Thursday, June 30, 2011

If Urine Is Sterile, Can I Bill Costco For Cleaning Services?

Alternately titled: Because it's Been A While Since I Talked About Pee

Yesterday was going to be a great day.

I had a ton of errands to run that just had to be done no matter what, and I had all four kids with me. We were prepared with drinks, snacks, Emma's birthday money and the boys' piggy bank money with the promise of a trip to Target to get some toys that they had been saving for as a bribe reward for good behavior. I had a detailed list, so I wouldn't be frazzled and cranky. We were good to go.

Our first stop was Costco. We got all of our stuff done without incident, the kids watched Tangled on the display TV's for a while, and did a little dance with each other in the clothing sections while I perused adorable kids' clothing that I had no intention of buying. We were headed to the checkout line when Ben mentioned that he had to go potty. As soon as we were done paying we headed to the bathroom, which -by the way- my children insist on using every time; not only to relieve themselves, but also because the cool Dyson-air-blade hand dryer is awesome.

I don't blame them. It is cool.

Anywhoo, all but one stall was full, so the boys and I headed in to the empty one and Emma waited for the next available stall. Ben, being the most insistent of the three, got right down to business and sidled up next to the toilet to go.

The nice thing about twin boys is they can both pee at the same time.

The bad thing about twin boys is that they both pee at the same time.

You see, in Grant's haste to empty his bladder as well, he didn't quite pull his pants and undies down far enough, leaving a little u-shaped crevice of cotton and elastic directly under his boy-business. Kinda like a ski-jump of underwear, if you will.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

The pee started, and following his Mama's instructions to "point it down", he pointed it directly at the ski-jump. Now, you need to make sure you can truly understand the scope of the situation. This not only created a surface in which the more he pointed it down, the more it ricocheted off the undies and went up, but it created a fan-like effect, similar to holding your thumb over a garden hose in an attempt to get the water to spray as far and wide as possible. The problem with this was, there were three other people in the stall.

And his ski-jump was pointed directly at his twin, who had finished peeing and was trying to re-dress himself.

I didn't know what was happening at first. I was bent over, taking Drew's coat off when Ben started screaming. I looked up to see a wild fan of urine streaming all over Ben and the wall of the bathroom stall, so in my completely-unaware-of-the-true-nature-of-the-situation-haste, I yelled, "Grant! Point it down!" which, of course, only made it worse.

Ben received the brunt of the urine-assault, and due to the packed-in-like-sardines condition of having three boys and a Mama in one small bathroom stall, he had no where to go but stand in the line of fire. Grant, confused as to why it wasn't working, started pointing it all directions in an attempt to make it go in the toilet while looking around mid-stream, and doused Ben, Drew, two walls of the stall, the floor, the entire surface of the toilet and some of my leg. Luckily, being in the back of the pack, I was mostly protected from the invasion of liquid secretion by a shield of little boys.

The screaming continued. Me: "Grant! Point it down! What the heck is going on?!?" Ben: "AAAIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..." Me: "Oh, honey, are you peeing on your underwear?!? Wait, stop peeing!" Drew: "What the heck! What the heck! What the heck!" Ben: "...EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..." Me: "GRANT! STOP PEEING!" Ben: "...EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!"

And so it continued, till his bladder emptied, leaving us in the once-shiny and clean stall, dripping with pee.

Yup. We urine-sterilized the whole dang thing. Costco, you're welcome.

I can only imagine what everyone else in the bathroom was thinking. Especially since, you know, every stall was full.

Grant and I just stood there, stunned. Ben- wet, mad, and sobbing, started stripping his urine-soaked clothing, refusing to wear it. I told him to put it back on, as we had no other option, so he screamed and whined in protest. "But it's wet and cold!" "I know, buddy, but we don't have a choice. You can't walk through Costco and out to the car naked, so you have to wear the wet pants till we get to the car."

