Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some Random Thoughts on New Years Eve

**I really want a Mac laptop. I just don't want to part with the money to buy one. Especially since the moment I do something new and better will be on the market. I have spent over a year now researching every possible laptop out on the market and now I'm so informed and overwhelmed that I can't make a decision. Aside from my dream Mac I have at least narrowed the brand down to either a Dell or a Gateway and am hoping to be able to make a decision within the next week. So, I am asking you my internet friends. Any suggestions? What are your personal preferences and why? Have you had a bad experience with any particular make and/or model?

** My birthday was pretty uneventful as a whole. However, my daughter is very excited about birthdays and she just couldn't believe I was not going to have a birthday party. (She doesn't yet realize my husband and I are going out tomorrow alone in celebration) so, she spent the day making me beautiful pictures and then made a card for me tonight. So incredibly sweet and thoughtful.

** Just a few short years ago I would be spending New Years Eve out drinking at a party. Tonight I sit at home watching TV and fiddling on the computer. Oh, how times have changed.

** A good friend had her first baby tonight! (On her due date, no less). Congrats J!!! Your son is in good company :)

** My daughter was given a plasma car for Christmas from my parents. I had never heard of it before. The basic idea is that the weight of your body propels the movement of the car by gently moving the steering wheel back and forth. Once moving it steers like a car even going in reverse. I think I have spent more time on it than my children. Lately, I have taken to giving rides to each child. They think it is the greatest way to spend the day and since our downstairs is completely tiled we have quite a bit of inside space to cruise (The car holds up to 220 pounds).

** I'm not a big fan of New Years resolutions because most of the time I think they are made with little intention of truly keeping them or the best of intentions, but no specific plan for success. Last year I had two goals: 1) to lose weight and 2) to write and actually get paid for it. I did lose weight (I still would like to lose a little more) and I am getting paid for my writings. (Still a weird and exciting concept for me). So, in the spirit of consistency my New Years resolutions will once again be to lose weight and to continue to work as a writer....hopefully learning more and parlaying my current work experience into something new.

Happy New Years

I really can't believe that 2008 is coming to a close. This year just seemed to fly by. As with most this year was filled both with good and bad and so I won't spend the time recapping each. I will say that I am eager, for many reasons, to see what 2009 has to offer both me personally and the collective we, as a country.

New Years has always been a dual celebration for me because it's my birthday. When I was a kid I hated having my birthday this close to Christmas because we'd have to wait to have a "friend" party until school was back in and because I had to figure out every gift I wanted for the entire year because I knew I only had one month to get them in. As I got older I didn't mind as much because there was always something to do. My friends in college always threw huge birthday bashes. Same can be said today...minus the big bashes, which I have come to loathe.

Because the kids have been sick we have nothing really planned for today. I may go out for lunch. Tomorrow my parents are going to watch our kids, though, so that my husband and I can go out and celebrate.

In any event, it seems like each year passes by more quickly than the last. It seems like my kids were infants just yesterday, even though they are now 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. It seems like I was in college just a couple of years ago, even though I graduated almost 9 years ago. (Can that be right?) I remember being so sick on my 21st birthday that I spent it in the ER (that was 10 birthdays ago). Where does the time go?

What are your New Years plans? Parties? Quiet gatherings? Time with family? I wish everyone a terrific New Year! Be safe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the Mend

So as you know our son has been really sick (thanks for all the kind words, thought, and prayers). He seemed to just have a lingering cold for the past couple of weeks but by Christmas Day had gotten much worse. I probably should have taken him to the doctor sooner, but we were out of town and for viral infections there is nothing they can really do anyway. Christmas night our son was having difficulty breathing, uncontrollable coughing, wheezing horribly, so we started to get worried.

We'd been down this road before and he ended up being hospitalized for three days last February with RSV and Bronchiolitis. We debated if we should take him to the ER Christmas night and in retrospect probably should have. Friday morning we took him to the doctor. She listened to him, checked his oxygen levels, and sent us off to the hospital. We spent the day there with him receiving breathing treatments every 30 minutes for four hours. Unlike last time, he responded to the treatment and his oxygen levels slowly increased and we were fortunately released, with yet another Bronchiolitis diagnosis, instead of admitted. They had us continue the breathing treatments at home all weekend every four hours.

