The Vaseline Incident

I put my children down for their nap and went to work on the computer.  As I am sitting downstairs engrossed in my work, I hear a faint little voice – “Mommy,  I have some lotion.”   I called out to her, still sitting at the computer, “What did you say?”.   The little sheepish voice said to me again, “Mommy, I have some lotion.”  So I decide I need to go find out what this is about and put the little one back to bed.  Little did I know what was in store for me.  As I came around the corner, I saw Peanut at the top of the stairs rubbing her belly and smiling like the cat that ate the canary.  I was still a little confused so I started up the stairs.  About half way up I stopped and looked at her and said, “What is that on you?”  Her answer – lotion.  When I reached her it was clear to me this was not lotion.  She stood there covered from head to toe, front to back in VASELINE!  She was covered with thick globs all over her body and smeared into her hair.  

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 I said, “Where did you get that?”.  She lead me into her bedroom where I was again presented with another unpleasant site.  There was vaseline all over her bed, sheets, pillow, adjacent toys and hair brush.  An entire jumbo economy size jug of vaseline sat there on the bed – empty. 

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Of course, as a mother, one of my first thoughts was to grab a camera – which I did – and my second thought was to put her in the bath  tub.  First idea was a good one, second idea was not.   FYI – oil (vaseline) and water do not mix.   I bathed her several times and ended up with a gooey vaseline filled bathtub.   I realized this was not working so I did the next best thing I could think of – I turned to the internet.   I read several suggestions on how to get vaseline out of hair – baby oil, cornstarch, mayonaise…  I took her outside on covered her with baby powder and cornstarch.  Worked on the body, not the hair.  

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We washed her hair 4 times with regular shampoo, 2 times after cornstarch application, 1 time after baby oil application and 2 times with dishwashing soap.   The dishsoap worked the best, however, it is now three days later and she still has that “wet” look to her hair. 

I’m not sure how long it will take to get all the vaseline out of her hair but I need to go buy more dishsoap.

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Summer Fun

My goal this summer was to keep my kids busy and have a great time doing it. I love this picture because I feel as if my goal was accomplished. DSC04834

Go Hug Your Children

I read a seemingly innocent re-tweet post on Twitter that said to pray for the Hawn family and provided a link to a “heartbreaking and beautiful” blog post. (www.thehawnfamilyweekly.blogspot.com) I clicked on the link and what  I found was one of the most heart-aching, genuine, emotional, personal and beautiful things I have ever read.  The blog is a chronological account of a young families life with their daughter and newborn son, who they discover is gravelly ill.  As a mother, I read through their blog posts and just cried.  Not cried a little, I cried a lot.  My heart just ached reading each entry.  The simple click on a re-tweet turned into a two hour event.  Even reading their incredibly  poignant thoughts and emotions I can not imagine that kind of pain.   The posts were intensely personal and beautifully written while dealing with the hardest thing I could ever imagine facing in life, the loss of a child.  My heart ached watching the wonderful videos and seeing the beautiful pictures – what an amazing thing this mother has done to preserve the memory of their beautiful son.  

Reading this blog comes on the heels of another tragic story that happened here in our area – a young mother was killed in a car accident along with her 2 year old daughter and three nieces all under 10.  One couple lost all three of their children.   I just don’t know how you go on after something like that.   Reading and hearing about such profound loss makes me take a step back and look at how I interact with my own children.   Everyday is a blessing to be treasured and that is frequently forgotten.  Life often gets in the way – the tantrums happen, the whining – and I take for granted these three beautiful little people in my life.  I am so blessed to have vivacious, curious, loving, healthy children.  

While I cry for the loss of the beautiful baby boy, Ryan Hawn, and pray for his family, I am so grateful to Jenn Hawn for sharing their experience with the world – for reminding me about the blessings I have.  I am going to go hug my children.

(Please sign the Hawn’s petition on their blog to help fight the disease that took their son – SMA)

Goodbye Whitney

Whitney

Today I had to do one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.  I had to have my beloved cat put to sleep.  As I write this, I still have tears streaming down my face – I can’t actually believe she is gone.  I am sad that she is not sitting on the floor looking to sit on my lap or rubbing her face on my hand trying to get me to pet her.  It was time to let her go but that certainly doesn’t make it any easier.

I got Whitney when she was just 6 weeks old, from a pet store in Washington state, in 1994.  I was going through a break-up at the time with my live-in boyfriend and was having a very hard time with it.  I had a dog while growing up  but had not had a pet for a few years.  I felt this really was a good time to get one.   She was my everything at that point.  I held her while I cried and she comforted me unconditionally.  I became dependent on her and her on me.

