Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Battle

I am frustrated and annoyed and generally pissed off. I have been waging a battle with my body for almost three decades and I can't seem to win.

It is those damn migraines. I have been in less than top form for the last two days. I am tired of missing time with the boys. I am tired of not getting to enjoy their activities. I am tired of missing out on living.

Thursday was a good day at work, but it was crazy in that way that days near the end of school are. We had Art Lit and I got to be the model. I was covered in all forms of scarves, boas and hats by at least six girls. They had fun and I thought it was pretty fun too. After school there was the usual assortment of activities to get done before escaping home to get ready to watch sweetP's music performance.

He had a special part and we were making sure we remembered the camera this year. He did a great job and we have the video to prove it this year. Yeah, sweetP! I felt okay up to then. But between the lights and sounds, my senses became overloaded and compounded by the inadequate quantity and quality of my sleep lately, my brain started a bit of an electrical storm.

I went to bed dreading the possibilities, but hoping that two Advil and good nights sleep would leave me good as new. I had a big day planned the next day. On Friday's to-do list: watch neighbors children for an hour, go to sweetP's school for his reading restaurant, drop car off to get tires rotated, go to bank, go to pharmacy, play with boys, have fun. What ended up getting done: watch neighbors children, go to sweetP's event. Then proceed to lay around like a lump for most of the rest of the day.

My boys have learned to be fairly accommodating when I have a headache. SweetE and I watched TV together for awhile. After we picked up sweetP, he played computer games and sweetE played Wii and I took a nap. I also talked (conned) Ducky into picking up the prescriptions for me.

So I went to bed early last night with the aid of a sleeping pill and hopes to be all better in the morning. Nope, I woke up at five and promptly got pissed off. Ducky said I got out of bed in a huff. Of course, when I woke up I realized I still had a headache. And day two is always worse than day one. And they never last just one day.

At about three this afternoon, it subsided. About four hours ahead of schedule. But I am getting tired of missing out and giving things up.

So far in my life I have done these things to attempt to control them.
• Take a daily drug during my growing years that has been shown to stunt the growth of children. That and throwing up and not eating 2-3 days a week will definitely stunt your growth. I miss whatever inches I didn't get. I am constantly dropping things on my head trying to get them down from a high shelf.
• Take a wide variety of pain killers, some of which make me itch.
• Tried a variety of preventative medicines that turn me into a zombie or give me a perma-headache.
• Gave up caffeine, nectar of the gods, go-juice. I miss getting that burst of energy to get me going.
• Gave up citrus. My summers are now incomplete without lemonade. I miss grapefruit juice and mandarin oranges and all things that have citrus yumminess.
• Gave up red wine. Never cared for white and while I never drank much, I miss the option.
• I take melatonin and MigRelief every night. This combination is at least helping. The migraines no longer incapacitate me, they just make me not want to do anything. I can still function, I just don't get to enjoy anything.

After all this, doesn't it seem fair that they leave me alone. I think once school is out it may be time to head to the headache specialist. My doctor is back from maternity leave and so we'll see.

The unintended consequence of all this. When sweetP doesn't want to do something, he says he has a headache. He sees headaches keeping me from doing things and so he will try it when he doesn't want to do something. So frustrating, even as I fear that I will pass this genetic trait on to him. I know that 80% of migraine sufferers are women, but my grandfather and one male cousin both had/have them. It is not out of the realm of possibility.

28 years of fighting and not one step closer to winning. And two very stressful weeks on the horizon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There's No Time!

I can think of the most eloquent, thought provoking, interesting things to blog about. When I am far, far from the computer. Sit me down in front of the darn thing and I can't come up with two sentences to string together.

Or, I am in front of the computer, but I am at work. I don't really want work to know I have the blog (in case I write about work) so I can't blog then. There just doesn't seem to be any time to blog lately.

I am going to blame it on end of school year craziness. 2 weeks + 2 days = freedom to slow down, think, relax, get stuff done that is not work related. In the meantime, I need my rest if I am going to survive the daily roller coaster.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Belated Blogoversary to Me!

So the 21st was my blogoversary. And I missed it. I knew it was coming, and then life got in the way. We had sweetP's last soccer game. Headache central. Then I was busy documenting a day in first grade. More on that another day.

I am so proud of me for finishing a year of blogging. I have started journals in the past and they never made it past three weeks. So for me, a total non writer to write about this, that and the other thing for a year is something of a miracle.

Thirteen more work days until I am done for the year. After this year, I need the time recharge, reflect and get ready to do it all again next year. Except I will do it better.

