Thursday, March 31, 2011

The patients are trying my patience and other general complaining

A common theme here, I'm feeling very out of control and panicky. Do you ever feel that way? Too much to do, too little time, many many people that need attention more than the projects. I actually sat with Jason and played with him this morning for about an hour. He's so good at going with the flow, it's rare that he asks for help with anything. This morning he did, and I'm glad - Little Buddy starts preschool in September, I can hardly believe it, I know the next 5 - FIVE! months will fly. Anyway - what's happening here?

- Sarah developed an ear infection last week, and this morning said her ears 'tickled'. I called to bring her in this afternoon just to make sure the antibiotic had done its job. The helpful lady who answered the phone at 8:15am, when I declined the 9am appointment and asked for something after preschool, snarkily commented 'she's sick but you're sending her to school!' MYOB and give me the 2pm slot, thank you very much. Turns out Sarah just has ears full of wax. So THERE. Moving along!

-Jason, who has the same cold Sarah's had, developed goo coming out of his eyes. So I took him to the doctor yesterday morning. When they took his temp with the ear thingy he said ouch. He's now on an antibiotic for an ear infection, as well as eye drops for the goo. Happily the goo is gone and he's looking much much better!

-Matt removed one of his own stitches tonight, it was bothering him. He's leaving the other 2 in so that the nurses at the office can feel useful when he goes in for his knee surgery follow-up on Friday :) Heaven help me if anything major happens, he is not the most compliant patient...

-All in all, between the three of them I have been to the pharmacy just about every day since last Wednesday. Sometimes twice in one day. I could have gone today to pick up the drops for Sarah's ear wax problem, but honestly didn't really want to show my face in there AGAIN. Tomorrow is soon enough :)
So I'm pretty sure that March has completely gotten itself turned around - we started March with temps near the 70's, sunny and warm, and we're ending with high's in the 40's with rain/possibility of snow - SNOW!- for the next couple of days. I know I'm not the only one in my house longing for warm & sunny days - don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for a repeat of last summer's endless 98 degree weather - 72 and sunny will suit me just fine, perfect for kids to run around outside while I sit with my feet up and drink a gin and tonic iced tea! One can dream anyway...

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Night Owl

One of my children is a night owl. In hind-sight, I can see that this one has been this way from the very, very beginning. This child is the one who would happily doze off for a nap alone in the crib and sleep for hours with no troubles whatsoever. We congratulated ourselves for being great parents and recognizing that the baby was tired and needed a nap, and for putting the baby down awake but drowsy so he/she could learn to fall asleep without us nursing/rocking/walking/intervening. This worked great for the first couple of weeks, and always during the day. Unfortunately, the baby never wanted to sleep at night
We went through a period with The Night Owl from about 6 weeks to 3 months old where we went through this ridiculous cycle of wake/feed/change/put the baby down asleep/the baby wakes up and cries because it realizes it's alone in bed/rock/feed/lay down/walk/soothe/change the crib sheets because The Night Owl is also The Baby Who Spits Up After Every Feeding. And Can Sleep In Until All Hours Of The Morning, Even Though You Can't. It was exhausting. There was some discussion between myself and Matt one November night that we sort of understood how the Romans could just expose their children and start over with another fresh one. Lack of sleep will do that to a person. (especially me).
Time passed, and we seemed to get the sleep issues worked out with The Night Owl. All was peaceful, until the night wandering began. Once The Night Owl was out of a crib at around age 2 - because that's when He began climbing out - things got hairy again. Lots of bedtime struggles, and late night visits. (Have you figured out who The Night Owl is yet?) We had The Apple Juice Story, and other things I'm sure I've forgotten at this point. It just seems that this particular kid goes through phases of insomnia, or just has too many big ideas rattling around in his head that he can't get to sleep.

Matt came downstairs Saturday morning at around 5am because he couldn't sleep anymore (knee surgery on Wednesday) - he discovered William already in the basement playroom playing video games. Who knows what time he got up? All game controllers are now being collected before Matt and I go to bed at night and are hidden until we pass them out again at a reasonable hour.

