The Empty Child

We have a Whovian baby today!


The Day I was a Perfect Parent



It's all over the news and Social Media these days.  Imperfect Parents making mistakes.  It makes me thankful that I had that one day that I was completely and totally the perfect parent.

Because of that one day, I can sit in judgment of other imperfect parents.

Because of that one day, I can declare myself as above those mistakes because for one day I was exactly that.

I can't tell you the exact date that I was a perfect parent.  But I know that it must have happened.

Baby Brain has run rampant on me the last few months so I doubt it would have been since Beckett was born, no offense to that Happy Little Boy.  Actually, I know it couldn't have been since Beckett was born because his whole life he's either slept in my arms in bed with me, or in a crib that has (prepare yourselves, this is super scary) a bumper pad.

Maybe it was when Ty was a baby.  He was a pretty easy baby, too, so maybe that day of Perfect Parenting happened then.  Except that we had a quilt under the sheet of his crib to help soften the hard mattress.  That's definitely not acceptable Perfect Parent behavior.  Nor was the night that I put him in the car-seat and put the car-seat in the crib so that I could finally get some sleep.

Oh, and I didn't breast-feed him (or Beckett for that matter).  Being a mother that doesn't breast feed means that you don't care about your baby, their brain development, or their overall well being.  So that means it couldn't have been during his first year when he was taking formula.  I'm sure it must have been after that.

Darn.  I didn't keep him rear-facing until he was two-years-old, as is suggested.  Obviously I wasn't a good parent if I didn't do that.  So maybe after he was two.  Surely my perfect day of parenting happened then.  He did have that phase where he basically just wanted Vienna Sausages and Crackers for supper, so it couldn't have been on a night when I let him indulge because a perfect parent would have provided three square meals a day, perfectly balanced with cute and crafty little snacks in between.

Man.  That really narrows it down.  But I'm sure that happened at some point.

It definitely wouldn't have been on a day when I had him vaccinated because even though science has proven the benefits of a vaccine far outweigh any negative side-effects, Society tells me that I should believe some Blogger Mom who cites unreliable sources from the Internet.  I mean sure, those sources came back and said that their studies were fallible but they wouldn't have published them if they didn't really believe them.  And belief counts for something in the face of actual scientific research and medical evidence, right?

There was also that time that he got the (thankfully near-empty) bottle of Tylenol out of the diaper bag and went all bottoms-up with it.  (Sidenote:  The Poison Control Hotline asks for an uncomfortable amount of information before they actually provide you any assistance...pretty sure I've got a red-flag by my name somewhere.)  It definitely was not that day.  A Perfect Parent would have been watching their kids and interacting with them at all times.

It would have been on a day that I drove perfectly, too.  Not a mile above or below the speed limit.  I came to a full stop at every stop sign and was 100% aware of all things going on around me at all times.  But never distracted.  Which means my cell phone would have been put away, my music would have been at a reasonable level, and Ty would probably have been asleep in the age, weight, and height-approved car-seat.  It certainly wasn't that time that he was throwing the mother of all tantrums and I was swatting blindly in the back of the car trying to connect with any part of him that I could reach.  That was definitely not perfect parent material.

Nor was the time that I showed him I could scream louder than him and was therefore the winner of the fit-throwing contest.

And it would have to have been a day that I wasn't distracted by cell phones or television shows or the Internet.  I must have spent the day snuggled up with him or playing games with him.  Maybe it was the day that I built the giant tent in the living room and we watched movies together.  Except that I had pop-corn and cotton candy and all sorts of sweets set out for him to snack on in lieu of supper.  So nix that.

I'm still better than the parents that I see at Walmart.  I've never-ever had to raise my voice at my child or tell them "Stop running!", "Put that back where you got it", "Quit touching stuff", "Get out of the clothes rack and off of the floor", or "For the last time, I am NOT getting you a toy today!  You've got a birthday in two weeks!"

Actually I'm pretty sure I've said all of those.  So on my day of Perfect Parenting, we obviously didn't go shopping.

I'm starting to wonder if I even spent the day with him at all...maybe he was away at Nana & PaPaws and I spent the perfectly allotted and acceptable amount of time missing him and thinking of him while still getting some much needed "Me Time".  Because "Me Time" is important to moms, too.  So that's probably it.  He was away with his grandparents.  And I didn't forget to call him before bedtime.

See!  There you go!  I was a perfect parent one day!  I didn't do any actual parenting on that day, but it still counts.  I'm sure of it!

And because I was the perfect parent, I can sneer and make ugly comments at other parents when they make mistakes.  Sure, I've made those mistakes before.  Or I could very possibly make the same mistake in the same set of circumstances.  But I'm above that.  I have the Perfect Parent trophy from that one day that I wasn't really a parent at all.

