Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life's Little Surprises

Before you ask (again) NO I'm not pregnant! I thought I should clear that up straight out the gate since the title of this blog has the word "surprise" in it. And, since both my sisters are having babies soon, the preggo watch is laser focused on me! Ha! I promise, you will not be informed of my pregnancy on my blog. Now you can relax!

Today was a Drew and me day. I did not have much planned for us besides a trip to Babies R Us. And since the only one is across town, it's kind of a big trip. I realized today that I have probably not been there in a year!! It was a weird feeling to go in there, especially after so many trips in the past with the double stroller loaded down with cases of formula!!

As we were leaving my friend Kim called. Have I mentioned my friend Kim? She has a 19 month old son and 17 week old twins. Yeah, she's a total stud. Anyway, they needed a fun activity today, so we decided to meet at Chuck E. Cheese. I had previously promised myself that I would not inform Drew of Chuck's existence until he was approximately 12. But, always a sucker for a cute moment I gave in. After Drew got over the drama of getting a hand stamp upon entering (did not see that coming! I thought kids liked hand stamps!!) he had a total blast. Kim and I have great lunch dates with our boys. I don't know what it is about having the two of them together, but they always sit and eat and we always get to talk. It's a slight miracle.

We got home 30 minutes late for Drew's nap, so we battled through a minor meltdown. I decided after nap time we were going to get some outside time in. I think Drew is in desperate need of some fresh air. So, we went down to the little playground in our neighborhood. Honestly, it's a sad little place and most kids get bored playing there after about 1.3 minutes. But, it was good to get out. As we were walking home, the school bus passed by. I know I've mentioned before about Drew's obsession with busses, so we stopped and waved. Since Drew decided to walk home rather than ride in the stroller, we were still walking up the hill when the bus came back around, so we waved again. And then, an amazing thing happened! The driver opened the door, invited Drew to climb up the steps and pick a sucker from her sucker basket!! He was way too taken aback to climb aboard (which I know he is going to regret!!) but he did go for the sucker.

I have to say this little moment restored my faith in humanity just a little. Most of the school bus news going around these days is not good news. Bad things happen on school buses. And seriously, where was this lady when I was riding the bus? Both my bus drivers just yelled their heads off all route long. There were no suckers. I love this lady! Way to take a job that is surely grisly most days and make the most of it. She's my new favorite.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!!

It snowed today! Not a ton, but some, and the weather people were quite ominous in their suggestions to avoid driving. Every school in the mid-state was closed today with the exception of Uncle Jon's school!! Poor Uncle Jon. He never gets a snow day. I think all the kids at his school can afford snowmobiles, so like the post office, school must go on.

I was a tad nervous about being homebound with the toddlers two today. So, I threw a snow day party!! We made snow flake shaped cookies, drank hot chocolate, ate popcorn, pulled out the sofa bed and watched "Horton Hears a Who". Turns out it was a total blast!! Granted, I'm still waiting for some serious puke considering the large amounts of cookie dough that Lyla ate, but so far so good.

I tried really hard to get the perfect snow day pics, but my little subjects were not in a particularly photogenic mood. Oh well. Just close your eyes and imagine a kitchen floor covered with flour and smooshed cookie dough; two toddlers with faces covered in sticky chocolate; a bunch of lying around on a bed surrounded by cookie crumbs and popcorn. Doesn't that sound great?? Now, who's coming over to help me clean it up???

Reading is Fun

Did you have R.I.F at your school when you were little? I used to love R.I.F. day. It was a day, during your class' appointed time, that you went to a big room filled up with books and got to pick out three for FREE!! For a kid like me, this was like a complete dream come true. And other than the excruciating task of picking ONLY three books, it was my favorite outside of class activity.

Since I have been able to read, I have loved reading. I read my first chapter book in second grade (Island of the Blue Dolphins) and I never looked back. In fifth grade, I was pretty sure I was going to be a school librarian and this was all due to the fact that my school librarian was fantastic. She could sniff out a kid who loved reading and pointed me towards some of my favorite books of all time. She also let me be a library aide (um, yeah, I was hot stuff in the fifth grade) and encouraged me to write a book . Which I did. I will not be sharing any details of said book because then you would have no choice but to openly mock me.

