Deployment Curse Lifted? NOPE.

Almost. But nope.

Don’t know what I’m referring to? Start here. Then come back.

While this year has not been nearly as bad as those previous years, and I do think Little A’s lucky gene had a little hand in it, there were still some issues.

Multi-legged issues.

After living in Georgia and dealing with those giant bastards they call Palmetto Bugs – which are, in fact, giant motherfucking flying cockroaches – I can handle spiders. I don’t like them, but I don’t run shrieking from them like I used to. One smack of an oft-nearby flip flop and we’re good. Black widows in Georgia? No problem! SMACK.

So for the occasional stink bug that popped up in the bathroom this summer, I had hairspray and a toilet to take them down. That one that popped up in the shower got what he deserved. Because naked me + stink bug staring me in the face = holy freak out smack the bastard with a shampoo bottle then clean him the EFF up before he smells like a 1,000 year old gym shoe.

STINK BUG

Fine. Like, ten stink bugs. Totally tolerable. Not pleasant, but tolerable.

And then one day I woke up and two and a half of our pine trees were dead. Like, DEAD dead. Brown, barren, dead. And our fence was covered with cocoons. But I summoned some courage and went closer and saw they were moving. MOVING. Little wormy heads moving in cocoons. WORMS.  It was like a damn Stephen King novel in my backyard. And as I continued to survey the land, I noticed those shits hanging from the trees, like spiders. WHAT IN THE HELL ARE THESE THINGS?!

I ran inside. To ask Facebook.

LUCKILY Facebook knew the answer! Big A’s aunt, specifically. And I hauled my grossed-out butt to Lowe’s, examined every bottle of insecticide until I found one that specifically said BAGWORMS and then killed those weird, nasty, tree-destroying things. After the initial bug murder, I hosed the carcasses off the fence, lawn chairs, grill, trees, patio, everywhere they were. BECAUSE THEY WERE @#$!#!%$%$# EVERYWHERE. And then I gave a nice healthy preemptive spray down to the still living and brand new pine trees on the other side of the yard. The bottle told me I should.

So now, upon his return, Big A gets to uproot three seven-foot dead ass pine trees. Welcome home, champ!

I thought nothing could top Stephen King Mini-Series Bagworm infestation 2013.

At least I could deal with those from a. my kitchen on the other side of a door and b. with a bottle of poison attached to a hose. But then came the motherflipping. giant. undying. spiders.

My husbands car has been safely parked in the driveway, under a cover, since my dad drove it in June. Turns out, when a vehicle is immobile and has a tree on either side, spiders like to build GIANT FUCKING WEBS from the branches to the car. Webs you just have to walk THROUGH in order to get to YOUR car, which has been demoted to the street.

F that.

I didn’t think much of it, at first. Because in my head, I felt like I remembered some spider adage of “the smallest spiders build the biggest webs”. NO THEY DON’T. IT’S A LIE. THE BIGGEST !#$!#%! SPIDERS BUILD THE BIGGEST @$#$#%! WEBS.

For a few weeks, I ignored the webs. I waved my arm or a stick in front of us as we walked to the car so they wouldn’t stick to my face because there is nothing creepier than spiderweb on the face. But then one night, while taking the trash out, I was INCHES away from walking into the biggest web yet, WITH THE GIANT BASTARD IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. Like, literally inches. Thus ended my night time trash removal duties. We do that shit in the day now. So I sprayed that bitch with, you guessed it, insecticide. As well as the tree branches, driveway edges, garage door and sidewalk.

It’s indoor/outdoor stuff that’s safe for pets and kids, not the epic poison bagworm destroyer and I didn’t see any dead birds after, so I think it’s okay.

kill em all

Everything is good for a week or two. But then I’m walking into MORE webs on the OTHER side of the car. And then, last week, I SEE the new web building beastie. I’m pretty sure it’s the same one. so WTF. It’s hanging between the car and the tree, I can’t smack him with a flippie floppie, so I swat his web down with a freebie coupon clipper that has conveniently been left on my sidewalk. Before I can stomp him into oblivion, he disappears into the grass. MOTHER BITCH.

