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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The other day, I overheard the following conversation between my two boys. We were collecting mail from the mailbox and Zach wanted to carry my magazine.

Z: I want the girl one.
M: You shouldn’t want the girl one, Zach. We’re boys. We don’t like girl stuff.
Z: Ya-huh. I like girl stuff.
M: I don’t.
Z: I like girls.
M: Not me.
Z: I like to kiss girls.
M: Not me.
(A little bit later) M: Well, Abby is my girl. [Abby is my friend Larissa’s 5 yr. old daughter. Matthew and Abby have been buddies since they were in-utero.]
Z: Luna is my girl. [Luna is my friend Rebecca’s female cat.]

Friday, February 20, 2009

I am so cool, and I can prove it.

So, earlier this week, we went to a friend’s house. I got my haircut while our kids all played together. The sun had broken through the clouds by the time we were done and ready to depart. It was turning out to be quite a bright, cheery day. I dug my sunglasses out of the bottom of my purse and put them on. Hmmm, something was weird. The left lens was all blurry as if there was a scratch or smudge on the glass. I rubbed the lens with my finger and when that didn’t work I took them off and rubbed it with the hem of my shirt.

The boys and I drove to the gym so that I could work-out (hooray!) and they could play at the Kids’ Club (yippee!). I drove the whole way from my friend’s house to 405 to our exit and along city streets to the gym all the while thinking that my sunglasses were just kinda weird. The left lens was just a little blurry, however, I could see well enough and I needed the glasses to block out that mysterious glowing orb in the sky. (Oh, right. It’s called “the sun.” It had been a while since it last appeared here).

We were stopped behind a pick-up truck at the intersection right by the gym. I noticed the guy repeatedly glancing in his rearview mirror at me. Um, yeah, he was totally checking me out. And I can’t blame him – I’d just gotten my haircut and was looking pretty good.

I drove into the parking lot and stopped in our usual spot. While my haircut was great, I didn’t have the product in it that I usually do, so it was starting to get just a little frizzy, so I debated about putting it in a ponytail or maybe just putting my sunglasses on my head for walking into the gym. I decided to go for the sunglasses-on-the-head look. Without really thinking about it, I pulled down the visor so I could see how I was looking in the mirror. Um. Right.

My right sunglass lens was completely gone. GONE. I had one dark (nearly black) sunglass lens for my left eye and nothing – just empty, open, eyeball-exposing space – on my right eye. How?! HOW had I driven that whole way and not realized it?!!

I just started cracking up. The boys were like, “Huh? What’s so funny, Mom?” I turned around and pointed to my face, “Um, you coulda told me!” They both thought it was hilarious too, and I’d like to think that had they noticed it they would’ve clued me in. (Probably something to the effect of, “Mom, your face looks weird.”)

When we went into the gym, I told the girls that work in the Kids’ Club about sunglasses. One of them said, “It’s a good thing you didn’t wear your glasses into the gym. You know, you’re feeling all cool: Yeah, I’m so cool. I’m going to work out; I’ll just wear my glasses into the gym ‘cuz I’m SO cool.’” Yeah, it’s a good thing. And thank goodness I didn’t see anyone that I know. (You know – other parents from preschool or students/parents from my music classes). I’m sure that pick-up truck driver was pretty perplexed by my look. Oh yeah, he was TOTALLY checking me out ‘cuz I’m JUST THAT COOL.

[While words can paint a picture, they just can’t do this whole scenario justice. You gotta see this coolness in action to believe it. Matthew was my photographer. He did a pretty good job, huh?]

Monday, February 16, 2009

I know, I know, some of us don’t handle change well. Here you’re minding your own business, just a ‘quick’ look at Jenny’s blog to see what nonsense she’s written about today and Wa-Zammy, you’re met with a whole new look. A funky new layout. Really cutting edge. (I just thought it was pretty and time for a blog wardrobe update).

So, Valentine’s Day – come and gone. Did you enjoy it? Was it good enough for you? Did you have high hopes and were they met and if not, do you need to chat? We had a very Valentine’s/love-themed intensive weekend. It started Friday night at Church. Our Rockstar Priest (as I like to call him), Father Bryan (he is a baby priest – only 33 years old and so very cool) had requested our presence at what he was calling “Marriage Mass” or “Mass of LOVE.” We went on Friday night and renewed our wedding vows along with about 100 other couples. It was wonderful. We celebrated afterwards with a, uh, romantic (?!) family date at Baskin and Robbins.

