I’m A Real Mom

Don’t take the title too seriously.  I’m not going to jump up on a soapbox and judge other mothers about anything.  I just had a small epiphany today.

Without Rory, my role as a mother would have been pretty easy and rather boring.  Kamryn was and continues to be a fairly easy child.  She cried as a baby, but really only at the appropriate times.  She’s kind of whiny and a little sassy now, but other than that, she’s pretty good.  Remember, her teacher last year referred to her as a dream child.  I wouldn’t go that far, but I kind of like her.

Today, Rory came out in the living room pointing to his nose with a big smile on his face.  This isn’t strange.  If he sneezes, he’ll seek me out only to show me he has snot hanging out of his nose before he finds a Kleenex to remedy the issue.  I pointed to the box of Kleenex, but he remained still with the smile.

I got up and took a good look at his nose and I didn’t see any snot, but when he looked up, I did see something in his right nostril.

The obstruction.

Rory had shoved a popcorn kernel up his nose.  This is a first.  I have never had to fish anything out of a child’s nose, ear, or any other orifice.  Thank God.  I remember my little cousin shoved a Tiny Tart up his nose when he was around 3 or 4 and I wondered what would prompt someone to do something like that.

I have to admit, I panicked a little.  I tried to think if I should try and grab it with a tweezers or see if I could hook it with my fingernail.  I gave it a go with my fingernail first and missed.  I had him lying on the ottoman and I was holding the bridge of his nose to ensure I didn’t shove it further up into his nasal cavity.  I gave it one more try and was able to scoop it out.  I grabbed the flashlight and was trying to peer deep into Rory’s nostril to see if I could see any other kernels up there.

I asked him three different times if he shoved any more up his nose and he wouldn’t answer me.  It was hard to see up there so I had him blow as hard as he could into a Kleenex and then looked again.  I couldn’t see anything up there so I think we’re in the clear.

I told Rory he isn’t to shove anything up there ever again.  He told me he wouldn’t.

About 20 minutes later, I told the kids to get dressed for gymnastics.  Rory came out completely dressed, but with his hair all over the place.  He said he put hairspray in his hair and upon closer inspection, he sprayed nearly an entire sample sized bottle in his hair.  it was crusting on his forehead as well as matting his thin blond hair to his scalp.

With only about 5 minutes before we had to walk out the door for gymnastics, I had to try and wash Rory’s hair which resulted in this.

That’s shampoo – not hairspray, but it didn’t look much better.

There is never a dull moment with Rory around.  He is a constant source of entertainment and in near constant need of mothering.  I think one of the worst “kid” things Kamryn did was color all over the wall when I was on a conference call.  But, she did it with washable crayons.  Thanks for making sure I earn my mom badge, Rory.


Where Has The Time Gone?

I was thinking of how small Rory was when we moved back to San Diego.  He barely talked, was still in diapers, sleeping in a crib and taking 2 naps a day.  Now none of those things are true – especially the talking part.

As I’m trying to squeak out a quick little blog post, my Little Buddy is crawling all over me and trying to get a few of his own words typed out.  Trying to fight off a wiry little 3 year old while typing isn’t easy.

The picture above was taken less than a week after we moved back to San Diego.  I don’t know why, but when I see Rory in that picture, I imagine him acting just like he does right now, but I know it’s not true.

Maybe it’s because he can still fit into that shirt and I’m pretty sure he wore those pants less than 6 months ago, but they were on the shorter side.  Or maybe it’s because he was an ornery little boy at 20 months and he is still an ornery little boy at 3 years old.

The same thing goes for Kamryn.  Although a year and half has passed, I find it increasingly difficult to remember her as a freshly turned 4 year old.  She couldn’t ride a bike, swim or read any words and now those are all crossed off her bucket list.

I’m curious in 5 years if I’ll look at my 10 year old and 8 year old and think the same thing as I do now, but with updated accomplishments.  It used to be impossible for me to imagine Kamryn going to school, but she did and it wasn’t traumatic or strange.  I kind of feel the same way about Rory now that he is entering preschool age, but I’m sure that when his first day of school rolls around it will come and go just like Kamryn’s did.







The First Of Many

Rory got his first real dose of radiation today; his first x-ray.  I’m sure this will be the first of many x-rays that my children will have.  I, myself, have had quite a few:  a fracture wrist, sprained feet and ankles, torn ligaments in my knee, chest x-rays for asthma and bronchitis and of course the dental x-rays.

