Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm sorry but I've had too much wine

and this is really funny.

"Why would anyone stick their penis in a can???"
"Because it's one size fits all!"
(Insert a very pregnant pause) "Still..."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gay Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things

A few weeks back I was racking my brain trying to come up with a small, inexpensive, nonplastic yet meaningful gift for the Cracker. The last thing he needs is anything more in his toy room, yet he is my baby and dammit I want to get him *something* for Christmas. Finally inspiration struck: a friend for Not-Bob!

(The only thing we planned on getting him was his very own copy of the controversial and banned And Tango Makes Three which I'm pretty sure won't be at our local library. And before you warn us of it's hidden political agenda that's the reason we're buying it.)

For those of you who haven't met him, Not-Bob is a stuffed horse I casually picked when we were visiting Colorado back when the Cracker was a mere 3 months old that has become the Cracker's constant companion. Specifically he's his fav-o-wit "bed fwend" which is what the Cracker has named all the stuffed animals he likes to sleep with. (Seriously, his idea, not ours, but it gives us a good chuckle.)

As far as the origin of the name Not-Bob, after dozens of nope-try-again-Moms I suggested Bob. Shaking his head in you-are-such-an-idiot disgust he informed me "No Mom! Bahb is not a horse! Bahb is a BUILDER!" But Not-Bob? Now that was a hilarious and perfect name in his humble opinion.

Insanely pleased with myself for coming up with the perfect gift, I took off the next day while the Cracker was in school to find a friend in town. (Must have instant gratification. And I don't want to pay shipping.) But to be just right, it couldn't be just any old stuffed horse, it had to be the same company, the same model. We need soft, and we need washable.

Ahh...the thrill of the chase! Just as I was getting started my mom called. When I told her about my quest she reminded me that they sell them at Barnes & Noble. Jackpot! Before I picked him up from school I had found a full-size friend at B&N and a mini-sized friend at our only locally owned toy store. Woo hoo! A family, and for just $14!

But, of course, it was bound to get out of hand. Nothing is ever simple when it comes to my mom and I, but luckily for me my intown shopping resources are very limited. My mom, however, just outside of San Francisco, could simply not help herself and bought two full-sized friends the same day. (No, she doesn't need a life...she has one: buying toys for the Cracker.) But before she could tell me, I was at home on the net where I was searching for more mini horses. Babies! Gotsta have at least one more baby! (And besides, they are only $5.99 = pretty harmless.) And of course I immediately fell in love with this little guy from Not-Bob's former home who we will eventually have to have. The but is that my itchy credit card finger refuses to pay $6.95 shipping (at least for now) for a $5.99 horse that weighs just ounces. And to justify it I start to think that maybe I should just buy two. This guy is awfully cute too, and the Cracker will delight in telling us over and over how he's a horse that looks like a cow, just like our neighbor's black and white spotted cat.

(Small inexpensive token is becoming collector status. But I've been good, so far.)

So I'm resisting and I'm resisting and I am actually able to keep a Christmas surprise a secret for once. (Other secrets = no problem. But if I have a Christmas gift that I am excited to give you? Really bad track record.) (And that would be my mom's fault. My paternal grandmother would send me my gift and my mother would encourage me to carefully slice the tape and open it the second I got home from school. Then she'd retape and remind me to act surprised in front of my Dad, who is no dummy but knew there was no stopping her.)

And then last night, right before bed, a sick little Cracker barfed. And because he was sick and sad and pathetic he had was clutching his best bud ever so tightly when it happened...

Not-Bob was sporting really stinky vomit.

Now really, what was I to do? It was late! And he was sick! And just as much as he needed to go to bed, Not-Bob need a bath or two or three. So I reached into the stash.

