Total Pageviews

Monday, September 24, 2007

Matthew threw up last night. It’s a bad sign. I had stomach ookiness for a few days last week (still kind of have stomach strangeness…which is one step up from stomach ookiness for those of you not up on the terminology), so it appears that the stomach ookiness could, in fact, be a contagious kind. Although, with Matthew it’s hard to tell. He takes after me in the stomach ookiness realm – he’s prone to it. He’s proving to be a pukey child just like I was. He almost always vomits at some point during a cold since he still doesn’t blow his nose to get all the nastiness out.

Unfortunately, the vomiting last night was one of those very unfortunate vomir experiences. We’d been sitting at the table attempting to get Matthew to eat something (toast) which he was refusing to do. If the kid won’t eat carbs that’s a sign in this house that something is definitely amiss. Matthew started to act a little gaggy, so I jumped and ran to the bathroom to get our “puke bucket.” (Yes, we call it that). Hearing Mike’s cry of alarm alerted me to the fact that I wasn’t going to make it in time. It was too late. Vomit. All over. Dining table, Matthew, Mike, floor. Every where. What amazes me the most about Matthew is that he has completely mastered the vomit skill, unlike me; he’s hardly fazed by it. I’ve spent a lifetime as a pukey soul and still struggle with it. Well, who really enjoys throwing up, but still, some are better than others. Matthew is one of the good ones. And last night’s vomiting took the cake. Mid-gasp – I mean he wasn’t even completely done – Matthew pants out, “Mommy, I love you, but I’m yucky.” Mid-puke! So, what do I say? What any parent would say: “Matthew, I love you too, even when you’re yucky.”

I’m happy to report that the vomiting does force things like a deep cleaning of the carpet on and around the incident and a total table wipe-down. Sadly, it may take a throw-up incident for me to finally getting around to washing the windows. Every window in the living room and dining room area currently acts as our growth chart. – we interrupt this fascinating BLOG with an important update: at the very moment that I was typing, I looked over to see Matthew commence at throwing up his oatmeal breakfast all over himself, the sofa and Nick. Well, there’s another area of our home that has now received a thorough cleaning. Thank you. Some people measure their kids and draw the little pencil line on the wall or the back of the pantry door, not us; not here. In our house, all we have to do to see how the boys have grown is look at the windows. The hand prints gradually have gotten bigger and the face smears are a little taller – smooshed lip-impressions higher up on the glass.

It might be time to do something about this situation. This morning while I typed this (pre-couch vomiting episode), I looked out the living room window and thought, Hmm, it’s raining and really foggy out there now. Weird. Just a second ago I looked out the dining room and saw nothing but blue skies. Yes, that’s when I realized I was looking through the window at the boys’ exact look-out spot, and my view was clouded and hazy, filtered through oodles of face and hand prints.

Nine times out of ten, passersby on our street can look up at our front window and see two little heads pop up – one brown and one blond – above the sofa and smile and wave, faces pressed to the glass. My philosophy: why bother wiping away the face smooshes of their youth when A.) they’ll just do it again and leave new smears and B.) before I know it they’ll be too old for leaving face smooshes on my windows. I should savor them while they last, right?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thanks to Zachary’s latest adventures (dancing a jig while dumping luke-warm coffee all over Kara, my laptop); my keyboard now makes a satisfying click-click-click sound whilst I type. I’m actually a fan of the post-stale and crusty coffeed keyboard. It makes me feel like I’m working on a typewriter. I should be in a dust mote-filled, sepia-hued office in a film noir, wearing a trench coat. My Fedora hangs on the coat tree behind the desk – empty save for my trusty typewriter. Most likely I’m a detective/private eye named Wednesday or Thursday…maybe Friday. I’m awaiting a visit from some mysterious visitor. The pouring rain outside splatters against the only window in the dimly lit office. A soft knock on the frosted glass door alerts me to the arrival of said mysterious visitor. Click-click-cli…my fingers pause mid-type as I slowly roll back from the desk ready to…

OK, my clicking keyboard has carried me away. The only thing really mysterious about my life right now is how a being as small as Zachary can possibly produce so much snot from two cute and innocent-looking nostrils. Yes, barely a month after our post-California trip colds, the Snot Fairy has landed at the Martin Household…again. And the Snot Fairy brought with her a friend – the evil Fever and Stomach Issues Nymph. I hate her. Hate is a strong word that I rarely use, but there’s just nothing pleasant about a visit from Fever and Stomach Issues Nymph. We’re nearly out of Kleenex thanks to Snot Fairy and we’re scraping by on the remaining squares of toilet paper thanks to her Nymph pal. Like I said, I hate her. Although she has helped me lose a couple of pounds…but still, I hate her.

