Archive for April, 2007

We might all need to be soothed.

Somewhere along the way I picked up the germs that have led to this horrid, horrid cold. On Thursday I was taking my son to Tae Kwon Do and thought that maybe my allergies were getting worse. I felt that little tickle at the back of my throat, and my nose was starting to get stuffy. By Friday afternoon, I realized it wasn’t allergies, but a damn cold. And the damn cold is still here.

Damn cold.

So while we did a lot of things this weekend – went to the neighborhood’s Festival and got sunburnt, planted some flowers, mowed the grass that insists on growing, got the kids to put away their clean clothes (Hallelujah!) – the most I feel like talking about is this damn cold. Now never mind me while I climb into your lap so you can soothe me while I fall asleep.

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While I’m sleeping, send your congratulations on over to my friend Sara, her husband, and her friends who ran a half marathon yesterday. Way. To. Go!!! I kept checking the results on the website yesterday until her name appeared. She did really well. I’m so proud and happy for her!

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Sometimes you just have to get it off of your chest.

Today I’m having a hard time with one of the children I babysit. This child and I have gone around and around several times, and some days it just gets to the point where I begin to think to myself, why am I doing this again?

My job is taking care of these children. There are two of them – siblings – and it is enjoyable being able to care for kids here in my home. And while I know that because this is just a job I am free to leave it at any point, I feel a sort of responsibility to stick around for these kids. I feel like I can’t just turn in my resignation like I would at any other work place when the situation gets as difficult as it periodically gets here. I don’t necessarily want to say that I feel like a parent to these children, but at times that’s what I feel like. It’s unlike working at the preschool, where children were in my class for just a school year, and then new children came in their place. These children have been in my home for 9-10 hours a day, five days a week, since January 2006. That’s a long time.

And because it’s been that long of a time, I feel like the problems the oldest child is having are not being resolved in my care. I do not feel like a failure – no, I don’t feel like I’m not doing anything right – I just feel like maybe I cannot provide the kind of care he needs.

He’s a very emotional child with special needs (as his parents are discovering.) He’s going to evaluations to determine if he has any true “special needs” and to help his parents learn how to help him, how to give him the best possible care. And while I am very familiar with some of his issues – my own son had some of the very same issues – I am very overwhelmed with giving him the care he needs while also caring for his sibling and my own two children. And that leaves me wanting to throw my hands into the air and say, “I give up.”

Yet this sense of responsibility (I keep using that word) keeps me from giving up. I know that his issues would be worse if his childcare situation were to change. I feel like I, of all people, should be able to provide him with the routine, structure, and most of all understanding, that he needs. It’s just difficult.

And then the whole, is this situation best for him question comes into play. And my mind goes in circles trying to figure out the answer. I know what I would do if he was my child, but I also know that that may not be the best thing. It would just be my answer to the situation. And we’re all different in the ways we handle our children.

I know that I may go through these days when things are very difficult for me (and him) and I also know that right now I can’t quit. I have to see it through.

But, damn, it’s HARD.

Last night…

Okay, guys, I have some things to tell you. My quest for a subject has been successful, and it wasn’t any of my doing. The problem is, I don’t even know where to start. So I guess I’ll go in chronological order (?) I’m really not sure…

Last night was the First Grade Musical entitled “The Cheese Stands Alone” at my son’s school. He was a duck, and, no, we don’t have any pictures. because we’re just not smart enough to remember to bring a camera. He was in the chorus, so I feel that at least we didn’t miss getting pictures his Broadway debut or anything. But I digress…

It was the night of the musical, and we had to drop off my son in his classroom to get ready while we went to the cafeteria (where there’s a stage) for a brief PTA meeting before the kids sang. It was very crowded in there, all the chairs were taken and people were lining up against the wall. (By the way, if you are young and healthy, get up and give the older people a seat. And the pregnant women, they need a seat too. And if you have a small child with you, put them in your lap, do not save them a seat and turn away elderly people by saying that seat is reserved. It’s common courtesy. And y’all should know better.) It was very hot and stuffy. Also, overcrowded.

