Friday, October 29, 2010

Show Me the Mommy

The key word on this week's post is MOMMY. There are only two things that lead to this look, Cirque du Soleil and being a mommy.


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Not bad for being used as a sticker book. It could have been dinosaurs instead.

But wow, the lighting in our downstairs bathroom is horrible for photos.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Really?

I remember way back when we needed to place Michael in daycare for a month when my mom hurt her knee. Michael was about two and a half at that time. That was when he got his first ear infection. About a week or so after his first ear infection, the daycare director called me to let me know that I needed to take Michael to the doctor. She was certain that he had an ear infection. Absolutely positive about it. I'm pretty sure she would have bet money on it.

Of course, he didn't have an ear infection. He had figured out how to get her attention, and he very convincingly played the roll that would get him that attention.

I seem to remember being a bit smug about how my 2.5 year old had tricked a daycare director.

A few weeks ago, Michael's daycare teacher asked me if he was switching back to the Tuesday/Thursday schedule. When I inquired why she thought this, she explained that Michael had told her that he was, and that he was very convincing about it.

I wasn't as smug about this one. I figured that he must be pretty convincing if he can pull that off with a woman who has been working with young children for several decades. But still, who beleives a 4.5 year old?

When I got home yesterday, I noticed that Michael had stamps on the back of each hand so I asked him where they came from. He told me the woman at the toy store gave them to him.

What? I checked the time and realized there was no way that Andy could have taken him to the toy store after picking him up. So I asked a few more questions. Michael gave me a very convincing story about a toy store. I asked him if it was a game they played, or if someone had come into the school to explain their job. Michael insisted that his teacher took his class to the toy store.

I'll be honest, I started to wonder if I somehow missed an event on Michael's calendar, and that they had actually gone to a toy store. I was about to get up and call the daycare center when I stopped and asked myself if I really thought they would take the kids out of the school without permission slips and requests for chaperons and all that other hoopla that goes along with class trips.

No, they would not. There was no way, no matter how convincing Michael was, that they went to a toy store. To confirm this, I decided to ask a few more questions. Turns out, the entire school went on the trip. One group went with Michael's teacher and the other group went by themselves. Michael was in the group without a teacher. Oh, and to get there, they all rode on bikes. Michael's was pink and brown.

So, I still have no idea why he had stamps on the back of his hands, but I am pretty impressed with how detailed Michael's imagination is. I'm also going to be a lot less likely to judge other people for falling for Michael's stories, since even I have trouble figuring out what is real and what is pretend.

I also will not forget about this skill either. I suspect that it may pop back up in his teenage years when it won't be used as innocently as it is right now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just Say Yes!

Crazy weather is the new normal, so it wasn't all that surprising that we had record breaking temperatures yesterday. 75 degrees in late October? It probably doesn't say anything positive for our climate, but for a four year old the message is pretty clear. Let's go outside and play!

I know many of you have the same evening rush that we have in our house. You go, go, go all day, then you come home, rush dinner onto the table, and then hope you have some time to relax as a family. It can be pretty stressful, and anything that throws of the schedule tends to make that stress worse.

Last night I had the pan on the stove when Michael asked to go outside and play. I started to say no, but I stopped myself mid sentence. 75 degrees and dry out? When's the next time we are going to see that kind of weather? March? April? (December? Who really knows anymore?) I reached over, turned off the stove and out we went.

We had a nice little picnic, played a bit, Michael tried out his big boy bike again. It was lovely. And I'm so glad that I said yes. At 5:00, I finally decided to make Michael come in so I could get dinner started. He complained a little, but finally headed in.

The door bell rang. It was M asking if Michael could come out and play. How cute is that? All of our little babies are growing up so fast.

Michael started to say he couldn't come out because it was dinner time, but Andy decided to go with them while I worked on dinner. Once I got everything simmering, I checked outside and discovered half the neighborhood out front. I guess everyone decided to say yes last night.

