Friday, August 31, 2007

Lunch With The Princesses

Today, we do not have school. Why we are already having a teacher inservice day only seven days after school came into session is beyond me, but, hey, I don't make the schedule. I volunteered to keep Princess W at our house so Her Highness would have someone to pal around with and so that her folks wouldn't have to pay for a sitter.

Things were going well so RxMan (who is on vacation for a week) and I decided to take Her Highness, PW and The Conqueror out for lunch and errand running. We opted for Pizza Hut because of the speediness of its buffet and casual atmosphere that is conducive to a hollering nearly eight month old.

It was actually a pretty nice lunch. TC behaved and thoroughly enjoyed the mac 'n cheese, the pizza was good and so were the princesses. RxMan and I were surprised by how much both girls ate. HH ate 3 slices and had pudding, breadsticks, strawberries and wafer cookies. PW ate 4 slices and had lots of the other things on the buffet that HH did, too. I remarked to RxMan that PW ate more than I did but thought little of it because she is a big girl with a big appetite.

Next, we slid through Starbucks. I am totally addicted to the Raspberry Mocha right now since I have discovered that my consumption of chocolate doesn't affect TC anymore (Holla!). I usually get HH a kid's hot chocolate because, hey, even little princesses should get to experience the deliciousness and decadence that is Starbucks. HH said she was too full but PW wanted one so RxMan obliged.

The last stop was my school; classes begin Tuesday and I needed to get my books. I was in the bookstore for maybe 5 minutes and came back out to discover PW and HH out of the car, resting on the curb. I was suspicious immediately.

Turns out that PW had overindulged. The four slices, 6 breadsticks, 2 cinna-sticks, pudding, 5 strawberries and various other foods did not sit well in her delicate system. Her tummy hurt. Real bad, she said. She thought she was going to puke. Sigh.

I mean, c'mon. Can she not, at seven, figure out when she is full? Her parents do not eat out often with her but I know that it is not something that she does so rarely that she has to eat like it is the last meal she will have this month. Well, she never did puke. Thank heavens.

I am not a very nurturing person. I don't come from nurturing people. My mom was not the one who sat with you and rubbed your back while you vomited. She did not put cool cloths on your head and bring you ginger ale. She told you there was 7 Up in the fridge and to clean up your mess when you were through. What could she do, really? So, the idea of having to love on some one else's kid was not even a little appealing to me. Particularly because she did it to herself by acting like a hog.

So, that is a lesson: don't take kids to a buffet if they have impulse control issues.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I have an awful time ending relationships. For instance, relationships with hairdressers. Beauticians. Hair stylists. Whatever. These relationships are based on finances so one would think it would be easy to just stop seeing this person. But, for me and many that I know, that is not the case. The lady (Mollie) who does my hair is someone very close to me. I have known her for many years and see her outside of the salon on a regular basis. This poses quite a problem because I would really like to "see" someone else. But, if I do, this person will know because, as I said, I see her often. And, believe me, she is the type who would confront me as to who cut my hair. In fact, she has in the past.

My neighbor/friend is a stylist, too. She is young and cute and hip and I really like her hair and the styles that she gives others that I know. But, she works at the same salon as Mollie. Oy. My stylist is older and gives me the same style every time despite being asked/begged/instructed to do something else. Now, she does a fine job and I love the color that we have finally agreed on but, every now and then, you just need to mix things up, y'know?

My neighbor, Andrea, started cutting Her Highness's hair about a year and a half ago. Mollie noticed and mentioned it to me and to Andrea. I knew that she was unhappy and insulted and paid for it with the wrong color the next time I saw her. So, I am desperate to have Andrea do my hair but am afraid of insulting Mollie. So, I stay.

I also just broke it off with HH's dance studio, which she has attended since she was two. They have moved several times and are now half an hour away from my home and it has become too difficult and time consuming to go there. I wanted to make this break last year but didn't have the balls to do so; however, with The Conqueror in our lives, I was more motivated. So, I did not attend registration. Simple enough, right?

Wrong. The owner of the studio called me! To see if I had forgotten about registration! Yikes! Well, I had just (and I mean within 15 minutes of her call) spoken to another teacher and arranged to begin lessons at her studio. So, I dodged the call. (I know, I suck.) I am not good at saying no and if I had answered the phone, HH would probably be taking lessons at both studios! And then RxMan would not be happy!

