Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There's No Crying in Hot Potato!

Is it me, or are kids just melting down over the smallest things these days? I feel old even asking that question, but I remember a time when you couldn't do something and mom or dad said something to the effect of "get back out there and try again" and that's exactly what you did. I was recently at C's basketball practice and a kid there was having trouble dribbling the ball, and started crying. And I don't mean just a couple of tears, I mean a full out case of the hooty puckers! Granted, every kid is different, but I have to say, C has never played this sport before, couldn't dribble, and just kept on trying. I think he knew though that if he started melting over that, there wouldn't be coddling waiting for him on the sidelines either. Then again, he's not really what I'd call a "melter" either. Perhaps it's a chicken/egg discussion...does the parent coddling cause the child melting or vice versa? Before you think I'm a total ice queen, yes, kids need love, support, etc...but I don't think we need to swing it to the point of encouraging inappropriate behavior and the inability to foster independence. So back to Mr. Hooty Puckers...he spent the next 15 minutes of a 60 minute practice on the sidelines with dad just carrying on. And no, this is not a special needs child, an autistic child, etc. Is this how "teacup children" and "helicopter parents" are made? Well, now that you probably think I'm one big meanie, I remember when you played sports as a kid and they actually kept score, and you learned how to win and lose gracefully...none of this "no score" crap.

So, I was in charge of coming up with a game for C's class party yesterday and I refuse to buy into this "no winner" mentality. I think if done right, you can play a game where there is a winner AND kids can have fun along the way. After seeing another mom facilitate a bingo game and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey that ended with sobbing and alligator tears at the fall party, I knew I'd have to get ahead of these little munchkins. I was ready! I wanted something simple with very little prep and hot potato seemed like a good pick. To fit the theme I used a stuffed animal penguin and called it "Chilly Chilly Penguin" and it's the same concept as HP, but the CCP is just too cold to hold. I got the kids in a circle on the classroom rug and asked who could tell the class how to play HP. One little girl did a great job of it. Then I explained we'd have a CCP instead of a HP. So far so good. And then I said..."there's no crying in CCP!" The kids giggled, etc. and I restated it just for dramatic effect with them. The teacher whispered it would be a miracle if J did not have a meltdown. I quickly explained someone would leave the circle each time, they would see me for a small prize for playing as a good sport, and then they would be my DJ for one round, and there would be a bigger prize for the winner.

So, the rules and expectations were set and it was time to put the game in motion. And you know what? It went BEAUTIFULLY! We had 19 eager little people who played nicely, learned how to handle the disappointment of being eliminated and the winner was proud that he won and had a different prize as a winner (each eliminated child received a Christmas pencil, the winner received a Crayola Color Wonder maze and puzzle pack). Carefully crafted, I think we can teach kids that we can play games, keep score, and still have a good time. And you know what? Even J was all smiles and not one tear or meltdown over his elimation and never once did I hear "he got a cool prize and I only got a pencil." Now that's a party!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Difference Between Men and Women

Here's one for you...

We decorated for Christmas a few weeks ago, but the hubs never got around to getting the candles in the window. So today, what do I see? Candles DUCT TAPED to my window sills! UGH! On what planet is that acceptable? Reminds me of the saying, "if you want it done right do it yourself." Not even clear packing tape, but duct tape. Nice, real nice.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

I cannot believe it's been a whole month since I last updated! I've missed this creative outlet, but it's been crazy busy and then some around here. In the spirit of FNL, some quick updates are below.

No great photos posted to the blog since the hub's computer is acting squirrely. I need to get the old photos transferred off before I can start downloading any new ones...5 years worth of old photos. I'm thinking I need a better photo management/back-up system, so I am looking for suggestions. In the absence of a current photo, I posted an older Christmas one I like.

The little man got his cast off this week and he's healed nicely. Of course, now that means he's looking to climb something new...the neighbor just told me C tried scaling their indoor steps by climbing the handrail. Nice.

As much as I want this to be a calm and peaceful advent season, I am stressed. Stress from work and so much to do around the house, plus so many commitments around the holidays. The shopping was all finished a month ago; it's getting the house cleaned up, Christmas cards done, etc. that are outstanding. In 2009 I remember thinking "next year will be different" and here we are pretty much the same. Grrr...two weeks left to enjoy the season, so if Christmas cards don't make it out, you know why.

Little man started playing basketball, with the cast, but he's now cleared for his first official game on Saturday.