Tonight, after saying goodnight to Evie, I heard a thump from Williams room - I found him on the floor attempting to do origami next to his nightlight. I of course took all that stuff away from him. Not 30 minutes later, after more suspicious noises, Matt hobbled up the stairs and discovered him at his desk trying to fill out the 'about me' card from his wallet - in case he ever loses it, you know. Important things to be done on a Sunday night. On various nights we've found him playing his Nintendo DS, working in the multiplication book he had to have from Borders, and playing games on his iPod. It seems no matter what we remove from his room, he finds something else to occupy himself with. I have no idea how much sleep he actually gets, but we seem to go through phases like this where he's up until all hours of the night and then at the crack of dawn or earlier. Then we'll have days where I'll have to light a bomb next to his head to get him up for school - have I mentioned how pleasant he is to be around on days like this? Or not.

I really, really believe that people are just born to be morning people or night people, and that William is a night person, much like me. As much as I want to be a morning person & get up bright and early and tackle things before everyone else is up, I'm just not wired that way. And here it is, going on midnight after a long, long, work-filled day, and I could probably go another hour or two & get stuff done. Unfortunately for me, Monday morning is fast approaching and the rest of my house doesn't run on the Night Owl schedule - much as William and I might prefer it to :)
I am very, very happy today -after a particularly busy afternoon, my bedroom no longer looks like it belongs on an episode of hoarders! The bathroom remodel is in a lull while we wait for the counters to come in, so I made Matt rest his knee in our room while we sorted through all the closet vomit that's been laying all over the place - he gave up his closet so we could move the laundry upstairs (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!) Anywho - 2 big bags of trash and a huge pile of Goodwill later, I was actually able to clean our bedroom (have you ever renovated a room and had tile work done? dirty, DIRTY work.) Matt is no longer able to write notes to me in the dust on the dressers, thank you very much. Things are coming along, and I'm hoping to share fresh pictures soon - the bathroom counter is being measured on Thursday, and we may actually have a functioning bathroom again in maybe 2 weeks or so - fingers crossed!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Harried Nurse of One

Matt had his knee fixed on Wednesday morning! I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, he injured it playing indoor soccer last summer. I think it happened in his second game, poor guy :) He wore a brace for a bit & took it easy, and it seemed to stabilize for him but then over Christmas break it really started acting up. So we bit the bullet & had an MRI done in February. I say bit the bullet because we have a high-deductible insurance plan and the cost of it was pretty much out of pocket. Anywho, he went for a follow up to get the results, and lo and behold - no more visits with the PA, this time he meets with the surgeon! On an injury scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst, his was about a 7 - torn ACL, torn meniscus, and partially torn something-or-other. Surgery! and crutches for 3-4 weeks! Guess who is now a passenger in my taxi for we don't know how long yet? Since it's his right leg, we're really not sure - follow up appointment is Friday morning, I guess we'll find out then :) He's a mostly model patient, with maybe the exception of thinking he can do more than he probably should. He doesn't like to listen to me because I think I'm always right. Does the shoe fit? I say Yes!

Some things he's said in the last 36 hours:

I can get a beach house & live there alone & be happy, and he'll visit with the kids. This was post-op as he was coming back to the real world. I'd just spent 2 hours alone reading while I waited for him, and he must have noticed how pleasant and relaxed I was :)

At first he was saying he would take a taxi to the office after two weeks - mind you, the office is over an hour away. Now he's saying he'll be driving himself to work on Monday. Hmmm, maybe he's beginning to see why I'm always crabby??

So, since the kids have off from school tomorrow, I will have the pleasure of driving all six of us to the doctor! I bet they will love it when we all roll in there for his appointment :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

My bathroom is making me fat; and some Kid Bits.

