Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Songs coming from my bathroom.

I use a baby monitor when Jackson is in the bath so I can leave the room off and on and still hear what it going on in there. Lately this has led to my discovering his singing ability. Whenever I leave the room, he starts to sing. Mostly he sings me happy birthday. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago so it is fresh on his mind. His song goes:

"Happy Birthday to Mama, happy birthday to mama, happy birthday to mama...yaaaaayyyyy" with lots of clapping.

Tonight he added to his repertoire with a rousing rendition of Old Macdonald. Except he likes to change the lyrics and laugh. For example:

"Old Macdonald had a purple car, oh yee oh yee oh"

And for his third number he chose the ever popular Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. his version:

"Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you had for breakfast! What you had for BREAKFAST!" lots of squealing laughter.

That one I think came from Go Diego. I vaguely remember them singing and talking to a star this morning. I don't think he randomly made that one up.

Anyway, his singing is hilarious and I need to get it on video, but he won't perform for the camera.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sometimes you just gotta ask.

Does this pig look scary to you? Cause it turns out he is keeping my entire family awake at night. Jackson has been getting into our bed at night for quite some time, disrupting our sleep. He really thrashes about in his sleep. So much so that I remember all those restless leg syndrome drug commercials and wonder if he has that. Of course I don't think drugs to help him sleep would be a good idea at all. But I can't imagine it is very restful the way he sleeps. It sure as hell disrupts my sleep. And when I put him back in his bed, he is back in mine sometimes within an hour, sometimes not even ten minutes. David and I have been trying to decide what to do about it. But coming up short.

Tonight when I was laying in Jackson's bed with him reading before bedtime, it occurred to me to simply ask him what he was thinking about when he woke up at night and got into my bed.

He immediately started to tell me that he saw "really scary things" when he opens his eyes. He rambled about spiders on the ceiling. Which is really creepy, because my husband can tell you that is my number one middle of the night hallucination that makes me sit up screaming and flailing my arms to get the spider before it lands on me as it drops from the ceiling. I am sure Jackson has never heard us talk about it. So did I hereditarily pass on my spider hallucination to my son?

And I haven't even gotten to the pig yet. The pig has always sat on his dresser in his room and it played a big part in his 'why he comes to my room at night' story. He kept saying he had to tip-toe past the pig. I kept thinking 'what pig'? What was he talking about. I couldn't think of any pig. But then I scanned the room and there it was. The pig. Staring right at the bed. WTF? Why didn't we notice such a thing and why did he never mention it?

He doesn't act scared when he comes to my room. And when he protests getting back into his bed he never says 'I don't want to go back, I'm scared.' And that is the one thing I have perfect sympathy for, since I spent my childhood running to my dad at night when I had bad dreams - which was all the time.

Jackson then went on to point out his toy truck that I put on the top shelf of his new unit across from his bed. This is a big tow truck from the movie Cars, so it has big ol eyes. He loves this truck, but he says sometimes "Mater" scares him at night. So in the dark the boy wakes up and there is this pig and this truck staring at him. So he comes to my room, but he never mentions being scared.

So sometimes you just gotta ask. Cause I thought if he were scared he would say so and obviously this is not the case. I took Mater down from the shelf and removed the pig and have not heard a peep from him since I turned off the light, which is definitely now how it normally goes at bedtime.

So let's see if he comes as much to my room at night. I don't think it will stop. I can take all the toys with eyes from his room, but the spiders dropping from the ceiling I can do nothing about. If I could I'd have stopped seeing them myself, right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Peeing on the stairs, breakdowns and expensive earrings

This weekend was tough with moments of awesome.

On Saturday, David had to film a scene for his upcoming show. It is a live musical, but this vignette will be played on a screen. Should be pretty cool. I was invited to come and hang out while they filmed. But I thought it was a bad idea since I have a Jackson and 3 year-olds don't mix well with "Quiet on the set." Instead I had tentative plans to meet Andrea for lunch and kill some time with her. But she had a plumbing emergency dripping in a bucket on her dining room table. Then David called from Kyle's house where they were filming and encouraged me again to come out. So I went, despite my knowledge that it wasn't a good idea.

