Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fake Friends and Entertaining

I admit it. I have fake friends. I got sucked into the world of Internet message boards when I was pregnant with Raph. It was a little mindless chatter. Someone else to commiserate with about the glory (hell) that is pregnancy. Then I was put on bedrest. Message boards became my saving grace. What can you do for hours on end, alone? You can only watch so much TV and read so many books. Sometimes, you just want some interaction with *people*. There in began my obsession with my fake friends. I was part of one with Raph's age group for a while, then stopped for a few years. When I got pregnant with Colin I started with renewed vigor. I met a wonderful group of women all due in May 2007.

Mike doesn't *get* it, but I really do consider these women my friends. They just happen to live nowhere near me and most I have never met. Some I will probably never meet. The way I see it is this: People can fall in love and get married after meeting online. Its no longer taboo...not always the norm, but certainly more main stream than 10 years ago. So if people can find their soul mates ::gag:: then why can't I have friends?

A recent opportunity came up where I could meet one my so-called fake friends and her family. Not only that, but they spent the night and we all had a wonderful time. We had a few drinks, watched the kids play and talked like we were old friends...because we are just that. Old friends. Well, I'm not old but you know what I mean.

That leads me to entertaining. I love entertaining. I love having people over for snacks and drinks, full fledged dinner parties and weekend (or longer) visits. I have had a marathon of visitors this summer. We finally have a house big enough to be proper hosts. We have had 6 people stay at a time. HOORAY for basements!

We've had friends and family, kids and siblings come over. Everything from an impromptu BBQs, to kid fun filled 5 day trips and the visit from a fake friend driving across country with her family.

This week I out did myself. I had my, so-called, fake friend Toiny come on Monday. They spent the night (all 6 of them) and left Tuesday morning. I worked three days and my next round of guests came Thursday evening. Old friends from college and their little baby (my darling Godson). Then we even had a little party Saturday night, all while still entertaining our house guests. ::pant pant pant::

I'm tired, my house is pretty dirty, I really need to go to the grocery store, but I'm too tired for such things and I have to go to work bright and early tomorrow morning. You know what? I'm happy. Old friends, fake or real, make me happy. Having good food, a great bottle of wine or just a cooler full of beer to share makes me even happier. Seeing my boys play with people we all love makes it priceless.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Purple Limps, Swollen Appendage

As we all know, Colin is, um *special*. Nothing is ever normal. His personal mantra is "its always something". And that something usually requires extensive testing, 47 new gray hairs for his mama and wicked laugh from him as he runs, perfectly healthy, in the other direction.
This is nothing knew. Note the name of my blog...I am happy to report he no longer turns purple. It only lasted about 5 weeks. The doctors were in consensus (after extensive testing): It just happens like that sometimes. A vascular reaction to a virus. Suuuure it does. I think they just made that up.
Fast forward to the next round of oddities. Colin goes in for a check up and I point out a bump on his back that's been there for a while. The ped pokes, prods and pours over this hump. She screws up her eyebrows and declares, "I don't know what that is but I'm going to order an ultrasound." Yeah!!! At least we maxed our testing copays for the year so it won't cost anything! He goes in for his ultrasound and turns out his hump is a cavernous hemangioma. Its pretty much the same thing as a strawberry birthmark except its all secret and cavernous so its flesh toned. The end result...we'll just wait and watch. Naturally, something weird that requires testing but no treatment because he's *special* like that.
Meanwhile its summer in St Louis. That means there are mosquitoes. Those little bastards are everywhere...or so it seems if you look at Colin's skin. Even with bug spray he will get bitten one else, just Colin. This week Colin goes out, with bug spray, and gets about 5 bites. Two on his face, one on his leg, one on a hand and one on a foot. He gets the usual welts on his face and leg and you don't really notice the hand and foot ones. The next morning he gets up and his whole hand is swollen and bruised. His foot is so fat he can't wear shoes. Poor guy looks so abused, but this is nothing too terribly new. Its happened before, swollen hand and shoeless feet. Benedryl didn't seem to help in the past, but it would go down on its own by the next day. Then you could see the bites. Something about the hands and feet make him have inappropriate large reactions. ::shrug::
Well, since nothing can be easy with Colin, his hand and foot stay swollen and discolored for two full days. I make a call into the ped's office and go back and forth with the nurse. I get a new set of instructions for benedryl usage and the bruising is somewhat worrisome. You shouldn't get bruised from swelling. I have images of subcutaneous skin infections from rabid mosquitoes, then the ped's office calls back. The nurse says, "Well, we aren't too concerned with the discoloration since he's already had a history of crazy skin color reactions to things with the 5th Disease."
Nice. My kid has been labelled as a skin reaction freak. He's got a check mark in his charts saying, "Yeah this kid is just weird. Don't be alarmed."
I'm happy to say that his swelling and discolored appendages have gotten better. He still looks like he's got chicken pox or some other unsightly rash b/c his bug bites last for a month or more, but he is wearing shoes again. Hopefully the mosquitoes will all die soon or he can at least start wearing pants to cover his pox marked legs. At least when he actually had chicken pox they went away within the week. I think until it gets cold out he's just going to remain that poor abused child. Hopefully CPS doesn't show up at our doorstep....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kinda Browy

