Tuesday Whilst Eating Oysters

On the second official day of our vacation, we ate at an oyster bar called Wintzell’s in Mobile, Alabama.  The main reason we ate there was because Ed wanted gumbo.  As if we needed any other reason!  I like making that man of mine happy!  (Did you just feel the eyes in his head roll backwards?  I think they’re going to be stuck that way!)

Anyway, we found the restaurant loud and fun and perfect for our foursome!  Shortly after we sat down, Trip asked what an oyster was.  I tried for several minutes to explain what an oyster was, but my explanations just weren’t cutting it.  I noticed a man behind the bar shucking oysters.  I told Trip to get up, we went over to the bar, and I asked if my baby could see one of the oysters he was shucking.

The man was beyond nice.  He told Trip everything he could about oysters in about five minutes and then asked if Trip would like to try one.  Trip absorbed everything gratefully.  Then, the nice man asked Trip if he wanted to try one.  Trip thought about it for a minute and didn’t say anything.  The man then suggested that Trip try one on a cracker and my little boy was down to try an oyster.

I put about seven and a half drops of Tobasco on the oyster before he was ready to try the oyster and had a folded paper towel in case the oyster came rapidly back out with instructions on what to do if said oyster did not agree with him because I have some major texture issues and am extremely conscientious to the texture issues in others, but little dude chewed it up and swallowed all of it and claimed to like the raw oyster.

I was proud.  There is absolutely no chance I would have tried anything like that when I was his age.  Dude was brave!

We went back to our table and bragged to Ed about what he had done.  Ed was dutifully impressed.  We all looked over our menus and Trip insisted on ordering the oyster sampler.  They oyster sampler consisted of sixteen oysters prepared in several different ways.    The dish was expensive so I offered to share the dish with Trip since I only wanted a bowl of gumbo anyway.

Can you guess what happened when the food came out?

It won’t be hard.  I promise.

Trip took one look at the huge plate of oysters, then looked at me and my gumbo, and said he couldn’t eat any of the oysters.

I wasn’t entirely surprised, but REALLY, DUDE?

I didn’t want a huge plate of oysters.  I had only planned on stealing his oysters Rockefeller.

Trip and I traded seats and I ate the oysters and Trip ate my gumbo.  I did have a bite of the gumbo and it was AMAZING!  photo[1]

What are you going to do?  There’s no wasting good oysters!

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Demon Child, You Can’t Say That to Me While I’m Driving!

I don’t get to pick up the boys from school on a regular basis anymore because of my new work schedule, but when I do, there’s usually only one subject on their minds:  farting!  Or burping!  Really, gas coming from one of them or gas being the subject of their conversation and they’re both happy little guys.

They’re boys.  They’re consistent.  At least the little dudes are funny.

A couple of weeks ago, I got off work early and was able to pick my munchkins up from school and they did something really weird.  They got in the car and didn’t once mention farting or burping.  Instead Twin &^%$ was just about beside himself.  A couple of the popular girls had set their eyes on him.  The other boys in his class (including his brother) had kicked him out of the boys’ club but he didn’t care.  (The “boys’ club” would be simply the group of boys in the class, not a real affiliation.  They aren’t that organized yet.)  I do think that either one of those girls who set their eyes on my boy would chew him up and spit him out without a second thought, but as young as they are, I’m not going to have to go into psycho-mommy mode yet.  I don’t think they really understand what a man-eater is yet, but, oh buddy, they’re going to be hell on wheels when they’re older.  Twin &^%$ wasn’t quite sure what to make of the events of the day, but he was just flabbergasted.  He had never been the object of such desire from anyone before, much less two of the most popular girls from school.  He fumbled over his words and told me that both girls wanted to be his girlfriend but he wasn’t sure which one he liked and either he would have to chose one of them or one of them would have to make her decision about him.

The other boy, Twin !@#*, told me that he was still in the boys’ club, that he didn’t care for the girls chasing after his brother.  Twin !@#* has his own girlfriend, thankyouverymuch, and she was much nicer than the vixens chasing his brother.  “Momma,” he said to me, “when I look at my girlfriend, she is so beautiful, all I see is an angel.”

