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Bad Seeds

I bought a different brand of clementines recently, since they didn’t have halos and cuties. I have found through my 8 year-old that they are not the same. I repeat, they are not the same. Run for cover. The clementines I bought have seeds. Oh my god, the horror!

When I was a kid, I thought I had it tough because I had to watch commercials and sit for long periods of time to record a song on the radio that the dj would be talking through.

I had to work my ass off when making mixed tapes. It took time and dedication. To top it off, that mixed tape I would work so hard on would get stuck in the player and the tape would come out.

Sometimes it was salvageable just by sticking a pencil in one of the holes of the cassette tape and rewinding it.

So, no, I didn’t have to walk 10 miles to school with a broken leg when I was younger but damn it, if I wanted to know who played that actress in the movie with that other actress, I couldn’t just Google or look on imdb. I had to suffer through not knowing until 20 years later.

That’s hardship, ya’ll.

I was giving my daughter a snack and while she was fast forwarding through the commercials of the show she was watching on the DVR, she sighed.

“Ugh. These aren’t halos. They have seeds. I don’t like these kind.”

“Oh, cry me a damn river.”

Okay, I didn’t say it but that’s certainly what I was thinking.

Instead, I was able to use my “when I was younger” lines.

When I was younger, we had to watch commercials.

When I was younger, we used a thing called a landline.

When I was younger, people thought and still think mullets are a smart life choice.

When I was younger, I had to eat whatever my mom cooked.

When I was younger, my family couldn’t afford the kinds of food we eat now.

When I was younger, my family could only afford to go clothes shopping once a year.

Before I could drive my daughter crazier, she stopped me and said “Okay, the seeds aren’t that bad.”

She ate the clementine with those icky, bad, and horrendous seeds that were causing her to have a bad clementine experience without any more complaints.

Mission Accomplished!

Now, does anyone have a pencil I can borrow?

Comments { 1 }

Go To Bed. Go To Bed. Go To Bed.

By the time my kid was seven years-old, I didn’t think sleep would be an issue for her.

It is.

Fucking fuck.

There’s always some ailment that needs tending to and is causing her to stay awake. Like that invisible scratch on her ankle, or she needs a hangnail cut off, or another good night kiss.

Well, a new bedtime hell has taken over the house and it’s all Bloody Mary’s fault. A classmate of her’s told the hummingbird how if she says Bloody Mary in the mirror three times, she appears.

Now, it’s all about Bloody Mary coming to get her and she’ll get up out of bed three or four times before she falls asleep.

Also, a few weeks ago, we had two power outages a few minutes apart. It was early in the morning and it woke her up.

So, besides Bloody Mary, we have to assure her that if it rains or snows, there’s most likely not going to be a power outage.

It doesn’t matter though. It’s just one more excuse for her to use to try and get out of going to bed. If only she knew that I know ALL of the tricks. But, she seems so sure that she’s pulling one over on me.

Sleep, how I miss you.

Comments { 2 }

The Reluctant Reader

young-girl-reading-jeanhonore-fragonard

I’ve loved reading as soon as I learned to. I gobble up books but also have this book hangover I go through after each book I read. It can be hard to keep up with my reading with a kid in the house who always wants my attention. I naturally assumed since I loved to read, my dna would make her feel the same.

Oh, how wrong I was. Asking her to read and having her actually do it is like pulling teeth. Once she gets started reading, she’ll sometimes get into it. Or, if I suggest reading to her, she whines nooooooo. I love reading her the Ramona Quimby books and she’ll independently read the Princess Posey books which I highly suggest since oh my god she actually reads them, thank you sweet baby jeebus, but again, getting her started up in reading is the biggest pain in the ass.

Here are the stages I’ve gone through with my reluctant reader.

Stage one: You need to read for ten minutes. Yes. Yes. No, you’re not going to see if Samantha is home. You’re going to read. Yes. Yes! Please go and read. Please? Just read. 10 minutes. That’s all I ask. Read. Read now. I got you several different books to choose from at the library today. Maybe you just haven’t found the books that you find interesting yet. So, please go read. Yes! Read! Go!

