Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Serves me right!

This posting is dedicated to my very dear friend at Mommy Stories...

I should have known that the snide little comment I left on Cori's blog last night would come back to haunt me. But, you'd have to understand why I said what I did. You see, we've been friends since high school, and since that time, it seems that there is something odd always happening to her - and now her family. There is never a dull moment in their house - ever!!! If she were to blog every time something 'exciting' happened to one of them, she'd be at her computer all day, every day! The fun just never stops around there :) That said, her recent adventures in the potty training of her middle child, Bennett, have been long, and filled with funny stories and adventures. Some funnier than others - remember the one where you had to drop Chloe off in the arms of a total stranger to clean out the public pool? When was that, Memorial Day Weekend or the 4th of July? Anyway, her posting about Bennett's tummy ache was just another priceless moment in the on-going saga of potty training. I couldn't help but laugh; what else could you do about something like that right?!? However, paybacks are... Well, you'll understand in a second.

This morning, we were back to our usual routine of doing our best to get Alex (my oldest) out the door for school. This is never a small task since he's so easily side-tracked - brushing his teeth is a 30 minute event! Anyway, because of the recent power outages in the area (thanks to Hurrican Rita), my refrigerator had no food that I'd deem 'safe' to feed my children or myself. And, since I hadn't made it to the grocery store, figuring out what to feed my child for breakfast was a chore that I just wasn't up for at 7:15 this morning. I would have just given him toast, but we would have had to have had bread to do that! Well, actually, we did, but it was just 1 piece which is never enough - he usually wants 2 pieces. So, this meant that I had to come up with something else to feed him. And, since my children love breakfast foods, I decided I'd make scrambled eggs for a change - assuming the eggs hadn't spoiled during the power outage. My hope was that when I cracked it open, a stench wouldn't come wafting out forcing me to gag or throw up. So, I reluctantly cracked, sniffed and deemed the egg safe for consumption. Then it dawned on me, we had no milk! Oh well! I decided he'd be fine eating scrambled eggs made without milk. (I could have fried it, but I had already broken the yolk in the bowl). So anyway, after fixing his breakfast, I checked on Ian who had just finished his morning bottle, then headed to my room to get dressed - or to at least change out of my pajamas and pull my hair back.

It was at this moment that Alex came bursting into my room to tell me there was something weird on the floor in the kitchen. This concerned me greatly because it was just yesterday that I had spent more than an hour sweeping & mopping the floors (and we all know how I feel about that). So, I pulled my pajamas back on and ran to the kitchen to see who it was that had defiled my recently cleaned floor. What I found was a small 'pile' of a brownish-green gooey substance. It looked nothing like scrambled eggs (obviously) or toast, so my first thought was that Ian had found another roach, and after thoroughly chewing it up, spit it back out. Unfortunately, I was wrong. After dropping to my hands & knees to inspect the pile closer, I immediately realized what it was. I jumped up, turned around to find my baby sitting on the cream-colored carpet with an innocent "it wasn't me" look on his face, and jerked him up to find the same brownish-green substance dripping (literally) out of his diaper and down his legs. Uuuggghhh!!!! Now what was I suppposed to do?

Well, I did what any other mommy in that situation would do, I took him to the closest bathroom with a tub (mine) and sat him down it - pj shirt, diaper & all. Ok, now what? Oh, I know, I'll yell at the top of my lungs for Alex's assistance since daddy had already gone. Wait, times ticking and the bus will be here soon. Do I dare side-track Alex from his morning routine to ask for help? Of course I do! So, I yelled for Alex who was there within seconds and asked him to grab the small container of wipes still sitting on my bedroom floor from our recent trip. Once in hand, I pulled Ian back out of the tub and laid him on a towel that was in the wash pile next to me, and attempted to the remove the leaky diaper without getting it on me! Thankfully, I successfully removed the diaper, cleaned up his bottom, legs & back, and sat him back down in the tub (still wearing his pj shirt), now with luke-warm running water. Since time was of the essence at this point, I decided to simply 'rinse him' off, dry him off, and throw on another diaper. The look on his confused little face was absolutely priceless :) Anyway, after getting him cleaned up, I had to go remove the pile from the kitchen floor, being sure to thoroughly clean that spot with anti-bacterial spray.