We've been traveling fools lately...since my last post we've spent a week in Hilton Head, a weekend away at a cottage we love, a surprise weekend away for C and M next weekend and then C and I are headed up to NYC the day after Christmas. Even I think I'm just about "traveled out" right now...not that I'm going to complain about two NYC visits in 2 months!

M's last surgery did not go as planned; we are awaiting pathology reports (due next week) and we'll go from there.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When the Bough Breaks

You know there is a difference in you child's cries- the I'm-really-hurt-and-going-to-make-you-panic-cry versus the I'll-get-over-it cry. We had the former this afternoon, that which makes even the toughest mama's stomach drop and panic rise. Before I get to that, let me give some background.

We have a frequent flyer pass with our local ER and the annual Thanksgiving tradition here isn't just the turkey, Macy's parade, and football. Historically the holiday has included an ER visit for C...EVERY year. And JUST TODAY a colleague asked me about this tradition and I responded that I hope we break that one tradition this year, and just enjoy our time in Hilton Head. Well, we hope we broke the tradition and that our ER visit this evening takes the place of a Thanksgiving visit.

My boy must be part monkey; he cannot be outside without climbing a tree. As much as we say "that's dangerous" and "get down" the result is temporary. C will get down for that moment, but once your back is turned, he's at it again. As a mom, I am torn- aren't boys supposed to be climbing trees, catching bugs, chasing frogs and the like? I think this is one lesson that teaches itself though. Frankly, I'm not even sure the result of this fall will be a permanent deterrent for the little guy who likes to do his own stunts.

So, what happened? C decided to climb a tree after school and took quite a spill. He's broken both the radius and the ulna in his left arm, has a shiner forming on his eye, and a large goose egg on his head. My mom and I both knew when we heard his cry, then saw the limp arm, that we were headed to the ER immediately...and C wailed and wailed, which indicated even more that something was seriously wrong. C is finally resting (thank you Tylenol with codeine) with a splint and sling and we're visiting the orthopaedic surgeon in the morning.

Once we returned from the ER my mom and I visited the "scene of the crime" and realized how blessed we are that this was not even more serious than it already is. From where the branch broke and landed, it appears that C was at least 10 feet up in the tree...that sits between our stone driveway, stone walkway, and construction fencing (ditch work being done). There was also a metal landscaping light right there. We are so blessed that C did not hit the stone, the light, the fencing, the car- it's amazing he hit the patch of ground and nothing else, and for that, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. The branch is strewn all over the stone and I'm just so thankful we didn't have a compound fracture or more serious injuries.

I told my mom that I just don't know that my heart will ever be strong enough as boyhood marches on and leaves its nicks, scrapes, and ER visits. Tomorrow we'll meet with the orthopaedic surgeon to learn more, but for now, I'm just thankful my little snuggle bug is nestled in and feeling some pain relief. Thank God it wasn't worse than this!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Random Thoughts

Tonight's dinner is curry and coconut chicken with rice and Tuscan melon. My son thinks I am out to get him; I think I may be the only one enjoying this dinner, with a glass of wine of course.

Christmas is 47 days away and I already feel "behind."

Vacationing for Thanksgiving is a nice idea, but after cooking a Sunday dinner last night, I called it quits. Actually, I called Fresh Market, and since they are on island, they will be catering my TG dinner.

A split vacation is a concept we are going to test out this year- we'll enjoy 1/2 a week of just me, hubs, and C prior to family chaos arriving and ensuing.

I am packing wine for the trip- lots of it. And my bike. However, I will not be drinking wine on the bike.

During a rousing game of Candyland tonight, my son yells out "AW- THAT SUCKS." Not a proud moment around here, not a word we use. Couldn't get from him where he'd heard that, but I guess it resonated that we don't say it when C asked, "so, is it bad like 'shit'?" Mother.of.the.Year.

I am hosting a baby shower in less than a month- really need to get this place cleaned up and ready to entertain...and the invitations out!

Hoping to get rid of this underlying feeling of intense stress right now!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers...the ON TIME Edition!

Hello Friday...where have you been when I needed you earlier in the week? Busy, busy week here, but lots of good stuff going on:
  • I think my homemade mummy costume turned out pretty darn fantastic for an investment of $6 and 4 hours, plus a few glue sticks.

  • Spent the week in the Queen City of Charlotte, NC- a lot of great work was accomplished, I enjoyed seeing old and new colleagues, and I had the chance to catch up with some dear friends...a successful week in my book, both professionally and personally.