Grant's front was soaked with urine. He calmly pulled his undies and pants back up, and then, unable to work the button through the soaking wet denim buttonhole, asked if I would help button his pants.

I said no. I no longer cared if he had to leave with unbuttoned pants, and I didn't want to touch any more pee.

I cleaned up the stall as best as I could, we all washed our hands, and we left. Me, defeated and close to tears; Ben, humiliated and soaked with his brother's urine; Grant, who didn't seem to mind in the least; and Emma, oblivious to the entire event and happily chatting about Costco hot dogs for lunch, which I had previously promised.

Hot dogs didn't happen, much to Emma's disappointment. We went straight to the van, had the boys change clothes and left. I still had a ton of errands that had to be done, I was frustrated, cranky, and I could smell pee on myself somewhere but could not find it.

We went to the Taco Time drive-through, where I apparently forgot how many children I actually have and only ordered enough food for three kids.

Maybe in my mind, I had already sold one to the gypsies.

We wet back through the Taco Time drive through and the nice man laughed when I explained that I was an idiot. I wonder what he would have said if I had said, "Well, getting peed on makes you stupid."


We pulled over and we all decided that the day needed a complete do-over. In order to re-start the day right, I got out and hugged each kid, told them good morning and asked them how they slept. This produced healthy, healing amount of giggles, and we hit the road again, refreshed and ready to go.

The rest of the trip went better. My darling husband met up at the post office to stay in the car with the kiddos so I could navigate the mess of a complicated package alone. Thank you, honey!

At Target, we did another bathroom break, and it was mildly uneventful. You know your kids are crazy when you leave a public restroom relieved that the only thing that happened was Ben accidentally dunked his coat in the toilet.

Just add another thing to the pile of pee-filled clothing in the van. No big deal.

At the end of the day, we got every single thing on the list checked off. Every single one of us cried at one point or another, and four out of the five got peed on, and my van still smells of urine.

Another reason why I will always and forever be Seeking Sanity.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I love reminiscing.

Reminisci-topia is a land I visit often. It is a land where I get to go back to a simpler time, where all the everyday stresses of my life disappear into sweet memories of blissful joy and contentment.

Not that I don't have joy and contentment now, mind you. I have peed by myself twice today, which makes this a pretty darn good day. I'm just taking about the joy and contentment that does not involve finding a naked two-year-old splashing in a wagon filled with the nastiest water I have seen in a long time.

Drew (AKA Mr. Crazy) is nearing two and a half years old. I am amazed that he has not been seriously injured in a freak accident involving a blowtorch, a Popsicle, and the roof of our house he has not been hospitalized more than twice. He calls himself Baby Jack Jack, and the name fits him to a T.

When Emma was not quite two and a half, I was very pregnant with the twins and on bed rest. For the first few weeks, we were on our own each day, and she would sit with me for hours, painting our nails and letting them dry while watching a Veggie Tales movie. She could change the DVD in the DVD player on her own, she could get a snack from the fridge, and if along the way, she started to touch something she shouldn't, a simple "please don't touch that" would stop her immediately and she would never go back to it again. She did not throw a single fit or tantrum till she was three and a half, and that was over a shot at the doctor's office.

Back then, I could lay on the couch all day, and my two year old had a great time taking care of herself and me.

Ahhh... Reminisci-topia, what a glorious place.

Yesterday, Drew tried to remove the pin from the hinge on the front door. I don't know what he was planning on doing once he removed the door, but he was well on his way to doing so when I discovered what he was up to. And then I stopped him, and based on the freak-out that soon followed, I apparently ended his plan to take over the world.

Grant gave himself a black eye by waking into the fridge. Because when you are four, the giant black thing in the kitchen is invisible. It must have jumped out and grabbed him. Yeah, that's it.

Ben has started this new thing where his legs break every so often. It seems to be strangely linked to the times that we ask him to clean up or do other such chores. He will be able to stand, but when he tries to walk to put something away, his legs will walk, but only in place and he cannot move forward. I don't know what the actual medical definition for this is, but when I was growing up we called it pseudomonocosis.

