My humiliation was palpable.

It was a generally craptastic day. I mean, honestly…reality check…not that bad. But just one of those days where nothing goes your way and everything just SUCKS. In case you’ve not heard we are under a heat wave that would make Satan proud. I mean I went out to turn the a/c on in my car 10 minutes before putting precious tiny Huck in it in order to drive 20 minutes to my OB. Everyone just loooooooves an OB appointment, right?

 

{Also remind me to only make appointments there on pay day because a Home Goods just opened up right across the street}

So. I get there. I walk in and give my name. They say they don’t have me down for an appointment. Interesting. Oh they have me down for NEXT Thursday. Listen kids, I know I can be a bit of a scatterbrain but this one? not.my.fault. You must have gotten the date confused they say. Oh no, I say, I know the date is right because when I made the appointement you wanted to schedule me on Tuesday July 26th and I said no because it’s my son’s birthday so then you offered me Thursday. She says oh we meant August 6th. I say well, no one said that and  wouldn’t YOU have assumed it was today, the 28th from the phrasing of our call? Can I be seen today? Why no. Dr. H isn’t there today and I have to be seen by the doctor who delivered Huck. Okay, fine. I take my pouty first world problem spoiled self and stomp out calling TOTT and vomiting how mad I am all over him. He takes it like a champ, as does my MIL who hurried home to hang out with The Boss.

Put my key in my car and cah-rack my FREAKING KEY cracks. It’s been threatening for a while to do that but it picked today to just go ahead and commit key suicide. I think this is it! Mama needs a drink. Buy drink of course I mean Iced Latte from ‘Bucks. Drive through, natch, so I don’t have to wake the sleeping tiny guy. What’s that? My card is declined? Embarrassing. Hey listen people…we may not be rich, but we ain’t totally broke neither. Hmmm. Use another card.

What do I do when I feel rotten? Shop! I head on over to the Goodwill to see what the clearance things are, it’s markdown day! Which means fabric is 99 cents and then half off. I find a treasure, it calls me from accross the room…God Rays shooting from it and a choir of angels singing. I gingerly put it in my cart and hustle to the check out. Three people ask if I am buying it. Hell yes I am!

What’s that? The card that worked just two seconds ago at Starbucks has been declined? Ummm…I only have three bucks. It’s 3.99. No deal. okay. Yeah,  this isn’t embarrassing at all. Too broke to shop at Goodwill! A quick call to the bank and the problem is discovered and new cards are being sent. I really wish when they think something is fishy with your account they would CALL before they just shut everything down! I mean, grateful they are on it…but still!

So I bust out the card I never use. It’s the emergency card. But you guys I was SO embarrassed as everyone stood around looking at me and my new baby while both my cards were declined and I didn’t have enough cash…I was getting that damn 3.99 treasure if it killed me. So, emergency card worked and 4 dollars later me and my humiliation and sweet baby Huck were tucked back in the car, wrangling the broken key and crying in our iced latte.

The only question is: what color does it want to be?

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this kills me

Just a little snippet from the Boss’ birthday. He asked for a Rickenbacker guitar, like John plays. For now, he will have to settle for this one…are we bad parents that when he says “It’s a Rickenbacker!” We say, “Yes! Yes it is!’ Watch his fingers….he kills me.

Sounds pretty nice!

His birthday was perfection. And once I revel in it a little bit, I’ll write. Suffice it to say The Boss’ little dreams came true. And Mommy cried a lot of happy tears.

Two things you need for school. Kleenex and field trips. For. Sure.

When I think of field trips for some reason I always think of that scene in Billy Madison where the little boy wets his pants and Billy Madison totally takes care of him. I don’t know why, perhaps some long buried field trip memory? Maybe Sister Dub can verify if someone wet their pants on a field trip when we were wee. (see what I did there. oh, the wit!) Whether I just think Adam Sandler is sweet in that moment or it brings up a hidden childhood memory is kind of irrelevant because the point is this:

Field Trips ROCK.