Unfortunately, our son hates the mask that administers the medicine. He screams and fights and it ends up taking much longer because he holds his breath. By day three he resigned himself to the inevitable and while he no longer fights to the death, he begins to cry the second he sees me pull out the mask and medicine. It's rather sad. He looks at me and cries, "No, no mama."

There is nothing worse than having a sick kid and feeling so helpless. Truly, I don't know how parents of terminally ill children find the strength and courage to go on day after day. As sick as my son is he was/is not close to dying and yet still I have worried non-stop about him. I continue to worry about him and what this means for his future health.

Monday morning I took both kids back to the doctor for a follow up. Our daughter's lungs are clear even though she is still battling a virus, but our son's are still squeaky. Fortunately, his oxygen levels were not low enough to warrant a trip back to the hospital. But, we were sent home with a nebulizer and inhaler treatments for the duration of his illness and they prescribed further treatment anytime he starts coming down with a cold in the future. He apparently is susceptible to respiratory complications; the doctor is hoping it will be something he will outgrow but only time will tell. He was also put on antibiotics for two ear infections. The nebulizer came with a cute duck mask and a spare fish mask so our son is very receptive to the treatment now and will even sit there holding the mask to his face by himself.

So, for now we continue to be housebound. I did manage to shower and dress myself in something other than sweats and an inside out, snot encrusted shirt for the past two days now. Hopefully by weeks end he'll have responded to the treatments and be much better.

Our son has managed to fight some with his sister today so he must be feeling better. He also mustered the strength to tell me "no, no, no", which he's been not feeling well enough to do lately. So, those are both good signs. On a random note my daughter taught him to say, "Happy Birthday" so he's been saying that all day. (I age yet another year tomorrow).

It seems like respiratory viruses are going around. Our friends' son ended up in Urgent Care with bronchitis, and the Pediatric ER was filled with kids all receiving breathing treatments. What's the deal?

So, I thank you all again for your kind words and it looks like little man is on the mend.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Goodnight My Mother

A few nights ago I was laying down with my daughter and cuddling and she was whispering, "I love you so much mommy" to which I kept replying, "I love you so much too." Then I thought she said, "Goodnight my mother" which I thought was kind of funny so I replied by saying, "Goodnight by daughter." We probably had this exchange six or seven times (all whispered) until she finally sits up and says loudly, "No, I've been saying 'Can I have my water?'" Oops. My bad.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What I Would Do For A Night Alone

My husband left town again today on business. When he arrived he called to tell me about his room. Apparently, he is in some luxury hotel and his room is bigger than our first house. He had just stepped out of his personal hot tub and into a comfortable robe. He was then going to lay in bed, watching TV, getting at least a solid 8 hours of sleep.

I can't even begin to tell you how jealous I am. I would kill for a few nights like that....seriously, KILL!

I am home with two sicks kids, one who spent time in the hospital this past week (more on that later), being kept up all night by my son who I have to hold upright all night so that he can breathe, and giving breathing treatments round the clock every four hours for the past three days. Are you jealous yet? Did I mention I'm in sweatpants and a shirt I just now realized is inside out? Sexy.

Seriously, one way to endear yourself to me forever would be to offer to watch my kids for a night and let me sleep, completely undisturbed, for 8 solid hours. I will be your friend for life. I swear! Any takers?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And It's Over Just Like That

It's no secret that I love Christmas. There's always such a let down after it is all over because I know I have to wait a full year until this time of year swings around again. We had a really great couple of days leading up to all of today's festivities.

My brother and his wife arrived from Wisconsin on Tuesday around the same time we arrived back from Phoenix. We were able to spend some time with them Tuesday evening, which was nice because my daughter has been really excited to see them. Christmas Eve we got to just hang out and relax. My husband took our son to run some errands so it gave me and our daughter some time alone, which was greatly appreciated by our daughter. That evening we attended church with my parents, other brother, and grandmother. The kids were perfect, which made things much more enjoyable.

Christmas morning the kids woke up and of course wanted to open presents. It's so funny because when I was a kid I have memories of tearing into presents at record speed. My daughter is very meticulous and opens each present carefully. She then admires it, plays with it, carefully puts it aside before moving on to the next gift. Because of that it took almost an hour to open their presents (could have easily been done in ten). It was great though. We then headed over to my parents, where my sister, her husband, their four kids, grandmother, uncle, both brothers, and sister-in-law arrived. We had a great time watching the kids open and play with more presents. We ate, drank, talked, and laughed. It was a good day.

