Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Major Trauma

I have heard the term "all boy" for all my life. But it wasn't until I had a boy that I realized exactly what the term meant.

Ever since Nathan has started crawling, he's been exploring everything. And usually destroying it. He's just in to everything and wants to see and feel (and usually taste) how it works.
So we've had our share of falls - or "bonks" as we call them. He's had cuts and scrapes, dog bites and goose eggs, and black eyes. He's fallen on the carpet, on the linoleum, on the deck, off the stairs, off the couch, recliner, and coffee table.....

And this time - onto the coffee table.

He and I were playing on the floor of the living room Sunday evening. He walked over to the end table where we have his books. He either threw a toy or a book or something and it thudded on the table, but the throwing motion caused him to lose his footing and he slipped and his head thudded against the edge of the table. I knew from just the solid sound of it that it was gonna be a screamer, so I immediately snatched him up and held him tight and started comforting him.
He did one of those long, silent wails, and when he finally came up for air, the real screaming began. He turned his head toward me, and I see blood pouring out his mouth.

I actually did manage to remain pretty level-headed, believe it or not. I couldn't figure out what was cut, so went and got a washrag and put a few ice cubes in it to see if he would suck on them. At least we could use the washrag to catch all the blood. He wasn't really interested in the wash rag, but after a few minutes he quit screaming. The whole inside of his mouth was bloody, and I couldn't tell what was cut, so I let him nurse to see if some of the blood would clean out and I could get a better look. He had no trouble nursing, so I figured that ruled out bitten lips or a bitten tongue.

And this doesn't even show the blood that was all over his legs and all over my shirt, and what he swallowed.

He wouldn't let me look inside his mouth, but I finally figured it out that when he fell, he actually hit the inside of his mouth above his two front teeth. His gum was almost black from bruising, and I think he may have torn his frenum - the part that connects his top lip to his gum (I had to look up what it was called). And the only way I could even see that was by pretending we were playing and holding him upside down by his feet.

We called the dentist first thing Monday morning. They wanted us to bring him in just to check it out. By then it was swollen so that even the inside of his upper lip was swollen, so you couldn't really even pull it back to get a look at it. Not to mention him squirming away because it hurt to touch it.

The dentist said since he's so young, there really won't be any permanent damage, since even if his baby teeth are damaged, he'll eventually lose them, and he's so young that his permanent teeth haven't even begun to form beneath the gums. The main problem would be if it would happen to get infected. So we were sent home with basically a charge to keep it clean and keep an eye on him - and check back in two weeks. And I don't think they're even going to charge us for the visit. (Another reason I love our dentist!)

It sounds mean to say that I'm glad that Paul wasn't home for this. He doesn't deal well with blood (at least his own, but he's never seen Nathan bleed), so he probably would have been in a tizzy and been hovering and making me anxious. I'm sure he'll get to experience injuries, but hopefully it will be a while before we have another that involves this much blood.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maximum Security

I really hate my pets right now.
As Paul pulled in the driveway at about a quarter to 8 this morning, and we wrapped up our I'm-tired-and-need-to-talk-to-someone-so-I-don't-fall-asleep-while-driving-home-from-work conversation, he let out this weird groaning growl. I was like.... "Okay?"
"There's four watermelons laying in the yard."