Stage two: Would you like me to read to you? Why not? Well, let’s have you read to me. Why not? Please? Let’s just sit down and you can read to me for only 10 minutes. You need to ready every day. Yes, you do. Yes. Please read now. Why not, Well, I’m sorry that you have a scratch on your ankle but that doesn’t mean you can’t read. No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. Please, hummingbird. Just read to me for five minutes then. Five minutes! No, it’s not that long. Okay, how about this. You can have a cookie after dinner. Okay, ice cream then. Yes, you can have chocolate sauce but then you have to read for ten minutes. You don’t want chocolate sauce then? Oh, you do. Then, yes, read for 10 minutes. Please just read now. Please!

Stage three: Okay, it’s time to read. We have two hours before dinner. Why don’t read for 20 minutes to yourself while I read too. Why not? No, you can’t watch PAW Patrol. It’s time to read. No. There’s no PAW Patrol while we read. The television is going off. There. Please read. Whichever book you want. There must be something you’d like to read in our library book bag. You picked out all the books. Please, pick something and read. Then, I’ll pick. Here. Okay, then you pick something now. Please, hummingbird. That looks good. Okay, you have twently minutes. No, I said for twenty minutes. Not ten. Twenty. Hummingbird, it’s only for twenty minutes. I’m not asking you to jump off a cliff. Twenty minutes and then you’ll be done for the day. Okay, how about if you read for twenty minutes and you can watch PAW Patrol. No. You can’t watch two. Just one for twenty minutes of reading. Fine, thirty minutes of reading and then you can watch two PAW Patrol’s. No, you can’t watch three. Only two if you read for thirty minutes. Okay. Thank you.

Stage four: Read! Yes! Now! Please, read now! I don’t care if you don’t want to. READ!

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I first started uttering this sentence last year. I never really got it until I took a good look at my house and saw it in such disarray and I wanted to ugly cry. I only have a 7 year-old but she makes the mess of twenty frat boys. Add to that a husband and holy shit, I’m done for.

Burps and farts galore – We instilled in the hummingbird at a young age that these things were funny. Now, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. My husband came from a “prim and proper” household where they NEVER did that and I honestly don’t think my in-laws have ever let out a good burp in private which could be why they are the way they are.

There’s no farting at the table but it doesn’t stop the hummingbird to let one rip which then makes me gag. The hubby will follow that with a large burp which he never usually did until we had the bird and poop and barf were a big subject between us when she was a baby. I’ve created gassy monsters.

Clothes everywhere – Asking kids to put their dirty clothes in a laundry basket is apparently one of the most difficult tasks since they end up leaving them all over the bedroom floor and scattered throughout the house. There’s a dress laying by our front door, dirty socks by the stairs, and shorts and a skirt just lying on the floor in the kitchen.

No matter how many times I stress to my 7 year-old that she must pick up her clothes, I end up being the one to pick all of that up. Her room on the other hand is her responsibility, which is why I try to avoid it. Her complaint is that “I can’t clean all this up myself” and my response is “But, you made the mess so you need to pick it up.”

Itty bitty Lego all over – The hummingbird and hubby love playing with Legos. I’ve never gotten it and have tried to be involved too but I’m just not into you, Lego. I have found there is something more painful than stepping on a lego. A few months ago, I stepped on a small My Little Pony and I’m not sure my foot will ever recover.

The shoe fight – Not only has the hummingbird acquired more shoes than I have, which is totally my fault, every damn morning, we still go through the shoe struggle. It starts off with the simple request of her getting her shoes on and ends up with me practically on my knees, begging for her to just put on shoes that fit.

Somehow, the shoes she outgrew keep coming back in the mudroom, even after hiding them from her, and it goes back and forth with me telling her she needs to wear shoes that fit. But no, that would be too easy. She wants to wear the shoes that just a week before, were hurting her feet. Oy!