Life Lesson Learned: Never make fun of someone that tells a poopy story, for tomorrow, your turn will come :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This is for Katrina :)

Believe it or not, I'm here - barely!!! It's been a rough few days, but since Katrina is demanding another chaotic adventure, I thought I'd take a break from cleaning & laundry to share with you all the goings on around here...

My family can be counted as 5 of the 2 million estimated evacuees of Greater Houston, thanks in whole to Hurricane Rita. We left, not out of fear for our lives & well-being, but because of the knowledge that we would most certainly lose power. The thought of being at home, in whatever weather might be upon us, with no power was one that I shuttered to think about. So, that being said, we decided to pack up everything we could stuff into our Caravan and were off. Well, sort of! Me & all 3 kids were off on Wednesday night, while hubby stayed behind to tie up a few loose ends before joining us in Austin on Thursday. Little did we know what havoc that decision would bring us!!!

All was well, for the most part, during my drive West toward the capital of our state, Austin. The usually smooth drive was a bit rougher than it normally would have been since the typically 2 1/2 hour drive stretched to a whopping 5 1/2 hours! Of course, I knew full-well that there would be more cars on the road than usual because the highway I had to travel was one of several evacuation routes, but it never crossed my mind that the backed-up traffic would begin only 5 short miles from my house! It took more than 2 hours for me to get out of Houston. And, bear in mind, that I was traveling with all 3 kiddos - by myself! No one but me to listen to their fussing, to answer the 'are we there yets?' that were asked at every 10 minute interval, and to eventually pull-over on the shoulder of the now packed freeway to feed and cuddle the baby. (Earlier that day, his 1st birthday, we had to make a trip to the doctor because he had a fever and croup (a common ailment amongst my kiddos); by the time we were seen, the croup had subsided, but I was then informed that my precious little man had a flaming ear infection!). After spending about 15 minutes dosing him with Motrin to help with the burning fever and probable pain he was in, and then attempting to give him a bottle which he refused to drink, I buckled him back into his seat and endured 45 minutes of screaming & crying. My heart ached to hold him; my head ached too, not to mention that, at this point, my nerves were shot! After 2 1/2 hours, I was ready to scream, but it was at that very moment that the traffic suddenly disappeared (only temporarily) and for the first time all night, my speedometer hit 55 MPH. Yea!!! I was finally moving, even if only temporarily. To cut through all of the stop & go that I went through, I'll just tell you that I finally made it to my dad's front door step, ready to collapse.

Thursday rolled around and excitement was in the air. Daddy (hubby) was going to be making his trip to Austin so that we could all be together. I called the house around 9AM to tell him that I'd forgotten something, but he didn't answer, so I decided to call his cell phone, knowing that he'd probably be enroute to one of his customer's offices for some last minute work. When he answered, he immediately informed me that he was sitting in traffic, and had been for an hour - only 10 minutes from home, normally! Since his usual drive is about 30 minutes, I knew that his day was not going to be a good one! Because the traffic was already a mess, the thought of his sitting in more of it to get to us was not a pleasant one, specifically because he only had 1/2 a tank of gas and all of the gas stations he was driving past were either closed because they too had run out of gas, or there were 50+ cars waiting in lines that wrapped around the parking lots like a snake. I beg him to make the drive so that I know he'll be safe with us, or do I tell him not to worry about it, hunker down, and pray? Think...think...think... Well, I did what any other wife & mommy would do, I told him that he absolutely had to make the drive to Austin, no matter what. After all, Alex kept asking where daddy was and his fear of what the hurricane might bring to our house was almost too much for him to bear. So after a bit of an argument with hubby, he agreed that he'd get on the road as soon as he could, but he first had to deal with this customer.

Skipping ahead again...

