Thursday, January 31

...My, Oh, My, What a Wonderful Day...

....really, it is. Seriously. I've spent an uninterrupted week at home with my little darlings. Who's mentioning that they've been sick? And pitifully sick at that. I have to say that in my 11 years experience as a mom, I have never seen them quite this sick for this long. I've made an unofficial "mom diagnosis" of the flu. And an expert I should be in this topic since I have been a medical transcriptionist for the past 11 years and I participated in a flu study - for two years running. So go with me on this one. Got it?

It started with Muh Main Man, as we've so faithfully reminded him throughout the week. The Short People got sick almost on cue Sunday afternoon/evening. It started with an extremely sore throat and some stomach queasiness. It progressed to aching and lethargy which prompted our visit to the doctor Tuesday morning. She suspected strep was on the way, although the rapid test was negative. She gave an antibiotic which has done nothing but launch the stomach upset to an all time high. I can only hope that it did ward off impending strep, but the Short People have not improved at all over the course of the week. Today was day four of missed school, which was a first in their student careers. It's doubtful they'll be going tomorrow either. I have to say they are feeling about as miserable as they did at the beginning of the week.

Proof positive of the sick level is that the Xbox has been on for a total of about 30 minutes for the entire week as has the computer-generated entertainment. The most excitement we've had since the bug hit is to have a duet of moaning from the couch with Full House reruns in the background.

I have to say that Muh Main Man has done more than his fair share of the nursing, as he was still home sick for the first half of the week. He dragged his own pitiful self out of bed to fix a scrambled egg or a give a medicine dose here or there while I ran around fulfilling special requests like this little gem. Brainy Boy got a hankering for a special breakfast entree that Unke (sister Amy's hubby, Uncle Dale) fixed at Thanksgiving. In true gourmet fashion, the only thing that would hit the spot was Brie and apples on raisin toast with balsamic maple syrup. Go figure. That little piece of heaven was pretty much the only thing he was able to eat for the week too.

I'm hoping that they are on the upswing soon because TLC is exhausting, folks! You'd think I would have the house whipped into shape, the laundry all caught up and have hours to just sit and read stories to keep everyone's minds off their misery. But truth be told, it's a mess around here. We're in a heap of tissues, plastic cups and paper plates. You have no idea how long it takes to snuggle up for an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends or a cozy nap beside the sickies!

I'm just hoping that with my participation in the flu study, I got the real shot and not the placebo. Wouldn't that be a kicker?

Tuesday, January 29

Invasion of the Healthy Snatchers

We can't ignore the truth any is clear that Muh Main Man has indeed bequeathed the most miserable of germs to our offspring. Little Chic and Brainy Boy were both feeling a little punk by Sunday night and stayed home from school to keep us company on Monday. You can imagine what a little party that was ;)

By last night, Little Chic was running 103 degrees warm and barking like the resident seal. Lucky for us, Muh Main Man totes his rescue supplies where ever he goes and breathing treatments are a regular necessity on the rescue fixed her right up. Brainy Boy fared a bit better with just a very sore throat and incessant coughing.

A visit to the doctor this morning confirmed....they are sick. Who knew? Five prescriptions later from antibiotics to cough medicines to steroids and hopefully they'll be on the mend. Because believe me - I've got about one more good day in me of entertaining sickies. Any more than that and I'm headed for the loony bin.

Sunday, January 27

The Germs Have Visited

We've been descended upon by the winter germfest and Muh Main Man has had some type of Mongolian Barfing Lung disease. Or something like that. Of course, he took a hit for the home team and suffered through a day trip of snowmobiling up north on Wednesday, but he came home to spend two days in bed hacking up a lung. He went to the doctor who said he has "atypical respiratory infection." Whatever that is, he got an antibiotic for it and has finally started feeling better today. Just in time to pass it on over to Little Chic, I fear.

We all are trying to stay away from him, but his endless days at home are making him feel all cuddly and appreciative of the TLC we've offered, so we haven't been too successful on that front. I think I'm going to have to send him back to work tomorrow to infect the ranks at Lockheed and air out our abode.

