Monday, March 31, 2008

Down time

When I need half an hour to regroup during the day, I have the kids do this:

A is slooowwwly recovering from the vile Flu bug. (Thankfully, no one else got it!) He goes through a box of tissue a day though and is up at least once a night to spit up. Poor runny baby! I feel like I haven't had a minute of downtime in weeks. Our water bill is going to SUCK since I've had to do at least one load of laundry a day. But enough about the Flu. He's getting better and that's all that matters. I think he's well enough to do a short trip to the beach to play tomorrow morning. I loved going to the beach with D when she was little. We'd play in the surf and sand and then have a picnic lunch. She got all tired out; I got an amazing tan. We'll see what happens when A & I go. As with most things with him, it could be amazing, fun and relaxing or a utter screaming hassle. No doubt about it -- and it's not just a boy-girl thing -- he's a different type of kid altogether.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

One week ago:

A was not sick

I was not tired

We all got a normal night's sleep

We were getting ready for Easter

We were doing this:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Problem-solving with math

A has the flu. It was sorta inevitable given how sick we/my mom/everyone we know has been, but I still hate to see my kids sick. Especially when it come on at around 10:00 at night. Especially when it involves having to get them out of bed at 10:00 at night to prop up their mattresses and put spit-up cloths under them. And especially when they get sick right when M will be gone overnight on a business trip. Yay! More all-night fun for mom.

So, here's how we are solving today's problems, using Visa Commercial Math:

One sick toddler + sick toddler waking up every hour + sick toddler hacking up a lung (- a few hours rocking sick toddler) = exhausted mama

Sick toddler + exhausted mama = D's Unlimited Video Watching Day

Sick toddler + exhausted mama + husband out of town = Chocolate pudding for dinner

Exhausted mama + chocolate pudding = Self-indulgent pity party

Exhausted mama + pity party + two kids at home (- Videos) = Grandiose craft ideas

What kind of grandiose craft idea? Well, in my exhaustion, I'm trying to work out how I can make floor cushions for the kids. I'm actually surprised I'm not just hoofing it over to PetSmart to buy dog beds for them to use, because at about 4:00 a.m., when the idea first occurred to me, that was my first instinct. After all, Fize the Dog with Nine Lives has had several wonderful dog beds from there and they are the perfect size and come in cute patterns.... but then again is it weird to have the kids lounging on the floor on dog beds? Plus, maybe Fize would be confused? Shouldn't she have something that is hers and hers alone?

Anyway, here's the math:

Two floor cushions from Amazon + shipping and handling = $160 (approx.)

Two foam inserts + materials + sewing machine + learning to sew (- putting off all my other chores) + hypothetical issue of whether I'd ever sew anything again = $200 (approx.)

Hmmm... what to do....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter: Not just eggs

We had a wonderful Easter weekend with my brother and his family in Naples. Despite my mom still not feeling quiet up to par, we managed to fill our hearts (and baskets) with love, play and wonderful food. My SIL put together a fab spread for Easter morning lunch/brunch and even though we did not make it to Mass this year, it was wonderful to be with our extended family.

After lunch/brunch, we hid almost 200 eggs in my brother's huge yard for the kids. For the first time ever, all of them were old enough to participate in the egg hunt. It was so much fun to see the older ones (ages 3-11) running as fast they could to find as many as the could. A took it slower - he was very methodical in his egg-seeking: you look on the bench, under the bench, carefully between each bench slat and finally do a careful survey of the bench and its environs, just to be sure. And all with an ultra-serious look on his face as if he had finally figured out that the finding and collecting of eggs was his main mission in life. So cute. This being Florida, we don't even fill the eggs. We used to, back when there was just my nephew and we would hide about a dozen eggs, but we quickly found that almost any candy (even jelly beans!) will melt, mush or otherwise disintegrate in the punishing Florida heat. And we had a problem too with any undiscovered eggs later attracting ants, roaches and other vermin to the scene. So, because there are so many kids in the family now, and they all get baskets with candy and treats anyway, we skip that part of the ritual.

This week is D's Easter Vacation from school. I'm trying to strike a balance between planning fun activities and giving her lots of downtime, but either way it means that I'm twice as busy during the day as usual. And? A has finally given up his nap. Sigh. He's gone from my baby to a toddler in a blink of an eye. And wouldn't you know it? I've got that weird longing to hold a baby, cuddle a baby, to be pregnant again. I mean I know at almost 42 years old it isn't the most practical thing to want, but the yearning is there sometimes. I think M feels it too. Since 2002 our main focus has been on having kids -- now we're moving on to raising them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Yesterday (on a scale of 1-10):

Weather - 2. It was super windy. I really don't like wind. It bothers me and makes me edgy.

