Birds

IMG_9999Okay, I’m always trying to make some kind of special moment with the kids. Before I became a parent, I was the best parent. Like, I was AWESOME. My kids never talked back. They went to sleep promptly at their bedtime. We played educational games. We never watched TV. And, we only ever ate the healthiest of food.

Imaginary kids are so easy.

Now that we all see where I’m headed with this post, I shall give you the latest and greatest of my “precious moments” parenting….

Apparently this is like bird birthing season because we have two nests at our house right now and I see another at the neighbors. Well, the one in the backyard was conveniently built on top of the fireplace exhaust (is that even what it’s called? BEATS ME. I’m from Florida). But, whatever it is, it gets hot when the fireplace is on. So, to avoid accidental scrambled eggs, we’ve been diligent to make sure that loose-hands-Charlotte isn’t allowed near the fireplace switch.
OKAY, TRUTH POLICE! Charlotte flipped the switch on once. But, John {believes} he caught it pretty quick.

Each time we’ve gone in the backyard, we check on the nest. It has been my “I’m rocking this parenting thing. I’m all, check out this nature. Check out life. Let’s observe and learn and cherish this together“.

Why do I think these things?

The girls have been super into it. {okay, okay, other than the very initial discovery and we tried to lift Ella up to look at the nest and she screamed as those we were lifting her up into her demise}.

IMG_0094Several days ago, the eggs hatched. We’ve loved checking on them every day and seeing their little balls of fluff hanging out in their nest. Then, it happened…

So, the girls asked to play in the backyard. Since Jed has been born, they’ve gone out to play in our fenced in backyard on their own. I open the window and they can come in and out the door {okay, okay, not a million times and I may say things like “IN. or. OUT.?!”}. But, it’s been a good little set up lately while I nurse Jed or get dinner ready. So, I’m nursing Jed and looking out the windows at them while they play. Ella whizzes by and swings the door open…
{panting heavily} “MOM!! The bird was flying and walking and hopping and…. The bird fell. We hit the bird

WHAT?!

I immediately stop feeding Jed (yeah, he was thrilled). I lay him on the ground (again, thrilled) and go running outside. At this point, Charlotte runs up. I ask them to take me to the bird. Way on the other end of the yard, I approach a bird on the ground with its wings flailed out and…

UNDERNEATH A TENNIS RACKET

Like a little bird prison. I immediately yell tell Charlotte to remove the tennis racket. I notice the bird is still breathing just fine and just staring around. I start frantically answering for the story.

IMG_0153I start to surmise that the bird was minding its own business, fell, and Charlotte put it in bird prison. I then begin to grasp that the bird prison was an effort to catch the bird and they began to say they wanted to hold it.
Well, I’m panicking now.

HAVE WE PARALYZED THIS BIRD?!

What is my logical next step? Call John. You know, because he’s totally sympathetic to the needs of me and this bird.
His responses were things like:

“Ohmygosh, first thing is to have the kids wash their hands so they don’t get bird germs.”

“It’s just a bird. If it dies, it dies”

Next thing I know, I’m screaming talking at the girls to go inside and wash their hands (because of bird germs?). And, don’t touch Jed. Then, I kept John on the phone while I knelt down by the bird to try and figure out how I can scoop it up to get it back in the nest.

I get down next to it and start to whisper sweet nothings while trying to gather my nerve. Turns out, the bird was a liar and wanted nothing to do with our family moments anymore. Guys, that bird done hopped up and flew away while squawking for backup. Next thing I know, birds are squawking from trees and everyone has been alerted to kill me. The second that bird jumped up I screamed the name of Jesus twice. Cue John bursting out laughing

“Are you screaming for Jesus to help you with the bird??”

Uhhhhh, YES, I am. It is telling its Mama bird to come peck my eyes out.

I realized that it was one of the baby birds and it was obviously just now learning to fly. Just the day before, the birds were in the nest and now all of them were out of the nest. I realized that the girls had nothing to do with the bird falling. They were trying to use the tennis racket to hold the bird and analyze it closer. They were somehow gentle with the racket and no injury to the bird. But, I mean, here’s the deal, if something insane (rather than precious) is gonna go down, it’s gonna go down with us.