"I want Not-Bob!"
"I know you do honey, but he is sick too and he really needs a bath. But before he went into the washing machine he asked if you could do him a favor."
That stopped the crying. "Huh?"
"Not-Bob asked for your help."
"Not-Bob is not a weal horse. He's PRETEND. Oh, and horses don't talk. Horses NEIGH."
Stop being so damn smart and logical and go with me here. "He has a new friend who is very lonely and scared of the dark. Do you think you could let him sleep with you tonight?"
"Not-Bob has a fwend!"
"Of course he does! Would you like to meet him?"

And just as I'd hoped, the Cracker was instantly attached.

I rock.

"He needs a name you know. Can you think of a good name for him?"
"Hmmmm...hmmm.........let's see........ummmm......ummmmmm......ummmmm............NO."
"Okay, well, about Charlie?"
"Chaw-wie? Chaw-wie! Yes! I love it!"

So without further ado I present you with Charlie

(And his still-a-secret posse)

The Cracker has now decided he wants more friends for Not-Bob and Charlie.


"Honey, we don't have anymore. Only one friend came to visit." (Hehehe!)
"Dats okay Mommy. I tell San O Cause, and San O Cause will come down! down! down! the fi-place and bwing Not-Bob and Chaw-wie more horse fwends. And San O Cause will eat cookies I make for him and Not-Bob and his lots of fwends will eat hay and apples. Oh, and cawwots too."

Damn I'm having fun.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Where Has the Time Gone?

Once in a blue moon when I'm tired and lazy but can't get myself into bed and feel like doing something yet nothing on the computer I go back and search for old pictures taken around this time a previous year. Now that the Cracker has been around a few years it's always quite the trip. It one of the few things that makes me feel old.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Not just snacks anymore

Ever been so tired that you just forget everything? Things you've known for years, but in the moment that formerly useless trivia become actually useful your brain just completely fails you?

Like that we could be using Cheerios and Fruit Loops to teach aim?

Why oh why did I totally forget this? Must have been that all of my available resources today (twice today) went to destroying evidence that my son peed on the wall/seat/back of a public toilet.

And the floor. Don't forget the floor.

(I am going to make myself learn to pee standing up. I am never sitting my bare ass down on a public toilet again.)

So what was my excuse yesterday? How about that occasionally the Cracker will ask to take a bath when he's actually already very clean at a most inopportune time and my promise of later isn't NOW so he pees on himself on purpose in hopes that he will get to play with his tub friends?

Actually I think it's amazing I even know who I am anymore, even if I don't know the difference between a pumpkin and a honeydew.

So in my eternal quest to have a child fully able to take care of his own waste needs I've forgotten a few things along the way. Sue me.

The thing you have to realize is that this potty training thing hasn't been a black and white matter. Really, truly, the whole thing is gray. Lotsa gray. I came into this figuring that you're either potty trained or you're not.

Oh no.

And it's been going on since approximately 18 months.

STEP 1: Matching the word to the receptacle.
STEP 2: Agreeing to sit on it.
STEP 3: Understanding what it's for.
STEP 4: Learning to recognize the urge.
STEP 5: Before the urge hits.
STEP 6: Being able to sit still long enough.
STEP 7: Actually agreeing to.
STEP 8: Trying more than occasionally.
STEP 9: Learning to accept that you must stop what you are doing to do business, even if what you were doing was more fun because it always is.
STEP 10: And care that dry pants are preferable to wet ones.
STEP 11: How to hold it.

Followed in no particular order by: dry during awake time, dry during nap time, dry all night long, doing it on the command of your mother, taking care of business all by yourself, and (the one thing I most look forward to) poo in porcelain.

"Ms. X is finally potty trained!"
"Wow! That's great! I can't wait for the Cracker to be there."
"It's the best! You're going to love it! It has changed my life!"
"So how is that going overnight? Is she still sleeping through or does she get up to pee often? Do you get up with her? Does she go back to sleep right away?"
"Oh no, she's only DAY trained."
"Oh. How about naps?"
"Mmmm...she's dry maybe once a week?"
"Uh huh. And what about poo?"
"Oh no, she won't poo in the potty! She asks for a diaper and then does it in that!"
"Okay...well it must be nice to not have to think about it, for her to just go when she needs to."
"Oh no no no! If I don't make her try every hour she has an accident."


