Archive for March, 2011

Calling all stalkers.

March 28, 2011

So we’re in front of someone else’s house, and Snort grabs this little pot full of dirt that he is always attracted to. As I reach to help him set it back on the ground, he drops it and that shit flies everywhere. Mud-dirt EXPLODES, along with like 6 or 7 tiny bulbs. (I am no gardener, but the top of this pot is smaller than my hand. Can six bulbs really sprout?)

I’m there lamenting things, throwing the bulbs back in, scooping up mud-dirt with my bare hands while watching both kids to make sure no one is about to dash out in front of a car.

When I see her.

A woman with mermaid hair in a creepy black power suit. Just stood.

Yeah, she’s three or four houses down, just standing on someone’s front lawn (hers?)…..STARING AT ME.  I flash her My Winning Smile, and there is no response. She’s like an evil judgmental statue lady.

I finish cramming mud-dirt into pot and there’s an awful lot still on the ground. So I brush it off their pavement onto the grass. (Is one supposed to leave a note in these circumstances?) Crazy Black Suit is still staring. She continues to stare for the ten minutes it takes me to corral and enthusiastically encourage Snort and Coconut to walk in the direction of our house.

Starey McStarerson.

Was she protecting other people’s vulnerable flowers? Why didn’t she laugh at my jokes about us sticking to killing our own flowers, not other people’s?

Why didn’t she ever move or acknowledge our presence?

I started thinking she was the social worker assigned to our adoption case – and how I was dressed either like a pauper, or like I was in a girl gang with bad fashion sense. Then I thought maybe she was a  blog reader from Creepy Land and spying on me. Then I decided to just keep my voice perky and stop thinking about her.

But I couldn’t. We finally got back around the side of our building, and I swear to God I could still feel her eyes burning into my soul through the bricks.

Who was she? Were we really breaking the rules of convention so badly? Were my kids judged as feral street children due to all the dirt and leaves on their hands and clothes?

Who was the creepy business lady with mermaid hair?!?! Was it YOU?

I like messy children.

March 27, 2011

Nothing gets my back up faster than my mom comparing our real lives to some sort of weird, idealistic picture of my childhood. Her favourite thing to do is say something along the lines of, ‘You are all always sick. You were never sick as a child. You should stop taking them out in public if it means they are going to get sick.’

Yeah.

Well, Friday, THIS happened:

If you are wondering what that is that Coconut is using to paint her face for her performance in the Noh Theatre, that’s nappy cream. Yes. Now, I already know from Snort’s mass consumption of this stuff at about ten months – and my subsequent panic call to emergency services – that it’s a low toxicity substance. Sure, it’s got my dubious ‘clean’ fingers in it all the time, but hey.

If my kid wants to paint her face, hell, I’m going to get the camera and snap a lot of pictures before I then attempt to wipe this water-resistant, wiping-resistant devil cream off her face and away from her eyes!

I thought it was cute.

About ten minutes after the above picture (all of this story happens while I am making dinner), I hear the melodic wailing of my boy child. I run into the lounge to see THIS:

Apparently after re-creaming her face (how did she get the cream again? Did I not hide it?), she decided the next logical step was to paint Snort’s face. I guess because that way, they could perform together. Or maybe confuse their identities. Or…or….rob a bank made out of snow, but no one would see them because they would be So White. The possibilities are endless.

Anyway, I snapped significantly fewer pictures this time, because she was still trying to paint his face with nappy cream, it was in his eyelashes, and he was screaming like hell.

Again, at the time, I wanted to pound back some wine because it had been Quite A Day, but I still appreciated the inherent cuteness of it all. Look! My funny, clever children coating themselves in low toxicity nappy cream! Ah, the wonder!

I thought it was cute enough to put on Facebook.

My mother’s response, ‘Well, where were YOU when all of this was happening?!?!?’ Like I’d bought secondhand nuclear missiles on eBay and given them hammers to use as drumsticks.

I think toddlerhood, much like pregnancy or giving birth, must be pleasantly fogged over as you age. Also, my mom had only me, in a huge and largely empty house – and I was stuck in a playpen the whole time. No matter how many times I explain that toddlers get the sniffles a lot, or that toddlers can magically find and make trouble, it doesn’t matter. And the whole twins thing? Useless.

Only another twin mama could understand what it is like to have twins. The considerations and complications of the wonderfulness of having two toddlers tagteam you – and two kids who are rapidly gaining in intelligence because they don’t seem to be bothered by the shocking lack of sleep in our house.

Where was I when this happened?

I was laughing, I was taking pictures, I was carefully wiping the cream off the rocking horse (what was upsetting Snort, as it turned out, much more than the cream in his eyes). I was swelled up with love for these messy, messy kids. For their creative brains, for their persistence, for this classically cute toddler moment that every house must have at least once….or ten thousand times…over the course of having toddlers.

I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

Bastardiszing two great games.

March 25, 2011

This whole TMD job situation is getting more complex and crazy. Her job has thankfully been extended by three months, so impending joblessness now is put off till July, I think.