Food on the floor that looks like someone went on a drunk eating binge – The little bird is currently going through a growth spurt which is awesome but most food seems to make it on the table and the floor than in her mouth. I wasn’t sure how that happens until a few nights ago after being at summer camp all day, she came home like she had been given red bull.

She couldn’t sit still at dinner and kept on hopping up to show us some dance moves she learned or she would sing us a song. She was bitten by the acting bug last year when she saw a school play of an older friend. And, just last week, after months of rehearsals, she was in a children’s stage production that she loved doing. So, she has been singing non stop for the past few months.

I’m all for that put please don’t fling your food around at the dinner table while getting up to belt out songs. It’s not just the food left under and around the dining room table but a buffet also starts forming around the couch and coffee table. The worst things I’ve stepped on, besides pee, is grapes and macaroni and cheese. The mushy feeling on the bottom of my foot is nasty.

I farted or I’m pooping – Even when it isn’t apparent, the bird has to make it known that she farted. Then, I get a whiff and run like hell from the room which she finds hysterical. When I can finally come back to the room, I’ll ask her what she’s been eating because damn, with all the food she leaves on the floor, one would think she has nothing to release that’s so stinky and awful. I also thought after the whole potty training experience, I wouldn’t have to deal with poop anymore but nope. She has to announce it every single time.

Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart and the smells and sounds will knock your ass out.

Comments { 2 }

Inconvenient

The Cycle Of Depression.

~~~~~

Things are fine.

I’ve just been feeling a little tired.

I’m so proud of my daughter and my husband seems to get me.

I’m starting classes in a few months and feeling a little nervous about my age.

I feel so old but who the hell cares.

This is big for me and I’m feeling pretty good.

But there’s a creeping sadness that I can’t seem to shake.

Maybe if I got to the gym an extra day this week, I’ll feel better.

~~~~~

I went to bed early last night but it doesn’t feel like I got much sleep.

There’s a tightness in my chest that seems to last most of the day.

There are a few times a day when I have a feeling of dread and I can’t seem to catch my breath at times because of the panic that has been seeping into me.

I want to talk about it with my husband but I know he won’t understand.

~~~~~

I don’t want to get out of bed.

I was up most of the night reading and watching Friends to take my mind off the anxiety and racing heart every time I tried to go to sleep last night.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the time I was 16 and was doing some really stupid shit.

Why couldn’t I have been a better kid?

And why did I treat my mom like shit and say what I did when I was 23?

I have no idea how I still have people in my life that deal with me.

I can be so selfish and ungrateful.

~~~~~

My classes are coming up soon.

I have no idea what I was thinking when I thought I could go back to school.

I can’t even find enough time to keep the house up and running.

I need to get more sleep but I keep waking up.

Last night I was thinking about how I yelled at my daughter that morning because we were running late for school.

That was so shitty of me.

Tonight when I was kissing her good night, she hugged me tight and told me she loved me in her sweet little voice.

Why can’t I be a better mother?

~~~~~

My husband took my daughter out ice skating Sunday morning and I slept in until 10 am.

Despite that, I’m exhausted.

I’m still not out of bed and it’s noon.

I can’t believe I didn’t go with them to watch my daughter ice skate.

She didn’t seem to mind but I should have gone anyway.

I feel like a burden.

I’m like some inconvenient thing to everyone I know.

My life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and I shouldn’t even take those classes next month.

Nothing really matters and everything I do seems inconsequential.

~~~~~

I don’t even know why I bother.

~~~~~

My daughter read a little story she wrote this morning.

It felt nice to smile again and mean it.

I wish I could be a better mom to my sweet girl.

My husband deserves a better mother for our child.

But I know I’m doing my best.

~~~~~

I finally got more than a few hours sleep last night.

If this keeps up, maybe I can make it to the gym in a few days.

