Toothpaste is stupid. Also, the Purse-Baby.

The extent to which that was a pain in the ass is actually beyond my ability to describe right now.  No, wait.  That's not true.  Fuck.  FUCK CREST SPARKLE KIDS TOOTH GEL.  Yeah, that's close.  

It's blue.  And sticky.  And smells like fake bubble gum.  Did I mention that it's blue?  It's also all over the carpet upstairs, all over Josh's toys, all over his clothes, a little on the walls, but mostly the carpet.  And it's blue...

I just spent the last few hours trying to clean this up.  Well, I also went to retrieve Zach, more on that in a minute.  I used an entire bottle of Woolite OxyClean Deep carpet stain remover.  That wasn't even close to being enough.  I didn't have any more carpet cleaner on hand.  So, I grabbed an all purpose cleaner I use mostly in the kitchen.  The cleaner is like, whoa, lady, that's not my thing.  So I was all like, guess what?  Now you're carpet cleaner.  Cleaner said, BRING IT - it's a good cleaner.  So we went back to work.  Cleaner says, Lady, I think we need Special Ops for this one.  So I head to the laundry room and grab the laundry spot/stain treater stuff.  Stuff says, hey, I'm in laundry, I don't do carpets.  I ask how carpet is really all that different from clothes and stuff said I had a point.  I've been watching Blue's Clues for 12 years straight, you think I'm not going to be talking to inanimate objects in my house? 

SO all purpose cleaner and laundry stain stuff worked together.  With a lot of help from my right hand/arm. 

Then I ran out of paper towel.  And energy.  So I'm done with the stupid blue toothpaste cleaning for now. 


In other news, where was I?  Oh yeah, some sentimental crap about Zach growing up.  I was having a moment.  The moment got pooped on by a full tube of Crest Sparkle Kids Tooth Gel

I picked him up at the theater and he is fine.  The earth is still spinning in the right direction and I don't have to rip anyone's lungs out because they messed with my kid.  Score 1 for successful milestones.  I asked him how the movie was and if there were many people there.  He said the place was almost full and that there was a baby in the seat next to him.  A baby?  Yeah, a baby.  It was in a purse.  Ummmmmm, what?  The baby was in a purse.  The mother apparently came in, put this purse down on the seat beside Zach, and then she sat in the seat next to it.  He looked over at the purse.  It was open, then he saw a blanket move.  He looked in a bit and saw a baby, asleep, in a blanket, in the purse.  I ask him if this was really a "purse" or if it was like a bigger bag, and he insists it was a purse.  Bigger than what I carry, but not as big as his gym bag.  A PURSE!?  "Yea, mom, a PURSE."  Uh, wow.  Weird?  "Yeah, the baby slept the whole time.  The mom just sat there with her sunglasses on and didn't pay any attention to it."  Sunglasses.  What?  "Yeah, you know, the really big dark ones like movie stars wear when they don't want people noticing them."  During the movie... she wore them the whole time?  "Yep. She wore the sunglasses the whole time. Never paid any attention to the purse baby." 

I don't even know what to do with that.

On a side note, last night, while discussing his impending solo outing I requested that he and his friend not go crazy just because there would be no adult supervision.  Zach's response: "I promise we won't thieve anything, ok?"  Me: "Well, that's awesome.  I was thinking more along the lines of not making too much noise and kicking people's seats, but yeah, not becoming a complete delinquent is good too.  Nice use of the word thieve, by the way."  Zach: "Thanks". 



Poop. Pronunciation: \ püp\  Function: noun, verb, transitive verb, intransitive verb.
Etymology: Middle English, from the Anglo-French pope, from Latin puppis
Dates back to the 15th century. *

Oh yes, gentle readers, it’s a poop-post.

There is a point, somewhere between that last push in the delivery room and your baby’s 6 month birthday, where poop and all things related becomes a relevant and pervasive topic in your life. When you were single or even married but before you had children, did you ever talk to your boyfriends, dates, or spouse about poop? Did you talk about it with your girlfriends? Your mom? Was it even something you thought about much if at all? No. You do now though, I’ll bet.

I know you do. As do I. Why? I wonder about this. Then I take a look at my life, my two boy children, one of whom because of his disability, is almost 12 and not yet potty trained, our three pets for whom I am the primary caretaker, and it hits me: I am up to my elbows in poo. Since the boys were babies to today when I still deal with Josh wearing Pull-Ups, between picking up after the dog, cleaning the bird’s cage and the chinchilla’s house, it’s always there. My 13 year old has an inexplicable need to relay his bathroom exploits in great detail. Josh still has plenty of accidents. The dog, who I am fairly certain is insane, has a pooping ritual that is beyond strange.  The bird likes to build mountains by going in the same spot all the time. The chinchilla is like a machine, churning out a seemingly endless supply of the stuff. I’m surrounded by it. I plan my life around it - going out at times when I am fairly confident Josh won’t be needing to go; I’ve arranged flights around what I think his poop schedule might be; I have this, that and a thousand other things to do but I have to make sure I take the dog out before I do anything else so he won’t poop in the car… again.

