Thursday, September 22, 2011

Embrace Plan B, C, D

I think my new motto needs to be "Embrace Plan B (or C, or D)". I'm not good at embracing any plan except A. I have a plan. It's a good plan. If the world would conform to my plan, things would be all sparkles and rainbows. But why, oh why, does the world not want to do this?

Please understand that when I say "world" I mean my children. I understand that many of you have a more varied and expansive concept of the world, but not me. Yes, my husband makes up a significant part of the world too, but he's very easy to get along with, is influenced by logic and quickly grasps any reasonable plan. The rest of my "world" is cut from a different sort of mold.

And they delight in destroying Plan A.

Last Saturday morning's Plan A = relax and enjoy peaceful morning with family.

For some unknown reason my mind has ignored reality and still functions under the belief that Saturday mornings are time for sleeping in, eating a yummy breakfast and bumming around in pajamas.  Yes, I realize I now have 3 children at home, but in my defense D would gladly sleep in til around 9:00 if we let him and Belle is very content to sing in her crib for hours on end - to the point where she objects to being taken out of it too soon.  And yes I have a baby, but he's only been around for five Saturdays and somehow that's not enough for my brain to re-categorize Saturday mornings as "exactly like every other morning." 

Last Saturday Liam was gracious enough to sleep til 7-ish so I thought we were in for a leisurely morning.  Unfortunately, when I picked him up he was soaked through.  So I changed him, his blankets and his crib sheet while he howled about the fact that not only was he hungry, but now he was naked and cold. 

The peaceful part of Plan A begins to crumble slightly. I could have switched to a new plan here, like "Plan B:Enjoy a typical morning with normal interruptions and bodily fluids.  Because my life is all about bodily fluids."

But I carry on blindly with Plan A, get him dressed, calmed and fed and we're back on track.  Knowing Belle should be up by now I am headed to her room when I hear a desperate, "MOMMY!"  which confuses me because I SWEAR it was D yelling, not Belle.  I stick my head in his room and he's standing in the middle of his floor looking like someone just poured ice water down the back of his monkey footie pajamas.  "I had a REALLY big accident!" he says, looking like he's about to cry.  I calm him down (without touching him since his entire front is soaked in pee) and send him off to the bathroom to disrobe and throw all wet clothing into the tub.  With a big sigh (and possibly some muttered cursing), I start to strip the second mattress of the morning, again trying not to touch any of the warm, wet places, which frankly doesn't leave many places to touch.  That boy must have a bladder the size of a hot tub. 

The relaxing part of Plan A is teetering precariously now too.   Again, this would have been an opportune time to consider embracing a new plan.  Something like "Plan C: Try to laugh at something that may be funny later."

But I wasn't seeing the humor. Liam was now objecting to the fact that I had unceremoniously plopped him on the floor in the corner of D's room.  I finally got the bed clean and head to the bathroom to help D get the rest of himself clean.  Somehow, still hoping to recover Plan A, I thought maybe he could just be cleaned off with a washcloth instead of doing a full bath.  No, no one who saw the enormous puddle of pee on his bed would have thought that would work, but the Plan, people.  I was still clinging to Plan A.  Fixing a bath while holding a fussy baby wasn't leisurely.  So I wiped him off, tossed a towel at him and told him to go get dressed while I got up Belle.  If we could only get downstairs I was sure the morning would get back on track for Plan A.

I enter Belle's room and she's standing in her crib looking at me with big eyes saying, "Look!  My tummy is REALLY wet!"   Are you kidding me?  HER TOO?  Pee everywhere.  I have no idea how her diaper did such a poor job at collecting pee, but I'm considering suing Pampers.  Again, from pits to knees she was soaked and her sheets had a huge soggy spot just as big. 

Forget relaxing and peaceful, at this point I'm wondering if it's even still morning.  I should have just resigned the morning to "Plan D: Try not to touch any pee."

Toss Liam into a new corner, who by now is getting seriously fussy as he needs a nap, peel Belle out of her pj's, change ANOTHER set of sheets, commandeer a hamper to fill with a metric ton of pee soaked bedding and night clothes, and try not to scream. (OK, I may not have bothered to try not to scream.)

At this point D walks in still in a towel, feeling like he wasn't adequately underfoot while he was in the bathroom, and I notice that he still smells strongly of pee.  I inform him he's getting a bath and to stand out of my way while I make Belle's bed.  Which he does for a minute before making some sound like, "Uuuauahh!"  and running for the bathroom.  Yup, he'd just peed a little on the floor.

Clearly I was clinging to Plan A while the little turds were clinging to Plan P.   They won.

Nursery painting

Hi all,

Little break from the norm here.  I painted a little dealie for Liam's "nursery", which is sadly just a corner of a very cluttered craft room and in desperate need of some sprucing up.  

I mentioned in this post a while ago that I loved the quote:

 “It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from God love us.” ~ Dickens

I also really liked these little 3D rain decorations from goshandgolly's Etsy shop.   

So I went to Walmart in search of some little canvases and found these canvas boards, painted them blue then spent a long time cutting and gluing together little 3D clouds and raindrops.  

What cha think?

The swirly paint is shiny and pearly.  And so are the clouds, except I couldn't get that to show up in the pictures.
As soon as I figure out a way to hang them...
...they're going up on Liam's wall!
 And since the canvas boards were 3 for $6 and I had everything else already, this little project cost under $5!  Yippee!  