Yesterday we had some friends over and at some point, Rory decided to jump off the bed.  From what I understand, he landed on his feet, which resulted in an injured right foot.  He was limping around the rest of the day and before bed, I gave him a little ibuprofen.  I tried to get him to ice it, but that wasn’t really working, nor was getting him to lie down with his foot on some pillows.  I figured I would be able to tell if he was really hurt when he got up today and if he was still limping, I would take him in to have it looked at.

This morning, Rory came hobbling into my room and when I asked him how his foot felt, he said, with the most pained expression he could muster, “It hurts really bad.”  Hmmm, still not entirely convinced, I asked him if we needed to go to the doctor.  I know a lot of kids are afraid of the doctor because that is where shots are administered, but my kids love the doctor.  I don’t know why and I can’t really complain, but it ruins that gauge of determining how bad something is.

I decided better to have it checked and have nothing be wrong than to have him potentially injure it further.  However, I kept hearing my dad’s words of comfort when we got hurt, It’s a long way from your heart, Am.  It made us tougher, but at the same time, I remember secretly hoping I would have a heart injury so I could shove that in my dad’s face!  I’d show him!

Once we got to the doctor’s office, Rory hopped right up on the table.

Here is a close up of the injured foot.  I think this picture makes his foot look deformed, but there are no bruises or swelling at all.The doctor came in, wiggled his feet around and asked him to point his toes.  Instead he pointed at his toes and continued to do so for the rest of the exam.  She sent us down to radiology where Rory astounded the x-ray technician by not screaming or crying when he made me stand behind the wall to take the picture.  He also told Rory to smile before he took the picture, which he did.  Oh Buddy.

The x-rays didn’t show any fractures or broken bones and the diagnosis is a soft tissue injury.  I mentioned to the doctor that his gymnastics class was this afternoon and she said to have him go and if it hurts him, he’ll let you know.

When he got to gymnastics, he told one of the coaches, “I got a bad wheel.”  Damn, I love that kid!



Another Awesome Reenactment

I’m getting back in my phase of making my kids do things strictly for my amusement.  It’s a lot of fun making Kamryn do stuff because she is at an age where she has to question everything.  My reason of “Because it’s funny.” doesn’t really suffice because she doesn’t see the humor in it like I do.

This afternoon, with a huge block of what to write about, I remembered one of my previous posts of Kamryn saying a line from Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.  I probably quote at least one movie or TV show daily.  Seinfeld is always good for quotes, as well as Forrest Gump.  This time I’m going with the latter.

Kamryn is playing the role of Jenny Curran and Rory as Forrest Gump.

Take One:

Take Two: 

We need to work on her Alabama accent.

I originally wanted her to do the line when Lt. Dan and Forrest are in the hospital and Forrest brings Lt. Dan ice cream, but she refused.  I knew she wouldn’t object to playing Jenny.

Explaining Suffrage To A Three Year Old

Today is the California Primary for our next President as well as the Mayoral Election in San Diego (it could be in other cities too, but since that doesn’t have anything to do with me I can’t worry myself with that information).

After I dropped Kamryn off at school, I was planning on hitting up my polling place and casting my vote.  I love voting.  I don’t know why, but I always feel like I’m doing the most American thing ever when I hand in that ballot.  I want to throw my fist in the air and burst into song…

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

I refrained.  I don’t want my vote not to be counted for reasons of insanity.  I did some research and there are some states that will not allow people deemed mentally incompetent the right to vote.  California isn’t one of them so I guess I’m in the clear.

Rory was with me and he always needs to know what is next on the agenda so as we were driving home from dropping Kamryn off at school, we had this conversation:

Rory: Mommy, where we going now?

Me: I need to go vote.

Rory:  Me get fishes there?

Me: What?????

Rory:  FISHES!

(What in the hell is he talking about?)

Me: OH!  No, not boat, Vote.

Rory:  What vote is?

Me: I get to pick who I want to be president and who I want to be mayor.

(We’ll save the discussion about primaries for a later date since even this statement was reciprocated with a blank stare.)

Me:  I get to decide who is going to be King of the country and our city.

Rory:  (Raising his hand) Me!

Me: No, sorry, Buddy.  You aren’t old enough.

Rory: Dan?

(Dan is my brother.)

Me:  God, I hope not!  (Having a nice laugh at my brother’s expense)

Rory:  Me get fishes now?

Me:  Oh, Buddy.

Rory loved the voting process because he got to cover his shirt with “I Voted!” stickers after charming the ladies (and one guy) handing out the ballots.  They asked him if he was there to vote and he said “Yeah, me three.” and shrugged his shoulders like it ain’t no thang and a suitable response to their question.  Bring on the stickers!

Mom Moves

I am around my kids all day everyday.  I choose to do this so I’m not complaining, but as most, if not all, stay at home moms know, it can be a bit trying to entertain and please your children each day.