I’m not even joking, you guys. A few hours later, I opened the front door and THAT MOTHERSHITHEAD BASTARD DROPS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY FACE. It’s the same one. I just know it. And that demon with eight legs was waiting patiently for me. I yelled, unfortch, possible very loudly, “Jesus fuck!”. As the school bus was unloading its contents down the block. So now I am officially THAT person in the neighborhood.

So what do I do? Sprayed the other tree, porch, door, porch ceiling, table, doormat, moose, mailbox, EVERYTHING down. I tried to catch and smack the beast but, once again he alluded the flip. He’s a tricky one. It has to be the end of him, though. He got a direct spray of demon poison in his face. It’s like I made him shotgun a Natty Light.

Apparently, he’s a !#$!!#% frat boy, because him or his brother or his legacy cousin was ON THE !#$%#! TRASH CAN last night, which thankfully I was retrieving in DAYLIGHT because otherwise he would have gone unnoticed at 9.30pm. But he was finally on a hard surface. I had a chance. And in a moment of adrenaline, balance and hatred, I held the kid on my hip, removed a flip flop and smacked the everloving shit out of that beast. Once again, he disappeared into the grass. But I smacked him GOOD. He’s at least wounded. I put the kid in the high chair with a cookie, and once again armed with a bottle of shit that I don’t think actually WORKS, I sprayed down the trash can.

As well as all the trees, again, the driveway, again, the porch, again, you name it, again. I was like the Rambo of bug spray.

Seriously. WTF.

I was going to be happy to have my driveway back but honestly, I may let Big A keep it. He’ll leave in the morning before I do and take all the webs with him, should there be any. I don’t want that crap attached to my car. Or nesting inside of it. Waiting. Plotting against me.

Welcome home, honey! The driveway is alllllll yours.

I’d be afraid to get in that car if I was him…

So Deployment 2013 is hereby dubbed the Curse of the Creatures. And is thankfully thisclose to being over!

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A Battle of Wills. And Amoxicillin.

Dear @!#%! Baby:

If you could do things without being so extreme, I would really appreciate it. Case in point: your first ear infection. You being sick for the second time ever (your first being the 24 hour Merry Shitmas Flu) became AN EVENT TO REMEMBER.

Let’s review, shall we?

July 4

6 pm: You develop a fever. You throw your meatballs and sweet potato to the dog.

9.15 pm: I give you Tylenol and put you to bed after we saw a few neighborhood fireworks.

July 5

6am: Still burning up. I think, oh hey! I’ll give you a bottle and some more Tylenol and we can both go back to bed for a few hours! Neat! You chug four ounces. And then promptly superhork it all over both of us. With a bonus side dish of sweet potato remnants.

6.10 am: I dry heave.

6.20 am: I place our first ever call into the nurses help line. The sweet soothing-voiced RN advises clear liquid for 8 hours and the BRAT diet thereafter if liquids stay down.

8 am: After dual naps, you hork. On me. Again.

8.30 am – 2.30 pm: You nap and snuggle, on me, leaving me with an empty stomach and a full bladder and an inability to set you down, even for a minute.

Dr. McMopeyface

Dr. McMopeyface

2.40 pm: Somehow, you find an energy reserve and toddle around in your walker while I shove food in my piehole and Skype with your father. You refuse to drink anything. So we toddle off to buy some Pedialyte.

4 pm: I somehow force/trick/convince you into drinking three ounces of sickly sweet Strawberry Pedialyte. And then you cry for an hour. So I order a pizza (free, thanks to Homer Bailey and his no hitter) and drive around to keep you quiet.

6 pm – 10 pm: You refuse apple juice, pear juice, water, unflavored and Strawberry Pedialyte, flat ginger ale. We tried three different sippy cups, a regular cup, two different bottles, a mini bottle out of a first aid kid, the Tylenol syringe. I throw a bottle across your bedroom in a fit of frustration and sympathy for you.

10:30 pm: Your fever varies from 103.5 to 102.7 to 99.8 because apparently my thermometer is crazy and it sucks. I take the chance and give you Tylenol. Orally. Because mama ain’t messing with that nurse-suggested suppository thing. You don’t sleep through the night.