Saturday was super packed. It started with Mike making heart-shaped pancakes (with Strawberry Syrup, so they were even red). The boys each got a box of John Deere fruit snacks…apparently that’s the 2 ½ and 5 year old boys equivalent of getting diamonds on Valentine’s Day. I spent the morning cleaning toilets, sinks and tub and vacuuming the whole house. Yes, romantic but I was very glad to get it done. Mike worked on the car. (Our ’95 Ford Taurus is just limping along…hmmm, I wonder why!) The highlight of the day was our big Engaged Encounter dinner and dance – “2nd Prom” in the evening. Even my parental units joined in the Promish fun! I thought about finding an old hideous prom dress (not one of mine, of course) complete with puffy sleeves and big-butt-bow, but decided to play it safe with a red top, short black skirt and my sassy black books which, quite frankly, make any outfit magical and divine and oh-so hot. (I’ll hopefully get a copy of a picture to post eventually).

Sunday morning brought one more LOVE-themed activity to us. Father Bryan asked if we would be willing to speak at church about Engaged Encounter – how we help prepare couples for marriage, what we get out of it, etc. So, instead of hanging out in the kid party area in the back like we usually we do, we had to act all composed in the front of the church. Well, we tried. And of course, the one day where all eyes would be on us is the day that Zach decides to throw a tantrum (something about wanting his sticker book and yet not wanting his sticker book). Mike had to take him out literally kicking and screaming (Zach was the screamer, not Mike, just to clarify). Father Bryan even gave me a grin at that – Zach is his BIGGEST fan. We tell Bryan that even if Zach was on his best behavior we wouldn’t be able to sit near him ‘cuz Zach would yell, “Father Bryan! Father Bryan! [Fawver Brwian! Fawver Brwian!]” and run up to give him a high five.

Anyway, thankfully, Zach was settled down (a bit) by the time Mike and I needed to go up to the podium to speak. My parents and brother Chris had come to our church to provide us with some back-up for when we ditched our children to make our brief presentation. Matthew was sitting with friends all cool, calm and collected. When we were up there giving our talk, I happened to look in Matthew’s direction, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget how he looked. He was perched on the end of the pew, sitting so tall and so proud and grinning from ear-to-ear. And, thankfully, we did make him proud. As we were coming back to our seats, he raised his arm up in the air and gave us a big thumbs-up. [Hey, if we can impress him then we know we did well.]

Monday, February 09, 2009

I woke up to snow on the ground this morning. Total surprise. Shockeroony. (Yes, thank you, Oprah for that last new word). The Seattle weather forecasters are MUCH better at forecasting the weather after the fact. Hmm. Wait. I think that’s not really how it’s supposed to work. Anyway, I’m happy to forego one 6am run this week to get a little bit of writing time in.

As reported last week, our eldest, Matthew, has suffered a catastrophic injury. At this point, I regret not having rushed him to the ER when the bodily trauma first occurred. WHY hadn’t his teacher called me when the accident happened?! As his mother, I should’ve been there to hold his hand and comfort him during that scary ordeal. Now, precisely a week after the incident, he is still limping as much as ever. While the wound – the 3rd degree RUG Burn – has healed and only a small scab remains as evidence of the Carpetish Disaster ’09, the lasting emotional and physical repercussions linger. [Do Rug Burns come in degrees? They must. And if they do, this one is definitely a 3rd degree.]

Matthew still refuses to bend his leg. His left leg is permanently straight, apparently, and sticks out like a little broken bird leg. He takes stairs one at a time. He drags his leg behind when running. I’m still expecting him to say, “I’ve been shot! Go on without me!” His run looks more like a gimpy-horse gallop. I guess I just don’t have enough caretaker skills to help remedy this ailment of his. I think we might need to check him into a long-term rehabilitation center.

I did seek some sage advice from someone who really knows kids. Kristyn is my friend and…Childcare Expert Specialist – CES (OK, she’s our nanny who we employ while I teach music classes. I just have such a hard time saying “nanny” ‘cuz it makes me sound all hoity-toity and…grown-up. Most days I still feel like a nanny and I sit around praying that the parents get home soon to relieve me). When Kristyn arrived last week I prepped her that Matthew would need some extra special care due to the seriousness of his injury. She, of course, assured me that Matthew would be in capable hands.

Now, I heard all sorts of things from Matthew last week – ‘that he’d never walk again...for eight months, that he needed to be carried, that he couldn’t clean-up toys because of his handicap, and that he needed a “kid wheelchair”’ (to name a few). Kristyn’s report after seeing Matthew in his desolate state was, “I think it is time you face the facts Jenny: Matthew is not going to heal without proper medical attention. What does that mean? You know what it means- child wheelchair. It is clear he is only going to get worse without one. I bet you can find a good deal online. Get crackin'." I figure I can find a good deal for one on eBay or Craigslist.