Remember how excited we were to get out of the classroom and board that bus to the museum or planetarium or wherever we were headed? Those days were freaking fun, and we were learning all sorts of stuff without even knowing it.  Field trips, like so many things in our educational system, are beginning to go the way of the dinosaurs that our kids won’t get to see because…hello? No field trips.  Living in DC we have some crazy amazing museums and we go fairly regularly with visitors to see the Star Spangled Banner (don’t miss this if you’re in town. flat out amazing.) and of course with a two year old boy( OMG THREE!) we hit up the National Museum of Natural History on the regular. Dinosaurs are classic, they never go out of style. Plus Alex, Gloria, Melman and Marty all in the same room! Oh! How excited The Boss gets! Some kids parents don’t or can’t take them to museums, shows, planetariums etc. and the only chance those kids will get to see a giant squid is during a school field trip. That makes it extra sad that field trips are becoming fewer and farther in between for our kids. By the time The Boss gets to school they might not be doing them at all.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email asking me if I would like to attend the Kleenex Save The Field Trip event at the National Museum of Natural History with my DC Blogging friends. Oh yes, please. We had a docent give us a tour of the museum. The kids had a blast in the Discovery Room looking at x-rays and turtle shells. I could have spent an entire day in the Forensics Lab. How cow that exhibit is so cool. I must go back and see it again and read every single informational card. Just wow.  The Boss’ very favorite part was, of course, the bugs. We saw up close a tarantula as big as my head and a hissing cockroach! Some of the kids were braver than I sure am and held that big old dude.

{photo by techsavvymama aka my personal Jesus because she always saves me. Here she does it again since The Boss decided to show off how well behaved he was and basically act his age  thus, pics were scarce. Praise Leticia! PS that’s Michelle’s  daughter. Could she BE any more gorgeous? I think not.}

Then it was off to the Butterfly pavilion. Love. (check this giant sleeping moth. Look at the tips of his wings, they look just like snake heads! Camoflauge! So freaking cool. Of course all the boys the group thought this was extra cool.)

We saw the IMAX 3d movie about the Colorado River which was both astonishing and panic inducing, wow, our water is getting low kids. The Boss? Not ready for IMAX quite yet, so TOTT and I tag teamed so I could see the flicker and The Boss could skip it.

Our day ended with lunch in the atrium cafe, all the kids were d.o.n.e. they’d had so much fun!

We were invited to the museum as part of Kleenex Save The Field Trip Initiative

Here’s the deets on that: The Kleenex brand will award 100 schools a $5,000 award to be used toward field trips during the 2011 – 2012 school year. You can vote for your fav school OR enter your kids school so they can hang with T-Rex like we did back in the day:
Again photo by the amazing Tech Savvy Mama
  • Visit www.Facebook.com/Kleenex
  • Click on the “Back to School” tab at the top of the page
  • Vote for your favorite participating school    -or-
  • Register the school of your choice by clicking the “Add a School” box and filling out the registration form

Dude. Do it. How awesome would it be to help out a school that is struggling and give kids the chance to explore and experience like we did!

And the disclaimer:  #KleenexFieldTrips was coordinated by The Motherhood.  Admission to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is free (and it’s air conditioned which was awesomesauce in this heat wave) but our tickets to The Butterfly Pavilion and IMAX, as well as vouchers for lunch, were provided by Kleenex. And yes, I am receiving compensation for attending and writing about this campaign, but all opinions are mine and mine alone. Because really? Do you think they would be like hey! you should talk about repressed wetting your pants on a field trip memories! I don’t think so. Also? We had a blast. For real.

To The Boss on His THIRD Birthday.

My sweet precious boy,

Last night I kissed you just like Mrs. Bear does in your favorite nighttime book and I slipped out the door as you quickly passed out, your sweet lips whispering about meeting Ernie and Abby Cadabby barely making it through the words before you fell silent. I kissed you goodnight for the last time as my two year old. This morning I must start telling people I have a three year old.

You woke happy, and sang our morning song of Dear Prudence just like all the days of your second year, and we cuddled in your bed for just a moment while you allowed me to smother you with kisses. This year I am acutely aware that the number of birthdays where you will allow me to crawl in your bed and kiss you like a crazy person are dwindling. Three years has gone so fast, surely the next three will go just as fast, and then the next three and suddenly you will be nine. You’ll start saying no to my requests for kisses and snuggles. It’s what I want more than anything, to raise you to be strong and independent. If I’ve done my job right you’ll need me less and less. The only problem is that my need for you won’t diminish. I don’t mean I’m dependent on you, but you won’t know until you have a child of your own how your smiles fill my heart. Your laugh makes my soul soar. When you are sad and I am the one you want, I am heartbroken because you are sad but pretty sure that the moment you fall into my arms and your world is right again…I’m pretty sure that right there is what heaven feels like.

Today you are three. Far more a boy than a baby, even if you still refer to yourself as “Baby”. You have a wicked sense of humor and a memory that keeps all of us in check. If we mention swimming, by God we better go swimming! Mention the guitar store and dangit! we better head to the guitar store. You remember who said what at all times and in pure child like fashion take the most embarrasing opportunity available to call us on something.