11.30 pm: Since you haven’t taken in much of anything fluid, I call the nurse hotline again. Which was less than helpful this time. It took them an hour to call back meaning my already well-delayed shower to unhork myself was on hold. Then I got another push fluids lecture. Because clearly they didn’t understand my pleas of “but he won’t drink anything”. Finally, with a sigh, she suggested Urgent Care in the next 24 hours, rattled off some street names (yep, not addresses, but STREET NAMES) and all but hung up on me.

Bitch.

July 6

1 am: I GET TO $^!$@!# SHOWER

3 am: I consider the single ounce of water a success. More Tylenol for you, you poor feverish space heater.

7.30 am: After several other interruptions of sleep, I give up and start the morning. You GRAB the sippy cup of water from me and chug. I gleefully dance. Two ounces, down the hatch!!

7.35 am: Oh, look. water can flow upwards.

7.36 am: Dammit.

8 am: We arrive at Urgent Care as the doors open. It was not located on any of the streets suggested.

8.30 am: The doctor thinks you’re a girl. He says you have a double ear infection. He tells me to push fluids. IS NO ONE #%@!# LISTENING TO ME?! Suggests going to the ER if fluids don’t happen by late afternoon.

9 am: Pick up Amoxicillin at the Pharmacy. As the doors open. Nailing the early birds specials today, we should have gone for pancakes. Somehow, I get you to ingest the pink goo, which apparently has not seen a makeover since at least 1981, as well as more Tylenol, and then I think I’m on to something and put water in the syringe. It doesn’t work.

9.30 am – 1 pm: Naps, snuggles, sad faces.

1.30pm: Clearly, this drinking thing isn’t happening and the effort is stressing us both out and I make the decision to bring you into the ER.

2 pm: I cannot console you. I have a hard time maintaining composure and I can’t do anything to help you. When the time comes, it takes me, a nurse and a tech to hold you down to draw blood and insert the IV. Your dehydrated tiny little vein kept rolling and you were thrashing like a crocodile. It was intense.

3 pm – 4 pm: You wore yourself out imitating a giant reptile, so you sleep through your whole drip. I watch TV.

4.30 pm: Doctor insists you try to drink or intake some sort of liquid. We try apple juice. We fail. So you get your very first Popsicle! Yay! Grape! You try it. You don’t like it. You try it again. I think you like it. You like it for about three minutes and then it’s curtains for Mr. Grapey. I look at it longingly, as it slowly melts in the vomit tray. WHY OH WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE GRAPE?!

4.45 pm: After blood tests are reviewed, they determine you to more dehydrated than anticipated. So we get another hour of IV (and TV) Time.

6.45 pm: Concerned that you are still refusing to cooperate, Doc insists we try more liquid. Eventually, you drink formula. I hold my breath the entire time. Because, SUPERHORK. But…@!$#!# SUCCESS! I’m not sure what would have happened if you had refused it, or yukked it back up, but I was over being in the hospital. And I was hungry. And I had to pee.

wpid-IMG_20130706_202115.jpg

7.30 pm: With a parting gift of Anti-Spit Up Enfamil, we are discharged.

10.35 pm: I get a well-deserved cocktail. And a bath.

TELL ME THAT WASN’T THE LONGEST FUCKING DAY OF ALL TIME.

I held you for seven hours.

SEVEN @!$%!~@ HOURS.

Three days later you are doing much better, back on food and drinking regular formula like a champ, though it did put my transition to whole milk on hold because I’m not going to ruin a good thing right now. I can tell you are still uncomfortable and I hate that there is so little I can do for you. It is frustrating for both of us.

So when you get sick next time, darling !@$!@ baby, I hope you remember the lessons learned from this time.

Namely, DRINK SOMETHING. ANYTHING. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Did I Detect a Niner?

Dear Little Dude.

Are you seeing this?! Your mom is almost on time with this on!

You turned nine months like a week and a half ago. And you were almost on time for your well baby visit. YOU’RE WELCOME.

