Thursday, September 30, 2010


Ok, so I will preface that I was totally sicked out today. If you don't want to read on I don't blame you, I gagged and barely kept my dinner down.

We went to the grocery store tonight to pick up a few things. When we got to our car we couldn't quite slow down our child fast enough as he ran right through some chaw, actually it was a small pond of chaw.

Now we are somewhat accustomed to seeing wads of chew in the parking lots around here. (The use of tobacco is unusually high in the area). It is not foreign to us to see a small amount of chewing tobacco spit on the parking lot. What we were fully unprepared to see was large chunks of chaw swirling in a vortex of watery substance not out of the way, but right in front of our van sliding door. Either the person who so distastefully deposited it there was sick and threw up, or was the most inconsiderate fool I have not have the pleasure to meet.

Our son had no clue to the disgusting, vile, pond and stepped right in it unaware of our adamant warnings. We sat him down on the van and took off his shoes and kept them as far away from the carpet as possible after wiping them off with a paper towel. Of course I was gagging and choking right there, and the lady in the car in front of us was giving us a strange look.

Maybe it was she that left the unpleasant surprise in our midst. I guess we will never know.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cost of Raising a Child

Cost of Raising a Child

I read this article and have to agree, it doesn't have to cost a fortune to raise a child. We are on a limited budget while my husband finishes grad school, and have learned many ways to save money. In addition to buying in bulk and making your own snack bags, you can eliminate many low nutritional items. Who said that children need crackers and juice for a snack every day. Most of the so called snack foods are a gimmick just to get you to buy. If you read the labels most are full of high fructose corn syrup and other garbage that I cannot even pronounce. I would rather put some nutrition into my child's snack foods and some money in my wallet. Most of our snacks consist of cheese, fruit, or vegetables. Who says children need expensive pre-packaged food. Not me for one. And for the record juice boxes are a waste...high sugar, high calorie, and high waste, that is in garbage and money.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Food wars

Our two year old will eat just about anything, salad, green smoothie, beans, rice, and of course the rare occasion of McDonald's cuisine. We are somewhat surprised to see that he enjoys these foods and even asks for them. We actually count ourselves lucky that he enjoys such a variety of foods. Amazingly enough our battle is not over eating food, but keeping said food on the table when the meal is done.
The other night he must have been in some sort of funk, because the food fight began before he even took a bite. I set a bowl of Indian Butter Chicken before him and he freaked out, screamed, and before I knew it the bowl ricocheted across the room off our TV stand landing right side up. Some might say that was lucky, but I think not. That meant the food that should be in the bowl was allowed to fly with force to every available surface in the vicinity. We surveyed the damage to find food in every imaginable place. He smirked with glee that he caught our attention as we proceeded to clean the mess. We wiped down the TV, the DVDs, the CD case, the hanging pictures, and the walls. As we wiped the walls we noticed that even the ceiling was speckled with pink dots from the meal. He stayed in his booster firmly strapped until the mess was clean. Since he had not started his meal I told him that he was now going to be fed by me instead of being a "big boy" and being able to feed himself. He resigned and ate his food that he so rapidly expelled off the table ten minutes earlier. My question now is: will my kitchen ever be clean??

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sand Angels

My sons were at a soccer practice tonight having a blast. As we were getting ready to leave we noticed unusual amounts of dirt all over our five-year-old. He wanted some fruit leather so we washed off his hands. We commented on how dirty he was, and he replied, "I was making sand angels!" Sand angels? Really? That's nice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The problem with haircuts

Our five-year-old is terrified of haircuts, or should I say completely mortified. If we even mention the word haircut, even in hushed tones, he begins a blood curdling scream. He totally freaks out at the thought of razor sharp clippers coming anywhere near his head, ears, or neck. We bribe, promise the world, and ultimately just about tie him down as he flails his arms and kicks his legs in utter protest to our desires to have a son with short manageable hair. (which he tells us is what he wants) It’s about all we can do to not scream as his hair climbs down his neck during the weeks between haircuts. It feels like we just cut his hair, and he begins to shag out with unruly sideburns and mullet worthy locks.

