Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grown Up...

It was so hot in these heah parts that I didn't leave my house all weekend.  Okay truth be told I left the house twice.  I took the kids to the pool Friday afternoon and it was like swimming in bathwater, bathwater and all the little germies that come from pool water festering in a week of 105 degree temperatures.  It just can't be good.  Once of us will be sick very shortly.

The second time I left the house was to take the family to see the movie Grown Ups.  It was a lot of fun and very funny.  The idea is to leave you nostalgic for your own childhood and the adventures you would get in to.  While I appreciated that thought for awhile, I was also able to look fondly at Adam Sandler and remember when I used to stay up on Saturday nights to watch him on Saturday Night Live, and the time I saw him do stand-up at my friend Melissa's college.  Look at him know, he's got a production company and he's successful enough to continue to employ all of his childhood friends by giving them a part in every one of his movies.  And the fans expect nothing less because they want to see this group together as well.  I could see the nostalgia in the character friends in the movie and I could see the nostalgia of a group of friends making another movie together.  God they must have fun huh?

Oh look Skyler's spiked a fever.  102*  It's in the Mother's Rule Book.  Fevers over 99* must only be spiked on a Sunday evening or if necessary Monday morning.  But never any other day of the week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Girl Who...

I put off reading the three book series starting with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo because I had heard that it was a translation and that maybe it would be hard to read.  I finally started it up (Kindle) and got sucked right into the story.  The story takes place in Sweden so yes I had trouble with some of the names and descriptions but the story was fantastic.

Then I went on to read the next book in the series The Girl Who Played With Fire.  This book has the same cast of characters but it's a much better, fast paced story.  It's been my favorite.  I blasted right through it and was desperate for more.

The third book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest,  promised to take off where the second left and it did but it just doesn't have the same catching excitement as the other two.  I'm half done and am still waiting for the good stuff.  I have faith that it will catch up to the other two and go out with a bang.

This is what I've been reading for the past several days.  I've got a few library books on stand-by.  Looks like I'm on a roll breaking out of the May book ho-hums.  Tell me if you've read these and what you thought.  Please mark your comment with a spoiler alert in case others haven't read these yet.  I can't believe that there are people out there who haven't as all three books have been in amazon's top 100 for ever now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day...

Dearest Matthew,

I know I'm not the type of wife that dishes out loads of complements and makes you feel big and tall on a daily basis. I'm more the type that nags about things not being done and when are our plans to get them done. But I want you to know that I know from the bottom of my heart that you are a wonderful father.

You don't just sign our kids up for sports, you coach their teams, and frequently drive carpool to and from practice. You don't tell them to do their homework, you do it with them. You sit and play games or just snuggle with them, whichever they need. You are always the giant in the pool tossing them about encouraged by their squeels of glee.

I watch all these things and know that you were the perfect person to be their father. They will grow up to ask your opinion, to look to you for guidance and to gauge whether they are doing a good job. Through you they are learning the right way to treat the love in their life and what a good dad looks like.

Each year we spend as a family we take on new challenges, new jobs, new schools, new illnesses, it's never a dull moment. But we do it together and it all turns out alright.

I'll love you forever. Thank you for being you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing...

We have this sort of inside family joke that Matt and the kids love me just a little bit too much.  All three of them fight over who gets to sit next to me and who gets the first hug or snuggle or hand holding.  I frequently say that the three of them together suck the life out of me.  I also try to tell them "really, I'm not that cool".

Last night I came up with a visual representation of love sucking the life out of you and leaving you warn and ragged.

Several years ago I bought Zack a stuffed zebra.  It was his favorite lovie and so I went and bought a back-up.   Parenting 101, if your child can't sleep without something, buy a second one, just in case.  Zeeby is Zebra #1.  He is insanely well loved.  Zelda is back-up.  She's spent most of her time in the closet.

Do you see the difference?  Do you see how all the love has left Zeeb all raggedy?  He's had surgery.  His legs are floppy.  His stuffing is less than flluffy.  But he is SO loved.  Obsessively loved.  Before having kids I was Zelda.  Now I'm Zeeby.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Don't You Just Download It...

My kids are so used to instant technical gratification that they sometimes just can't comprehend waiting for anything that has to do with a computer.

