Sunday, October 2, 2011

The First Week of School

Do you ever have that dream where you are under water and you can almost get your mouth to the surface but then you get sucked down? Luckily, I can breath underwater and run effortlessly in my dreams. But I can imagine that the drowning dream is akin to the last few months of my life. It's been crazy ever since Beck was born. I should have blogged about it but . . . you know.

Anyway, as once again I have completed the obligatory "I haven't blogged because. . ." , we can get on with things like THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL. Sadly, this won't be a post about their perfect hair or cleanliness or how organized I am. Far from it. Imagine if someone picked up your house and turned it on its side and you still had to function. That's about how that week felt. I had taken on too many projects (stupid pinterest.) AND Lexi was coming to visit. The kids are lucky they went to school at all.

We made it until ten-thirty on Thursday unscathed. But then the nurse called.

Please read in your most "old-lady perfume" voice:

"Mrs. Stroud, hiiii. I have Camryn here in my office. She said you wouldn't let her have breakfast and she's shaky and weak."

Flashback a few hours and you'll see Camryn laying on the floor and me pulling her almost lifeless body to the shower. A few minutes later that same Camryn will be lying on the floor wearing only a towel and will require being dragged to her closet. This went on for TWO HOURS. During that time I asked her exactly 576 times to please eat breakfast. As 4/5ths of us were walking out to the car, Camryn grabs a bowl for some cereal.

Please read in your most "I want to take you out to the desert and leave you with a canteen, a book and a note for whomever finds you" voice:

"Sorry Cams, too late. YOu cAn't haVe CerEaL. You can have a granola bar, gogurt, or a banana in the car."

Read in a Banshee voice:


Now read my response in the same voice as before but cover it in syrup because the neighbor kid is there:

"OK, I'm sure glad you ate a lot when we went out last night because you're going to have to wait until lunch."

Flash forward. I tell the nurse that Camryn CHOSE not to eat. She said,"We-elll, that may be true but she says she al-so didn't get enough dinner last night . . ."  Ugh. Whatever. I tell the nurse that that is true and that she should feed her as many saltines as she has because I won't be feeding her again for quite some time.

Oh well. I went back to doing things that in no way help me to prepare for the arrival of my sister or help me finish any of my 32 projects.

1:30 pm. Same day:

"Mrs. Stroud, hiiiiiiiiii. Don't worry, nobody is hurt. It isn't even about Camryn. I have Mason in my office and apparently while he was out at recess he found a dead cicada that was covered in maggots. He chose to put it in his pocket, so I made him change his shorts. I just wanted to inform you so that you wouldn't be concerned when he came home in different shorts."

"Oh, neat. Ok. Hey- do you want me to stop by and pick up my You're Awesome award or do we have to wait until the end of the year? It seems like just a formality at this point . . ."

The end.

FYI - I googled "dead cicada +maggots". I don't recommend that. Here's just a dead cicada.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Shark Week Blog

We have tons of crafts, food and games planned. We have already trimmed the shark tree... or something. Check it out . . . later today . . . when I finish it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ /\ ~~~~~~ \O/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ !


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby Beckham

Starting about last December, when people would ask me when I was due, I'd say,"May 27 but I'm having him May 7." I had made up my mind that I was getting that sucker out the first Saturday after he was full-term. It would be perfect. Jaymee wouldn't have to miss work, I'd get to stop being pregnant (which I hate with the fire of a thousand suns), I'd get to be away from home on Mother's Day (a long-standing tradition in my home so that my family can stay alive), it's my best friend Mami's birthday, he'd be old enough to travel to Utah for Jamey's wedding in June . . . it was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

So I rubbed my belly and told it the plan. May 7. May 7. May 7. On May 2nd I started having contractions and went in to the hospital. They sent me to the mall to walk and walk and walk and then come back when the labor gotten bad enough that I killed somebody in Naartjie. Six hours later, the contractions had stopped altogether. It was fine with me because I still had some stuff to do and he wasn't supposed to come until MAY 7.

On May 6, I went to lunch with a bunch of friends and they joked with me,"tomorrow's the big day, right?!" I affirmed that it was indeed. There was some eye-rolling but I told my uterus to pay them no mind. They didn't know the deal we had made.

