Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

**This weekend my son was repeating the word "idiot". I stopped him and told him that we don't say that because it is not a nice word and that no one in our house was an idiot. He said, "But some people are." I started to say, "No, people aren't idiots" to which my son again said, "Some people are" at which point my daughter chimes in, "Yeah, like the people you honk at." Apparently, when I honk the horn I mumble "idiot" under my breath. Looks like that bad habit is going to have to stop.

**The Jehovah's Witnesses are regular fixtures in our neighborhood and once again this past Friday two JW's came knocking at our door. I opened it up and as one of the women wanted to "share the good news" my daughter peeks around the corner and says, "We already know about Jesus." I'm thinking I might start letting her answer the door from now on.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And We Will Call Him or Her........

It's funny because almost the minute we started telling people we were expecting another baby they started asking if we had thought of names yet. Being the Type A person that I am, I had of course already compiled a list of possible contenders. If this baby is a girl, the name will be easy. My husband and I fell in love with a girl's name when I was pregnant with our son, who is now 2.5. That name is still at the top of our list. In fact, it is the ONLY name on our girl's list.

Our boy's list isn't so finalized. I have literally suggested close to fifty names and the ones that weren't flat out rejected by my husband were met with a wishy washy, "Ehh, it's okay." Dear husband, on the other hand, has suggested ONE name. That's right! ONE!!! And it's a name he suggested months ago that I said no way because no one would ever guess our child was a pasty, white kid of Irish decent with a name like that. Yet, he continues to submit it for consideration.

Then, this week I suggested two names (two of the original fifty I initially submitted, if you are keeping track like I am). Suddenly, he likes them both. They are now his "top two" as he calls them. Is he trying to drive me crazy?

The thing is, we have months to go. It's not like we need a name right this second. We don't even know the sex or if we are even going to find out the sex....although we need to make that decision pretty soon because that ultrasound is coming up. With both of our other kids we LOVED their names from the get-go. There was not a lot of discussion or deliberation. Both names just were, if that makes sense.

The real kicker is going to be if this child is a girl and we spent all this time negotiating over a name we can't even use.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coming Soon: Version 3.0

I have been sitting on some news for the past few months and that is we are expecting baby number three in a handful of months. We are obviously very excited and so far our other two children have reacted wonderfully to the news. I have been incredibly ill this pregnancy, but the baby is healthy so that is really all that matters.

Yesterday I went in for a second ultrasound (the first ultrasound 4 weeks ago had a weird fuzzy line across the screen that prevented the doctor from getting a measurement of the head so he wanted to redo it just to make sure). The baby was crazy active: punching, kicking, flipping around all over the place. It was awesome. Everything looked perfect, which I thought was the case, but it is always nice to have that confirmed.

The bad news was that for the second month in a row my blood pressure has been high and yesterday's was really high. This is not normal for me at all. My blood pressure is usually in the ball park of 116/65 to 120/72. I have not had any history of high blood pressure in either of my other pregnancies. A month ago, since it was the first high reading they weren't really that concerned. This week they were. So, I have to go back on Monday and if it is still high they'll have to decide what to do with me (at home bed-rest vs. admitting me to the hospital, both of which will be a disaster).

So, I'm incredibly worried now, which obviously isn't good for my blood pressure. The doctor tells me to go home, rest, take it easy, etc. Uh hello....I have two young kids and my husband works 80 hours a week. Take it easy? Rest? Yeah, right! Nevertheless, I am trying to do just that, knowing that if I can't get my blood pressure down on my own the alternative is not going to be something I like.

On that note, any prayers, good vibes, etc. you can send my way would be appreciated.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Tiger's Speech Showed About a Mother's Love

I caught a portion of the Tiger Woods mea culpa extravaganza this past Friday. I sort of found his words to be void of any real meaning and his flat affect left me a bit puzzled, but the aspect that resonated most with me was at the end when his mother embraced him. She later made some comment to the effect that she loves and supports her son regardless of his shortcomings.

I'll admit that when I first saw her embrace him with this huge smile I was bothered. I thought to myself, "He cheated and lied and betrayed his wife and kids. What is she still doing hugging him, grinning ear to ear?" It bothered me enough that I chewed on it the rest of the day.