We got there before the filming started and got to visit and hang out for a bit. And Jackson took the opportunity to play on the piano...and pee on the piano bench. The padded seat of the piano bench luckily comes off for washing. I guess they anticipate the occasional peeing house guest. I shrugged that slight embarrassment off as best I could and when they started filming, to preserve the quiet, I took Jackson down to the pool and we spent around an hour playing together in the water. But then it got chilly and Jackson's teeth were chattering and I was tired and feeling isolated and worn out by the demands of the boy.

So on their break, I went back upstairs with him and got dried off. It was fine until they started filming again and Jackson started begging to go back to the pool. And then he peed on the stairs. Just stood there and peed. It does a mother proud when she takes her 98% potty-trained child to a friends home and he liberally sprays the premises, marking his territory. He has consistently used the potty for a month or more and he chose Saturday to fall off the wagon. So embarrassing.

But worse was the fact that I have gotten used to him not having accidents and only packed one change of clothes in his back pack. Since peeing on the stairs was his second accident I was fresh out of dry underpants. So that ended our day out. I told him we had to go home, which was the wrong thing to do before gathering up all our stuff. Cause he immediately started freaking out and crying and yelling that he didn't want to leave and he wanted his daddy. If I had been smart I would have gathered the wet swimsuits and his socks and shoes and bags and then said "let's go" on the way out the door. As it was his tantrum disrupted the filming and they had to stop until I managed to get the kid and all my stuff out the door.

What a disaster. I was embarrassed because he peed everywhere and I couldn't keep him quiet and it made me really mad. And when Jackson is mad and I am mad we escalate each other's bad behavior. We fight. I yell at him, he yells at me and it just keeps going until one of us gives in - usually me. He is just like me, he has to win, has to have the last word. But I am the adult. And I should have recognized that a place where they needed quiet was not an appropriate place to take an energetic, carousing child. I did recognize it. Which is why I didn't get in the car and go with David that morning when he left. It is my own fault.

Jackson and I finally made peace, as we usually do. But the day was pretty much shot. It is exhausting to fight with a 3 year-old.

So Sunday brought a much-needed break for me and Jackson. He went with David to Harker Heights to spend the day with his Omi and Grandpa. David and his Dad spent the day installing a new muffler and exhaust system in his car. I planned a day shopping and hanging out with Andrea, as a make-up for Saturday. It didn't go exactly as planned.

We had lunch at Ihop and had a great time, with me giving her tons of un-asked-for advice that she may or may not follow. But I like to hear myself talk sometimes and she is a great listener. We decided to head over to the Outlet Mall nearby to spend some money, but when we got in my car, it wouldn't start.

Dead battery. Unjumpable dead battery. So on my make-up, break from Jackson, day with my extremely busy best friend who I hardly see, my car broke down and I had to call a tow truck.

It isn't all tragedy as I have towing coverage on my insurance and road-side assistance to coordinate it all. And the tow truck got there pretty quickly. Elaine came over and picked up Andrea and took her back to my house to get her car while I rode in the tow truck to the dealership across the highway. I left my keys and instructions in the lock box since they were closed. Then we headed as planned to the outlet mall. Except I was now really in need of retail therapy and even more determined to blow some money on something frivolous.

And I did. Andrea made me do it. I would have talked myself out of it if she hadn't been there chanting at me to buy them. Them being diamond earrings. A tiny circle of yellow diamonds connected to a slightly bigger circle of white diamonds. The store had a ton of things 80% off. I absolutely love them and I have never walked into a jewelry store and bought myself something expensive. And since I had birthday money to spend, Andrea wouldn't let me out of it. (Thanks Dad.)

Tonya came and took me and Jackson to work so we didn't have to miss because of my car. The dealership confirmed the very dead battery and I also had them do the timing belt service that was due on it. I feel like a real adult today. I had major work done on my car for something that wasn't even broken! That is a real milestone for me. Servicing a car before it breaks instead of running around behind it after it breaks is so grown-up.