  • Now that C is a little older, I love being able to volunteer again, and that I can combine it with my passion for education and investing in our children. My "clients" every Friday afternoon are a group of awesome 5 year olds.

  • We are leaving for Hilton Head Island in two weeks and my son took it upon himself to pack his suitcase. Excited much?

  • I'm looking forward to a low-key and unplanned weekend...might even finish up the bathroom re-do and will be happy to check that off the list.

How to enjoy the leftovers:

1. Write out all the random thoughts swimming in your head that don't quite constitute a blog entry of their own.

2. Copy and paste the Leftovers photo onto your post (copy photo, upload to your post).

3. Link back to The Simple Life.

4. Enter your blog name and the permalink to your post into the comments section.

5. Visit all the other leftovers and leave your love over the weekend.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers...the Saturday Edition

Our schedule has been a blur lately, so I am guilty of not dishing out the leftovers these past few weeks, but I've certainly enjoyed reading others in the meantime.

C is having a great time in Kindergarten and I am enjoying volunteering at his school and in the classroom. This week brings us a trip to the pumpkin patch, school pictures, and a pumpkin decorating contest.

Travel has been the continuing theme around here. I spent a long girls' weekend in NYC and have upcoming flights/travel booked to Charlotte and Hilton Head, so it will continue to be a very busy few weeks ahead. I'm excited, but honestly, exhausted just thinking about it right now. I feel like the song "I Need A Nap." Every weekend in December is already booked (how did that happen?), then another trip to NYC.

Our little dog, which I've always said is the not-so-smart one, proved me wrong yesterday. She got out of the back gate (unknown to me) and evidently ran the neighborhood. She is a rescue and the shelter estimated she'd been running in the woods as a pup, prior to being dropped off. The few times we've tried to let her off lead, she bolts, so she is not let loose because we're afriad she won't return. So, yesterday, I have no idea she's running loose and I get a phone call from my mom asking me if I'm missing anything. I said, "no, I don't think so, but I must be if you're calling to ask that." She tells me she opened her front door to find our little dog just hanging out on her front porch. I give the dog credit, she found her way through our large neighborhood, to my parents' house, then stayed for a "play date" with my parents' dog.

Today is the last game in the fall Little League season, followed by the awards ceremony for the boys. Next up: basketball season starts on Monday.

We took on overhauling the dining room and renovating C's bathroom in all of our (not-so) free time. What were we thinking?

I saw two wild turkeys walking down the side of the road on my way home from Starbucks and the market this morning. Random!

How to enjoy the leftovers:

1. Write out all the random thoughts swimming in your head that don't quite constitute a blog entry of their own.

2. Copy and paste the Leftovers photo onto your post (copy photo, upload to your post).

3. Link back to The Simple Life.

4. Enter your blog name and the permalink to your post into the comments section.

5. Visit all the other leftovers and leave your love over the weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our Life in Pictures

I'm not sure what look he was going for, but he sure does look ready for a good time!

Dressing himself for school

Mummy candy apple

"Dashing through the COTTON!"

Yep, random pig running around and he sits pretty for peanuts.

A view that never grows old

The mischevious look just prior to attempting to scramble down the bluff

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemade Pumpkins

This post is actually recycled from last year, on my old blog. After reading the experience my friend had with her adorable homemade pumpkins, I was reminded that I found a fairly simple craft with C last year, that was a big hit with the family for Thanksgiving place settings. Here it is:
Looking for an inexpensive way to add charm to your table and indicate seating arrangements? Enter the paper pumpkins! We had this on our list of crafts to make last year and we never made it to these darling litte crafts. Here’s what we used:

12 x 12 scrapbook paper (makes 2 pumpkins)
green paper
brass brads (2 per pumpkin)
leaf pattern scissors (optional)

Cut 12×12 paper in half. Cut each half into strips of 10 or more. Punch a hole on both ends of the strips. Use a brad to secure the “bottom” of the pumpkin. Fan out the strips in a circle- it will look like wheel spokes. Cut a leaf from the green paper and punch a hole in one end. Write name on leaf (my little guy liked this job), insert brad, and begin pulling each strip up and onto brad. Once all strips have been gathered, secure brad. Cut piece of twine, slip under leaf, and tie. Easy and adorable, these can be placed on each person’s plate.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Post-Surgery Update on M