So, now, as a mom, one of my favorite things to do is pick out library books for Drew. Thank GOODNESS I now have a reason to cruise the children's book section without looking like a weirdo!! These days I have very different criteria for a good children's book-will Drew sit and listen to the book? He's rather choosy, and there really is no rhyme or reason to his choosiness. Because I'm self-indulgent, I'm going to start sharing with you our favorite books du jour, just in case there are other book-wormy moms out there!

My current favorite children's author is Lois Ehlert. We came across her with her book "Snowballs" and she illustrates all of her books using collage. It is amazing, and Drew LOVES "Snowballs". His other fave of hers right now is "Pie in the Sky." These will become a part of our permanent collection. Imagine all the fun we'll have when he is old enough to do his own collage.

Our other favorite book right now is the classic "Snowy Day". We have read it over and over and over! I would love to peek inside Drew's little noggin and figure out what makes a story favorite for him!

And, if you're an adult who loves to read, I have found the best website. It's called This is a free site you can join and keep a running list of books you'd like to read, books you've read, and read all kinds of random reviews on all manner of books. It has been fun for me to be able to keep track of every book that I say, "Ooh, I'd like to read that!"

With that said, if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do. It is nap time after all!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet Little Yuppy Boy

I know what you're thinking. I'm one of those moms. The kind of mom who thinks it would be so cute to take their child to Starbucks and get them a little mini-frappe or something. This was not my idea, I swear. It was Drew's. He has been a man on a mission. Almost everyday for a week he has asked me for a "hot drink". He has carried around a travel coffee mug, and is currently sleeping with it in his bed.

So, since we usually try to do something special on Fridays, today I took him to get his first "hot drink". Did you know that they have a "kids" temperature that they use at Starbucks??? This kind of made me fall in love with them just a little. Drew thought he was the hottest thing in town drinking out of that little cup. And, as it turns out, it IS cute to take your child to Starbucks and get them a little mini-frappe or something!!

Just Let It Go...

"Just let it go, just let it go..." This has become my mothering mantra of late. I'm not exactly what you would describe as a laid back person. I'm not even sort of marginally high strung. I'm full blown, wound tighter than a drum, perfectionistic, type-A madwoman! I've come to accept this about myself. And there are lots of things that having this personality has enabled me to do, and do well. However, raising a toddler (and at times two) does not fall into that category. There really is no room for a type-A. There really is no room for a "type" at all. Because a toddler mood and direction changes with the wind-and by wind I mean a squall! So, I'm working on it. I am reminding myself that letting my child run crazy around my house dragging out every inanimate object within reach does not mean he will turn into a juvenile delinquent. Spilled water and even spilled milk (groan) wipe up. Stickers will eventually come up off the floor (or the coffee table, or my CELL PHONE). The dog probably won't die from eating snack mix, nor will my child die from eating dog food. (And really, at this point it's all about survival, right?)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not quite to a place of Pollyanna bliss just yet. I'll not be leading any seminars in relaxation anytime soon, but I'm getting better. Baby steps.

There are a few things that are helping me "let go". And if you work for any of the companies I'm about to mention, please let them know I'm giving them free advertising, in case they want to give me free stuff or loads of cash!

1. There is no laundry "day". Back in the good old days (you know, two and half years ago...) I had one day a week set aside in which I did the laundry. I would have one, at most two, baskets of clothes that needed washing. By 2 p.m. the clothes were washed, dried, folded and put away. And somehow, until last week, I was still trying to pull this off. I was driving myself nuts with trying to get the laundry "done". It doesn't get done. It just is. Like eating. You're never really done eating, right? You get up and start all over the next day. Like laundry. No more will "laundry" be on my to-do list. My goal is to do a load a day, everyday. Until I die, apparently.

2. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I remember when these first came out, I never believed they would really work like they said they would. But they do!!! Permanent marker on the table?? No problem! Smoothie down the wall? No problem! Unidentifiable crusties in the playroom? No problem? These little babies help me just let the mess happen.

