Category Archives: Crazy Moments

The Joys of Parenting an Elementary School Student

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The Joys of Parenting an Elementary School Student

My daughter started daycare at 3 months old and has been exposed to other kids her entire life.  She attends public school, Girl Scouts and many other outside activities.  One of the major fears I have always had as a parent was dealing with those childhood epidemics.  No, not chickenpox or the flu.  I can deal with the itchies and puke.   I fear things like pink eye.  The things that spread like wildfire.  At first it’s just one child and within minutes you have an entire class infected.  I know that pink eye is totally curable and really, if I think about it, it’s one of the less gross afflictions of childhood.  But the whole idea of an oozy eye and having to put eye drops in my child’s eyes while they are screaming… yeah I’ll take puke any day.

In prior years we’ve lucked out.  We had one bout of pink eye with our son when he was a year old.  That was not my idea of fun, but thankfully my husband handled the majority of that.  This year… we were not as lucky.  While my husband was out of town, I had to combat my nemesis of childhood ailments.  Well, not so much an ailment but rather an infestation.  Yep.  I had the pleasure of treating my daughter for head lice.  Ugh!  Did you just cringe?  I know I did.  The mere mention of head lice gives me the creeps.  Even as I write this, my head is itching and we’ve been clear for three weeks.  Something about little bugs crawling around my scalp just freaks me out.  That and it takes FOREVER to treat for them.  I remember how long it took when we ended up with it as kids.  It was awful.  So when the school called me and informed me they were sending home the majority of my daughter’s class, I could have cried.

I got the call on a Friday at like 9am and it went something like this…

  • Secretary: Hi, I have Alexis here in the office.  It seems we’re facing our third outbreak of head lice for the second grade class. (I was cringing at this point.  My stomach had pretty much dropped and I was about halfway to a panic attack.  Yes.  I realized it could be worse and I was totally acting crazy.)  I’m not certain she has lice but she does have some red marks behind her ears.  Now, it could be her headband she’s been wearing all day. She’s not sure.  But we just don’t want to take a chance.
  • Me: Oh I can’t blame you.  Either the nanny or I will come get her as soon as possible.
  • Secretary: Thank you.  Like I said, I don’t know for sure.  We’ve just been hit so hard with it this year…
  • Me: Yeah, I understand.  It’s nothing to mess around with at all.
  • Secretary: Thanks.  I’ll see you when you get here.

So there was a chance it wasn’t lice.  My mind was racing.  I had checked her not but two days prior.  It was all part of our daily process.  When we received a notice the school had the first lice outbreak, I went through the whole lecture with my daughter.  “Don’t share brushes or hair ties… or hats or anything that touches your head.  Do not rub heads with your friends.  You really don’t want bugs in your hair do you?!”  Of course, that totally freaked her out.  I strive not to pass my crazy onto my kids, but in this case, I made an exception.  My daughter’s hair is just as thick as mine is and I really did not want to have to pick through it with a nit comb.  We started a daily process of looking through her hair.  I could not believe I had missed it.  I had failed to catch something so vital.  I was in a full panic as I explained to my boss that I had to leave work.  My heart was racing and I was about to have a major breakdown… in public.

I raced to my car and dialed my sister.  I rushed through an explanation and let her know we would be spending the afternoon decontaminating.  If Lexi had it then chances were her house was contaminated too.  After hanging up with her I took off toward the school.  Thankfully, her school is about 10-15 minutes from work so I had time to calm myself.  By the time I had gotten to the school I was in a much better place.  I could breathe and I didn’t feel like a total failure.  I was still holding out hope it was just her headband.  I had a brief discussion with the secretary…

  • Secretary: Thanks for coming to get her.  I’m just not sure if she has anything.  We are just being precautions.  We’ve never had an outbreak this bad.  This round it’s only in the second grade class thankfully.
  • Me: No problem.  I’ll take her home and get her checked out.  If she has it we’ll get her treated.
  • Secretary: Oh good.  Also, please remember the second treatment a week later.  I guess that’s a piece a lot of people skip and it’s pretty vital.
  • Me: Oh you don’t need to worry.  I take lice very seriously.  She won’t be back until she’s clear and then we will treat her again later.
  • Secretary: Thanks!  We really do appreciate it.

