Friday, April 29, 2011

Birth And Embarrassment

Another birthday. Another child a year older. This time it was my baby, Andre. Andre is no longer a baby, but a running, climbing, learning six year old.

Andre was born six weeks early. Not scary early. But early enough that the hospital called in our pediatrician (and friend) Toby, for the delivery. Everything went off without a hitch. Andre was born healthy and strong. But he was no looker. As his mother, I can say that. Honestly, the doctor warned us before he handed him to us. He was born with a bacterial infection of the skin (the reason he was early) and it made him look like he was broken out in pimples.

No worries though. After a round of antibiotics, it cleared right up. And he got a lot cuter too.

Back to him being born. As I said, our pediatrician was there for the delivery and to resuscitate him if needed (it wasn't needed). Let me say that it is not fun to be naked from the waist down in front of your child's pediatrician. I don't care if he is a doctor. He's not my doctor. During the delivery he was pretty busy getting an isolette set up in case Andre needed to be taken to the NICU (a very scary place that luckily we didn't need). But after Andre was stabilized he was walking freely around the room. I finally had enough and said, "Toby, if you don't stay north of my waist I'm going to go all post-partum on you right here and now." He thought this was funny and stayed up around my shoulders. My doctor however thought this was really funny and then told the whole room, "Hey, once you've seen one, you've seen them all."

I. Was. Mortified.

Matt is laughing. Toby the pediatrician is laughing. My doctor is laughing. The nurses are even chuckling a little bit. If I hadn't been in a compromising al-fresco situation I would have walked out of the room.

Six years later Toby and I laughed about this very situation at Andre's six year check up where he was pronounced perfect in every way. Here is Andre now.

He's got the biggest heart. He always has a kiss and a hug for you. He has the lightest blue eyes I've ever seen. He loves riding bikes, playing cars, swinging out back. He wanted books, Legos and puzzles for his birthday. He cried when I read him the card his Daddy sent him. He dried his eyes and said, "Even though Daddy can't be here this year, he'll be home next." Even at six he has faith that things will get better. He loves his friends. Here he is with his two best friends, Cassy-Wassy and Zackaroni and Cheese.

The night before his birthday when he was already in bed, it hit me that I would never, ever have a five year old again. Never. This was it. This was the last time we would have first day of kindergarten and first bike and all those other exciting things that happen at five. I started to cry. A lot. I couldn't believe it was going so fast. I needed to see him, hold him, kiss him one last time while he was still five. At 11:50 pm, I snuck into his room and crawled in his bed where he was fast asleep. I held him. I stroked his sleepy little head. I kissed his cheeks. I whispered all my hopes and dreams for his future in his perfect little five year old ear. And then I said good-bye to him.

The next morning when he tumbled out of bed I grabbed him and held him and kissed him for the first time as a six year old. I tickled his six year old tummy and nussled his six year old neck. I took a deep breath and sighed with relief. He is getting older and I will never get back those days that are gone. But isn't that what makes them so precious? Because they are so fleeting? That the perfection of childhood and youth are so impermanent?

Today he played soccer. For the first time as a six year old. And I have 364 days of six year old stuff left. It's going to be a good year.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wedding Day Vomit

Today is my 15th anniversary. Pretty momentous, right? My wedding day was filled with typical things. A beautiful white dress. A candle lit ceremony. First kiss as man and wife. My fiance turned husband dapper in a black tuxedo. Family all dressed up and running around, laughing and talking and sometimes arguing. A five tier white cake with flowers. Dancing and food. Bouquets tossed. Rice thrown in air and showering down on us as we ran to our decorated car. And to top it all off, puke all across the backseat of that car. That I got to clean up. Awesome.

Let me back track a little. Matt and I decided not to have a limo take us from the reception to our hotel downtown. We thought it was a better idea to drive the shiny, green Audi we had just bought together. Our first car as husband and wife. What a better symbol to leave the reception in than our first major purchase together? I was the principle driver of the shiny, green Audi so Matt decided that the night before the wedding we should switch cars so that he could get it washed and all clean for us to leave the wedding in. What a great plan. Too bad it all turned to crap. Or vomit actually.

Matt had his then five year old nephew, Joey (not his real name), sleep over the night before our wedding day. Joey was set to be our ring bearer in the ceremony and Matt wanted to do something special for him as a thank you. Matt and Joey took the car to get washed, vacuumed, Windexed and all shined up for the big day. And after that he and Joey went and did typical uncle things. Mainly letting him stay up really late and eat all sorts of junk food. When Joey woke up the next day (our wedding day) he told Uncle Matt that he wasn't feeling too good. Who would after staying up till 1:00 am eating fourteen bags of Skittle's and M&M's? Matt hurriedly bundled Joey up and tried to get him home to his mom and dad before the inevitable happened. He wasn't quick enough. Joey puked Skittle's and M&M's all over the back seat of the freshly detailed, shiny, green Audi.

