Red, Green or Pepto Bismol?

On our recent trip back to my husband’s hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico; we ate food. We ate a TON of food. The food in New Mexico is amazing so it’s very hard not to overindulge.

For those of you who have never had the chance to visit this area there is one very important question you need to answer everywhere you go here.

Red or green?

When you go out to eat in New Mexico it really doesn’t matter what you order; you will be asked, “Red or green with that?”

What they are referring to is the chile pepper. You have the choice as to whether you want red or green chile sauce on it. I myself am a green chile person but over the years I have learned moderation is key for this native Wisconsin girl.

This was one of our meals at the family reunion we went to. Red chile enchilada on the left and green chile enchilada on the right. Beans and pasole (spicy corn stew) in the middle.

This was one of our meals at the family reunion we went to. Red chile enchilada on the left and green chile enchilada on the right. Beans and pasole (spicy corn stew) in the middle.

Cheeseburger with green chili on it at Western View restaurant on Central

Cheeseburger with green chili on it at Western View restaurant on Central

My first visit to Albuquerque, many years ago when my husband and I were still dating; I went overboard on the green chili and had it on everything. Apparently my stomach is not made of steel and after 3 days of being there and consuming more spicy food during that short time frame than I had over the entire course of my life I was left with a pretty messed up stomach. I remember my husband’s mom slipping me some Pepto Bismol through a crack in the door at 2am.

The next morning I asked if we could eat at a non-Mexican food related establishment. We found an IHOP and I asked for some bacon, eggs and white toast. The waitress asked, “Red or green?”

Since then I have learned my lesson and just ask the wait staff to put my green chile on the side and that way I can control how much I add.

This is my enchilada I ordered at Garcia's on Central with my green chili on the side!

This is my enchilada I ordered at Garcia’s on Central with my green chili on the side! In the middle of the table are sopapillas (fried bread) which are another staple of New Mexico!

Besides having great food at restaurants on our recent trip we also had the pleasure of going to my husband’s cousin’s house and she made and taught me how to make some authentic tacos and Spanish rice. One of the best tips I have ever learned was to add mashed potatoes to your taco meat to make the meat stretch more so you can feed more people. I thought this was absolutely brilliant because it doesn’t change the taste at all!

My husband's cousin teaching me how to make tacos and Spanish rice

My husband’s cousin teaching me how to make tacos and Spanish rice

Here are the tacos and rice I made the other night at my house!

Here are the tacos and rice I made the other night at my house!

Also, I can hardly mention New Mexico without talking about tortillas. They are served with every meal. You can eat them plain, you can put meat and beans in them or use them to sop up the juices from Green Chile Stew. I have been making homemade tortillas for my family on a regular basis for over a year now and they are fantastic! While I was visiting our family I made up a huge batch of tortillas for everyone.

Here is me mixing up the tortilla dough!

Here is me mixing up the tortilla dough!

Here I am rolling out the tortilla

Here I am rolling out the tortilla

My mother-in-law was kind enough to pass down to me her bolio (a tortilla rolling pin) that she used to use when she made homemade tortillas for her family. Of course after she gave it to me I pretended to hit her over the head with it. This is why she loves having me for a daughter-in-law!

This is me pretending to hit my mother-in-law over the head (I would never really do that)!!

This is me pretending to hit my mother-in-law over the head (I would never really do that)!!

 

When you go to New Mexico be prepared to eat. The food is absolutely fantastic. If you are into hot, spicy food you will not be disappointed and if you are like me don’t be afraid to pass every now and then or just ask for it on the side!

This is my youngest son Cesar giving trying to give his hot pepper back!

This is my youngest son Cesar trying to give his hot pepper back!

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I also have a winner to announce! Last week I held a giveaway on my blog for a recent children’s book I wrote¬† What’s in the Bucket? 1 Year Blog Anniversary and a Giveaway. Instead of just throwing everyone’s names in a hat and choosing randomly I did something a little different. My children don’t really know that I blog nor have they ever read anyone’s blog so what I did is write the first names of non bloggers and blog names of those who blog on a piece of paper. I then asked my 8 year old daughter to choose a name to win the book I wrote.

She chose The Sadder but Wiser Girl!

