(not just a) MommyBlog (dot com)

May 31st, 2009

We had our first Big Scare with Cooper this weekend.

Let me preface by saying that Casey and I are crazy careful about being baby-safe around the house: cords for all the blinds on hooks, doors double locked with bolts so high even I can barely reach them, permanent gates on the top and bottom of our stairs (they even match the railing) and nary an electric socket without a plastic cover.   One thing that I’m always super careful about is that, ever since Cooper  learned to pull  himself up,  we never put coffee on the coffee table.  

On Saturday morning we woke up and all wandered downstairs, hanging out in our pajamas, playing and talking and listening to music.   Casey was sitting on the couch reading a story to Kenny and I walked over to hand him a cup of coffee.   Not thinking, I set it for a second on the coffee table and turned around to get something else from the kitchen.   Cooper, who had been playing in the floor about ten feet away, crawled over and pulled it over on top of him.

The instant he shrieked I felt my knees give out – I knew exactly what had happened.   Casey and I reached him at the same time.   There was hot coffee all over his arm and down his shirt and into his diaper.   We raced him to the sink and put him under the cold running water.   I held him there while Casey filled a cold bathtub, and then I ran in with him and we sat in it together, still in our pjs, while Casey called 911.   Kenny jumped in the tub, too, instinctively playing with Cooper and trying to make him laugh.

After about five minutes, Cooper had stopped crying and sat in my lap, resting his head on my chest.   I took his clothes off and we wrapped a cold wet towel around his arm and torso, then a dry towel around the rest of him and Casey held him on the couch.   We could hear the sirens outside, and assumed they were on their way in.   I ran upstairs and threw on dry clothes and packed a diaper bag, in case we had to head to the hospital, then Kenny and I went up the sidewalk to the street to look for the paramedics.   They’d passed our house at least once, and we could hear the sirens just on the other side of our circle – it’s a crazy street and they were obviously not finding our house.  

We waited for what seemed like forever, then saw the firetruck and and ambulance turn the corner.   We flagged them down and two volunteer firemen and three EMTs  followed us down the walk, into the house.   A lot of action for our sleepy neighborhood at 7 AM on a Saturday.

They were super-kind, and the head guy checked Cooper carefully, and announced that he was not only fine, but more than fine – not a single burn or red mark remained on his chilly skin.   They affirmed that what we did was right, though advised that it’s best not to remove the clothing, just in case.    We made some relieved small talk as the second-responders arrived.   With ten strangers in our living room in the early sunshine, we made some cracks about inviting them to stay for pancakes.   They reassured us that we did the right thing to call and bid farewell, each of them patting Dudley on the head and high-fiving Kenny.

Strange that by 7:30, it felt like a whole day had passed.

Cooper is fine, and we learned a huge lesson.   It really is a miracle that he wasn’t seriously burned.     Not only had I just poured the coffee, but Casey and I always microwave ours to make it “extra hot.”   In a moment our whole lives could have been changed, and I keep marveling over the fact that Coop made it through without so much as a single mar on his perfect skin.

Amen, and amen again.

And no more coffee on the coffee table.

Little Boy Blue

May 26th, 2009

Cooper left babyhood today – in looks at least.  

His bouffant of wild hair is no more.   He’s been called a girl too many times lately – or rather, everytime he isn’t wearing head to toe blue with some kind of logo on his shirt that says, “Mommy’s boy!”    

I  begin with the notion  to just  trim his bangs – something I’ve done at least three times before, but the rest has gotten so long and billowy that he suddenly looked like I’d put a bowl over his head.   I trimmed the sides and he looked decidedly like one of The Beatles.   So, past the point of no return, I literally crawled behind him and trimmed and clipped for another twenty minutes, at times scrambling with a piece of hair between my fingers and the scissors poised as I paced him around his room.

It’s not a perfect haircut, but Wow!, doesn’t my little guy look good?


(Ok, a little gel never hurts either, right?)

