Tag Archives: motherhood

Meet me in St. Louis

We had our first summer 2011 get-away weekend recently. We went to the deep south. And as anyone who is from the general Chicagoland area knows, everything south of I-80 is the deep south.

So we headed to the land of rednecks and poo-holes known to us northerners as St. Louis. There are a few important things to know about St. Louis.

  1. The people there hate everyone from Illinois, even when they live on the Illinois side.
  2. The people there need a map.
  3. The people there think the most important thing in life is wearing t-shirts that are anti-Chicago.

Okay, maybe I am over-generalizing. It was Cubs-Cards weekend, and the Cardinals officially handed the Cubs their asses on a stick. I’m just saying — Jackie — you’d think that would be enough. I’m just letting you know — Kyle — your “How many rebuilding years can the Cubs have” t-shirts are stupid. That’s all I’m saying.

But I digress.

The trip to St. Louis had us worried, as it seemed this was going to LITERALLY be the crappiest weekend ever. And I don’t believe in using the word “literally” unless I mean it. Because one minute it was all this:

“WOO HOO WE’RE TAKING A TRIP!!”

And the next thing we knew, little George there got a look of complete and utter fear on his face. Followed by the runs. And when five-year-olds get a case of the runs, they don’t squeeze their butt cheeks together real tight and hold on until the next stop. They wait until you are two milliseconds past the point when you could reasonably take the exit without flipping the Kia Sportage, chit their pants, try to lie about it as if we cannot smell that nonsense, and suddenly there’s a good ten miles between the next stop and where you sit now in your stinky, nasty car.

Finally. We make it. Lincoln, Illinois.

We would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the people of Lincoln who entered the bathroom at the Wendy’s and had to smell that. Score for Jim for biting the bullet on taking care of this.

Wipe. Clean. Throw away underpants and put on fresh ones. Back in the car.

30. Minutes. Later….. Bomb #2.

We would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the people of Williamsville, Illinois who entered the bathroom at the McDonald’s and had to smell that. Score TWO for Jim for biting the bullet and taking care of this.  I took this opportunity to go to the convenience store, where I picked up a bottle of Pepto, read the label, clearly saw it said not to give it to children under six, and gave it to my five-year-old anyway.

Wipe. Clean. Throw away underpants and put on fresh ones. Back in the car.

I kid you not… 30. Minutes. Later….. Bomb #3.

I wish I had taken a photo of Jim’s face. He pulls off into Middle of Nowhere, Illinois, into a lovely gas station that was slightly nicer than what I assume hell looks like, put the car in park, and stared straight ahead. Clearly it was my turn. I retrieved the LAST pair of underwear from George’s suitcase, helped him waddle into a bathroom that even Britney Spears would find gross, and proceeded to used every disinfecting wipe I had to clean various surfaces (to no avail). Wipe. Wipe. WIPE. Holy balls, people, it was wrapped around his balls! It’s bad enough changing the diaper of a two-year-old. A five-year-old with the runs might as well be YOU with the runs. I swear to God, the child does not have enough lower intestine to produce that much crap, but out it catapulted from his ass.

We would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the people of Wherever-the-hell-that-was-south-of-Springfield, Illinois who entered the bathroom at the gas station closest to the highway and had to smell that. Especially the three terrified looking women who were standing there when I opened the door after ten minutes and my child still had a little dookie stuck to the back of his leg. I had to clean it with a sunscreen wipe. But, in my defense, minus the smell, I think I left that bathroom cleaner than I found it.

More Pepto and a quick prayer — we are out of underwear.

30. Minutes. Later.

Okay, this time their was no rear-end explosion. But the child does suddenly say, “I have to pee!”

Come on, now! Again, barely a foot past a safe place to turn off the highway.

Jim takes the next exit. We probably should have noticed that the sign said, “Exit to Terror Land, HERE!” At this exit there were two things — a gas station/liquor store complete with a woman smacking her child and a man picking his teeth with a knife… and a Venture. You know what does a fast U-turn? A 37-year-old man driving a Kia Sportage.

At this time, Jim distracts George by telling him he can see the arch. Nevermind the kid had no idea what the arch was up until that point. It’s RIGHT THERE! (we can’t see it yet). LOOK THERE IT IS! (still can’t see it). THE ARCH!! (finally!)

