Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strep throat. Ninja Style.

Jack turned four years old on a Tuesday and on a Saturday, we hosted a birthday party - ninja style. 

We all wore Ninja Turtle Masks, beat to death a Ninja Turtle piƱata and then ate Ninja Turtle birthday cake. Jack was so excited about the birthday cake that before he blew out his candles, he licked all over it - like a rabid dog, he drooled all over the mutant green icing.

This is not surprising. Jack licks everything. He licks the grocery cart. He licks the carpet at church. He licks the van. He'll lick a stranger's pant leg. My family didn't mind the licked-over birthday cake. They'd all been licked by Jack, it's how he shows love and besides, a little four-year old slime would not keep my family off a birthday cake. Pretty sure the threat of AIDS wouldn't keep my family off a birthday cake. So we sliced into that turtle cake and ate it. It was extra gooey, just as a ninja turtle cake should be.

A few hours after the party, Jack passed out cold. I thought he had properly OD'ed and was slipping into a blood sugar coma, however his fever told me otherwise - 104 degrees hot. The next day would bring a diagnosis of strep throat. Awesome. Our family had brought Jack gifts, we gave them a bacterial infection.

A days worth of antibiotics, and Jack bounced back. You can't keep a good ninja turtle down, but a good ninja can take down his sisters. A few days later, Hadley and Cameron both spiked fevers and sore throats. Strep by birthday cake -  very clever evil ninja.

So I then had three children on antibiotics. That is 2 doses per day per child -  6 total doses a day over ten days. That's 60 tiny cups of the bubble-gum flavored elixir to administer to the world's worst medicine takers. Sorry, big drug companies but the reviews are in, and your bubble gum flavor tastes nothing of the sort. According to Cameron, it tastes like "butt."

Morning and night, I would line up the little doses on the counter for my little people and brace myself for at least 30 minutes of tough negations, bribes, bargains and threats.

You want a sucker? Sure thing.

A hamster? Not a shot in hell.

A dollar? Are you kidding me? I have no dollars left. We're going belly-up in co-pays and deductibles.

Your reward? YOUR REWARD???? Your reward is not getting strep so badly that it infects your hearts and brains. Your reward is life!!!! Is that not enough?!?! You get to live!!! Fuck no, they want a puppy. 

In the year 2014, how hard can it be to manufacture an antibiotic that doesn't taste like bubblegum that's been shoved up someone's ass? For god's sake, as a species we've managed to make decent tasting vegan meals. We can surely remove the butt flavor from antibiotics.

However, until then I'll have to convince my suicidal bunch, one dose at a time, that life is worth living for, even if it tastes like butt.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Shuffle Shuffle Jiggle It.

Selfie - after the run that almost
killed me. I didn't stop sweating for 3 days.
I've been running. Like, for exercise, and I absolutely hate it. I don't know why I do it. I guess I have some vain hope that it might make me skinny and give me long lean runner's legs. However, unless, running can somehow alter my DNA, I think I might be running in circles.

I've got short, very short, legs that look like they belong on a 70 year-old obese woman. They're dimply, veiny and thick. I hate them. I know I should be grateful that I have working limbs - I get that. But I'm vain. Who isn't? The Pope? Yeah, probably. The Pope is probably not vain and that's why he's not a runner. I can't recall any pictures of his holiness haulin' ass in his Nike sneakers. Vanity escapes only him. 

Just give me a good shrink (and a good plastic surgeon) and I'll work on that vanity. However, for now, I hate my legs and I'll hold onto the hope, or start praying to the Pope, that running might give me the legs of Cindy Crawford. 

Running is horrible, and I'm horrible at it. Though, I'm not sure you can call what I've been doing running, as I recently got passed up by an elderly couple who was walking their elderly dog. Seriously, this dog did not look good. They were dragging it down the street. Yet, they passed me right on by.

But, despite my speed, or lack thereof, it is my version of running. My style is not so much a run or a jog but more so a shuffle - a shuffle with a whole lot of jiggle. Kind of sounds like a new summer hip-hop rap hit: "Shuffle Shuffle Jiggle It." If my running career does not take off, it is quite possible I might have a hot career as a rapper. Word. Word to this mother. 

I've been drug into this dreadful exercise by two of the skinniest, fittest, fastest bitches alive. They're pretty good at sticking with me on our runs as they are patient and encouraging, yet I often feel as if  I'm the chubby girl who is holding them back. In our running pack, I am the weakest link and I often send them on their way as I lag behind. 