Surgery #7 is crossed off the list and MANY, MANY thanks go out to our awesome family and friends that have supported us with the blessing of prayer, kind words, and positive thoughts. We are humbled by having such a fantastic support network- thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The technical update is that M was in surgery a little over two hours yesterday. A long segment of Barrett's remains (not the news we really wanted) but it was a smooth enough of a segment that it could be treated with radio frequency ablation (RFA), versus cryo. In regular terms, they used a wand to zap off the bad cells, instead of freezing them off. M had two rounds of RFA during yesterday's surgery and he will need at least 1-2 more surgeries to continue to treat the high dysplastic (bad) cells, then another surgery to biopsy. Yes, we are on the frequent flyer plan at this hospital. After some time in the recovery room, a very groggy M was too tired and sore to eat dinner and he's up and around today, but still very sore. Despite requests to see M in his lovely and fashionable hospital gown (can't imagine why he refused those requests), I hope you got a chuckle out of the cartoon I found.

We did A LOT of waiting yesterday...but now instead of feeling like we are waiting with a bunch of strangers, we have folks coming by to say hello, check on us, ask if we brought pictures of "that cute little curly headed babe," and to ask how M has been faring. I like that it is the same support team and that they make you feel at home, in a place you probably don't want to consider anything like home. M and I both jest that we really should have platinum level frequent stay cards by now, and shouldn't there be some perks to go with that, beyond the free ginger ale and sneaking me back into pre-op and recovery?

The downside to tertiary care at a teaching hospital is that it can seem very disorganized and frightening at times. I will never forget M coming to after his first surgery last year, opening his eyes and asking me "WHAT DID YOU DO?" I turned around to see two armed guards in the recovery bay five feet across from us, with their prisoner. Nice. M, of course, thought I raised some kind of ruckus re: waiting and waiting and waiting some more and that security was called. We have to call REPEATEDLY to get appointments scheduled, typically with no callback, and it takes me emailing the surgeon directly (thank goodness for university email search) to ask what it takes to get a surgery scheduled that he mandated? I'm confident the admin team has my photo on a dart board somewhere- so be it. We've learned you have to be an advocate for the care you are prescribed; no one is going to do it for you. M's local GI specialist called the other day to tell me he still has no records, after 12 months of treatment with this hospital, so the poor GI intern got to take that down in his pre-op notes when I explained that I really didn't know what else we could do beyond the multiple requests and releases that have been provided. *sigh* At times, yes, managing a medical condition in this care space feels at minimum like a part-time job.

M and I had a "we are getting old" moment yesterday when the intern for anesthesiology came in. The attending we'd met a few minutes prior was what we expected, the intern, however, looked like he was about 14 years old. And 14 is being generous. Wow, did we feel O-L-D to cross that threshold into our caregivers are now younger than us. In Doogie Howser's defense, he did an excellent job answering my barrage of questions and even gave M a shot of lidocaine before inserting the IV. Where was he when I was being prepped for my c-section? Our next young one to arrive was the GI intern who would be performing the surgery, with the attending at his side. This one looked like he just gave up the tricycle for the two-wheeler, so it is a bit unnerving. All went well, and I am sure they are very talented young men, it just throws you for a loop to think, is this kid old enough to have a beer, let alone perform major surgery?

And just like the trusty specials menu at your favorite restaurant, we're thinking Mondays must be prison day at this hospital. We had the added bonus of two prisoners in our four person bay area, with three armed guards. Yes, prisoners need care too, but preach to me when the guy is five feet away from you and you wonder what he's doing time for. Makes you wonder when you are packing your hospital bag if you need to start adding "personal protection" to your list. Frightening.

In closing, I assume the admin team is tired of me calling for the following surgery the doctor always prescribes, so this time they pre-empted me and sent a note to recovery with M's next surgery appointment. Sweet- and really, about time. We'll be back in early December for surgery #8, and #9 will likely be in February 2011, be it for additional treatment or for biopsies. On a positive note, we are blessed that this condition was not quickly discovered in M. Had his Barrett's been diagnosed just 3-5 years ago, the treatment was radical (removal of esophagus). Despite all of the little annoyances, we are thankful to use new technology to treat this condition, in the hands of the world's best pioneers with it...we're just ready to get things "fixed" and get on with our next adventure. As always, thank you for your concern, care and support- it's priceless.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lucky #7

Yep, that's right...we're hoping the 7th time is the charm! M has surgery #7 tomorrow, for treatment of his Barrett's with high dysplasia. Not much else to update at this point- it's been a busy couple of weeks and we know the routine when it comes to tomorrow...make the drive to the university hospital, get settled in, and wait...and wait...and wait some more. For our prayer warrior friends, please keep M and his physicians in your prayers. Our hope is this is one of the final surgical treatments he will need to undergo for Barrett's. We should know more after surgery tomorrow. Since the nursing staff is sweet enough to allow me back in pre-op, walking with M to the OR, then hanging out in recovery, I've had to swear holy not to turn on my cell phone. Assuming all goes as planned, I'll update here Monday night.