Over the river, into town, toward the ballpark, suddenly turn into tourists (LOOK! *point* THE STADIUM *point-point* TALL BUILDINGS! pointy-point-point* THAT WAS OUR TURN BACK THERE *backwards point*).

Parking. Hotel. Check-in. Poops seem to have passed, so hell, let’s get in the pool. It’s dark. No one will notice if George takes another un-toileted shat (he didn’t).

Back to a quick rant of the Cardinals here — This was Friday. The game ended shortly after we got to the hotel, 6-1 Cards. And I found myself alone in the elevator with several drunk, overly cologned 20-somethings, letting me know, “THE CUBS WERE RAPED TONIGHT. UN-CON-SENSUAL RAPE!!!” Then there were some bro-hugs and bro-fives. Honestly Jackie. This excuses your choice of a DE-troit fan, because two Cardinal fans would be unacceptable at Mr. E’s place in Wisconsin. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, with the backseat blowouts safely behind us, we got to the business of enjoying the rest of the weekend, which frankly, was awesome.

Foot of the arch!

Totally artsy picture of Hank.

View from our seats!

Balloon hats!

View from the completely unnecessary tower of terror arch.

Feeding the fish at Union Station.

Complete and utter exhaustion.

Cruel and unusual punishment.

Seriously. That bigger one there — three separate trips to the hospital, eighty-bizzilion hours of labor before a c-section, single parenting. I went WITHOUT health insurance so I could afford it for him. And the little one — ten months of refusing to be held at feeding time by anyone but me and my right boob. Poor righty was all full and sore and nasty because he wouldn’t take lefty. Not to mention the ABOVE DESCRIBED POOP TRIP 2011. And this is the thanks I get.

Little monster children.

Just let it be known, if you two EVER yell in an elevator that the Cardinals have just raped the Cubs, I will seriously have you removed from the will.

Happy summer!

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Creepy crawlies

The following is an actual conversation from this morning:

Me, spotting a little black spider lowering itself by the stairs: “Oh. Icky. A spider.”

Him: “Just swipe it away.”

Me: “Eeewwwweeeeeee…. Get me a tissue.”

Him, handing me TWO squares of toilet paper: “Here.”

Me: “That’s NOT ENOUGH.”

Him, eyes rolling: “Yes it is.”

Me: “No, I’ll be able to touch it!”

Him, brushing past me and snatching up the toilet paper: “Sheesh.”

Me: “FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOILET!”

Him, flushing the defenseless and squished spider down the loo: “You women…”

And for clarity:

Me = 37-year-old Marney

Him = 9-year-old Hank

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Working those mom skills

I have been super busy these days.

The truth of it is, there is an election coming up. And while I have no idea which of the candidates in my own town who are best suited for the job, it’s the election in the fabulous city that I cover for the local newspaper that is keeping me stressed and excited all at once. Tuesday isn’t just election day, it’s the day we lay out the paper. So my usual one-week deadline has dissipated, and it’s like I’m back in big news-land, where I have to get my reporting as accurate and quickly as possible.

Why this has me so wound up I do not know, it’s not like I cannot handle it. But I think part of the issue is the fact that while the election has been smooth sailing for months, it appears that in the last three weeks or so, someone trucked in a big bucket of mud and all the candidates picked up their best shovels and started tossing. It’s typical, on one hand, but still creates a lot of excess news for me. When it comes to small town news, there is a fine line between news and gossip. And I am standing on it like it’s a freakishly thin tightrope.

Anyway, it’s my preparations for next week that have turned me into the mother of the year. Because you know what? It’s spring break, and Wii is a good babysitter. Jim pointed out that there is a picture of Anakin Skywalker from the new Lego Star Wars game burned into the TV screen. I replied by telling him off. He did not like that.

Today, I let them play while I was doing some other various work, when I suddenly realized that the smell in the room was, in fact, me. So I hopped in the shower, and when I got out, I realized that the one really cute part of my body — my toes — needed some work. So for the first time since last summer, I slapped a coat of paint on my little piggies. Instant cuteness. If it wasn’t so chilly, I’d put sandals on.

So I head down to where the boys were being babysat by Wii again. The conversation went like this:

Hank: “Man, do we have to turn it off already?”

Me: “No. Look at my toes.”

Hank, not looking at my toes: “Looks good.”

Me: “You didn’t even LOOK, look at my toes!”

