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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you’re thankful for a whole lotta stuff. We had a mellow Thanksgiving Day. We actually had the full meal deal last Saturday. Tim, my big bro, came up for the weekend. My mom just had a pretty major surgery a couple of weeks ago, so Mike and I made all the food and brought it up to parents’ place.

Yeah, so Mom had surgery. They went through her abdomen to the backside and did some colon work. I won’t get into the details, but essentially they did some nip and tuck and tidying up and it was a major pain in the ass. Now, she’s home and on the long road to recovery. If you know me and are familiar with this Blog, then you’re aware, that I’m not necessarily dedicated to the keeping you abreast of important current events – just recounting the mostly fun anecdotal experiences of my life. So, my lack of reporting on the surgery in no way undermines the importance of this event. If anything, I was too busy thinking, worrying and trying to figure out how to help that I just didn’t get around to Blogging on it.

Mom had one really scary morning in the hospital. She woke up at 3 o’clock and found that she was lying in a pool of blood. The nurse(s) were good for nothing. They essentially cleaned her up, gave her nothing for the pain, no good explanation for the blood loss and didn’t show up again for another three hours. I’m sorry, but I thought the point of a hospital is to be cared for. Hmmmm. Then, around 6am, Mom was in dire need for something to help her pain. I think she gave up on the Nurse call-button since it hadn’t done much good before and she may have been a bit incoherent. She got out of bed and walked out into the hall with the intention of flagging down a nurse for help. When she stepped out, another patient walking by said something to the affect of, “Oh my gosh!” (Or something to announce major concern). Mom looked down and saw that she was standing in a puddle of blood. Quite a large puddle. That, finally, got the nurse’s attention and within moments, Mom was back in bed and surrounded by eight nurses looking like deers in headlights. Uh, yeah.

There was talk of the possibility of her needing a blood transfusion but thankfully was never needed. The doctor discovered that Mom had two fist-sized blood clots in her abdomen (a big bad side effect from the surgery). Surgery was scheduled for the next day to remove those, and in the meantime she was put on Valium for the pain.

Now, FINALLY, moving on to the fun stuff – Mom on Valium! There’s a good time! In the afternoon, she asked Dad for a cup of tea with sweetner in it. He prepared it as directed, but when he looked back a bit later, the packet of sweetner was floating in the tea. “What did you do?” He asked. Mom, in her delirium replied, “I wanted sweetner packet in it!” (She does have a point).

My personal favorite mom-on-major-pain-killers moment took place when she was saying goodbye to the boys. We’d brought them by to see her and they did a terrific job of cheering her up. Mom pulled the boys close and said, “Boys, do you have a night-night song for Grandma?” The boys looked at her like ‘uh, no.’ And then under her breath in an appropriately whimsical way she sang, “Puff the Magic Dragon…” Ahh, what an appropriate song for her (temporary) drugged situation.

Thankfully, the blood clot removal surgery went really well and Mom was able to head home the next day. She’s had a couple of really rough days at home but now, two weeks post-surgery, she was well enough to come hang out at our place for a very mellow Turkey Day. And since we’d done the whole feast last Saturday, today we kept it easy and had turkey soup! It was actually really nice to have the major cooking behind us already. We had a fun time and celebrated Thanksgiving just as the Pilgrims and Native Americans must have – with some rousing games on the Nintendo Wii!

The other morning, Matthew suddenly decided that he wanted his “hair gelled like Daddy’s.” (So, just the bangs spiked up a hair…yeah, sorry for the pun). He was thrilled with the results and declared that Zachary not only also needed gelling but required a mohawk. Zach didn’t resist, so we mohawked away. Zach’s hair is super fine and fluffy on top. As soon as I gelled it up it immediately began falling towards the front forming a big peak. Zach took one look in the mirror and in a monotone stated, “I look like a rhinoceros.” Though he sounded disappointed at first, he guarded that rhino-do for the rest of the day. When I put his hood up before leaving the gym (since we’d be walking into a November Seattley day – POURING rain), he immediately pushed his hood down and said, “NO! Mom! You’ll ruin my jello!”