The fact that we are on #7 makes my head spin. For those wondering how we got to seven:
  1. Emergency surgery/impaction/initial biopsies and diagnosis
  2. Follow-up/additional biopsies- referred to tertiary care at research hospital
  3. New hospital- additional biopsies for high dysplasia
  4. Mapping for treatment
  5. Failed session (reaction to anesthesia)
  6. Cryosurgery
  7. Radiofrequency Ablation or Cryosurgery (they make the decision once they see current state of the esophagus)

For those just catching up on all of this, some of the backstory is here. We are often asked, how did you guys even find out M has this condition? And really, the story is humorous to hear M tell it. The short answer is, "my mother-in-law tried to kill me at Sunday dinner." We were all eating pot roast and M started to choke, and choke, and choke. Of course, being stubborn and unable to speak, he's still trying to insist that he's not really choking, but maybe a piece of food went down wrong. My dad finally put his foot down and inisted M go with me to the local outpatient center, or we were calling 911 from the house. He got in the car, we arrived at the outpatient center, and they ended up calling 911 almost immediately. That won him a trip in the ambulance from the county's finest, to the ER, to the OR. When the surgeon went in to remove what he thought would be a food impaction, he quickly discovered the impaction was caused by a narrowing of the esophagus (stricture), which is caused by Barrett's, which is caused by severe and chronic acid reflux. So, there you go, my mom tried to choke him. ;)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So, What Do You Eat?

I get that question...a lot. There seems to be a perception that if we are eating clean foods, then we must be tree-hugging, tofu-eating, make-your-own-clothes type of folks. Nope, not us. The hubs and I both work full-time (and then some) for Fortune 500s, so we really don't have the time to fuss over complicated meals. I included the photo above, because if you are struggling to get a balance of vegetables and fruits into your kiddos, I highly recommend you check out these sneaky recipes. Bonus: I picked up the book this week at Kohl's, as a $5 "Kohl's Cares for Kids" special. My kiddo has been eating pumpkin pancakes with flaxseed meal, wheat germ, and protein powder added in, and the best part is he has no idea I packed all of that into his morning pancake. Victory!

Planning is critical! I think there's also a misconception that if you practice clean or organic eating, you must be skinny and fit. Again, not true here, although it would be nice. The fat and calories of a fresh avocado count and stick to you just like sitting down with some chocolate chip cookies (although the avocados are a healthy MUFA fat). I'm trying, again, to lose weight and the old adage of "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" rings true. Or, as my friend Amber's dad told us, "Follow the 7 Ps- Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance." Well, he should know; he is a retired Marine Corp General. Ooh-Rah!

To that point, I take time each week to plan out our menu, sample here, and shop for the necessary goods. I like this menu format, as it breaks out each meal, prep that is needed for the next day, and upcoming notes. It seems silly I list "milk" at each meal for the little guy, but it's a great reminder if I'm not home and the hubs has dinner duty (we do try to eat every dinner together, at the family table, but it is not always possible). The lunches listed are C's- I usually will eat a small portion of leftovers from the night before, or something light. However you start to make improvements, just rememeber you don't have to make a radical change overnight. Thing big, start small, and all of those small changes add up for a greater impact!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Good!

It's been such a busy couple of weeks that, sadly, I've neglected one of my favorite outlets- this blog. Someone even reminded me that I never finished blogging about vacation (will do). So, while I play catch up, let me share a little gem...

Darling son used to eat all types of healthy and exotic foods- he'd try anything at least once. Within the past year, he's become somewhat picky and it's been a battle getting the right balance of fruits, vegetables, and "eating the rainbow" into him. About 6-7 years ago we went to clean eating; organic, real food that is not processed and is purchased from local farmers and growers as much as possible. Our home is probably as chemical free as it's going to get, and if the hubs wants to sneak a box of Twinkies or something like that, totally his choice. I just ask that he stash them somewhere the little man will not find them. He also sneaks in fried chicken, but again, totally his option. I get many questions about personal care products that are chemical free, so I will try to post a list this week of what we are using, and more importantly, why. In the meantime, I've declared war, a silent war. If my son can wage the battle of turning his nose up at fruits and veggies, game on.

