Category Archives: Everyday Drama

If . . .

If you ever find yourself watching a two-year-old.

If it goes quiet.

If you note said quietness and go to investigate, but walk in the completely wrong direction.

If you backtrack and find her.  Her being someone else’s two-year-old.

If you inhale so bad you deplete oxygen for the whole room as you notice she’s smeared nappy/diaper rash cream all over her cardigan and a square foot of your 2.5-year-old carpet.

If you’re glad you bought a steam cleaner a few years ago, but quickly realise it’s not taking it off . . .

Be grateful for Google.

Shout Triple Action (clothes) stain remover.  Huggies Thick N’ Clean wipes also came in handy.

Damage removed.

Nightmare gone.

Take that how you wish.

Then The Planets Realigned…

Two days ago, a friend dropped off her 3-year-old girl for a few hours to play while she ran to a morning meeting.  I was ecstatic.  The boys’ bedroom needed some serious attention, and I could get it in better shape if Cameron was distracted by a friend.  It worked.  And apparently, his observation skills were in overdrive too.  You see, she’s in the middle of being potty trained right now, and I was in the bathroom with her 3 times in the space of three hours.  Two were false alarms.

As I was hoovering up the massacred juggling ball (I’ve had since I was 19) that he ripped open with his teeth and spilled the beans everywhere, a miracle occurred: He peed on his potty.  By himself.  And I missed it.  I was a mere 6 feet away.  Wow, I was ecstatic.  We mentioned it for hours. We told Daddy.  We clapped and jumped.  We sang a song.

img_2599It was a fluke, but a great fluke nonetheless.

I’ve had that potty sitting in their bathroom for the past 6 months, just so it’s always in his line of vision.  He’s never really shown much interest in it, but I’m not too concerned, boys are harder to train.  (Do they ever fully train anyway?)

I held him on a pedestal like a prodigy.

Until yesterday.  Yesterday, the planets realigned while I was drying my hair.

glassesHe climbed up on my bed and onto the headboard.  Behind the headboard on one of the window sills were my old standby glasses.  He found them.

Life has returned to normal.  The other lens, incidentally, was found on location at a second site twenty minutes later.  Now, if I ever need glasses, I have a good excuse to get new ones.
img_2610

Butter wouldn’t melt….

Dog Gone It

Yesterday I had one of those moments where I was paying attention.  I wasn’t harried by the kids or in the middle of something and not paying attention.  I had been in my room and walked out, passing my husband in the kitchen doing the dishes (the dear).  I had a prompting, a little voice, the Spirit, whatever else it’s known as to look for Toby.  I glanced outside through the storm door and couldn’t see him.

“Where’s Toby?”
“He’s outside.”

Again, I felt prompted to investigate.  There have been times where I have let things slide from these ‘little thoughts’:  Move that, Cameron will destroy it, and I haven’t done it, either thinking I would see him and catch him in the act, or the idea of him even getting something out-of-reach was completely insane.  Well, I have paid for it too, believe me.

I listened this time and stood at the back door, tracing the looping of his 30-foot leash snaking in the snow against the blinding non-warm sun and seeing it disappear.  I looked beside the small bush where the part of it I could see was, and he wasn’t there.

Again, I felt compelled to open the door and get out there, despite the -10ºF weather.

Where’s your shoes?  Did you put them away?”
“I have them on–”
“Not those, the brown ones.”
“–I put them away, do you think Toby’s leash snapped?”
“I’m not sure, but I need to check, I just have a feeling–”

At that point, he was at the door, and edging it open.

“There he is, by the bush over there.”

I was looking in completely the wrong direction, thinking he was further off than he really was.

“Toby, come on, let’s go inside!”  Bryan said, lifting the intonation in his voice to chipper level.

It was then that I saw it.  Half a foot of leash attached to his collar, dragging just enough in the snow.  It had snapped — at some point — and he had become loose AND TOTALLY UNAWARE!

He bounced back through our back door, completely oblivious to the sinking feeling edging into my stomach and creeping up my throat.

“How long was he out there?  Long?”
“Yeah, about 15 minutes.”