Want a sure-fire way to gain weight? Rip out your bathroom, tear apart two closets, live with the mess for 3 or 4 weeks or so while work men come and go and make a lot of dust, and then try to put it all back together again in between breaking up squabbling kids, caulking, feeding the squabbling kids, filling nail holes, playing taxi to the squabbling kids, painting, and all the other stuff you have to do to keep a family running. You end up eating whatever is at hand, and ordering a pizza. Or a bunch of stuff from the Greek place that delivers - NOT the type of sensible eating that encourages spring and summer clothing wear, you know? Because it's official, IT'S SPRING! We hit the mid-70's here on Friday and it was heaven - 53 today felt like a cruel joke after that tease, but after putting on my layer of winter fat since the New Year dawned, I need the cold weather time to reign myself back in :) But enough about that.

The bathroom is coming along, vanities are in (but need to be tweaked in one spot due to the contractor not following the plans), the trim work is up (but needs to be fixed because the contractor goofed up and I didn't realize it until Matt put the baseboard in) and the walls are painted, but need to be touched up because of the other things, and the fact that paint doesn't cover in two coats anymore - or I'm just Thinny McPainty as Matt likes to call me. I say, He Who Chooses Not To Paint has no room to complain. But really, he's been busting his hind end crossing off his punch list before knee surgery this Wednesday, and I like to paint - however thinly - so it works out well. The counter top and shower door are the two main things that are left - I'm hoping we can have our bathroom back within 3 weeks. Fingers crossed.
Kid Bits
A few weeks ago while Evie was at school, Sarah convinced me that Evie had told her she could 'watch' Evie's plastic dragon while she was at school. I was skeptical at first, but Sarah was so earnest about it that I believed her and let her into Evie's locked room to get it. My mistake. No such permission had been granted, and Sarah broke an arm off Evie's dragon, which prompted this:

Photo courtesy of William. Or Jason, I'm not sure which. Probably Jason.

This is my dwelling!
Do not enter!
ps. Sarah if you ever tell Mom I said you could watch any of my toys, your dead!

Don't feel too bad for Evie though. While checking her school lunch account online, I've discovered that she's been buying bags of Doritos at school, when available. Evie bought $9 worth of bagged chips in the 30 day span I checked. She now understands that in the future I'll be checking , and if she wants chips, she needs to bring her own money, or I'll take it out of her allowance. I've also discovered that, since we've been sharing a bathroom for the last few weeks, she's been using my deodorant. Age 9 is an interesting mix of little kid/bigger kid :)

Last week William checked the mailbox after school, as he does every day, and when he got to the house he burst into tears - 'Why doesn't anybody but me ever get the mail???' Now, all along I was under the impression that William liked getting the mail, as he checks the box every day when he gets off the bus. I've been leaving it out there for him, even when I know it's been delivered and waiting in the box. Silly me. I've assured William that he does NOT have to get the mail, and I'll bring it in from now on. It's tough, this Mom thing, you just never know whether you're doing it right or not.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paint! Through the eyes of William and Jason

We're painting! Or rather, I'm painting!!!! This weekend after repairing all the drywall, Matt finished putting all the molding back into our master bathroom. There was one 6 inch piece of baseboard that hadn't been removed through this whole process, and he actually had to take that one off too when repairing the wall we'd taken out to the put the pocket door in. Go figure :)

So once he'd finished that, I got to work caulking. I've lost track of what day it is, and which day I did what, but I do know that it's Thursday afternoon and I have caulked all the wood, primed all the wood that wasn't already primed or painted, painted the ceiling, and now have ONE COAT OF PAINT on all the walls! Goodbye Belle Grove Moss, HELLO SUMMER BREEZE!

I am so excited - can you tell? We're actually getting to the point where you can move around in the bathroom, most of the tools have been put away, and we're going to be PUTTING STUFF BACK - like light fixtures, and most importantly, the toilet. The toilet has been sitting in our bedroom for a couple of weeks now. Thankfully our bedroom is pretty big, and nobody has to get too close to it.

Anyway! William was home sick from school today - which worked out well, as he played with Jason all morning while I painted - and I gave him the camera to take some pictures to prove that I actually have done some work on the bathroom. I love it when the kids take pictures! Here we go:

Wait, it looks like Jason is taking over:
Back to William...
Back to Jason!

