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Friday, February 25, 2011

If a woman calls out in forest of boys, will anyone hear her?

No, because the definition of sound is "something that you hear." No one is listening when the mom calls , so the mom doesn't make a sound. This answer is valid as long as no details are observed technically. And this seems to be the story of my life. 
It really amazes me that my voice can go undetected in my own home. This is the same voice that has gotten me in trouble so many times when it was heard during church or class. Or in my case sign language 101. I took this class my freshman year of college as a language credit. It was taught by a deaf instructor so as long as she wasn't looking, I thought I could talk to my friend across the room. Wow, I was wrong.
So even a deaf woman can hear me. Why can't my own sons, husband, brother, co-workers hear me?  I sometimes wonder if I have accidentally hit my mute button, a mute button I have yet to discover. When I find out, I will let you know.
I hear them. Something someone never tells you when you are pregnant is that when your child is born your hearing will be supersonic.  I believe that you acquire the hearing function from your husband and deplete him of late night hearing function.. I can hear a baby two rooms away when I'm dead asleep if they happened to mis-breathe, and I know I may have made that word up, but if you are a mom, you know exactly what I mean.
When I was in the hospital the day I had a c-section, I had a panic attack during surgery. It continued past recovery and into my hospital room. They gave me 2 ambian to calm me. I was asleep for 20 min. and my "sleep" was disturbed by my newborn, who I had known for 2 hours, crying in the nursery down the hall.
THAT is supersonic.
Unfortunately, our house has been hit with this stomach bug thing.  Because Jack has had a high fever he has been having nightmares. His cries could probably wake up our neighbors, but not my husband.  Lately, he has been hallucinating also. He was asking for a check mark last night, and seemed really upset when I couldn't produce one immediately at 3 a.m.  By the time I came to him with a juice box straw that somewhat resembled a check mark (the resourceful person I am)  he had already fallen asleep and never to ask for it again.
I also find a way to blame myself that he has gotten so sick. If only I would have breast fed him longer. If our house was cleaner, if I made him wash his hands more, or maybe I should wash my hands longer, etc.  What I do realize (and admit to feeding on) is the attention that I get.  He doesn't want anyone else. If I convince Don to go to his bedside during one of these dreams, he immediately demands mommy and won't settle for anything else.  So as much as I want to sleep, I am flattered that I am the toddler whisperer. 
Even if it is a delirious 3 year old.
As I'm writing this I'm listening to my oldest son with his piano lesson, I can also here the baby whining in the swing because he is over tired and I suspect that the two middle ones, have taken the mattresses of their beds (again) and its only a matter of time before someone screams. 
I have discovered however, that there is one way I can get there attention and that is to not say anything.  I suppose that the sound of my voice has a white noise quality that is their status quo.  But when is stops, the silence is defining. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not-So-Great Expectations

I have decided to use my lunch hour and get out of the office. I did this for 2 reasons.  The first being that if I don't get out, I will sit in my office all day long and that is not good for the my butt or sanity.  The second being that if I go home for lunch, I eat whatever is left over from breakfast and lunch and dessert and a bag of goldfish for the road.  So I pack my lunch and ipod and head on over to the campus gym where I walk around a track.
If my college-self would have seen myself in work attire and tennis shoes I would have called myself a tool, but I'm now old enough to not care what anyone else thinks of my "smart"  outfit, and chances are, nobody is.
It gives me a chance to take my mind off of things, listen to music and think. I find my mind trying to figure out "what should I do about ______". This could be in reference to many things, its easy to fill in the blank. Just to name a few of my blanks:

What should I do about a coworker that is evil?
What should I do about Don leaving sock piles next to the bed?
What should I do about money?
What should I do about dinner?
What should I do about so and so's problem they dumped on me?
What should I do about missing the deadline for Jack's pre-school?
What should I do about my life?
What should I do about the boys?

