Saturday, September 29, 2007

Up All Night?

So I fear that this will be where I spend my night. This morning I woke up and that annoying cough that been bothering me for a month, took an ugly turn for the worse. I am never sick this long and that is the most annoying part. So I call my doctor and she calls in a prescription for an antibiotic and an inhaler. Don't think I need the inhaler, but I got it just in case.

So I dutifully follow the instructions and take two of the antibiotics around dinner time. I am wiped out, and eagerly looking forward to a date with my pillow. Except, even with having taken my nightly Melatonin, I can't fall asleep. I have been laying in bed for nearly 4 hours and cannot fall asleep. I love my sleep, I want my sleep, I need my sleep!

So what do I do? Get up, look up side effects, nothing about insomnia. Turn on the computer, look up drug. Nothing. Type in drug name and insomnia, ah find that it happens in less than 1% of users. Lucky me. Let's watch while I do the happy dance (please note the sarcasm).

And just when I was going to leave the negativity behind. So here is my cup is half full thought. Tomorrow night when I take only one pill, I will be able to sleep. In the meantime, I am wide awake. Maybe I will grade papers. The stack has gotten quite tall. Maybe I will take tomorrows pill at lunch time instead. And then hope.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Four Things

So I am opting to do this MeMe, because it requires less thoughts or wittiness than a regular topic and because I am hoping to reverse the negativity that has infused my blog of late.

Four Job's I've Had in My Life
1. Antiques Sales (I was 14, so I still know next to nothing about antiques, but it was fun.)
2. Photographer - Weddings (too stressful), Portraits (still do occasionally), Sports (Little League, Soccer, etc. those team and individual photos that we parents buy to document how we spent our Saturdays.)
3. Gopher aka Office Assistant (But 90% of the things I did started Go for...)
4. Teacher - Kindergarten through Corporate (although they call teachers trainers)

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over Again
I don't really watch movies.

Four TV Shows I Like to Watch
1. Living with Ed
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Moving Up
4. Anything on HGTV

Four Places I've Been on Vacation
1. San Juan Islands
2. San Francisco
3. Oregon Coast
4. Amish Pennsylvania & NYC in the same trip (talk about culture shock)

Four Favorite Foods
1. BBQ Chicken Spaghetti
2. Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
3. Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffle Balls
4. Margarita Flank Steak
That was hard, I'm not a foodie.

Four Places I Would Rather Be
1. Oregon Coast
2. Warm tropical beach
3. Any place with a beach (I need the soothing sound of the ocean.)
4. See above

Four Things I Want
1. A healthy house (we are all sick)
2. A happy house (sick people are grouchy people)
3. A clean house (sick people who remodel tend to have other things to worry about)
4. Dinner from my favorite pasta place (we moved, it didn't, so now it requires planning)

So I changed the MeMe a bit, but its my blog and I'll do what I want. :)

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Three Strikes

So we fired the third contractor. I believe that we have officially struck out. This guy, while lacking the creepy factor that so many contractors have was also lacking any ability to think. I had to explain things to him the way I explain things to my kids, who are young. I had to draw pictures. He had no idea what he was doing. His business cards said he had 20+ years experience! I forgot to ask in what.

I know I sound horrible, but this whole thing has been a comedy of errors. And I don't think you should charge $48 an hour and not be able to cut a straight line. That comes right after how to pound in a nail in construction school.

We refuse to buy more treads from our supplier (they laughed after the first restocking, they'll be falling to the floor this time). So I am researching where to buy more treads because this guy managed to ruin every last one.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Little Consumer

Tonight I realized that I am raising a good little consumer. One of his homework assignments is to go around and identify things he can read. AKA brands. So we went through the food ads and I realized all the junkish food that I feed him. Of course carrots don't have labels, so it is hard for him to read them. Or eat them, apparently.

I am happy to report he also can read a stop sign. Something so many adults that drive don't seem to be able to do in my neighborhood. Not that there isn't ample opportunities to practice. Not judging, just observing. And yes, I do actually come to a complete stop at stop signs. I took some kind of oath as a driver's ed instructor to abide by all laws, got in the habit and now it has stuck. Except for occasional minor speeding.

