Sunday, August 24, 2008

Locked up

It's 10:00. The kids were tucked in hours ago. The dogs were just put to bed. However, due to the pouring rain, Maggie (the lab) started barking in the garage. I asked Mark to let her out or put her no-bark collar on. When he went to let her out, the door to the laundry room (from the inside of our house) was locked. To put it plainly, we were locked inside our house with the security alarm 'on'. If we opened any door or window, the alarm would go off.

Let me back up a bit. A few weeks ago, Mason the escape artist had figured out all the plastic "child proof" door handles. So, we installed real locks to prevent him from opening the laundry room door - pressing the garage door button to open it - opening the door into the garage (or crawling out the dog door) - and running into the driveway/street (which he has done). Or his other favorite game is to sneak out to the garage, get into the car, and honk the horn. Once we lock the door to the laundry room, you must use a key to unlock it.

That brings me back to tonight. Since Mark was gone the past few weeks, I have my little routine. I put the dogs to bed. Lock the garage door. Turn on the alarm. Get the key to the laundry room door. Then lock the laundry room door. Apparantly, I neglected to tell Mark my routine. He put the dogs to bed. Locked the garage door. Turned on the alarm. Locked the laundry room door. Left the keys INSIDE the laundry room!

So, after trying to problem solve and pick the lock (with no success), we called the alarm company and notified them not to dispatch police for the next 30 minutes (after explaining our crazy predicament). After further discussion, we decided that neither Mark nor I would fit thru the doggy door. The best candidate for the job was Lauren. Unfortunately she was fast asleep. So, we had to wake her (and she is a sound sleeper). She was just the right size to fit thru the dog door (since that door was locked), disarm the security system, and open the laundry room door.

It was a group effort - and almost reminded me of a MacGyver episode. Mark had the keys to his car (which just happened to be parked outside), so he ran to the car to unlock it and open the garage door. I carried Lauren in the pouring rain with her poncho and a flashlight into the garage. Next, she climbed her way thru the door and completed the tasks. Now, we've put her back to bed; locked the appropriate doors; obtained the necessary keys (and put them inside the house); and alarmed the alarm again. All that in about 30 minutes!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Why do people think it is just fine to bring their sickly kids and expose them to mine? Now, I'm not talking about somewhere like the mall or park. Obviously if I take my child "out in public", I do run the risk of catching some sort of virus. DUH. I'm talking about into a home for a play date! Twice this week, Mason has been exposed to a fever. Both mothers KNEW about it beforehand and did not feel it necessary to divulge such information until we were all together. In close proxemity. Exposed.

For those of you with pretty healthy kids, being exposed to a cold, fever, stomach bug, etc. is not a huge deal. My oldest child would fit into that category. I've really never feared exposing her to much of anything (other than vomit - which I despise).

But, to my youngest child, it is a big deal. A cold can turn into pneumonia in a matter of hours (literally). A fever could mean antibiotics (just to prevent something bigger). A stomach bug with vomiting could mean aspiration.

So, please try to feel a little of my frustration about my youngest being directly exposed to fevers. Some low grade, some not. Either way, a fever is a fever. Here's how it went down (again, after exposing Mason):
Mom #1: Oh, I had to bring "X". He was supposed to be at preschool, but he has a "little fever".
Mom #2: Oh, last night "Y" was up at midnight with a "low grade fever" and a stomach ache. (Who by the way, ended up with 2 days of a moderate grade fever and vomited. But the vomit episode was attributed to drinking water and lemondae by "Y"'s mother and other family members).

Seriously. If your kid is sick...let me know BEFORE you come to see us....or we come to see you. I won't be offended if you cancel. I will jump up and down with glee if you give me the choice of letting my kid be around your SICK kid or not. And I would prefer NOT!

So, now Mason is home tonight with a low grade fever! I have NO offers yet of ANYONE coming over to watch him so I can escape this insanity! (And might I add, this is week 2 of the husband being out of town. And, he is in Hawaii. He was home on Saturday for about 36 hours). And, to tick me off even more....I was told "oh, don't tell mom #2 and make this a big deal or make her feel bad. We don't want to hurt her feelings".

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Last year, after attempting to assist Lauren in tying her shoes, I decided I was not "the man for the job". While shopping for shoes before school last year, Mark insisted that Lauren have shoes that tie. He argued that she MUST learn to tie them. I plainly said that if he wanted her to have tie-shoes, he had to teach her. Unfortunately, that pretty pink of on-sale-Nike's from Nordys have sat in the closet for almost one year.

