Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't use my lotto numbers, or sit by me on a plane, or walk anywhere in the vicinity of me

I have shit for luck. Excuse my french.

Yesterday, while playing with my munchkin, INDOORS, I was bit by a fire ant. Apparently my body has developed an amazing capacity to try to fight off evil predators, as exemplified by the fact that it tried contract both my babies out 10-20 weeks early, it is still causing pain 8 months after Death Fever, and now this.......I had an allergic reaction to the ant bite. My face got hot, I started sweating, my lips started swelling, and then I could hear my heart beating in my ears. Then I wanted to put my head down, anywhere. I was crawling around on the floor, trying to stay near the kids. That has been my biggest fear from the minute I had kids. Luckily, I swallowed some benadryl and it worked super fast. And, Rylan turned into super big brother and listened to his mama as I asked him to go get my phone and him and Max a snack. By the time that Rob got home to save me, I was better. Now I just have this super huge swollen area on my wrist where the scene of the crime happened. I'll be investing in the benadryl things that melt on your tongue AND asking the doctor about an epi pen. And getting some ant traps. Apparently my body doesn't want alien beings anywhere near it.

I'm just so lucky. Lucky for a person who is seriously unlucky. But, I got better. I got bit instead of Max, who was, literally inches from me. I wasn't my usual "I don't want to bother anybody" self and called Rob for help as soon as I started feeling funny. So, yeah, pretty lucky. I love my Rob, and my kids, and benadryl.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Potty training isn't for sissies

No words really needed here. Life ain't boring, I'll say that much. He's our favorite oldest son of all the oldest sons we have.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Mall, really? What were you thinking?

So, being the attentive and savvy CHEAPO that I am, I saw that Old Navy was having a $2 tank top day, and I just happened to remember that Bath and Body Works was having their summer clearance. Wanting to take advantage of the fact that I BARELY work, and am off on Fridays, I decided (at naptime) to head to the mall. I think its all the sleep I've been losing lately, but yes, that was pretty stupid.

When I had Rylan, he was my constant companion. From birth till a year old, that kid went where I went. Keep him fed and he was a happy camper. I learned after having Max, that this doesn't happen when you have two. You get out and about when you are alone, or down to one, preferably the younger one. The one that still wants to be your companion.

I have done this for 8 months now. I have taken the kids shopping a total of one time and that was at Christmas and it was a must and I still vowed never to do it again. Other than that, I bribe Rob to let me out for a few hours, do it right after work on my one day I work, or I just choose to skip the adventure.

Today, I didn't want to skip the adventure. And, to tell the truth, my kids weren't bad. Not too bad. I did have to rearrange the seating arrangement due to kicking the back of seats and such, but that's to be expected.


1. The wheel of my double stroller came off. In the middle of the road. And no one stopped to help me.

2. Rylan dropped his cup in JC Penney and shouted NURCH (his new word for drink that I can't really understand, but whatever) all over the store till we found it. "Nurch!!! Nurch!!!"

3. A double stroller gets stuck approximately 27 ways in Bath and Body Works when the clearance boxes are out.

3. One of those annoying people at the kiosks in the middle of the malls (the ones that get in your personal space and try to sell you something) yelled "ma'am you dropped something!" When I turned to see what I dropped, he laughed and informed me that he just wanted to get my attention, and would I like him to take pictures of my kids. I, literally, said "Are you freakin' kidding me? NO"

4. At Old Navy, I was a little frazzled, got in line behind a guy, didn't really look up cause both kids had my attention. When I finally looked up to see why he wasn't moving forward, I realized he was a mannequin. Yep, I'm that awesome.

5. Rylan peed through his diaper, his shorts, and all over the seat of the double stroller. OMG the kid can pee.

So, eventful day. Luckily, I'm no shopaholic, cause it won't hurt my feelings to not do that anytime soon. Especially since after #'s 1 and 5, I'll probably be burning that stroller.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I thought I would document this, since its happening less and less at our house nowadays.

