January 27, 2011

UPDATE: Caterpillar Watch 2011

You may or may not care to know that Caterpillar or "Pat-a-pillar" as Lula refers to him seems to have pulled through this latest debacle.  He his swimming most of the time and lounging on the bottom of the tank minimally. He is not quite 100% and who knows, he may never be again, but I would say, with confidence; his status is no longer critical. 
For those of you that sent well wishes and suggestions, "Thank You!"
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January 26, 2011

Don't Come to My Circus and Try to Wear the Top Hat...

 


I LOVE this blog for so many reasons, not the least of them being that this "Mommy Blogger" has a way with words. She is eloquent in ways that make my gut ache with envy. {If I were only half the writer she is...} But once I get over that; I laugh, I cry and I feel A LOT less alone on my bumbling journey through Motherhood.... A MUST READ for anyone with children, especially those who might find humor in the darker side of their selves or parenthood! 


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January 25, 2011

It's blueberries Mommy......



It's 10 o'clock at night. The girls and I are pulled over on the shoulder of a dark, back road. My hazards are blinking and the dome light is barely making me feel safe or aware of the full extent of what was unfolding in the back seat. Both the front and rear driver side doors are wide open. Cars are whizzing by too fast and too close for comfort.  I have one eye on the traffic coming upon us and the other on the girls. Lula is softly saying "It's okay, it's okay" as I am frantically trying to find something for Gigi while trying not to further upset her. Fully aware that I am, in my exhaustion, failing to comfort her. I am spiraling.  At this point pulling her out of the car is no longer an option and even if it were it's becoming more and more clear that no matter how far I've pulled off the road, this might not be all that safe. 

"Oh, Gigi, I am so sorry....It's okay.  You're okay. I'm right here......It's okay honey, just relax....You're okay..... What did you eat that was red?"
--It's blueberries mommy..... Gag, Choke, more vomit.

It's 6pm and the girls are getting into their chairs for dinner.  We've been babysitting Addie and Turner all day. The girls are coming off 8 days of sickness, lingering, unidentified sickness.  It's only today that I realize maybe it's croup.... And we are all tired and a bit cranky. Lula is choking, barking and wheezing. Gigi is crying that her ear hurts; said she got hit with the playhouse door.  It occurs to me.... I babysat all day and will be doing so all day tomorrow too. If my girls need to see a doctor it's tonight or tomorrow night, tomorrow during the day is not an option. So after about 30 minutes of hemming and hawing and recalling the horror stories of how croup seems to turn on a dime for the worse. I decide to pack them up and go Urgent Care.

Three hours, two tired, cranky, sick kids and a million hand washing later.... Lula's lungs are clear, but Gigi has a "nasty" ear infection. Against her will, Gigi gets a few ear drops a prescription for antibiotics and we are finally on our way home.  I am loading the girls into the car and Gigi tells me her tummy hurts. To which I respond, because I am tired and cranky; "It's just because you're hungry. You didn't eat any dinner. I'll get you some milk when we get home and you'll feel better." 

I have to admit, somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that we might be about to have a problem... hindsight....20/20.

More than halfway home. On a dark back road. No longer in a residential area. One side of the road, desert. The other, a concrete "factory/truck yard/quarry" for lack of a better description.  I hear it.... "Oh no.... {GAG}"  ....   Pulling over - "Okay honey. Okay. I'm pulling over. Hang on. It's okay."

Grabbing a sweatshirt of mine off the floor of the car, it's the only think I can think to do. Catch the vomit in something. It's not only clear that it's too late to take her out of the car to be sick, she's already been sick all over herself. It's obvious now that it is not even safe for me to be standing outside her door, let alone the two of us on the side of the road.  Lula's comforting, Gigi's trying with everything she's got to be brave and I am frantic. And I know I am frantic. And I don't want to be frantic, but the more I try to make myself sound calm and reassuring, the less calm and reassuring I sound. "Oh, Gigi, I am so sorry." Then I notice, in the dim light she's vomiting red......