Linking up to a couple parties:

DIY under $5

Thursday, September 15, 2011


For those of you that don't follow blogs (besides this little gem, of course), bloggers sometimes give each other little awards to make each other feel special.  Usually they involve telling 7 things no one knows about you or something that I have no idea how to answer and fear would bore you all to tears. 

Well, almost a full month ago, my e-friend Leslie gave me an award, but this one is fun.  You tell a story.  I'm supposed to not tell you whether it's real or not, but it is. And so is the psychosis I developed because of it.

So, in honor of getting the Blog On Fire Award, here's some entertainment for y'all.
My husband and I were discussing one of my childhood experiences that has become legendary in my family and I thought I'd share.  My mom is going to object to me telling this but despite her protestations she'll laugh too and tell everyone that she wasn't determined to make me so miserable all the time.

When I was in elementary school we went on a vacation where we rented a motor home and traveled the wild west. 

One stop was Bryce Canyon.  It's a beautiful, dramatic canyon full of red spires of rock.  

Nice place for the fam to visit, right?  Right.  But here's the problem: as our motorhome lumbered up to the canyon visitor's center something was happening that, from the picture you can see, was very usual.

It was raining.

I'm sure I'm remembering it accurately as a gentle sprinkling of rain.  Like a fine mist.  But my mother got the idea that what we needed to protect us from this torrential downpour was some ponchos and my father was tasked with entering the visitor's center to find some.

At this point, please refer back to the above picture and decide for yourself whether rain ponchos seem likely to be sold at their gift shop. 

Correct.  Bryce Canyon gets 10" of rain per year.  No one, in the entire history of the Earth, has worn a rain poncho at Bryce Canyon.  No one. Not modern sight-seers, not American Indians who used to live there, not even aliens who landed there thousands of years ago when searching for a place to build the pyramids.  I believe "Bryce" is the Indian word for "don't need a poncho."

And of course there were no ponchos for sale. My father, ever the problems solver, decided some trash bags with holes cut out for arms and head would satisfy his wife's worries.  Which is not a bad idea.  Not necessary, but not a bad idea in itself.  The point at which the idea went terribly wrong is when there were no black garbage bags for sale.  Or even any innocuous white ones.  No, the only option was bright yellow LEMON SCENTED garbage bags.

Now I love the smell of real lemons as much as everyone else.  But we can all agree that "cleaner lemon" scent is not the same.  It has that sear-the-back-of-your-throat quality to it.  Like someone bottled up and resold the runoff from cleaning Chernobyl. 

My older sister and brother (6 and 4 years older respectively) took one whiff of the bags and declined.  Apparently my parents realized they were too old to manhandle and agreed to let them weather the deluge without toxic "raincoats".

My younger sister, Cheryl (2 years younger) squealed with delight and danced around in anticipation of getting to wear something so cheery.

Like any sane person I was in the camp of the older children and informed my parents that I wasn't wearing one either.  Although this was clearly the rational decision, my mom ignored my God-given right to not be smothered by soul-sucking lemon stench and replied matter-of-factly that I was going to wear one.

I said no.

She said yes.

I said NO.

She said YES.

I began to cry.

She ignored me and stuck my sister into the one my dad had created.  Cheryl started skipping around singing "Six Little Ducks."  Oh, how I still hate that song.

I started bawling.

My mom ignored me and crammed the second poncho over my head.

I started hacking and coughing as the bag tried to suffocate me with fumes. I sobbed and gagged and whined and pleaded.

And my mother remained firm.

My older siblings who had been slowing sidling away from us took this opportunity to get as far from us as possible.  They headed down the path toward the canyon mocking the lunatic family behind them in the yellow garbage bags. 

I continued to cry and try to conceal myself behind my mother in embarrassment. I admit there's a chance that my attempts to hide were sabotaged by my crying.  My mom and dad walked on in a carefree sort of way with my sister beside them still skipping and still singing "Six Little Ducks."  (Note: My kids like that song.  Every SINGLE time it comes on in the car from their Toddler Favorites cd, I grind my teeth and have to take deep, calming breaths of fresh, non-lemon-scented air.)

I slunk behind my mother the entire 10 mile walk to the canyon.  Yes, I'm sure it was that long.  It was at least long enough to create a life-long aversion to lemon scent.  Not like, "Ugg, I don't like lemon scented cleaners," but like, (gag) "SOMEONE GET THAT LEMON SCENTED WIPE OUT OF THIS HOUSE! (cough...wheeze) HOLY MOSES!  GET IT OUT OF HERE!  (hack) NO, DON'T THROW IT IN OUR TRASH - PUT IT IN THE NEIGHBOR'S!"

The mortifying trip ended at the edge of the canyon.  The rain clouds had sank into the canyon and the red spires were drenched in sunlight as they shot up grandly through the mist.  After desperately fighting my way out of my garbage bag and throwing it downwind from myself, I remember standing there and admiring the beauty of the canyon.  The photo above does not come close to showing the beauty that we got to see that day.  The clouds and the rock and the sunshine were absolutely breathtaking.

Breathtaking enough to make up for the lemon scented garbage bags?  No. No sight on earth is worth that.

And yes, I believe this is a completely factual retelling of the event without prejudice or exaggeration.  Poor little lemon-scared me.