Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cortizone injection

Yesterday I was at my rheumatologist complaining about my wrist. It just froze up a few weeks ago for some unknown reason and will not budge. I can't bend it at all and its starting to really interfere with my diaper changing, dish washing, laundry folding life. More than anything I'm afraid that the thing will never unlock. My Grandpa Arnett had a similar problem in the same wrist and had to have his wrist surgically fused. As a child I was fascinated with his unbending wrist. I got a kick out of watching him lift his elbow above his head just to get something out of his shirt pocket. These past few weeks I find myself moving exactly like him but this time around its not nearly as cool. I'm terrified of losing movement in my wrist for good.

So the rheumatologist was suggesting some different oral meds etc. and then he said, "Or we could just inject it and fix that thing right now." You all know my love for immediate gratification so I said "Lets do it!...Will it hurt?"

He told me that it wouldn't hurt so I agreed and gritted my teeth and looked away. It did hurt. He injected lido cane first which burned but numbed it all up pretty quickly. Then he injected a substance that was the consistency of peanut butter into the deepest part of my wrist with a giant fat needle. I made the mistake of looking at it at one point. Gross.

He was done and within literally 5 seconds the whole joint was free again. It was like turning a key on a lock and opening a door. Now my wrist is a little sore but I can bend it however I want. Hopefully I wont have to do that again but its nice to know that its an option. Modern Medicine really is miraculous. The doctor told me that I need to go easy on the wrist for a while. He told me to have someone else do the housework that involves using my hands for a week or two. This was hilarious to me. It did get me out of a couple of dirty diapers yesterday but I'm here to tell you, if my crippled wrist doesn't do the laundry, then this family will go naked. Well, at least very dirty.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jack doesn't understand women but he has a good healthy fear of them

Today I gave myself a french manicure. It would have probably been wise to use my spare time sweeping and mopping the kitchen since that hasn't been done in an embarrassingly long span of time. Plus now that my nails are perfectly manicured I don't want to mess them up by using the mop. Oh well. If you come over to my house today, please focus your attention on my pretty white tips instead of my grungy floors. Better yet, if you come to my house today, please mop my floors.

Today when I began my manicure by filing my nails, Emma looked at me and asked what I was doing. Jack butted in and said, "Duh.... She's sharpening her nails so that she can use 'em as weapons." He said it like everyone in the world knows the reason for filing nails. I decided that I am going to leave this one alone and let him believe that I possess razor sharp fingernails that are readily available for cutting down bad guys or disciplining my children.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sloppy Joes. Slop, Sloppy Joes

The big day came. Jack earned 5 smileys (finally through honest means) and I went to his school for lunch. I have no pictures of the event because I forgot to bring the camera. I am kicking myself because there are a couple of things that I would like to have captured forever on pixels. First, it would be the look on Jack's face when he saw me there in the lunch line. Pure and utter elation mixed with surprise and unparalleled love. I get goosebumps just thinking about how happy he was to see me. He wanted me there more than anything. I love these kids I'm raising so much and to see the reciprocation in his chubby little face was almost enough to make me cry.

The second thing I would have liked to capture on camera was this little blonde girl in his class who has a crush on him. He has been telling me that there is a "girl who won't stop chasin' me on the playground." and I have explained to him that that's how some little girls show you they like you- by chasing you. "Oh, I already know her likes me. Her tells me every minute that her likes me. Her won't leave me alone. Her is so annoying." (Yes, Jack has yet to master the proper use of the pesky pronouns she vs. her. Perhaps this is what makes him irresistible to women his age)

I had wondered if Jack was exaggerating about this little girl and her obsession for him. When he came walking into the lunchroom, there was indeed a tiny little blonde all up in Jack's personal space. They came walking through the line and she was trying to hold hands with him and put her head on his shoulder and touch his face. He was totally irritated and kept trying to brush her off which seemed to make her try harder. When she met me and discovered that I'm Jacks mommy she got really excited and said "I REALLY like your boy! Your boy is the best boy in class! Sometimes I chase him and sometimes he lets me hold his hands and touch his face like this!" then she reached over to caress Jack's red cheeks and hardly noticed that her hand got batted away. The thing is, this little chick is adorable. She will be a KNOCKOUT hottie is about 10 years. Jack has no patience for her affection right now, but I guarantee he won't be nearly as irritated come 2019. I told her that I really like Jack too and commended her for her nice taste in men. I was about to make a comment about how if the two of them grow up and get married they will have the prettiest blonde haired blue eyed grand babies in the world. I stopped myself because A) its just inappropriate. And B) I want Jack to enjoy my lunch visits and this kind of motherly embarassment is a bad road to start down. It was interesting to see my five year old as a romantic target.