She was a long hair calico and so beautiful with big green eyes.  She was so sweet to me.  Funny thing is that she really only liked me.  She would hiss at just about everyone else so few people got to see the loving side of her that I did.  She was my companion through many stages of life.  I got her when I was single and 24 and now I’m 39, married with 3 kids.  She has seen it all.  She has been the rock – through different schools, towns, boyfriends, apartments… she was always the constant in my life.  With the arrival of not 1, but 2 and then 3 kids, she was sometimes overlooked in recent years.  But I could always count on her to come around at night while we were watching tv for her nightly petting and I knew she liked to sleep under our bed, up at the top on my side.

I introduced a second cat, Simba, into the mix when Whitney was 3.  They have been together for 12 years but have never really gotten along.  I told her today at the vet while I was saying goodbye that now she will be able to rest easy without Simba tormenting her everyday.  Simba, on the other hand, with all his bravado, seems a little fore-lorn.  I think he realizes she is not in the house.

My best friend put her cat Harry down a few years ago and I remember what a hard time that was.  I called her for her advice and asked her if she thought I was doing the right thing.  She, of course, said I was and that it was the right decision.  Whitney was 15 with a heart murmur, tumor on her thyroid, vomiting almost daily, down to 5# and was going to the bathroom outside the litter box. Now reason would tell you that it should have been crystal clear to me that it was time.  However, emotions are a funny thing.  Even last night, she was sitting on my lap, licking my nose, and purring with affection at being petted.  She was still social and that was really making it hard for me.  Was this the right time ?  I agonized over this question right up until the end.

The veterinarian was perfect in this situation (he has a cat clinic so only handles cats).  On Wednesday when I took her to see him, he said to me “there isn’t anything else I can do for her”.  I saw compassion on his face and we both knew what he meant.  I was a mess and on top of it, had the 3 kids with me, who were very confused.  I scheduled the appointment for Friday.  The drive to the vet’s office this morning is indescribable. I was shaking and felt sick to my stomach.  How do you reconcile that you are driving this animal that loves and trusts you to her death?  I still am having a hard time with that and fear I may for a very long time.  More than one person suggested to me that I stay with her through the process to the end and that was what I planned to do.  I frankly, no matter how hard it was going to be for me, knew that was what I had to do for her.  The nurse came in to take her and I stopped her. I asked her if I was doing the right thing.  She asked if I wanted to see the doctor again and I said “yes”.  I asked him the same thing – “I am making the right decision.”  He used tough love on me at that point and that was what I needed.  He said that even when they are on their last breath it is still hard to do.  When you love something, your emotions overtake reason.  Then I asked him, “Is this a good thing for her?”.  He answered me unequivocally, yes.  And, I knew he was right.

The process was very, very quick.  The nurse looked at me and said, “it will be fast, only 1 or 2 seconds.”  I now appreciate just what a second in time is.  I was holding her face and she was gone before he even pushed all the medicine out of the syringe.  That was an incredibly surreal, horrible, sorrowful moment for me.  But they left me alone with her and gave me the time I needed to say goodbye.  I told her I loved her and then after about 5 minutes a strange peace came over me – and I felt as if she was okay.  I was able to let go. I took her collar and it was time to leave.  I plan to put her tag on my key chain.  Walking back to the car with the empty cat carrier was terrible.  I think next time I may just leave it there.

I go to pick up her ashes in about 1 1/2 weeks.  I plan to bury her in the backyard with a nice stepping stone.  The girls want to pick flowers for her.  They understand that Whitney died but I’m not sure they quite understand what that means.  I do, however, think that it is good for children to have pets for that very reason – to help them learn about life’s lessons.  Thank you Whitney for all you did for me in life and for what your death is helping my children learn.  I love you and miss you terribly.  Goodbye Whitney.

The other Georgetown

When we lived in DC, we had a condo in Georgetown.   So now that we live in Connecticut it is funny that our town also has a section called Georgetown.  

Our new Georgetown had street fair, officially called Georgetown Day,  this past weekend and it was a lot of fun.  Olivia and I got to sit in a firetruck, Olivia & Mommy in the fire truck the girls had their faces painted   Ava with her penguin faceOlivia gets her face painted and then they were able to climb up into an Army helicopter.  There was some rockin’ music and the weather was nice.  Last year it rained so hard they had to close early.  