About 6am on May 7, I woke up with hard contractions. Jaymee woke up to laughter. Ha! Ha! It's May 7 and I'm in labor! We called Mami and told her she could have all the Cardinals tickets because we were heading to hospital! Stop by after the game to see the baby! We got our stuff together and left. When we arrived, they confirmed I was indeed in labor and gave me an epidural within 30 seconds of getting there, bless their hearts. About that time I got a snarky text from Amy saying, "how's the hooossspital??" I told her everything was great and I had just gotten my epi. WHAT?! Ah ha ha ha. So funny.
(our three seconds together)

Everything went perfectly. No pain. A push and a half and I was done. It's easy to deliver a five pound baby. I saw him for about three seconds and they stole him and started freaking out. Well, as much as baby docs freak out. Baby Beckham couldn't breathe. SO they whisked him away to the NICU to live for the next eight days. Poor little guy.

(poor little guy)

(Mother's Day. It was a very fancy NICU. Ties were NOT optional)

They hooked him up to a bunch of monitors and machines and put so much tape on his face that his eyes swelled shut. He had only seen the world for about and hour. Sad. The first day they let me hold him. I spent all my time with him. The next day, they wouldn't let me hold him and they wouldn't let him eat. Did I mention poor little guy? It was killing me. They kept telling me that I'd be able to hold him "tomorrow". Then on tomorrow, they'd tell me the same thing again. I should have been blogging back then but I was sad and didn't want to be away from his bedside for one minute. On Tuesday they discharged me (no discharge cookies this time). I went to live in the NICU and then on a hard chair in the hall when I wasn't allowed in there. They took pity on my and let me back in my room for another two nights. On Tuesday night he took a turn for the worse and they had to intubate him. (PLG - poor little guy) Whatever they gave him while intubated did the trick and he turned around within twelve hours. On Wednesday I was holding him and feeding him a drop or two (they are stingy). But that night I had to go home. No empty rooms. Just empty arms as I left the hospital which is 45 minutes away. That was awful. I was back first thing in the morning and he was moved on to just oxygen through a nasal canula instead of the big apap thing. They took some of the tape off his face. I could almost see it. When I got there on Friday morning, they had taken off even more tape and I could see his whole face. Man was he cute. He even opened his eyes for the first time in a week.

He was eating like a champ and they said he could go home if he passed the "car seat test".

(Look how tiny! It's like that old skit with the girl in the HUGE chair. Was that Hee-Haw?)

We brought him home and I realized that I had been so worried about him at the hospital that I hadn't remembered that I had had a baby. I was fine. I had been taking my meds like clockwork and somehow didn't even notice the healing. It was so bad with Preslie that I was crying for days. Tender mercy much?
(ten days old. can anyone resist a baby yawn?)

So that's what happened. Geez. Get off my back and let me go snuggle with the cutest baby ever. He's my best friend.

PS We sold Fiyero (the bird eating cat) and Hinckley got a fish hook through his paw that had to be removed by the vet. The turtle is fine. Suckers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


As you know, Shark Week is next week. Is all your shopping done? Treats made? Crafts planned? Every year I think I'll get everything done by June so I can just kick back and enjoy the holiday, but here I am once again scurrying to get it all done.

I can check the "Shark Week T Shirts" off my list. If you haven't gotten to it, you can have some of mine. Just let me know by 8am, July 26th. $10 +$3 shipping. Paypal.

hi. i promise.

"Dear Shelby. We are all tired of your bobbed tail cat. We discussed it at lunch the other day, all 7 of us. Please show a picture of your newest child and write something un-pet related. Love, all 7 of us at Bazzill"

I promise to write about my baby, etc. by Wednesday. If not, I'll pay you a dollar. Sorry Bazzill Seven.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bobtail Cats

Yesterday, Camryn threw an amazing and barely death-defying tantrum before school. On her way out to the car she slammed the door going into the garage with all her 10 year-old might and in the process chopped off Hinckley's tail. He had to have the part that remained surgically amputated and now wears a cone of shame.

That is the animal news of the day. Do I have the right to cut off one of Camryn's fingers? A toe? What is appropriate in this situation?

Friday, March 4, 2011


I'm bored of pregnant.