I did muster enough courage to call and leave a message (smack in the middle of the day, when I knew she was probably working) that HH would not be attending her studio this year. I thanked her profusely for the call and for "everything" and explained that it was just too far. I felt relieved for a while. Now, I just feel guilty. Logically, I know that they are not really going to miss us but I feel like they were really counting on my $50 a month and they have watched HH grow up and are always very nice about scheduling on convenient days and times. Sigh.

All of this guilt makes me wonder if I am Catholic.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Potty Training

Obviously, Her Highness is already potty trained. At seven, that goes without saying, right? Well, I ran across this and freaked out a little. Can you imagine beginning potty training at birth? C'mon. Doesn't seem possible to me.

Now, I am all for potty training. I am not one of those who believes in child-guided potty training. For one, diapers are expensive, particularly as the child gets older and bigger and there are fewer in each package. Two, I think it is our job as parents to help our child learn to do these things, like use a fork, spoon, knife and go potty in the potty.

Not to say that my potty training resume is flawless. It so isn't. HH did great with peeing in the potty and was trained in that respect by, oh, I think it was 2 years and 2 months. Pooping was a completely different story. Yeah, that was a freakin' nightmare. For some reason, she was afraid to go #2 in the toilet. Don't ask me why because I have no idea.

So, until she was a month or so over age 3, she pooped in a diaper or her panties. Nasty. Now, HH was eating the same foods that you and I eat so you get an idea of what we dealt with everyday when this happened. Ugh, I am shuddering at the memory.

I am hoping that The Conqueror will not get sucked into the pooping in his diapie trap that HH did. I don't really know how I started that so I am unsure as to how to prevent it but I am very determined that when he is around two and we begin the incessant "Do you have to go potty?" that that will mean #1 and #2. Keep your fingers crossed.

So, to any tree huggers out there who are willing to try to train their infant to go pee on command in order to save the world or bond, good luck. My gas guzzling SUV and I wish you all the best.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Santa Question

"Mommy, is Santa real?"

This is the question I have been dreading since RxMan and I decided to pass off the lie that is Santa to Her Highness years ago. I had said as a young person (pre-children, of course) that I wasn't going to do this whole Santa Claus nonsense to my children because it is a lie and I remember being crushed when I discovered my folks putting gifts under our tree as a very young five year old. Of course, that all dissolved. There is just something magical about the idea of a fat elf and some talking reindeer flying around and leaving gifts under your tree, y'know? It is such a fleeting time before they are onto you and demanding to accompany you while you shop in order to get the "right" gifts.

Her Highness is a bit on the sheltered, naive side. Okay, more than a bit. My childhood was neither sheltered nor naive. My parents were young and wild and I was a great deal too worldly and wise at HH's age. I didn't want that for her; I wanted her to have the childhood that I didn't. I mean, don't we all? Isn't that part of being a parent in America? HH believes everything I say. She trusts that I will not lie to her. That is what made this conversation that occurred last night doubly hard. Not only did I have to decide to tell her the truth or not but I was also deciding whether to blatantly lie to her when she will certainly remember and, inevitably, throw it in my face.

So, we were in the car, which is where many questions that make a parent squirm are posed to me, for some reason. We're just riding along, listening to The Conqueror babble and the radio when she asked.

"Mommy, is Santa real?"

Seriously, my stomach fell through the floor and was run over by the SUV following us. How do I answer this? Do I fess up? She's only seven; is that too young to know? Why the hell do I always get these questions? These are just a few of the million things that I thought in that 3 seconds I had to plan my response.

"Well, HH, do you think he's real?" I decide to answer only what she really wants to know because Dr. Phil says not to give them any more info than they request.

"Yes. See, nobody gets up to eat our cookies in the night and they're always gone in the morning and we don't get up in the night to shop and buy presents so how else would they get there?" Aaahh. Isn't she wonderful? Don't you wish you believed in something that wholly and completely?!

"That's right, HH. In our house, Santa is real." So, yes, I decided to perpetuate the lie. I will answer for that someday. I may even have to pay the therapist for that remark someday. "And, honey, if you believe in Santa, he is real. Don't worry about what the other kids think, okay? It only matters what you know is right, okay?"

"Okay, momma." And, that is exactly what she wanted to hear. Pheww. Dodged one there, didn't I?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

His Pooper's Always Stopped Up

Did that get your attention? Thought it might.

The Conqueror has been fighting constipation since we began solid foods. We have tried adding juice to his diet but can't do it in the volume that he needs (apparently) to, uh, get things moving.

