Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Young One called about half way through his day yesterday. "You have to come get me." And then, click, the phone went dead.
Now, he isn't one to be in the dean's office for bad behavior. I turned the talk radio channel on the car stereo and couldn't find news of a lock down or school shooting. The ride to school took forever. Of course that's the day I get behind a construction trailer going about 10 miles an hour in a 45 zone.
I get to school and find he's in the nurse's office. He'd been snorting, sneezing, and blowing his nose all weekend. We're allergy people and ragweed is running rampant here in Minnesota. We're used to it. He's not feeling well, he tells me, and the nurse informs me that he has a 102 temp. Hmmm. Maybe it is more than allergies.
Then, she proceeds to tell me that without a signed lab report stating that he's negative for H1N1, he can't come back to school.
"Here's the deal," I said, "If he is positive, it's too late anyway because he's infected the entire school just by sneezing in here." And judging by the overflowing nurse's office, he probably isn't the only one.
This is parenting 101. Your day is hopping by just as pleasant as can be and wham, a curve ball. It's no wonder that people without children have trouble with interruptions in their days. They just don't get hit with as many bumps in the road as we do. Let's just say that after twelve years of daily curve balls, I've learned to just roll with it.
We head out to the car and I call his pediatrician's office. "We can see him right now." Well, that's rare.
He has to wear a mask in the waiting room. Secretly I know this makes for a good show, but I also know the real reason is to protect the really vulnerable kids, those with chronic illnesses that could be in danger from ANY flu, not just the current headliner. He doesn't want to wear a mask. It makes an already stuffed up nose even more impossible to breath through. I explain to him that not all kids are as generally healthy as he is, how lucky he is, etc. That the mask is a souvenir. "You can use it as a hat later or maybe one of the dogs will wear it."
Long story short, after talking with the doc, explaining the history of his "illness" and her examination, it turns out it's a sinus infection surely brought about by allergic rhinitis (aka a runny nose). I roll my eyes as I explain, though, that even though the symptoms of the flu are symptoms that almost every kid on the planet experiences at one time or another and that because our school district is panicking, that I am required to return with a negative test and a doctor's signature.
The test for H1N1 isn't very accurate and even if it was, we can't utilize it. Our state health department (and probably every other state health department) has decreed that unless your a. dead or b. in the hospital, you can't get the test. They're swamped. Thankfully, we don't meet the criteria for testing.
His doctor's office could do the standard nasal swab for Influenza A, of which H1N1 is a strain, so we proceeded with that. Negative. Let's check Strep. Negative. Signed, stamped, sealed and delivered. We have a relatively healthy boy who's got green boogers, is snorting pleasantly, and is carrying a pack of antibiotics.
I think we need to step back and breath (preferably clean air). Put this whole H1N1 thing into perspective. The CDC has said, if you or your kids have had a respiratory illness recently, it's probably hit your home. And so, you've been exposed, hence "vaccinated". It's a flu. We get a strain of it every year.
We've become a society that media preys on. If it bleeds, it leads has become the motto and fair and accurate news has gone by the wayside. I rarely watch or listen to the news. If I do, it's the BBC on PBS or public radio. I'm so tired of sensational media, "studies say" without qualifying the study, and just basically "drink the Kool Aid" media. The news generates considerable advertising revenue. I wish that they couldn't. Perhaps we'd get real news then.
Be well, stay informed, and take your vitamins! :)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
"Mom, we sit at the same table every day for lunch. And, amazingly, no one else sits there. It's just there, empty, like it's waiting for us."
And so it begins.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Mary Travers, of the amazing group Peter, Paul, and Mary, has died.
Last year, I was to travel to Chicago with my mom to hear them sing. Mary was too sick and so the concert was cancelled. I was so disappointed and scared. Frightened that her strong voice was so suddenly silenced. I knew it had to be bad if Mary couldn't continue.
Her music meant so much to me. The rallying cry of peace activists, Peter, Paul, and Mary's music is timeless. I will listen, once again, today.
It's Young One's birthday, so I'm not going to post this until later. But, I will listen today. Mary's voice soothed my fussy baby, it calmed teething, and served as sweet lullabye. If I had a Hammer was one of the first songs my little guy sang. I'll never forget how he'd pound his fist as he sang it. We still listen in the car, on lazy Sunday afternoons, and when I'm feeling particularly political.
