I walk the line


the scoop on poop...literally

We arrived home from the Magic Kingdom with some not so magic diarrhea. This was new for everyone because Audrey has always been a one-poop-per-day girl and suffered from constipation. Doing the deed for her required concentration, silence and sweat. She would turn red as a tomato. 

So this explosive diarrhea coming 4-6 times per day after meals and in the middle of the night was a whole new ball game for her and us. Since we started solid foods not too much before this, we were not worried. We were just tired. We never had the baby that had to be changed mid-road trip to the grocery store, had a diaper you needed to burn because it stunk up the whole house or had to change her outfit three times per day because she pooped up the back.

The poop went on and went on and was annoying everyone. Not to mention it gave Audrey quite the nasty rash on her behind. Finally time to break out all that baby shower butt paste I received by the case. After one week, I caved and called the doctor and of course they wanted to see her.

We get to the doctor and wait more than an hour. During that hour, she pounded a bottle and less than a minute after finishing- she cleared the room with one of the most colorful piles of poop I have ever seen. Smart me thought: Hmm the doctor might want to see this. But, I went to the bathroom and dumped the diaper in the garbage. 

After the appointment the doctor concluded he wanted to do stool samples because he had no clue. Go figure. Being that we were all going out of town for the long holiday weekend the next day, I wanted to get these samples done. We checked out of the doctors office and they sent me downstairs to the lab. But before heading downstairs, I did it -- I went and grabbed that stinky diaper from the bathroom. 

Don't freak out people! It was a bathroom that was rarely used and I could tell nothing had touched the diaper since my drop. So I stole the diaper back, got some looks when I came out and rushed downstairs leaving a trail of stink behind me. 

If you have never done stool samples, you are not missing anything. The nurse gave me three tubes to fill up and a scoop. The scoop looked like a spork but Barbie size. They told me I could use the half-hour old diaper if I had enough poop. 

I had already been in the doctors office for two hours, Audrey was getting cranky and so was I. Moreover, here I am in the bathroom with a crying baby sitting on the changing table and me with her nasty diaper unfolded. The instructions are sprawled out on the bathroom floor, Audrey is grabbing the tubes and putting them in her mouth and I am standing with the pooper scooper ready to dive in. 

The first tube was easy. I took a few scoops and they slid right into the open tube. Now for the second tube- I was going to have to do some scraping. It was sticking to the diaper, then to the scooper and then to my finger. But I got it close enough to the desired line and called it good. 

I was sweating by the third tube fill up. I had to get all the poop! I was stretching the diaper open and scraping it out from the sides. Scraping and scraping, poop was flinging all over me. I had it on my clothes, my face and in my finger nails. Audrey remained yelling and I don't blame her.

I finally said, "good enough!" I grabbed the tubes and baby and headed out the door. The bathroom I was using was in the urgency care section so I had quite the attention and stares when I stepped out of the bathroom.

I approached the first nurse I saw and said "can you take my poop?" With a crying baby, she took the poop and said "I'll be right back." I got us all ready to go and the nurse came back. She handed me ANOTHER POOP TEST! She said, "Well since it was a baby and diarrhea, this spot test will work better." 

Fabulous. I went home three hours later with poop still all over me and a new stick and smear sheet. The weekend she spent at grandmas and every conversation was about her poop: "What color?" "How many poops?" "Was it watery?" All conversations with my friends- revolved around poop: "Did your daughter do that?" "How often does your kid poop?" "What butt paste do you use?" I am obsessed with her poop.

I love being a mom. 

PS: The tests all came back negative and the poop has calmed down. 


dear new mom: part II

Dear New(er) Mom:

It is OK that you let her binkies fall on the floor and then pick it up, wipe it off and give it back to her.

It is OK that you don't know everything about being a mom such as when to start solids, what foods to give them, what sleep should be like, what their poop should look like, etc... 

It is OK that you don't go along with what the books say to do. 

It is OK that you think your baby is the most beautiful baby in the world (and you secretly compare with other babies all the time). 

It is OK that you film everything and that the videos are five to ten minutes long.

It is OK when you clip her nails too short or are not there to catch her fall. She will forgive you so you need to forgive yourself. 

It is OK that the older your baby gets the more stuff takes up her bedroom, the living room and the kitchen.

It is OK that you tear up every time she outgrows something. 

It is OK that you call the doctor at least once a week. 
It is OK that you do the most ridiculous things to make her laugh. 

It is OK that you do things that are shamed on like giving her a bottle in bed, letting her lay with you in bed or plugging her with a paci during public spouts. 

It is OK that you call to check in on her every half hour when you leave her with a babysitter. 

You're a great mom. Cheers to you!


a logger for a husband

My prince charming is a little rough around the edges. Here are the ways which make being married to a logger an entirely different world. 

1. Days start as early as 3 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
2. His hands aren't smooth and soft, but rough with calluses (I try to lotion them but he expresses that they are "man hands" and he does not want "girl hands")
3. There is permanent dirt stuck under his fingernails
4. His horse and carriage is a dirty, big pickup truck
5. There is an endless supply of chopped wood in the backyard 
6. When we get together with other logger friends, the conversations revolve around rock, saws, yarders, Cats, chokers, riggin', loaders and a whole bunch of other terms I don't understand
7. Dressing up is a pair of dark jeans and a clean t-shirt 
8. You really don't know how many types and species of trees there are until you marry a logger
9. Forget watching all my favorite television shows-bedtime is normally between 8-9 p.m.
His outfit: $20  My outfit: $250  Our love: priceless

10. They are incredibly hard workers and don't get paid nearly enough
11. He has bumps, bruises and cuts all over without knowing how they got there 
12. They refuse to go to the doctor 
13. He also refuses to buy Carhartt's because he says they are too "trendy" (only in a loggers world)
14. The closet consists of hickory shirts, torn jeans and camouflage (there is a about 5 white t-shirts and some Levi's for "dress up occasions")
15. They usually carry a gun...and a fishing pole
16. He has a subscription to "Loggers World" 

17. He knows about every other person in town
18. They have their own language which consists of a lot of poor grammar
19. They live to be in the woods and can't stand offices, traffic, stores and everything else that has more people than you can count 
20. They laugh about global warming and are not the best of friends with environmentalists (My sister...the environmentalist...causes for some wonderful family dinners)


we've got a bleeder!