I asked my daughter why she picked this one and she said, “I picked this one because I like wise girls. I think the wiser you are the more honest of a person you are and I don’t like anyone who tells lies.”

I thought this was a perfectly good reason to give Sarah at The Sadder but Wiser Girl blog my book. Sarah is wise and I really do think she is a honest person! She is also very funny and super sweet. When I announced that I was doing this giveaway she blasted my name all over the internets! Thank you Sarah! I hope you and your kids enjoy the book!

You Have the Freedom to Marry Who You Want (Except Your Brother)

I remember being 4 years old and having someone ask me who I was going to marry. Without a moment of hesitation I told them I was going to marry my brother. All of the people in the room began to laugh and someone piped up with, “Oh honey, you can’t marry your brother. It’s against the law.”

Considering he was the only boy I knew at that age and I thought he was pretty cool; I was crushed. At the age of 4 I already began to picture myself as an old maid living out the rest of my days all alone because the one shot I thought I had at getting married was against the law.

Me at the age of 5 all dressed up in my Mom's wedding dress trying to figure out who I was going to marry!

Me at the age of 5 all dressed up in my Mom’s wedding dress trying to figure out who I was going to marry!

As a mother now to a girl and two boys I wasn’t surprised when my own daughter at the age of 4 declared that she was going to marry one of her brothers (her choice between the two fluctuated week to week) when she grew up. I only smiled and said, “That’s nice dear,” so as not to give her the same complex that I had at that young age. When she was still holding on to the dream of marrying within the family when she started school I decided that I better let her know the truth and I figured at least being in a school full of lots of kids she would see that she had plenty of options besides her own brothers. After I broke the news to her that her dream of her and brother standing at the altar wouldn’t be happening she looked at me and said, “Well, is it okay to marry girls?”

My response: “Ummmm….well….(goodness, I wasn’t expecting this question)…kind of, well, I think right now the only way you can marry a girl is if you go to California. Ummmm…actually, I don’t know if it will always be this way though.”

Since my daughter was only 6 at this point it’s no surprise that she had such a confused look on her face to my answer, shrugged her shoulders and walked away to go play Barbies.

Apparently, my daughter forgot about this conversation we had two years ago because a few weeks ago she asked me the same question, “Mom, can girls marry girls?”

This time around I didn’t need to hem and haw. I didn’t need to think about how I was going to explain this. Our country has made some important decisions concerning gay rights and I don’t think we have to worry about them going away. I think the freedoms for the gay Americans are only going to continue to grow.

I confidently told my daughter, “Yes, yes girls can marry girls if that is what they want to do.”

My daughter smiled and said, “That’s great. I wasn’t sure if it was against the law. I’m glad it’s not because I think I am going to marry (her best friend’s name) when I grow up.”

Of course since my daughter is only 8 years old, she has no idea who she is going to marry or whether it will be a girl or a boy. But even at the age of 8, it is just nice to know you have the freedom to marry whoever brings you the most happiness in your life.

This is my brother that I couldn't marry!

This is my brother that I couldn’t marry!

Bad To the Bone

On our recent vacation we made a conscious decision to drive the more scenic routes, to take our time and really enjoy all that our beautiful country has to offer. I really wanted it to be a fun trip and at the same time educational for my kids.

A prime example of one of these scenic routes was the choice to drive through Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Talk about breathtaking! This was by far my favorite sightseeing stop on our trip.

The Badlands is 244,000 acres of eroded sedimentary layers of rock formations and canyons. There is a road going through the whole park but many places to get out, stop and explore. If I had to estimate how long it takes to drive through the park I would guess 20 minutes. My family spent 2 hours here. I actually would have loved to stay longer and done some of the more extensive hiking trails but I didn’t want to push my luck with three small kids.

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driving through Badlands National Park

I got a little giddy when we got out the first time and saw this sign:

Beware! Rattlesnakes!

I am crazy for nature and animals in their natural environments and would have loved to see a rattlesnake!

The park is home to other wildlife as well. Bison, pronghorn, mule, deer, prairie dogs, coyotes and eagles can often be seen by visitors. In this area many fossils have also been recovered of ancient camels, three-toed horses, saber-toothed cats and giant rhinoceros-like creatures.

