Monday, April 28, 2008

Told You So

It's a good thing I learned to spell hypochondriac because it's official. I am one. Hypochondriac, hypochondriac, hypochondriac. Tests are all negative. Yes, I'm happy I can keep eating bagels and crackers and pizza. But now I can't do anything about the anemia, B12 deficiency (will have to keep getting my shots every 2 weeks), lower abdominal pain and severe cramping. Frack!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Five

  1. I'd just like to point out that NO ONE helped me find more ways to be a more earth friendly person. I know I could do some research online but I was hoping for ways you (all 2 of you that read here) do your part. And to be honest, I was maybe hoping for easy things to do. As for my family starting to compost again, I'm working on it. I'm guessing it will be a while since the husband's response to the subject was, "Yeah, go for it." Which means - it's all you (me). So ya. I'm guessing this means I have to go to the local big orange box store and find supplies for a yard waste cage thing and try to find a way to finance an actual compost bin since we live in a village now and we don't want the kitchen waste smelling up the place. Have you seen the cost? Those things are expensive for what amounts to a big plastic box.

  2. On the mention of possibly getting a hybrid... according to the research we've done, biodiesel would be a better choice for the type of driving we do around here. Unfortunately it's not currently available. But maybe it will be by the time we can afford to purchase a new car. (This is where I would normally send a shout out to a friend of ours that is currently working to rectify this problem to get a move on but since no one in my offline life knows about this blog... not really appropriate.)

  3. Why does my 13 y/o son get chatty when a) I'm in a hurry to get out the door, b) I'm standing in a towel trying to get a little privacy so I can get dressed, c) He's late for something? Does he want to chat over dinner? No. Does he want to chat while I'm cooking dinner? No. How about when we're riding in the car together? No, never. This is when he forgets how to speak and answers any questions or comments with grunts.This results in my standing there trying to keep my towel on and listening when I should be getting ready to leave. It also results in me being late to work on the day I'm suppose to be leaving early to watch his first baseball game of the season. (and probably the only one I'll get to this year) Does anyone have a solution to this? Please? Help.

  4. I'm very sad the nice weather will be leaving us again. Predictions of rain, thunder storms and cold for the next week. Yes, I know it's April and this is western NY. Yes, I know I've been spoiled. But the weather has made me so happy. The flowers and leaves have literally sprung up overnight and now I'm guessing the storm will pull all the petals off. The worst part? I have not had a chance to photograph one single flower. And when I get the chance (tomorrow) it will be pouring. H.A.T.E. working full time.

  5. As for the job I've been whining about... a) I've decided it could be a much worse job, b) I should feel privileged to HAVE a full time job with great benefits, c) I can not guarantee that this means I won't whine anymore. Note that I do feel better about the whole thing though.

  6. And somehow the Friday Five seems to keep turning into the Friday Six. I should just do the Saturday Six but I'm not blogging on weekends so, no.My doctor finally caught me last Friday in our game of phone tag. He caught me on my cell at work. Yes, I'd love to talk to you about my private medical stuff in an office full of people, all of which can hear every word spoken, all of who LISTEN to everyone's conversations and then discusses them behind the person's back. Why yes, I am a hypochondriac (Who can't actually spell that word without looking it up.) and I'd love to talk to you in a hallway outside my office door.Point being (because I was getting off track there just a tad, or a whole, whole bunch), he agreed in my assessment that it's probably NOT my back. He agreed it made sense to order a screening for something else. I went to get blood drawn on Monday and they had no order for said screening. Maybe he thought I was insane and only agreed to get me to stop calling him long enough to change his phone number. I have no idea. The phlebotomist said she'd go over when the office opened and pick up the order. Then I received another call at work from an office worker at the doctor's saying they had no order for bloodwork. She asked if I was just insane or had he actually ordered something? Oh he did? What was it he ordered? I have no idea what the test is called and I really don't want the entire office to discuss my hypochondria (Why can I not spell that word???) so go ask HIM. ahem.

    To end: I got my blood drawn Tuesday and have no results. I'm sure they'll say I'm FINE. FINE I tell you, you damn hypochondriac! (I did it! I spelled it correctly for once!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

So Earth Day. Yes, I know it was yesterday and I’m writing about it today. No, I’m not sure why I waited until today. Ok, maybe because of time constraints. Maybe because I needed time to collect my thoughts. Maybe just because I was lazy yesterday and needed something to write about today. The world will never know.