It seems like for a brief moment I have brilliant solutions. But what I realized today is that all of these What should I do's were cultivated in a pot of deep expectations, some of them mine, most of them others.
Why should I expect that every person I work with will be pleasant. Shame on me for assuming that Don would change his sock habit after we got married etc. etc.

I tried to figure out who planted the expectation seed in my head and went back to my childhood.  I tried to find a situation when my parents said " you need to be wealthy, have a perfect husband and child, and life and children." but I couldn't quite recall that conversation.

The truth is, they didn't. Being the youngest, my parents had spent all their expectaion energy on my older siblings and by the time they got to me, I was just expected to NOT do things...like get in trouble, which I must have let them down considerably. So where did they (expectations) come from? Society I suspect.
When it was time to go to college, I set my own expectations and to be honest, I don't think they were very high. Mainly, it was just to have fun and graduate...which I did.

Recently I was having a What should I do about moment with Parker, my 7 year old.  He really enjoys tap dancing.  He is a rule follower and is detail oriented, at least when it comes to dance. A few weeks ago as I was allowed to observe his progress I found a sharp contrast between him and my other son, who is also taking the class.  They were at opposite sides of the line and I could see their faces in the mirror.  Finegan is lets say, for lack of a better description, screwing off, getting some steps, but ad libbing the rest. Parker is right on cue, even with the jazz hands. It was his the expression on his face that had me perplexed. He looked like Popeye. One eye squinting shut, a corner of his mouth open. The other kids had the beauty pagent smile beaming, but not Parker.  I didn't realize why he had this expression until I looked at his instructor's face.  Clearly she had had a stroke or had Bell's palsy and one side of her face was expressionless due to paralysis. Parker was immitating her and I hoped she didn't notice.
Do I fault him for being detail oriented?
Fin is not interested in sports at all, well unless its attached to a wii. Recently, he drew a picture of himself at the age of 100 and he had a long beard and was playing basketball.  My excitment overtook me and I asked if he thought he would be a professional ball player, he said "YES on the Wii!" I would be lying if I said I wasnt' a little worried. But worried because he will not play sports, or worried that my expectations of him playing sports may never come to fruition. Sports were a huge part of MY childhood, not his. 
The reason my parents are so proud of me now, isn't because of what I have, who I married or what I do for a living, its just because I'm happy. I was a happy funny kid and I'm a happy funny adult. I'm true to myself and that was their only expectation for me, which I have proudly met.
 So as of right now, I'm setting my preconceived notions on what boys should or shouldn't be on hold and allowing them to cultivate their own expectations for themselves.  Because who better to hold you accountable to your expectations, that yourself.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When the sprinkles hit the fan.