3. Washable Markers. I don't know why all markers since the beginning of markers were not made washable. Why would you make a child's product un-washable?? No idea. But for the genius who finally decided to do all us moms a favor and make washable markers-I bow to you. I don't know why kids would so much rather color with a marker than a crayon. Oh wait. Of course I do-because crayons don't color on your skin. Duh. Why would one want to color on a fantastic snowman coloring sheet when you have a blank canvas right below your head. And now, thanks to washable markers, body art rules in our house!

I'm sure there will be many more products that cross my path and help me on my journey to mothering zen. A few I'm thinking about trying include: ear plugs, mop skates, and the Sham-wow! Maybe the Sham-wow guy should come to my house and tape a demonstration. We'll see just how "Wow" they really are!!!

A Raffle You Should Enter

In a crazy twist, we currently have three friends adopting from Ethiopia! All friends in Nashville! Weird, huh?

Anyway, right now Josh and Laura Kelley are in the full fundraising mode of their adoption (having just completed their first home-study) and they are having an awesome raffle. If the name "Josh Kelley" sounds familiar, it is because it is close to "Jon Kelley" who is my brother-in-law and Lyla's dad! Josh is his brother and his wife Laura is my friend. (I mean, I'm sure Josh and I would be friends too if we spend time together, but he's usually at work during play group!). Not only is Laura an awesome mom, she is also a super talented artist. You need to run, not walk, over to her She has awesome artwork for sale as well as the cutest little kid clothes you ever did see. The raffle is for a cabin in the Smokies and tickets are only $25 (and there are enough of us in our family, that if we each bought a ticket, we'd almost be guaranteed a free weekend in a cabin! Ha! On that note, maybe we should all start buying lottery tickets...)

So, check it out and help them bring their next child home!

And, while your at it, you can check out my friend Tracy's blog: She is one of my other friends who is also adopting from Ethiopia.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heaven Only Knows

Last night at bedtime Drew and I were having our usual time in the rocker singing and talking. I had just been talking with him about God, Jesus and the Bible, and wondering, as always, if he really understood or cared! Here is the conversation that ensued:

Drew: Jesus at home?

Me: Yep. Jesus lives in a place called Heaven. With God.

Drew: And Zacchaeus?

Me: (snorting) Yes, and probably Zacchaeus.

Drew: Play? (Which I think meant "Are they playing?')

Me: I'll bet they do play. What do you think they play? Baseball, Football, Golf...?

Drew: Yeah, balf (golf)! [Then makes motion for swinging the golf club]

Me: I'll bet they're having fun, huh? What do you think they like to eat?

Drew: (emphatically, complete with hand motions) FETTUCINE!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

By 8:30 this morning a packet of silica had been ripped open and scattered on my floor (you know the little packets that come in new purses etc., and say DO NOT EAT on them? Yeah, that silica), I had poop on my hand and didn't realize it until I wiped my nose with it!!!!!!!!! SICK! And Lyla looked like this:

Oh yeah, she was playing in the water in the sink (one of their favorite pastimes) and decided she needed a little freshening up. So she dumped water on her head, rubbed in some hand lotion and brushed it all up with a bottle brush. Awesome.

I still don't know whether any of the aforementioned silica was ingested, either by the kids or the dog (who by the way has decided he prefers the inside now). It took four dish cloths to mop up the water in my kitchen. And for some reason the kids just could not grasp the historical significance of the inauguration!! What gives??

We have had some crazy days of late, and I am now trying a new approach. It's a tried an true mom method called "Pick Your Battles". My son is busy and curious and into everything. And by everything I mean all things adult, definitely not the 1.5 billion toys in his playroom. It is exhausting for both of us to battle all day long. So, unless it is a matter of life and death (i.e. silica packet) then I'm just letting him go for it.

So if you'll excuse me, I need to sweep for the 21st time today and let the dog out. He's a little queasy from all the muffins and crackers Lyla fed him.

*BTW-I edited a few of the posts below including adding pics to the Dominican post.

