Thursday, April 30, 2009

Please Don't Leave My Monkey in the Primate House!!!

Man, I am trying so hard to catch up on everyone's blogs, and you all are so prolific that it's really, really hard!!!!!

I found out that Patrick has a field trip on the same day as Josie's, to the National Zoo in DC. Since DH is having surgery the week before, and I'll be in Annapolis that day with Josie, neither of us will be going with him. I'm trying not to freak out about this. That's a loooonnngggg day for them (9-5), and I know my boy - he wants to do his own thing. At least he'll still have his cast one, which will 1- prevent him from breaking at least one of his arms, 2-make him easier to spot for his chaperone, since he'll have a day-glo green thing on his arm, and 3-make him less attractive to kidnappers, since a cast is hard to hide. I'm a little concerned about how hot it's going to be, or if it's going to be rainy, since it can't get wet, and being out in the hot sun all day with it would be really sweaty and awful, too. Plus, there's very little shade there, and not a lot of places to get drinks. My big hope is that my friend, Kristi, will go with them, because she has twins in that class, and Patrick is best friends with one of them. I'm going to email her and find out. She's the kind of person that I can trust not only to watch him, but also to make sure that they're drinking and going to the bathroom, etc.

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So, are we freaking about swine flu? I'm not sure. Part of me is very nervous, since it seems likely that it's going to go through the whole population, but since everyone in the US has been fine from it so far, it doesn't seem like something that's too scary, yet. I know a lot of people in Mexico have died, but I suspect that they live in places where the medical treatment is poor. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. Ohm.

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Nothing else all that new to report. I'm just having a good time reading all your stuff, you prolific people!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Will someone explain to me why it was 93 degrees the last two days, and now it's 60? I mean, I'm grateful, since I prefer 60 any day of the week, but STILL!!!!

Yesterday evening, I went to a PTA meeting about teacher appreciation week (which is next week), and found out that I am, indeed, the VP for the next two years, which sets me up for being (gulp) president the following two years. Whew.

I am also going on Josie's field trip to Annapolis. I caved. She really, really wanted me to go, and some of her friends' parents have had to say 'no' due to work and whatnot, so I'll actually have a group of Josie and her little friends, which will actually be lovely. I mean, I like all the children, but it's always nice to hang around with a well-mannered group of children who actually like you and will listen and generally obey the rules without having to be reminded! Sadly, Patrick's field trip to a zoo has been scheduled for the same day, and he's upset that I can't also go with him there. Why do schools do that?! There are three kids in Josie's class alone that have siblings in Patrick's class, and it's hard enough to find chaperones, never mind when there are competing trips on the same day!

DH is having hernia surgery again on May 7th. This one will be laproscopy, so it should be a lot easier on him than the last one. Until then, though, his stomach is feeling increasingly weirder, so pretty much everything is up to me to do around the house. That's right, ladies, it was I, She-Ma, Princess of Power, that wrangled the a/c units out of the attic cupboards, where they were hidden behind all manner of Xmas decorations, and got the huge one out of the garage for the downstairs, and installed them all on Monday afternoon, in the 90+ degree heat. I totally deserve some kind of merit badge. The dining room one was heavy, but worse it was also bulky so I couldn't get my sweaty hands around it right, and had to stop every time I came near anything that resembled a stopping place at all to prevent dropping it on my foot in a repeat of last year's downspout disaster (for those of you who didn't read then, the entire downspout fell on my big toe while I was installing a rainbarrel last May, and it took almost nine months to grow out completely!).

After everyone was home from PTA meetings and vet appointments last night, the kids played outside with Belle, the little girl across the street who uses our playset regularly, and several other neighborhood kids stopped by, as well. One of them was Teddy and his mother, which I thought was a little odd. He immediately ran towards Patrick and tried to hug him, but really only succeeded in shoving him, which scared the bejesus out of me because I saw it from the window and didn't know what was happening until I had rushed over there. I was surprised that they came by, considering, especially when they don't usually. I wish they had been by more regularly, because I saw for the first time, really, how hard his mom has it, and exactly how hard Teddy's mind must have to work to make sense of the world. She had to watch him constantly to make sure he wasn't hurting someone, or himself. If he didn't have a baseball bat that he was swinging near one of the little kids, he was trying to jump off of things, or constantly try to touch Patrick's cast. Phew. A friend of mine who also knows Teddy's mom told me that she thinks that the woman didn't seem surprised when she told me what had happened at their house because she thinks the poor woman has really just shut down in a lot of ways, and I could see that, but also after watching them last night, I can see how she probably isn't actually surprised by anything the boy does. In fact, one other mom, who came by for the first time, asked what happened to Patrick, and I hesitated, since with Nancy right there I wasn't sure what I was going to say, and Nancy just told her that 'Teddy did it. He pushed him off the playset.', like she was talking about the weather. I think that woman's eyeballs about popped out of her head!