Heh, that is funny. I am married with a child and a mortgage, been through the hell of a cancer diagnosis and chemo and I only feel like a grown-up when shelling out a bunch of money on preemptive car work. Life is funny that way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Paci's, birthday's and recovered cats

Sam is curled up on the couch (on a towel) next to me sleeping comfortably with what looks like much relief and contentment. David left work early and met me at the vet to pick him up around 4:30 this afternoon. We paid our bill and talked to the vet about what we need to do for him for the next few days. She wants us to keep him inside for 5 days which will be hard. This is a cat who wants to be outside; who will only use a litter box if you lock the cat door and won't let him out. Right now he doesn't seem to want to wander, but I worry about days 3 - 5.

he smelled pretty bad when we picked him up. The vet said when she pulled the catheter, it is normal for him to be a little incontinent at first. So he had pee all over himself. She recommended a bath.

Any of you that have met my Sam understand what a terrifying prospect that would be. Sam is an alley cat, a touch-me-not, as Andrea puts it. He shows affection by biting you. He is kind of a cranky guy. Happy being a curmudgeon. And very strong. But boy, did he stink. So we locked ourselves in the bathroom with the cat and the handheld showerhead. It took us both, but we got him hosed down a little with baby shampoo and warm water. We were planning to keep him in the bathroom for a little while because of the leaking pee possibility. But he was really unhappy in there. We let him out and he followed David around and rubbed all over him. I think he is really happy to be home.

When David left for rehearsal he put Sam back in the bathroom, but I let him out again after I finally got Jackson settled into bed for the night. He followed me just as closely, which is unheard of for Sam, and he even sat in my towel-draped lap for half an hour wanting to be pet. Poor boy probably thought we had abandoned him and was surprised we brought him home again.

And we were quite happy that the bill was less than we thought it would be. 2 days and nights at the vets, meds, tests, IV and catheter ran us $368. I expected at least $500. But the vet that we go to has a reputation for no nonsense, upselling, and reasonable pricing. He has been in the same location since before I was born. And I am pleased that they took good care of Sam. Mcleod Animal Clinic on Mays in Round Rock.

On to the Pooh Paci saga.

So what is this? Day 4? We have survived thus far. The first night saw Jackson in my room at 3:00 in the morning missing his paci. He stood in the doorway and simply and matter-of-factly said, "Paci." This is the way he talks when he is trying to convince you that his request is reasonable and your refusal is not acceptable. he usually uses this tone of voice when seeking candy. Such as:

Jackson: Can I have some candy?
Mom/Dad: Not before dinner.
Jackson: (deadpan)Candy.

So he stood in the door saying, "Paci" a few times, then he climbed into my arms and settled in to sleep.

The next day, Wednesday, I guess it was, he was sitting on the potty at work, the very potty that took his paci, when he sighed sadly and lamented, "I wish the pooh paci would come back to me." I started encouraging him to tell people what had happened to his paci. He seemed to really want to talk about it and even developed a story - said the same way every time with the same arm movements. He'd say, "There was one yellow pooh paci (holding up one finger) it fell in the potty and mom tried to get it and couldn't get it and it went around and around and back and forth and down." (circular motions moving downward)

It wasn't long before he added to the story. I was shocked when he began the story with, "There was one green pooh paci (holding up one finger)." Because there was once a green pooh paci which was his favorite. It had Pooh and Piglet on it. It must have been a month or more ago. We were in the bathroom at home and I was rinsing out his nasty underpants back when he thought they were an alternative to pooing in the potty. So the potty was full of yucky brown water. He leaned over to see what I was doing (see a pattern here?) and the green paci fell into the potty. I fished it out and immediately trashed it. I couldn't give it back to him after it fell into the nasty toilet. He was a bit upset about it, but we still had the yellow pooh paci which he liked almost as much. So you can see that the potty taking his paci was the second time he had been robbed of a beloved pooh paci by a commode.

So the story now begins with, "There was one green pooh paci (holding up one finger) and it fell in the poopy potty and Mama threw it in the trash. And there was one yellow pooh paci (holding up one finger) it fell in the potty and mom tried to get it and couldn't get it and it went around and around and back and forth and down." ( circular motions moving downward). What a story teller.