The only down side is that both kids have been pretty sick and our son has taken a pretty bad turn for the worse today. We are praying he makes it through the night and we can get him (and our daughter) in to see the doctor in the morning. If not, it looks like we'll be making a nice Christmas trip to the ER. The timing could not be worse.

Anyway, tell me about your holiday? How was it? What did you do?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays To All

**My daughter has informed me that Santa would like pink princess sugar cookies and orange juice, no pulp, left out for him.

** Thanks to Sarah and her recommendation to look for jeans at Gap. I found a very comfortable pair that don't stretch. Yeah!!!

** Looks like both kids will still be sick for Christmas.

** Every year I drop hints to my hubby about what I want for Christmas. He rarely catches on. This year I told him there were only two things I wanted. He has an opportunity to be two for two with Christmas and my birthday (December 31). Let's see if he delivers.

** I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


What is the deal with pants being made with the "stretch" material? I hate that. Especially with jeans. I don't want my jeans to stretch. I'm very particular about textures with clothing and nothing annoys me more than pants advertised as "stretch."

Seriously, who wants their jeans to stretch? I spent five hours at the mall today trying on every possible jean in every possible store. Almost every single pair was stretch material. When did this become the cats meow?

I finally settled for a pair that I really don't even like, but at least they fit like they are supposed to. My two favorite pairs of jeans that I have had for years are now three sizes to big, but I've still been wearing them with a belt. They are to the point that they look ridiculous, which prompted the five hour journey today.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you a fan of this stretch material?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Son and His Dinosaur Obsession

Our son is really into dinosaurs, trains, and most recently airplanes. The dinosaur fascination started when my mom showed him this huge dinosaur in Target a few months ago that you could operate with a remote control. It would stand up on its hind legs and roar its loudest, meanest roar. My son loved it. He began walking around the house putting his hand up like he was on his hind end and roaring at anyone who would listen.

A few days ago I busted out some new "winter" pajamas that I had bought him a while ago, that ironically enough have dinosaurs on them. He loves the pajamas. He walks around the house roaring and showing everyone his sleeves and pant legs. This morning when I tried to get him dressed he ran off crying, dug his dirty pj's out of the hamper and brought them to me in tears, yet still trying to roar through the crying. Since we were staying home I put him back in his pj's.

Later in the evening, after giving him a bath, I went to put him in clean pj's. He screamed and kept trying to take his pajamas off. He kept going after his dirty dinosaur pajamas. Apparently, I should have just bought many pairs of the same pajamas and he could wear the "same" ones every night. Who knew?

Anyone else's kid have any odd obsessions?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How We Spent Our Week

My husband, the kids, and I spent this past week in Phoenix. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan in general. It's hot there, crowded, and people drive like maniacs. I lived there for 7 years and my husband was born and raised there. When we moved I couldn't have been more thrilled.

This past week and for a few days in the coming weeks, my husband has to go to Phoenix for business related to his new job. Since the hotel is being paid for anyway...and it's a very nice one... the kids and I went up with him. I'm all about a free vacation. I'm so glad we did because we had a terrific time. The weather was nice and cold (and raining) and because we used to live there we still have a lot of friends living in the area. It was nice because each of the days we were there I was able to meet up with friends, who now all have children as well, and catch up. Our kids all played wonderfully together, which was so nice. My daughter did inform me though that I needed to find a friend who had a daughter. Everyone we met up with has boys and most of my friends here in town that we see regularly also have only boys.

One of the evenings, my husband and I took the kids to an outside shopping area that has a huge Christmas tree decorated with bright lights and each night they drop snow for twenty minutes. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast. I also took the kids to my old University and let them into the arena where I played college basketball. I let them shoot baskets and run around the court. My daughter thought it was wonderful and has declared that she too will play basketball there.

Aside from all the fun activities, the hotel was excitement enough for our daughter. She loves staying at hotels. She loves the room service and the beds and just the convenience and comfort. Each time we'd go somewhere she'd ask "So, can we go back to the hotel now?" I think she'd like to live in a hotel if given the choice. My mom is very much the same way and often checks into luxury resorts for mini vacations. Our daughter told us the first night we arrived that grandma was going to be so jealous that she got to stay in a hotel. Yes, indeed.

