Sunday, May 31, 2009


If you are the kind of person who can't stand to hear someone complain, you might as well stop reading right now because I have a suspicion that there will be some complaining in this post. You see, the thing is, I hurt.

What started out as a strained muscle, or so I thought, has turned into what the orthopedist thinks might be a bulging disk and a pinched nerve. We won't know much until after the MRI and X-ray tomorrow. I just want an answer. No. What I really want is to feel better. Sometimes I hurt so bad that it makes me think long and hard on those people with chronic pain. With no end in sight, I can see why some would contemplate putting an end to themselves. I'm not saying I would, but I can understand turning those dark thoughts over every now and again. I pray I am never in such a condition. As it is I am having a difficult time controlling my temper. Pain makes me grouchy.

This has been going on for over a month now and just gets worse despite whatever efforts I've made to improve it. Stretching, massage therapy, chiropractics--nothing seems to help and sometimes I wonder if I'm merely aggravating it. Rest would probably be best, but how am I supposed to care for a baby without a lot of lifting? I saw a documentary once about a mother with no arms. She used her feet to do everything, but I bet that would take a lot of practice. I probably shouldn't try it with the baby right away.

To add insult to injury, I'm not sleeping well. For the last couple of weeks I have awakened every morning somewhere between 3:30 and 5:00 am with such tremendous pain that I've had to run for my meds. Then I've iced my neck and shoulder, waiting the half hour until they kick in. I'm not too proud to admit that on at least three occasions I have been reduced to tears during this period. I don't enjoy it. Mr. Wicke doesn't either, I am sure.

And don't get me started on the kiddos. They don't have a bit of empathy, but who can blame them? I sound like a worn out record. At the beginning of the pregnancy they heard, "Mommy doesn't feel well." Then during the last few months of the pregnancy it was "Mommy doesn't feel well." And then when I came home from the hospital "Mommy didn't feel well again." Then for the next few weeks mommy was just "so tired." And now this? I don't even think they remember when their mommy was fun and vibrant. Shoot. I don't remember the last time I felt vibrant.

See? I told you there would be some complaining. You're lucky it hurts to sit for very long.

Friday, May 22, 2009

VIP Event: The Zoo Tour

I don't mean to brag, but not long ago Mr. Wicke and I were invited to a private zoo.

Here is a picture of the entrance:

As it was a VIP event only, no one was allowed in without a specially designed ticket:

We saw all kinds of animals, including giraffes, zebras, monkeys, bears, birds and horses, but these two were the owner's favorites:

You can see how well cared for they were in their private quarters.

The tour ended with a trip to the gift shop where a wide variety of items was available for purchase.

I chose a book on "Big Cats" and enjoyed it immensely for five minutes before I was instructed to give it back so their supply would not be diminished. When I hesitated to return it on the grounds that it should be mine with the act of purchase, I was quietly instructed that I "should just pretend."

Hey, if you own a private zoo, you can run it any way you want, I guess.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A "Rewarding" Experience

Yesterday, Mr. Wicke and I were invited to attend Griffin's school assembly where the little man received a student of the month award. We were very proud of him as his teacher said that "Griffin comes to class each day with a smile on his face. He works hard to learn his lessons and is making good progress. He has made several new friends this year with his kindness." We were especially thrilled considering that when every evening at the dinner table we ask the kids how their days went he always replies, "Bad." If we believed him we would think he hadn't had one good day the entire year. We don't, but it is nice to have proof.

The fact is, as a parent, I don't really know how my children behave out of my presence. We try to train them with some sense of responsibility and respect, but all I can do is hope they apply it when I'm too far away to insist on it. Much of what goes on at school is a mystery. Like when we were leaving, Griffin confessed out of the blue, "I had to go to the nurse when I threw up."

"You threw up at at school?"

"Yeah. A little on the carpet."

"And they didn't send you home?"

"Well, I put my finger in my mouth to scratch those...what do you call 'em?"


"You know. Those taster things."


"Yeah! I was trying to scratch my tastebuds and then I just threw up a little."

Two things I learned from this conversation: 1) I never, ever want to teach kindergarten, and 2) I am grateful to teachers who do and who can look past my kid's gag reflex to still see all of his good qualities. Thank you, Mrs. Nichols.

As a side note: It was a day of firsts. Griffin's first "reward" as he called it, and my first public milk leakage. Being at the school by 8:05 am disrupted our morning routine. Apparently you can't throw your breasts a curve ball like that. They will revolt. Gratefully I had the baby to use as a human shield, and no one was able to detect it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Master Wicke

Last night, while I was talking to my mom on the phone, she casually mentioned that she had checked my blog that day to see "if she had missed anything" but found that nothing new had been posted for a while. It's true. While I have composed nearly 102 posts in my head, nothing has reached paper, and I'm blaming it all on the new master of the house.

