12 Things 2011

2011 was a year filled with sweetness

Adventure, laughter, silliness, jumping, bubble baths, learning, dressing up, making new friends, traveling, playing, being goofy, and growing together…

 Wishing everyone a new year filled with love, health, happiness & prosperity!
photo credit: Marc Liberts

You Regret The Vasectomy

It is true. I have second thoughts about my husband’s vasectomy.

Why would I want a fourth child? At any given moment my head feels like it’s going to explode. Adding another child to our family is totally irrational. It is absolutely nuts. Like, Duggarnuts nuts.

It’s not that I didn’t want my husband to have the vasectomy. I did. I was totally on board with the snippage. With the thought of free to be you and me sex. I supplied the Ibuprofen, the pre-surgery hand-holding, the frozen pea treatments for the swollen scrotum.

But now I’m having regrets.

It’s not as if my life needs a fourth child or that I’d necessary be a great mother to a fourth child. My life is plenty full.

I’m writing a book of poetry. I’m doing this blog. I’ve got three kids. I’ve got a husband. And a dog. And a kitten. And a father who is flirting with most of the single septuagenarian ladies on the west coast.

(In the last two minutes, I’ve removed the kitten from my computer keyboard, I’ve removed the mouth of the dog from the corner of a book, and I can hear the toddler throwing Legos into the fireplace.

We have a microwave that has a broken keypad so you can only microwave things on the casserole setting. When you press “open” on the DVD player, it opens and then immediately closes. If the house could sell itself and get cleaner occupants I’m sure it would.

And, there is most definitely something living in the back of my minivan and subsisting off of Goldfish crackers.)

All of this, and the fact still remains that I am sad about the decision we made. I saw a new mom holding a tiny bald peanut baby in Starbucks yesterday and almost burst into tears. I saw a new mom doing the new mom bounce with her little one at the grocery store and it pretty much did me in.

I know I am incredibly lucky. I have three healthy, beautiful kids. Yes, I kvetch about them and often feel like everything is about to come unraveled, but I do feel lucky.

And yet there, in the back of my head, there is a small insistent voice: I want one more. And another voice: How selfish! Move on with your life! Concentrate on other things.

I guess I just have a hard time with endings. I have a hard embracing the present as it is without tinkering, without wanting to make it more full, more chaotic, more more.

So, there will be no more little tiny babies. No more pregnancy ultrasounds, no feeling a baby move inside, no dreaming up names, nursing a newborn, experiencing those first newborn days with my husband and kids. No more tiny onesies, size N diapers, or the sweet smell of newborn breath.

It is time to move past the Pea In The Pod (okay, let’s be real: The Motherhood Maternity) chapter of my life.

And it is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

You Are Covered In Kitty Litter and Other Thoughts About Family Life

This past weekend deserves an honorable mention in the Our Life Is Crazy Hall of Fame.

Back story: I’ve been sick for a week. Thus, my poor housekeeping skills are at an all time low. It looks like a bunch of sticky crap has exploded on all of the surfaces and walls of the kitchen.

The two-year old launched an entire bowl of Fuse Beads off the kitchen table. So there’s that. You can never completely clean up a Fuse Bead incident of that magnitude.

And let’s not forget the three loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and the wet clothes in the washer that are starting to smell suspect. How many times can one wash the same load of clothing? Apparently many, many times.

I’m not even sure that the clean laundry should be considered clean at this juncture. Every time I open the laundry room door our dog bum rushes the laundry baskets, jumps in and kicks everything out. He does this weird snorting and circling thing in the clothes once his stubby legs have landed him in said baskets. I suspect he may be urinating on the clean clothes.

If the dog has been pissing on the clothes I will only be able to whisper obscenities because I’ve lost my voice. This has thrown my daughter (who is on the Autism Spectrum) for a complete loop.

She keeps growling: Stop. Whispering. At. Me. Stop. Whispering. At. ME. I guess this a welcome change from Stop. Yelling. At. Me. Really, I’m not one who yells a lot, but any tone of frustration in my voice causes her to think that I’m going to lose my shit.

