Monday, March 23, 2009

Fat Chance!

We recently switched Riley from one gymnastics program to the other and the results have been amazing. We always had this feeling that it just might be her thing, but we never thought we’d see the kind of blindingly fast results that we’ve seen in the last eight weeks. The girl never ever stops doing gymnastics. It’s as if she lacks the ability to sit still anymore, filling every solitary moment perfecting her moves. Her talent and skills are way beyond anything I ever mastered and it is pretty cool to watch. But as cool as it is, we do eventually tire of straining to see the Barefoot Contessa through Riley’s cart wheeling legs. When I saw a professional gym mat belonging to one of her coaches for sale today, I had to pick it up. I then set it up in the living room, far away from the TV, with hopes of catching a great new recipe while they entertained themselves.

It actually worked. For nearly thirty minutes, it was loud, but they were happy. Just as Ina added the finishing touches to her risotto, the noise from the other room escalated and Riley showed up with a bloody nose. Two minutes later, Finn’s stitched ear was bleeding. Time out.

We switched gears by getting the Easter d├ęcor out of the basement. That took a total of five minutes and my spring breakers were bored again. (Yes, it is going to be a long week – what I wouldn’t give for a condo on the beach in Florida!) Unfortunately, their thoughts turned inquisitive and my daily reward was delivered.

“Mommy, why is your stomach so big?” asked Riley.

“What?” I choked.

“Well, she doesn’t want to say the word, but she wants to know why you’re fat,” Logan translated.

“I’m not saying that!” said Riley.

“Yes, she is mom. She just doesn’t want to say it,” said Logan.

“Mommy, you got a baby in your tummy?” added Finn.

“I wish you would have another baby!” said Riley.

“Yeah!” squealed both Logan and Finn.

“Fat chance,” I thought as I looked at them. “Fat Chance!”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bite Me!

You get used to the looks and scowls you receive while walking your Rottweiler around. After twelve years, it doesn’t even bother you when people instinctively cross to the other side of the street when they see you coming. You laugh when you think back to friends and family suggesting you might find her a new home when you decided to have kids. You’re thankful every moment you have her that you didn’t listen and that you gave your children such a strong, loving animal force to have and hold and remember. When she leaves you, you can barely stand a moment without a dog to love so you soon break down and get a puppy. The puppy is not a replacement and she is nothing like your older dog. You are shocked, but you adjust and she matures slightly faster than your children, which is a nice surprise. Despite the interruption of her “puppy-ness” in your life, you end up loving her like crazy. Still, her teeth are razor sharp for the first few months and you have to be on alert. For a mom of three, there are just times that you are not where you should be and this was one of them.

Finn won’t listen. Jesse won’t listen. While I chatted on a five minute phone call yesterday afternoon, they wrestled in the backyard - unbeknownst to me. Finn came in bleeding from the ear and my friendly neighborhood nurse confirmed my thoughts about stitches. We were off to the ER.

It honestly went off without a hitch; he didn’t shed one tear while they cleaned the wound and stitched him up. Logan and Riley (and Uncle Dan and Grammy) watched and cheered him on along with Whoa Whoa. The docs and nurses were so great, only threatening to call DCFS regarding the green nail polish Finn insisted I apply to him while doing his sisters’ for St. Pat’s. Three stitches later, we were out the door and out for pizza to celebrate Finn’s hospital bravery.

And now Jesse has a “record”. Yes, any dog bite (it really was just a snag of her tooth – she couldn’t be less vicious!) must be reported for the “three strikes and you’re out rule.” For all of you who balked at our thoughts of another rott, I’ve got to laugh as I announce that our wonderful family dog – our black lab – is the one that has landed us in the ER! Unbelievable!!

Apparently whoever is in charge did not read my recent post on illness, doctors and hospitals – I have really had enough now!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Will Come

I should have fallen asleep last night with a complete sense of satisfaction, but I almost felt a bit anxious as I hit the sheets. After watching my kids suck every enjoyable moment out of a much deserved seventy-degree day in March, I knew it was just a blip on the spring-in-Chicago screen. I cursed the weatherman as he announced the fifties and forties to come over the next several days. You see, on Sunday morning, I packed all of our winter coats away. Some may call it wishful thinking, others might say I jinxed us all, but I just couldn't take another day of squeezing through the overcrowded mudroom full of coats of every shape and warmth. Whether or not Mother Nature agrees, it is time.

Yesterday, in flip flops and shorts, Logan, Riley and Finn jumped on the trampoline, sped by on bikes, played tag, swung and ran around the backyard until their bare feet were black on the bottom. (One of this barefoot mama's favorite signs of summer.) Inspired by the high temps to head to the shoe store after a birthday lunch with Grammy, I didn't even mind when I pulled Finn's clean white socks off to bear his filthy feet! Hey, I didn't have time to wash them before lunch and I knew it was bath night.

We drove home with windows down and Miley high up and watched as the shoe store balloons danced to the music. "This is fun!" Finn squealed as Riley sang out loud. Later, Logan came home from swimming in just her suit and towel - easy and much more comfortable than dressing in a cramped bathroom with twenty other kids and bundling up in a coat and mittens. Even the dog was beat last night after a whole day outside in the elements - we all needed a day like this.

It has been a LONG winter. It will be much cooler today, and although I harbor a secret fear that it may never materialize, I know that spring will come. And those warm coats, they're staying packed up. We'll let that crisp cool air remind us that a fresh new season is just days away.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Robbin' the Bank

As I finished the second-to-last load of laundry in the dark wee hours this morning, I fished through pockets just to be sure no wayward crayons would find their way into the machine. I found a five dollar bill in Finn's pocket.

Guess that's where all our money is going!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


We stand on the front line against an enemy with a seemingly endless arsenal of germs, catapulting them at each and every one of us, over and over. In the last four weeks, we’ve had:

Riley – stomach flu
Me – stomach flu
Logan – respiratory flu
Me – cold
Me – intestinal flu
Finn - cold
Mike – cold
Riley – respiratory flu

When I woke at 3 am this morning to Riley whimpering with fever, I knew it was hitting again. I have not slept through the night since this all began – no one has for that matter. I can’t believe we are getting pummeled this hard for so long and with so many different bugs. And all this to manage in the midst of my 18-month ulcerative colitis battle, while taking a drug that lowers my white count! I am becoming terrified to go near my kids!

So the blog has suffered and isn’t really getting a second thought. There are barely any pictures of the pup, whose paws are nearly as big as her head. Money spent on swimming lessons and gymnastics and my gym membership has been flushed down the drain. I have a list of neglected to do’s the size of my Christmas list and we’ve missed more school and activities than I could have imagined. If I see the inside of one more hospital or doctor’s office this week, I swear I’m gonna lose it.

Of course it could be so much worse; I’m just venting. And dreaming of healthier days!