Movin' on Up!

Another milestone!! Over the weekend we converted Drew's crib into a toddler bed!!! He is now in a big boy bed! Yeah, I cried while I was using the allen wrench to take the front rail off. So sue me. I wasn't planning on getting emotional, but it just hit me-he will never sleep in a crib again! There is so much I love about his getting older, but I can feel the time starting to slip...

Ahem, so anyway. Drew came home from his vacation and decided that he needed to start climbing out of his crib. So, toddler bed it is! So far he has done really great and still calls for me to come get him up. I realize it is only a matter of time before it dawns on him that he can get out on his own and walk around and get into stuff, but for now, we're livin' the dream!! Ha! His only question concerning the new bed was whether he could still have his paci!!! (eyes rolling!) I'm pretty sure we're going to have to buy him a car to get him to give it up!! Won't the girls in school think he's hot sporting a red paci!

Monday, January 19, 2009


We've had another first in Drew's life! Last night was Drew's first time bowling!! What? Why on earth would we take him bowling? Well, it wasn't really my intention. Our community group (aka small group) at church meets each Sunday night, with the third Sunday of each month being a social week when all the kids come. This week was bowling. Initially we planned on going and leaving Drew with Mick (who is now our regular babysitter and Drew's BFF) However, Mick and Lindsey were in Chi-town celebrating Christmas with her family. So, I dragged Drew along and figured I'd at least get to visit for a little while.

Well, one look at the other kids in their bowling shoes and racks full of giant balls, and Drew was ready to play. It was utterly hilarious. First they had the gutter guards up. Then they have these rack things that little kids can put their balls on and then just push them down the ramp. Drew was pretty sure he was the best bowler ever-I didn't tell him he came in last place.

The long wait between turns was somewhat problematic until I got him an Icee! Then it was a tough call-bowling or Icee? bowling or Icee? When he finally started spinning around and around making himself dizzy, I realized that he was sugar drunk. Which, I mean, don't most bowlers drink while they bowl??

It was quite traumatic when it was time to leave. He was moaning, "Stay here, more bowling" while his mouth and tongue were bright red. And he was highly insulted that he had to have his jacket on. Even with the exit drama, it was great! Another one of those great moments that just sneaks up on you.

EDITED TO ADD: I can't believe I forgot to tell you about the dancing!! There was some serious hip hop music bumping in the bowling alley, and Drew was LOVING it. He danced his little booty off! Kid's got rhythm!

Bits & Pieces

I have so many random Drew stories, but all of them too short for their own post. Here is a little collection of the fun I've been having with him.

Modesty is the best policy:
On Thursday we went to a Mom's Club play group Open House. I'm not really sure how this is different from an actual play group, but it was at my neighbor's house, so we went. There is a woman in my Mom's Club who is European. She is also super sporty. Runs a lot, is tiny, etc., etc. I guess she is a little in love with her body, because she always wears a shirt that is just a little too short. Which is funny under normal circumstances, but in the middle of a serious cold snap, it's downright astounding. Anyway, we were all in the living room and she was crouched down helping her son with a toy. About that time, Drew was walking by and PULLED HER SHIRT DOWN!!! As if to say, "Excuse me, ma'am, but half your back and part of your crack are showing. You might want to do something about that."


Drew's words are coming along nicely (finally!). One of his new favorite phrases is "Wait a minnnnute!" Like he's in a detective movie!


I took the kids to "Pump It Up" on Friday to treat the serious case of Cabin Fever we all had. In case you don't know, Pump It Up is a big warehouse full of giant inflatables. Whoever thought of this is an absolute genius. You pay the one time cost for the inflatables, lay down some funky carpet, hire some teenagers and charge $7 a person. Voila! You're retired in Aspen. Anyway, I violated my own policy on this one. Usually before I take both kids somewhere, I do a test run with just Drew. Not this time. And to my surprise, the kids were PERFECT!! I have never, ever seen Drew have more fun in my whole life! He was not afraid of anything and climbed right to the top of a two story slide and slid down. And died laughing the whole time. It was great. Not a bad work out for me either since I had to accompany them on all their climbing expeditions. It's going on the list of things to do when we all get stir crazy!


