Friday, April 21, 2006

Peanut had a great Easter. The bunny came by early and brought a wagon on Saturday. As soon as it arrived, Hubby and Peanut put it together. Peanut didn’t know exactly what it was, but he knew it was for him and that he should get inside it. Once the wagon was road-ready, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. He absolutely loved it.

We went to church, the first time we’ve been in 2 1/2 or 3 years. Amazingly, our minister remembered us and even asked about Mom. One of the old-timers had no idea who we were, and gave us the pamphlet for visitors. Heh. The church is still struggling financially and was only maybe a third to half-full. I wish they could find a way to attract more members, but it’s in a location away from the downtown area and there are so many other churches around. I may try to start going again every now and then, but the drive gets me every time. We left the house at 9:20 and weren’t back till around noon. I’m still mulling over going to our friends’ church, but I love the UCC and often find myself uncomfortable in other denominations.

Peanut made it through about 15 minutes of service…longer than we thought. He even wanted to sit on my lap instead of Daddy’s at first. Woot! He loved the singing, but started getting vocal and squirmy, so he and Hubby went outside. They fed the horse next door, which Peanut noticed as soon as we pulled into the church driveway. Apparently Puffs make a good horsie treat. Then they ran around in the grass and eventually got in the car. Peanut wanted nothing to do with his Elmo dvd, so he played with the windows, door locks, steering wheel, a/c, vents, and radio. Apparently he hit the horn or siren at one point, but I didn’t hear it, so hopefully nobody else did, either. At one point Hubby said Peanut cranked the radio up, paused for a second, then started rocking out. My little dude.

In the late afternoon, we went to Mom’s for dinner. It was a nice meal and Peanut enjoyed seeing her and playing with the plastic eggs she gave him. Hubby fixed the other broken switch and put in a new fluorescent bulb, so Mom now has her bathroom light back. After dinner we attempted an egg hunt, but Peanut was much more interested in the neighbors’ wind chimes, so we took him out in the wagon instead. He had lots of fun dropping plastic eggs on the road.

As usual, we got our weekly dose of crazy at Mom’s. After vehemently insisting on no presents, she got one each for Hubby and me. A book for him and a tank top 2 sizes too big for me. She repeatedly told us that neither item cost more than $5. And as usual, it was a complete waste of her money. The book will go on the shelf and the shirt will be donated to the thrift store if I can’t shrink it enough to wear it without flashing my boobs every time I lean forward. We were relieved with her no present request as it meant no tacky or inappropriate gifts.

I never did mention the Valentine’s Day gift did I? I think it was Valentine’s. She got me some ugly underwear, which I wear regardless. Pregnancy and the following lochia ruined most of my undies, so I’ll take what I can get. The kicker was the 2 pairs of fishnet stockings. She thought they were “sexy”. Ummm…not when they’re from YOUR MOM. Then she asked if I’d wear them to work. Maybe if I worked at the corner of 10th & Memorial. So she kept them for herself.
I had a snarky post all written out, then the circumstances changed for the better. Yay. But I’m still going to snark. Hubby and I were invited to his niece’s wedding (the one who will barely speak to me even if I directly address her) and were planning to go. Neither of us were thrilled about it given her attitude toward me, we’ll be dealing with the craziness that goes along with having all his siblings and our families including four kids under age 3 crammed into 2 houses, and that only his mom and stepdad bothered to come to our wedding,. The final straw was realizing the wedding is the day before Mother’s Day. A really cool outdoor arts festival always falls on that weekend in our town. Our county has little to offer culturally, so I look forward to it each year. I missed it last time, because I was wiped out from new-mommyhood, still pumping milk every few hours, and didn’t feel up to strolling around in 90+ temps. I’ve been looking forward to this year’s festival for months now and didn’t want to give it up.
When we realized the wedding was on Mom’s Day weekend, Hubby called his parents, conferred with them, and decided we’d postpone the visit a week. We probably won’t be missed at the wedding and will try to visit his middle sister, who we wanted to see, later this year. I do feel guilty about that. She’s the one both of us get along with best and we haven’t seen her younger child (who’s approaching a year old) nor has she seen Peanut. We rarely visit at the same time, so we only see her once every couple of years or so.
Another factor in the decision, petty as it may be, is that we got word from Hubby’s mom that the niece wants to trade part of her property for part of his. Hubby’s mom divvied up the family land last year and deeded a parcel to each of her kids and to the two girls. Niece ended up with a road-front chunk. Hubby got a chunk at the back, bordering forested land owned by a paper company on one side and a creek on the other. Honestly, as long as the creek doesn’t flood, I think he got the primo location. Niece isn’t happy with her land and wants to trade out and acre of road-front for and acre of his land. He and I discussed and came up with a unanimous HELL NO! We’d eventually like to put a small cabin on the property and use it as a vacation home…if we can ever pay off enough debt and save up for it. We like that it’s roughly 3 acres, meaning we can put a house smack-dab in the middle, away from any other structures. My opinion is that Niece is being greedy and spoiled. She, at 21 years-old, has been given 3 acres of land, to do with as she sees fit. Hell, Hubby was 32 when he got the land and we felt like we hit the jackpot. If she’s so spoiled she needs to look a gift horse in the mouth, so be it. I hope she’ll be too chicken to bring it up with Hubby (it appears she was trying to get Hubby’s mom to lobby on her behalf, which she refused to do) and will let it drop. My fear is that she’ll get Hubby’s youngest sister in on the lobbying act and we’ll never hear the end of it.

