Monday, June 28, 2010

Boys PLEASE use the Poop Light!

Perhaps it’s because I grew up in an all girl house and my dad, the only male, was all about turning on the fan and lighting the “Poop Candle” when doing Number 2. Perhaps it’s because when I did live in the all boy household in college all the boys religiously used the “Poop Spray” that sat above the toilet (sometimes there were two to choose from). Or maybe it’s just that I thought that most people would prefer to do something about the fragrant smell that happens with doing the Number 2. That’s why bathroom fans, poop spray and poop candles were invented, right? They’re all labeled “odor controlling” devices of one kind or another but we all know what they’re really for.

Well, my na├»ve self became aware that maybe it was just me when I moved in with FH and the boys. At our old bathroom we had a fan that automatically turned on when you turned on the light, I placed two types of sprays in there also. I’m almost convinced I was the only one using them. I also tried to educate about perhaps leaving the fan on and the door cracked if it was an extremely stinky one. Our bathroom was nestled on the far side of the apartment and didn’t have a window. Not only that, but the litter box was in the bathroom so that combined with human smells could really fill up the apartment. In this current apartment there are two switches. One is just a light and one is a light with a fan. I thought it would be obvious but for some reason the boys insisted on just using the switch for just the light when they went in there.

LUCKILY this bathroom has a window, but that doesn’t always help. I finally had enough of being bombed one day and I put up this sign to help make the right decision:

Unfortunately for me, I’m pretty convinced that Younger Boy and FH are the only ones who can read in this house. Although, Younger Boy does like to leave the bathroom door open when he uses the bathroom so I’m not always sure how much help using the light with a fan switch works. But I award an E for Effort.

I write about this now because now that I’m pregnant I have that super-sniffer attached to me. And now that its summer and we just don’t have central air our apartment can be most uncomfortable on a hot nasty day. I wonder if putting duct tape over the “Just the light” switch will help. I think it’s worth a try.

Edit: OK Ladies. As soon as I published this I sprung into action. The "just light" light switch is now taped in the Off position with Duchess Purple duct tape. It is no longer an option. I also wanted to add in that I think the only reason Younger Boy even uses the "Light with fan" switch is because it's labeled with the word "Poop" and we all know how much the child enjoys the word "Poop."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aww – He Cares About Me!

Not that I doubt any of the boys care but I’m always so touched when they show it. I guess it’s a part of that “I hope they like me” thought I’ve always had since the first day I met them a little over two years ago.

I’m 26 weeks pregnant today and I’m just growing and growing. I can no longer pull off squeezing into over-sized jeans and my regular shirts. I’ve, for the most part, replaced all of my every day wear with maternity clothes. Except for my sleepwear because my pj pants can still stretch enough and sit under my stomach, and I’m in the market for some new tank sleep tops.

It was this past weekend and the five of us were finishing up a tasty breakfast. I had on pj pants and a tank top and my stomach was sticking far out. Younger Boy came up to me with a look of concern on his face. He scratched his head and asked:

YR: What is happening with your tummy?
Me: That is where the baby is growing.
YR: Oh. My baby is growing too.

Awww! I felt so special that he was concerned for me. His baby, of course, is the imaginary baby that is currently growing in his stomach. He has told me on numerous occasions that he is feeding his baby because he knows I have to feed my baby.

Since he’s still at home with me for the most part until his Pre-K camp starts he’s been very helpful. He helps feed Nasty Cat lunch and dinner, he helps me pick up things that I’ve dropped and just am not about to crawl under a table to retrieve, and just this afternoon he helped me tuck the tag of my shirt in.

Isn’t he just precious? You know, when he’s not busy bossing his brothers around.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Memo to Nasty Cat - Summer Vacation II

Memo: To Nasty Cat
Dept: Cats
From: Crys
Subject: Summer Vacation Again

Nasty Cat, I think it is time that I inform you that until all of the children are grown, out of high school and off to college or to live the rest of their lives that both you and I will have to suck it up for three months out of the year for this horrendous time period called Summer Vacation. Unfortunately for you and me the boys’ school is not year round – With this being said, welcome to Day 3 of summer vacation 2010.

Trust me when I say that the extra hours of whining and crying and yelling and playing are no comfort to my ears either. My excuse, at least, is that I’m working a full time job and actually having to concentrate is a bit troublesome when my focus is ripped in half by a wail of “I’m telling!” or “I Don't want to play with you!” I’m still, however, trying to fully understand what your excuse is.

You do nothing productive around this house on a daily basis. I’m aware that your nap times have been interrupted. And in Cat Land I have come to understand that not only is this a crime, but pure cruelty and unacceptable behavior. Perhaps you should try to do something with yourself to get through the day. I’ve heard fly catching is a wonderful sport and snack. I know you may not want to hear this but Fat Cat highly enjoys fly catching, and we definitely do not have a shortage of flies.