In the last two months we've made the following pee related progress:-Pee standing up.
-Which lead to (woo hoo!) being able to urinate in potties other than our own at home without a special stool or ring.

But best of all:-Hold our own penis while peeing. (Okay, this is really new and really big. Yes, he made us hold it. And we did because we are first time suckers. Even J. And now that it's on the Internet everyone I have ever known knows. Why did I tell everyone? Because I never knew that this was even a possibility, that one day I would be holding a 3 year old penis while it peed. Did you know that???)

Which brings us now to aim. Aim is next. Hi ho Cheerios!

Monday night, when I really needed some adult alone me time, so I went to the grocery store down the hill to buy milk. Woot.

And after I was done I found myself sitting in my car in the parking lot with the engine running, enjoying the peace and quiet, admittedly not really wanting to go home yet when my cell rang.

" would you go about sucking up dirty water if the bathroom...uh...flooded? Do we have special towels for that?"
"No. Use the steam cleaner. Just turn it on and the default is sucking mode. Wait...the bathroom flooded?"
"Is it bad?"
"How bad?"
"Are you on your way home?"
"Yes, I'll leave right now."
"Okay, I'll just wait for you then."

And the good news is that it was the first time the Cracker tried to take care of business by himself!

The bad news is that I had spent the whole day cleaning, that my parents were arriving for a Thanksgiving inspired visit the next day, and now there was soggy toilet paper floating in pee water in the bathroom, running down the carpeted hall, under closet doors, etc. Not a puddle, A FLOOD. INCHES OF WATER. OUT THE BATHROOM AND DOWN THE HALL.

So happy I cleaned all damn day long.

And J totally knew what the Cracker was doing. But instead of being like me and sneaking into the hall outside the bathroom to listen and observe he just stayed where he was. Even when, in his own words, the Cracker started screaming "Daddy! Daddy! UH OH! OH NO! DADDY HELP ME! TOO MUCH PEE!!! TOO MUCH PEE!"

Oh yeah, and before that, the sound of rushing water.

When he finally got there he found my dear child holding the lid down and trying valiantly to stop the water with his little hands.

"Wow, sucks you have to clean the bathroom again."
"Did you at least give him a bath?"
"No, but I guess that would be a good idea."

You think?

(If don't already own one, buy a damn steam cleaner. Best purchase of my life. Not only can it be used as a wet/dry vac in a pinch, but you can steam clean you carpets to your hearts content. Quite useful in my line of work.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The FINAL Pumpkin Update

Somebody knew and didn't speak up. (You suck.)

Or maybe you just believed me. (Don't do that.)

So let's take another look at my "pumpkins" shall we?

Now, tell me honestly, does that look like a pumpkin to you? First it was green, then yellow, and finally now past it's prime, white.

What if I cut it open?

In my defense, who knew you could grow nice looking melons out of a compost pile in the desert Southwest? This sure as hell isn't Florida folks. Wouldn't you think they'd grow best somewhere a tad more tropical? And I hardly ever buy melons or have them in our home because J is very allergic to them. If they are even in the vicinity of other fruit he ingests he is incapacitated for a good few hours. And it's quite the accomplishment to grow anything here except tumbleweed, so I know that these are not wild honeydew.


But I'm not tired

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Poo Post

Oh crap. Literally.

Since repotty training we've had some issues. The Cracker will NOT, I repeat NOT! poop in the potty.

Now the great thing about 3 is that my child owes me in the "why" department. I get down to his level (that counts as squats by the way) eyeball to eyeball with my sympathetic Mommy mask.

