Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yep, I'm here, at home. Have I mentioned that we have no life? I wanted to invite some friends over, but never got round to it because I kept forgetting to do it. Oh well. We do have a Super Bowl Party coming in five weeks.

I'm watching my Season five "Lost" DVDs. I'm much farther into them than I had thought I would be by this point- by the time midnight rolls around, I should have only about three episodes left. (I started watching it a few days ago.) I also have gotten quite a lot of Netflix viewing done recently- mostly documentaries- so I feel like I've accomplished something recently.

Darrel and I went to see "Invictus" yesterday afternoon. We sent Frank to daycare in the morning, and I spent the day watching TV, reading, and doing tons of laundry, since I hadn't done any laundry for a good ten or eleven days. I'm not done, either- I'll have one or two loads to do tomorrow morning. Anyway, we both really liked the movie. It's about the South African rugby team, and their path to winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Matt Damon plays the captain of the team and Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela. It was interesting, and I've discovered since that it's actually pretty accurate, historically; the movie showed how rugby actually helped to begin to bring togetehr whites and blacks after the end of apartheid and the election of Mandela.

Of course, the thought I had just before we went into the theater was, "Dude, even South Africa, with its history of apartheid, managed to elect a black President way before we did!"

I saw "New Moon" again on Tuesday night, this time with a coworker, P. P, another coworker, W, and I all loved the Twilight books, and have dissected characters and discussed the movie adaptations ad infinitum. Not that Twilight is Great Literature, by any means- I freely admit that. But as escapist fluff, it's awesome. P and I had a wonderful time, and discussed it yet again as we drove home from the movie. P and I get along extremely well- she's old enough to be my mother, but we just click on so many things. I feel bad for her, because she's got a difficult family situation- I don't want to share details on a blog, but it bothers me to see her so hurt, because she doesn't deserve it.

Tuesday this week, I decided to try something new in the Getting Frank to Sleep Outside the Crib. I took his crib mattress out and put it on the floor. I set up everything as it had been in his crib, and explained to Frank that this was where he was going to sleep. He took it better than I thought he would, truthfully. I don't know if it's just his personality, or if all little kids are like this, but he does not adapt to change very well, in anything.

Anyway, that first nap, he had some difficulty getting to sleep, but once he did, he slept well. Same thing happened that night, and naptime and nighttime the next day. He wakes earlier than he did in the crib, but we have a baby gate across the doorway of his room at night, so he can't wander anywhere. He does seem to enjoy the fact that he can get up and wander around his room at naptime- I listened to him on the monitor today. Hopefully tomorrow we'll actually take the crib down.

Just over an hour until the New Year here. I have two resolutions this year: to be more social and to lose thirty pounds. Hopefully I'll accomplish most of the second by my cousin's wedding in May.

Monday, December 21, 2009


The above title is courtesy of Casey Bartholomew, a radio talk-show host on one of my favorite stations, NJ 101.5.

Last week, all the local stations were going on and on about the Huge! Snow! Storm! That! Was! Coming! Predictions changed with each hearing, as well as, as the week went on, commentary about what it was doing south of us, particularly to the DC area. (That part, at least, turned out to be true: my brother's friend from high school, C, teaches in the DC schools, and she has off for this entire week because they can't dig out.)

Saturday, I had stuff to do. Frank had OT, and he needed a haircut, and we needed to go to the library. (Those who know me well understand that last is in fact a need and not a want. And, blessedly, my kid is following in my footsteps in worship of the public library system.) Well. We got one of those things done. Frank has been fighting off a cold for about three, really, it's probably been close to three weeks. He's in daycare and he's three, so, as long as he didn't seem to be in huge distress about it, I'm a big fan of letting him fight it off.

Saturday, Darrel got up and left for the food store at 7:15am. When Frank got up, he was very whiny and very clingy, both behaviors unlike him. I called the doctor while we were on the way to OT, and she said to bring him in at 10:30am. Okay, cool. Now that left me to deal with. My doctor sometimes has Saturday hours, so I called his office a few times- no dice. I even drove past there, just to see if they were going to open and if I could sneak in- nope. Hm.

Frank, in the pediatrician's opinion, got a cold on top of another cold. His ears are clear and the tubes are still solidly in place, and there's no drainage going on, all of which is good. Basically, treat with Tylenol as needed, and if he does not improve in a week, or gets worse, call her back.

So, now, for me. I ended up going to an Urgent Care that doesn't accept insurance (WTF??) so I had to pay out of pocket and get reimbused- what a pain. Anyway, I have a sinus infection. I didn't feel that terrible, but I'm gload I went then and got an antibiotic, because I'm pretty sure if I had held off until today, I'd have felt like crap today and might not have lasted the day.