I was happy, though, that Patrick seemed OK with being near Teddy, and even actually was trying to show him how to climb a tree (!!!!get down from there!!!!). He did leave to come inside eventually, but I was proud of him for still being kind and understanding what had happened. I can tell, too, that it's going to be rough going for a little while, because he also came trotting over to me with his helmet on to ask if he could ride his scooter last night!!!!!! Good grief! I said that he has to wait at least a week, since the pamphlet said not to let the cast get hit with anything for at least a few days, and plus, how bad would it hurt if he dumped his razor scooter?!?! Sigh. That's my boy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Do We Pay These People, Again?

I took Patrick to school this morning, figuring that he did well yesterday, and there was no need for him to sit around here if he didn't have to. I brought all the appropriate forms, plus a baggie that I had put some kids' chewable Tylenol, with a note from me that he could have some at noon. I walked him and all his paperwork and medicine into the school, and stopped in the office while he continued on to class.

The nurse said he can't have Tylenol in his backpack at school. Duh, that's why I was in her office handing it to HER. (I explained that a little nicer when I was there in person.)

Nope. He can't have anything unless there's a note from the doctor, saying exactly how many I should bring in, and the original container, with exactly that amount in it. Not even for non-prescription items. The prescription won't due, either - I have to take a special form to the doctor, and have them fill it out, and bring THAT in. I, myself, can come in and give it to him, and as she told me, that really would be easier.

The only thing she can give him is ice. That's it. That, and call the house.

Why do we pay this person to be there all day? At the very least, they should combine her position with the secretary or something, becasue if all she does is hand out ice and the occasional doctor-form medicine to kids with ADD or something, hello, she's not doing much in there all day. Hell, *I* could sit in there and hand out ice and make phone calls.

I know it's not really her fault, it's the school system, but what the fark is wrong with the world when I can't drop off a NOTE and also personally tell someone to give my kid two chewables at noon? Sheesh. So, I'll be going in there for Josie's class anyway at 1pm, and I'll bring them with me then.

One good note - yesterday at tball, one of the other parents stepped up and said that he'd coach the team, so DH won't have to do it anymore. Patrick doesn't seem too upset about the whole baseball thing, which is good, too. I think it helped that it was NINETY THREE FREAKING DEGREES here yesterday, and really that's just too hot for baseball when you're...well, when you're anyone, in my opinion!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

We're Gonna Get Our Own Wing If This Keeps Up

We spent last night in the ER.

Again.

This time, for Patrick.

At least that was a first.

It started because he was playing at a friend's house, down the street. Teddy is another Kindergardener, with an older sister, Nell, who is in third grade. The kids like to play with them from time to time, particularly Nell. Teddy, while he is Patrick's age, has fairly serious autism, and used to act out pretty aggresively, hitting the kids with sticks he would find in the yard if he got upset. However, K has done him good, and his social skills have improved to the point where Patrick, who is used to adjusting his expectations of playmates due to his cousin, has been increasingly willing to play with him again. So, yesterday was a welcome surprise, both because Patrick was having enough fun that he wanted to stay for dinner, and because Teddy was doing well enough that Patrick wanted to.

An hour later, we heard wailing in the street, and Teddy's mother was walking Patrick, who was clutching his arm, up the street. After about a half hour of debate, we all packed up and went to the ER.

Once we got there, I was encouraged by how empty the waiting room seemed, and how quickly we got through check-in. Then, we were transferred to Minor Care, down the hall.

Their waiting room was PACKED. When I gave the nurse the paperwork, she barely even looked at me, and when I asked if she could estimate about how long the wait would be, she told me Three. Hours. I repeated this to myself, and said, 'he's six, and I think he has a broken arm, and he'll have to wait three hours.' I wasn't complaining; I was more shocked than anything. I know from experience that the waiting rooms are slow, but he was so little, and his little face was swollen from crying, and I just couldn't believe it. The nurse said, 'Sorry, that's how it is.' Nice.

I went back out, and Patrick climbed onto my lap and, thankfully, dozed off. We waited an hour, and an Xray tech came out to collect us and another man. He barely looked at us, and walked so quickly that Patrick had to almost run to keep up with him. When we got into the Xray room, he was pretty brisque - I think he thought that there really wasn't much wrong, since Patrick had stopped crying long ago, and was just quietly holding his arm, waiting, when the tech arrived. I finally stepped in when the guy started raising his voice in response to Patrick crying and saying that he couldn't hold his hand that way, he just couldn't, it hurt too much. 'He's only SIX', I hissed quietly, and the guy backed off a little, and let me hold Pat's arm for him rather than him sitting there crying on his own, with all this huge machinery around him, being so small and hurt.

When the tech came back from reviewing the films, he was MUCH nicer, and while I was relieved about that, I knew that it probably meant that he had seen something Not Good. I was right - he pulled me aside in the hallway, after we had returned to the waiting area, and told me that he had moved us up on the schedule because Patrick had broken both bones in his right wrist.