It may have been small, but that?  That was a miracle.  I have risked life and limb for this dog when he has escaped from me four times, once as he was let loose out the front door by the 4-year-old and chased after the traffic half a block to the end of our road and turned the corner towards and on-coming truck 3 times as big as myself.

I know how lucky we all were and I realised that although that little thing has turned my world upside-down, I love the scruffy little mutt!

I’ll never admit it though.

And while I’m sitting here in denial, I’ll be listening.

Because It Wouldn’t All Fit On A Postcard . . .

I can’t hardly believe it’s been so long since I last posted.  What is wrong with me?!  It’s certainly not a lack of sugar.  Christmas isn’t even here yet, and I can hear myself getting fatter.  I am sorry I have been absent, almost despondent from blogging.  I always have something to say, especially lately, where none of it seemed to have any type of uplifting tone to it.  I think that was part of my issue, that I felt all I was doing was unloading and my funny, happy side wasn’t showing through.  But, I’m happy to say I am done with the testing and prodding, for now at least.  But to be honest, I am no further forward than I was before I started at the end of October.

Everything came back normal, even the DHEA (hormone) level where the high normal level is 228, where in November, I was a shocking 1310.  I’m now within normal levels.  I also got my results back today from a sleep test I performed on the comfort of my new lovely mattress.  Sleep test, pah!  That’s a joke!  I have to have quiet, dark, and covers up to my chin to sleep.  And, apparently, nothing distracting me. Needless to say, I finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion with the bloody Oxometer clamped to my left index finger.  After I hid the flashy lights screen under my pillow, all I could do was concentrate on the fact that it was boring a hole into my nail bed.  I woke constantly, I don’t even recall sleeping much — if at all — all that well.  I even dreamed I ripped the bloody thing off my finger and fell back asleep.  I would rather have a newborn wake me up every two hours than to have to do that again. The clamp was so tight that when I removed it the next morning (just before six, I might add), it had left a bright white mark on my nail bed and the skin was raw around it.  I could have told them I didn’t have sleep apnea, all I needed was a new mattress.  Oh, how I love the new memory foam with gel layer mattress.  I am sleeping much better and no longer leaning into the middle of the bed, consequently waking with aching shoulders and a grumpy disposition.

I still haven’t made it to the Psychologist’s office, one of these weeks I might talk myself into it.  Maybe if she lets me take copious notes and if I can snap a pic with her — you know, for blogging’s sake — I might just do it.  You can’t pass up the opportunity of a lifetime of going to a psychologist and not take notes, share insights and garner general blog fodder . . .

A lot has been going on with us, generally just day-to-day things, but enough to keep us busy, especially this time of year.  The biggest thorn, skelf (sliver) or whathaveyou in my side is the bunk beds.  I wish I had known how pathetically bad Oa.k Ex.press was.  Wow, they are pretty awful on the Customer Suckage scale.  They promised a replacement section of the broken headboard for the top half of the bunk beds — on expedited delivery no less! And it took a day longer than the original items to arrive.  Luckily they are delivering the replacement parts for free, but we don’t have a time frame, which is both a good and bad thing.  We don’t have the written warranty which should have come with it, or the treatment for the wood upkeep AND! the casters for the bottom bunk bed (movable) were non-existent.

img_2414Since we were headed to Missoula today anyway, we took a jaunt into their showroom again, hoping to just pick it up and get it all over with.  We pulled up to the loading dock and Bryan trudged through the foot-deep snow to their bay door.  No bell and no signs of life.  When I walked in the front door and said we were there to pick up replacement parts and mentioned we’d stopped at the loading dock, he said, “Oh, he’s at lunch.”  This is also the same no-show warehouse guy that refused to stay past 7 o’clock, even though my husband didn’t get off work until 6 and had to drive with a bad storm blowing in and barely made it there just before quarter past seven.  He left no notes, nothing saying anything was damaged and the floor guys gave Bryan all the boxed pieces and sent him on his way.

So.  Anyway, today, I said:
“I’m just disappointed with it all.  We were promised expedited delivery and it arrived a day later than the first shipment . . .”  “Oh, sorry about that” he said, not really looking at me.

At this point, Bryan joined me.