Here are some of the pictures we took while there:

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Throughout the entire drive I was making audible gasps and squealing like a little school girl pointing things out. My husband also shared in my excitement. The kids however were a different story. They weren’t exactly yawning but their eyes certainly were not transfixed out the window and responding with excitement to everything I pointed to.

They did however like the times when we got out of our van and got to explore:

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We found one flowering cactus in the park! The kids thought that was super cool!

We found one flowering cactus in the park! The kids thought that was super cool!

And the very best thing we saw just as we were about to get to the end of the park was this:

A goat high up on one of the canyons

A goat high up on one of the canyons

Like I said before, Badlands National Park was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. There is no doubt in my mind though that it’s beauty was completely lost on my kids. As proof, about an hour later, driving down a regular highway, my 6 year old son, Bency shouts out, “Wow, look at that beautiful mountain!” I just happened to have the camera in my hand and caught a shot of what he was exclaiming about:

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My husband and I looked at each other and shook our heads in dismay. We had just seen some of the most beautiful rock formations and views and this little hill has our son all jigged up.

 

1 Year Blog Anniversary and a Giveaway!

This past Saturday marked the 1 year anniversary of this little ol’ blog called Motherhood Is An Art.

I do believe that calls for a woot! woot! and some appreciation to everyone who reads and follows me. I am very sincere when I say that I am very thankful to people who stop on by and take their time to read. I have met some of thee coolest people through blogging.

To show my appreciation I am not only sharing a recent children’s book I wrote for my children (based off an event that actually happened that I greatly exaggerated) but I am also giving a copy away to one lucky reader! All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment at the bottom of the page indicating that you would like a copy. The other option is to leave a comment on my Facebook page which you can join by clicking on the Facebook “like” button on the right hand side of the page! In one week I will announce the winner!

Without further ado….here is the book I wrote and illustrated:

cover page

page 1 copy2

A mom and her three kids were driving in their van one bright, sunny day. They had the windows rolled down and were singing along to their favorite songs on the radio.

page 2 copy

All of a sudden, Mom heard a low grunting noise coming from the back seat. The noise grew into louder growls and roars. The mom found herself slightly panicked that her three children had been replaced by lions…

page 3 copy2

or bears…

page 4 copy

or wart hogs.

page 5 copy

After a quick check in the rearview mirror the mystery was solved when she discovered that the two older children were bickering and arguing at an escalating volume. She turned down the radio and that is when the girl exclaimed, “Brother is emptying my bucket!”

The mom quickly fired back in a panicked tone, “What bucket? Who brought a bucket in the van? What was in the bucket?”

page 6 copy

Mom knew how much her kids loved to put stuff in buckets. She began to imagine hundreds of worms being spilled into the van…

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or possibly hundreds of roly-poly bugs…

page 8 copy

or a bucket full of ants.

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Would they have brought a bucket of water in the van…

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or gooey mud and leaves?

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After trying to steal glances over her shoulder and not seeing anything; the mom asked again about the contents of the bucket that the brother emptied.

The girl explained that in her Life Skills class at school, her teacher told them we all have an imaginary bucket inside of us. When someone does or says something mean to us; it empties our bucket.

page 12 copy

The girl said her bucket was getting emptied when her brother told her that she had dragon breath.

page 13 copy

The mom immediately told her son to apologize to his big sister. He also had to come up with one compliment to help fill her “bucket” back up.

He told his sister he was sorry and then he told her she was as cool as a two-headed frog. In other words he thought his sister was pretty awesome!

 

I Think We Entered the Twilight Zone

Memories are a funny thing.

It’s not always the best, most pleasant occurrences that stick with us; that lodge themselves deep inside our brain. Often times it’s something shocking, absurd and downright frightening that we seem to latch onto forever.

We had one of those moments on our recent cross-country trip. Even though we experienced plenty of really cool, beautiful things this is the memory that I know will be engrained in our minds as one of the “highlights.”

We were driving down the highway mid afternoon somewhere in South Dakota. No houses were in sight and very little traffic. Every little bit we would see some grazing land with a few beef cattle roaming in the distance. Out of nowhere we noticed a sign in the distance stating there was a general store at the next exit selling buffalo jerky. My husband is a big fan of dried meat so we decided to pull off and visit the shop.