Excuse me?  I’m driving here, you little demon child!  You can’t say something that sweet, that uncharacteristic, that freaking AWESOME while I’m driving!

I still can’t believe I didn’t wreck.  I was speechless, but still capable of driving.

His father has never said anything quite like that to me.  But then, Twin !@#* didn’t say it to his girlfriend.  He said it to me.  I don’t know what Ed has said about me to his mother, but we have a very good relationship, so I’m sure whatever he has said to her in the past was good.

Obviously, there’s a twin from this story who would like to remain anonymous, so they must both remain that way.  The other one doesn’t care.

I sat on this story for a couple of weeks trying to figure out how I felt about it.  Obviously, my job as the Momma is to make sure my babies are able to find their way in this world.  I need to make them feel safe and secure enough at home and in my love for them that they can go out and explore that big world out there and hopefully, make a difference.  I also want them, when the time is appropriate, to find a significant other and have a happy and healthy relationship with that person.  (Obviously, I don’t really care about the gender of that other person.  I just don’t.)  What I want from that relationship, which I hope will be their last relationship, is for the other person to make my baby feel as wanted, as desired as the two popular girls did to Twin &^%$.  I also want my baby to feel like Twin !@#* does about his girlfriend now.  I want them to make someone’s heart sing and their eyes light up.  I want that someone to make my boys’ hearts’ happy.

Bob the Parasite Cat. Or, the Shade Thief.

This is Bob.  He leads a difficult life.  Someone simply must enjoy the cool air coming out from underneath the house whilst napping in the shade on a hot day, mustn’t they?

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And who else is there to hold down the steps leading up to the front door?  No one else!  That’s who.

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Occasionally, the weather worn wooden bench feels neglected and it does make for the perfect place to nap in the sun before it gets too warm, but sometimes, only sometimes, Bob’s nemesis Frank steals the wooden bench.

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Hey lady, I’m napping here!

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Bob is not my cat.  He’s not our cat.  He is a feral cat who has been napping in our courtyard and traipsing through our bushes to get to the creek down the street for the better part of 3 years.  His diet must consist of bugs and rodents and birds and such.  I’m sure he gets all of his water from the creek.  Bob won’t let any of us get any closer than 10 feet away from him before he decides he has napped long enough and darts quickly away.  Thank goodness for the zoom lens on the camera.  We see him almost every day though and Bob seemed like the most appropriate name for him.  The munchkins merrily call out “Hi, Bob!” when they see him, then they try to approach him and he quickly runs away.  Frank does not give the munchkins the chance to tell him hello.

Avocado Green Poop. Yes, That’s the Title.

I’m pretty sure all children like to hear about what they were like as babies and toddlers.  This is one of the boys’ favorite stories.

After we brought the boys home from the hospital after their debut into the world, the prevailing opinion on bathing babies was that you don’t immerse them in water until their umbilical cords fell off.  (I have no idea what the prevailing opinions on bathing newborns is now.  I don’t even really want to know.)  We sponge bathed them regularly, but even newborns get a little ripe after a few days.  (We also didn’t really know how to properly dry out the umbilical stump so it would fall off so it took FOREVER.)  Being brand new parents to two tiny people, Ed and I were naturally terrified of them.  We had no idea how to bathe a baby, but the babies in our house had to be bathed so we had to figure out how to survive the bath.  (I mean me and Ed surviving.  We knew we would be able to keep the cherubs safe throughout a bath.)

