Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Scent of a Baby...

Being a grandma has been BTE+
That is a rating system my husband's work used years ago to rate how employees were performing.
Here it is in a nutshell;
LTE - Less than expected
E - Expected
BTE - Better than expected....
And then the plus sign and minus signs gave an even more accurate descriptive power.
The lowest being LTE- and the highest BTE+
As I stated earlier.....Katelyn + grand mothering = BTE+
(There might even have to be a new category: BTE++)
Some of the things I already knew I would enjoy.
Her soft skin, her first smiles, her little sleeping positions, her laughter.
I expected those.
I forgot though the smell.
Babies smell better than anything.
Even better than "new car" smell or "clean house"
Particularly after a bath. This is Katelyn's very first bad just hours after her birth.
She loved it.

I think that the scent should be bottled....
That's right folks baby cologne.
Now you too can have that baby magic scent in your world without even having a baby.
Now I've seen everything.
Showed it twice on purpose.
It is one of my favorite pictures EVER!
Now go and freshen up with some cologne.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Public Service Announcement Numero Dos

I have warned you about swallowing watch batteries.
I have warned you about healthy eating.
Now comes another very important warning.
Jalapenos are hot!
And even more importantly they should not be used as a lip balm or lip stick.
Please people don't just shrug this off and say. "Duh Shelley"
Let me be the voice of warning.
A couple of weeks ago I was preparing my colorful black bean salsa for my family.
Yes, as part of my "healthy lifestyle" changes. (ironical voice)
I usually put in:
Black beans
Green Onions
Sea Salt
Lime Juice
and that is it. I am not a fan of spicy foods.
Here is my policy:
Eating and Pain should not be combined.
It is a fairly simple rule that has served me well in my life as well as protected my taste buds from destruction. My husband Todd has no taste buds left since he thinks the hotter the better.
(Which all in all is good for a wife since he always thinks my cooking is sooooo good)
He has passed down his love of spicy foods to our children.
Particularly the love of the Jalapeno.
One of his favorite treats is Jalapeno Kettle Chips. Every time he would treat himself to a bag the kids would clamor around him. He loved watching their little faces the first time they would try one. But since they were young and didn't know any better....they liked them.
I on the other hand do NOT....not only do I not like the spiciness, I do NOT like the flavor or the smell.
A bag of Jalapeno chips pretty much assured Todd of no close contact with me for awhile.
Well I guess last week I was trying to show off a little.
I wanted Todd and Megan and Dave to be a part of my "healthy lifestyle" changes too.
(Once again not out of love but out of a perverse need for others to be as miserable as I)
So I said, Get some jalapenos and we will put them in the salsa.
I mean I am a tough girl. I could handle it.
And I was not about to eat healthy by myself.
I was careful to cut them and take out the seeds and the spines which I know are the hottest part.
The millions of hours of Food Network had taught me something.
But I eschewed their advice on rubber gloves.
Really people!
It's not brain surgery.
I diced the first pepper into bits and wondered how many jalapenos I should include.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the jalapeno.....some are mild and some are CALIENTE and the only way to know is to taste.
I asked Megan who loves spice to try one and tell me how hot they were.
"No way" she smartly said.
Well once again I am a tough girl and so to show just how tough I was I said,
"Fine then! I will"
Those fateful words were the last I uttered pain free that night.
As soon as the tiny piece hit my tongue I knew what a mistake I had made.
Can you say MUY CALIENTE!!!!!!
I quickly took it out of my mouth and ran to the sink where I went gasping for water.
I wasn't thinking straight since I know you are suppose to drink milk or eat a cracker but pain has a way of altering your knowledge.
I gulped water straight out of my hands like a dying man.
And then I swiped them across my lips......
The pain on my tongue was child's play compared to the burning of my lips and the skin that surrounded them. For as any true Texan cook knows...the oil of the Jalapeno on your hands is far worse than the taste in your mouth.
Now here is where my words fail me.
I cannot describe the pain to you other than to say....
You know when you  touch something in the oven and it burns?
Think about just keeping your finger there while it is searing and not drawing back.
I took the lid off of my Route 44 and stuck my whole face in it. That was the only relief I could find.
I was pretending that it didn't hurt that much.
(You know...tough girl)
But I guess my whole face stuck in a Diet Coke was a dead give away.
Megan and Dave started telling me remedies that they knew.
"Eat bread"
"Drink milk"
I did.
I went from item to item trying to stave off the pain.
Dave, ever the helpful action hero, looked on the internet and said....Rub a dairy product on the burn.
I grabbed the first thing I saw.
Cottage cheese....I smeared it on my lips and around them. I looked like a white version of Bette Davis in "Whatever happened to Baby Jane"
Then I tried Greek Yogurt. Smearing it everywhere the skin was searing hot.
I now approached a look of a reverse made up clown.
"Try Apple Cider Vinegar"
I did.
The memory of the stinging will always haunt me.
Dave reads a site on the internet that says that sometimes people end up in the ER and have blistering and pain for days.
He looks at me with yogurt  cheese and vinegar spread all over my mouth and says, "I think we should go to the ER."
Ummmmm....pain or vanity?
Tough choice.
This is too humiliating to go to the ER I tell him. So he took matters into his own hands and went to Walgreens where he bought what the pharmacist said would work.
I applied it over the layers of home remedies and finally began to feel relief.
Ah blessed numbness.