I talked with my husband about the panic attacks I was having and while he didn’t seem to get it, I feel better that I said something.

~~~~~

I was in the kitchen this afternoon and turned on some music.

It felt good to dance around the kitchen and have a little fun.

Comments { 6 }

Failure To Thrive

gymnastics11

*I couldn’t read this back so there’s probably mistakes galore. And, sorry it’s so long.

Just typing this first sentence sends me into a panic from thinking about a terrifying moment one morning back in July. It’s been the main reason I had lost any interest in most things, including this blog. But things have been building inside my head and I need to be rid of them.

I’ve talked in the past about the hypoglycemic episodes we’ve had with my 6 year-old. Within 24 hours of her being born, she was rushed to the NICU for low blood sugar which was in its teens.

The hummingbird was taken off of medication within 2 months of being born and we thought that was the last of dealing with hypoglycemia.

Two years later, I went to get her up one morning and she was still sleeping, which was unusual. I woke her and while I was picking her up, she started twitching and crying while having spasms. She has never gone into a full-blown seizure though.

With each hypoglycemic episode she’s had over the years, there have been some where we could still treat her at home with honey and juice, and some where we would need to go to the emergency room. There were times where she would be released from the ER within 6-8 hours and other times when her blood sugar wouldn’t regulate and kept dropping to scary levels so she would have to be admitted for 1-2 weeks.

To this day, I worry 24/7 I worry about the possibility of her having a low blood sugar episode. Several of her episodes have been when she was sick but then there have been some episodes that have just come out of the blue.

The little bird has had so many tests and been to so many doctors but at the time, they didn’t seem to have many answers as to what was causing this. Also, the bird is small for her age so the specialists we’ve seen believed that there was another underlying issue but hadn’t been able to figure it out.

So, to be honest, I can feel like a wreck most days with the worry of whether or not she’s going to eat enough to keep her blood sugar up. She’s also very athletic and since she’s such a picky eater with not much of an appetite, that makes the worry and stress overwhelming at times.

We always make sure to have snacks with us wherever we go in case she may start showing signs of hypoglycemia. There have been times she had been so low upon waking up that we needed something much quicker to get the sugar into her because she can be very dazed and can’t follow simple instructions.

I usually dip my finger in honey and start wiping it on her lips and thankfully she has always responded to that by getting to where she can take it from a spoon. It’s probably only been a few minutes when dealing with these low blood sugar episodes but it feels like time stands still.

The bird didn’t have any severe episodes for a while and after we started seeing her most recent specialist, for the first time I’ve felt like I can ease up on the worry a tiny bit and I welcomed that.

When we go to her specialist, I cringe when I hear him say “failure to thrive”. It’s something we’ve been hearing over the years and I know it’s because of how small she is. She’s 6 but about the size of a 4 year-old. Hearing failure to thrive makes me fell like a failure as a parent even though I know we do our best. She’s just not a big eater.

Over the summer, my husband booked a cabin where we had stayed the previous year. It was really cool for us since living in Maine for the past few years, this was the first place we’ve lived where we’ve been here long enough to start traditions with our daughter.

We were also celebrating our 100th wedding anniversary in July so I was actually more excited than I was the previous year we went camping. And, yes. I think staying in a cabin is camping and that’s as close to “outdoorsy” as I’ll get.

I’m certain my kid was a fish in another life because she can swim for hours, which is what she and the husband did for the first few days.

We were all having a really great time, despite being a human mosquito buffet for 4 days and missing the comfort of my couch. My 6 year-old was eating pretty good and we were reconnecting as a family so I felt like I was finally able to unwind on our little vacation.

I promised her that we could sleep in the same bed the last few nights, which is a treat for her. I think it may have been my husband walking out of the bathroom that woke me up early that morning but within a few seconds, I felt the hummingbird twitching violently in the bed.

I took her in my arms to try and see if she was coherent but right away I saw that she was having a full-blown seizure. I want to throw up after typing that because all of the fear comes flooding back from that moment. I called to my husband to grab some honey but we found we didn’t have any. In fact, we only had things she would be able to drink, like juice, to help her get her blood sugar up but she was way past the point of being capable of drinking anything.