What's red? Why red? "It's okay." She didn't eat or drink anything red. It is blood? "You're okay. I'm right here." It can't be blood. I can't see anything in this damn light!  "It's okay honey, just relax." What is going on? Sh*t that car was close! Can't they see me here?? She had grilled cheese for lunch and a chicken nugget and a few tater-tots but nothing red. She's had water and chocolate milk all day. No juice... "you're okay. " ...nothing red, what's red? What did you eat that's red?

That's when I hear this little voice say to me "It's blueberries mommy..." and that's when I realize, that dialogue I was having in my head. All the you're okay, it's okay..... In the middle of all that I didn't just think "What did you eat that was red." I actually said that aloud...

My poor baby.... Not only was she traumatized by getting sick... The poor thing knew she was throwing up blueberries.... :(

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My 3 year old is a genius and your 3 year old eats boogers!

Okay... well maybe not {at least the boogers part}. And I am sure your 3 year old is a genius too. What mother hasn't thought exactly that. C'mon, even you "saints" have thought your child was brilliant above all others at least once before. 

It's been six months since I posted G's Evolution of {Man} I can still remember that feeling of pride when Gigi's scribbles turned into discernible shapes. Circles with eyes and arms and legs that were clearly people.  I knew that there would be more pride filled moments in the near future. There were! School, gymnastics, swimming, her first dance recital, in front of the throngs of people at a local holiday festival that she rocked!! There have been so many moments since July.... Then the other day Gigi wrote her name. Not traced it, wrote it! All.By.Herself! My heart was bursting!! Then she drew me a picture of herself making a snow-angle and I knew exactly what it was!  Counting, reading, picking out letters and all the fantastic things she's learned in preschool this year are so amazing, but for whatever reason, today when she said she was going to paint me this.... and I again recognized it right away......would have even if she hadn't told me what she was going to paint! The best part is the whole thing started with a few random splatters on the page. Gigi looked at the first few dots and splatters though for a moment, looked at me and said "I'm going to paint you a....!" So proud of my 3 year old genius!

Can you guess what it is??
I'll give you a hint, the color is accurate!


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January 21, 2011

Oh Caterpillar; MY Caterpillar

Let me preface this post by saying "Please do not call PETA. Seriously... Please don't!"







In September Caterpillar, {our Beta}celebrated his one year anniversary with us. Which is, incidentally, the last time I changed the water in his tank. See... I wasn't kidding.  Bad, I know. So here we are four months after his last water change and I find myself pleading with this fish, A fish that was supposed to be Gigi and Lula's pet. A fish that my hubby insists is only fed when he's is in town and remembers to do so. Not true, I remember at least once a day; So that means when hubby is home Caterpillar gets fed three times a day vs. the two times he is supposed to be fed.  So here I am, a week after noticing poor Caterpillar wasn't looking so hot and three days past a clean tank and some fresh water wondering if this is it for my little aquatic pal.

Caterpillar came to be with us last fall after we attempted to get Gigi and Lula their own cat. Hubby's cat Sami {may she rest in peace} had bitten the girls for the last time and I was insistent that we needed a pet that the kids could play with. After a few months of searching we found Pablo. Pablo lasted about 3 days. He was a "Love Biter" and we were not bringing another biting cat into this house!  When it was decided Pablo had to go I had no idea if or when we would find a replacement. So I took the girls to Petco and they picked out two goldfish {Tinkerbell and Nemo}.  We bought a small tank, rocks, a plant and all the other supplies we would need.  It was actually kind of fun. Goldfish can't bite, the girls can watch them and learn how to care for a low-maintenance pet.  12 hours later the girls got their first lesson in the circle of life. BOTH Tink and Nemo were belly up. Oy Vey!

So back to the pet store we go. In college my roommate and I kept two Betas alive in Vodka bottles all year. So if two drunken college students can manage to keep a few betas alive I was sure we could do it too! So Gigi picked out a purple-ish / blue Beta and on the way home, proclaimed "His name is Caterpillar!"  Ah.... okay I have no idea where that name came from and frankly "butterfly" would have made a lot more sense to me, but.... He is her pet and this is the first time, {other than Tinkerbell and Nemo} that she hadn't named something after herself, so... "Great name Gigi! I think it's perfect!"