No Place Like Home

May 24th, 2009

We left the Outer Banks yesterday morning, and planned a long, scenic drive back.   We had rented our house out to other vacationers (hey – we live on the water, so why not, right?) and their “check out” wasn’t until 11 AM today, while our vacation check out was at 11 AM on Saturday.   Highlights from the 24 hours we  took to get home:

– I actually nursed Cooper while he was strapped in the car seat.   No, the car wasn’t moving; Casey was loading up the last of our stuff, and we strapped the kids in the car for the last 15 minutes of loading so that we could race in and out with bags.   He was loosing it – way late for a morning nap and already  hungry for lunch.   I leaned over his seat (a little bit of an acrobatic feat) and lifted my shirt.   Bliss for him, peace and quiet and a three our nap to celebrate for us!

– We decided to stop at Chincoteague Island – home of the feral ponies – for the afternoon.   After visiting a brand-spankin’-new playground at the water’s edge, we hit a rural arcade and Casey and Kenny rode Go Karts and Bumper Boats while Cooper and I sat in the car and … yep – nursed right there in the front seat, this time with him in my lap.   I tried to look cool and non-chalant as preteens and vacationing families walked past, as if breast feeding in the front seat of a car in a busy parking lot is just par for the putt-putt course…

– After a stroll through another park, for Dudley’s  sake, and a  leisurely local seafood dinner, we got back into the car to head to my parent’s house for the night.     We hadn’t gotten 45 minutes down the road when the Bottomless Pit (who’d already eaten more than Kenny at dinnertime) decided that he needed  a nightcap.   We needed gas anyway, so we pulled into a small town Texacoand there I sat, half-topless again, under the glow of the neon star.     I don’t know if it was all the Dr. Pepper I’d had that afternoon or what, but this time there was no soporific effect, and my little bull screamed for another 30 minutes down the road.   Waaaaa…

(By the way, Cooper has nearly given up nursing.   Maybe it was the sudden inferred inaccessibility of my breasts that put him into a binge, but he nursed more yesterday than he has in one day since he was 6 months old.)

We arrived at my folk’s around 9:30 and though Cooper and Kenny had been snoring in the backseat, they were instantly awake.   Kenny was soothed back into dreamland soon enough, but Cooper turned into a Cowboy and hammed it up for the next hour and a half.   I tried nursing (again) and then a bottle, but he was rarin’ to go – ready to par-tay.   Yeee haw.   He wiggled, giggle and crawled like a boy on fire.   It was hysterically funny, but we were all getting kind of tired and were really ready for him to hit the hay.   Casey finally held him immobile in a dark room and he fitfully dozed off, only to be wide awake again at 4:30 in the morning, ready to start all over again.   Go figure.

But we had a great morning at my parent’s house, eating pancakes on the screened porch and letting the boys play in the dirt.    We finally packed it up again and headed to our own house, arriving right at 11, having missed our renters by minutes, it seems.   They left the house spotless.   Pristine.   And they washed, dried and folded all the linens.     I actually got a lump in my throat as I went from room to room and saw what a perfect job they did of caring for our house.   They even left us flowers.  

I think the best part of it all is that we still have one more day off tomorrow… we don’t have any plans other than fishing and setting the crab traps and playing in the back yard.   Now that’s a vacation!


May 22nd, 2009




I can hardly believe it’s our last night of vacation.   Casey is even beginning to pack  up the car, as I sit here at  the laptop in denial that we  will head out tomorrow.   Our first four days here the weather did not cooperate with our beach-going plans, and it  feels like we’ve barely been here, now that the  air has  warmed and the rain  has left.

We’ve had a wonderful time reconnecting as a family.   Kenny and Cooper are certifiable beach boys, and are happy to spend hours on end playing in the sand and being doused by waves.   We’ve  walked miles each day and Dudley has had more than his fair share of wave surfing and beach running.   I read a novel all the way through (actually, I did that in 24 hours – I even stayed up most of one night to finish it) and Kenny and Cooper have had bedtime rituals that extend for hours in the sleepy sunsets.   we celebrated our last night tonight with a pizza and wine on the beach, Kenny dancing in the sand and Cooper eating everyone’s crusts with gusto.