Rob and I have raised some supercute, supersweet, SLEEP-HATERS. And, we love sleep so much. I don't know what we've done wrong. Way back in the day, like November 2010, I thought it was about time to start trying to get Max closer to sleeping through the night. I wanted to start a little process called Ferber that we used with Rylan (except we didn't find out about Ferber until he was past the age of 1, oops). Basically when they cry at night, you make sure they aren't poopy, overloaded with pee, or febrile. If all of the above are negative you put the pacey back in their mouth, do a little shushing, "mama loves you" and go out of the room. Rinse and repeat till baby can go back to sleep.

Except I got Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever. Or, as I like to call it, Death Fever. At this time, it was just easier to feed him and go back to bed, especially since he was breastfed and I didn't even have to heat up a bottle. And then it was the holidays and you don't want to make your baby cry over Christmas. During this time, Max actually had many nights where he slept till 5am or later before waking and I thought (stupidly) that he was going to work the sleeping all night thing out all by himself. He didn't. Death Fever continued. Then Max's ear plagues started. I tried to "ferber" but my little devil on one shoulder would say "he's probably hurting, you are a bad mom." The angel on the other would say "he's fine, you fed him, you changed him, he's fine." But the devil had a way more convincing argument. Then came vacations. When sharing a room, you don't want your two year old to wake up, so you run and feed your baby as fast as you can. Fast forward to almost 9 months of life. The days of Max sleeping till 5am or later without crying have gone away, we are getting up every night, usually between 2am and 3am. EVERY NIGHT. And Tuesday of this week? He stayed up till 11pm, then got up at 3am and 5am.

Ferbering has commenced. No more nursing to sleep little Max. A gigantic bottle and off to bed. Mommy or daddy go in and pat a bottom, "shhhhhhhhh", turn on his musical seahorse, and give him the option of the pacey and leave. We sit and listen to the wails, telling ourselves to be strong, stay the course. We go back in after a few minutes and repeat the above. Then we start stretching out our intervels.

On the plus side, I feel like a total moo cow getting plugged up to the pump to make sure we have giant bottles at night. On the more plus side, waiting to go back in and pat his butt is giving me more time for blogging.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sweet Cheeks Qualls

Who is 8.75 months old?
20.5 pounds

with 6 teeth

and still being squeezed into his swing?

Maxerdoodles, that's who!!!!!! I kinda missed the 8th month blog post, on account of vacation and laziness, so here's a late month check-in. He is a happy kid. Everyday is the new best day of Max's life. Keep him fed, his ears free of infection, and play a little patty-cake and peek-a-boo with him and he will give you the sweetest grin you've seen that day.

He gets up on all fours and tries to crawl, but he mostly ends up in a yoga downward facing dog position and gets real upset. He gets where he needs to go but leaving his legs on the ground and doing all the work with his arms. Its really pretty impressive. Every night I get Rylan ready for the bath first and then go back to the living room to grab Max and put him in his bath seat. The last 3 nights, I'm getting Rylan in the tub, and here comes Max into the bathroom, having scooted all the way down the hall.

These past FOUR teeth have all popped out quickly and painfully. I'm pretty sure all the drainage they cause were the start of the latest ear plague. BUT, little boys with 6 teeth are able to eat a lot more food than little boys with two teeth. Max has never been a huge fan of baby food. He tolerates it, but I see him eyeing what we've got. His new favorite food is toast. Take the crust off and split a piece of toast in four sections and he will moan his way through that sucker in minutes. He's also had his first Cheerios and a couple noodles and they got an A+ vote as well.

Love that kid like a fat kid loves cake.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Wonderful Day

Max got ear tubes on May 17th. On May 27th he got another ear infection. Oh my sweet poor baby. We were on our way to Gulf Shores and happy baby wasn't so happy. He was super sad. And there was gook pouring out of his ear. This happens with ear tubes. The real hope is that ear tubes will keep all their secretions moving and there won't be a build up of fluid in the ear canal causing it to sit there and fester and become infection. That's the best case scenario. The less best case is that, if an infection forms, the tubes allow the festered infectious grossness to drain out of the ear instead of building up and causing the baby to want his head to explode, or, more scary, for the ear drum to rupture. That's where Max's ears are right now. So, we've been combatting this $%^% infection ever since. I put antibiotic drops in his ears every day of vacation. The drainage stopped, but not the sometimes sad Max. Then grossness started coming out his eyes and nose. Our first day home, I went to the doc and there was still an infection, so he gave Max oral antibiotics. The grossness out the eyes and nose (clogged tear ducts from infection) stopped, but some wheezing started. Oh. My. Poor. Baby. Now he is getting albuterol 4 times a day and he is on steroids for his lungs.

