Saturday, November 15, 2008

3 Kinds of Zen

In the last 24 hrs I have experienced 3 types of zen. The first is the most obvious type. I got a hot stone massage. When you think about it in too much detail its really quite absurd. You pay lots of money to get naked in a room with crock pots full of rocks. Then you have somebody rub said hot rocks all over your naked body. Yes that does sound, shall we say, stooooopid. I assure you though, the effect is far from stupid. Even the tiny little rocks between your toes are amazing and the one right in the middle of your forehead. Ahhhhh hot rocks. All of them were wonderful, but the best part was at the end. I was laying on my stomach and the massage therapist took a hot rock, followed by a cold rock and quickly ran them from the soles of my feet to my shoulders and back again. Oh it was heaven...sorry no pictures to share for that one.

The second kind of zen is more cathartic. I resigned myself that I will NEVER fit into those size 0 pants again and gathered them all up in bins. I went through my closets, drawers and shoes boxes slash and burn style. I filled 3 big bins with stuff that I won't wear, shouldn't wear and don't really care to wear. It was such a great big pile it prompted Mike to do the same. We now have about 150 empty hangers and lots of extra room in our closets and no more guilt staring you down every time you open the closet doors. Ahhhhh.

The third kind of zen is possibly even more rare. Raph said he wanted to lay down and take a nap. WHAAAA?! I said, "SURE!" and ushered him off to bed. Colin had already laid down easily and now Raph ASKED to lay down. As I type this he's still not actually in bed, but whatever. He's gotten up to use the bathroom at least 3 times but he's quietly hanging out in his room. I will never complain about that, ever. So here I have a rare moment alone at the computer. Colin asleep, Raph pretending to be asleep and Mike dropping off all those clothes we packed up at our local thrift shop for donation.

Ahhhhhh bliss. Though I think its the calm before the storm. I volunteered to bake gingerbread cookies with 4 boys, 4 and under. I'm glad I never got around to cleaning my floors yesterday but I'm sure today's aftermath will require a thorough scrubbing!

Hmmm, no pictures for this entry. I can't let that happen. How about this one then?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wrestling with Peanut Butter

Any parent of a kid with food allergies knows what I'm talking about. The fear, anxiety and foreboding that comes along with finding out that your child has an anaphalactic allergy to peanuts. Right now Raph is sheltered from that deadly nut. He's got me and Mike and a peanut free school. Its next year that worries me. When he's in Kindergarten who will protect him? What if his new best friend eats a PB&J every day for lunch? They have systems in place for peanut allergic kids but they are still 5 year olds.

At least Raph is so particular about food that he's not about to accidentally eat anything out of the ordinary. If things are in the wrong shape sometimes he won't eat it. I won't have to worry about him picking up a random food at a party or school or a friend's house...he's just that way.

For now, though, he's protected and we have one small jar of peanut butter on a high shelf in the corner of our pantry. I reserve that peanut butter for times when he's not home or not eating. Sometimes I want some peanut butter, ya know?

Colin's never had peanut butter before. I had him tested and he fortunately has no food allergies but I still have this dread when it comes to peanuts. Its unfounded because I know he won't ever need that epi pen stashed in my diaper bag...I still get nervous though.

Today was one of those days when I felt the need for some peanut butter. I made a waffle, put a little peanut butter on it and syrup. Mmmmm. Colin was eating his normal, plain, waffle and I cut a square off for him to taste. As I was handing it over to his fat little fingers I had those bells ringing in my head. Warning me : NOOOOO DON'T DO IT!!!!

I know he's not allergic. I know he will be just fine but I can't just idly hand it over. I watch him intently as he tastes his first bite of peanut butter. He stops and moves his tongue around in his mouth and then goes for more with a smile. What's not to love about peanut butter?

I still watch him carefully as I share the rest of my waffle with him. Watch for swelling and hives and blue lips. Of course none of that happened. He happily enjoyed his new found treat. Then the time came for clean up. I have to make sure that he is thoroughly cleaned. I clean his hands and face in the sink, wash his bib and check his clothes. What if when I wasn't watching he rubbed some in his hair? Then Raph later goes and kisses him and gets some on his mouth and stops breathing?