Have you seen us out there? It's a pretty sad sight. That is, if you're me. You might have seen two fit girls sprinting, laughing, barely breaking a sweat as they glide down the pavement. The chubby friend lagging about 50 feet behind leaving a trail of sweat and tears as she shuffles down the pavement near death - yeah, that'd be me. I'm like the caboose. Choo! Choo!

It doesn't help my efforts that I don't wear shorts. I haven't worn shorts in about 10 years. Shorts do not accentuate my best feature, which is any feature but my legs. This wardrobe handicap doesn't work well for a chubby girl running in soaring summer temperatures. Wearing black knit tight capri pants in 100 degree humid weather while trotting down the road might very well kill me. My last run felt like a death march. Dear fit skinny fast friends, please look behind you once and awhile to make sure I haven't dropped dead.

Running, however, did give birth to one of my greatest ideas ever. If I was going to to run, I was going to make it worth my while. Thus, the margarita run was born.  Recently, I gathered my friends, we ran about 3 miles to arrive at our local Mexican restaurant and then filled up with margaritas and table-side guacamole. Various husbands then picked most of us up, as we were too drunk to run it on home. Maybe I should have attempted that run, it might have been my best run ever as I know the tequila would have dulled the pain. I'm thinking of making this a monthly event and having t-shirts made. They will read "Running for Tequila."

My running hobby will eventually fizzle out. Yet, the margaritas & table-side guacamole - I'll order that up for life. I'll just get to the restaurant like a normal mom in my mini-van, which will be blaring all of my new hot hip raps. Shuffle Shuffle Jiggle It - Word.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Our Tooth Fairy.

I was out of commission. A migraine had hit me full force which meant I had to puke and then pass out for a few hours in order to recover, but no worries for me, I was a migraine pro.  I got my first migraine in Kindergarten. The demands of my early childhood education were clearly stressful - the painting, the counting, the alphabet. It's a damn good thing full day kindergarten didn't exist back in 1985 or it probably would've killed me. 

My 2014 migraine meant Justin was in charge of our evening, which included homework, dinner, baths, dance class and softball practice. All of this was enough for Justin to develop a migraine of his very own, but I had already claimed it so he was out of luck. Finders keepers! I learned that in Kindergarten.

After my migraine had subsided, I emerged from my black migraine hole of pain and death, to find all of the kids were in bed and Justin was relaxing with a book -  but I interrupted him to get the play by play of how the evening had gone. All had went well. Justin handled it all like a champ, and had even been thrown a curve ball when Hadley lost a tooth, and he had to play tooth fairy.

The Rumbach family tooth fairy is ridiculous. She went completely over the top when Hadley lost her first tooth. Hadley didn't just get a quarter as in days of old, but rather was given $5, a packet of Reese’s Pieces, a new Barbie DVD and a bottle of nail polish. The kid hit the jackpot and had the most generous and excited tooth fairy ever.

When more and more teeth started to fall out (which, by the way, is gross), and once our kids started knocking them out on purpose for reward, we realized that we needed to explain to the kids that the recession had effected everyone, including tooth fairy.

Our tooth fairy did not initially have the foresight to realize that Hadley had 19 more teeth to lose, and if you do the math to include three kids, we were looking at tooth fairy bills totaling near $1500 should the tooth fairy keep up her extravagant spending.

The tooth fairy scaled it back to $1 (monetary reward adjusted for inflation from days of old) and a piece of sugary candy (our tooth fairy is a little twisted). I thought we finally had this tooth fairy thing figured out. Nope.

Justin: Hadley's tooth fell out. I took care of the tooth fairy thing.

Me: Oh good. Did you already put it under her pillow? What did you get her?

Justin: I got her M&Ms, $1 and a cactus.

Me: YOU GOT HER WHAT?!?! A cactus? As in the pain-inducing plant cactus? A cactus from the tooth fairy? Is it under her pillow?

Justin: What's wrong with a cactus? It has a little yellow flower -  it's cute. I think she'll like it. She can put it on her desk.

Me: She has white carpet. The cactus has dirt. Dirt and white carpet are not going to work out, and did you touch it? I'm pretty sure it hurts.

Justin: Oh yeah, I touched it. It hurt really bad.

Me: What tooth fairy bring a kid a cactus? Jack steals things from Hadley's desk - you know this! He's going to grab that thing and really hurt himself.

Justin: He won't steal much after that.

Me: Put the cactus on your shelf in the garage. You can have it. Good effort, but you are the worst tooth fairy ever.

Hallelujah, this might have cured me of my migraines forever. I can not go down. I am essential to this operation. I have to be here or who knows, my kid might wake with a cactus stuck to her face.

