the sick fairy

So I have become a fan of strep. Yes you read that correctly. The sick fairy comes to visit our house mid fall and sticks around until about Easter. There is always always the flu, regardless of whether or not we get the flu shot, breathing issues, puking, coughs, sniffles, occasional rashes but most of all just random high fevers that disappear as mysteriously as they appear and usually linger for days.
Most years this is just annoying and reason for me to miss out on valuable sleep and catch up on TiVo and let my son overindulge in cartoons. But this year it is especially tricky since I pretty much began the year with no sick days (well the part of the year after I had a baby I mean). I have been the bad mommy who gives her child Tylonal and sends her kid to school anyways hoping to atleast make it until lunch before they call and ask someone to come pick him up....more often that I'd like to admit. (oh come on.......plenty of you have done it.....a) that is where he got it from anyways, b) if you were charged 280$ a day for every day you missed you would do it too!).
I have memorized the pediatrician's #. Learned that you must start dialing at exactly 8:01 am. I can tell temperature accurately to a tenth of a degree with the back of my hand and can literally quote the back of the motrin box from memory.
Usually our doctors visits end up with multiple swabs.......and negative tests....Tess even had to have Xrays last week ( all clear). No diagnosis. No medicine. Just a virus. Wait it out. Tylonal for the fever. Nothing for my lack of sleep. We usually pick up some other random virus in the waiting room and extend our illness another few days.

This mornings dr visit was a success. No one else in the waiting room to get us another kind of sick. A positive strep culture and best of all a shot in the butt to make it all better within 24 hours. The dr even assured me that O should be good to go to school on Monday. As far as sick goes, strep is totally the best.
Now if we only knew what was wrong with Tess...........

the other senses

I am a girl who likes to hang on to people.
In junior high and high school I didn't have flippant crushes I pined after the same boy(s) for years. About that same time I attached myself to important figures like camp counselors or YL leaders and missed them intensely while they were gone.
Shaun has provided me with stable and steady, but there are still people I miss.

It is funny how people you think about everyday start to fade. When I was 15 my camp counselor was the coolest person on the planet. I missed her so much that it hurt for the other 11 months of the year. I thought about her daily.
But then eventually I didn't. This figure that had been so important to me slipped and faded to the back of my mind. Now she only occasionally slips into my mind. Even then I couldn't describe her very clearly. Even most of the memories are fuzzy.

Friends are like that. Some of my most favorite and closest friends past are getting blurry. I find old highschool mementos and don't remember the inside jokes. Facebook is kind of bringing those things back. People I had completely forgotten existed are back. All I have to do is click on their profile and can see exactly what they look like. I can read their updates and have some idea at what they are like now. But it has its limits.

Today I had to "resynch" my ipod. Meaning everything on it had been erased. I didn't want to reaload everything so I just put a few new playlists on and headed out the door.
Somehow a podcast that I had never listened to ended up on there. A friend. One of the old fuzzy kinds had told me to listen to it. Something from her church. I couldn't remember what it was supposed to be about. I downloaded it at her suggestion months ago, but never quite got around to listening to it. Today when I got in the car it was the first thing to come on.
I had of course forgotten all about it and was confused to hear someone talking rather than blaring music coming out.
I glanced down at the screen and vaguely remembered downloading it in the first place. It was not my friend talking but some other random voice. I started to find a more favorable playlist and made a mental note to delete this....but the story kind of pulled me in and I found myself listening to this girl I didn't know talk about Africa. A few more minutes in the speaker handed over the mike and the voice got a little more familiar.
It was so strange. Ask me yesterday and I would only be able to give you vauge descriptions of her. Yes of course I have some crystal clear memories but all the basics are blurry. This was a fuzzy old friend that I loved and missed fiercely but was slipping from my mind space. But as she talked in my car she seemed perfectly clear. She talked about something important (something along these lines http://www.nothingbutnets.net/). Her talk was good. Well planned. Well delivered. Or at least the 2 minutes of it that I listened to before pulling into the drive was ...but I was distracted by suddenly how crystal clear she had become. I could picture her exactly as she talked. I smiled as she cleared her throat or sniffed because I could remember those everyday noises being hers not fuzzy or blurry or barely there or a girl I miss from time to time.

Facebook or myspace or blogs all make it easier to "keep in touch". To stay connected with peoples lives. To help us remember. With the click of a button we can see their new profile picture or read their current status...but it can't really compete with things like a smell,or a song or especially a voice.

a jog in the park

Last year when I found out I was pregnant and how much two kids in daycare would cost we had to nix several non essential expenses. Like the gym.