I read many posts and articles yesterday complaining about having an Earth Day holiday. They all spoke of doing things every day and not just one day a year. I actually felt like I was reading about Valentine’s Day. Show the special person in your life every day that you care. Blah, blah, blah. Amazingly, I’m able to articulate my feelings on this subject more clearly when focused on Earth Day but really, they sort of apply to both.

I like Earth Day. I think it is a fabulous holiday. I think everyone should celebrate it. We might not all have a special love in our lives but the Earth is important to us all. (Even if you don’t agree – it is still important because without it WE WOULD NOT BE HERE.) Anyway…

As for the whole “do things to help the earth all the time not just on one day” thing, I do try to do things all the time. Shall I list a few? Because I will. And I actually like it when other people do too. Why? Does it make me feel good about myself to say, “see, see all I do,” sometimes. But most often I feel like, “That’s it? I really should be doing more.” I’m going to list what I do because when I read about what other people do it gives me IDEAS. Maybe they do something I’ve never thought of. Maybe they do something I had previously rejected but now that I think about it again I realize I too could try it.

The whole one day a year thing gives us a day to reflect on what we are doing and what still needs to be done. That is a good thing. That does not mean we can forget about it for the rest of the year but if we’ve pushed those efforts to the side to focus on other things (as we all do) it reminds us to pull the issue back out and reexamine it. It is a day to talk about and share ideas.

So my admittedly very short list of things we do in our home:

  • Change to CFL bulbs as the regular ones burn out. We have been doing this long enough that we are almost regular bulb free.

  • Recycle. I still need to get past the once or twice a year I’m too lazy to clean out the peanut butter jar and just toss it. Although, since I read someone else put it in the dishwasher – I have not thrown even one jar away. See what I mean about ideas from other people?

  • Walk to run local errands, build time into my schedule to walk to the kids local sporting events. This doesn’t happen as often as I’d like but the more I do it, the easier it seems to get.

  • Use reusable bags at the grocery store. This is something that definitely gets easier with time. The biggest road block? Remembering to put the bags back in the car or into my husband’s car when I take it.

  • Turn off lights. It’s the kids I’m having trouble training with this one. Anyone have ideas for that?

  • Turn off the water when brushing teeth. Since we were kids people. Are there seriously still people who don’t do this?

  • Back off on the bottled water. A couple times of year I still do this for convenience. We do reuse the bottles for quite a while and then recycle. Still, MUST STOP.

  • We installed low flow toilets a few years ago. Now I have to admit something. HATE. I hate them. The kids clog them almost every damn day. In fact, I need to get a new plunger because I believe we have WORN OUT ours. Who knew that was even possible? Not I.

  • When our washer died last year we replaced it with a front loader. Less detergent, less water, less loads because more clothes fit in it. (and I always do full loads because hello! 4 boys)

  • Buying more local and organic foods and less processed foods. With the cost of gas and groceries rising and our pay not getting higher, this one has been tough. But, it is one of the most important expenditures in our household. I still haven’t managed to buy organic milk by the gallon because my God, we’d be destitute in a week but we buy local milk and organic eggs. And if I could find someone local to buy eggs from I would. If I could keep a plant alive I might even plant a garden but for now I will take any and all fruits and veggies offered by friends and relatives.
Things I’d like to get back to working on:
  • Composting. At our old house we had a compost pile. When we moved into the village with a little yard we did away with it. I have looked at those compost bins you can buy and never could justify the cost. Well, it is time to revisit this. I was amazed at the reduction in our waste when we composted. I actually miss it. It is time.

  • Safer cleaning products. The ones I used in the past sucked. But, now I’ll do a little research and try again. I’ve been lazy about this one and there is no good reason why I should be.
I know we need to make major changes but baby steps people. Change takes time. And as much as I would like to get rid of my cars and get more fuel efficient ones or hybrids, that isn’t good either because my cars still run. So I’m saving and hoping they will last for another year or two at which point I will try to get the latest energy-efficient technologically advanced car.

So, now I ask you. What am I missing?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Five

  • $420 later and my van is so quiet it’s actually unsettling. I forgot a vehicle could be that silent.

  • It is the last official day of Spring break and I just remembered the projects 2 of the kids were suppose to be working on over break. Whoops! Guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

  • My doctor and I have been playing phone tag. All I want is for him to order a blood test to rule out something. I don’t want a whole appointment. Also, I think he thinks I’m a complete hypochondriac at this point. All the tests so far have shown I’m FINE. But the pain is telling me that diagnosis is wrong.

