Thursday, August 30, 2007

Red Tape

Oh where to begin??

Now, my hubby and I are not rich folk. We make an honest living, we live frugally; we don't have a lot of "things" that others have. We drive older cars, we live in a smallish home and we just don't do a lot. We can't afford fancy vacations or dinners out or new clothes. We rely on the generosity of friends and family at times. Kiddo wears mostly hand-me-down clothes and shoes and that is just fine.

Of course, I often wish things were different, but we are not hurting. There is food on the table, a roof over our heads, and I really can't ask for anything more.

I do not consider us to be poor.

But, the government does.

It's funny how there are shades of poverty. I never realized it before.

We cannot afford to keep me on Hubby's company insurance policy. As it is, we pay an excruciating amount monthly to keep Kiddo on there - and have been trying to get other coverage for him for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding his birth and some of the complications that he encountered, he has been turned down by several insurance companies. So, for now, we keep him on Hubby's policy and take the hit every month. If we were to add me to it, what we now pay would double and we simply can't afford it. Bills would go unpaid, the house would be in jeopardy. It's just not feasible.

So, when we tossed around the idea of getting pregnant again, I did some research into health plans and who might cover maternity. There are so few out there, and the maternity riders are insanely expensive. Obviously this was not an option for us.

Texas has a state program called CHIP. It is low cost health insurance for children, and truly a Godsend for families with lower incomes who can't afford private insurance and who don't qualify for Medicaid. I knew for sure we didn't qualify for Medicaid. As a family of 3 though, we don't qualify for CHIP either. But, as a family of 4 (and you can count unborn children if you are currently pregnant) we do. After discovering this, I also uncovered information that CHIP now has a perinatal program that covers unborn babies for 1 year (which means all of the prenatal care is covered, as well as the first few months after birth).

So as we started looking into the future, I knew that insurance would not be much of an issue. We found out we were expecting, and I filled out my application and sent it in.

Then there was the 2 week wait. And at the end of two weeks I received the envelope in the mail. I eagerly opened it, expecting some sort of card and a book on providers. Boy was I shocked when the only item in the envelope was a single piece of paper telling me I had been denied.

We qualify for Medicaid.

Wow. I wasn't expecting that.

So today I headed down to the Department of Health and Human Services to fill out an application. I checked on line to see if there was anything I might need, loaded up Kiddo and all my paperwork and made the trek across town. When we got there I took a number, found the forms I thought I would need and sat down to fill them out.

Going to the Health Department is a bit like going to the DMV. It's a melting pot of races and ages and situations. I felt extremely out of place there - but I'm not entirely sure why. Most of the people there were women, and most of them were either minorities or young girls (teen age looking, though one can never be sure). The majority didn't speak English. There were crying babies and screaming kids and the biggest security guard I have ever seen. The man must have been 7 feet tall.

The girl that came in after me didn't look a day over 17. She had a little boy with her that was probably a year older than Kiddo. She was dressed fairly nice - her clothes appeared new and in good shape. I noticed a key chain hanging from her belt loop. On one side it had a picture of a woman's back side in revealing lingerie, on the other side it said "lick me". (eed gads!) The little boy had a Spiderman motorcycle toy and he was walking from one row of chairs to the next, whacking that little toy on the back of each chair as he passed. Once his rounds began attracting the participation of the other young kids in the room, the security guard promptly put the kibosh on the kiddie parade that was annoying so many of us. In an effort to keep her child occupied, she then (quite loudly) played the "spell this word" game. The kid was smart, but I was a bit bothered by the way she practically yelled each word to him so we could all hear.