Tonight we cut his hair, with the usual protest. We had him climb on a stool and we allowed him to watch any show he wanted as the clippers edged close to his ears. He was so worked up that he was extremely sweaty and the hair stuck all over his body. I had to hold back a chuckle when he lifted a leg that had hair so thick he looked like a bear, or at least a grown man. We survived the horrendous affair, for the most part unscathed, with only a hairy back and hairy legs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two pink lines

So...I had a crazy dream last night about two pink lines. In light of my last post, I better explain. I hope that I haven't offending anyone by my cries of bitterness toward my maternal woes. I really did have some of those feelings, as awful as they were. It was my grieving process. Luckily with the help of a wonderful husband, prayer, and faith in a God that infinitely knows me, I have worked through my gnawing feelings of despair.

Well back to my dream. I have two friends that have been trying to conceive for some time now, and they both are pregnant!! I couldn't be happier, like I said, I have worked past my awful feelings that I had about our predicament. So in my dream one convinced me to take a pregnancy test, which I knew would be a waste, only it wasn't a waste. I saw the two pink lines. I couldn't believe it! So of course I rushed over to my RE and they did test on both me and my husband. They confirmed we conceived. I was elated and couldn't wait to share the news...then I woke up.

At least I can dream :)

Friday, September 17, 2010


We had our first son without a hitch. That is in the getting pregnant part, the whole being pregnant and giving birth part is another story for another day. We readily wanted to have more children, both of us come from very large families and we never considered having an only child.

Our oldest was a year, and we had not been using contraceptives for at least six months. I went to my doctor for a routine check-up and mentioned the problem. He looked at me and said, “We know he works,” pointing to my husband, “let’s get you working.” So a series of clomid was prescribed. I hated clomid, the mood swings, the timing of the medicine and the cycle testing. According to the tests I was clearly ovulating, but I showed up not pregnant.

My husband went to his doctor for unrelated symptoms and casually mentioned we were trying to conceive. He promptly said, “That’s an easy test,” and sent him home with a specimen cup in a clearly disguised paper bag.

He did his test and we didn’t think much of it. I was still on clomid, and it was surely to work our next cycle. It was close to Christmas and we were busy with all the festivities. A week before Christmas we received a phone call from the lab with my husband’s results. A chipper nurse informed him that they saw nothing there and to make an appointment as soon as possible with all the medications he was currently taking. My husband was taken back…all of my medications? if there was ‘nothing wrong’ why did the doctor need a follow up appointment, and why did he need to bring the medications he was taking with him? He asked, “Wait a minute, what do you mean there is nothing there?” His mind raced as he realized the true meaning of her words “nothing there”. She must have meant there was nothing there, not nothing wrong. The test revealed that there were no men in his se[a].

The next few days were dark, dreary and clearly without joy. Here it was Christmas with our little boy, and the furthest thing from our mind was celebrating. Our dreams of a house full of “pitter-patter” and joyful play from siblings were dashed and torn into little pieces of nothing. I could not find joy, I tried, mostly for my little boy, but I couldn’t. My dreams had been ripped away, without even a warning. We conceived so easily with our first. Why wouldn’t other children come?
This was only compounded by my husband’s job loss six months earlier. The news of no more babies and having to work full-time (while my husband returned to school) threw me into a spiral downward of despair and awkwardness. All I could see were round bellies and cheerful stay at home moms. I was neither. It felt like more than I could bear. Friends would excitedly announce the forthcoming births of their children and all I could do was stare.

Then the questions started coming; “when are you two ready to have another?” “don’t you think your son would love a little brother or sister to have around?” or “don’t you think two years is the perfect timing between kids?” All well meaning inquiries, but how do you tactfully say, “Our chances of conceiving another child are zero, did you hear that, zero”. And when I would explain things to well meaning family members, they would look at our son and say, “if he is here, another miracle can happen.” I would come home after family gatherings and cry, rant, rave, or scream. I know everyone was trying to be kind, but how can they understand how I felt when their children were running around and their bellies were swollen with the next child on the way.

The worst part were the “oops” stories. I loathed the stories from mothers that
talked about how they were now pregnant with their second “oops” baby. “We forgot once,” or “we just thought about another baby” rang in my ears. Everyone was getting pregnant but me. It was a cruel joke, and I felt as if everyone was laughing at my empty womb.