I did get a bit nostalgic being back in my old stomping grounds. We ate at restaurants we used to frequent and passed by many of the places I hung out while in college. That along with the combination of hanging out with my friends who I haven't seen in a while, who I used to hang out with daily, made me almost wish we still lived in Phoenix. Then I started driving. My nostalgia went out the window as soon as I hit traffic.

While Tucson is a big city, it still very much has a small town feel. Places open late and close early and we very much have our roots in a small town atmosphere. By comparison, places in Phoenix open early and stay open late. There's something to do all the time. As a result there is traffic and lots of it. Of course we have traffic in Tucson too, but in comparison to what is considered traffic in Phoenix we have very little. For that I am thankful. How anyone who is unfamiliar with Phoenix navigates the freeways there is beyond me.

This trip was really a nice, relaxing, fun week..and a nice break from the usual routine of being home. While I love and enjoy both of my children, spending time with my daughter was especially precious. She was so good and mature and I really enjoyed her company and conversation. She was perfectly behaved, nice to her brother, helpful and polite everywhere we went. I could not have asked her to be better behaved than she was. She is at such a fantastic age. I wish I could just freeze her at this moment in time. My son was a lot of fun too, but he is so active and so much work that it can be just plain exhausting. He is non-stop, on the go, into everything, loud, curious, and 24/7. I wish I had his energy.

Now, I'm home (my hubby is still in Phoenix) trying to do the million loads of laundry and finish up last minute preparations for Christmas. It's been busy, but it's been good!

How was your week? I feel like I've been out of the loop. Catch me up.

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

We spent this past week in Phoenix (a great trip that I will write about later). We stayed fairly close to the airport and I discovered that apparently my children, my son especially, love airplanes. Each time one would fly overhead he'd yell and laugh and jump up and down. It was cheap and easy entertainment.

Back in Tucson, planes seldom fly over the area in which we live. I think on the days the kids are driving me nuts I might send them to the backyard and tell them to watch for planes. It might kill an hour or four.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Attempt to Compensate

We are leaving town tomorrow and I will not have computer access until I return on Thursday (how will I survive?). So, on that note I will leave you with a few "entries" to try to compensate for my absence.

I participated in a variety of sports growing up, from basketball to volleyball, to karate, and many sports in between. As I got older I focused more on basketball and both my high school teams and national traveling teams consistently drew large crowds. To someone who grew up around sports, a large crowd became the norm.

When we stared our daughter in ballet, knowing they were working toward a December and May recital, we had no idea what to expect. To me dance is a great activity that my daughter loves, but nothing to really go crazy about...unless you are the proud parent of a participant. Well, today I learned that apparently people take their dance very seriously.

We had to be at an 8 am rehearsal. I took my daughter just thinking it was a simple walk thru, which is pretty much was. Except for that many of the kids arrived with an entourage of family and friends and neighbors and possibly people they recruited in the parking lot. Rehearsal was pretty much standing room only. It's rehearsal people.

Her performance started tonight at 6 pm. We were told to have them backstage at 5:30 pm. We arrived at 5 pm thinking we were soooooo early and were trying to figure out ways we could kill time. Well, we walked in and the place was packed. We only got seats because my sister had saved some for us. Unbelievable. These are 3 and 4 year olds performing (older kids did perform later in the evening). I guess that I am just stunned at the amount of people who showed up for a children's performance. There were hundreds, sitting on the floor, standing to the side, standing back around the sides and behind the free standing stage. Quite honestly, I would have had stage fright performing in front of that many people at that age (shockingly none of the kids seemed to mind).


My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Because of my affection for this book and my admiration for the fictional Atticus I always wanted to name our son Atticus. My husband doesn't have the same adoration for TKAM as I do thus didn't appreciate the name Atticus in the same way I did. Suffice it to say our son is not named Atticus. Since I am fairly certain we are done having children my dream for use of that name will die somewhere in the pages of that book.


There is a new Brett Dennen song entitled "Heaven" and one of the lyrics asks, "What the hell is heaven? Is there home for the homeless? Is there hope for the hopeless?" It has been in my head replaying over and over again for a solid month now.


A few weeks ago our daughter broke out in hives all over one of her legs. I gave her Benedryl right away and within a few hours they had cleared up. The following day she again broke out all over both legs and her buttocks with these huge welt-like hives. She hadn't been given anything new to eat, I hadn't changed the laundry detergent, she hadn't been around any new or different animals or other possible allergens, so we were at a loss. This bout again went away. Later that evening she broke out on her hands, feet, and stomach and by the following day they were all over her face. She looked like she had leprosy or something.