Excuse me, I’ve gotta go see if it’s time to put the front porch birds into bird prison yet…

{Linking up with A Little R&R Wednesdays!}

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Poop-pocalypse Part Two

**WARNING** If the thought of someone else’s feces makes you uncomfortable, I’d go search around the Internet for a different blog to read today…

To read the set up for this gross tale, go here. But, guys, it wasn’t over. Sure, gross story, but nothing all that out of the ordinary for parenting Littles. The unique thing about this particular week is that on Thursday, we’re supposed to be headed out of state for a friend’s wedding. And, not just to go to the wedding but for John to be in the wedding. So, we start formulating Plans B and C if the kids aren’t well enough in time to leave. Well, Thursday rolled around and Ella was just fine. Charlotte was thisclose to being completely fine. So, by Thursday afternoon, we decide to go ahead and pack, assuming that everyone will be well by Friday morning. We’ll be a little off schedule but just in time for the rehearsal.

Through my exhaustion of the week (and having a baby!), I get us all packed and ready to go. John was a huge help in getting everything organized, too. We all get up on Friday morning and eat breakfast. I pour my normal bowl of cereal and I do. not. even. finish. it. Weird. It tastes kinda gross to me, but I figure I’m just not fully awake yet and that’s my deal. Whatevs. (Clue number one that I ignored) Let’s load up the car and get going! We get on the road and y’all, we are making killer time. The nursing babe is even sleeping longer than usual which means less stopping. BOOM. We are owning this trip.

Our first stop is for lunch. Yuck. Nothing sounds good to me. (Oops. I was already given a second clue so early in the day?!) But, this isn’t totally out of the norm because I have a crazy digestive system and sometimes I’m a little out of it. I scarf a salad while nursing the baby and the rest of the family eats. Okay, everyone back in the car quick! We’ve got a rehearsal to make! I’m feeling a little stressed because HELLO! I’m the mother of this circus and we’re just barely on schedule.

After about an hour back on the road, my tummy starts hurting. (a THIRD clue? Oh.)  I assume I’m having what I lovingly call “a fake gallbladder attack” because my actual gallbladder is gone, but my body is sweet enough to not have gotten that memo at the surgery. So, I still get attacks. Now, we’re troubleshooting as we drive.

“Okay, I need to do my hippie acupressure points before we get to the rehearsal. I should take some pain medicine, too. We can do this! I can ignore the pain. Right? RIGHT?!”

We come flying into John’s parents house, just barely on schedule. I down some Tylenol. I do my hippie acupressure points. I nurse the baby. I say a prayer. I throw on a dress I had never even tried on before and had sent to my in-laws just for the rehearsal. Which, I realized about halfway down the road was a little revealing on top and cue the rest of the evening for me to yank on the dress and obsess. Regardless of all the crazy, we’re off to the rehearsal!

We arrive. Late. Because, we’re us. In the car, on the way, I started having motion sickness (are you noticing a pattern here?? Well, good for you. I, on the other hand, noticed no such pattern because well, smarts.) We roll up to the rehearsal and John goes running to his spot. I am left shuffling in heels, with lingering motion sickness, and trying to get the baby in his stroller. First, is to retrieve his pacifier from the mud, which happened somehow.

Okay, I shuffle us out and we’re off! I got to hug sweet friends (infecting them all, apparently) and catch up (breathing out more germs). Then, time to feed the baby. Perfect timing because now I can feed him before the dinner. I head back to the car because there really wasn’t anywhere else to sit. I feed the baby, John comes back to the car and I start to tell him how I really don’t feel good and maybe I should just go back to his parents. (another clue?? Gosh, I really shouldn’t become a detective when I grow up) But, I decide against it, thinking I can just push through and be fine. Lucky for all of the people at the rehearsal…