“This is our first truck delivery since the 13th” he continued.
“No it’s not!” Bryan said defiantly, “I talked with one of the guys here the other day and they told me the parts weren’t on a shipment that day, but they’d be on the next one.  It’s not the only delivery you’ve had.”
“Well, we get trucks here all the time . . .” he replied, backtracking and inadvertently making himself look really bad.

To cut a long story short, he wouldn’t give us the parts because we didn’t bring the other faulty parts with us.  He wanted a clean swap-out.  He still wouldn’t give them to us, even though the delivery truck could have came and got them from us tomorrow.  I am thisclose to just packing it all in and getting our money back.  I love the bunk beds, but eight hundred dollars can be spent elsewhere where they actually take care of their customers.  We’ve pretty much concluded that if anything is missing or damaged from this shipment, we will send it all back.  It’s not worth the grief and hassle.  I know my little Ian will be heart broken, but I’d rather be fully satisfied than have that ‘uck’ feeling inside.  The first two guys we dealt with were really nice.  This one was not.  Before we had even stepped back out into the bitter, snowy cold this morning, Bryan had formulated a plan to write a lengthy letter to their corporate office and complain about their quality systems and quality control.  You’d never guess he was a scientist for one second!

img_2424And life goes on.  Cameron continues to be Cameron: Cute one minute and up to something the next.  His vocabulary is expanding and he can now tell me when Ian is up to something, it’s proving quite handy.  It’s hilarious to watch Ian’s face when Cameron runs and tells me something.

“Iannotnice!”
“Ian hit!”

They love each other though, and it’s beautiful to watch Cameron want to be just like his brother.  He adores him so much.

img_2439As for me, you know, all-in-all, I’m doing great.  I’m happy and things are going really well for me.  I still can’t explain the hair loss and the lack of occasional appetite, but I think stress plays a major roll in that.

And, in a non-existent segue kinda way, even after all these years, it still surprises me when people ask me where I’m from.  A friend’s aunt asked me today and then responded, “I could sit and listen to you talk for days . . .”  I remarked, “that’s what he used to say, now he just tells me to shut up!”

These next few days, I’ll definitely be putting a major emphasis on the home.  A good friend of mine from when I was a teenager (i.e. bloody donkeys ago) had a ritual of deep cleaning her entire home for New Year’s.  Since I’ve gotten older, I think that’s a pretty decent thing to do, so I am reorganising and purging like a mad woman.  It’s such a great feeling.  I for one — and I think I can speak for many of us — will not be sad to see the back of 2008.  Wow, what an incredible amount of menoosha happened this year.

But before I properly herald in the New Year, we still need to get those bunk beds sorted.  Watch this space.

Oh! de Toilette

You know, for the most part Cameron has been an easy toddler.  He hasn’t eaten dulcosate sodium capsules, flung cinnamon all over my floor, or drawn all over my new monitor with a black Sharpie (I got it off, it was easy – thanks Google).  He hasn’t even drank childrens’ ibuprofen when I turned my back for two seconds, redistributed potting soil all over my floors, table, chairs and carpet 6 feet away, repainted over a newly painted wall (in a different colour), and I haven’t had to call Poison Control three times — actually, not even once.

[read: Ian did all that.]

But right now, my second and youngest son has barricaded himself in the bathroom next to his room.  I’d like to find the person who thought placing a sink with cabinet adjacent to a bathroom door was a great idea and thank him/her.  He got in there, promptly shut the door and opened the top drawer.  From my location in the kitchen, I could hear him playing with the toilet water and a plunger (always a great discovery).  I walked over to retreive him and salvage my bathroom floor only to be thwarted in my attempts to gain entry.  Ladies and gentlemen, the door opens a whole half an inch.  I knelt on the floor, calling out incentives to coax him out of his euphoria.

“Cameron?  Do you want to go outside?”
I got the usual “Ehm!” — his nodding yes.
“Cameron, Mummy’s leaving, bye!”
“Wait’ch!  Wait’ch!”
“Cameron, do you want a num-num?”  (An icepole/otterpop, we don’t have any left, I’m such a liar.)
Another “Ehm!”
“Cameron, come see!  IT’S A HUGE FISH!”
Sigh
“Cameron, shut the drawer” I said, pleadingly.  “Mama stuck!  Look.  Stuck!” I call out, as I slam the door repeatedly against the drawer.