It was completely worth throwing off the schedule to be able to spend a little more time outside playing with the kids. I know that after Halloween we will all end up stuck inside through the winter, and I'm not really looking forward to it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting the Sick Out

Getting the Sick Out is a phrase that Andy picked up from his grandmother. The idea is that after you have been sick, you should not just change your tooth brush and wash your sheets, you should throw the windows open and clear out even the air. I'm not sure if there is any actual health benefit to it, but yesterday we decided to get the sick out.

It was a good day for it too. Last winter was crazy snowy and this summer was crazy hot and dry, but fall has been perfect. It was about 70 degrees yesterday, so it was the perfect day to throw all the windows open and turn on all the fans. We did laundry all day and made up for all the cleaning we have missed over the past several weeks.

I don't know if it just happens that I'm finally starting to get better, but getting the sick out really seemed to do just that. We still have some lingering sniffles and coughs, but nothing like the past several weeks.

Now, lets just hope we can keep the sick out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Show Me the Mommy

I really suck at this show me the mommy thing. It requires me to actually remember to have a picture of me taken each week. In theory, I have no problem with that. I have no shame, and will jump in front of a camera with out hesitation. However, in practice, I'm a bit scatter brained lately and remembering to do this is just not working out. I don't think about it until I check my blog roll on Friday and since photos are forbidden at work, I'm left to see what I can pull from my phone and photobucket.

It's not pretty folks.

So, here we go.

Show me the mommy!

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Well it is Larry the MAMA snake. You can tell by the egg.

Let's try again.

Show me the mommy!

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Um...well...

Again!

Show me the Mommy!


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What the...

Sigh. This is not going well. I must have something that is both of me and in focus, right?


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Hey, look at that part. Nice and straight! Please praise my mad parting skillz.

OK, ok. I'll try again.

Show me the Mommy!


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The blurry one was better, wasn't it? Go ahead, you can say it. I won't be offended.

OK, one more try.

Drum roll please!

Show me the Mommy!


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Bam. There it is.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Randomness

Ah, I love randomness. It's so...random. Kind of like life. Here goes.

  • I just got off the phone with Andy. He went to the doctor today. He's passed from cold into sinus and ear infection territory. No surprise there.
  • Last night, Michael was running a fever of 100.6, had a sore throat and a runny nose in addition to his alleged "allergic pink eye."
  • I'm wondering if it would be tacky to call up the pediatrician who diagnosed the "allergic" pink eye and go "Nana nana boo boo."
  • Yeah, that's what I thought.
  • I'm still doing the treatment for allergic pinkeye however, just in case I am wrong, because then the doctor could call me up and be smug and immature in turn.
  • In less gross news, we are having some gorgeous fall weather right now. Just cool enough for a sweater, but not cold enough for gloves. I love it.
  • We have still been trying to get Michael out to play when we get the chance. I figure if he feels up to it, we might as well make the best of it.
  • The downside of Autumn is that it's now dark when we leave the house in the morning. It's hard enough to get out of bed at 5:30, but walking out into a dark, chilly morning always makes me want to head right back inside so I can curl up and go back to sleep.
  • One of these days, I'm going to do just that.
  • Well, maybe not one of these days. Probably more like one of these years. Like once Michael is in college.
  • Yes, I know that's 14 years away, but a girl can dream, can't she?
  • How sad is it that I actually spend time most days dreaming about being able to go back to bed if I want to?
  • I've noticed that boots have been in style for several years now, and every time I see a picture of them in a catalog, I think it's a nice look. However, I never buy them because I would feel weird about actually wearing a pair of boots.
  • I think it's weird that I think it's weird.
  • Maybe I just need to be brave and go for it.
  • Ha, who am I kidding. I'll chicken out and wear ballet flats.
  • That makes me kind of lame, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Sorry, What Did You Say?

Hmm...how to describe my household lately without being gross? Think, think, think.

How about unwell? No, that doesn't work. That gives the impression that we are feeling under the weather and are cuddled up in blankets sipping tea.

