Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Writing About Vomit AGAIN

Three things I learned last night:


1. I have super vomit hearing.  The moment a child of mine begins to hurl, I pop wide awake, even from a dead sleep.  No baby should have to puke without the comforting presence of a parent to hold them, so I instantly wake up and then I immediately elbow Tony in the ribs so he runs to the sick child.  Tony was barfed on three times last night, I wasn’t barfed on at all, so I think that makes this a superpower.


2. Freddie doesn’t chew his food.  The first bout of stomach upheaval reminded all of us that we had chili for dinner and had me and Tony picking up whole beans from the floor and out of the bathtub (the bathtub is a convenient place to hold a puking child).  Granted, Freddie doesn’t have many teeth, but I thought for sure that he gummed more of his bites than that.


3. Buster values his sleep.  Not even the nearby chunks of baby vomit or the frantic activity of two parents waving their hands over a sick baby will get that dog to move from his convenient sleeping spot in the middle of the hall.  He snorted at us a few times, though, obviously perturbed by the activity.




Poor baby.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Installment of “Being A Parent Is Awesome”

My car smells faintly like vomit.  It’s as awesome as it sounds.


Jamie was the first to vomit in our car, almost a year ago, but this time, I was the hurler.  I came home from work, felt fine, went for a run, felt fine, picked up Charles, started to feel bone-tired, jumped in the van to go pick up the kids and all of the sudden was NOT FINE AT ALL.  I called Tony to go get the littles from daycare as I was going to turn the car around and hope to make it home before I spewed.  No such luck.  In an act of extreme disrespect for the dead, I started vomited just as I passed the cemetery.  I pulled off on the next street and finished the job while Charles and Buster hung their heads out the window, trying to get away.


In my defense, I had a plastic bag (hello, I drive a van, of course I had a plastic bag), but driving and vomiting is a tricky act, and I missed.  I drove the last quarter mile home with a sack of puke in my lap, riding the high before the next wave.


When you’re the mom, you have to clean up after your own damn self.  You have to rinse off the floor mat, you have to grab the windex and the paper towels, even if you still feel terrible.  You have to start the load of laundry after you strip your barfed-on clothes and shoes in the laundry room.  You have to make sure that the dog gets out and the children are okay before you can lie down and moan.  And then later you get to clean the toilet and then the car again and do the puke laundry and wipe down all door handles to inhibit the spread of germs.


I think we can all agree that life was better when our moms cleaned up after our sick messes. 


Much like the last time I got food poisoning (what did I eaaaaaat???), I have vowed never to get sick again.  It’s perhaps the main reason we’re not having any more children.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mr. Seven

Sometimes I look at Charles and I see how small he still is.  He still has a roundness to his cheeks, a softness to his skin, and the movements of a little guy: he throws his whole body into action, whether he is bouncing on the pogo stick or climbing a tree.  He has none of the physical reserve and caution of movement displayed by, say, a ten-year-old.  But then sometimes the juxtaposition of this 52-inch tall boy with his younger brothers hits me right in the heart and I see him for the big kid he is: reading chapter books with frenzy as if they were as important as breathing air (they are, my young bibliophile), building LEGOs for hours on end, talking seriously with me about math homework or foster care or Minecraft.


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He’s seven years old now, and he’s not screwing around anymore.  He’s serious.  And God help the person who doesn’t take him seriously.



He actually said that to me.


Much like his parents, he prefers to be busy all the time.  He reads, builds LEGOs, plays outside, plays inside, or loudly complains of being bored, at which point I make him vacuum or unload the dishwasher (it’s working – he doesn’t complain of being bored much!).  He would rather that we always, ALWAYS go somewhere to do something, and that preference is rubbing off on Jamie, who asks me every night as I kiss him goodnight, “Mom, what are we doing fun tomorrow?”  Indoor bike park, outdoor skate park, Children’s Museum, Jungle Playland, outdoor park, swimming, costumes, LEGOs, train sets, Lincoln Logs… it’s downright exhausting being their mother.  For his birthday, he chose roller skating because it’s not much of a party if we’re not sweaty and running into each other.




Charles, of course, doesn’t run into anyone.  His best friend beat him in the race, and he humbly congratulated his buddy, but now he’s even more determined to practice.


2015 11-08 Dad's camera 554  2015 11-08 Dad's camera 514 


He chose pie instead of cake.  My kids might not look much like me, but they are mine.  They choose pie for their birthdays and they love to read.  Blood will out, as they say.


2015 11-08 Dad's camera 548


I guess the best endorsement for our parenting is that Charles is wonderful kid.  He loves his brothers and works hard to make them laugh and take care of them, he has kind friends, and (other than in photos) he smiles a lot.  His occasional tantrums and frustrations serve to remind me that he is still a little boy and he still needs his mom and a gentle touch.


Sometimes.  Other times, he gives me a look and says, deadpan, “Mom, thank you cards are LAME.”  So there’s one fight I get to have this weekend.  Thank you cards for birthday gifts might be a bit late, friends.


*Thank you, Joe, for the lovely photos.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Squishy Squash

My children love squash.  I told Charles once, long ago, that it was “nature’s candy” because it was so sweet and I guess that convinced him.  He will happily request it as a vegetable with dinner and he laments the summers when we can’t buy acorn, delicata, or carnival squash.


I really, really like butternut squash, but it’s a bit more difficult for the kids to enjoy.  It’s more dense, for one thing, and not as sweet, for another.  Charles and Jamie gamely make their ways through a serving of butternut squash, but never a very big one, and never seconds.  Smaller, sweeter varieties are where it’s at for my boys.


The last butternut squash I cooked was HUGE, so there were lots of leftovers.  Despite the looks of disgust on my older boys’ faces, I made muffins with that leftover squash and I am now claiming to be a genius of the highest order.  I’ll share my magic with you because you, too, deserve to eat awesome (healthy-ish) muffins.




Butternut Squash Muffins


2 Cups cooked butternut squash

1 Cup milk (I used whole milk)

1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour

1/2 Cup sugar

2 Teaspoons baking powder

1/4 Teaspoons salt

2 Teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 Beaten egg

2 Tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Puree squash with the milk (an immersion blender works nicely for this).  Add egg, butter, and squash puree to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Spoon mixture into lined or greased muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.