Zach coming out of the bathroom: “Mom, I just had this…”  me: “Stop it. I don’t need to hear it.”  Zach: “but mom, it was…”  me: “Seriously. STOP.”  Zach: “Ok, but, it was really …”  me: “Why is this happening? I DON’T NEED TO KNOW THIS.”  But apparently, I do. This is part of my job.  For I am the household’s elimination engineer, head of the personal-hygiene hazmat crew, I am the key master AND the gate keeper. I am, The Poop Whisperer.

It’s an odd thing, when you think about it. You have a baby and suddenly you are obsessed with elimination. We monitor our kids’ bowel habits like they’re the Geological Survey - always wondering when “the Big One” is going to hit. Regaling your friends and family with stories of explosive happenings and subsequent Silkwood-esque hose-downs like you’ve just seen the latest action flick. 

New moms are all nodding their heads. Factoid for the freshmen: baby poop is like the Dom Perignon of the poop world. Doesn’t matter how explosive, runny, or smelly you think it is, that stuff is like sweet nectar compared to what happens when baby starts eating solids. Yes, I’m comparing baby poop to things that are consumable. You’re welcome. You too will soon understand why changing a toddler’s dirty diaper on a plane is something you want to avoid at almost any cost. You will learn the hard way that ONE time you decide you won’t be out long enough to need changing supplies and besides, he/she just pooped so it’s totally fine...that it’s not. Children have a heightened sense about this, they just know when you really, really, REALLY don’t want them to go, so of course, they will.

Becoming a parent means poop is now an unavoidable part of your world. Accept this. Own this. Equip yourself accordingly and it will all be fine.


This was posted on Momversation this morning, but I felt like the edits made changed the whole tone and I just like my version better.  So, there you go. 

First day of ESY (Extended School Year) for Josh today and of course, he was up from 10:30pm last night 'till about 5:45am this morning.  Because that's how he rolls.

So, Last Night, This Happened

I know I owe you guys a nice, big, juicy Josh post, and it's coming, just TOO MUCH GOING ON. Seriously, it's kind of annoying. Doesn't the rest of my life know I have blog posts to write?!?

Ok, what I do have for you right now is in the photo gallery.  And just a note about said gallery, if you don't know already, if you actually click on the pictures once you pull up an individual gallery it will go in to shadow-box mode and make for a nice slide show.

I'll give you a lead in to the pictures.  Last night, just before bedtime, I walked in to the family room to get Josh so we could start getting his pj's on.  Head to the gallery to see what I found when I got there.

When Potty Training is Overrated... or not.

Today, we have encountered one of very few situations where I am grateful that Josh is still wearing Pull-ups. The alarm for the septic system pump went off in the wee hours of the morning.  Scared the daylights out of me but more ominously, it means that the septic pump is in some form of distress.  Not the tank(s), the pump.  Plenty of folks around who will come and pump the tanks for you on a weekend of holiday (or both, in this case), but pretty much no one who will come and fix your pump.  What it means is this: we cannot have water going down the drain, any drain, until someone can come and deal with this, which will be Tuesday at the earliest.  No laundry, no dishes, no baths or showers, NO FLUSHING, no hand washing, nothing.  Nada.  Unless I want what's in the tank to come back up in to the house.  So I thought about it, and decided, no, really, not so much, thanks.

I have plenty of hand sanitizing wipes to get us through so we're good that way.  I don't plan on getting too dirty over the next couple of days, I can live without a shower.  Dishes can sit on the counter, I think we can get by without laundry.  The biggest issue is using the toilets.  Bringing me to the realization that it's not a problem at least as far as Josh goes.  Thank goodness for small miracles.  If you want to look at it that way.  Which I do right now.  Cut me some slack, this SUCKS.

On a different though vaguely related note, you know the aforementioned cat-piano?  Beloved of Josh, despised by me?  Apparently, getting dowsed in shampoo multiple times is no big deal but man, pee on it and it's all over.  Not me, Josh, geez.  Yeah, so, it's now pathetically making some high-pitched broken electronic toy noise while I struggle with being happy it's dead vs knowing that Josh loves it and I will likely have to go get him another one.  Also, if anyone knows how to make Josh understand that shampoo and pee shouldn't go on our toys, let me know 'cause, I can't quite seem to get that message across.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, or had, if you are in a time zone way ahead.  I know I have a few readers outside North America, so, hope the week is starting off well for you folks :) 


When Good Field Trips Go Bad

Ferris Bueller didn't need to skip school to catch a mid-day major league game, he just needed to go to school in the greater Seattle area. 