The girl in front of me also looked to be about 17. She had a brand new little boy she was caring for. He couldn't have been more than a couple of weeks old, if that. The first thing I noticed about her was that she had absolutely stunning hair. It was long, almost to her waist, a beautiful chestnut brown and it had the perfect, symmetrical waves at equal intervals all the way down. She had a pretty face, innocent without make up, and she was tall and thin. She was wearing low rise jeans with a bright pink lace g-string poking out of the back. She had on a tan colored bra and two tank tops over that, and I could clearly see all three articles of clothing. When she got up to go to the window, I noticed that her arms, back, neck and chest were covered with abrasions, scratches and scars at various stages of healing. She had a scar on her bicep that looked like someone took a cigar and burned a poorly scrolled image of the sun in her flesh. To look at her, and imagine her story made me so sad. I don't know what kind of hell her life was, but it couldn't have been good. While I was waiting, another teen age looking girl came in that apparently knew her. They greeted one another and the new girl said "you had another baby?". ANOTHER??!? Holy moly.

There were others there, but these two stood out to me. Maybe it was because of their age - but as I sat there for 2 hours waiting I wondered why I was there in the first place. Surely I am not at the same poverty level as these poor souls. These are the people I should be volunteering to help, right? I mean, we are just at our financial limit - we are not lacking food or basic needs. It was quite eye opening.

So after 2 hours of clutching Kiddo in my lap and trying to calm him with stories of Mr. Incredible and Lightning McQueen being best friends, my number was finally called. I walked up to the window and handed the clerk my paperwork. She looked at it, verified I was applying for Medicaid for pregnant women and then asked, "Do you have a pregnancy test?"


I'm thinking, does she mean the pee on a stick kind, or what? I stammered at her question and asked what she meant. She clarified that I needed a doctor's affirmation of pregnancy (wasn't that the whole point of needing insurance???). I'm pretty sure she was holding back laughter when she handed me a paper to a place called Agape Pregnancy Resource Center. I was instructed to go there for an official pregnancy test and come back to get my application receipt.

So off we went, Kiddo screaming because after 2 hours of wanting to leave he suddenly decided he did NOT want to go anywhere. We found the building without much trouble, and when we walked in I was pleasantly surprised. The lobby area was nicely done, with antique furniture and high end rugs and draperies. It had a warm, inviting style of decor, and it actually took me a moment to notice the many crosses and informational bulletins along the tables and walls. I wasn't quite sure what I had walked into, but everyone seemed nice enough and without much wait they called me back. The woman that called me walked us into a room that contained a couch and a couple of plush chairs. The same cozy decor filled the room and I was a bit confused as to why I had been taken there.

Then came the interview. *sigh*

They asked me all kind of questions pertaining to my mental health and home life and the father of my unborn baby. About 5 questions in I realized that this was the kind of place that catered to unwed mothers, homeless pregnant women and minors in trouble. The case worker was shocked when I told her I had a bachelor's degree and was actually married and living with my baby's daddy (grin). I was desperately trying to be polite. My head however, was screaming at this woman - "I am not some troubled teen!!! I did not come here for help!! This is where they sent me for a darn pregnancy test - can I just go take that and get this over with??!?". I endured the 30 minute interview, where she made sure I was a Christian and that we were "all on the same page", and that I wasn't in need of counseling or a mental evaluation. She led me to the bathroom for the test and waited outside the door. Of course, it took me longer than usual because as soon as I did what I needed to do, Kiddo decided he needed to go potty too.

Once done she came back into the interview room and exclaimed that it was DEFINITELY positive (well duh) and that she was shocked it had given results so fast. I mentioned that at almost 9 weeks I would hope there was plenty of hormone there and again she looked at me like I had something growing out of my head. "Oh, you know how far along you are?" Umm, yeah. Just when I thought we were done, the case worker wanted to explain all of the things the center provides. In all this Kiddo was about to go mad trying to escape the room and go run and play with the toys he saw at the end of the hall. Then it was time to pray for the baby. To me, this part was rather nice - but I can see where some young scared teen might think it is a bit creepy. Kiddo was kind of spooked I think, because she wanted us all to hold hands and he desperately tried to mold his little body into the wall farthest from us, squealing "noooo-ooooooo" the entire time. As we were praying, he snuck out of the room and started down the hall. Suddenly, in the room next door, someone turned on the TV and the volume was at full blast. The noise scared Kiddo so bad he bolted back into the room!