Hank, glancing down briefly: “Yeah, looks good.”

Me: “YOU ARE NOT EVEN LOOKING AT THEM! Don’t they look cute?”

George: “They look BEAUTIFUL mom!”

Me: “See, that’s how you answer! Who’s winning the favorite son award today?”

Hank: “They look good.”

And that’s how you torture your kids.

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Science lesson

Real conversation with an 8-year-old boy:

Hank: “Mom, I think I know why we have wieners and butts. ‘Cause when you drink, the drink takes bad chemicals and it makes it go out (makes pee gesture). And when you eat, it carries on and it takes bad chunks and it carries it out of your butt (makes pooping gesture).”

Me: “What made you think of this?”

Hank: “Our teacher. It’s about what we’re learning about water, like how it goes up in the air and how it goes back down. I already knew the whole thing.”

As usual, thanks public school!

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Quit your swining….

Today’s story is brought to you by Tamiflu. Tamiflu: breaking the wallets of sick people since 1999.

So George was all sick and barfy and not right over the weekend. And I was thinking, eh, he seems a little worse than a regular flu, but not too bad. Then Sunday he starts tugging at his ear, so I’m like, A-HA! Ear infection. So off to the doc we go yesterday.

Nope. No ear infection. H1N1. Aka, influenza A. Aka, Swine flu.

Ok, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The media always gets the swine flu thing wrong. Liberals. Because really, only swine get swine flu. H1N1/Influenza A is just more severe than your average seasonal flu, and lasts a little longer. George has already been through the worst of it. The doctor said complications usually come at the END of the cycle, which should be the end of this week. But his fever is already gone.

Speaking of which, the doc was a little shocked that I hadn’t taken his temperature. I said, he had a fever, and she was like, how much, and I was like….. uh……. hot on my hand? She gave me that one eyebrow up in the air look. Is it no longer acceptable to touch your kid and KNOW they have a fever? If so, um, looks like I need a new thermometer for Christmas. I don’t even know where mine is at. Or which end it goes in.

Lucky for me, Hank stayed home from school yesterday, he had a dentist appointment. And when he came out, his eye was blazing red. So I had the doc look at him too…. and he has a raging case of pink eye. Probably related to the flu, the doc says, but he is not symptomatic of the flu. Lovely that I might have spread it all over the dentist office, hmm? Which is a whole ‘nother story, jeeze louise.

Anyway, George’s doctor says, oh, by the way, the entire FAMILY has to be treated for H1N1. With a medicine that costs $50 each. EACH I TELL YOU! You should have seen my eyes bug out of my face when the pharmacist said that — and that is WITH insurance. And Jim’s got the good stuff, too! Guess who is super happy that Jim talked her into stopping at two kids right about now? Of course, it makes sense though since we’ve all been exposed. I mean, on Saturday, when he barfed all over me and the pillow I threw out, the first thing I did after ripping his clothes off was give him hugs and kisses, then I cleaned it up. And it’s not like I put on rubber gloves to do it.

 So I have to hold down George twice a day to pump this stuff in his mouth. Hank only gets it once a day, but I also have to sit on his head and pry his little eyeballs open to put the eye drops in. And Jim is the biggest baby of them all. He has pretty much doused himself with hand sanitizer and last night he freaked out a little when he grabbed the pantry door right after Hank had touched it. Although, I think Jim is more afraid of the pink eye then the flu. Big baby.

Anyway, the house has been throughly Lysoled. Bah.

However, just so everyone knows, even though you have been assured by the doctor that things are okay and your kids seem fine and they’ve started treatment, when your 4-year-old gets diagnosed with H1N1, you wake up every 30 minutes or so to make sure he is breathing. I am sure it will be a fun week for me.

Meanwhile, Hank — who is 8 years old — needs not one, not two, but THREE root canals. THREE ROOT CANALS. And I didn’t really want him sedated, and the dentist thought that was funny. His treatments start in January. Seeing as I have had one cavity ever in my life, let’s blame his other biological contributor for this one.

 The end.

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This kid…

So, as you well know, Hank is a ripe old 8 years of age. And with that age comes much, much wisdom. Some of his more memorable nuggets as of late:

To my brother, at his wedding, which yes, was his second wedding: “This is the best wedding you’ve had.”

