Posted in Kids, Sick

Stamping my Foot at the Unfairness

Last Thursday Catie decided it was high time someone got sick around here and brought home a stomach bug. She ever so nicely shared it with me. My children are often thoughtful that way. So we spent Thursday and Friday on the couch and loveseat, not eating a whole lot and feeling rather miserable. Sunday morning, when I woke up feeling quite fine, thankyouverymuch, Ethan woke up with a hacking cough and major congestion and Laura had the stomach bug.

1. One type of virus at a time, world. That should TOTALLY be in the rule book.

Sunday Ethan got a small nose bleed. That night I stepped off my side porch and my ankle gave out AGAIN and I went down on the pavers really really hard. Spend the rest of the evening with it propped up and not getting anything done. Monday, off from school, Ethan got a MAJOR nosebleed that we just couldn’t get to stop. I had us both in coats, ready to head to the ER at 9pm when finally FINALLY it decided to quit. Today, Tuesday, I woke up with a really sore throat and headache and overall I’m-definitely-coming-down-with-a-cold feeling.

2. Double not fair, world. I put off laundry because of being sick and then because I couldn’t stand long enough to do it and now I feel rotten? My kids need clothes! I NEED CLOTHES!

So from me to you, dear readers, WASH YOUR HANDS and keep your children away from mine. They are world-class germ sharers.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Health, Kids, School, Sick

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

Last week’s #1 topic was my sickness. If you are grossed out by grossness, don’t read this week’s #1.

1. So last Friday I posted that I was on Day 14 of being sick. I hadn’t gone to the doctors, not because I’m anti-doctor, but because it really just felt like an annoyingly long virus that I needed to last through. Saturday morning, though, I got up and took a shower. I felt worse–like my health was going downhill instead of up. I blew my nose and it was BRIGHT (like the 7 Quick Takes label bright) yellow. YUCK. I went to walk-in hours at my doctors and lo and behold! I had a sinus infection! WooHoo! Z-pack to the rescue! (I’m allergic to penicillin).

2. Within 48 hours of starting the Z-pack I felt like a different person. My voice was back, instead of sounding like someone who had smoked for 75 years. I wasn’t coughing all day every day. My energy was back. I would say that today, Day 21, that I’m at 95%. I’m still needing to keep tissue boxes handy, but I cleaned and vacuumed the living room yesterday AND started washing the couch cushion upholstery that got chicken broth spilled on it on Day TWO of this whole fiasco.

3. I’m not one to talk about products (no one is paying me for it!), but I wanted to gush a little bit this morning about a new hair care product we just stumbled upon. I got a free sample in the mail yesterday of Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. It’s AMAZING. Our daily issue is Laura’s hair. She got my curls and Jim’s crazy-thick hair. This has been the bane of our mornings for YEARS. We’ve been working with a stylist with a good cut, growing it out to try and pull some of the curl down (so far that’s not working!) and trying product after product. Before we found this, gel seemed to be the best answer, except it left her hair sticky or crunchy, neither of which is good. This morning she showered and toweled dry her hair. I put the conditioner in and blew it dry a little on low (because she was leaving the house and it’s 10 degrees out!). Her hair looks, feels and smells AMAZING. I’m already trying to find it online (WalMart carries it, but not in our local store). If you have thick and curly hair, I HIGHLY recommend this!

4. I ventured out after our snowstorm to Bella Med Spa for my consult and first laser hair treatment. After talking with the technician, I opted not to do my upper lip. There wasn’t enough dark hair to see a good return for the money. The technician said some people think it feels like tweezing (no big deal) and others feel like it’s needles being stuck into the follicles. I unfortunately fell into the latter category. She rubbed an ice cube on a part of my chin and then immediately lasered it. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. And that was on a low setting! I smelled a burning hair smell (lovely) and managed to just grit my teeth and bear it. After 2 hours there was no pain or itching and the spot just felt like my chin again. It’s worth it to me, in the end, for no daily plucking.  I go again March 7th.