DIY: Trampoline Redo

This week I've used muscles that I don't believe I have ever used before in the history of me.

Seriously.

I hurt in places that I didn't know there were muscles that could hurt.

For instance, when putting deodorant on this morning I discovered that there are very obviously muscles in ones armpits. And mine were screaming at me!

When attempting to tuck a shirt in this morning I realized just how many different places that different muscles are located in your upper arms (LOTS). I abandoned that shirt very quickly in favor of one that didn't have to be tucked in.

And while writing down a phone message earlier, I learned that there are muscles all around your fingers and throughout your hands that are obviously not used in any strenuous capacity throughout a normal day's work.

Speaking of fingers....the finger tips of both pointer fingers and both thumbs are so swollen that my iPhone can't identify my fingerprints for my Touch ID.

What's got me all bent out of shape (quite literally)?

In a nut-shell it would be candidly honest to just say that I got my butt off the couch. But more specifically, I've been putting together a trampoline for The Boy.

On Monday evening, The Husband and I got the trampoline out of the attic where it's been in storage for 3-4 years now (thanks to Destructi-Dog's destructive tendencies....) That evening while The Husband tended to The Baby, I assembled the trampoline and attached as many springs as I could do on my own (about half of them). The Husband then came out to help me with the last few and then we moved the trampoline across the yard and we called it a night.


Yesterday evening, part two commenced after purchasing some pool noodles and some textured Rustoleoum spray paint. Again, The Husband watched The Baby (and cooked supper) while I spray-painted the frame and springs of the trampoline. I let that dry while I had supper and dissected pool noodles into 6" sections. Then I went back out and removed the springs one at a time and slide them into the pool noodle sections before reconnecting them to the frame.

All seventy-two springs.

At the end of the night, the trampoline looked like it was brand new.


And this morning I felt like I was quite old.

But it will be so worth it to be able to see The Boy having fun in his yard again.  It's been too long, it's time to take our yard back.

Baby's First

Look who made the Dallas Comic Con Facebook page!



How completely cool is that?! And how completely cute is this boy!

More to come later, I just had to share!

Throwback Thursday | Strip Search 101

First thing this morning at work we have an interesting conversation that leads to a throw-back to my days of working at the Sheriff's Office.

And the occasional days of strip-searching female inmates.

Boy am I glad those days are over!  But as a nod to that part of my past, I decided to repost the blog from 2007 that maintained it for posterity.




Strip Search 101 


Okay...I work at the Sheriff's Office. I mainly do the bookkeeping, but every once in a while, I get called on for a 'special' task. One I'd be more than happy to give up. But because of my lack of male genetailia....I get stuck with it.

Female prisoner comes in.....she's gotta be searched before she's stuck in a cell. Guess who gets to do it.

Yep, you guessed it.

Yours truly.

It wouldn't be so bad if all the female prisoners I've ever had to search was about 23 years old, slender, small-of-chest-and neatly trimmed in the undercarriage.  Not because I want something to look at, but because age-wise that puts us on even ground and because the rest of it helps to avoid uncomfortable questions that I'll hit upon later.

I'm not saying every woman has been the picture of disgust and poor hygeine....but overall--my experience searching women has not been pleasant.

And it's always [sarcasm] great [/sarcasm] when they're vulgar, aggressive, or have a sexual orientation other than my own....

At this point, I've only searched about a dozen women. And in those searches....I've learned some basic search procedures.

Keep in mind, I'm not properly trained to search anyone, but I've been given the rundown.

Here's the general rule:

Gloves. First and foremost. GLOVES!! For the love of God! Put some gloves on!

Next...I start at the top...pat out the hair, make sure there's nothing hidden in it anywhere, open your mouth...(note to self: hold breath)...the mouth should be empty.

Shirt off...bra off....

Guys, don't get yourself going...there's nothing fantasy-worthy here. It's work. It's professional. It's as little touching as possible, and what touching IS done, is done out of sheer need for the safety of our facility and our employees.

Okay, arms out.

If her breasts create any folds in skin....you must pick up and examine under that fold or around that fold. Check under arms, between breasts, etc.

Put your bra back on...shirt stays off. (Also check shirt and outerwear to make sure nothing is hidden in them or any pockets they might have.)

Shoes off.

Examine each shoe inside and out to make sure there's nothing hidden there.

Socks off. Check each sock to make sure nothing is in it.

Okay...pants down.

And the underoos.

Check pants and pockets. Empty pocket contents of everything, but leave it visible so that they can see nothing is being removed...unless it's a weapon or illicit substance...obviously that goes into an evidence baggie...never had that happen, though.

