i thought he'd never come out.

Ocean turned three years old at approximately 9:46 am today. After his birthday celebrations had subsided we were laying on the couch and I decided to reminisce about his birth. With him.

Me: Ocean, what was it like when you were born?
Ocean: It was just hard.
Me: What was hard about it?
O: Mommy said, "Get out, baby!" and I said, "No no no!" And it just hurt a little bit.
Me: What hurt?
O: My head was stuck and my face was scratches. (scratching his right cheek)
Me: Really? Where were your hands when you were born?
O: Like this. (Covering his face)
Me: How did you feel being born?
O: Cranky. And a little hungry.

Now folks, I have not talked about Ocean's birth with him or in his presence, except to tell him that he used to live in my tummy. I try not to relive it ever. EVER. The only other people who were there during his birth were Phil (who has probably blocked out much of that 28 hours, especially the cursing* and crazy psychotic paranoia**, but I know has not shared details with Ocean either), and medical staff who still reside in North Carolina. So the fact that Ocean's account of his birth is so wildly accurate, even in three-year-old language, is a bit unnerving. Here are the facts that line up with his account:

42 weeks and one day of pregnancy.
28 hours of hard back labor, 24 without an epidural.
Ocean's head got stuck in my pelvis.
He came out with his hands on his face (yowza) and scratches on his nose and cheek from his fingernails.
I'm not sure I actually said, "Get out baby" during labor, but it's highly likely that I made some statement to that effect in the 15 days past my due date.

So you can see that his perception of the way the whole thing went down is spot on. Crazy memory aside, he's now a little older and a little wiser and a lot cuter. (I didn't think it was possible.) Happy birthday, Ocean! Thanks for deciding to finally come out.

*Not just cussing... cursing. Everything that touched me and anyone who came into my room. I was pretty much calling down fire from heaven on everyone and their mom. It was all very Old Testament, except for everyone rolling their eyes at me. And the total lack of fire and/or brimstone.

**About 19 hours in I noticed that Phil and the nurse kept having secret meetings in the hallway. After the third or fourth one I hissed, "I know you're talking about me." Well, duh, you're in labor. "I know. But I just want you to know that I know and I think it's really F***ed up that you're talking about me behind my back." Apparently labor turns me into a pre-adolescent with a filthy mouth. And quite frankly I'm shocked that he didn't call an exorcist at that point. (And so there's a little glimpse, a two minute snippet of a 28 hour stretch, of why we never talk about it.)


of note.

I'm sorry to everyone who went to the Ann Arbor Vineyard first church service yesterday. That was my daughter screaming her little lungs out in the lobby. For the first time ever the nursery workers had to come pull me out of church to get her because she was inconsolable. We ended up leaving midway through the sermon. I'm guessing it was her molars because, well, when I asked if her mouth hurt she said, "Yeah." And also because Motrin helped. But seriously, first servicers, sorry about all the racket.
I've been immensely. stressed. out. the last few days. My friend Mandy came and picked me up this morning and we went to Arbor Brewing Company for an early lunch. It wasn't long before I was sobbing into my tempeh burger, spilling all my dirty and my whole sad story and, like a good friend, she listened and then responded with, "You need a massage." The woman then whipped out her iPhone, called a little place and sweet talked them into squeezing us in within the hour. On our way there we stopped at Whole Foods to do some lookin' around and grabbed a cup of coffee at a local shop. It ended up being a fantastic morning. If you don't know Mandy, you oughta.
My big brother has been in town from San Francisco for the last couple of weeks. He goes back tomorrow and that is very sad, because it's been nice having him around again. We always have such lovely little chats about Cougars and magic mushrooms and Scientology. I lub him.
Ocean is sleeping in his big boy bed! Grandma and Grandpa came down on Sunday to put it together (Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!) and we had no issues with the transition. Well, just for a moment last night when he looked longingly at his crib (which I left set up just in case) and said, "I want my crib." After explaining that everything was the same except for the actual bed, he did fine and slept all night. Nap today, fine. Bedtime tonight, easy. I may or may not have shed a tiny tear over the fact that I have to break down his crib tomorrow.


maybe this post should be a drinking game.

The kids and I frequently travel the four blocks to my dad's work so the kids can run around upstairs, play with physio balls and eat from the snack jar Papa keeps on his desk (dried fruit and yogurt raisins). While we're there the swimmers are usually in the middle of some sort of workout, many times in (duh) their swim suits.