The upside of all of this?
Angelina Jolie lips for about 6 hours.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Public Service Announcement.

Look how bright and colorful.
You know that you eat with your eyes before it ever hits your palate.
This is a meal to delight all of the senses.
Well except for one that is.
It smells good.
It looks good.
It sounds good. (crunch crunch)
It even feels good.
So hmmmm I wonder what sense I have left out?
This on the other hand is NOT very colorful.
It is mostly browns and beige.
It does not feel good to your hand. It is very sticky.
The smell is not as strong.
It does not make a snapping sound in your mouth.
It really only appeals to one of the senses......
This message has been brought to you by someone very grouchy and bitter about her "healthy lifestyle" changes.
She would like you to join her.
Not because she is worried about your health.
But because misery LOVES company.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Extra Energy for Kate

Life is dangerous.
There is always something you can worry about, try to avoid or try to prepare for.
My Megan is a Class A Number 1 worrier.
(I have NO idea where she gets it from)
I tell her all the time that usually the things we worry about most never happen.....
And the things we hadn't even thought of...well do happen.
Megan has been worried about Katelyn choking since.....
Well since her first breath I guess.
Every time Kate clears her throat I see Megan spring in to the Heimlich Maneuver position.
When Kate started eating food Megan cut everything up into minute pieces.
Which was fine until Kate decided that she wanted to feed herself.
The pieces were so tiny that she would have needed a microscope.
And that's a mean thing to do to a little person who is just figuring out how to use her thumb and forefinger.
I did not share that same fear.
I was a battle hardened mother of three.
One of my children who shall remain nameless, would stuff HIS mouth so full that it would set off his gag reflexes immediately and there would be sounds coming from his mouth that no mother should have to hear.
HE could eat a banana in three bites.
Our pediatrician said that I should cut everything up into tiny pieces so that he would not choke.
I did.
HE just waited until my back was turned and then HE would just scoop them all up into a pile and shove them into HIS mouth.
I would know this because of the awful gagging noises.
I hate to say this but I got use to the sound.
So much so that when we would go out to eat, I would forget that it was unusual and would always be surprised at the terrified look on the other patrons faces. I would just give them a wave so that they knew everything was okay and to go back to eating their normal sized pieces of food.
(By the way HE who shall remain nameless still eats like that minus the noise)
So Kate's little coughs never scared me one bit.

