Category Archives: no use crying over spilled milk

For the Love of God, Don’t tear the Waffles!

Currently, there are three major safety precautions we take in the Motherfog household.

1.) Keep all small, chokable objects out of reach.

2.) Never leave children unattended in the bathtub. (Although we have been allowed 50 percent less vigilance these past five weeks given that only one-half of our children is currently allowed to bathe in a tub.

3.) Be sure NOT to break, rip, or cut Zachary’s food before acquiring clear and specific permission for such a drastic action.

Today

8:00 am

Both Mommy and Daddy committed a sin of all sins.   What were they thinking?  No one knows. No one will EVER know.

The story goes…

The breakfast choice of late has been whole grain mini waffles. For those unfamiliar, they come in sets of perforated fours…four-leaf clovers, if your will. (Although my daughter calls them butterflies. Their perfect symmetry does not resonate truthfully with the shape of a butterfly, but I’ll let this one slide given her young age of 19 months.)

It is a known fact that Zachary must, and I stress MUST do his own tearing of these waffles (this rule goes for ALL FOOD…bananas, pizza, chicken, toast, etc. ) Should we absent-mindedly toss four separate waffle disks on his tray, the hills better be nearby, and we better get runnin’.

What did I do this morning?

I tore his waffles.

Holding my breath, and hoping the little prince might be distracted with yelling at his baby sister (who has adopted the pesky habit of saying “Mine, Mine, Mine” with a naughty grin, for no other reason than to get a rise out of him, as she isn’t actually claiming any object whatsoever), I placed the waffles on his tray, praying for a pass.

Nope. Not today. Tears immediately poured down his cheeks as he erupted into the most deadly of cries.

The silent cry.

The one where you wait…

and wait…

and wait…

…for what seems like minutes, for that initial ear-drum popping blast, wondering how on earth tiny lungs can hold on for so long.

I turned to my husband and asked if the box was empty. Thank heavens. There was one left.

ONE

A three-minute interlude commenced at the table, “The wheels on the Bus” keeping both children happy while the toaster thawed and crisped the last butterfly.

“You have got to be kidding me!”

Bellowed from the kitchen.

Thinking my husband had accidentally fresh-squeezed a mosquito into the vegetable juice he prepares me every morning, I turned and said,

“What?” (Secretly relieved as I was looking for an excuse to pass on my morning kale, broccoli and parsley – I’m good with just coffee today, thanks.)

“I broke the waffles”

Gasping, I shot up from the table.  He and I fumbled frantically around the kitchen in a panic, searching for a quick fix for this unfortunate transgression. Time was running out!  From the table, Zachary piped in,

“Where’s my waffle?”

Like teenagers trying to cover up their debauchery by filling their parents’ vodka with water, we grabbed the maple syrup and tried to use it as glue.

“A hair dryer? Should I go get the hair dryer to make it more sticky?”

Finally, I served the gluey breakfast and upped the motivation for my rendition of “Wheels on the Bus” hoping to sweep his attention away from broken waffles and toward my brilliance as a song and dance gal.

Our cover up was sort of successful. He did ask why the waffles came apart so easily, but miraculously bought our ludicrous answer.

“You have just become that good at ripping waffles, Zachary!”

Disaster averted.

I know what you’re thinking.

Ridiculous.

Why cater to a child to that extent?

A spoiled brat in the making.

I say this,

Hold your judgments, if you please.

The kid is on day 30 of his time in a half-body cast. The least we can do is let him tear apart his own flippin’ waffles.

But, my dear ones,

Tomorrow

9:00 am

Saw to plaster, plaster to trash.

Sayonara Sir Spica

Starting on Saturday, he eats what we serve.

Intact or not.

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Spica Cast Saviors

Many a stressed parent has found  my blog through the search engine term “spica cast”,  so with three and a half weeks under our belts, making us the Official Experts, I am adding two more must-haves!

The first item has absolutely saved us during this hot and stifling July.  It’s a scooter board I ordered from Amazon for $20 and had it on my doorstep the next afternoon for an extra $3.  The best $23 we’ve ever spent.  Seriously.