Finally. Not so fresh off our whirlwind, kamikaze trip to the Dominican, I'm finally getting a minute to sit down and fill you in. Before you ask, yes, we do have pictures. Approximately six. Because frankly, we were so lazy for 5 days we couldn't even be bothered to take any pictures! Said pictures will not be showing up on here for a while because the camera is in the bedroom with my son who is napping. It is definitely not worth it to risk waking him up!

We had a great time on our trip. I will not lie-I was completely panic stricken over the flying part. I just couldn't deal with the fact that if the plane went down, well, there went Drew's whole family!! But, I composed myself really well. No public spectacles or anything. Although, when we landed in K-town, I was SERIOUSLY tempted to kiss the ground.

The long and short of it is we pretty much laid like jellyfish the entire time we were there. We laid at the beach, we laid (sort of) in chairs on our balcony, and we laid in our beds. All of this lying around was punctuated only by our meals. It was wonderful. You don't realize just how exhausted you are until you stop for a minute and lie still. And then you realize you are at serious risk of not getting up!

You might think we were bored with all this lying around. Not me. I read two books and started on Daniel's! (It was handy that the first nineteen chapters came detached from his book. We could both read it at the same time!) We also did a lot of people watching. And, if you know me at all, you know I did a lot of eavesdropping! I love to catch snippets of people's conversations and make up stories about them in my head. Yes, I am that sad.

There were also some rather hilarious sights to take in. Take for example the morning water aerobics class in the ocean. This resort strikes a really great balance between offering activities, but not hounding you to death to participate. The "Star Friends" -that's what they're called, I kid you not-walk around with big Disney World smiles on their faces all day long inviting people to join in the "fun". Which brings us back to the water aerobics. Imagine with me, if you will, around 35 people who have been drinking free drinks all morning, heading to the ocean for some water aerobics. It was fantastic. No doubt most of these people have NEVER done aerobics in their lives, much less water aerobics. What is it about vacation (or rather "holiday" seeing as how almost everyone there was European) that made that giant guy decide to do water aerobics?? I will never know, but I thank you giant fat man for having the audacity to try. At least I didn't laugh in his face.

If water aerobics are not for you, never fear! Because the "Star Friends" will gladly lead you in some lively step aerobics pool side. At face value I have no problem with step aerobics. In fact, I love step aerobics even though they carry kind of an 80's stigma. However, the participants in these particular aerobic sessions were doing step in their BATHING SUITS. I'm just saying. Even if I were some teeny little hottie McSpice girl, I would not, under any circumstances do step aerobics in my BATHING SUIT. And I'll let you guess how many of these ladies were teeny little hottie McSpice girls. Approximately one. As for the rest, they should be required by law to wear some serious undergarments.

So see? Plenty to see. And I even ate some pineapple without getting sick! Woo-hoo! Oh, and we tried some real live sugar cane-this is the crop the Dominican is known for. I guess it stands to reason that I would love the place-they make sugar!!

Drew had his own little vacay while we were gone! Between Weston's play room and getting to have his paci non-stop he was in hog heaven. Aunt Kristin and Grammy loved on him so much (and Poppy!) that he didn't even want to leave!! He is still telling me about all the things they did together. (Thanks guys!!)

Dan and I had been in the foxhole for a long time. It was nice to get out for at least a minute. As we left D.R. I had on my flip flops and when we touched down in Charlotte I had to put my Uggs back on. One season's staple swapped for another. We went and found summer, got filled up with sun, and are hoping it will last us until spring!

EDITED TO ADD: Here are some pics finally! They don't really do it justice, but you'll get the main idea!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

O Christmas Tree...

Anyone who knows Daniel and I know that there are a couple of categories in our life that always produce some kind of ridiculous story. The first category is cars. I'm sure at some point a car story will come up. But that is not what I'm writing about today. Today is the second category-Christmas trees.