So, I called the Lactation Consultants at the hospital hoping they would have some fabulous insight. Unfortunately, I got the one I don't really care for and she quickly jumped to TC having an anatomical problem that would need surgery. Oh, come on! Just 'cause he can't poop? And she's not even a doc and has never seen him. She also insinuated that he needed to start crawling to lose some weight when I told her he weighed, I guesstimate, about 21#. Nice! So, that was about 10 minutes of my life I won't ever get back.

RxMan laments "why can't our kids poop?" That is kinda true because Her Highness (who had a GREAT day at second grade, thanks for asking) had a good deal of trouble down below as an infant and then a one year old transitioning from formula to cow's milk (ugly, oh, so ugly). Then, as a toddler, she took a stool softener. So, yeah, we've been here before. HH's problems seem to be related to a resolved milk allergy and a poor toddler diet (she was finicky). She's as regular as her daddy now (TMI???)! TC isn't having any dairy so I don't think that is the issue.

So, I resorted to something that many of you will gasp at. Those of you who personally know me will be shocked that I would do something so old school. The youngest of you will not even know what I am talking about. But, before I tell you my secret weapon against constipation, let me assure you it was truly a last resort. We have added "real" veggies, more juice and less food. He is not dehydrated. And, our ped (a wonderful, wonderful doc) says this is okay on occasion. We are using Karo syrup.

My mom and her four siblings took it every day in with their Pet milk and water combo. Check with your folks, they probably did, too. Rest assured, this is not our long term solution because we assume as TC gets more mobile and eats more people food, things will soften up on their own, as it were. But in the meantime, we went old school. Does that make me cool and rebellious?

Yeah, didn't think so.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Magic School Bus

It arrived this morning at 7:57AM. The big, yellow bus came and whisked Her Highness away for her first day of second grade. She awoke at 7:00 to the smell of blueberry muffins and the sound of a sneezing Conqueror. She was happy and excited to go to school. I was excited for her!
She and I went to meet the teacher, as I mentioned here, on Monday night and HH was thrilled that, gasp, she was the very teacher she wanted!? Yay! And, it gets even more exciting, she has a (drumroll please. I know the suspense is killing you but you have to wait just a few more nanoseconds to hear what my seven-year old second grader is thrilled to have) desk! HH has left behind the baby-ish tables of Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade. She. Now. Has. Her. Own. Desk! (Did you feel the earth move just a little around 6:00 Monday evening?) This is a tremendously big step for those of you who are too out of touch with your own inner second grader. Honest.
I remember second grade. Mrs. Huggins was my teacher. She was so scary looking; she had very, very long hair and wore it pulled back in a tight and rather severe looking bun. Despite her witch-like appearance (hey, I was in 2nd grade!), she was a wonderful teacher. I loved her! She was a nature-lover and took our class on long walks in the woods behind the high school. She had eaten rattle snake and brought her camos and hunting rifle to school during deer gun season so she could hunt in those same woods after class (remember, this is pre-Columbine, Jonesboro and the like). We prayed each day before entering the cafeteria. Second grade was wonderful.
Truthfully, though, I loved school. I remember my very first day of kindergarten, which was also my first school bus ride. My mom and grandma (whom we were staying with at the time for some reason not worth mentioning) were going to walk me to the end of the driveway in their (gasp!) bathrobes and I wouldn't allow it. No way, Jose! I didn't want the older kids to see my terribly uncool mom and granny. I was way to cool for that, even at five years old.
HH loves school, too. She woke last night nervous and excited and had trouble going back to sleep; I did this every year of school- even high school. She was excited to wear her new clothes, shoes, undies and backpack. I loved that, too, as a little girl. The first day was always so exciting! The beginning of a whole new year of learning and new friends and growth.
I hope she has a great day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When It Rains...

Can I catch a break??

The Conqueror has been teething for the last two weeks (update: 4 teeth at 7 months, 3 weeks). Finally on Saturday, the fourth tooth broke through and it seemed as if there was light at the end of the fussiness tunnel. He was pretty unhappy Saturday morning but cheered up in the afternoon and was a joy to be around, for a change. Sunday was the same way.