Nap on Wednesday he fussed for quite some time before settling down to sleep. He didn't want me to leave the room, kept grabbing at my arm. He was obviously at a loss without his sleeping crutch. Wednesday night he showed up in my room in the middle of the night asking, "Can we go to the store and get a new paci, pleeeaaasse?" It breaks my heart that he misses it so much, but I didn't answer the question, just held him for a little while.

He halved the fuss time for his nap yesterday. Since I had a meeting last night, Elaine came and put him to bed for me. She said he asked her for a paci. She said she didn't have one and he asked, "Can you find one, please?" So sad.

Today at work, after telling his story a couple of times to interested parties, he asked me if we could get another paci and flush it down the potty. I guess he isn't traumatized so much. He went down for his nap without much trouble.

Course this morning we had an incident that made me laugh. Jackson has a purple helium balloon that has been slowly losing flight and tooling around the house for a few days, being blown about by the air conditioning. And in our house, when balloons get to this slow-death stage they inevitably end up in the guest bathroom hovering over the commode. So this morning when I took Jackson in there to pee, we turned on the light to discover his balloon hovering over the potty with its string hanging down into the water. Jackson reacted immediately with horror, : Noooooo! Don't take my balloon!" Poor baby is gonna develop a complex thinking the toilet is the evil entity that steals all your favorite belongings. "Muuuhahahahaha, I am the commode, I eat pooh paci's and I'm gonna get your purple car!"

So far this has not affected his potty training. He is still perfectly happy to deposit his wastes there, and he is possibly wanting to recreate the great paci flush of 08. But he just doesn't want it to take anything else he treasures.

Bedtime tonight has been a trial. He just couldn't settle down. Crys, yells and calls me in to say things like, "I need something. I need something to make me feel better. I'm sick. I need some medicine." These are not brand new statements from him. He oftens calls us in after bedtime to say he needs something to make him happy. It is just magnified right now and taking longer to get him to settle in. Hopefully this will calm down soon as he adjusts to a paci-less existance.

I guess I should talk about my birthday. I had such a bad day with my worry and guilt for Sam-cat. But it wasn't a terrible birthday. David, Jackson and I met Andrea at Tokyo Steakhouse for dinner and I ate way too much. Andrea gave me a spa gift bag - champagne, chocolates, bath salts, 'diamond' earrings and fancy glasses for the champagne. David asked me what I wanted last week and sent him a link to a jewelry organizer that I liked. So he bought it for me, opened it up and put a gorgeous pair of sapphire earrings in one of the pouches and put it back in the package. He is an awesome gift-giver. He really thinks about what he gets. Probably stood at the jewelry counter for an hour deciding. I know this because I have shopped for many a gift with him. Heh, the amount of time it takes or him to choose a simple birthday card for someone is amazing. "Pick one already," I often beg him. But that just shows how much it means to him that he get the right one.

Sam continues to sleep deeply here next to me. He is so glad to be home. I am happy too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sam is recovering!

Just a quick post to let you know that Sam, the cat, is recovering his kidney function! He is making urine and his lab values are 100% better than they were yesterday. They are keeping him another night and hopefully he can come home tomorrow!

I will post about the paci saga and birthday stuff and more Sam details later. I have to run to an evening Palace meeting. Elaine will be here shortly to hang with Jackson so I can head out. Gotta run.

Thanks for everyone's good thoughts and prayers and stuff for Sam cat. It looks as if he hasn't used all his 9 lives yet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sam cat is pretty sick

Sam is in the kitty hospital on fluids with acute kidney failure from a blocked bladder. We noticed he didn't seem to be feeling well the last couple days, but missed the signs of bladder blockage such as inability to pee cause we don't have a litter box. The cats use the cat door and go outside to do their business. So we didn't witness him struggling to pee. He was squatting kind of funny last night and that should have cued us in to the bladder issue. About Midnight last night, when I was finally heading to bed, I saw him squatting and finally got worried about bladder infection and debated taking him to the emergency vet right then.

If i had realized how common and serious bladder blockage is in male cats fed on dry food I would have gone right then. I didn't know. I didn't know dry food plus hot weather plus not drinking enough water leads to male cats having a problem with bladder infection and kidney problems and blockage leading to death. I just didn't know and I wish to hell had taken him the moment we realized he wasn't feeling quite right. He is just so stoic and doesn't wine and complain. He just wanted to be alone which actually isn't that unusual for him.