You’ve grown in height, up to 27.5 inches, putting you into the 20th percentile, which is neat. Better than your usual 5-10%, anyway.

Your weight, housed mostly in your cheeks, cranked up to 16lb 110z, which I was proud of, but doc was not so now I get to try and cram more food down your gullet and go back for a recheck in six weeks. Which obviously, makes me only think of: YOU’RE ON THE GRID! EAT!

Thing is, you eat all the fricking time and then don’t stop moving, so clearly the answer is for you to exercise less and nap more.

You’ve still got the murmur, which I keep being told is nothing to worry about.

Which is totally cool. BECAUSE NOW YOU’VE GIVEN ME SOMETHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT.

You don’t really say consonants yet and quite honestly, I never gave it much thought. I read somewhere that infants who do well physically may be slower in picking up the verbal. I read somewhere that babies not in day care or around other children may also be slower in verbal development. I heard anecdotes that supported both theories. And since I stay at home and we don’t leave the house, it all made sense.

Sure, there are afternoons when I wish you would read poetry to me instead of screeching like a pterodactyl, but !@#%! you’re a baby. So I shrugged and you screeched and I didn’t give it further investigation.

I mean, for $@%! sake the cardinal rule of baby rearing is that they all have their own pace, right?!

So imagine my surprise when the pediatrician, who normally looks at me like I’m 93.7% crazy when I ask questions about your development, gave my in-passing “yeah but he doesn’t do this” comment a cause for concern.

SAY WHAT NOW?

All of a sudden I’m being talked to about hearing tests and referrals and speech delays and I don’t know what else.

hearingref

THE ONE TIME I’M NOT CONCERNED I SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONCERNED?!

Dammit all, I’m the world’s worst hypochondriac.

Now I have a referral that includes the phrase “speech delay” and the word “disorder” but I’m supposed to “not worry”. I blame myself, though for what I’m not sure. We watched too much Full House. You’ll never say ice cream right. I made you nap when we should have been learning Portuguese. I didn’t ask you how big you were. (Hint: SOOOO BIG!). I made you practice fake coughing for future use in your scholastic endeavors instead of saying Mama.

Now I give everything you do the side-eye. I analyze every move, wondering if you’re smart or delayed or an idiot or whatever. Regardless, you’re happy, you still make us laugh and you’re cute as shit.

I BROKE YOU. I’M SORRY. I’ll throw away these Harvard brochures and pick up some applications at Burger King.

You’ve got to be better than McDonalds, right? Mama wants a discount on Frozen Cokes.

New-ish Dog, New Tricks

Apparently February and March became LOOK WHAT I CAN DO months and this kid won’t stop learning shit. SLOW DOWN.

This out of shape mom can’t keep up, dammit.

While I was home in Minnesota, the kid decided that pulling himself up on the ottoman was the greatest thing ever. And then it was climbing the entertainment center handles like a ladder.

And then bonking his head.

And crawling up a single step. And down it. And up. And down. And crawling over a stool rung.

And then bonking his head.

We decided Minnesota was dangerous.

He also started legitimately crawling, not that army crawl shit he’d been doing since the beginning of the year. Up on all fours, crawling his little ass off. And evidently he can sit unassisted. Which he may have been able to do before but since he never sits still, we never knew. But now we know. And he can.

He also learned what “No” means, though it lacks a specific definition in his little brain. He’ll stop what he’s doing, turn to look at us, stick his tongue out, twinkle his eye, then continue on his destructive mission.

He will also “give kisses” now, but I wouldn’t recommend getting one unless you want to lose some hair and have a wet nose. He claws the sides of your face, pulls you close by your hair, then tries to eat your nose. It’s gross, painful and damp but holy shit it’s cute. And it’ll make you melt when you’re angry and frustrated and trying to get him to nap and he does it unprompted for the first time.

puddle

He can also #$@^%! walk behind one of those lawn mower-esque pushers. He just turned nine months. He shouldn’t be able to do that. I don’t think. April is already headed down a bad path.

Just gonna park this over here for now. Can't believe this place doesn't have valet.

Just gonna park this over here for now. Can’t believe this place doesn’t have valet.