I also have a problem with your irritation with me. I’m sorry I did not consult you about the packaged deal when I first started dating FH. If it helps, I myself was not fully informed of what life would be handing me. However, I’ve managed to survive about a year and 9 months of it. If I can survive it then surely you can survive it too. Besides, I think you enjoy having some of the extra hands to pet you. I can also say I truly believe you enjoy having a bunk bed and a lofted bed in the home. [Please note Photo A]

I’m also aware that perhaps the fact that my stomach is growing bigger each week may not leave you the desired amount of space on my lap, and that you’re no longer allowed to knead and lay on my stomach. To this I say “Get over it.” My growing stomach is the least of your troubles. In a couple of months we’ll have a crying baby on our hands. This will be the next big challenge you and I will face together for the first time.

In closing – I will hand you the same advice I lent you last year. Suck it up and enjoy the time as it is before our little blossom of a baby arrives. You may even enjoy the boys more when the time comes.

Kind Regards,
Crys, House Co-Director

Photo A - I personally have snapped a photo of you enjoying Older Boys lofted bed where you can sleep in a high up place and not be disturbed because no one knows you're there unless we climb the ladder to look for you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I’d Had Enough

This is a follow up to this post in which I was frustrated with Jane not giving us an answer as to which days she would be taking the boys for their summer weeks with her. Jane was supposed to call FH as soon as she had gotten her schedule last Sunday. I told FH that I would bake a cake if she actually did. Needless to say there was no cake baking last week.

Around Thursday and Friday I had enough … specifically because the following week (this week) was one of the weeks that Jane had said she would possibly be taking them. I nagged (and oh how I nagged) FH to call her at least once a day until she either picked up the phone or called back. My theory was that if she wasn’t going to call us then we were going to irritate the living heck out of her until she called back to make it stop.

FH finally got a hold of her Saturday morning. As usual I sat nearby to quietly listen to the conversation. I have excellent hearing and can usually hear the other person on the other line, even if I’m not the one on the phone. The initial jist of the conversation was that Jane just couldn’t get any extra days off soon. Her job already had to rearrange her schedule so that her and her guy weren’t working the same shifts and basically they weren’t inclined to give her any more special treatment considering everyone else at her work was putting in requests for days off too. Thus, the phone call ended with the agreement that the boys would be seeing her for their usual dinner on Thursday and no other summer dates were agreed upon.

Which led to this conversation:
Me: Does she have the dates I wrote down for her?
FH: Yes.
Me: Can she not find them or is it probably she’s just too lazy to go look for them?
FH: She’s probably just being lazy.

FH asked if he ought to call her mom, Jolie, about having the boys over for Jane’s time. My answer was “No, they’re her kids and this is her responsibility.”

Which is the point that I had had enough of the bull poop. I dug in my purse and pulled out the list of dates in which I left details of which boy was available on which days to go over and spend time at her home. I told FH that he needed to call her back with these dates and get an answer from her (with the silent point that he wasn’t getting off the phone with her until something was decided upon. And I’m sure he knows I would have nagged him to call her back again if the deal wasn’t sealed.)

I’m happy to say that the task was at least accomplished. Jane and FH decided on dates that she would take the boys in August, with the plans that Jane would put in requests with work to get them off since they were far away enough that she just might get them off. Although it’s not the full two weeks, I will be happy that’s she’s taking Younger Boy for a weekend and Middle and Older Boy for a week. That’s better than nothing, right?

Now we’ll just have to wait and see if it actually happens, or if she pulls what she did last year and cancel and not attempt to reschedule.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Towel is Up High

Do you remember Younger Boy’s Toilet Bowl Water Games from last month? Well, I have an addition. It seems to me that the majority of my grand adventures with Younger Boy thus far have revolved around the toilet.

Today I was walking from the kitchen to the work desk when I noticed Younger Boy crouched down in front of the toilet … wiping the toilet bowl down with the very same towel I informed him last time was used only for wiping your hands after you wash them.

*smacks head on wall*

As soon as he saw me looking at him in horror he popped up fast and went to go replace the now (or for all I know already) soiled towel back on the towel rack.

*smacks head on wall again*

I have no idea what he was wiping. Considering it was the front of the toilet I can only imagine he was trying to clean up the sprinkles of urine boys oh so often leave on the sides of the toilet bowl.

I managed to stop him before he replaced it. I informed him again that the towel that hangs there is only for wet hands. I have since Lysol wiped down the towel rack, the toilet bowl and everything little dirty hands can touch in the bathroom.

I’ve also made sure to replace a towel that hangs up high on the back of the door for myself (and FH if he so pleases) to use. The problem with this is that sometimes that towel somehow ends up on the towel rack next to the other towels and I have to remind myself to replace it.

I remind myself that my potty training days are not over just yet.

