Tuesday, January 29, 2008

So yesterday I turned three.

I have a double ear infection. Yes, double - both ears. Somehow yesterday I turned back the clock and turned into a child with really small eustachian tubes. Well, that's not what the doctor said, but it certainly how I felt as I walked out of the office. I had written it off as feeling crummy, and then explained it away as being "Mom Sick." My head isn't going to explode, and I have no fever, so there was no reason to suspect anything like an ear infection. I was leaning towards strep or allergies. But who knew that it was something completely different, something that would take a mere 32 year off of my life?

After my class last Wednesday, which I coughed and hacked through (I'm teaching so it was me talking for 1.5 hours), I swore that I'd call the doctor in the morning. I did just that, and of course he was on vacation. Well, I figured that if I'd waited for three weeks I could wait until he got back, so I told them that I didn't need a referral, and that I'd see if it got better over the weekend. I went about my business and on Tuesday I woke up hacking and coughing, not having slept through the night for the umpteenth time because I was up coughing. So, I called my doctor and was referred to the physician who was taking patients while my doctor was on vacation. She was very nice and explained that yes indeed, it was a double ear infection. She also said that if I waited another day or two it would turn into a RAGING ear infection and that I would have that fever and pain. Good thing I went in.

At some point in the near past I had a cold, and allergy attack, or some weird throat infection. That was the cause of my ear infection. My double ear infection. Yeah, I'm three. I asked about the whole only little kids get ear infection thing, and the doctor told me that obviously that wasn't the case as I had two right here in my ears. So, I'm off to antibiotic and Advil land and heavy doses of cough suppressant (also had a lingering cough and some problems in my throat that were exacerbated by the whole ear thing) and am on the road to wellville. Hopefully.

So the next time I have pain in my ears, throat or have a lingering cough, I'm not explaining it away or making excuses, I'm heading right off to the doctor. Yeah, not likely...

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Dreaded Driver's License

No, my kid is only 7, but he asked that terrible question that you never want to hear out of the mouth of your kid:

"Mommy, how many video games do you have to win before they give you your driver's license?"

Huh? Not quite the question I was expecting, but it sure did crack me up. So here I was explaining to my SEVEN year old how to go about getting one's license. Yes, you need to be sixteen. Yes, some kids learn to drive in school and some learn in the parking lot of the local high school football stadium. No, you have to keep your grown up handy or you aren't allowed to practice driving. No, you don't get a car just because you have a license - you have to purchase the car. No, being a good driver on a video game doesn't make you a good driver in real life...sigh...if only...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Finally Get It...

I never quite understood HOW parents could possibly over schedule their kids. I always though that they are the parents - they are in control and dictate their kids' schedule, right? WRONG. I finally get it. And we've finally run into it head on.

My oldest (Max) plays soccer. It's indoors right now, so it's just games on Saturdays. The little two take gymnastics once a week for an hour. So far so good - one hour a week for each kid. But a few days ago we went ice skating and Max asked for lessons (Ian and Sam weren't quite sure about the whole ice skating thing). O.K. We can do that in the summer when soccer is over. I asked and they do have lessons over the summer, so that's fine. Then we walked into the little boys' gymnastics and my world came crashing down. Max asked to have gymnastics along with his little brothers. You see, while I don't consider myself a sucker, that thought did run through my mind as I told him to ask at the desk if there were any openings. Max had gymnastics when he was younger and not only loved it, but it helped his coordination greatly. Besides, he's only got one other activity on his plate, right? (they were full for the next session, we were added to the wait list, and I'm sure this will come up again soon - very soon.)

No, this is two activities for each kiddo (but the gymnastics might not come up until the fall, so Max is really back down to one), which is still not a lot. But where does it stop? Oh wait - there's one more that I forgot. My oldest is also participating on an Odyssey of the Mind team, which meets once a week through March. They are preparing for a competition, so it might get a bit more complicated, but they are the younger set, so they have less prep than they will next year (if they decide to do this again). So, let's count again. Oldest has two, plus wants to add one, and little guys have one. Geez, the little guys are starting soccer soon, so they will have two also. Oh, and my oldest is taking another after school class stating soon, so that too will add to the mess.