Scooter Board (click for the amazon link)

For live action footage of our little trooper scooting away, click on the picture below for a 53 second video.

He may not the the fastest in preschool this September, but he’ll have the most upper body strength!

Also, a wonderful family contacted me recently offering this hand-made Spica Cast Chair for free!  As we only have Six! Count them, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, SIX DAYS LEFT,  we felt that it should go to a little guy or gal facing a longer bout of “spica-ed” time ahead.

Here is the message from this generous family:

“There’s a buckle that keeps him attached to the seat, and the underside of the tabletop is painted with chalkboard paint.
 
It’s the “big bean chair” on ivyrosespicachairs.com.  And Stephanie, who builds the chairs was super.  We learned about the chairs on a Thursday, one day after getting home from the hospital, ordered one on Friday, and she built it and shipped it by Monday.
 
Esten loved the independence that the chair allowed (and so did we of course).
 
Hope things are going smoothly as you near cast removal.  The last week seemed long and slow for us.
 
Best,
 

Russ, Sunna, Esten”

Had we known about Stephanie at ivyrosespicachairs.com this would have been added to our list of life-savers for sure.
With their permission, I am attaching a short slideshow of their adorable little,
now healed guy in his chair.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As I said, they are offering this chair for free should anyone stumble upon my blog and need it.  Leave me a comment here and I’ll put you in touch!

Thank you, Russ, Sunna and Esten!

Spica Newbies….Good luck! You can do it! We’re cheering you on!
update:
This amazing chair went to another family within a few weeks of it being posted.  Now, that family is spica cast free and would like to pass it along again!  Leave me a comment here if interested and I will connect you.

Spica Cast Must-Haves

Feel free to giggle. As if our five days earn me the right to pose as an expert on the subject. But, I am one who would check into hotels on tour, and even for a short stay, would survey the room, say with shake of my head,

“Oh, dear…this just won’t do.”

Rushing out before sound-check, I would scurry about to stock the room with candles, table cloths, pictures and other objects that would create a homey ambiance. I like routine and familiarity. Where there is lack of these, I zoom like Road Runner to every store within a 15 mile radius to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

That said,

About an hour after my post about Zachary’s incident was written, we were brought back to his room on the pediatric floor. It was at that point that the effects of a sleepless night, and stress of the whole ordeal caused an automatic shutdown in my brain. I could not have fully been prepared for the full aspects of this type of cast and all of the adjustments in basic care it would require.

It also must be noted that I have a temper wear my heart on my sleeve.  As a child, I would stub my toe and have an immediate response of anger toward the inanimate object that dared to step into my path. My best pal from birth is LHTA (laughing her tail off) right now at memories of her spunky, awkward and brace-faced sidekick turning around and yelling at door jams.

“Stupid thing!”

Ok, so as an adult I have matured (for the most part) and have learned to temper this reaction a tad. Although the feelings are still there, most often I don’t go around hitting solid objects, thankfully.  I have not however outgrown my trait of nakedly and unabashedly offerining the world every nuance of my thought process and emotional state.   I don’t believe people often ask,

“Gee. I wonder what Emily feels about this?”

So, when the sweet doctor joined us in the room to offer blog links and tips on how to manage daily routines with a toddler in a spica cast, my thoughts on the contraption were quite clear. As I tried to change our first diaper, my son screamed in pain at the slightest touch. How on earth am I supposed to clean him if I can’t even take the diaper off? I can’t reach the tabs? I can’t turn him over. What. The. Hell?!

“There has to be a better way! Is this cumbersome tank of a contraption really necessary?”

I spouted, displacing my anger over the whole situation onto the cast and the orthopedic surgeons who came up with such an inconvenient and obnoxious solution.  As if she was going to say,

“Ha! Of course there is!  We were just messin’ with ya! Let me get the saw!”

This dear physician sympathetically held my hand and said,

“I know its overwhelming. Do you want me to go get a laptop and we can watch some tips on YouTube together?”

Feeling exhausted and ashamed of showing this lovely person the ugliest side of myself, I bit back tears and quietly said,

“No. I think we just need a minute alone. Can we just have a minute?”

“Of course. I promise you guys will adjust. I know it’s a lot to take in. I’ll be back in a few.”