We get to the dinner. Hang out. Laugh. Talk. Enjoy life. I keep feeling like I’m about to fall asleep. But, again, I’ve got a little baby, we just took a road trip, I had a fake gallbladder attack earlier, the motion sickness, so many things… (queen of missing the signs?!). We eat the yummiest dinner ever. SO. so. good. Then, it’s time to nurse the baby. I nurse the baby. So many sweet people commented on the nursing babe, even though it was a restaurant where I thought that people wouldn’t be so happy. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the supportive comments. Okay, I digress…

After I finish feeding him, I put him back in the stroller. He started to get a little fussy and John was sweet enough to offer to walk him around so I could participate more in the dinner. After about five minutes, the room started to feel like it was spinning. You know that feeling where one second you’re fine and the next you’re thinking “uh oh, code red! Code barf! Things aren’t looking so good! Anyone! Save me! HELP!!!”

John returns and I shoot him a look of “I’m dying over here“. So, I run to the bathroom. Y’all, this bathroom is full of head to toe mirrors. You’re envisioning like a mirror or two right now. Well, you’re wrong. We’re talking if wallpaper came in mirrors, this would be that wallpaper. Mirrors everywhere. EVERYWHERE. So, you get the joy of actually watching yourself barf from every angle.

I’m standing in the bathroom all “I wanna puke but I can’t”. Because, well, two things… one) not even kidding, since hyperemesis with Ella (fancy way of saying that I literally could not keep anything down with her. It wasn’t morning sickness, but a real condition that landed me in the hospital once and ended with talks of home healthcare), I have a little PTSD and my body seriously works overtime to keep from vomiting. If I actually throw up, we know we’re in the big leagues, and two) we’re in a fancy restaurant and who wants to barf in a fancy restaurant? And, I mean, I’m a basket case. Who honestly thinks this much when they’re sick?? Sigh…

Then, I hear a “Jennifer, are you okay?” on the other side of this enclosed mirror stall. I stumble out to reveal one of our friends looking at me all concerned. I mumble something about the girls being sick earlier in the week and don’t come near me. Meanwhile, I’m texting John things like,

“WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW. I MAY DIE IN THIS ROOM ENCLOSED OF MIRRORS. I’LL GET TO WATCH MYSELF DIE FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE”

He responds with things like “Okay, we can leave soon, so and so is still giving their speech…. Aww… the bride is crying…. Aw… Now this sappy thing is happening…. aw… We can leave in a minute… Aw…

And, I’m all THIS IS NOT A DRILL. GET THE BABY. GET THE BABY PARAPHERNALIA. WE HAVE TO LEAVE AND WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW. I DON’T KNOW WHAT BARFING LOOKS LIKE IN A ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS BUT THIS CAN’T BE HOW MY LIFE ENDS”

At this point, John is beginning to realize that I ain’t joking. He starts trying to leave. Guys, when I tell you all that we are a circus 24/7, I mean that we are a circus 24/7. We already had to “borrow” $5 from friends for the valet, because I mean, who carries cash? And, by “who carries cash”, I mean our friends with the extra $5 to spare carry cash. I also say “borrow” because as much as I want to say I’ll make it to an ATM to get them some cash, that’s as likely to happen as pigs learning to fly. So, anyways, each time John goes to pack up our 1,400 items, something happens into the speech which turns attention over his direction. Then, he shoves himself back down in the seat. Circus.

Eventually, he frees himself and meets me in the middle. We go outside and he starts to stand IN LINE for the valet. I see the line and panic. Next thing, I’m in the bushes, dry heaving and leading downtown Dallas to believe I’ve had one too many to drink. I’m also trying to shove my nursing jugs back into my inappropriate dress each time I’m flailing over to pretend puke. Misery.

Finally the car pulls up and I go running. I decide to drive because I’m afraid that with someone else driving, I might get sicker. Guys, the Holy Spirit must have straight up driven the car because I don’t remember the 45 minute drive at all. I just remember lots of “Please, Lord, let me make it back“. The second we pull up at John’s parents, I run inside to which I vaguely remember seeing the 3 year old still awake and living the dream on the couch with her Nana. She smiles and waves and I try to fake some kind of smile back. Then, go runnnnnning to the bathroom. Did you know that fancy shrimp still tastes like fancy shrimp on the way back up? It does.