More than those stories were the headlines about Brittany Spears and other less than perfect celebrities sporting their extending middles and the on again off again boyfriends. How come they were pregnant? (I knew that answer) Why couldn’t I get pregnant? Didn’t I want a baby? Wouldn’t I make a good mother? Wouldn’t we love and provide for another child? Did my son really have the future of an only child, destined to walk alone after we were gone?

I couldn’t shake my frustration, anger, fear and guilt. It was wrong of me to feel this way, but I did. I would be so angry about the situation, and then the wave of guilt would hit. I had a son, so many didn’t even have that. Why did it bother me so? Couldn’t I be grateful?

And one morning, a morning so dark and dreary I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed my husband leaned over and whispered, “Ritkiss.” I turned and looked at him and said, “What?” He leaned in, “Ritkiss, baby.” “What do you mean?” I asked incredulously. It was a nonsense word that couldn’t possibly help me out of bed. “Ritkiss, R, T, K, S …remember to keep smiling.” “Remember what?” “Remember to keep smiling,” he said again. “Life has its way of getting us down, but we can’t let it.” “This is part of our life and we got to keep going” “I can’t live my life without your smile.” He poked and prodded my sides until a smile and a giggle came unwillingly across my face. “We can’t let this get the best of us, Ritkiss.” I got up, got ready, and headed out the door with a smile on my face for the first time in weeks.

Fast forward four and a half years and we can look back to that phrase, “Ritkiss” as a turning point in our lives. All of our pains, struggles, and longings are encompassed by this phrase; a determination to continue forward despite our struggles. We eventually did conceive our second son, after arduous attempts with in-vitro (a story for another day). So when our two-year-old empties a sack in two seconds flat, or hits his brother and grins, we think of our journey and realize our two-year-old tornado is our love, joy, and greatest miracle. So as I tell the stories of his shenanigans, understand we love him and wouldn’t know what to do without him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The problem with hand washing dishes…

Most of the time I don’t really mind washing dishes. We have been without a dishwasher for two years and counting. I have got a system and for the most part it works. Wash all the dishes at night after dinner and clear out the dish drain in the morning for the day. That way I don’t let dishes pile in my sink.
This morning I did not to clear the dish drain, mostly because it wasn’t very full. The few morning dishes would fit. After they were washed the drain look a little loaded, but I was in a hurry to get a shower in after my morning run. I darted upstairs, hopped in the shower, and was getting ready when I heard a pop, and then the tinkling of shattered glass. I ran down the stairs to discover my fear…a tumbler that I set on the side that is supposed to hold glasses had toppled out of its place and fell to the ground. Shards of glass of every size were scattered across the old worn linoleum. I carefully whisked the larger pieces away, hoping to avoid any cuts. I started sweeping the smaller pieces when my darling son appeared on the scene. Somehow broken glass and the two-year-old tornado do not mix. This could get ugly. He screamed as I whisked him away to the connecting living room. He darted back into the picture several times to offer unsolicited help, but was slung under my arm each time for a return trip to the connecting living room area with his feet kicking all the way. Amazingly enough I managed to clean the broken glass, not get cut, and keep a small whirlwind of a boy at bay.
Unfortunately there are no pictures of the mess, (the two-year-old and safety made sure of that) but hopefully you have an image of the fun I had this morning.

Monday, September 13, 2010

He’s at it again…

Well our darling two year old is at it again… we are in a big hurry to make it to a meeting and rushing frantically out the door when I hear the crinkle of the Doritos sack. OK, it isn’t really a crinkle, but a crunchy, metallic rustle that everyone with kids recognize. My husband is the closest to the scene, and instinctively he shouts, “no, no, no!” It's the garbage scene all over again a la Doritos supreme.

I shout, “don’t say no!” As both of us are shouting, it is almost as if we have hit the fast-forward button on our son, because his mischievous grin grows and he flings the bag back and forth quickly expelling the remaining cheesy chips across our short industrial carpet. He grins one last time as he throws the empty air-filled bag and giggles gleefully as it slowly flutters to its previous contents.

“Nuts,” we are late again…

At least our little man likes to help clean up!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm not sure I got the message earlier, and my wife has been wonderful to help bring it to my attention lately. When did I have to start worrying about trimming my eyebrows?!? Thank you sweetie, love ya tons!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

no, No, nO, NO, NO!!