An hour later (we had been there for almost two hours at this point), we were moved into a triage room. Where we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

An hour later, a resident came in and said that a nurse would be in soon to make a temporary cast, and give Patrick a shot of morphine. He had been permitted no pain medication this entire time, for some reason. The resident began asking him if the scratches on his head hurt, whether he had a headache, if his ribs or stomach hurt (the whole time, all I could think was, um, if he'd had a head injury, or you thought that there was a possibility of one, why are we HERE in MINOR CARE, waiting hours upon hours?!?!). Then she told him about the pending shot, and All Hell Broke Loose. He started crying again, got all worked up, and when the nurse finally did come, half an hour later, with the huge syringe, he had a full-blown panic attack. He flailed, and screamed, which made his pain and exhaustion even worse, and his pupils dialated to dishplates.

Here, I have to tell you, is the only funny thing that happened all night. He began in all earnestness to tell everyone in the room, VERY loudly, that 'that needle is TOO SHARP and I can't possibly sleep like this, and I am NEVER COMING HERE AGAIN'. Like it was a bad restaurant or something!!! I agreed wholeheartedly.

We finally left the ER at 11pm, with a temporary cast and a script for tylenol with codeine that I couldn't fill because it was too late. They said the shot would wear off during the night, but they wouldn't give us anything to take home. Luckily, he's a HUGE trooper, and he was OK through the night, and made do with regular Tylenol all morning, including at his 9am appointment to have his permanent cast put on. He shed not one tear.

Teddy's mother came by this morning, to see how Pat was. This is the part that disturbs me a little - Teddy pushed him off on purpose. Apparently, he told her that he had wanted to pretend that they were in some Benji movie he likes, and he wanted to reenact a part where they jump off a bridge or something and swim away, so he shoved Patrick off the top of the playset in their packyard and then jumped off after him. Patrick had no idea what was coming.

Now, I know that Teddy wasn't trying to hurt Patrick, but I am a little upset that I didn't know that this was a possibility. I was under the impression that since his aggression has abated, he was a pretty safe playmate, especially with parents around. I know that children hurt themselves all the time, and I fully expected him to break something at some point, but not like this. I wish I had known that Teddy was this confused about reality. I wish that his parents, who know him best, had protected Patrick a little more. I'm not really angry, just... well, I'm not letting myself think about it. He's going to miss out on the entire baseball season now, and won't be able to cool off in the sprinkler or our hot tub for six weeks.

The Mom came by with Teddy and his sister this afternoon to give Patrick a little gift, to help Teddy learn empathy. It was a nice gesture, and I appreciated them coming by again. Then they had to leave, because Teddy had to go to soccer practice. Meanwhile, Patrick sits here on the couch, while DH goes to coach the baseball team his son can no longer play on. Sigh.

Here's my brave little man:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Randomness

Here are some random thoughts for your perusal and enjoyment:

1. I had to take Patrick to the doctor again yesterday, because he cough STILL hadn't gone away with the albuterol and flovent inhalers, after two weeks and an increased dosage. So, now he's on a liquid steroid for the next few days, on a decreasing dosage. I hate Hate HATE giving him all this medicine. I know, it's for his health, but I can't help but feeling that I'm pouring all these chemicals into his skinny little body and turning his system into some kind of Drug Soup. I'm the kind of person who avoids taking things most of the time, and I won't even give the kids Tylenol for a fever unless it's a pretty serious situation, because I believe in letting the body do its own work. I know that his coughing means that his body needs help, but all this stuff.... sigh.

2. I am SO into the HBO show, In Treatment, and I'm pissed now that I've caught up on season 2 so now I have to wait for new shows to come out like everyone else. We've been watching a few a night to catch up, since we missed the first week and a half or so, which then put us behind on week three, which we finally finished last night. Damn!!! It is SO ENGROSSING. Plus, I have a huge thing for Gabriel Byrne; ever since he played Friedrich on Little Women, I've been hooked. (Also, damn that Winona Ryder, who has gotten to kiss everyone from Gabriel to Johnny Depp!!!! WTF?!) For those of you who don't watch, Byrne plays a therapist, and each of the five shows that air per week follows one of four patients, plus a show where Byrne interacts with his own therapist. Each show is one entire session with one of the four patients. My favorite patients are April, a young woman who has cancer but can't bring herself to tell anyone or get any help for it, and Oscar and his parents, who are going through a nasty, nasty divorce. The others are good, too, but they're my favorites.

3. I got a new cell phone!!!! It's the Samsung Rant, and I loooovvveee it!!!!! It has a full slide-out keyboard, so I can text a LOT easier, and a ton of great functions. I can basically run my life with this thing. Plus, it's bright red!