Daddy had a tootie booty, indeed!

I mourned the loss of your only childhood. Our you and me time. But you didn’t. You didn’t waste a second of time…the moment you set eyes on Huckie you declared him yours. You’ve opened your life up to him in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined and my biggest prayer is that you two will always be close. You make sure that when you need mommy time you get it. But your desire to share things with Huckleberry makes my heart sing. The same with the joy you greet Puppy Bear and The Great Catsby with every day. You want to include them in your play and I just find that is one of my most favorite things about you.

I’m amazed at the concepts you understand and the observations you make. “This is a medium tv” say wha???? How do you know this is a MEDIUM sized tv? I say. You respond “the one in Bob Bob’s room is Big and Kelly’s is little. This one is medium” You know all your colors and can count from 1-10 and count down from 10-1.  When we take you to see shows or concerts you pay rapt attention, and just when I am afraid you don’t like it you begin to participate. But the real show begins when the concert is over when you replay it in your head and perform it all for us. I’m astonished at the choreography you remember and the words to songs you have memorized just from seeing and hearing something once. And the things that are on heavy rotation in this house? The Beatles. Green Day? Forget it. You know it ALL. {Thankfully you have managed to mishear all the naughty words and that makes your rock shows even cuter}

You don’t like us to sing along. You sing, because you have the guitar. Or guitars. You will always chose a guitar toy over anything else. I am sometimes more your roadie than your mommy. I spend my days fetching George Guitar, Blue Electric and desperately trying to figure out which one of your guitars is John Guitar! I asked you what you wanted for your birthday and you said “a Rickenbacker”. I did’t even know what a Rickenbacker was! Now I know it was what John played and George used a 12 string Rick that JOhn picked out for him at the Savoy before they filmed Ed Sullivan. Your favorite chord ever, the opening to Hard Day’s Night was played on that Rick. I learned that from YOU. When you were TWO.

This blows my mind wide open.

I hope and pray that you always love music as you do now. Know that your father and I and your brother are in for the long haul. We’re on board. Guitar lessons, concerts, whatever…we will make it happen for you if that’s what you want.

I love your precious spirit, I pray that you will not be crushed by other children when you go to (gulp) school. You are kind and generous. You bring your best guitar to whomever is sad to help them feel better. You remember things people like and make sure to give it to them.

You are a typical 3 year old. You get tired and cranky and you attempt to manipulate. You say things like “Mommy I need candy, that will make me feel better!” when you cry. Whatever you want is suddenly your favorite. “I need french fries, it’s my favorite!” I try to remember every funny thing you say and yet by the time I go to write them down at night they have slipped through my brain. I wish I had your memory.

But know this, every day you are a joy to me. Every day I thank God that he has blessed me with you. I am astonished that I was trusted with such a beautiful, brilliant, funny, sweet soul to care for. I adore you. To the moon and back. I love all that you are and all that you will be. I love you and love you and love you and love you.

Happy Birthday Sweet Max. (aka Bug, Boss, Baby, Sugar Plum, Potato Bug, Sweet D, John, Paul, George, Ringo and Billy Joe)

 

I have a crush on your husband.

I have a problem. I have a crush on your husband. Yes, yours. Actually, I’ve got a crush on many of your husbands. They are just…just…adorable! Funny hipster husbands. Man about town husbands. Handy man husbands. I’ve got blog husband crushes.

I know we all put forth the best part of our marriages. I mean if we blogged oh my God my husband is such a lazy ass I can’t stand it! He’s just laying there watching sports again. He’s been there for hours and he wants ME to get him another beer? Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t I have to go take care of your screaming child! well, we wouldn’t be married for very long would we? (Also, TOTT wants me to tell you that I never, ever feel like that about him. Ever. He wants you to know that.) Let’s just take a moment to be thankful that our husbands don’t blog about us in our worst moments, shall we? I know I’m thankful. But even with us selectively representing our men, let’s face it! Your husbands? Are adorable.

Really, if we are being completely honest, it’s kind of your fault. You’re always posting pictures of him playing with adorable children, and redoing your bedroom. He really should have been wearing better shoes than flip flops while doing reno though. But that story about the ER trip after he smashed his toes while doing said reno and wearing flip flops was huh lar ree us. So I guess it was worth it. Plus, the new built ins are fab, Please send him over here to do some work on my place. I’ll make lemonade. You come too of course, we’ve lots to chat about.

