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One of my girlfriends is now the mother of 3 boys….3 boys under the age of 6…
I don’t why that scares me…I did it…but I was much younger then. 
She called me with a funny “little boy mama” story. 

She and her husband had the two little boys and the newborn all loaded in the car.  They have a rule when traveling with the baby….Don’t bother him in the car.  Don’t peek in his carrier, don’t poke him.  Her newest son is still at the stage where when woken, he can go from whimper to blood curdling scream in 3.5 seconds. 

She tells me that he is still eating every hour and a half…and when he wants to eat, there’s no putting him off. 
I remember when Sam was two weeks old, we went for a baby checkup.  He weighed 8 1/2 pounds.  The doctor told me that he should be eating every 4 hours….I looked at her, me, a vintage mama of 4 and silently scoffed at her.  IF I had let Sam go 4 hours without eating, the Sheriff and Social Services would have been on our doorstep. 

As my girlfriend and her husband were trying to grab a few minutes of conversation in the front seat….(we all know what thats like)….the two older boys were in the back seat…pestering the newborn. 

Little Alex had had enough.  Within seconds he was screaming like a banshee and my friends were still 10 minutes from home.  When they finally pulled in the driveway, which seemed like an eternity, her husband turned around in the front seat and said, “Now, what has this experience taught us?!”

As Alex was scooped up by his frantic mama…
Two little voices could be heard over the quieting sobs….”Don’t bother the baby.”

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I don’t know when Sam went from calling me “Mom” to “Mooothher” complete with the eye roll.  Find myself often saying these days….”Your face is going to freeze that way…” 

Real Mothers don’t eat Quiche; they don’t have time to make it.
Real Mothers really do have eyes in the back of their heads. 
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox, the front yard, the back yard or the pool. 
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, dented pots and pans (from drumming) filthy ovens and happy kids.
Dirty ovens make the best chocolate chip cookies. 
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn’t come out of carpets.
(Really, it doesn’t.) 
Real Mothers don’t want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
(That’s why vacuum manufacturers designed the crevice tool.) 
Real Mothers sometimes ask ‘Why me?’ and get their answer when a little voice says, “Because I love you.”
Real Mothers know that a child’s growth is not measured
by height, years, mustache or grade level…
It is marked by the progression from Mama to Mommy to Mom to Mother…

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Hubby and I were sitting in the family room surrounded by packing boxes. 
We decided to take a break and Hubby was channel flipping…a favorite male past time it seems. 

There was a movie with a familiar black-haired man. 

Hubby:  Where have I seen that guy before? 
ES:  Well, he is a famous actor/singer from Broadway, movies and television.  His name is Mandy Patinkin. 
Hubby:  What have I seen him in? 
ES:  He plays in Criminal Minds…
Hubby:  No, I haven’t seen him in that. 
ES:  He was in the Princess Bride…”My name is…you killed my father…prepare to die…” 
Hubby:  No, we saw that a loooong time ago…it was something else…
ES:  Then…you may be remembering him as ‘Huxley’ in the movie Elmo In Grouchland
Hubby:  That’s it!  I knew I remembered him from somewhere!

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I stood in my kitchen this past Saturday morning, stirring my coffee and wondering where does one start when packing up 20 + years of life and memories? 
It was early, before 7 a.m. and as I looked down at the floor, I saw the shadow of Max walk by…even the shadow of his tail looked fluffy. “Hi buddy,” I said…and then I remembered. 
I smiled, something that I had not done for several days. 
You see, Max died on Saturday, January 2nd, between 4 and 6 am. 

Max stumbled when he walked in the door after sitting outside on the patio the morning of the 29th of December.  My husband and I exchanged worried looks of concern and immediately drove to the vet; Max was put on an IV, the vet felt a mass in Max’s belly that his technician was going to try and “tap” to determine what it was.   

Wednesday, the vet called to tell us that Max had cancer.  Our doctor wanted to know if we wanted to take Max home and spend some more time with him. 
Of course we did.  The first evening, Max ate a little bit and even sat on Sam’s Bakugan game board and tried to look interested in what Sam was saying.  Max tapped one of the balls with a paw. 

After that he slowed down more each day; he stopped eating and drinking. I started using an eye dropper to give him sips of water.  
How ironic. 
(When Max first arrived home with Hubby nearly 14 years ago, I had to feed Max with an eye dropper because he was so young, he still should have been nursing.) 

We prepared Sam for the fact that Max was not going to get better.  We all took turns holding Max and keeping him warm.  At night, I slept on the couch and kept my hand on him to make sure he knew I was there. 

By New Year’s Day, it was evident that we would be going to the vet’s office the next morning so that a shot could be administered.  The vet had assured us that Max was not in pain, but that death would not come without assistance.  By the evening of January 1st, Max could no longer walk, so I would change the thick towel we kept under him, since he could not get up to use the kitty box. 