How about ill? Um...no, that doesn't really capture the scene properly.

Maybe peaked? Pfft. Nobody really uses that, do they?

I just can't do this in a polite manner. To sum things up, our house has turned into a mega mucus factory. I've had a sinus infection raging out of control for two weeks and Andy has some kind of evil cold that seems ready to jump into sinus infection territory at any moment. We have gone through so many tissues that I think we should invest in Kleenex stock. We are buying Mucinex in bulk, for crying out loud.

So, it wasn't exactly surprising when Michael's nose started running. It also wasn't surprising when his eyes started getting red and gunky. It wasn't welcome, but it wasn't a surprise.

He looked bad enough on Monday morning that I asked my mom to watch him instead of sending him to school. He looked bad enough yesterday that I scheduled an appointment with the pediatrician to see if he had crossed into sinus infection territory. Not that I was looking forward to another round of the antibiotic wars, but it would still be better than letting Michael suffer.

Andy and I were both there for the appointment yesterday. Both of us were sniffling and coughing throughout the visit. Michael's pediatrician had a student shadowing him, so Michael actually received two exams (and he was awesome!). Michael's nose was running and his eyes were gooey and itchy through the entire visit. I figured this was a no-brainer diagnosis. Sinus infection.

After the doctor completed his exam he gave his diagnosis.

Allergies.

Huh? What? Wait, hold on a minute. Allergies?

Yes, allergies.

I'll be honest, I didn't believe him. One parent has a cold, the other has a sinus infection, and Michael's very similar symptoms are allergies? That does not compute.

However, I realize I'm not a doctor and it's more likely that he's correct than I am, so I asked him what we needed to do. He gave a prescription for antihistamine eye drops and recommended Zyrtec. He told me that if Michael looked good today, he could go back to school.

I picked up the medicine last night and we got things started. In anticipation of the coming Zyrtec wars, I picked up both the liquid and the chewable for Michael. (Generic brand, but still expensive.) We did the drops, we did the chewables and hoped for the best.

Michael looked horrible this morning. Horrible! Swollen, gunky eyes, leaky nose, scratchy throat. No school today. In fact, he was so miserable he wouldn't let me touch him.

I told Andy I was really skeptical of the allergy diagnosis.

Later, when I called my mom, I could hear Michael playing in the background. He sounded good. My mom confirmed that he was doing great and looked good.

Really? Maybe the doctor is right?

So, I'm going to stick with the allergy approach and try to figure out what we can do to get things under control. If it's seasonal allergies, I guess the eye drops and Zyrtec should help. We are already using "free" laundry detergent and fabric softener, but there are a few things I can work on in his room to limit possible allergens. For some reason I suspect this is going to be an ongoing battle.

Ah, so much for my dreams of an allergy free child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Um...Ewww!

Conversation with the pediatrician at Michael's two year well child visit.

Me: Michael tends to chew on things and put things in his mouth a lot. How long does that last?

Pediatrician: Oh, some kids do that until they are four or so.

Me: Really?

Pediatrician: Yes.

Discovery I made in the bathtub last night after letting Michael shower with me monitoring him from the other room.


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The good news is that I did discover the bit off piece of soap in the tub. I asked Michael how it tasted and he said it tasted like "nothing". I suppose that would be the same "nothing" that he uses to describe what he does all day at school.

Sigh.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Show Me the Mommy - Super Mommy Edition

Before we left for Lancaster and the Warrior Dash last Friday (which was somewhere between strep throat resolving and invasion of the sinuses) Andy had me try on my Super Girl Costume so he could snap some pictures.