His class will also know that we shop at Safeway, I was surprised he knew that one. He would have added Target, but I didn't have an ad. Who needs an ad when you are there at least once a week, more in the summer. I should own stock.

A good night's sleep has done wonders for my attitude and my sense of humor. And no the stairs didn't get done, but that wound is still too fresh. We'll talk about that tomorrow.


Hope on the Horizon

So after a sleepless night Saturday night as my little sweetE woke up crying and inconsolable. He promptly threw up on me after I gave him Tylenol. Ah motherhood. We sat up most of the night with a cool, wet washcloth and a sippy cup of ice water. He wanted to go downstairs at dawn and right after telling me his tummy hurt, threw up on me again. When I decided to add mommy to my resume, this is not what I signed up for.

Ducky and I agreed that he could go back to bed until sweetP got up. As if on cue, down the stairs came a cute, sleepy boy who wanted to watch TV. That meant I got to go back to bed. Not that I really slept much.

Fast forward a few hours and we call the advice nurse who thinks it would be a good idea to bring in my little sicky. Off we go to urgent care since the Tylenol seems to not be working. Mild panic on my part when I ask him to point to where it hurts and he points to his cheek and then his neck. Fortunately, we find out that it is just a raging ear infection. Ten days of antibiotics and by then I hope that we are all well again. Normally, I try not to use antibiotics for ear infections, but since the Tylenol wasn't working.

So here we are on Tuesday and I have my little boy back to his usual busy self. I have recovered from another crazy Monday where I went into Monday with a headache rather than getting one during the day. I cleaned out the medicine cabinet attempting to get a full nights sleep. It worked. We won't talk about yesterday any more. I am hoping to forget that it ever happened. I am going to assume that Sunday and Monday were rock bottom and we can only go up from here. It only seems fair.

Plus the stairs might be done today. Crossed fingers and all that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday Soccer

SweetP recovered from his ear ache. I am so glad it didn't turn out to be an ear infection. So we had two soccer games to go to today. My little sweetE became unhinged when he had to wear his new game shirt today. He kept trying to pull it off and said that it hurt. It was a little stiff and scratchy because it hadn't been washed, but it wasn't that bad. But he is three and his coach said he could play without it. It was picture day, so I had to do my best mommy negotiating to get him to wear it for the photos. Without tears. I was successful, so yeah me.

After lunch we headed off for game two of the day. SweetP played like a champ. His team is just so polite. They won't go in and take the ball, they all just wait for it to come to them. It is really cute to watch, even if it is frustrating at the same time.

My sweetP is quite the ladies man. At the game today, there was a cute little girl that coming up to him and being silly toward him and trying to talk to him. She was working on flirting 101. I asked him about her later and he said she in nice, but kind of silly and she is in his class at school, but doesn't sit at his table. And on Friday, the girl that sits next to him in class tried to kiss him. Apparently he wouldn't let her and pronounced to me that girls are yucky. I just told him that in ten years, he will have changed his mind and that he will want to kiss the girls. I don't think he believed me. Although he does tell who he is going to marry about every other week. Ah, the complexities of youth.

Friday, September 21, 2007

But wait, there's more.

I love the things that children say. When my sweetP was three, I was loading up my bag with books for work. They were kid's chapter books and he looked up at me so innocently and said, "But mommy, there's no pictures (pronounced pit-chures)." As in how interesting could those be.

And this morning, first thing, sweetP said the funniest thing. "Mommy, an alien came in our room last night. A little tiny one. And it flew into my ear. My ear hurts really bad, on the inside." The hurting part is not funny, but the preceding build up cracks me up. How do they think of these things? Like any good mom, I gave him some Tylenol and off we went to school. He was fine when I went to school to work in his classroom and he was fine all afternoon.

Then tonight, he came in from playing outside and suddenly he was suffering - terribly. So I gave him more Tylenol. I made a warm pack for his ear. Then a half hour later I gave him Benedryl (we are out of decongestant). An hour later I was off to the store for drops. Poor kid. I put the drops in and rubbed his head as a tear rolled down his nose. So we have him sleeping propped up. I have the warm pack ready to reheat as needed. I can only hope he feels better tomorrow.