Finally, she took me on a tour. Thankfully the place was small. But as she pointed out all the diapers and clothes and whatnot I could "buy" with the money mothers earn at the center for attending bible study and parenting classes - it kept hitting me that she still thought I was a troubled pregnant woman. I so desperately wanted to laugh at her, or explain myself or something. I just didn't know what to do. Then when everything was toured she said they had something for me. They were giving me a free receiving blanket. I objected. Standing there looking at all the beautiful blankets obviously hand made by loving individuals that volunteered their time and talents - I couldn't possibly take something that was intended for someone who really had nothing. I thought of all the receiving blankets I have packed away from Kiddo's baby days. I thought about how I should have donated the gently used ones to a place like this. She insisted I take one, so I chose a brightly colored cotton piece that looked like it had less time and materials put into it and reluctantly put it in the bag of other goodies she gave me. Then she gave Kiddo two brand new books and when I objected again she pointed out that they had 2000 copies of each book and had no where to store them all. I left feeling ashamed. and misunderstood. and confused.

So we finally got out of there, an hour and a half later. I raced back over to the Health Department, turned in my proof sheet and got my receipt. Thankfully I didn't have to wait in line again. We stopped at McDonald's on the way home and I devoured half of a double cheeseburger and half an order of greasy fries - man I love being pregnant! It was sooooo good! Kiddo, my I-will-not-eat-anything-that-is-mixed-with-something-else, anti-sandwich kid actually at the other half of the burger; and he loooooved it! I felt weird getting excited about him eating fast food, but it was just a rare thing I guess. He promptly passed out in the car seat with a death grip on a french fry. When we got home I had to pry open his fingers and peel the sweaty smushed fry out before carrying him in the house. He slept for a good 2 1/2 hours. Poor guy. It was a big day.

-for me too.

D :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Boogie Boy

My Sweet Little Man,
I don't even know where to start with this. I have been looking at the computer screen for hours.

You have just amazed me this past week. In such a brief matter of moments you went from a half baby/half little kid of 2 to a big boy of 3. On Wednesday afternoon you decided you wanted to wear big boy underwear and you haven't been in a diaper since (except for at night, and even that was a fight with you). You decided to potty train yourself and I am so thrilled that I have so far only had to deal with 3 little accidents. You surprised me when we went out to dinner and to the store; you have not struggled with this one bit and in turn neither have I. I am so completely thankful for that.

You turned 3 yesterday. The entire weekend was quite exciting. Everyone came in for your birthday party. For months you have been talking about it; chanting over and over, "Grammy and Happy and Aunt A and Uncle W and Nana and Big Daddy all come see you with presents, and bawoons and cake and sing da Happy Birfday song....and it's in August and I be free yeawrs old" :) :)

On Friday night we all met at the Oasis for dinner. Happy's birthday is a few days before yours so we celebrated with everyone that night. You were so good; you sat next to Happy and ate your meal almost entirely. You went all evening out without a diaper, and I didn't have to worry in the least that you would have an accident (although Daddy was another story. He was kind of spooked at the thought of taking you out of the house without a diaper!). Your party on Saturday was a success - the food was great and the company even better. The cake turned out alright - poor Mommy needs to work on her decorating skills! But you loved it anyway. We sang "da Happy Birfday Song" early on so we could get you out of the cake, and once you had a little taste you were satisfied. You totally scored with new toys and Cars gear; lots of clothes and cool things to keep you occupied and learning. I was constantly reminded of how blessed we are as a family. We get along so well and care for each other so very much. It was wonderful to see everyone together and having fun.

G&H left Saturday afternoon, and the next morning we went to church with Aunt A and Uncle W. We had a yummy lunch with them after and then they left to go back to their home. You were kind of upset that everyone was leaving, but I think it helped that they left in pairs at different times. We came home and hung out with Nana and Big Daddy for a while, then went to dinner with them. You did perfectly there as well, and even in a fit of boredom still you managed to stay unrestrained in your big person seat and be good. When Nana and Big Daddy left today, you cried for a long time. You love your family. You love having people around you. It makes me sad that we don't get to see everyone very often.