Their music, her music, has been a constant thread through my life.
My dad hummed, whistled, and sung Blowin' in the Wind throughout my childhood.
My mom sat with me after a terribly painful breakup of first love. We watched a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert on PBS. Their music helped me run out of tears. It healed me.
I stood up for myself for the first time, firmly defending my love of the group when it really wasn't cool to look beyond the hair bands of the 80s.
I feel, in a way, as if a close friend has died. I'm sure I'm not alone. Her strength, activism, and grace will be missed. Her music will live on.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Seriously. I'm not ready for this.
First, while waiting in the pick up line for Young One on Monday, I witnessed girls with cleavage and cell phones. Some had both, more were texting than slouching if you know what I mean. Apparently, there's been a lot of growing up going on in the sixth grade girls over the summer or these girls were much older. Like as in two years older. The dreaded EIGHTH GRADERS.
Second, there's been discussion of manly man shower gel and volunteer showering. I repeat volunteer showering.
Third, there's a dance this Friday. A dance. Suddenly, I'm picturing my own Junior High dances which consisted of giggling girls constantly reapplying Bonnie Bell lip gloss and traveling in herds. There were sweaty palms, slow dancing to Journey's Open Arms with much shorter boys, and rushed trips to the bathroom to discuss who liked who. Relationships were made and broken the same evening and much drama ensued.
I seem to also remember screaming You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC with all my friends. I was thirty years old before I knew what it meant. Good times.
How did we get this far so fast?
The middle school years were topsy turvy for me. I don't want to put that on him, so I won't share unless the time is right. I think girls are probably meaner, so perhaps his experiences won't be so bad. Speaking with my friends and their husbands, though, we've all been cringing with the memories and the awkwardness of it all.
The dances are from 2:45 until 4:30, which really cracked me up. The thought of a DJ and a glitterball at that hour seems harmless enough.
Newsflash, I've just been informed that there will be inflatable bouncing things and a climbing wall as well as a DJ. Guess where he'll be? Emergency averted for another day.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
- We hadn't had one in ten years and we had a lot of stuff.
- I didn't want to have to haul said stuff to a charity drop off.
- I had too much stuff for charity pick up service.
- I wanted to teach Young One about marketing, the reward for hard work, and the value of a clean closet.
You can positively affect people's lives at a garage sale. And the one most affected? Me.
My philosophy is that you're not going to make a ton of money at a garage sale and if you ever figured out just how much you made per hour you would never ever do it in the first place. Money can't be the motivator.
The motivator has to be that you're willing to put your stuff out for all your neighbors to gawk at and judge (and the brave ones will sort through it and purchase). The motivator has to be that you're willing to put out your collection of 1970s Tupperware and hold your head high knowing that someone just might need it, crave it, want it.
The motivator has to be that you're willing to part with your stuff, for very very little cash, so that people who really need it can benefit.
Many people stock their homes, clothe their families, find their tools, gadgets, and entertainment through garage sales. They have to.
I'm lucky in that I don't have to be a thrift store or garage sale shopper (even though I love to be). I could pay, gasp, full retail, if I wanted to.
But, I'm wandering.
What I'm getting at is that there is a certain amount of pride in purchasing something for your family, however little you pay for it. I've always felt the welfare system doesn't work because there is no requirement of expenditure on your part. Oh yes, you pay with your pride, but after a few generations, that goes out the window.
A hand up instead of a hand out has always been my motto.
Anyway, I could go on and on about my thoughts on welfare, but this isn't the time and the place.
I always price things extremely low at garage sales. Everything was priced a quarter at my sale, unless it was marked otherwise. And people went nuts. I even had a couple of people buy my garbage. Well, they bought what I thought was garbage.
I'm a pretty good reader of people. I had many people attend the sale, the first morning, they were lined up and down both sides of my street. I had the obligatory antique dealer, looking for a steal. I had Lookie Loos and hoarder wannabes. I had a few weirdos, including a dude with his wig sewn to his baseball cap (he liked to "doff" his hat at the ladies, revealing his shiny bald head). And then I had those that really needed and appreciated my cast offs.