We’ve eaten more ice cream sandwiches in the last five days than in the whole last year.    I even invented a game where I hid them in the cooler, and whenever a helicopter flew overhead, I threw one in the air in Kenny’s direction and yelled, “Kenny!   It’s the ice cream helicopter!”   He would give me the fish eye and say, “Was that really you, Mama?”   I would shrug and say, “I don’t know, it just fell out of the sky…”   At one point today when Kenny sassed at me, I responded, “You’d better listen to me now, or there’s gonna be no more ice cream sandwiches falling from the sky.”   Casey snorted and Kenny looked chagrined.   Ah yes, all vacations must come to an end.


Disappearing Act

May 21st, 2009

Ok, ok… it’s been nearly four weeks since I posted on my blog.   No only that, it’s been four weeks since I typed my own blog’s name into the web browser.   Of anyone else’s blog’s name for that matter.   I’ve barely checked email and only gotten on the computer here and there to read the headlines on CNN.

I’m sure all of you had at least one relationship in college that you disappeared on.   Mine was a semi-casual boyfriend that one day I just up and decided that, not only did I not want to go out with him any more, but that everything about him – even the way he breathed for goodness sakes – drove me insane and I couldn’t stand one more  minute in his presence.   There was nothing wrong with him, mind you.   I just couldn’t be in the same airspace as him or I felt the urge to poke him under the ribs.   Not rational.   Not fair.   He, fortunately, was a real stellar guy and played along, ignoring me in return, except for a wink here and there, as if to say, “Hey, girl, I know this game.   You’re gonna miss me someday.”

Well, I never really did miss him (though a semester later we laughed over it and became friends), but neither did I ever really have an explanation for my radical distain.   I guess you could say that’s kind of what happened to me and poor old MommyBlog this past month.

It all started when Casey and I began to talk about expanding this blog – I’ve written about that before – and I decided to do some due diligence and really see who out there had great mommy blogs, who was doing well and why they were so popular.   I spent a week reading, watching and checking it into the Who’s Who of the blogosphere.   And you know what?   I was buried.   Suddenly, I panicked.     Twitter?   Oh my goodness, what on earth?   Now all the really cool mommy bloggers were tweeting all over the place and I didn’t even know a tweet from a twit.   Forget Facebook.    I joined that a year ago and I think I’ve been on it four times.   That sent me into reliving the clammy palms of high school: everyone seeing how  many friends I had and how cool (or not) I was.   I can barely keep up with daily email chatter,   much less pings and pongs and real time updates.   Hell, I can barely keep my dishwasher unloaded.

Then there were the playlists, so that your readers could bop along to your own selected  while keeping up with your kids’ antics.   Blogrolls a hundred sites  long.     Rolling headline pictures, newsfeeds and buttons galore.     And the wackiest of all: half the mommy blogs I read didn’t even have anything to do with the author’s kids!   I suddenly felt like Laura Ingalls walking into a swinger’s bar.   Old fashioned, un-hip and so not with it.

Honestly, I had to take a break.   I needed to just hang with my kids, clean my house, and get this family ready for vacation (which I’m on now!).   Writer’s blog slayed me and just thinking about blogging was like fingernails on the chalkboard. But the salty air of the Outer Banks has cleared my head a little and with no housework and only time to laugh and play and eat pint-loads of ice cream, I think that I may be ready to hit the keypad again.

Why do I write? To  chronicle my kids’ lives.   To create something that Kenny and Cooper can look back on one day and read and say, “Hey – we really put Mom through the ringer!   Let’s send her on a first class trip to Paris next Mother’s Day…”   But really: to someday share a piece of their lives with them, and to share with them a glimpse into the woman I once was, back before they can remember.

When we lived in Arizona, Casey walked out one night onto the golf course we lived on to hit a few balls in the sunset while I put baby Kenny to bed.   He hit a hole in one, and looked around triumphantly.   Not a single soul saw it happen.   Dejected, he walked into the house and said, “Now I know what lonely is.”   And that sums up why we blog.   Our exploits and triumphs aren’t complete until we retell them to someone else.

And that is why I will continue to write.



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