Friday, May 30, 2008

emergency room part I

Well. There is nothing like a middle-of-the-night ambulance ride to put things in perspective. The person in the ambulance was me: I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with an excruciating pain on my right side that only worsened over the next hour. To make a long story short, after several tests and a night spent at the hospital, they still don't know what it is. I'm feeling a tad better, though I still have a fair amount of abdominal pain and discomfort. The doctors and I decided to "see how I do" over the weekend. I must say, as much as I love doctors, it was rather frustrating to go through all that (CT scan after drinking a HUGE amount of DISGUSTING Barium, 2 ultrasounds, gyno exam, various needle pricks and IVs, etc.) and leave the hospital without an answer. I guess that's how it goes. I guess that's better than hearing some really bad news of some kind.

So, I'm home. Taking it easy. Hoping I don't wake up at 3:30 again tonight with that same pain. And feeling a brand new level of empathy for sick people.
I'll leave you with something that made me laugh so hard a few weeks ago that I kept remembering it in the ER and cracking up (and then cringing horribly as the pain shot across my stomach.)

Here's a favorite comic: Brian Regan. (Do watch Emergency Room Part 2 as well.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This past weekend DH and I attended a wedding and, for the first time, took Sister along with us. The mother of the bride (my former boss and current friend) told us to bring her and I thought she'd enjoy the magical beauty of a wedding. She did, but I was sweating it for a few minutes in the church when Sister started getting a little squirrely. Apparently the Preacher's mini-sermon on the life changes brought on by marriage wasn't all that magical to Sister. Thank goodness for the tiny pencils and offering envelopes sitting there in the pew (God bless the Presbyterians- you can always count on them for tiny pencils and envelopes.) I did a little drawing to entertain her and it worked.
I surprised myself by tearing up when the bride walked down the aisle. I don't usually do that, but what got me was seeing my friend, the bride's mother, watch her daughter walk down the aisle. I suddenly had this flash-forward in my mind to 20ish years from now when I will likely watch Sister doing the exact same thing. My friend looked so happy and proud, not sad at all, but I could only imagine that it seemed like yesterday that her own daughter was a wriggling preschooler in her lap. Everyone tells me, "Don't blink! She'll be grown before you know it!" but it's one of those things you just can't appreciate in the moment when you're potty training and sleep deprived and cleaning up a room full of toys for the 100th time.
The wedding itself was so beautiful. My boss/friend is one of the classiest women I know, and of course the wedding followed suit. The reception was at an old plantation in a meeting hall/ barn kind of building but they had made it really beautiful with greenery and white lights. They had even hung tiny chandeliers dripping fresh flowers over each of the 40+ tables. I can only imagine how much the event cost- especially once I got a glimpse of the food. Major spread! They had everything you could imagine- roast beef, shrimp, crab legs, a variety of breads and dips, ham biscuits, spring rolls, etc. etc. etc. PLUS a big sushi bar. Quite fabulous. (Of course, the only thing Sister would eat out of the entire line-up was a deviled egg and a cheddar muffin.)
One thing I wanted to remember for future wedding plans (Sister's, not mine) was that they did make one mistake that could be avoided. The wedding was at 6:00, so people arrived at the reception around 7:00- STARVING. All the food was set out but was covered with saran wrap; the message obviously being that it wasn't time to eat. There were waiters going around with tiny little servings of appetizers, but that wasn't cutting it. There was one table in the corner with some fresh veggies, olives, deviled eggs, and crackers that wasn't covered. The line for that table was 50 people deep at all times. By the time the wedding party arrived (around 7:40) and the caterer uncovered the rest of the spread, the first little table was decimated. And then the line for the main food (which could only be served off one side of the table- another error, in my opinion) was at least 100 people deep. So, having seen that, I would definitely tell the caterer to serve everything as soon as guests started arriving. I know it's tempting to wait for the wedding party to arrive (in fact, I remember this debate from my own wedding) but the reality is that it creates a huge log-jam and causes your guests to go hungry. There. I'll label this post "weddings" and then in 20 years I can pull it out and remember! HA!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