After I had my over-dramatic, bratty little snit, I got on the phone with a dear friend whose two-year old had the same cast last year. With a few of her tips and a lot of her encouragement, I got off the phone, called “last call” for my pity party and took my first stab at changing Zachary’s diaper. And in case you were concerned, in true Emily Rozek fashion, I made sure to apologize to the doctor when she returned ten minutes later.  We were discharged and managed to load him into his car seat.  The first miracle of miracles.

While the remnants of anesthesia lulled him back to sleep on the way home across the George Washington Bridge, we brainstormed seats, snack trays, possible sleeping positions, and diaper changing techniques.

Its been five days and we feel like pros!  The biggest pro of all, of course is little, trooper Zach.   Here are some of the things we have found to bring ease into a not-so-easy situation.

Pillows for tummy play (baby sis optional) and tray providing hard surface for….

coloring…

…Or building Lincoln Logs
WARNING: baby sis may or may not provoke extreme aggravation in the injured while attempting this task

Infant Bouncer/Toddler Rocker – Best Purchase of All!
WARNING:baby sis may or may not find increasing devilish satisfaction in rocking the injured with each additional yell from him not to.

Bean Bag Chair – Big suggestion from other spica cast parents.
(joke playing on the object responsible for breaking the bone – optional, depending on how sick your sense of humor is)

Swivel Bed Tray – Amazing for parents who are sticklers for eating meals at the table. This tray can adjust in height and swivels in any direction. (doctor’s toys a fun touch from amazing Aunt and Uncle)

This post would be more aptly called “Our Spica Cast Must-Haves” being that we have learned that each spica cast is a bit different and what works for one may not work for another, but that’s what we have so far!

Any caregiver who stumbles upon my blog in search of spica cast tips, click on the pictures for links to the actual products.  And remember, it’s only been five days!  What do we know?

Happy Spica-ing!

Love,

The Motherfog Family

A Motherfog Trilogy

I went to the Morrow Church Turnover Sale this morning in search of some books and games for Zachary in his lame state. If you missed that: 

“The Negative is A Given. May I Instead Express My Gratitude?”

I found this:

$5.00

For those of you who are missing the humor, you may have also missed one of my latest posts:

“I’m Not Paying That When I Can Make it Myself!”

LOL!

(LOL usage completely acceptable and appropriate in this context.)

For those of you who don’t understand that statement, refer back to:

“Death to LOL”

And there you have it.

Three entries in one.

A Motherfog Trilogy, if you will.

Broken Bones and Barging Babies

Last year, as my belly swelled to its 32 week glory with a growing and seemingly impatient Isabelle, my 15 month old Zachary broke his leg.  One of my best friends, who yes, has kept her standing as “best friend” offered to take my son around the corner to the park, giving my irritable uterus a break. This annoyingly frequent contraction scenario was nothing new, nor did it seem to mean my baby girl was about to make her debut in a matter of hours, which would often be the case. Nope. Just a fun little bonus to test my sanity before shaking up our already joyfully insane home with baby number two.

Once I had the house to myself, I quickly relished in the rare ability to get dinner prepared in silence. I had barely gotten through slicing half of a sweet potato when my phone rang, a hysterical best pal on the other line.

“Em. I don’t know what to do. Zachary just hurt his leg, I think. I’m freaking out. He was on my lap going down the slide and I think his leg got caught. He screamed really loud and no one would help me. Oh my god, Em. I can’t even think, how do I find your street?!”

I very calmly told her I would be right there and that I was sure he was fine. He was very dramatic and blood curdling screams were not out of the ordinary. As she searched for the “end call” button on her phone, I heard her sobbing through some sort of “Hail Mary” or “Lord’s Prayer” or some other desperate plea for heavenly intervention.

I found them in five minutes, swept up a whimpering Zachary from his stroller and calmed them both. It was 5:05 in the evening on a Friday, as most events such as this tend to occur. But, I didn’t  have the sense that this was an emergency.  I mean, how easy can it be to break a bone? In my 34 years, not one of my 206 bones have even been fractured.  And I assure you that is not due to a cautious and graceful demeanor.