Zach was so proud of his first "art" from preschool!

Fun with Uncle Timothy and Uncle Chris

Yes, nearly a month later, I'm FINALLY getting some Halloween pictures up!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last Friday morning, arrived with yet another early Matthew wake-up call. I woke up to Matthew standing next to the bed, his face just a few inches from mine.

“Mom, mom,” he said in a stage-whisper. “Come with me, I have something to show you.” And with that he left the room.

I grunted and looked at the clock. OK, it was in fact “morning” despite it feeling and looking outside like it was the middle of the night. I groggily stumble down the hall. Matthew is in the living room, the dark living room as all lights are still off, and he’s crouched in the middle of the floor, leaning over something.

With much seriousness, he beckons me down to the floor as well. As soon as I sit down across from him, he dramatically sweeps both arms out in a Vanna Whitesque movement. He pauses for dramatic effect and then says, “My tooth. It came out.” That’s when I finally see it – this tiny little white thing just chillin’ on the living room carpet.

“Oh my gosh, Matthew! That’s so cool!” I admire his jack-o-lantern grin and then pick-up the tiny tooth. I asked him if he’d pulled it out and was informed that he was just wiggling it and it popped out…on to the floor…where it stayed until I came and picked it up. Matthew was afraid to touch it. Not me. Apparently loose teeth, while still in the mouth, give me the serious heeby-jeebies but once removed they cause no squeamishness at all.

So the Tooth Fairy found her way to the Martin household for the first time on Friday night. And holy majoly what with inflation and all, she brings a lot more than she did back in my day! A whole one dollar bill! (We informed Matthew that due to the unforeseen economic issues facing our country, she may need to cut back…it’s possible that she only brings a dollar for that special first tooth and then it’s down hill from that point on. Each tooth may only be worth $0.50 from here on out. We’ll be keeping tabs on the lost-tooth market to predict his future earnings.)

Matthew was elated when he found the dollar and he proceeded to carry it around all morning until I finally talked him into putting it into the only safe bank left in this country – the piggy bank, located in his room, on the shelf. As far as I know Piggy Bank has not been a major player in the bailout bill. Piggy Bank has been nothing but responsible. No Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 needed here, thank you very much.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Zach is our monkey. He is a lot more physical than Matthew. He climbs on the furniture. He dances and leaps and jumps. He doesn’t walk places, he usually runs. He pulls furniture down on himself. He is very prone to injury. However, he handles injury and pain like a champ. Case in point – I took the boys in for flu shots a couple of weeks ago. I had to hold Matthew down while he wriggled and writhed in utter trepidation pre-shot and then comforted him while he sobbed post-shot. Zach, I had to hold still long enough for the needle to poke him in the arm, he glared at the nurse and said, “Hey. Ow,” got his band-aid and ran away to play.

The other evening, whilst preparing for bed, Zach had asked for one last sip of water. I was trying to hand him his sippy-cup but as per usual, he was leaping and grooving so much that I missed the mark and he got sippy-cup-spouted in the eye. This one hurt badly enough that it did warrant a big cry. He sobbed and was actually unable to open his eye for a full two minutes. In the middle of his agony, he yelled, “My eyeball is broken. I can’t see! I have a broken eyeball!!”

* * *
We’ve continued taking swim lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays. We’ve been taking swim lessons for several months now. Somehow, by an act of God alone, neither boy has slipped and fallen in the slippery and fallery locker room…until last Monday. Zach felt not once, not twice – nay my friends – he fell thrice to the floor. AND THEN for a grand finale he somehow walk/projected himself into the open door of a locker and is now sporting a nice black bruise on his cheek.