food wars: return of the mommy

OK. So time and space have a way of making things seem better. You could probably tell that I was rather irritated when I wrote my last post. (Sort of the "Dear Diary" syndrome creeping back into my writing.)
After a date night (Hark! We actually hired a sitter! Sound the bells! Cue the Heavenly chorus!) and a dose of John Rosemond, I have a new plan for dealing with Sister's picky eating.
1. I will not get mad. I will not get mad. I will not get mad. (If I say it enough times, maybe I will actually believe myself.)
2. I will serve three meals and two snacks per day. They will all be healthy foods. I will (somewhat) cater to her likes/dislikes at breakfast and lunch. Supper is what it is. I will plan these meals and snacks carefully so I don't resort to "Oh, gee. I don't know what to serve. How about some Ritz Crackers with a side of fruit roll-ups?"
3. I will put a very small portion of everything I have prepared on her plate. She can eat what she wants to eat. She will not get seconds of anything until her plate is clean. If she chooses not to eat, I will NOT GET MAD and will cover her plate and put it in the fridge. If she gets hungry before the next meal, I will simply pull the plate out of the fridge and put it on the table.
4. No dessert, sweets, or treats unless she eats all of her lunch/ dinner.
5. There will be no bribery, cajoling, etc. DH and I will not demonstrate in elaborate form how much we LOVE our vegetables. We will eat like normal people and will have normal conversation.
6. There will be zero tolerance for rudeness at the table (pushing food away, sulking, making gagging noises, etc.) If you do that you leave the table and go to the place where naughty children go.

DH and I are going to sit Sister down later and explain these new "house rules" in clear terms. Then it's in effect. I'll keep you posted.

I will not get mad. (One more time for good measure.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where have I been? Battling head colds, that's where. Theirs, mine, plus a last minute ear infection for Brother. Nice.
Between all the sleepless nights, fussy whining, and genearal "too much time together in this house!" I got to feeling pretty sorry for myself. Then I remember that they're just MINOR illnesses in the comparative sense, and get renewed admiration for people like Mary Beth who persevere through something like their baby having cancer with such grace and positive energy. Amazing. I'm ashamed of myself.
Anyway, I guess the above has left me with not quite the usual amount of patience, because I just snapped at lunch and put Sister in time-out for refusing to taste her pizza. (The kind of pizza SHE likes, purchased just for her.)
I know you're not supposed to do that. I know it is highly unwise to make the dinner table a battle field. I know you're just supposed to act like you don't give a care in the world when your child refuses to eat. But you know what? To quote Popeye, "I've had all I can stands; I can't stands no more."
I guess I'm just old school. I was taught that you eat what's on your plate and you thank the cook for it, like it or not. I think it's the height of rudeness to push your plate away, cross your arms, and pout when served your meal. And I'm just not having it from one of mine.
I know she's only 3 and 1/2. But all I asked her to do was TASTE it, not clean her plate. And it was PIZZA for crying out loud!
After I got her out of time-out, I gave her the choice to come to the table and eat or go to bed for her nap early. She chose the nap. Stubborn!!!
It seems that my beloved eldest daughter is about to find out just how stubborn her Mama is, too. Guess what's going to be served for Sister at her next meal?