Same day: “I hope you don’t divorce this one, because I like her.”

Same day, upon exiting the dance floor: “Not only am I having the night of my life, but I’m getting great exercise.”

Watching Faith Hill sing the Monday Night Football song: “Ah, if only she was 8 years old.”

Waving his hands at the automatic doors at Walmart: “I’m getting good at using the Force.”

I think it is fair to say that while the boy did not inherit my looks (and seriously, if you look at this photo and do NOT see his other biological contributor clear as day, you either don’t know the dude or you are messed up), he at least got my sense of humor.

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A whole new level of bad ass

Holy crap, people. Holy crap.

For those of you who have children, you know that there is “the story.” For my mother, there are five of them. With Carrie she was so drugged up she couldn’t point her out in the nursery. Tommy I think is the one where every doctor, nurse, cafeteria worker and janitor in the hospital took a peek before she finally delivered him. Laura — 10 pounds, two sets of forceps, double-episotomy, born arm first with a tooth (that’s a good one). Amy was born during Monday Night Football. Me? Well, I shot out so fast she almost left me right there on the hospital floor. Nice.

My stories are lame. I was totally drugged up and had both my children removed from me — against their will — in a nice, sterile operating suite. Hank refused to come out. George didn’t get the chance to even try.

Everyone can chip in something here. What you or your wife or your girlfriend went through. But no matter how you tell the story, to you, it seems fairly unbelievable. I mean, you DID that. You made that kid. Cool.

But, as far as baby stories go, no one can top the delivery of one Miss Lilah, born to my friend Nancy and her husband Mark (and big sister Cara) this week. In Nancy’s own words:

I delivered my own child. Yes I did.

Lilah Jane was born yesterday morning around 9:10. My contractions were still 6 minutes apart, so I told Mark to take Cara to daycare. I figured I’d get dressed and we’d head for the hospital when he got back. As soon as the van door closed I knew I’d made a bad call. I figured the best thing to do was get up, get dressed, and go sit with next-door-neighbor Jen until Mark got back.

I went and sat on the potty, and my water broke. I yelled out the window for Jen, but she had gone into her basement to work out. I told myself not to push, but my body wasn’t listening to me. At that point I realized the baby was ready to come out. I gave one good push, and most of her was out. One more good push and there she was. No I did not drop her in the toilet (but I think her feet got wet). So now I’m stuck on the in the bathroom with no help and a waxy, blue baby. Fortunately I had read just the night before what to do if you accidentally gave birth at home. I did what I could to clear her airway, wrapped her in a towel draped her cord over my arm since the placenta hadn’t been delivered yet, and walked over to my bed.

After calling 911 I ran over to the window and called Jen again, which still did me no good. I couldn’t call anyone else because 911 wouldn’t let me off the phone. The EMT’s were there pretty fast, but Mark had locked the door (ever safety conscious). Poor Jen – just about to get in the shower and wrapped in a towel -was running around her house looking for my house key.

They didn’t break down the door because they knew I was ok, so they found an open kitchen window and climbed through. They grabbed the baby, cut the cord and sent her on her way to the hospital. Right about this time Mark turned down our street and had a mini cardiac episode when he saw all the emergency vehicles at our house. He came up to see his blood covered wife starting to kind of pass out on the bed, with 6 EMT guys standing around. One of them offered me a sheet to cover myself with. I looked around and asked if anyone really thought my modesty was an issue at that point.

I had a partial placental abruption, so my upstairs looked like a crime scene (which my poor mom cleaned up) – which got even grosser when my placenta delivered. Then they packed me up (tromping around in the blood all the while) and sent me off in my own ambulance. Lilah is fine. She spent the night in the NICU. I feel great and aside from lots of blood loss I ended up in pretty good shape.

Dudes… she delivered her OWN child. Alone. In the bathroom. And not like, I’m at the prom and my mom doesn’t know I’m pregnant so I’ll push it out and leave it in paper towels in the corner then go dance with my boyfriend. More like, I have a bag packed and names picked out and I’ve called the maternity ward ahead of time and I STILL managed to have her on the fine radiant heat tiles! She’s like a genuine case of “I didn’t know I was pregnant” only she TOTALLY KNEW she was pregnant!

Holy. Crap. On. A. Stick. With. Beans.

Nancy is absolutely, 100 percent, the world’s most bad ass mother.

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