Baby Update: I’m 24 weeks today. Things are still going really well with my pregnancy. I’ve been making sure to do some Wii Fit Plus and Just Dance so that I can get some form of exercise in there. I’ve also started to feel the baby kick more often. It’s the strangest feeling I’ve ever felt. It reminds me of the scene in Aliens when the alien pops out of the stomach. I’m waiting for the baby’s kicks to become hard enough that others can feel them. Because with that said, I’m secretly waiting for the day that Nasty Cat is sitting on my lap, curled up next to my stomach, and for the baby to say hi with a little nudge. I’ve been amused with Nasty Cat’s reactions to me being pregnant. He’s not happy that my lap space is growing smaller and he has to wait for me to lie down to get any room. He’s also given me some strange and concerned looks when I’m reading out loud from one of my kid books and it’s just me and Nasty Cat in the room. Just wait until she’s born Nasty Cat. He he.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Video Game Junkies

I mentioned a while ago that before I came into their lives all four of my boys (including FH) were ruled by video games. There were Nintendo DSs, a Wii, a Playstation 2, a regular old school Nintendo … I’m pretty sure that’s it.

I’ve worked pretty hard to try and encourage more playtime, outside playtime, creative playtime, reading and anything that doesn’t involve the TV or video games. It makes me sad sometimes, and a bit astounded, how easily a TV turned on can suck the boys in. I’ve noticed it’s mainly Older Boy and Middle Boy though. Younger Boy isn’t as easily pulled into a turned on TV as his older brothers are. I like to think that my influence has something to do with it.

It won’t even be anything intriguing. It could be a commercial or one of Younger Boy’s little kid shows. If the TV is on I can guarantee that Older Boy or Middle Boy will stop whatever it is their doing and will be staring at it, mouth slightly open, and all thoughts of whatever it was they were supposed to be doing are gone.

Back on topic, I’m fully aware that when the boys go over to Jane’s all they do is watch TV and play video games until all hours of the night. That’s why every time we pick them up they're exhausted and falling asleep. Any overnight adventure at Jane’s will surely result in a long nap the next day. It’s irritating, but what can you do?

FH told me that he had a conversation today with Older Boy.

The jist of it was that FH told Older Boy that he doesn’t mind that he plays video games over there since he doesn’t get a lot of time to play over here. (My sidethought is that I don’t mind the fact that they want to play video games. It’s just I wish they’d learn some self control when it comes to playing them.) Anyway, Older Boy told FH that he’s getting bored playing them because he’s played them so much. It’s a step forward, right? At least until Jane brings home a new video game for them?

Maybe next time they go over I’ll suggest to Older Boy to maybe bring a book and his drawing pad. In case he wants to read or draw.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Have No Sympathy For Her

So I couldn’t find the post about how after the bullshit that Jane pulled this past Christmas we drafted up a Holiday Schedule (since one hadn’t been established at the time of their divorce.) But if some of you remember we did. And in that both FH and Jane signed off that the boys would spend two weeks with Jane during the summer at some point.

Being the organized person I am I looked through the boys’ summer schedule and made a list of weeks that would work for them. Due to the various summer camps there is only one week that all three of them are available. However, due to the fact that Jane and her man only have one car that fits 5 people and that they’re already taking up 3 of those chairs it would be easier to send 2 of the boys over anyway.

Some of you may remember how last summer Jane left Younger Boy out and only wanted the two older boys over. Well, in my planning I made sure to detail which of the boys were available and when to try and prevent that from happening again.

FH brought the list over and Jane mentioned that two of the weeks seemed appealing to her. One week she would have Younger Boy and Older Boy near the beginning of summer and then one week she would have Middle Boy at the end of summer. This was apparently all pending on her man’s possible new work schedule.

FH reported to me that Jane hadn’t quite answered our question of what weeks she would be taking the boys because her man would be going back to school (Good for him I guess) and would be working Wednesday through Sunday. Which would leave Monday and Tuesday open (if she has the days off from work.)

A bit flustered I asked FH what that meant and he replied that he didn’t know because Jane was playing the “Poor me I have to pay bills and stuff now” card. Except, I didn’t care about her new responsibilities that as an adult and a mother she ought to be partaking in anyway and I wanted to know what days she’ll be taking the boys for their summer days with her.

One thing that still irks me the most is feeling that I can’t make any plans for myself or my family because she’s not responsible enough to ask for time off to spend with her children. If I thought it would help matters I’d ask her myself so that she couldn’t give any of her “beat around the bush” reasons that FH tends to just take from her. But I know better thus I will allow FH to be the one to get the information.

And because I don’t care anymore I’m pretty set on just blocking out those two weeks she said appealed most to her and planning around them. That way if she at least takes them for the Sunday evening through Tuesday evening they’ll already be blocked out.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about the boys spending time with their mother. In fact, if it hadn’t been for my pushing she probably wouldn’t be seeing them the once a week for 2 hours as long as she doesn’t cancel as it is. But with a baby on the way, a new part-time business, my own family to look out for and care for, and summer plans to be made I have no sympathy for the woman who doesn’t put effort into trying to see her kids unless we literally call her up and tell her she needs to take them for “this weekend” or “that weekend.” We gave her multiple weeks through out the summer. She’ll just have to pick which ones she wants us to block off and we’ll go from there.

Besides, the boys themselves have a list of all kinds of things they too would like to do this summer. Including spending time with friends and visiting with other relatives. It's not like I can tell them "Oh sorry honey, you can't make any plans until your mother figures it out."