Somehow, while Zach and I suffered, Mike and Matthew were able to delay their sickness a few days. Therefore despite my issues, we still managed to get Matthew to his first full week of preschool. And it is full – we go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday mornings now. Then with my music classes on Fridays that only leaves us with one morning when we aren’t scrambling to be ready for the day. Welcome to the real world, I guess – a world where pajamas aren’t really socially acceptable past 10am!

The one small blessing Snot Fairy brought with her was the inability to smell any weird crusty, mustiness at Matthew’s preschool. I arrived on Monday with nostrils flaring, inhaling like a hunting dog on a mission but was unable to detect any Church Basement Stank. Maybe they did, in fact, get the place aired out – the stink and musty smell could have been from a summer of being closed up followed by a thorough carpet cleaning that temporarily released all stinkiness into the air. Mike reassured me that when he brought Matthew to preschool on Wednesday he, too, embarked on some serious sniffage. He thought everything smelled fine. Phew. The last thing I need is to pull Matthew from another preschool. It’s mid-September! I’d never find something else which means I’d be facing a year of being a hands-on, semi-educational mother! Pa-lease!
[CORRECTION: should you want to visit the website for Matthew’s marvelous and STINK-FREE preschool it is: with an S at the end of highland…missed that the first time].

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Zachary is in the stage of life where the word “No” is funny to him. (Mommy says it in a louder, deeper mean mommy voice; therefore it must be a joke and mean that whatever activity I’m involved in is both ingenious and hilarious). So this is the response that I received this morning to my yelling of “No! No! Oh no! Stop! Oh no!” when I found Zach standing on the dining room table dumping my mug of luke warm coffee all over my laptop keyboard. (The thoughts in my head were definitely worse than “No! No! Oh no! Stop! Oh no!”) Haha! That mommy of mine. She’s SO great. She must really love my new game of ‘laptop coffee dump’ since she’s making so much noise. She must really be telling me how wonderful I am! Man, I rock…I AM hilarious with all this coffee dumping. And she really liked my dancing on the table top yesterday, though she likes this show even better! Now that she’s busy cleaning up the coffee mess (I don’t see why she bothers though…) I think I’ll go jump on the couch and then do a headstand off of it.”

The good news is that Kara, my laptop, doesn’t seem to have suffered any permanent damage (other than emitting a slight coffee smell, which quite frankly, I enjoy).

Matthew attended his second day of preschool today. Yesterday was Open House where both he and I stayed and met his teacher, Mrs. Mac, and played together for an hour. He definitely approved of the truck selection on the playground. He could hardly wait to get to school today. The parents sat out in the “big room” for Parent Orientation while the kids experienced their first hour of flying solo in class. Only two or three of the twenty kids (in the two 3’s and 4-year-old classes) came sobbing out to their parents. Matthew certainly wasn’t one of them. The second Mrs. Mac opened the classroom door he was like, “See ya,” without even looking back.

My one, one little worry with this preschool – I know…if I quit another preschool this year, then I’ll probably be banned from ever enrolling in a preschool again, [“Oh, YOU’RE Matthew’s mom…you’re the one who joins preschool and then drops out because something just isn’t up to your standards…right. We know all about you.”] well, anyway my one issue is the smell. Yes, that’s right, I have an Odor Issue. (I’m seeking treatment for my OI problem). Here’s the issue: the preschool is in a church basement – which I knew ahead of time and visited and inspected thoroughly, if you’ll recall – and it smells of…of church basement. I inquired when I visited if the place gets cleaned and I was reassured that they were busy preparing for the carpets to be thoroughly cleaned that very weekend (four days ago) in preparations for the first day of school (yesterday). So, I was hoping yesterday to find a fresh-clean-scented school. No, it still smelled of church basement. Then today during parent orientation, after a while I thought, “hmmm, I have a little bit of a headache.” At the end of parent orientation, I overheard another mother asking Mrs. Mac about the smell and I thought, “Oh good, I’m not the only one suffering from OI.” Mrs. Mac reassured Other Mom that the windows are usually opened to air the place out and…I didn’t catch the rest. (I didn’t want to be too obvious in my eavesdropping). Out in the parking lot, I mentioned to Other Mom that I heard her mention the OI and I was glad not to be the only one.