Last night as I put you to bed, I stroked your head and told you happy birthday. And when I laid down in my own bed I began to recall what I was doing three years before - it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I still can't believe we went from there to here; such an awful and frightening beginning to such an amazingly joy filled time.

So at the ripe old age of three you are smart and funny and as clever as anyone I know. Just a few days ago you told a joke: You were making animal noises and after we would say "what was that?". You would reply with "that was a ___" (cow, pig, dog, etc.). After a few rounds of this game you made a noise that started off as a moo and ended as a meow. I asked "what was THAT?" and you said "that was a cowkitty!!". You laughed and laughed. It was hysterical.

You still have a passion for anything Cars related, and thanks to your family you now own more Cars merchandise than any kid should be allowed. You are also enthralled with the Little Einsteins. The new DVD has played non-stop in the player and Leo and Annie figurines rarely leave your presence. You are still scared by the vacuum cleaner, but it is much more manageable now in that whenever I need to vacuum I just tell you and you go hide in your room. You love water - if I took you to the pool or the sprinkler park every day all day you would be the happiest kid on the block. You love animals, and unfortunately show no fear of any of them, except for the creepy crawlies. Fascinated you may be by frogs and bugs and whatnot, but leery nonetheless. For the most part you are gentle and sweet with Tyler and Mi-mi, and I hope that is a trait you retain for life. Nothing upsets me more than to see little kids being mean to animals, and I am glad you have learned such a gentle touch.

Your gentleness shows in your affection for people as well. Though you may hit and be mean at times, you are still a sweet soul who loves to cuddle and be kissed on. I know I can almost always steal sugar when I need it, and you always seem to sense when I could really use a hug or a sweet pat. Just when I think you are all grown up, you crawl into my lap and bury your little face in my neck. My hair still brings you great comfort, and the nights when you reach for a lock I fight the urge to pull away, because I know this habit of yours won't last forever. When we travel in the car and I am sitting beside you, sometimes you will reach out and gently stroke my arm, or grab me in a big head lock and give me a big hug. Moments like those melt my heart to you all over again, and I breath in your sweet scent and pray you will always be open to hugs from me.

You are still The Boogie Man - and have been from day one when I gave you that nick-name. You dance at any given opportunity, and have recently taken to singing a lot more as well. I just love it when you perform, but even more fun for me (and Daddy) is when you don't want me to sing with you. You throw such a fit and of course I have to antagonize you by singing louder and more obnoxious the more you protest. I look forward to the day when we can sing together and I can teach you harmony (cheesy, I know - but it will happen!). hmm, maybe I should take up the banjo. Just kidding. Kind of.

I think what makes me the most proud at times is that you are so very polite. I don't know how I managed to teach you, but for the most part you are extremely good at asking for things in a very grown up sort of way. "Mommy, may I have a piece of cheese please?" Ahh, like angels singing in my ear! Saying thank you is almost second nature, and so very pleasing to those you say it to.

So very little of your baby ways are left now. And though I delight in the new adventures and accomplishments to come, I am sad to see the little things go. Your legs are growing long, your features more mature; and when I see images of you much younger, I marvel at how much and yet how little you've changed.

You will always be my baby though. Get used to it. I love you Kiddo. Happy third birthday.

D :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Big Boy

I'm not sure I should even mention this for fear of jinxing it, but here goes...

Kiddo has been in big boy undies all day and had NO accidents!!!

Woo Hoo!!

Thank you Elmo. That's all I have to say.

So far....this has been a breeze.

Of course, we haven't left the house yet.

Or put on clothes.

But - I'll take my victories where I can, right?