I had him at the vet at 7:30 this morning when they opened their doors. But it may be too late. There is a small chance that with iv fluids for 24 to 48 hours his kidneys could come back online and he will be fine. But there is a good chance he won't and this might be the end.

I am not dealing with that very well right now as I feel totally responsible for not getting him help sooner. I will post more tomorrow when they let me know if his kidneys are getting better or not.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

RIP Pooh Paci

It is 7:40 and the crying has begun and I hesitate to predict how long it will continue. For a tragedy occurred this afternoon of such epic proportion I am having a hard time retelling it. Today at approximately 12:30 p.m. Jackson's paci was taken from us. Whisked away in a devastating fashion. Whirled away, swept away...flushed away. The scene was the ladies bathroom at the Palace, in the first stall. Jackson had just finished a nice bowel movement, dutifully deposited in the potty like the big boy he is becoming. It was during the usually rewarding flush portion of the ritual that disaster struck. The small boy leaned over the potty to watch his issue go down when his prized possession, his "Pooh" paci (as in Winnie) fell from his lips into the maelstrom. I saw it happen, like slow motion, and I tried to reach it. Unthinkingly and without hesitation I thrust my hand into the commode and felt the paci (and the poop) slip through my fingers, lost to the industrial strength of the pressurized flush of the Palace potty.

There was a moment of shocked silence afterward, while the boy and I looked at each other in disbelief. Then the devastation hit us both. He cried for his loss of comfort just prior to his nap. I nearly cried for my now-ruined work day, as I knew that his nap would be a trial instead of a time of rest.

He cried, fussed, yelled and bargained from his crib-bed in the makeshift nursery at the Palace. After two hours of persistence, he peed in his pants, messing his bed in final defiance at the commode and at the mommy who did not, could not retrieve the last existing paci in the Sray Household.

It has been a long afternoon, but he finally calmed down, took his bath, and went to bed. Except he doesn't have his paci and he suspects that their might be an old red paci lurking about the house somewhere. And he may be right. It suspect the same thing. But am unwilling to take the house apart looking for it. The Pooh Paci is gone and some old, worn-out red paci that should have been thrown out ages ago is not going to do more than prolong the battle.

We have been weaning him off the paci, slowly, for some time now. And this violent 'whoosh' is not the way I planned or wanted to end the love affair with paci-dom. It has been traumatic to both the boy and his mommy. And now the cries of "Reeeddd Paacciii!" are probably going to continue well into the night. He seems to have accepted that the Pooh paci is gone. He saw it go. The red paci is still a beacon in his head, calling to him.

Sigh. It's gonna be a long night. Or two...or three.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Commentators and My Brother's Band

I'm blogging while I watch the Olympics. Men's synchronized diving, right now. It is amazing to watch the athletes and witness how their hard work has culminated in seconds of perfection - or not. But I would rather watch them all do well and the best win as opposed to have someone really mess up when it counts. That is heartbreaking to imagine how awful it must feel to get that far and have so much riding on their performance, only to have something you've done perfectly a hundred times go wrong. I get nervous watching the gymnastics and the commentators don't help with their prophesies of doom and their constantly harping on just exactly what this means if the screw up. I hate it. David suggests I mute the TV while watching Olympics, but I like to hear some of the human interest stories and point values and such. So I have to take the good with the overwhelming amount of crap the commentators insist on spewing.

And I can't help talking back to them and finishing their implied thoughts. Such as "This gymnast never did achieve the greatness I expected. When I first saw her in 2004, I thought she was fabulous." I have to add, "Now I think she just sucks! What kind of crappy floor exercise is this? WTF?" Of course the gymnast they are talking about looks just as amazing as the others and I can't see what she is missing to be better than the others. But the comments just make me laugh.

These divers have not an ounce of fat on their bodies. They aren't very muscular, except in the abs. It is hard not to stare at and compare their bodies when they are wearing only tiny speedo's and standing so still on my HD TV as they prepare to dive. They just said that they try to pair men with similar looks and body types. And it is true that the guys that are about the same size look more in sync even when they aren't really better than the other team where one guy is bigger than the other.