Pseudo: The prefix pseudo- is used to mark something as false, fraudulent, or pretending to be something it is not.

Mono: anything single, one.

Cosis: A suffix for a disease.

Pseudomonocosis: One fake disease.

So I visit the land of Reminisci-topia often. Back when we only had one child, and thought we were broke because although we ate lunch out every day, we could only eat dinner out once a week or so. A place where a box of Cheerios would last a week instead of a day and a half. A land where it was quiet at nap time, and our only child wouldn't get out of her big-girl bed unless we told her it was OK.

And today, as I hear the screaming sounds of three little boys playing in Drew's crib, I think back to the easier times with only one child, and I am sincerely glad those times are just a memory.

Because with all the chaos, the noise, the confusion, the never ending pile of laundry and the always empty cupboards, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Is Why I Am Not A Cat Person

Wow, thank you for all the comment love on my last post! I have to say, there has been a little bit of "why bother blogging? No one is left to read it!" going on, so it's good that there are some of you who hung around through my hiatus. Thank you for still being here!

OK, onto the story of the cat. We have a cat named Teddy. Actually, he is Emma's cat, but until she gets a job and pays for his food herself, he's the family cat. Teddy is pretty friendly, especially considering he was born a feral barn cat who was too cute to be left in the barn.

Teddy comes in our house in the afternoons and evenings. He knows when it's nap time and will come visit then, and will also make an appearance right after the boys go to bed but before Emma goes down. He loves Emma and follows her around. He's really more dog than cat, but only to her.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed a lump on the side of Teddy's neck. After a few days it had grown to about the size of a golf ball, but it was soft and squishy instead of hard and lumpy so I decided to let it go till Monday. I have a huge aversion to taking cats to the vet, especially on the weekends and paying massive amounts of money to have them say, "just wait and see what happens!" So I decided to wait.

The next morning, the thing had burst. His neck was covered in blood and puss, and I could not find where in the house this explosion had occurred so that I could
properly clean it up tear up and replace the flooring. The thought that it is still out there freaks me out.


Anywhoo, Marty and I cleaned him up and surveyed the damage. He had a gaping hole in the side of his neck, and you could see tissue and stuff underneath it. Totally gross. I decided to do what any smart, resourceful mom would do and put some Neosporin on a gauze wrap and wrapped him up good.

No emergency vet bills for me, thankyouverymuch.

The next week, it seemed to be getting better, but a scab would grow over the area and he would scratch it off. I couldn't keep a bandage on it, and when it started to show signs of infection, I knew it was time to bring him to the vet.

Here's where it gets interesting.

I borrowed a cat carrier from my sister-in-law, Holly. Now, the last time her husband brought their cat Hobbs to the same vet, the cat got loose and went up a tree and went missing for two months. They finally got him back, but I didn't want to go through the same ordeal.

So I borrowed a cat carrier. I used to work at a pet store, and we never sold cardboard cat carriers. My boss said it was because he had heard of too many cats breaking through the sides of them and escaping, but I honestly didn't see how that was likely on one little trip to the vet.

Ok, Larry, I admit it. I was wrong.

Teddy the cat got into the carrier just fine. We got the boys, the cat, and all of our stuff loaded into the van without a hitch. Then, the van started moving. The cat was not happy.

In about three seconds flat, he stuck his nose through one of the air holes and hooked his teeth around the edge and pulled. Once the hole was started, our own little Psycho Ninja Cat broke through the side in no time. I was able to catch him as he exited and bring him up onto my lap. Forcing this way through the little hole had broken open his wound again, which led to me driving 50 mph down our road, holding a bleeding, freaked out, shedding cat just as I entered a construction zone.

Good thing I can tune out the kids' screams, or that would have put me right over the edge and possibly into a ditch.

I drove, one hand on the steering wheel, one hand holding the cat as his claws dug into me for dear life and thought, "well, what in the world do I do now?!?"