  • The weather is so beautiful it’s making me giddy. I ate my lunch outside in the sun yesterday. Without a coat! I’m not a big outdoor person but this is my absolute favorite weather and I want to weep when forced to go indoors for something like work. A place with tinted windows that do not open – in other words, no fresh air and it always looks a bit gray out. BAH.

  • This whole Texas, locked compound, child abuse thing has been stuck on my mind ever since yesterday morning when I saw the brainwashed zombie mom’s on the Today show. They didn’t once deny anything. Not once did they say “No.” What the women did say was they love their children and their children love them. That if they had abused them, the kids wouldn’t love them. And love, love, love. And the kids cried when taken away. So the kids must love them. And that means they can’t have been abused.It made my skin crawl. It’s been proven that even kids whose parents abuse them usually still love them. They know no different. And they will cling and cry when being removed from all that they know. I can’t tell you how much I wanted these women to say, “No. There is no abuse. No, children aren’t being married to grown men and impregnated at 13.” I really wanted it to be a situation where people were freaked out by others who were “different” and not have all the allegations be true. All those children being taken away. What they’ve lived through and now all they still have left to endure – it makes me incredibly sad.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I LOVE the Very Nice Policeman

I’d just like to admit to public humiliation here because that’s what us bloggers do. Why? I have no idea. We do seem compelled to do it though.

Last night I was taking my oldest son’s friend home and got pulled over by the police. But wait! As any story on the internet, this one gets better. It was around 9:30 and he only lives about a mile or so away.

Very Nice Policeman: “License and registration.”

Me: “Ah, I don’t have my license. I’m in my pajamas. I was just bringing my son’s friend home.” I gestured to my very obvious pajama pants and pink fuzzy slippers. “Wait, the registration’s here.”

VNP: “Is the vehicle registered to you?”

Me: “Yes. I mean no. I mean it might be registered to my husband.”

VNP: “Do you know why I stopped you?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

VNP: “You didn’t come to a complete stop when you pulled out of that side street.”

Me: “Ah yeah. I live on that side street.” Not sure why I thought I should mention this.

VNP: “Have you noticed your muffler is very loud?”

Me: “Yeah, I asked my husband to have it taken care of but he hasn’t gotten to it yet.” Again, not sure why I can’t keep my damn mouth shut.

VNP: “You’re GOING to have it looked at. Right?”

Me: “Yes, of course. Right away.”

VNP: “Ok.”

And he then WALKED AWAY.

I have never gotten pulled over and not received a ticket.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love Breaks Your Heart

I was wrong about the IEP testing yesterday. It was a meeting to say, “Yes, we want there to be testing.” And “Yes, the school thinks there needs to be testing.” So now we wait for information from the school which we will sign and send back so they can put him on the schedule for testing. Phrases like, “I work in the summer,” were thrown around. I hate the snail-like speed of these things. Especially considering the heartbreaking tale that was painted of a child that just wants to do well and can’t. The absolute worst is the new thing he does of crying and saying he can’t because he is stupid. No matter how much I try to explain how smart he is and how we all learn differently and how his teachers tell us he is smart, he will not believe.

And he is smart child according to the teachers. Apparently they feel you can have a bad day and do poorly on a test even if you know the material but you can’t ace it by accident. So his high scores combined with his plunging low scores make his grades look similar to a saw blade. They tell us this means he’s smart but struggling with some unseen force that keeps him from focusing or processing or, most likely, a combination of ADD and some as yet unidentified learning disorder. Fun stuff.

I will admit that the fact this is finally getting looked at makes me happy. The fact his reading has improved so much that at nine he can read and comprehend and verbalize facts and concepts makes me thrilled. A year and a half ago I wasn’t sure when or if that would happen. Even in math he seems to understand the concepts but he doesn’t know his math facts so his grades are abysmal.

As frustrating a child as this one is, and he is frustrating and high maintenance and extremely exhausting, he breaks my heart when he is so clearly trying and he just can’t do something. I suppose this is what they call love.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fear Factor

I sent in a request to be part of an intensive 3 week class this summer to learn sign language. And I’m terrified.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this terrifies me so because really, this doesn’t seem like something that should strike fear in my heart. It’s something I want to do. (hence the application) But it makes my heart race to think I might get into the class.

So why did I apply? I want to learn. The place I work has a high number of deaf students and I’d like to be able to communicate with them without paper and pencil. I think it shows a bit of respect to learn this to help serve them. And I plain old think it would be cool to learn.