I've decided to sneak as many fruits in veggies as possible into his foods, and the first battle was a victory. He had no idea! Last night I played up the fact that it's the first day of fall today, so let's have a harvest breakfast. What he thought were pancakes were actually multigrain pancakes made with soy protein powder and a cup full of pumpkin puree. And not only did he eat them, he asked for seconds, which the child never, ever does. In hindsight, I would not have placed the pecan halves on top of the pancakes (he removed them), but I should have chopped and added to the batter.

Last week I was able to trick him into spaghetti squash being spaghetti..."This tastes a little different from spaghetti mom." To which I replied, "Oh, it must be a different brand." Yes, it's deceptive, but so far, so good. Tonight's menu? Spaghetti squash, cauliflower coated chicken parm, and tomato sauce full of finely diced zuchinni, carrots, peppers, onions, and mushooms. Stay tuned; I will be posting recipes and results.

Spinach brownies anyone?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

Hello Friday!

We survived the first week of school, or, more like C survived neurotic mommy. I'm finding I have to up my organizational game between packing lunches, permission forms, homework, teacher notes, emails, booklists, library books not disappearing, getting the right color on him each day of "Brown Bear," registering for this and that, fall ball, and remembering to get the little man off the bus. Yes, you read that last one correctly. My mom used to pick C up from preschool after lunch each day, so it's a big shift in routine to meet the bus later in the day.

About school, it's only the first week but we are very pleased with our school selection. Being an educator in a former career life, I agonized (literally since C was born) over where he would go to preschool, how young he should start, what schooling we should do at home, what the best option for formal schooling would be, and so on. As this year neared, we'd already looked into every private option in a 25 mile radius. Neighbors and friends encouraged us to give our local school a try- private feel, public funded, and while it's only the first week, you know I've been up there stalking every aspect of it and I am very pleasantly surprised. Our district is known for being the best in this area- many move here just for the schools, so it's nice to see it's living up to all of the praise we've heard thus far.

What are your kids learning? We recently received an invitation to preview "Family Life" curriculum with the school counselor, so last night we headed out for the meeting. Any takers on how many parents showed up to understand what the school is teaching their kids about sex ed. K-12? Bueller? Bueller? Three. You can bet M and I wanted to know what they'd be talking about in Kindergarten, and again, we were pleasantly surprised. They are very conservative in their curriculum and approach, which aligns with our values. However, I'm still shocked that more parents are not taking an interest in what sex ed. their kids get starting in Kindergarten. For the record, at this age they teach good touch/bad touch, saying NO, and telling an appropriate adult.

Have older kids? Do you have any idea what their texts and IMs mean? Check out this article and the databases embedded within- very enlightening.

I'm so annoyed with myself- on a recent trip to the lake I jumped in without properly sealing my underwater camera, which leaked, and hazed the lens on the inside. This is also my everyday camera, so now I need to find someone who can fix this (in all my free time) and I fear the cost may be high. Also bummed about it since we are headed to the beach this weekend and I won't have my handy little camera.

Life is good- I'm headed to the beach this weekend, our favorite island spot. And as much as I love my little guy, this is a weekend just for me and the hubs- his birthday gift to me. So, bring on the beautiful weather, warm water temps, reading a book, a good dinner, looking for shells, and walks on the beach without hearing this all weekend. Sweet! And C has something to look forward to as well; my parents are taking him on a weekend adventure to the mountains and to explore caverns. Many thanks to my brother for house and dog sitting.

How to enjoy the leftovers:
1. Write out all the random thoughts swimming in your head that don't quite constitute a blog entry of their own.
2. Copy and paste the Leftovers photo onto your post (copy photo, upload to your post).
3. Link back to The Simple Life.
4. Enter your blog name and the permalink to your post into the comments section.
5. Visit all the other leftovers and leave your love over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The First Week

Where has this sweet little babe gone? (August 2008, age 3 1/2)

Two days of Kindergarten down and I don't know who is more tired, the little man or me. It's been a mix around here with school starting- excitement and hesitation, bliss and sadness, joyful and tiring. Right now, mostly tiring. I'm exhausted, but I'm not the only one. C was used to coming home from school at 1:30pm four days a week, and 3pm one day a week. Now he gets on the bus at 8:30am and I don't see his sweet little face again until 3:45pm! Here's what he had to say:

How was the first day? "Fine."
What was the best part? "Recess."
What was the worst part? "Mason cut his hand and some girl wouldn't stop crying."
What do you like about your teacher? "She teaches me things."
How was lunchtime? "I want to buy lunch like the other kids."
Why are you so sweaty? "Mr. PE had us running around a gym."

