Saturday, April 17, 2010

100 posts and still grossing you out...

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL Saturday morning! Somehow or another I managed to get showered, get the kids dressed and my house clean by 10:30 am! I had the bug. If you live in a small town you know what I mean by that, and I had to get out of town. Dave was in the Sand Dunes riding. Why not take off for the day? I packed some pyjamas for the kids and headed through the Canyon. I was blissfully ignorant of what lied ahead!

I should have paid attention to the first indication that this day was going to radio! Dave had done some repairs to the car and the fancy anti-theft radio had not been "reset". I could live with that, I guess. The sunshine made up for it and I passed the time by listening to "Handy Manny" talk about being green. We made it through the Canyon and had a nice lunch with my parents and Grandma Great at a little Cafe in Mapleton, visited Uncle Richard to check out his latest home project, played with Rufus the dog and stopped at my Mom's for a couple of hours. I even got a chance to sneak away for a quick errand. My sister-in-law, Lynette, was nice enough to bring her daughter, Kyla, and join us for a movie in Spanish Fork. The plan was to leave straight from the movie and make it back to Price in time to hear about Dave's trip and tuck the kids in bed. This was where best laid plans went horribly wrong.

Fifteen minutes or so into the movie, Saren threw up. It was just a little urp really, dripping onto her dress and my lap. I wiped it up as best as I could and felt a little bad for stinking like baby puke but kept enjoying the movie. Thirty minutes later, unfortunately, Saren hurled again. This second one was no "urp", it seemed like, at least, four gallons of barf. My poor baby had a thick, continuous rope of vomit that kept pouring out of her and wouldn't stop. Her dress was completely soaked as were most of my jeans and one shoe where the puke had run down my leg and filled up my ballet flat. Really! I had a blanket to soak up what I could, but the floor was so slippery underneath us I barely made it out of the row to exit the theatre. It didn't take me too long in the restroom to realize our clothes could not be salvaged. I got most of the chunks off us, and walked a few stores away to a Kmart, where Saren and I roamed the store, smelling like homeless people and looking for something cheap we could change into. After making our purchases, we went to the Kmart Restroom armed with a new box of wet wipes to change. I danced around the handicapped stall, barefooted, trying to wipe vomit off my thighs and put on some new jeans while trying to keep Saren away from the toilet. It was fun!

We made it back to the movie just as Lynette was leaving with her daughter and my boys. However, we didn't even make it back to Aunt Lynette's house before my poor baby destroyed her new outfit and her car seat with another bout. How she had anything left in her I will never understand. A bath and some clean jammies later, I was getting Eddie and Jacob to load into the car when I heard a whimpering from the bathroom. Eddie had been sick with diarrhea and tried to take care of it himself. Wow! all I can say about that. I scrubbed the bathroom, scrubbed Eddie, threw him into the tub, got his jammies out of the car and finally got on the road. I said out load..."Holy crap! Who is next?" and Eddie answered, "How 'bout Jacob?". Meanwhile Dave was calling...Are you still in Utah County? What is taking so long?

I had to stop for gas, and was so flustered that I drove away from the pump with it still attached to my car. Arrrgghhh! And I make so much fun of morons who do that! Finally I got on my way towards the freeway and Saren hurled again! It was merciless! I pulled over and mopped up what I could with the last clean thing in the car (Jacob's pyjamas that he hadn't changed into). When he looked over and saw me using them he said..."Hey! H E Y!". I couldn't blame him. Thankfully, Saren finally fell asleep in her soaked clothes and car seat and slept the rest of the way home. She didn't even puke again until I carried her into our house from the car. The last 7 miles from Helper to Price were especially nerve wracking as Eddie had announced his yummy felt yucky and he needed to go poop again. Somehow, we were spared that disaster.

So I am not at church today! Instead, I am home with my poor little sick ones. I was going to spend today thinking of something clever to write about for my 100th post, but it seems I have been led in a very specific direction. Really, how could I ignore a day like yesterday?

Friday, April 16, 2010

i'm having growing pains...

This is a picture of Baby Saren enjoying her last bottle...ever! What can I say about the gun? She has two violent toddlers for brothers. I weaned the boys off the bottle right at twelve months (because that's what "What to Expect the First Year" said to do and I was a good mommy back in the day). But is was so hard with Baby help her grow up...which was and is already happening way too fast.

At her one year mark, Baby Saren was in the middle of what felt like a chain of never ending ear infections, and although I knew getting her off the bottle might help...I just couldn't bring myself to take her last, little source of comfort away. But, in an effort to not be lame, I told myself when she was healthy, we would say farewell to the Dr. Brown's. Thus, a few weeks ago we took away the daytime bottles, and finally, a few nights ago, the bottle altogether.