We having been having too much fun on the Wii lately. We got the wii fit and it is so much fun. We are skiing, hula hooping, yogaing, stepping and so much more. I may have found some exercise I can stick with. And I am so close to popular opinion on wii vote that I almost fell off the couch. I have been spot on for every vote lately. I can be so competitive.

The boys are out building a bat house, so I am off to watch or help or something.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Big Words

I was standing in line at the grocery store yesterday. The courtesy clerk was talking about how people should use little words when talking to her. That her teachers use these big words and she just doesn't get it. The checker and I were just kind of snickering as she continued her declaration about how she just didn't know what they meant and when she tried to use them she got the context wrong.

At this point, I quietly told the checker that I was one of those horrible teachers. And that we are just doing our job. She laughed and the very nice courtesy clerk said "I heard that." She has convinced herself that she doesn't understand big words.

As I was putting my groceries in the trunk of my car, I realized that I should have told her to read all different kinds of books and her vocabulary would grow on its own. The words would be in context and would start making sense. I wished that I had thought of some way to encourage her. But at that moment I was in a rush to get home, make dinner and spend time with my boys.

As a kid, I devoured books. I think I read every book in the children's and young adult section of our library. I would check out the maximum every time and be ready for more before my mom was ready to go back. I acquired a great vocabulary. No SAT prep class needed.

I miss having the time to read books the way I did as a kid. I hope that my boys love reading the way that I did. It opens up worlds and doors. I hope that part of the time they are content to curl up with a book and immerse themselves in another place or time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I See Summer Around the Bend

18 days and counting. Three Mondays (including tomorrow).

To quote a certain square, yellow sea creature. "I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready."

This school year has worn me out, washed me up, wrung me out and hung me out to dry. And this weekend was just too summerish to not start the countdown.

It's a sprint to the finish and summer vacation is the prize.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just Call Me Rudolph

Two days of fun in the sun and I have a distinct resemblance to a certain reindeer.

We blasted straight out of wintery spring right into the height of summer. Of course next week we will be back to cool and wet. But yesterday and today, we caught a glimpse of the future. Yesterday sweetP and I participated in a Relay for Life. We dutifully wore our sunscreen and sweated through two hours of 95 degree heat. We laughed and had a blast. I was the cool mom and he was the cool, fabulous, amazing kid.

We hung out with his best friend. They had to have been separated at birth they act so much alike. They communicate without words, they act alike, they talk alike. They are basically twins. It is hilarious to watch. It is one of those friendships that we all hope stands the test of time.

Today, we hung out at the fire house. SweetE and I sprayed the fire hose and knocked over a traffic cone. He sat in the firetruck and put on the headphones. We watched AirLife land. He dug a hole with a back hoe. SweetP grumbled the whole time because he just wanted it to go home and get ready for his birthday party. If he had his way, he would have spent the entire time watching a nesting bird. It was really cool, but I have no idea what it was. It had it's eggs under a bush. The area was blocked off with caution tape. He stood so quietly and still watching it.

With all of our outdoor adventures, my nose is a lovely shade of red. We forgot sunscreen today at the firehouse. And I forgot to put on any makeup.

At least the birthday party was indoors. The boys played and had a blast and we only had to sign a credit card slip. Tonight, before it was even 8 o'clock, sweetP asked if it was bedtime yet. It was a very busy day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

He Did It!

I scurried home from work so I could make it to the game. SweetP was ready to go. Shoes, on. Shin guards, on. Magic Eraser, in a baggy. He was ready to clean some graffiti.

So we head off to the game. We are a few minutes early. His team is already in practicing. We go down the hall. Sure, enough. There is a penis on that penguin. And a lovely word written below.

I am scrubbing the penguin, so I can make sure the paint doesn't come off. We get it down to a few unrecognizable black dots. All the the while, this is the exchange.

"Mommy, what does that say?"

I ignore the request, I don't want to explain the word and I am busy removing anatomical parts.

"b-it-ch, bitch. What does that mean?"

"Honey, I am really proud of you for sounding out the word, but please never say it again."


"It is not a nice word."


Have I mentioned that I love this kid. We cleaned off the word too. The hallway is now safe for first graders again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Junior Procrastinator

SweetP was in no mood to go to bed tonight. Ducky made the mistake of letting him get a Coke Icee with his dinner tonight. I was off getting a massage. Lucky me!

