Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal (Blue) Wedding

The only thing royal about our wedding was the accent color, royal blue. But it...was...awesome. I'm slowly easing back into social media, so I can't tell you the whole amazing story in this post, but I wanted to link up to a new blog I found today, Dial M for Minky Moo. She took the words right out of my mouth about the royal nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton today.

Initially, I was all, Will and Kate, whatev. Hasn't this thing happened yet? Then this morning when I turned on PBS for the girls and it was on, I found myself taken in. I thought for sure S would be upset that Curious George wasn't on, but when I explained it was a wedding for a prince and a princess, she wanted to watch them get married. I told her we had missed that part, but they were going to Buckingham Palace. They rode in carriages drawn by horses. She looked beautiful in her simple dress and veil. Their kiss on the balcony was sweet. I told S how William's mommy had gotten married to his daddy when I was just a couple of years older than her, and I still remembered it. I left out how I also still remember exactly where I was when I found out she'd died.

I was never a big follower of the royal family. Occasionally stories caught my eye. But the Cinderella story of Charles and Diana was enamoring, even for a tomboy like me. I wasn't ready for a new princess to take the limelight. But Will and Kate's story is strong in its own way. They've known each other for 10 years, dated for 8. Reminds me of DH and me. I feel like they have a chance of making this last. I wish them all the best.

I started this post with a couple of pics of them. But in honor of linking with Minky, here is one of me and my beloved on our special day, six years ago:

And though our church was certainly not Westminster Abbey, it was breathtaking, nonetheless. I certainly felt like a princess myself that day. (Photos courtesy of R Peters Photography.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hospitals, Holidays and Hunts, Oh My!

Man, you'd think after my last post, I'd have something more positive to say! Unfortunately, the next day my Dad had his Pacemaker put in. Here's a summary of the last couple of weeks:

4/15 - Mom & Dad's anniversary; Dad had a Pacemaker put in so spent the night in the hospital. Mom spent the night at our house. They sure know how to celebrate!

4/16 - Mom woke up and was confused about where Dad was. I think because she didn't take her pills the night before and woke up somewhere odd. Baby R got pink eye. DH's BFF had a party (just because; NOT to celebrate his 40th bday). They live 6 blocks away. It was nice out, so we walked there. It took us about an hour because we ran into and chatted with neighbors who were also enjoying the pleasant weather. After the party, we stopped at one of the neighbor's and sat by the fire pit for awhile.

4/17 - Went to my friend's daughter's 5th bday party. Scooby Doo-themed! Super cute decor. Check it out here: Not A Short Order Cook

4/18 - Playdate at our house which we had to have entirely outside since I hadn't finished disinfecting the pink eye zone, ie, our whole house. That would have been fine had the weather stayed as warm as it was supposed to, but of course, it didn't. Still had fun.

4/19 - S's parent/teacher conference. Seriously? Conferences already? So cute! She's doing an excellent job (of course). My BFF is her teacher and she started by saying that the assessment wasn't very accurate because the first day of school S wouldn't even talk to her, so she couldn't accurately gauge her abilities. I told her that just makes her look like an awesome teacher since S can now complete 95% of the testing elements!

Unfortunately, that night S had a fever and was throwing up. Around 2am, she said her neck hurt. I panicked and dug through my childcare books for meningitis info. Told DH we needed to take her to the ER. Decided to text my friend who is a nurse and works night shift to see if she was awake. Thankfully she talked me down, and we avoided a run to the hospital for a spinal tap. Disaster averted. But not until after I had tormented poor S by making her try to touch her chin to her chest a dozen times, turning on the lights to see if she was sensitive to them (DUH - she'd been asleep!), and a few other things that all people (especially 3 YOs) want to do in the middle of the night.

4/20 - I subbed on my vball team (took spring off since my rotator cuff had been bothering me) which was fun. Until the next day when I was SORE...

4/23 - Neighborhood egg hunt at the elementary school by our house. The girls were very cute. Though poor Baby R kept losing her shoe.