Suddenly, unloading the dishwasher is a pleasure, well...that's a stretch, but with only sippy cups to reassemble, it gets done so fast. And Baby Saren had a few rough nights with lots of tears and begging, but tonight I sang her a song, kissed her little face, said a prayer and she snuggled right into her crib with her favorite blanket and went to sleep without a peep. Is it crazy that this makes me tear up? I inherited the raging sap gene from both sides of the family, I am afraid.

I am so glad and so sad that she is growing up! Dave and I love her so much we can hardly stand it! And yes, we call her "Baby Saren". I don't know why, it probably has something to do with our inexplicable affection for "Dog the Bounty Hunter". Let's just say, I understand why Duane Chapman calls his youngest daughter "Baby Lisa" even now that she is all grown up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

on death and dying and other stuff

It seems that lately the "death" theme has been hovering above my head. I am a hospice nurse, so it may seem apparent that dying is a common part of my days, but it's been interesting to hear my kids perception on the end of life.

Recently, our little, black kitty named "Bear" was killed by some neighborhood gansta dogs who were roaming away from their home. I would like to call Bear a beloved pet, but the truth is he was mean and naughty and I can only hope we would have eventually grown to love him. Regardless of his horrible temperament, I would, of course, have never wished a dog mauling on poor Bear. When I told the kids that Bear had died and wouldn't be coming home, Jacob thought for a while and said..."Mom, I think Bear is going to be OK!". Of course, this was true in the long run, but right at the moment, Jacob couldn't understand that Bear was actually quite dead. Eddie chimed in that Bear was sleeping. I wondered why the idea that death is a permanent thing (at least in this life) was so hard for them to grasp, but my mind ran to all the times in movies or children's stories that dead things come back to life. In "Prince Caspian", a little drop from a magical bottle will bring you back again. In "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty"...the princesses are kind of "just sleeping". It's a hard concept for little ones even without all the mixed messages. Dang you Walt Disney!

A few weeks ago, Dave's sister and her family came to visit when a relative of theirs who lived near us passed away. Jacob was already at Preschool when they left for the funeral services. He came home and looked around at the empty house.

Jacob - Where's all my cousins?
Me - They went to the funeral.
Jacob - What's a funeral?
Me - When someone you love dies, you meet together at a church to talk about that person and what they meant to you.
Jacob - Oh, I see (a favorite phrase of his)! Well, who died?
Me - Uncle Rob's Aunt.
Jacob - Ohhhh, Who did it?

Apparently, most of Jacob's ideas about dying come from the battle scenes in "The Chronicles of Narnia" movies. The only way people die, he assumes, is by being brutally murdered. He and Eddie are obsessed lately with acting with "swords" (hot wheels tracks) and "bows and arrows" (curved train tracks fitted with rubber bands and No. 2 pencils) and then saying things like "You're dead!" or my favorite "My died!". I think this is a normal little boy thing to be interested in, so I don't worry about the present macabre play-time theme too much.

On a side note...Jacob invents his weapons quite ingeniously. He can actually shoot the pencils 20 feet or so with his homemade bow. He also has a variation on the standard, a crossbow, that he makes some days using a few more pieces. Dave is sure he is going to grow up to be a weapons manufacturer, which is of course, every parents dream. We can only hope...

Of course, death is something my chidren will certainly learn to understand, as everyone does. Maybe sooner than later as they are lucky enough to have TWO 96 year old great-grandmothers who, so far, can't seem to buy a ticket off this earth. Believe me, if they were for sale, my dear Grandmas' would happily be the first two in line. I tell Dave all the time, he better take good care of himself and our retirement accounts because, with my genetics, I will likely live to be 117.

Grief is such a funny thing, because I think I remember what's it like, to lose someone; and then, when I find myself in the middle of it, like when my Grandpa died several years surprises me how MUCH it hurts. I have to remind myself, of all the times I have gotten in my car to drive to a home of a loved patient who just died, and I get this euphoric feeling. That feeling you get when you are in your car on a beautiful day, the best song comes on the radio and you can't help but roll down the windows and drive a little faster than you should. That joy...I feel that a lot (not all the time), but frequently on my way to a home full of crying, loving family members. It seems contradictory, but I think it is just relief for the person who is gone...happiness that they are on the other end of a hard journey, mixed with sadness for their loved ones who are just starting on another hard journey of their own. Dave's Grandpa has a book of quotations and compilations from talks he gave throughout his life. One thing he said that I have always remembered is this..."The happiness of death is hidden from us, so that we can tolerate living.".

This blog got a little self indulgent (which I guess is the point of blogging so why point that out). Sometimes my thoughts run in a direction I wasn't planning, but that's the fun, or the really not fun (depending on how much you enjoy this topic), thing about writing.