Here is the part in the story where I really don't understand what happened. Or really understand what Matt was thinking because the first thing he did after Joey puked was drive to my parent's house and switch cars without even telling me. On our wedding day. What a sweetheart, huh?

I'm sitting in my parent's living room just killing time when I see Matt pull up in my shiny, green Audi and take out a pale Joey and place him in his car which was in my driveway. He then starts to drive away. I run to the door and get ready to ask him what's going on when he slows down (he doesn't even stop) and rolls down the window and says, "Hey, Joey doesn't feel well. I've got to get him home." I wave to him and then he starts to speed up and roll the window back up. He then rolls it down a little more and as he's speeding away I think I hear him yell, "And he threw up in the back seat. See ya!"

What? Did he really just say 'And he threw up in the back seat?' What am I supposed to do about that? Doesn't he realize it's my wedding day?! Now mind you, the reason I was killing time was because I was pretty much ready. Nails, done. Hair in an elegant upsweep, done. Make-up, done. My dress was hanging up in my room ready to go. Now I'm supposed to go and clean up candy puke from his nephew? I realized that nobody else was going to clean this up so I got in the stinky car and drove it down the the local car wash where they have shampoo machines. I then spent the next 30 minutes scrubbing candy puke out of the cream, velvet interior of my shiny, green Audi. I did get a lot of stares while I was there. I did after all have a very formal hairdo and wedding make up on. But I was wearing sweats. Super hot.

After scrubbing the upchuck out of my back seat I decided I wasn't going to let this ruin my day. It was my wedding day after all. I got my dress and drove to the the site of the wedding. The rest of the day went smoothly and was beautiful.

The next morning Matt and I sat and had a gorgeous brunch in the restaurant of the hotel we stayed in. I decided that even though I wasn't going to let the "puke incident" ruin my wedding day, I had no problem letting it ruin the day after my wedding.

Me - "So... do you have anything to say for yourself?"
Matt - "About what?"
Me - "Seriously?"
Matt - No words. Just a smirk on his face.
Me - "Well, if you won't say it, I will. About how you dropped off a car filled with puke to your fiance on her wedding day."
Matt - "What was I supposed to do?"
Me - "You're kidding right? How about clean it up? It was after all, My Wedding Day." My voice is now starting to edge up just a little bit.
Matt - "Well, it was MY wedding day too."
Okay. The gloves are off. No more Mrs. Nicey-Nicey.
Me - "Well, you're lucky it ended up being your wedding day because after a stunt like that, I almost didn't show up."
Matt - "Well, you did. Too late now." More smirking.

I didn't know what to say here. He was right. I did show up. All my power was gone. Playing mad wasn't working. I had to pull out the big guns.

Me - "I was just really hurt. It made me feel like you didn't care." Oh my. The twisted web we weave.
Matt - "Honey, let me set something straight right now. I. Don't. Do. Throw. Up. Never. Never, ever, ever. The smell of it, the sight of it makes me throw up. I had to hold my shirt balled up over my face just to drive the five miles to your parents house. And when I start throwing up, I don't stop. You should be glad that I dropped off the car to you or I might not have made it to the wedding."

True to form, for the fifteen years of our marriage, this has been right on. Every time one of our kids or I am sick he runs out of the room. He can't even stand listening to the retching sound. This also means that when our kids are sick, I'm the only one who gets to clean that up too.

Back to fifteen years ago. I decided to let it drop. For that day anyway. I have opened up the vault and taken this little anecdote out every now and then when I feel like he is being a turd.

Me - "You know that this reminds me of? Our wedding day when you dropped off a car filled with vomit."
Matt - "You need to get over that."
Me - "NEVER!"

So that is pretty much the story of my Wedding Day Vomit. What should you take away from this? If you remember anything, remember this. That man sneakily left my new car in my parents driveway filled with surprise puke on My Wedding Day and I still married him. That is how much I loved him. I still showed up. I still said my vows and slipped a ring on his finger and listened to him say his and slip a ring on my finger. Those vows have rung pretty true. We've had good times and bad. We've been richer and poorer. We've had sickness and we've had health. But I wouldn't trade any of it. Not the times together or the times apart because it's all of our experiences that have given us the amazing marriage that we have today. Every single experience has shaped the husband and wife we are to each other. Even the pukey ones. After reading this story if there is anyone out there still wondering what would I say that day, I will tell you. I do, I do, I do. A million times over, I do.

Happy 15th Anniversary Matt.

Ich liebe dich. Sie sind mein Herz. Sie sind meine Seele.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Music In Me

I've been pretty lazy lately. I used to work out five to six times a week, but in the last five months that has dwindled down to about, hmmm, zero. Feeling the desire to rediscover the health nut in me and stop considering Haagen Daaz it's own food group, I decided to become a runner. Let me say for the record, I've never really been into running. But  I see women in black running pants with sleek, form fitting jackets, head bands on and music players strapped to their arms. Eyes trained on the road in front of them. I want to be one of them. I assembled all the necessary gear. I actually have "running clothes" from the last time I wanted to be a runner (I've wanted to be a runner several times, I've just never done the running). Clothes, check. New running shoes from Nike, check. Upbeat music loaded on my phone, check. Now having all these things at my disposal, surprise surprise, has not made it any easier to drag my butt outside and run. Except once when I did sprints down my street. My kids kept saying to me, "Mom, do you know how crazy you look?" So my shoes sit on the floor by my dresser, my clothes stuffed in a drawer. But my phone loaded with music? This has gotten some use.