That is when I made a grievous error. Completely disregarding all common sense that a parent of a child with allergies and asthma has(Her Highness has asthma. God willing TC will dodge that bullet.), I spent the day outdoors with him. Now, you may say, what's the big deal? I agree that this is not a big deal for most children. And it may not have been a big deal on Sunday except every dad in our neighborhood was mowing, weed eating and doing yard work in general. So, all of that crap was floating around. To make matters worse, a storm was blowing in and it was windier than normal and the ick in the air was flying here, there and everywhere.

So, TC coughs off and on Sunday night. Not a lot but some sputtering. He sleeps well except for the thunderstorms that woke him and HH up. But he awoke on Monday a bear. A grump. Miserable. Ugh! He sneezed a lot. He sputtered some. Mostly, he cried. All. Day. Long. And it was a very long day.

Of course, this was the day when we could meet HH's second grade teacher. So, I sucked it up and left him for 1 1/2 hours with my parents because HH was afraid he would "embarrass" her. She, who is ever tolerant of him, said, "Gosh, Mommy, I can't wait 'til he goes to bed. He's a crank!" I joked with her about finding a new family for him but she didn't find it funny. And, at the time, I am not sure I was joking.

So, last night brought an awakening only 2 1/2 hours after being put down for the night. He was stuffy and full of, well, snot. We sucked his nose (one of the true awful things about being a parent; this thing is a torture device), nursed and he was down until 5. Then he was upanddownandupanddownandup until 7 AM. He is still sneezy, grumpy, and sputtering a little. Sigh. When it rains, it pours.....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Saint Brooke

It has happened. For the last seven, nearly eight, years, RxMan and I have never really had a babysitter that we could leave Her Highness and, now, The Conqueror with in the evening so we can go places. But, twice now, we have managed to do that and Friday evening was the second time. Can you imagine??? For those of you who have always had this luxury, you cannot understand the elation to be able to leave your home in the twilight hours kidless. It is truly a remarkable experience. I didn't have to be concerned that HH and TC were going to be overly tired and ruin my meal. I knew that they were at home, sleeping and watching High School Musical, 2.

It's not that we didn't ever want to go out without our children. We did. Sometimes desperately so. We, however, didn't have anyone to leave them with. My parents would watch HH (before TC was born) but they go to sleep at 9PM so that makes it difficult to do anything very late and, until the last year or so, HH didn't sleep over anywhere without us.

I know, I know. That is my fault. I took the attachment parenting to the extreme with her. It is not like she slept with us but I couldn't bear the idea of her not being home any more than she could bear being away. This is probably going to be a bit of a problem with TC because he nurses to go to sleep (again, I know that is not good but I'd like to know how not to do this, seiously.) but already he is sleeping much better than HH and he goes down around 7 and sleeps until 4-5AM. He is a good nighttime sleeper.

So, RxMan and I got TC down and left HH with Brooke, a sixteen year old granddaughter of my mom's friend. She is smart, a good student, responsible (has a job at a clothing store) and super nice. We went to dinner and then, fighting sleep, went to Kohl's to kill time before coming home. Yeah, exciting, right? Well, no, but it was nice just to be out amongst adults without our little ones. We don't do bars anymore. Been there done that. And our town doesn't have much of a nightlife outside of that.

I found it rather great just to know we have the ability and option to be able to foray out into the non-kid world. What an adventure! I am postively rubbing my hands together with excitement at the prospect of going out again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Scouting: Redneck Style

Her Highness is a Brownie. I was a Brownie and so was my mom. I remember really digging the times after school when we crafted, sang songs about friendship, snacked and giggled. So, when I learned last fall that there was a troop that she could join, I jumped on the opportunity.

I discovered this particular troop through a mom of a fellow soccer player on HH's team last year and she raved about the troop. She thought the leader was nice and was, overall, pleased with everything that went on. So, because I thought this mom was a nice person, I signed HH up and convinced my neighbor to sign Princess W up, too.

The first meeting was okay. I was alarmed to discover that the leader was a girl I went to high school with and I remembered something about her family living in a school bus. Yes, you did read that correctly. They. Lived. In. A. Bus. Okay, so I brushed that aside, because, hey, my parents weren't exactly model citizens and I don't want to be judged based on their past acts, right? I mean, she was just a kid. So...

The next meeting, another person from my high school turns up. Her name was Wednesday Smith and she was a bit of a hood but since I was trying to be the open-minded mom, I tried to forget that she hung out at the square near my school smoking with all the other scanks. I didn't remind them that we all went to high school together because, uh, my reputation as something of a know-it-all, snob, b. proceeded me, too. So, I am being friendly and nice and then Wednesday turns and smiles at another child sitting near me. She! Had! No! Teeth!