By this time we had called her doctor who said to continue giving her Benedryl and to watch them for a few more days. Well, we went up North where it was very cold and almost instantly she broke out all over her body, her face and hands especially. On our way back home we called our doctor and she saw her immediately. However, she too was at a loss as to what could be causing them. I mentioned to her, though, that I noticed that the hives got worse when she'd been outside in the cold. So, my doctor had me perform a series of "tests" with her over the next few days to see if exposure to colder weather would again cause her to break out. So, I took her outside and had her run around for 30 minutes and then brought her back inside. Within five minutes of being inside she broke out all over the place with these hives again.

Apparently, she has cold urticaria (cold hives) so we have to limit her exposure to the cold or make sure that her skin is not exposed...much easier said than done. We also have to keep her dosed with Benedryl if we know we are going to be outside for any amount of time. Helps with the hives but it sure makes her tired...not really tired enough to go to sleep, but tired enough to make her look (and act) like a zombie.

One of the doctor's other suggestions was for her to wear a ski mask when going outside, which my daughter would have willingly done since one of her favorite books is Freckleface Strawberry (which is about a girl who wears a ski mask to school to cover her freckles). I thought that was a little creepy though so I ended up getting her a cute pink flower neck gaiter. So, between her ski hat, hooded jacket, neck gaiter, and mittens she's pretty well covered and it has been helpful. The breakouts have been less frequent and less severe.

It's just strange. She has spent quite a bit of time in the cold in the past three years and never had a reaction like this. I hope this is something she will grow out of as we like to spend a lot of time in colder weather, but if it compromises her health we obviously won't be.

So, those of you who live back east..any suggestions of other items I should be purchasing to ensure that none of my daughter's overly sensitive skin is exposed?


Friday, December 12, 2008

The Year of the Goat

When my husband and I first met he had one of those terrorist looking goatees. You know the kind I mean. It was big and bushy and hung down way past his chin. It was sexy. Really. It was. Shortly thereafter he grew a beard (which he did every winter), but kept it neatly trimmed. Every spring he'd shave off the beard and then keep a closely trimmed goatee. I loved it. I think facial hair done appropriately is sexy and I particularly like it on my husband. He looks so much more rugged and manly as opposed to when he is clean-shaven.

Then, almost three years ago, he took a job where he was not allowed facial hair except for a mustache. My husband is able to pull off many looks when it comes to facial hair; he is a facial hair chameleon...beards, goatees, sideburns, a variety of patterns in between. However, he cannot pull off a mustache. He looks like an 80's porn star or a highway patrol man from Super Troopers. Neither is attractive. So, he has spent the past three years clean shaven and while I have gotten used to it, I have long missed the days of my sexy, rugged man.

Well, those days are back. "The goat" (as my husband calls his goatee) is making its return. He has a great new job (thankfully) and they have no facial hair restrictions. Imagine my bliss. It's a bit sad that something like the return of facial hair (his, not mine...haha) can truly make my week, but it does.

So, what's your preference? Ladies, do you like your men clean shaven, hairy, somewhere in between? And you prefer to be clean shaven or sport some type of facial hair?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Children Should Not Be Heard or Seen

When my husband and I take our children out to eat we are always very careful to pick restaurants that are kid friendly, a little noisy, and get the food out fairly quickly. We're both always really cognizant of other diners and make sure our children behave appropriately, which 99.9 percent of the time they do. On the rare occassions they do act up (they = our son) we take them out immediately. I realize not all parents are this considerate or aware and I realize that many diners have little to no patience for children, period.

Tonight after my daughter's dance class we went out to eat with my sister, brother-in-law, their four children, and another friend and her four children. So, there were 5 adults total and 10 children. We were a large group. We went to a very casual, kid-friendly restaurant and sat in a large table away from other patrons. All of the children were great. They sat in their chairs, weren't running around the restaurant or being loud, noisy, or generally inappropriate. However, any group of 15 is going to make some noise in just normal conversation. It was shocking to me the disgust and intolerance that one older couple very visibly and repeatedly displayed.