I clean the table. I wash it down with soap and water three times just to be sure. I wash my own hands and face and look at the butter knife in the sink. What if he touches that? What if that knife touched something else on its way to the sink? What if, what if, what if?

This is how I wrestle with peanut butter. Every now and again I eat some peanut butter in my house. This time I even shared my guilty pleasure with Colin...but what if this time I don't clean it up well enough? Every now and again I have some peanut butter but then realise the risk and fear and clean up that comes along with it isn't worth it. Not today, not my baby. Maybe next year I'll try again and Colin can eat peanut butter when he's at a friend's house someday.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Fall Picnic

Every now and then a 4 yr old can have a stroke of genius. Raph said, "Mommy we should have a picnic today." BRILLIANT! Its probably the last warm day of fall, our maple tree exploded leaves in our backyard and we had nothing planned. Perfect.

I made up a nice basket. Colin frantically signed 'eat' and 'more' while I fixed it and threw himself on the floor repeatedly, but we made it out the door. We ate our "healthy, nutritious picnic lunch" as Raph so aptly stated.
After we picnicked the boys played in the leaves and we made a mountain of leaves at the bottom of the slide. What could be more glorious than flying into a mountain of leaves!?

I re-raked that pile about 900 times and helped Colin to the top of the swing set just as many times. It would occasionally *rain* leaves and all was just perfect.

I've decided Colin must be part cat b/c he used one of his lives today. I had helped him get to the top of the fort on the swing set. I went around the front to re-rake the leaves and I see him heading for the rock wall. I walk over to make sure he's safe and ::pouf:: he goes head first, then end over end off the top of the fort and down the rock wall. I caught him and flipped him. It looked like a lift from a dance show. It was impressive. Caught him and he cried. Not because he nearly bashed his head and broke his neck...but because he was no longer at the top of the fort.

I swear this boy is either going to kill himself or give me a coronary before he makes it to Kindergarten. But you know, other than that today was just peachy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Raph has been talking about Halloween since August. Its so much fun now that he has the anticipation for holidays. He wanted to be a Ninja Turtle this year, Leonardo to be exact. I couldn't play the whole "they don't make Ninja Turtle costumes" like I did last year. I just can't get into the super hero thing but then again, I'm not a 4 yr old boy.

Raph picked his costume early and Target only had Raphael in his size. Raphael is an inferior turtle. Having the same name as him wasn't good enough, he HAD to be Leonardo. So we bought the 3 sizes too big costume that he adores. We also found a hand me down Spiderman costume so he's been alternating costumes for each event we've gone to. Spiderman has also been to the grocery store, Target and Sams. Leonardo will not be worn for the everyday and reserved for only most special of occassions.
Colin, though still a baby, is not the fuzzy animal costume wearin' sort. We had planned on him being John Belushi from Animal House. Complete with a Preschool black tshirt and a toga. He freaked out when I came at him with a toga and ripped off the laurel in disgust. Plan B was a pirate. He makes an adorable pouty pirate.

In celebration of Halloween we went to Boo at the Zoo, a Parents As Teachers party, school party and parade, party at an old neighbor's house and of course Trick or Treating. All in all it was a great Halloween.
This was the parade at school. Note Colin is NOT walking and made me carry him the whole time. Sigh.

It took Colin about 30 seconds to have it all figured out. He'd march up to houses, press his little face to the glass and grab handfuls of candy and excitedly scream DOGGIE if there was a dog in the house...then try to enter said houses. If someone took too long to answer the door he was off to the next house.

Raph even said Trick or Treat and Thank you, though he kept forgetting his joke. Big step in the right direction this year. He even would tell people which Ninja Turtle he was...all that from my typically shy and silent Raph is huge. He also only got freaked out by one dog. Again major improvement. Last year he was terrified of a Weiner dog lmao. In his defense, that dog had a Napoleon complex or something and was *vicious*.
Check out this loot! This is before we added the zoo candy but I don't think Raph could be any happier.
From the left clockwise: Pretzels, the Great Pumpkin doesn't want no stinkin' pretzels! Safe fruit candy (read: Raph's pile). Pumpkin-o-death (read peanut candy or Mommy's pile). Safe chocolate candy (read: Colin's pile).