There is good news about my degree of frazzledness...I know what I am teaching for most of Monday and it is only Friday. Hurrah! In a few more weeks, I might have my lesson plans for the next week done on Thursday (my Friday) before I come home.

I also got my car fixed today, so I can stop tricking it into going into gear. Darn recalls. The most frustrating part is that I paid to have this part replaced two years ago and now they go and recall it because it is faulty. They had no sympathy and no refunds. Arghh. My sweetE was the dream child at the dealership. It took an hour plus the 20 minutes to get checked in. No complaints, no bad behaviour, just wonderful little boy. Lucky me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Don't Want...

"I don't want to go to school today." The new morning mantra in my house. First grade is great, except that it is a huge adjustment for a six year old. It doesn't help that he has had a nasty cough since the first days of school.

This school year has been a huge adjustment for everyone. My little sweetE always has a hard time with change. He cries every time I drop him off for preschool. He's done in less than a minute after I leave, but it is still hard to see. SweetP sees very little of me. We have a date planned for this weekend. I am more tired than I remember being when the boys were tiny. And Ducky has the nasty cough, but he usually get bronchitis. I haven't slept well in weeks. I even slept in the guest room for a week (the mattress and the cough not the marriage).

But, being the eternal optimist, I know it will get better. I just hope it is soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another Manic Monday

It is sad when you resort to song titles to head your blog, but that is all the brain power I have left. Today was just as crazy as last Monday with a few exceptions. Dominos Pizza is my new friend on Monday nights. I took migraine medicine when I came home and I am all better now. Exhausted, but better. Otherwise it was just as crazy.

I have decided that not all part ones require a part two. Last weeks blog about the insane week will be a one parter. The rest of the week is a blur anyway.

Since I have been MeMe'd, I had better get it taken care of.

My first name has a y and I can't think of anything that goes with that, so I'm movin' on to one of my other names.

My middle name has 3 a's and 3 n's, can't think of that many attributes that fit that either, movin' on.

My nickname doesn't work either, can't think of why at the moment, refer to lack of brain power mentioned earlier.

So I am picking a name that has letters of attributes that are very true for me. Here goes.

I - Independent, so much so I hate to ask for help (could be a fault, but I don't think so.)
S - Stubborn, it is who I am (see above about faults)
O - Optimistic, I believe in good kharma and all that and so far it is working for me
L - Loyal, be my friend and I'll be there till the bitter end
D - Dependable, if I say I'll do it, I will
E - Enthusiastic, except when I'm Exhausted (take your pick)


P - Perfectionist, but I usually only apply that to myself
E - See above
D - See above

So the theory goes that I pass this MeMe to someone else, however, I just don't do that sort of thing. I don't send email forwards and I don't pass on MeMe's. I will say that if you choose to share your best (or worst) traits that fit with the letters of your name, go for it and have fun. If not, no pressure.

I'm off for a date with Windsor, the mattress whose days are numbered.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My New Favorite Thing

Many weeks ago, sweetP and Ducky went to camp out at the zoo and sweetE and I stayed home. So of course my little sweetE didn't care much for the fact that he was left out yet again. It is hard to be the little brother. So I devised a project to help him feel better. We were in the midst of the remodel and both boys were begging me to let them paint. But I knew that would translate into more work for me. So, selfishly, I said no.

The floors had not gone in yet. We went to the craft store and picked up cheap canvases and about twelve colors of acrylic paint. We were going to make art. The best part, we could paint in the dining room and didn't need to worry about spilling on the floor.

So my little sweetE and I painted the evening away. Our creations were set aside to dry and await framing. When sweetP returned he immediately wanted to paint one too, but he had to wait a few weeks. So one day sweetE and I had a dateand he and Ducky finally got to paint their pictures.

They are now framed and proudly displayed in the living room. I think they are fabulous and everyone who has come in has commented on what fun they. We plan to periodically paint new ones. That only leaves the dilemma of what to do with the old ones. I can't throw them out, but where can I put them? I guess I solve that problem when it becomes one.

But less of a nerd than Ducky says I'm a Cool High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

See why I scored so high on Sci/Fi & comics.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I qualified as a nerd. Yikes! says I'm a Cool Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

I can blame Ducky for any Sci-Fi/Comic knowledge that I possess. And I can only be thankful that I am at the bottom of the bell curve for dorkiness.