And there you have it. Today, he came home and I asked "how was your 2nd day?" to which he rolled his eyes and replied. "I survived." Where does he get this stuff?

On another note, fall ball started tonight, church/choir is on Wednesday nights, a school event is tomorrow night, and piano is now scheduled for afterschool on Fridays, plus more ball scheduled for this weekend. Somewhere in here I'm supposed to fit swimming back in to C's schedule, plus the basics of working a 45+ hour week, grocery shopping, cleaning house, laundry, meal prep., exercise, etc. Will I ever read a book again? Did I mention I'm exhausted?

Ready to go...all kids in this class had to wear brown shirts the first day of school (yuck!) for the "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" story.

Off he goes!

Riding the Big Cheese!

Settled in at his desk.

We survived!

Roses for Mama

Ready for Day Two. I had to pinky swear I'd not make him wear these shorts EVER again.

A beautiful sunset closed out our day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Surprise, Surprise

It's been a week of surprises thus far, some good and some not-so-good, and it's only Tuesday! C's face sums it up. Let's start with the positives...

Dentist appointment was this morning and C wanted to dress himself (now that I should have snapped a picture of!). Button down shirt, athletic shorts, field explorer vest, pirate treasure pouch tied to vest, knee high socks, and cowboy boots. Natch, right? What? You don't leave the house looking like that? The field vest has many pockets and I noticed they were all bulging. When I questioned C about it, he told me that it was full of money. For what? He thought his cat should have a new toy and he wanted to pay for it with his own money. That's a first for C. When tucking him in tonight I noticed the plug out of his piggy bank and not much left inside. He did, indeed, use his little stash to buy Salem a new toy this morning. Sweet, sweet boy. Redeems him from some of his not so sweet behavior yesterday, but in his defense, a 101* fever will grump you up.

Great report at the dentist for C, but really, how did I totally miss the fact that his upper 6 yr. molars are in? And how did I get told I need to switch to Sensodyne? I've got a few sensitive spots and my dentist explained it as natural with aging. Whoa buddy, who is aging? Four tubes of Sensodyne in my free goody bag later, it must be me.

Our weekend was overflowing. You know that expression "I wish you enough."? It was one of those times where your cup of joy feels totally filled up and that is "enough." Between Friday night's dinner party and Sunday night's cookout, I got to spend quality time with some amazing and genuine women. Fantastic time with friends and family at the lake this past weekend too- hoping it's not so long between visits. Yes Mitch, that hint was for you and Kristin; let's get another weekend on the calendar, our place or your's. And I'm dusting off the Cranium box. Warn Kobe!

I've got a basket full of fresh picked peaches sitting on my counter. YUM!

I guess the upside to your hubs leaving a pot boiling on your stove when you leave for a weekend away is that the house did not burn down.

The not so welcome surprises...

That pot is burned to a crisp and the kitchen still stinks from it. And that was not a cheap pot.

The 101* fever, stuffy head, sore throat, sleepless nights, aches and pains, and cough that have made the rounds through our home are still here. Boo! Go away!

Some folks need a filter...as in a turn-on-the-frontal-lobe-in-your-brain kind of filter. I fully recognize that most people have NO IDEA how long we've struggled with infertility and that it took us almost 5 years to welcome our miracle babe. And for that reason, I can put my feelings aside and think of where folks are coming from when they ask if we are going to have more kids...it's a natural question, to a degree. Yesterday, it was my old softball coach's wife, today it was the dentist. What surprises me is how often the question arises, almost daily, but again, I think it's a natural curiousity, making small talk, etc. So I can say in all honesty, I'm not put off by the questions. For those who don't need to know the details and ask if we have other children, we usually respond with something along the lines of "not yet, but we'd love to." For those we are closer to, we give the high level summary...because it's not for lack of desire that we've not expanded our family.