D :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ain't No Lookin' Back

So, when I was pregnant with the Kiddo, the morning/noon/night sickness began on day one of week 4. Actually, if it hadn't been for that day, I probably wouldn't have found out I was pregnant until much later. From that point on, I had pretty much a constant nausea until about 12 weeks. It wasn't anything other than annoying, and during that time I kept the cracker companies afloat, but I was still able to function pretty well in a 9-5 job dealing with people all day.

This time though, things have been different. Other than a couple brief waves here and there, I hadn't had any morning sickness to speak of until this week (and I am about 7 weeks). Silly me thought it would be cool to pull out the crock pot and cook something for dinner all day. By about 1pm, the smell had taken over the house and I could not escape it. Bring on the nausea. For two days, just about anything would make my stomach turn. Thankfully I never lost it, but I sure did come close!

Now, just certain smells will make me do a flip flop. Mainly things like the dog, smoke from a BBQ pit, dog/cat food and dirty diapers. Not that these smells are pleasant at any moment, but they are particularly heinous for me right now.

It is curious to me how this pregnancy will differ from my last. I am looking for differences - mainly because I am trying to determine if I am carrying a boy or a girl. I have already started to show some (darn it) and this is disturbing as well. I know they say the body remembers and goes back to the pregnant form quicker the second time around, but come on! At this rate I will be the size of a barn by the time I deliver!


Kiddo's 3rd birthday is coming up this weekend. I have, as usual, put off the planning and preparation until the last minute. Of course, it hasn't helped much that I was without a car for all of last week as well as yesterday and today. It has been in the shop, getting fixed after Hubby's last wreck. We actually got it back on Friday, but something was wrong with the a/c so it had to go back to the shop yesterday. Hopefully I'll get it back this afternoon.

Kiddo is very excited about his birthday party. He has talked about it non stop for months now, and I think he understands that it is coming up quick. I am trying to keep everything sort of secret until the last minute, just so it feels more special to him. So, he hasn't seen the Lightning McQueen plates or the streamers and other fun stuff. Hopefully I can convince one of the grandparents to keep balloons in their hotel room the night before the party. Hopefully the kids have fun, even though I don't really have any specific activities planned. Hopefully I can make a cake that looks half-way decent. Hopefully, no one really cares what the cake looks like.

There will be way too much food and way too much heat and way too many people in my house, but I am so looking forward to it. My house is slowly getting cleaned top to bottom, everything will be put away and picked up, and hopefully I will be able to eat all the yummy goodies I am making and none of them will make me queasy! Oh how sad that would be if I couldn't partake of the spicy chicken dip or the hamburgers. But I won't think about that right now.

It will be great to have the family all together celebrating my little man. He is growing up so fast; I just can't believe it.

D :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Is Time: The Rest of the Story

So, a while back I told you all about the vacation we took with the fam to the coast. It was such an amazing few days; filled with sun and sand (in all the wrong places, haha) and good food and family and relaxation. But behind the scenes there was another story to be told, and this is what I will tell you today.

As the date of our trip got closer I realized that it would completely coincide with my, um, lady time (sorry family - you might want to skip this part). I was so dreading this - I mean the very idea of 3-4 days in a bathing suit while dealing with such a nuisance was completely unappealing. I inquired with my wonderful bbc mommas as to the best way to deal with things - without alerting the world to my dilemma, as I have never in my life had to mess with that during times of bathing suit wearing. After they all snickered and laughed at me in the privacy of their homes (I know you did) they all offered up wonderful advice and when the time came I felt I would be completely prepared to deal with it.

Of course, then my neighbor mentioned I might want to stay out of deep water for fear of attracting sharks! Ewwww! *ahem* anyway...

So we reached our destination and all the while enjoying the sun and sand and relaxation, in the back of my mind a dialogue was repeating "is it here yet?" over and over again. Every little twinge, every strange feeling made me want to run back to the condo and climb under the covers of my little bed. I just knew the warm sea water would fool me. I just knew I was going to be dealing with a mortifying moment. I was on edge the whole time. Physically, I was a bit achy, but other than that, just didn't feel like I had the normal energy I should have.