The carrier was shot. There was no way to keep the cat in there anymore. I didn't have another cat carrier at home, and I needed to get him to the vet.

So I simply let go of the cat.

He ran out of my lap, frantically sized up the two back rows of giggling, screaming boys and shot over the back bench seat to the rear storage area. And there he rode till we got to the vet, me having visuals of getting rear ended, either killing or mortally wounding the already wounded cat, and having him shoot out of the back of the busted up van only to be hit by a passing semi.

Yes, I have a crazy imagination.

I headed to the vet's office, where I double checked that the cat was still in the back before threatening the boys within an inch of their lives that they needed to stay buckled and in their seats and I went inside. I had more vivid images of telling Emma that we lost her cat the same way her poor cousin lost hers, and having her believe for the rest of her life that vets were evil and could not be trusted. I went inside, where the nice, not-at-all-evil front desk gal (who is also a relative) gave me a real, plastic, sturdy carrier and I went out to put the cat in.

Here's the thing. I couldn't just open the back hatch, or the cat would run. So I had to lean over the backseat into the back area and get him that way. Which would have been fine, except for the fact that that is where we keep the monstrous double stroller, and the poor, freaked out, shedding, bleeding cat had taken refuge deep inside the folded-up storage area of the stroller, and would not come out.

Even when I held the stroller upside down and shook it.

So there I was. Hanging over the backseat of the van, being repeatedly poked in the ribs by a giggling two year old, trying to unhinge a giant stroller to open it up and remove a cat who did not want to be removed, but unable to see where exactly the hingey-thing was located. I finally figured out how to unhook the stroller, and opened it up inside the van. I extracted the cat and shoved him in the carrier, and finally exited the van; sweating, hair a wreck from my morning cat-rescue while hanging upside down, and covered in cat hair.

I looked super hot.

The visit itself was uneventful. The poor cat's neck was shaved and he was injected with Penicillin and I was sent home with a bottle of Amoxicillin with instructions to give it to hm twice a day till it was gone. From there, he needed to heal on his own, but he needed to be kept inside to make sure he didn't roll in anything and make his infection worse.

Not too bad.

We borrowed the vet's carrier and made it home without incident. Giving the cat medicine twice a day has been interesting, and the scratches on my hands are there to prove it. Keeping a mostly outdoor cat indoors with four small children around to open the doors and then stand there, looking dumbfounded while the cat runs out and makes a bee-line for the underside of the holly tree has been a challenge as well. Realizing that our late spring has also led to a late shedding season, meaning that the cat's entire winter coat has been strewn about my couches, bed, floors, and clean laundry pile has been enough for this gal-who-is-allergic-to-cats to finish off several night this week with a nice glass of wine. Cleaning up cat poop off of every floor in the house, as well and trying to find the source of the smell of cat pee because apparently Teddy was protesting the idea of the litter box has been enough for me to want to wring his little bleeding neck. But I haven't.


I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miss me?

...or are you even there?

Yes, I have been horrendously neglectful of my poor little old blog. This is not to say that things haven't happened that are blog-worthy, it's just that our family has reached a new level of crazy that leaves me twitching and unable to type well. Or finish a thought. Or a blog post.

point of fact: I have 26 unfinished blog posts in my drafts folder. I get started, but I just can't finish a coherent message or story without either breaking up so many fights between the children that I completely forget the point, or waiting till the kids go to bed and then falling asleep on the keyboard. It's hard to get drool out of the keys. Just sayin'.

However, I want and desire to get back into by bloggy world, and I hereby do solemnly promise to do my absolute best to try hard to post stuff from time to time. I have plenty of stories to tell. Like last week when I suddenly was forced to hold a bleeding cat on my lap while driving in a construction zone. That was fun.

Okey dokey, with that, I'm off. Could you do a gal a favor, though, and leave me a comment on this post, just to let me know that you are still here? That would be awesome!