I asked S what she thought we should get Daddy for his bday present. What did she think he would like? She thought about it for a minute, then said, "I think Daddy would really like a new car." True dat! "That's a great idea, honey, but that's just too expensive. What else do you think he might want?"  She said, "Ummm, a new house. With lights!" ??? Like ours doesn't have lights?

4/24 - Easter! We went to church with my sister, D; it was her request since it was her 50th bday. I was happy to oblige. Of course, DH was a pain about it, but the girls actually went to Sunday school which NEVER happens. It was an interesting service. I will have to post about it in detail another time.

After church we went home and had lunch and the girls took naps. Right before naptime, S came to me with a chocolate candy that was the shape of baby chick popping up out of an egg. She said, "Mommy, I really think I need to eat this now because he might get out of the box while I'm sleeping and run away." She knew she was full of it; a little smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. I told her, "Honey, I think if he was going to escape, he would have done it while we were gone to church. He'll be fine while you nap." But she wanted to tape the edges shut. So, of course, we did.

Then we were off to hang out with DH's family where the girls did another egg hunt. And got more candy. That we stole discreetly hid.

4/25 - On my way home from work, I started to feel yucky. DH and the girls were at his BFF's as we had been invited over for dinner, but I skipped it and went to bed. That night I had a fever, chills, body aches - S's disease from the week before. BLECH. I felt like I'd run a marathon then been beaten. ALLCAPSAWESOME.

4/26 - Home sick. Fourth day off work in 2 weeks. Sigh....

4/27 - Still felt like crap, but HAD to go to work, and since my fever was gone, went. Too wiped out to fix dinner, so sign me up for Mother of the Year - I got McD's for the girls on the way home. Baby R was cracking me up - she dipped her fries in her milk. I had to text a pic of it to my sister, J, who did that with her frosty when we were kids.

Later that night, S and I had this conversation:

"Mommy, where did you get that ring?"

"Daddy gave it to me."


"Because he gave it to me when he asked me to marry him."

"Why did he want you to marry him?"

"Because Daddy wants me to be with him forever." (Daddy was muttering under his breath something about forever being a long time. He was in the next room so I don't think she heard him which was good, but I couldn't kick him in the shins, either.)

"A ring is a circle, and a circle goes on forever, and so he gave me this ring to show that's how long he wants me to be with him." (Seriously, I had to keep repeating "forever" for his benefit at this point.)

"Can I have a ring?"

"Someday after you graduate from college, and you live on your own, and you meet a man you love and want to be with forever; he'll give you a ring."

Slam dunk! Well, she stopped asking questions anyway. 

Today I lost my voice. Like, completely. I don't know that I've ever been without a voice so definitively. But I can still type, people. Clearly. Since this is an uber-long post because I've been slacking and have to include it all in one.

So I emailed DH this: 

You'll be happy to know that the "mute" function is in full-effect.
My voice is totally gone now.

(He's always joking he wished the "mute" button on the TV remote worked on me. Yes, he's hilarious, isn't he?)

His reply:

Sweet, just in time for my birthday.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weekly Report

This week has, well, sucked. Last Friday, there was a thunderstorm, so S spent part of the night in bed with us, and when she wasn't there, I was up with Baby R. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep.  Saturday, the girls would NOT nap. I was so tired, I was screaming at S and crying. DH told me to go somewhere - anywhere - and take a nap. I went to my parents' house for an hour. Work has been fairly horrific; all three of my clients have had serious problems this week, and my vendors have not been paid so I've been struggling in the middle to pacify everyone. (Not to mention I was having bad dreams about a confrontation I needed to have with a co-worker). The girls haven't slept well, so I'm still tired, so I haven't done anything productive around the house, so it feels overwhelmingly messy. Blech. I just haven't had the energy to contribute to the blog like I should.

Enough whining, let's hear what fun things the girls have been up to!

Phone Call
S: Hi, Mommy!
Me: Hi, sweetheart! How was your day?
S: It was good!
Me: Did you take a nap?
S: Not really.
Me: Did Sissy take a nap?
S: Baby R, did you take a nap?
(DH in the background - "Tell Mommy you need to learn the value of sleep.")
S: Mommy, I need to learn the value of sleep.

S said she wants a "fancy, cool, new thing." ???