Friday was dress down day at school, which is a big deal for my uniform wearing boys.  The night before, I laid their clothes out next to their beds (as usual) in the order it will be donned.  I had noticed that Fin had also laid out an outfit. Blue socks, blue running pants, blue shirt, and blue underwear, all a slightly different shade. I disregarded this, but left the shirt for him to wear. The next morning he came downstairs wearing his smurf inspired outfit. I quickly told him to go back up to his room and change. His reaction was slightly more calm than the "leave Brittney Alone" guy on youtube. He was crushed.  This went on for about 30 minutes and as I could still hear his cries as I stood in the shower. I got to thinking, why does his inept fashion sense bother me so much?  Did I feel the control slipping away? Was I that worried the statement of his monochromatic outfit was going to  be a reflection on my style?  When I got out of the shower I told him he could wear the outfit, but I packed a sweatshirt (grey) in his backpack in case he got chilled.
Although this was one small crisis of the morning, something about it had me thinking of it on my walk to work.  I didn't see him planning and executing his perfect outfit the night before. I didn't see him lay it out or his face when he discovered the outfit that I had laid over his outfit, and disregarded.  I thought about what he must have felt when he proudly walked down the stairs and I immediately voiced my disdain for his effort.  No wonder he was crushed.  Just one more thing to add to the guilt rainy day fund.  The one I can dip into whenever I haven't felt guilty for a day or so.
That afternoon I attended a "lunchtime talk" at Jack's school about sibling conflict.  What I found interesting, besides the odd fact that the woman next to me had an only child, is every parent feels that they are doing something wrong. And there is always some kind of book to back that fact up.  What I took away from that talk was that we interfere entirely too much in their sibling crisis' and that we should let the negotiation talks begin before we get all Presidential on them and deliver a verdict or solution. The only problem with this, is that usually it escalates until someone gets bit, punched or kicked in the "tenders".   The psychologist leading the talk was bright, and had sons herself, but her demeanor and mine couldn't be more different. She is calm and collected, I'm... well, caffeinated and crazy, so I'm sure her boys listen to her. I think my voice must hit a certain pitch that gets undetected by all males when it hits a certain pitch of anger.
To make up for my mistake on Friday I decided to do something fun with them this weekend. Saturday, we had company and I was too busy to think of anything, so this morning I decided to take them out for donuts after church.
There is nothing sugar can't suppress in my opinion.
All was good in the world until someone said their donut was bigger than someone elses long john and as Don tried to calm the argument with a definition of circumference vs. length,  anarchy had already set in and although Jack was not part of the discussion he took this opportunity to riot by throwing a sugar packet off the balcony to the people dining below and somehow a donut ended up on my dress. I was clearly practising the technique I had learned and was letting them "talk" it out.
A family with 3 children, who btw, were all wearing stripes, even the parents, were a few tables a way. I glanced at the mother as she glanced at the father, and I could feel the judgement.  I collected my now, sprinkled covered self and wrangled in the boys.  Don  had taken someone down to do our mandatory public restroom poop, and I was alone with 3.  I grabbed everyone, almost forgot the baby, ( I was blinded by the glare of this woman) and went downstairs confidently knowing that my parenting choice to let them fight, was going to be less detrimental than the long time therapy her kids are going to need from the matching stripes.
Those who judge  and are without sins should be the first to cast the first stone..or in this case the first donut.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scribbles in my notebook

I was recently at the doctors office for what feels like the 15th time this month, so much so that I have read all the magazines, twice.  Today however one cover caught my eye. It was the People magazine with Sandra Bullock on the cover and it read "Woman of the Year".
Really?  Sure, she went through some serious crap, with her tattooed spouse cheating on her, but I don't think that she should be crowned "Woman of the Year" because of it.
Hell, I should be the woman of the year for my husband NOT cheating on me.
I would like to know what the criteria is for this "title".  I'm assuming the thousands of Islamic women who are suffering because they have their genitalia mutilated or millions of other women around the world who are starving, abused, prostituted or worse, just ignored, were not eligible.  According to this, Sandra, a successful wealthy actress who adopted a baby and had a husband, who was a loser anyway, that left her should be admired by all.
Not that I am any different than any other working mom around this great country, but I believe that I could represent that title, respectively. 
First of all, I'm thankful that I am allowed to work.  There are several places around the globe where I couldn't.
Yesterday, I was sitting in an meeting, having a battle with my eyelids to stay open. We had an agenda, and everyone was sitting in a circle.  The meeting was important, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I think these meetings that last 90 min. could be condensed into 20 min. if everyone would just stay on the subject, even me who had collectively 3 hours of sleep prior, due to a dog, a baby and watching " I shouldn't be alive" before I went to bed.  As I started to take notes, I happened to open a page in my notebook that my 3 year old must have also visited some point. It had purple marker scribbles all over it, just this single page, no others.  I sat there looking at the page and my mind began to wonder.  His small art said so much more than even the smartest person in the room.
I tried to continue in the meeting but my mind drifted and my heart hurt.
Its the moments like this that come out of no where. If I were at home and saw this, it wouldn't have grabbed my attention for longer than a couple seconds. But at this moment it was all I could think of.
I wondered what he was doing, if he wondered why I wasn't with him.  If  he was napping, or eating or crying.
In spite of my inner battle between what I believe should be my life and what is, I maintained a professional composure.  Not really different than any other day.
I have heard that being a stay at home mom is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. And I must humbly disagree.
As I work, I am continually torn between the well being of my boys and the well being of my job.  When someone is sick and I can't be at work, I wonder if co-workers think that its pleasurable for me to take a day off to "relax" at home.
In my head, there are battles on either end that I just won't win.
When I returned to work, I went back into the office to have my boss follow me like I never left, I hadn't even shed my coat to return to my working character.
As I put my coat on the hook a little sparkly pink heart fell out and attached to it was a little bite size chocolate. The heart said  To: Mommy from: Parker
He had snuck this into my pocket. It was just what I needed, to know that even though I may question my ability as a mom on a regular basis, that my 7 year old knows enough to make such a thoughtful gesture and restore my confidence one chocolate at a time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My baby has a mustache