The lunch went well. We were served Sloppy Joes by hairnetted lunchladies. The most iconic of all school lunches served by the most iconic lunchroom people. They could have passed for exactly the same people that served me lunch everyday from 1982 to 1988 at Park Meadows Elementary School. Some things have changed, like disposable lunch trays and utensils instead of the dirty dish conveyor belt, and all of the money exchanged is from a credit card, instead of those paper punch cards that were so advanced when I was a kid. Also they have abandoned the practice of handwashing in favor of hand sanitizer gel, which sends a shiver down my motherly spine. But most of the school lunch experience is exactly how I remember it.

This time around I was horrified by the mass quantity of food that was left uneaten and thrown out. My instinct was to wrap it all up for leftovers and lecture everyone about eating the healthy stuff in addition to the rice crispy treat, but my kid ate it all and wasted very little so I kept my mouth shut. I'm just saying, we could probably solve the hunger problem in some nations by digging through the trash for leftovers at this school. It is such a waste of food I can't even think about it.

At the end, the teacher came by the table and released the children to recess. Jack was pretty excited to go play and he ran off without even saying goodbye. Blondie was right on his heels so he had to run pretty fast. I know he loved having me there and I can't wait to go again. Jack is now working on filling a chart with SIX smileys to earn a visit from DADDY. If he is really good dad will wear his police uniform and show the kids his tazer and handcuffs. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I came up with a new incentive program for Jack. If he goes five complete days with no temper tantrums or fights with his cousins, and if he does his chores and homework without complaining then He gets a prize. I knew I needed a reward that he would really want bad. I had an idea that I think was inspired. I offered to go to his school at lunchtime and eat school lunch with him among his friends in the cafeteria.

I am sure the time will come when having his mother come eat lunch with him will be more effective as a punishment than an incentive but for now he is so excited about the possibility of school lunch with me that he will do just about anything to earn it. We made a chart on the fridge and at the end of each good day I draw a smiley face in the box. If I see him getting into a disagreement with a Gartner child or I hear him start to whine I say "Ooohhh, I would hate for you to lose your smiley face for the whole day over this! I am really hoping you get your chart filled soon because I can hardly wait to go to your school for lunch!" It has so far worked like a charm. He shapes up immediately upon threat of losing his smiley face.

I looked at the chart this morning and noticed something odd. He has three smiley faces and we have only done this program for two days. He forged the third smiley face. He honestly thought I would be fooled. He went to the trouble of finding the same marker in the cabinet to make his forgery look authentic. I give him credit for his inventive way of speeding up the process but at the same time I am horrified that he would miss the point so entirely. I think its hilarious that he didn't fill up the chart. He just added one extra. He thought he'd just slide it in under my radar.

I considered abandoning the whole thing as a punishment but decided against it. Instead I pulled him aside and said "Hey Jack, I noticed that you added an extra smiley face to the chart today. I assume that you did that because you have set a goal to have a great day today and you were putting the smiley face on there in advance to help you reach your goal."

His face turned red. He was embarrassed to be caught but relieved to have an out "Yeah. I was just putting it on there in advance."

"Oh, that's what I thought. I understand that you really want to fill up that chart but in the future you should know that you are not allowed to add smileys on your own. It is my job and I always know how many there should be on there."

You will notice in the picture that I have started to add a signature to each smiley face in an effort to thwart counterfeiting attempts.

My Cussing Days Are Over

Jack said the "S " word. We have had false alarms about bad words before. The kids love to tattle on one another for obscenities. Most of the time the conversation goes like this
Tattler: UUUMMMM.... Jack said a bad word!
Me: What word did he say?
Tattler : I can't tell you because I'm not supposed to say it. It was the S word.
Me: This is a safe place. I need to know the word in the name of investigative integrity. Go ahead and whisper it in my ear.
Tattler: He said.... "Sucker".
The word varies but the conversation rarely does. Once the offending word like sucker or idiot or butt is revealed, I feign shock and say something like "I'm not really offended by that word. When I am offended by a word I usually just ask the person to not use it. That's always worked for me." The tattler gets the point that I'm not going to intervene and the conflict is over.