Granted, I am generally going out of my mind, but I really do try to keep that masked by a tone of kindness and understanding. Bah ha ha ha ha grinding teeth while entertaining ideations of drinking an entire bottle of wine.

So as I mentioned in an earlier post we decided to appease my daughter’s soul-crushing reaction to finding out that there is no tooth fairy (You are the worst mother ever and you’ve ruined my entire life), and put an end to her three-year long Adopting a cat will mean that all of my dreams have come true campaign by getting her a kitten.

If you have ever spent any length of time with a kid who has autism you will learn that they tend to obsess, and obsess hard.

So, for the last week Ruby has been talking non-stop about getting the kitten. She brought a whole pile of cat care books home from the library and explained to me at great length how to read a cat’s body language.

She made lists of things we need to purchase for the cat. She chewed over a slew of names (Blackberry? Dina? Dingleberry?). She could barely sleep.

When the big day arrived we all went to the Cat Adoption Team shelter together. Ruby’s excitement was at a fevered pitch. She hopped from cage to cage extolling the virtues of each cat.

This one is so friendly! (The cat was cowering in the corner of a cage, eyes dilated, fur on end.) This one is so playful! (The cat was clawing at the cage as if gunning for blood). This one is very sleepy! (The cat was geriatric, sleeping, or dead, would not rouse even with poking).

Meanwhile the two-year old had eaten about ten of the complimentary double stuffed cookies offered at reception. Geeked up on sugar and arms filled with cat toys he ran up and down the aisles yelling: Kitty! Kitty! Kitty! Kitty! I touch! I see! Give me kitty!

We ended up chosing an adorable, sweet, feisty black fuzzy three-month old kitten that was recommended by Extreme Cat Lady Volunteer on Duty. Before we could leave, Extreme Cat Lady adoption counselor insisted on giving me thirty minutes of instruction about kitten care. And kitten food. And kitten poop.

We finally got the kitten home, got her set up in the bathroom, assured Ruby fifteen times that the kitten would indeed always be hers. The kitten, now known as Alice, was pleased as pie about her new digs.

Food? Purr! Litter box? Purr! Small toddler holding her by the neck? Purr! Toys? Purr. Two children fighting over her? Purr. Small toddler freaking out that older siblings are petting her? Purr.

Awesome, I thought. This kitten is bullet proof.

Then we unleashed the dog. The dog sensed something was awry and ran to bathroom door. He went pug style crazy. Snort, snort, snort, snort, cough, cough, snort. The kitten, having heard the monstrous pug noises blew up like a little puffer fish and began hissing and growling at the sound of the dog.

I decided I had to escape the madness for a couple of hours. As I drove back home to pick up my husband for date night, I got a call. He sounded unhappy. Very unhappy. He had just experienced a Major Toddler-Kitten Incident.

The Major Toddler-Kitten Incident went like this:

In a moment of total insanity, my husband left the two-year old alone with the kitten and a full box of kitty litter. He returned a few minutes later to find the entire bathroom, toddler, and kitten covered in kitty litter, kitty litter dust, and kitty poop clumps.

He then stripped toddler down to a diaper, disposed of kitty litter covered clothing, and left the half-naked toddler with our older kids so he could quickly walk the dog (who had just eaten and is a ticking fecal time bomb after food ingestion).

While husband was walking the dog, the toddler freaked out. The freak out caused him to take a huge poop that blew out the diaper. Meanwhile the babysitter arrived to complete chaos and no husband in the house.

What I thought as my husband told me the story:
Seriously? You left the toddler alone with a kitten and a box of kitty litter? And, You left the toddler alone with the older kids who don’t know their asses from their elbows? 

What I said: Oh man. I’m so sorry.

By the time I pulled into the driveway everything appeared to be in control. My husband warned me to stay in the car so the two-year old wouldn’t flip out again. The babysitter had everything in control.

My husband finally joined me in the car, ready for date night. He smelled like a cloud of kitty litter and toddler poop. He had the look of a lunatic. We stared at each other, laughed, and nodded in silent agreement. Yes, this is our life. Kitty litter. Toddler poop. Dog pee. Chaos. Love.