The good news is that the steroids are working. The better news is that the steroids have not caused him to grow a beard or start beating women. The bad news is that the steroids have him wired for sound at approximately 3am. He still gets up some nights, but usually he's super sad about it, eats a little bit and promplty passes back out for 4 more hours. Not so much right now. He's up and ready to party. Laughing, scooting around, pulling hair, and trying to eat my chin.

ANYWAY, where I was going with all this, is that we have been HERMITS the past two weeks (minus a jaunt up to KC for a wedding). No playdates, no dinners out, no frolicking at the library. We've been hanging at the house, playing with the toy cast of Kung Fu Panda, reading Good Night Moon, and caring for sick Max. Rylan's terrible twoness has gotten a bunch better and the kid is talking more than ever. Max's cough is much better and no more gook is coming out of any orifices. So, it was for the better that we've been shut-ins.

So, we decided to go out amongst the people. We ate lunch with Rob at Larry's Pizza with the intention of letting Rylan play on the arcade machines. Then 2 groups of daycares showed up and school age kids poured into the arcade and my face started twitching and my head started spinning, because, I might like kids, I might be a mother AND a pediatric nurse, but I do not do well with large groups of kids. God bless every teacher on earth, even the bad ones.

I decided to whip out my Wonder Place punch card and use it for some good ole air conditioned, inside play place, fun. We usually go with our playgroup on free adult day. Its nice that I get in free, but so does every other stay at home mom in the central Arkansas area. This random Friday, there were only about 5 kids total and it was just what we needed to ease our little hermit selves back into the world.
Playing dressup

Um, Rylan, don't mind that door next to you.

What's better than one Max? A million tiny Maxes.

"You like my peaches?"

And then, Max got smooched on by two little red head cuties. He's probably going to get , like 5 new illnesses, but these girls were the sweetest kids in the world and they thought Max hung the moon.
These are the two girls from the previous pic of the make out session. The little on kept putting on that witches hat, jumping up and down and shouting "I'm a cowboy, I'm a cowboy." It was so cute. SEEEEE I do love kids.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Family vacation

Finally, it only took me 9 days to upload pics and blog about them. And me and the boys jetted up to Kansas city the very next weekend for 5 days, so I think I deserve, at minimum, a bozo button, if not a bottle of bubbly and a strawberry salad from Panera. Just kidding. Kind of. And now I shall stop patting myself on the back and talk about the vacation.

My more awesome than awesome parents did something more awesome than usual. They stayed married for 40 years. In a row. To each other. Kind of a big deal. My sisters and I were starting to whisper about throwing a party. Maybe a lake affair? Maybe a little dancing. And then they informed us that they didn't want a party. They wanted to celebrate their anniversary by taking their offspring and THEIR offspring down to Orange Beach, Alabama for an entire week vacation.

Oh holy moly was this a big gift. I mean, it is a huge present to give anybody a trip, but to Rob and I, it was HUGE. Since we decided to start shooting out babies every year and a half, we have taken one road trip to Missouri for a family reunion and one trip to Kansas to see my extended family for Easter. It was something we knew we were going to do without when I quit my full time or even part time job. I would have been happy with a little lake vacation, but Oh. My. Gosh. THE OCEAN!!!!!!

So, we headed down to Orange Beach and met up with my parents, my two sisters, my niece, and my nephew and enjoyed the luxuries of a gigantic 4 bedroom condo with a porch that overlooked the ocean, a water slide, a lazy river, a swimming pool, and a big ocean.