When my first son was born he was perfect. I know most new mothers would think this, but they are delusional,  Parker really was. He had a full head of hair that I had to part for his hospital picture.  I quickly noticed that he didn't really look like a baby, but a small old man in his 60's he even has a dimple in the middle of his chin. He looked less like the Gerber baby and more like the Gerber baby's uncle.  Next came Fin, and although he too was cute, he had a uni-brow.  Parker had big Colin Farrel eyebrows too, but not like Fin's.  By the time I had my third son I was worried that his eyebrow would have taken over his entire forehead and he would look more like a Neanderthal...thankfully he didn't. When our final son was born he could have been a cyclopes for all I cared.
I started doing eyebrow maintenance on Finegan recently.  I know this could get viewed as "controversial" but its not like I'm whitening his teeth or making him spray tan or anything. I just want to keep his eyebrow threat at a blue level and not let it get quite to an orange level..then we would need to hire professionals.   Once a month I ask him to go with me into the bedroom and I close the door, there I have the wax strip and a lolly pop. I put a very small waxing strip on the center and say something funny and rip it off. I also do a little trimming. He doesn't LOVE it, but its done in 2 seconds.  I have the hope that someday the hair will be fine and he won't need to worry about it. See, I'm doing him a favor!  I do not "sculpt" his eyebrows.  I don't think there is anything wrong with a heavy brow. I should know, I have them, my brother has them, and Don if you look at him at a certain angle looks as though 2 caterpillars have set up camp above his eyes.
I mistakenly made the assumption that certain races are hairier than others. I think most would agree that some middle eastern men have thick hair both on their head and body. But would you ever think that a Scottish/ Irish ancestry would produce such little Sasquatches? I know I didn't.
One thing that comes with hairy babies is beautiful eyelashes. They all have thick black spider lashes that stick together when they are wet. 
It wasn't until this winter, when the sun disappears and our skin returns to the pale/olive natural state that I noticed that my first son ( now 7) was sporting a full on stache. Sure its peach fuzzy, but if he continues at this rate he could be Magnum PI by the time he is 12.  His brother not be far behind him as his Gene Shalit sidekick. Its too soon to tell if the younger ones will follow suit but for all I know they could be the next Wyatt Earp  and ZZ Top and last time I checked....those guys were pretty bad ass.
But, as their mommy, I worry that because of their wooly state, they may be get picked on because some kids in kindergarten still have baby teeth and baby hair for God's sake.
Until the other evening something hadn't occurred to me. We were in line at the grocery store. I had taken Parker with me and apparently he had been drinking chocolate milk prior to this and it had to stuck to his upper lip and made the peach fuzz look more like coconut fuzz.  I looked at the teenage bagger, and my son who is only half way to puberty had more facial hair.  He proudly looked at me and said, can you see my mustache even more with the milk I left on it? I love it!
That is when it hit me, he has turned what I thought of as a negative into a mack daddy second grade positive that he is proud of. Enough said.
I can thank Don for this trait, he can think about growing a goatee and by the next day it has appeared on his face.  In our wedding video you can see that his beard progressively started making its appearance from the start of our vows to the time we were cutting our cake, that would be normal except we had an evening wedding. Hey, I take credit too, if I didn't pay a visit to the salon once in a while I too would get mistaken for Frida Kahlo in 6 weeks.
On the bright side, it is something the boys can change if they want to. Its not a goiter, or another type of defect that is permanent, its purely cosmetic, an annoying one but still completely changeable.
It even taught me to hold my tongue. What I see as a flaw is Parker's claim to fame, which will, more than likeley, increase when he is the only 12 year old who can get into bars.

