Monthly Archives: June 2010

Pooh Un

Well, where to start?  The long-anticipated, when-will-it-ever-get-here Children’s Mercy appointment came and went without a hitch (mostly) yesterday, and we are on the road to helping Jordan say something other than “mmmm,” which is a very good thing.
I had to wake Jordan up to get him going in the morning, but once he was on the move, he was filled with that sort of crack-head energy that only Jordan has—you know the kind that makes you think someone must have put speed in his orange juice at dinner the night before.  We got ready, did a quick kid-clean, and I determined that a last-minute fingernail clipping was in order.  Because, honestly…this kid’s fingernails!  See, here’s the thing.  Jordan likes dirt, and it has become painfully clear that dirt also feels quite comfortable with Jordan, because the two of them hang out together.  A lot.  And it just so happens that his fingernails are where he tends to store his most favorite and cherished dirt.
I didn’t really have time to do the nail thing, but I quickly weighed the option of taking dirty-nail kid to the doctors’ office as-is and just as quickly dismissed the idea, because I was pretty sure they might try to send me home with free soap or something.  Anyway, a quick excavation with that diggy thing that is attached to the clippers, and we were good to go.
Jordan climbed into the car with his new BFF, the Buzz Lightyear action figure Jason and I bought for him last weekend, because his new favorite movie EVER is Toy Story, and we thought it would be cool if the boys had Buzz and Woody action figures.  Needless to say, Buzz has remained in Jordan’s clutches for nearly an entire week, and it was apparent he was making the trek to Children’s Mercy with us.  And when we arrived, do you know what was playing in the waiting room?  Toy Story!  Upon seeing this, Jordan seemed convinced that we had, indeed, traveled to a magical land where his every wish would come true.
And he was pretty much right.  When we were called in, we were surrounded by a team of 6 doctors—that’s a LOT of brain power in one room.  I was sitting in a chair when the doctors entered the room single-file and introduced themselves, and sitting there looking up at them, I swear I felt like I was a kid in the principal’s office just waiting to get yelled at for holding a sit-in protesting something or other in the gym.  (Oh, wait, that was a flashback to high school.  Nevermind.  But I still felt like a kid in trouble.)
The first question I got was something to the effect of ‘how does the little guy do with separating from Mom?  Will he talk to us?’
Ok, um, he would pretty much talk to a guy in a rusty van peddling kittens and lollipops, so yeah, I’m pretty sure he’ll hang with you.
So, off I went with 4 or so of the doctors while Jordan obliviously played and interacted with a couple more of the posse.  As I left the room, I glanced back, and it was pretty much like he had gone to heaven.  He was surrounded with toys and puzzles and people paying all kinds of attention to him, so yeah, he was ok with that.
Three hours later.  Yes, THREE.  That’s a lot of hours with no restroom break, and believe me, I needed a break.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, three hours later, they all converged on me in my little interrogation room to pass along a profound piece of information regarding their observations of Jordan.  Guess what?  He can’t talk.
Three months we waited for this appointment, and I know we’ll get more information in the parent follow-up, but I sort of expected some life-altering information after three whole hours, something like, ‘Oh, we discovered that the problem is that his tongue has been paralyzed this whole time’ or something like that.  But all I got so far is that he can’t talk.  Really?  Because all this time I thought he was just playing mute and then having secret conversations at night with the tooth fairy after we all fell asleep.
Anyway, there was one earth-shattering moment while talking to the speech therapist.  She got him to say ‘pudding.’  Well, it was more like ‘pooh’ + ‘un’—but it was more than we had ever gotten from him before.  She laughed and told me that she had been holding a container of chocolate pudding while teaching him to say the word—and he really wanted that pudding.  He went for the pudding.  Way to go, Jordan!  That boy is an eater, so I’m thinking if we use the speech therapist’s method, we should have the names of all the foods he likes down in no time.