5. The above-mentioned snowstorm netted our area about 8-10 inches and two snow days. We are now up to four snow days and I’m guessing they are going to start taking days from their spring vacation. Which is already short. Another reason to like cyber school. No snow days!

6. Jim and I were talking yesterday about weather in general, and how the weather channel tries to hoop everything into a bigger deal than it really is. Naming a winter storm, for heavens sake! I’m 45 and still can remember days out at the bus stop waiting in single digit weather. Or in the snow. Sure it was freezing (literally!), but it was winter and you dealt with it. Now it’s a polar vortex and Winter Storm Janus and we must FREAK OUT ABOUT IT. Oh brother!

7. I emailed Catie’s every day teacher and her gifted teacher, asking them if they would fill out teacher recommendations for the application process for the gifted program of PALCS. I haven’t heard back yet from her regular teacher, because she’s out sick. Her gifted teacher’s response was as follows (direct quote):

“Thank you for thinking of me with your request.  Unfortunately I will not be able to help you.  I am not a proponent of charter schools and can not support one.  I wish Catie the best of luck as she continues her schooling and will be happy to help you in the future if it doesn’t require that I aid a charter school.”

Wow. Just…..Wow. I instead emailed her teacher from last year and she was quick to respond that she was thrilled to give Cate the recommendation she needed.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Cleaning, Clutter, Health, Kids, School, Sick

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

1. You know we’re one sick family when I bought SIX boxes of tissues and five are already open and 1/2 used up. I’m on day 14 and still coughing like crazy. I just popped a cough drop in to try and help and pondered this question: What exactly IS menthol-eucalyptus and why did someone put in something we suck on? It’s not as if it tastes good. And I still cough. But for some reason we keep sucking on cough drops.

2. A year ago we were trying to figure out public or cyber school for two of our older kids. We are now at the same place for our younger child, with the added twist of a gifted IEP. The public school has a program whereby Catie would be “enriched” four times per cycle (not sure what a cycle is). She would wake up at 5:45 or so to make the 6:35 bus to start school at 7:15 and finish at 2:15 and be home by 2:40 when she would start homework. Snow days, sick days, problem students–these would be a part of her life. Cyber school would be 90% gifted, with the exceptions of gym, music, health, art and tech ed. We would have the option of having her do it fully cyber or 1/2 cyber and 1/2 classroom. Classroom sizes have an average of 11. It would mean driving 35 minutes each way 2x/week one week and 3x/week the next. She would learn at her own pace, at her own speed, with her interests highlighted, and no dealing with troubled kids. I’m on the fence. Seriously. Stay tuned for updates!

3. Having triplets, it’s been very interesting (to say the least) entering puberty. Laura, being the girl, is definitely leading the pack in height, weight and general heading-towards-adulthood. One son’s voice has changed but the other’s has not, but his facial hair is starting to show up instead. Acne–whew! Acne!! Growth spurts! Stinky bedrooms! We’re in for a bumpy road the next few years, I’m thinking.

4. All four kids received rather substantial monetary gifts from various relatives. To the extent that, I went onto ebay this week and won three Nintendo 3DS’s. We started out with the plain DS, bumped up to DSI’s, but I was NOT willing to fork over the fundage necessary for this ladder rung. All totaled including shipping, $322 for all three. Ethan, being completely uninterested in handheld games for obvious reasons, is spending some of his money on I Love Toy Train DVD’s and most likely Braille books.

5. I have said before that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). One of the more annoying side effects of this is hair in places that a woman doesn’t want it–for me, specifically, it’s my chin and upper lip. I pluck literally every day. EVERY DAY. So, with Christmas money in hand, I’ve made the first of six appointments at a laser hair removal place and am hopeful that plucking is not in my future. They were conservative with my condition, though, and said that future treatments will most likely be necessary. The weird part about the time leading up to my appointment is: no tweezers. I have to SHAVE. With a RAZOR. It’s very, very odd doing something to my face that I have previously only seen my husband do!