By the time I got my prescription, it was nearly noon. I was tempted to go to the library, but Frank and I had been out and about since 8am, with neither of us feeling great, and the first flakes of fluffy white death were beginnign to fall, so we headed home.

Darrel's birthday was also Saturday, so when we got home, we gave him his present- I got him a Wii. :) He was totally shocked, amd excited. He and I were supposed to go out for dinner that night- I got a sitter and everything- but we cancelled and I made him dinner instead.

Oh, and the fluffy white doom from the sky? We got about six inches. My brother, in south Jersey, got about 20 inches!! I didn't even get a delayed opening today- as of noon yesterday, the roads were all clear, so I went and bought some cookie-making supplies I'd run out of and went to the library while I was out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I got my flu shot!

I finally was able to get my seasonal flu shot today. I stopped at the CVS after school today, to pick up a prescription, and decided on a whim to check their Minute Clinic (again). Huzzah, they had flu shots, so I signed up and got my shot. My arm is a bit sore this evening, more than for the swine flu, oddly enough, but I have my shot, so I feel a little calmer.

Yeah...that's all I got this evening.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swine flu shots, part II

I took my son to get his second H1N1 shot today. Our township had a clinic, at a local middle school. (I will take this moment to explain that our town is incredibly spread out, over many miles, even though population-wise I don't think it's much bigger than the town I grew up in. I think there are areas in this town I will never make it to no matter how long I live here!) I'd never been in this area before, and it took me ten minutes of driving around aimlessly and stopping an old woman smoking and walking her dog to find the school. The clinic was scheduled to start at 4:30pm. Frank and I went to the library right after school and then drove to the school- I figured that, even though it was only just before 4pm, we'd sit in the car for a bit and read while we waited.

Yeah, not so much. When I pulled up, there was already a line out in front of the school!! Frank didn't have his boots on, and it had never occured to me that we'd need to be outside longer than a few minutes, so he didn't have mittens or a hat, but we parked, got out, walked over to the line, and ascertained that it was in fact the flu shot line...and waited. In 35 degree weather, with the sun setting. By the time they actually opened up the doors and let us in, it was 4:40pm. I mean, really, there were about 40 people on line ahead of me, and about twice that number behind me- it would have killed them to let us into the building earlier?? I was livid. I am not a fan of the cold weather by any stretch, and there I was trying to entertain a three-year-old with only two stuffed animals and a baggie of cinnamon cubs. Thank God said three-year-old really is a good-natured child, because he only got mildly whiney towards the end. ("Mommy, I don't like standing here." "Me, neither, Frank." "Can we go inside?" "Not yet." *sigh* "Awwight.")

Oh, and I need to mention the moment in the car when I told him what was going to happen, on the way to this place: I told him we were going to get him a shot, and it had special medicine in it that would make sure he doesn't get sick, and he said to me in a small voice:

"Mommy, are we going to do that hurty thing again?"

I swear a piece of me died inside, especially when I told him yes, and he said, "But I won't get sick. I'll make sure I don't get sick."


Anyway, we finally got through the line, got him his shot (cue up another moment of Mommy Feeling Like a Piece of Shit as she holds him down while he gets his shot) and waited for 15 minutes afterwards, to make sure he'd have no reaction. He didn't, and as soon as 15 minutes was up, and I told him it was time to go bye-bye, he all but sprinted for the door!

We peeled out of the parking lot at 5:40pm, and got home around 6pm. He's just goen to bed. They told me there was a chance he'd develop a low-grade fever within the next 24 hours. So help me God, daycare better not call me tomorrow and tell me he needs to be picked up because he's got a fever.

Monday, December 7, 2009


So, we're in the car two days before Thanksgiving, and this is the dialogue between me and the three-year-old boy:

Frank: Mommy, this week is Thanksgiving.
Me: Yes, it is, on Thursday.
Frank: (very matter of fact) I'm not going to eat the turkey.
Me:(slowly) Okay...why not?
Frank: Because I don't want to. I don't like it. I want to eat my food.
Me: Okay, but here's what's going to happen. You will have turkey, and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes on your plate, because I am making some for you [with fake milk and butter, to accomodate his food allergies]. You will have some of your food, too. You don't have to eat the turkey and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, but they do have to stay on your plate.
Frank: (thinks it over) Well...all right.
Me: Oh, and the plate will stay in front of your place. You will not push the plate away from you and cry.
Frank: (silent for a minute) All right, Mommy.

