Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Child Impact Index

Back in the day, when I was getting ready to stand at the bus stop on a cold January morning, I remember hearing on the radio that it was 15 degrees below zero, but the wind chill index put the temp down around 40 below. School was not, however, cancelled. This was Nebraska, if they closed schools because kids had to wait in sub-zero temps, no one would go to school for the entire month of January.

Later on, the meteorology cabal came up with the "Heat Index". This was the actual temperature, combined with the humidity to tell you exactly how miserable you would be. In places like Omaha, when the temperature and the humidity are usually the same astronomical number, this is a cruel joke at best. In Ohio, where the weather is milder, such dire warnings are taken with great seriousness. People in Central Ohio are weather weenies. They have to explain the terms Wind Chill Index and Heat Index as "Real Feel", or how cold/hot you "really feel". If your weatherman has to explain how the weather feels, you don't have anything to complain about.

Today, as I scraped deodorant off of a beloved Thomas the Tank Engine wooden train (new and improved! Painted with 99 % less lead!) I came up with a term to explain a child like Buddy.

The Child Impact Index.

This is a measure of how many children it "feels" like you have, when you are dealing with a particular child.

For example: Bug, for all her hysteria, and drama, probably has a Child Impact Index of 1.5. She's fairly easy and compliant, but chooses her battles over the most inane things. The loss of a baby tooth is so traumatic, it takes two adults to extract a tooth hanging by a bit of gristle, and then four hours minimum of reassurances that she will not bleed to death out of the tooth hole.
But she will believe pretty much anything you tell her, and she is good to her little brother.

Buddy, on the other hand, has a CII of 15. You cannot take your eyes, ears or mind off of that boy for a second, or he's teaching the neighbor kids to pee and poop in the backyard. Or washing the dog with foaming hand soap, drawing on the walls with deodorant, or tonight's great adventure: Chemical warfare.

I was trying to get some work done before the sitter arrived. We had curriculum night at school and since we wanted to actually hear what was going on, we chose to leave the kids at home. As I'm keying my work with great speed (and minimal accuracy) I hear this blood curdling scream from Buddy's room.

I run upstairs and see him walking in the hallway, screaming that the "bubbles" burned his eyes.

Bubbles? Why was he washing his hands....voluntarily.....without assistance?

I take him in the bathroom and turn on the water, I smell his hands, they don't smell soapy, they smell like chemicals.

I try to rinse his eyes at the sink, he continues to scream.

I look into his room and see his train table soaked with fluid and some bubbles. A purple bottle of Carpet Cleaner and a bottle of Downey Wrinkle Releaser are on the floor. Further inspection shows that they are both empty.

There are no first aid directions on the Downey bottle ( they should have some instructions, you know some idiot out there will try to remove their own wrinkles and age lines with it) But the carpet cleaner says to rinse the eyes for FIFTEEN minutes. Are they insane?

So I try putting his head under the bath tub faucet, no luck. Now my pants are wet and the phone is ringing and I have twenty minutes to get to school.

Long story short, he is okay, we got to school on time and we now call him Chemical Buddee.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I don't even know what to title this....

That is how much of a loss I'm at today.

It started yesterday, as I finished up my last post, Buddy yells down from upstairs "We're washing the dog!"

Bug has been wanting to wash the new foster dog since he came here, even though he got a bath the day he arrived, even though he's the cleanest thing in our house, she has been bugging me to "take him a bath". She's good at bugging me about stuff, hence her nickname.....Bug.

So I go upstairs. The door to Buddy's room is closed. I open it, and see what the next 20 minutes of my life are going to involve.

The dog in question, a 65 pound Basset Hound puppy, is laying on the floor happily chewing up a wooden train track. He is wet, from the top of his head down to his tail. Bug is holding a 409 bottle that has been rinsed and filled with water. It is used to squirt this dog in the face when he barks at the cats. Now it has been turned into his shower.

Buddy is holding the foaming hand soap pump, busy pumping out more foamy soap onto the dog's back. They rub it in, look up at me and smile. "We're washing the dog."

Somewhere in the back of my head, a small hammer comes out of a dark, dark place. This hammer pounds on my optic nerves, my precious last few nerves, causing my eyes to twitch.