More Carnage

Another pet gone. I won't go on and on. This is not a dead animal blog. I won't say it was Oscar and he was the best pet I ever had. I won't tell you about how he never left my side the entire time I was sick. How he went in to bathroom with me when I puked and down to the fridge with me to eat some of Darlene's pie at 2am. That every time I blogged he was sitting behind me on my chair. I won't tell you that he slept by me for ten years. Because this is not a dead pet blog.

I will tell you that I am weak-hearted and have had a very hard time. It's been two weeks and I still cry. What a baby I am. I guess I'm a crazy cat lady. He didn't come to bed one night and then I never saw him again. He had kidney disease and probably wandered off to die. That's part of the problem. I just don't know. Maybe he was translated.

Maybe I replaced him with a maniac himalayan kitten. We named him Hinckley so he will be cute, wise and live forever.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Horror! The Horror!

As I contemplate the overall contents of this blog, I realize that a large portion of it is dedicated to animals. Mostly animals that die. Maybe I should make a separate blog for dead animal stories. But I won't. I'll continue to share here the terror I have faced on about a bi-annual basis.

Sometime in October a place opened in my little town called "Oasis Exotic Birds". Being a lover of all things feathered, I took my kids there one Thursday. They had a bunch of cockatiels in a little glass pen and you could hold them and play with them all you want. I was permitted to go in the other room and grab me a cockatoo or macaw. It was so fun and the birds were so sweet. So sweet that we started going every Thursday after school. One little gray cockatiel decided it loved Sienna. It would get so excited when she came in that it would leap to her shoulder and nestle into her hair. It would tell her all kinds of bird stories in her ear that the rest of us couldn't understand. Stories about eating seeds and looking around, mostly.

Finally at Christmas we brought him home. He had been "Murphy" to us for some time already, so we didn't need to name him. Sienna was as happy as I have ever seen her. She fed him and held him and cleaned his cage. All the kids loved him. He was a sweet, sweet bird.

Do you feel foreboding?

We decided to bring his cage down to the kitchen so we could all spend more time with him. He was out of his cage as much as he was in it. Always on somebody's shoulder. Friday morning we caught Fiyero, our wild leopard cat (who is a jerk) eyeing Murphy's cage and licking his chops. Sienna was nervous and moved the table even farther away. Then I took her to school.

Dun dun duhhhhhh.....

When I came back I woke Mason up and made him breakfast. I went in the other room to turn on the lights for our box turtle Gregory Von Turtlestein. Then it all started. Mason started screaming,"I'M SORRY! I'M SO SORRY!". I ran in there to see Fiyero running out with the bird in his mouth. I chased him screaming out of the house into the 2° weather. In my t-shirt I ran around the back and down the hill falling through bushes and trees as I went. I caught him but it was too late. Murphy's neck was broken. He was dead and I was pregnant and lying in the snow. I took him back inside and held him until he was no longer warm. Mason was a wreck. He wasn't supposed to take him out without me or Sienna with him. He hid behind the curtains and sobbed. Camryn came down and wailed as only she can. She could be a professional mourner. It would be a good use of her talents.

Preslie didn't care.

Luckily, Sienna was at school.

Mason pulled himself together and I took him to school. I figured it would be a good way to take his mind off it all. I came back home and climbed in bed and shook and cried. I'm so glad I haven't had to deal with horrifying "people" incidents instead of animals because I would not be ok. Jaymee told the kids to never get hurt or die because "Mom would implode." It's probably true. It wasn't that I was sad for my own loss. It was that it was traumatic and horrifying and I knew it would be the worst day of Sienna's life. I dreaded telling her. How could I tell her? How could she forgive Mason? How could she forgive our jerk cat if he ever came home... he may have been kicked. . . can't be sure... it's all a blur.

Jaymee came home early and we went to pick her up together. I told her we had to talk and started crying yet again. I said,"Fiyero..." and she looked horrified so I thought she understood. Jaymee finished my sentence (gingerly) so I could sob,"ate your bird." She said,"PHEW!! I thought the baby died. Then I thought Fiyero died. I'm glad it was only the bird." I guess that's a good way to tell somebody difficult news. "Mom? Dad? I'm dying of cancer - yep. A week to live ... just kidding. I'm just gay." Phew.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a BOY!

And he is cute. There was a little red flag on his ultrasound but we're hoping it's nothing. Keep him in your prayers.

Will someone come take down my Christmas tree?