The little blighter giggled.

“Ian, I can’t get the door open, he’s stuck in there…” I said exasperated, hoping for compassion or an idea.
“And he’ll be in there forever and we’ll never get him out!” he responded, sounding dejected.
“I can’t even fit food under the door…” I said, half joking, trying to dispel my fears of him falling into the open toilet face first.

“Cameron?!  Ian has to go potty!  Open the door!”
“No I don’t, I just went, mama!”
“Shush, it’s a joke so he’ll open the door!”

Ian’s little friend from across the street is no comfort either, all he can do to answer my explanations and door demonstrations is talk in fluent Russian.  Heaven help me.  And to make matters worse, the dog is yipping a hole in my left eardrum and there’s a distinct smell of poop coming from the bathroom.

So my friends, if you don’t see me for a while, I’m either hacksawing a door to pieces or squeezing my way through a chihuahua-sized window twenty feet from the grass.

Whoever said being a stay-at-home mum was dull?

*  *  *  *  *

UPDATE:  After 20 full minutes of pleading and coaxing, I gave up and walked away scrambling for inspiration.  Just at that moment, he closed the drawer and opened the door.  I ran over, saw the devastation, and promptly closed and locked the door behind him.

Karma Kure and Bone Throwing

My past two mornings have been hellish enough to warrant any self-respecting mother to hit chocolate/marshmallows/swedish fish/drug of choice intravenously with zero shame or self-hate and loathing.

Just to recap: We have a cockatiel, his name is Mauricio. Mauricio came with the marriage license, he’s basically been around longer than I have – nine years at least. Back in 2002, this bird survived a 3-hour stint lost outside in the dead of winter, five days before Christmas. He got spooked off his cage, rounded the corner and up the short flight path to the open front door with three flight feathers each side.  We eventually found him three blocks away in a tree in someone’s back garden.  I will add that we had to cross a four-lane road to get to him.  He was unhurt and fine, just frightened.

Fast forward to 2006.  Ian was almost two and we’d just got home from his cousin’s fourth birthday party.  Having placed his helium balloon in the house, accidentally scaring the bird off his cage, I went to retrieve Ian from the car.  As the words “Careful! Birdie is on the floor” slipped out my mouth, his attention was broken by said helium balloon and he stomped after it gleefully, crushing Mauricio underfoot.  He had a huge lump on his back next to his wings.  Unknown to us, he had ruptured an air sac and barely escaped death.  You may like to know that not only are very few vet offices open at an unearthly time of night, the number who see birds diminishes greatly.  The closest vet he could go to was an hour away in Sandy, Utah.  We were in Layton at the time (read: a different county entirely).  With rest and minimal interaction, he recovered.  If you really want to, you can read the full account here.

Months later, as Bryan was preparing to fix the car, the bird flew off his cage again, scared by the loud noise he’d heard coming from the garage, and flew out the door into the open garage.  Luckily for us and him, he had dumbed down that day and landed on the window blinds adjacent to the open wide garage.  He was retrieved again and life resumed.

Fast forward with me, if you will, to yesterday.  The mobile/cell phone rings and I stumble to retrieve it past our carpet cleaner, vacuum and a few other tripping obstacles of choice.  The bird, obviously flummoxed by something, decides to leave his safe haven on the cage and lands flat on his face on the floor – sans flight feathers.

These past few days, Toby has been given longer visitation rights throughout the house thanks to good behaviour.

With my back turned, I was oblivious to the bird’s new room perspective — that was until I heard the screeches.  I bolted right to see the dog chasing the bird across the floor, millimetres from his teeth, feathers strewn in his path.  As I scrambled to retrieve Mauricio, I screamed loud enough to draw attention from Alaska twice.  Thankfully I was able to get to him before the dog did any real damage, but I had to pry the bird from under his front paws.

That was yesterday.

Today not long after Cameron woke me up at the crack of dawn (remember he can climb out of his cot/crib now), I took the dog out on his 30-foot leash to relieve himself – he told me his back teeth were floating and to get a bloody move on.  Not twenty minutes later he was whining again.

He’s been really good this past week at doubling back when I shout come! if his attention is sparked from the front of the house.  I will, however, note that I did NOT have treat in hand, and he knew it having come back to me twice.

