Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It’s not the end of May unless we skid across the finish line battered, bruised, scraped up, sick as dogs, hopped up on antibiotics, chewed up, spit out, worn out and with a few embers glowing and smoking from our asses.

This May has been no different.

Oh, what a month this has been. QUITE a month, if I do say so myself. Granted, it would be busy without all the other, um, stuff that’s been going on, but truly, we have been running with flames flying out of our asses since the beginning of the month. And while I’m glad that it’s coming to a close, a part of me knows that this is the end of a chapter as well.

So, what have we been up to? Let’s see, 4 participation days in school, 4 field trips (2 missed because of illness), 2 bike days, 4 soccer games, 4 school meetings, grade 1 registration, a garage sale, gardening, 3 days of birthday celebration, the best birthday party ever, attendance at another birthday party, 1 random fever, 14 days of illness, another fever, strep, a round of antibiotics, house guests, house guests who end up in the hospital for 3 days, 2 epic photo books and now a kindergarten graduation on the horizon.

So, let’s break it down. School is almost done and in a way, thank GOD for that. It’s the biggest source of craziness right now with last minute field trips, celebrations and preparations. But at the same time… SNIFF! School is almost done! This is Mouse’s last year at this school before she moves onto big, public grade 1 in August. We LOVE our preschool and kindergarten and all of us have friends associated with it. It’s a bit sad when summer comes and we know we won’t see our friends daily. And it’s a place of change for me too. I’ll be moving from being “just a parent” and serving on the board, which has been a big thing for me, to being a parent and a TEACHER. For which I’m not prepared at all. I’ve also been making photo books for both girls’ teachers, a job I offer to do every year and lament every year because they are a pain in the butt. But, I know they will be worth the effort. I felt the same way last year – with photo books, school ending and the like.

The sickness. Oh, the sickness. Mouse started getting sick 2 weeks ago with a cold, which then turned into something else. Then Baboo had some weird random fever that lasted a day. Then I got sick with strep and now Mouse is even sicker and we’re both on antibiotics. Last year at this time Mouse was very sick with a stomach bug and just barely made it to school on the last day. She’s already missed 5 days of school just this month!

Hubster’s folks arrived to help us celebrate Mouse’s 6th birthday last Thursday. They arrived to a somewhat sick Mouse, me on the verge of losing my voice and getting strep, bike day and birthday celebrations at school for Mouse. Then I got strep and they had to take over our spot for the community garage sale, watch Mouse’s last soccer game (best birthday ever – she got a trophy!), and then I sucked it up and took the girls to another birthday party. We went for dinner for Mouse which we think lead to Hubster’s Dad ending up in the hospital for the last 3 days with a very serious case of gastroenteritis… but more on that later.

Sunday, after a few doses of antibiotics, I was supposedly no longer contagious and could move on to the big honkin’ birthday party for Mouse. It was fun… and over the top as I’m wont to do because geez, they only get 1 birthday a year – let’s make it MEMORABLE! I made the cake, planned the “great rescue of Queen Rainbow Flower’s treasure” and generally entertained 12 little girls for 2 hours with the help of Hubster's parents and the parents who stayed, croaking like a frog the whole time. However, it was very cool and Mouse loved every minute.

Monday Hubster rushed his Dad to the emergency room and after a few days of worry and not really knowing anything definitive – with discussions of exploratory surgery and the like, he finally seems to be improving.

Yesterday Mouse woke up in tears and it took me 1.5 hours to figure out that she was actually feverish and I suspected strep. Turns out it’s not strep but some secondary infection due to being sick so long and now she’s sporting 103 fever and gagging on antibiotics/Tylenol every few hours. Her kindergarten graduation is Friday and I’m just praying she’s well enough to go, though I may just drag her there anyway. Today she’s missing out on a cool train ride field trip and we’re all just bummed about it.

A part of me feels responsible for all of this. Hubster said that I’m not “happy” unless I’m moving through the end of the school year at a frantic pace. Well, I wouldn’t say that I was “happy” about it. Even without the extras that have happened, May would be a crazy month. There wasn’t a whole lot I could say “no” to. It is what it is and unfortunately, none of us here respond well to be dragged around at 150 mph. Our tempers, patience, energy and immunity are all a bit worse for wear.

My motto the whole month has been “just make it to May 29”. A friend recently asked me what was happening on May 29 and I looked at her emphatically and said “Nothing, absolutely NOTHING. And that’s the point.”

I know that next year, I’m going to have to find a way to be better prepared for May, because as much as I’d like to say that it won’t be as bad, and as much as Hubster would like to just skip the whole month altogether, it’s just going to be a crazy time. My only hopes for the here and now are that: father is law is well soon, the weather is good for the pool opening this weekend and the kids will be happy with my intention to have absolutely nothing planned for next week. I know it won’t last beyond that, but I sure hope we can at least get a week to catch our collective breath.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sears Really Does Care

So, I did realize that I had something somewhat worth noting to write about.