I take the track away from the dog, and lead him into the bathroom, snatching the water bottle and the soap as I go. I turn on the water and heave the dog into the tub. Thankfully he's a sweet lug, and a rather dim bulb, I was done rinsing him before he realized he was getting a bath. I towel him off a bit and send him on his way.

Bug yells out as he passes, "hey, he's wet!"

Ya think?

I don't even want to get into today. Because today started at 2am, when PeeCircles howled in his kennel. I let him out to go potty, then I had to pee. Damn dog is contagious.

Then I couldn't get back to sleep. The other dog, the dog that used to be so horrible, who is now considered "good" was fast asleep. I can't get to sleep anymore without listening to her obsessively-compulsively lick her feet.

Too late to take Nyquil or Xanax. Too early to get up and do anything. argh! I lay there and listen to my husband snore. I hear strange noises. Could be the cat, or could be the evil clown that lives under my bed. I know he's there. He's been under every bed I've ever slept in since I was a child. Yup, can't sleep. He knows I'm awake................

Sleep finally came around 3. Then I overslept, getting into the shower, with Buddy trailing me, at 7:15.

Out of the shower and getting dressed at 7:35, had to wake up Bug. Might as well just set about to defy the laws of thermodynamics, it will take about the same amount of time. Threats are made, tears are shed, but she eventually moves because I resort to Hagatha, my old British Nanny alter ego. With a voice that can curl hair, I rail at her to get moving, or she'll be walking to school.

Her bowl of Cookie Crisp takes 30 minutes to eat. Then she has 10 minutes to brush her teeth, pee, wash her hand, brush her hair, pull it up, clean her glasses, get dressed and put on her backpack.

Oh wait, she has 10 minutes to pee, I do the rest for her.

I drag her out the door and she hops on the bus.

The kids play downstairs for about 20 minutes before they start going in and out of the dog door. Here is my stroke of genius.

Hey kids, wanna paint the swingset? and the house? and the deck?

I hand them clean paint rollers and a few old paint brushes. I fill a bucket with water, hand them some sponges and discover what will become nearly TWO HOURS to do my data entry. This is unprecedented. How fortunate that the weather was nice and everyone was agreeable.
This will never, ever, happen again.

I fed them lunch, and then had enough time to shampoo the carpets upstairs, while simultaneously doing laundry, and dishes, and work the data entry job. Clearly the parenting fairy sprinkled me in my sleep, as I was efficient and fun today.

Then I found the dog outside with one of my sandals, a day after he destroyed one of my Crocs sandals. Three hours later, he finished the job. I bought these sandals five years ago at Wal-Mart. They have served me well, and even though the sole of the left one was cracked, there were still decent and comfortable to wear. Until Mandiblor stole the right one, and ate the back off of it.


Tomorrow is trash day, so I suppose I'll have to give two pairs of shoes to Waste Management. I
suppose I could set them out on the curb tonight, so a garbage picker can come along and give them new life, but somehow I feel that is along the lines of abuse of a corpse. My shoes deserve a proper burial. In a landfill somewhere, with dirty diapers and used motor oil. Perhaps they'll be fortunate enough to fall in next to some Twinkies, and be preserved forever......

One day, a paleontologist will be looking the the fossilized remains of our landfills and assume that our species died out starving to death, trying to eat our shoes as mysterious alien spongiform beings petrified within our bodies, preserving our shoe leather for all eternity. (I really need to get to bed)

Our old storm door was out on the curb this morning. Around noon, a beat up blue Ford pickup showed up, and the storm door went to its new home. I hope it serves them well, with it's rusted out exterior and tattered screen.

Buddy's room still smells like dog pee. That is for another post, but yes, we have issues in that department. Even after I scrubbed it with the carpet cleaner, it smells of urine. And I wanted this damn dog.

I really wish that wooden floors would fall out of the sky, land in my driveway and Paul Sorvino would come to my door wearing a tool belt and a wife beater. Super G will be working on it (the floors part, not the Paul Sorvino part.) But that would be a cool birthday present, for both of us. I'll get the floors, and he won't have to install them! A win/win proposition if I ever heard one. I'll have to call up Paul's agent, see if he's available.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Everlasting Gobcrack

Saturday, August 25, 2007 Dinosaurs invaded the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. For the 8th time by 3pm.

