Friday, November 30, 2007

They aren't as good as Stompers

As a kid, back when I was shameless about my greed, putting together a Christmas list was easier. But now I find that (a) I have some shame, (b) I don't really need anything, and (c) it's a lot easier to buy what I want myself anyway. I suppose if I were someone who liked new adventures, it would be a bit easier, but this year all I want is for Christmas to go smoother than Thanksgiving did.

Once we started putting lists together for our children (3 and 1), it got MUCH harder. Right now both kids are so fascinated with our Roomba that I should get them each one and let them clean the house!

But that doesn't stop people from wanting to get us something (no, I'm not complaining!). So I'm trying to figure out what makes a gift memorable. Unfortunately, the most memorable gift that comes to mind wasn't mine, but one of my brother's - and, like most of my strong memories, it involves me being an idiot.

In the 80's there were these dopey toy trucks called Stompers, and there was a major competitor whose name I can't recall. EVERYONE wanted a little truck, and my Aunt and Uncle got my brother the competitor's version. He loved it, and I'm sure they were made by exactly the same child labor that made the Stompers, but I'd seen enough TV to become brainwashed. I made the comment - yes, in front of them - that "they aren't as good as Stompers."

I don't recall much from my childhood, but I clearly remember frantically backpedaling immediately after saying that. "Well this one looks great, though!" "I must have been thinking of another brand, because this one looks just like Stompers." "I wish I had a truck like that!" "Wait a minute, I thought you got him a different kind, I didn't know this was a [whatever it was]!" Sheesh. Sorry Uncle Allen and Aunt Sandy!

The only gift I remember getting specifically was 2 cassettes (that's pre-CD time for you younguns) - "Hi Infidelity" (REO Speedwagon) and "Pyromania" (Def Leppard). It was around 8th grade and I was REALLY excited to get music that wasn't by the Bay City Rollers (although the blue cassette I had by them looked pretty neat).

Other than that, I don't specifically recall any other gifts, although I'm sure there were some which, at the time, I couldn't live without. Now all I remember is an overall feeling that they were all given with love behind them.

And isn't that kind of the point?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Poop talk

1. Today Ellie announced, "Miss Vanessa [the preschool teacher] says my poop is stinky." Those preschool teachers sure know their stuff.

2. Early in the potty training Ellie, watching TV as a reward for something, started doing the "poop dance." We reminded her to go to the toilet, at which point she ran to the bathroom, ran back and screeched "PAUSE IT!" at the TV, and then ran back to the bathroom. I'm glad she has her priorities right.

3. When she's successful, she calls out "I did it! I DID IT!" Whenever I'm successful in the bathroom, she yells (from wherever she happens to be) "GOOD JOB, DADDY!" I hope I have that kind of encouragement in 40 years.

Christmas TV

We really should rewatch the classic Christmas specials before letting Ellie watch them. I've spent far more than the 1/2 hour it took her to watch Frosty the Snowman to explain what the heck was going on when Frosty melted, and how he came back.

Now she's going around pretending she's "Frosting the Snowman" saying "I melted, but it's okay because I'll come back again." Cute, but I wonder about the mental damage that's occurring every time she thinks about what it means in real life! Hello, psychiatrists! Okay, maybe it's not that bad.

But I do wonder what her preschool teachers think when she tells them she melted.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bottles are now only for Diet Mountain Dew

So we used the few days that Matthew wasn't eating or drinking anything to finally wean him off of the bottle. Yes, he is almost 16 months old and just now getting off the bottle. Leave me alone.

We thought that it would be easy, since he was drinking milk out of sippy cups while he was recovering in Phoenix. Now that we're home, he won't drink anything other than water. So...we are faced with a little boy who is no longer getting 24+ ounces of whole milk a day. Guess what?


I thought he ate pretty well before, but wow - we're setting ourselves up for a big grocery bill every week, and he's only 1! Now, if I could only get him to eat something other than yogurt and Froot Loops.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving, 2007

Day One - Sunday

Matthew poops right before we board our flight. Thankful that it happened BEFORE we got on the plane, we change him and are getting on the plane 10 minutes later when we realize he's pooped again. Another quick change once we're on the plane, we take off, and he poops a third time. Uh oh.

Fast forward through a blur of crying and pooping. The flight attendant is sniffing up and down the aisle saying, "Where's that smell coming from?" Yes, sir, that's the fruit of my loins that's making that stink. But I think he gets it from my wife's side of the family. The flight attendant tells us to cover our eyes and then sprays over us with Febreeze. No joke. It smells nice, though.