Late that evening, he began to whimper every few minutes.  Finally sometime before 2 am, I was able to get him comfortable.  With my head pounding with a migraine, I gave him a kiss, told him we all loved him and I went to lay down in bed for awhile. 

At four in the morning, I went to check on him.  He was warm and he moved one of his cute little paws when I stroked his fur.  At 6:30 a.m. he was gone. 

I know that the phantom images of Max will not continue in our new place, so I am grateful for the vision I had early Saturday morning. 

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How many people clean out their medicine cabinet/storage/cardboard box of medicines regularly? 
I do.  Twice a year, usually at the fall and spring time changes.  Keep those snide anti “Martha Stewart” comments to yourselves.  This really is important. 

How many times have you been “sick as a dog” only to find that the flu/cold medicine or worse yet, that the Pepto Bismol has separated into two murky looking halves in one bottle?  Ever wonder why the prescription medication you took did not work and you find yourself sicker than when you took it?  Check your expiration dates.

It is a lovely, late summer day here behind the Orange Curtain.  Our heat wave seems to be ending, finally.  My youngest son and I are comtemplating a trip to the movies to see “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”  As he passed by me this morning, I reached over to rub his still, soft back with my hand. 
Hot.  Mom-Radar on Red Alert. 
I headed for our medicine cabinet – the linen closet in the bedroom hallway.  Armed with the digital thermometer and the Motrin, I returned to Sam.  His temperature is 102.2; he gets a dose of Motrin.

I consider Motrin to be the big guns…what I use first, when the fever is over 100 degrees.  When Sam was little and when my first three sons were under 8, I could tell you within a degree what their temperature was by feeling their upper back (between the shoulder blades) with my hand.  I don’t know if that is a marketable talent or not.  It may fall under “Mother of the Year” headings.  I remember the years when the boys would spike a high fever and I would be on watch 24/7, giving them what I affectionately called the Motrin/Tylenol cocktail.  (You can’t order that in your local pub.) 

I spent the next 30 minutes on the phone with the pediatrician’s office and Urgent Care.  They advised that if his temperature did not drop two degrees within 30-45 minutes I should bring him in immediately.  Otherwise, he should be seen in the office on Monday.  Urgent Care told me their office was filled with kids with flu like symptoms and I think I am asking for more trouble if I take him there.

While I waited to take his temperature again, my mother called.  This event, her phone call, can often have many options…ranging from pleasant to downright exhausting.  You never know who you are going to get, and she wasn’t born in June.  (My apologies to my Gemini readers.) 
I know that when I tell my mother that Sam has a fever, she will be calling ever 45 minutes to an hour.  You would think that he was my first born and only a few months old.  While we are talking she tells me about a recall of Tylenol, she heard about on the news  She has a great disdain for computers, but advises me to check to find out what product was recalled. 

I click on Google and enter the key word Tylenol.  Up pops the first item regarding a product recall.  It’s not dated three years ago.  Crud. 
I run down the list of products and here’s the Tylenol suspension liquid.  (Sam hates to swallow pills.)  I find my reading glasses and dial the number for the company.  The lot numbers of the products recalled are not listed on the site.  Could there be too many to list?  Could they want to know how many offending bottles of the product are out there? 

The customer service representative determined that the almost empty bottle of Tylenol I am holding is one that was recalled.  The other bottle, that I keep in my brief case, (should I get an emergency call from Sam’s school that he is sick and has a fever) is one of the unaffected products judging by the code.  The rep gets the necessary information to send me a coupon for a free bottle.  She also tells me that a doctor on staff with Johnson & Johnson will call me within 24 hours.  That’s very nice I tell her, but really not necessary. 
Ps – We love your baby shampoo. 

Another bit of information that she gave me was the following website with instructions for what to do with those bottles of pills and cough syrups, etc that have expired. 

Sam’s fever has dropped 2 degrees and he thinks this video looks like fun.  We’re going to go and clean out the medicine cabinet now.  He can’t wait to crush the expired pills.  I’ve got an industrial size bottle of Tylenol PM…it’s large enough to medicate a small city… It expired last December. 

http://www.smarxtdisposal.net/

If you click on the link, you can watch a video, or just read the following directions. 

expired-medicines-1

A few small steps can make an important difference in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment.
Follow your medication prescriber’s instructions and use all medications as instructed. If you do not use all of your prescribed or over-the-counter medication, you can take a few small steps to make a huge impact in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment by disposing of unused medicines properly:

  1. DO NOT FLUSH unused medications and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain. *
    • Pour medication into a ziploc plastic bag.  If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), crush it and add water to dissolve it.
    • Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) to the plastic bag.
    • Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash. 
    • Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.
  2. Be Proactive and Dispose of Unused Medication In Household Trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects:
  3. Check for Approved State and Local Collection Programs. Another option is to check for approved state and local collection alternatives such as community based household hazardous waste collection programs. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy or other location for disposal.
  4. Consult your pharmacist with any questions.