We did oodles of homework tonight so we won't have much tomorrow night. We finished his homework packet a day early (it came home a day late too). We subtracted and got distracted by a bird. That happens when the evening is so pleasant that you simply must do your homework out on the deck. He came up with 10 words that end in -ain. And three that end in -ane. We read his reading homework three times. Just when I thought we were close to being done, the birthday bag had stuff to do. I didn't know the birthday bag existed until tonight. It has a journal and three books about birthdays. The child is supposed to write a journal entry about their birthday.

It was just a few short months ago that his teacher was concerned about his writing. Tonight he filled four pages with facts about his birthday. With illustrations. I just had to squeeze him and kiss him I am so proud of him.

So we are off to bed late. The boys are tucked in for the night and I am off to Target. SweetE has snacks at preschool tomorrow. While I am gone, sweetP come down twice. Once to tell Ducky that Max (his new webkinz) can't sleep when he hears the sound of the wii. And once just to see what he is missing.

After I get home, he comes down because he has something on his mind.

"Mommy, one day after school can we go to the middle school?"

"Why, sweetP?"

"I want to clean the penis off the wall."

"The what?" My ears must be deceiving me.

"The penis on the wall."

"Where did you see that, is it by the drinking fountain?"

"No, on the long wall. The one with the penguins. That way Kicker can't see it."

"So you want to go early to clean it off?"

"Yes, people shouldn't draw on the wall. It is right here (pointing to groin) on the penguin. They drew it in pen because they don't think that you can get that off. But they don't know that a sponge will clean it." I use the magic eraser to clean up all kinds of sins so now he thinks that it will clean anything.

I just had to squeeze him all over again. He wants to clean up someone else's graffiti. Who wouldn't love a boy that wants to make the world a better, cleaner place.

He managed to come downstairs two more times before he finally went to sleep. But I was just so proud of him for wanting to do the right thing that he just got sent back to bed with a hug and a kiss.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Non-Stick Cookware

If you have ever read the Nanny Diaries, then you will know what I mean. Today, I did the spatula move. My sweetE was coming in for the cling and I slid aside and let his teacher get him. It is easier than trying to scrape him off of me.

He really is fine a few minutes after I leave. And he did much better today. But he had no intentions of letting me leave easily. He looked at me with his big blue eyes, begging me to stay. And I left. I didn't see any crocodile tears. I don't know if he cried. But he looked so sad.

But the boy that bugs him, didn't bug him today. There are only five more preschool days. We just might make it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Zombie Virus

Last night I got eight hours of sleep. Uninterrupted sleep. Today I should have been my bouncy, bubbly self.

Instead, I was attacked by the zombie virus. I could not stay awake today. For anything. And I had to work all day. I must have looked about half dead too, because I was asked repeatedly if I was okay.

I was honked at on the way to work. I went over the rumble strip more than once. I was in no condition to drive. And I didn't realize until after I was more than half way to work. I could not keep my eyes open at work either. My students were pretty accommodating, they did what was asked and just let me stagger through my day. I took a nap at lunch at my desk.

After lunch was better, but I was still so very tired. I was better to drive home. I planned to take a nap on the couch and let the boys play games. SweetP got a webkinz for his birthday and he wants to play all the time. SweetE was happy to play Star Wars on the Wii. And I attempted to nap on the couch.

But the phone rang, the doorbell rang, the game wouldn't work. So no nap for me. Ducky had it yesterday, so I should be better tomorrow. But to help myself along, I am off to bed. Let the zombie's attack someone else.

I am feeling almost like myself again today. I can keep my eyes open!!! One of our friends had it over the weekend too. You feel okay, you just cannot stay awake.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thoughts on Mother's Day

I have been fighting a funk about Mother's Day for the last week. On top of all the other fun stuff that has been swirling through my house.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom (98% of the time). I wouldn't change that. I love that Ducky helps the boys remember to appreciate me. From that angle Mother's Day is wonderful.

However, being a human means that I have a mother. I do not have a mom. What do you do about Mother's Day when you are at odds with your mother? There was never a specific event that caused a rift. There is a list of wrongs that have never been righted. It isn't even the things that are said or done. It is the things that aren't said or done. It is the level of disinterest. It is the feeling of invisibility and nothingness.

I have spent my entire life until just a few years ago vying for the approval of one person. In vain. I have realized that I will never be good enough, interesting enough, productive enough to warrant her approval or attention. I just don't matter to her. And it bugs me. I can never make her be proud of me. I can never make her want to know me. That is up to her. And I have realized (finally) that it is never going to happen.