The next 24 hours was full of a whole lotta feces and vomit. Like, a lot. And, somehow, I nursed Jed all the way through it. Any tiny ounce of fluid I was able to keep within, was going to him. So, by 4:00pm the next day, I was shaking uncontrollably, in a lot of pain and my body just could. not. stop. I called my Mom (the nurse in the family and is used to these kinds of calls) and given everything I told her, said I needed to be seen right away. Guys, John is in Dallas. You know, about to be in our friends 5:00pm wedding. I text him and tell him we’re headed to the ER around the corner. I try telling him he can just stay at the wedding. I AM CRAZY. Of course he says he’s coming and I realize that’s probably a good thing because you know, we have a bunch of kids we’re supposed to care for, including one that has only ever eaten off of me.

I stumble into the ER with my mother-in-law, the one who managed to care for all of my kids through this sickness, plus got everything ready for the hospital. The doctor and nurses were all so kind and agreed that I was passed the point that I should have come in. My blood work was 50 shades of cray from dehydration. They pumped me with lots of medicines and multiple bags of fluid. They were also kind enough to take into account the fact that I was nursing. And, then, John showed up in full wedding gear. Smoking hot. While I, on the other hand, still had mascara smeared all over my face from the night before, probably some poop and puke on my smelly clothes, and my hair? Let’s not even go there.

The next several days were full of all kinds of nasty. I barely even remember us making the drive home. I do very much remember the state of the bathroom at Staples. A not screwed down toilet will apparently make being sick even more cumbersome.

But, all of this leads to even better moments…like, Ella coming home from preschool and telling me a horror story the second she got home. She said that she told her friends that her Mommy “pooped and puked EVERYWHERE” to which her friends replied “Ewwwww”. I asked her if she told her teacher, whom we see at church all the time, “Yup” That’s good, I guess? I decided to Tweet about this exchange because um, hilarious.

My very next Tweet was later that evening to which I petitioned HGTV to make more of Jen Hatmaker’s pilot show. Jen Hatmaker (of whom I am a fan) responds and retweets to which the Internet explodes. So, people start retweeting and favoriting my tweet like mad people. If just one of those people looked at my feed, my most recent talk was about my poop. And, my puke. And, preschoolers thinking it’s ewwww. Such is my life.

I haven’t been able to poop in private for a few years now. But, now my poop has really lost any of its privacy. For those keeping track, I’m finally doing better! I was sick for a week solid. This past Friday was the first day I finally felt half normal. Little Kid germs, y’all. Little. Kid. Germs.

Poop-pocalypse Part One

**WARNING** If the thought of someone else’s feces makes you uncomfortable, I’d go search around the Internet for a different blog to read today…

Kids are germy. Sooooo germy. The girls are both doing preschool and dance this year. Also known as activities they attend to see how many possible germs they can bring home in one winter season. I swear that my kids have created some kind of contest in their minds of how many pathogens they can hang onto this flu season.

Have you heard the ol’ “I’ve never heard of anyone giving birth with a cold! Lots of women get a cold full term but it always goes away before giving birth! Don’t worry!” speech? Heck, I’ve not only heard that speech, I’ve given it! It’s a lie, folks. A full. on. LIE. I had just knocked the viral pink eye the day before Jed’s birth which was brought on by the cold I was fighting that my sweet little girls picked up from the snot-flying-free preschool. I still had a cough and some sniffles when I had him.

We’ve been recirculating various colds since then and it’s been almost comical. If not for me rocking myself like a baby while holding the can of disinfectant. But, this latest illness to hit the household may be the one to take the cake.

It was a Tuesday like any other Tuesday. Ella was at preschool while Charlotte and Jed at home with me. I decided to get fancy with my day and go to a local baby wearing meeting. I know. Stop it. But, as I’m trying to rush the three of us out of the door, I realize that Charlotte has a stinky diaper. Right on cue. I go to change her and realized it seemed slightly questionable but not enough to stop moving forward. So, after the change, we’re off!