So you see how easy it is to get sucked in to all of this? Here I was just minding my business, offering my kiddos some activities that I thought they'd enjoy, and suddenly we are teetering on that line of being over scheduled. How are you supposed to know how much is too much? And how do you choose between these great activities? I don't mind carting them around (but ask me again when the little two start kindergarten next year), but when do you call it quits on the registrations? I haven't figured that one out yet, but if I ever do I'll certainly let you know.

This whole mess is cross posted at DC Metro Moms.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Mom Sick"

Yes, Mom Sick, not mommy IS sick. You already know, if you read my last post, that I've been coughing and hacking for a while now. There's a big difference between being sick and being mommy sick. For folks in the drive/walk/bike/Metro to work world, when you get sick you take time off from work to heal and recover. (You see where this is going don't you and it's just the very beginning.) Then, you go back to work a day or week later all well rested and ready to go. Or, you get to where you can barely function and creep/crawl back into work hoping that your co-workers don't scowl but knowing that you have too much to do to stay home any longer (yes, I've been there too.) Well, moms have the same problem occasionally (the sick part, not the crawling back into work because of the piles). You see, moms don't ever get a day off - we just don't have sick leave. Fortunately, we get Mom Sick as opposed to sick, most of the time we come down with ailments. There are, of course, different levels of Mom Sick:

Level 1: You drag around, still accomplishing most of what you need to get done, but take long breaks sitting on the chair/bench/couch/driver's seat. You still are able to drive. You get random looks of disgust when you cough/sputter/drag around, but also sympathetic looks. Your parenting shifts towards letting things slip, but you are still feeling O.K. enough not to let that happen. Very little extra cleaning involved.

Level 2: You are running about 50%, still able to drive, but drop the kids off instead of walking them in. You shy away from human contact as you might infect/repulse/completely offend others. The kids come and ask you (while you are sitting on the couch/bed) to open their juice/hand them some milk/make their PB & J, and you give them just one chance to get you into the kitchen and no more. That second trip could have bad consequences. Some minor clean up (towels, clothing, floors) might be necessary, but at this stage you can generally get to the bathroom in time. (Sorry - too descriptive but necessary.)

Level 3: You stay in bed and sleep all day, yelling at the kids occasionally when they get too loud/close to you, but try to avoid any and all contact with them or anyone else. They end up watching TV/playing video games all day and have to scrounge for food themselves, but you do none of this for yourself. There's no way that you can drive so if your significant other isn't around, the kiddos have a sick day too. Massive clean up is necessary, but since you are the cause and you can't seem to drag yourself out of bed, it waits until tomorrow.

"Mommy Sick" kicks in at Level 2 and continues up through Level 3. For most folks who work outside the home (and some who work at home with help) and have kiddos, they can take those lovely sick days. (I am well aware that not everyone can take/has sick days, so this covers them as well.) Mommies, however, don't get those days off any way you look at it. Fortunately, I am able to parent from my bed, the couch, the floor of the bathroom (Ugh, again, sorry!) or anywhere I find myself when sick. My kids are all old enough to feed themselves (mostly) and my loving hubby has always been around to at least drop kiddos off at school and pick them up and dash back to work. The few times that I've hit Level 3 he's done that part for me, and I've been able to parent/ sleep off the rest in the comfort of my own bed. Sad to say, but while moms don't GET the sick leave, we do what we need, and run with the whole Mom Sick part for days, weeks, or sometimes months. Fortunately when we had those precious little bundles of joy they made us all take a training course in how to be mommy sick, and told us that it's really O.K. if your kiddo eats chips for breakfast, watches five hours of TV, plays video games for six hours, eats who knows what for lunch, and does who knows what to their playroom. Yeah, right.