Big Tens are currently going on here so we've spent significant time at the natatorium the last two days, and there are many more girls in swim suits bustling about than there usually are.

Suddenly this morning Ocean decided he wanted to go swimming and the following conversation ensued:

Ocean: I could go swimming in the pool.
Me: You want to swim today?
O: Yeah, but I could just wear my swim suit and not take my penis off.
Me: Wait... what?
O: I could not have to take my penis off. And I could just wear my swim suit not like the girls. And I not have goggles too. I not take my penis off. (shaking his head fervently and furrowing his brow)
Me: No, Ocean... you can keep your penis. Do you mean that you couldn't see penises under the girls' swim suits?
O: Yeah.
Me: That's because girls don't have penises. Remember? Who has penises?
O: Boys has penises. And girls.... girls doesn't have penises! (throwing his hands up and looking relieved)

I can't wait until this kid is a teenager. And, inconsequentially, I've never said or typed the word "penis" so much in my life.


the whining.

It begins in the wee hours of the dawn: the sounds of my children whining, seeping through the child monitors like nails on a chalkboard. It continues as I fetch my dear children from their beds, carry them downstairs, prepare their breakfast and get them dressed. It does not let up during the late morning, nor the noon hour. It crescendos to its peak at dinnertime and only ceases when eyes and bedroom doors have closed for the night.

Aaaaaah, blessed peace...

...until the next morning when the symphony of whining begins all over again.

They whine when they're hungry, they whine when they aren't hungry and I make them sit them at the table. They whine when they want something, they whine when they don't want anything. They whine when they fight, they whine when they get in trouble. They whine when it's bedtime, they whine when it's time to get up. They whine when they have to share me, they whine when I try to hug them.

They whine when I ignore it, they whine when I don't.

Seriously. Help. How can I make it stop?


too much britney, apparently

Ocean and I were teasing each other this evening and I said, "Ocean, you're so crazy!"

He replied, "I got your crazy."

[insert: womanizer, woman-womanizer you're a womanizer...]


new header

I'm playing around with new headers. You may see a bunch of different ones in the next few days since I'm hopelessly addicted to Scrapblog and I felt it was time for a fresh look.

If you see one that you particularly like feel free to let me know.


happy to the 5th power

Ocean: Mommy, are you happy?
Me (taking Tiffany's advice... thanks!): Ocean, I'm always happy because I'm your mommy. What makes you happy?
Ocean: Um, just watermelon. And shake milk. (Milkshakes, which actually = vanilla soy milk.)
Me: I love it when you're happy, Ocean.
Ocean: Mommy, you make me so happy. Sometimes.


it's 9:30am... do you know where your children are?

I wasn't ready to post this until today. Initially I wasn't going to, but one of the reasons I write this blog is so I can go back when my kids are big and have an accurate picture of what life was like with two tiny ones. If I only write about the cute, fun, sweet things that happen I may very well forget about weekends like this past one, and end up with 18 kids like that one woman in Arkansas. (Bless her heart. She's much more together with 18 than I am with 2, as you will soon see.)

We had a house showing, a birthday party and a bridal shower on Saturday. In the morning we were all running around trying to clean, pack, find directions and get the kids dressed. As I was getting some socks from Ocean's room I suddenly realized that it was very quiet. I went downstairs and listened, but heard nothing. I called for Phil and there was no response. I figured he had taken the kids outside. That is, until he entered the house right at that moment... with no children.

"Where are the kids?" I asked.
"I don't know. I was outside. Weren't you watching them?" he asked.
"I thought you were watching them!" I said, starting to panic a little.

"Ocean?" I yelled. I heard a faint response: "NOTHING!"

Oh, crap.

I ran to the master bathroom, where the door was closed and both kids were inside. I opened the door and they were sitting on the floor amidst a pile of broken, chewed up and spit out Coumadin tablets.

I flipped. Then I called 911.

Phil started fishing pills out of Iris's mouth, while trying to get the story from Ocean. According to Ocean, he tried them but they tasted sour. Iris, however, consumed anywhere between "nothing" and "seven" pills, which pretty much translates to "I have no idea so I'm just going to throw out numbers until mom stops crying." (Staying calm in a panicky situation is not my forte.)

After speaking (shrieking? sobbing?) with the 911 operator and poison control, I was told to get to the emergency room as quickly as we could. As we were pulling away an ambulance arrived just to make sure we were all okay.