4. The C25K thing isn't going so well. In fact, exercising in general isn't going so well. I have been so busy lately that either I literally haven't had time to do it, or when I do I'm so exhausted from everything else that I can't. Seriously, every time I have set aside time to do it, something happens, like the phone rings and it's a problem, or a new event pops up that I have to deal with, or it's time to go to the school, or someone has grown out of all their pants somehow overnight and I have to use my free hour to run to the store and get more to prevent mass nakedness. I also discovered that running outside is WAY harder than running on my treadmill, and hurts my shins more, but it *is* more interesting. I'm going to keep trying.

5. There's still time for those of you who have been thinking about joining the book club and haven't - this month's book, The Book Thief, is one of the best I've ever read, and it goes quickly because of that. It's about a young girl, Leisel, who is adopted by an impoverished german family as Hitler is rising to power, and is told by Death, who first meets Leisel when her brother dies on the train to meet their adoptive parents. He narrates the story, and gives side-tidbits on the world around them to the readers, but in a very compassionate yet worldly way. It's beautiful, and I can't wait to hear what other people have thought. On Amazon, it's had over 500 reviews, and is still at almost five stars.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Static

I like my children more when they're somewhere else. That sounds harsh, doesn't it? But lately, it's true.

They are both being SO OBNOXIOUS, I can't stand to be near them half the time.

Patrick is being a TOTAL spaz, and has gotten into a habit of clearing his throat, which he now does all. the. time. He's done this before, and it will go away, but in the meantime it's driving me BANANAS. That in addition to his coughing, which still hasn't gone away despite his inhalers, makes for constant, predictable noise. Literally, every fifteen seconds or so, that boy either coughs, clears his throat, or makes some other grunting sound. I think that it's partly not his fault, and partly an attention-getting thing. (Actually, I'm nervous that he has my OCD, but that's another topic for another day.) Plus, he constantly is flailing around, dramatically throwing himself to the floor in fake surprise, flopping around on the couch, jumping on people, or bouncing up and down. Also, and this is the biggie, he nods his head and agrees to things I ask him to do, and completely DOES NOT DO THEM. In fact, it appears that he hasn't heard me AT ALL, and he is shocked when I ask him whether he's done xyz that I asked him to do. It might be easier for him to parse the requests if he didn't talk over me all the time, which they both have gotten back into the habit of doing. ARGH!!!!

Josie, for her part, is being a serious tween beyotch. She is SO MEAN to Patrick, I want to kill her with my heat vision (as soon as I get those damn superpowers I ordered from Amazon). She's not mean in a hitting way, more in an icy-cold, scathingly condescending way. He tells her something, she acts like it's the most inane thing she's ever heard, even when she knows full well what he's talking about. He hugs her, she just stands there and doesn't hug him back. It's so mean, it just kills me inside. My suggestion that it's shower day (every other day) launches her into full-scale warfare as to whether she took one yesterday, why she doesn't need one, etc., as though a five minute shower will make her skin just plain fall off. She will actually work herself up to near-tears within a minute or two, if you can believe it. If she wants something, she walks over to me, no matter what I'm doing, and stares at me until I ask her what she wants. Worst, if we're all playing a game, like Wii's Raving Rabbids TV Party (which is the funniest game EVER), and a minigame comes up that she doesn't like, she will patently refuse to play, and will sit with her arms crossed while the rest of us do our thing, sulking the whole time. ARGH!!!!!

Really, the thing about all of this that makes it unbearable is that it's SO. PREDICTABLE. I know exactly what's going to happen when I say it's time for a shower, or when I ask Patrick to get dressed. I know if I ask what kind of game people want to play, whoever answers second will purposefully demand to do the exact opposite of what the first person said. And, since these are the things I'm in charge of (read: everything), and the things I'm in charge of make up my entire day since I'm a SAHM, when they're around I am so frustrated and BORED. It's like Groundhog Day, with the same thing happening over and over and over again with no end in sight.

When they're not here, I can allow myself to forget these things, and remember only the fun things, or look forward to maybe playing a game during dinner. When I imagine in my mind things that we'll do, I see us all playing and laughing, and sometimes it really is that way. But, more often than not, the fighting and same-old-same-old things happen, and then not only am I bored and annoyed, but I'm sad and disappointed, too. I had children because I want a family, and a home where people love each other. I lived for so long with people who hated each other, and where there was so much unhappiness and strife. It breaks my heart sometimes to look around and wonder whether these two people, whom I love most in the world, will ever just stop and simply Be together.

I hope it's going to get better. I know there are people out there who have lost children, especially lately with all the poor internets we know, and they would give their teeth for what I have. I'm a selfish, selfish girl for wanting more than I already have. I know parenting is supposed to be hard, and maybe I'm being childish for complaining about the boredom and frustration of the everyday. I know that they're children, and that they'll assumedly mature and maybe even grow out of this. I know I'm lucky, and I love them more than I could ever have imagined.

