Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What NOT To Say To Your Wife If You Want To Get Lucky

Kellan selected this post of mine to share with her readers on her new site, On The Flipside. Many of you have already weighed in on this topic, but please go over and help welcome Kellan to her second and newest blogging venture!


My husband and I were in bed.

The lights were dim. The tv was off.

He leaned over and started trying to feel me up kissing me.

A moment later, he pulled back, gazed lovingly into my eyes and said," You smell like chicken."


"Cooked chicken." He is puzzled by my horror. "That's a good thing!"

Yeah, not for you, buddy....

Guess who brushed his teeth and used Listerine before bedtime for nothing????

Monday, July 28, 2008

Snakes, Snails and Pony Tails

AFF answered my plea for blogging topics a few weeks ago with the question "what do you think the difference is raising girls vs boys?" As a mom of an 8 year old girl and a nearly 19 month old boy, I can certainly say that there are differences although I know so many of you, who have more children than I, would be much more qualified to answer.

In my experience, though, the differences are quite surprising and typical of what you would probably expect. My daughter was/is quiet, polite and sweet. She is obedient and kind. So far, my son is none of these things.

When Claire was a toddler, a firm "no" and a disapproving glance often stopped her cold. If I raised my voice or said her full name? Oh, my goodness, she would wail. She liked hats, dresses and hated bugs. She truly was sugar and spice but perfect? No. She whined. All. The. Time. I understand language development and that she didn't have the words but good gawd could that child whine...She whined so much I taught her to go to her room while she whined and cried unless there was a good reason for it- of course, she was more like 2-3 when that was enforced.

Liam, though, eats ants. He climbs things. He is covered in bruises and I find myself explaining to people that he is just busy and I am not a child abuser, despite the temptation. He doesn't whine unless he is ill or sleepy. Tantrums, though, are monumental. And I do mean the throw himself on the ground and have a royal fit kind of tantrum. He loves to be outside and into things and is always busy.

So, for me, my kids fall into stereotypical roles. Did I encourage them? Of course sociologist and behaviorists would say yes but I think Liam was just born more aggressive than Claire. He speaks louder and is more physical than she ever was. Claire has a very nurturing personality and is nice and always has been.

With Liam, I find that I have to raise my voice louder and more often than I ever have with Claire; she was more responsive to a verbal cue. He needs removed and touched to be signaled that his behavior is inappropriate. I am told by others that this is just "being a boy."

I have been told that boys are more difficult in the early ages and girls more so in the teen years. For me, I have a feeling this is going to hold true because Claire has been a real breeze to date but Liam kicks my ass every day.

To be honest, I was disappointed that I was having a son when we discovered that we were at 18 weeks. You see, I liked buying dresses and hats and ruffly socks. The boys clothing department is smaller than my closet and how many pairs of navy shorts can one kid have? But, I feel really badly now for my early disappointment because that little ant eating, cat chasing, stinky boy? He loves me so completely and differently than Claire (a daddy's girl from her first breath) did at this age. And I adore him too. There really is something magical about the relationship between a boy and his momma.....

I just hope that this special relationship doesn't translate into trouble when he starts dating because I don't want to be that MIL. You know, like mine. And hers. And hers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Young Is Too Young?

There is a situation in my neighborhood that is causing me some alarm- not a great amount of alarm but enough that I find it somewhat troubling so I am turning to the smartest ladies I know to see if I am being a little too....well, too Toni.

My neighbors have three children: an 8 year old (Rachel), a 4 year old (Caleb) and a 20 month old (Sadie). Rachel and Claire are good buddies. Rachel lives with her dad and stepmom and Caleb and Sadie are their children. Capisce?

Well, the dad, who I'll call Steve, is a nut about his yard. I mean, a crazy man. He mows several times a week and doesn't like for the kids to play in any area that is not outfitted with play equipment because it smushes the grass. (Honestly. This is not a lie.)

Steve's wife, Amy, a hair stylist, works every other Saturday, thus leaving the kids alone with Steve. This is where Steve's lawn obsession becomes my problem. Steve mows while leaving the 8 year old in charge of the 4 year old and, worse, toddler Sadie. Now, as a SAHM, I get that sometimes things need to be done and when you have an older, more responsible child, they can really fill a void. There are many, many occasions where Claire has to step up and help with Liam. I get that.

She distracts him while I pee. She takes him to the basement while I make dinner (remember I am not a cook so this is usually a microwave warm up of leftovers) but never is she in charge of him for any more than a short while. I just don't see this as her job or responsibility and she is only 8!

A few weeks ago, Steve mowed (twice, as is protocol and takes about 2 1/2 hours) and then cleaned gutters, power washed the house and sprayed weed killer on every weed lining the street in our neighborhood (again, not a lie.) and this took a total of about 6 hours. I know this because we were outside the majority of that time.