6. Inspired by A Slob Comes Clean, I finally went through my wardrobe–dresser and closet. Pants that don’t fit. Tops that are too snug across certain part of my anatomy. Bathing suits I will never wear again. They are ALL heading out the door for donation. Suddenly I have plenty of room in my dresser. Jim has more room in the closet (I have a tiny section because I don’t have many dress clothes. Jim is the clothes horse in the family!) It feels GREAT.

7. Here’s a tiny view into my brain-deadness: Yesterday I heard the microwave beep. I was on the living room floor folding laundry and told Bennett and Laura that whoever put food in, it was done. Both denied it was them. I tried to think of what I would have set the timer for, but came up empty and just kept folding. We watched an HGTV show together. Eventually I got up and went into the kitchen and found THE POT OF WATER BOILING THE EGGS I HAD PUT THERE ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE. It was down to about a half-inch from the bottom (from being an inch above the eggs when it started). The eggs were still fine for egg salad, but I wasn’t about to eat them out of hand like I normally do. See? Brain dead. There’s just nothing left up there except the kids’ medical histories and the occasional hair appointment. If you want to keep your brains intact, people, do not have children!

Posted in Me, Sick

Status Update

So, well, yeah. Hi! I swear I never meant more than a month to go by before posting again. But man, the HOLIDAYS. And the SICKNESS. And so, here we are, January 14, 2014. More than a month from when I last posted.

Let me tell you…it’s been an eventful month. Taking a much-needed break from school. Sleeping in (that means 7am to me!), hosting Christmas for 15–thank goodness we have a lot of extra chairs in our basement! Shopping and decorating and undecorating and cleaning and then getting very, VERY sick. Today is Day 10 and I’m still not back to “normal”. But I get better every day and am very, very thankful for that fact.

I took a quick peek at my list of things that we, as a family, wanted to accomplish in 2013. We did so-so. Basically, if it involved money (debt or home improvement), it really didn’t happen. That’s another post for another day, along with the goals for 2014.

In December I accidentally backed into Jim’s truck and crunched my rear bumper. That got replaced last week and looks so shiny and new. I was so sick, though, that the rental I had only got four miles put onto it!

I started receiving a devotional in my in-box each day. It’s called Girlfriends in God and is actually pretty ok. I have struggled so much with consistent reading of the bible and spending any quality time with God–this is just sitting there, reminding me daily to do it. LOVE it.

I know this is a fly-by post, but that’s where life is right now (hence the title!). I hope all of you, my dear readers, are having a happy and healthy 2014.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Kids, Marriage, Me, School, Sick, Vacation

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

1. You know how you know something is coming up and you know you need to plan it and at some point you’ll get around to it and then life happens and you keep putting it off until it’s only a week away and then you freak out and do massive research on the internet and email your husband a bunch of ideas all at once (which of course he can’t look at because he’s at work) and then you freak out some more because you used to be such a great planner and life is just changing around you and you can’t plan anymore and …

Yes. This was me yesterday about our anniversary getaway next week.

2. I happily stumbled onto this website about tours  and relaxed. They do guided ones (for a pretty decent fee), self-guided free ones and then ones where you download an audio guide onto your iPod and use it to walk around. Door #3 sounds like a winner to me! The audio guide is something like $15 (much cheaper than the guided tour) and will let you go at your own pace (and sneak in a side trip to Elfreth’s Alley which is right near Betsy Ross’s house). For those of you who have never heard of Elfreth’s Alley, It is the oldest residential street in America. Dating back to 1702, it has been continuously lived in for more than 300 years now.

3. Finishing up our 4th week of cyber school and fine arts school. Monday morning the gal that I share carpooling with (she does mornings and I do afternoons) called and said that just as she got to the parking lot of the fine arts school Laura threw up. She took her in and cleaned her up as best as she could and then brought her back home (L threw up 3 more times on the way home). 1) Thank goodness she had leather seats! 2) What a nice woman! Having your own kid throw up and dealing with it is just not pleasant. With someone else’s kid (and I’ve dealt with that personally!) is just grosser. Laura’s fine and we’re left wondering what in the world THAT was?