While I still had her in my arms, my husband rushed back with some strawberry jam that I started rubbing around her lips but she couldn’t even take that. That was the moment her eyes went into the back of her head and the hummingbird went limp. I feel terrible for even having this cross my mind at the time but I really thought the worst, I thought this was it. We had never experienced her in such a terrible state and I went in a state of shock, all while calling her name and trying to get her to come to.

She was throwing up before she lost consciousness so the jam I was able to get into her just came back up. The panic set in since she wasn’t responding and during this whole time, my husband was trying to get cell reception which was non-existent. The hummingbird started to show some signs of coming to… after what seemed like ages when in reality this episode was maybe about a few minutes. It’s strange how time seems to go in slow motion in an incident like this.

I was finally able to give her more strawberry jam on her lips and she was able to lick it off her lips but she still wasn’t responding to anything we said and in a daze. Understandably. The jam was all over the bed and the two of us were covered in it.

We knew we had to get her to the ER but since we were in the middle of nowhere and not familiar with the area, it made a very terrifying situation even worse. My husband found that the nearest hospital was over 45 minutes away and we had to rush the decision of what to do and decided it would be faster to take her to the hospital.

The hummingbird was still throwing up and in between, she started to accept the strawberry jam I was feeding her with my fingers. It was the car drive that lasted what felt like forever. We finally made it to the ER and thankfully, the little bird was in a much better state but my adrenaline was pumping like crazy and I still felt like I was going to throw up my heart.

They told us that her blood sugar was still pretty low at that point and we spent the next six hours there. This episode with her low blood sugar and seizure left my husband and I stunned but we had actually handled it more calmly than previous times with her hypoglycemia.

Reality hit me after a few hours while I was sitting beside my 6 year-old’s bedside. Seeing my child in that kind of medical emergency for the first time when it came to her seizure has honestly fucked me up. Feeling completely helpless while she had been lying in my arms and thinking the worst has guaranteed that my heart will never go back into my chest again.

I was asking the ER doctor all sorts of questions about seizures and having confirmation that there is absolutely nothing that you can do while someone has one made me angry. I felt that this is my child that I protect and love more than anything, yet I just have to let her ride it out was bullshit. I was irrationally angry about it for quite a while. It made the every day stress of dealing with her hypoglycemia shoot up with thoughts of not only dealing with her symptoms of low blood sugar but that now seizures were something that she might experience again.

When we went to see her specialist within the week, he told us that the chance of her having another seizure was high for the next two weeks and it was two weeks of hell. I didn’t want her to leave my sight. We are really lucky that she has the doctor she does because he is fantastic and has this soothing way about him. Although, after that visit, I was on edge.

To help the hummingbird’s blood sugar stay stable over the night, her doctor has us add a few tablespoons of uncooked cornstarch in yogurt that we give my daughter as a snack before bed. The cornstarch helps slows the digestion of what she eats and so far, she hasn’t had any episodes of hypoglycemia since. We’ve been back to her doctor for a second time and it seems like she’s doing much better with the addition of cornstarch. She’s even gaining a little more weight.

There have still been times since that we felt the need to check her blood sugar if she’s acting unusually tired and yes, that weird noise you may have heard a few weeks ago was probably my kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She still hates getting it checked and my heart breaks every time.

I’ve been teaching her more about nutrition and how important it is for everyone, especially for her because of these episodes she has. Things are sinking in for her that while candy is a treat, it’s so important to make healthier choices with food, like sliced avocado or cashews with craisans.

Every day I still feel like I’m teetering over the edge with the worry that this day may be the day her blood sugar takes a dive. It’s not easy when my anxiety already eats at me as it is. I just want to hug every parent out there who also has kids who have a health condition. And then sit down with a big glass of wine and a very loud ‘cheers’ because parenting isn’t easy.