But, for the moment, I like them most when they're somewhere else, because then I can just love them without all the static getting in the way.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Activities

It's pouring outside, and I'm glad. We had such a busy weekend, it's nice to have a quiet day in the house, listening to the rain, where I don't feel like I'm wasting my time if I'm not outside. I mean, I'm thrilled to be able to go out, but there's something about a rainy day once in awhile that's so soothing, isn't there? It's not freezing, there's no snow (yet Yet YET, I said YET, Karma, so leave me ALONE this week!!), and it's not a hellacious downpour where I have to worry about the plants I put out on the upstairs sleeping porch this weekend (I'll post pictures of my Green Children another day). I'm currently waiting on the organ repair/tuner guy, who is about 90min late, but again, it's a crappy day, so I don't care. Then, the electrician is coming this afternoon to look at the wiring for our hot tub, which was installed by the guy who used to own the house, a general contractor, who knew just enough to get himself (and now us) in trouble by poorly wiring a ten thousand dollar piece of equipment. Sigh.

Anyhoo, this weekend was PACKED. Saturday was opening day for T-Ball:




It was the first really sunny and hot day of the year, so along with lovely memories (and not a few tears in Mommy's eyes) Josie and I brought home great, big sunburns. OUCH. Sigh. Anyway, Patrick did well, and I was so proud of them both out there. All the little kids in their huge batting helmets, and one little boy who held up his baseball pants with one hand while he ran, just cracked me up. One boy was so excited every time he got the ball he turned in circles because he couldn't figure out for the life of him where to throw it! Oh, it was too, too funny.

Then, yesterday was Josie's piano recital, where she actually played the organ for both songs.


video

She's so short that they have to crank the seat almost all the way up!

Now, it's Monday again, and DH is working late to make up for time he's missed at a doctor's appointment this morning. He found out that he has to have his other hernia operation now, because the one that they left last time because it was small, and not near the other one he had fixed, is now large enough that it will be a problem. At least this time it will be laprascopy (I know I spelled *that* wrong), rather than regular incisions. Poor DH. It runs in the family, so it's not a surprise, but still. :(

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dilemma - Good Mommy, or Sane Mommy?

The fourth grade at Josie's school is going on a trip to Annapolis in May. It's a 2hr bus ride away, (they'll be taking school busses, I believe) and extends from 7:30am until 5pm. They'll be walking all over creation down there, to the Naval Academy, the capitol, and going on a boat ride.

They need chaperones.

Josie, of course, wants me to go. So do several of the kids in the class.

DH said he can probably take the day off, or at least go in late, since if I went, someone would have to be with Patrick until he can go to school at 8. I could probably find someone he could go home with at the end of the day.

The thing is, I think I might die if I go. Or at least end up with The Migraine To End All Migraines. I cannot imagine that level of insanity, for that amount of time, in the weather of Maryland in May. It could be anywhere from 60 degrees up to 105 (as it was the day Josie was born, May 15th). A literal BOATLOAD of fourth graders?! Also, the trip is $10 for the students, but $16 for the adults, so I would not only get to pay for the pleasure of going, but pay EXTRA. I can think of approximately A BILLION things I could do that day that don't involve massive amounts of Tylenol.

I love my baby, and I like the kids in her class, on an individual basis.

A good mommy would go, I think.

Am I a good mommy?

I don't know.

Are you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Winners and Losers

OK, y'all. To be a winner,

...look like this:


To be a loser, look like this:

aka, my favorite two pairs of shoes.

or, this:

oh, bathmat, we will be flailing without you

Winners are full of pride:

look, ma, no hands!

...while losers are left empty inside

uh-oh, looks like somebody's gonna be pooping bubblegum turds!

Winners do NOT look like this:

I thought only lizards were supposed to shed their tails. Not toy raccoons.

Winners, though, are sometimes also losers -

I've been a bad, bad girl. Also, I just blew a bubble out my behind.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grocery Roundup, April 14

Today's trip to the grocery store was a flying one. I had just over half an hour to get through my whole list, check out, and get to the school! I got the slowest cashier ever, although in her defense she was new, who wanted to look over every. single. coupon. I had. I wanted to grab them from her and scan them myself! But I didn't. As a result, I was the next-to-last parent at pickup, and got berated by the kids for being 'late', but whatareyagonnado? At least it's done for awhile.

Coupons are getting harder to find. The Washington Post has stopped carrying them altogether, and with Easter there were none in the local paper this week, either. Sigh. I'm going to check if the Baltimore Sun still has them, and maybe start getting that delivered. I cancelled the Post, since without coupons, and their mangling of Book World (which is now hidden in the Outlook section, and only discusses nonfiction books on a single topic each week, BORING), since it wasn't worth it to me anymore. Hello, papers who are doing badly shouldn't cancel things that make people want to buy them!!! Also, the latest P&G coupon flier had about a million coupons for razors in it of various kinds (how much are people shaving out there, anyway?! sheesh!!), and a lot LOT of coupons expired on 3/31. After this trip, I have not very many left. Crap. My new computer can't print to my printer, because the printer is old and Vista doesn't have a driver for it. We do have a newer printer downstairs, so I'm probably going to have to find the cd for that and install it on my machine so I can start printing them out again. (I know, I say that all the time, but this time I'm really gonna DO it.)