The Elliott boys just may be what this world needs, to revive the (sometimes lost) art of manliness.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What I know about Love.

Every February my brain is attacked with images of Valentines ads and songs and the pressure to wear red and eat copious amounts of chocolate.
As always, I can only base my opinions on the subject of love from my own personal experience so here it goes and in no particular order..
Noah. Adam. Scott. Greg. Conor. Jason. Matt. Mike. Tom. Jon. Chad. David. Gordon. Bruce. Billy. Oliver. Jeremy. Mark. Zach.... just to name a few.
At some point all the above had my complete admiration. My undying love. I had one problem growing up and that was that I completely fell head over heels in "love" with people. Even if it was only for a few days. The down side of that is my heart would completely break shortly after
 a) they rejected me
 b) they said something, something I didn't like
 c) we never actual met because they were on tv.
Marketing companies want to make it appear that if you are in love its all rosy, but my experience is just the contrary. What it doesn't show you is a teenage girl crying in the bathroom stall because her boyfriend let his new girlfriend wear the rugby that I had given him the night prior to school and that was his way of breaking up with her (me).
Or the girl who had to break up with her boyfriend because she suddenly realized one tiny characteristic about him that she could not live with....his mom.
Or the endless fighting over stupid stuff. Or sitting by the phone waiting for him to call, only to fall asleep and wake up with carpet face because he never did.
They show a couple in a remote cabin somewhere watching the rain and when lightning strikes, the guy gives her a heart shaped necklace. I can count on one hand how many times that has happened to me, ok it never has and never will because I would not be able to take the cheesiness of it all.
Cheese, the quintessential  deal breaker. As soon as someone crosses over the cheddar threshold, it can never be taken back. I once had a guy buy me pajamas from Victoria's Secret and they were a sailor theme, with pleated shorts and all.  Now that I think of it, those were kind of cute, but now I am a mom, clearly who they were made for.  Contrary to love songs, I don't think love should be full of agonizing pain. If someone makes you feel bad, then it isn't love.
Cheating happens. My brother once told me something that I have never forgotten. If you love someone it doesn't...period.
That resinated with me. You don't intentionally hurt someone you love. Cheating=hurt, no matter what the excuse.
And that is why you don't see my husbands name in the above list. I didn't know what love was.
I clearly do now.
My gage, albeit pretty simplistic was that I never grew tired of Don, and that is how I knew he was the one. Even at 23 years old. Does he piss me off?  Undoubtably and Repeatidly, but it's not for long. Thankfully our wedding vows mentioned patience, because without that I would have been gone a long time ago. But in all seriousness, when I make a promise I keep it, that is my contribution.
That is romantic love.  Words can't even describe the all consuming love I feel for my boys.  I tell them that they each have complete residency in one chamber of my heart.  Because I only have 4 chambers, I am at full occupancy. I need each one of them.
I wish there were enough guys out there to know that some women just want their undivided presence. That's it. And I wish there were enough women out there to recognize that.   I have been asked a few times if I wish I would have been selected for Oprah's favorite things episode rather than Australia. I can tell you that the Australian experience will be with me for a lifetime. The gifts would have been forgotten in a five years.
 I do not need a single thing on February 14 to celebrate love, certainly not a necklace. What I wouldn't mind however is the house to be clean, laundry put away, so I could curl up on the couch, with a bottle of wine and my men and watch Modern Family.
THAT to me is love.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

