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Monday, October 1, 2007
Alex came home the other day with an envelope full of new ways to spend money.
Guess what? It's time to order your high school class ring! Hurry - don't miss the opportunity to fork over up to $450 for a memento of your best years (?) which you will probably lose two days after you graduate and not give a rat's behind about a week after you graduate but the school gets a kick back so order now or you will join the big bunch of unpopular loser kids who can't afford it and are destined to be losers and failures the rest of their lives!
OK, that wasn't the verbatim marketing message on the envelope, but that's pretty much the truth of the message. I mean really. Ordering a very expensive ring as a sophomore is just a bad idea. And it's just one more way for the school to reach into my pocket. I'm all for properly funding schools - but do it through taxes and not the incessant extra-curricular fund raising nonsense.
I don't want any more wrapping paper, cookie dough, magazines or candles. If the schools really need money then call up our elected representatives and have them do the work to get it and quit asking the students to go begging!
It sends the wrong message and the schools who need the money the most have very little chance of getting it like this. And I'm tired of being blamed for being the cheap skate bad guy for telling my kid no, I'm not paying for a class ring and I don't think it's a good idea for you to either.
But if that's what Alex ultimately decides to do with his own money, that's his decision. I just hope he'll still have it in 2010.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, September 28, 2007
Pretty much every school-day morning, I ask Margaret, "What do you want to wear today?"
Her answers go something like this:
"Something with long legs."
"I don't care. You pick."
I'm not exaggerating. She just doesn't care — so long as it's comfortable.
She doesn't like clothes that are tight, stiff or in anyway uncomfortable to her. Other than that, she doesn't care. So I pick out her clothes.
She'll pick out things she wants at the store, but once it's home, she doesn't care anymore.
So I was surprised this week when I asked her what she wanted to wear for school pictures and she said, "My froggie shirt."
I wanted her to wear a nice magenta shirt that had a slight puff to the sleeve and buttons. She wanted to wear a long-sleeved t-shirt with cherries and a frog on it.
Wanna guess what she wore to picture day yesterday?
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, September 27, 2007
We hope you are having a great day and are getting some valuable Richie time on your birthday. Take a break from potty training and eat some bon bons!
From your Haute Mama cohorts,
Lynn and Robin
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Ahhhh, finally it was Saturday and time for the long awaited Community Hospital gala!
Dress-up, open bar, good times for a good cause!
Alex’s dad Rick was in town to baby sit Asher and play catch with Alex, or something like that. As Dan and I walked out the door to the gala my cell phone rings.
“Mom, who’s our emergency vet?” Alex asked.
“Emergency vet? We don’t even have a regular vet until Wednesday. Why?” I asked, not really wanting to know at all.
“Here, talk to Dad.”
“Asher was walking across the deck and swear to god just started choking on something. I was watching him and didn’t see him eat anything.” Rick was clearly distraught as he explained what was happening and I assured him it was not his fault.
Long story short, they take Asher to the Vet Emergency Center (they actually have those?) and Rick calls saying, “I need to know what you want to do. They need a deposit on a credit card for $350, authorized up to $500 and unless you want a DNR it‘s another $200.”
WHAT THE HELL?? All I want is a drink and to be off puppy duty for the night! But really, when he looks like this, what are you gonna say?
Couple hours later the call comes in saying Asher is resting comfortably overnight at the clinic, his lungs has filled with fluid in the process of choking, his X-rays looked OK (X-rays? for a dog?!) he was in an oxygen tent (oxygen tent?!), and they would go pick him up the next morning unless they heard otherwise from the vet.
The next morning Asher comes home with a prescription for steroids and antibiotics and a bill for - get this - $838.76!
Did you hear me? $838.76!! That makes it a $400 a week dog! Talk about choking!
Asher was pretty doped out all day Sunday and it was a relief to have him like this most of the day as he required very little attention.
Like I said, they’re so good
when they don’t feel well. But damn . . . don’t know what I’ll say next time.
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It's my opinion that parents need to teach their children the skills it takes to become successful adults. This differs from those parents who think that the children will lead the way. I feel that I must lay a clear path so that when they are ready for their next milestone all the things are available for them to make the next step, i.e., the previous post of the big boy bed. It was ready and waiting for Soren to take the initiative. If I were not attempting to teach him instead of just letting him run amok I think I'd be doing a great disservice to him.
But sometimes running amok is the easier school of thought.
For the past couple of weeks I've been attempting to potty train Azure and Soren. I have to say it is the most frustrating process of learning. I'm just about ready to give up although I know that giving up will only delay a very necessary life skill, especially for the 2 1/2-year-old.