 

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Wow! 
About 13 months ago I started blogging. 
I now have 100 posts.  Woo Hoo!  Throw some confetti and cut the cake. 

When my boys were in elementary school the 100th day of school was a BIG deal. 
Their assignment was to count out 100 pennies, 100 fishy crackers, 100 crayons…you get the idea, and bring their 100 items to school. 
It was a big celebration.  Sometimes they even made hats.  One of the boys’ teachers was hung up on hats. 

Frankly, I’ve always suspected that the day was actually a bribe for the teachers….”Hey staff, Look!  You’ve only got 80 days left!  You can hang on a little longer with the Stuart boys, can’t you?  Their mom always brings in those good brownies about this time of the year…you can do it!” 

Really, my boys are charming. 
The first three…that I am not allowed to blog about…have turned into remarkable young men. 
We are very proud. 

This last one is coming along…I know the jury is still out…but I have high hopes and sore knees from spending a great deal of time in prayer over this one.  The last one….he throws off the class curve…I sometimes thought they just hung on to him for the boost in their STAR ratings…if there is such a thing. 

100 posts. 
It is a big deal. 
I’m happy to say that the content has gone in other directions and didn’t stay focused on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
It’s just that “once you are onto it” as Planetjan says…you want to share what you know. 
We want to debunk the mysterious persona that the N tried to create.  Seriously, he’s full of hot air.

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Since we planned a road trip for late July, we knew that we had to purchase & pack the sunscreen. 
It was very hot and we managed to get tanned through the windshield. 
Next time – Think tinted windows.  
I had forgotten that Yosemite gets that hot in July and August.  We camped there for two weeks, one June. 
It was hot but the mosquito’s were worse…think sunscreen and bug spray….

While we live in a state that deeply appreciates it’s tourists, Hubby’s and my least favorite things are sunscreen, no deoderant and amusement parks.  We purposely boycott the “unhappiest place on earth” during the summer months just for those reasons….you’d have to add the admission price in as well…no, don’t even get me started on that. 

Sunscreen has never been my favorite beauty product.  I don’t like the smell, the way it makes my skin feel, the occasional allergic reaction to the chemicals, did I mention the smell?  Oh, now don’t preach…my skin no where near resembles shoe leather. 
Quite the opposite.; because I simply stay out of the sun.  And don’t start in about the unseen damage that the sun can do to our skin….I’ve had the sun damage test done and there really isn’t any. 
Really annoyed the doctor, I did.  (Where did the Yoda accent come from?) 
Anyway.  Let me tell you about some suncreens my family recommends. 
Our favorite sunscreen this trip was:  

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Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces & Tender Places Sunblock –

It has the 50 SPF  reccommended  by The Skin Cancer Foundation, and comes in a spray/ stream bottle. 
There were several things that we liked about this product. 
One, the scent.  It was has a soft baby scent.  It doesn’t blaringly yell and wave…”I’m wearing sunscreen!”   
(For you manly men, don’t worry, the baby soft scent does not last very long.  Hubby wears it and he’s got line backer shoulders.)
Two, was the spray/stream bottle.  You can spray/squirt it exactly where you want it.  It doesn’t pour out more than you want like some products.  The most important reason was the recommendation by the Skin Cancer Foundation. 

 Coppertone Water Babies 45SPF – 

We liked this one as well, but the drawback is the lotion/liquid.  It pours out too quickly, and it reminded me too much of the sunscreens of the 70’s and 80’s.  You know, that sunscreen smell.  This is one would be great for Mother’s beach or the  pool where you need  frequent re-applications.  I liked that it was the #1 brand recommended by pediatricians.  Even as cynical as I am, I would like to think that pediatricians are not getting a kickback from Coppertone. 

 Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 70 with Helioplex recommended by the Am. Cancer Society –

This is a very good sunscreen; the one that I used the most.  When applied to the skin it does not leave a greasy feel.  It is good for the delicate areas of the face and does not clog pores.  Every one’s  nose got a dose of this in the desert. 

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 Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunblock gel SPF 45 with Helioplex recc by the American Cancer Society –

Another product that we liked by Neutrogena.  This one is really good for a second or third application throughout the day.  I used this several times on my upper arms that were getting too much sun through the windows.  The gel cools warm skin when it is applied.  It’s pleasant and refreshing and it doesn’t feel like you have on sunscreen. 

Banana Boat Sport Performance Broad Spectrum AvoTriplex SPF 50 Recc by the Skin Cancer Foundation –

The boys really liked this brand.  There was no strong sunscreen smell and it was readily absorbed, not leaving their skin oily. 
They use it whenever they are going biking or have a sporting event during the day.  Hubby slathered this all over his white knees and his farmer tanned arms several times a day.

But, the most important thing to remember is to apply your sunscreen.  Don’t count on a hat to keep you covered. 

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