“He’s fine.” I thought. “I’m hungry, tired, and need to put this kid down because his added 25 pounds is not helping to ease the discomfort of my tightening beach- ball of a stomach, baring down on an overflowing bladder.”

We walked in the door and I put him down to witness what I was certain would be an agile sprint away from me toward his toys. Instead, he cried and crawled into my lap. I had always marveled at other children during library story hour as they seemed to sit contentedly in their parent’s laps. Until this moment, I had never had that experience with my energizer bunny. But I still wasn’t convinced that this needed “after-hours” medical attention.

Crackers. Crackers never failed to change the mood of a somber Zachary.
After handing him two Kashi TLC wheat crisps, I watched as his little knuckles clutched the crackers tightly, one in each hand, but neither trembling fist made its way up to his pouting mouth.

Time to call the doctor.

We were able to get into a highly recommended pediatric urgent care, which happened to be right around the corner, and he was prepped for x-rays within 30 minutes.

My friend was still in a panic as we awaited the results. I remained calm.  All of my energy had been strangled out somewhere between contraction number 4,356 and 5,578.   “How could anything more be added to our plate right now?”
This thought had barely floated from my head before the previously cheerful doctor popped her furrowed eye-brows back into the exam room, and with a quick but surprised voice said,

“He broke it”

“What?!”

Up until that moment, my attitude remained slightly concerned, but rather blasé.  I was almost certain we would leave with an ace bandage and some baby Motrin and be home in time to eat that half of a sweet potato I sliced an hour earlier.

But, nothing snapped me out of my fatigued, third-trimester coma like those words. My eyes snapped past their half-mast position and my voice raised to pitches it hasn’t reached  since flying high in Glinda’s bubble. The doctor, trying to calm me said, “He’s going to be fine. He will heal. The cast will be off in four to six weeks.”

“Six weeks!” I cried through another contraction. “I have to carry him around for six weeks?!”.

Please forgive me for sounding like an uncaring and unsympathetic mother. I still harbor guilt that my initial reaction was not for my precious baby boy and his first broken bone, but for my own  bloated body and how it would bear the additional constant weight of another baby without crumbling in a pathetic, bulging heap to the ground.

Selfish, horrible me. I would try to defend myself, but honestly, if you ask anyone who had the unfortunate pleasure of being in my presence for any amount of time during that trimester, or who am I kidding, that entire pregnancy, they would agree that I was quite horrible. Miserable, cranky, mean and horrible.

But, in actuality, the following four weeks, although awkward, were not as much of a nightmare as I had anticipated. I kept telling myself and my poor, distraught friend that it could have been his neck and not his tibia. This was an enormous inconvenience and annoying as all get out, but that was it. For that I was grateful.

Two weeks later, at 34 weeks pregnant, I was admitted into the maternal fetal care unit, treated for preterm labor and released two days later.  Contractions continued every two to four minutes, 24 hours a day for the next two weeks.  Zachary’s cast (his 3rd of three as they kept slipping down his thigh) was removed hours before my body gave in to his sister’s persistence and answered her perpetual knocking.

Isabelle Ann gloriously barged into the world and officially joined our family at 36 weeks…four weeks early, but a healthy 6 lbs 5 oz and perfect.

Zachary walked proudly on two feet into our room on the Maternity Ward floor to meet his sister, his best friend, for the first time…..

….and then the real fun began!

Why do I tell this story now?

I found it utterly amusing that five different friends forwarded this article to me this week.

DANGER ON THE PLAYGROUND

Chuckling, I responded….

“Um…guys?  I didn’t do it.”

Blogger’s Note:
I love this friend with all of my heart and would still have no qualms about leaving my children in her loving care. Clearly, as this article states, this can happen to anyone and happens more often than we realize.

Pseudologia Fantastica

Before posting my last entry, I paused. Do I dare publish this?  People are going to think I’m making this up? This is ludicrous!  This CANNOT be a true story!

And then, I myself started to question it. You know those moments in life when you think, “This is insane.  It has to be a dream,” and you close your eyes and will yourself awake? Well, I have yet to awaken out of  this knotty and disheveled yarn.