I have always heard the stories about how much she wanted a daughter. But I was not the daughter that she wanted. She wanted one just like her. A tomboy horse fanatic. I am not that person. Nor do I want to be. I'm allergic to hay and horses, spending lots of time with them just doesn't seem like a good idea.

All in all, I would like to think that I am a pretty decent human being. I would like to think that I am the kind of daughter that a mother hopes for. I don't cause people to worry in excess about me. I make good choices. I am working to create two kind, thoughtful boys to add to the world. I am self sufficient. I am happily married and gainfully employed. I have been told that I am interesting and at times humorous. What's not to love?

But I cannot remember a time, ever, that I was told that she was proud of me or that she loved me. I cannot remember the last time she called to see how I was. I cannot remember the last time she showed any interest in me, my life or my boys. And that hurts. It would be nice to matter. And no matter how much I try to move past it and let it go, I can't. A child is supposed to be important to a parent. Even when the child has grown up. On the rare occasion that I attempt to relate any of this to her, I get a "I'm sorry you feel that way." End of story.

So, on the occasion of Mother's Day, I am left with a reminder that I am not good enough for my own mother. Even as I work to be a great mom to my boys. Mother's day is bittersweet.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for ...

There has been no vomit in over 48 hours!!! Please, let it be over.

I am feeling better, if a bit tired. And I lost 5 pounds. However, it is not a diet plan that I would recommend. I did go in to work on Tuesday, only because it would take me an hour to get in to work, write the lesson plans and get back home. I only teach for 2 hours when I work a half day.

SweetE seems mostly better. I can't tell if he is milking it or if he still feels kind of cruddy. Time will tell.

I hosted my book club on Tuesday night. I know, I'm nuts. But, I host once a year and it was too much work to rearrange. And next week sweetP has his birthday. So we are chatting away about the book (Population 485 by Michael Perry) and I hear a cry from upstairs. So I trot back to the family room to ask Ducky to run up and check on sweetE. Crying at night is a bad sign for him, it is generally followed by puke. And it was. So I run upstairs to help with the continuing vomit saga. I change his sheets, give him a cuddle and head back downstairs. Fortunately, we are all moms so we carry on.

But today, I am so thankful for two days and no vomit.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Food Poisoning

SweetE and I are down for the count. Dang it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

And the Curse Continues

After last weekends laundry extravaganza, I was hoping for a uneventful week.

But I was cursed by Ducky. He verbalized that he hoped the puke and pee fest was over. Not on your life!

Thursday night, dear sweetP threw up in his sleep. Fortunately, he was on his side by the edge of the bed. Unfortunately, that means that it got all over the carpet. The carpet that was cleaned just a month or so ago. He also managed to hit Bunny (He got his third wash in just over a week.), his blanket and his quilt. Yee-haw two loads of laundry. SweetP was just fine the next day.

Then sweetE threw up in Home Depot this morning after we built his pencil holder. And as usual, not a single helpful employee in sight. So Ducky went in search of clean up materials. I am not the kind of mom that just walks away from a mess like that. So we get it cleaned up and I head out to the car. By the time we get to the car, sweetE was his usual bouncy self again. Laundry count, one t-shirt and one orange apron. SweetE has been fine all day.

But enough of the puking already!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The First Thankful Thursday

Yesterday I was reading the No Impact Man blog and I realized that I sometimes forget to be thankful for the fabulous life that I have.

Way back when my 10 year high school reunion came around I pondered what my greatest achievement was in that ten years. I realized that I had learned how to be happy. Light-bulb moment. And frequently I lose sight of that as I get swept up in the daily grind of life. My life.

The first item on the article that he had posted had you counting your blessings. Read his post, it is really interesting. What better place to start than on my blog. So my Thursdays (it's an alliteration thing, you can take the girl out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the girl) shall be devoted to thinking about what I am thankful for. One or two or three, whatever strikes me.

I am thankful for those moments when I am flooded with pure love and adoration of my boys. It happens nightly when I kiss them before I go to bed. They are peaceful and relaxed. Any unpleasant bits from the day wash away. And I can't imagine loving them more. But I know that I will. A mommy's love grows over night.

I have these moments during the day too. When they are kind to each other. When I hear, "Mommy, I just love you," or "I'm gonna break you in half." The second is what we say in the middle of a great big hug. When they are caught up in being the person that they are. They are forming before my eyes and it is fascinating to watch. They are not perfect children (is there such a thing?), but they are mine. I love who they are turning out to be. I love watching their personalities take shape. I love the way they can make me feel.