We took the kids to "Walking with the Dinosaurs". I had to sell a kidney to scrape up the change to get our nosebleed seats, but that is the kind of mom I am. Turns out I sold the wrong kidney, but we'll get to that later.

My three year old son, Buddy, doesn't understand death, mortality or the consequences of being squished or eaten by large reptiles. My six year old daughter, Bug, has a very keen understanding of these concepts.

We arrive at the Schott, get amazingly good parking after driving into the wrong lot and interrupting what WAS a nice football scrimmage. I won't say who was driving, but it wasn't me. (I'm sure Paul Sorvino would have found the right parking lot the first time :-) )

Anyway, we get inside, show our printed tickets and are informed our nosebleeds are being upgraded. YAY!!!! We go up some escalators and find ourselves in club level seats, woo hoo! we're below the tree line! We put our oxygen masks away and settled in to enjoy our good fortune. I sat between Bug and Buddy, my husband, SuperG, sat on the other side of Buddy.

I knew that I would not be allowed to enjoy the show. I knew it when I went to the bathroom with Bug prior to rapelling down to our seats, and she screamed and cried because the dramatic "Dinosaur" music was playing in the bathroom.

A good parent would soothe their child and explain that this is just a cool show to entertain you and to teach you, in a fun way, about paleontology and science and cool crap like that.

I'm not a good parent.

I explained, as she tightened her strangle hold on my left arm, that in the previous 7 shows, no one had been eaten or squished yet. Being six, she caught right on "Yet? That means that it might still happen, it could be me!"
Drawing upon my vast experience in all things pertaining to "Jurassic Park" I assured her that Dinosaurs don't see like you and me, they can see movement. So if she just didn't move, they wouldn't see her and she'd be fine.

After about 45 seconds she lets out a huge breath. "I can't do it!" I said "yes you can, just don't move" With huge tears in her eyes, she wails out "my belly moves when I breathe, the dinosaur will see my belly moved and I'll be eaten" At this point the mom of two boys in front of us can no longer contain her laughter. She assures Bug that if the dinos come up our way, her 3 year old son will kick its butt and save her. The little boy turns around (and he's a normal sized three year old, not the lanky amazon children like mine) and assured Bug she was safe.

She didn't buy it.

Finally the show begins. Yes, all this hysteria happened BEFORE the show started. Do you see where this was going?

Oh Lord. Anyway she cried to go home, she suddenly had to pee. We had to get out, we were going to get eaten. On and on and on. Clearly, they were not real. But perhaps, since she is pretty much blind in one eye, she missed the tree trunk sized auto-magic bar that moved the big ones around the floor, or the legs of the guys running around in the small ones. Or that when they "fought" there was no blood, and it was more of a motorized robot ballet than an actual battle.

Oh well, just before intermission, when she's alternately fascinated or wailing about our mortal peril, I finally said "they aren't real" This entire time she really thought that I would bring her to a place where giant hungry lizards would eat all the people sitting in the seats. I would rather die quietly in my sleep, not inside the mouth of a sharp toothed reptile.

Anyway, after the big reveal, she calmed down, but not so much. When the T-Rex came out and did his obligatory roar into the crowed, she and I both jumped. But then it ended and I only lost 3 fingers due to the lack of circulation. When we go to Sesame Street Live, she can sit by her father, so he can have the blood supply cut off of HIS arm for two hours.

And what about Buddy, you ask? How did my three year old fare in all that? "oh cool!" and sat transfixed and excited the whole time.

We left the center and walked to our close and excellent parking space, as we were getting in the car, the tornado sirens went off. We looked around, calm, slight breeze, sunny skies. Eh, no big deal. But we are from Nebraska, we know tornadoes. The native Ohioans were running and screaming about in terror, as if the T-Rex came to life and was running amok in the parking lot.

We went to dinner. People were taking shelter under overpasses or in ditches. It wasn't even raining. No wall clouds, a few thunderheads, but really, it was a fast moving thunderstorm.

We went to TGI Fridays. Fairly decent food, it was empty (see the aforementioned tornado sirens) I had French onion soup and some chicken quesadillas. This would soon come back to haunt me.