In my attempt to put peppy music on my phone, I ripped music off of the 200 CD's that have been in a storage bin in our basement for six years and loaded it on my phone. I had music at my fingertips that I hadn't listened to in 15 years. And I downloaded all sorts of new stuff. Welcome back Simple Minds. Missed you Veruca Salt. Where have you been Siouxsie and the Banshees? Pleased to meet you Katy Perry. Glad you could come Pitbull. Now instead of only being able to listen to music when my kids were at school (Mom blasting music from the office computer is not very conducive to homework getting done), I could listen all the time. When the kids are home and watching iCarly for the 37th time, I could be listening to my music. But, I think my kids are getting frustrated with how much I am listening to the music on my phone because I'm hearing a lot of stuff like this-

"Mom, turn it down."
"Mom, take those earphones out and listen to me."
"Mom, are you listening to me?"
"Mom, did you hear what I said?"
"Mom, just turn it off."

What a bunch of squares.

I guess the music listening reached a breaking point with my oldest son last week when he and his friend were playing video games in the living room and I was in the kitchen cleaning, music on, earphones in, and singing away. "Billie Jean is not my lo-over. She's just a girl who claims that I AM THE ONE. BUT THE KID IS NOT MY SON... ee-hee! oooohhh!"

As the song ended and silence filled my ears, I caught the tail end of my son apologizing for my behavior to his friend. "I. Am. So. Sorry." I turned to them right as I heard that and caught four pre-adolescent eyes staring at me with mouths open. Sensing embarrassment coming on I did the only thing I could think of. I had to own the moment. I then raised both arms over my head and said "Mama-say-mama-saw-mama-makusaw!" And I moon walked down the hall.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baby Girl (Not A Baby Anymore)

Eleven years ago on a cold and windy March night, a doctor handed me a tiny bundle. So tiny that regular diapers wouldn't fit on this 6 pound, 1 ounce bundle. So little and delicate. She looked like a china doll. Except for the long, black hair that when it was freshly washed would stand straight up all over her head. I was enthralled with that hair. Having grown up a blonde I was always fascinated by people with dark, ebony hair. I kept taking her hat off to marvel and run my fingers through it and the nurses would come in and see her hat off and get mad at me. She was so small that she had a hard time keeping herself warm. They kept taking her from her rightful place in my arms to put under heat lamps. They would tape cotton balls to her butterfly eyelids and place a metallic sticker in the shape of a heart on her chest that would measure her temperature. I would fret and worry while she was gone because being her mother, I was the only one in the world who knew exactly what she needed.

When we left the hospital, the nurses peeled the temperature sticker off of her chest and most of her skin came off with it so for one month she had a perfectly formed heart-shaped scab on her.  When the scab fell off it left a heart shaped scar that I used to kiss every time I changed her. That scar has since faded and is no more but, the memory of that heart-shaped scar is written on my heart and though she is now to old for it, I wish I could just kiss her where it used to be and make her my baby again.

Eleven years have passed since the scar kissing days and although I miss dearly the little girl who used to let me put bows in her hair, dress her in mary-janes and fluffy dresses, watch Disney Princess shows with, I am amazed and having so much fun getting to know the young woman she is becoming. She is the most determined person I know. Two years ago she wanted to learn to do a cart-wheel and for days she stayed out on the front lawn trying, trying and trying to do a cart-wheel. Finally, after sprained wrists, twisted knees, scraped elbows, she got it.

On Wednesday we had her party and we handed her presents of books and clothes (I kept the bike hidden). After she opened her last present I said, "Well, that's it!" This is the look she gave me.

"Mo-om... What about my bike?" she said.
"What bike?" I replied.
"The bike I asked for. The only thing I wanted for my birthday. A beach cruiser."
"A beach cruiser?" I asked. "I thought you said a beach pooser. You know, something you use to scrape poo off of the beach and I thought if that's what she wants, than a beach pooser it is!"
She didn't think I was too funny, however, my boys were cracking up. The bike was stashed by the washing machine and I sent her down the hall to get something for me. The first time she went down the hall, she walked right by it. The second time, it caught her eye. This is the look I got after she saw it.

Much happier. Just a side note. If you want to see how sibling dynamics work in my home, this picture is perfect. It's Ashlenne's moment but Aidan can't resist letting her have the attention so he strikes a pose next to her. Alexander is oblivious to what's going on and is in his own pre-teen world.

Here she is taking off into the world while I run behind trying to capture the moment and hang on to it forever.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...