She replied, “Yeah, it’s bad. If it doesn’t get better and they don’t do anything about it then I’m going to pull my daughter from this school. I had to take allergy medicine when I got home yesterday.”
This comment is what led to the worsening of my OI. What if it’s mold? What if this school will poison my child? I do have a headache, after all. Oh my gosh, it’s a brain tumor! I have cancer from the church basement stank. I can’t keep Matthew in a moldy, stanky odor church basement cancer school. The more I thought about it the more frustrated I became. But I LOVE this school. We’ve been registered for three different preschools in the last three weeks, and I was sure that the third time was the charm. I love the teacher, the curriculum, the playground, the classroom is great. It’s just the stanky, cancer mold that’s a problem.

The first chance I had I researched moldiness on-line. I, of course, am now an expert on things moldy, reactions to it and the ways to deal with it. I am thoroughly reassured that my headache was an unrelated fluke and not caused by mold. Turns out the whole mold thing usually takes a while to have an effect on the unsuspecting victim. (And headaches aren’t listed as one of the common side effects). So, I’ve concluded that the church basement stink is just that, church basement stink. It’s probably mildew at the very worst. Besides, it’s not like I’ll be there all that often to suffer through the stank…I’ll just drop Matthew off in his class and go. It’ll be fine. He’ll be fine. Anyways, it if is mold at least he’ll be getting a really great preschool education!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Here’s an update on the Adventures of the Martin Family (soon to be turned into a Major Motion Picture):

- Nick may be regressing. As reported earlier, our new little buddy (that I’m nannying this month) has declared that when he grows up, he wants to be a flower girl. I was given explicit directions from Nick’s parentals to work on this…and where better than in a house full of trucks and all things boy?! We had made a small improvement, sure enough at least now Nick does say that he wants to be a Flower Boy. Unfortunately, the influence of Nick’s five-year-old sister, Sydney will take some time to completely break. While Matthew and Nick were playing pirates, I walked into the room to find that Nick was completely bedazzled in all of the “treasure” – plastic bead necklaces. “Wow, Nick. Look at you!” I said. “Yeah, I’m a pretty princess!” He happily exclaimed. I broke that one to his dad Geoff, as easily as I could.

- Too many. To celebrate Matthew’s birthday, the boys (Matthew, Zachary and Nick) and I walked down to McDonalds and met up with friends for lunch and to play. As we commenced the walk home – Matthew walked while Nick and Zach were in the double-jogging stroller – we walked by the bank. An older woman had just exited. She looked at the boys. She looked at me. And then back at the boys. She shook her head disapprovingly and passionately said, “That’s WAY too many.” “Oh, well just these two are mine,” I said, gesturing to Zach and Matthew. But a second later, it hit me just how rude that comment had been. So what if I did have three kids close together – plenty of people out there do it. Later, when I thought about it, I regretted that I didn’t come up with something wittier to say. I could’ve placed my hand on my perma-belly-pooch and said, “Oh, well, actually we’re working on number 4…and since you said that, I think we’ll go for five!”

- Don’t bite. On Friday, Zachary and I were playing on our bed. It’s one of his favorite pastimes. He throws the pillows all around. Rolls on ‘em, under ‘em over ‘em…gets into general mischievous fun. Thus, we were playing on the bed and laughing away. My mouth was open (it was a good time – it was an open-mouth laugh) when somehow our faces totally collided. “Ow, shi…uuuut.” Escaped from my mouth as I felt my lips and checked to make sure no teeth had been knocked out. Oh, right. The kid. Zach had started to give a good cry. I inspected the damage and low and behold found that I had indeed left my mark on him. Right on his cheek – next to his nose – were two teeth mark gashes. One a top tooth and one a bottom tooth indent. Bad mommy. Don’t bite your children! People have asked when they see the little scabs, “Oh no! What happened?” And I mumble my answer: “I bit him.”

- Preschool trauma and drama. Somehow, I’m going to make a LONG story short. (Right, good luck with that one, Oh-Me-of-So-Few-Words). Matthew has been enrolled for preschool at the Renton Community Center (RCC) – same place he attended last year – since last Spring. This year he’d go Tues/Thursday mornings for 2 ½ hours. Andrea (also planning on doing the program for daughter Brooke) informed me that they were switching to the YMCA because it was a.) closer – a LOT closer and b.) longer – 3 hours instead of 2 ½, but I’m sure that the extra half hour makes all the difference in the world. We both withdrew from RCC and registered at the Y.