One of the quickest ways to put a kink in my day is to have a child throw a tantrum.  I will do everything in my power to ensure we don’t go down that path, but it’s hard.  I’ll be the first to admit that my kids are spoiled.  They want for nothing.  I will buy them things for no reason with the intent of saving it for a birthday or Christmas only to give it to them 2 hours after I get it home from the store.  However, if they ask for a specific thing, I won’t buy it unless it’s for a special occasion.  Don’t ask me why – I have no idea.

Every so often my generosity bites me in the ass and it’s almost always after I have been a little overly exuberant with gifts, trips or special treats.  I had to sit Kamryn and Rory down for a heart to heart last week and have a discussion about appreciation.  I told them that when I give them something and they keep asking for more, it upsets me because it makes me think that they don’t really like what I initially gave them.  I asked them if they understood what I meant.  Rory yelled, “Yeah!” and took off running.  Kamryn just shook her head no.  At least she’s honest.

I asked her how she would feel if she gave me a present and after I opened it, I said “Is this it?  I want more!”  She told me she would give me more then.  She’s sneaky.  I told her that wouldn’t be very nice of me to demand more when I had already gotten such a nice gift.  I could tell that she still didn’t get it, but really didn’t want to have the discussion anymore so she said she understood.  Since that time, I have brought it up a couple of other times and I do think it’s sinking in.  Rory, on the other hand…well, he’s just Rory.  I’ll work on him later.

Some days I’m just tired.  As much as I want to educate and nurture my children, there are those days where avoidance is my sanity.    There are a few things that I do that I’m not really proud of, but they have helped my day flow a bit smoother.

Food is a big source of conflict in our house.  Rory is constantly sneaking food, but will never eat dinner.  Kamryn is always concerned when the next meal is going to be and whether or not dessert will be served.  I wish I had a little more self control when it comes to eating, but I don’t.  If I get hungry, I eat.  I was unable to eat anything without one of my little minions magically appearing at my feet.  Now, if I need a snack, I eat it in the cupboard.  I open the pantry door, find my snack and start eating with half of my body in the cupboard and half of it out.  It muffles any cellophane or other packaging sounds.  I can stuff my face in peace without having to tell my kids that they can’t have any.

I discovered a new trick that is kind of mean, but unbelievably effective.  A few weeks ago we were walking to the car to go to the store.  Rory insisted on bringing along a jump rope.  I told him he could bring it, but not to drag it on the sidewalk.  The handles are wooden bears and if they get knocked around too much the faces fall off because they are just glued on.  He didn’t listen and one of the bear’s faces fell off.  I took it away from him, stuffed it in my pocket and buckled both kids in the car.  Before I got in the car, I had a bag of trash to throw in the dumpster.  The dumpster happens to be completely surrounded by a fence which obscures the viewing of what someone is throwing away.  When I got back to the car, Rory was in tears and Kamryn was dangerously close.  I asked what happened and Rory screamed, “YOU THREW MY JUMP ROPE AWAY!”  HA! Obviously, I didn’t, but it’s very effective to grab something and have it magically disappear without saying a word about it.  And if you make a rustling in the trash or turn on the garbage disposal for good measure, well, then so be it.

Sometimes I just pretend like I don’t hear what my kids are doing or saying.  The other day Rory repeatedly yelled “son-of-bitch” from the backseat.  It was entirely my fault because that was what I yelled when I flew past a CHP on the the freeway going 80 mph.  The same went for 2 days later when I muttered “dumb bitch” at the woman blocking the crosswalk with her car.  I had to intervene once he started directing the insult at me.  I can’t punish my 3 year old for something that was so clearly the result of my carelessness, but I did tell him if he called me that again he better be ready to run when he got out of the car.

As I said before, I’m not especially proud of the things that I do in order to make my day better.  I’m also sure there are other moms that have a much more appropriate way of handling things, but just be aware, for all the time you spend teaching your child the rights and wrongs of the world, my 3 year old will probably end up calling you a dumb bitch anyway.  Actually, he won’t.  I’m sure he’ll reserve that for me when he catches me stuffing my face full of Goldfish in the cupboard.

What Goes On In There?

Every morning when Rory wakes up, he does one of two things.  He’ll either go straight into the living room and if I’m already up, he’ll say “Hi, Mama!” and hop up on my lap.  If I’m still asleep, he’ll come into my room and crawl into bed with me.  Not gently, mind you.  He’ll literally crawl over me and lay in the middle of the bed, squirming under the covers until he is completely encased in blankets.  It’s impossible to sleep through.