Baby R's vocabulary is exploding. She talks about "bubbles" when she wants to wash her hands in the sink, ie, play in the bubbles. She holds a finger to her nose and says "Choo" for tissue. She says "uh-huh" in a cute, little high-pitched baby voice. So adorable; the cuteness kills me every time. And this week, her new favorite word is "No."

We have a dimmer switch for the light over our kitchen table. S likes to turn it down so we can have "moon lighting". :)

The neighbor boy who S plays with often is gone on vacation this week. She made a card for him and told me we need to get it to him so he will remember he loves her. I asked her if she loves him, and she said, "We'll figure that out tomorrow."

The other night S was dreaming and called out for me. I went in and asked her what was wrong. She said, "P and I made a mess." I told her not to worry about it; we'd clean it up in the morning. :)

Growing Up
Sunday, I got R down for a nap, and all was quiet as DH had already fallen asleep to NASCAR. I was lying on the floor in S's room (she's back to sleeping on the floor again), and she sat up suddenly and said, "Mommy! I'm NEVER taking a nap AGAIN! Number 1, because Baby R keeps me awake. Number 2, because Daddy is too loud. Number 3, because Baby R wakes me up. Number 4..." At number 4, I couldn't hold it in anymore and started to giggle. S tried not to smile but did and threw herself back down melodramatically. I told her, "Sweetie, Baby R's asleep. Daddy's asleep. No one is making noise now but you." Though I'm not ready for it, naptime is on its way out of her schedule.

S yesterday morning on the way to daycare re: streets we took: "When I was a kid, I didn't know which way to go." Good thing you're so grown up, now!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fundraising: Why I'm a Slacker

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you've probably seen me mention my friend, Lori, over at In Pursuit of Martha Points. She's not only funny in all the right ways - just enough snark, wordplay and sarcasm - she has a big heart. She's a speech pathologist and has recently launched a blog for that, Your Child Talking. But before that, she started Project: Purse and Boots to raise money for the American Heart Association and their efforts at stroke prevention.

I'll be honest; I'm a slacker when it comes to donating to good causes. It's not that I don't want to, but I like to do it anonymously. Which is difficult when you can't just drop an envelope of money off somewhere. And it's not that I'm so humble I want to wave off the appreciation that I want my identity kept a secret. I want to be anonymous for purely selfish reasons.

1. I don't have a PayPal account, so I have to use a credit card. And I'm all kinds of Mission: Impossible about keeping that stuff to myself as much as I can.

2. I don't want follow up emails/flyers sent to my already overflowing inbox/mailbox.

3. There are hundreds of worthy causes. If I was a millionaire, I'd divvy up my contributions accordingly. However, I only have so much money allocated to charity, and that can only be split so many ways before I'm only able to give a quarter to everyone. If I donate to one charity, the others find out somehow, and suddenly I'm being hounded to donate to help Save the Purple-Spotted Dolphins who are so rare there are only three of them found in a square mile off the coast of Australia. And I always feel guilty for not trying to help everyone who solicits me for donations. So I try to keep my name on the DL.

Other selfish reasons for donating? The swag. I'm all for helping people out of the goodness of my heart, but I'm also not going to deny that I'm enticed by good products. Bring on the Girl Scout Cookies! I mean, most people don't even realize it's a fundraiser, it's such good marketing.

That said, I do think the AHA is a good cause. Stroke affects so many people. My experience with it was my grandma. She was the stereotypical grandma, incredible baker/cook, spoiled me rotten, was soft and huggable, kept all manner of strange things to recycle into crafts with us, like strawberry containers and yarn. We only got to see her once or twice a year since she lived in Manitoba, and it was always such a treat.

My grandpa was quite a bit older than her and passed away when I was 5. Grandma lived on her own for a dozen years before disaster struck. She had a stroke and fell one morning. It was several hours later before a friend stopped in to check on her. Because she had gone so long without treatment, there was a lot of permanent damage. She was paralyzed on the left side and had to learn to speak and eat again. She was no longer able to walk, much less garden. She couldn't knit or play cards. Her personality changed; she often spoke of wishing she could just die - she didn't like being a burden to her family. She had difficulty remembering things and learning new tasks. For example, she couldn't see out of the left side of her eyes, so she needed to turn her head left to see what was there. The OTs at the nursing home would gently remind her to eat the food on that side of her plate. She never got the hang of it.