Last Wednesday night was parent orientation. The kids would have their first day the following morning. Andrea and I walked into the church basement room (where the Y is currently renting space) and found ourselves in an oversized storage closet – not a preschool classroom. And CERTAINLY not a classroom prepared to have 17 three and four-year-olds show up the next day for their first day of school. The place was crusty and musty, barren and blah. The teachers were kind of the same. The restrooms and nearest running water was down a long hallway. 40 minutes out of the three hour class schedule was allotted to shuttling kids to the potty and to wash hands. That’s 40 minutes of peeing and washing that we’re paying for! The teachers didn’t have answers to fairly important questions like, “So, there’s no running water in this room, do you have water for the kids to drink? What about drinking water for an emergency?” There response was, “Yes, there’s water in the emergency/disaster bins for …..hmm, I wonder where those are. We had them at the old building. Huh.” They were so not prepared and I was BEYOND not impressed. I could go on and on about all of the things that they didn’t seem prepared for. I could also go on and on about how unprepared I was for jumping into a new preschool without doing more research….but, whatever. Andrea and I walked out and looked at each other. “I think I need a drink,” I said.

After a lot of discussion we decided there was no way that Matthew would be going there. I pulled him out the next morning (when he should’ve been attending his first day). I called RCC to see if there was any chance there was still a spot for him in their class. Right. We’re 17th on the waiting list. Not going to happen. Don’t hold your breath. So, right when I was coming to terms with the fact that Matthew might not be in preschool this year, I might have to have him home with me ALL the time, I might have to actually start paying attention to him, maybe even attempting educational activities with him…I had a sudden thought! I remembered a preschool that one of my former music students had told me about. Actually, she dropped out of class because it conflicted with the preschool. I thought, any preschool that’s worth dropping my music class for, must be phenomenal! I called and found out that they’d had a cancellation THAT very morning. She’d hold it for a couple of hours but then she’d need to give it to someone else. I immediately jumped in the car to go see the facility and meet the teachers. (I was going to do some more in-depth research this time).

The teachers were all there – cleaning and organizing and decorating!!! Already a major improvement! One of the teachers spent nearly 25 minutes with me telling me all about the curriculum (they go on three field trips a year and have many special guests come throughout the year: musicians, magicians, firemen, policemen, etc.). She answered every question I could possibly think of and many that I never would have thought to ask. She knew her stuff and was definitely on top of things. And the bathrooms were RIGHT there! They have a fantastic playground for sunny days (including a sandbox and a vast toy truck supply – a requirement for Matthew) and they have a huge room for indoor play (on the many Seattle rainy days) equipped with tricycles, climbing equipment, tumbling mats, etc. Check out the website too: – a website! With information! Imagine that! I’m sold. Wait, it gets better! It’s cheaper than the Y program PLUS an additional day! Matthew will be there Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9:15-11:30am. That’s three mornings a week he’ll be gone. I’m sure Zachary and I will just sit around twiddling our thumbs until it’s time to pick him up! (Mike has already asked, “So, that’s three mornings a week that you’ll only have one kiddo, what are you going to do during that time?” Translation: Don’t spend it “running errands” also known as “spending money.”)

- Crazy-Busy. So, I’ve gotten you all caught up on our lives. Oh, no wait. I forgot something. We walked down today to the Newcastle Days (little town fair/festival). Both Matthew and Zach went on a pony ride and loved it. Zach barked at the pony the whole time. (According to Mr. Genius Zachary all non-human mammals bark including deer, rabbits, squirrels, sometimes ducks and ponies too, it turns out).

I may be MIA for a bit. Matthew starts preschool – his AWESOME three-day-a-week preschool – this week. I’ll also be watching Nick Tues-Friday, and I start up the Fall session of Little Ditties music class on Friday. SO I need to plan for that, and we’re trying like crazy to finish painting in the entryway and down by the music room -slash- laundry room before class rolls around. And because of school starting up and Nick arriving early, Andrea and I are now meeting for our MWF runs at 6am! Crazy-Busy, indeed.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY, MATTHEW!!!! Four? FOUR! Can you believe that it’s been four years since “I don’t think he’s going to like that name [Abigail Madeline]” Mr. HUGE surprise?! Crazy. Four. I remember four. It wasn’t that long ago. OK, well, it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.

Yesterday was my first day watching little Nick (2 ½ yrs. old) from up the street. The combination of three boys ripping around this house was a little madness. But Mr. Nick, out of all three boys here, was BY FAR the most well behaved. Way to go Martin Boys. Nick is quiet and mellow and sweet, and it was all Matthew and Zachary could do to keep from smothering Nick in their love and adoration. And Zach couldn’t resist entirely. I heard Nick croaking something. I looked over and saw that Zach was squeezing Nick as hard as he could in a neck-hug of total devotion. Nick was quietly squeaking “Get off me….get off me, please.” Zach adores him and Matthew thinks he’s pretty darn cool too.