Just after I posted my complaint about my dying washer, I received an email from a Sears Care rep apologizing for my crappy service and asking me to contact them to discuss any options for helping to make this right. Initially, I figured it was a scam and ignored it. Then I got another email, and decided to search on the internet to see if it was real. I couldn’t find anything, so I emailed back and said “Listen, I’m not sure you’re a real person and I’m not giving you my personal information, so give me a number to call you.”

Very promptly, as in less than a day later, I get an email seemingly from a real person with a real phone number. I pondered on this again for a few days and decide to call. Strangely enough, I get a real person right away and it really is the Sears Service department.

They apologized for the crummy service and offered to refund some of my money and offered me a discount on a new machine.

Now, the old machine is still working and we’ve decided that until it dies we will just live with it. I hesitate to say that it hasn’t gotten any worse, but it’s still running and that’s ok with us.

They were quick, pleasant and I received my refund prompty and did try to work things out. I appreciate that kind of effort.

So, thank you Sears Cares.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Funnies From the Kids

As I seem incapable of finding time to write anything useful these days, allow me to further record funny things said by my children:

Driving in the car to school:
Mouse: Mom, I’m going to be in Grade 1 after I’m done in Kindergarten, right?
Me: Yup. In August, you’ll start at your new school in Grade 1.
Baboo: I’m going to Grade 1 too!
Mouse: No, Baboo, you’re going to be in Polliwogs with Mommy next year.
Baboo: Mom! You hear that!? I’m going to be a Probly-wog!

At the dinner table last night:
Hubster and I are talking about something relatively mundane when Baboo interrupts and states, rather loudly:
Baboo: Cowboys wear BOOTS!
Mouse: Yup.
Baboo: BIG boots.
Mouse: And cowgirls wear high heels.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Day, Another Tantrum

I’m frazzled. I’m worn out. I’m cranky. I’m getting near the end of my rope.

Hubster’s been working late for the last few weeks, I’m up to my eyeballs in school commitments, I’m trying to get the garden/yard pulled together as much as I can with a borked shoulder (I did something to it last week that makes pushing, lifting and breathing painful), running errands and dealing with some long, long days with the girls. And I want to get started on planning for my teaching job in the fall, but frankly I have no time or energy to squeeze it in.

The topper to this craziness is that every single day this week someone has had a tantrum. Not little tantrums, but full blow out, kicking and screaming, clawing and crying tantrums. Every. Single. Day.

Yesterday, despite being warned of severe time limits, Mouse decided to make a picture for a friend before school. When her ride arrived, running a bit late, I had to drag her kicking and screaming, pry her hands off the door jamb to get her in the car. The whole neighborhood got an earful at 8:30 am.

Today, her tantrum was multifaceted. It was about piano and stickers and hair and the fact that I am a horrible, awful mother who has absolutely NOTHING better to do other than be MEAN to her. She’s almost 6. I can’t *wait* until she’s in her teens. Save me.

And if Mouse hasn’t been waxing poetic in tantrum form, Baboo has been sure to fill in the gaps. Getting dressed, crackers, milk, sand… if you can think of it, we’ve had a tantrum about it.

Good times here.

I just wish I rebounded as quickly as they seem to. Generally, after they’ve got it out of their systems and I’ve tried NOT to explode or put them on the street with a sign that says “Free to a Good Home”, they’re fine. They’re looking to be forgiven and move on as though some tantrum switch has been flicked. It’s harder for me not to seethe for a while and feel more than wrung out for hours afterward. I do hug them, let them know I still love them even if we’re mad at each other, but sometimes it’s through gritted teeth. Granted, right now, I’m definitely not handling these outbursts as well as I could and I’m hard on myself for it. I’m yelling back and throwing up my hands and saying “I don’t care” as I walk away too much. All very tantrum- like. Showing up one tantrum for another. Very mature, I know. I know it’s not the best way to handle these power struggles but I’m to just feeling too fried to be proactive. And that must stop.

I’m hoping that things cool off, though I feel like I’ve been saying that for months now. For now though, I’d settle for a nap. A nice long, QUIET, kid free nap.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Big News

So that big news I was cranking about last night? The news that made me overreact to Baboo pooping in the pool, (though really, that was gross)?

Well, I heard last night about 10.

I've got a job. Yup. Me. ME!