The four, plus the one I found yesterday. And they are no where near being ripe! The big one is even bigger than a football - how he picked it up is beyond me! (And no, he did not pile them up like this on his own.)
I was really hoping to avoid this this year. Last year we harvested all of 6 watermelon off of 3 hills (2-3 plants per hill). The stupid dog ate all the rest.
But at least last year he ate them! So far this year he took a hunk out of two of them, but the rest he just brought up in the yard! And what I can't figure out about last year is that the watermelon have no smell - not that I could smell at least, and I have a rather particular sniffer. Yet the canteloupe, which you could smell from the driveway, he never even bothered!
Moronic mutt.
So we hastily put up this protective barrier around our watermelon. The cukes and squash just are along for the ride.
He's stealing the sweet corn, too. We really would have liked to fence it in as well, but we didn't have enough panels out in the shed (there were a few useful things in the piles of crap previous owners left here). And we figured we've only got about a week until it's ready, whereas the watermelon are just starting to put on. So we'll see what's left in a week.
Then as I was fixing breakfast (we worked up an appetite), I glanced outside and I see a dead kitten on the deck that the dog apparently killed. (The slobber on it was kind of a give away as to what killed it.)
Then to top it all off, as I was hanging clothes this afternoon, I got a whiff of something.
Something vile.
The dog has been sprayed by a skunk.
Moving on to the other pet: Brutus has been peeing in any box or basket I leave on the back porch. This includes laundry baskets full of clean clothes. The obvious answer would be: don't put any boxes or baskets out there. Hey - it's a back porch! And a laundry room! And he's freaking fixed and litter box trained, so why the deuce is he doing this anyways?!?!?
I had told Paul, "Next time he pees on something, he's becoming an outdoor cat."
And I found the most recent puddle this morning. There was a small box on the dryer that I had taken off a shelf while cleaning. I draped some stockings, undergarments, and a table runner over it to dry last time I did laundry. Guess what got christened?
I told Paul I was going to follow through with my threat. And he said, "Well, I haven't cleaned the litterbox. Maybe that's it."
So he emptied the litterbox. I'll give the cat one more chance. But he's such a jerk to Nathan, I'm sick of him, and I'm ready for him to be out of the house.
And then, as if to tell us just what he thought of us, as soon as Paul put the fresh litter in, Brutus went on the back porch to desecrate it. I came out later, and find that he has laid a HUGE turd on the mat in front of the entrance of the box. Not just outside the opening, like he misjudged a squat, but completely on the furtherest edge away from the box..... As close as he could get to the floor without actually being on the floor, and thus ensuring that he will not only be outside, but he may also end up permanently crippled.
Ulgh. What do you think? Kick him out? Or give him another chance?
And just think.... I needed a housecat four years ago. And he was a great cat for two years. What has he become???

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moronic Mondays: Have Aliens Invaded???

A week ago when my friend Carrie, The Gremlin Wrangler, mentioned that she'd be doing a special on how crappy Mondays were this week, I got all excited. Because my house is usually a special case of Disasterness come Mondays - we have church Sunday mornings, and if we're not doing something with family in the afternoon, I get hit with a 10-ton case of I Need An Afternoon Nap. Then Sunday nights I'm completely lethargic, and my babysitting boys come bright and early before I can do anything about it. (In my defense, I usually clean the kitchen while they're there.)
So after a week of preparing to bare my secrets (or not so secret - you've all seen my house), I find that I only have this to show you:
What's this? Only clean dishes?? A mopped floor?

You can see the table???? And it's not all stacked on the desk? (What's on the desk is the normal stuff - our Bibles and such.) What in the world happened?

My in-laws happened. They came over for supper last night, so I semi-cleaned the house - basically just put away the stuff that had piled up on the table and washed the dishes. I didn't get as much done as I wanted, because I got hit by the I Need An Afternoon Nap bus, but while I was napping, Paul mopped the floor for me. (Yes, he's wonderful. And all mine.)

Then after supper, I was putting Nathan to bed, and I came down to a completely clean kitchen. I hate it when my guests clean for me, but it felt so good to wake up to a clean kitchen!

But it was definitely Monday in other parts of the house. Here we have the laundry situation, in all of its ugliness.

In the bathroom.

And the bedroom.

And the bad thing is.... It's 3 o'clock, and I still haven't touched it. And I'd like to point out that my son rarely wears clothes (don't judge me - it's just easier for me), so that's all from two adults.

Still, it might get put off 'til Tuesday. Because stuff won't get dry on the line this late in the day.....

(I'm the queen of excuses!)

What Makes Me Laugh

As a lot of you know, I use cloth diapers sometimes. I'm not dead-set on them (because I'm lazy), and it's not for any "save the planet" reasons. It's purely for "save my pocketbook" reasons.
And partly because whenever I put him in a cloth diaper, I get to see this.

And it amuses me.

Article from HumanEvents.com by Patrick J. Buchanan

JC and Jennifer have both put links to this up. But I thought I'd just put the whole thing here. I am very uneasy at the thought of this man becoming President of our country. People, you need to research what he stands for - don't be swayed by his "rock star" image, good looks, and smooth voice! We need to get the truth out about this man. I really think if he is elected our country will be headed in a socialist direction. Why would we want to elect a man who won't even salute the flag of the country he wishes to lead? And any man that can stand for what this article is talking about is a sick, sick person.

A Catholic Case Against Barack

In the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama rolled up more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. Among Catholics, he lost by 40 points. The cool liberal Harvard Law grad was not a good fit for the socially conservative ethnics of Altoona, Aliquippa and Johnstown.

But if Barack had a problem with Catholics then, he has a far higher hurdle to surmount in the fall, with those millions of Catholics who still take their faith and moral code seriously.

For not only is Barack the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby's skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse into the pan.

Partial-birth abortion, said the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary."

Yet, when Congress was voting to ban this terrible form of death for a mature fetus, Michelle Obama was signing fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, Barack would be "tireless" in keeping legal this "legitimate medical procedure."