Pass the Inhaler, Please

This weekend, I witnessed Micaela complete the “Murph” workout at the CrossFit gym in Lee’s Summit, and I can pretty much sum it up in one word.  Wow.
Of all the words in my big old word-nerd vocabulary, the best I can come up with is ‘Wow.’  Even after thinking about it this weekend and trying to wrap my head around the accomplishment, that’s all I can say.
First of all, Carl’s kids from the X-Treme Trampoline team joined him for this workout in honor of a fallen Marine—a worthy and admirable cause, and I was proud that my kid was one of the ones that was there.  They headed over to the CrossFit gym after they completed their usual 3-hour Saturday morning workout (ok, it was a smidge shy of 3 hours, because they wanted to get to the next place on time, but still).
Let me just say that if I had been asked to complete the activities that these guys completed, I’m pretty sure I would have ended up in an ambulance headed straight for the nearest ER.  In some strange sort of physical self-torture, the participants VOLUNTARILY subjected themselves to countless repetitions of, well, torture.  It went a little something like this:
Run 1 Mile
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Squats
Run 1 Mile
So, I’m just going to theoretically take myself through this workout.  Let’s just start from the beginning.  Run 1 mile.  Hopefully, I have DAYS to actually complete this, because the only place I’ve been running lately is to the fridge to see if we have any ice cream left.  And is this like a REAL mile, or is it like a mile I measure?  (In which case a walk to the mailbox and back would count.)
Moving along.  Let’s just say I actually complete the mile without either of my lungs collapsing and without going into some sort of asthmatic wheeze-attack.  100 pull ups.  Uh huh.  Got it.  So, let me just get this straight—they want me to actually lift my body weight using the strength of my arms?  I will confess, the only thing I have pulled up lately is the blanket before I take my nap.
200 push ups.  Much like the dreaded pull up, this has not been accomplished in quite some time, and I feel quite certain that if I attempted it at this point in my life, I would end up flat on my face with a broken nose.  Maybe with the assistance of a car jack I could do this.  Maybe.  But 200 times?  Um, nope.  Not happening.
Whew, almost there.  This workout is a walk in the park!  Only 300 squats left to go.  And that would be great, except for the fact that the first time I squatted, my legs would turn to mush and refuse to lift the half side of beef that I affectionately call my butt.
And let’s just assume I made it through that insane amount of self-imposed torture.  (I know, I’m cracking up, too…but let’s pretend.)  THEN, after my entire body turns to a wobbly bowl of pudding and I have no feeling left from the hips down…THEN, all I would need to do is run another mile.  Oh yeah, no problem.  Because The Bionic Woman was my great aunt, but keep that on the down-low, because I promised not to tell.
Just watching these people made me want to hook my inhaler up to a continuous airflow to maintain some semblance of oxygen absorption.  I could feel my lungs seizing and my bronchials beginning to spasm as I dodged the flying sweat droplets that flew through the room.  Holy Heart Failure, Batman!  I was in the presence of workout royalty.  I was surrounded by studs, both men and women alike, and at that moment I knew that I never, ever wanted to make one of them mad, because they would squash me like bug.  (An inhaler-dependent, wheezing, out-of-shape bug.)
But I digress.  As I watched these athletes finish the challenge set before them, I remembered that my kid was among them.  There were a few kids, all the ones Carl could coerce/threaten/bribe to participate in this painful ritual, and they all finished.  OMG, did you hear me?  They all finished this insanely crazy insane challenge.  Why?  Because they are awesome.  My kid was awesome.  She came through that workout like a trooper.  I have never ever seen her sweat so much (well, except for all those times I make her do manual labor around the house), and I’m pretty sure that amidst the look of pain and suffering, there was also a look of accomplishment on her sweaty, drippy face.  Way to go, girl—you rocked that workout!

Today’s Forecast–Bargains With a Chance of Freebies

It’s that glorious time of year, the day we have all been waiting for—the day we will finally (maybe) be able to see our garage floor again.  For 12 months now, since the last garage sale, we have been preparing for this year’s garage sale, piling mountains and mountains of crap we swear we will never accumulate again into the garage.  All for this momentous occasion…The Eagle Creek Annual Garage Sale!
I have stacked and folded and organized and priced, and now the time has come to get rid of these huge piles of stuff we have been hanging on to.  Tonight, the streets will be alive with throngs of bargain-hunting, quarter-toting professional garage-sale shoppers.  And boy, do I have a deal for them.  Lots of deals.
So here’s the thing.  What IS it with kids and garage sales?  Do they not understand that a garage sale is our way of sharing with the universe (or the neighborhood) some of the things we have had the good fortune to own?  Seriously, I have collected toys and games and STUFF for months, stuff that my kids do not use, play with, or show any interest in whatsoever.
Until it’s garage sale time.  Then, it’s, “Oh, that’s my long-lost purple fuzzy Polly Woggle!” and “Why are you getting rid of my favorite bottle of Eau de Funkytown perfume?”
Seriously?  Boys, I am getting rid of the play vacuum cleaner because you have not looked at it in over 11 months.  Girls, I am getting rid of the hand-knit sweaters you got from Great-Great Aunt Gertrude because they are hideous.  Any more questions?
And Honey, yes, I AM getting rid of the dress shirts you have had since 1985.  Why?  Well, let me tell you.  Because I can…that’s why!  BWA-HA-HA-HA!