* * *
Matthew has a super-mondo wiggly loose tooth! That sucker’s gonna be outta there any day now. It’s one of the bottom, front two, and he already has the new ones coming in behind them, so unfortunately, his jack-o-lantern smile won’t last for long. Now, I consider myself not too squeamish. I mean, I don’t enjoy blood, I don’t seek out vomit and I’m not a huge fan of poo, but for the most part I’m down with the gory aspects of motherhood. Hmm, yeah, turns out I’m not too digging on the loose tooth thing. When Matthew pulls his tooth all the way down to his bottom lip so that you can see the tooth clinging to two last roots for dear life…I get all heeby-jeeby about it. It makes me shudder and say “blehblyeahbleueya.” (You must say it quickly and in one fell swoop while shuddering to get the full effect).

* * *
Zach has been a total snot about sleeping lately. I don’t know what his damage is…I think, unfortunately, he may just be waking up in the middle of the night and he just lies there…Awake…Bored. This means two things: A.) He decides to spend his awakedness yelling and crying for me to come and hang out in his room, to cuddle, to sit the chair, to ANYTHING OR he repeatedly leaves the comfort of his bed and tries climbing over me into our bed so that we have to spend HOURS doing the same melancholy and utterly fatigued, frustrated march back to his room…we’ve worn down a path in the rug. AND B.) This also means that it’s probably time for him to give up his afternoon naps. This fills me with so much distress and grief that I can’t even begin to elucidate my feelings on the matter.

So, last night was one of those torturous nights of parenting where you’ve been kept up and harassed by an offspring for two hours straight in the middle, wee hours of the night and you really wonder why you ever decided to breed in the first place. Thus, this morning, we were quite tired and had slept a little later than usual for a weekday morning. I woke up to Matthew standing next to the bed. He looked down into my sleep-crustified state and grinned. He said, “Mom, are you as fine as a hotdog in a bun?”

I thought this statement quite funny and shared it with my mom later today. Not only did she find it amusing but she ‘got it.’ I didn’t know there was something to ‘get’.

“Oh,” she said, “How cute. That was his way of saying ‘snug as a bug in a rug’.”

“Huh?” I’d never thought to analyze his statement.

“Of course, that’s what he meant,” Grandmother-oh-wise-one continues, “He was speaking in a metaphor.”

Well, whatever. Metaphorically speaking, the kid’s a freakin’ genius.

* * *

If my mommy/music-teaching/writing career(s) go(es) down the crapper, I have a back-up plan. I’m going to be a special specialist for special weather reports in the Seattle area. Today, Mike and I took my mom out to lunch. As we threw ourselves into the car to get out of the pouring rain, I summed up the weather: “Brr slash ick.” Yeah, that’s what I said. I think it really did the weather justice. I could really go somewhere with that…just where to exactly, I don’t know, but somewhere they’re in need of my weather commentary.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Election Day! I try to keep this BLOG confrontational and debatable-free, so I won’t be talking politics at all. I’ll be talking more important stuff – Halloween in the Martin Household.

First of all, Zach and I went to the gym (actually on Halloween Eve). I took him into the Kids’ Club bathroom to use the potty before we left to pick Matthew up from preschool. Zach was amazed by the pint-sized, him-sized toilet. I said, “Look, Zach, it’s a potty just for you.” He started making comments about how it wasn’t his potty, but then he paused and said (yes, randomly yet ever-so impressively), “Actually, Mom, it’s attached to the wall.” Why, yes, why yes it is. He’s 2 ½!! What 2 ½ year old says, “actually” and “attached”?! I’ll tell you which one – Zachary the Wonder Genius (who is not stunted by his intellect and is still very socially-adept, well-adjusted and funny to boot…just to be clear).

Moving on to Halloween (and I will post pictures soon). We were preparing to head out for trick-or-treating with our wee Army Man Matthew and Pirate Zachary, when the first group of trick-or-treaters rang our doorbell. I said, “Matthew, open the door!” But he was suddenly freaked out by the whole process. So, I open the door just a bit and immediately block the view behind me. Three gory,oozy-goozy, blood-dripping masked preteens were in the process of raiding our candy bowl. (So why they bothered ringing the bell is beyond me). I looked at them in disgust and hissed, “Thank goodness my five year old hadn’t opened the door. You would have scarred him for life…Happy Halloween.” And I shut the door. Shortly after that another group of gories arrived. Thankfully, Matthew hadn’t actually seen either of these groups, but we did prep and remind him that we might see some scary costumes but to just remember they were all pretend. That was all it took. He plastered his body in the door frame and refused to budge, way too terrified to leave the house.

