Sunday, January 26, 2014

Boxed Up Birthday

Lily's week long birthday extravaganza is finally over! And not a moment too soon. We started last weekend with a small family party with Doctor Who Themed cupcakes. We moved into the week with a birthday snow day! By Friday we were finally back in school for store bought allergy-free cupcakes and pencils. The crowning moment was Saturday.

Lily decided awhile ago that she wanted a Paris themed sleepover with her friends. I foolishly went to Pintrest (Otherwise known as the place to find ideas that I could never pull off and come away feeling like an even more inadequate parent. Really, it is like Family Fun magazine on steroids!). It quickly became apparent that people who have Paris themed children's parties have the bucks to hire party planners. I dumped Pintrest and headed over to Party Express. Paris themed party in a box for eight? One click away? Sold!

We ended up with very cute plates etc and a cardboard Eiffel tower. I added: one Lily in a beret with Paris sweat shirt, silver tray, and lace table cloth. We ate french themed kid food (french bread pizza, french fries, french vanilla ice cream, and french toast) and watched Rugrats in Paris and Madeline. My friend stayed to help and it was perfect. I still can't believe she is nine. Next up? Caroline Sweet 16. Good Grief!!!

Doctor Who cupcake. Fez and bow ties are cool!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Blind Crazies

We had MLK Day off and got hit with snow and freezing temps right after. We are currently going on day four of being here at home together. It all started innocently enough; Caroline got dragged to the dentist office on Monday to wait out Lily's cleaning all in the hopes of a trip to the mall. At the dentist office, the grouchy hygienist gleefully seriously shared the news that Lily has three cavities, needs four teeth pulled, and needs a spacer put in (a clever named for a permanent retainer that your child will bitch about non-stop). Yet again she had to remind me of the "gravity" (yes her words) of keeping all of the appointments. I missed one round of orthodontist appointments after my mother died and can't seem to be forgiven. Then the receptionist did not want to seem to want to take the time to make the very important appointments.

Yet again, I felt like the worlds crappiest parent. What else can be thrown Lily's way? I sat in the car for a moment while the girls assured me that I was a good mom and the hygienist was a bitch (that came from the oldest, her word choice didn't really solidify me as mother of the year).

We headed to my favorite place, the mall, where I managed to endure people breathing my air and went on the almost impossible search for jeans for skinny girls with long legs. I have spent my entire life searching for jeans for girls with big butts and short legs, naturally, I assumed if you can't find jeans for short and curvy, then tall and skinny must be cake. I was so very wrong! So my question is who are the jeans in the store meant to fit? We finally left with some jeans, sweaters, and really bad attitudes.

On Tuesday, we waited with bated breathe for the snow to fall. The anticipation of snow is the closest thing that I will ever get to that Christmas Eve feeling. Lily was thrilled to have her birthday off from school (after she had inquired ten different ways as to how I would get her cupcakes to school and when). By Wednesday, the snow was wearing thin. The temperatures were in the single digits. After shoveling the driveway, I decided to buck up and take Lily sledding. Yes it was cold as hell, but this might be our last chance for snow and I didn't want to regret missing this opportunity. Lily and I trekked along to the sledding hill with her asking about twenty questions a minute. When we got there, the big hill was full of kids. Lily decided to stay on the small hill in order to avoid the crowd. While Lily and I took turns going down the "Scooby Doo Coaster" of hills, the kids on the other hill tried snowboarding over a ramp. One of them flipped and landed on his head. I shuffled over to look at his wrist. His big brother politely replied "His wrist is fine, mam', but his head is bleeding." I looked over to see blood gushing from his head. I put my gloves on his head and told him to press hard. I watched them head into their house (they assured me their mother was home), and went back to Lily.

Once we found out that we had tomorrow off, it all hit the fan. Lily bounced around the house talking non-stop. When she finally landed for a minute, she grabbed Caroline's book, which lead to a tugging match and Lily almost losing her thumb. Thank goodness we get to leave the house tomorrow and go to violin lessons.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Birthday

Things that I did not expect to do on my birthday:

Pick more stupid lice out of Lily's hair, call the lice hotline (there are people who's job it is to give advice about lice and can be hired to come to your house to "delouse"), rinse Lily's hair with vinegar to get rid of the eggs, steam clean the carpet because dumb dog peed in my room again.