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Let me just say that it's tough being a working mom AND being a super hero. I think I'll stick with just the working mom gig for a while.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Randomness

I know, I know, I owe you all a post about Las Vegas. This is not going to be it. It turns out that the strep infection I had last week was only the tip of the iceberg. In addition, I had some congestion issues going on in my head. Those congestion issues turned into a raging sinus infection over the weekend and I've been dealing with all kinds of grossness that I'll be kind enough not to share. It's been making me feel horrible, has thrown off my sense of equilibrium, and has left my poor wittle nose very tender. I seem to be improving a little, so I'm going to give some randomness a try. If I fail at randomness and end up with a coherent post, well that would simply be amazing.
  • I picked up several new Scooby Doo books at the book store after realizing the only way I'd ever put an end to the "Scooby Doo and the Rotten Robot" craze would be to start a new craze.
  • I've read "Scooby Doo and the Cupcake Caper" every night for the five nights. It's an improvement. For now.
  • Guess what Michael and I made the other night? Halloween cupcakes, just like in the Scooby Doo book.
  • I really wish there was a "Scooby Doo Eats His Fruits and Vegetables" book.
  • I also really wish my sinus infection didn't destroy my senses of taste and smell. Eating a tasteless cupcake was kind of like eating a sponge.
  • As part of the treatment of my sinus infection, the doctor has me applying antibiotic ointment directly in my nose four times a day. That means I need to do one of them while I'm at work. I couldn't figure out any way to do this that wouldn't look weird, so I ended up locked in a bathroom stall with a tube of ointment and a Q-tip. I know its silly, but it just felt wrong.
  • Really, it's probably wrong for me to even be at work, but I'm out of sick time and I'll be damned if I use vacation time if I can still walk. I was hoping the program manager would hear how bad I sound and take pity on me, but I don't think he could hear me over his own coughing. D'oh.
  • Going back to last week, when I picked Michael up from daycare on Friday his teacher asked me if he was switching to the Tuesday/Thursday schedule. She seemed surprised when I responded with a "no". Michael must have been very convincing with his argument if he tricked (another) daycare teacher into believing him. I mean, come on, he's four. Who believes a four year old? That sure says a lot about the power of self confidence.
  • Maybe I should look for a "Scooby Doo Doesn't Tell Fibs" book along with that healthy eating book.
  • I'm so screwed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Warrior Dash!

As you may already know; Laura, Maria and I ran Warrior Dash this weekend. This was my last 500 in 2010 goal completed, and it was amazing.

Andy, Michael and I met up with Laura, Jon, Nate, Alex, Maria, Will, Lilly, Allie, and Maya on Friday evening at Sonic. The kids got started there and continued to play once we moved back to my accidental suite to talk. Maria's girls were sweet and a little energetic. She blamed it on the long car ride they had made. All three boys were even more energetic, but that's how they always are. In fact, I think the girls may have calmed them down a little.

Because there were so many people to get organized for the race, we all decided to meet at the registration booth on Saturday morning. Getting three women to Warrior Dash is tough, getting our husbands and six kids there was like herding cats. But we made it.


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Notice Maria's girls standing so nicely. They are like that in every one of the pictures we took before the race. The boys, not so much.

Yes, we did wear costumes. I was a little leery of doing it at first because I'm a wuss, but I'm glad we did. We received tons of cheers for being superheros.


To be fair though, we didn't have the most outrageous costumes. These guys had us beat.
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Warrior Dash seems to have really taken off. When we first signed up, there were several waves scheduled for Saturday. But that grew to two days of mayhem. To get an idea, they did a wave every half hour for both days. Here's what the starting line looked like.

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And here's Maria, Laura and I bringing up the rear.

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I'm sure everyone felt better knowing that Super Girl, Spider Girl, and Bat Girl were right behind them in case anything happened.

I trained really hard for Warrior Dash, and I was prepared for it to be super hard. There were a lot of hard core athletes there, and I was a bit concerned about the obstacles. But, it turns out that all the running I've done prepared me for the race, and wrangling a 4 year old boy prepared me for most of the obstacles.

Well, maybe not this one.
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Those are some serious flames! What if my cape caught on fire?