"Yes Momma?"
"Poos go in the potty."
Fidgeting. "I know."
"Why didn't you make poo in the potty?"
"I dunno."
"Does it hurt when you poo?"
"Are you scared? Is it scary?"
"Then why won't you poo in the potty?"
"Because why? You can tell me anything."
"Cause...cause...I no wike (like) to."

Every day between 5 and 5:30pm he lays a nice stinky in his drawers.

(Interestingly, you can also tell time in our house with out using a clock by the smoke alarm low battery beep that goes off every friggin afternoon 50 minutes before sunset no matter how many times we replace the batteries. Everyday, for a good 10 minutes. And that time would be right now.)

And at least three times a week we have a double poo day which I have not yet figured out the math for and am always caught off guard.

(Who has the formula? Pretty please?)

When I'm lucky J is home by dookie time. Then can I kindly refer to him to clean the child while I wait for him to hand me the soiled undergarments.

Let me tell you how fun it is watching miniature pairs of stained underwear pile up because I refuse to dry and put them away with skid marks. It's a fucking par-tay! My mother always told me that the heat of the dryer sets stains and so I refuse to put anything not 100% in the dryer. Luckily my chemical arsenal has worked well until this point, and in the last few years the only permanently stained item has been a brand spanking new shirt my mom bought at full price from Gymboree that made it into the dryer unbeknownst to me with paint in the armpit from school.

(I check everything for stains. I just hadn't been checking the armpits.)

So stained underwear? I refuse to give up.

(What did everyone's mother always say?)

And even if they are otherwise clean (think freshly laundered) and I put them away to save for the 5 o'clock turd parade, we will unknowingly grab the only brown pair in the drawer and get in an airplane crash. Or, even worse, send him to school where they actually know us.

Okay, okay, so I'm making a big deal about nothing, right? Well it is a big deal to me because as much as I *hate* having super soiled undies hanging around stinking up my house (and garage where one troublesome load that inspired this post is currently residing) I also refuse to wash poopie underwear with our regular clothes and I also in most cases refuse to scrub them out by hand first or stick something the size of a sock in the washing machine alone. I will extract chunks and I will rinse well, but I will not get poo under my fingernails. That is where I draw the line.

(Oh yeah, and I didn't cloth diaper. And since J and I don't shit ourselves, this is new territory for me.)

Now that you have the background:

One night I have a good pile going in the dirty underwear bag so I toss in a load of Cracker undies. Do I take each piece out one by one? Nooooo, it's excrement laden. Without looking I just dump the bag upside down and walk away. Only scalding hot water was getting all nastiness out thus appeasing my inner need for sterility, so into blistering hot water they go. A few minutes later on his way in from the garage J walks in through the laundry room and nearly passes out.

"My God woman! What are you doing in there?"

Uh oh. The smell is OVERWHELMING.

Now, since I already know that heat locks in stains, it would be safe to assume that I would also know that hot water will seal in smells.

Yeah, I don't.

And I'd already done this numerous times without a hitch.

After a quick internet search on cloth diapering I learn that while hot water washes away the stains, cold water washes away the smell.

(Seriously, two loads?)

I turn on the fan, open the door to the garage and spray more than a little Febreeze around praying for a miracle while I attempt to finish making dinner.

It's only that when the cycle is finished and I take out the undies for inspection that I find a big hunk o poo sitting in the bottom of the machine.

(At least I'm not hungry anymore. Squatting and now dieting, all in one day!)

Apparently someone forgot to remove the chunks.

(Pretty sure it wasn't me. Who would that leave?)

I grab a baggie to protect my hands, hold my nose, and run it as fast as I can to the bathroom and flush.

Fast forward...I have now run the same load 4 times, all in hot. And the smell in the laundry room seems to be getting worse though the undies themselves don't reek as much anymore, though upon a close crotch sniff test J and I both detect a lingering odor.

Toss undies into the garage.

So then I run the washer again, on hot, empty, and use an entire bottle of Febreeze.

And again.

Smell seems to be gone in the room, but not in the stainless steel tub of the machine.