After all of that I got to:

Pick up my cousin, eat the best pizza and tiramisu, play games with the girls (love Qwirkle), and laugh.

The good outweighs the bad.

Friday, January 10, 2014


The following has been running through my mind:

My stomach has been so torn up lately. I can't even drink wine. Is it possible to make a cocktail that does not tear up my stomach? Maybe a Mylanta Martini?

How the heck do you find every single nit in an eight year old's forest of thick brown hair?

Is my child's head Club Med for lice? The little bastards won't vacate.

Last year on January 10th, I was sitting in an inservice about bully prevention waiting to receive the text message that my mother had cancer. Someday, that may be a life changing moment or metaphor. Right now it makes me sad and tired and angry.

This year I get to spend the evening lice hunting without the benefit of a glass of wine.

How many times did my mother sit up at night and wonder if there would be a place for me in the world? I want to call and tell her about the nights I stay awake wondering where Lily will fit in the world. I also know she'd research a dozen other ways to combat lice.

How much studying can one family put into math? Lily still has a D in math and science.

How do you break a child of a bad habit without making him/her nervous?

The B section of the library is amazing. I have found another book to be lost in. The Rope Walk. I want to be ten and have five big brothers.

I want to go back and watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty again, so I can lose myself for half an hour and feel hope and joy.

I have tried everyday to collect one moment of joy. So far it has been music, listening to Lily play, and watching one of my kiddos finally read. The biggest joy is that Caroline did so well on her PSATs that she got recommended for AP European History, English Literature,  and Psychology. She was also placed in advanced Earth Science. Of course, she isn't taking all of those AP classes, it would be too much.

Is it worth it to order the Yoga Abs video or should I join Weight Watchers? Will I follow through? It seems that so far I have mastered the ability to follow a healthy living plan for one day.

I have mastered flossing twice a day, though. I am looking forward to my next dentist appointment. Part of me expects praise and accolades. The realist says no one will notice, and I will leave with a list of things that I need to improve upon.

This winter, it seems that I can never have enough mint tea or hand cream (almost two weeks of nitpicking will do a number on your hands.).

I am now 43.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Make a Plan

We are home today due to the extremely cold temperatures. I know that some people think that's a silly idea, but I know many of my students don't have proper cold weather gear and have either a long hike to our school or a long wait at the bus stop. It is just dangerous!

Anyway, I used the time to clean out the medicine closet (loooong over due). As I threw away countless expired medicines, it was a reminder of a time when I thought my entire life with Lily would revolve around asthma, wound care, and bronchial infections. Obviously, it didn't happen because all of the medicine is unused. She is healthy now, well as healthy as your average eight year old. It makes me wonder if someday I will look back on her school struggles and feel the same way. Not sure. My "spidey senses" (which I take great stock in) say we are in for a long road. But those same senses are also dulled by the fact that I am most likely depressed. So I am spending a great deal of time second guessing and doubting and worrying. Poor Rob. I would usually share at least 50% of this angst with Mom. Now he gets it all.

Lily failed yet another test. I don't think we need to wait any longer to see what happens. We have an appointment with her teacher and I am going to ask that we go to Child Study. Rob isn't arguing with me about it, which is a little scary. Either he's humoring me or he sees what I see. I also left a message with a doctor looking into ADD testing. I really don't want to put her on any medication. Really! And now all of the conversations that I have had over the years with parents gently explaining that their child needs help, come tumbling back to me. All I can think is "It is so much easier to tell others what to do than it is to do it." I am so sorry for all of the times I was judgmental and frustrated with overwhelmed and waffling parents.

I know that getting help for Lily first, breaks the "put the air mask on yourself before your child" rule, but it is what I want. Maybe it will help. I am not sure what I want to do about myself. I am a big proponent of taking medication to help with depression, but I am not a fan of the side effects. They make me feel less like me. Although, right now I spend a great deal of time not really feeling like myself as it is.  I think I have time to wait and see on this one. I can get up and function and work and take care of the kids. I'll figure it out later. Usually, my tendency to procrastinate works out for me.

I guess this is just the beginning and we see where it goes from here. Lily has her own method of dealing with this: ignore it! She is completely immersed in her dolls, creating elaborate scenarios. Honestly, she is a much better mother to her dolls than I am to my living kids:) She used her money to buy a wheelchair for one of her dolls. She is currently raising five dolls, one with a disability. She is doing a damn fine job of it! I need to take notes:)