Gotta love the family drama.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Peanut has turned into the toddler over the past couple of weeks. He's walking most of the time now, although he does revert to the walker or to crawling when he's tired. He didn't even start crawling until he started walking, but I guess he realized it's easier than scooting. I still don't know how he managed to scoot so fast. Have you ever tried? It's ungainly.

This weekend we took our first family trip to the zoo. Peanut wasn't too much into the large animals, probably because they were so far away and sleepy from the heat. He did love the koi and birds. We went into the aviary twice and he was entranced both times. I even fed the birds the second time and had two on my arm, so I was able to bring them close to, but not within biting distance, of Peanut.

He still isn't very verbal, but we know he understands things. He can point out his belly button, nose, and head. He is fascinated with his belly button and likes to check ours out, too. When you ask where his head is, he smack, smack, smacks himself. Enough with the headbanging already!

He loves the moon and points it out during our evening walks. Apparently I was a moon lover, too, as Grampy pointed out. I annoyed him and our fellow travellers during a trans-Atlantic flight while lifting the window shade and exclaiming "Moon, moon!" Hey, the moon is pretty cool.

He also can point out the dog, fish, and cat in his favorite picture book and showed me that there's a picture of the dog on the cover as well.

(Are you puking yet. Want me to whip some photos out of my wallet?)

This morning, though, had to be the cutest. Hubby called as I was pulling into work.

"Guess what Peanut did. It was so cute. Noah from his daycare walked over to him and gave him a hug. Peanut looked at me and the teacher as if asking what to do. I told him "Love on Noah" so he gave Noah a big hug back."

I wish I could've seen it. Priceless.
Mom was doing really well for a couple of months or so. Of course, now we’re back to having health issues. She went in to the ER a week ago with severe abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, etc. She called us just after calling the ambulance: “I called the ambulance and am going to the hospital. Bye.” Me: “Why, what’s wrong? Is the ambulance there yet? If not, tell me what’s going on.” They diagnosed her with a kidney infection, gave her antibiotics, a painkiller, and some stomach meds, and sent her home at 4 am, when she called me to come get her. I was relieved she took the ambulance, which kept me from sitting 3-8 hours in the ER with her (our shortest wait has been 2.5-3 hours; the longest somewhere around 10), but it will be yet another bill to tack onto her debt load.

She’s feeling better, but still having stomach/abdominal pains. Her gastroenterologist still can’t explain why she’s having all the pain, diarrhea, and nausea. An endoscopy and colonoscopy have shown nothing. She went for a CT scan last week.

At least she’s doing fairly well emotionally. She seems to be pretty happy considering the pain and discomfort she’s been in.

What’s really worrying me, though, is her mind. I’ve been doing the old ostrich and ignoring the fact that she really would be safer in an adult-care situation. Mostly because I’m afraid if we go ahead and sell her place (which we’d have to do to fund any other living arrangements) she’d hate it and beg to have her place back (which we wouldn’t be able to afford).

Last night we got home to a 5-minute message on the answering machine. A switch in Mom’s bathroom broke and she can’t turn the fart fan off. She left a 5 –minute dissertation describing the problem, and we’re still not exactly sure what “broken” means. Did the switch physically crack and come off, or is it something in the wall/wiring? Who knows.