Fast forward a few months. My baby is getting bigger, but I don't seem to be getting any smaller.
I have tried several times ... when I get the chance...to go for a run. or slow jog. or even occasionally walk.

A lot of people hate to run on a treadmill but it does have it's advantages. A steady pace and I always know exactly how far and how long I have been at it. There are clean white towels to wipe my brow and usually some boring HGTV on to try and distract me. Most importantly it is temperature controlled. Never too hot or too cold.

Last night a cold front rolled in. Not too cold, but enough to usually discourage me from breaking out my sneaks. Enough to make my lungs burn and for it to aggrevate my slight asthma.

But this afternoon we were all magically and happily napping (yes even me!) at the same time. I woke up and realized that I could go for a run. So I loaded up the ipod, laced up the tennis shoes and zipped up my jacket.

I didn't go to my usual favorite trail but stayed a little closer to home. I jogged. Slowly around the park a few times. I watched kids swing, got sniffed by a few dogs, watched someone reel in a fish, dodged geese and breathed in real air. Everyone on the trail smiled or nodded appropriately. It was nice to not be in a line of machines running to nowhere.

My favorite part of these outdoor runs is when I am spent. When my legs and lungs burn and I can't seem to push myself any further. There are no dials in front of me telling me exactly how far or how fast I went. There is no timer telling me when I am finished. Instead I stop and walk. I switch the ipod over to something a little calmer, breathe and take in the world around me.

happy hearts

Today is valentines.
A girl holiday if you ask most guys. But I beg to differ. No I am not a girl who needs all kinds of hoopla. We did simple.
Shaun got me coffee ( starbucks gift card), chocolates and a sweet funny card. I got him some popcorn ( really lame I know) and a bottle of port.
Last night we opened the wine, broke out the chocolates and piled into our bed babies and all.
There were no flowers or fancy dinner. But my heart is full.
The morning didn't start out so good. Both kids woke up with a fever and we had to nix our daytrip plans.
We mostly stayed around the house.
We all took naps and I even got in a run. Both of which are gifts these days.

Yesterday when I picked up Owen his class was crazy. There were all hopped up on candy and were spinning around the room and screaming.
Besides candy and cupcakes it was a good chance to talk to my son about love.
the important kind and not just the hallmark variety.

multiple choice

As I write I am procturing a test ( yes on a Saturday, and no I am not getting paid for it.)
The room is silent. The only noises I hear are pencils scratching on papers and pages turning. If I listen closely enough I swear I can hear their brains turning.

I have always been a good test-taker. I would still regularly brag about my SAT scores if it wre socially appropriate to do so(or an actual indicator of anything meaningful). There is something comforting about multiple choice. (well as long as you don't have the crappy all of the above or none of the above choices...just the classic A, B, C, D variety). There are parameters. Multiple choice means you have options. The right answer is right in front of you, and all you have to do is find it. Even if you don't actually know which one the right answer is there are usually clues, it can be narrowed down or worked backwards. Even a blind guess is likely to be right 25% of the time. These aren't bad odds. All you have to do is mark your answer dark and neat and move on to the next question. If you are wrong, so what. The worst that can happen is that you lose a few points.

My life is not multiple choice. It is more of the short answer variety. No hints or clues. Just big blank spaces. Sometimes I not even sure that there are right answers out there. Choices would be so much easier to make if there was always an A, B, C or D.

under attack

Today we are getting a new roof and I can't even begin to describe the noises coming from above me. It sounds like an all out aerial assault.
I kind of feel under attack myself.
Let me whine a bit:
The cat is peeing blood and needs to be put to sleep.
Owen has the flu.
Tess is still more than we can handle.
The after baby hormones are raging.. I feel like I could bust out crying at any moment ( although I haven't quite found the time to do it just yet)...and am sure my hair will be falling out soon ( like it did w/ O in the front like balding man!)
I am so tired and stressed that sleeping has actually become difficult even when there isn't a screaming baby ( or roofers) in the background.
So what is my response to all of this...
well besides taking Tylonal PM and lots of coffee ( not at the same time of course).

1) acccepting help. last night a friend had pizza delivered. It was amazing and I was so thankful to not have to think about dinner. Sounds little, but food is an amazing gift. Another called to check on me and Tess was screaming full force in the background. She asked if she should come over. I know the right response was "no, we've got it"...but I said yes and got to run an errand in peace ( and regain just a little bit of sanity).
2) focus on other people. You just read my short whine list...but really my problems aren't so bad. There are several people around me "under attack" as well. A little bit of perspective goes a long ways.

It is funny that those are things that I avoid most of the time.
Help.
And it's not all about me.
I can't help but think that God is trying to tell me something.
Now, if only I could hear him over all that racket on the roof.