You musn’t  worry, I’m no Angelina! I’m not a man eater. I’m not a husband stealer. I quite like the husband I have, thank you very much.  I don’t actually want to date your men. I won’t flirt with them if we ever meet. It’s just…It’s just I’ve got a crush on them. Much like a crush on a celebrity. Or a t.v. character. Yes! That’s it. I crush on your husbands the way I crush on Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. {Are you watching this? You should. Hilarious!  Lily wears the cutest outfits, good inspiration!  And of course the aforementioned Marshall a.k.a. Jason Segel. The only reason People magazine hasn’t declared him sexiest man alive is that clearly someone on staff is eaten alive with jealousy.} So have no fear! But You’re my friend so I just thought I ought to be honest with you.

I have a crush on your husband.

seventeen again

It’s true! Today I feel like I am seventeen again. I am reliving my teenage years, but without all the girl drama and eating disorder nonsense. I feel seventeen again!

Of course, it could be the tube of zit cream I just bought.

Now where is that Zac Efron…

The thing about this guy…

The thing about this guy right here:

is that he is pure awesomesauce. Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog tails? Not this guy! He is made of little coos, snuggles and big old truck driver burps and farts that send The Boss into hysterical cries of “Tootie booties! Huckie had a tootie bootie!” followed by fits of laughter.

While The Boss never slept, this little angel has given me at least one 4 hour stretch every night since his birth. *knocks on wood, throws salt over shoulder, spins around to the left 3 times and spits* He does not like to be put down. Ever. Maybe for a little bit in the swing. And okay, at night in his little bed he is okay as long as he’s swaddled. But during the day? If he is awake? Oh you please, please, please PICK ME UP! He cries. And as soon as he is ever so gently against you all crying ceases and he is all smiles and coos and big truck driver farts again.

His favorite person in the world is me. Duh. I’m the milk truck. But besides his favorite food source, his very favorite person in the entire world is The Boss. And I’m pretty sure The Boss feels the same way. Every morning I go into get The Boss and we sing our morning song and after we are done he says “Let’s go see Huckie!” and he wraps his arms around his Snurf (aka Smurfette. Yeah, he got a Smurfette at Build A Bear and takes it everywhere, got a problem with that?) and hustles his little Lightning MacQueen training pantzed bootie into see his baby brother.

And this weekend, Baby Brother responded with his very first on purpose smile. So fitting it should be for The Boss. Just perfect.

I worried so much about how my heart would grow to love another. I worried about how The Boss would feel. I worried about everything. And let me tell you…it was for nothing. Huck was meant to be. He was meant to be ours. He was meant to be with us. He is completion. He is  heaven. He has healed us and brought us closer in ways I couldn’t have ever conceived of.

He is so kick ass I can’t stand it. It is PC to call a 6 week old baby kick ass? Cause he is. I’m in love. Different than my in love-ness with The Boss. But completely, swoony, gonzo in love with Huck. I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

I’m also slightly obsessed with his little feet and long monkey toes. Obsessed.

Careful the things you say…children will listen.

Come to me lovah

 

On Thursday Miss Katie and I had a play date planned for The Boss and her Tommy Boy (Max always calls him Tommy Boy) What should we do,we wondered….the week had been filled with 98 degree weather and crazy humidity so we were all feeling lazy, hot sticky and yet tired of being inside. Luckily for us the weather broke Wednesday night and the next day was to be 80 with a light breeze. Hoo-ray! But still, what to do. What. To. Do.

And then in a beautiful example of kismet this here blogger got a little email inviting me to come to Wolftrap Children’s Theatre in the woods performance of PBS Kids Steve Songs on that very Thursday.Confession: I had no idea who that was. But why yes! We would love your free tickets! And so we headed out to meet Thien Kim and Dawn and their broods and to get our toddler groove on with Steve Songs. The Boss is going through this thing lately where everything is scary and he “doesn’t like anything!” so yes, we had to drag his cute tush to the theatre but once we were there he sat entranced as the opening act Baba  Jamal played a thumb piano and told the story of Jamacanda, who had the ears of a donkey but learned to love what was unique about him. I could have listened to that guy talk for a hundred years. And the Boss? He talked about Baba Jamal for the next two days.  Lucky for me he is a local guy so I am hoping to take The Boss to see him again.

