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Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Being a parent can be hard. No matter whether you’re a single mom, a working dad with wife who stays home with the kids, or a mom who’s part of a couple who both works, it’s tough.

But there seems to be one special stress that’s reserved just for working moms (whether single, or with a working partner). It’s that momentary panic you feel when you get that call from school or day care, saying that junior is sick and needs to come home. No, not that worry – I really don’t worry too much that my kids are going to get some horrible illness; most of the time they just have a bad cold, a tummy ache, something minor like that.

No, I’m referring to the “Oh crap, what are we going to do with Junior tomorrow?” panic that quickly sets in. Tim and I both work full-time, and while we do have sick time (and understanding bosses), that time is not limitless, nor is our bosses’ patience (presumably). So, we’ve already lost half a day by having to pick the kid up early, and now we have to worry about the next day, too – because all day cares around here have a 24-hour rule that means a child cannot return until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours. Even if the fever was 99.8, even if the child is clearly just fine. This happened to us with Book Baby last week, and Tim and I each took half of Friday off to care for her.

Today, Tim got the call about Book Girl. Now, she’s clearly under the weather – had a temp, was complaining of a tummy ache, etc. – but I still worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. I think she may go to work with Tim – the office is attached to the boss’ residence, she can rest on the couch and watch TV, etc. But since I started my new job four weeks ago, I’ve taken 3 half-days off due to sick children, 1 half day off due to a snow day (and no care for the kids), and 1 half day off for a dr. appt. for BB. My employer is very generous with vacation/sick time, and I know that my boss knows that I’m not an unreliable flake, but still – that’s an awful lot for just four weeks! (Possibly more unexpected time than I took in 6 months at my old job, some years.)

Anyone else get that same feeling in the pit of your stomach when you get “the call” from school or day care? Or is there another situation that does it for you? I’d love to hear it.

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Seeing Myself on TV

Tim and I signed up for Netflix last week. (I know – welcome to the 21st century, right?!) One of the cool features of Netflix is the ability to instantly watch tons of movies and TV shows on your TV or computer.

I’ve taken advantage of the service, and one of the shows I’ve been watching is Hoarders. These people’s lives are literally being ruined by their stuff – “collectibles” and (for some of them) loads of trash. One common trait of the hoarders is that most of them say “I’m not a hoarder. I don’t hoard. I … collect things.” or some similar description of themselves. I wonder whether anyone can watch this show and not think “Am I … could I turn into … ” etc.

I’m no exception! As I watch the show and hear people rationalize every item they put into their “keep” piles, I hear myself going through items in our house and saying “Oh, I’m keeping that because Book Baby will fit into it in a few years.” “I’m keeping that because we use it when we make (whatever.” “I want to keep that because (fill in the blank) gave it to me.”

Now, don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder in the least. (Yeah, yeah, I know that’s what they all say.) But I am a pack rat, and I do like a good deal at the store or garage sale. (Fortunately, the only thing I really buy much of at garage sales is kid clothes – and I do have to clothe my children! I’m pretty sure it’s even a law.)

But … just to be on the safe side … I’ve found myself sorting through things somewhat this week, tossing stuff we don’t use, asking myself the Hoarders questions like “How will my life be affected if I no longer have this item?” and “Have I ever used this? Am I going to use it?” So far, I’ve weeded out some books – yes, it’s true, kids’ clothes, toys, and kitchen items. I’m hoping to weed out some things from the big kids’ room this weekend, though I may not get to it until next week. Sometimes it’s easier to do without them around anyway! I do weed out the toys throughout the year, but I think this time we may need to go beyond our usual criteria and ask  “Do they ever play with it? Can it be saved for Book Baby? Will she ever have any interested in playing with it? Is it easy and cheap to replace?”

Anybody else need to weed out their stuff? Or if not, how do you keep on top of it? With five people in the house (and the three kids all at completely different stages/sizes of toys, clothes, books, etc.) we just end up with so much stuff in the house.

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Fakin’ It

I’m a night owl – not a morning person – and always have been. When I was a kid, my siblings all got up early, while I slept in. (How early did they get up, you ask? I have no idea, because I was busy sleeping as late as I could get away with.) They always complained that they had to do chores on Saturday morning and I didn’t. My mom liked to joke that if they would just sleep in for her, the wouldn’t have to do chores either.

Throughout college and early adulthood, I of course had some early obligations – 8:00 a.m. classes (who scheduled those?!?) on the other side of the  very big MSU campus, morning work shifts, etc. Never a problem, although it was sometimes hard to drag myself out of bed. Tim and I enjoyed sleeping in on the weekends, and I continued to be a night owl. Life was great.