For some reason I was really tired. And even after 3 cups of coffee and a Dr. Pepper I still didn't have any spunk. Not that I am terribly "spunky" anyway, but I really was dragging more than usual.

So I guess by now you can tell where this is going. After waiting for the entire 3 days for this "thing" to happen - it didn't, and so on the last morning of our trip I needed answers.

We are all very excited. It was a great ending to the vacation.



Sunday, August 12, 2007


I suppose the fact that since both myself and Hubby run around with cameras attached to our faces most of the time, it was only natural that our son develop an obsession with pictures. He loves to look at them; on the tv, the computer, in print form; and sometimes he thinks that if he sees a picture of something, that means I can magically make it appear in front of him. "No Kiddo, you cannot have the new Little Einsteins DVD, it is only a picture. No son, the Lightning McQueen plates and balloons are just pictures. Mommy can't make them jump off the page."

Kiddo doesn't have a camera of his own (yet) so on very rare and what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-moments I allow him to play with our little point and shoot digital camera. Thankfully we keep rechargeable batteries in it because the boy can go through two or three sets in a day when he uses the darn thing.

Last week he wanted the camera, and for 3 days we could not get it out of his hands. I was really amazed at the progression he made while shooting a couple hundred images. They started out like this...

Mostly up the nose, extreme close ups of nothing in particular, blurry images. Whoa there! Little tilt coming up...
Oh boy, this really isn't flattering...
Well, at least the one above is in focus. YIKES!

I left him alone for a while and when I checked in on him I realized he had begun to actually compose his images a bit more. Some of his favorite toys,

the furniture,

through the window, (can someone say Windex please?)

Then he apparently worked a bit on his abstract and macro skills. The ABCs, if you will...

and a study on the textures of my couch...

And before I knew it, he was ready for portraiture. Here he does an impromptu photo shoot of Hubby. "Whatcha doin' there Kiddo? You got the camera? Honey, do you know he has your camera?

Oh, you're taking pictures!! Ahhh! (sorry folks, Hubby wasn't wearing pants)

Yeeees, here's Daddy. Looks like you caught me again!

Ooooh, another picture of Daddy. Great. Why don't you go take pictures of Mommy?

He especially likes to see the pictures on the LCD screen. He also managed to shoot about 30, 4 second movies with the camera, and I don't even know how to do that! The next morning, he wanted me to take his picture so he could look at not only Mommy and Daddy, but himself as well. I think he was still sleepy in this shot.

Then he took pictures of his favorite things. Starting with his slippers.

They were a present from Nana and Big Daddy about a year ago and were so big he couldn't even walk in them. I had to hide them in a closet because he loved them so much he would try to wear them and would fall on his face every 5 seconds. Last week we cleaned out said closet and I found the forgotten slippers. They fit perfectly now and Kiddo wears them everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. The store, the house, the car the back yard, the bath - yes, everywhere.

I found tons of shots like this...

images of his favorite tv shows. Mostly Elmo and Little Einsteins, but also a few shots of my workout DVD (he requests to watch it almost every day - even when I am not exercising!). But I realized it was time to put the kibosh on the picture taking for a while when he did this.

Thankfully I saw him coming and had time to grab a towel before he got too many incriminating photos - shew! Thank goodness for the delete button!

Maybe I should foster and encourage a fondness for outdoor photography...


D :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lay Me Down

Gosh, I just don't know what to post about. I think of all these things throughout the week and then when I sit down to do it they all either sound extremely trivial or I can't remember them at all. Either way, my brain is kind of mushy today so I apologize if this makes no sense.

Kiddo is on the downhill slide to three. He is amazing me every day with his growing independence and his growing attitude. Last week he put himself to bed twice. He has also dictated to us when it is time to take a bath or go to bed, and usually he is way ahead of schedule. But like a good little boy he will go to sleep anyway, 'cause well, he was ready and he said it was time! lol!