4. Are your kids into Minecraft? Holy cow, do Bennett and Laura love it! We got it for their birthday and they have spent any and every allowable moment on their computers playing it. I love hearing their conversations–they regularly use the word “smelt” in conversation, and I heard obsidian the other day. If nothing else, it’s teaching some excellent vocabulary! 🙂

5. I’m halfway through the Great Wardrobe Changeover. Except for winter boots, Laura and Catie have all the clothes they will need for the winter, and they are all put away in their drawers. Today I’m hoping to finish the boys’ clothes. Ethan still doesn’t care what he wears as long as it fits comfortably, but the other three have all developed tastes in clothing. Laura, especially, has changed dramatically in the last 6-8 months. Her taste…grew up, for lack of a better phrase. I bought several shirts for her that she pooh-poohed and when we went to Goodwill (because, COME ON, they have all the popular teen clothes there and for $3!) she picked several that I would never have guessed she would have liked. So no more shopping for Laura–she has to come with me.

6. I was reading another blogger talk about her “new normal”. I think we’re at that place as well. Huh. When they were really young, I often used that term with regards to medical issues. (e.g.: Ethan has a g-tube. Dealing with that was our new normal). Nowadays we are in a much better place, albeit busy. Last September I would have stumbled out of bed at 5:30 to get Bennett and Laura up, followed by Ethan at 6:15, followed by Catie at 7. All would be gone by 8:35, and start coming home at 2:35. Finances didn’t allow for extra-curricular stuff, except for band and chorus which were provided through the school. So my driving was mostly pleasure-oriented, with the occasional band practice or concert.

This year, wow. Our “New Normal”:

Monday: Me up at 6, Wake Laura as soon as I can.  Ethan’s bus comes at 7:30 on Mondays (team mtg at school), so he gets up at 6:45. Wake Catie and Bennett at 7 after Laura leaves. Ethan leaves at 7:30 and Catie out the door at 8:35. Bennett starts schoolwork whenever he wants as long as it’s before 8. Make him have breakfast around 9-9:30. Leave the house at 2 to pick up Laura at school. Something really easy for dinner because Catie has horseback riding lessons and we leave at 6:15.

Tuesday: Ethan up at 6:15, everyone else at 7. Nice, easy day.  At night , make sure Laura has clothes picked out and lunch made for next day.

Wednesday: Ethan and Laura both up by 6:15 to both be out the door at 7. Catie and Bennett up. Catie drum lessons at school so I will need to both drive her and pick her up, which will be challenging. Leave at 2 to get Laura. Drop carpool gal off at home. Drop Laura off if i have time, otherwise drive to Catie’s school and pick her up.

Thursday: Repeat Tuesday morning. I have bible study that night, so easy dinner that Jim can make or I can make really quickly and Jim can grab if he’s getting home late. 1x/month Laura has PT during the day.

Friday: Repeat Tuesday morning getting ready. 2x/month Laura has Orientation and Mobility lessons mid-morning. 1pm every week Bennett has guitar lessons.

Friday night: THANK YOU, GOD! We made it through another week!

I do want to say that I’m not complaining. I know we have it easy compared to you sporty parents. We are not a sporty family (for which I’m somewhat grateful!), so the whole lifestyle of living in your car and spending all Saturday at endless soccer tournaments or swim meets is completely foreign to me. All I’m saying is, this sure is different than the past few years!

7. I have had the blessing of eating lunch with my three closest girlfriends all within the past month. And this after seeing none of them all summer. Catching up, eating yummy food, just talking and sharing and laughing and crying has been WONDERFUL. (Even if I did forget Laura’s orthodontist appointment during one of them! Oops!)