Hubby called her back and still couldn’t quite understand what was wrong after several minutes of talking to her. We finally came up with the solution of her systematically turning one breaker off at a time to see if she could cut power to the bathroom without turning off any vital (a/c, water heater, fridge) appliances. Luckily, the bathroom, an add-on, is on its own circuit. Somehow, in all the circuit-flipping, she managed to do something to the stove, so now it’s not working, even with all the breakers on. Well, that’s what we think. Hubby is going by after work to see if he can fix the switch and figure out what’s up with the stove.

Their conversation went something like this:

Hubby “Turn off the first breaker and check the fan. OK, it’s not that one. Now turn it back on and turn the next one off. No just one at a time….” “What do you mean the stove is sort of on. It works or it doesn’t. If the burner isn’t getting hot, it’s not working. Don’t burn yourself….” “Is the fridge running? When you open the door, does the light come on? Yes? Then it has power….” “How about the microwave? Yes, if the clock is blinking, it has power.” “Push harder on the big stove breaker. The 220s are harder to move. Yes, you can turn it back on, just push really hard.”

I’m not sure about the bathroom. Apparently, the lights don’t work, and haven’t for a while. I’ve never been able to get a clear answer as to whether it’s just that the fluorescent bulb blew out, or if the problem is in the wiring. Buying and changing a fluorescent bulb is too confusing for her, yet when I offered to buy a new one, she didn’t want me to.

I really wonder how she lives alone and manages not to burn herself down with her candles. She’ll leave the house or go to sleep with them burning. I’ve asked her many times not to light any candles unless she’s wide awake and nearby. I’ve even stopped by to visit when she’s out, noticed a lit candle through the window, and let myself in to blow it out.

She’s also gotten into this thing about not locking her door. Someone could come in while she’s taking a nap, and she’d never even wake up. She sleeps like the freakin’ dead and has gotten very deaf. She lives in a 55+ community, prime pickins for thieves (and the community has had its share of thefts), but I’m being an alarmist if I bring it up.


Update: We went to her house after work. Mom wanted to cook dinner for us, then realized that she couldn’t without a functioning stove. I told her I was going to pick up some fast food and asked if she wanted any. She didn’t and said she’d make baked potatoes in the microwave. Cool. I said I was still going to pick up some food since a baked potato, applesauce, and broccoli wouldn’t cut it.

Hubby calls me as I’m picking up Peanut. Mom started arguing with him about the food, convinced we’re eating just baked potatoes. Finally he puts her on the phone with me. Either she didn’t hear me (quite possible) or she flat-out wasn’t listening once she got the potato idea in her head (also quite possible).

Then she got pissed at Hubby for wanting to turn off the main breaker before fixing the switch. Hubby wanting to safeguard himself from getting electrocuted put too much of a burden on her potato-baking ability.

As we were leaving, we said we’d pick up another switch and fix the other one on Easter. She insisted that Hubby take the old one to make sure he gets the right kind. He repeatedly told her it was just a simple switch and he knows what to get. Even after she seemed to understand that he knew what to buy, she still kept on about it. Oy to the veh!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bad Mom

I'm feeling like a bad mom today. Not that that's any different from most days, but I'm feeling like an especially underqualified, low-skilled mommy today.

Last night Peanut wanted to play on his rocking dog. He has finally started to really walk on his own, so he was busy trying to get on and off Old Blue by himself. Of course he kept getting off-balance and keeling over onto his side or butt. Eventually he whacked his noggin on one of the handles and started to wail. That's when I stepped in and held and comforted him. I probably should have stepped in sooner, but he needs independent play and the only way he's going to learn balance and motor skills is by practice.

A little while later he wanted to play on the porch. I finally gave in when the only way to stop his crying was to go on the porch. He likes to climb on the footrests that go to our classy plastic Adirondack chairs. The footrests slope like little slides. Great fun for a toddler. He'd climb up with me hovering over him, then slide down. Eventually he decided to toddle over to someplace else. I was hovering, but not close enough, and BAM! he went facedown onto the concrete floor. He started to scream. I quickly scooped him up, then his nose began to bleed.

We're still having the nighttime sleep issues. Peanut ends up in bed with us at some point during the night. Every night. He also still gets a bottle or two every night. He's 16 months old, has teeth, and still get bottles. I can only imagine the cavities he's going to have.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The big story in the news today is Brian Doyle, the deputy press secretary for homeland security. Apparently, he's a shitbag child predator who was trolling online for underage girls. Instead, he hooked up with an undercover detective from Hubby's agency. Effing shitbag.