In conjunction with Seattle's ABC tv affiliate, KOMO, the Seattle Mariners host a "Weather Day" every Spring.  This is an event held at Safeco Field and it involves a 45 minute discussion of meteorology by KOMO's lead meteorologist and a panel of various weather "experts", lunch, then tickets to stay for the Mariners' afternoon game.  Zach's school went last year but he and I were in Charlotte, NC at our karate training camp so we did not get to go.  So when the permission slip came home this year, I was like, heck yeah!  Sounds like a really cool field trip if you ask me. 

I signed us up and we were set.  Now most of Zach's field trips involve leaving his school at about 9am to get wherever they are going.  I can't do that because I don't drop Josh off at his school until 9:10am.  So we have an arrangement where if I have signed up for a trip, I just leave from dropping Josh off and meet Zach's crew at the destination.  Sometimes I keep Zach home and just drive up with him, occasionally I have dropped him at school and had him go with someone else until I can meet them. 

Yesterday was the day.  I had the paperwork regarding what gate we were to enter through, what times it was open, the schedule for the day, etc.  This time I was just going to bring Zach with me.  So here's the thing:  I've never actually been to Safeco Field.  I know where it is as it's right beside the train station where I pick up/drop off my mom all the time.  But I have never been to the stadium itself.  Haven't parked at it or near it, nothing.  I have parked up in Seattle many times in the Seattle Center area, which is further north, more in the heart of the city.  I figured it shouldn't be too big of a deal, huge stadium, bound to be parking everywhere since Qwest Field is right next door (where the Seahawks play). 

Now Josh gets dropped off at 9:10.  The weather day presentation was to start at 10am.  Timing was tight.  I always just assume I can do this stuff so I figured we'd be ok.  Close, but ok.  Josh hasn't been sleeping much at all this week so I was running on very little sleep.  I can do this, I am awesome like that.  We drop off the Toadie and I shift into "outta my way people" mode.  Um, yeah, have I mentioned that I have a teeny tiny problem with anger issues when I'm behind the wheel?  No?  *cough*  Ok, well, I do.  I know I wrote a whole piece for Momversation last week about being polite and I am, mostly, just maybe not so much when I'm driving.  I honestly don't know why or when it started, I haven't always been like that.  ANYWAY, since the universe likes to be funny, we end up behind several slow moving vehicles.  The speed limit was 50mph, they were going about 38.  Who does this?  Seriously, I understand speeding, but going well under the limit?  I just don't get.  So my blood pressure starts to hit the roof.  Takes us somewhat longer than I had anticipated just to get to the highway.  We did get there though, and after the initial merging traffic it seemed like smooth sailing.  I was starting to think we might just get there by 10.  No sooner had I started to relax a little about the time when I am headed toward a sea of red brake lights.... whoa... what the... bam.  Traffic had come to a dead stop.  Of COURSE it had.  Sigh.  OK.  No way are we going to make it in time now so I get on the cell phone to Zach's teacher.  She said she knew the traffic was bad, not to worry, call them when we get there and she'll send someone to come and find us at the gate.  Zach is cool, he's less stressed than I am.  Turns out there had been an accident, so when we managed to get past it we were on our way again.  Only there is this weird smell.  Pretty sure it's my car.  It smells like something is burning. Not oil, I know what that smells like. No, this was different, still not good, but different. Like a "your car is about to burst into flames or your engine is about to explode" smell.  There were no cars around me now so it wasn't someone else.  And it wasn't going away.  In a bit of a panic though trying to keep Zach from knowing how freaked out I was, I fixed my gaze on the dash waiting for some bad warning lights to come on, one eye on the hood of my car watching for flames. Zach could smell it too.  Nothing happened, but the smell lingered. I of course, kept driving.  WE HAVE A FIELD TRIP TO GET TO.  I follow the signs that tell me to get off at this exit for Safeco Field.  There was one more sign after I got off the highway... then nothing.  No more signs.  So this is how it is.  FINE. I can see the bloody thing so I just drive toward it.  Yes, I have a nav system in the car, however, Mr Nav Man Voice Thing has a tendency to lie, and I don't think it's funny so I opted not to use it this time. 

