Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mr Butler's Big Day

Three years ago today I went to my obstetrician feeling fairly certain that I was in labor with Mr Butler. He wasn't due to be born for another 3 1/2 weeks. And once the doctor confirmed that 12/29/10 would be Mr Butler's birthday she told me not to worry; the risks of being born at that stage were minimal, but I should be aware that I'd probably be having my first small baby.

A few hours later, as the moment approached, doctors and nurses started streaming into the delivery room to attend the birth of my sure-to-be-tiny late-term preemie, each announcing his or her specialty. Cardiac Team. Pulmonary Team. Neonatal Team. Within a few minutes, a seven-pound-twelve-ounce Mr Butler came screaming into the world. And while I don't remember this, I'm told that my first words upon his birth were, "The pulmonary team can leave."

And three years later, he's still barreling and screaming his way through life each and every day!

Happy Birthday Mr Butler!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Have To and Need To

(Forgive me, for this post will contain zero pictures of my beloved children.)

Before the day even started, I was wondering how on Earth we were going to do everything we had to do. We had to be up early. Big D had to be at school at 8:30, A-Train at 8:45, and Mr Butler at 9:00. I won't bore you with the details here, but the drop-off process involves an hour of driving in a big circle.

While the kids were at school I had to go to a meeting with the ED of a non-profit I volunteer with. I had to get groceries. I had to go back to the grocery store to get cat food. I had to get a cup or coffee before I knifed someone. I had to do a load of laundry before we all went naked.

I had to pick the kids up at 11:45, 1:00, and 3:30.

Somewhere in there, I had to go to Home Depot and be talked down to by some guy wearing an orange apron.

I had to get A-Train to his hour-long OT appointment at 4:30.
And Big D to 5:00 soccer practice.
And A-Train to 6:15 soccer practice.
And make dinner to be served at our usual 6:00 dinner time.
And have Mr Butler in bed at 7:30.

Yeah, that's where it fell apart. All day long I did mental walk-throughs on how I was going to make all of this happen. I'd have to get a kid dressed in his soccer gear two hours before practice started. I'd have to pack up another kid's soccer gear so that he could change in the car after his appointment. I'd have to pack a picnic dinner to be eaten field-side at soccer practice. And, of course, I'd have to be in at least two places at the same time.

Somewhere in the mid-afternoon it hit me. The kids didn't have to go to soccer practice. Life would go on if they missed it. Though they could both use to get in another practice before their first games this weekend, they didn't have to have it. A five and a seven-year-old missing a soccer practice is not the same as a cardiologist missing a surgery. No one was going to die!

So, instead of doing what we had to do, we did what we needed to do. We came home and called Cap'n because the boys needed to hear his voice. And we ate cereal and instant oatmeal for dinner at 6:15! And we sat at the table and talked to each other. And we said what the best and worst parts of our days were. And then the boys basked in the warm glow of various electronic devices for a number of minutes that was far beyond reasonable.

And then, in turn, I needed to read The Diggingest Dog and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Harry Potter and I needed to snuggle in with each of my boys and tell them that I love them and that I'm proud of them and that they make me happy every single day.

And not once did they ask me why we weren't doing what we had to do.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Doctor is In

I've always had boys in my life: three brothers, guy roommates, a couple of live-in boyfriends, so it only seems fitting that I'd be the mama to three boys of my own. And while I've had my entire life to accept, and even embrace, the boyishness, I never suspected that I would become a boy myself. (Now before you get all riled up, rest assured that I'm not about to tell you about my plans for gender reassignment surgery!)

Owing to my fondness of all that is boy, my propensity for being at least two years behind the rest of the civilized world, and my well-documented frugality, I bought this - quite near the end of its shelf-life and on mega-sale- yesterday:

I also bought the Zombie Lab version. But, because my transition is not yet complete and I can still be totally grossed out by some things, I left the Snot Shot version on the shelf.

I set to work putting the contraption together this morning so that we could all participate in time-tested family bonding activities such as "licking bursting blisters" and "drinking foaming belly brew." Then we gathered round the table, Mr Butler excluded because, well, because he's a menace, and set to work making ourselves ill.

That's Big D going in for a blister lick.

A-Train pumping the plastic heart to force some sort of nastiness through a series of tubes into a plastic stomach.

And then we drank it. Some of us going back for second and third tastes. And no one died!

When the fun was over and I was washing Belly Brew Activator out from under my fingernails I yelled to the boys as they ran up the stairs, "I had fun making blisters with you!" And Big D yelled back, "I had fun making poopies with you!"

And I laughed.

Transition complete.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Batter Up!

A few words in honor of the last day of the SDLL Red Sox's Spring 2013 season:

You'll get 'em next time. Good eye. Good swing. Good cut. Good play. Run it out. You're a hitter. Be picky. Fast hands. Quick bat. Get out of the dirt. Get your glove dirty. Step out of the box. Baseball ready. Eye on the ball. Watch it come in. Don't throw the bat. Where's the play? Get it to the pitcher.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Busted Up and Breaking Up

When last I wrote, I was anxiously awaiting the strength and fortitude that Spring 2013 was surely going to bestow upon the WBs. While Spring is not yet over, and I suppose there's a chance that things could turn around, since my last post we've had:

2 Ear infections (Mr Butler)
1 Six-day hospital stay (A-Train)
1 Gnarly case of poison ivy (Big D)
1 ER visit (Mr Butler) which required six staples to the head

It's a damn good thing he's cute, because he is TROUBLE!