We'll keep you posted and if I suddenly start blogging more regularly, you'll know that I'm down for the count as well.

Wednesday, January 23

So There Ya Have It!

I got home from my kickboxing class this morning and found this note that I hadn't noticed in the morning bustle of getting the kids ready for school. I was looking high and low for my grocery list that had been on the fridge. It was missing and I spied this laying on the counter---on the back was my grocery list.

Apparently Brainy Boy did not appreciate Muh Main Man's disturbance at 5am this morning as he was leaving for a snowmobiling trip. At some point he got up and wrote this note to his dad.

In case you can't read the bleary-eyed hen scratching that Brainy Boy penned it says, "You may be hungry and/or whatever but please take into consideration that there is a boy down the hall with many hard objects that gets very angry when awoken by lights."

Tuesday, January 22

Snowflake Ball 2008

Saturday night marked the fifth Snowflake Father/Daughter Dance that Little Chic has gone to with Muh Main Man. As always, the dress has been planned since before Christmas and the entire afternoon was a flurry of getting flowers, doing hair and asking if it was time to go every five minutes for four hours prior to the start of the ball.

This year was no disappointment and even an hours-long line at Red Lobster for dinner after the dance couldn't dampen their spirits. They opted for Friendly's with the big ice cream sundaes instead.

Next year will be a little sad because it will be Little Chic's last year at her school where the dance is held. We won't mention the social dances that follow the year after ;(

While the the fleet of feet were doing their thing, Brainy Boy and I did ours by spending the evening at our favorite haunt, Barnes & Noble. We scored a latte', a piece of cheesecake and a Dilbert book we surprisingly didn't already own.

Thursday, January 17

Just So You Know....

.....since I haven't been feeling nearly as motherly toward ya'll faithful readers to let you know each and every mundane detail of my life in real-time fashion....

I am busy and more ambitious than ever, taking full advantage of the fact that I am no longer fully consumed with procrastinating my transcription ;) A few of the blog topics that have been waiting in the wings, and are now completely out of date (but you seriously need to know them) are...

1) I got my Christmas decorations down and put in away in a completely respectable amount of time. That is quite an accomplishment for me. While I was doing that, I snapped a picture of my favorite set of ornaments on the left--the expectant parent bears we got when we were pregnant with Eric. The other shot is the sad realization that Little Chic has a lot more personal ornaments than Brainy Boy has. Not quite sure how that happened since I get each of them one every year, but...I'll be hitting the clearance sales to do a little even-ing up. And making up fake memories to go along with each and every bargain ornament.

2) I singlehandedly chased this lovely doe and three of her girlfriends to keep them from making a buffet of my front bushes. They would not leave until DogSpot insisted.

3) Our whole family has been involved in our church's new ministry Upward Sports. I has been a great time with Little Chic cheerleading, Brainy Boy helping in the concession stand, and Muh Main Man making 'bout the most handsome referee you ever did see. I supervise the teenage cheerleading coaches and generally hang out looking for somebody to boss around. I highly recommend it. The sports part and the bossing part.

So there ya go. And now ya know!

Tuesday, January 15

This is Just Craziness!

Friends, I am here! Really, I am. But this new schedule has just turned me into some type of scary superwoman. For this week at least. I have been getting up, getting the Short People out the door, exercising, organizing, laundering, errand going, working my 2 hours and school and going at it again once I get home. I don't know what's happened to me. I'm scaring myself. And my family. They tiptoe up to the garbage dumpster every day when they get home to inspect just who has been the victim of my early spring cleaning. Who knew that eliminating my transcription (which I spent much more time procrastinating than actually doing, by the way) would cause such an uproar in personality. I'm sure it will be short-lived as soon as the routine settles in, but I'm taking full advantage of the unnatural pep for the time being.

The only disadvantage to the habit upheaval has been that I've entirely eliminated blogging from my routine for the last week. I gotta get with the program, and I will. I just have to get back to procrastinating the regular stuff first.