food for thought

I recently watched an Oprah episode about Vegan's. I watched with caution because when it comes to vegetarianism, I am only one turkey leg away from going all the way. It made sense to me. I have never been a meat lover. I don't eat anything with four legs. That kind of narrows it down to turkey, chicken and fish.  I don't do this because of the animal's rights necessarily, but more because of health reasons.  The woman was very convincing,  but here is my question that nobody asked. How the hell do you expect me to pay for that?  The next time I went to grocery shop I kept this in mind.  Ok. Soy crumbles instead of turkey, I will check it out. It wasn't easy to find. In the mid-west people don't like to see funny food like that and they have it hidden, almost to not offend anyone.  Once I did find it, tucked away in a little dark corner, I was alarmed that it would cost more that double for the same amount of meat. So without hesitation I moved on.
I have a very difficult time keeping my boys full as it is.   I often reflect that I should have known this sooner. The writing has been on the wall. My husband is 6 ft. and 175-180 lbs. This is with no effort on his part. He can consume massive amounts of food and not gain an ounce. My mother often accuses me of starving him.  He credits his effortless figure on my healthy menu in our house, but when I met him he had a bucket of chicken in his fridge just for snacking and he was still pretty svelte. He sneak eats junk, and have found the remnants in the car. Recently he had a ziplock baggie in our fridge with pheasant jerky..which I about threw up looking at it, not because it was unhealthy, but because that is just gross.. I too have an athletic build but if I ate like he did I would be pushing 200 in a month and most of it would be in my face, the one place you can't hide it.
So it should come as no surprise that our off-spring would be little garbage disposal eaters.  We don't have a problem with them cleaning their plate because we can't keep food on it long enough to say that.  30 min. after dinner they are hungry.  I try and fill them with filler foods, pasta, rice, potatoes, cheese, eggs, but nothing seems to curb their monster appitites.  Parker is 7 and as of today he weighs 65 lbs. and us 4 ft, 3 in.  He is not a husky or lanky kid, he is just solid.
I can tell you if I do have meatless mondays, before they even see the plate, they want to know is where is the meat? I have witnessed Parker snacking on ham.  They are carnivores.  Albeit, low fat carnivores.
According to this woman,  a family can be 100% satisfied by being Vegans and I challenge her to come to my house.  Where there is always someone pooping or eating.
Someday I see myself getting a second job or third job (if you include being a mom even though it is not taxed), at Sam's club just to feed my family. I picture a freezer with a cow in it.  A walk in pantry full of potatoes and a chicken laying eggs in the garage.  And a poor tiny little mother sacrificing her free time to feed her babies bellies full.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Wouldn't you know that our 4th son would be the one that would give us a run for our money.  The one to make sure that he is the opposite bookend of our brood. He is doing everything in his mighty body to make sure that we don't have another baby. I tried to explain to him that it is physically impossible for me to have another baby and he can quit his baby charade....but he insists on being heard. hurd? I can't even decipher which way to spell herd I'm so deliriously weary.
The first quarter of Oscar's  first year was going quite well. He started sleeping through the night around 4 months and we once again coyly patted our selves on the back for a job well done.  Then around the beginning of the second quarter, came  a tooth invasion. This clearly shocked him so he decided to protest this in the middle of the night. And it just hasn't stopped since.  Perhaps he overheard us gloating and wanted to give us a reality check.  He is now almost 10 months old and has slept through the night once since the past 6 months, or half a year ( but who is counting?)  In his defense (because I am his mommy after all)  he has had numerous ear infections and copious amounts of snot flowing out of his head, and explosive diarrhea  but my body and brain don't care what his excuse is.
When I have been to meetings, and we have been asked to go around the room and introduce ourselves and something we like, I 100% of the time say, My name is Noelle and I love to sleep. I respect sleep. Its in my blood. Even in high school I would be sure to get a solid 7-8 hours. I take naps on the weekend. I also have the ability, if given the proper surface, to sleep anywhere. But Oscar doesn't care about my need for sleep. Just to give an example of my evenings, I thought I would give you a timeline of what should be my sleep.