He finally called me to say that he was leaving around 3:30 or so, but that he didn't anticipate getting to Austin anytime soon because of all of the last-minute evacuees. The roads only seemed to be getting worse, so with every passing minute, his time on the road would grow. We quickly said our good-byes and I love you's then hung up. His last words to me were "I hope I don't run out of gas!". Yes, that was the last thing I heard from his mouth for about 3 hours. We instant messaged back & forth a few times to each other's cell phones - me checking on his progress, him stating the obvious, that he was still stuck and hadn't gone but a few miles (literrally) since our last message - but each time I asked about gas, his message back was the same - no gas stations open, tank getting lower. Well, you can imagine my fear at this point! I could only picture him puttering to the shoulder of the freeway, in the middle of no-where, as his gas tank gave it's last drop of fuel to the engine. My prayer life grew that night!!! Back & forth we messaged for another 9 hours, until I got another message that I really didn't want...'still no gas, battery on phone getting low". Now that's exactly what I wanted to hear at 12 midnight! Now he was going to putter to the shoulder, in the middle of no-where, with no gas and no phone! Now I was really praying, as well as checking with my dad to see if he had any gas cans we could fill up and use in the event this became a search & rescue mission. Thankfully he did and was sitting (or laying, rather) on go! It was, after all, midnight. Oh yes! Forgot to mention that Michael also said he didn't know where he was, and also had nothing to drink since he never imagined being in the car for 9 hours and counting... So, at this point, trying to get any sleep at all on my dad's love-seat sofa in his living room was totally pointless. I was a nervous wreck! All I could do was to pray, so I did that as best as I could, for as long as I had to!

Then, 2 hours later, I got the phone call I'd been waiting for all night - he'd finally found a gas station and was the 4th car in line for the pump. Hallelujah! Now all he had to do was to putter up to the pump, filler up, and hit the road again :) Wahoo!!! Let me just cut to the chase to tell you that according to him, once he left the gas station and got through Giddings, the road opened up and he drove like he was on the autobon! He said that other than the few slow cars that he flew passed on the right lane, left lane, or, yes, shoulder, it took him about an hour to finally reach me...I mean us! Let me just say that 11 hours & 20 minutes after he left our house in Houston, I met him at the curb with a big hug and kiss. I'd never been so happy to see him!!! And, I had never been so relieved to see him!

After spending a few wonderful days with my dad & his wife, going to the lake with them & the kids, and taking the kiddos to the Austin Children's Museum, we decided on Sunday night that it was time to head home. We were all a bit sleep deprived and anxious to see our home & beds. We had no idea what the roads would be like heading home, but figured we'd have to tackle them eventually! My biggest concern was whether or not the power had been turned back on, but we decided that we'd deal with that if needed. When we arrived home exactly 2 hours 45 minutes after leaving my dad's house, we were very happy to see that power was indeed turned back on, and that the only damage we had was too many pine needles & leaves. Yea!!! We were finally home again :)

It's still taking us some time to recuperate from our trip, but we're slowly getting back on schedule. Alex will be starting back to school tomorrow, so we'll definitely be back to 'normal' around here - or whatever 'normal' is for us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another First

Well, I knew the time would come - and it finally did! My baby, who will turn 1 year old in 2 weeks, got his hair cut for the first time yesterday. It was a very monumental moment for me, because getting his hair cut meant that those tiny baby curls would be cut off, and I just hate that!

I remember when my oldest, Alex, had his hair cut for the first time. The woman that cut his hair made her first snip at the nape of his neck, taking one of his big baby curls. It almost made me cry because that curl was a marker, so to speak - it meant that he was still a baby. Once that curl was gone, it meant that he was 'growing up' and I just wasn't ready for that yet! He was, after all, my first.

So, I can safely say that my views have changed a tad, and the little things that would upset me with my first tend to be just daily occurrences when it comes to the third child. I have to say that even though I'm ready to be done with the baby stage (I've had 3 in 5 years, so it would be nice to NOT have a baby for a change), it doesn't mean that I won't miss it - at least a little bit. As much as I hate getting up at 6AM to fix a bottle because the little one just can't stay asleep for 1 more hour, I know I'll look back at it (eventually) and miss it.

I already miss the 3 little curls that are now taped onto a page of his baby book! Why is it that taking those few curls off, and cutting the bangs that had grown into his eyes suddenly made him look 'older'? How exactly can he looked 'older'? He's not even 1 yet... Sigh :(