30 November 2007

History Repeats, Take II

How crazy would I have called you if you'd ever told me that the words "Hold me Daddy, hold me" would have ever come from Lily's mouth? Crazier than a shithouse rat. She's the most anti-snuggling kid anyone's ever met, especially when compared to Avery, who was a cuddle machine. One of our favorite Avery-isms from the early days was that she would walk up to one or the other of us and just say "Hold-a me, hold-a me!" Ironically, it got annoying rather quickly back then, mostly because we were worried that Ave might be a little too clingy. The exact opposite has been true of Lily until recently. We joke that she doesn't sit still to snuggle or even be held for any significant length of time, and she certainly doesn't request it. Then a few days ago, maybe because she heard us joking with Avery about what she used to do, or maybe because a switch flipped, Lil walked up to Mandi while she was sitting on the computer and said "You want to hold me Mommy?" We both stood silently in slack-jawed disbelief. Who are you and what have you done with our child? The funniest part about this dramatic change in demeanor is that it coincides almost perfectly to the age at which Avery did it. It's like Mandi's passing it down in her DNA or something. Whatever the case, we'll definitely take what we can get. As of yet it's only been annoying when I'm wielding a kitchen knife or something, but even dinner can wait for a chance to snuggle that Beaner, they certainly don't come often enough.

29 November 2007

Sometimes Poop Is Comical

I will admit to having the typical-male penchant for dick-and-fart jokes. And while these pages may not be filled with them, for obvious reasons, sometimes the best stories revolve around the most revolting subjects.

Yesterday as we were pulling off the highway at an unfamiliar exit, I noticed a foul odor in the car. Its arrival coincided so precisely with my arrival at the end of the off-ramp that my first instinct was that a stagnant river or nearby paper mill must be the culprit. But, being the crass individual that I am I blurted out the old standby "Did one of you girls poot?" Of course since it wasn't directly asked of either child they both ignored me, so I started the direct interrogations. "Avery, did you poot?" While her response was sheepish and embarassed, I can generally tell when she's lying, and I believed her denial in this case. So I asked Lily, first if she pooted, and although she said "mmhmm", she generally announces her gas with pride, making me think she just said yes to make me happy. Then I asked her if she had pooped, which unlike the previous question she almost always gives accurate answers to. But she denied it confidently, so we motored on toward our destination. As the smell wore down, I found myself thinking it must have been something outside that was just lingering inside the car. When we got to the gas station, that's when the shit hit the proverbial fan . . or in this case, hit absolutely everything else in the vicinity of the back seat.

As I retrieved Lily from her carseat, I was again overwhelmed by the stench, and at this point I knew she'd need to be changed. It wasn't until I put her down on the pavement and went to examine the damage (why do we do that, by the way?) that I was struck by the impending dilemma. As I lifted her coat and went to grab her waistband, I literally jumped backwards after seeing the amount of fecal matter that was covering the child and her clothing. Talk about ridin' dirty . .

The trip to the restroom was extremely tenuous, mainly because there was no changing table and I no longer carry the little floor mat in my bag that is designed for exactly these situations. I guess I've gotten a little cocky about not needing those type of things now that there are far fewer diaper changes needed while we're in public. Lesson learned . . it goes back in the bag today. Anyway, so I drag both girls into this restroom and I send Avery over into a corner and tell her to stay put. She is handed Lil's jacket to hold while I perform the operation, instructed to hold it with two fingers way up by the collar and at arms' length, so as to avoid poo transfer to her own clothes. She reluctantly complies, holding her nose with the other hand the entire time. I begin the careful rolling up of Lily's shirt to avoid spreading the mess to her hair as I remove the shirt. This is necessary in order to clean her back, which is about 1/3 covered in feces. Then I stretch the elastic waistband of her pants as far as it will go, utilizing the type of steady-handedness a brain surgeon would be proud of to lower them to the floor and over her shoes without smearing poo all over her legs. The diaper was next, and this was where it got really dicey. Lily is notoriously a fidgety individual, not prone to long spells of time being still unless she's strapped into something. I spread her feet out for her and emphatically told her to be very still, and surprisingly she complied. The pull-up came off to reveal one of the three biggest non-mine poops I've ever seen, and it was literally everywhere. Luckily I had just recently re-loaded the bag with baby wipes, so I had just enough supplies to get this thing cleaned up. I have to admit something here . . I was a little perturbed by the woman inside the gas station, she was very short and rude with me when I went in and asked for the key to the restroom, so I exacted a little bit of payback just because I could. I left that diaper in the restroom's trash can . . and I didn't bother to fold it up. Was that really wrong of me?

But it doesn't end there. I thought the worst was over as we made our way back to the car. I opened Lily's door for her and allowed her to just climb into her seat as I usually do, myself preparing to finish up getting gas and getting back on the road. As she ascended into her perch she let out a blood-curdling scream, "Poopy daddy, poopy!" Sure enough, the back of the carseat had fallen victim to the explosion, and now we had a quandary. The cleanup effort in the restroom had used up my last baby wipes. Alas, I had a package of apple-cinnamon scented hand wipes that Mandi had given me for the bag, and they would have to get the job done. It reminded me of The Diary of Anne Frank and the vitamin oil that seemed on the verge of running out for the longest time but never did. Just when I thought the roll was going to be finished, one more wipe came out and I was able to get the seat cleaned. Thankfully we were able to get back on the road without further incident, and as we speak the soiled outfit is emerging from the dryer, free from any evidence of the debacle. In addition to the floor mat, I might be adding an emergency change of clothes to my bag, just in case.

28 November 2007

Four New Recipes

I've added a few new recipes this morning to our collection. The Swedish Meatballs are my favorite of the group, they take me back to those dinners at our Swedish friends' house in Clarks Summit all those years ago. Mandi put the Italian Chicken with Chickpeas immediately atop her list of favorites, and it was super easy to boot. Try them out and let us know what you think!

Sick Sucks

We've been one sick household for the last 4 days, and I just can't overemphasize how badly sick sucks. Mandi had a really bad case of Strep that had her out of commission for 4 days, and Lily has been grouchy, feverish, and rashy for the last couple of days. I was at my wit's end Monday afternoon, but thankfully Mandi was able to get a penicillin shot that had her feeling better almost immediately. Anyway, we're back in the swing of things now and I'll get back to posting more regularly. This picture is our favorite one from Thanksgiving, and even though it's in the slideshow I wanted to post it again.