No worries. The flames are the last obstacle. After climbing over ropes, through tunnels, over hay bale mountains, and running through the woods, we came to the water obstacles. Some especially devious person decided to float thick logs in an ice cold pond and then forced us to scramble over them. The logs were secured with ropes at either end, but there was enough slack to let the logs roll in the water. Laura and Maria went over the second log, and then I jumped onto it. When both of my feet left the ground, the log started to roll backwards. I couldn't do anything to stop it, so I rolled with the log back into the water. It was...invigorating. And cold too.

The last obstacle before the flames was the mud pit. And muddy it was. It was also topped off with barred wire so that you couldn't just stand up and walk through it. This was where my extra height screwed me. I ended up on my hands and knees crawling through the mud. It was messy and gritty, but at least I didn't get my cape caught in the barbed wire!

Finally, the fire. We decided to hold hands and do the jumps as a team.


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I don't think I've ever jumped so high in my life! It was unnecessary however. I'm pretty sure the thick layer of mud offered ample protection from burns.

Our goal at the beginning of the race was to have fun and finish. Mission accomplished!
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Who knew getting muddy could be so much fun?

There's a running joke on my blog and on Twitter about how I never smile in pictures. I smile quiet often in real life, but I really struggle to get an authentic looking smile in pictures. In fact, when I tried to smile for one of my dad's pictures recently he scolded me for goofing around. But, if you want to get me to smile for a picture, run me over three miles of rough terrain, make me splash through freezing water, crawl through mud, and leap over fire. This will be the result.


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I'd like to thank Laura for asking me to run Warrior Dash in a random Tweet this past winter, and I'd like to thank Maria for finally deciding to join with the May 2006 mommy meets up and picking to do it for Warrior Dash. And finally I'd like to thank Andy and Michael for giving me time to train and for supporting me to the finish line.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wah!

Considering that I just had a great weekend spent hanging out with some friends in Las Vegas, this post should probably be about that. I got to reconnect with Bridget, Laura, Lindsay and Rita from last year's "blogger convention" as well as meet Jenn, Desi, Julie, Heidi, Beth and Tenaya. Once again, it was a wonderful combination of women and we had a great time, despite our varied backgrounds. There's a lot from the trip I'd like to touch on, including how awesome everyone is, how amazing the food was, and how every single time I spoke with Desi I had this overwhelming sense of Deja vu.

But, instead I'm going to whine a little bit.

Yesterday, I got to hear the same words I've heard so many times in the past 9 months. Slight fever, ear pain, fluid in the ears, swollen glands, sore throat, nausea. But this time, it wasn't about Michael. It was about ME!

I guess I first noticed the sore neck the first morning in Vegas. I thought it was from sleeping on hotel pillows. Then, when I felt nauseous the second night I figured it was just from drinking a little too much wine the night before. The next night when I wasn't feeling all that great I thought it was from lack of sleep and having no idea what time it was for the past three days. (A three hour time change mixed with casino time deception is a very weird thing.) On the ride home, I experienced significant ear pain and popping, but chalked that up to poor aircraft pressurization.

Yesterday, however, my throat started to hurt. I mean really, really hurt. The kind of hurt I haven't experienced since I was a kid when I used to get strep throat all the time. That's a feeling you never forget. It's also a feeling that lead me to the Walgreen's Take Care clinic where I was diagnosed with - big surprise - Strep throat.

Crappity crap.

So, not only do I feel horrible 4 days before warrior dash, I also potentially exposed 10 wonderful women to a nasty bug. I'm so sorry ladies!

I will say that now that I've dealt with fluid filled ears, I feel even worse for Michael after his many ear infections this year. Wow, does that hurt. I can fully understand why some babies and small children scream on airplanes. I felt like knives were shooting through my head every few minutes. There were a few times that I was tempted to scream to, especially if I blew my nose. Ouch.

As far as blogging goes, I think this week is a bust. I'm going to focus on getting better in time for Warrior Dash this weekend when Laura, Maria and I are going to show our kids that women can rock mud runs. I can't wait to finally meet the wonderful families I've gotten to know over the past 4+ years.