Friday, January 11

Think Green

I'm not a particularly green-minded person, I'm embarrassed to admit. I do my share of recycling because frankly, the garbage company requires clear bags and will leave our garbage sitting at the curb if there are cans, bottles, glass jars and that sort of stuff included. I do make a very moderate attempt at turning off lights, not running the hot water too long and that kind of thing, but if it's too inconvenient, I really don't do my part. And if it's not comfortable---let's just say I neeeed the heat set at 70 in the bitter cold winter.

I did decide to begin experimenting a year ago with the fluorescent lights that have become increasingly popular. That's the only conscious change I've made in our power consumption and even though our temperatures have been 8 degrees colder this month compared to a year ago, our power consumption is down 24 kwh on a daily average. When I first began the switch, I noticed a drop in our power bill, and now that we've been using them for a year, our monthly bill is about $60 less than it used to be.

Since we've made such a noticeable difference, I'm going to continue to switch out to fluorescents as my incandescents burn out (I'm about 75% switched) and I might even be inspired to put on a sweater & turn down the heat.

Tuesday, January 8

Mixed Feelings

It's been a long time in coming, but as of this morning, I'm no longer a medical transcriptionist. I'm not sure how I feel about that...a little bit relieved, a little bit sad, a lot bit uncertain about whether I'll regret this decision.

For the last year or so, I've found that the transcription work isn't fulfilling the need I once had to stay at home with my babies and have an income. I've increasingly felt that I need more interaction and less monotony. I've also felt the pressure of work that constantly needs to be done, with no sense of ever being really "finished." No matter how much work you've done for the day, there's always another note waiting to be transcribed. That goes for sick days, holidays, vacations days or any kind of days.

This year, I've dabbled in substituting as a school monitor and office staff, and kind of found my niche in the last few weeks. I'll be working a couple of hours a day in one of the school offices and it's fitting the bill really well. I'm doing something I like, getting out and interacting with people but still having a very flexible schedule that matches my kids' school calendar.

I'm surprisingly sad at letting this job go--probably because it was literally a gift sent from God 11 years ago when I desperately wanted to quit work and stay home with my baby boy; that and the fact that it's been a safety net that has allowed me to flex the amount of money I wanted to make based on my need. I also feel a slight bit ungrateful, as I remember desperately wanting to work at home, and I know there are many moms who would give anything to have a work opportunity like I've had. It's a permanently done deal too. The medical center I work for is increasingly outsourcing their transcription, and as transcriptionists leave, they are not replacing them.

But I think it's the right thing, and I've certainly contemplated it for a long, long time. After talking with Muh Main Man this morning, I just did it. I got on the phone, called and talked to my supervisor and had a very nice chat with the promise of a good reference should I ever need one.

So think of me today and send encouraging thoughts my way. I know I'm going to be happy I did this, but it's feeling a little weird already.

Saturday, January 5

Atomic....My Foot!

About a year ago, Muh Main Man needed a new alarm clock, so in all my gadgety-wisdom, I bought him one of the atomic models that sets itself by the one somewhere in the nether-regions of the US. The thing is, we've never really learned to properly use it, as Muh Main Man doesn't have the interest and I don't have the wherewithal. Translate brains or gumption.

Anyway, Muh Main Man is the genius-sort and has been able to get the thing to alarm when he needs it and shut off when he desires, so it works. Until this morning. Muh Main Man had a big sledding trip scheduled and had the alarm set for 6:30am. On a Saturday morning--can you imagine?! He woke to the light of day, checked the big bad atomic clock and it read 5:30am. He thought it was curious as there's not usually any light at that hour, but he went back to sleep only to wake up to the ringing phone at 7:20am and his buddies wondering where he was. He was to meet them at 7am and for some reason, the big bad atomic clock failed him.

It still works though, because it blared at 8:30am stating loudly that it was 6:30. Right on time, or so it thought. I didn't have my contacts in, but I pushed some buttons and it shut up, so I seem to have turned it off. But I have no idea how we are going to reset the time. I'll probably just go buy a regular one. Seems easier.

UPDATE: Well, at 12:07 pm I looked at the clock to see if I could re-set it, and it was correct! So my theory is that Santa took our alarm along on his rounds for Russian Christmas and the time just hadn't caught up yet. Or something like that.

Tuesday, January 1