Stats:

Items Purchased: 57
Coupons Used: 33
Coupon Savings: 22.84
Bonus Coupons: 3.30
Store Card Savings: 22.84 (yes, the exact same amount - is that weird or what?!)
Percent Saved: 23%
Total Dollars Saved: $48.98
Amount Spent: 166.36

This was an easier trip, since we're still coasting along on the meats I bought on that big sale awhile ago, and we didn't get any shampoo, etc. I did splurge and get a few frozen meals, including my new favorite frozed baked four-cheese ravioli. Yum.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Foiled Again! (and again!)

It all started with the exploding glue.

The exploding green, sparkle glue.

As I was eating my oatmeal this morning, Patrick decided that he had to paint his new suncatcher right. that. moment. His only problem? He couldn't get his green sparkle glue open. Like a good mommy, I worked on getting it open for him, and realized that the hole didn't seem quite big enough. Like a sleepy mommy who hadn't had ANY coffee yet, I peered at the tiny hole as I applied pressure to the tube, thinking maybe I could see a little glue paint come out so I would know where to stick the pin to make it bigger. I got an eyefull, too.

Literally.

The top blew off like a rocket with a POP! and just like that, mommy's face, pjs, and laptop were covered in green, sparkly glue slime paint no, seriously, slime. Ta-Daaaaa!!!!!!!

Patrick's comment?

'Is there any left so I can use it?'

Sigh.

After I took a shower, where I pried the sticky stuff out of my HAIR (WTF is in this stuff, anyway?!), and vacuumed all four floors of the house, and cleaned the kitchen, and started laundry, I announced that it was time to take the books to the library, the videos to Blockbuster, and us to the grocery store for puppy chow, non-dairy creamer (because by the size of the ulcers I got on my tongue, Target brand creamer has milk in it, OW), and some lunch. Specifically, they make great pizza, and fresh spicy tuna and salmon sushi that is to die for. Off we went!

After spending about a half hour at the library picking out books, books on cd, and more books, we went to the counter, where I presented my license (because my library card had an unfortunate run-in with first the washer, and then Delilah) and our leaning tower of Piza pile of goodies. My conversation with the Nazi librarian went like this:

Her: There's a note here.
Me, willing to play along: What does it say?
Her: Apparently, the Development of Western Civilization snorefest books on cd you returned were missing #4.
Me, plotting to kill DH, because this is the second time this has happened: Oh, OK, we'll get it when we get home. *smiles expectantly*
Her: Oh, I can't let you take anything out until it's back.
Me: Can I just renew the cds and bring them with me, and get these other things as well?
Her, eyes glinting in evil glee: Oh, I don't think the computer will let me do that. No, it won't.
Me: So, I can't get anything, even though those weren't due yet, and technically I didn't have to bring them in today at all?
Her, smiling: That's right.

We left. Bookless. My one satisfaction was that we left all the books there for her to reshelve. I mean, seriously, I KNOW she could have done it. We've done it before. When did we so totally hand over control of our lives to computers?! I mean, what next? 'Well, sir, I'd love to give you this oxygen, but the computer doesn't like you, so.... it's beyond my control.' Argh.

So, we went to Blockbuster. That, at least, was fine, except that Josie, who has turned into Miss Preteen Hormone America, bitched at Patrick the entire way across town about one thing or another, and then proceeded to sulk the entire way to the grocery store because I told her that she was being way more obnoxious than he had been all morning. What can I say? I'm on the rag popular.

We got to Weis, and good thing, because I was starving. It was 1:30, and I hadn't had anything since the glue factory incident at 8. Salmon rolls tumbling down the pizza sliced-hills of my mind, I trot into the store, ready to get us some lunch.

Pizza slices all gone. No more until 2. Only sushi there was a California roll, and I can't eat crab.

SONOFABITCH!

I let the kids pick out pre-packaged salad bowls, and decided I'd have an apple and peanut butter for lunch at home. We got the chow and creamer, and headed to the checkout.

They were ALL OFF. Oh, there were cashiers there, but all the lights were off. (Kinda like the lights were on but nobody was home, in reverse, but the same concept still applies.) So, we picked line 9, and were told to go to line 6. We went to line 6. She told us to go to line 4 because she'd logged out and her register wouldn't let her log back in until after her break (do we see a pattern here, people?!). Finally, as I was about to KILL someone, one girl finally took pity on us and came over to ring me, the Bitch Princess, and The Boy Who Would Be Cashier (who was trying to figure out how to open the register behind my back in the next aisle while I was paying) up so we could get the eff out of there.