I’m going to be a preschool teacher at my daughters’ cooperative school. I decided, after a lot of thought and encouragement from friends to apply back at the end of February. A good friend helped me edit and reedit my resume and kicked me in the pants several times to knock the copious amounts of negative self talk out of my head. Hubster also kicked me in the pants several times, but maybe that was just for fun. (kidding). He was so incredibly supportive and is always my biggest champion. I was happy with my submission but figured it would stop there.

I was the first person to get called for an interview and the first interviewee. I left feeling like a total moron and figured it would get left there.

Insert a month of waiting, and last night I finally got a call. Just as I was getting ready to shut everything down and just go to bed already, the call came in. And my heart is still pounding.

I love our school, love our teachers, love our philosophy, and love our members. They embrace whole families and this will give me an opportunity to work and sacrifice very little of the time I need to be with my family. Its’ 2 mornings a week and I certainly won’t be getting rich, but it’s a little something and who couldn’t use that right now? This is a place where I feel like I belong and when this job opportunity opened up, I felt like this is where I’m supposed to go. Apparently, the universe agrees.

I’ve got a whole lot to learn and some big shoes to fill, but I’m clearing out my mind and getting ready to absorb as much information as I can. Guess I’d better get to work. And by that, immediately, anyway, I’d better go and unload the dishwasher, get the girls up and tidy up as I have a Pilates class this morning. Haha.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dear Local YMCA

Oh my. To say that I’m mad doesn’t quite cut it, though I think that it’s mostly the fact that I didn’t sleep well last night, Hubster is working late, Baboo has eaten almost nothing all day again which frustrated me beyond reason, Mouse has been clinging and whining all day and am waiting for some news tonight that’s kind of stressing me out. I did not need this today. And so, yes, I was more than likely less, though marginally so, understanding than I would be on any other day.

To say that I’m embarrassed is also not quite right. Mortified is probably more appropriate.

My kid is the one who pooped in the pool requiring the evacuation of 30-odd people, who raced to the showers in horror after realizing they had been swimming in poop. My child’s poop. I was the mother with the beet red face, dragging her child across the deck, kicking and screaming, snot streaming down her face, praying that the ground would open up and swallow us whole.

Just a few minutes after the girls' swim class started (and the girls take the class with a neighbor friend as well, so yeah, nice) Mouse said “Hey! What’s that brown stuff in the pool?”, and I watched the instructor figure out that it was indeed poop, call the lifeguard to clear the pool. As the girls climbed out of the pool, I realized with a sinking feeling that it was likely Baboo. Sure enough, there it was.

I ran immediately to her and said “Did you poop in the pool?!” which she denied completely despite me pointing it out in her bathing suit.

Baboo has been potty trained for a year now. I can’t even remember the last time we had a poop accident. I thought about swim diapers when the girls started this round of swim lessons, but figured that she’d be ok as she so rarely has accidents. Normally, I wouldn’t care overly much, but when a number of other people are affected drastically and I witness the dirty looks (warranted, I agree) we got as we left the Y, this time I do care. I don’t expect my children to be perfect, but I also don’t want them to think that this is ok. We’ve got a long summer pool season ahead of us and I’d like to nip this in the bud now.

And I feel negligent for not insisting that she wear a diaper for a while longer as she is only 3, regardless of the fact that I thought she'd be fine. I feel like I look like the ‘bad’ or indulgent or careless parent for not putting my little one in a diaper. I feel like I wasn’t following the “rules”, though I know that any child could have an accident at any age. Really, almost any kid “should “ wear a diaper. Maybe she was tired, maybe I wasn’t watching closely enough to catch her before it was too late, but regardless, it’s done and now I have to just feel like, ha, crap for a while and then get over it.

Let me tell ya, bedtime can’t come soon enough tonight.

*edited to add: I did calm down and yes, crap happens. Baboo and I talked last night about how this is not a good thing to do and why. Calmly, without my face flaming. And this morning, I'm done beating myself up over this. I was more upset with myself than I was with Baboo. Swim diapers are definitely on the grocery list though.

Friday, April 2, 2010

You Know You're Old When...

It’s 80 F, 6:30 pm, the girls are swinging in the backyard after dinner…

Mouse: Mom, I’m 5 and how much again?
Me: 5 and ¾.
Mouse: Oh yeah! And pretty soon I’ll be 6. Will I celebrate my birthday at school when I’m in first grade?
Me: I don’t know.
Mouse: That’s cos you don’t REMEMBER because it was so LONG ago! How old are you again and when did you go to first grade.?
Me: Uh, I’m 35 and it’s been almost 30 years since I was in first grade. Things have changed a lot since I was in first grade.
Mouse: Yeah! That’s a very, very, very long time ago. There aren’t any dinosaurs around any more now.
Me: I think it’s time to go in and get ready for a bath now… (good grief!)