But then it hit me. She's his mother. She likely doesn't condone what he did, she's likely disappointed in his actions, yet she most definitely still loves him. Isn't that the way it should be? I tried to imagine my son 30 years from now making a mistake of that magnitude (I pray to God, he never does) and what my reaction would be. I'd be unbelievably disappointed and he would know this, yet I wouldn't stop loving him or stop supporting and encouraging him.

I think it's easy to love your kids when they are good or successful, but it's just as important to love them when they make mistakes or fail. Love shouldn't be conditional and a mother's love (and a father's) is really one of the last types of loves that truly exemplifies this (or at least should). So, in retrospect when I think of Tiger's mother embracing him it's really quite beautiful and speaks volumes about a mother's love for her son.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Sign That I May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

Every Thursday I drop my daughter off at gymnastics class and then go and run errands with my son. The class is only 45 minutes long, so they are usually quick, close errands. Today, like every Thursday, I dropped her off and then ran to get gas and pick up something at the store quickly. Next thing I know I was on the street approaching our neighborhood. Without my daughter!

I drive the route home so many times a day that it has become automatic. I rarely even remember getting home, just that I'm there. Suddenly, I realized I was minus a kid. I circled back and got her and was still there with ten minutes to spare, but I'm thinking I may need to start going to bed a little bit earlier.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Drowning in Housework

For the most part I am a pretty organized, "stay on top of it" type of person. This applies to my personal life, professional life, home life, etc. I get things done and I get them done pretty immediately. It's a standard I have pretty much set for myself. While others (bosses, husband, children, etc) hold me to a certain standard it comes no where close to the standard I hold for myself. Therein lies the problem.

I have been letting myself down and while for the most part it isn't that noticeable, it is driving me crazy. For example, I have a pile of laundry as tall as my two year old waiting in the hallway to be folded. I have a floor that hasn't been mopped in a week and bedrooms that haven't been vacuumed in that same amount of time. There are toys and magazines and library books in various spots throughout the house where they don't belong. My husband says he hasn't noticed (although, I know he is lying about the pile of laundry). While I know all these things need to get done I also just simply can't keep up. I feel like I clean one room only as another room is being systematically destroyed. I finish cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast just in time for it to get messy again for lunch and then dinner. I am constantly picking up toys.

These are minor things, I know. They aren't going to keep the world from spinning, but it seriously causes me great anxiety just knowing the house is not the way I like it and it's because I just can't keep up lately. So, I want some suggestions. How do you keep your house in order while keeping a firm grasp on your sanity? Is it possible?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No More Faith

There are some days where I just get so frustrated and discouraged in humanity and the general idea that most people are decent individuals that I start looking through real estate websites to find some secluded piece of land where I can take my family and drop off the grid. It just seems that life is one hassle after the next and usually over such stupid, minor things.

We live in a community that is governed by a Home Owners Association. They are pretty much incompetent, inconsistent, and vengeful. Like one neighbor complained and the next thing she knew she was getting fines for two weeds in her yard. It's ridiculous. Anyway, beginning in January we apparently got a new management company (although it appears it consists of all the same people, they just changed their business name and moved locations). We sent our January assessment to the previous company. Toward the end of January we received a note from this new company saying we were late in our assessment (which had increased substantially, yet we received no notice of) in addition to a rather substantial late fee. We were told we had fourteen days to dispute in writing. We sent out a letter of dispute the next day along with the check for the amount owed, less the late fee which was in dispute.

Today we get this lengthy letter back in which they state that they are under no legal obligation to send us bills, statements, the amount owed, or anything else for that matter. That their inability to do that doesn't free us from our obligation to pay in full and on time. HA! They also returned my check. In addition, they charged us interest during the period in which we disputed the initial late fees. (Even with today's letter we are STILL within the 14 day time period). My husband called and got absolutely nowhere with the manager. She just kept saying that they were under no obligation to notify us of any changes.

My husband was like, "We didn't even know you were our new management company so how were we supposed to know a)where to send the check and b)how much to make the check out for?"

I surely must be missing something. This just doesn't seem right. So, for now I am paying the full, ridiculous amount and then pursuing other avenues to dispute it, which according to the management company is to appear at the board meeting, ask for a refund, and hope they'll give it even though she said they are unlikely to do so.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ambitious Much?