There was an elderly gentleman who finally found a seat in the back corner, near where we were standing. The PTA meeting started, and we listened to the basic PTA meeting stuff. Amidst the budget talks and thank yous, this elderly gentleman turned to get up out of his seat. He had his hand on his chest and looked as if he was going to cough. He looked right at me and made a kind of half smile, which I took to mean that he was apologetic about something. He looked as if he was going to have a coughing fit and was trying to remove himself from the room so he wouldn’t disturb anyone. How polite, I thought, that he would try and get up while they were talking and not disturb them.

But the man was not going to have a coughing fit. Oh no, he was not going anywhere. He stood up, took about three steps, and fell face first onto the cafeteria floor. And I’m not talking about a fall to your knees and then go down kind of fall, I’m talking about the kind of fall them meant he was standing upright one minute, then he went straight down with sickeningly loud thud onto the floor the next minute. Face first. Right in front of me, my husband, and my daughter.

There was a moment when I just stared at him, lying there face first, and wasn’t sure what to do. It took a minute for my mind to register what had just happened. And then I remember moving towards him while others rushed to help. I also remember then taking a step back while trying to see of anyone there looked like they knew what they were doing. And I’m very embarrassed about taking that step back. You see, I’m certified by the American Heart Association for Heart Savers First Aid and CPR. Technically, I should have helped the man, yet I was frozen.

Luckily amidst the shouts of “Call 911!” (which my husband did well in his booming voice) there also came help from people who could help him. And then I noticed that my daughter was right there, right in front of the man who had just fell face first onto the floor and wasn’t moving, and she was crying. So we quickly got ourselves out of the way and to the front of the room.

It took a long while to get my daughter calmed down. She had never seen anything like that happen, and neither had I. While I tried to tell her that people were helping him, and it was okay I tried very hard to stop my voice from cracking, but I didn’t succeed very well. (And thank you to Jenni – who probably doesn’t read this blog, but I’ll thank her anyway just in case she does – for coming over and helping comfort my daughter. That was very wonderful of you.) I finally got her calmed down and we sat there on the floor just talking while the EMT people helped the man.

I couldn’t see what was happening in the back of the room because I was trying to keep my daughter from looking too, but from what I was told, the man was breathing and was carried out of the room without oxygen or anything. So I think he was okay. I hope he was okay. But he did crack something on the front of his face. He couldn’t take a fall like that without breaking at least a nose. I can still hear the thud. It was awful.

While they were cleaning up the blood, the PTA played a DVD about upcoming bonds they wanted the parents to vote for, and it all seemed really weird. They continued on like normal. And I didn’t hear a word they said. But I guess, what else could they do? There was a whole part of the cafeteria that didn’t even know what had happened. And there was a musical to get on with.

The kids danced and sang and it was wonderful. My boy was so cute up there moving around and grinning. It was great. Amazing.

But there was some child up there who didn’t have his grandfather watching him. He didn’t even know that while he was in his classroom getting ready, his grandfather had a horrible accident. And that thought just kills me. Anything can happen when you least expect it to.

Who has pants? I have pants!

My husband has informed me that is my responsibility, nay duty, to post here often. He has called me a couple of times in the last two days to make sure I am still alive and well. Because if I haven’t posted, then that must mean somethings wrong, right? Well, worry not my friends. I’m not sick or out of town. I’m just lazy.

Today I went shopping for some new capri pants. The weather here is hot, hot, hot and one of my whopping two pairs of pants has finally given up the ghost. The zipper broke on them, and it just wasn’t worth it to me to fix them. (Not that it would be an easy fix for me anyway.) And me being me, I do not like to wear shorts unless the weather has made it absolutely necessary. So new capri pants it is!