Now, I am only thirty-two. She was a grade ahead of me. This is 2007 (2006, last fall). C'mon, sweetie, ever hear of a dentist??? I had the strongest desire to grab HH and PW and run, not looking back. The girl who used to live in a bus and the woman with no teeth are to be role models for my child? EEEKKK!

Of course, I don't run. How could I? So, I stayed against my better judgment. And it has all been down hill since then.

Some of the highlights- I mean, lowlights:
Our troop was in an annual parade in our small town that celebrates Santa coming to town and the girl were dressed like gingerbread kids. It was not pretty. They looked cute until one of the other moms rubbed foundation for, uh, people of color all over their faces. That made them just look like little dirty-faced poor kids.

We all met at the leader's home to get ready for the parade. She lives in a pretty nice neighborhood; nothing special but nice. That is until her family moved in. They had two cars up on blocks in their drive and a note scotch-taped to the front door telling visitors to remove shoes before entering. Inside was worse. We waited in the basement, which doubled as the master bedroom. There were about 11 kitttens running here, there and pissing everywhere. Trash was heaped on stands, the bed was unmade and laundry covered every surface. Wednesday showed up for this and had car trouble so she was standing in the drive, smoking and swearing about what a day it was. Nice.

Another time, the girls were selling cookies at Wal-Mart and our leader was there in shorts and a tee shirt. In February. She also smoked while the girls tried to peddle their thin mints. Swell.

So, my neighbor and I have been avoiding going to scouts all summer. We duck calls. We ignore messages. We have even found another mother willing to start another troop but first we have to quit the one we're in. Gulp. I'm scared of the redneck Brownie leaders.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Brighter Day

So, as you may have noted from my previous two posts, I am a little on edge lately. Okay, more than a little. I am taking a class that is becoming irritatingly busy, my son has been teething (read: not sleeping well or napping without being held) and I am not sleeping well either. All of these things combined make Toni a very unhappy camper.

It all came to a head last evening when RxMan's co-worker called and asked him to work this coming Sunday. Okay, this is not something that I like to happen anyway but coming off of a weekend where RxMan worked 9-9 Friday, 9-7 Saturday and 10-6 Sunday and The Conqueror's crankiness had reached an all-time high as he cut his third tooth (front upper right), I went ballistic.

My husband's job is a source of conflict between us. He is extremely well-paid for living in the area that we do, and he is very good at what he does; however, he works for an evil, tyrannical company that eats small businesses for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This company, which begins with Wal and ends with Mart, runs our lives. RxMan cannot call off sick. He cannot take a day off because TC or HH is ill or just because he wants to stay home and, oh, paint a room unless he finds coverage for his shift. Now, mind you, he went to college for 5- I mean, 6 (not an honor student)- years and is not just a flunky pushing a broom. Anyway.

I flipped out. I mean I. Flipped. Completely. Out. I used a word that begins with f and ends with k about forty times. I threatened to leave and let him take care of the baby. I threatened divorce. I cried. I shouted. (Don't worry, though, first I sent HH to my room and asked her to turn the TV up loud and shut the door and TC was asleep.) I said I hated the evil empire that he works for and all who work there. I said I didn't sign up for this crap (not really the word but use your imagination), nor did I marry the evil empire 9 years ago and I was tired of taking a backseat to it! And, oh, there was more that I can't remember and cannot print because,hey, this is a mommy blog.

RxMan said I was freaking out and needed meds. (He may be right on the last part.) I said I was going to deck him if he said anything else. Eventually, I calmed down and realized that I had reached my limit. It had been a long, long, lonely weekend and the four walls of our home were closing in on me. The crying and whining from my handsome baby had done me in. And the pesky neighbor kids were just the icing on my cake.

So, the crying and shouting was somewhat cathartic. I slept well and so did The Conqueror. I woke hopeful and feeling positive about the day. Perhaps the boy was going to be back to his pleasant self. And, dare I say it, so far it is true. And not a moment too soon. Phew.

Some People's Kids

So, I don't hate all children. Really, I don't. Even though after the last post, one might be concerned for the welfare of those who reside in my home and around it. Truly, they are safe. I was having a bad couple of minutes when I last posted and all of the children in my 'hood are present and accounted for.