Okay...and once underwear are removed...the fun part. She has at most a bra on right now....she's uncomfortable...I'm uncomfortable.

But it gets worse.

Some of the women I've had to search exceeded 300 lbs. easily. This is the uncomfortable part.

How do you politely ask someone to lift a roll (or more than one roll) of body fat so that you can check between them?

And as if that's not bad enough...those gloves...you're glad you have them, because you get to feel between those folds and layers. To top that...to avoid touching in any inappropriate places, there's this technique we utilize.

The "Squat and Cough".

It's always been my frame of mind that if a woman has something hidden in her va-jay-jay or her back door, she can have it. This procedure helps to rule that out.

The woman is simply instructed to squat a little, legs apart...obviously I have to squat some, too, because I have to be where I can visibly ascertain if something peeks out when she coughs.

Fun.

I don't even look at MYSELF down there so it's just a little less than comfortable for me to stare at another woman, especially since a couple of the women don't just cough (so it's always a good idea to hold your breath at this point in time, too).

Once that's done, and once all clothes and folds of skin have been checked, she gets dressed out and I gather up all pocket contents or finds to turn over to the intake officer to go into the prisoner's property or the money is put on the books for them.

So, that's pretty much it.

Gloves off.  Exhale and take a deep breath of fresh air.

And always remember to wash your hands...gloves or no gloves...just do it.

A High Stress Situation

Twins.

Eight weeks apart.

But still twins.

That's what I dreamed about last night in one of my all-too-vivid and insanely stressful dreams.

It started simply enough, I was going to the Dr. for a routine postpartum checkup.  As I was standing at the desk to check-in they started to escort me to the hospital.  When I asked what was going on they responded that they needed to get me prepped for my cesarean.

Obviously I was confused.  I'd had my cesarean eight weeks earlier.  This was a follow-up.  There was some mistake.

The nurse acted like I clearly had pregnancy-brain and 'reminded' (aka educated) me that I had been pregnant with fraternal twins.  The little boy was delivered eight weeks earlier but they couldn't deliver the little girl at that time.  This cesarean was to deliver the little girl.

"It's a girl?" I asked repeatedly.

I have clothes for a boy.  I have experience with boys.  I could mentally prepare myself for a boy.  But a girl?  I couldn't get it to sink in.

"It's a girl?"  How could I have still been pregnant and not known it?

After the quickest, most routine (apparently outpatient) cesarean ever I had a daughter in my arms that I was completely unprepared for.  Even more, I had to tell everyone that I now had not just a new son, but a new daughter as well.  The nurses began my discharge paperwork, including a birth certificate completed with the name Ana Clayre, which is a lovely name, but even in my haze it didn't seem quite right.  Should we spell Ana with one N or two...I went to text Jason to let him know he's a Daddy again and to see how he wanted to spell the name when it dawned on me that he would not be game for Ana or Anna at all, we agreed to Amelia and so Amelia it must be.

I let the nurses know that we have to change her name, it can't be Ana, it has to be Amelia.  We erase the name but every time we write the new name down we keep writing Ana instead of Amelia.  Finally we get it right and Amelia and I are released from the hospital.  I walk out knowing that I have to start calling people, beginning with Jason, and letting them know about my little surprise.

And I knew no one would believe me.

I started snapping pictures of her so that I could send them as evidence but they all looked like Beckett. I knew that no one would believe that the pictures weren't just more pictures of him so I knew that I would have to wait until I was at home and had both of the babies together.

But before I could go home, I had to do what is obviously most important when you've just had a baby that you were completely not expecting.

I had to go shopping.  I had baby clothes at home but not a single one of them had even a stitch of pink on them and in my dream it was Saturday so Amelia had to have a pretty pink dress to wear to church the next day.

I don't remember much of my dream beyond that.  I think it was around that time that Jason & Beckett came back to bed after Beckett's bottle.  However, some things still live on.  As all of this was happening in my dream I had been calculating and trying to figure out how we were going to make this work.  How could we afford daycare for two babies?  Much less formula and diapers and wipes and clothes and everything else that goes along with it!

I feel much better today about the amount of money we've spent on formula in the past eight weeks (a number I was overly focused on yesterday)....it could SO have been worse!

Forty-Eight Hours

Two days.

That's all we're down to.

Two little bitty days left until Beckett arrives!

Two.  Days.

Life will change irrevocably.

It reminds me of a time a half-a-dozen years ago when I was on the phone with one of my girlfriends just before a certain guy came over to my house for the first time.  The butterflies and the jitters and the questions of how that moment could forever change the rest of your life.

And that's what I talked about with that friend.

"This date could change my life forever."

And it did.

Now....in two days that same guy and I will have another life-changing day together.