But the best part, no matter whether you get sick leave and take it, have to use your Mommy Sick leave, or whatever way you manage to handle your illness, your kiddos will be fine. One or two days off the kiddo track will not destroy their little brains. While we joke that their brains have leaked out of their heads, this rarely occurs. Many a kiddo has managed to survive a day with mommy or daddy laid out on the couch and lived to tell about it. So Mom Sick is more of a mindset and while seemingly a bummer for us mommies, is not so terrible for the kiddos.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not really neglecting you...

Well, I am sort of. I guess not posting counts as neglect to some. I can blame the weather - it's really cold out - not Texas cold but Virginia cold. I've got this terrible cough that wakes me up in the middle of the night. The boys had a three day weekend and they kept me very busy. Tom's been working a lot the past few days getting ready for a big meeting tomorrow. Yeah, excuses, I know.

But really, I'm a bit over scheduled this particular week. I think if I wasn't feeling so crappy that I'd get more sleep and be able to balance more, but the blog happened to be the low man / woman / thing on the totem pole, so apologies. After Tom clears Tuesday night, and after I finish up two more projects for hire that I have to do, we're sitting on easy street. Actually, it will give me time to rest and recover my body. BUT WAIT! I have a class to teach on Wednesday night...so it's gonna start all over again...isn't it?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Slave Labor?

Nah, not with these giggles! Sam is the MASTER of clearing snow off the walk from the driveway to the front door. He did the whole thing with a huge smile on his face. Can't WAIT until they start wanting to mow the lawn, take out the trash, you get the drift...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Really, Mom

In the car today:

Sam: Mommy, who really brings us presents?
Mommy: Huh?

Sam: At Christmas, who brings us presents?
Mommy: Who do you think?

Sam: Santa?
Mommy: Yes.

Sam: But he's just the guy that dresses up in the suit.

Small pause in conversation as I gather my thoughts.

Sam (Pointing out the window): Hey - What's that?
Mommy: (Under her breath) Whew....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Smurfday Smurfs!

Yes, you read that correctly. The Smurfs, much to my surprise (and yours I'm sure), are turning 50 this year. Yes, 50. They were created way back in 1958 in Belgium. I'm sure that the man who created them in the first place had no idea that they would be so huge (for such little critters). He died in the early 90's, so he surely had seen the huge success of the TV show here in the US. So, take a minute and rack your brain - who was your favorite Smurf?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Cookie Time!

Several days ago I read a message on our Mom's Club list serve that it was cookie time and one of their daughters was selling Girl Scout cookies and she'd love to fill my pantry with cookies. Then I got a message on our school's list serve that the school based troop was ready to take my cookie order. Then, a friend mentioned that her daughter was selling them and if I needed any she'd be glad to take my order. Do-si-dos, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs could be on my shelf in a matter of weeks if I placed an order now. Huh.

Whatever happened to girls knocking on your door with a wagon in tow and selling cookies that way? That's how I remembered doing it, and that's how we bought cookies when we lived in Texas. Seems that the DC area is more plugged in. But are we cutting the girls out of the equation here? Aren't they the ones that are supposed to sell those cookies? At least in the past few years (due to safety concerns I'm sure) local troops set up booths at Walmart, Walgreens, the grocery store, etc. Did those cookie booths disappear too?

O.K. Aside from that, should we really be eating these cookies? With names like All Abouts, Lemon Chalet Cremes, Trefoils, and Samoas, are these really good for us? Of course not. Not only are they not good for us, they are laced with something that makes them irresistible, and highly addictive. We have all, at one time or another fallen prey to the wily Girl Scout and purchased a box (or three) of our favorite. They must train all year long learning how best to get these cookies into our hands. Now the Girl Scouts have stepped up their game - not only are the cookies to die for, but they've roped their moms and dads into delivering these delectable treats. Man, oh, man. We are not going to win this one...and I'm popping a note off right now to my local troop to hunt up a few boxes ...for the kids. Yes, I said the kids.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm not THAT disorganized

Seeing this makes me feel soooooo much better. I'm not disorganized, we just have that "lived in" feel here in our house - mainly because we live in it...oh, and there are those boys...