The way things work is that any job available in her…company, for want of a better word….goes on a redeployment list. So any employee at risk of redundancy – and in fact, the many many people who lose their jobs this week – are entitled to apply for these few vacancies.

But it’s like a giant game of Clue/Cluedo. Lots of innuendo, secret gossip, judgment calls. Like, should you interview with Mr Purple in the conservatory, or apply with Ms Pineapple who likes to play with wrenches in the lounge. All the while people are stalking around with various tiny metal weapons, ready to clock you one and bury your body in the courtyard.

BUT. It is not just Clue, it is Clue mixed with Monopoly. Because this shit is all about the money. Who is it the cheapest to fire? What strategic alliances have been made, what IOUs are pre-existing? If this person wants to leave and we don’t want to pay them, how can we screw them over? Money, money, money. People are looping round the board, and it’s people like TMD who are getting stuck in jail and having trouble rolling doubles to get out.

I don’t know what you get when you cross Monopoly and Clue. But thus far, it’s not pretty.

There’s always room for more.

March 24, 2011

A good friend had her baby today. (Well, today MY time, but possibly yesterday in her time zone. Shit. Now I need to know to put it in my planner. Anyway.)

I met this fantastic chica courtesy of the wonderful world of blogging. She started reading my blog long before it was ‘existere’, and I think even before the previous incarnation. I hope I get to actually meet her and her teeny tiny Existere one day.

Yes, she named her baby Existere after moi. (And I would hope I wouldn’t need to clarify that I mean my REAL name, not this cool Latin nickname!) I am so so honoured to have that small human being share my name, and to know her mother.

Millions and jillions of congratulations. Welcome to parenthood. It won’t be long till you have poop under your fingernails and vomit in your bra.

Snort’s illness has broken Coconut.

March 20, 2011

Just what the title says, baby. If either Snort or Mummy get out of her view, she is on HIGH ALERT. This can include frantically searching, screaming their names, or simple sobbing.

She’s also raging. Like if one tiny thing doesn’t go her way? Exploding with anger, jumping up and down, shaking her fists, clapping her hands over her face in despair.

Um.

I know it must have been scary to have them gone, possibly especially Snort, but I hope she settles soon.

Snort, on the other hand, just keeps tackling her and pinning her to the ground with hugs.

Two seconds before they launched themselves at bubbles TMD was blowing.

March 19, 2011

image

Hooray!!

March 18, 2011

Snort is home. Coconut is overjoyed.

He seems much, much better. Still on a crazy intense meds schedule, but home.

Thank you all for your support.

Very tired, more later.

A new day, a new update. Which is pretty similar to past updates, actually.

March 18, 2011

I guess you could say I’m a lapsed Buddhist. A very particular kind of Buddhist, called Nichiren Buddhist – a member of the Soka Gakkai International. While I don’t actively practice the daily rituals, I still agree with this as a philosophy of life.

One thing that popped in my mind this morning was sancho shima. Basically, when you are about to make big changes in your life – actively going to move things in a positive direction – things often go to crap. Like if you’re trying to clean out your gutters, there’s a hell of a lot of gunk that will need to be washed away before the gutters work the way you want them to.

When I had a meeting at our house to discuss formally joining this organization, I randomly stubbed my toe and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. I know it’s minor. But when we went for our IVF consult – well, that was a fucking class a nightmare. Trains cancelled, TMD running down country lanes for the car, etc etc.

Is this stuff true? I don’t know.

But maybe, just maybe, all of the shit lately is bit of sancho shima. I hope.

Last night was rough. I had trouble falling asleep, Coconut woke for a feed, etc. And then….and then she woke at 3:30 crying and saying, ‘Mummy, Mummy.’ I pulled her into my bed, where she was still asking for TMD. She was awake for about two hours, while I laid next to her in a stupor. She finally slept for about 30 minutes, before waking up and crying for Snort.

Just now she said, ‘Bye bye!’ to me and marched away. I said, ‘Where are you going?’ She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, ‘Snort Snort.’ She then beckoned for me to follow her to the front door. Ugh.

I guess he had a better night last night. He managed to get some sleep, even sleeping through a few treatments. They managed to stretch him three hours, so that’s a pretty big improvement. I guess he still needs the nebs, but maybe will switch to inhalers soon? Having more steroids as well.

I woke up having breathing problems – yeah, he inherited this shit from me. Coco is coughing up a lung every few minutes. Call us the family of health. Though she found my inhalers and was busy puffing away and holding a bottle of arnica (babyproofing? What’s that?). I think she was like, ‘Hey, dude, I need the breathies and medicine too. Take me to the hospital and maybe I can share a bed with Snort.’

The other fucked up thing is that MIL texted last night at 10:30 pm that she was coming up today. No question about whether this would actually help or hinder. And that I should text back to acknowledge I had received her text.

It’s all very awkward, as FIL (they are divorced, and it was not a friendly divorce) drove halfway across the country to get to his house last night (he lives in same city as MIL, about three hours from us) and called this morning saying he wanted to come help. I tried to put him off but he wouldn’t budge, so I had to pony up and tell him MIL was coming. Holy fucking awkward, Batman.