Last Sunday I was sitting on the floor during Relief Society (women's organization) meeting at church.
Kate is so wiggly that it is just easier to join her on the floor than try to hold her on my lap.
She likes to sit close, which of course is no problem for this Grandma.
She was sitting against me with her back to me playing with toys from my purse.
Her mother was sitting facing her on the piano bench listening to the teacher.
I was concentrating on trying to name every sister in the room.
I game I like to play which I picked up as RSP.
I was stuck on one sister in particular.
I knew her but I could NOT remember her name!
I hate when that happens and so I concentrated even harder trying to block out all distractions.
All of a sudden I felt a rush of adrenaline and panic.
"Check Katelyn's mouth"
The message was quick and clear.
I stuck my finger in and swept over her slippery little tongue and pulled out....
A watch battery
For a second I just stared down at it, for sure that my eyes were playing tricks on me.
I thought, of all the things she could have swallowed that would not have alarmed me...
A penny,
old food,
A bug,
anything but a battery.
Where did it come from. This is not somebody's house but Church for Pete's sake. I scanned the floor and saw a second little shiny button battery.
I looked in the garbage can next to us and saw a broken key chain that had a little light where the batteries had come from.
How many batteries were in it to begin with I wondered?
I signaled for Megan to follow me out in the hallway, not wanting to alarm her but not feeling confident that there were only two.
I looked up what to do on my phone while she fiddled with the case to see if it looked like there was only two batteries to begin with.
On Google I punched in...
"baby swallows watch battery"
Thousands of articles came up, but the one that caught my eye first was
"Toddler dies from swallowing watch battery"
No I am not ready that one OR showing it to Megan.
I find the poison control centers advice.
Watch batteries are particularly dangerous because they do not have much protective coating on them to keep the battery acid from leaching. If it is able to pass through to the stomach then usually there is no harm, but if it gets stuck in the esophagus it can be fatal. The child should immediately be x-rayed.
Both of us studied the broken key light.
Were there two batteries or three?
After calling the pediatrician, her mother and father decided that it was not a question that we could leave up to chance.
So I watched as their little family loaded up their car for their first trip to the emergency room with a child.
I hope that it is their last....
Something tells me that with life...we never know.

P.S. Xrays showed no battery. Whew! Katelyn was perfectly fine.
P.S.S. When her Dad was waiting in the ER he told a joke that no one laughed at. I did though when they came home.
He was asked if she had any other symptoms from swallowing the battery and he said,
"No just a little extra energy"
Ba ha ha ha ha ha.
You crack me up Dave!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Crocheting Grandma...Sexy?....I think so.

I started to feel the gravitational pull towards crocheting about 5 months before this little ball of yarn entered into my life.
It started out innocently enough with a pretty ball of yarn that was on sale.
I rationalized it's purchase because I could use it to make photography props for my new career.
My beautiful friend Jenelle made all sorts of baby caps, cocoons and diaper covers. Each one was so well done and I was jealous of her ability. Until I remembered that I too knew how to crochet.
Well that is a little bit of an overstatement.
I had made hanger covers and dish cloths.
Worried that crocheting might mark me as an "old person" or even worse..."a granny", I comforted myself by rationalizing that Jenelle was one of the hippest, coolest and youngest friend I had.
That's right I thought...... crocheting is COOL!
This isn't your grandma's sport anymore....
So I embarked on the adventure of hipster crocheting, learning how to read patterns and buying trendy colors of yarn.
I even made a kitty hat for my sweet niece Miss Lisa who is ALWAYS on the cutting edge of what's hot and  edgy.
I acquired yarn by the skeinfuls not even knowing what the next project would be...only knowing that the soft ombre colors made me happy.....and cool.
Until I caught a reflection of myself one day in the mirror.
Messy  graying ponytail, old sweatshirt,  squinting through my reading glasses.....
 and I knew that I was definitely not on the cool train to Edgyville.
Darn it!
I AM a grandma!
I still haven't lost hope though. I found these pictures as I was meandering down my local Hobby Lobby's yarn aisle.

 These women obviously know how to keep that sexy edge while crocheting.
So I know there is hope.
I plan on having my hair and make-up done and I am practicing my sexy smile.
I will learn how to crochet will I smize.
So with that in mind I have picked out a few new projects to up my crocheting street cred.

and then on to sewing.
I am thinking this outfit would really give me the cool factor for any jobs I might book.
In short.
Watch out world.
I may be a grandma but,
I still got it!