Yesterday, I thought I heard some commotion coming from Rory’s room, but I know better than to open the door to check unless I am 100% sure he is up.  99.999999% sure isn’t good enough.  You don’t want to risk that one and a gazillionth chance that the child is still asleep and you wake them up by opening the door.  They must be able to sense the pressure change in the room because there have been times that I have taken a full minute to just turn the knob to ensure complete silence, but the minute the door cracks one millimeter, the child’s eyes are wide and looking right at me.

Once when Kamryn was about 9 months old, I went in her room to check on her and tried to close her bedroom window without waking her.  Of course the window made a nearly inaudible creak and she popped her head up.  I immediately hit the deck and laid on the floor, parallel to her crib, in the hopes that she would go back to sleep.  I was laying face down and heard her move around a little bit and then it was silent.  Assuming she had fallen back to sleep, I started to get up and glanced toward the top of her crib where she stood staring at me with a big smile on her face.  Guess who never had her windows open in her room again?

It’s rare that either of my kids will stay in their rooms once they wake up in the morning.  Occasionally, Kamryn will get up, snatch my phone from my nightstand and go back to her room to play Angry Birds, but if that means more sleep for me, I’m happy to oblige.  Rory, on the other hand, is up and out of his room before he is even fully awake.

So yesterday, when Rory did come out of his room, I was a little surprised to see him like this:

I wear my sunglasses at night…er I mean in the morning.

Those aren’t actually sunglasses, they are 3D glasses that we got when we saw The Lorax on Rory’s birthday.  I didn’t know it when he came out of his room yesterday, but Rory knew exactly what he wanted to do when he got up.  He wanted to play a 3D game on the computer.  Without one single word, he got online and pulled up a game on Nick Jr. that could be viewed in 3D.  I didn’t even know he knew it existed, much less knew how to navigate his way to it.

The boy never ceases to amaze me.

WTF Wednesday

Yesterday Kamryn earned her 15 Mile ribbon for running club.  That was the big one because at 15 miles they get a free pass to The Birch Aquarium.  It’s the one thing that Kamryn has been working for all year.  When I picked her up from school yesterday, the minute I saw her, her lip started quivering.  She had her 15 mile ribbon pinned to her shirt so I really had no idea what she could be so upset about.

By the time she got to me, she was in a full blown cry and was trying to get out that she didn’t get her aquarium pass.  Uh-oh.  Kamryn’s teacher has been out the last couple of weeks recovering from surgery so the kids have had a substitute, Mrs. D.  Obviously, there is an infinite amount of information to pass on regarding the daily goings on of a class of 23 five year olds.  Just keeping track of all the crazy kids is more work than any one person should have to endure.  Mrs. D felt so bad and was apologizing because she didn’t know anything about it – I felt more bad for Mrs. D than I did for Kamryn!  Anyway, I had promised Kamryn a necklace once she had reached her 15 mile goal so I told her we would go pick that out later that afternoon to settle her down.

Once we got to the store, Kamryn sat looking at about 20 different necklaces trying to pick out just one.  Meanwhile, Rory was wandering around looking at toys and asking what I was going to get for him.  I couldn’t leave the store without getting something for both kids even though Rory hadn’t run 15 miles, which Kamryn had no problem reminding him of repeatedly.

There was a little display by the register with these little fuzzy creatures that “magically” jumped and slithered around – they even had a video showing the tricks they could do.  These little things were called Squirmles and came in a bunch of different colors.  They were fairly cheap and looked like something that would occupy Rory for awhile so I let him pick out his favorite color of Squirmle, which yesterday, was orange.

There really needs to be an asterisk next to “They Magically Move!”

Once we got home, I opened the Squirmles and was immediately pissed.  I looked over the box pretty thoroughly at the store because I thought it was odd that these things could move around on their own, but I thought the “head” of the Squirmle was probably weighted and that was what was making it appear to move on it’s own.

Nope, that was not the case.  This was basically an overly fluffy pipe cleaner without the little wire down the middle.  What was magically making it move was the idiot that bought it.  Attached to the Squirmle’s head was the “invisible” thread seen all tangled up in the picture, and on the other end was a piece of cardboard that is supposed to go into your pocket.  You maneuver the Squirmle with the thread.  I did a once over of the packaging again to make sure I didn’t miss where it said that this toy was a huge farce.  I know I’m fault for being a little too optimistic about the workings of this little fuzzy worm, but come on, you can’t say that something magically moves without either putting magically in quotes or putting some kind of disclaimer on the box!  Especially when you have to pull it around with a string!

Congratulations Carl Zealer, creator of Squirmles!  You are the winner of my WTF Award!