Is this the most boring post you have ever read? Me live blogging the Olympics? I am boring myself. So I will change the subject.

David and I went to my Dad's house this weekend and got to see my brother's band play. It was a fun time, even though the smoke in the bar got to us both. It is hard to be around it when you aren't used to it. My throat hurt the next morning from the smoke and from talking so loud above the band. But they sounded great and we had fun. It is a treat to see my brother perform. He is a great drummer and a fabulous backup singer. When he sings with Kevin, the lead, he makes the sound fuller and whole. He is really good with harmony and blending his voice with Kevin, adding to the sound, with out taking focus. Though I think he should feature himself more vocally. I know it is hard though, to drum and sing at the same time. We can't all be Phil Collins.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Birthday and Busy Days

I'm watching the Beijing opening ceremonies on my HD TV with the lights off. Pretty amazing! The colors and lights and intricate dances of people and technology is awesome. Wonder what it might be like to see it in person. Incredible. The dancers are in perfect synchronization, their timing perfect. What wonderful theatre it is. And women in colorful Chinese traditional costume are stunning, holy crap. I just heard that there are 15,000 performers working on the show. Hope you all get a chance to see some of this.

Yesterday was David's birthday. We started the celebration with a trip to my dentist. David and Jackson came along to watch me get my teeth cleaned. We thought it would be a good idea for Jackson to see me being worked on so that when we take him for his first cleaning in the near future he may be a little less freaked out. Not sure if it will really make a difference, but it sounds good. Now I just need to find a nearby pediatric dentist and get an appt. Probably the wrong time of year for that, back to school and all. But it needs to be done. Though my hygenist told me that kids don't build up tarter like adults do as a rule. Some exceptions of course, but they don't have to do much scraping on them, just check-ups and polishing.

After the dentist visit we had a nice family brunch at Kerby Lane, which I must point out to Elaine, is quite definitely better than that nice little local cafe we frequent. Lots of fresh fruit and the freshest tasting orange juice I ever had. We stuffed ourselves.

David's folks came over for dinner and birthday celebrating. And his mom made him a cat cake. I have been hearing about the legendary cat cake ever since I met David. Every birthday he talks about how his mother used to make him a cat cake every birthday. He talks so much about it that this year his mom decided to surprise him with one. And it was as tasty as it was pretty. (The true test of its worth is if fellow cancer-surviving blogger Radioactive Girl sees this picture and decided to copy it:)

David and I got our birthday presents from the Sray's who are always very generous. We got our own power washer so we don't have to borrow theirs. And both of us got all kinds of clothes. Mine are hip and trendy as usual. My mother-in-law knows how to dress me so I look cool. Enviable shopper that she is. I also got some gorgeous earrings and fancy soaps and a beautiful bright pink hand bag for fancy dress-up times.

Today at work was super-busy and I ran my buttocks off. It is so awesome that the Theatre is so busy with the show and the summer camps. We are just busy all the time now and with trying to get the new season up and all the bugs worked out, it sure makes for some hectic days. But I find that in the thick of it, when I am so busy I have to make a list to make sure I get to everything. And it is 3:00 on Friday and the printer shuts down in want of a new fusing and imaging unit and I am in the middle of printing 200 four-page, double-sided playbills for the children's performances in the morning and Progressive agrees to drop everything and come over immediately to work on it...well, when I am at my busiest and most productive all I can think is 'boy it's a good day to not have cancer.' And it is. I love working my ass off at the theatre. I feel respected by my co-workers and valued by the board members and appreciated by the patrons, who know I try to make them all feel like friends, especially the season ticket holders. It is a good day to have a job in the theatre. Thanks Palace, I love you, I do.

Tomorrow, bright and early, we are getting in the car and heading to my Dad's in Santa Anna. Haven't been out there, crap, I don't remember the last time. Easter-ish? It is time. My brother's band has a local gig and we will get to see them play. Should be fun.

We shall see how the 3-hour road trip sans diapers goes. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Where's my inspiration?