Now my fear tells me I have been getting by without learning and no one would bat an eye if I didn’t learn. It also keeps whispering in my ear that it will be very embarrassing if I can’t learn. I don’t have the best memory. I haven’t been a student in forever. I DO NOT MEMORIZE WELL. My entire office will know I’m taking the class and will expect me to come back full of knowledge and the ability to sign to actual deaf people and understand the same deaf people’s signing. What if I can’t?

Working at a university has many positive aspects. Free classes for one sounds like a beautiful benefit unless you don’t do well. Then EVERYONE will know you are an idiot.

In the end I bit the bullet, gave my boss the application to sign (it’s during work hours), and sent it in. I don’t have one of those bucket lists or 40 by 40 lists because I can never think of anything I really want to do. This morning on my way to work I realized that learning sign language is something I would like to do before 40. I’ve always wanted to learn, and really, it’s not out of my reach. But it is very scary.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How's Your Throat Feeling?

Cursingmama guessed it! I was testing the whole post from e-mail thing. I had forgotten that was an option and decided it may help increase my posting now that I’m all anonymous and all. So I had to test it out.

Just as I realized it worked things got away from me again a between a full activity schedule and a child down with strep. But a new week! A new chance to post!

And then I got a call from the school nurse. My mother was out of town (1st line of defense), husband was working on a big project (2nd line of defense), so I was called up to bat. I got to work at 8am and left at 9:30. Picked up the child, took him directly to the doctors and got back a negative on the rapid strep. Stopped to buy throat soothing foods and went home. Yay! All those extra hours just waiting to be filled. And they were. They were filled with calls and visits to and from the plumber, playing nursemaid to a sick 9 y/o, balancing the checkbook (left over chore from the weekend), cooking a delicious dinner and driving a couple kids to Hebrew.

May I ask why, the one day the dinner is in the crockpot and you have things basically under control – why is THAT the day you get to go home early? It is never the day you forgot your cell phone at home and have no idea what you’re making for dinner (today).

Lest you think I’m complaining, I shall say, the situation allowed me to call the plumber in a timely manner and he even stopped by less than 2 hours after I called. This resulted in TWO working toilets in our house vs. yesterday morning when I left and only one was working. BIG! HUGE! BONUS! Living with one toilet and six people is just not an option.

As for posting today, I keep having this dream of doing a “real” post. You know the kind. The ones that don’t just talk about the day but have a beginning, middle and end and some underlying theme to tie it all up pretty – yeah, I think I forgot how to do those. Or maybe, I never really knew how in the first place.

In other news, or rather to continue my slice of life posting, the doctor’s office just called. The culture came back positive. The child I sent to school this morning because he didn’t have a fever and the rapid test came back negative, that child DOES have strep. He gets out of school 20 minutes after the result came in. That doesn’t even make it worth it to leave work again and pick him up since he will be home before I am. I am one of those parents you all hate. My kid is currently the one spreading strep to one and all. Sorry.

The most fabulous part of all of this – aside from the fact that the doctor’s office won’t prescribe the remaining 4 of us antibiotics right now instead of one at a time as the rapid streps come back negative but then the next day the cultures come back positive (2 out of 2! Whoot!) in the coming weeks – is, wait, what? Did you forget what I was saying? That may have been the longest aside ever.

Where was I? Oh, the most fabulous part is that the currently ill child has IEP testing tomorrow. My husband and I both took a half day off because they want us to be there to find out what the hell is going on with him academically/learning-wise. And now he has strep. I have decreed he will have been on the medication long enough to go anyway. But, not really. I don’t want to have to reschedule it though because you need to coordinate approximately 50 people (or maybe 6) PLUS the parents to do the testing and it may be some time in May 2010 before that happens again. I say the show must go on. The fact he’s not 100% health wise will just make it more likely he’ll be having a “bad” day. The kind of day he needs to have during the testing. If he has a “good” day, they will not be able to assess his difficulties because he won’t be having any. So maybe this is a good thing. Who knows? Justification baby! It’s where it’s at.

Is that an itch in my throat?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Was I suppose to have a point?

Ack! I've missed almost a whole week of blogging. What can I say, work's been busy, I'm trying to focus more on the kids when I'm with them and I've been TIRED. Also, since this blog is a big ole secret from the family, can't really be writing when the husband is working right next to me. Maybe I should think about posting on the other blog when that happens. It's not as if everything I write here is a secret. That would also solve the problem of my mom asking about my abandoned blog and if I was blogging somewhere else. There are only so many ways to answer that without lying or saying yes. Evasion, tis my name. It makes me feel like I'm in high school again.

And now I've totally forgotten what I was going to write about. Figures.