Yesterday I was in the bathroom and Jack was in the next room playing video games with John. He was apparently losing badly at the video game and getting frustrated. I heard him say The S Word. No it wasn't Sucker, or Stupid even the forbidden Shut up. It was The Real S Word. My cherub faced five year old has stumbled upon one of the words in the hierarchy of real bad words. I listened closely to hear how John handled the situation. "Hey buddy, Do NOT say that word. Do you understand? Its a Bad Word and I don't ever want to hear you say it again." Case closed.

At this point I would love to say that he picked up this new word at the kindergarten playground, or from the neighbor boys or something like that but there is a truth that I should probably confess. This won't be a shocker to anyone who knows me well but I am indeed the source of Jack's new vocabulary word. He learned the S word from me. I have always been a big fan of the S word. Not that I drop it gratuitously, but there are moments in life where uttering a swear word seems to dilute pain. For some reason a stubbed toe hurts just a little less when accompanied by a tiny obscenity. When an entire box of Rice Krispies gets dumped onto my freshly mopped floor, I resort to cursing rather than violence. Today after Jack's brush with illicit language I have vowed to stop cussing completely.

Let me give you another example. This one happened in the wee hours of the morning and sheds light on the question of why I am blogging at 3 am. Petit Jambon conquered the crib this week and is therefore in a big boy bed. The problem with this is that he now feels free to get out of bed anytime he wants. Naptime has been all but destroyed, however our nights have been pretty unchanged...until tonight. He was feeling sick and I could hear him crying and trying to get out of his room. I was so deliriously tired that I just got him and put him into bed with me. Normally I have a strict policy against this. He snuggled in to sleep but a few seconds later I felt him sit up and lean over my head. He then threw up all over my face, ear and head. This was not harmless baby spit up, It was full blown, stinky, chunky, multicolored vomit. It went directly into the inner reaches of my ear canal. I jumped up immediately, clamoring for the baby wipes (as if baby wipes could help me at all) and dropped The Word of the Day. Half a dozen q-tips, one hot shower and two loads of laundry later I feel clean but I just can't sleep. Go figure.

So my point is, do not be surprised if Ham says the real S word sometime soon also. He has, after all, learned it from his own mother.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Safes Are Ironically, Very Unsafe

As most of you probably know, we have a very large and very expensive gun collection. To match our large expensive gun collection we have a large expensive safe. We have installed it in the giant closet under the stairs. The whole point of the safe is to lock things into it in a manner that they are very difficult to get out unless you know exactly what the combination is and exactly how to work the very complicated locking mechanism. I do not know the combination nor have I ever cared to know. This was all well and good until Jack got locked inside by his cousin Emma. John is the only person who knows how to open it and he was twenty miles away at work. In case you are wondering, yes it is airtight. Yes, Jack was panicking inside there in the dark, and yes, I was frantic.

I was on the phone with John getting instructions on opening it but I could not open the thing. I tried fifty times. I tried everything I could think of. I could not open it. John was headed home going code 3. These are the times I am so glad that John has lights and sirens at his disposal. I considered calling the fire department but I don't even know what they would have done about it. I guess they could have busted out a grinder and the Jaws of Life but I knew John could get to us and get it open quicker anyway. Plus I really preferred to leave the thing intact. Finally John got here and opened it on his first attempt. I still have no idea how he got it to work. I did that combination so many times unsuccessfully that I was starting to think it was broken. I was relieved when John opened it on his first try.

When I got my hands on Jack I couldn't decide weather to hug and kiss him or lecture him about not playing in the safe. I did a little of both. Actually, I did a lot of both. My mom was here for the ordeal and she handled the lecturing of Emma. She made Emma apologize to Jack. When she did Jack said "You need to tell my mom sorry." I think he recognizes that having your five year old locked in a dark safe is almost worse than actually being locked in a dark safe.

Kramer Boys

Kramer Boys