That is until today. Mark used simple bribery. What could be a big enough bribe to make Lauren sit still and learn to tie shoes? Jibbitz. Yes, jibbitz for her Crocs.

So, today has been a monumental day at our household. She has learned how to tie her shoes by HERSELF! She has demonstrated her new skill about 15 times (just to me). She and Mark even took a special trip to the grandparents to show them (and that was on the way to the store for jibbitz).

YEAH for Lauren!

Smoking causes cancer

Today I royally screwed up. Before you start to cheer...I think this was the first time ever.

While the four of us were in the car, both Mark & I were commenting on how tired we were. I joked with him and said, "well, that's because you were drinking & smoking all night". (After the kids were in bed, he headed back to my parents and had a cigar and a drink with my dad). Anyway, I may have just said he was juggling knives or playing with deadly viruses. Lauren in the back seat started to hyperventilate. What? Daddy? You were smoking? But why? Mommy, is he going to die? Is he going to get very sick? Is there medicine we can give him so he doesn't get sick?

Mark chimed in. He admitted to the cigar with Papa. The questions continued. Mark replied and said Papa asked him if he wanted a cigar. Lauren's response again was "why didn't you refuse"? After more questions from a very concerned 7 year old, I very simply explained that one cigar would not cause cancer. (I might add that at the Children's Festival this past spring, they had a LOVELY display of a lung of a smoker and a non-smoker. It made quite the impression). Anyway, after assuring Lauren that Mark wouldn't die today, she asked that we pray for Mark. So, she did. It was quite adorable.

After that, she made an immediate call to Papa to ask him to get rid of all his cigars. Her suggestion was to have a garage sale & sell them.

A word to the wise: NEVER tell Lauren if you have smoked ANYTHING!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Zoo Doo

Every spring, the zoo offers "zoo doo". They actually call it the annual spring Fecal Fest. As the zoo website says "garden enthusiasts enter a drawing in hopes of being selected to PURCHASE Woodland Park Zoo's highly coveted Zoo Doo".

Today, we had our own "zoo doo" excitement. We attended the zoo with Meghan, Thornley, & Jack. The kids were terrific. As we went exhibit to exhibit, we were a bit disappointed in the lack of performance by the animals. Some were hidden. Some were sleeping. However, once we saw the Komodo Dragon, excitement began. The Komodo dragon was walking & swaying it's tail. Thornley cheered, "it's pooping". Much to our surprise, it was. Everyone was thrilled. This was quite a highlight. That is, until we went to see the bears. With the bear facing away from the "audience", it pooped....and continued to poop. The kids ran from the otters to see the pooping bear. They were elated at such a fabulous performance! I could go into even more detail, but Meghan's blog captures the day with perfection. So, read her blog, "grossology"!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'm a firefighter boy

Mason is almost 6. However, many time he is just plain unsafe. He has no idea of boundaries...or what purpose they serve. He runs away (without warning). He has no fear of strangers. He runs into streets or off of sidewalks without a care. He'll quietly sneak into the garage and open the garage door. Sometimes he'll sneak into the car, just to honk the horn. In fact, one of his IEP goals is around safety, and not running away. In the fall, he actually has aide time during recess to assure he doesn't run away off the playground.

We've had a fairly child-proof house since just after Lauren was born. Most the plug outlets have been covered. The knives are out of sight and up high. Medication is stored appropriately in a locked cabinet. We have tot-locks on a few cabinets. Cleaning supplies are stored up high. The front door has a "hotel lock". Other doors have the plastic child-proof locks.

We felt rather comfortable with our safety measures. Many of which we never really even needed for Lauren. Well, that all changed yesterday. Yesterday morning, we awoke to Mason in our room at 6:30am. That on it's own would not have been an issue. However, he was dressed in firefighter dress up clothes. Hat and all. He greeted us with "Hi- I'm a firefighter boy. See my hose"? The problem is that in order to obtain said items, he had to open the childproof door handle from inside his room. Then open a different type of childproof door handle to get upstairs to the dress-up clothes. He did all this while we were sleeping. He told us he was even playing drums. No telling what hour he woke.

So, as I was at work, it was Mark's job to find a new lock. We are now proud owners of locking door handles. Door handles which require a key to open. One handle on the laundry room door (so he can't get to the garage). Another "hotel lock" on the door to upstairs. And, lastly, a lock for Mason's door & window. He is too at risk of being an "unaccompanied minor" on a field trip of his own! UGH.