Once I had Lexi in the car and started for home, she was fairly worried.

  • Lex: So… if I have lice what does that mean?
  • Me: Well, that you need to have your head treated and we’ll get rid of it.
  • Lex: But… you just checked me.

Yeah, she said it and it made me feel awful.

  • Me: Yeah baby I know.  Maybe I missed something. But it’s okay.  We’ll take care of it.
  • Lex: But it’s fireman day at school.  I’m going to miss the firemen.

She was very upset about that which just made me feel worse.  Not only had I missed the creepy crawlies on her scalp but I had also ruined fireman day for her.  Great.

  • Me: I’m sorry Lex.  We’ll go visit them another day.  I’m sure that will be more fun.
  • Lex: Yeah.

The rest of the trip was quiet.  She was upset over firefighters and I was chastising myself for missing the little monsters.  When we got home my sister had already started the process of quarantining anything that may be contaminated.  We checked out Lexi’s head and sure enough, she had eggs behind her ears and at her neckline.  I had failed.  That’s all I could think.  I had missed a live creepy crawly and it had laid its nasty little eggs all over my daughter’s head.  I had ruined fireman day for her.  Instead of having fun meeting the firefighters, she would be stuck getting her head treated for the next several hours.  I was a bad parent.

We spent the next four hours treating her.  Shampoo, rinse, comb, rinse.  She was such a trooper.  Regardless that it took three plus hours to comb through her hair, she stayed positive.  I have to say, she handled it much better than I did at her age.  While I worked through her hair, my dear sister worked through mountains of laundry and stuffed animals.  We cleaned and cleaned the house.  Neither of us wanted to take a chance of it spreading.  We were on a mission to eradicate their kind.

It’s been a few weeks and so far, everyone else is clear.  Looking back at it, I realize that I was a bit harsh on myself.  I did what I could to keep her from getting it and that is all I could do.  I don’t blame myself.  It’s just one of those things that happens.  I get that.  I know that we did what we could to prevent an infestation.  It happened and we made it through the whole mess.  Of course, I still hate the buggers.  They still creep me out beyond belief and I have my sister check my head daily.  However, I do know that they do not want to face me again.  For I am Mom.  Giver of hugs, kisser of owies and executioner of lice.

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Half Sized Pillows and Under the Bed Candy…

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Half Sized Pillows and Under the Bed Candy…

This past weekend we spent with my in-laws who live roughly two and a half hours away in this very small town.  Now, I live in a small town, but I’m able to drive 15-20 minutes away to a larger town.  My in-laws? Not so much.  Their town has maybe three inhabitable hotels, and I’m using the term inhabitable loosely.  We don’t travel there very often, and probably should, but when we do there is one specific hotel that I feel is acceptable.  Again, I use the term acceptable very loosely.  Basically of the three options, it’s the only one I really allow.  It’s mostly clean and they have a pool that doesn’t freak me out too much.  Of course, wherever we go it’s required to have a pool – my daughter is a swimmer and she is much happier when she can swim.

So a few weeks ago my husband calls and reserves our room.  Our family isn’t huge, it’s my husband and I plus our two kids.  You’d think a normal sized room would be fine right? Wrong.  Typically we rent two room suite type rooms.  We like to have the option to put our son down for his nap and still watch TV or play board games.  Having a two room suite makes this much easier.  Well every time we call this specific hotel they state their suite is not available.  Truthfully? I don’t think they have one.  I mean, how can it be unavailable year round in a town that really has very few overnight visitors?!  Anyway, my husband makes the reservation and we’re good to go.  Our daughter will have her pool and I won’t cringe too much when I go to bed at night.