The words I futilely repeated over and over…why did this happen right before I needed to leave. I looked at the clocked 8:18, just enough time to wash the remaining glasses before heading out the door to drop off my son for kindergarten. I washed a glass, 8:19, I picked up the last glass when I heard the rustle from the garbage sack. Not the garbage I just set out after I emptied the rotten contents from my fridge. My reaction time was too slow. My two year old was shaking the remains of the garbage before I could swoop him away. I saw the water bottles bounce and roll against the small hallway, and the limp, tired lettuce leaves weighed down by the dressing flop back and forth against the hall, the cupboards, and finally the floor. Wet diapers from the diaper pail dropped to the floor with a thud. The tissues from the bathroom garbage my five year old son dutifully emptied this morning floated by the old paperwork from school that was no longer needed. The entire contents laughed at me from the freshly mopped floor, “thought you could get a little more done before you left this morning, well we will show you… ha!” To make matters worse, my dreadful son would not stay planted in the connecting living room area, he had to gallop through the sloshy mess. He slipped and fell on the reeking ranch dressing, further spoiling the already past due morning. I stashed the contents back in the sagging sack and carefully stepped by the slippery disaster to beat the 8:30 bell. I would have to duel with the putrid film of discarded leftovers slicked across my floor when I returned.

At least we can finish the day with ice cream.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Green Smoothie Gripe!

An older man went to dinner; if it weren’t obvious to his party that he was not a vegetarian, it would be. When the waitress came to him for his order, he said I want a steak (I don’t remember the cut, although I really ought to) very rare. The little waitress then asked what kind of vegetable the old man would like with his meal. He leaned in as close as he could to this little waitress, and said “little lady, vegetables are what you feed food.” I love meat, although admittedly, perhaps not as much as the guy in the story, but there is no doubt that I am a carnivore.

My wife is on his little vegetable kick in the last couple of months. I can’t be too upset about it though because I have agreed to the madness that it has become. We have this “ritual” of sorts in the morning where she makes us what is called a “Green Smoothie.” I thought at first maybe this was just some fancy name for a drink somebody came up with to jump on board the green movement bandwagon. While the name may sound as though this is what it is, trust me it is nothing close to that. The idea behind the green smoothie is pretty simple. Get all your vitamins for the day, and then some, in one sitting before you step out your door. Do this and before you know it you will feel better. Sounds simple enough… right?... Well if there was an infomercial for this product, I would hate to be the one to have to drink it over and over again to get it right. First of all, it appears as though it is something that would come out of a baby bottom rather than something I plan to drink in the morning. While I have to admit it has helped me feel better in the last few months, if you were to see me drink these things in the morning you wouldn’t know it.

A green smoothie is a few fruits, perhaps some yogurt and/or juice, and as many “greens” as you can smash into the blender; all blended together in this great looking, make me feel like I’m changing my sons diaper, concoction that you drink. The fruit is the easy part to swallow, what is more difficult is the mixture of vegetables. To get the full benefit, and to be as cost effective (after all… I am a family man in graduate school; and anybody with a family that has ever been to graduate school knows; having a family is a “lifestyle choice” so it is near impossible to get extra money) as possible, you don’t use the same vegetables every day. There are days she mixes in a spring salad, other days where there is an avocado or two. There are other days still where there is raw cabbage. I think I have some of the bad drink days nailed down to when there is raw cabbage… yes you heard right… RAW CABBAGE!!! in the mixture.

I haven’t yet decided what makes it such an “awesome” drink to try to stomach, but there are days I am pretty sure it is the cabbage. To watch me partake of this glorious drink, you would think that it was about to kill me, and that my body was doing everything in its power to expel this vile putrid disgusting liquid from its bowels, and spew every single stinking vegetable back into the depths of the blender from whence they came. To compare it to something that is familiar to some; think about the gallon challenge (where you have a contest with your friends to see how many people can drink one gallon of milk in about one hour and hold it down). Inevitably in that game your body wins out, and you loose the sour milk festering in your stomach. I keep telling myself that my body will eventually concede that I am trying to do something healthy for it, but I am starting to believe that that will NEVER HAPPEN!!