We got to the hospital and Phil dropped us off at emergency. If you want to be seen in emergency right away, just tell admissions that your kids swallowed blood thinners. We were whisked back immediately.

By now, Ocean must have realized that we were not going to Caitlin's birthday party and he started getting very anxious. As we were walking down the hallway to pediatric emergency he began screaming, hitting and kicking me. I ignored it because discipline issues aren't a priority when your child may have a stomach full of pills. He wiggled his hand out of my grasp and took off running back down the hall towards the entrance so I handed Iris to a nurse and had to chase him down.

The next 30 minutes were a blur of me attempting to wrangle my children as they tried to escape. Iris lost her boot in the struggle at one point and started screaming, "Shoe! Shoe!" as if she knew she didn't stand a chance of outrunning me and all the medical staff unless she had both of her little pink boots on.

Out of the blue, and miracle of miracles, Ocean calmed down after a nurse turned on the TV. He crawled into his kid-sized hospital bed, declaring that he did not want to go home, but wanted instead to stay at the "hoppital." Once Ocean was calm Iris relaxed as well.

They both had to drink charcoal. (Which, interestingly, has made a return visit for the past 48 hours.) We were all shocked that they both loved it, and I'm sure that was only because the doctor called it chocolate milk. Call anything chocolate and my kids will eat it. They had black charcoal goatees after devouring their delicious charcoal (gag) and the doctor asked me if I had a camera on my phone to take a picture. I wearily said, "I'm not actually certain that I want to remember this moment. But neat idea."

Then they had to get their blood drawn. Ocean was fine until he got poked with the needle. When he welled up I promised him more chocolate milk when they were all done. He was a little champ.

Iris started throwing punches the second the nurses laid her down on her cot. I was stroking her little bald head and saying, "It's okay, sweetie. Mommy's here." But it was no use. She was pissed. She was positively glaring at me. Her mouth was saying, "ALL DONE! ALL DONE!" but her eyes were saying, "You bitch."

The labs came back normal, but since Coumadin takes a while to actually thin the blood we had to go back yesterday to get more blood drawn. It was much worse for Ocean this time because he knew what was coming, but Iris pretty much lay there looking furious, undoubtedly plotting her revenge. The results came back normal for Ocean, but elevated for Iris which means she definitely ingested some. When discussing our follow-up plan with the doctors they said, "You guys are intelligent people so we want to include you in the decision-making..." and I thought, "Really now? Intelligent? Our kid(s?) just ate blood thinners. 'Intelligent' is not the adjective I would use to describe us at this very moment." So 'we' (Phil, aka the Coumadin expert) decided it would be best to check her levels again the next day (today) to see if they changed. (They did; they went down.) We will go back again tomorrow to make sure they're still coming down and if so then we can put this whole stupid thing behind us (or lock it up in a kitchen cabinet six feet above the tallest foot stool in our house).

This entire situation was not as funny as my language may reflect, obviously. While this was everyone's fault and yet no one's fault, there are many valuable lessons here, most of which you actually intelligent parents already knew:
1. Children should never be left unattended.
2. Never ASSume that someone else is attending your/their children.
3. Don't ever ever ever leave medicine in a place that children can get their hands on it. Childproof bottle or not.

This medication was inside a zippered bag on top of the sink. One of them pulled it off the vanity, unzipped the bag, opened the CHILDPROOF bottle (which is actually very common, according to the 911 operator, poison control, the ER doctors and the nurses at our family doctor, but does not make me feel at all justified in my failures here) and convinced the other one to start popping pills. And I would bet the farm that Iris was the ring leader. If you know my kids, you will not dispute this. This is not to place any blame on them, but simply to illustrate their amazing ability to get into something dangerous within minutes when we never would have seen it as a hazard.

I won't allow myself to think about what could have happened. I'm so thankful that they are both okay and I realize that many parents aren't so lucky. My children are absolutely my favorite people in the world and I would give my life for those little boogers. I can't imagine my world without them.

I'm sure this will go down in my personal parenting history as my stupidest, most negligent mommy moment. I just hope you all won't judge me too harshly, and that you will take the time to lock up any and everything that could be a hazard to your kids... though you probably already have.

If you have kids, give them lots of kisses. If you don't have kids, thank your parents. This is the hardest job in the world.


going green

Here's Ocean, expressing his artistic inclinations. And me, picking my battles.


i love jesus but i drink a little

If you watch Ellen then chances are good that you've seen this. Click on the black screen to play.