Happy Fall Y’all!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, House, Jim, Sick

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. I’m writing while slightly dizzy. This is not a fun way to type and I fully expect to go back to my couch once I’m finished.

2. My normal response to getting sick is to take the first day and baby myself. I sit on the couch, rest and drink lots of tea. I do this every time and it seems to shorten the severity and length of sickness.

Except.

This week was Christmas and it was not an option. Both Monday and Tuesday I pushed through the sick and wrapped and celebrated and didn’t baby myself. Which, honestly, I would choose to do the same if given the choice.

But.

Wednesday and Thursday I paid the price for “pushing through”. It wasn’t a matter of sitting on the couch. I laid there, sometimes asleep, sometimes resting, sometimes watching TV. I didn’t do it up in the bedroom because I could sort of still be a parent on the couch. I coughed. I sneezed. I blew my nose. I didn’t stand up a lot because, as I mentioned, I’m dizzy.

3. Today I am feeling a little better. I took a shower (much to Jim’s relief), but was exhausted from that. I got breakfast and am now blogging (see my committment to you all?!) and will go and rest again. I’m determined to clean some of the house because, allegedly, I’m hosting Christmas with my family tomorrow.

4. I say allegedly because I was supposed to do that the day after Christmas. Except a) I was really sick and b) we had a wintry mix, which is not conducive to my father driving. And we’re due for snow tomorrow. So I’m holding the idea of Christmas dinner rather lightly.

5. I know I posted about what we’re doing in the basement just a few days ago, but I want to take a second to brag about my husband. 17 years ago I married a contractor. He went out and built things or fixed things or remodeled things. Soon after we got married he decided he wanted to go back to school and get his degree in Computer Science. I, being rather short-sighted, didn’t like that idea because I wanted to have children RIGHT THEN. He wisely kept on with his idea and went and got his degree. Which has provided us with a home, food for our table and other wonderful things.

However. Thankfully, he still possess those skills of a contractor. Which allows him to work on our house (which, unfortunately, constantly needs it!) He took a bare-bones basement and put up a wall and completely changed how it looked. Can I paint? Sure, and I have done it a lot in our home. But Jim can take nothing and make it  something, which just amazes me. So, yes, I’m grateful for the IT degree and all it entails. But I’m also thankful for the contracting skills, cuz they’re just really manly. 😀

6. We are playing Christmas music right now. I know it’s after Christmas and the radio stations have gone back to their regularly scheduled playlists, but I really love Christmas music. According to my iTunes, I own 609 Christmas songs! Everything from I Want a Hippopotamus to about 9 versions of Carol of the Bells to O Holy Night. I adore Christmas music! (speaking of, I Want a Hippo just came on!)

7. I honestly can’t think of one more thing to add, so I’ll just say I hope you are enjoying your holidays and are more healthy than my family is!

Posted in Sick, To Do List

Sidelined

I have been OUT.OF.IT. Sunday evening I came home from Jim’s mom’s house feeling completely fine. Sometime in the night I woke up with a sore throat. When I got up on Monday it was on fire. Made it to Laura’s alleged bone scan at the local hospital, where I was informed that their machine was not detailed enough for a 3D scan on a pediatric case. Oookay, thanks. Went home. Went grocery shopping, where I had to stop here and there to catch my breath. By the time I got home, whatever it was that I had had hit full force. Slept horrendously that night. Yesterday I spend the ENTIRE day on the couch, getting up to make tea and go to the bathroom. That’s it. Slept fabulously. Woke this morning, hoping to feel well enough to go to DuPont  for Laura’s new and improved bone scan. Nope. Still rotten. Call and reschedule for Friday. Lay on the couch some more. I’m having a few bursts of energy here and there (like now), but nothing I can count on. I HAVE to do some laundry (on my last decent pair of underwear!) and make fudge for gifts for tomorrow. I WILL do both these things in the next 7.5 hours. In between resting on the couch.

I have kissed the idea of Christmas cards and a family portrait good-bye. Neither one is going to happen before Christmas. Priorities!