Adding insult to, well, injury, the WBs endured a big loss last month. Our nanny, Melissa, who has been with us for six years (which means she has been with this family longer than my two younger children!!) left us to open her own daycare. We miss her so!

She wasn't just our nanny, she was a second mom to my kids, and a friend to me, and a part of our family. The kids she's looking after now are so lucky (and I hope their mamas know it!), and we are so lucky to have had such a wonderful six years. And though we all knew this day was coming, breaking up is hard to do! Especially when you're breaking up with someone you still want to be with- different life paths, and all that stuff.

And Melissa's departure means something more. It means that I don't have any babies left. My babies are growing up and don't need the full-time attention that I've been doling out for the past 7.25 years. And so, a new chapter begins for me too.

I hope this chapter involves a full-night's sleep.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Winter of Our Discontent

I noticed the daffodils starting to bloom about two weeks ago, and I thought to myself, "it's about damn time." Daffodils in bloom surely mean that Spring is on its way. It's not just that I hate cold weather and that I sure could use a little sun on my pasty-white legs. Frankly, this winter has been a bitch for the WBs.

From mid-November until the day I noticed the flowers sprouting up toward the sun the WBs had endured, in no particular order:

8 cases of strep throat (1 for me, 3 for A-Train, and 4 for Big D)
1 case of croup (Mr Butler)
1 ER visit (Mr Butler)
3 trips to Urgent Care (1 for A-Train, 2 for me)
1 fight with our pediatrician's on-call nurse (by me, about Big D)
1 fever of 105.3 (Big D)
2 types of allergy testing for 2 kids (blood and skin- for A-Train and Big D, respectively)
1 trip to the ENT for bizarro ear pain (me)
1 trip to the ENT for a surgery consult (Big D)
1 trip to a pediatric GI (A-Train)
various and sundry coughs, colds, runny noses, sore throats
enough antibiotics to fell a whole family of horses

So when I saw those lemon-colored blossoms, I knew that the end of illness season was upon us. Just knew it. Sure, we'd have to endure some seasonal allergies and probably a few of the kind of bumps and bruises that come with outdoor warm-weather fun, but the worst was surely behind us as we headed into last Thursday.

That's the day that Cap'n, slowly recovering from the cold we've all been sharing for the past four months, coughed himself into unconsciousness. Yep, you read that right. Apparently, it happens all.the.damn.time. At least that's what the lovely doctor in the ER (you know the ER they took him to in the ambulance after I called 911 because the man was unconscious on the couch) told us.

She told us that after Cap'n had been there overnight, had a chest X-ray, submitted to three rounds of bloodwork, been threatened with a stress test, had I-don't-even-know-how-many EKGs, and been poked and prodded by a whole slew of people. Oh, and it was definitely after they had come to his "room" in the ER to get my credit card. (So, here's a head's up, if you're going to the Duke ER, even by ambulance, don't forget your purse!)

And that wasn't it for the evening. When I finally came home late that night, Mr Butler was rocking a temp of 105.3. Two weeks ago, when Big D had that temp, I was out of my mind with worry. Having had one kid survive that fever, I was much less worried about Mr Butler, but good god, can't a girl catch a break?

I am happy to announce that Cap'n is home and fine and well-medicated. And thank FSM for good health insurance. Mr Butler is also nearly recovered. I'm also thrilled that I have such awesome friends and relatives (the two Melissas and my dear sister, Laura) to look after my kids during this whole ordeal!

And, appropos of nothing at all, I'd like to thank the roll of the genetic dice for giving me The Incredible Hulk as a son. Here's what he did during his "nap" today.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh to keep the tears away.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oh Blog, How I've Neglected You!

Wow, I'm a serious slacker! It's been nearly 5 months since I've written a post!

Did you happen to notice that my last post was written about two weeks after The Boys went back to school? Is it possible that I have even less free time when they're in school than when they're out?

Since I last posted, some of us went to Disney World to belatedly celebrate Big D's fourth birthday. (See him there on the Teacups trying not to puke?)

One of us had to stay home with Auntie, and by all accounts, have no fun at all!

We all got dressed up and harassed our neighbors for candy.

We went to see this guy who brought us all everything we wanted, including a Christmas visit from Grandma Jane!

We sent out the world's cutest Christmas card.

The one in the highchair there turned, and I quote, "no two!"

And that one there, with his hand in the cake, today is his birthday. He's SEVEN.YEARS.OLD! For those of you who have not yet had a seven-year-old, let me tell you, seven is a hell of a lot older than six!!

So, in other words, this family is incredibly busy, as all families are. But stay tuned for more frequent posts!