I did, however, have another encounter with yet another of Her Highness's friends on Sunday that made me want to call and rat her out to her dad; I chose not to, though. Her dad, you see, is a spanking daddy- really hard. So, I resisted the urge and just ignored the fact that this Princess called 8 times in a row! Yes, 8! Times! I was nursing an ever cranky Conqueror who is working so, so hard at getting his third tooth (came in Thursday!) in and it is drivin' him and me CRAZY! (Really, I have tried to get RxMan to procur some Xanax but he claims he will get fired for doing so. Likely story!) So, I am ignoring the phone and it eventually stops ringing. Fine.

Then the doorbell starts being punched. Repeatedly. Now, I am getting really pissed. But, I am stuck in a chair with a baby whom I do not want to disturb. So, I ignore the 11 times (!!!) Princess S rings the bell. My blood was boiling by this point and I really wanted to come out and stick the doorbell... well, you know where.

When TC is finally asleep enough to lay down, I grab the phone and find her number on the caller id and call back, set to tell on her and get her in trouble. In the seconds it takes for the phone to dial, I reconsider. As I said, Princess S's dad is a spanker and spanks mostly when angry. An angry dad spanking a tiny 7 year old sounds horrible to me. (I saw this dad (Rock) spank his then 20 month old son too hard for whining once and it broke my ever lovin' heart so much I considered calling Children's Services but RxMan said the boy had it better at home than in foster care and we would have to move, so....) So, I sucked it up and put the phone down. I didn't want to be the reason this child got hit. Sigh.

So, again, I am anxious for school to begin. Not really to get rid of HH but her friends. HH is a huge help with TC and he will miss her terribly.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Countdown: 2 Weeks

School starts in two weeks. Holla!!! Now, I am not normally the mom who is pictured on the Office Depot (Office Max? Staples? you get the picture) commercial joyfully pushing a cart full of school supplies through the store. I don't really mind summer break. Her Highness gets an opportunity to sleep in, thus, I do too. (Well, except The Conqueror doesn't, so...) I enjoy the break from dance lessons, doing homework, etc.

But, I know it is time for school to come back in session because the neighbor kids are driving me freakin' crazy. Perhaps I shouldn't say kids because it is one kid. One of HH's fellow princesses who is a little louder and more rambunctious than the others. She also happens to be the one who is home most often when we are, which, as I've mentioned in the past, is most all of the time.

This child, we'll call her Princess W, is a nice girl. She is funny and silly and a great friend to HH. Her parents are wonderful and welcome HH over anytime. The problem with Princess W is that she is loud and obnoxious. (I know, pot meet kettle.) She laughs loudly. She talks loudly. She even walks loudly. She calls at least 40 times a day and always asks for HH, even if it is just to find out when I am picking her up for swim lessons. She bounces and smiles and giggles. And drives me up a dang wall. The mere presence of this child causes me to get angry. I want to drown her smiling, pleasant, loud body in the pool.

Now, it is not always like this. As mentioned, her parents are great. We have become the greatest of friends. That makes it more troublesome that I fantasize about ending their eldest child's life. She is one of the happiest seven- year olds I know and, quite frankly, her happiness factor pisses me off.

I am not a sunny, glass half empty person. I do not overflow with cheer and smiles and can only handle being around those naturally positive, upbeat folks for a while and then it is grating. She has reached that point and gone a bit over. Sometimes I'd just like to shove this girl down on the cement to wipe her happy expression off of her face. Now, don't worry. I won't hurt her. Promise. I will just try to console myself with the fact that school- glorious school- begins in two weeks and she will be there for 6 1/2 hours a day. Thank God.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Note To Allie....


We have been friends for nearly twenty years now. I value and treasure your friendship in a way that words cannot express and sincerely believe that my feelings are returned. While distance has caused us to see each other and speak less, I still feel a bond with you that is inexplicable. Friendship with you is fun and easy; you can finish my sentences and appreciate that I say "dude" too often and that I still crush on Lance D.

I am concerned for you. As I said in our Friday evening conversation, I want the best for you and I am unsure that Mystery Guy is the "best" for you. I see hurt coming from this relationship.

That being said, I do not want my feelings of concern to impede on our friendship or relative closeness. I wish I was more of a throw caution to the wind person but, alas, I am not. You know that about me. That is why your mom always let you go with me even when you were grounded for all of 1992! I am that conservative, safe, worrying person- for better or worse.