While Steve was doing all this, Rachel watched, changed, fed and entertained Sadie. Claire and a couple other neighborhood girls played for a while but, once I realized Rachel was the one in charge, I insisted Claire return home. Rachel eventually had to take Sadie inside the house as it was really hot and the baby was cranky; a neighborhood girl accompanied her. I felt uneasy about this girl going inside alone with Sadie and Rachel because I am good friends with her mom and it made me uncomfortable to think of two 8 year olds watching a young toddler. I chose to butt out.

Well, of course, Sadie got into markers and marked all over herself and a wall. When Steve learned of this, he freaked. He screamed (according to the other girl in the house) at both 8 year olds and grounded Rachel from the computer (where she and her friend were playing and NOT watching the tot) for life! and made her clean the mess.

So, now I don't know how to handle this. I don't want to cause trouble but I am uncomfortable with letting Claire play at their home when the mom is out. I feel that Rachel has way too much responsibility at too young an age. Am I completely overreacting by making the rule that Claire may not, under any circumstance, be alone inside with Rachel and Sadie?

Is this just me being irrational and over the top, or not? At what age is it appropriate for an older sibling to watch a little one? I babysat at 11 but I was a strangely mature 11. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two vs. One

When I implored for questions and motivations to help get me through the summer blogging slump, wright helped out with "What is the best part about having two kids? What's the hardest? Another one: What's you opinion on swim lessons? We just started (Baby Girl just turned one) and I'm not sure what to think of them or what to expect to get out of it."

The best part about having two children, so far, is seeing them interact together. Granted, Claire is 8 and Liam is nearing 19 months so their interactions are quite different, as you know, than a four and 2 year old but it has been a real joy to watch my daughter be a big sister. She helps out in a myriad of ways and is actually capable of "watching" him, while I am very nearby of course. Liam adores his sister and she him. He still calls her "mommy" and, in many ways, she is as much a young, more fun mom than I am.

The reason RxMan and I decided to go ahead and jump into this parenting gig again was because we didn't want Claire to be left alone if something horrible were to happen to us. The summer before we began trying to conceive, a friend/distant relative of mine lost her father very unexpectedly, after losing her mother several years before to cancer. She was an only child, single, and not close to her extended family and didn't have many friends. She was all alone at the funeral and that was the day I made up my mind Claire would not sit alone at a funeral for my husband or myself. While I am not close to my younger brother, I do have him and that would probably be a great comfort in the event that my parents were to both die. So, with the knowledge that she is no longer an only child, I have found great peace in knowing she shouldn't ever have to travel the world completely alone.

The worst about having two kids? Well, the fact that they are 7 years apart is difficult in that I have started completely over again. Claire was/is easy. I have to only direct her towards brushing her teeth and putting on shoes, whereas Liam is still very needy. Also, his schedule is very rigid and hers is way more flexible. Also, having two kids has caused my husband and I to begin the dividing and conquering that I didn't expect until much later. He might take Claire to softball/ballet/scouts while I stay home with the little guy, who goes to sleep at 7pm most nights (or vice versa, of course).

About swim lessons....we didn't start Claire until she was about 4 and haven't begun yet with Liam so I don't know how much I can say that would be helpful except it will be slow progress and there may be tears. Hang tight, mommy, swimming is a skill they need and it will all be worth it...good luck, wright, and thanks for the great questions!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Liam has recently perfected the art of taking off his socks on his own.

Around the same time, he also began walking on tip toe. We, of course, found this cute and adorable and laughed about it.

We noticed that it was mainly occurring only when he walked on our (uncarpeted) kitchen floor. I assumed it was because it was cold and laughed some more.

Then, one day last week, he began whining and walking on tip toe at the same time.

I thought he was just whining (as usual) and then watched him walk en pointe, whining, until he reached the carpeted area and then he took off as normal and stopped grumbling. Hmmn.


So, I, being the savvy detective, looked around and tried to figure out what was the culprit.

It only took a brief glance at the floor and it dawned on me....

My floors are so dirty that my toddler is disgusted to the point he has to walk tippy toed through or it hurts his tender feet.

Nice, right?

Instead of succumbing to embarrassment,which would have forced me to get the broom, Swiffer, bucket and mop and clean the daggum floors, I chose to make it a life lesson for him: don't take off the socks that your mother put on your feet- they're there for a reason!

Pretty clever, don't ya think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This is a photo of my daughter, Claire, and my niece, Emma, on a recent trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. With only 9 months separating the two, they have been raised more like sisters than cousins. They rarely fight and are each other's staunchest supporters and biggest fans.