Children - 7. A is getting his last four teeth and is drooling, crying and has an upset tummy. D is on Easter Vacation and is already missing her school friends, the chicks her class hatched out as part of their "farm unit" and her routine. She was weepy and needy at bedtime last night and as I gave her a final kiss she, in a choky sad voice, blurted out "Am I going to die in my sleep?" Oh my. For one panicked, selfish moment (it was 8:15 - 45 mins. past her regular bedtime, so she was tired and I knew it and I was tired too) I wanted to say something quick and meaningless ("Of course NOT honey!") and get back downstairs to American Idol and M and some girl scout cookies. But then... I just couldn't. So I curled up on her bed and rubbed her back and asked her why she thought about that right before bed. We ended up having a very beautiful conversation about God and Heaven and some of the things we Believe and why we Believe them... with a nice bit of biology thrown in there as well. Going to parochial school (especially at Easter!) they get a lot of information about the Spirit, but sometimes she wonders about the mechanics of it all as well. A nicely balanced kid we've got there.

Baking efforts - 5. As the weather continues to warm up here my baking suffers apace. Hot, humid (windy!) conditions are just not conducive to the creaming of butter, or whipping of egg whites or heating up the oven - and thus the kitchen and the house. I think our a/c labored until almost 9 last night to cool down the house. Plus, whatever manages to bake and brown will be totally un-crisped and soggy unless eaten or frozen almost immediately. So, bring on the days of BBQ, salads, stove-top meals and frozen desserts! I make an amazing toasted coconut ice cream -- no oven required!

American Idol - 1. Hello, America? Kristy Lee Cook DOES NOT look like she wants to be in this competition!! She's had no performances worth mentioning, she looks visibly uncomfortable on stage, she has no charisma or star presence (although she's probably a very nice person) and now she has to tour with the rest of the Top 10?! I think those were tears of terror she was crying last night! Please, please stop voting for her just because she's pretty and has shiny blonde hair. Let her go. Have mercy. I'm no Amanda Overmeyer fan, but at least she knows how to entertain!

Have a wonderful Thursday. It's laundry day here @ Three's Company!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Thank you to everyone who emailed or commented with sanity-saving wisdom! Sometimes what you need most is to know that other people do have the same problems/issues/concerns/fears that you do. After I mustered my emotions and scaled down from royally pissed to ticked off to irritated, M & I had some discussion about what occurred last weekend and after things like "obtuse" (my word) and "martyr" (his) were said, we were able to clear the air a bit. I can't say he'll actually do any better (thank you Stacey for your example!) but at least I have an inkling of where he is coming from now.

Things have been a lot calmer this week, not the least because most everyone is healthy again. A's pink-eye seems to have cleared up WITHOUT infecting anyone else (and I don't have to give him eyedrops 3x/day anymore, which was getting physically impossible anyway), and Easter weekend is nigh. Easter is my favorite time of the year, because of everything it signifies and promises about renewal.

As part of our family Easter celebration, we usually host my entire family and at least part of M's here for Easter Sunday brunch, but this year with my mom just recovering, we decided to go to Naples. My wonderful sis-in-law, who is a professionally-trained chef, is hosting dinner both Saturday and for Easter Sunday. Go Nicole!! She is a stupendous cook and she & my brother are excellent hosts. Plus their house is totally kid-friendly. So it looks like I'll be both relaxed and well-fed this weekend, which are two of my favorite states of being.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I need to rant for a second

I try not to make this blog too too negative or rant-y or soapboxy, because all in all I have a very blessed and wonderful life and family and I am truly, deeply grateful for it and everyone in my life.


Remember over the past few weeks, when maybe I've blogged a few times about all the various maladies striking my family, and then striking me? I may have glossed over (to spare you the gory details) of just how sick I was, but suffice it to say I couldn't be far from a bathroom for about 3 days. And yes, M did step up to the plate and help me the ONE night that I was so sick that I literally couldn't get out of bed. But. Even that night, I seem to dimly recall staggering downstairs around 10:00 to clean up the kitchen, make school lunches and set the coffee. The rest of the time? By which I mean all day and usually at least 2 times a night? I was on call for the kids, trying to maintain a semblance of normal routine, cooking meals, grocery shopping, cleaning to keep the germs at bay, laundry, playing, homework, reading and comforting children as needed. In between those activities, I took my meds, ran for the bathroom as needed, cursed my luck and I might have cried once or twice because I really did feel horrible and I was so so worried about my mom.