Those responses by us are usually met with empathetic responses, which is great, but I think my favorite response was that of my dentist, who we've known for 26 years now: "Well I could think of much worse than being or having an only child." Me too! So, back to the need for a filter. My understanding and empathy ends when those who know the intimate details and minutae of our infertility, even if with the best of intentions, make the most brainless of statements. Rest assured that "it's a good weekend to make a baby" and telling us that we need to relax while on said weekend does not magically make a viable egg and sperm appear. FILTER! Don't you think if it were that easy we'd figured that one out in the past 5 years since C was born? With all of the specialists, experts, and fertility drugs? Would you tell a blind man it's a great weekend to see the fall foilage? The paraplegic it's a nice day for a walk? Really, learn to use the filter! I was slackjawed when that one came hurling my way about a week ago. And it's not the first time I've heard this ridiculousness from this individual, who is very much in the know with our situation, which makes all of this even more astounding. Yes, sometimes I think "speechless" is the only word to describe this exchange. No, wait, there's one more: FILTER!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers...Our Life in Pictures

We typically feel like summer has gone by too fast, but this year it seems to have moved at warp speed. How am I the Mama of a Kindergartner already?

Open House
Practice Bus Ride

The Three Amigos

Eating the Rainbow
Oh, how we will miss the weekly farmer's market!

Lots of Dress Up

And building

Celebrating 11 years with Salem

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Have you seen my house lately? Sad, but true!

Also true...and look at him STILL talking!

My sweet boy

Arrrgh! It's a pirate raid.

Get the fire extinguisher!

I have no idea...

Farmer's Market
How to enjoy the leftovers:
1. Write out all the random thoughts swimming in your head that don't quite constitute a blog entry of their own.
2. Copy and paste the Leftovers photo onto your post (copy photo, upload to your post).
3. Link back to The Simple Life.
4. Enter your blog name and the permalink to your post into the comments section.
5. Visit all the other leftovers and leave your love over the weekend.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers...the REALLY late version

It's been a crazy busy week- our first full one back from vacation, grandparents visiting, and celebrating my birthday. Woo-hoo! I am reminded how thankful I am for true friends and the love I've been surrounded by during this past week. What a wonderful time it has been! Here are some random, leftover updates:

1. C completely embarrassed me recently when we were having dinner out and a larger man, sitting by himself, had multiple plates of chicken bones around him. As we walked by his table to leave, C announced (innocently), "Wow, that man must like chicken! How many chickens do you think he ate?" To which the man turned and replied "FOUR!" Yikes! C and I had a chat about manners on our way to the car.

2. We recently had the opportunity to hear Joel and Victoria Osteen speak and what a powerful experience it was. I'll make it another post to go into more detail, but what caught me is "what are the weeds in your life?" What do you need to let go of? Great point to ponder.

3. The hubs went all out for my bday celebration...not only are we doing some fishing (you remember, he spilled the beans early on that one), we're also headed down to our favorite beach for a weekend while my parents take C on a trip. Sweet!

4. One of my dearest friends surprised me with a birthday dinner last night...and everything cooked from scratch, clean eating. Wow- I feel loved! We had such a nice time catching up, letting the kids play, etc. that it was one of those evenings where you wanted to linger a little longer around the outdoor fire.

5. We've been asked to join in a wedding in St. Thomas next year! The wedding will be on the island, but as part of a 9 day, island hopping cruise. Sounds good to me! Now I just need a money tree to grow in the backyard, since we're already heading to Aruba for a week.

6. The lake weekend is on....just a few more days to go!

7. I love a good Tyler Perry movie, but even more so than the storyline of overcoming obstacles and brokenness, I love me some MADEA! "Ma to the DEA!" Madea Goes to Jail was on last night and I laughed so hard I thought my sides were going to split. You can see a clip of her here.

8. The sheppy got his sutures out on Saturday; no more cone of shame.

9. The new fish's name is "Nicky-the-Camel" fish. Sometimes it's "Nicky-the-Alligator" fish. As one friend recently pointed out, either way, it sounds like the fish is in the mob. You've heard of made men? We've got a made fish!

10. Looking for a good end-of-summer read? David Baldaci is still fantastic!

11. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean that you SHOULD. Just because you can wear a bikini, doesn't mean that you should. Google "fat woman in bikini" to see that premise in action. Well, just because you can build a mosque near Ground Zero does not mean that you should. Good luck finding the union workers to build it.

How to enjoy the leftovers:
1. Write out all the random thoughts swimming in your head that don't quite constitute a blog entry of their own.
2. Copy and paste the Leftovers photo onto your post (copy photo, upload to your post).
3. Link back to The Simple Life.
4. Enter your blog name and the permalink to your post into the comments section.
5. Visit all the other leftovers and leave your love over the weekend.