We all had our obligatory hot dog and, of course, we couldn’t leave without the kettle corn. They popped it fresh as we waited so it was nice and warm when we got it.  The bag was almost as big as Livie!  Giant bag of kettle corn  We walked down the street stopping by the various venders and acutally found something to wear to the 70’s party we’re going to this weekend. Rich picked a great tie-dye t-shirt.  Should be funny.    

I think I will definitly try and have a space there next year for The Pretty Cookie.  They only have it one day out of the year but it is worth taking a stroll down the traditional small town street fair.

The Cobbs Mill Inn

There is a wonderfully charming restaurant in Weston, Connecticut called the Cobb’s Mill Inn.  My husband and I have been there now on two occasions.  The first time we went there it was just the two of us – a date night.  We had a wonderful time and raved about the restaurant to anyone who would listen. The building is an old mill that sits on a meandering river with a large man-made waterfall.  The ambiance is amazing – if you go at twilight or later.  The food the first evening was incredible, the wine superb and the ambiance magical.   We enjoyed ourselves so much we couldn’t wait to share our discovery with someone else – which leads us to the second occasion.  

Tonight we went to the Cobbs Mill Inn for the second time.  This time we went to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday.   This visit was completely different than our first visit.  This time, we went early – we had a seating time of 6:00 pm.  We arrived and the restaurant was virtually empty down stairs in the main eating area.  There was one other table of about 8 and one other couple.   There was a private party being held upstairs that looked as if it may be a wedding rehearsal dinner.  The service tonight was slow and unimpressive and the food was the same.  Both my husband and I felt our meals lacked flavor and my meal was not warm.  The view of the river and waterfall was again impressive, but the evening sun did not create the same mood as the darkness and candlelight we experienced on our previous visit.  

I should point out in all fairness that on our second visit we were accompanied by not only my in-laws (who I love and do enjoy their company) but also bug, peanut and pea – our three small children.  Trying to have a nice meal with a 4 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old (at bedtime) is a herculean feat.  So while I still hold out that the food on our second visit was mediocre at best, dining with 3 small children tends to be put a damper on actual enjoyment of the meal.  When it comes to food, children don’t care about the setting.  They care about what they are eating and when they can leave, oh, and if there will be ice-cream involved.  Asking  a young child to sit nicely in their chair and “eat like a grown-up” is akin to having a bikini wax.

I would definitely try the Cobbs Mill Inn again, but would leave the kids at home.  Hopefully, the food will be better next time.  I am willing to give them another try because this restaurant is amazingly charming.

Niagara Falls

 

We decided to go to Niagara Falls instead of Newport, RI because we thought it would be a lot more fun for our three kids – one that just turned 4 in March, one that will be 3 the end of June & one that just turned 1.   Ha ha ha – that’s a good one.  My poor 2 year old was terrorized multiple times during our 2 day stay.  
First, we went to the 4-d movie.  Our first clue that trouble lay ahead should have been the rain gear we were handed when we went into the movie.  Nothing looked out of the ordinary – there was a big screen with welcoming cartoon characters and a dry,carpeted floor.  The movie was akin to a Disney production and rather cute. Then, however, they open the doors at the back of the room and this is where the excitement starts.  We were lead into a room with only a grate for a floor (with water running underneath it mind you) and handles to hang on to.  They close the doors and then it is pitch black.  Then it starts – the “rain” pours out, then it “snows”… then it appears as if you are actually going over the falls – all with ear shattering thunder & lightening.  My children were screaming.  We left the movie and as my husband is buying candy to help soften the blow, the woman behind the counter says to him – with a complete straight face – “you know, they don’t usually recommend that for kids under 7″.  Really, thanks for the tip! Why don’t they tell you that BEFORE you go into the theater?!
So then we decide to go on the Maid of the Mist – that ever wonderful Niagara tradition since the late 1800’s.   Again, not good for young children.  They take you in so close to the waterfall it feels as if you are being sucked into the falls.  The kids were literally underneath mine and my husband’s rain slickers holding on for dear life.  I was starting to freak out a little myself because we were drenched, it seemed as if we were going in and, I am personally responsible for the well being of these three little people. My husband, the dear, says, “I think we are being sucked into the vortex.”  Thanks, that helps.  I found out after we got home from our trip that Brad Pitt was there with his older boys about a week and 1/2 before we were there.  That would have a least made it a little more pleasant for me.  
After all this, we took the kids for ice-cream.  Here is a picture showing the beautiful resilance of children…  
I look forward to another trip to Niagara Falls – in about 10 years!

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