me as she nurses. So, I decided I needed something like a raw chicken (ever pinch the skin on a chicken? I think that's what my chest skin must feel like to her). So obviously, the fake boob would have to be attached to a body. It just got worse from there...I began thinking about clothes it would wear, perfume so that it smelled like me. I began formulating a list in my head, of all the smart people I knew who could help.....

I needed to sleep. I was going crazy in my own head. I began to whisper out loud the things I was thinking.

It was almost 4am and i think my fever broke. I was able to get out of bed and make the journey downstairs for motrin, throat drops, and a drink.

I finally fell asleep only to be awakend 2.5 hours later to Ava screaming at the end of my bed...

"MOM...MOM...there is a giant dead bird on your floor!!!!!"
FML. "Grab the paper towels honey and cover it up unitl your dad gets home"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Bulimic House

If you really want to get a good grasp on who you really a dumpster and take a good hard look at all the shit you have. I binge and purge...not food...material items. I buyeth and I throweth away. (and by throweth away, I mean shove it in my basement)

I decided that I needed to clear out some of the clutter around here. So, I called the dumpster rental company. A nice woman named Angie returned my call. I told her my dilemma...that I had to clean out my basement, or move. You see, I accidentally got pregnant and had this baby....but I'm its ok. I only have a three bedroom house and I have 4 children, one of which is a teenage boy. My baby sleeps in a closet. But its a nice closet. It has a chandelier. Technically its not really a closet anymore...its a closery. You know, a closet slash nursery...closery...get it? She seemed annoyed and asked "what size do you need?" I replied "I don't know, what are my choices?" She stated..."a ten yard, fifteen yard, or thirty yard".

OK, you re going to have to be more specific because I have no idea how to conceptualize those sizes. My last yard was pretty small, but the yard in my new house is pretty big. I heard a dial tone. I think we were disconnected. I called back. Angie? Angie please, I watched "Hoarders-Buried Alive" last night and I think I may actually be a few pairs of curtains away from these people! She asked me what kind of things I had to throw away, and after listing a couple, she advised that I get the biggest dumpster they had.

The dumpster arrived. It was big...really big. A nice, but extremely hairy and smelly man guided it and strategically set it at the end of my driveway, in front of my garage. He glanced in and made a crack about the dumpster possibly being too small...OK, smart you go.

I could hardly wait. Dave happened to be home, so he began with the big stuff. I couldn't help at the time because I was tending to Emma...who is nearly impossible for me to escape from. I watched from the window in anticipation as pieces of crap from my past were tossed overboard like a mafia snitch. I had no problem until I had a problem. I started to have a little anxiety...I started to realize that I needed a lot of the stuff I saw going in the big red steel monster, which, right before my eyes, was eating the very objects that had been a part of my life. My first couch. My first bed. Matt's first bed. Matt's second bed. Three coffee tables, two end tables, etc. Dave! Dave! Are you sure that's no good? Wait! Wait! Take that out! I can sell that! I can sell that too!

I can see the frustration in his eyes. He coins the phrase of the day "its moldy". How can everything I question be moldy? He attempts to calm me down. Jen, you wanted the dumpster. It cost $410. We are getting rid of everything just like YOU said. "Ok,'re right"... I concede.

As he proceeded to empty the garage and basement, I figured I would hit the various junk drawers and cabinets. Its amazing what you can actually find. Apparently, I am one of those people who throws things anywhere out of sight in anticipation of company. Some of the items were just plain odd. There was at least one ziploc baggie of tampons in every drawer. There were playing cards, (incomplete). Flash cards, old maid, and uno seemed to be the most prevalent. And lastly, pizza shop in almost every drawer. I purged and purged. Noone looking in my draweres would think me a hemopheliac-agoraphobic.

My food cupboard, which also housed a ton of backpacks, broken picture frames and various other miscellaneous items also felt the wrath of my decluttering frenzy. I became a little obsessive and began organizing the food by colored labels, box sizes, food category. If it didn't fit, or look right, I threw it away. ( I know, that was extremely ungreen of me...not to mention there are starving kids in Africa...but lets face it, I wasn't going to box it up and sent it to Africa, right?)

Ahh..things were shaping up. At the end of day 1 we filled that dumpster almost 90%. It looked as if my material past which had been digested by my house was regurgitated into a giant red bedpan.

As I lay in bed, feeling well accomplished, I began to think about the two pretty blue with pink flowers duvets I saw in the dumpster. I was being haunted by them. What else was in there that shouldn't be?

I decided I would sneak in and take a peak first thing in the morning. Dave was again home, doing more work in the basement. I scaled the side of the dumpster like Spiderman would have. I leaned in and began the task of moving things around. I think the duvets were further I am sure a lot of other good things were. I hurled my good leg (the one NOT damaged by my degenerate disc) over the side and shimmied into the dumpster. (This would be completely disgusting and an all time low for me if it werent on my own property...and full of my own junk).

One small thing after another, I hurled out of the dumpster, saving each little memory within an inch of its life. Uh oh, I hear someone coming. I crouched down and remained silent. I am not one of those women who is afraid of her husband...but I didn't want to seem beaten by my hoarding tendencies...and I had made this man work his ass off throwing these things i had a little guilt.

Whoosh....a garbage bad came flying at didn't hit me, but it startled me and I screamed just a bit. "Mommy?" I heard calling.

Ugh....these little bastards will rat me out in a minute. In the lowest and raspiest voice I could muster, I replied: "grr....I ain't your mommy...I needed some clothes and shelter cause I ain't go no place to go....I'm homeless"

I kept my head down..."mommy...we see you..what are you doing in there?". I looked up and there were my girls...looking at their mommy knee deep in her own a giant red garbage can.

"haha! Just teasing with you girls. I, umm, I thought I would take some of these things that aren't so bad, and donate them to the less fortunate then us".

The stuff I had thrown out of the dumpster was later boxed up and taped. We put a giant label on it and with black permanent marker, labeled it "AFRICA". (and yes, that box's fate was similar to that dog or cat that your dad told you he was taking to the "farm" where it could have a better life when you were a kid).

S0, as rotten as I sometimes am, I am actually not...because I taught a couple of future adult citizens of the world an important social lesson. You can thank me later.

(oh, and just so you don't think I am a total AH...I DID donate approximately 25 bags of clothing to Big Sisters)