So.... I think of you 1000 times a day. I apologize for not calling and expressing the fact that I do think of you often and love you more than any other friend I have. I feel like we are sisters sometimes. (You got the height, of course.) I should have called. I, however, figured that you didn't want to hear my worries, which could be taken for disapproval.

Do I disapprove? Well, yes. I do. More because of the pain that I think will result from this situation. I sincerely believe that you deserve a man who can give himself to you wholly and without reservation and I don't believe Mystery Guy will ever be that for you.

That, of course, is only my opinion. It is your life. And I so want to remain a part of it. I will only say that I will pray for you and wish you the best. I will not be avoiding you and hope you feel the same. Thank you for reaching out.

I love you.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hard Headed

So, twice this week I have allowed The Conqueror to fall off a chair. Both times he landed right on the tippy top of his head. Once, it was on concrete. That was the first time and I, not surprisingly, freaked. Completely. Out.

RxMan was grilling and TC and I were on the back porch with him, just enjoying (?!) the damp humidity and Ohio heat. As I have at least 50 times in the past, I sat him in a chair and I sat across from him- probably about 5 feet away. I know, I know, too far. And, yes, I know, you are never to leave a baby out of arm's reach. In my defense, I am trying not to smother my son into becoming a wuss and am trying not to worry needlessly about things that are unlikely to happen.

Well, I guess it wasn't so unlikely. 'Cause he did fall. Really, really hard. And he cried- almost as much as I did. I saw it coming and shouted, "No, CONQUEROR, don't move!!" He, however, glanced my way and continued his descent over the edge of the chair. I jumped and grabbed. And missed. He thudded on top of his head and did a flip onto his back. Then I had to decide if I was going to risk breaking his neck by picking him up.

I risked it. His perfect little face was screwed into a mess of shock, pain and tears. Mine was too. RxMan took TC from me and, after a minute or so, the boy was trying to rip Daddy's glasses from his face. I was still sobbing and yelling that I did not want the baby to die.

Good news, though. He is fine and didn't even get a scratch on his hard head.

The second fall was onto carpet so, totally not a big deal. I didn't even call the doctor. Aren't you proud of me? I haven't told Her Highness yet, though, about either fall. She already thinks she can't sleep over anywhere because I am, apparently, incapable of adequately caring for her beloved brother.

Burning Question

So, The Conqueror is seven months old today! Somedays it feels as though he has always been in our lives. Other days, I am still forgetting to sign his name on greeting cards. As he slowly approaches that one year mark, the burning question is often posed: "So, Toni, are you having more?" I vehemently answer, "NO! This child is killing me!"

But how do you really know if you are done having children? My friend, Allie, once told me that when she could hold a baby and not wish it were hers was a sign. My friend Steph says that she would still love to have a baby and that The Conqueror makes her feel squishy inside but she wants independence from her own two girls more than a baby (I should mention, too, that Steph and her husband are still on the fence about a third- well, the hubby is). My other friend Andrea and my SIL (who went the medical route to guarantee they were done) dealt with it in numbers: "Well, I've got two healthy ones of my own, how many more could one person want?"

Can I 100% percent say I am definitely done having children? No. But, I can say with 85% certainty that I am done. I, unlike some, detest being pregnant. I am not cute. I do not glow. I sweat. And puke. And swell. And have to do crappy tests like pee in a bucket for 24 hours (I know, ew, gross!). I can never get enough rest. And I am scared of my OB; it is like going to the principal's office- you know, in elementary school when he still seems like a prison warden.

Would I love to have another child? Yes. I would love to have another daughter (whom I would name Grace, without question). As much as I love The Conqueror, I think there is something magical about girls. Maybe it is the bows, ribbons, mary janes and dresses. Maybe it is the fact that, in my family, the most sought after organ is the penis and the birth of my brother was hailed as if The Messiah had been born once more.

The problem with having another child is that I don't desire to be pregnant, have surgery and go through the first 6-8 weeks of breastfeeding again. Oh, I know that formula is okay but because RxMan and I have crappy genes, bfing is the only way for our kids to have a fighting shot at a not quite miserable childhood. (I am definitely not a breastfeeding nazi. To each her own.)

So, until RxMan and I get $30K, which is the approximate cost of adopting a child from China, that we don't need for anything else, we are a two child family. I am completely okay with that. I was absolutely fine with Her Highness being an only child if God chose not to bless us with TC.

So, to answer your question, no, we are not having any more children. Probably....I think.....More likely than not....