Baby wearing meeting comes and goes. We meet John for lunch at Chipotle and Charlotte is living the dream. We sit down to eat and she barely touches her food. Now, this isn’t the most insane thing for Charlotte because she’s picky. But, NO ONE in their right mind turns down Chipotle chips, including Charlotte. Then, I remember her sketchy diaper.

“Uh oh, please don’t be a sign of our impending doom”

We get home and it begins. Feces upon feces. But, Charlotte still acted mostly normal. Just a whole lot of stanky. Which, led into a whole lot of baths.

Ella comes home from school totally normal. I was actually naive enough to believe we’d contain the nasty to just Charlotte. I’m cute when I live in denial.

We go through our nightly routine and get everyone to bed. Just before 4am, Ella starts crying out and I hand the video monitor to John. Because, well, I don’t do 4am unless someone needs to be breastfed. I barely even remembering the throwing of the video monitor on top of John’s fast asleep body, but somehow, he got the memo and went upstairs while I seamlessly fell back asleep.

Next thing I know, John is standing over me…

“Wake up! I don’t even know what to do next…”

Huh?

“Ella pooped. It’s everywhere. Her bed. Her. The ground. Everywhere. I just didn’t even know what to do…”

I jump up and out of bed thinking “Oh, I’ve got this! It can’t be bad! Thank God that John has me!” Again, aren’t I cute when I’m clueless??

I go tearing up the stairs while John is still standing by my side of the bed in horror. I get up there to find naked Ella in the bathroom, standing in liquid poop that is everywhere. Her entire body weight worth of diarrhea. I yell downstairs to John, “She’s gone again! It’s all over the bathroom floor!”

He yells back to inform me that I am actually incorrect and that was the scene he left in horror. Oh.

Through tired eyes, we managed to get the ground, her body and bed all free of poop. Well, that’s kind of true. I’m really gonna need to rent a carpet cleaner for the trail that led to the bathroom…

This story is not over. This is the set-up for the insanity that followed later. But, because, ain’t nobody got time to read hundreds of words about someone else’s poop, we’re going to break here. Check in tomorrow for the final part of this gross tale!

Gummy Crisis

You know those days when you wake up and you’re all “I’VE GOT THIS”? I woke up that way last Tuesday. I had grand plans of finally cleaning the messy house, doing laundry, and organizing old clothes to sell at the upcoming consignment sale.

Ever since Jed joined the scene, we’re a little bit of a circus in the mornings. I’ve come to realize that sitcoms showing a family as being a circus aren’t over-exaggerating. So, after throwing some breakfast at Ella and hurriedly getting her dressed, it was time for her to rush out the door with Daddy for school. As she walked out, I grabbed the container of gummy vitamins and threw one at her because, well, school germs. (She later told me she put the gummy in her pocket and waited to eat it at school to show everyone her vitamin. We’re special.) After throwing a vitamin at her, I threw one at Charlotte because, well, germs.

Next, Ella was at preschool. John was at work. Jed was napping. Charlotte ate breakfast and was glued to an episode of Sofia the First. I had my coffee and was ready to do. this. thang.

Up first, getting the consignment sale clothes. My plan was a super quick trip upstairs to grab the stuff to organize and back down. Once I got up there, I realized the laundry basket I was going to use was full of clean, folded clothes that I never put away. Oops.

Well, Charlotte is quiet downstairs watching TV, I can put it away real quick…

I put the clean clothes away and then grabbed the consignment sale clothes. As I was walking down the stairs, I noticed how quiet it was in my house.

Lookie here, I am going to get all of my list down today! It’s not even 9:00am and I am owning this day!

Guys, if you have a Charlotte, NEVER THINK THESE THINGS. Instead (as I thought I had already learned by now) you need to be thinking:

HIGH ALERT: whhhhy is it quiet?! I should investigate immediately!

So, I mosey into the living room with my laundry basket full of old clothes and Charlotte is no longer glued to the TV. I first run to the kitchen because she likes to steal harmless things like an apple from the fridge. Nope, no apples.