A few days prior to our trip, my father-in-law informs my husband that the whole hotel is under construction and they’ve taken out the pool.  What?! So not only do I get the joy of dealing with construction sounds, but my daughter won’t have a pool either.  Greeatt… I know I’m sounding like a total spoiled brat, but I like to be comfortable when we travel.  I have enough issues as it stand I don’t want to worry about extra noise and lack of entertainment for my kiddo.  At this point, I’m not looking forward to the whole hotel experience at all.

Friday night we roll up to the hotel.  My husband handles the whole check in process for multiple reasons.  One being he’s from the town and tends to know people.  I’m sure another reason is simply because I can get a bit annoyed when things don’t go well.  Anyway, he checks in and gets us a killer rate because the pool is out of commission.  Of course when he tells me this I’m all ‘well they should have told you that when you made the reservation… ‘  Not that it would have changed our choice in hotel, but I had to complain anyway.  The things my husband puts up with I swear.

I’m sure he knows I’m totally annoyed, I’ve never been one to hide my moods, so he sends me up with our son while he and our daughter load the luggage cart.  I get into the room, situate my son and go about my normal inspection.  I check the shower and bathroom area – all clean.  I check the sink and see no sight of grossness left over from the previous guest.  Then I move to the bed.  What the hell? Each bed has four pillows.  Normal right?  Sure, but these pillows were no bigger than my throw pillows.  Who the hell sleeps on a throw pillow?!  I take a deep breath and think ‘it’s fine, I have my pillow in the car’… Except I didn’t.  I had forgotten my pillow.  Lovely.  Just lovely.

My husband and daughter turn up and we unload our bags.  At this point our son has decided he really needs a nap, so my husband takes our daughter and heads up to visit his dad.  I get our son into his playpen for his nap and think it’s a perfect time for me to lie down and relax.  I pulled out one of those half sized pillows and proceed to get comfortable.  The minute I place my head on the pillow I can smell some awful plastic/rubbery smell.

So am I sounding entirely spoiled?  Yeah, I probably am, but you need to understand a few things.  First, I have cleaned hotel rooms as a job, I know exactly how things should be done and how to tell if they weren’t.  I also know how gross people are when they stay in hotels.  Add that to my strange phobias and you’ve got a nasty imagination taking over.  I imagine just how many skin flakes have fallen from previous guests.  I imagine how many bodily fluids have hit those comforters and just absorbed into the material.  I know how infrequently said comforters are washed and let me tell you, that thought could give a person nightmares.  Second, I am super sensitive to smells.  Perfumed anything can give me one hell of a migraine.  The smell of rubber makes me sick to my stomach and I don’t even use Ziploc bags for my food because they make it smell like plastic.

Now that you know all this, imagine just how excited I am to be staying in a hotel with half sized pillows that smell like plastic and rubber, on a comforter that has likely seen twenty previous guests.  Yeah, panic attack here I come!  I try really hard to rest.  I had just had surgery two days prior and could use the rest.  I needed to rest while my son slept.  By some miracle I was able to fall asleep.

Later that evening, while my husband caught up with local friends and family, I stayed at the hotel with some cranky children.  My son just had to get into everything.  He slammed drawers on his fingers, threw remote controls, he was everywhere.  My daughter was whiny because we didn’t have a pool and she was tired and there was nothing on TV.  Me? Oh I was just peachy 😉

My son decides it’s a good time to crawl halfway under the bed.  Great, I have minimal use of my right leg and my son could get himself stuck under the bed at any time.  Lovely.  Thankfully he backs himself out.  I’m thinking ‘yay!’ until I see why he crawled under the bed in the first place.  There, in his tiny 1-year-old hands is a Werther’s Original candy coated completely in dust and all those under the bed ickies.  (Yes I did just use the word ickies).  Inside I’m freaking out.  I’m calculating just how many germs are on that thing, how many people may have touched it and just how long it had been under the bed.  Not to mention, the fact that it was indeed under the bed, what else have the maids missed??  It’s a horrible moment in my world.  I manage to maintain composure and snatch the horrid thing from my son, toss it in the trash and head for the sink with my kiddo to scrub his hands and face.  Decontamination took only a few moments but I fear I may be scarred for life…

The rest of my weekend was full of some great family time with my in-laws.  We had a blast with Easter Eggs and showing them how to play games on the iPad.  While I may not appreciate the hotels in this small town my husband once called home, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the company.