I don't know what it is about our little family and Christmas trees, but the fact that we haven't just done away with them all together is a miracle. This all goes back to even before we were married. The first ridiculous tree story came when I was living with two friends after college and we decided we wanted a live Christmas tree in our apartment. So, Daniel, my two roommates and another boyfriend took our mini van (yep, you read that right. Not even married and drove a mini van. It was a real gem, too. Kind of the "conversion" version of a mini van complete with mini blinds. I'll leave it at that. The Mini Van really deserves a post all its' own!) to pick up the tree. Somehow I was not present for this event-I can't remember now where I was, but I'm sure it was work. Anyway, the tree had to be tied onto the top of the van and then carried from the parking lot to our apartment. I don't think the guys were very amused.

Then came the first Christmas tree as a married couple. I had this major hang-up about Christmas trees. I definitely wanted a real one and I really wanted it to be a fun, festive event to pick it out. Somehow, it's not really like that is it?? We got our first tree from a roadside place, happily tied it to the top of our car and headed home to put it up. Only, we didn't exactly realize the bottom branches would need to be sawed off in order for the tree to fit into the tree stand. Hmmmm....we didn't exactly have a saw, so Big Dan took to that poor innocent tree with an axe. It was quite a sight. I was pretty sure the axe was going to go through the floor. We won't even discuss the copious amounts of sap that were now all over the carpet.

Next year, we did a little better and went to a place where they cut off the bottom limbs for you (see?? at least we learn!). But somehow, the tree still did not quite fit in the tree stand. Therefore, it continuously fell over all season long. Awesome.

Also at this time in our life, we took an annual mission trip to Hungary right after Christmas. This means that when we got back from our 10 day trip, our poor tree was always so dry. It was on the verge of just bursting into flames from being so dry.

And the lights. Oh, the lights. A few years, the lights were on the tree in such a tangled mess that I just threw them away with the tree!!

So finally last year, I relented the fantasy and we got a pre-lit fake tree. It was probably the best decision for our marriage that we could have ever made. It is a big, beautiful tree and some poor person somewhere meticulously wrapped lights around every single branch. We thought we had finally slain the Christmas tree curse. Not so fast, Hulls!! Everything was great at the end of the season last year. We took down the tree, put it in the handy storage bag-with handle- and hauled it upstairs. Our attic stairs are located in probably the worst location ever-our bedroom closet. Which is another subject which probably deserves its' own post. Turns out the width of the big, beautiful tree in handy storage bag is approximately 6 inches wider than the opening to our attic. It was an act of God to get that behemoth up there. And back down for this year. Daniel and I just looked at each other when it was time to take the tree down yesterday. It was the very last thing we had to put away for the halls to be completely un-decked. We forewent the handy storage bag this year and just shoved each piece up in the attic and out of the way. We're almost positive the lights won't work next year.

I'm thinking about starting the tradition of the Christmas Ficus.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So long, Santa!

My son is in mourning. Poor Drew has the post-Christmas blues. I can only imagine how confusing all of this is for him. For weeks now his insane mother has made the biggest deal ever out of Baby Jesus, and Santa and Christmas lights. He joined in, loving every moment. And, now, just like that, it's all going away.

Down the street from us was a lovely, giant, blow-up Santa. As an added bonus, there was also a lovely, giant, blow-up Tigger wearing a Santa hat. Drew is all about a routine, and so EVERY time we got ready to go anywhere he would ask the same question, "Big Ho-Ho and Tigger up?" He wanted to know if they were standing at attention, ready to be waved at as we drove by. And, every time we turned into the neighborhood on the way home, he would ask again, "Big Ho-Ho and Tigger up?" Then he would say, "Wait see" as we topped the hill. It never got old. Well, at least to him.

We also had a ritual at the grocery store. In the store there was a big, mechanical Santa who sat up on a display of cases of Cokes and waved his arm. Across the aisle was a lovely, giant blow-up Santa in a helicopter. Every time we went to the store (which was A LOT!) We went to see the Santas and paid our respects.