And Barack did not let the militants down. When the Supreme Court upheld the congressional ban on this barbaric procedure, Barack denounced the court for denying "equal rights for women."

As David Freddoso reports in his new best-seller, "The Case Against Barack Obama," the Illinois senator goes further than any U.S. senator has dared go in defending what John Paul II called the "culture of death."

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?

How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

When a bill almost identical to the one Barack fought in Illinois, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2001, the vote was 98 to 0 in favor. Barbara Boxer, the most pro-abortion member of the Senate before Barack came, spoke out on its behalf:

"Of course, we believe everyone should deserve the protection of this bill. ... Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that. ... We join with an 'aye' vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous."

Obama says he opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act because he feared it might imperil Roe v. Wade. But if Roe v. Wade did allow infanticide or murder, which is what letting a tiny baby die of neglect or killing it outright amounts to, why would he not want that court decision reviewed and amended to outlaw infanticide?

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right?
Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

What we once called God's Country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.

Before any devout Catholic, Evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew votes for Obama, he or she might spend 15 minutes in Chapter 10 of Freddoso's "Case Against Barack." For if, as Catholics believe, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, and participation in an abortion entails automatic excommunication, how can a good Catholic support a candidate who will appoint justices to make Roe v. Wade eternal and eliminate all restrictions on a practice Catholics legislators have fought for three decades to curtail?

And which Catholic priests and prelates will it be who give invocations at Obama rallies, even as Mother Church fights to save the lives of unborn children whom Obama believes have no right to life and no rights at all?

I Shall Call It.... "Plumple"

There was a small plum tree growing in our yard when we moved in. Whether it was planted intentionally or came up "volunteer", I don't know. I'm guessing volunteer, because I don't really know anyone that has a penchant for plums. At least not the way they get hankerings for a fresh peach or a homegrown cherry pie. Plum just seems like an odd choice if you were only going to plant one fruit tree.
But the last month, Paul has really been on me to "do something with the plums before they go bad." He was really worried, because they started falling off the tree. Yet the ones still on the tree were hard as rocks. I kept telling him, "Well, after we go to Springfield." ...."Well, after I get over this cold." ...."Well, after Christina and Amy's weddings."
Well, all my excuses are past, so I had to do something. I picked them last week and got about a mop bucket full. I still had some apples left over from Carrie's harvest of my mom's apples (they'd been in the fridge about a month), so I decided to put them together and make some concoction. One of Nathan's baby foods is apples with plums, so that gave me the idea to make some type of apple/plum sauce.
Here's the journey those lovely plums and ugly apples went through.

You cut up the fruit.

You cook the fruit.

You mash the fruit.

You cook it down some more because it was 90% juice.

(not pictured) You get frustrated after a solid day of cooking it down, so you put it through a strainer and strain off 11 cups of juice.

You end up with 7 pints of "plumple" sauce, and about 20 half-pints of beautiful plumple jelly.
The jelly is good at least. We're going to crack open the plumple sauce for lunch today. I have a feeling it's going to be a bit tart, as I only added about a cup of sugar. But it's pretty. And the jelly is set. So I'm happy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Note to Self:

Dishes are always more clean when you put soap in the dishwasher.

An Olympic-Sized Rant

Okay, so it's not my biggest rant, but it is about the Olympics.
First off, I'm tired of hearing about Michael Phelps. I mean, I think it's neat that he's won so many gold medals, but there are other things going on in Beijing besides him swimming. It would be nice for the media to maybe at least mention them. And it really lessened my admiration when the other night he was swimming.... I don't remember which race - the one right after his medal for the 4x200 relay. He finished the race, but rather than being happy that he won, or even that he broke his record, he threw a hissy fit because he hadn't done it under 1:52. Seriously.
My second rant: There are other sports at the Olympics besides swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball. Like 25 others. Personally, I'd like to see some martial arts. Beats swimming any day.
And my final Olympic rant: Why can the men play beach volleyball in board shorts and jerseys, yet the women can't even wear bikinis that cover their backsides? Seriously. When after every set and every dive they have to go digging it out of their crack, it should be a sign that they need a little bit more coverage. And I think I'd even be fine if they wore like a sports bra top - just what purpose do those teeny little bottoms serve other than giving the male fan base a little thrill? And making women like me feel totally fat.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Love Talented Friends