Our awesome condo, can you see our room? Its on the 11th floor on the right.
The kids were in their beach-wear within minutes of entering the condo. They didn't really understand the unpacking the car process or the need for it. Krystal-Ry loved his Buzz and Woody floatie that Harpert gave him in the goody bag.
Max's first shot of the ocean. I feel I captured his excitement well, right?
The walk to the ocean. Rylan still with his arm floaties AND Buzz and Woody floatie
Anthony took a small time out from body boarding to try to teach Max to crawl.
It helped, he's a full time scooter now
And, Tam and I got up early to walk a few days and she helped me carry my 20lb tiny baby around. You really get a good workout carrying Max while trying not to sink into the sand.
Clay and Angie at the Shrimp Basket
Same Shrimp Basket, Rylan with his cousin's mermaid. Totally normal. Don't I look like I'm taking a picture with Justin Bieber or something? Or in my case it would have been New Kids On The Block. Guess I'm just happy to be on vacay.

My best friend, Brigid always takes a pic by the pool or beach and posts it on facebook and its everything I can do not to tell her to suck it. Here's my gangly feet (pre toe injury, see below) next to the pool. So what if its the kiddie pool.
Me and my pal Max. He was so Zen by the ocean.

For the most part, so was this guy

Rylan and Zoe trying to catch a Blue Angel air show
Swimming "poo" cutie
Family trip down the lazy river

Max ate ALOT of that sand
I tell you, it was his Zen place
Girls night out. We went and had some drinks and yummy seafood nachos, got a tiny bit tipsy and tried to go see the movie Bridesmaids. But, we were late, so we shopped and went to yet another restaurant and had another yummy meal.
On Thursday of that week, the older boys plus Mom and Angie went to a fishing charter. Tammy and I decided to take my two plus Zoe "on an adventure." For Tammy and I, an adventure involves learning how Krispie Kreme doughnuts are made, then going to Target. Here is Zoe making a silly face,
This was her first silly face and it looks like the doughnuts gave her a facial paralysis of some sort, still love this pic.
Krispie Kreme cutie
He likes frosting and sprinkles, no thanks on the doughnut.
Rob and our happy baby chillin on the beach
Tammy and mom cooking us some of the fish they caught. Each family took one night to cook a big meal to minimize how much we had to eat out. My night was Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and brownies that stick directly to your thighs. Angie made Shrimp Tacos, cheese dip and ice cream with Magic Shell, and Mom and Dad made Panko Crusted Red Snapper and Strawberry Ice Cream Sundaes. Yeah, we ate like kings. And queens. And princes, and princesses.

Our sand artist. He was feeling especially two this day and refused to put on a bathing suit, saying noooooooo when I asked if he wanted to swim. He then headed straight for the water fully dressed when we got down there. That would be why his pants are drooping.
We still got a sweet walk in to collect shells

On our last day, we had a 9th birthday party for Anthony. Cake and ice cream followed by a trip for all to an arcade/go cart/laser tag place. Fun times for all.

And then it was time to be sad and go home. This was a fantabulous trip. Had so much fun and wish I could bottle the joy I felt when my boys saw the ocean for the first time.

We weren't able to completly get away stress free, unfortunantly. Rylan was going through a major, major, like worse than ever before case of the twos. "NO" was his favorite word. So much that he made it a two syllable word. There was alot of toy stealing, pushing on brother and such. I hate the twos. It just looks like its so hard on him, the inner turmoil he's got going on in his head. Also, on the way to Alabama, Max got an ear infection. Stuff was oozing from his new ear tube ears. He was super sad about it. Then Rylan had night terrors from being in a new place and shouted out about 25 times a night for the first 2 or 3 nights. Then Rylan was about to be not so nice to his cousin and I went running to stop him and kicked an ottoman with my foot and promtly broke my toe. OUCH! Then Rylan's asthma flared up and the poor kid coughed all night a few nights. On the way home Rob developed a terrible sinus infetion. We returned soooo exhausted.

We stayed in for the whole week, nursing a still sick Max, a wheezy Rylan and a limping mom. No playdates, no shopping, nothing. Lots of hard core parenting to stop the current two-isms. Then the boys and I jetted up to Kansas City for my cousin's wedding. Rob stayed to do something silly like work for a living. Besides Max continuing problems with this current awful ear infection, we had a great time, with a seriously attitude improved (and nightime sleeping) Rylan who loved a wedding dance and Max who charmed everyone with his smiles and passed out in the middle of the reception.

We are home for quite a while now. I miss the ocean. I miss having my family just a room away. But I love my house. And the normalcy that helps children sleep better. And I even missed our dang cocker spaniel.