It finally happened. Audrey got her first serious boo boo and I am at fault. Tears from both Audrey and I have been flowing all day and giving my husband gray hair. 

I have always been impressed with how well Audrey behaved when I clipped her nails. Today, just as I was thinking that, I pinched her little clippers down and the nail tore off a bit of skin. I looked down and saw a small amount of blood, immediately put her finger in my mouth and tried hard not to overreact. I pulled the finger out and it was fine. She looked at me like, "Don't do that again, Mom." 

She was over getting her nails clipped but I had just one last nail. I set forth the clippers to a huge outgrown thumb nail and clipped. Wails began and I started trembling thinking, "No way. I cut another one."

I saw the blood and grabbed a towel. While putting pressure on it, I rocked her around the room, trying hard to comfort her but at the same time, still not trying to overreact. I hadn't really seen the damage since the amount of blood outdid her tiny thumb. Honestly, I didn't want to see the damage so I kept the towel on it. 

What was probably only a minute and seemed like an hour of stomach-wrenching sobs, I looked down at the towel wrapped around her hand and saw a lot of blood. Too much I thought for a little skin clipping. Now the panic started to boil. I rushed into the living room with her and put her on the couch. The minute I sat her on the couch, I had no idea she could cry louder and she did. To the diaper bag I went, throwing things and looking for a baby Band-Aid. I then ran to the bathroom hitting it like a storm. I grabbed a Band-Aid and ran back to Audrey. 

She had lost the towel and now blood was all over her face, shirt, hair and seat. She continued to wail. Tears now started flowing out of me as I wrapped it with a towel again and then quickly put on the Band-Aid. I picked her up and started to rock her when I noticed the Band-Aid I had just put on was turning red. In seconds, blood was leaking through. 

Now as we both balled, I went back to the bathroom with her and searched for more Band-Aids. I covered her thumb with another and we went back to the couch. That Band-Aid was now filling up. My sweatshirt had blood all over it. I reached for the phone and dialed my husband. 

He could only hear the sobbing, "I...hu hu hu...cut...hu hu hu...her...hu hu hu....thumb...hu hu hu...blood...hu hu hu." He told me to calm down and he would be right home. Thankfully, he was not hours away in the woods. Right when I started to feel better about Dad coming to the rescue, Audrey stuck her thumb in her mouth. I immediately grabbed her hand only for her to have sucked the Band-Aid right off. I was screaming just knowing she was now going to choke on the Band-Aid. However, I reached into her mouth and got it just in the nick of time. 

Audrey started to calm down but I was a wreck. Chris arrived and Audrey looked relieved to see him. He took her out of my hands and into the bathroom where he removed the towel and revealed the chunk of thumb now missing. "Well no wonder there was so much blood, you cut off the top of her thumb," he said. I was now crying harder and wanting to throw myself off a building (or something tall since there are not too many tall buildings here in Roseburg). 

He took care of Audrey and she got better by the minute. I got worse. He tried to calm me down and Audrey could see how upset I was. She reached for me and gave me some love. It is amazing how fast a six-month-old can forgive.

Chris headed back to work with his girls in a little better of spirits. After awhile, the thumb was dried up and everyone was feeling better. We then went to run an errand. Upon arrival, I went to get her out of the backseat and checked on her thumb. It was better. 

I then pulled her softly out of the car seat. By the time she reached my lap, I saw blood on her white coat. I rolled up the sleeve and a huge drip of blood swam from her thumb to my leg. I wrapped a baby wipe around it and that soon was soaking up. Throwing used wipe after used wipe up in the air of the car, I then went for the changing pad. I wrapped that around it and then noticed some lady near by staring at me, probably thinking she should call the cops. I started to cry again.

Audrey wasn't crying or jerking her thumb away, so I got a good hold on it with the cloth. After about five minutes, it had stopped bleeding. I picked her up and we headed inside the store. I looked down and noticed blood all over my fingers and the blood on her white coat showing. For sure everyone was going to think I was some abuser or something. 

I washed my hand and rolled her coat the other way to hide the blood. Of course, some woman approached us commenting on how cute Audrey was. I watched in slow motion as she moved her tickling fingers toward Audrey's bummed hand that was burrowing inside the coat sleeve. I jerked Audrey away and then the woman noticed blood. Trying not to cry, I quickly told her that "we had a bit of a thumb accident." I turned around and bolted back to the car. 

When we got home, Audrey went to sleep and I Tide Bleached all the blood stained clothes. I then just sat in the dark and thought about what a horrible day...what a horrible mother... I wondered if she would remember and hated that I would remember. I wondered what other even worse stuff would happen in her growing life, and how I would have to go through that or be the cause of it. I thought about my mom and all the trips to urgency care she did. I then wondered how many of those trips I will do. I thought about how Audrey would never have that little piece of thumb back and how I took it away. I then thought about how crazy this motherhood stuff is and that with every good part, there are bad parts too. Now off to bed with a stomach ache and tired eyes. Tomorrow I will be picking up mass amounts of baby Band-Aids.

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