Comments { 17 }

Who Is That Frantic, Disheveled, Crazy Mom Dropping Her Kid Off At School? Oh, It’s Just Me.

When we moved over the summer, we ended up being only a few blocks away from the hummingbird’s school. I had these images in my head of walking her to school in the morning, hand in hand, with all the time in the world. Easy breezy.

In reality, I think that has only happened once.

No matter how much time we have in the morning before she has to go to school, time escapes us and chaos ensues. Every damn morning.

I make her lunch the night before and have her lay out her clothes for school. I make sure her backpack and school folder are all set to go. Most of the time, I even remember to put her lunch in her bag before we leave the house. Yeah, I’ve gotten the call about my 6 year-old finding that I forgot it. Whoops.

I’ve found that I am happy as hell when she actually wants to eat school lunch since that’s one less thing to worry about getting done.

Despite ALL of the preparation, that easy breezy walk to school ends up being a mad dash to the car and a drive only a few minutes away instead.

Me: We have to leave in 10 minutes! Have you brushed your teeth and hair? No? Well, please do that now. Sweetie, we need to leave soon. You can watch Paw Patrol once you get home from school. Why aren’t you dressed yet? Did you brush your teeth? Okay, we need to leave in 5 minutes. No, you don’t need to change your clothes. Wear what you have on. It looks fine. Please, we really need to go in a few minutes.

Go put your shoes on. Wait, you didn’t brush your hair yet. Go brush your hair. Little Hummingbird?! What are you doing upstairs? I’m ready to walk out the door. Well, come on! Let’s go! Please! We’re going to be late! Why did you change your outfit? And where did your socks go? We need to hurry! Pleeeeease, let’s go!! I don’t know where that other shoe is. Just wear your purple shoes. No, you can’t wear your sandals. Because it’s too cold.

Sweetie, please, please, pleeeease just put on your shoes. We really need to go. Okay, well, I’m leaving. No, you don’t need to bring your My Little Pony stuffie to school. Leave it here. Pleeeeease, let’s go!!!!!! I’m walking out the door for real this time. I guess I’m going to school by myself. Then, come on and put your shoes on. Hurry! It’s time to go!!!

This happens almost every freaking morning. Oh my god.

We end up rushing to school in the car, I park since they don’t have a car drop off/pick up area in front of the school, and we zoom across the school grounds and go inside. As we do this, I see the easy breezy moms walking their kids into the school. Some are pushing strollers and may have a meandering toddler, along with their school age child. These moms don’t even seem to be breaking a sweat. They look so put together and are often chatting with other moms even though time is ticking away before the late bell.

There are a few moms I see with their hair and make up on point. Wearing skinny jeans, ankle boots, and a shirt that isn’t wrinkled. The nail in the drop off coffin is that these moms are almost always holding a Starbucks coffee. The two Starbucks we have in the entire area aren’t close by.

It would be one thing if they had a coffee from a nearby place but they have time to presumably shower in the morning, put on full make up and have perfectly coiffed hair, wear clothes that could go from day to a night out with the girls, get their children ready for school, AND on top of that they have plenty of time to drive 20 minutes to and from Starbucks before dropping their kid off at school.

I’m jealous!

And then there’s me. I’m so busy getting my one child ready for school that there are days I can’t even remember whether or not I even brushed my hair. I’m usually in my pajama pants and ugly but oh so comfy Uggs, wearing my husband’s comfy and oversized warm jacket. I’m also usually starving since I was only able to have a few bites of breakfast in between yelling for my daughter to HURRY UP, and I’m in desperate need of caffeine.

What’s worse is that I’m not much better when it comes to picking my daughter up from school. Except for getting a shower. I’ll get so caught up in doing things around the house and running errands. When I check the time, I’ll be happy to see that I have an hour or two before the hummingbird needs to be picked up.

I’m not sure what happens in that time… maybe I’m abducted by aliens and my sense of time gets screwed up from it but it never fails that the next time I check the clock, it’ll be 10-15 minutes before I need to pick her up. Wtf? So, instead of that easy breezy walk to her school in the afternoon, once again I’m making a mad dash to the car to get there on time. And of course, the couple of times I’ve been a few minutes late are the days she gets out of class early.

I know I’m just not cut out to be that chill mom bringing my kid to school with plenty of time to spare but maybe some day, I will actually have time to put on some real pants. Probably not but I can dream.

*Anna Nalick

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