 

This is what happens…

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This is what happens when I’m making dinner and read a headline mentioning Twilight and smut in the same sentence…

I admit it, I have been totally sucked in by Twilight.  Back in 2008, not too long before the first movie released, a friend of mine brought the book to me.  She told me ‘You’ve gotta read this!  Even the ladies at Church are reading it during services!’  I figured, what the heck… I’ll give it a shot.  It took me less than 24 hours to finish the first book.  I finished the entire series in about five days.  I loved the story.  Sure it was a young adult series, but it was highly entertaining.

As it got closer to the movie release, a few of us got together to plan the night out.  We ended up with a large group of friends who attended the opening of the Twilight movie.  We even put together small favor bags including glitter.  The movie was iffy at best, but the company was amazing.  It was a blast hanging with my friends and all of us laughing at ourselves for becoming so addicted to Twilight.

For Breaking Dawn Part 1, my husband rented out an entire movie theater for a private showing.  Yep, one of the best anniversary presents ever.  We attended the opening with 30 friends and family members.  It was an experience for sure.  So much fun.  We made jokes and laughed throughout the movie.  We had enough fun that we’re going to do it again for the last movie.

Overall, my friends and I know it’s silly but we have fun with it.  The one thing we  have all said was that it would have been better had it not been a YA novel, but rather an adult fiction.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it should have been an erotica novel – that’s something totally different.  But the story would have been interesting from an adult point of view, one lacking all the high school crap.  So of course when I read the headline mention Twilight and smut… I had to check it out.  Next time, I just need to make sure I’m not cooking dinner…

Aside

While sitting alone in his hotel room, my husband discovered my new favorite Discovery Channel show ~ Doomsday Bunkers!!!  Yep.  Doomsday Bunkers.  I did mention I’m kinda crazy right?  I have been secretly drawing up bunker plans for years.  This show brings a lot of my wants to life.  I love it.  We watched an episode the other night and I have to say, it was very cool.

The show is basically about a company that builds bunkers.  So cool.  I’ve been revising some of my bunker plans to account for new threats and such – thanks to this show.  🙂  It’s promoting my crazy need to have one.  Which isn’t so crazy!  So what if I want a full on three level complex with multiple escape routes?? I mean, one can never been too prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse!

Anyway, I fully recommend this show to anyone who is remotely interested in bunkers or preparing for the worst.  The guys really do have some cool ideas and work with some fun toys.

Doomsday Bunkers…

Lack of Internet…

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My world pretty much revolves around having internet or cell phone access – I don’t deny that in the least bit.  At home we have three Xbox360’s, three desktop computers, my laptop, two PS3’s, a Roku box and two Western Digital Live Streaming players, an iPad and a Kindle all connected to our network for some reason or another.  Whether that be Netflix, Spotify or just internet surfing – they all require an internet connection.  Granted, not all at the same time, but you get the picture.

Monday morning we lost internet connection entirely.  My husband ended up on the phone for a rather long time trying to resolve the issue.  Sadly, no one could pinpoint what was causing the problem.  You know it’s bad when they say ‘well I show you have connection’ and you don’t… At first I wasn’t concerned.  Usually if we have an outage things are back up and running fairly fast.  So the husband and I took off for lunch and some shopping.