Throughout the entire time we were waiting for our food, which was not long and during the entire time we ate, which for the most part was silence since there was food in everyone's mouth, they just glared at us, shaking their heads, acting mortified that we would dare take our children in public and not keep them locked in the cages they apparently felt we should have kept them in.

I have very little tolerance or patience with that type of rudeness and on many occassions I find myself either starting back until they break eye contact or saying something to them. Tonight I did the former on more than one occassion. I don't know when people got so snooty about having children in kid-friendly environments. It would be one thing if we were taking them to fine dining. It would also be an issue if the children were actually misbehaving. It's quite another when we went to the equivalent of sit-down fast food and all ten of the kids were in a seat, quiet, and eating. Apparently our offense was that we dared to take our children out in public.

It's those types of people that I really would love to just curse at, but because I am with my children when we have these types of incidents I refrain. Has anyone else experienced this?

Time to Turn on the Heat

I enjoy the cold. I love being bundled up and under blankets, getting nice and cozy. For that reason we avoid turning the heat on in our house as long as possible. If we didn't have children my husband and I would probably keep it off a lot longer than we do. However, when I shivered all night long and woke up this morning to see that my house was 57 degrees inside I decided it was time to crank up the heat. I'm still waiting to defrost.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let the Christmas Parties Begin

We attended a Christmas party hosted by a local publishing company last night. In Arizona, Mariachi bands are a huge deal and so accordingly the entertainment was a Mariachi band consisting of 1st through 5th graders. My daughter was mezmerized. She sat there listening intently for the entire performance, which lasted quite a long time.
There was plenty of food (catered by a popular Mexican restaurant here in town, of course), beer, and margaritas, and prickly pear punch for the kids. Does it get any better? One of the cool parts was the fact that they opened their warehouse and let people peruse the books and buy them if they felt so inclined. When we walked in my daughter asked me, "Mommy is this Costco?" The owner heard and said, "Well, it's like a Costco for books."
We got some great books for the kids and it was a night well spent. Anyone else started attending the obligatory Christmas parties yet, either for business or pleasure?

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Great "Weekend"

Our daughter at the Deer Farm petting the goats. Our son trying to climb out the window of the train.
Our daughter feeding the deer.
The kids riding in Santa's sleigh.
The light display at the train depot.
I'll start by simply saying that we had a great "weekend." Really, I couldn't have asked for it to have gone better, which is saying a lot. We left Sunday morning for a four to five hour drive up north. Our daughter is a wonderful traveller. She's easily entertained and no problem whatsoever. Our son we were not so sure about. Previous car trips have been disastrous because he screamed the majority of the way, which only stressed me out and then I'm in a bad mood, which only makes him cry harder. So, we were hoping for the best but totally expecting the worst. He was absolutely perfect though the entire 4 1/2 hours. We only stopped once for lunch and he didn't cry a bit.

When we got to Williams we checked into our hotel and then did a little bit of "hiking." The weather was cold, but gorgeous. The high was around 45 degrees, but bundled up was actually rather enjoyable. I was even able to take my daughter into town for just some girl time while my husband and son took a nap. It was nice to walk around and do some shopping and just enjoy the conversation without the interruption of having to split attention between two kids.

That evening we went down to the train depot about an hour and a half before our train ride was scheduled to depart so the kids could walk through all the lights and see the displays. My son has a love affair with horses and there were three of them pulling carriages. So he was in hog heaven. At 8 pm we boarded the train and headed off to the "North Pole." The kids had a blast and were thrilled when Santa boarded and gave all the children a bell. While our son was good he did not sit still the entire time. He would sit, then stand, then climb off his seat and the process just repeated. He has confirmed every concern we have about flying with him. (My parents are moving to DC in a few weeks and we have plans to visit them...apparently no time soon, though). There's a portion of the train ride where you are instructed to open your windows. The train has slowed by this point but is still moving. Our son made an instant attempt to climb out the window which about gave me a heart attack. I should mention that prior to boarding he flipped himself over the chain railing and cut his head so all I had were visions of him falling out of the train and splitting his head open even further.

The next morning we went and met my sister, her husband and my nieces and nephews (who were coming up to ride the train the following day) at a Deer Farm. There were goats, deer, reign deer, camels, and a variety of other animals that you essentially walk amongst and feed. It was a pretty cool experience and both of our kids loved it.