It was several years before she finally passed away. To see her this way, it was heartbreaking.

And so because of that, I put away my selfish need to stay anonymous and ponied up my email address and credit card info for an online donation to the American Heart Association via Project: Purse and Boots. Lori is having a Tweet-A-Thon today from 6pm-7pm CDT to get the word out and make some progress toward her goal. If you are on Twitter, follow the hashtag #PPNB and join in! Either way, please take a moment to head that way and donate to this worthy cause.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What's a Hoppenin', Hot Stuff?

Quite a bit, Long Duk Dong, thanks for asking. I haven't done an update for a few weeks, so here it is.

Random Thoughts 
Sam listens to music at bedtime. We started with classical, then Enya, but in the last year, she's wanted something different, so we've played soft rock/classic rock/folk music; The Mamas & the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. Lately it's been Journey or Kansas. She heard a Journey song on the local adult contemporary station and recognized it. She was sooo excited about it.

Speaking of local radio, a new station called "GenX Radio" started last fall. LOVED it. They played music from the last 4 decades in most genres - classic rock, rap, pop, alt rock, ska, adult contemporary, current top 40, hair bands, hip hop, hard rock, etc. They went off the air last week. So sad!!!

S seems to think people on TV can see her back. She will wave at Big Jay and yell to him. Though, that may be because Daddy yells at the Jayhawks to play better. Maybe she thinks he thinks they are listening to him. **Aside: The upset loss to VCU was just that - upsetting. :(

Baby R had a tantrum and knocked the open Cheerios box off the table, spilling half of it. I picked it up and put it back on the table, then proceeded to knock it off myself and spill bunch more. "Son-of-a-!" Stopped myself. Then S said she'd help me sweep up. So SWEET!

St. Patrick's Day night (the awful day when I had to get the girls from my parents' house), S said she would be good and wouldn't cry when I left her the next morning. I was glad she was kind of getting it, but sad that it was even an issue.

Out of the Mouths of Babes a Preschooler
"Mommy, I'm getting so big! My head is past the top of the chair!" (Yes, S, you're growing up too fast.)

S singing a lullaby: "Go to sleeeeep baby Jesus so you can grow up big and stroonnggg. And be a tap-dancing horse."

"I make the rules." Um, no.

"It's not necessary." (S to me regarding her sister's behavior.)

"I don't need a big surface." (S in reference to how big the TV screen needed to be for her to watch Cars.)

"Mommy, I was just wondering..." (Dramatic pause as if a huge question was about to be asked - Where do babies come from? Can we get a dog?) "...if you could open this?"

Back on the rule thing, last week I wasn't feeling too hot, and I said something about it to S. She said, "Mama, Rule #2: Responsibility." WTH??? I asked her what that meant. She said, "You can't put me to bed if you're sick because I'll get your germs." Ok, but what's with the rules, who's rule is that? Preschool? Daycare. "Mine." (DUH!)

• • • • • • • • • • • •

I think I've figured out the horse comment. When the girls go to DH's parents' house, his dad tends to show them video clips from YouTube. Last time I picked them up they were watching a high school that had sang a song while doing everything backwards. Anyway, apparently there was a cartoon called "Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse". I'm guessing they watched it online or something. S also sings Train's "Soul Sister" all the time now from watching the video there.

• • • • • • • • • • • •

This Week
S has pink eye.  Monday at supper, I noticed some icky goo, and wiped it away with a hopeful heart. But when I put her in the bath and it was back, I knew it was a long shot that it was just allergies. So when I put her to bed, I told her I thought that's what it was and if it was bothering her to let me know and I'd bring her a warm wash cloth to put on it. In the morning we'd go to the doctor and get some medicine to make it better. I also told her that her eye might be matted shut because if that happened, I didn't want it to freak her out and for her to force it open which would hurt. But telling her that kicked her into worry mode, and she didn't sleep well that night.