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The place was called Buffalo Ridge General Store. As we stepped out we noticed things weren’t exactly in pristine condition. The building was a bit dilapidated and there was no other vehicles in the parking lot. However, we forged on with our mission to get some buffalo jerky for my husband.

The front of the store

The front of the store

As we entered the store I was dumbstruck. It appeared as though we had exited the year 2013 and were catapulted into a time warp from 1978. The merchandise scattered here and there had a thick layer of dust on it. Everything was dirty including the floors and shelves. I really had to go to the bathroom but there was no way I was going to explore the facilities that were located right up front with the door half off it’s hinges and the words “Bathroom” painted on in crude handwriting.

There was even a pay phone in the store for their patrons use! Who still has a payphone??

There was even a pay phone in the store for their patrons use! Who still has a payphone??

Two men greeted us. One was fairly old and the other was middle-aged. I’m assuming they were father and son. They were very friendly and asked where we were from. When we told them Wisconsin, they wanted to talk football and we enjoyed some banter with them for a bit. On the counter in front of them sat a bin of packaged buffalo jerky. We inquired about it and they told us that they make it themselves and that it’s the best around. We purchased $20 worth. The men then motioned to another door and told us there was another room that the kiddos might enjoy.

Here is what we saw when we entered:

Well, isn't this special?

Well, isn’t this special?

It appears that it is just another room filled with more merchandise that they are trying to peddle. Tucked away though in various corners of the room were life-size animated figures behind cages. When you put a quarter in the slot the rooms would light up, the figures would move and a recorded commentary or music would come on.

Here is an old saloon set-up:

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There was also one with a man tanning buffalo hide:

Notice the layers of dust on this guy!

Notice the layers of dust on this guy!

I think Iris is saying, "I can't believe we paid a quarter to see this!"

I think Iris is saying, “I can’t believe we paid a quarter to see this!”

And then we found the icing on the cake:

This one played creepy music and the gorilla's eyes lit up red.

This one played creepy music and the gorilla’s eyes lit up red.

The gorilla guy is quite possibly one of the freakiest things I have ever seen. I also think he scarred my children for life. Notice the looks on their faces while they are watching him:

Cesar is thinking, "No 2 year old should be subjected to something this scary."

Cesar is thinking, “No 2 year old should be subjected to something this scary.”

Bency is saying, "I am going to have nightmares the rest of my life."

Bency is saying, “I am going to have nightmares the rest of my life.”

It’s safe to say that Buffalo Ridge General Store is like nothing I have ever experienced. It will be a memory I will carry with me until my dying day. It’s not just due to the bizarre, off the wall nature of the store itself either. It’s because 3 hours down the road, my husband asked me to crack open that bag of buffalo jerky I purchased so he could give it a try. As I began to search the car I realized I didn’t have it. I must have set it down to put a quarter in one of those crazy animated shows and forgot it. My husband will never let me live that one down.

The buffalo pasture adjacent to the store.

The buffalo pasture adjacent to the store.

No, I Am Not in the Loony Bin

Have you ever wondered what the recipient must feel like that gets a Nobel Peace Prize or an Academy Award placed into their hands?

I have an inkling what this must feel like.

No, I don’t have a shiny trophy to place on my mantel but I do have my sanity.

I survived a 3 week cross-country driving trip, clocking over 3,500 miles, with my husband and 3 children. In my eyes, accomplishing this and maintaining a semi-normal mental health status ranks right up there with having a prestigious award bestowed upon me.

Don’t get me wrong; things weren’t always ideal. Thoughts of leaving a child or two along the side of the highway did take up fleeting moments in my mind. Overall though, things went smooth and most importantly we all lived to tell our version of our family’s 1st major vacation together.

I wish I could say this is what the whole car ride looked like but it didn't!

I wish I could say this is what the whole car ride looked like but it didn’t!

Two weeks of our trip was spent at my mother-in-law’s house in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We also attended a family reunion in Las Vegas (not the glitzy, casino-flooded city but a small town in New Mexico). There had to be around 600 people in attendance at this 3 day affair. I think it’s safe to assume my husband’s side of the family is very fertile! The other week of our trip revolved around traveling from our home in Wisconsin to New Mexico and back again. We made many stops at various landmarks and did a lot of really cool things.