M has had a similar bug for a day now and (here's the griping part) is he pitching in to help with the kids? cleaning the bathrooms to help keep HIS germs at bay? picking up the laundry strewn around our bedroom? reading a story between trips to the bathroom? No. He is upstairs, wrapped in cozy blankets, reading and resting on the couch in our sunroom. I love him dearly, really, but COME ON. Give me a break. I managed. I can't even imagine copping out like that. And I hate to sound ugly, but I can't help but think of it as a cop out. I have managed to somehow paint myself into a role in the household where not only does he not feel like he needs to pitch in, but when I do he acts like I'm imposing on him. Indicative of this dilemma is his referring to watching the kids as him "babysitting" -- I don't believe that when I ask him to watch the kids it's babysitting. Most would call that parenting. And God forbid he actually take the two of them somewhere - he won't. Can't handle it, doesn't know how to prepare for it, and would never offer to, let alone actually do it. He will actually complain that we "never" get to have a date night, but then fully expect me to coordinate a (real) babysitter, make plans, take care of feeding/bathing the kids before we go out, etc. Then I get to rush around, get dressed and go out for a few hours. We have had many, many conversations about it all of which revolve around the fact that he has to do his job (supporting the family) and I have to do mine. I have tried to remind him that he works set hours, Monday-Friday but my job happens to be 24/7 with no time off, lunch breaks or even a smoke break (if I smoked). But he calls that "trumping" him and then I'm left feeling ungrateful and whiny. His other advice is "you don't need to do that" which can apply to activities as varied as grocery shopping to laundry to cleaning to getting the kids to clean up their messes. But if I don't do it, who will?! Should I let the house fester on unattended to? Should we run out of milk? Toilet paper? Will that spur him on?

Am I bitter because we were supposed to be on vacation this week so it hits me doubly hard that it's just business as usual around here? Probably yes. I probably just need some time to myself, which I fully, selfishly expect to get in 17 months or so when A will start pre-school. But for now, the occasional vent will have to suffice. Anyone have any perspective on the situation for me? Am I just a whiner? Any good advice on how to get your mate to pitch in? Or am I fighting a losing battle?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Road trip

I'm too stressed to clean my own house, so I'm packin' up the kids and heading to my parents for an overnight. I think they'll need a little help cleaning, maybe do some grocery shopping, make them a nice pot of chili or something. My mom is feeling a lot better, but is still pretty weak and I don't want her to overdo and get tired and relapse.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fallen idols?

Guess I'm not the only one having a bad week. I've been following the fallout of Gov. Elliot Spitzer's scandal fairly closely because before I was a SAHM I worked for an excellent, reputable, wonderful company that he ruined with his lies and innuendo. He cost my former employer their stellar reputation (no charges were ever filed), cost many people their careers and absolutely destroyed the stock price. I lost a ton of money, as did many of my co-workers, as we were all invested in the company stock plan. His self-righteousness, blatant political aspirations and sanctimony are now coming back to him in spades. I hope his wife leaves him and he goes to jail.

In other Idol (idle?) news, I loved last night's American Idol Top 12 round. I think we're beginning to separate the wheat from the chaff now and what the HELL are Kristy Lee Cook & David Hernandez still doing in the competition?! I think Danny/Danielle was better than both of them -- at least he was entertaining. I was also pleased to see that David A. had some missteps as well. He's always irritated me a bit. My faves? Brooke White (I'd buy her album RIGHT NOW if she had one!) and Chikizie! I also liked David C.'s rendition of Eleanor Rigby. We'll be tuning in to watch the results tonight for sure. It's funny because M & I have never watched the show or followed the contestants this closely before, but since the writer's strike sent all our fave programs into reruns, we really didn't have a choice. And now we're hooked.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just Tuesday

Is it really just Tuesday?

In addition to my Mom still being so sick she can't get out of bed (alarming!), yesterday A was diagnosed with pink eye in both eyes resulting in 1) my spending $60 (!!!!) on eyedrops for him and 2) D banning him from her room, playroom and the artroom until he's cured. Then last night M's grandmother was sent to the hospital with a suspected heart attack, while at the same his Dad in NC was having foot surgery. M's Mom meanwhile will be seeing her opthamologist on Friday because she's getting odd flashes and pains in her eye.

Weren't we supposed to be having a fun and relaxing week?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Vacation update

Well. Looks like I spoke, er, posted too soon this morning. My mom has the flu and it does not look like she will recover in time for us to go on our vacation. It is v. disappointing, but not unexpected unfortunately. My mom originally got sick last week - so seriously she ended up in the hospital for a night, an event so frightening to me that I couldn't write about it. But she rallied and was home the next day, and she was doing much, much better until she relapsed last night. So obviously she'll be unable to help my dad watch the kids -- and so we're NOT going to Utah after all. Of course, I'm only concerned that my mom gets better. We'll go on vacation later.