He has started this strange attention getting tactic as well. He will scream and cry like he's hurt himself and wait for someone to come running. Now when he screams I don't know what to do because I certainly don't want to feed that behavior, but I also don't want to neglect him if he really is hurt. He's a smooth manipulator I tell ya.

We were having troubles again with him getting up multiple times in the night. Hubby was at the end of his rope, watching me deal with it (through one cracked eye lid while he stayed warm and comfy in bed) every night, and so we discussed what needed to be done to stop it. For a couple of nights I tried instantly putting him back in his own bed instead of letting him snuggle with me for a minute or two first, and it didn't seem to help. I did notice that every time Kiddo tried to climb into bed with me he felt really cold. I mentioned it to hubby a couple of nights ago, he kind of brushed it off, but I decided to put an extra blanket on his bed that night; just to experiment. Needless to say, he slept through the night! He slept through last night as well - two nights in a row makes me think I am on to something here, so I will leave the extra blanket on his bed for a while.

Potty training is so very much in limbo. Some days are good, others are not. Lately he has been asking to go to the potty after he has already done his business in his diaper, and then proceeds to play on the potty until I take him off out of shear frustration. Today he fought with me for trying to change his diaper after he had pooped. He wanted to "poo poo on da potty!". I tried to explain to him that he had already used the diaper. He is screaming at me to use the potty and trying to get up and so I decided to show him what he had done in the diaper. I picked him up off the changing table (yes, he is too big for it but with my back problems it is the easiest thing to use) and swung him around to face the diaper. When I did, his foot caught the diaper and in one swift movement slung lovely brown pellets of poo all over his bedroom floor.

Thank goodness it was a hard poop. *sigh* Who says that? Oh yeah, Moms.

He was mortified at seeing his poo all over the floor. I wasn't too thrilled myself. He wanted to help me pick it up, but he didn't want to touch it (me either kid) and it was torture for him to see it on the carpet instead of in the diaper or the potty.

Now he won't even entertain the thought of going on the potty.

Oh my goodness. I typed the line above about an hour ago. Kiddo just wined to me he needed to poop on the potty so I took him to the bathroom and he actually did it! He told me before he did it and he did it without goofing off on the potty! YAY!

Well, I guess I'll end with that. Can't really top it at this point.

D :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Surf City

After the horrendous day that was Saturday, we packed, got up bright and early and headed down to the coast. Amazingly, Kiddo fell asleep Saturday night at 6:30 (um, about 4 hours early) and slept through the night. Therefore he was not at all upset by our early wake and leave time. I, on the other hand, was not too thrilled with the prospect of facing a 4 hour drive without coffee. But, I sacrificed for the team and purchased a gigantic Dr. Pepper for the road and off we went.

(Let me just interject here that though I am a die hard Dr. Pepper fan, it is no substitute for my morning coffee. Let me also say that there is not one stinking Starbucks between here and our destination - dang back roads!)

When we got to our destination we were tired and hungry and grouchy. We scoped out the location of the condos and then went on a hunt for a cheap, fast food lunch. Unfortunately in a little island town there isn't much to choose from. Just as we were about to settle for a Subway sandwich out of a scary portable building, Hubby spotted the top of a burger joint sign and we took off with new determination.

We located the burger joint, placed our order and waited for what seemed like forever. The service was so slow that people were getting irate. Once it arrived, we scarfed down our meal and headed for the beach.

Of course, Kiddo loved the ocean. It was difficult keeping him out of it. We were scheduled to meet up with the rest of the fam shortly so the plan was to just walk along the water's edge for a few minutes. Kiddo was having none of that so we crammed him back into his car seat and trekked over to the condos to wait. G, H, Aunt A and Uncle W showed up shortly after and we made our way to the condo. The accommodations were nice; plenty of space for the 7 of us and a wonderful view of the ocean from both patios (it was a 2 story).