The ride home was great again and both kids actually slept about an hour of the ride. It was nice because my husband and I were able to just talk about some upcoming changes in our lives and just joke around. We were in no real rush to get back so we stopped at some of the outlet malls along the way and I was able to get some cute clothes for the kids and some dress/work pants for my husband. Unfortunately, nothing for me. Isn't that always how it ends up?

Anyway, how was your weekend or early part of the week? Any plans for this week?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Dilapidated Gingerbread House and My Pretty Sugar Cookies

A few months ago I bought a Gingerbread House Kit for my daughter and I to put together. I forgot about it until my husband reminded me of it this morning. So, my daughter and I set out to make the ultimate Gingerbread House. What I didn't factor into the equation was my son. He simply wanted to help, but at 18 months isn't the most gentle. Also, as my daughter was using the candy to decorate the house and the walk way and the trees my son was grabbing the candy and eating it. To complicate matters I broke the tree, thus requiring me to try to glue it back together in four different pieces and then still praying it would stand upright upon completion (it did; the mission was successful). We finally had it all done and ready to move when my son came and smacked his huge hand down on the roof splitting it in two. That also was fixed hours later as I glued it back together, let it sit, and then remounted it back on the top of the house. So, it's put together completely, but it is a rundown looking gingerbread house.

Later this evening I was talking with my husband and I used the term "dilapidated". My daughter asked what it meant. I explained the meaning to her and finished with, "so when something is beat up looking or run down." She said, "Like our gingerbread house?" Yes, exactly like that!

On a brighter note I made sugar cookies tonight, had my daughter use cookie cutters to shape them, and then also had her decorate them. They turned out very tasty and very pretty looking as well. So one out of two ain't bad, my friends.

Anyone else started baking? How goes it for you?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sex With Dead People

I love Grey's Anatomy. It is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. However, I am so not diggin' the whole Izzy has sex with her dead fiance Denny thing or Izzy walks around the hospital in conversation with Denny. What the heck is going on?

Anyone else find this story line a bit odd?

Mess With The Bull...

My son was hospitalized last February. We paid the balance of his hospital bills months ago. For the past month we have received a series of phone calls from the hospital asking us to call them. We have, we leave messages, and then the process repeats. Today we get a notice claiming we owe $100 still and that we have ten days before they turn it over to collections.

When I called today to find out what the deal was, Cesar tells me that he was conducting an audit and noticed that someone else's $100 payment was credited to my account so he took it upon himself to deduct $100 from what we have paid. The problem is I have a paper trail of everything I paid and the $100 payment was our copay upon discharge.

So, he has erroneously taken our money and credited it elsewhere. Big mistake. I understand when mistakes are made and as long as they are corrected in a timely fashion I can move on. No harm, no foul. But when someone makes a mistake and acts like they didn't I'm poised to attack.

Cesar starts backpedaling when I tell him I have confirmation numbers, etc. of all payments made and that maybe he better redo his little audit before I file a police report for theft, contact the hospital's governing agency and exhaust all other legal recourses available to me. I told him I wanted printouts of daily activity from my account since February so that I can see when money came in and when money went out.

Apparently, he will have to get back to me as he was ill-prepared to do battle with the force that is one pissed off mommy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Hodgepodge of Randomness

* I love my ob/gyn. So much so that my husband made fun of me for soooo looking forward to my appointments with him when I was pregnant with my daughter and son. Well, I had to call him today and usually a nurse calls back to answer whatever questions or concerns I have. Today he called back (which he does occasionally) twice. Is it wrong that that made my day?

* My freshman year in high school we dissected these small sharks in biology class. I was mortified to discover that mine was pregnant and there were nine little baby sharks inside. I was heartbroken. That day at lunch I remember eating french fries but having the smell of formaldihyde (spelling) and shark still on my hands. (It did not come off for days no matter how hard I scrubbed). I couldn't eat french fries for about a year after that. Today I snuck a few of my daughter's fries from a restaurant and that smell came back and almost overpowered me. It was like I was heartbroken for that poor shark all over again (and queasy from the dead shark smell).

* I am used to not getting much sleep. I think all parents are. However, for the past month or so my husband and I have been operating on about 2-3 hours of sleep a night (another story for another blog post, I am sure). I seriously feel like I am ready to collapse. Not to mention that I am grouchy.

* When I tuck my daughter in at night she always asks, "Will you lay with me for a couple of minutes?" I almost always say, "Sure, but just for a couple of minutes." She then says, "Okay, but I really want you to lay with me for all of the minutes." Precious.