So do you think this was a sign I would've broken my leg or something?

Just the two of us

M & I are going on vacation this week. Just. The. Two. Of. Us. We are dropping the kids at my parents and going because we really need to spend some time alone together (the 8 hour plane ride to Utah ought to help) and we haven't been away from A since he was born (19 months people!) and I've forgotten how to talk to him if the kids aren't around or about any subject other than the kids, house, plumbing, work.

This vacation will be vastly different though, because our previous vacations have almost always include a sun-drenched island, minimal clothing and lots of sunscreen. This year we're going to Park City to go skiing - me for the very first time ever! I hear we'll still need the sunscreen, but the clothing is far from minimal. We've got parkas, gloves and long underwear but will have to get ski pants and socks and hats when we get to Utah because such items are just not readily available in Florida. And, to be honest, I'm dead nervous about learning to ski. I spend a good deal of time worrying about what would happen around here if I were to get sick or break something, and here I am preparing to pack my body into insulated clothing and hurl myself down a snow-covered mountain (or hill, as the case may be). I am signed up for lessons (the Adult Never-Ever Class), of course. Because you want to be taught how to hurl yourself properly.

Of course, before I can get on that plane and relax, I've got the 48 Hours of Hell in front of me as I attempt to pack two weeks worth of errands, chores, laundry and packing into the next two days.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Florida's finest

We are in the middle of the Florida winter produce bonanza wherein we get to enjoy all the delicious treats that our northern friends won't get until summertime. The strawberries, tomatoes, oranges, peppers, and corn on the cob have never been better! And all locally grown! We had the sweetest, freshest corn on the cob last night - crisp and wonderful. You don't even need butter when the corn is this fresh. It was delicious and corn is not my favorite vegetable by a long shot. And for dessert? Homemade strawberry ice cream - out of this world. My freezer is full of bags of strawberries to get us through the long hot summer.

Of course we pay in spades for this brief bounty because come May we'll get little if any locally grown produce until next winter.

M & I are trying to decide if we should put in a small vegetable garden. He loves to garden and has a pretty good green thumb, but I just don't know - I'm mainly afraid of attracting rats and other vermin. But I'd love some homegrown tomatoes this summer and growing them yourself is the only way to get really good ones. Otherwise the ones that survive transport here are usually so mealy and tasteless.

Anyway, we'll be out and about enjoying the cool temps and sunshine predicted for this weekend. It's especially timely because this is our parish festival weekend and it's always more fun when it's cool out.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Something to look forward to...

Have you seen the trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie? It looks great!!! I love all the Indiana Jones movies so I'm sure I won't be disappointed. It looks like one of those things you'd want to see in IMAX.

In other news, still feeling Awful. Dang loratadine is taking it's sweet time working itself out of my system. I know it's still kicking around in here because I'm allergy-free this morning and there is pollen everywhere -- all over the windows, porch, car. I am feeling sick enough to call the doctor, but they can't see me until May!! Hopefully my allergies and the medicinal side effects will have cleared up by then.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Weekend recap

What a roller coaster of a weekend! First, the weather was picture perfect - cool mornings, warm (but not hot or humid) days. We took the kids to a beach cafe for brunch and to play in the sand yesterday -- the water is too cold to swim just yet -- and it was absolutely super.

Not so wonderful were my allergies. With the exception of our trip to the beach, where there are no oak trees hence, no allergies, I spent the weekend alternately sneezing and medicating. So far this allergy season I've tried Benadryl, psuedophed, some Mucinex and finally the loratadine. But, to put it mildly, the OTC allergy medicine I was so psyched about last week viciously turned on me during the weekend. To sum up:

Allergies: cause moderate discomfort, congestion, scratchy throat, itchy eyes, sneezing
Relief: stay inside house or car, run a/c, keep dust at minimum, keep Kleenex handy, wash face often, drink lots of water

Allergy medicines: cause drowsiness, dizziness, dehydration, mild fever, muscle/joint pain and severe tummy "trouble"
Relief: don't take it!!!

I spent most of Friday night and Saturday completely out of it. By Sunday I had rallied, but by the time we got home from the beach, ran a couple of errands and had dinner I was done in again. I finally googled my symptoms and "loratadine" and was not amused to read that I should by calling my health care professional immediately for some of the side effects I was experiencing. I think I will just put up with the allergies! At least having to wash my face, drink water and keep a Kleenex in my pocket are relatively mild inconveniences and opposed to needing to lie down every 20 minutes and then having to run for a bathroom every time I eat or drink.

The beach was lovely though.