I managed to find two pairs. And I count myself lucky that it only took me two trips to the dressing room to do so. I just pulled every pair in my size, regardless of style, and tried them on. I figured that even if I didn’t like how they looked on the hanger, they may fit like a dream and be the pair for me. That strategy seems to work. But boy, it is not fun trying on all those pairs that make me look horrible to find the two pairs that fit well. But, but, the store was having a buy one, get one promotion, so I only had to pay for one pair! Or I got them both at half price. Whichever. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.

I also found my little girl two pairs of shorts. A khaki pair and a light camoflaouge pair. She’ll have to try them on to see if they fit, but they look like they will. I’m having a heck of a time finding her plain old khaki shorts. All I seem to find are ones that have some sort of sparkles on them, or that roll up and tie, or that are so short that she might as well be parading around in her underwear. And she has short legs, so there are only a few of those cute bermuda shorts that don’t fall at a weird spot on her leg. She does have 2 pairs of denim ones that look so cute on her. But plain old khaki is a different story. I must be a boring mom, not letting her have all those sparkly shorts. And the camo pair is purely for her. I didn’t want to buy her any, but she begged. And I figured I would pick my battles and give in on this one. That way when she begs for that leopard print purse again I can say no without feeling guilty. I’ve got it all planned out…

Anyway…Have a good day. I’ll try to keep on posting so that no one worries. (See! I’m still alive, honey!) And hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have something better than pants to talk about. We’ll see…

Ballgames are better with cream cheese.

Last night we took the kids to watch the local Minor League Baseball team. My son was especially excited. He kept saying how much he “loved football” and how he couldn’t wait to see the “football game.” It was so glaringly obvious that he really doesn’t care about the technicalities in sports; technicalities like what the sports are called and all that nonsense. He kept asking when halftime was, and I think he was expecting a show.

The kids had a ball though. After we filled their tummies with all sorts of stadium junk food – remind me to tell you about the best food ever – we found our seats and proceeded to watch our team lose 5-0. But it’s early in the season. And maybe they will find their stride. Or maybe they’ll just not be that great this year and we’ll be able to enjoy a relatively empty stadium. Either way would be nice.

My son may not know what the sport is called, but he did know a strike and a ball when he saw one. The pitcher for our team seemed to be an expert at the whole ball thing. At one point he threw the ball so wild, it was questionable as to whether or not he was even a member of the team, not just some man who put on a uniform and wandered out onto the field. My son kept yelling for him to concentrate. “Focus!” he said. And at one point he was just saying that it didn’t matter if you win or lose, just have fun. You know your game is bad when a seven year old who doesn’t even know when halftime is at you baseball game is trying to coach you through it and keep your morale up.

When we got home I proceeded to quiz my husband on what kind of team we had watched, exactly. I knew it wasn’t a Major League team, but I didn’t know if there was Minor League, and then some sort of sub-Minor League. Like the Minor Minors. And when he began to explain to me that, yes, they are a Minor League team and that there are different divisions (or something,) my eyes began to glaze over. He lost me somewhere after “yes.” And then I was full of questions about other sports and their equivalent of the Minors, and he patiently answered them, all the while wondering how it came to be that he married a woman who knew so little about sports, I’m sure.

Now, onto the important stuff… the junk food. Along with funnel cakes, slices of pizza, peanuts, and more Mountain Dew that a seven year old should legally be able to drink – I swear I thought he was going to bounce right out of his seat and take flight – they had these big pretzels that were filled with yummy filling things. My husband got an apple cinnamon one and he brought me back a cream cheese one. A pretzel filled with cream cheese. Filled with cream cheese! Now whether or not that is a disgusting or mouth watering thought depends on your love of cream cheese. If you are like me, it makes your mouth water so much you may have to start wearing a bib. I’m wondering how long such concoctions have been available, and why I never knew about it before now. It was so good, I gobbled it all up despite not even being hungry. Because if you mix cream cheese with sugar and then stuff it into something, you have got yourself the perfect food. Well, according to me, anyway. So I ask you, how many other things are there that are filled with cream cheese? How many other things am I missing out on? I’ve already discussed my love of jalapeno poppers (YUM) and I also love those toaster strudel things, the strawberry and cream cheese ones. But is there more???