And Delilah just ate my favorite black heels. She literally chewed the buckle off as I was writing this post!!! What is she, part BEAVER?!

The moral of the story is, I hereby declare a New Rule: if your day starts with green glue slime, you offically get to go back to bed and start over, because it's not going to get any better!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Sounds of Silence

Do you hear that?

No?

ME NEITHER!

That, my friends, is the sound of Patrick being at his cousin's house for a few days!!!! He left yesterday with Jen and my nephew, Brandon and niece, Katie, and we won't see him again until tomorrow afternoon, when we all meet up at DH's parent's place for an early Easter with the family.

Is it totally wrong that I am LOVING this? I mean, I love my boy to the ends of the earth, but this has been GREAT. There has been no fighting, no whining, hardly any work for me since Josie is old enough to do her own thing sometimes, and everything has been smooth sailing. It makes me think, this is what it would have been like if we'd stopped with Josie, and what it may potentially be like in a few years, when Patrick is older. I admit that if he was gone too much longer, I would start to really miss him, but I'm enjoying the placidity too much at the moment.

One other nice thing about Patrick being away was that Josie and DH could come to the church last night to the Maundy Thursday service (which marks the betrayal of Jesus), where the choir performed Song of Sorrows, a cantata with a full orchestra, down to a bassoon and a harp! It was beautiful, and while we as a choir had to rehearse really, really hard to get it all right, it came off well. The service was an hour long, most of which was the cantata. We started out with all the lights on and all the candles lit, and as we moved through the music, the lights got lower and lower, and candles were extinguished, until everything was dark and we were singing the final lament. Then, as the drum played a simple march, the orchestra and choirs left in pitch-dark silence. Even as someone who sings in the choir every week, I feel the most connected to the entire experience at these times, when we're doing a large musical production. I'm also really looking forward to singing the Halleleujah Chorus on Sunday, which we do at both services, because it's one of my favorite pieces of music to perform, and we'll get to do it twice. It's so joyful, and I love the feel of hitting the high notes (I sing soprano) with the huge organ opened all the way. Everyone joins in, and the whole thing is so loud and powerful that it sort of sweeps me away.

I also like Easter because of the historical aspects. Whether you believe in Christ as the messiah or just as this seemingly great guy who spoke on peace and love, the historical facts are the same. The last supper, the betrayal, the arrest and crucifixion are all events that there need be no debate about, because they are historical events that require no particular religious belief. It amazes me that nearly 2000 years later, there we are, thinking and singing about these real people who were breaking bread and drinking wine, on the same day, at roughly the same time of day as we are. It makes the whole thing seem more relatable to me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

'Hey, Where Are You Going With Those Woods?!'

That's what Patrick yelled at DH tonight as we took his loft bed down in preparation for the buyer picking it up tomorrow night - Dh was in the process of carrying the wooden slats that go under the mattress downstairs. I'm still laughing!!!! All I could picture was DH as Paul Bunyan or something, stomping through the house with about fifteen trees slung over his shoulder!

Patrick doesn't know this, but we have bought him a new bed. The loft bed that he's been using since his second birthday is getting small for him, and with the way his room is configured in this new house the slide doesn't really fit, anyway. It was still working out OK, though, until a few weeks ago he suddenly announced that he wanted to sleep on the floor. Not on the mattress on the floor, just on the floor. He looked like a little homeless person sleeping on the carpet, curled up under his pirate comforter with his little pillow! I would go into his room in the morning and practucally trip on him. It took me a long time to get out of him what had changed, and guess what it was. Go on, I'll wait.

Ready?

He wants the dogs to sleep with him like they do with me and occasionally Josie. The poor thing has been sleeping on the floor in the hopes that a dog would wander into the room and sleep with him, while the whole time his door has been shut all night, and hello, the dogs are sleeping on a bed so they're not going to trade it in to sleep on the floor, anyway! They're no fools. Had I known what he was looking for, I would have opened his door at night, when I went up to bed, and ushered one of the beasts into his room!!

So, this past week I went to Wolf Furniture, having been bribed there by their bait-and-switch ad I got in the mail. It was a coupon where you scratch off a thing that will show you what percent you can take off of an item in the store. I got 50%, so I was ready to Save (you all know how I love a coupon!), big time. Yeah, no. The trick was, everything in the store was already on sale, and you couldn't use it on anything that was already marked down. Oh, sure, I could use the coupon to take it off of the regular price, but that would be more, anyway. On the one hand, I still got a good deal, but on the other, why bother with the coupon? Why not just advertise a huge sale and not waste the trees?! Argh. Anyway, I got a plain pine captain's bed, with a headboard, footboard, and a chest below it with four drawers and a cabinet space. I'm kind of hoping to be able to use that as his dresser so we can take the one he currently has out, and later we can put a desk in there for him. We'll see about that - he may still need the space.