Then we had kids. Unfortunately, since Tim and I both worked full-time and our kids went to child care, we basically trained them to be early-birds. Like, get-up-at-6-on-the-weekends early birds. And I switched my work schedule to four 10-hour days, going in at 6:30, so I had to get up at 5:30 on workdays. Ugh. On the weekends, 9:00 is now really, really sleeping in. How I dream of snoozing until noon like the old days.

However … I’ve learned to appreciate getting up early. My work schedule was lovely – I got my 40 hours in on four days, and had Friday off every week. The kids had one less day of day care and one more day at home (and Tim and I had to pay for one less day of day care). These days, even though I’m not working, I have to get up at 6 so that I can take the kids to school (charter school, no buses, too far to walk). Book Baby and I drop them off at 7:45 and then are either home by 8, or run our errands at that time.

Today, for instance, I took the kids to school, did all the grocery shopping, put the groceries away, and had BBaby down for a nap. By 10:05! Not bad. I may not be a true morning person … but I think I can fake it.

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As I sit here this Sunday evening, the last real evening of summer vacation (since tomorrow will be an early night), I can only think of one thing: I’m not ready! I’m really not ready for school to start. I know that most moms, especially stay-at-home-moms, are sooo excited when school finally starts and the kids aren’t home bickering every day. And don’t get me wrong – there’s lots of bickering, etc. going on here every day – but I really, really like having my kids home with me. So while Book Boy is mourning the end of summer break, so am I. (Book Girl, on the other hand, can’t wait for Tuesday morning.)

Of course, the return to the craziness that is the after-school routine – homework-dinner-cleanup-bath-bedtime routine-bedtime-all-by-8pm – doesn’t exactly appeal to me either. But really, it’s just me missing the kids.

(And no, I don’t miss them enough to consider home-schooling. Let’s just say that would never work for BB and me.)

Any other parents feel this way about the start of the school year? Or am I just an oddball?

IMG_2444.jpg picture by taruff

Who wouldn’t want to be with these cuties all day?

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Friday is my birthday! My 40th birthday, in fact! How the hell did that happen?

I’m trying to keep a good attitude, and honestly it really doesn’t bug me that much at the moment. Kind of hard to worry about my age when I’ve got three little ones to take care of. We’ll just say they keep me young, and leave it at that. ;

Babypic-AS-R.jpg picture by taruff

A picture of me in my younger years … age 3, to be exact!

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McDonald's Kicks woman out for feeding her baby!Last night, an online acquaintance from car-seat.org was kicked out of a McDonald’s restaurant in Phoenix, for discretely nursing her infant son.

Obviously, that’s not my “happiness” for today. I support breastfeeding mothers, have nursed both my girls (Book Girl until 15 months, Book Baby until ???), and have no problem with women nursing their babies in public. Heck, I even did it with each girl until she hit the nursing gymnastics phase. 😉 Not to mention, of course, that in most states (including Arizona), mothers have the legal right to nurse their babies anywhere that they themselves are legally allowed to be. Including restaurants.

No, my “happiness” for today is the incredible amount of support that Clarissa has received. From the car seat board, to Facebook, to other message boards, to two of her local TV stations. I’m proud of her and the awareness she has brought to this important issue.

For the record, her story (as told by her friend) is pasted below. Clarissa is encouraging people to spread the word and support the cause.

“Tonight my friend and I, and our 6 children, visited the McDonald’s located at 51st Avenue and Cactus in Phoenix, AZ. We
were promptly advised by the cashier (night manager Tyler Pearson (sp.?) that our kids could play in the play land area but that we could not eat in the dining area specifically designated for families to eat while their children played. We were directed to sit in the dining area out of sight of the McDonald’s play land.

Upon completing our ice cream we returned to the play area about 10 minutes later so that our children could play. After a few minutes of sitting, I walked over to the cashier (again, night manager Tyler Pearson (sp.?) to order some drinks. Without even taking my drink
order, Mr. Pearson advised me that we were being kicked out. When my friend asked Mr. Pearson why we were being kicked out he immediately stated that several customers had complained that she was breastfeeding her baby in McDonald’s and that because of that mere act we were not welcome! This COMPLETELY humiliated and mortified the both of us. My friend then appropriately advised Mr. Pearson that she was within her Arizona State rights to breastfeed her son. Mr. Pearson dismissed her comment, grew agitated and repeated his early statement that we needed to leave (regardless of Arizona Law). In response to this event, we told Mr. Pearson we needed his full name and the telephone number to the corporate offices of McDonald’s so that we could call and complain.

Embarrassed and hurt, we exited the McDonald’s with all of our children upset and confused as to why we were being kicked out
and why they could no longer play there. I stopped outside to immediately make a telephone call to the number provided by Mr. Pearson 480-585-5653. As I was leaving a message regarding my complaint Mr. Pearson approached us outside only to aggravate the situation by threatening to call the police for trespassing. He scared our children and one of the older children was in tears and beside himself because he thought he and his mom and everyone else were going to jail. As if that weren’t enough, Mr. Pearson continued
the show by following us into the parking lot, as we were buckling our children in, to write down our license plate numbers. This made the children even more upset. Not to mention the baby who is crying and hungry and can’t eat because his mother is being forced from the McDonald’s establishment and slightly harassed in the parking lot so that she wouldn’t even be able to sit and nurse the baby in her van!!! Unacceptable and completely discriminatory!!!”