Last night the kids were entertaining themselves (Praise FSM) by printing templates of paper airplanes out from Paper Airplane Garage, and then folding and gluing them together.  The stars had aligned for this project.  Zack was searching the internet for the perfect planes and Skyler was using her crafty skills to follow the directions and put them together.  At some point, the printer ran out of ink.  I knew it had been low and told them that that was it until I ordered some.  Zack kept trying to print.  The computer kept popping up asking "Do you want to order ink?"  Finally he got frustrated with me and said "MOM, can you just come down here and order the ink?"  I asked what then?  He said "then we can do some more printing".  I chuckled upon realizing that he thought that if I pressed "order ink" that it would somehow beam its way to our printer.  I wanted him to figure it out though.  I asked him what would happen once I ordered the ink, how was it going to get into the printer?  It took him a second but then he gave his typical "GGGRAAAAAAHHHHHH!" and walked off frustrated with both me and the printer.  He's a little ahead of his time.  Maybe in his future there will be no need for paper or ink, but it might be hard to fly a paper airplane that way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Post Crossing...

While I'm on the roll of recommending websites with something fun or inspiring to do, let me mention Post Crossing.  It's a website that organizes the swapping of postcards with people all over the world.  I've been a member for about a year now and have really enjoyed receiving postcards from somewhere new every so often. 

My initial intention, when hearing about Post Crossing, was to get my kids involved.  But like any kid of their generation, they don't really care for things that involve pieces of paper and stamps.  Why send a postcard when you can send an email?  Perhaps it's the reminiscent part of the whole process that's enjoyable to those of us older than twenty.  I'll admit that I adore all things technical but I also enjoy getting mail and enjoy sending it, even better if it's something pretty like a postcard.

So, while I would sell the idea by saying it's a great thing that you can do with your kids this summer, in reality it will be you that enjoys this.

Here are a couple of my favorite cards:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Than An Everyday Hero...

When you aren't feeling well yourself, it's nice to celebrate the goings on of friends.

My friend Barb is a hero to me.  Over a year ago she was called by the National Bone Marrow Registry and was informed that she was a match for a young boy who has cancer.  She was overwhelmed and scared.  Her own son is disabled and her life is carefully organized around his needs.  He had been very sick over the past several months and she had no vacation time left to take to recover from having her hip drilled for bone marrow.  She was concerned that if something went wrong, her own family would suffer, she would have to take recovery time unpaid.  It was a major decision but in the end, how can you say no?  The transplant was successful and after a year the organization allows you to trade information (prior to a year, it is confidential).  The two families became friends and this past weekend Barb got to meet little Reese for the first time.  They were both overwhelmed.  He said to her "thanks Barb for my new blood - it helps a lot".  

The whole process was such an inspiration to me.  Matt and I joined the National Bone Marrow Registry right after Barb was called.  We've always encouraged others to do so as well.  Frequently you will hear of a bone marrow drive being done for a particular person.  They might mention it on the news or in the newspaper.  Sometimes you can find an article online.  This is a good time to register as that drive will cover the cost.  Sometimes there are codes online.  I found this link this morning by googling "National Bone Marrow Registry drive code".   Bone Marrow Drive Held In Memory Of Allison Zicree  They are using the code "Allisonsgift".  If you register for a drive and aren't a match for that person your info will be saved in the event that you are a match for someone else.

Think about it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Swish Swish Swish...

Remember a few blog posts ago when I was talking about the numbers involved with Skyler being accepted to her new school?  Well last night I was braiding her hair and we had the following conversation that was in hilarious contrast to her being chosen for anything.

Sky:  MOM.  You should see Olivia's braids.   Her mom can do a crown braid.  She's like a professional or something.
Me:  That's nice.  Maybe she can teach you how.
Sky:  No.  I asked Olivia if I could come over to her house (something I hate when my kids do) but she said 'No.  My parents don't like you'.
Me:  What?
Sky:  (very matter of factly) *shrug* They don't like me.
Me:  Have you ever met her parents?
Sky:  Yeah they come to lunch all the time.
Me:  I guess you're a brat at lunch huh?
Sky:  Yup.  I guess so.

This kid cracks me up.  She didn't care in the slightest that Olivia's parents don't like her.  I guess it's a good thing that Olivia's Mom wasn't on the school selection committee.  *snort*

Zack is still sleeping in his own bed. 