I managed to get to the stadium quite by accident.  By this time, the scary smell had faded enough that I stopped worrying about it. Now to look for parking.  Um, hmmm. There is nothing immediately obvious, oh wait, no that's the football stadium.  There's a self park right across from the gate we were to go in through.  Great, I'll just pop in there and hey, it's $30 to park when there is a game.  THIRTY. DOLLARS.  I kid you not.  Under normal circumstances I wouldn't pay that in a million years to park my car for a couple of hours. But we were late, this was for Zach, so yeah, you win mr parking extortionist.  I park the car, get out, and we head over to the machine to pay for the ticket.  Or, not.  Unlike its counterparts up in the city, this spot was cash only.  You had to fold up your bills and stuff them in the slot that corresponded to your car's spot.  Very antiquated. Very annoying.  I don't have enough cash on me.  I am so used to using my credit card for everything these days, including parking.  I had some cash, just not enough.  So, back in the car we get to find a place that took credit cards.  I passed about 4 more lots, all of which were cash only, including the actual stadium garage.  Cash. Only.  Since when did this become a thing?  I was starting to lose it a little, called Zach's teacher and told her parking was going to be a problem.  I finally found a small lot a couple blocks away that had a machine that looked like it would take the card... SCORE! Credit cards only at this one, so I parked the car and Zach and I made our way to the stadium in the rain. 

We get to the weather talk about 30 minutes late so we really only got the last 15 minutes of it.  I felt badly for Zach, but he didn't care that much, he was excited for lunch and the game.  We were not the only ones late, so I didn't feel too horrible.  Safeco Field is lovely, by the way.  If you like baseball and are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend it.  It's fairly new and has a wonderful retractable roof, perfect for this part of the world with all our rain.  Now I have to confess, the last time I attended a Major League baseball game was back in 1992 in Houston, the Astros vs the Montreal Expos in the Astrodome.  I'm not even sure if that exists any more.  I do know this - grounds keeping has been cultivated in to a fine art, it was fascinating to watch the crew working on the field before the game.  It looked too pretty to mess up when they were done, I can tell you that.  We ate our lunch in seats along the first baseline.  Very cool, so close to the field.  This was Zach's first live sporting event aside from some martial arts tournaments and training camps.  So he was taking it all in - with a giant, red, foam finger, of course.  Had to get a foam finger, it was all he wanted.  I realized while we were eating that the seats we were sitting in to eat were NOT our seats for the game.  I looked at our tickets.  Uh, wow.  Section 311. Row 19. Seats 13 - 14.  Without even knowing the stadium layout those numbers should suggest a notion about where we would be sitting for the game.  Indeed, at the farthest end down the first base line and waaaaaaaaaaay up at the very top.  Crazy.  They sat all the schools in this nosebleed section, over 1,000 kids.  Alrighty, then. So we made our way, all the way, up up up and in to our game seats.  Well, we could see the whole field, without any obstructions so that was good. 

Normally I enjoy live sporting events.  And I had been excited for this one.  But as we were waiting for the game to start, I got very cold. VERY cold. I could see my breath it was that cold.  The stadium is not enclosed so whatever the temperature is outside, it is in the stadium too.  May 26th and it's so cold you can see your breath... it was bizarre, and cold.  My hands were white and looked like wax.  Then there was this overwhelming smell.  No, not my random car-exploding smell, but, well, garlic.  Lots and lots of garlic.  They serve garlic fries at a number of the food vendors and the smell was insane.  Non-stop garlic.  Of course then the cotton candy guy came around and 1,000 kids swarmed at once.  When the carnage was over, cotton candy guy retired a rich man and I was now surrounded by cotton candy... and garlic fries.  I kinda wanted to hurl. The little girls behind us kept screaming randomly and as loud as they could, for Ichiro. Honestly, with what I deal with at home with Josh you'd think this would be a cake walk for me.  Funny, I guess with Josh it's a context, state and environment that I'm used to.  Josh wasn't there, I suppose I expected things to be a little more, well, normal, lol.

We made our way out of Safeco early, since I had to make sure I got back in time to get Josh from school and after the morning's traffic escapades I didn't want to take any chances.  Took us about 10 minutes just to get out of the stadium from way up where we were.  As we were walking back to the car, there were a number of establishments, shall we say, in this long building along the side street we were on.  There was a place called "Showgirls".  Because I'm a bit of an ass-hat I said to Zach, "hey, we've got some time, let's go in to Showgirls over here and get a drink."  Zach just rolls his eyes at me and shakes his head. "Do you even know what that is? " I asked him.  "I assume it's a strip club" he said, in a perfectly non-chalant manner.  I said, "good job!" and patted him on the back.  He was like, "mom, did you really just tell me 'good job' for knowing it was a strip club?"  "Sure did. See, sometimes I'm afraid you're not worldly enough. But dude, strip club, nicely done".  He started giggling.  You had to be there.

We made it home in plenty of time and Josh is now enjoying the enormous bag of popcorn we brought home from the game.  All in all, despite all the tribulations, it was a fun day, mostly because I was with Zach.  But absolutely one of the cooler field trips I've ever volunteered to attend.