As I mentioned previously my husband and I are taking the kids out to the Washington DC area in April to visit my parents. We couldn't be more excited and the kids are already talking with utter joy about the plane trip and riding the Metro. Both of my brothers and my sister have already visited on separate occasions and spent a lot of time sight-seeing and they were not able to see everything they wanted. And none of them were travelling with two small children, or any children for that matter. Both of my brothers went during a nice time of year so they didn't encounter any weather-related challenges. Unfortunately, for my sister she left Tucson last Wednesday and arrived in DC Thursday just as the snow storm began. She was lucky to find a flight out yesterday and it required her taking a train to Newark and flying out of there.

My husband and I have compiled a pretty ambitious list of things we want to do/see while we are there and we've already had to "weed" some things out, knowing they will be an impossibility. However, we think the list we have now is doable. We will be there six full days and plan to put in full days, assuming the kids don't drop somewhere along the way.

So, here's what's on the list. What do you think? Doable? Way too ambitious? Crazy?

National Science Foundation (my father's employer)
Smithsonian Natural History Museum
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
National Mall
Mt. Vernon
Arlington National Cemetery
Holocaust Museum
Lincoln Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
Vietnam Memorial
White House tour
National Zoo
Capitol Hill/Building
Supreme Court
Dupont Circle
One day in Philly
Shopping in Georgetown and at huge mall by my parents place in Virginia.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Problem with Health Care

I am so angry right now and it all stems from the care/treatment our son has received over the past two years in regards to his respiratory complications. In February of 2008 when he was 8 months old he was hospitalized for four days with RSV, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia all "confirmed" through chest x-rays. In the two years since he has had what we were told were repeated bouts of pneumonia, some of them confirmed through x-rays and others diagnosed through a physical exam based on his history. Every time he gets sick he struggles to breathe, ends up in the hospital, is put on antibiotics, oxygen, albuterol, etc.

Yesterday, we went to see a pulmonary specialist who spent a lot of time examining him, going over his history, etc. I spent a lot of time signing release forms to have all of his records and x-rays released for this doctor to review. When I left the office yesterday she felt he had some allergies, which the Singulair he was placed on three weeks ago seemed to be helping, so she kept him on that. She also said that she felt he had asthma. For the past two years we have been told his asthma was simply illness-induced so he has never been treated with any type of preventative asthma medication, only rescue medication once his breathing got bad enough. She put him on two inhalers, one a preventative asthma medication and another just albuterol, which he has already been on. So, we left willing to try that, knowing we'd go back for a followup in a month and she'd reassess, do a chest x-ray and proceed from there.

Well, today I get a call from the doctor who leaves a message that she received all of his records from the hospitals and urgent cares and that the xrays were clear for pneumonia but they did show definite evidence of asthma, thickening of the bronchial tubes, the most recent xray (from just a few months ago) showed one bronchial tube completely clogged and one of his lungs was deflated. This is the FIRST time we have heard any of this. How the hospital doctors missed this is beyond me.

What burns me up is that for TWO YEARS he has been treated for pneumonia when he has never had pneumonia when he should have been treated for asthma and maybe we wouldn't have spent so much time in and out of the hospital for the past two years. My other concern is whether he still has a deflated lung????? Is that the type of thing that will just re-inflate on its own or is it something we are now going to have to deal with? I didn't get the message until after the office had closed so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get the full scoop, but truly how something like this can go on for two years is beyond me and the fact that my poor kid has been suffering, repeatedly misdiagnosed, and inappropriately treated makes me livid.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

D.C. Attractions?

So, we're going to be heading out to visit my parents in Washington D.C. at the end of April. To say the kids are excited is an understatement. Neither one has been on an airplane before and I am petrified of flying, despite having flown quite a bit so that aspect should be interesting. My husband may be comforting the three of us.

Here's my question to you. What are absolute "must dos" when in D.C. and the surrounding area? We are obviously looking for family friendly activities as well as some "adult only" options. We will obviously do some of the touristy things, but I would like to hear from those of you who live there or who have visited before what things are worth doing and what things we can afford to skip.