The Serial Killer Trifecta

It was another beautiful day in Sunny San Diego so we decided to head for the beach again.  I love that Kamryn is only in school for half the day so we can spend our afternoons as we see fit.  It’s also Stress Awareness Day and what better way to give the stress in my life the finger than to sit and listen to the ocean waves?

I had all of our belongings laid out, the kids were playing in the sand and I had just opened my book when a woman sitting 10 feet away got out a small box of Cheerios.  Before I go any further, let me just say:  I do not like when my days at the beach are fucked with.  I don’t care how many other people in my vacinity, I expect that you do nothing to disturb me whilst I lay in the sand.  Kamryn and Rory play for hours with very little interaction from me when we are at the beach so if someone is screwing up the good thing I have going on, I get a little irritated.

The minute this woman opened up the plastic inside the Cheerio box there was a flock of seagulls (the only thing worse would have been the band) screeching and flapping all around me.  Rory likes chasing seagulls.  He runs after then and screams “MA-KAW!  MA-KAW!”  but I think even today there were a few more than he was used to.

The Cheerio lady got up and started walking closer to the water.  The seagulls followed and Rory was close behind still screaming “ma-kaw” when I saw him pick up a rock.  I immediately yelled his name and was scrambling to stand up.  I was laying on my stomach so I had to make sure “the girls” were in their proper place so as not to slip a nip to all the beach goers.  He probably couldn’t hear me over all the seagull squawking, but he didn’t even flinch when I yelled.

I eventually got to my feet and ran over and grabbed Rory’s arm that held the rock.  I may have been in a bit of shock and possibly even a little scared at the sight of my son cocking his arm back to launch a sizable rock at a harmless bird.  I told Rory that he could not throw a rock – EVER!  Not at a person, not at an animal, not at a plant.  No rock throwing!  I don’t think I was making a lot of sense.  My circuits misfire when my emotions run high, but my tone was getting my point across and Rory started to cry.

He was trying to plead his case, but I wasn’t having it and told him to go sit on the blanket.  There we had a conversation about whether he would want someone to throw a rock at him.  He said he would not and I asked him why not.  In his most exasperated tone he shrieked, “It would hurt!”    My follow up question was, “Would it hurt the bird if you threw a rock at it?”  Hanging his head, he responded with “Yes.”  Oh thank God.

If you haven’t heard of the Serial Killer Trifecta, it’s the theory that if a child

  1. Wets his/her bed until a late age
  2. Kills or tortures small animals
  3. Plays with fires

they may become a serial killer.

I don’t really believe that a child will become a serial killer if they do the above, but I certainly don’t want to be sitting in a courtroom one day and recalling the day that Rory stoned a seagull to death.


How My Children Imagine I Spend My Day

Each day when I pick Kamryn up from school, the first thing I ask her is what she did in school.  Depending on how detailed her answer is, I may ask her for 3 things that she liked and 3 things that she disliked about her day.  The likesalways exceed the dislikes, which makes me happy.

Occasionally, Kamryn likes to turn those questions around on me.  She’ll ask me what Rory and I did while she was at school.  I never do anything really exciting during the 3 1/2 hours that Kamryn is at school.  Instead, I try and do things that are easier to do with only one child versus two, like going to the grocery store.

Kamryn’s first question is something along the lines of “Did you play some games today?”  Rory and I can usually squeeze in a game or some kind of activity every morning, but they aren’t riveting contests.  They mostly consist of 5 minutes of set up, 3 minutes of playing and 10 minutes of chasing Rory with all the pieces to get them back into the box.

When I give Kamryn the minute to minute details of our mornings she is usually disappointed, but what she doesn’t realize is that I purposely don’t do overly fun things when she is at school.  Kamryn won’t say it, but she would be really pissed off if she found out that Rory and I were whooping it up every morning.

I asked Kamryn what she thought I did when she was at school.  Her first response was “Why are you asking me that?”  I told her I was just curious what she thought and so after a couple of minutes she said, “You work on your laptop.”  I asked her if she thought I did anything else and she said, “Play with Rory.”  I asked her one more time if there was anything else she thought I did in the mornings and she said “Uh, probably not.”

I don’t know if I should be disappointed that Kamryn doesn’t think I do much each day.  It’s irrelevant, I guess.  I am pretty sure she realizes that I wash her clothes and pick up her toys.  She tells me that I’m the best “cooker” and “baker” so she knows that I make her food.  Actually, I think I like that she doesn’t think I’m cleaning and making everything livable for her all morning because for one, I’m not, but also I don’t want her thinking that the only reason for my existence is to serve her!