Half way through the meal, I felt a horrifying pain in my left flank. Oh no, Mr. Kidney stone was displeased in some way.

It went away for a bit. Then returned, then went away. On and on. But I still ate my meal because other than some Everlasting Gobstoppers and a few pinches of cotton candy, I had not eaten all day.

We paid for our meal and left. Upon reaching the hulking minivan of death, the pain in my side came back with a vengeance. I'm sure this is what Harry Potter felt like when Voldemort was pissed off and his scar started to burn. The pain did not subside. It got worse and worse, I began to break out in a cold sweat, then terror hit.....
I just paid for this food, I am not going to give it back!

We stopped at St. Anns hospital, as it was the closest one. I got back into a room fairly quickly. I left my stuff with SuperG and the kids, went to pee in a cup. It was the color of cherry Kool-Aid. Ominous sign number 798. And then it happened. Guacamole, sour cream, grilled onions, chicken, cheese and tortillas......all came back in that order.

I stagger back to my room, collapse on the bed, and wait. For an hour. Then the smartass Dr comes in "So you're having problems again huh?" Immediately I'm thinking
"bitch". She taps on her laptop. "You know stones don't hurt unless they're moving. " Oh really? You're telling me this from what experience? Get your head out of your text book and listen to your patient!

She does not run a CAT scan on me because I've had too many of them in the last two years. (Too much radiation. The super powers are cool, but I'm sure the cancer I'll get from it will suck.) She orders fluids and pain meds. Another hour passes, I have my IV, finally the pain meds. By now I've thrown up, again. SuperG takes the kids home. They give me more drugs, the pain still has not subsided much, but I no longer have to puke and the headache is gone. The ER doc cum Kidney Stone Specialist has spoken with my Urologist's partner who said if we cannot get the pain under control to admit me. Ding!! Magic Words! Uh, yeah, I have no pain at all....buhbye!

Got home around 11pm. Woke up with a phenergan hang over, and the kids let us sleep until 9am! Holy Smokes!

Just another day here at the Home for Wayward Bassets. Four more days with this stupid kidney stone that isn't supposed to hurt me, then hopefully my urologist can break it up and pull it out. If any of you reading this ARE doctors, let me tell you, then CAN hurt even if they aren't passing out of the kidney. Trust me.

And after all of the terror, and fear, and begging to go home, Bug wants to go back and see the Dinosaurs.........

Oh, and as promised in a previous post, an e-mail about the time Buddy decided to become an electrical engineer.

Perhaps it was my well laid out plans that made my son decide to do what he did. I do not know for sure. I'm slowly but surely painting my home, for the better. Last night I finished another wall and went to bed around 1am. I was up at 6:45 to shower and then set up and fill the pool for the day. We had a lovely morning, all three kids in the pool, me pulling weeds and spreading mulch, ( I do think I washed my arms soon enough after finding the poison ivy...) Everyone came in, we got rid of the wet suits, Bug and Buddy ran around nekkid, I put Whitey (the kid I babysit) back in a diaper. They ate lunch au naturel, then went downstairs to play. I vacuumed then ran the carpet shampooer in front of the wall I finished painting, as I will be moving the couch there tomorrow. I had placed the needle nose pliers on the piano, and there were various other things all out of place in the living room as it is torn asunder while I paint and whatnot. I put Whitey down for his nap, then started to work. Buddy came in to talk to me, he was kind of tired, but he left, so I thought his went down to play with Bug. Soon he comes running into the office, with the needle nose pliers in his hand. "Mommy, there are colors in the living room" My first thought was "You colored on my wall??!?!?!!?" We go into the living room. Nothing seems wrong. I asked him again where the colors were. He pointed to the electrical outlet. I looked closer...one of the holes was black. I looked at him, completely dumbfounded, and starting to feel weak and sick. Then I said "did you put those in there?" He said "yes, and there were colors and fireworks in the living room." O.....M....G.... I sat down on the floor and he crawled onto my lap and started to cry, this completely forlorn and sad cry. "I want fireworks outside, not in the living room". I was scared to death. Bug came upstairs and we hugged his little naked self, she got me the phone and I called my pediatrician...for medical advice WTF???? clearly I was not thinking. I got him dressed and we talked more about what hurt on him, where, how he felt, how he was scared. He was rather listless and I laid down with him. His right hand, arm and shoulder hurt. His teeth hurt. He fell asleep laying with me and the nurse called back. I blurted everything out to her and she talked to the Dr and said to take him in and get him checked out. So I woke up Whitey, got Bug dressed, loaded everyone up and went to Children's Buddy didn't even wake up until we got there. He was a little tacychardic (sp?) and still out of sorts. Has a few loose teeth, but no burns or entrance or exit wounds. Since he was naked it was a good thing (even though he was standing on a wet carpet) chances are the snap on his pants would have burned him. They weren't sure, but thought that the rubber handles on the pliers might have helped keep his injuries to a minimum. The tip of the pliers melted. Holy freakin' cow. MELTED! We are going to see the pediatrician tomorrow. Tonight he complained of a headache and his teeth still hurt but his arm was better. What a day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Here we go again