OMG! Realization sets in that in all likeliness a little piece broke off and worked it's way through the holes and is lodged in the machine!

Which, eew, reminds me of my midwife inspecting the Cracker's placenta for completeness. Suddenly I wish I hadn't been so quick with disposal. I don't.

Out to market at 11pm. I pick up a gallon of white vinegar, 2 boxes of baking soda and a bottle of NEW! Fresh Scent Purex® plus Renuzit™ Super Odor Neturalizer™ promising Long Lasting Freshness!

Run the vinegar through. Run one box at a time of the baking soda. And now it's 1:30 in the morning and I haven't a clean article of clothing to show for it. But the smell in the machine seems to be totally gone.

Next day I avoid the laundry like the plague as I am just not feeling caffeinated enough to face what needs my attention. Finally, in the afternoon, I take a sniff and all still seems well on both a room and machine level. Looking around I ask myself what laundry is most important since I'm getting such a late start.

Ah! The beloved night-night blankie, which was mine as a child. It's the Cracker's most prized possession. Now it didn't get pooped on, but it smells a little like pee from the wee amount that came out with that enormous poop.

And stupidly I put it in on hot thinking that sterilization is key.

Forty minutes later I realize what I've done.

The poop smell is baaack.

This is BAD. This is THE blankie. And it was mine. And my mom made it. And it's the most amazing 1970s fabric that you can no longer buy and has a softness to it that only comes from 29 years of washing. It is so not replaceable.

So here we go with the NEW! Fresh Scent Purex® plus Renuzit™ Super Odor Neturalizer™ promising Long Lasting Freshness!

Again with the sniff test we detect lingering odor! Or do we? At this point we've sniffed so many crotches that both J and I decide that maybe we're imagining things. But sadly there are no impartial noses around, so back in it goes with not only the Purex but more baking soda.

And then it seems to be fine. But now I'm terrified of my dryer. What if the activation of heat brings it back and seals in the smell! And what if this one little poo has totaled my washing machine and anything I put in it from now on without excrement comes out smelling like we shit ourselves???

(I am full of issues. Tell me something I don't know.)

So instead of going right into the dryer I do a little test by sticking a load of towels through w/o the Purex given to me by my evil Mother In Law. They go straight into the dryer.

And sadly, with another crotch sniff, they seem fine too.

It's okay! It's okay!

(And more than a glass of really cheap Zinfandel helped too.)

And that is all I have to say about poo. For now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

I've been meaning to finish a Poo Post I started well over a week ago for, well, a week. I just need 20 minutes (20 minutes!) of quiet time to make sure I've said everything I have to say at this moment in time about poo. And I have a gazillion other posts writing themselves in my head.

Alls I needs is time.

But no. There are always more pressing things to do than update my blog.

And in case you're wondering how it's going, this is how it was going about 15 minutes ago:


No my child is not Satan, he's just three. And a half.

Powered by 4 hours of restless sleep, too much caffiene mixed with a quarter of a bagel and sweet face filled with shame I had three emotionally charged responses to choose from:

A. laugh
B. cry
C. scream and bang my head against the wall

Then I saw the camera and realized the future blackmail potential, and the two of us had a darn good chuckle.

(And a please we do not poo on the carpet.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Now where did he learn that?

(Not at our house, that's for sure.)

"Daddydaddydaddy, will you play wif me?"
"I just walked in the door. Can I have a few minutes?"
"Maybe waiter (later). Peas Daddy peas? You play wif me now? Peas!"

"Here Daddy!" Cracker hands him a bowl.
"Aren't we going to play cars and trucks?"
"No! We are cooking!"
Sigh. " can I help?"
"You wash dirty dishes."

I Blame School

"Ah ha! Look Mommy look! A booger!"

Before I can completely register what's happening the above booger has been expertly flicked across the room.

(Booger flicking wasn't something I was planning on teaching him.)

(Thank God we have booger-colored carpet.)