When someone who seemed to really need what I had to sell, I always threw in a few freebies. I'm particularly partial to little kids. I watched several eyeing toys they seemed to know better than to ask for. I watched parents scrounging together for the few quarters from their pockets to pay for their treasures. And then I'd throw in a free toy, a snowsuit, a warm blanket for the one month old.
The smiles, the joy, and the appreciation. Well, that's what it's all about, isn't it?
I made quite a bit of money off the sale, but I made much more than that. I got a chance to minister to a lot of strangers. As D said, I made a lot of people happy. The junk hoarders, the antique dealers, and the needy. They all left with smiles. And I'm still here, holding them close to my heart.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
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Monday, September 14, 2009
It's going to be a great day.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'm finding myself really struggling with the whole weight loss thing. I've been disillusioned with weight loss this summer. I think it's mostly been that I've been so stressed and crazy busy that I haven't had one moment to think about counting Points and I refused to beat myself up about not working out as much. Summer in itself has been a workout.
I'm making excuses, though, and I hate that. In fact, it starts a self-destructive cycle of guilt and self-loathing that just doesn't end. So, I'm going to stop that right now and get on with it.
I'm thinking about going to attend Weight Watchers Meetings with a girlfriend. It is more expensive, which has held me back in the past, but it also forces you to be more accountable, so probably worth every penny. And maybe that's just what I need. It's hard, though, because it feels like admitting defeat to me. Well, just a bit. Maybe it's good to admit that you can't do everything on your own?
I have a feeling that making weigh in and meeting a social outing would be fun, as long as we just didn't get caught up in post weigh-in coffee breaks at the Scandinavian bakery!
I'm just in the thinking stages of this, but I'm leaning towards doing it. I've stalled out, plateaued or whatever the Weight loss word of the week is for becoming stuck in mud or was it Texas sheet cake? No, no, that's not fair. I've just ignored the scale and still tried to be relatively healthy, aside from a week of diving into a donut bag that happened on vacation.
This year is all about getting myself back. For the first time since becoming a mom, I'm starting to see Me again.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
- Buying school shoes for someone who just doesn't want to go back to school
- Standing outside the barber shop while the boys get their hair cut. I am not allowed in the man cave. Apparently, the high levels of testosterone made apparent by all the male patterned baldness present, would knock me into oblivion. That and they couldn't scratch themselves, talk about killing animals, or contemplate the perfection of a field goal in front of me. Man rules, who knew?
- Last minute emergency back to school laundry.
- Cleaning, yet another, closet for our garage sale.
- Cleaning out the attic, but not really. D is cleaning out the attic, I'm catching the refuge and refusing to climb the rickety stairs.
- Marking stuff for the garage sale while counseling Young One about the realities of home school ("If you want to be home schooled, your first project would be cleaning out the attic. That would be gym, health, and history.")
- Chasing various 11 year old boys as they go through the revolving door that is now my home.
- Answering the phone, it rings endlessly these days.
- Contemplating just why I'm having a garage sale around back to school time.
- Avoiding having to chaperone a middle school dance.
- Trying to hide the items that my generous mother has given me amongst the garage sale stuff without her seeing them. Sorry mom. Love ya to death, have too much stuff.
- Inhaling permanent marker while making signs.
- Celebratory back to school girl's brunch. Ahh. Adult conversation.
- Neighbor chat in the street while the kids are playing.
- Waiting for the first day of school bus, which came only after we got in the car to self deliver our new middle schooler! (25 minutes late, come on!)
- Trying to convince said bus driver that he could deviate from the middle of the block drop off when the two kids he drops off on our street live at the end of the block. grrr. Maybe cookies will help tomorrow.
- Listening to new school lingo like, "Chip"(slang for the school's name), "Deans", "Locker combo", "I had a pass."
- Realizing that I am completely and utterly embarrassing no matter what I do, say, or look like to my child. Realizing that at one point, this too shall pass.
- Chasing a sleepwalker. For the love of God, this child has never slept through the night.
I could go on and on, but this is such a busy time. It is for every mom.
Garage Sale tomorrow through Saturday. Hope all the work was worth it.
Happy Back to School Parents!
Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!