I'm guessing they were taking turns...and yes, this is what my bedroom has looked like for the last month. I keep telling myself the end is in sight.
Jason was so excited to tell me he took a picture of my shoes...(Yes, I have big feet - and the fact that they are chucks doesn't help with the clown-like look.)
And it wouldn't be complete without a picture of the potty. To remind me of all this.
The bathroom cabinets were delivered on Wednesday, and are being installed on Saturday. Wahoo!!!! We really are getting down to the last bits here. Everything's gone pretty smooth, the only holdup we have is that the stone place is out of the counter material we want to use & won't have any in for two weeks.I'll be using that time to clean and seal the grout and the floor, as well as get our bedroom back in order and take control of the house again. It's a wreck. But if I sit here at the computer, I don't have to look at it :)

So I really want to say something about Japan. I cannot imagine what those people are going through - they are living my worst nightmare. I've always had a fear of all things nuclear, probably a product of growing up in a nuclear age and remembering Three Mile Island. We didn't live all that far away from there when that happened. Anyway - my heart goes out to them and I hope and pray that the power plants get under control soon, and they can begin dealing with the damage from the Tsunami and earthquake. I did read today an article that commented on how mannerly the displaced people are behaving. No looting is going on, and people are just staying calm. Can you imagine that happening here? I can't. Remember Katrina? Anyway. Beki from The Rusted Chain, maker of beautiful jewelry and taker of beautiful pictures, is selling this pretty necklace and donating $10 from every sale to to help Japan. Just thought I'd pass that along, in case you're inclined to help in this way. Just click on the picture and away you go :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

#WINNING isn't everything; and some other stuff.

This weekend Evie's Brownie troop had some fun things going on. Sunday afternoon there was a book swap and bake off. The Brownie girls were in the 'cookie' category, and had to submit 20 cookies, baked from scratch - no mixes allowed, and they were to measure, mix and time their cookies -  I was only allowed to handle the oven portion of the event.

Evie made Snickerdoodles because I, being mother of the year, didn't have any brown sugar in the house, and we also didn't have 3 hours to let dough chill before we baked these things. Do you have ANY idea how many cookie recipes call for brown sugar? And I can't believe we ran out, but that's beside the point. We all love us some Snickerdoodles here, so that wasn't really a hardship.
Evie did a great job with her cookies, and (more importantly?) didn't really create a giant mess either! Mommy was happy :) I did catch her scooping up the cinnamon she'd spilled on the counter to try to put it back in the container, but we chatted about how that wasn't such a good idea.
Sticky hands and 2 dozen cookies later, we were off to the book swap and bake off! Hmm, 4 girls brought in cookies, and we have TWO Snickerdoodle entries....note to self, never run out of brown sugar...

While the goodies were being tasted and judged by the 'experts' (I have no idea who those ladies were), the girls did the book swap - everyone brought at least 5 books to trade, got to take 5 home, and any leftovers are being donated to the school's book sale in May...
...and they made book marks and swaps to take home with them.
The ladies finally finished judging - I didn't envy them having to taste 3 cakes, 2 pies, 4 cookies, some brownies and no-bake cookies (nope, no envy here!) - and the girls all sat down to await the results...

Evie tied for 3rd place. I blame the ladies in charge for having us take the plastic wrap off the plate the minute we walked in the door :) Anyway. This is where things got tough - Evie and William are SUPER competitive, and they want to win. Always. Doesn't matter what it is. Our schools have bingo night about twice a year and the first year William went, he was in tears because he didn't win. As long as we kept playing , he held out hope that he was surely next, but once it was over & he had to face reality, the misery began. No matter how often we play games at home, whoever doesn't win really gets their nose out of joint. I try to remind them ahead of time that 'many will play and few will win', but how well does that really sink in? Matt has taken to telling them that, as a family, we don't have a history of 'winning' - I'm not sure I agree with telling them that - but it does seem like at Bingo when they call out the raffle winners, the same names keep cropping up. I'm thinking next time we will skip the contest and just bake cookies for fun.