When I reported to Kristyn yesterday that matters had still not improved, she wisely recognized my call for help, and yet again, provided helpful and expert counsel. "I think this situation calls for more drastic measures. It's time to start looking into specialists- what would you call a rug burn specialist? A Rugologist? Carpetologist? If they can't diagnose him with something that already exists, maybe his condition could be named after him. Then I could say to random people I encounter, "hey I know the guy that condition is named after!"" So, would that be Matthew Martinitis? Or Matthew Martin’s Disease? I’m not sure, but Kristyn sure knows her kid-injury stuff.

Meanwhile, Zachary seems to be accepting his brother’s new disability with maturity and ease. Thankfully, he’s been immune to the emotional trauma that we’re all suffering because of Matthew’s accident. Although, I am a little concerned that he’s learning some bad habits because of his big brother’s new Peg Leg Running technique. I caught him yesterday doing the gimpy-horse gallop across the family room floor as opposed to a standard run. I wonder if they have specials on kid wheelchairs. Two for one? i.e. Buy one, get one free?

All in all though, Zachary does appear unfazed. So unfazed, in fact, that a couple of days ago, he took it upon himself to provide the family with some much needed comic relief. The boys were playing well together downstairs while Mike and I finished dinner and started clearing the table. They were playing, we now realize, a little TOO well. Zachary suddenly jumped into the doorway and screamed,
“TA-DAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!” accompanied with arms extended and just a hint of jazz hands (so as not to over do it). He’s totally buck-booty-cheeked naked. Well, save for a blue hunter’s type snow hat. Gotta keep the head warm, right?

When Mike and I recovered from the shock (and hilarity) of the scene, we put on our stern parental faces and did all the “that’s not appropriate” blahblahblah, and “save the nudeyness for the bathtub” blahblahblah, while really we couldn’t make eye contact or we’d crack-up again. Ahh, thank goodness for some comic relief during these difficult and trying times for our family. There’s nothing like a hard time to pull people together. And let’s pray to God that a 3rd degree Rug Burn is the hardest time that we have to face!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I’ve said it before, 2 ½ year old Zachary has impressive vocabulary and quite impeccable grammar. The boys a freakin’ genius, what can I say. However, today he said the cutest little Zachism that couldn’t help but warm my heart and make me want to learn to crochet him a big cozy in which to wrap him and cuddle him forever. (Woah, sorry. That was weird. Don’t know where that came from). Zach was doing a Martin-boys favorite: pulling all of the couch cushions and pillows off of the furniture and on to the floor. They usually call this “playing pool” – and the pillows become water and one of them is the lifeguard saving the drowning one, etc. Today, however, Zachary went frantically and ecstatically about removing all cushionage from couchage in a different way; I could just sell that something special was a-happenin’.

“What are you making?” I asked him.

He grinned at me from ear-to-ear and exclaimed, “A HUGE jumporene.”

Well, I can tell you who WON’T be jumping on a jumporene this week – that’d be my gimpy son, Matthew. On Monday, despite my protestations, Matthew wore one of his pairs of ‘at-home jeans’ to preschool. (‘At-home jeans’ are the ones that within a week or so of purchase they SCREAM: “little boy who loves playing Lego’s, trucks and John Deeres on the floor!!” and they totally rock the ‘80’s torn and trashed knee look. In essence: perfect AT-HOME jeans. So, anyway, he comes out of his room all of 3 minutes before we need to walk out the door for preschool. Fine. At-home jeans it is. It’s not like I expect a three-piece suit for preschool, just something a little less…at-homey.

So, Zach and I arrive to pick up Matthew after preschool, and I’m informed by Mrs. Morris that Matthew got some serious rug burns on his knees. She wasn’t kidding. Apparently, Matthew decided to “run” on all fours while playing in the Big Room. His left knee has a pretty bad scab. Yes, I’m sure it hurts. I’m sure it’s no fun. And I do empathize…a bit. But the kid is walking around like he has a peg leg. The last couple of days, he’s told me all of the following: “I will never walk ever again – for eight months…I need you to carry me…I think I need a wheelchair…No, Mom, I can’t clean-up toys ‘cuz my knee hurts too much…My knee will never ever get better. Ever.” Yeah, you could say he’s a little dramatic. Yet he could still push Zach out of the way and sprint to the shoe-removal stool in the garage. Interesting. I think he will survive.