Minutes after 8 o’clock, and as I stand there in our back yard fully dressed but unshowered and entirely disheveled, he decides to take for the hills at the sound of a car engine pulling into a driveway across the street and 300 feet from us.  Knowing I am without treat, he ignores my pleas to come! and runs in the opposite direction directly into the path of not one, but two on-coming work-bound cars.

If you just said ‘you should have leashed him’, that’s the kind of fancy College talk that’ll get your head butted around here, pal.

I am not a morning person.  I wouldn’t even be as bold to say I am a mid-afternoon snack person.  I sped towards the oncoming cars (not in trainers/sneakers, mind you, but thankfully not in flip flops) knowing that they would have a better chance of seeing me coming than a small, speeding Cairn Terrier on an acid trip.  He rounded her car five times making me flounce around like a beanbag with legs before she was able to move.  I stand there, still dogless, completely helpless and muttering to myself.  She made it about 40 feet down the street before she stopped again seeing the dog belt towards her at full non-human speed, opened her door and loving said “come here Toby, aww what a cute little thing you are–“.  She then scooped him up as I sheepishly made my way to her door affronted and embarrassed with my tail between my legs.

The SUV behind her smiled at me and I half-grimaced back, hoping these poor women would never have to see the living dead gallop past their windscreens chasing a belligerent arsehat pooch again anytime soon.

Running theme?  I think so.  THE DOG.

It’s been 5 glorious weeks and 4 days of Puppydom.

Having made it thus far, you may be wondering the reasoning behind my sudden verbiage.  Well, I am hoping that I can spread good karma across the blogosphere – pay it forward, if you will.  Karma and I are planning on becoming good friends tomorrow morning.

So, without further ado, I present to you my very first awards ceremony.  Having been given quite a few in my 3 years+ of blogging – two of them just last week – it’s about time I gave some back.  Even if you’ve received it before, take it anyway you ingrate.

I pass this Excellent award to Aye Wonder, A Brit Out of Water, Mom or Mum Wars, Magneto Bold Too!, From The Planet of Janet, Burgh Baby, If I Could Escape, A Day in the Life…One Glass at a Time, Blok Thoughts, Mum of 4, Wundurful Wurld and XBox4NappyRash.

Thanks to Blok Thoughts for this one last week.  I now bestow this award on: Seeking Sanity, Anglophile Football Fanatic, Momisodes, Let’s Go Away for Awhile, Big Apple Little Britainer Just Chicken Feed, LongAyelander in Glasgow, Shamelessly Sassy, Twists and Turns of Life with Curls, Immoral Matriarch, Plain Jame, Playgroups Are No Place for Children and Secret Agent Mama.

I also got this award last week from Mumof4 and Blok Thoughts, so I’m passing it along to: Suburban Scrawl, Mocha Momma, Lilac Colored Glasses, A Calm in the Chaos, Lou Cee L, A Murder of Crows, Boss Sanders, ExPat Mum, If Mom Says OK, Jameil Et Cetera, Licensed to Blog, Glass Half Full and Synchronization of Us.

If I never have to link again in a single post, it will be too bloody soon.  I love all of you.  You complete me in so many ways.  No really.  Some make me think, others feed my soul, some tickle my fancy, and the rest of you make me chortle.  If I have missed anyone, please feel free to cyber-slap me in the comments section.

P.S.  Do you read a load of blogs like I apparently do?  I highly recommend throwing yourself a frickin bone and utilising Google Reader or Bloglines or the like.  While you’re at it, go ahead and subscribe to me, it’ll do wonders for my unswollen Scottish ego.  Muah.

T13: Thirteen Things I Should be Doing Instead of a Thursday Thirteen

1. Reading. As much as I love There’s a Wocket in my Pocket and Goodnight Moon, I bought Twilight as a supplementary Mother’s Day gift (when I say supplementary, I also include the Rebel XTi with a 50 mm 1.8 lens) for myself – in May, not March (UK) and I’ve only managed to pick it up twice. I also have seven other books I bought in the UK that I need to read too.

2. Domesticating. There’s wash to do and a carpet to hoover/vacuum. I could also empty the dishwasher, stock the pantry with my bulk buy green beans and corn and put away clean clothes. Life’s so short, why bother?