I can't call him my boss because that suggests some sort of financial reimbursement for my troubles, but, to be sure, he is bossy. He insists on being fed very often during the day and is in no rush to complete the job. Then there is the rocking, cuddling, and cajoling that I do to try to get him to sleep, but that is to little avail. Just moments after putting him down, he seems to be begging to be held again. And of course there is the diapering, the bathing, the powdering, the lotioning, and the dressing, most of which can occupy a full morning. Mr. Wicke and I both have commented that we had forgotten how much time a new little baby takes.

Not that I mind. Not even the sleepless days, for he is sleeping so soundly at night that I might have been caught more than once checking to be sure he is still breathing. As I told my mom, I can deal with the days as long as I am well rested.

Overall, he is a delightful baby who is beginning to coo and whose smiles continue to turn me into a puddle of mommy goo. However, he doesn't seem to care a whit about the things that need to be accomplished around here. And to tell you the truth, his opinion is rubbing off on me. There is nothing I'd rather do than sit and rock my baby in all his bossy glory.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Talking "Boy" on Mother's Day

It is coming up on one of my favorite days of the year. You know why? I don't do any of the cooking or cleaning up, and I don't even feel guilty about it. One totally guilt-free day? Heaven. I can see why a couple of years ago Logan, in exasperation, asked, "When is it going to be sister day?" What I thought, but didn't say out loud is, "Are you kidding me? It's sister day every day of the year! Give me your life, I beg you!" Like I said I just thought it because I am supposed to be the adult around here, but I would love for someone to tell me to go take a nap. You know? It's true: Youth is wasted on the young.

But I digress. This is supposed to be about why I love Mother's day. In addition to being relatively self-indulgent and guilt free, I also get terrific cards, gifts, and pictures from my kiddos. Like the one I got today:

I'll admit, at first glance it's a little tough to take. "90 years old?! I guess that eye cream isn't working," I can't help but think. "And c'mon! I don't go to Taco Bell all that often, do I? Do I?" much for guilt free.

Then, when I ask Griffin to tell me about the picture he says, "It me and you. Boxing. And you're winning."

"Oh, wow...We're...boxing? And I'm winning?" Seems a bit violent. Would Freud say there is some underlying aggression in our relationship, I wonder? Maybe this whole card thing isn't so great after all.

Then he interrupts my indulgent self-analysis with, "Yeah, I'm letting you win 'cause I love you."

Oh. That's right. I have to remember to speak boy. It's a totally different language. Like when I wonder how I can possibly thank him, all I have to do is look at the last line. In boy-speak it's all about the belly. Food equals love. Definitely a boy thing.

With that in mind, I just have to read between the lines. Ah, there it is: He's nuts about me. Man, I love this holiday!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wild Colts

I just started reading a biography of Abigail Adams, and already I am falling for her a little bit. You know that game where you can pick 5 people from history that you would like to meet? I think she might just make my list, and I would like to think that she and I would be friends.

Anyway, my first favorite quote came from her grandmother who said, "Wild colts make the best horses." For a mom with a couple of wild colts on her hands, that little piece of folksy wisdom gives me much hope. That's got to be all for now. I hear whinnying in the background.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Everything We Need (or don't) Available Now!

A couple of days ago, as I was bustling around the kitchen, I suddenly heard, "Mom! We need that!"


"We need that. The Squeeze-It! It gets the last little bit of toothpaste out."

"Why do we need that?"

"Because, you know...You have to struggle to get the last little bit out. Now we don't."

Clearly, no one can live without the Squeeze-It. Imagine a life without struggling. Heaven.

The fact of the matter is that Griffin is the prime target of every advertising executive. He NEEDS whatever is promoted over the airwaves or believes I do at the least.

"Mom! Let's buy that. It kills bacteria!"

Griffin is new to commercials. Just recently he has graduated to Spongebob Squarepants on Nickelodeon. Leaving the relative innocence of Disney Channel and PBS has opened up a whole new world to him.

"Mom! If you buy that, it takes the stain away without even putting it in the washer!"

"No way!"

"Yes! It just...just...takes it!"

With his limited vocabulary it is difficult to convey the absolute miraculous wonders of whichever newfangled gizmo he is introduced to, but it is not beyond the boundaries of his body language. Wide eyes, wiggling eyebrows, multiple hand gestures and the breathless excitement in his voice really tell the story. It is ever so engaging and delightful that I just had to share it with Mr. Wicke.

"Hey, Griff. Tell Daddy what you saw on TV that we need."

"Uhhhh..." I couldn't believe he had forgotten the Squeeze-It so quickly. "Oh! You mean the tomato planter? Yeah, you can grow tomatoes hanging upside down and then you won't break your back!"


"You know how when you bend over to pick tomatoes your back breaks?"

Nope. Not once...I suppose that's why I find it so funny. How we watch the same thing and have such different reactions. It leaves me wondering: At what point does one enter the world of adulthood and go from, "Oh, man! We need that!" to "Oh, brother! Who in the world needs that?!"