Kid Bits
A few things have bubbled up to my attention this past week with the kids - I tell you, nothing adds more dimension to your life than having kids - lots of them :) Here are my favorite bits from the past week:

William had a sleepover this weekend, and a peek in his overnight bag revealed that he had packed his pjs & toothbrush, a change of clothes, a Webkinz hamster, his 'buddy' (the lovey he's had since babyhood) and his multiplication practice book. Because you never know when you might need to do some math.

William also has a secret admirer. He pulled a heart-shaped piece of paper out of his backpack on Thursday & asked me what it was - Well! It said:

I love you 
Gess how loves you
Hint=blue eyes

Of course, William has no clue who stuffed this in his backpack, and no idea which girl in his class has blue eyes. This is not the first time William has drawn attention from the ladies, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Unfortunately for them, he has no clue :)

Sarah, who was none too pleased when I moved all my toiletries into her bathroom almost four weeks ago, would like to know when we will be moving back out of her bathroom. I guess she's done sharing.

Jason - who shocked the life out of me last night by actually eating some spinach salad and then asking if he could please have MORE - has officially turned into all boy. He loves nothing more than to come running up behind me and smack me with both hands on the backside. And then he laughs. Because it's big and fat. So big and fat! And he laughs some more! Let me just say that he is the ONLY person on the face of the planet that I would tolerate this from :) Because he's my little buddy. I love him and he loves me. I know this because he tells me so :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Marching along

How did it get to be March 9th? I seem to say that a lot - where does the time go? How did it get to be March? And I look around, and it doesn't seem like we're getting anywhere, with much of anything - other than the bathroom - clutter, clutter everywhere, and of course no one got anything out. Then I look at my baby - who's going to be 3-1/2 before I know it - and on one hand I panic at how quickly time is flying, and on the other I can't wait for September when he starts preschool and I have 3 hours to myself 3 days a week to cram as much as I can get done into. Phew. Because heaven knows I'm not getting much done when Sarah and Jason are home together, other than refereeing fights, wiping tears away & doling out hugs. Oh and laundry. Lots and lots of laundry :) I can't ever get on the computer anymore because S&J are big enough now to 1) want to play on Disney Junior or PBS Kids and 2) fight and cry over who gets to do it and who's turn it is.I never expected THAT to start this young, although maybe it's only because I allow it. I'm not feeling much in control these days, can you tell?

Spring is starting to show itself here, thankfully, and as the weather warms up we'll all be getting outside more. We didn't really have much snow to play in this year, and I think we're all just over being inside and in each other's 'company' for days on end. Soccer is coming, for better or worse, and soon we will have grass to mow. After the horribly dry summer we had last year, I'd be very grateful to have grass that needs cutting. And Sarah just CANNOT wait to go to the pool :)
So we've moved William's bedtime back a bit.  He was going to bed with Jason around 8-ish, as they share a room - but lately he'd been goofing off until all hours and consequently keeping Jason awake too late. William also was routinely getting up before 6am & heading downstairs to play video games. I finally decided we needed to do this two nights ago after walking past their room and hearing paper rustling. William was sitting on the floor by the nightlight doing origami - at 10pm. Everything had been moved off his desk and onto the floor, and he really couldn't tell me why, only that he wasn't tired. Right.

So far so good, William hasn't been getting into trouble at night, and he's actually sleeping in a bit in the mornings. And happily, by splitting them up this way, Sarah and Jason are getting to bed earlier - which they need, as they don't nap anymore. Too bad our kid-free time continues to dwindle...
And finally - 17 years ago tonight a girl went to a bar with her friend for a drink and sat down next to a boy. They had a lot to talk about, exchanged phone numbers, and met up for lunch the next day. I've been wondering today, if that boy knew that 17 years in the future he'd be having dinner with that girl and their 4 noisy, precocious kids, if he'd still have asked for her number, or gotten the heck out of there as fast as he could. I still haven't decided. And he just smiles when I ask him :) 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bathroom Remodel Part 5 - We've got tile; and a poll...