Two months later my amazing aunt and uncle, who "know" animals about as well as one can {4-5 dogs at all times, a cat and 3 horses} found Handsome Hal for us.  Hal is..... perfect. He is tolerant, sweet,independent  and snuggley all at the same time. Handsome Hal puts up with poking and prodding and being used as a pillow. He is the perfect pet for the girls, but that left Caterpillar. Poor fish.  Except for once every few months as Lula notices this tank on her way to wash her hands the girls hardly notice the fish. It's a catch 22. When they do notice the fish they dump and entire container of fish food in his tan k and on the floor, and when they don't notice him, Hubby and I are left holding the bag. Honestly.... Between the girls, the cat, his liter box, the house the laundry and whatever other responsibilities I choose to ignore the last thing I need is another living creature "needing of me".  But I am so sad that this could be the end for my little buddy Caterpillar.  
Oh Caterpillar; My Caterpillar - If you pull through, I promise to make a concerted effort to take better care of you. Starting with a new light bulb for your tank..... when I get around to it that is.

With fingers crossed,
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January 20, 2011

2 DAY SALE! 40-50% OFF ALL GIGI & LULA HATS!

2 DAY SALE !
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ALL HATS 40-50% OFF
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Don't miss out on some amaing deals on all
infant, toddler, girl and teen hats!

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Sale Ends January 21, 2011

January 19, 2011

Generation Gap

Recently I was approached by someone who was…concerned about the things I “put out there”. I am reasonably candid about my life. I say “reasonably” because, although I’ve made a commitment to myself to blog honestly about my life, my feelings, thoughts, quirks, peeves and why yes my “mishaps” I do not want to, never intend to, try to avoid and sometimes fail, throwing my family {or friends} under the bus. For the most part, if it happens or I think it, or I screw it up, or on occasion, God forbid, get it right, you hear about it. “You” may actually be nobody at all and that, would be fine too… There is something cathartic about getting stuff off of your chest, off of your mind and simply putting it out there. Even if I am the only one who ever sees this. Although if I were the only one who ever saw this blog I would say a lot more; I would likely vent about a lot more. But, I am not Christina Crawford, nor do I want to be.

It was funny though, their….concern was not for anyone other than me. I hadn’t put my foot in my mouth about my hubby, family, friends or neighbors. I hadn’t impugned anyone’s character, I had simply admitted fault. “Mea Culpa.” I messed up, I’d failed, I said I wasn’t perfect and both knew enough to feel shame, and laugh, dust myself off, and say “Well folks, I never claimed to be perfect, I am a work in progress. Lesson Learned.” A ways back I had written this post and updated my Facebook status and Twitter feed to read “Mommy FAIL” and disclose that I messed up.

Let’s start here…. 95% of my “friends” on Facebook are actually my friends. They are people I grew up with, a few are people I’ve met along this journey called life but I have known most of them since I was little. Then there are family members both that I am truly close to or felt a sense of obligation to say yes to, but in any event they are, after-all, my ‘Family’. My Facebook friends list is comprised of people who supposedly care about me and a great number of them keep me sane. We joke about our lives, and children and husbands/wives. We support each other both in the good and the difficult times. It is really nice to know that I am not alone. I cannot tell you how nice it is to know I am not alone! I often read a status update and say “Oh, Thank God I am not the only one!” So in turn I share some pretty honest stuff.

Then there is my Twitter account and my blog. Again I either know who reads them, or I really do not know who reads them. There are no “acquaintances”-- It’s my friends, family or total strangers. So here’s my deal. Here is where my brother pointed out lies the “Generation Gap”. I am not consumed with what people think of me. I want to be liked, but I do not need to be liked. Your approval might feel good, it may very well be an ego boost, but your judgment will not break me or deter me. I am who I am and I honestly like who I am. YES, I am fully aware that Shelbi is a work in progress, but I will be a work in progress until the day I die. I am NOT a perfect mother, but the fact that I not only know that I am not a perfect mother, and the fact that I do not try to be a perfect mother makes me a pretty damn good one! Plus, I am positive that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. So, the people who are important in my life, know me, know my children and know how I am with them. If they find fault with how I handle a situation, they let me know {and then proceed to never let me live it down!} They don’t judge, they simply help me see a different side. And if someone reads my blog, or my Facebook status or my Twitter feed and finds themselves appalled… Well then they must not really know me. If they feel the need to tittle-tattle to others about the kind of wife or mother I am…. I am not really concerned.