So in recap, we had a lot of yummy junk food last night. Oh, and we also watched some football. Or something.

The Landlord

Have you seen this yet?

When I first watched it, I sat there stunned for a few minutes because I couldn’t believe what the little girl was saying. So be warned, there’s a little girl and profanity. And know that I am in NO WAY ADVOCATING teaching children to cuss!!! That being said, it’s frickin‘ hilarious! “I’m just buzzed.” Ha ha HA!

I likes me some…

There is this perfume that I have wanted for a very long time. I got a free sample once when I ordered something mundane like soap – or was it lotion? – from Sephora. I haven’t bought myself any because it just feels like a luxury I can do without. But someday…

I don’t normally go for large bag/purses, but as any mother knows, they are sometimes necessary. I’ve been eying this one in particular. I think that something that went across my body, leaving my hands free, would be a great thing to have when I take all of the kids to the park in the summer. That way I can lug diapers, wipes, tissues, sunscreens, cell phone, etc…and not have to keep pulling my bag up on my shoulder while wrestling with a small child.

I’m not sure what the “innovative ratchet system” is on this paper towel holder, but I want one. The description says it “allows you to tear off a sheet using one hand, without the roll unravelling” and, by golly, that’s exactly what I want. I’m tired of my plastic paper towel holder and the half a dozen paper towels it rolls off while I try and just get one sheet with my clean hand. I end up having to put my messy hand – usually covered in yogurt that the baby half ate, half wore – on the paper towel roll and leaving a mess on the top of the roll. It never fails.

I once had a cloisonne ring that was blue and beautiful. Alas, I seem to have lost it. I’ve been searching everywhere for another one, but have yet to find exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t remember where I bought the ring at. I thought maybe in Russia, but it also could have been in Germany. Or heck, it could have been in England for all I know. I wish I could show you what it looked like, but the closest things I have found are these bracelets. Now just imagine them in ring form, and much prettier. That’s what my blue ring looked like. If you find one in a size 6, let me know. Thanks. I think that if I were to ever have so much money that I didn’t know what to do with it, I would start collecting Russian and Chinese cloisonne. There are some breathtakingly beautiful things. Also, there’s these. (Which, by the way, scares me to no end.)

Speaking of things that I would buy if I had money to spare, this is high on my list. Or maybe I can talk Starbucks into setting up a shop here in my house, just for me. The odds of me having either are about the same.

I love these shoes. I want one in every color, except for maybe the black and white stripe. Oh, and these! Aren’t they cute? And these, too, please. I’ve had several different pairs of their original black shoes throughout my life, and while I sometimes feel like I’m a little too much like a suburban soccer mom to wear these things anymore, I still heart Vans. I big pink puffy heart them. And that’s a lot of love.

This is the point where any males might want to stop reading for fear of getting too much information. But, girls, I feel like I need to share this with you. You see, I’ve been struggling with finding the proper attire to cover my, um… sizeable rear. Because my rear is sizeable, I have been trying to find something that, when viewed from the back, does not draw attention to it’s size. And the regular old underwear I have just gave me visible panty lines and drew unwanted attention to my rear. And while the answer to that problem is to wear thongs, those just aren’t that comfortable. And to be honest with you, they made me feel very unsupported; I felt very much like I wasn’t wearing anything. So I decided to try a boyshort at the suggestion of a friend. And let me tell you, you should try them too. But do not expect them to look half as cute on you as they look on the models. (Unless, of course, you are built like those models.) I was very surprised at how very un-cute they looked on me. Like granny panties, only bigger, but they do sit lower on your hips. They are not little scraps of fabric, but in fact are more sizeable than any other underwear I have owned. But they cover without riding up, and there are no lines drawing attention to my backside. Enough said.