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The Big Tease

My kids are funny. Book Boy has proven to have a great sense of humor over the years, Book Girl is showing signs of a very clever wit, and even Book Baby loves to laugh.

Yep, she’s so funny. And she’s really teasing us lately.

How, you might ask? Well, the exact same way that BB teased us when he was a baby! Over the past week or so, she has slept well on several nights. Very, very well. Like from 7:45-2:15. 9.5 hours! Of course, we thought that maybe she was easing toward sleeping through the night. And to top it off, she took great naps on the weekend.

But ha ha, the joke’s on us! Yesterday she napped for a total of 45 minutes. Last night, she was up at 11 and then again at 12. (At 12, I brought her to bed with me so I just “sleep nursed” her when she woke up after that.) At least she napped a little longer today, but I don’t have any delusions about her sleeping through the night now. At least not on a regular basis.

Maybe by the time she’s 15 months … (That’s when BG started sleeping through the night regularly. Ugh.)

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I recently invited you to ask me questions to help jump-start my blog with some good topics. (Anyone else who has a question is welcome to ask it in the comments here or in the previous post.)

Question #11, from anonymous (also known as my sister, btwinny): Who’s job is it to get rid of pesky stray pets?

When btwinny asked this question, she knew about a recent incident in our house. A bird flew down our chimney into the fireplace. Fortunately, the fireplace has glass doors that are always closed, so the bird stayed in the chimney. I am terrified of birds in the house (this stems from a childhood incident that I’m sure btwinny or Snowbird will be happy to share) and had no intention whatsoever of trying to remove the bird, as long as it actually stayed in the chimney. Book Girl was quite intrigued, and gave me reports on the bird throughout the day.

When Tim got home, I expected him to figure out how to get the bird out. However, there was no sign of the bird … at least not until after Tim left for work the next day. We thought it had flown up the chimney, but nope. Day two with the robin in our chimney.

I told Tim that I was leaving the bird for him. My mom suggested holding a towel over the fireplace, opening the door, and catching the bird when it flew into the towel. This sounded like a fine plan, and I relayed it to Tim. He apparently had his own plan, which involved … well, I don’t remember exactly what. All I remember is that I told him to do the towel trick, he did his own thing, and then that damn bird was IN MY HOUSE. It flew up onto the ceiling fan of our two-story living room. I was so mad.

Fortunately, the bird flew down to the couch pretty quickly, and Tim threw the towel on it and took it outside. Thank goodness, because I would have been outside if that bird had stayed in my house any longer.

So, based on this story, the raccoon incident, and the fact that Tim is generally the mouse remover … yeah. Tim seems to be in charge of handling unwanted pets (or is that pests?).

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I recently invited you to ask me questions to help jump-start my blog with some good topics. (Anyone else who has a question is welcome to ask it in the comments here or in the previous post.)

Question #10, from the Gal over at One Gal’s Musings: What do you and Tim do as husband/wife (as opposed to as mom/dad)?

Um …

Um …

Yeah. We don’t really get much time where we’re not on duty as mom/dad. We do enjoy watching the TV shows mentioned in a previous post, and we watch those almost exclusively without the kids. In the evenings after the kids go to bed, we kind of like to do our own thing. I mean, Tim is welcome to help me answer questions on car-seat.org, and I’m sure he’d be happy if I wanted to play Xbox with him, but really? Nah.

Once in a while my folks will take both big kids for the weekend, and then we enjoy going out to dinner and a movie, but that doesn’t happen very often. (And now that we have the baby, it’s not likely that we’ll get rid of all the kids at the same time for quite a while.)

Good grief, we sound like the lamest couple on earth. Perhaps we’ll get more exciting when the kids get older and we’re not actually “on” as Mom and Dad all the time. (And it should be noted that we do enjoy spending time with our kids, so it’s not as though every second of the day is drudgery.)

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Be Back Soon!

I’ll continue answering questions old and new when baby decides to sleep again. (Hopefully that means tomorrow!) She’s not been napping much, and it takes us forever to get her to bed at night. One would think that a baby that hasn’t napped all day would be tired enough to go right to bed at night … but one would be wrong, sadly. Today she didn’t nap at all, save for a couple of short catnaps after nursing. Then it took Tim and me 90 minutes to get her down to bed. She was sound asleep when I left her in the bassinet 30 minutes ago … and now I can hear her screaming over the monitor already. Give me strength!

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