Go peek there and you'll feel better too. (And only a little creeped out.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So far behind the curve

I had something reaffirmed two days ago that I'm not very proud of. I'm waaaaaay behind the tech curve - I didn't know what Twitter was. But now I do...and I'm still not sure that anyone else on the planet would be interested that I'm doing laundry, taking a nap, peeing, scratching, you get the drift. My life is not Twitter worthy.

Not quite sure what Twitter is? Well, they say: Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? I say: Huh?

Honestly though, who on earth wants to peek in on the life of a SAHM that naps a bunch of the day, desperately clings to her sanity, washes clothes (and dishes and kids) and occasionally wanders aimlessly during the course of a day (yup, all in the same day!)? I get that some folks who are more plugged in than I might want others to know what they or others are doing, or maybe marketing folks (like the nice guy I met the other night), but me? Nah...I twitter for no one...and I'm still behind the curve...so I'll stick to blogging...

At least these folks get it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Some things never change

Sam and Tom 2004 Sam and Tom 2007
(Yes, Sam tucked himself under Tom's shirt - that's what an extra three and a half years of wisdom gets you - a more comfy spot.)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Taking environmentalism one step too far...

Seen on a street near the Mall in DC:

At least they fed the meter...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Cat Food

We have a (that means one, singular) cat who is a whopping 12 lbs and eats 1/2 cup of food twice per day. He has this great thing called a bowl that I (or Tom) dump his food into, and he generally polishes it all off in between meals. He's not a fat cat or a skinny cat, he's a jsut right cat. And there's only ONE of him.
So you can imagine my surprise when I went to feed him and found this:
If you look closely from this angle you'll see that there is a MOUNTAIN of food in his dish.

I'm sure that Bunsen didn't mind - he's the kind that rolls with the punches that way. But we did talk to the kids about this - not going into how expensive the food is or how when you change the mix of his food at all (or feed him too much) he barfs his dinner up...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Football Funny

Turn your sound on for this funny one - you only wish they'd correct their bad calls this way!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Color Studies

It isn't really a study, but more of an awakening to my surroundings. I figure that since I scrapbook and create art, I might as well be more aware of what is all around me. I think that there's a lot more here than I realize (Look, I barely avoided saying "There's More Than Meets The Eye" - you just HAVE to see the Transformers movie if you were a child of the 80's and haven't seen it yet).

I digress. Not a big surprise.

Each week I'll pick a color and take a few photos from the color family. It's my way of taking a closer look at my surroundings. Some of the early picture I expect will be of things that some of you may even have seen. But as I go along I hope to gain an awareness of my living and working and playing spaces - more so than what I have now. I'm sure you will also see pictures of me and the family - they wear colors and are a unique pinkish / peachish color as well (who knows what that week will be.

So, here's the first of my year long Color Studies! I have to start with blue - it's all around me and is more of a photography challenge than a color challenge this time. I'll float through this color again later, but for now, here goes:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Family that Mustaches Together...

Yes, I know that mustache isn't a verb, but take a peek and you'll see that I'm correct - The family that mustaches together...

And who knew that the little men could pull them off so well?

This one was making a run for it:

And last but not least:

Thanks Aunt Gail and Uncle Lewis for a FANTASTIC Hanukkah gift!

IT'S 2008!

Can't believe it, but it's true! I slept right through the New Year. Actually, as now, I was awake quite late last night then slept in this morning. Wait, it's already Jan. 2, so technically it was two days ago, but since I haven't slept yet...well...you get the picture!

I hope that 2008 find you in good spirits (not hung over from them), surrounded by friends and family, and full of excitement over what the next year will bring. I'm turning 36 this year, going to run a 5K at some point, and the little guys will start school full time (pres-school only kind of counts). So, it's looking like a banner year for us! Hope yours is looking like a grand adventure too!