Not to be outdone, Matthew then poops out of his clothes into his car seat. My wife goes to change Matthew while I clean up the car seat with a "Wet One" and the Febreeze. On which of the following items did Matthew barf while Sharon was bringing him back?

  1. Sharon
  2. Himself
  3. Seats 21B and C
  4. Our carry-ons, which were on seats 21B and C.
  5. The shoe and sock of the man sitting in row 22, who happened to be in Patti LaBelle's band, have 4 kids at home, and was very tolerant of Matthew's barf.
  6. All of the above.

You guessed it. Ugh.

Eight plastic bags later (to contain the stink from our clothes, luggage, and garbage), we sat down on the blankets they'd laid on top of the "human fluid cleaner." Don't worry everyone, there are only about 2-1/2 hours left in the flight. It'll be okay, because the crew cranked the air conditioner to help control the stink and "minimize the risk of someone else getting sick." Since Matthew barfed on his backup outfit, he got to ride the rest of the way wrapped in an airline blanket.

Day 2 - Monday

Monday morning I slip in the ice rink shower and partially dislocate my shoulder (subluxation for you med students).

Later that day, I take Matthew to Urgent Care because he's barfed again and has a high fever and white diarrhea. A couple of hours later they tell me to give him Tylenol. Thanks. Coincidentally, I see my Uncle Allen there (with Aunt Sandy). He has bronchitis and pneumonia and won't be joining us for Thanksgiving.

I get back to the hotel to find my wife taking care of Ellie, who is now also running a fever and feeling awful. She had been so preoccupied getting Ellie to rest that she forgot to put Ellie in a pull up during her nap. Ellie starts crying when we notice that she peed in the bed, but Sharon tells her that it's okay. While we're changing Ellie, she tells us "I peed in my underpants, but that's okay Mommy. That's okay."

That night I fully dislocate my shoulder while I'm asleep (a result of wrenching it in the shower) and my calling for help wakes Matthew, who is unexpectedly getting decent sleep. Sharon resets it for me (ahhhhhh) and at 2:30am I go to CVS for Advil, ice packs, and ACE bandages. By 3:30am I have my shoulder immobilized and wake Matthew again when I activate the instant ice pack. I get 1/2 hour of semi-sleep before my daughter wakes up.

Day 3 - Tuesday

Tuesday morning, I go to Urgent Care (again) for my shoulder. The doctor laughs and asks me if I want to make an appointment for Wednesday just in case something else goes wrong. The kids are both sick, so we can't see my Grandma Boo (she'd arrived Monday night) for fear she'll catch something.

Day 4 - Wednesday (my birthday)

Wednesday we attempt to visit before lunch, but Ellie throws a temper tantrum the likes of which I haven't seen, complete with her jumping up and down and flapping her arms on the way out the door, screeching "I don't wanna!" See how cute she is Grandma Boo?

That evening we are able to visit with people and celebrate my birthday, although time was short because of various sleepy children.

Day 5 - Thanksgiving

Thursday morning Ellie and I visit and see Grandpa G's airplane. Ellie loves it, but when we get back to the hotel we find that Matthew has been crying for a couple hours and won't take his morning nap. After lunch and afternoon naps, we get ready to go and arrive just in time for dinner. Ellie freaks out and cries in another room for about 1/2 hour during dinner. Sharon acts like a cop sent in to talk a jumper down from a building and goes to talk with Ellie.

When Ellie calms down enough to come out, she tells me, "Daddy, eating inside is not an option." Hmm...I wonder what Sharon was discussing with her? She gradually warms up, eventually having a great time after dinner. I push Ellie and Grandma Boo in the wheelchair and we take family pictures. Then Ellie gets Grandma G to read her a story, and while she's on her lap, Ellie starts coughing.

A lot.

I've heard about coughing fits ending up with barfing, but hadn't seen one - until now. Barf #3 of the trip takes out Ellie, the book, and Grandma G, who takes the brunt of the load. Ellie invents the word "barfded." Okay, terrific! Time to go!

Day 6 - Friday

It's about 25 minutes past time to leave the hotel, and other than being late, our luck has improved to the point that nobody is barfing, diarrheaing, bleeding, dislocating, etc. We make it to the plane, which is only 60% full, and the pilot gets us home 45 minutes ahead of schedule. They must have confused us with someone else.

I'm never leaving the house again.

Oh boy, the first post

The obligatory first post. I don't know how YOU found this site, but it's primarily for family to read about our adventures. If you don't know us, we are:

  • Bill - The Tired Daddy
  • Sharon - Mommy, who's also tired
  • Ellie - She's 3 (as of November 2007)
  • Matthew - He's just over 1 (as of November 2007)

I stay home with the kids. Being a kept man is pretty good, but I do miss getting full nights sleep!