I was raised without a sister and am not particularly close to Emma's dad (my younger/only brother) but I love to see these two grow up together and hope that the closeness they share now follows them through life. Both have younger siblings but Emma's sister is 8 years her junior and Liam is 7 years younger than Claire so they have had only each other as playmates for the majority of their young lives.

It took 10 minutes in line to have the face painting done.

It cost me $20.

The resulting smiles and memory?


To play along with Photostory Friday, go here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life With A Drug Dealer

So, MamaGeek, my blog crush, answered my plea for questions with this one: "I have been DYING to know what it's like to be married to an RXMan. I mean is it like a doctor? Does he know EVERYTHING about healing and medicine and all that jazz? Does he love pesky customers?"

My answer to that would be: yes, yes, and NO.

The end.

Ha! Just kidding!

He does know so much about medicine and illness and is a real blessing to have around when your kid is sick and needs Motrin in the night- I don't even need to slide on my glasses to read the bottle, I just tell him to do it and he happily bounds to the kitchen and doses it out.

He is also very handy to have around at medical visits. Doctors, sadly, treat me 110 times better when he is with me and they find out when I not so casually blab that he is a pharmacist his chosen profession. We are given prescriptions more readily and, often, can get antibiotics as a courtesy with a mere phone call. (Don't hate me, please.) I try to schedule all appointments with doctors when he can be there because the appointments are simply more effective and enjoyable.

On the downside, dude loves medicine.

I mean, loves medicine.

If I have a twinge of pain, Mr. Drug Man is right there with a glass of agua and a handful of pills. In his world, virtually everything can be cured with a pill, suspension or ointment. In my world? Medicine is for sissies.

Sounds like a match made in Drug Heaven, doesn't it?

As to the customers? Honestly? They are the downside of his job, in many cases. Customers simply don't understand that he must be 100% accurate, 110% of the time or they. could. die. People don't want to wait for their medicine when they are sick, tired, and in a hurry. He appreciates this but the pharmacy isn't a McDonald's either. Each prescription is "cooked to order," if you will. Think of it more as an upscale restaurant. Order an appetizer and prepare to wait a little while for a good and safe experience. (Also, he doesn't control what your insurance charges for your medicine! I swear! A technician submits the info into the computer and the insurance company responds with the cost. It is a fact. Don't scream at your pharmacy employees when your co-pay is wrong. It is your insurance company's fault!)

Some people are very appreciative of a pharmacist, who, by the way, corrects hundreds of errors made by careless physicians every day: some that are small and unimportant, others that could really hurt someone. Most of the time, the pharmacist remedies this without the patient even knowing.

Sorry for the soapbox, which I try to stay far away from in blogdom, but this is a subject that I hear about incessantly am very close to. My husband is blessed with a great job that affords me the opportunity to be a student and SAHM. Is it perfect? Hellz No! Would he sign up for it again? I really think he would just go on to medical school where people are more respectful of the profession and the hours (in family practice) are better.

Thanks, MG, for the questions.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Saying No

A few months ago at Liam's 15 month visit, I inquired as to how to discipline him at such a young age because he had already begun his foray into the cagefighting arena.

My pediatrician, a lovely, intelligent man whom I respect and admire very, very much, replied to me that a child of such a young age cannot really be disciplined. It is a parent's job to redirect and distract. He was very kind and understanding as he told me this.

That made sense and I was a little embarrassed that I was the psycho mean mother asking about cracking down on her poor little toddler. I guffawed and explained that he was basically beating the crap out of all of us but I would do my best to distract him and, essentially, suck it up and hope it passes sooner rather than later.

All the while, I am crying inside as I know we will never eat out of the house again. *sigh*

As the visit wrapped up, the doctor revisited my question about discipline, reminding me to distract Liam when he is doing something inappropriate. I vow to do this. Then, the doctor drops a bomb.

"You also shouldn't tell him no. At this age, he should not be told no because he is just testing boundaries, blah, blah, blah...."

Don't tell him NO!?

Let that sink in a minute.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Okay, so I am not supposed to tell him no as he beats my eight year old down with the vacuum attachments? Or, when he is eating cat food? Or grabbing at the stove when it is ON?

I have to defend my pediatrician. He isn't a crackpot. I swear. He isn't touchy-feelly or new age-y either. In most cases, he is very old school: Karo syrup for constipation, potty trained by two, Cry-It-Out sleep training, etc.

But I digress....

So, I told RxMan what was said and after he stopped swearing and popped his eyes back in his head we decided to give this strategy a try.

For about 6 minutes.

It didn't work.


We have made an effort not to constantly shout loudly use this word and I think it has made the times that we do say "NO!" more effective but, to completely give up saying it?

No way, Dr. Jose.

It simply ain't gonna happen.

So, I decided that when Liam stops telling me "no" I will stop telling him the same.