Apparently, I now possess the title "Cool Nerd." If I am going to be a nerd, that's the kind to be. Sounds like an oxymoron though.

My Long Week: Part 1

Going back to work is really cutting into my ability to blog. Or to think clearly after 6pm.

Monday: My first official full day of work. My only full day of the week. Migraine. Arghh. I survive the work day, rush home. Catch up with our nanny, it is her first day back too. Love her! Then the really crazy part begins. We have soccer practice in a half hour. The frozen pizza takes 25 minutes to cook. Uh-oh. Note to self, frozen pizzas take longer to cook than their thawed counterparts. Department of Duh moment.

In full multi-tasking mode, open sweetP's backpack to the pungent aroma of urine. Um, sweetP, is there something you need to tell mommy? There neatly packed in his backpack is a plastic bag of wet clothes. So the story goes like this. "I was having so much fun that I didn't want to stop." What pray tell, could be that fun? "We were doing math, and counting bugs." Be still my beating heart. He loves math. How could I be mad at him for loving my favorite subject. But still, we needed to chat about listening to his body and no matter how much fun you are having, go to the bathroom if you need to! He doesn't realize that he doesn't want to be labeled the kid that pees his pants.

So I ship him off to soccer with Ducky. I have to get sweetE ready for swim and have sweetP's stuff ready to go. When I scheduled for Monday night swim lessons months ago, we did not have soccer practice schedule. I assumed (incorrectly) that they wouldn't schedule soccer for Monday nights. Now I can only hope that we go down to one practice a week and please let it be on Wednesday.

We hop in the van (I am hoping Ducky will drive) and head for the soccer field. Off to swim we go. Ducky driving, me holding my head as the migraine intensifies. This is sweetE's first swim lesson and he is so excited that he is prancing. I couldn't miss this moment. I have been hearing about it all summer during sweetP's lessons.

We watch as sweetE has a smile that covers his entire face. It is pure joy, the kind that is only found in childhood when you have no worries and can live so completely in the moment that it envelops you and radiates out from you in all directions. It is why we have children, so we can remember how magical the little things can be.

Meanwhile, I do remember to watch my sweetP as well. He swims across the pool for the first time ever! This is the child that would dissolve into tears if he got water in his face at the beginning of summer. He now jumps right in. These instructors are miracle workers.

At 7:45pm, we all pile back into the van to head home. I have been going since 5:45am, with a headache and I am done. I am not a morning person. So being up before six is a big deal. I hold my head the entire way home, crawl out of the van and go straight to bed. I am in bed before the boys, they tuck me in and quietly cuddle in next to me for a few minutes. Even suffering as I was, I loved having them there snuggled up, just being together.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Exhaustion hits

The last few weeks I have been running around like crazy and I am tired. Last night I was the first one to bed at 8:05. The boys tucked me in for a change.

I knew parenting would be hard, but I didn't realize how exhausting it would be at the same time. I don't know how people do it that work full time. Maybe they have less demanding jobs or more energetic personalities.

I am off to bed as the melatonin kicks in and hopefully lets me get a good nights sleep.

More amusing anecdotes later, when I am awake.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Blackberry Ketchup

I used to go this restaurant, before we moved, solely for their blackberry ketchup. It was great with shoe string fries. Who needed a meal, when you could have a bucket of fries and a container of blackberry ketchup? It had been quite a while since we had been there, so imagine my dismay when we went there and they had dropped the blackberry ketchup from the dipping sauce menu. It was almost enough for me to leave on the spot. We stayed, but it just wasn't the same.

Thank goodness for the internet. I hunted for a recipe for it and wa-la, I found one. Yippee, now the delicious aroma of blackberry ketchup is wafting through my house and the french fries are in the oven.

It really is all about the little things.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Lunch Tales from First Grade

So my dear sweetP has started first grade. He a rather reserved little guy. The first day of school came and went this week. He took his lunch to school and because I forgot to deposit money into his lunch account I sent him with a juice box. No problem. He had a great first day.