7:30 p.m. We tell the boys its time to go to bed.
7:45 p.m. We tell the boys its time to go to bed.
8:00 p.m. We tell the boys its time to go to bed and turn out the light in the basement so they are forced to come upstairs.
8:15 p.m. They all simultaneously realize that they didn't have a snack and are starving and parched.
8:25 p.m. They have all gone potty, are tucked in with their stuffed animal of choice and by all appearances look like they are going to go to sleep.
8:30-8:50 p.m. in 5 min. increments somebody gets hurt, needs an ice pack, poops, get poked in the eye, falls out of their bed, sees a monster.
9:00 p.m. all is quiet.
9:01 p.m. a cork is being pulled out of a bottle of wine a large glass is being filled.
9:05 p.m. we are trying to wear Oscar out by chasing and tickling him.
9:15 p.m. I feed Oscar rice cereal and say a little prayer that maybe tonight will be the night.
9:25 p.m. I rock him to "sleep"
9:30 p.m. If Don hasn't already started watching a dumb movie, I watch my shows I have dvr'ed.
9:35 p.m. Don is sucked into some dumb show and I decide to go to bed.
10:00p.m. Oscar wakes up. Don rocks him back to sleep.
11:00 p.m. I wake up because Don isn't in bed. I go to check if everything is ok and he is now watching the sequel to the first dumb movie.
11:05 p.m. Oscar wakes up.  Since Don is technically already up,  and he realizes that the movie he has been watching is in fact, lame, he decides to give him a bottle.
12:00 a.m. Oscar is up yet again and I discover that Don is asleep on the couch and the bottle was never really given to him.
12:30 a.m. Diaper change and back to sleep.
2:00 a.m. I get up to go to the bathroom, I check on Oscar to be sure he is breathing and trip over a                stupid toy that starts singing five little monkeys jumping on the bed. Oscar stirs. I stand like a statue and hope that he will go back to sleep. He doesn't.
2:40 a.m. After rocking myself to sea sickness I'm back in bed and discover that Don has taken it over.
I find a square foot to sleep in and fall back to sleep.
4:00 a.m. Oscar is awake and pissed off.  I hit Don shoulder and he pretends he doesn't feel it. I then take all the covers off of him and explain that I was not the one to fall asleep watching a stupid movie and that by now he should know how much sleep I haven't had and it is his turn to get Oscar. He mumbles something about the mortgage and goes into the nursery.
5:00 a.m My alarm goes off  for my morning work out and I hit snooze.
5:01- 5:10 a.m. I berate myself about not working out and realize that I will gain 5 lbs. because of this.
5:10- 5:30 a.m. I have some weird ass dream about a Mexican midget.
5:35 a.m. I hear Oscar squeal. I get up quickly and discover that in an attempt to help him sleep and be less congested, Don has elevated the head of his crib and as a result of this he has rolled to the bottom and is stuck. I re-position him.
5:40 a.m. I'm really irritated with Don and go back to bed and tell him it is 6:00. Its not, but I don't care. With him out of the bed I may get an entire 30 min. uninterrupted.  He believes me and gets in the shower.
6:30 a.m. Jack is telling me that he wants a cereal that we ran out of yesterday.
6:30 -7:30 a.m. I get ready, get everyone else ready, listen to the boys argument that school should be cancelled. Don and I are arguing about who used the last spelenda and Oscar is still asleep and will continue to sleep until its time for us to leave.

At some point this dam of a mother is going to crack from the pressure of fatigue. Until then I will accept that my baby is destined a career in a casino in the city that never sleeps.