Interestingly enough, on my way back from Fresno, a magazine article on personality disorders appeared in the seat-back pocket in front of me.  I became intrigued as learned about “Pseudologia Fantastica”. AKA, pathological lying.  Hmmmm…. interesting, indeed. Definite peanuts for thought.

It seems as though this psychosis can actually create a steadfast belief in the mind of it’s victims, that all they are saying is in fact the truth.

“Pseudologia fantastica may present as false memory syndrome, where the sufferer genuinely believes that fictitious events have taken place, regardless that these events are fantasies.” (1)

As the puddle-jumping aircraft toted myself and ten other passengers to our connecting flight in Los Angeles, the mind numbing drone of the engine propelled me into a rabbit hole toward the Twilight Zone.

If it is true that those suffering from Pseudologia fantastica often believe their own lies with absolute, unwavering conviction, could it be possible that none of what I have been posting is true? Could I actually have no husband, no children, no Broadway career, and most importantly no Sour Sienna?

My head was spinning! Who am I? What is life? What is reality? Does this blog exist?

Cue creepy “doo, doo, doo, doo” music.

Upon my supposed landing in Newark, NJ, I am going to request an immediate transport to the nearest mental ward for observation.

But, before I check in to my padded room in Belleview, shimmy into a straight jacket and allow them to administer shock-waves and electrodes to my brain, I will give you the update to my current “fantastica” reality.

Erin’s husband fetched my babies from the side of the road, and brought them to the safety of their home for a joyful play-date, fully serviced with Clifford the Big Red Dog, and strawberry pancakes.  This sickly brain sure does conjure unbelievable friends!

Hubby was towed, along with the Sienna to the nearest Toyota Dealership to get the news that the transmission is completely irreparable. Gone. Kaput.

However, it seems that this malfunction slipped undetected, under the noses of the Toyota Warrantee Commission and is fully covered. Good news.

Bad news…

Although the two major components of the car are about to be brand spankin’ new, the Hogles no longer feel safe in the Sienna. Call us worry warts if you will.

Erin and her Husband have graciously lent us their second vehicle for the weekend.  GALPIN Ford has agreed to pay for our rental car thereafter while we await the repair, and will be contacting us on Monday to discuss the possibility of saying a final farewell to Rocket.  The Bottle Banning Baby fared perfectly well.  She was still completely offended at the mere suggestion of milk in a bottle or cup, but ate lots of food, drank lots of water, and found no need to awaken during the night-time hours.  Who needs Mommy?

Stay tuned…

If the hospital is unable to rehabilitate, I may have more stories for you.

Footnotes
(1) a b Dike CC, Baranoski M, Griffith EE (2005). “Pathological lying revisited”. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 33 (3): 342–9. PMID 16186198.
^ a b c d Dike, Charles C. (June 1, 2008). Pathological Lying: Symptom or Disease?. 25.

My Friend, Tim

I received a call today from my friend, Tim, at  the Albuquerque Toyota service department. He sounded sort of down.

“Hey there, Timmy!  Why so blue?  Tell me your troubles. Maybe I can help?”

Well, Tim was upset because the long-awaited engine they ordered to doctor up our Sienna, had arrived and was missing parts…or had incompatible parts….or broken parts…something about parts. I was wandering around Ikea and wasn’t really listening. He said he had ordered  another, but it would not arrive for another week and a half. I think he was bracing himself for more of a reaction from Yours Truly.

“Well, turn that frown upside down, Tim!  All is good. Just kindly inform ___ Ford that we will be keeping the 2011 Town and Country rental, on their dime for another 2 or 3 weeks.”

He thanked me, and I went about my business searching for do-it-yourself furniture.

But, while trying to decide between Skojig wall lamp and the Ekby Hemnes ceiling fixture, a harrowing thought occurred to me. We absent-mindedly left Zachary’s dirty clothes hamper in the Sienna, 2037.36 miles away, in New Mexico.  Countless times a day, we are faced with the conundrum of what to do with his soiled articles of clothing. Do we walk across the hall to our hamper? Or, one door down to Isabelle’s? Or, must we take the clothes directly to the washing machine itself?

What on earth would you do??