Why do I always have so much to say, so much insight to share in the middle of the night after my kid wakes me up and I can't go back to sleep? And then I get done with a long day of mothering and theatre-ing and I can't remember a single nugget of wisdom that I wanted to share. I mean, I got nothin.

I can report that Jackson is about 98% potty-trained - even at night. He decided that the cheap HEB pull-up knock-offs that I bought were too scratchy and he wants his underwear instead. So we gave it a shot and he stays dry most nights. And at naptime at work. Naptime on the weekend he seems to backslide a little bit. And he has also decided that the stains in his underpants from using them for #2 are unacceptable. He won't wear them. So we may have to invest in some new underpants now that he is not using them as a toilet and understandably doesn't want to go around in stained panties. We shall see.

Friday July, 28th was the last time Jackson and I had fast food for lunch. This summer has been a fast food summer cause Jackson is out of school and I want to get to work early which means taking our lunch. And instead of packing it, we were getting Wendy's, Golden Chick or McDonald's several days a week. And my pants are getting tight and I am feeling sluggish and bloaty. And it isn't good for Jackson. I can justify him eating gravy by the spoonful right now because he is so tiny and needs the calories. But Tonya recently pointed out, not-judgingly, that he is building habits right now and the habit of fast food is not a good one. And my pants are getting tight. Did I mention that? The little bit of weight I dropped sweating in Whorehouse is back with a vengeance and I don't like it. You just can't eat that crap everyday and not pay the consequences, unless you are me at 15 and not almost 32. So we have been packing our lunch and eating better. We have been, I said, as if Jackson helps me pack the lunches. I guess he supervises.

Oh, I remembered something I was thinking about at 5:30 this morning. My port. I think I want to get it taken out. It is bothering me lately. It is a foreign object stuck in there threaded into a major vein (or artery, whatever). I worry about it coming loose or getting infected and I have to go in to get it flushed every month. It is uncomfortable getting it flushed and I have to pay for that. And I also think about the scar. What if we coordinated its removal with a plastic surgeon who could remove the large scar from the implantation and let my skin start fresh. I think it would just be a couple of extra cuts. Not too difficult.

Course I worry that I will get it out and my next scan will come back with lymphoma and I would be sorry I hadn't kept it. I guess I could just get another one put in. And I am supposed to be thinking positive thoughts that the cancer will never be back. And if that is the case then this port needs to go. I don't need it and I don't want it. So next scan is in September. If that is clean then we get it taken out. So there.

Tomorrow is David's birthday. Jackson and I bought one of his presents together and I have been paranoid that he is going to tell his Daddy what we bought him. So far it remains a surprise. We both got the day off and will be having a dinner with his parents either here or at their house. David can't decide what he would prefer.

I also have a dental appt tomorrow morning. So here's to no cavities!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Being a mom is tough.

Jackson had his last dancing class today. I went over at 11:30 to watch their presentation without high hopes of Jackson being a dance prodigy. All week I asked him to show me his dancing and he refused. So I figured today's presentation would be no different. Aaaaand I was right.

Jackson was very happy to see me, jumping around and yelling "Hi mommy!" and really wanting me to hold him. The problem with that was the teacher had put all the kids in formation on their pink 'x's and now that I was there, Jackson had no intention of staying in formation to perform the dances. I did my best to keep putting him back on his spot and encouraging him to follow the teacher and do what the other kids were doing. No dice. He did only a little of the dances - only the parts that involved jumping around and growling - and simply wanted me to hold him and go have lunch. As far as he was concerned, class was over. He'd been with the kids and teacher for his time and was ready to go. Performing is apparently not his interest.

I admit I was embarrassed at his behavior. After the 5-day camp, he was the only remaining boy, I think there were 3 initially. And it was a group of 3 to 5 year olds. Jackson was the youngest but he wasn't the only one who wasn't participating willingly. So it shouldn't have bothered me. But the 3 year old girl who wanted to leave the circle and go to her mom got a firmish rebuke, 'No, you go back and show me your dance.' And the little girl went back. I would love to have a child who just did what I said like that, man. And I felt like people were watching Jackson cut up and make noise and loudly proclaiming "Can we go now?" and were thinking I was a crappy mom who couldn't control her child.