I am told that my lack of concern for “those who mind” is a generational thing. That, our parents generation was raised to keep up appearances and my generation, while not really ‘raised’ in the era of social media, is embracing it in all its glory. In openly admitting fault or failure we find comfort and support. Rather than bearing a silent shame about our actions, mortified that someone might find out we are not perfect we let our freak flags fly. What a freeing and fabulous feeling to not have to appear perfect all the time. What an amazing thing it is to find solace, support and answers when you share your life openly. Sure some will judge. Heck some will take advantage of your honesty and find opportunity to be downright nasty. But if you let their words roll off you like water off a ducks ass, you will find someone willing to help you laugh and learn.

In my life it is extremely plausible will do something that I should be ashamed of. I am sure of that fact. Know this; my actions are not a reflection on my family. I was raised right; I know the difference between right and wrong. I grew up in a strict household and I judge myself harshly enough. But I refuse to live my life concerned about what others might think… Afraid to make a mistake or being "found out" for being the hot-mess that I am, always have been and always will be. And I ask no one to defend my actions. I am capable of taking my own lashes when necessary.

Maybe this is all thanks in part to the great Dr. Seuss….
 “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.”



January 17, 2011

We interrupt this blog for an important message.....

Recently Wendy, over at Candy Hearts Blog approached me and asked if I {aka Gigi and Lula} would participate in her big New Year’s Giveaway. Wendy is a “D-Mama”. For those of you not familiar with the term; Wendy is raising a child with Type 1 Diabetes. In addition to Type 1 Diabetes, her oldest child also has Celiac Disease. Come to find out, a year after her daughter’s diagnosis, Wendy was also diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Wendy blogs about life with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease and has become a champion of all things Diabetes related, especially when it comes to finding a cure. Who better or more motivated than a mother, right? Wendy has built up a significant following and has also been noticed by Diabetes Supply companies, which is how and in part why she offers some amazing Diabetes and Celiac related giveaways.

Why am I telling you all of this? One because I have no idea if any of my readers are dealing with Diabetes or Celiac Disease. Either in their home, among their family or friends…. I am sure if my child or children were navigating life with Diabetes and or Celiac I would be looking for support. Knowing that I was not alone, in the middle of the night, in the middle if the mall, or even at the pool, with small children, and Diabetic Shock setting in. {That happened to Wendy two years ago} Thanks to the kindness of strangers, she and her babies pulled through that scare. So I am telling you about Candy Hearts Blog  in part because you might like to know, you are not alone.

I am also telling you about Wendy, because I {aka Gigi and Lula} am teaming up with her once again. This time it is not for a giveaway. A handful of vendors, like me {Gigi and Lula} are working with Wendy to create ‘Blue Circle Merchandise’. The blue circle is the international symbol for Diabetes Awareness. The products will be sold in our stores and on our sites and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to A Life for a Child with Diabetes. The anticipated launch of this joint venture and our support for Diabetes Awareness and A Life for A Child is expected to be on February 14, 2011.

For more information on what, when, where and A Life for a Child. Check out http://www.candyheartsblog.com/ or stay tuned to A Mother’s Musings, Mishaps and Milestones. You can also find more information on either Candy Hearts Facebook page or A Mother’s Musings Facebook page.

If you want to find out how to help, or if you are an artisan who would like to create Blue Circle Merchandise and Participate in Candy Heart’s campaign to support children with Diabetes, please contact Wendy at CandyHeartsBlog@gmail.com.


Thank You!



       

January 14, 2011

Words

I know that words have power. I think I like words so very much for this specific reason.  They say "A picture is worth a thousand words." and that may very well be true; and by now I am sure you gather I love pictures too {or at least my camera}. But words can move you, heal you, build you up, tear you down. Words can hurt.  My words have hurt, I know they have and I assure you my words generally hurt when I don't intend them to. Thus helping to prove my point, words have power.