* We go on our train ride Sunday to the "North Pole." My son and daughter have spent days walking around the house chanting "North Pole, North Pole." (For my son it sounds more like "Nor Po"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Here is what I needed to do today:
1. A load of laundry that consisted of clothes I need to pack for our weekend getaway.
2. Actually pack for both kids and myself (who are we husband too) for said getaway.
3. Clean car to make room for all that is required to come along.
4. Go to Target to get kids mittens and son diapers.
5. Clean the stove
6. Organize my home office
7. Return library books

Here is what got done today:
1. I went to Target and got my daughter mittens and my son diapers. My son still needs mittens.
2. I returned 3 of the 6 library books. Forgot the other three at home. Huh? Not sure how that happened.
3. I did a load of my husband's work clothes, none of which are needed for our trip.

Apparently, very little of what I needed to do today got done. Tomorrow is jam packed so next to nothing will get done then so apparently it will all be crammed in Friday. It will get done; it always does....just something to stress about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

He's "That" Kid

Our daughter has never had a bad reaction to an immunization in her life. She gets her shots and keeps on trucking. It doesn't even phase her. So, when our son came along we expected more of the same. Especially, because by comparison he is such a brute next to our daughter. Little did we know. He's the kid who when he received his MMR shot had such a horrible and frightening reaction that we rushed him to the doctor and she had to report him to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) because apparently only 4/10ths of 1 percent of the population had ever had that type of reaction.

Because of this, we have to make multiple trips to the doctor to get him immunized. With most kids they'll give 3 or 4 shots at a time, but with him they can only give one or two, wait for the reaction to die down and then return a week later for the rest of the batch. Yesterday he received a Hep A and Hep B shot (both of which he's received before). He didn't cry at all; he just looked at the nurse like, "Hey, what are you doing?" Last night he was really cranky and just not himself which we attributed as a side effect of the shot. In comparison to previous reactions it was nothing.

Then today he kept holding his arm and saying "ow". So, I went to change his shirt and when I took his shirt off his left arm from his shoulder down past where his elbow bends is horribly swollen, red, and hot to the touch. It is seriously 3x the size of his other arm. I was shocked. I called the doctor who said that a rash or redness is not unusual but what I was describing certainly was. So, for now we are to just watch it and call back tomorrow if it is not improving. He seems to be fine other than minor discomfort which is reassuring but I have to admit that I was pretty stunned when I saw the condition of his arm. Could they have not injected the shot correctly? Or is it just another one of his weird reactions? I don't know.

Do your children experience any strange reactions to immunizations?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Paper Man

There is a man who sells newspapers on the street corner that I pass everyday. He's probably in his 50's and you can tell that life has not been kind. He "lives" in a water passage tunnel under a bridge not far from where he sets up his newspaper stand every morning. For whatever reason I am drawn to him. Not in some weird, gross, twisted way. But drawn in the sense that I wonder what circumstances in his life have resulted in him not having a home or not having enough money for new clothes or food. I am also drawn to him because the guy busts his butt. He is out there as early as 7 am every single morning and out there as late as 8 or 9 pm....and he is always smiling and friendly. If that were how I had to spend my days I can assure you that I would not be so cheerful about it.

I buy a newspaper as frequently as I can for more than it costs and he is always so grateful and appreciative. Part of me wants to start taking him food everyday and I don't know why I haven't. It's weird. I just can't really explain why my heart breaks for him the way it does but maybe because I see him so frequently that he is not just some random guy on the street selling papers. As many know in our current economic climate, things can change and change quickly. One day you can be living high on the hog and the next you are looking at losing everything. Maybe that happened to him; maybe it was something for more sinister. Who knows? All I know is that I am sad for him.

It's times like these where I wish I'd win the lottery. I think of all I could do with the money. We'd certainly save the majority of it and put it in trusts for our children so they would be well taken care of. We'd also be generous with our family and friends. We'd pay off any debt and we'd certainly take a family vacation. But I never have envisioned us buying expensive cars or houses or blowing it on things we don't really need. I would like to think I'd donate a huge chunk of it to different charities and organizations (ones where the money actually went to them), but mostly I think I would just give it to those who needed it the most.

How would you spend lottery winnings and what are some things in our world that are weighing heavily on your heart these days?