3. Photoshop. There’s so many things still to learn and relearn, I’d rather hone some sweet skills.

4. Homesickness. As much as I’ve been trying to overlook it and even ignore it, I still get bouts of homesickness from my recent trip home. I hadn’t been back in 5 years and had successfully managed to remove myself from everything. It’s only been 3 months, and I already need to go back. I can relate to the episode of Spongebob Squarepants (the first one I ever saw in 2004, incidentally) where the squirrel, Sandy Cheeks, felt like she belonged back in Texas and not in Bikini Bottom. Listen to her song of lament.

5. Paper and cardboard. I like to do drawrings and make stuff. I also like to make jigsaws. We just bought Ian a 70-piecer, made for a 5-year-old. I’ll sit and pretend I’m helping him just to see how far he can get by himself. I’m itching to get myself a huge one now. Family parameters don’t allow this ideal (read: we have a destructive wee (almost) 18-month old).

6. Pet watching. The Memorial Day Parade we went to where Ian won like 5 prizes, including 2 goldfish? Well, the first one, Shane, up and died a few days later. Ian, noticing his fish was gone, said, “where’s the other fishy?!” I panicked. “Go ask your dad!” I blurted out without thinking. He then ran into daddy who was in another room and out of earshot, incidentally. He came out of the room still worried. “It’s OK Ian” I empathised, “great-granny’s taking care of him…” I offered in a calming, understanding voice. “What?! Nooooo, I want fishy back! He didn’t die!” Oh, for all that is sweet and holy, what did I say wrong?! I ran into the room where Bryan was. “What did you tell him?!” “I told him I took the Shane to the fish doctor, that he needed medicine. Why? What did you say?”

Shawn has the dark mark now too. I give him 2 days at best. Lesson learnt: It’s always good to confer.

7. Leafy greens. We just bought a 4-pound bag of raw, washed spinach. Now I need a smokin recipe to use most of it with. Hot spinach and artichoke dip only goes so far…

8. Windows. Contrary to popular believe, we don’t own a dog. Although, first glance at my living room window might infer otherwise. It’s toddler prints, and sadly it looks like wet nose dog goo. I need to seriously clean them. But as Winston Churchill once said, “Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world: We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls. And it would serve us all better to let us husbands clean the windows.” Never a truer word was spoken.

9. E-mails. I used to be a prolific letter-writer, with much thanks been given to my (late) Gran. She wrote to me profusely throughout my teenage years from Australia. It was one of the things I thanked her for the day before she died. She said, “oh, it was just a small thing–” I conceded, “yeah, but it’s the small things that matter.” With the introduction of amazing technology connecting thousands of people together, I, amongst others, I presume, have forgotten the lost art of sitting down and penning a letter. With this, I have also become lackadaisical in responding to e-mails if I don’t do it as I’ve read them. I’ll formulate responses and I’ll forget about it. I have two waiting for me like that.

10. Money. Of the 120-something dollars I’ve had in my Amazon account since December, I still have $33.47 to spend. I need to get to it.

11. Clips. I need to watch more of these to help with No. 4.

12. Hair. Sadly, this almost made the (to-do) list. Every day 1 o’clock would roll around and I’d say to myself, “I’ll phone Jody after lunch.” Or “I’ll do it in a minute, I’m in the middle of something.” FOUR MONTHS later, I get a haircut. This is very out-of-character for me. I’m usually go 7-8 weeks at most. I would have taken a before shot, but it was ghastly. I now have a much shorter style that enables my ideal to not have to wash and style it every day. I didn’t even dry it yesterday and it almost fell into place. One minute with the hairdryer fixed it up sweet. I love this woman.
Point to note: It takes a full 20 minutes to dry my hair, long or short. It retains water better than a post-HRT woman on steroids and Dr. Pepper.

13. Me time. How long has it been since I have done something for myself? Uninterrupted? Too long. Sadly, I can’t even count blogging. This post has taken me 5 hours.

* * * * *

You may also care to know, today I have been with WordPress for exactly 6 months (after leaving MSN Spaces – one of my fave sarcastic posts), and what a great time I’ve had already. Here’s my first official WP post from 10 January 2008.