And how successfully my first day with all three boys was! I got them all down for naps at 2pm and they were out for two hours! Matthew had me up at 5:20am with a bad dream and I stayed up for an early run with Andrea, so I was pretty wiped. I managed to nap for an hour and a half! I’m working hard for my money.

Nick has a 5 yr. old sister, Sydney, who is as girlie as they come. She showed up today to drop Nick off and to head off to her second day of school dressed in sparkly top and metallic silver cowboy boots. I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up and she said, “a Rock Star.” This boy-infested, truck-obsessed household is absolutely the best place for Nick to spend the next month. I asked him yesterday what he wants to be when he grows up and he said, “A Flower Girl.” Matthew looked at Nick and said, “Huh?! You can’t be a Flower Girl. You gotta be a firefighter like me.” I told Geoff, Nick’s dad the story, and then with Sydney announcing her Rock Star aspirations this morning, he just looked towards the sky and said, “A Rock Star and a boy Flower Girl…help us.” I promised him that after a month with us, Nick will want to only be things manly: bulldozer driver, fire fighter, pirate…or in the very least a Flower Boy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mike has gone all Dr. Phil on me. Let me explain. So, Matthew, last night was acting all crazy – really wild and emotional, bouncing off the walls, general tom-foolery, etc. Turns out the poor child is sick. He was fine yesterday – well, behavior-wise, not so fine, but health-wise; fine. He woke up today complaining of a tummy ache but was in good spirits, otherwise. We went to church where he proceeded to just lie across us through the entire Mass (sign #1 that something wasn’t right), he passed up the offer of fruit snacks (this is when I really wondered what was up), didn’t finish his donut (there’s something seriously wrong with this child!), complained of being hot and cold and hot and cold in the car and begged to go straight to bed when we got home. His temperature at noon was 99.4 – not terrible, but he definitely didn’t feel well. He took a three hour long nap and perked up a bit during the afternoon. Tonight, at bed time he started fading again and had a temperature of 101.9. Thankfully, his Tylenol kicked in and he came out of his room, feeling much better and ready to party until way past bedtime.

So, last night because of Matthew’s bad-choice-making behavior, I said that he couldn’t come with me to visit the kitties next door. (Our neighbors are out of town for a couple of days, so we get to cat-sit). Matthew was absolutely devastated that he didn’t get to come visit the felines and proceeded to wail and sob and carry-on in the most tragic – and loud – way. I could hear him next door!

Mike, in a moment of complete parental peace and tranquility, asked Matthew why he was sad. They discussed that Matthew’s actions had caused the consequence of not being able to visit the cats with me. Then, in a moment of pure child psychology-genius, Mike channeled his inner-Dr. Phil and asked Matthew to draw him a picture of how this all made him feel. Matthew, being the complete artist prodigy and genius that HE is, commenced at drawing a self-portrait complete with TEARS running down his cheeks. (If this doesn’t make you do the Oprah-ugly-that’s-just-so-darn-touching-Cry than there’s no hope for you). Matthew began his picture again this time drawing sad Matthew sitting on a bus. Matthew explained that he was sad on the bus because he’ll be going to a new preschool [starting this week] and won’t have Ms. Susan for a teacher anymore. Then, in the last artistic masterpiece, Matthew drew yet another bus and yet another Matthew – this one without tears. He added another little person on the bus. “Who’s that?” Mike asked. Matthew smiled, “That’s Jack. He’s going to come to my preschool to make me feel all better.”

Jack is Matthew’s special-good-pal from our childbirth class. Matthew is, shall we say, just a little obsessed with Jack…and his mom (my good friend) Megan. Anytime we’re playing – trucks, legos, workermen, whatever – the toys are named Jack and Megan. He named plants in our backyard: Jack, Jackie, Jack’s Grandma, and Megan. Every once in a while, Matthew refuses to answer to the name Matthew and claims that he is Jack and I am his mother, Megan. Now, we love Jack and Megan just as much as Matthew but we’re a little concerned. It’s touching that Matthew wants to bring Jack to his preschool to make him feel better, but we may just have to have Dr. Mike look into this whole obsession a bit more.

In the meantime, Matthew and I discussed preschool a bit more tonight when he was feeling better. He said that he’d be sad because I’d leave him there but he’d be OK too ‘cuz he was going to put a force-field around himself to protect himself. I pray that the force be with him.