At the same time, I'm attempting to teach Jonas how to sleep or rather how to console himself back to sleep when awakened by his screaming brother or his early riser dad or the thunder or whatever that wakes him up. It's not such an easy thing and babies need help when learning to sleep on their own as I learned with Soren. I let him run amok until he was 9 months old and I was on the verge of a breakdown from lack of sleep. I'm determined to teach Jonas better sleeping skills prior to 9 months.
So my days are going like this: Make the kids breakfast, put them on the potty, clean breakfast, rock Jonas and lay him in the crib, put the kids on the potty, console Jonas put him in crib, wash Azure's accident pants, kiss a boo boo, console Jonas, sweep the floor, put the kids on the potty, rock Jonas, etc., etc.
And I'm getting no where with any of it!!! Which just goes to show that I'm full of crap!
I'm a desperate momma who needs suggestions on this potty training thing. I've tried bribery, stickers, reasoning, a set schedule and an Elmo potty video. How in the heck do you teach a kid about having to go???? And then going in the right spot????
I did have one ray of hope when Azure told me she had just pottied in her diaper rather than on the pot. Well, at least it was something.
Any suggestions would be most welcome ... I'm definitely lacking experience here.
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Or am I just stupid?
Much to my husband's dismay, I've written two columns in the last year about Margaret's school. This one
ran earlier this month on the editorial page.
Two weeks after that column ran, I attended my first PTO meeting. At one point, we were asked to introduce ourselves. After I said my name and who my child was, another parent asked the question that I dreaded, "Are you the one who wrote those columns in the newspaper?"
Um, yes, that would be me, the mom who will publicly call her daughter's school to task but is just now getting around to formally volunteering with the PTO. I felt hypocritical when I wrote those columns and felt even more so while sitting there being justly scrutinized by my parental peers.
But you know what? They didn't yell or throw spoiled fruit at me. Instead they were nice and welcoming. The principal even said they have my latest column posted for everyone to read.
I was more than a little relieved and am now looking forward to being more active with the PTO.
I wish I could do more to help at Margaret's school, but a working mom only has so many hours in the day and heaven help me if I don't have time to watch all the schmaltzy reality shows that I love so much.
Plus all those little kids make me a bit nervous. They're all little and silly and childlike — I guess therein lies the reason they're called children.
I kept hoping that Bill was going to be the one to step up to the PTO plate, but he's overwhelmed with his job and all the peripherals that go along with it.
So now it's on me. I only hope I'm up to the challenge.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Alex has been blessed with good health and a vigorous immune system. Outside of the usual ear infections and colds when he was a baby and a toddler, he really hasn't been sick much at all. Oh yeah, there was that 3-day stay in ICU when he was 18 months-old and got RSV and almost died, but other than that . . . .
But when the boy does get sick, he makes up for it. Like last week. Yeah, the week Asher came to live with us. Alex came down with a sore throat, fever, headaches, etc. He stayed home from school on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday I took him in for a strep test. It was negative. He still felt like crap and called in sick for work. Monday he went back to school. Tuesday he came down stairs at 5:45 a.m. and said he was so tired and was having a hard time walking. His head hurt. He had a fever. I had a brief moment of panic.
I took him back to the doctor. Twice in one day. They tested him for mono. Negative. I told them to test him for West Nile, bubonic plague, rabies, whatever. They laughed at me and sent us home with a prescription for amoxicillin. I went to have it filled and the pharmacist said, “That will be $3.41.” I jumped for joy, flipped her a twenty and told her to keep the change. She gave me a strange look and I explained how for the last many months I was spending over $325 a month for Accutane for the kid so three bucks was a treat to pay! (I was also delirious from sleep deprivation from getting up every two hours with that dog for the last week, but more on that later.)
I went home and Alex was snoozing on the sofa. You know, really, if we’re honest about it, there’s a moment that every mother has experienced when their kid is sick and it goes like this:
I know he doesn’t feel well. Look at him sound asleep. He barely has the energy to move off the sofa. It hurts him to talk, he doesn’t want anything to eat or drink, and he just lies there all quiet. Really, they’re so good when they’re sick!
But then you realize you have to give them the medicine or risk being turned into social services. And then they get better. You’re relieved, but really kind of miss the peace and quiet.
In fact Alex was feeling so much better by Friday, he popped off and made up for it all. Yep, all flights on Alex Airlines were grounded for the weekend.
It gave him more time to recover.
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I work full time and I teach part time. I enjoy both my jobs which is good because I have to work. Being a stay-at-home mom isn't an option for our family. I'm fine with that — for the most part.
But that doesn't mean that I don't feel guilty from time to time (or most of the time) about not being able to attend to my child during the day. I wish I could volunteer in her classroom more, attend all her field trips and be there to pick her up from school every day. But I can't.
Sometimes the guilt is overwhelming, especially when books like this one
come out, suggesting that we are short changing our children by working.