Thankfully my mom was able to go to the ped's office with me Tuesday to wrangle R who escaped the exam room once, and was more whiny than the patient. We got home, and though I knew the eye drops would be a struggle, I hoped it would go ok. Not so much. Had to pin her down. It. Was. Awful. I told my mom I didn't know if I would be able to do that 13 more times.

I was supposed to go to a dentist appt Wednesday morning, but since I had to keep S quarantined for 24 hours from when the first eye drops were administered, I had to reschedule for Thursday. Since S had preschool, my parents were kind enough to come to our house in the morning, then drop her off for me. (We are SOO lucky to have them to help with the girls.) I picked S up from preschool at lunch time and then we got Baby R and my parents from our house, and headed to theirs. I told S she could have Chick Fil A if she would let me put an eye drop in without a fuss. Didn't happen. Went back to work after several unsuccessful attempts and an almost 2 hour lunch break. Good thing my boss is awesome.

Then there's Baby R. She's been waking up in the middle of the night in full-blown tantrum mode the last two weeks. I thought it was teething, or her cold, but it's been every night except one. Last night was awful. I got up with her at 2am, changed her diaper, got her ibuprofen in case it was her teeth, gave her a drink of water and rocked with her for a few minutes then put her back down (still awake). Fine. Five minutes later, screaming and kicking and totally P.O.'d. Went back in, asked her what was wrong. "Up!" I thought, oh she just wants to get up. I told her, no, it's sleepy time. I'll rock with you a few minutes and then you need to go to sleep. This is the last time Mommy's coming in. She snuggled her head on my shoulder, we rocked, put her back down. Same thing. About 10 minutes later, complete freak out. She's rubbing her eyes, tired, not fighting me trying to get her to sleep. And when I put her down at the beginning of bedtime, we have no issues. Separation anxiety? I'm not good with CIO, but last night after the second time, I didn't go back in. It was 5am before she was really out again. She'd tantrum, then sort of settle down, then build back up. I usually go back in when she gets that riled up, but it's been happening so often, and I'm so freakin' tired, I laid there listening to her for an hour. I'm a bad mom. If DH goes in, she gets really mad. But I don't understand because at bedtime, she either goes to sleep without a peep, or she fusses for 10 minutes and then is out. This is screaming, thrashing, kicking the crib so hard I literally think she's going to hurt herself. And it's sudden. It's not like she's been whining for me, and I haven't gone to get her. It's silence and then a full-on attack. The ped said maybe it's because she got used to me getting up with her when she was sick a couple of weeks ago, but it seems a bit extreme. Miss my laid-back, good sleeper!

As I left work last night, I was in a hurry and just jumped in the van. I got around the corner and heard a noise. Pulled over to find a flat tire. I JUST BOUGHT NEW ONES A MONTH AGO. I did buy the road hazard on them, though. Luckily, I was able to get to the gas station and air it up enough to get home. Told DH, and even though he's been sick this week and feels crappy, he was sweet and went out to put the spare on while I called Firestone. Only, there's no spare on our van. WTH? So he took the tire to the shop, planning to bring a new one back. But they didn't have one in stock. So our van spent all night and today jacked up in the driveway. How very white trash of us. The new tire is in, so when I leave work I'll pick it up.

Since we only have one car, DH's boss picked him up for work today, and I drove his car. Which means I have to leave early to pick up the girls. Which is fine, but I feel like I've hardly been at work this week. Though still busy, at least I don't feel like I'm rushing out and dropping the ball.

My friends have a daughter who will be three in a couple of weeks. Last weekend she had her SECOND open-heart surgery. I cannot fathom what it would be like to go through that. Pinning S down for eye drops is nothing compared to that. And it puts everything in perspective, keeping me thankful instead of whiny. For the most part.

Finally, I have had Prince's "Sometimes It Snows in April" stuck in my head the last few days. So for my friends in New England for whom it's apropos, (and my old roomie who's a HUGE fan), was going to include a link to the video, but I can't seem to find it. Great song, but it's getting on my nerves. Maybe posting about it will make it go away. If not, I can always result to the default way to get a song out of my head: the "Sanford & Son" theme song.
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