He's going to my SIL Jen's house Th-Sat, and while he's gone we'll put the whole thing together. Then, his first night home, I'll try to get one of the dogs to sleep with him. It may not work right away, since Baci is practically umbilicalled (is that a word? it is now) to me, and I don't trust Delilah to be on a bed she can jump off of in the middle of the night, with all those yummy toys, and the ability to pee on the floor if she can get down. At least with our bed, she's afraid to jump down, and she won't pee on the bed, so we're safe from Ocean's Delilah until morning.

Also on the Patrick front, it seems that he has not escaped the asthma curse I seem to have bestowed on my kids. Josie has grown out of it, but I finally took the boy to the doctor today because I *knew* his cough sounded funny. Sigh. A doctor's visit co-pay and $65 at the pharmacy later, we have enough inhaler meds to take him to the end of the school year, which is when he can stop. He's such a trooper.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Remembering

I have tried to start this post three times now, and keep having to erase everything and start over.

I've talked before about being picked on as a child by just about everyone around me, about not having many real friends until junior high, and how even then I was typically an excellent target for anyone with a bad day or a nasty rumor or trick to play. There were a few people who reliably refrained from the fun.

One such person was a boy I met in 5th grade. He wasn't the richest boy, or the smartest, or the one with the best home life, but he was one of the nicest. He was a clown, a boy who always looked for attention in any way possible, even when things may not have been the easiest for him. When we were in middle school, he was a boy who had a notice circulated about him to the teachers at the school to not let him have bathroom passes because he spent the whole time wandering the halls of the school, talking to everyone he met. He was a Friend, with a capital F, to anyone who would have him as such.

I didn't see him as often once we got to high school, but when I did, he was still friendly and easy to talk to, without a harsh word. He was still marching to the beat of his own drummer, and after graduation, he followed the sound right into the military. This is where I lost track of him, although I still thought of him from time to time. There's one boy in Josie's class in particular that brings him to mind, and I have thought of him often as I have worked in the class.

The boy became a man, and left one branch of the military only to join another ten years later. He went to Texas, and lived in the army barracks. I hear that he still made friends wherever he went.

Last week, the boy I knew, now 35, succumbed to his depression. He took a bottle of pills and went to sleep. The men in his outfit found him. Free from whatever demons had plagued him, his remains were shipped home for a wake and funeral, with full military honors. I wish I could have been there to say goodbye to this person who was a small sliver of kindness when I needed a friendly face. I wish I had been able to give him a hand in return for the ones he had given me. I hear that he had shut down at the end, was avoiding questions and running the other way when people probed. I wish I had been one of those people, just so I could have tried, too. Though I haven't spoken to him in years, the news of his death, particularly in this way, is a cold shock that has taken up a stubborn residence between my shoulderblades. The concept that someone who gave so much of himself to the people around him could die a lonely, self-inflicted death is beyond my comprehension.

You will be missed, Craig. The world is a worse place without you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Unreasonable Sense of Loss

Today while I was at MOPS, one of the moms came in with only one baby - her own - rather than the two she usually has - her own and another baby named Maicey that she took care of. I asked her where Maicey was, and she said that M's parents got upset that she took a sick day last week and put her in a daycare center, so she won't have her anymore.

I almost cried.

Maicey was my favorite, *favorite* baby that I cared for. I saw her not only for four hours a month at MOPS, but she also came to the parenting class I've been babysitting for. She was the only bright spot in the class, to be honest with you. She always smiled, was incredibly ticklish, and giggled like a fiend. I adored her, and now suddenly I'm never going to see her again. I am so, so sad over this.

I realize that I'm being unreasonable, and shouldn't be so upset over a baby that I only have spent that much time with, but really, I am.

*****

I started the C25K program today! I had to do it on the treadmill, because it's so. disgusting. outside. It's cold, rainy, and dank. I had actually been hoping to do it outside, and get over my fear of having people see me, but at least I did it, and it wasn't hard. I've run for short amounts of time on da mill before, so the 1-2 minutes at a time that this program had me doing wasn't a stretch at all. hooray! Now I feel pleasantly fatigued and more confident that I can do this.

I used the music program I told you all about yesterday, and it worked great. Also, this was the first time I've used my new-to-me iPod, which is actually a 3rd Gen thing that DH got on eBay along with a Nano and a Shuffle, with various parapharnalia, for $100. None of them were new, but apparently the guy who sold them was trying to raise $$ for a new Touch, and is loading his other stuff. I signed up for all the free podcasts of all the NPR shows I like, so I can listen to them while I'm doing house stuff or taking trips in the car. (yes, I also have music, I'm not that much of a dork). I also signed up for the Bill Mahar podcasts, which are free - why am I paying for HBO again?!