But people don't know what we have been through; that I had to give up primary care of him two or three weeks of the month for 6 months. They don't know the memory burned into my brain, and probably his, of the day before I went to the hospital when I was lying on the bathroom floor, in misery, unable to move while he stood in the doorway crying for mommy to please get up, please feel better. I have no defense when Jackson wants me to hold him, cause this past year has been rough on us both. If he would rather climb into my arms than stand in a circle and perform dances, I won't force him to do it. I can't force him to do it. And he is used to getting his way in part because of the cancer shit and all the turmoil it caused.

I got him to do more than he wanted to, but not as much as I would have liked. I knew it wasn't going to go well when the teacher was passing out brightly-colored scarves for one dance. She got to him and he said "I want pink." She had three or four pinks in her hand, but she had a green one held out to him and wouldn't take it back and give him one of the pinks. "Everyone can't have pink," she said. The three little girls next got them. Sigh. I know my boy and this would never satisfy him. And I think this dance out of all of them might have excited him, they wave the sheer scarves to the music. But he had a green scarf, not a pink one. Therefore there could be no dancing. Not Jackson. He dropped his green scarf disdainfully on the floor and spent the entire song unsuccessfully trying to convince the little girl next to him to fork over the pink scarf.

He did get excited when they got to the mat work. Everyone got to show us two of their favorite things they learned. The tiger walk, the crab walk, the back bend, etc. Jackson got his turn.

"Jackson what do you want to show us?"

"Raaaaccceee Ccaaarrrr!"

Teacher: (to the parents)
"We didn't actually learn that one..."

Then the big finish. The teacher was getting all the kids in place for the "grand finale' when Jackson started the pee pee dance. "Oh no! Oh no! The pee pee is coming out!" I grabbed him and ran to the bathroom just in time, but we totally missed the grand finale. So I think Jackson may be too little to get anything out of Kinderdance. I know he had a good time and was very excited to go. But I am afraid he was the class pain in the butt.

I am not sure what we need to be doing differently discipline-wise. He is really developed a temper. He doesn't mind me until I threaten him with the loss of a toy or no Sponge Bob or something else he wants. He is willful. And at work he is starting to behave badly after his nap when I am waiting on customers or answering the phone. He is really smart. He waits until I am on the phone or talking to people and he stands at my feet making as much noise as he can and asks for "candy! candy! candy!" Because unfortunately I got into the habit of keeping hard candies in my purse to slip him to keep him quiet on just such occasions. That means that I taught him to act up at exactly those times because he knows I will give in cause I am desperately trying to work. I recently switched to sugar-free candies, but I feel taken advantage of and like a doormat mom when he does that. And I am not sure what to do about it. "Will you please excuse me while I beat my child," just doesn't seem to be the answer somehow.

I better write some good things about the boy now, since I am his mother and and really proud of him and love him no matter what his dancing ability. He has continued with the excellent potty habits. No accidents, and lots of telling me (and everyone else within ear-shot) that he needs to go.

Yesterday at work he crawled into my lap and picked up a post-it note pad from the desk. He was playing with it a bit and discovered if you lift half the sheets, you could make the pad talk! "Hello, my name is paper, I'm going to eat you," he said in a gravely voice to his hot wheels car, whom the paper promptly gobbled.

And today on the way home an ambulance passed us with lights and sirens on. Jackson asked, "Where is the ambulance going?" I told him it was going to pick up a sick person and take them to the hospital. Jackson said, "I'm sick. I'm veerrry sick. Can the ambulance come and pick up meeeee?"

He is constantly asking if I am happy. If I am scolding him for something, he always asks me if I am happy. And if I say I am not happy because he won't help me pick up his toys or some other thing, he automatically turns into the Verizon guy - in my face with "Are you happy now, mom? Are you happy now? Are you happy?" Until I finally say, "Yeesss, I'm happy, geez!"

Being a mom is hard. I guess I am entering the stage of having a kiddo embarrass me in public and I don't know if there really is any way around that. I mean, all kids, every single one of them, are going to have bad days and scream their heads off in the line at HEB when you have a whole cart full of groceries to buy. And of course retailers certainly don't make it any easier on you with the candy and toys up front all the time, but that is a whole nuther blog post.