Thank God for my counselling training. In theory, it allows me to better manage difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Ha. Also thank the UNIVERSE for FLYlady, as the house is in reasonable condition considering one kid is hospitalised, the other is sick, and so am I. Aside from the growing mound of clean laundry on the couch, anyway.

I’m feeling upset this morning. Just hope Snort starts improving and we can get him home. Also worrying about if this is going to happen every time he gets a cold.

This is the second morning without my baby boy – and the third overall, if you count the last time he was in the hospital. I don’t think there is any talk of discharging him yet. Everything is so quiet with just me and Coconut; I miss the other half of our family.

And that? That’s everything. For now.

Update three (for today).

March 17, 2011

He’s deteriorated. Back on the nebulisers. Hourly. HOURLY NEBULISERS.

While he has ups and downs, he generally is in exactly the same shape as he was when he was admitted. And it’s not a good shape, a happy shape, a boy-shaped shape who will run around and be joyful and bang on things and, you know, breathe normally.

I am beyond tired. Gave Coco her bath while weeping on the phone to Aussie (oh, I’m a fun friend, yes indeedy) and forgot to actually wash her. And considering ‘washing’ in our house consists of dumping a cup of water repeatedly over body and hair, boy howdy. I only noticed because when I took her out to dry her, her hair was dry. And her body.

Only her feet were wet, because she spent the bath prancing around singing. It was nice to see her happy. She’s been very sad and clingy since we left the hospital, and has finally just gone down to sleep holding one of Snort’s muslins. Or three.

I’m tired. Really, really tired. And sore. My pelvis, she singeth of unhappy times. My spine, too.

I’m going to try to take a shower. I feel weird about taking a shower while she sleeps, but she’s babygated into her room and I only want to rub the stink off me and wash my hair. Pray she stays asleep.

In the meantime, TMD is sending texts like ‘Nothing they try is helping. Nothing works.’ AKA……poop. Shit. Sigh.

Update on Snort, and our whole family.

March 17, 2011

It’s been a tough day. When Coconut woke up, I kept very busy at first. The house was a total shitfest from last night – vomit covered clothes and pillows (from the ungood combination of giving milk to ‘soothe’ a child who is coughing very very hard fighting to breathe), dishes everywhere, laundry in piles. I got things pretty much sorted, with a little shadow following along behind.

But breakfast? She kept pointing to his chair, his toys, saying ‘Snort, Snort.’ I kept saying he was with the doctor – like she’s going to understand that – and then her face kind of crumpled. Like big eyes, pouty lips.

‘Where’s Snort?’

Aaaaaargh.

My amazing SIL came with her tiny new baby to drive us up to the hospital so I could see Snort. I also wanted TMD to get a little break – the idea being she’d visit with Coco, SIL, and New Baby in the cafe while I hung out with Snort.

He was just screaming and screaming. And very obviously still having major difficulties breathing. I finally got him somewhat calm, and they came in to do a check. The doctor watched him breathing topless, listened to his chest, explained the treatment plan, etc. After all this time in hospital he is still not ready for his meds to be stretched (he is off nebulisers, though, had a bunch of them this morning).

I got him asleep and just looked at him. His cheeks were unnaturally red – making his white blonde hair look brassy and yellow and weird. He was physically shaking from the effects of the medicine. And sweaty. And every now and then he’d let out a big shuddery little kid sob.

They came in for obs – his oxygen sats were 93. Apparently you don’t want them to fall below 92. His heartrate was like 140 – again, no clue what a kid’s heartrate should be, but I do know his was elevated throughout the night and morning. His tummy was really moving in and out hard, using his tummy muscles to help breathe. No, this is not good. His neck was retracting badly and his whole head was nodding from the effort.

I found this very, very upsetting. That he’s been in hospital for what feels like forever, that this is diagnosed as ‘wheeze’, that they can’t get it under control.

Also no one has slept, showered, etc. Poor, poor TMD.

Latest update is that meds now being trial stretched to two hours. Apparently he’s working less hard to breathe, but the wheezing is much much louder. I guess the doctor told TMD the reason for this, but TMD said it was too long to text. He’s just been moved from the children’s emergency room into a hospital ward, so it looks like another night away from home.

I spent the afternoon in bed with Coco. She’s still asleep and it’s 5 pm. I know I need to wake her for any hope of her going to bed this century, but somehow I just need the quiet. I am missing Snort. He was so screamy and tired and scared and angry and sad that the only kiss he’d let me give him was when he was asleep.

Thank you to all who are being nice on twitter, facebook, text, etc. I know I’m not replying to anyone really, too tired, but I am reading everything and it is helping.

I think it says something that the only ‘fun’ I had today was throwing a pizzadilla at Coco as she sat on the floor watching tv while I rushed around like I was on a game show. I had fifteen minutes to pack bags for TMD/Snort and found it weirdly entertaining, if very sweaty. I, of course, forgot milk and bottles.

I suspect tonight will be hard because I’m still upset, and my pelvis is a bit cranky with me for carrying two heavy bags and Coconut today. Plus I am about 57% zombie, so having the energy to do anything is going to be tricky.

And now, I suppose, I go wake Coco up.

Sigh.


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