We did manage to talk him into it, promising that if we saw anything scary coming our way, he could just bury his head in Mike’s side. He did brave up over time, even asking an older gentleman, what his name was (Hal), and then informing his new best friend (Hal), that he was no longer afraid and being exceptionally brave.

When I was prepping Zach on trick-or-treating before we even left the house, I said, “OK, and what do you say when they open the door?” Zach hung his head in well-practiced shame and sheepishly said, “Sorry.” Hmm, I guess that’s what I’m usually telling him to say. He did embrace the actual appropriate, rehearsed line and would say, “Trick-or-treat. Trick-or-treat. Trick-or-treat.” UNTIL they actually opened the door, at which point he would freeze and just stare blankly at them and their bowl of candy.

With Halloween behind us, we had a big day November 1st, Mike and I had a reunion with friends from college on the UW Campus. Then, we came home; I was here for about an hour before my hot date (Larissa) picked me up for the Opera. We saw Strauss’ Elektra – not my fave but it was still super fun to get out to an opera. I don’t remember the last time I went to one. After the opera, we went to Fado, an Irish -Pub in downtown Seattle where we met up with our other party-dancy girl, Rebecca. We had a great time being the life of the party. There was a live band and a small dance floor, which I’m happy to say we stankin’ TORE UP.

Sunday, was a quiet day – church, grocery store, and then home. It started pouring and then hailing so it was definitely an inside, in cozies kind of a day. Because of the time change, we decided to have Zach skip his nap (and because it was going to be a late one and that would’ve really messed things up). So, we decided that we’d have a “floor picnic” downstairs and watch a movie. I suggested that I’d walk over to Curt & Linda’s (neighbors) to borrow some videos from their extensive collection. Mike said, “Ooh! See if they have Beauty and the Beast.” “Uh, you have a hankering for a Disney Princess movie, do ya, honey?” Anyway, I did like the suggestion, so I borrowed that and a few others. (And considering that they have two girls, they certainly had a wide variety of princess-themed movies to choose from).

When Matthew found out what we were watching, he groaned and said, “We can’t watch that! It’s a GIRL movie!” (He’s never seen Beauty and the Beast, by the way). I told him that if he was too boyly (uh, manly) to handle a girl movie, then he could just eat his dinner and then play while WE watched the girl movie. Yeah right.

He spent half of the movie hiding behind the couch (in all the mildly scary parts – like when the Beast is being quite nasty and beastish) and the other half laughing his butt off ‘cuz he thought it was hilarious (particularly chuckling at Gaston’s foolish, slap-sticky ways and those silly dancing and singing kitchen cutleries). When the movie was wrapping up and we’re lead to believe that Gaston has, indeed, finished off the Beast, I looked over and saw Matthew surreptitiously wiping tears before they could actually escape his watery eyeballs. (I think Mike may have just had something in his eye at that time as well). Anyway, when the Beast starts to change back into his manly, dreamy-prince state [I hope I’m not ruining the ending for anyone….sorry, did you think that the Beast was just going to kick it at the end? And Beauty would attend his funeral for the Disney cartoon finale?] Matthew glanced at me and asked nervously, “What’s happening?!”

When the movie was over, I asked him, “So, what was your favorite part?” Matthew sighed and said, “The ending – that they were happy.” “Yeah,” I said, “That’s nice, huh? They lived happily ever after. Did it make you sad when you thought the Beast was dying?” Matthew looked at me, slowly nodded and then burst into tears. Ahhh, my sweet, tender-hearted sensitive boy(s)!