Let me tell you about our ventelation system upstairs.
There is none.
There is no heating or cooling to the upstairs. For the summer, we bought a window unit for Nathan's room. During the winter, this was the heating system:
Move that piece of plywood, and you'd see a round hole that looked right into the living room. This works for heat, because heat rises. It was cool, but comfortable in his room on all but the most frigid and windy nights. (Then we used a small space heater.)
If you're wondering why the deuce there's a hole in the floor anyways, it's leftover from the previous owners. (Imagine that.) There had been a ventelation pipe from the old furnace in the basement that went up through the house all the way through the roof. When we had the roof replaced, we removed the part from the roof and the attic, but left the pipe in the living room and Nathan's room (before it was Nathan's room). The next spring, we pulled the pipe from the basement up. It added a bunch of room to both rooms (the pipe was like an 8-inch pipe, encased in like an 18-inch box), but we were left with ugly holes in the floors. Simple solution in the living room.... Move the TV stand on top of it. Not so easy upstairs.
Do you see the problem? Small child. Large hole. Something had to be done.
This was the temporary solution:
A second, larger piece of plywood put over the hole in the floor, then covered with a rug. That worked for a baby. But now the baby is crawling. And obviously curious. That plywood would be no problem for him to move here in a few months.
Our friend Jeff from church works at a welding shop in Lawrence. I knew he was interested in "decorative" work, so I mentioned to him that we needed a floor grate. I knew we'd need a custom job since this wasn't your standard 4x8 hole. So we gave him some measurements, and a couple weeks later he's made this beauty for us:
The ugliness of the floor distracts from how pretty it is. He made it out of cast iron, so that beast is heavy. And he made it with holes to screw it to the floor, which is something we hadn't even talked about. It's perfect. Exactly what I wanted. And now I can move the rug into the middle of the room where it belongs!
I love taking advantage of my talented friends.
(And yes, we're paying him. But not what it's worth, I'm sure. I'm not a complete mooch.)

Summertime Goodness

Don't Hate Me..... It Had to Be Done.

We've known that giving Nathan his first haircut was inevitable. And it's not even that I thought his hair was so pretty (it was) and the curls were so precious (they were). And it wasn't even that people kept calling him a girl (even though he's always dressed in blue, usually something with footballs or other "boyish" details).
It was that I didn't want to deal with the drama. I hate drama. And every diaper change involves drama, so I couldn't imagine what me with scissors would entail.
The plan was to attempt the first haircut in three parts. Tuesday night would be the top. Wednesday would be the sides. And Thursday would be the back. So Tuesday just before bedtime we gave Nathan a bath, put him up on the changing table and handed him our digital thermometer and a slinky to distract him and I went to work.
And he sat perfectly still the entire time, so I got the entire haircut done in one setting.
Paul had told me that I didn't have to cut all the curls off. "Since he's still a little boy, I guess curls are okay." But I couldn't figure out how to leave the curls without it looking like a mullet. And I am decidedly anti-mullet.
So now our baby doesn't look like a baby any more. He looks like a little boy.


And after.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I am sicker than a dog, then combine that with lack of writing ideas..... My blog has been really boring lately, and I realize that. I apologize.
Last week, Nathan got a cold from my nieces, and then passed it on to me apparently. He's not had much more than a snotty nose and an occasional cough. He doesn't act like he feels bad.
I, on the other hand, have the full gamut: sinus, sore throat, chest congestion, headache, and fever. Phlegm. Lots and lots of phlegm. I probably should go to the doctor, but 1/I don't want to expose myself and Nathan to the germies lurking there, 2/They'd probably just tell me to rest and take some medicine - and Robitussin would work just as fast, and 3/I don't want to pay the co-pay.
Because I feel guilty for not giving you something more substantial than griping about being sick: A Brag about Nathan.
Paul and I are overly proud of our son. You've figured that out by now. But we've noticed him doing some stuff that - according to baby/parenting websites - he shouldn't be able to do for several more months.
He's walking great. He kind of looks like a monkey when he walks because of the way he leans side to side. He can bend over and pick things up then stand back up. He's stacking blocks. He recognizes that lids and CDs are the same shape and tries to fit them together. He figured out a "game" I played with him (because I was too lazy and sick to get down on the floor) where I put a block down the top of my shirt and it fell out the bottom. After about three times watching me, he threw a block (ow! sharp corners!) down my front and then reached under my shirt to get it. And he tried to put a CD onto a stick after he saw me do it. He loves doors and drawers and is always opening and closing them. And anything with wheels - toys, shopping carts, wheel chairs, wagons..... He's right there inspecting them.
He's so clever. He's gonna be smarter than me, I'm sure. I told Paul he gets it from both sides - Paul is really smart, and so is my Dad. To which Paul asked, "You're not smart?" I told him I'm smart in different ways, but he and Dad are both great at problem solving and understanding how things work. Nathan's going to be like that, too.
I'd better watch out.