Despite all of the sight-seeing, my family all agreed that the best part of the trip was spending time with our kinfolk in Albuquerque. I come from a small family compared to my husband, so the chance to have my husband’s 7 other sisters and brothers, their spouses and tons of kids of various ages running around is like having a party all of the time.

This is only my husband's immediate family in attendance at the reunion. There was about 7 more groups there this same size or bigger!

This is only my husband’s immediate family in attendance at the reunion. There was about 7 more groups there this same size or bigger! My family and I are on the far right.

We took over 3,000 pictures on this vacation so in the coming weeks I’m sure I will be sharing more highlights. Right now, I have to get back to unpacking, laundry and all of the other stuff that goes along with being away from your home for 3 weeks. I just wanted to say hi to everyone, let you know you were all missed and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things in the blogging world!

Lots of love,

Melissa

Duct Tape for My Heart

As you may know, my middle son, Bency is a rip tail peeler (other people use that term to describe mischievous children right…or is it just my family?).

Bency's Kindergarten picture

Bency’s Kindergarten picture

He is the epitome of what this blog is about…finding the humor in parenting or else you would probably cry.

People often talk about the amount of money it costs to raise a child. Diapering, clothes, food and college tuition are a few items that are often mentioned but I never saw anyone mention the BREAKAGE or the LOSS.

Perhaps it’s because they never parented a Bency.

For Heavens to Betsy (or in this case, Bency) I have never seen so many things broken and lost this year. He started off this Kindergarten year armed with new clothes, shoes, backpack, lunchbox etc. Guess how many of those things made it through the year. None I tell you.

Well, actually, the backpack did make it through only because I duct taped it all over after it got ripped in many places.

this back pack is all duct taped up now!

this back pack is all duct taped up now!

He broke 3 lunch boxes, put holes in every pair of pants, broke the soles off of shoes and has lost 2 water bottles. He also lost several articles of winter apparel and was reduced to wearing two different mittens at the end of March.

Also in Kindergarten you have rest time which requires a rest mat that basically consists of foam that is covered in a nylon fabric. Guess who managed to break their rest mat and have it sent home several times. I refused to go buy a new one so I just kept duct taping up all of the holes where the foam was falling out. With 3 days left to go in the school year he is basically just sleeping on one big pile of duct tape!

Yesterday I sent Bency to school with an umbrella that has only been used 3 times. It came home broken because he said he tried to chop down a tree with it.

I don't think I can fix this with duct tape

I don’t think I can fix this with duct tape

He is a bundle of energy and is always racing through the house and being loud. The other day after a particularly rambunctious episode that left me feeling weary I told him to go sit down on the chair and not make a sound.

He replied with, “Okay mama, but please don’t get mad if I breathe. Sometimes it makes sounds when you breathe and you know we all need to breathe to stay alive.”

I sighed and answered with, “Yes, Bency. You can breathe. I would never get mad at you for breathing.”

And then I walked out of the room and chuckled.

There is something about that boy that makes me want to pull my hair out and laugh all at the same time.

We are about to embark on the celebration of his birthday this weekend. I expect him to break one more thing. My heart. It breaks my heart to see that boy grow older and there is no amount of duct tape to fix that.

Do I look like a rip tail peeler?

Do I look like a rip tail peeler?

Happy 6th Birthday Bency!

I Go Out Walking After Midnight, Out in the Moonlight

Some of you may have recognized my title from the Patsy Cline song, “Walking After Midnight.” However, this story has nothing to do with Patsy Cline even though I am a huge fan of hers. It is actually about an event that took place last week at our house.

If this event had turned out differently; there is a good chance that I would still be sitting in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and muttering incoherent sentences somewhere.

I’ve mentioned before in the story You Can Sleep With Me Forever that my 5 year old son, Bency, has sneaked into my husband and I’s bed almost every night of his life. On the nights that this doesn’t happen, he sleepwalks, and we find him somewhere else other than his bed.