A year ago I started this blog. It was fun, for those who know me, to read about the life as a stay at home mom. You know, eatin' bon bons, watchin' soaps, doin' the cabana boy. Uh huh. But then I got pissed one day, (once again a speck of dust was found under the divan, I had to flog the maid, then hide the body) I realized that I just could not do it ALL by myself, and deleted the blog.

So now I find myself with some leisure time, and I decided that I had too much goop in my head, I must re-open the blog. Because my two readers were bored.

Here it is. I have had 20 minutes of silence, but that is ending. So much for blogging today. I gave each child a bowl of candy, sent them upstairs to watch Spongebob for 3 hours. The candy must be gone.....

So here is the deal. I sell cloth diapers. really. People use them, they're cute and they save you money and people think you're weird. It's a great thing. See the link labeled "My Store" and you'll be amazed. I am not JUST a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM). Even though rearing children is a JOB, I also have what is commonly accepted to BE a JOB, I do data entry from my home, about 30 hours per week. Sweet deal, you say? I get to sit at my desk in my pajamas, or less, and work when I want! But wait, you interrupt the fantasy, didn't you say that you had a job rearing children? Why yes, I answer, I do two jobs at once! I key a document, I stop to break up a fight, I key two documents, then clean marker off the dog. You see? I have 6 hours of work to do per day, It takes me 13 hours to complete.

I have no maid. My house is a disaster. Oh yeah, we have pets. Two old cats, who hate me now because we foster Basset Hounds for Ohio Basset Rescue (see the link) Yup, crazy huh? We have an Australian Shepherd, 6 year old, 20 pounds overweight, with bad hips and an attitude. So last fall I had to have a Basset Hound, I thought they were big carpets with floppy ears. We decided to foster dogs first, but we kept the first one...Henry aka PeeCircles. Then came Droopy, the puppy who stayed for 4 months, then Maggie, who stayed a week. Then my husband went out of town for a month. Then came Luke, Diego, Cooper, Rascal and now we have Brutus. (go to the OBR link, and check out the adoption page, Brutus is towards the bottom) PeeCircles and Brutus like each other, Brutus is huge, drooly, floppy and so damn cool. I want to keep him. My husband does not. Please flood my inbox with reasons to keep Brutus. I like him. I can't make another hole in my head, so I must get another dog.

Oh, oh yeah. I also babysit other people's children. So when Bug went to first grade the other day, I'm at home, trying to work the paying job, I have three kids, ages 3 1/2, 33 months, and 2 1/2.

I'm crazy. But that is okay. Some day soon I'll post some e-mail I have sent to describe how my 3 year old is trying to kill me.

Oh yeah, my favorite actor is Paul Sorvino. I don't know why, but oh man. Some women swoon over George Clooney, or Brad Pitt, or Clark Gable (for the older gals), Me? I'm all about the old Italian guy. Did you see "Goodfellas?" Forget Ray Liotta, and DeNiro is so overrated, but his turn as Paully, the boss......yeah baby.

I'm serious. It's in my blog description, I mean it. I wonder when his lawyers will put out a cease and desist order. Oh well.

Hmmmm, guess that is all I have for today. My son has just advised me that whales don't eat hamburgers, they eat fish. My moment of silence is at an end.