The renovation of our bathroom is really coming along - although the rest of our house seems to be falling apart in the process. Plumbing and electric were (mostly) completed the week of 2/21, which left last week for the installation of our tile. HOLY COW that is a messy job. I CANNOT believe how much dust was created by that whole process. Granted, Matt keeps a super-clean work site, but still - every day after the tilers left I started cleaning. There is still a layer of dust all over everything in the whole house, even though I did dust a good bit after it looked like the dirty work was done. Anyway - it's not going anywhere until I get to it, and right now we're on a bit of a deadline to get as much as we can finished, as the vanity cabinets should be here in two weeks, and Matt is having knee surgery on March 23. Not much will get done after that, for a while anyway, although he swears he'll only be laid up for a day or two. Right. So! Let's recap where we've been! This is a good exercise for me, because right now my upstairs looks like a bomb went off, and I need to see how much progress is being made :)

The weekend of 2/19 we (well, Matt) demo-d the bathroom for the plumbers. He sliced through the laminate counter in order to remove that sink so the plumbers could adjust the water lines for the new cabinets.

Next was removing the fiberglass shower surround. This thing, while easy to clean, really doesn't make the best use of the space. By removing it, we gained almost 6 inches side to side, and added at least another 8 front to back.

I only included this picture because I'm in it and I think its funny :)
Matt pulled the surround out in one piece, hoping to donate it to Habitat for Humanity, however due to our floor plan we realized we wouldn't be able to get it out of our bedroom. So Matt had to cut it in half :(

I made him put a bandanna on as a dust mask :)
The plumber was here for 3 days, and when he left it looked like this:
After the plumbing was finished, Matt ripped up the rest of the tile that was left on the floor, and removed the other sink and vanity. The tile people came Monday morning last week and removed the rest of the tile around the tub...
...and put up the hardibacker around the shower. They framed out two niches for shampoos, soap, razors and such :)
...and they poured the cement for the shower bottom.
Tuesday bright and early  - I have to say, all our contractors were fantastic, no complaints in that area - the tile guys got to work. Tuesday they put in the floor in the bathroom and new laundry room, Wednesday and Thursday they tiled the shower and tub, and Friday they did the grout. Our shower now looks like this...
Left shower wall with 'poo niches

A shelf for ladies to shave their legs :)
Subway tile with a black pencil liner and chair rail top
2" marble hexagon flooring
Right shower wall
We've been working in the bathroom and laundry all weekend, and I didn't realize until late Sunday evening that I didn't have any pictures - and with no natural light and one light fixture already removed, the ones I have here don't really convey just how amazing it all looks. Also, everything but the shower is covered in construction stuff so I really couldn't show you all THAT. I'm really thrilled with how it's turning out, and am happy that we're now at a point where I can pitch in and help. Matt's more than happy to let me handle the painting, and as for me? Give me some caulk, spackle and a gallon of paint and my ipod, and I'm in my happy place :)
We're at the point now where we're trying to make decisions about how to finish this all off, and I'm really on the fence about towel bars. Seems a silly thing to struggle over, and I'm sure 3 months from now I won't care one way or the other, but we need to pick one so I'm asking for opinions between two.

This hand towel ring and matching bath towel bar matches the light fixtures we're installing. It's also very similar in design to what we already have, which may be why I'm hesitant on this one. I guess I'm not crazy about the ring, but I do like the look of the towel bar that matches it.

This one matches the plumbing fixtures, and I can't decide if I like the style or not. I think I do. I like that it's different from most ones you see out there, but I guess I'm having trouble picturing it in our bathroom.
Matt has no opinion on this, he's leaving this one up to me - so if you have a thought, chime in. This is pretty much one of the last decisions to be made, and I will be REALLY glad when it's done :) Then I can move on to re-doing our mudroom - I know exactly what I want to do in there!

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