We set the plastic baby bath tub on the bathroom counter and started filling it with warm water.  We decided on Trip as the first baby to endure the bath.  I stripped the tiny boy down and he commenced to screaming because he didn’t like being naked.  As I held him over the water on his way down to set him softly in the tub, he dropped an avocado green turd into the water.  I yanked him up, horrified that my baby might have been bathed in poop water.  He promptly pooped in my hand.  There was avocado green poop in my hand!  I had never before been so disgusted.  Ed was laughing uncontrollably.  I put my naked, screaming, cold baby against my chest so I could clean off my hand and we could dump the poop water and start over with the bath.  Trip pooped in my hand while I was holding him against my chest.  Ed tried to coo sympathetically at me while simultaneously laughing so hard he could hardly breathe.  Trip continued to scream and Ed filled the tub with fresh water.  We had come this far and we were not going to be stopped.  The bathtub held about three inches of lukewarm water and I set Trip down in the tub.  He screamed louder.  Ed and I scrubbed the little munchkin down as quickly as we could, rinsed the soap off, and got him into a towel.

I carried my traumatized munchkin draped with a baby towel into the nursery and set him on his changing table.  He got a fresh diaper and a new set of pajamas.  He had stopped crying, but only because one can only cry for so long.  He had started the traumatized, hiccupping breathing thing that babies do when they’ve finally cried so much that they can’t cry anymore.

Logan did not get bathed that night.

Logan didn’t get bathed for three more nights.

Sponge baths sufficed until I was ready to endure that trauma again.

Believe it or not, the bathing got better.  They even started liking the baths.  One of their favorite phrases now is “Avocado Green Poop!”

Paleo Decadence. AKA, The Hamburger Patty.

I’ve absolutely got to tell you about the most delicious meal I ate while on vacation.  The decadence.  The simplicity. It was AMAZING!!

Now I am not a food blogger.  I tried that.  Apparently, you need to be a decent cook and fairly innovative with your recipes if you’re going to be a food blogger.  I am not those things.  I have around 20 meals that I cook and there are really only so many times you can talk about baked chicken.

The thing about my vacation was I was not the one cooking the majority of the time.  Mom was.  I woke up in the morning to the smell of bacon cooking and coffee brewing.  It was paleo heaven!

Our last meal in Florida was cooked entirely in the condo because it was raining yet again.  We had a bunch of hamburger patties that were the last thing in the refrigerator which Mom had been marinating overnight in some steak marinade.  She pan fried them over medium low heat because she likes the way food cooks better when done low and slow.

What’s decadent about a hamburger patty marinated in steak sauce?  Nothing.  That’s not the decadent part.  I’m getting there.

I put mustard and ketchup on my burger patty and was well on my way to eating it when I noticed my baby brother Brian doing something absolutely freaky to his burger.  He put butter on it!  Butter!  BUTTER!

I asked him what he was doing.  He suggested I try it, that the butter was really good on a hamburger patty.

Oh my goodness!  The butter melted and dripped down the meat and mixed with the sauces.  My mouth thanked me.  Yours will thank you too.

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He Took My Camera

There’s something that happens when you let a child use your camera.  First, you have to get over the fear that said child is going to drop or otherwise break your camera.  Next, you have to be prepared for the pictures said child takes.  Many times they are not focused or have chopped of the heads of their subject.  Fortunately, with digital cameras, those ‘bad’ pictures can be erased.

I am glad Logan took this picture of his daddy’s backside!  I do love some muscular legs!

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This one I could’ve erased but didn’t.  I wanted you to be prepared for the next one.

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This picture of me is not flattering.  Not in the least.  That’s not what was traumatic about the picture for me though.  Logan took the picture, then looked at the screen of the camera and shuddered.  Shuddered!  In revulsion!

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Yes, I’m sweaty and not wearing any makeup and my hair is in a sloppy bun, but come on, boy!  It wasn’t that bad!!!  It wasn’t shudder worthy.

His Scar, Part II (Re-worked post)

Visit here for Part I.  My brain is still a bit foggy from the writing I did last week.  Want to try out my fiction?  Here’s the link!

By the time Trip was out of surgery, out of the recovery room, and in a room of his own, it was around 5:00 in the evening.  There lay my drowsy, sick baby, still basically strapped to the bed with his IV and NG tube (the tube going from his nose to his stomach, which would suck out the contents of his stomach for more than a week).   He looked so small and fragile in his hospital bed.

