Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's okay to be thankful for little things

Finally the Strep has subsided. Life is good. I can drink water (and Diet Coke and coffee) with a vengeance. I did drink my fill of the perfect-temperature water...but 24 ounces was a bit of a lofty goal. Suffice it to say my thirst is quenched.

Thanksgiving. Tomorrow. Alex and Mickey keep asking Pete and I what we're thankful for and I keep wondering what a good one-word answer would be meaningful to them but not too deep. So the last time I said "Amoxycillin."

And of course this year, and probably for years to come, I'll remember that it's the anniversary of Pete's hospital stay with a pulmonary embolism. Thinking about that situation still makes me shudder just a little. Since then we've had some what-if conversations that are very uncomfortable but necessary and I've also read and heard others' stories who turned out tragic instead of miraculous. And I'm thankful for his recovery all over again.

Then every year I also think about my dear friend from school...who rode home with my sis and from college the day before Thanksgiving circa 1985. I remember how excited she was about going home for the holiday. So much so that she had this weird chant that she repeated over and over...a simple but effective "It's Thanksgiving!" For some reason it has stuck in my mind all these years and my sis and I still utter it from time-to-time and laugh all over again. I'm thankful for such a fond memory!

And the last memory that surfaces every year at this time is from way back, when our family still struggled financially. When I was in elementary school, I remember during the days leading up to Thanksgiving there was an effort to collect money for a needy family in our school. Our teacher passed around a large manila envelope and all the kids would drop in whatever coins they had. Then the teacher would tuck it inside her desk until the next day...up until Thanksgiving.

When school broke for the holiday, I remember seeing that same envelope on my mom's desk at our home.

I remember thinking...what's that doing here, we're not starving! Surely there are families who need this more than us. Thing is, I know we probably DID need that envelope that year. I'm thankful people cared about our family.

So those are the things I think about every year at Thanksgiving. Some insignificant, some monumental...all of them part of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya''s to the big and little things in your lives.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

All I'm saying...

(Update: This is my 400th blog post...glad I could provide you such riveting content on this special day.)

When the Evil Strep has finally done its damage and left, and my throat no longer feels like someone pinching the furthest recesses of my tongue with the strength of Alex, and my jaws don't hurt, and my neck is fully functioning...

I'm going to get a 24 oz. bottle of water. And a straw. And get the bottle of water to the perfect temperature, when it's cold enough to quench your thirst but not so cold it starts hurting before you can finish. Yeah, that temp.

Then I'm going to put the straw in, take a deep breath, and I'm drinking the ENTIRE bottle in one breath.

I may have to blog the ecstasy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Strep is back

Yep, diagnosed today. Only eight months since the first time I had it. And this time Strep Throat brought its friends Achey All Over, Gigantic Headache, and Fever. These guys together have caused me to sleep most of the last two days and disrupt the lives of some very helpful family members.

Then my sister tells me that she heard strep can "live" in someone...a carrier. And yet they won't see any strep symptoms. But they are still contagious, which is the reason I got it. I confirmed this phenomenon at the doctor's office today. Nice.

I'm going to bed now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I had to do it. My little boy's hair was getting out of control. So was the number of times he was getting called a girl. Twice a day, sometimes more, I was clarifying the gender of my child. A time or two I thought about letting it slide...just let 'em think he's a girl and pretend for a second I have a daughter.

But nope, I've always clarified.

(But I REALLY hate it at Easter and Christmas when all you moms of girls get to buy frilly dresses.)

So I took the boy to Christine (no, really, that's the name of the lady who cuts their hair), and said, "he needs to look like a boy. I know you can't do anything about his pretty face, but please work on the hair..."

She looked at me and said "you mean, like with clippers?"

No. And let me clarify that. NO!

But she did do a little trimming.



After: Behold the BOY, whose haircut also came with a smirk apparently.

(And Miss Christine's also good at creating diversions for photos.)

Ahhhh, so my little boy will no longer be mistaken for a girl. Except he still has his pretty face...hopefully that won't change.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm glad it wasn't me...

Jump over here to read about why my boy will be wearing a leash for the next five or six years.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Self-inflicted pain, but in a good way

Today I ran the Catholic Charities 5k Run for Life with The Moms' Group. It was the first race I've done in five years. More than five years, actually. A long freaking time, I can tell you that.