I have Italian eyebrows. More specifically Zinno eyebrows. That means that they produce about twice as many hairs as the average person should ever have. When Mike and I were dating he once told me I needed to pluck. Thanks honey! I love you too! I'm just sayin', you know its bad when your college boyfriend points out the ever increasing number of BLACK hairs on your face.
This week my eyebrows were in a bad way. In my defense I went to TWO places on a lunch break to have them waxed. No dice. What Vietnamese nail place doesn't have at least 5 people capable of ripping tiny hairs out of your skin? Alas, I went about my day with giant furry caterpillars resting over my eyes.

Yesterday I found the new best place to pluck. My kitchen! Its got great lighting and newly hung mirrors at just the right height. I was busy exterminating pillars and Raph comes in:

"Does that not hurt?"

"No, not really."

"Why are you doing that?"

"Because my eyebrows have too many hairs."

"Oh. So they are gettin' kind of browy."


"Does that make it hard to see? Because they are so browy?"

::Damn I know its bad but its not that bad::

"No I can see just fine, I just don't like that many hairs."

"Oh. Do I not have to do that when I get big?"

"No. This is something girls do, not boys."

"Right. Sometimes girls have problems that boys don't have."

"Yes, just like boys sometimes have problems that girls don't have." (I felt the urge to add, 'Yeah kind of like how your penis sticks out and won't go down...girls don't have that problem.' But felt it was best to leave that one alone...come to think of it...sometimes that's a girls problem too. Oy.)

" ::insert random made up word here:: That word means when girls and boys have a problem."

Indeed. I used to have browy eyebrows that made it hard to see, but today they are perfectly arched, plucked and waxed. Amazing...I can see things again!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adults only and All Inclusive

Have there ever been a more glorious set of words in the English language? Ever? I think not.

I love my children. I really do, but sometimes you just need to get away. Not have someone attack your belly button, Ninja Turtle you and get all manner of goo on your clothes. Sometimes you want to be able to sleep in (not that you can anymore b/c your kids have ruined you and its impossible to sleep past 7:00 am, but I digress). Eat whatever food you like without taking into consideration a milk/egg/peanut allergy or the limitations of eating with only four teeth. Have conversations that don't involve cartoons, the word "potty" or discipline. Sometimes you just want to be a happily married couple, not the parents of Raph and Colin.

We took just such a glorious trip. We packed up the kids, went to Nana's house in Texas and then RAN to the airport. Ok, so we didn't run, but you know. The El Dorado Royale is about the closest thing to Heaven I can think of. Its got more pools than I can count, even more BARS than pools, restaurants and 24 hr room service if you can't be bothered to leave your room. There was a Bloody Mary bar at breakfast with about 10 vodka's to choose from and the swim up bar opens at 10:00 am, a very respectable hour. After leaving our swim up room we could laze over to our pool bed and watch nothing happen. It was glorious. Where else can you have water balloon fights in the afternoon with a bunch of adults? Cocktails at the swing adults only does NOT = swingers, but there was a swing bar...where they had swings for you to sit on. Get your mind out of the gutter. We met many wonderful couples, wore bathing suits 80% of the time we were awake, ate dinner with new found friends and surprised people by saying not only were we not newly weds, but had been married seven years and have two kids.
That, my friend, is a good thing.