The first night we dined at a local seafood restaurant. I was battling a tummy ache but the clam chowder and salad I ordered was wonderful. Kiddo ate every single one of his chicken tenders with gusto and even had some calamari with the rest of the family. We walked along the docks for a bit after supper, then retired back at the condo.

I slept surprisingly well, and even woke up with no back pain. We had a wonderful traditional breakfast and then spent the day on the beach. At lunch time we took shifts going back to the condo to eat, and when I took Kiddo back I knew he was bound to crash. All of the sun and water and playing with various family members was wearing him out fast. Sure enough, once I got him to eat he passed out, and so we stayed in the condo together while he slept. Eventually Grammy came to get us, and only the bribe of a popsicle was enough to rouse sleeping beauty. Once he was awake we headed down to the beach to see what everyone had been working on all afternoon.

Do I have a talented family or what?!?!

All they had were buckets and shovels and a dye-cast car to model from, and within an afternoon they were able to create an amazing sand sculpture of Lightning McQueen almost as big as the Kiddo. It was really incredible!

Kiddo totally loved it. He wanted to ride on top,but we weren't sure it would hold his weight. The next day we found out that it would have indeed, when a little girl about his size climbed it from front to back and it maintained it's shape. Unfortunately, her older brother saw her do this and climbed up himself, collapsing the entire back end in the process. This of course, prompted yet another brother to kick and punch the sculpture until it resembled nothing more than a pile of sand. *sigh* It was lovely while it lasted.
Aunt A did find a new friend on the beach, though he/she was not too happy with her.
After leaving the beach, we prepared to grill dinner on the grill next to the pool. G&H got into the pool and there was no way I was going to get Kiddo back up to the condo to change into his swim suit. So I did what any mom in my position would do....
Hey, how many times in your life can you skinny dip in broad daylight? I had to let him have some fun! Trust me, he didn't stay that way long, just long enough for me to run up and get his suit and floaties; but he surely enjoyed it!

We had a great dinner that night, and another wonderful day at the beach the next day. More critters were found, this time in the pocket of Uncle W's swim shorts.
Shrimpy, shrimpy, shrimpy!!! The sea gulls loved these things!

After yet another great dinner prepared by my lovely sister-in-law and her hubby, we all decided that no vacation would be complete without a trip to a local ice cream shop. Hubby and Grammy were craving shakes and I desperately needed a brownie! ;)

It is amazing to me that out of the 6 adults, at least half of us are pretty darn good photographers. No one took pictures the entire trip! Thankfully I thought to bring my p-n-s to the ice cream shop, and here is the official family vacation photo, taken by Happy.
Hmm, it kinda shows our true personalities, doesn't it? ;)
Well, there you have it, our family vacation on the beach. I am so glad we made the trip. It was truly wonderful! Oh yeah, and that brownie was goo-oood!! :D
D :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Running on Empty

Let me tell you about last Saturday.

I woke up. I stumbled somewhat blindly into the dining room. I turned on my beloved laptop. I started a pot of coffee. I changed a diaper, poured a bowl of cereal for Kiddo, and pulled out a coffee cup and put creamer in it. I waited for the coffee to finish brewing, poured myself a cup and noticed my beloved laptop was making a strange beeping noise. It had done that before, so it didn't really alarm me. I took some Tylenol for my back and started loading the dishwasher. The laptop started creaking and popping and groaning. I ran over to it to find a lovely blue screen.

I read the blue screen info, did what it said to do and rebooted my computer. It did not make it.

RIP my Toshiba Laptop hard drive. 10-04-06 to 7-28-07 May you rest in peace.


So Hubby packages it up and leaves to take it to the electronics store for repair. Thankfully it was still under warranty.

He calls me 15 minutes later asking where I keep the car insurance card in my car. He had a wreck. He rear ended some poor soul when they had to slam on their brakes because some yahoo pulled out in front of them. The yahoo left the scene, but thankfully someone got their license plate. My car has a good bit of damage, but thankfully was still drivable because we left on Sunday for a family vacation.

grrrrr! Things did get better though.

More later.
D :)

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