When we returned home, I think we were both expecting things to be back in action.  We were wrong.  The husband got back on the phone to check on the progress.  He was informed it’d be about 48 hours before things were fixed.  This was my reaction…

  • Husband: So they said 48 hours.
  • Me:  *blink* *blink* …what the hell?!
  • Husband: Yep, that’s what they said.
  • Me: No that can’t be right…. Nope.. I don’t accept that.

See, without internet I can’t blog, look up cool things on Pinterest, watch Netflix!  I can’t plan my Girl Scout meetings or the next baking project without patterns or recipes.  Hell I can’t even look up new ideas for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse!  The internet is like my ESPN for the sports nut during NFL playoffs.  Is that bad?  Probably… but the fact remains I was none too happy.  I was about five minutes from packing the kids up and heading to my parents’ house since their internet access was perfectly fine.  Instead, what do I do?  The next best thing, grab my iPhone and post about it on Facebook.

My Status Update:

For the first time in years we have NO Internet at home… I’m not sure what to do now… I really hope they fix it tomorrow!!

The comments from my friends:

  1. I picture you guys sitting in a circle staring at each other in silence…
  2. Reminds me of when the power went out in the trailer and mom would bust out the lamp.
  3. OMG this is life just a few short years ago!  You’re cracking me up 🙂
  4. It really is too funny! I can’t imagine you guys without internet. Hahaha!
  5. Lol uh oh

 And the comment from a fellow daycare mom:

Your husband works in IT and you have no internet?  Isn’t that what you have him for?

I love how well my friends know me.  It really does crack me up.  Now, is it the end of the world that I had a major lack of internet?  No, not by any means.  Was it a huge pain in my behind?  Hell yes!  I have a very hard time with anything that doesn’t work, let alone the internet.

On the other hand, the lack of internet did give me a good opportunity to watch regular TV and remind myself why I love Netflix and DVR content.  I really dislike commercials.  Five minutes of a show then 20 minutes of commercials… That really doesn’t fit into my busy life.  It also gave me a chance to start the new book I bought while we were on our family ‘vacation’ this past weekend.  I say vacation loosely but that’s an entirely different posting.

While the lack of internet was a total disappointment, I survived the night and had high hopes it would be back up and running the next day.  While at work the next morning the husband called up our ISP.  According to their records, the ticket had been resolved and closed.  My reaction: WOOHOO!  That is until the husband went home to check on it…

The ticket had been listed as resolved and closed… yet we had no internet.  Gotta love it.  FINALLY he managed to get in touch with a tech in our area.  By Tuesday afternoon we had access once again.  Thank the tech gods.  So far we’ve had no additional issues, but that may be due to the sacrificed goat I offered to the tech gods on Wednesday… Maybe…

Mornings…

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I’m not a morning person.  I’m not the nicest person until at least 9 a.m.  As a result, the husband usually gets up first thing with our kids.  It’s easier that way… for everyone involved.  I sleep until the very very last minute.  If I can avoid getting out of bed, I will. 

Once I’m up I run around like a crazy person trying to get ready for the day.  This includes my morning battle with Max, our adorably quirky English Springer.  We purchased Max two years ago after losing our first dog to cancer.  When we went to pick him up, he was the stockiest and friendliest of his litter.  Our daughter fell in love and he was coming home with us.  Things I never expected when buying him:

  1. He slobbers… ALL THE TIME.  I’m seriously considering asking our vet if we can have a saliva gland removed…
  2. He’s super super lovey and needy.  It’s crazy.  He can’t handle it if he’s not being loved.  Needs to have attention all the time.  I swear he rivals my 9 month old. 
  3. He’s a coward.  I am owner of Max the Cowardly Dog.  So much for a good watch dog… he hides behind our blind dog before he barks at intruders.
  4. He snores.  No… I mean he SNORES.  We’ll be watching a movie and he can drown out the sound.
  5. The difference he’s made for my blind dog.  Outside of the quirks, he’s the best seeing eye dog for our blind dog. 
  6. His absolute LOVE of snow.  Max the Cowardly Snow Dog.
  7. … and his love of strange food… for dogs.  I kid you not, the dog ate a raw potato in 10 seconds flat…

Every morning I get up and make my daughter’s lunch.  Usually this includes a jelly sandwich cut into random shapes using my cookie cutters.  Meanwhile, Max is literally sitting on my feet grunting for food.  This is his way of begging.  He looks up at me with those sad eyes and expects me to melt.  Instead I’m constantly yelling at him.