The other side of that coin is certain words have more power than others and why is that?  It's because we, as society have given those words power.  For someone who likes to pride herself on being well read, a fan of literature and the english language and well, the written word in general,  I am also a fan of "crude", "foul", "colorful", "profain" language.  I have been known to use words that could make the proverbial sailor blush.  In part I will admit I use said words for their power.


I read a blog this morning about a mother who was writing about her young daughter's new grasp of the fact that there are "dirty words" out there and that they are NOT to be spoken. Clearly only bad people say bad words.  seems to be the lesson she is teaching her child. Please do not misunderstand, just because I've been known to dropp and F-bomb or twenty and because I often shout out "Sh*t!" instead of "Shoot!" when something goes wrong does not mean that I would be okay hearing my children say "What the F*ck are you doing?!" to one of their friends or even "God Damn it!" like I often say.  No, I do not want foul mouthed little children. But the truth is, these words are only "dirty" because someone decided they were and thus.... Swear/Cuss/Profain Words were born.


I tried to keep my eyes from rolling and my judgement from flowing as this blogger described her physical repulsion to certain dirty words.  Again, I conceed that words have power. They evoke real emotion and reaction from people. Words can paint a  vivid picture and I will admit that there are certain sights that might turn my stomach, but the thought a singular word causing the bile to rise in someone's throat both astounds and well, intrigues me!


I suppose what I would have wanted to say to this blogger was this.  Some of the worlds most brilliant minds swear. I will admit that there is a large segment of the population who swear out of ignorance. They do not have the class, education or capibility to express themselves eloquently.  That if all you ever do is swear you one, lessen the "power" of the words and two, make yourself look a fool for having such a limited vocabulary.  But there are times when a powerful word is appropriate.  Don't be so quick to judge someone who makes their point every now and again with a "vulgar" word or two.
"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer"    ~Mark Twain

* Maybe this blogger got under my skin becuase of the recent defilement of Mark Twain's 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' {in part, I'm sure why I chose Mark Twain to illustrate my point about profanity having a place}. It is not always the small minded who use profanity. It's equally small minded to burn and ban literature because of profanity or to take a classic, a brilliant piece of literature like 'Huckleberry Finn' and remove a word becuase it's.... well a "bad word". Maybe Mark Twain intended the reader to be shocked and repulsed and wounded by his choice of words.... Maybe Mark Twain wanted the reader to stop and think. Maybe the word serves to illustrate a point or open a dialogue. Words are funny that way. They have a lot of power...

January 5, 2011

Working Mom

2011 finds me with a consistant source of income. No not from GigiandLula.com  {although that is the hope and I am doing well there lately *giddy clapping*} but with a weekly child care job.  I've been the "fill in" sitter for a few neighbors since last spring andnow, I am "filling in" one day every week for two little ones.  I must admit having a few extra toddlers around is actually a blast and not as terrifying as I thought it would be. Even the day that I had all five {count them, F I V E}children, just before the holiday, was not as big of a nightmare as I thought it could and possibly should have been.  I will own up to the fact that my girlfriend, Grace and her son, Vincent did help me out a bit that day.... But Gigi and Lula are happier kiddos with other playmates. They are better about sharing and nicer to each other and our days do seem to fly by when we have Mason or Addie and Turner.

So each week Addie {2 and a half} and Turner {8 months} will join us for a day and today was the first day of this new routine.  Honestly, BOTH of these children I adore.  It doesn't hurt that I adore their mother and she is one of my best friends, but I am pretty sure these two cuties would be kids I loved anyway!  Addie is with me one day a week for a little extra "social time". Her full-time childcare provider has only Addie and her baby brother to care for, so Addie is here to have some time with kiddos closer to her own age.  This is a win/win for me!  I get to earn a little extra cash each week and Gigi and Lula get to work on their "sharing" and "social" skills as well!  Of course Gigi is in preschool now and we have always spent a good amount of time with Addie and our other little neighbor buddy, Vincent; but this all day-on a regular basis-time with another child is going to be GREAT for all of the kids!!  I am very much looking forward to the possibility of curbing some of the "drama" around here! :)  So let's see if we can photojournal our progress???

Here are a few from today..... Lesson one: Sharing an apple










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