Friday, May 17, 2013


Well, I finally got that stomach flu.  Whoosh.  My first and last (feeble) claim to supermom status is throwing up, while breastfeeding, with Jamie and Charlie climbing on my back.    I know it's been said many times before, but it really does suck to be a mom and sick.  Everyone else gets taken care of when they're sick.  But mom's have to be sick and still take care of everyone else.   Jamie was a big help.  He did laundry and made meals...granted  I think he used an entire bottle of laundry detergent for a few loads, and an entire jar of jam for pb&j, but oh well.... I certainly wasn't in any position to complain. 

Here's hoping today is better. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Going To The Chapel, And...

It is hot.   I do love hot weather, but after months of trying to stay warm, the first 103 degree day always comes as a shocker.   The boys, in an effort to stay cool today, got in a water the garage...with the hose.   Needless to say, my day turned from "omg it's too hot to even fold laundry" to "ooh yay, I get to empty the garage out onto the driveway!".    We don't run our air conditioner, and I have to remind myself that human kind has existed for millenniums without a/c (except for those fancy ancient palaces that had brilliant pre-electric engineering).  

I haven't gotten the stomach flu yet...making me wonder how long I have to wait in fearful trepidation before I'm past the point of getting it.   Every night I go to bed utterly convinced I have it.  My stomach hurts, I feel queasy...and then I wake up in the morning.  Hypochondriac much? 

We got the dread virus from the New Mexico Felix's, but that's ok, because it was totally awesome to see them again.  I don't know what we'll do when the last Felix boy is married and there isn't a reason to gather for the monster celebrations.   This time, it was Christopher's turn.  Chris and Rachel's wedding was gorgeous, and I love all the weddings I do, but it's always particularly special when it's family or close friends.   

Wedding's aren't like baseball games that can be postponed or canceled due to weather, so I gave a literal, actual happy dance when I realized how perfect the lighting was for their wedding day.   Sometimes I look at wedding blogs and magazines and wonder if I'm the only photographer who has to shoot weddings in the middle of a bright sunny day... or hailing like the last one. 

I tried to make myself useful for more than just the photography, so the rehearsal dinner found me trying to set up a punch fountain, slice bread and generally appear helpful.   Charlie kept getting underfoot, asking me to go out and jump on the trampoline with him.  I kept telling him "go!... go jump on the trampoline."  But of course there were giant spiders, or zombies, or dinosaurs on the trampoline preventing him from jumping without mommy.  MmmHmmm.  Finally I'd had enough, so I opened the door and tried to deposit him outside to shoo him on to play by himself.   "I caaaaan't" he wailed "There's a rattlesnake."  Yeah, honey.  I'm sure. Maybe you can tell the snake to go play with those dinosaurs.    I tried to shake him off my leg where he'd wrapped himself around me like a koala bear.  He tried to levitate around the back of me, "Stop mommy, you're pushing me into a rattlesnake."  I looked down, and sure enough, there was a baby rattlesnake coiled up not six inches from the back door I was standing in.  Lovely.    Some parents give their kids tough love by taking off their training wheels.  Me? I try to push my child into the jaws of poisonous snakes.   I didn't even see it, it was just so little.  But it was a perfect, shiny new rattlesnake with its cute little diamond pattern, and a few little rattles on its tail.

 I should learn to trust Charlie explicitly when it comes to these things.  The kid is really good at noticing creatures.  He may think he's the Incredible Hulk, but I think his real talent lies in saying things like "No Jamie, that little black spider didn't bite you...that little brown striped one did." 

I try not to think about all the snakes and spiders where I live...I try to think about pretty wedding pictures instead .  :-P

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sick Cycle Carousel

We were racing down the 15 at 2:30am this morning, Charlie was trying to sleep walk out of his carseat, Robbie was wailing the exhausted wail of an infant who refuses to stop protesting his hatred of cars, and Jamie was throwing up for the fifth time into a handy ziploc I stole from my Grandma's kitchen.  Jim told me, "Happy Mother's Day babe" and we laughed.  Because really, the weekend had reached such epic levels of slapstick that there was nothing left to do but be numb to it. 

It started out with the rubics cube style planning that accompanies violin/work/baseball/Grandma's 80th birthday/college graduation/graduation party in one weekend.  Plan A was scrapped, Plan B was briefly enacted before being tossed, Plan C seemed to be a winner until it got majorly fusterclucked, and we moved on to Plan D which while not perfect, was certainly doable.   Then the stomach flu showed up and ruined everything. 