As I open an apple sauce cup and one diffuse Colin's repeated and over zealous temper tantrums this morning I fondly remember my best vacation in a long, long time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Boobs and diving

I don't know. Maybe I just breastfed my boys for too long, or maybe they will just grow up to be boob men, but they are obsessed with my boobs. Mike is proud and says stuff like, "That's MY BOY!" Sigh.

They each have their own way of going about it. Raph is more subtle and suave. He will start by hugging my waist then slowly stretch his arms up and then have both hands on my boobs and 'tune in Tokyo'. Its slightly horrifying. Or if you are snuggled up he will just start rubbing them absent mindedly. Colin on the other hand is about as smooth as a gravel road. He just grabs the neck of my shirt and yanks it down with one hand and rams the other hand down my shirt and flops it around like a fish out of water. Their individual methods are indicative of their personalities in general. Raph is soft and sweet, Colin's just a violent brute.

This is nothing new either. Once Raph was a baby and sitting on my lap during Mass. He was facing me and as I described earlier...started to 'tune in Tokyo' and says, 'DADDY'S!' Loudly. And in Mass. Mike said, "Yes that's right." Um NOOO they are MINE! My boys might have gotten to borrow them for a while but they have always been MINE. All mine. Maybe I did just breastfeed them too long. 14 months doesn't seem that long but the long term effects have yet to be determined...I'll have to ask their future brides.

Anyway, onto diving. Have you heard? The Olympics are on. Its this little sporting event that makes the average American an expert in all manner of sports. My office talked about swimming and diving and gymnastics for all total a couple of hours yesterday. And everyone has an expert opinion on the matter. We did all agree that the woman shot putter (is that a word?) seemed, um, shall we say, beastly?

At home we watched some of the Olympics. The synchronized diving was on. Raph had never seen diving before but he was impressed. "OOOOOHHHHH. LOOK at that! I want to do that! Can I do that!?" He was sort of bouncing on the couch standing up. I worried that he wanted to do it right then, but he never jumped. I told him that yes, when he's older he could try diving if he wanted to. He was all happy bouncing on the couch and then went straight faced, "Do I have to wear a swimsuit like that?" Ah yes, even my 4 year old thinks a man in a speedo is a very bad thing. Mike jumped in and said, "No you NEVER have to wear a swimsuit like that. Ever." Raph perked up and resumed his bouncing and cheering for the jumping man-boys on TV.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

No Colin NOOOOO!!!!

There is a reason I have so many gray hairs and why I have to keep regular hair appointments. He's a cute little honey but damn that boy gives me heart failure about once a day! Raph was so easy. Naturally because of my superior parenting skills. We never had to baby proof. He never made huge messes. Had an appropriate number of temper tantrums and never climbed. Ever.

Colin is a whole other beast. He was slow to move but once he got going he never looked back, or down.

By the way, he screams louder and longer when you take him off a table than he does when he falls off a table. Oy.

Why is his butt so big?

Raph posed this question this morning about his baby brother. We all laughed and said, "Well maybe he needs a new diaper?" Raph insists that Colin is in fact stinky (he wasn't) and that he needed a new diaper (he did). I suggest Raph change his diaper. Mike offers to teach him how to change a diaper and I run to get my camera. YEAH I'm taking pictures of this!

Colin is surprisingly docile for this diaper change. I think he was just confused as to WHY Raph was taking his pants off. After a few false starts undoing the tabs Raph gets the diaper off. Colin squeals and kicks with delight.

Raph struggles to get a diaper under Colin's butt b/c of all the kicking and laughing (by both boys and parents). He finally gets the diaper fastened then the real chore begins...putting the pants back on. With midget wrestling in full swing it would have been better to take a movie than a picture but I didn't dare switch modes lest I miss something. Raph got a little bit of education and we got a whole lotta entertainment out of just one little diaper change.