Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homecoming, in reverse

When my mother first told me she and my father were retiring and moving up here, I was so very excited. When she told me they weren't retiring and moving up here, I started to cry.

This all occurred 7 1/2 years ago. The original announcement immediately followed the announcement that Omar and I were expecting our first child (please see most recent post). The catch was that in the excitement of their daughter's first baby, they failed to realize that they actually weren't ready to retire. Also, Minnesota is damn cold. Unfortunately, the second conversation occurred when I was post-call, at ~7pm, when I was firing on only ~3 hours sleep and ~7 months pregnant.

Those were some really hormone and sleep deprived tears! (And I was genuinely bummed out).

I figured if I kept having kids, eventually, they would have to move up here. The twins got them house hunting on line, and the announcement of an impending Leo got them looking at Open Houses when they visited.

And this weekend, I am thrilled to say, my parents bought a house!! It is 40 seconds from Omar's parents by car, 7 minutes from us. I am so completely thrilled I can hardly speak. 20 years ago I high-tailed it out of Oklahoma, ready to take on the world and never look back. I didn't need anybody but myself and my posse of friends. Parents were for Christmas vacation (and very helpful for paying tuition...).

And then you realize they are the people who love you like no one else will. They are the one's you love more deeply than you every wanted to let on. They are the reflection of your own fierce parenting love shining back at you in a brilliant moment of clarity after 1 little boy joins the fold. They are family.

So, Mom and Dad, thanks for letting me run the other direction for those years while still supporting me all the way. I love you so much, and I am honored that you will follow me and my crazy cast of characters up here. Welcome back home.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


7 years and 2 days ago, we didn't have any children. Omar and I could go to any restaurant at any time. We could sleep in on the weekends and go for long walks with the dogs whenever we wanted to.

And then, 7 years and 1 day ago, our lives changed forever. Changed endlessly for the better. I awoke at 6am, irritated that I was going to start my 4th day as an overdue preggers chick. Irritated that I was going to have to go to my weekly residency conference that started at 7am. But then, with one swift kick, my water broke, and it became clear that this was the day.

Max, you are an amazing young man. You continue to be kind, loving and generous to your friends and your family. You break my heart every day with the adoration you show for Leo. You climb into his crib every morning so you can sit with him and make him giggle. Your spent 3 hours working on a birthday Lego yesterday - showing a focus that only a 7 year old could show. We love you so much, Small Guy, Small Fry. You brought such joy into our life 7 years ago, and it has only grown each day.

Happy Birthday, my son.

And the Vikes gave him a nice birthday gift as well. Go Favre!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Available for hire

It's love

When we moved, we moved basically one block. We mourned the fact that we moved further away from 2 friends, but celebrated the face that we moved closer to one.

Now, the Boz family has 3 girls. Strangely, Papa Boz doesn't find my little jokes about future kisses or stories-we-won't-hear-about-until-the-kids-are-in-their-30's very funny...

But, it has already begun. Their youngest is now in the same daycare class as Cal and Spence. She has asked if she can marry both of them at the same time when they grow up. And Spence announced last night "M has fallen in love with me..." To which I asked "Uhm, how do you know that M has fallen in love with you?"

"She told me."

They are all 4 years old. The next 14 years are going to be very tough for Papa Boz...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Plumbing Trauma

Now Calvin won't go to the bathroom in our house unless I'm with him....


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Plumbing Lesson

You wanna know how to freak out a family of 4 boys under the age of 7?

Semi-lose your mind when all 4 toilets start exploding 4 minutes before the bus is going to arrive while you have a baby strapped to your chest.

Yup. That will do it.

It all began while Calvin was putting on his shoes, Leo was in the Baby Bjorn, Max was getting his homework in his bag, and Spence was doing something outside. Suddenly, the sound of the flushing of the most forceful industrial strength toilet starts ringing throughout the house. Cal, with a near cry on his face, looks up to me with one of his "mamma can fix anything" gazes and says "Mom! What is that noise??" I race up to the loudest of the toilets in the boys bathroom to see water shooting out of the bowl with such force it is spraying the wall to eye level.

Now, take a person in full cardiac arrest. I am cool as a cucumber. Motorcycle accident with multiple amputations. Bring it on. But a spewing, LOUD toilet that shows absolutely NO sign that it is going to cease this behavior. I kinda freaked out.

I call Omar. I use the word "exploding" and Max starts to snivel. Omar tells me to turn the water off to the toilet. It is only after I detach the baby, leave him in the arms of the very frightened 6 year old, that I can reach down behind the belching toilet, getting sprayed all the while (did I mention I was already dressed for a wedding shower I am going to later today...?), and shut off the water. Only when I got the full bouquet of the warm air blasting from the toilet drain do I realize this isn't a water problem. It's a forceful sewer gas problem. The one salvo I had to stop the madness is useless. I call our dear friend and contractor, telling him to get his kiester to our house, pronto.