Luckily for us working moms, there are also books such as Betty Holcomb's "Not Guilty!: The good news for working mothers,"
that suggests we haven't hopelessly screwed up our children by working outside the home.
I know that Margaret has benefited in certain ways from the daycare environments she was in. She learned to eat a variety of foods I probably would have never introduced to her. When I'm left to my own devices for meals, Chef Boyardee does a lot of the heavy lifting.
She also learned to be a social creature and how to play with other children that were her age, older and younger. I am forever indebted to her early daycare provider for believing in the importance of unadulterated play. I remember a day I went to pick up Margaret from "Gramma Julia's" house. She was about 3 and I found her standing in the backyard by herself with a cryptic smile on her face.
I asked her where gramma was and she shrugged her little shoulders and laughed.
I grew concerned until little Margaret ran over to the table and pointed. They had been playing hide-and-go-seek and Julia was crouched down behind the furniture "hiding" from Margaret.
So I look at my now 7-year-old daughter and see a fairly well-rounded child who is smart and funny and loving and sweet. I know that there will always be things that I could have done better but the fact is so far, so good.
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I expect most things to be hard. So when they're not I'm pleasantly surprised. I had a particularly welcome but bittersweet surprise by Soren last night.
Let me backtrack to about 2 p.m. I was desperate for a nap and convinced Soren's cousin to take a nap in his "big kid" bed instead of crawling into my bed. Soren was plopped in his crib and I left Jonas to snooze away in the swing. I had 35 minutes of complete drooly sleep before the phone rang but it sure saved me. I'm quite sleep deprived at this point.
When Soren awoke he found Azure sprawled out on his big boy bed. He poked her and tried to crawl in next to her. And then she hit him and he hit her back and stole her bunny and she cried and all was right in the world.
At 9 p.m., Soren kissed his dad and his brother goodnight with his usual exaggerated "MmmmMAAAAA!" He walked in front of me but stopped to grab my hand in the hallway. He led me away from the nursery and into his big boy room. I figured we were just in search of a bear to take to bed but he crawled into his big boy bed and said, "Night night." I didn't think it would last long as he's never even taken a catnap in his big-boy bed. But I played along and tucked him in.
At 9:05 p.m., he was out cold and my mommy panic set in. I announced to my loverhubby in a loud whisper, "He's in there ASLEEP!!!"
9:10 p.m. I'm standing over him. I begin frantically looking around the room for invisible nooses hanging from the ceiling. I lift the blinds then close them to make sure the string is high out of reach. I pick up toys that may trip little feet in the middle of the night. I closed the dresser drawers for fear of one flying across the room and hitting him in the head. I added an extra blanket in case he got cold. I put giant Pooh at the foot his bed. Then remove it in case he flops around and it suffocates him or terrifies him with it's beady little black Pooh eyes and its shrunken red shirt.
9:20 p.m. I check and recheck that the doors are locked.
9:24 p.m. I stand over him again. I go to the living room to retrieve the couch cushions then stack them on the floor by his bed in case he rolls out. I want to make sure he survives the six inch drop.
9:40 p.m. I go to the nursery and stand over his empty crib and I'll admit tears came to my eyes. Could this really be the transition from baby to big boy? So soon? I know that this move is a good one. Jonas needs the crib. But I still couldn't help but feel sad for this transition and scared for my baby to be without four barred walls for his protection.
I finally fell asleep but checked on my sleeping big boy six times before 7 a.m. where upon waking he announced, "All Done!'
There's no turning back now. My son is growing up so fast. I just hope I can keep up.
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I had to get the space heater out this morning because Margaret claimed she was, "Freezing to death!"
Yes, she was being dramatic, but it was chilly in our house this morning. No doubt it was because I still have most of the windows cracked.
I'm enjoying the cooler weather. The cool breeze coming through the window at night is refreshing and I love snuggling up at night. Regardless, it's about time to put the blanket back on the bed and look for the flannel sheets.
And of course with the change of the seasons comes cold and flu season. Since going back to school, Margaret has already gotten a cold. But it was so minor that she was mostly just more tired than usual and she was over it in just a couple days.
We remind Mar often to make sure she washes her hands and for her to try to not put her hands in her mouth to avoid germs. Hand washing is something that we emphasize. I even carry antibacterial wipes in the car.
However, we're not uber-tidy people. My house is not, nor will it ever likely be, spic nor span. We've got animals tromping in and out through the dog door (as well as the occasional child — as happened yesterday when I locked myself out of the house and had to get the tiny neighbor girl to crawl through and let me in) and we're just messy people. But that doesn't mean we don't wash our hands.
So I guess I was surprised when I read the story in The Daily Sentinel this morning that said that one third of men don't wash their hands after using the bathroom.
I mean, if ever was there a time to do it, wouldn't that be the time?