Ed and I were both exhausted.  Ed had spent the night before at home with Logan.  I had spent a vomit filled night with Trip before riding in the ambulance with him.  Ed looked at me and told me to go home and get some rest and a shower.  I drove an hour home and picked up Logan from Ed’s parents.  I know we ate, but I can’t remember what we ate.

Ed and I spent the next week trading off between watching Trip at the hospital and having Logan at home and taking care of the house.  Ed did work some that week.  I didn’t.  It wasn’t practical for any of our parents to watch  Logan all night while I worked at the hospital.

Trip’s days and nights were spent in his hospital bed, watching kiddie movies on our respective laptops, usually sitting in my lap or Ed’s.  He was still wearing diapers, so every diaper would have to be weighed and the rate of his IV fluids changed by his nurses accordingly.  (Yes, my 3 year old was still in diapers. It’s one of the things I chose to not worry about.)  The incision on his stomach was covered with a small dressing.  He wore a hospital gown that draped over his small form.  On his feet were bright red slipper socks that went almost up to his knees.  The nurse’s aide would come by every 4 hours to check his blood pressure.  The blood pressure cuff was disposable and hooked up to the aide’s blood pressure machine.  The aide would put the blood pressure cuff on Trip’s calf.   Trip would not allow the blood pressure cuff to be taken off of his little leg.  Instead, he’d twirl it around his leg until he was ready to take it off himself and then he’d put it onto the bottom bedrail.

The doctor would come in to talk to us everyday, usually around noon.  His plan for Trip’s care always seemed so vague.  But really, each patient is different, so how could he be more specific?  We were waiting for some magic event to take place before Trip could eat and we could go home.  Ok, not magic. We were waiting for Trip’s bowel sounds to start again and for him to pass gas.  Trip’s little body took forever to cooperate.  So for days, we heard “Give it a couple more days” and “We’ll see tomorrow.”

Over the course of that week, Trip was semi-nourished with only IV fluids.  He lost 10% of his body weight.  I think that ended up being 3 pounds.  He lost so much muscle mass that when he was finally allowed out of bed, he couldn’t walk in a straight line.

Trip ate lunch at the hospital on the day that he got to go home.  I arrived at the hospital after the doctor had been there  and forgot everything that I had learned in nursing school and in the 7 years that I’d been a nurse and didn’t question Ed when he let Trip order a pizza for lunch that day.  Both of my boys have always been good eaters, but I thought that Trip’s stomach might have shrunk in that week without food or that maybe his stomach just wouldn’t allow him to eat something really spicy.  I was wrong.  He ate the entire pizza.

The nurse gave us the discharge instructions and we drove Trip home.

The boys had barely seen each other in the last week.  When they were finally reunited, Logan wanted Trip to be able run and play like nothing was wrong and Trip wanted Logan to sit quietly on the couch and watch cartoons with him.  They finally reached some kind of happy medium.

I started cooking dinner. Ed and I were happy to have our little family back together at home.  Then Trip vomited all of the pizza he had eaten.  Every last bit of it.

I freaked out.  My mother came to watch Logan and we drove Trip all the way back to the ER in Dallas.  We eventually saw a doctor and Trip got another x-ray of his abdomen.  Basically, Trip shouldn’t have been allowed to eat pizza, especially not a whole personal pizza.  We went back home, exhausted.

Trip went back to school 10 days after he’d first gotten sick.  He still hadn’t let me take the dressing off of his little belly, even though the wound had healed.  He came home exhausted, but better.  When the dressing finally got wet enough in the bath that it came off, Trip saw his new scar for the first time.

What do you say to a tiny (3’9″ at 3 years old, tiny), tiny little boy who looks up at you with questioning eyes, wondering about the new scar on his previously smooth belly?   You tell him that “SCARS ARE COOL!!!”  And then you pray that his stocky brother doesn’t try his hardest to get a scar of his own.  (Logan hasn’t managed to make a significant scar.  He is still trying.  Beast.)