What's the craziest thing a doc has told you to do??

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just Call Me Amy Winehouse

I, too, am an addict.

My name is Toni.

And. I. Am. A. Lip. Balm. Addict.

I am.

I must have something on my lips at all times that is moisture releasing. If my lips feel even the slightest bit dry, I freak out and have to find something to put on them. My preference and most favoritest lip balm is Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm but in a pinch, I will use Chap-Stick.

Like any good addict, I have my stash these $3 lip balms laying all over my house in case of a dry lip emergency. But, of course, there are none to be found anymore because my monster son eats them when I am not looking.

Yes. He. Does.

He eats my minty fresh lip balm and leaves the empty carcass for me to find. Now, I love the kid but messing with a girl's Burt's Beeswax? That may just be a one way ticket to an orphanage for the little man.

You see, I have religiously applied Vaseline, Chap-Stick, even hand lotion (in a pinch) to my lips 'round the clock since I was a tween so it really gets me tweaked to not have my stuff when I need it.

And I do. Need. It.

I cannot bear having chapped or sunburnt or chaffed or dry lips. Nuh-uh. I need them to be soft, supple and moisturized!

At! All! Times!

Excuse me. I must run back to Wal-Mart and buy some more lip balm to hide from my son.

Or he I may die.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


That one word sums up me right now.

I am completely unmotivated.

You could say lazy, too, but I am trying to be more kind to myself.


It seems that when my spring quarter of classes ended on June 14, my drive and ambition flew clean out the window.

Along with it went my blogging ability.

I love to blog. Okay, I love to read other blogs and blog so that I can feel a part of the cool crowd.

I had plans for summer. I was going to twitter. I was going to blog- every. day. I was going to take my children to the lake.

For the most part, I have sat and watched my butt get bigger Liam play.

And, you know what?

I am loving every. single. minute.

But summer is melting as quickly as those yummy freezer pops! And, I haven't accomplished any of my lofty goals so I am turning to you....

Ask me a question! Hit me with your best shot!

Inspire me! Motivate me!

Help me get off my butt and start blogging again!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

An Unsolved Mystery

My friend Allie and her three children came to stay with my family over the holiday weekend; we rarely get to see them and it was such an enjoyable visit.

I would love to share with you several photos of this visit- kids on Claire's 4-wheeler, sidewalk chalk masterpieces on my driveway, kids dressed in patriotic colors, etc. but my camera has gone MIA.

Apparently all of the excitement from the weekend and my less than great picture taking abilities have finally caused the thing to just sprout legs and walk off. You see, we are certain it made it into the house from the garage where it was last used but, after that?

It is gone.


And, alas, if it does not surface within 2 weeks, 8 hours and 11 minutes, RxMan said he will have to buy me a new camera.

Wouldn't that just suck??

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What a Mess!

Hand lotion plus boy
Not a good combination
How do you not laugh?

These are photos of Liam after he managed to open a hand lotion up and fling it all over himself and my armoire. He was alone for about 4 minutes while I read blogs checked the online news and made a terrible mess all over the furniture, floor and his freshly bathed body. That child is always wreaking havoc! Of course, I ran for the camera as my daughter stood aside and cackled so what lesson did we teach him?

This boy may be the death of me yet....

On another note, Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pulling My Hair Out

Ever since I decided to not call my teenage babysitter again, I have been regretting it. While I still don't approve of her personal life, nor the fact that she left me high and dry for my daughter's dance recital, I am just about to go crazy!

I love my kids. I do. But, frankly, I am sick to death of them.

My daughter has camp in the mornings and then plays all afternoon with her friends so she isn't much of a bother but I would love to have her stay home and help entertain Liam for a little while! She is his most favorite person and thrills him to no end when she lavishes her love and attention on him but she is GONE most of the day. I've tried mandating a particular amount of time that she must stay home each day but then I am stuck with a neighbor kid who doesn't want to be at my house or is calling here incessantly! Sheesh!

And, my dear, sweet Liam. I love him (I am convincing me more than you) but this kid has cried for about the last 5 days straight. He is teething and I am ready to throw one of us through a plate glass window. A person can only stand so much crying before they FREAK completely out. And, I am thisclose to the freak out. I know it hurts. I know he can't do anything about it. I have given him ibuprofen and used the topical stuff but it doesn't seem to help. Why in the hell don't they sell paregoric any more?

Thank God my husband is home on Tuesday because someone is going to have to take care of the little monster boy. So, even though I am angry at the former babysitter, I am fighting very hard not to just say screw it and please, please, please save me from another day of crying and incessant fit throwing.

So, I need some teething remedies stat: what works for you? If this boy doesn't stop the whining soon, I'll...well, I won't do anything except grouse about it some more but still, help a girl out, won't you?