Monday, May 19, 2008

too sexy

I was at the park the other day with the kids, sweating in the 90 degree heat of the afternoon
(can they not leave even ONE tree when they create these new neighborhoods????), when another family joined us. They were a Muslim family. I know this because of the woman's attire: black head covering, long sleeve shirt with a vest over the top, and jeans. Her husband was wearing a t-shirt and soccer shorts. The kids were also wearing summer clothing. At first, the "I am woman, hear me roar!" side of me got pretty annoyed at seeing a fellow mother dressed in those suffocating clothes, chasing her two young toddlers around the park while her husband went over to a soccer field and kicked a ball around. (The Dad not helping out with the kids part would have annoyed me no matter what the race/religion.)
But then I remembered that they don't share my cultural and religious beliefs, and that I shouldn't judge them. I actually think people of Muslim faith are probably onto something regarding modesty. I wouldn't go as far as they do to cover up, but I understand the intent. As I see women in public places like the grocery store, I am often ASTONISHED at the things they will wear. (Or, more to the point, fail to wear.) Do we really need to see all that cleavage, or upper thigh cellulite, super-tightness that reveals all, or just general skin? And more often than not, these women are already married with kids, so it's not like they're trying to snag a man. I say, "Save it for the bedroom, sister!"
Anyway, off the soapbox and back to the playground.
I made an effort to talk with the Muslim mom. She seemed shy and nervous around me, but was nice and smiled a lot. Her English wasn't great, but we talked a bit and compared our kids' ages and such. Her little boy looked to be about Brother's age and they shared a soccer ball for a little while quite sweetly. And I remembered an old movie where a woman says something to the effect that if all the mothers of the world could just get together and talk, there would be no war. In the movie, the guests at the dinner party meet this statement with derision, but I think it's true. Standing there in my shorts and t-shirt, I am sure I looked as ridiculously dressed to her as she did to me. But we found some common ground there at the park, smiling at each other over the tops of our children's heads.
I did have to secretly laugh at the patch on her jeans, though. In large letters it said, "TOO SEXY." It seems to me that such a message stamped on the rear of your jeans kinds of defeats the purpose of all the oppresive layers of clothing. But just maybe my fellow mom isn't quite as oppressed as she seemed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Life can be sweet

Like everyone else, we're enjoying strawberry season in the South.
FYI- Sister's shirt says "My Dad Rocks" in huge blue-glittered gothic letters. I got it at a yard sale for $4. Awesome.
Happy weekend, friends!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brother and me (specifically, our legs)

This is Brother's favorite new spot: firmly attached to one (or both) of my legs. Kind of makes walking a challenge, but at least I know where he is at all times (which is more than I can say for my friend who is struggling these days with her teenaged son.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The forest folk have been living in some custom-style tree houses this week. They seem to like it very much.
Fairies are from Magic Cabin.
Small stuffed animals from this etsy shop.
Wooden animals from Anne Moze (so wonderful and cheaper than the European brands!)
Blocks built by my husband last Christmas.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sesame Street - Two Little Dolls(better copy)

Last week I checked out the Sesame Street Old School DVD for Sister and Brother. (And let's be honest- for me too. I wanted to see Sesame Street the way I remembered it.) This was the first clip we watched, and it transported me instantly back to my childhood. Any of you remember it?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mama got a new pair of shoes...

... but was so distracted while loading the car that she forgot to take them off Sister's feet and put them on her own, thus accidentally wearing old-lady clodhoppers to her graduate-class teaching gig instead of the stylish wedge sandals. Sheesh.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

um, I didn't think it was THAT big...

For Brother's birthday party (coming soon!) I decided to buy one of those jump houses designed to be used at home. They are always pictured in yards, but I say why not the living room? Only thing is- it's a tad bigger than I thought. Just a smidgen. I mean, it only takes up the ENTIRE den (which is a rather large room.) So, there's enough space, right?
(Picture DH rolling his eyes and shaking his head at me.)
Oh, well. I may not will an award for mathematical/spatial thinking but my kids think I'm a pretty cool mom right now. ;-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

"date night"

I put date night in quotes because most of our date nights tend to be at-home-after-the-kids-are-in-bed affairs. (Getting a babysitter and doing things out and about town on a weekly basis tends to be cost-prohibitive.) On this date night, we spent time with our plans for our new house, tweaking problem areas and envisioning each space. I love this stage of building a house. You can sit down with all your dreams and a stack of home magazines and books and create!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I am feeling strangely wordless lately. I sit down to jot a note for this blog and just can't think of what to say. It's quite unprecedented for me, actually.
So, I'm going to rip off Amanda's idea and do a series of photos from our daily life. I can't promise to post one every day, but I'll try my best. (It only takes FOREVER to upload my digital photos to the computer.)
In the meantime, I'll quite greedily gobble up all your words on your blogs.
See you tomorrow with a photo.