Day two. I packed him a lunch and wrote a check for milk money. I deposited the money into his account after dropping him off in his room. No problem. We are getting this first grade thing down. He comes home having only eaten his cheese and half his crackers.
Me: "Did you drink your milk?"
SweetP: "No"
Me: "Why not?"
SweetP: "I didn't get any."
Me: "How come?"
SweetP: "I didn't know how to get it."
Me: "Ahh."

Day three. I packed his lunch (using most of the stuff that was left over from the day before). We went to his classroom. As he emptied his backpack, I asked his teacher to please buddy him up at lunch with someone who knows how to get milk. Problem solved. Wrong. He comes home and only ate his fruit snacks, crackers and half a bagel.
Me: "Did you get your milk?"
SweetP: "Yes."
Me: "Good, did you drink it?"
SweetP: "No."
Me: "Why not?"
SweetP: "I didn't know how to open it."
Me: "Ahh."

Last night. We practice opening an old orange juice container. Then I tell him to ask his friends for help if he can't do it. Then I find out he asked his teacher to open his fruit snacks for him. So it is all about priorities, fruit snacks are much more important than milk when you are six.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

School's In

I am ready for the first day of school. I think. Our classroom is cleaned and organized. The desks have names on them. Our bulletin boards are up. My back to school outfit is picked out, but not pressed. My lessons are planned for this week.

Do students realize that their teachers are nervous too? That we lay awake at night running through never ending to do lists.

I am embarking on a whole new adventure in teaching. Fifth grade is a whole new level. At least in the classroom. I have worked with fifth graders before, but not every day. I better like it. I committed until retirement to my teaching partner. Retirement is long, long, long time from now.

But tomorrow the students show up and then the rollercoaster begins. And you can't get off until June. I hope it is a ride that makes you want to run around and get in line again immediately.

Monday, September 3, 2007


The other night I realized that once school starts (tomorrow!), I won't get to see my sweetP very much. I will get him ready for school in the morning and walk him to school. Then I won't see him again until around five at night. I know that most working moms experience this all the time. I, however, am used to seeing my children for at least half the day nearly everyday. Heck, I work part time for a reason.

He is my clone and I am having a hard time grasping how little real time I will have with him. So today we went on a date. Just the two of us to run errands (his and mine). Not exciting, but time just the two of us. What is an errand for a six year old? A visit to the Lego store and the Build a Bear Workshop. We agreed that he is a very spoiled boy, but nice none the less. He was very patient in the container store and the craft store, not a single complaint.

I was the first to complain once we got to the second hand store. He needed an over-sized, button-up shirt to take to school for painting in. We had given all of our old shirts away about six months ago. I have never visited a second hand store with a sale before. Wall to wall people. No express line. Our quick trip in and out to buy a shirt grew to nearly 40 minutes. I grumbled, he snuggled in. Now you see why I will miss spending time with him. We passed the time by seeing who could balance on one foot longer. Those yoga classes I took oh, so long ago came in handy.

We agreed that we need to plan dates to make up for our lost time. I think we all have some adjusting to do.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Remodel Photos

As requested here are photos of the almost complete remodel. You know how you get all excited about a project and jump right in before you realize that you should have taken some before photos. I had to dig deeply into iPhoto to find any photos that showed our house in its original state. So add this image to the before photos... dingy 12 year old beige carpet (even after deep cleaning), dingy white walls (probably also 12 years old), no character what so ever.

Our living room shortly after we moved in several years ago. The furniture was rearranged many times, but never seemed to work. The after photo from this angle has to wait until the stairs are done later this week (cross fingers).

A before shot of the view that greeted you when you opened the front door.

Our new and improved view. We actually have an entry way now. There are baskets for shoes, rather than the unsightly pile that used to develop by the door and a place to sit. And it doesn't feel all crowded now. We love it.

A better view of the entry way in all its glory. Can you tell that I love the new space. By turning the stairs we made the vault make sense, visually defined the living room and dining room areas and actually made the living room feel larger.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ahhhh, Saturday

The progress on the house continues, but not by me. Ducky is outside on our sweltering deck reweaving our siding. It is a mere 78 degrees outside, but the deck thermometer says 102. Yikes. It is nice to get to be the one hanging out with boys, my only job is keep them out of the way.

I have even managed to get them started on a major cleaning of their room. Ice cream is being made as I type and all is right with the world. It's early yet, but I am deeming today a success.