Most of the locations are pretty tame:

the living room floor

the living room floor

his bedroom floor

his bedroom floor

or a living room chair

or a living room chair

However, there was the time that we almost called the police. One night as my husband and I were getting ready to go to bed, I looked in Bency’s room. He was not there! We began searching the house for him everywhere. We looked in every room, every closet and under the beds. No Bency! As I was starting to come unglued I happened to look in the attic playroom and lo and behold there was Bency fast asleep.

sleeping in the attic

sleeping in the attic

We have also had a few instances where Bency has sleepwalked downstairs while my husband and I are still awake watching television. Bency has walked into the living room, pulled down his pants and has come close to peeing on a chair. Thanks to my husband and I’s quick reaction times we have been able to escort him into the bathroom, wake him up enough that he is able to use the toilet. Bency has never had any recollection of any of these occurrences happening!

Now onto my story of what happened last week. My husband and I were in the living room watching television. The kids had been in bed for a few hours. All of a sudden we heard footsteps coming down the stairs that we assumed had to be Bency. Instead of the footsteps entering the living room they went the other direction in the house and we heard the basement door open. My husband and I each shot each other a quizzical glance and quickly got up and bounded to the basement door. When we looked downstairs we saw Bency standing at the bottom of the stairs looking around in a daze.

We asked him what he was doing and he answered with, “Oh nothing, just going to go to the bathroom.”

We responded with, “No, No Buddy. You’re in the basement. There’s no bathroom down there. Come back upstairs and we’ll help you into the bathroom.”

So Bency gingerly made his way back up the stairs and my husband helped him into the bathroom.

But what happened next will explain why if we hadn’t found him right away and ushered him into the bathroom would have caused me some serious cleaning and possibly mental toil.

Bency had explosive diarrhea.

In unrelated news. I finally finished my children’s book yesterday! I sent it off to be made up and it will be shipped to me soon. If everything looks good, I will be holding a giveaway on my blog’s 1 year anniversary July 6th! Here’s a sneak peak of the cover:

the cover of my book, What's in the Bucket?

the cover of my book, What’s in the Bucket?

 

Someday This Will Be a Law

Have you ever heard about some of the ridiculous laws that some states have?

Take for instance, in Alabama you may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time or play Dominoes on Sunday.

In Billings, Montana no person shall raise pet rats.

Do not try to put a coin in your ear in Hawaii because yes, you guessed it, it’s against the law!

I'm sure in some states it's against the law to play hopscotch in rain boots and no pants!

I’m sure in some states it’s against the law to play hopscotch in rain boots and no pants!

There are hundreds more equally strange laws in different cities and states across the country and I found myself thinking about them the other day when the kids and I were driving down the street.

As we were driving, my 5 year old son, Bency, asks, “Mom, is it against the law to drive backwards down the street?”

I immediately said, “Yes! Well, ummmm…..I think so. Well, I don’t know. If it isn’t a law, it should be.”

I tried looking up the answer to this burning question but have yet been able to draw a definite conclusion if this is in fact a law. However, you can bet your patootie that when Bency reaches driving age I will be constantly monitoring him because if anyone would try to drive backwards down the street, it would be Bency.

I'm sure Bency is trying to figure out how to put this car in reverse!

I’m sure Bency is trying to figure out how to put this car in reverse!

This also brings me to another burning question. How in the world do these strange laws get enacted?

I’m taking a wild stab in the dark here but if I had to guess based off the examples of weird laws I gave above; I would be willing to venture they all have a fed up mother behind them.

If I had the ability and drive to put a new law into place I certainly have a few in mind.

I have a feeling this might be against the law!

I have a feeling this might be against the law!

My most recent annoyance has been stickers. You know those big stickers that people hand out to kids at stores, doctor’s offices, fairs etc. The ones that are encouraged to be put on your child’s shirt as soon as they receive them. Yes, those little gifts of kindness that my children enjoy receiving are one of my biggest pet peeves.

Why you ask? How could a simple sticker be the bane of my existence? Well, the problem with these stickers is that we forget about them and the clothes go through the wash with these stickers still adhered. After we pull them out of the dryer the sticky substance is still there in a perfect rectangle with bits of the paper still remaining. I either have to deem these clothes as a lost cause or sit for hours trying to get it off. Just this past weekend I pulled out my favorite sweatshirt and there on the front was a sticky patch left over from one of the kids putting their sticker on me!