Imagine the sadness when yesterday Drew discovered that Big Ho-Ho & Tigger AND the grocery store Santa had been put away for the season. You could see the betrayal on his face. How could I let him fall in love only for it all to go away?? He has no idea that Christmas comes around every year. I keep telling him "You'll have to wait until next Christmas", which for all he knows could be coming around next weekend (can I get an "Amen!" that it's not???)

I haven't had the heart to tell him we have to stop singing his seasonal favorite "Jingle Bells" or that we should probably stop watching "Polar Express". All the Santas might be gone, but I just can't take away "Jingle Bells". So, if you see us around town in the springtime, don't be alarmed if we're still singing it. And if Drew asks you about Big Ho-Ho, do me a favor and tell him he's in the attic.

Rudolph's Nose

Most of you have heard at least most of this story by now. We had a little "incident" on Sunday night. It was a great night. One of those where the thought actually crossed my mind, "Wow, we are having such a great night...wait...don't think that...something might happen."

Drew and I had been playing in the playroom for about an hour. For most of that time we were taking trips in the pop-up bus Poppy got him for his birthday. We traveled all over town to all of our favorite haunts-the grocery store, the library, the playground. Daniel came up to join us, and Drew insisted that he join us in the bus. If you've never met my husband, suffice it to say that he is a super tall individual. He definitely had trouble fitting in the bus. Luckily, the front portion of the bus has a "sunroof" so his head could pop out the top. Are you getting the picture here? I'm in the back of the bus, Big Dan is in the front of the bus with his head sticking out, and Drew is running back and forth down the hall getting pretend hot chocolate and popcorn. All of a sudden he found a small, red, craft pom pom on the floor of the playroom. I can't even remember the last time we used those. I have no idea why one was on the floor. So, he picked it up, and was holding it up to his nose while singing, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

I said to Daniel, "Don't let him shove that thing in his nose!" And he didn't. Yet somehow, all of a sudden the pom pom was missing. So, in my most level-headed shriek, I said, "I've got to get him in case that thing is in his nose!" So, Daniel began the process of getting out of the bus. It was like a clown show at the circus! So hilarious watching him wriggle free of the nylon bus! When he finally got out, I grabbed Drew and laid him down in my lap to look up his nose. I couldn't see anything in there. Daniel felt sure that he was fine, but in true mommy fashion I was watching him like a hawk. He started rubbing at his nose...a lot. And finally, he would rub his nose and cry a little. I just knew something was in there.

Daniel called the after hours line for our doctor's office. It was kind of a confusing call because at that time we couldn't really tell if anything was in there or not. He was breathing fine, so it did not constitute an emergency. The nurse told us to use a bulb syringe and blow air in the opposite nostril. Yeah, I had to get my bulb syringe out of the attic. Awesome. Nothing came flying out, so we were stumped. Finally, Daniel laid him on the kitchen counter, cocked his head back and took a good hard look-and he saw it!! Waaaaaaaay up in his nostril! A tiny, red, craft pom pom! We blew and blew and blew air in the other nostril, but the thing was not budging. I was way too scared to try and get it with tweezers and the inside of his nose was starting to swell a little bit. So, off to the ER we went.

All the way there Drew kept blowing his nose and saying "Rudolph!" We provided some major entertainment for the ER staff that night. They thought it was HILARIOUS that he put Rudolph's nose up his own nose. The doctor made us try a rather unconventional method to start. She held his "good" nostril shut while I blew in his mouth. Oh yeah. You read that right. I HAD TO BLOW IN MY SON'S MOUTH. The doctor said, "You might get a little snot on you." Um, yeah, I get snot on me all the time. That's not really my problem with this whole arrangement. My problem is that we are now both traumatized by this weird little exercise!! Anyway, next up was a long, skinny tool with sort of a shovel head on the end. After a little digging around, the doctor freed Rudolph's nose from my son's nostril!

Drew was no worse for the wear-he had on his Spiderman slippers, had extra time with his paci and to top it all off he got to eat a popsicle. Daniel and I joked that he might do it again just because he had so much fun! As far as ER trips go, it wasn't bad at all. We were in and out in under an hour!! And, you can be sure in twenty years my son will be rolling his eyes when I tell the story yet again. Paybacks know!