As a performer and a parent I have to say once again how I truly, truly, love and appreciate those who have chosen to become children’s performers. It takes a special kind of person and I don’t think I truly grasped how important they are and how much power they have over our little ones before I had one of my own. I only hope when I was doing children’s theatre I did right by those little ones who wanted to meet me. Steve Songs was adorable. And a quick instagram photo to facebook provided this tidbit: He was my friend Kate’s brother’s college roommate! There you go. My brush with fame! They brought his guitar out before he came out and an open stage with a “coustic” guitar sitting unattended nearly killed my little guy as he stared intently at it willing it to come to him…

Steve does the Flat Stanley

“I learned it by watching YOU!” (tell me you get that reference…)

Steve played for an hour, everything from a song about Flat Stanley to one about opposites where he told the kids to scream YES and they all scream NO! It was too freaking cute. The kids went WILD and even stormed the stage at one time. There is nothing funnier/cuter that 50 2 to 5 year old kids rushing the stage and surrounding the performer! It was hilarious! Of course the stage was cleared quickly except for one almost three year old laying down on the stage refusing to leave, while his mother holding a 6 week old baby begged, pleaded and dragged him towards the audience. Why, yes. The Boss was that kid and I was that mom. Out of nowhere an angel appeared from nowhere…Teachmama! God bless her! She gently took Huck from me and I was able to wrangle my little stage hog into the seating area. She was my saviour!

The beginning of the stage rush!

After the show we settled into the soft grass for a little picnic. Some peanut butter crackers, milk, and jammie sammies! The Boss wandering around us exploring. Suddenly like a shot he took off running into the tall grass! Of course I was nursing Huck so my beloved Katie ran after him and Tommy Boy stayed with me. Sweet boy!

Miss Katie said to The Boss “Come down here. I’m going to count to three! One…”

and The Boss responded “TWO THREE FOUR FIVE!!!”

Miss Katie said “Come down here right now!”

and The Boss responded “I learned about opposites! I STAY HERE!”

At which point a laughing Miss Katie hiked up that hill and brought my mouthy cherub back potato sack style.

So, Steve Songs. Entertaining and educational. Thanks a friggin lot, Steve.

 

 

But for realsies thanks to Diane from WolfTrap for the tickets. We had a great time, even if The Boss now has yet another weapon in his arsenal for getting his way.

P.S. Can you tell I just downloaded instagram? Mama needs to take it down a notch, non?

**discolure:  I got the tickets for free. Didn’t have to blog about it…but we had a good time! If I’ve said it once I’ve said it twice: if you get to do something fun with your kids from blogging jump on it! The Boss had a good time and we had a great play date and all it cost was what I spent at Starbucks on the way to the theatre. Mama needs her java.

 

My invisible friend doesn’t like you either!

“look Huck, John guitar is on sale at guitar store”

The Boss has an invisible friend. His name is Piss. Yeah, you heard right. For weeks TOTT and I kept saying “Pierce?” And the Boss would say “No! PISS!” as if we were the two stupidest humans he had ever dealt with, which very well might be the case. Sometimes Piss is very, very big. Sometimes he is tiny. Sometimes he plays guitar in the band and sometimes he plays bass.  Sometimes he eats lunch with us, and sometimes he cuddles in bed with us as we read our good night books.

I always make sure to say hello to him and ask him how he is, once I am informed that he is in fact with us, as I am an adult and can no longer see the invisible friends of our little ones. Apparently my warm welcome has gone unappreciated.

One day while watching the stoners-are-now-making-tv-shows piece de resistance Yo Gabba Gabba The Boss gleefully squealed “There’s Piss! Piss is on TV!” Quickly I tuned in to what I had been trying to tune out just a split second ago and who do I see but Biz Markie. “OH!” I say “BIZZ!” and The Boss says “Yes! PISS!” in an all to annoyed teenager tone.

It’s true. My son’s invisible buddy is this cat right here:

Biz Markie – Just A Friend by rikma

 

 


For some reason I find this hilarious. My kid’s imaginary friend isn’t a big bunny, or a cartoon firefighter, but instead a rapper! Mostly I am thankful that the mystery of Piss has been solved!  The Boss and Piss sometimes rap, they play guitar.

But no matter how many times I invite Piss to dinner it makes no difference. The Boss has informed me that Piss doesn’t like me. He likes Daddy and Huck. He likes grandma and grandpa….but not me.

Fine Piss. My imaginary friend doesn’t like you either!

Oh you sweet talker, you!

The Boss gently took my hand in his and smiling sweetly said “Mommy you’re my favorite princess!”

I smiled right back, my heart melting at the innocence and love in his eyes. I told him he was my favorite prince. He brought my hand up to his face as if to kiss my it. How can an almost three year old make my heart go pitter pat as he does? It was so precious. So wonderful. I wanted to stop time and memorize this moment.

Then he stuck my finger in his nose saying “Mommy I have a boogie way up there. Get it, get it, get it.”

And I did.

Ah, Motherhood.