I read four books this week.   They were nice and fluffy and just what I needed to break out of my reading rut.

At the recommendation of Swistle, I bought a skirt.  I'm not a skirt person but I'm wearing it today and I'm really comfortable.  Pants were becoming too confining, damn medication.  Old Navy is having a sale on swishy skirts this week.  For some reason the one I bought is not pictured online.  It's a bright kelly green.  I usually get everything in black/gray/khaki but I thought I'd really break out of my mold.  I also got this little sweater.

It's a sin to show your shoulders in my office and some of my summery shirts are borderline shoulder showers.   This sweater is perfect.  Like I mentioned earlier, just about everything I wear matches the basic black, this goes with everything.

I started my Remicade infusions on Monday.  It didn't make me as sick as I thought it was going to.  I did have to sit and listen to the patient next to me make exclamations of love and adoration as she read Sarah Palin's book.  THAT almost made me vomit.  This drug joins my other drugs in suppressing my immune system.  While you hope that it works, you also suffer the side effects of things like not healing.  I have two simple scratches on my arm and a small burn on my leg that are just ugly and don't want to heal.  My body has no antibodies to work with.  I'm using tons of hand sanitizer on everything.  My kids cough and I jump out of their line of fire.  If I hear word of the flu I'm going to start wearing a mask.  At least it's summer and the kids are mostly healthy.

Enjoy your weekend.  I'm building myself a bubble.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mom 2 Zack 4,958,690...

I can't remember if I bitched about it here or on facebook or the mommy board or email, maybe it was all of the above, but I think I might have solved the Zack sleeping in his own bed problem. It's only been four days but I like to the jump the gun and then disappoint myself. It's the way of pessimists.

So Zack loves me. Like A LOT. He's always had trouble sleeping. It takes eleventy hours to get him to sleep, he doesn't need or want a lot of sleep, and it's a miserable event for all of us. Last year when Matt went back to school at night and my resolve was weakened by illness and the desire to go to sleep before 11pm, Zack started waiting for his sister to fall asleep and then crawling in bed with me. After talking my ear off about school (he's otherwise completely mute on the subject so that was hard to give up), he'd fall asleep in 10.2 seconds. SO much easier. The longer I let this go on, the more of a chore it became when he couldn't fall asleep with me. And I'm a giant wuss and JUST WANT TO GO TO SLEEP so I'd tend not to fight him. Then I told him that when he turned nine, it was over. Guess what that did? Give him a goal to work towards? NO. It gave him something to obsess about until when the time came he was completely unable to fall asleep alone. Great. He even started having nightmares. Finally I remembered having discussions with other moms about melatonin. I've researched it in the past back when it was sufficient to address my own sleeping problems and know that it's safely recommended for children.

The last four nights, I've told CCP (Captain Crabby Pants) that I'm giving him an allergy pill (I didn't want him to know what I was doing) and by the time Skyler falls asleep he's asleep too.  He's even slept right through the night.  No nightmares.  Boo YEAH!

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

1 in 43...

Sometimes the numbers of things, the statistics, the odds, fascinate me.  I had a parent meeting last night at Sky's new school and when the principal started rattling off numbers, I started writing them down.

All 5,290 first graders in our city took the gifted identification test in February.

1,391 obtained a high enough score to take the second test.

Of those 1,391, 998 of their parents indicated that they would be interested in having their child attend the gifted identified school if their child tested well enough.

342 of those children scored high enough on the second test to go on to recommendations and a review by the board.

255 of those children's packets were presented to the board.

125 of those children were selected.

Skyler was one of those children.  Skyler.  My Skyler.  Someone somewhere looked at a few pieces of paper and a few test scores and said "Yes.  We want this little girl to be a part of this school".  I get a little caught up in it.  What do they look for?  What about her pieces of paper made them choose her?  They didn't see her unique way of dressing, or look at the funny faces she makes, or listen to her read a book, or ask a question, or make a joke, or any of the other thousand ways she shows us how special she is each day.  I'm sure each of those other children had funny questions and a way with words and silly faces and good grades.  How do they choose?  Interesting huh?  I'm still a bit stunned.

Skyler of course has moved on and is ready for the new challenge.  I have no doubt that she's far more ready than I am.  I'm just going to trail along behind her for awhile with a look of awe on my face.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Ninety-six minutes of Hand Wringing...