We lowered the mattress again (gentle weeps), added some teething guards, further baby proofed, got rid of the coffee table so he could have more room for activities. Every morning I find him standing in the crib. Every afternoon I find him standing in the Pack and Play after nap time. All day I chase him around yelling No No No No No! All he wants to do is stand and crawl and try to walk.

All I want to do is nap. I’m not ready for this level of mobility.

I Don’t Even Know

Dear !#%@# Baby.

In November, I swelled with hope and pride over the changes that were happening in this country. I was excited about the future and where we were headed as a nation.

But sometimes, Little Boy, LIFE gives us a swift kick in the ass reminder that people can be inherently awful.

Awful isn’t even enough to describe it. Horrendous? Sick? I don’t even know.

I have so much to say about the tragedy that happened in Connecticut, yet even today I’m practically speechless. I put myself on a debate moratorium yesterday out of respect. I understood why people wanted to discuss it, but let’s face it. Today is today and the ugly horrors of the day before still remain. But yesterday was about the kids. The innocents. The precious, the lost, the angels, the always to be remembered.

You are much much much too young to even fathom such horror and for that I am thankful.

I hope this is THE event that spurs change, not just discussion and debate that fizzle out as the coverage wanes.

Do I think there needs to be changes to gun control laws? Absolutely. Do I think that will solve everything? @#%! no. People who want to destroy and are driven by the need to destroy will find a way to destroy with what they can get their hands on. If it’s not guns, it’s bombs. If it’s not bombs, it’s fire. If it’s not fire, it’s anthrax. Shit, it’s anything. And I know this is a unfavorable opinion in most of the circles I run in, but guns aren’t always the enemy. I’m not going to lie, we are sort of a gun friendly family. It’s not like we have them just to have them, we have them in the hopes we never EVER have to use them. And my husband as more than extensive training. And I’ve had my turns at the range even though I get totally nervous. I don’t think a total banning of guns is the answer. Training, safety, more extensive background checks, psychological evals, those things all may help. Changes do need to be made.

But other things need to change. Lots of other things need to change. The access to mental health care is being brought up extensively and there is truth to that as well.Warning signs, obtainable care, again with the psych evals, anything. That’s not the solution, though. Just (hopefully) part of it.

There is no easy answer here. No single thing is going to make these horrendous events stop.

I don’t have the answer. I doubt anyone can.

I’m not even going to dive into the media coverage. The interviewing of kids, the misinformation, the misidentification, the naming of the suspect, it was all too much. MEDIA. PLEASE. While we all want to know the details as fast as possible in order to TRY to wrap our heads around it, we want the correct, verified information. And so many people have said it but I am saying it here too: Stop naming the shooters. They seek notoriety and you are giving it to them.

And I can’t be the only one who wishes these $^#!ers wouldn’t kill themselves after the fact, am I? I want them to suffer somewhere else, in hell on earth, being tortured by a constant slideshow of photos of those they killed. Or like I said on Facebook, I don’t condone suicide, but if killing innocent people – especially CHILDREN – is your plan, holy shit, just kill yourself FIRST.

To say my heart is breaking isn’t nearly enough. I cannot imagine what these families are going through and being a parent new seems to magnify my reaction. Watching the President’s address had me nearly unable to catch my breath. When he finished, I couldn’t take any more and changed the channel. I can’t fathom the emotions the families and the community are wrestling with today. I don’t WANT to. I shouldn’t HAVE to.

You, $^!# Baby, were thankfully oblivious. Smiling, giggling, playing, learning. And when you stared at me in a way you haven’t ever done before, while I was laying next to you on the floor sobbing, I felt like you knew something was going on. I’m totally projecting, but dammit if you didn’t let me snuggle you for a long time without your usual squirms.

I don’t pray. I’m not that type. But shit if I didn’t catch myself doing it several times yesterday and I’m sure that will continue.

I am praying for the families and community of Newtown. I pray for all of us. And @#!%! Baby, I pray for you to grow up in a nation where you only hear about these kinds of tragedies as past events.

And you’ll look up me me and say, “Mom. What the fuck.”

And I won’t even scold you for swearing.