I’ve had enough of stickers and am ready to march down to City Hall and fight the fight. I want the production and doling out of all stickers to cease.

I want it to be a law!

Look closely at Bency's shirt...yep, it's one of those stickers!!

Look closely at Bency’s shirt…yep, it’s one of those stickers!!

 

Memories, Like the Corners of my Mind

Memories,

Like the corners of my mind

Misty water-colored memories….

It has been brought to my attention by my mom that my memories and some of the things that I recount here on my blog aren’t always factual when it comes to my childhood.

Remember when I said that my older sister gave me a home perm when I was a kid? Well, it was actually my mom that gave me the perm. My mom has finally figured out how to comment on WordPress so now if I get some facts wrong she will kindly set the record straight. Also, my aunt pointed out the other day that my Grandma didn’t eavesdrop too much on the party line. My dad may have exaggerated a bit that it was often.

The point that I’m trying to make is that everyone’s memory of a situation is different…especially when it comes to a kid’s memory.

Someday, I want my children to read this blog and see all the wonderful and not so wonderful memories of their life and their family’s history.

So today I am writing this post for my 5 year old son Bency.

When Bency was 3 years old he tackled his then 5 year old sister, Iris, on the recliner in the living room. She immediately began screaming, “Get off of me, you’re hurting me! Get him off of me…he’s hurting me!”

I was sitting on the couch adjacent to the scene and my husband was sitting at the computer desk next to them. After we both asked Bency to get off of his sister and he made no motion to discontinue his jumping on his sister, my husband reached over and pulled Bency off of her.

We heard a pop.

Both my husband and I looked at each other with wide eyes and then Bency let out a blood curdling scream.

Bency began holding his elbow and continued to scream at the top of his lungs. We instantly knew that something was seriously wrong so without a second thought we scooped him up and we all raced to the doctor’s office 5 minutes away.

Once inside the clinic, they immediately ushered us back to the examining room and the doctor came in within minutes as Bency laid in my lap still crying softly. He briefly felt Bency’s arm and elbow and then looked at me and said, “This will only take a second but hold him tight and expect a pop and a scream.” The doctor quickly pushed and turned and within seconds we heard the pop and Bency let out a yelp. Bency cried for a few more seconds and then we asked him if his arm still hurt. He thought about it for a moment and then answered, “no” and proceeded to hop off of my lap and start jumping around.

The doctor then explained that this is a common occurrence in children between the ages of 1-3 years old and is often called nursemaid’s elbow. It happens because the ligaments in that area haven’t fully developed at that age. You have to be extremely careful not to pull a child by their elbow. There is however no permanent damage done and it just pops back into place.

We breathed a sigh of relief and after spending a mere 15 minutes at the doctor’s office we left with a happy boy.

Over the last few years we have brought the story up occasionally because it was slightly horrific at the time. Also, Iris was 5 years old and remembers it quite vividly so she has told her brother that his elbow popped out of his socket. Bency, however , obviously doesn’t remember the situation at all.

The reason I believe this is because last summer Bency said, “Mom, do you remember the time my elbow popped out of my socket and blood started spewing all over? There was blood flying everywhere and my bones were poking out and you were trying to get my bones back into my body?”

I immediately sat Bency down and told him the whole story and assured him there was no blood involved and no bones were poking out of his body. I went over it a few times to make sure he fully understood. I was certain I had set the record straight.

A month ago at the dinner table Bency said, “Remember the time my elbow came out of my arm and all of my skin started melting off of me and all of my fingernails fell off? It was so terrible. The skin was literally just peeling off of me. And bones just started falling out of my body and blood was just dripping everywhere.”

I let out an exasperated sigh and once again found myself telling Bency the whole story all over again. Step by step. Every detail. I once again reiterated that there was no blood involved. No skin peeling or melting off. No bones protruding or falling out. Not one fingernail fell off.

So Bency, this one is for you. This is the real story. Please don’t tell people “your version”!!

Can you believe my bones were falling out and blood was everywhere and my skin was melting off??

Can you believe my bones were falling out and blood was everywhere and my skin was melting off??

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