I've got a nervous tummy right now.  I just booked my babies to fly on an airplane this summer.  Without me.  For ninety-six minutes.  OMG.  It will be the longest ninety-six minutes of my life. My heart will literally be flying through the sky without me.  I know that there are plenty of kids of divorce out there who are pros at this.  But um, my nine year old still has a panic attack when he's told he has to sleep in his own bed.  This should be interesting.  Perhaps the cord will finally be severed?

When I was a kid I couldn't wait to get to my grandmother's house as soon as school was out.  I still like to tell all my cousins that I was her favorite, but really I just spent the most time with her (because I was the favorite).  I'd really like my kids to have the same memories and adventures.  They have lots of favorite places that they like to go when we visit and I think it's time that they start having those summer memories without us.  Heck, my Mother's house is like a hotel and her neighborhood is kid central.  I'm not sure they'll even notice that I'm not there.  But I will.

It's going to be fine right?  Hold me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

MOM! Watch this...

Geez I'm so lax at posting lately I'm surprised I have any readers left.  Last week was kooky.  Matt was out of town, the kids were rife with power, it was hotter than hell, and I was not going to get my usual weekend naps in.  BAH!

Clearly I'm here to tell the tale.  We all made it through.   We probably ate more meals outside the house than in any weekend previous but what's a pain-stricken Mommy to do?

My first plan on Saturday was to wear them out.  I suggested going over to the pool.  My kids are lucky enough to have an Olympic sized neighborhood pool that I don't make them vacuum or skim and all their friends hang out there.  You'd think they'd be thrilled.  NO.  Captain Crabby Pants, upon hearing that his sister was excited to go, decided that going to the pool was akin to swimming in hot lava and there was no way I was going to make him.  Since he weighs more than I can move I had to wait him out.  I puttered around the house and finally said I was going to get lunch.  Skyler and I secretly packed the car with pool stuff and drove right there after lunch.  CCP was PISSED.  The best part was that it was too hot to sit in the car.  It was too hot to sit in a lawn chair.  Eventually he had to take his bathing suit, put it on, and suffer the fiery pool of lava.  He won't admit that he had fun the four hours that he was there, but he did.  He's such a stubborn pain in the butt.  Sunday he was actually interested in going. HA HA.  Mom 1 Zack 4,690,094

Guess how many times a kid will shout "Mom!  Watch this!" while in the pool for four hours.  Go ahead.  Guess.  The answer is somewhere around 4, 680. 

I'm changing my name.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Blah. Blah. Blah...

Here's a bunch of random mumbo jumbo.

I had several dreams last night that I had to pee.  I was seriously annoyed in my dream that I kept having to go to the bathroom.  I finally woke up and discovered "hey I have to pee".  Funny how your body tries to tell you things.  The funnier part was that I had just read 100 pages of The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee by Sarah Silverman.  I'm so glad that my bladder is stronger than hers was.

Matt is off golfing with his buddies for the week.  He thinks we'll perish without him but really, and don't tell him this, it's nice and quiet and there's one less person for me to pick up after.  Shhhh   ;-)

The kids think that when Dad isn't home they should help me out by sleeping with me.  I can usually convince Skyler to sleep in her own bed for part of the night, but the other kid, he's stubborn.  About 4:00 this morning, shortly after I got up to pee, Sky came in and proceeded to stick all her bony joints into my soft jello-y ones.  The key to sleeping with that kid is to stick a pillow between the two of you.  Sure you're hanging off the side of the bed, but there's less bruising.

May was a sucktastic month for reading.  I don't think I finished an entire book.  I skimmed one and finished 3/4 of another.  MEH.  I AM excited for June.  I've already got a nice little pile of fiction books all lined up and I'm actually feeling optimistic about finding SOMETHING to interest me.

We, the family, recently became hooked on Glee.  I hear so many people talk about it and my family loves nothing more than a gang of singing high school students so I ordered the first season dvd.  We spent an entire Sunday afternoon watching episode after episode.  We all loved it so I've started tivo-ing the new shows.  I missed two that aren't online any longer but hopefully they'll show them again this summer.  Great, fun show. 

Here's a picture of Skyler from this morning.  Check out the converse kicks she inherited from her cousin.  Don't they go great with her outfit?  She cracks me up.

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