Free to a Good Home: The Rumbach Family Cactus. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jeepin' and Poopin'

The weather was beautiful! Finally! After months of a winter that brought us freezing sub-zero temps, ice storms, and wicked snow, spring had finally arrived and the temperature had soared to 70 degrees. I could not wait to go outside with the kids. I raced home from work, eager to let the kids play with all of their playthings that had been gathering dust in the garage all winter.

The girls hopped right on their bikes and rode up and down the driveway. Jack took off in his motorized Jeep and made laps around the house. I sat my ass in a lawn chair with a snack and Pottery Barn catalog. Life was good - until it wasn’t.

Jack had been Jeepin’ it full speed around the house – making lap after lap. The kid loved it. He loved it so much that he just had to get naked, and so it was that at about his 5th or 6th lap around the house, he came around to greet us in the driveway without his clothes.

"Jack!" I yelled. "Where are your clothes?"

"Oh yeah," he answered. "I took them off." 

"Why did you take them off?!?!?!" I replied. 

"Because I pooped," he said.

And with that he took off full speed - ready to make another lap.

"Jack Rumbach!!!" I yelled. "Get back here!"

Yet off he went - Jeepin' it naked, covered in poop, leaving skid marks around the yard, with me running wildly behind him.

As I set off chasing the little pooper, I ran by his "business" and yes, he indeed pooped right there in the front yard for everyone to see.

Awesome. If you happened to drive by that day, I apologize. 

If you live in the neighborhood and were trying to enjoy the beautiful sounds of spring, I also apologize but I hope you enjoyed the show.

I get it. Kind of, I do. He was really excited to be outside - he'd been cooped up for months. He couldn't be bothered to go inside to poop. He was ready to rock and roll and enjoy the sunshine. Bodily functions be damned. 

After finally catching my little streaker and cleaning him up, I then had to go scoop poop out of our yard - like we have a dog, except, we don't have a dog - we just have a Jack, who apparently isn't house broken. 

This kid is going to kill it at preschool in a few months. Hadley was sent to preschool writing her name and knowing her letters. My greatest hope for Jack is that he keeps his pants on. 

Woof Woof.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Coupon Book for Christmas.

Hadley's affection is hard-earned. She keeps it close to her and only doles it out on rare occasions. Perhaps these occasions coincide with the moon - maybe her heart opens and closes on a lunar cycle, I'm not sure, but maybe I should start keeping a chart?

Hugs? Forget it. Snuggles? Ain't happening. However, because it's my job to smother her, I'm always throwing my arms around her while she flails in protest. She may not like it, but it is my god-given right to hug her. So hug I do - though I sometimes end up bruised as she shoves me away. Bruised in my heart, that is. Sob, Sniff, Poor Mommy.

So it was quite a Christmas miracle when on Christmas Day, Hadley hugged us all and presented us with gifts that she had made and wrapped herself. My little Grinch's heart had grown so big that she was oozing love and holiday joy.

My present was a coupon book. She filled it with coupons that I could redeem for help around the house. Her coupons included things such as, "Watch Jack for 30 Minutes," "Clean My Room," and "Pick Up The Toys." I thought it was wonderful. Without any money to spend, Hadley had created the perfect present.

A week later, on my birthday, the only thing I wanted was to take a shower.  I remembered my coupon book and asked Hadley to watch her brother. 

She told me she was busy. I told her that it was my birthday, and I would like to use my coupon. 

She put her hands on her hips as she then said, "Mother. You need to look at those coupons. They have expired." 

And with that, she left the room.

WHAT?!?! Expired?!?!?

I got out the coupon book and sure enough, she was right. Damn it. I forgot to read the fine print. All of the coupons were good for 3 days only and apparently, she was not going to honor them.

I went to her room and asked for an extension. In honor of my birthday I begged her to honor her coupon. She agreed to extend only the coupon to watch Jack, but because it was expired she'd have to cut the time from 30 to just 20 minutes.

How was it that I'd come to live at the mercy of an 8 year-old?

While I was starting the shower, I heard a crash and ran naked into my bedroom to find Jack who had taken the tray of jewelry that sits on top of my dresser and dumped it on the floor.  

"JACK! Pick that up!" I screamed. 

"Hadley!!!!" I yelled. "You're supposed to be watching him!!!"

Hadley sauntered into my bedroom and said, "Well, yes mother, but you get what you pay for."

And that little Grinch's heart shrunk back down to size. I guess I'll have to wait until the next full moon for a shower.