The bus is now 1 minute from arrival.

So, I kick all the terrified children out of the house, I save Leo from the corner he had become stuck in, and pretend nothing is wrong for the next 20 minutes while I get Max on the bus and all the kids to daycare. WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO? (except thank the powers above none of the boys had been sitting on the toilets when this PTSD provoking incident occurred).

In the end, after mopping up 4 bathrooms, apparently the city was cleaning the sewer lines and our pressure release system of traps in the roof was just overwealmed. The solution? 3 years from now, when they do it again? Ask for forewarning, close the toilet lids, and wrap towels around them. No joke.

And lets be serious... who's gonna remember to do that??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bacon face

I posted months ago about how eagerly I was anticipating the arrival of my friends Gary and Mark (with the bonus of Mark's hilarious wife Kristen) for the Labor Day weekend. We all hoofed it up to the cabin with the 6 kids, cooked, drank, played, swam and laughed. It was a lovely, fabulous long weekend that makes you just bask in the glory of old friendships that are still holding like super-glue despite years and distance. (Which is a better place for super-glue than on the seat of a Walmart toilet, as one of my patients from earlier to day could attest... but I digress)

The moments of hilarity are too numerous to recount, but there are a few that stick out. Like when Spencer finished his breakfast with most of it on his face instead of in his stomach. This, itself, isn't funny, so much as just daily habit. I was out of the room, so Mark (or was it Gary...?) properly instructed the little menace to "please wipe off your face." Having become a child who will actually listen to instructions, he happily walked over to the kitchen counter, grabbed a paper towel, rubbed it all over his face, then tromped outside to his next adventure. It was only after he was long gone that we realized the paper towel he had used to shine his face was the bacon grease paper towel. (And then he was eaten by bears...)

My favorite moment was the building of the bonfire. Gary began. Then Mark assisted. Then the children supervised around the periphery of the fire pit wondering what the hold up was all about. There was very little in the way of fuel/kindling, but S'mores had been promised, so there would be fire. Oh, Oh yes. There would be fire... But not in any rapid manner. I kept peaking out the kitchen window, wondering just how much time could pass before I would hear cursing from the blessedly cold and not-burning fire pit. Spencer came in to relay the request for newspaper... of which we had none. Then Kristen came in, barely able to hold it together to report that Max had capped the adult frustration by asking earnestly "Uncle Gary... Uncle Mark... Have you ever DONE this before?"

Thank god the kid is only 6 years old. A bit older and he might have lost his life. I, on the other hand, couldn't stop laughing.

So, here's to amazing friends and a weekend to remember! We love you guys, and may we be together again soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One year ago

Ladies and Gentlemen, my 'baby' is a year old. Little Leo-Beo baby boy was born one year ago at this exact time into the waiting hands of the most lovely and talented Dr. Boz. It was 365 days ago that I giggled about the fact that I was destined to be a mother of boys, and what a lovely destiny it is.

Leo, you are the most patient, self-reliant, fearless little guy. Your little smile can right this topsy turvy ship of insanity. I can be up to my elbows in some of the more unpleasant aspects of parenting, but then you 4-prong crawl past and remind me daily that it is still the best job in the world. Oh, and thanks for figuring out that "I'm going to get up in the middle of the night every night" thing... I love you so very much.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

One Mortgage

In an effort to not curse the deal that has been looming on our house for the past 4 weeks, I have posted nothing. However, despite all the possible things that could have gone wrong, we have SOLD OUR HOUSE!!!

Sweet, merciful lord. It is over. It was like slowly peeling off my own fingernails, and the price is enough to make a grown woman weep, BUT it is over. No more mowing the weeds/dirt/lawn. No more dusting or airing out the stale "No one really lives here" smell. No more "we didn't like the floorplan, but were sure to leave every light on even though it's clear no one lives here" feedback. And best of all, no more fear that I was actually going to have to keep the place plowed for winter showings. We can move on.

And who knew our "empty" house still had so much crap in it. We decluttered in January, 1/3 moved in May, took over another 1/3 in June when it was clear this could drag on for months, and now in September have finished it off. Our garage looks like a family of 12 is moving in. And that final load of stuff is all the stuff you clearly don't really even need, given we have lived prefectly happily without ANY of it since May. Anyone want a mosquito repelling machine? You know, the ones that were all the rage 4 years ago, except for the one drawback that they don't actually work despite your coworker's cousin husband swearing by them? Or how about a broken cabinet? Anyone? Anyone?

I am now going to go to Target, with a keychain that is 2 keys lighter, to by stuff for my one and only house. Ah, that feels nice...