And it hurt. It hurt badly. I forgot streets go up and down. I forgot 5k was 3.2 MILES. I forgot I hadn't run a step in months. I was reminded of all these things as the pain began just after the first kilometer marker. What? You mean I have FOUR MORE of these things to go?

There were a few good things: I didn't get a cramp in my side, the shinsplints didn't flare up, my feet didn't ache. I did have trouble breathing, in part because of, um, not having run a step in months, but also because I've been fighting a cold for the last few days.

Other than not being able to breathe, I was good to go. Too bad running requires breathing.

So I was painfully slow compared to my last race five years ago. And as I rounded the last corner of the last kilometer, I was loathe to see the clock and the "4" in the first position of my time. As I neared the finish line, I heard a smattering of applause, but kept my head down and pressed on. Without looking up I knew it was The Moms...the five or six of them who had faithfully stayed until all of us finished. I knew they could have been long gone, but they stayed anyway. My Moms...they are truly priceless.

So now as I write this I can't...really...move too well. But every time I feel the tightness in my legs, the twinges in my quads, I'm reminded that I didn't let my lack of training or my extra weight stop me today. Slowed me down quite a bit, but didn't stop me.

And don't worry, I can breathe now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A cure for what ails me at Christmas time

A lot of little things can get under your skin at Christmas time...and one of the most painful is the packaging that houses a lot of items as if they were made of solid gold. Try to wrestle an item out of one of those plastic clamshells and you are likely to get attacked by it and have scratches to show for it. Then there are the industrial-strength twist-ties and plastic and cardboard to cut through on some items. When I finally released a toy from its packaging, I find myself wanting to hurl it across the room rather than lovingly put it into the hands of one of the boys.

Enter this beauty: the Open-sezz-me Plastic Package Opener:

Last year during gift-opening I had the foresight to bring a Ziploc bag with screwdrivers, two pairs of scissors, and wire cutters. It came in quite handy and saved a lot of rummaging for the proper tool and then resorting to using my teeth.

But this little doo-dad looks like it might get through some tough packaging...hmmm. Maybe an early gift to myself is in order.

I might also add that yesterday I noticed an article on Amazon's front page about how they are packaging some toys in easier-to-open methods so as to avoid "wrap rage." For the life of me I can't locate the article on the site again, but it gives me comfort to know they feel my pain (and scratches).

I know it's early to be thinking about this kind of thing...would it surprise you to know we already have a babysitter for New Year's Eve?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Don't wait until the last minute to vote!

We live two houses down from our church, which today is a polling place. I looked out my window at 6:50 a.m. this morning and the street in front of my house was already lined with cars.

Since I know I don't have to encourage ya'll to vote since you're all fine upstanding citizens, I DO want to encourage you to NOT wait until the last minute. Can you imagine being turned away at 7:01 p.m.? Then you'd be forced to keep your mouth shut for the next four years...the horror!

So get out there as soon as you can and then wear your "I Voted" sticker all day to remind your friends and coworkers. Or your the case may be.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Sometimes I wonder if I should even have this blog. I mean, at the heart of every blog (and yes, I mean EVERY) is writing. Words strung together to make sense, and hopefully entertain or enlighten or provoke you into a thought you never had. At least that's what good writing does.

And said writing should spill. Spill out of the writer, good stuff. Not like that last sentence, either. It should feel like thoughts on paper. Writing shouldn't bring anxiety to the writer. It should be like an eloquent speaker speaking, like a star athlete running, like a fine actor bringing you to tears.

But lately the only thing flowing out of this writer is...nothing. Blogging lately has been like driving through a neighborhood full of speed bumps (I seem to remember using that metaphor somewhere lately...hey, it works).

Some days I used to die to get to the keyboard so I could get something down. I would jot notes, mental mostly, about things I wanted to write about. I would stay up late and annoy Pete with the pecking of my keyboard...just to get something down before the thoughts escaped me.

Not so lately. Writer's block seems to have taken up residence here.

So if I'm sparse out here of late, you'll know why. Blogging should be fun and guilt free...and lately it's neither of those things. So I'll spare you the junk and wait until the words flow out of my fingers again...

Hopefully that day isn't too far off.