Cue Charlotte on the kitchen floor with the brand new container of gummy vitamins and she’s chomping away like she’s hit the 3 year old jackpot. I yank the container away and start screaming. Not at her, but, at the air. The air around the house wanted to hear me screaming.

I start pacing the house screaming at the air.

“OH. MY. GOSH.!!! What do I do?!? OH. MY. GOSH.!!!”

Somehow there weren’t cuss words flying out of mouth. I can only assume the Holy Spirit took over.

So, instead of analyzing the victim, I’m pacing the house. Screaming. And, holding the gummy container in one hand and my phone in the other. Charlotte is now crying. Not because she was hurting in any way. But, let’s face it, she was probably convinced her mother has officially gone off the deep end. It couldn’t have possibly been all of the screaming at the air.

So, guys, I just stared at my phone. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain was, “Call poison control”. But, when you are running around screaming, it’s hard to form the thought coherently to actually know what to do with your phone. I did what any logical person would do, call their spouse and ask what to do.

First call: straight to voicemail.
My response? More screaming. Because that’s an effective solution.

Second call: ringing and ringing. Which, leads to me screaming things like,
“PICK UP THE PHONE!” Because, again, helpful.

He picks up. I scream/blurt something about Charlotte eating half of the container of gummy vitamins and I have no clue what to do. He seemed a little taken off guard because how do you respond when your wife is hysterically yelling in the phone and the three year old is crying her eyes out in the background?

I mutter something about poison control (bingo! I remembered the name!) and John proceeds to try and search the number on his phone with me on the line. His phone started acting up and he starts mumbling about it not working right.

Um, you guys, he might as well have screamed something about it being impossible to help me. Because, next, I yelled,

“Well, you’re not helping!! I’ve gotta go figure this out!!!”

*click*

Oh my gosh, I yelled and hung up on my husband. For all that is good and holy, I didn’t. even. remember. I did that until later that afternoon. Thank the good Lord that he’s still willing to be married to me.

So, after hanging up on my husband, I finally have the sense to Google “poison control”. Guys, I know what you’re thinking… It was such a hard task, but I did it. No need to applaud my deeply difficult and heroic move.

I dial the number. And, by dial the number, I mean just press my finger to the first Google search result. I know, you’re impressed by all of my hard work. It’s okay. There will come a day when, just maybe, your skills can outrank mine.

As the phone rings, I finally sit down and ask Charlotte to sit in my lap. She’s gone down now to a whimper type of cry. As she sits in my lap, I’ve now reached the next level in my crazy, the tears. I sit there crying, instead of screaming, and think of what a loser I am for leaving the gummies out. Now the call is answered and I’m trying to speak coherently to a stranger.

He asked me a few questions, which included
“How many did she eat?”

About that…

“Well, this package is 180 and it was new. About half is gone….” I said while imagining him flipping through his rolodex for Child Protective Services.

90?”

Even the sweet poison control guy had “what in the world?! 90 gummy vitamins?!” twinge to his voice. Yeah, well, go big or go home in this family…

After a few calculations, he came back on to say that she would have to eat 218 of these vitamins to reach the low level of toxicity. And, since Charlotte only ate 90, she should be fine. I had to hold my laughter. As soon as I hung up, I started laughing.

Let’s do a quick recap of all the emotions… accomplishment, terror, screaming, anger, crying, and then LAUGHTER. Oh my word. Out of control. In case you’re keeping track of my to-do list for that day, ain’t none of it got done. I might as well have run a marathon in those 5-10 minutes of the gummy saga. And, just for good measure, I didn’t get to any of that list for days.

So, folks, for those of us that leave gummy vitamins open and on the counter, those that accidentally leave the baby gate open and the 17mo old falls down a flight of stairs, those that forget to hide the magical Christmas elf when you told the kids that it flew back to the North Pole weeks ago, those that tell their 4 year old they’re never going to eat lunch again because they stole cheese from the fridge for the 50th time, and those that have done one billion other things wrong…

This is FOR US!!

We may not be winning at this whole parenthood thing, but we sure are having a laugh while surviving it!