A Short Essay by Jadon Stahl

All I Really Need to Know…
…I learned when I was three.  For example:
Those little metal paperclip-clamp thingies really hurt when you clamp them to your tongue.  Also, this is not recommended if you have just finished a round of “crying wolf” with your mom, because she will likely refuse to come up the stairs AGAIN to see what the problem is THIS TIME.  And then you will be stuck with the clamp of death on your tongue until you finally scream loudly enough to make your mom think that, dang, maybe some wild animal is gnawing my child’s leg off–I should maybe check that out.
The end.

SpongeBob, My Hero

Who would have ever imagined?  There are lots of people I could idolize right now, but tops on the list is SpongeBob.
Why? you might ask.  Well, I’ll tell you.  After MONTHS of grueling attempts at potty training two boys—two boys, might I add, that are over three years old and perfectly capable of knowing when it’s time to go pee in the potty—I was part of the following conversation:
Me:  Hey, boys, who wants to go swimming?  (This, as I hold out two pairs of swim trunks with pineapples printed all over them.)
Jadon:  I go swimming.  That’s SpongeBob’s house (said while pointing at aforementioned pineapples on the trunks).
Me:  Yes, it is.  (Blah, blah…whatever, just put the pants on.)
Jadon:  I can’t pee on SpongeBob’s house.
Me:  (In a rare moment of mommy enlightenment.)  Yes!  YES!  You are right…it would not be nice to pee on SpongeBob’s house!  (Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to pee on Mommy’s carpet, but that’s neither here nor there.)
At this point, I’m near hyperventilation as I realize the utter HUGENESS of this gift I have been given!  A glimpse into the 3-year-old mind!  It was a scene much like the one you might imagine of a cartoon mad scientist shouting “Eureka!”—complete with the wild hair and frazzled gaze.  I had discovered the secret to potty training my boys—at last, a major scientific discovery sure to affect generations of potty trainers to come!
And yes, they spent pretty much the entire weekend in those pineapple swim trunks, and I’m pretty sure they can count on wearing them throughout the week.  I’m wondering when I might get the opportunity to wash them, but for now, I’m just grateful that my boys don’t smell like a urinal.  Oh yeah, and if anyone has any hand-me-down clothing that might have pineapples on it, please send it my way.
SpongeBob, I swoon at the mere mention of your name.

To Whom It May Concern

I would like to formally thank the firework-shooting hillbillies we live by for plunging our evening into the depths of hell last night.  Ok, now that that’s off my chest, I can calmly wonder What the #$%$ is WRONG with people?
I know, I know.  Fireworks are fun.  Fireworks are American, sort of like apple pie.  Fireworks are almost a religion when it comes to certain holidays.  But seriously folks.  Really?  Memorial day is for recognizing our fallen soldiers.  So what better way to remember them than, oh…I dunno…setting something on FIRE?!
I personally have no aversion to fireworks.  In fact, as a kid, I can remember getting into numerous bottle-rocket wars with my little brother (wars in which I always cheated and he always ended up with some sort of skin-singing battle wounds).  Fireworks WERE fun…until I had scaredy-cat toddlers who are convinced the sky is falling every time they hear a boom.
Jadon is scared of thunder (or “funder” as he calls it).  He is also scared of water and bugs and well, pretty much everything.  So you can imagine what the child thinks when our neighbors decide to launch every projectile known to man in honor of our fallen soldiers.  He was pretty much convinced that we were under heavy mortar fire and that we needed to take shelter in an underground bunker to protect ourselves.
Jason did his best to calm Jadon down, but it seemed that just as he would get him settled, Billy Bob, Betty Sue, and their herd of one-toothed kin would start up again with the exploding of things in the sky.  C’mon folks, can’t you give a family a break?  Use a sparkler or something.  Or one of those little spark-pooping chickens—because those are cool and would be a fantastic way to celebrate Memorial Day.  Or at least just have one extra-large explosion and call it quits.
But enough of this all-night firefight that has my 3-year-old begging us to return him to the motherland where all he would have to worry about would be volcanoes and mudslides.
Sleep-Deprived Fireworks Opponent