“Max, go on!  I’m trying to work here.  No this isn’t yours.  Off.  Out you go.  Out of my kitchen. Go to bed Max!”

He just looks at me like ‘Yeah sure Mom… You’re going to give me that crust… You know you are.”  Sadly he’s right but not without bickering with him a little first.  Once I’m finished packing her lunch, I toss Max his crusts.  Weird dog I swear.

The rest of the morning I spend trying to avoid the little goober.  See he’s a tri-colored Springer.  Why is this a problem you ask?  Well… simply put, he toasts my clothes every day.  I get that I made the choice to have dogs and it’s just part of being a pet owner, but if I can keep SOME of his hair off me, I try.

Yesterday morning was a little more chaotic than usual.  Our routine was much like normal except the husband dropped off our daughter at daycare and I stayed home with our son.  The 9 month old had an appointment with our doctor to have his ears checked.  So I got to spend an extra hour avoiding Mr. Drooling Shedding Cowardly Snow Dog.

When I finally took the two seconds to get dressed it was quick.  Throw on clothes, grab kiddo and head out the door.  It really is the best way to avoid the drooly shedding dog.  I loaded my son up in the car and headed for the doctor.  By the time we finished with the doctor I could tell my clothes just weren’t sitting right.  I wrote it off to just being ‘one of those days’. 

I dropped my son off at daycare and realized I forgot he needed more diapers there.  Ran home, grabbed the diapers, dropped them off and headed off to work.  While doing the morning debriefing with my coworkers I went to put my keys in my pants pocket… Something was definitely not right.  It took me a good two seconds to figure out what…

In the chaos of my morning, I had seriously put my pants on backward. 

Did I mention, I hate mornings??

Max - Only picture I really have ... he's afraid of the camera...

Scaring the Crazy Lady…

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I have a petrifying fear of what my husband calls ‘the closet monster’.  I have a very hard time entering a dark room if the closet doors are open.  If the doors are mirrored that whole fear factor just skyrockets.  Irrational? Sure… but not something I can really control.  No, I’m not afraid the clothes will somehow reach out and grab me.  Hell, I’m not even really afraid of the closet.  I simply have a very hard time with the dark in general… or rather, what could be IN the dark.

The other night we decided to watch some paranormal movies.  Yes I realize this just plays heavily on my fears.  Things moving on their own, doors slamming, people getting pulled into the deep dark closet by some invisible force.  Yeah… that was not the best idea I’ve had in a very long time.

I knew going into the blasted movie I’d likely watch half of it through my fingers, or not at all.  I did in fact spend 90% of the movie examining the inside of my blanket.  The sounds were more than enough to keep my imagination running full force.  Not to mention, the movie even made my husband jump more than once.  See, no point in actually watching it if I get worked up enough without opening my eyes…

About midway through the movie, my 9 month old decided it was time to wake up and eat.  I breathed a sigh of relief when we paused the frightening movie.  I mixed up a warm bottle for the munchkin and headed for his room.  Now I know my husband very well.  He has this tendency to try and scare me when I’m in the midst of being irrational.  I glanced in the living room, no husband.  Checked the light in our bedroom, nope not there.  That’s when I knew for a fact he was likely in the kids room waiting to scare the holy living hell out of me.

Sure enough, as I tip toe into their room and peek around the corner… he’s standing there all silent and creepy like waiting in the dark for me.  The asshole.  So not nice.  Had he actually succeeded in scaring me, not only would I have been petrified, he would have ended up with two not so happy kids. 

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again… It is NOT nice to scare the crazy lady!