We should have stayed home... but everyone had been well for over 24 hours, and so we fled to L.A. to see long lost cousins and celebrate with family.    As we were brushing our teeth and getting ready to claim some sleeping bag real estate to sleep on, I jokingly told Jim that I was so exhausted the kids would probably choose this night to keep us up.   Note to self:  Don't ever joke about things like that.  Ever.  I really should know better.   Because of course, not twenty minutes after I'd fallen into deep, restful slumber, than my nicer-than-me sister so kindly woke me up and asked me what she should do about the fact my seven year old was throwing up all over her room.   Then my other nicer-than-me sister woke up and offered to help clean it up.  Really, I don't deserve these kind of siblings.  I would have been all  *gag* *retch* *gag*  "WHAT THE--- Your KID just BARFED on my BED."  *gag* *retch* *gag*.    

But I digress.  As I rocked my puking son back and forth in the bathtub of a small house with limited bathroom space and people literally sleeping everywhere...I realized this was not a recipe for success.   Twenty people can't really share a bathroom with someone who has the stomach flu, and so we threw all our stuff in the car.  Picked up our sleeping and bewildered children and went back from whence we came.  

Now I'm just sitting here waiting for the stomach flu to hit me too.  But these munchkins are worth it.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Who is the fairest of them all

I was teaching Charlie "tall, tall-er, tall-est" today, and we were using our family as an example.  "Who's the tallest?" 


"Who's the shortest?" 


etc etc.  It backfired on me though, when we I got to "Robbie is short-er than you, and you are short-er than Jamie.   Silence.   So I repeated it.


Apparently Charlie did not know he was shorter than Jamie.  I was flabbergasted, but should have known better... after all, this is the child who thinks he literally is The Hulk.   I measured both of them and then showed Charlie the difference, but he was more stubbornly convinced he was taller,  than a 15th century sailor was of a flat earth.    Jamie reacted with a roundhouse punch that knocked Charlie flat on his back.  "Could I have done that if you were bigger than me?"  Jamie asked.   Charlie paused for a second as Jamie helped him back up, and then philosophically agreed.   I mean how could he argue with that?   Crisis averted, friendship restored (although just FYI, he's still The Incredible Hulk). 

I'm not sure I'll ever understand how boys communicate. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Re-emerging from the 1960's

Our internet has been out for over a week.  Since our cellphones don't have any service without the signal booster attached to our internet, we also haven't had 3G, 4G, bars, cell service or any of the other lovely "necessities" that come along with the 21st century.  No phone, no email, no facebook, no instagram.  Probably anyone under the age of 25, feels my pain.  Anyone in my grandparents generation (rightfully) should play me a tune on a tiny violin.   I mean, I had to actually pull Joy of Cooking off the shelves (the real, physical, cookbook) in order to make homemade sausage the other night.  The absurdity. 

This week I've hung the laundry out on the line.  Had homemade meals every night.  Spent way more time reading books to my kids (since we had no netflix).   Jim commented more than once on the cleanliness of our house.  I ironed and mended (I know, I know...).  But all good things must come to an end.  Jim found the culprit (a switch underground), and fixed the problem like hero he is.  So we are back in the 21st century, and I'm gobbling up my missed blogs, forums and news sources like a backslidden addict. 

Robbie stands now.  He's hilarious because he hates to fall, so he lowers himself to and from the standing position like he's doing workout squats.

 He's officially making the transition from babyhood to toddlerdom.  His walking skills are a few weeks behind his emotions though.  The last week he's been acting more like a kid than a baby.  This morning, he wanted the nail clippers and when I told him no, he threw himself on the floor wailing.  When he turned and saw I was talking to Charlie and not paying attention to him.  He threw his pacifier at me, waited for me to turn my head and then re-threw himself on the floor wailing.   I foresee good times ahead in the Ramsey household.   Teaching a small biped to act like a reasonable member of the human race is never boring. 

Co-sleeping is also coming to an end.  Jamie wanted nothing to do with co-sleeping.  He just wailed until we would put him in his crib, where he'd curl up with a "thank goodness these idiots finally figured out what I wanted" and then promptly go to sleep.    We co-slept with Charlie until he was 10 months.  I don't remember what prompted the move from bed to crib (although it's hopefully recorded in this blog somewhere).  It took a couple of weeks to get him used to the crib, and then he was fine.   I had no plans to move Robbie to his own crib any time soon.  Because we're so busy during the day, he gets the majority of his breastmilk during the night.  It's a win win.   But the last few nights he just won't sleep.  He plows all over the bed like a mini bulldozer.  Snorting, growling, giggling and otherwise just being obnoxious.  He's exhausted, but won't settle down.   Each night I finally give up and put him in his crib, where he repeats his oldest brother's look of, "thank goodness these idiots are finally letting me get some rest".

I'm sort of heartbroken about it.  But my cousin just had a baby last week, and my sister-in-law is about to have a baby, so I'll just have to steal their offspring for some blessedly simple newborn snuggles.   No pacifier throwing or temper tantrums.  Just tiny little scrawny legs, scrunchy little faces and that delicious newborn smell...

Yeah, I should stop, before I talk myself into wanting another one.