And that's exactly what happened. Last year, when I put regular Thanksgiving food on his plate, he threw a huge hissy fit. This year, calm acceptance. He only ate a few of his chicken nuggets at dinner because he'd been snacking with his cousins all afternoon, but he didn't get upset when a little sweet potato actually got on a nugget- he just discreetly wiped it on a napkin and ate it!

This is a pretty major deal for a kid as orally defensive as my son is. Sensory Processing Disorder becomes a behavioral issue, as well as a physical issue, in many kids. I guess it's because he's so little, and there's so little he can actually control about food, so refusing to eat it is one way to control it? I don't know for sure. At any rate, exposing him to different foods is actually one part of his therapy. I'm not as good with it as I used to be, and don't do it every day, as I should, though.

I keep trying to engage him in dialogue about food. He needs to start eating at least one fruit and one vegetable, neither of which he eats at this point, unless you count my homemade tomato sauce and applesauce (that's not homemade). I keep thinking that if I can get him to be able to explain what exactly about this food or that food is unpleasant to him, maybe we can figure out the "right" foods for him.

I get so frustrated with his food issues sometimes, and I try not to show him how frustrated I am. I mean, I come from a family where, in the words of my brother, "If someone presented us with the ass end of a skunk and told us it was good eating somewhere in the world, you and I would give it a try." Not wanting to eat something just because I've never eaten it before is a foreign concept to me. I lose track, though, of the progress Frank has made since he started occupational therapy at 17 months of age. He actually eats like many toddlers do- not terrific, but at least somewhere within the realm of average, and I tend to lose sight of that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


About a month or so before Thanksgiving, my husband told me to keep that Saturday and Sunday free- no interpreting jobs or anything. I asked him why, and he smiled mysteriously and said only, "You'll see."
He'd booked us a room overnight at Mohonk Mountain House. ( He'd been there before, a few times, on work retreats, but I had never been, and I'd always wanted to go. He got his mom to babysit for Frank and managed to keep it a secret until Thanksgiving, when my brother-in-law spilled the beans over dinner, prompting Darrel to say to his mother in an exasperated tone, "I can't tell you anything, can I??" (To be fair to my brother-in-law, by the look on his face, I don't think my mother-in-law had mentioned to him that the location was a surprise to me. Oopsie.)

Anyway, the trip was lovely...even though I'd awakened Saturday morning with Frank's cold that eventually became bronchitis and a serious URI that kept me out of work for three days. It took us about two hours to drive up. We checked in at 3:30pm and then wandered the grounds a bit. That was their first day lighting their Christmas tree there, at 5pm, so we went outside for carols and stuff, too. Dinner Saturday night was formal; I even bought a new dress for it!
Sunday we woke up and had the breakfast buffet, and then went for a hike, me hacking and wheezing the whole way up to Skytop. The view in the end was well worth all the wheezing- you could seriously see for MILES in every direction, and it was one of those clear, crisp fall days. (For those who see my Facebook page, my current profile picture is from about halfway up this hike.)
We had lunch buffet, and then checked out at 2pm and came home. We had, of course, forgotten that this is one of the major travel days of the year, and got stuck in some serious traffic coming home, but we arrived home shortly after 5pm.
It's late right now, and the pictures are somewhat screwed up here, but I'll fix it another time.
Oh, one more thing...this was a definite splurg for us. This place is so luxurious, and the staff...well, I felt rich while there! Polite nods, calling us "sir" and "madam"...I kept looking around to see who they were talking to! They really know how to run the place and make you feel like a queen, that's for sure!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I just realized I never blogged about Frank's first dentist appointment.

We got there at 8:50am and signed in. I'd filled out all the paperwork at home. (I downloaded them from the website. Yay, internet!) It's a nice office- it's done in an aquarium theme, with a HUGE fish tank right in the middle, which Frank loved- he'd asked me on the way in if this doctor would have fish!

We got called back and went in, and Frank became Mr Clingy. He refused to let go of me- I had to carry him in. The hygenist had me sit in the chair and put Frank on my lap, and she reclined the chair with us that way.

Frank never stopped crying and screaming the entire time she was checking and cleaning his teeth. I felt bad for her, and for the dentist, both having to sit there and listen to that the entire time, but they both laughed it off. "it doesn't matter to us," the dentist, a very nice woman, said. "If he's crying, his mouth is open, which means we can do what we need to do!" I had to laugh, because I hadn't thought about it that way!!

"Besides," the hygenist added. "He was a vcery good patient. He didn't try to kick me, bite me, or push my hand out of his mouth. He just laid there and cried."

I stared at her. " those things happen often?"

"Oh, yeah, occupational hazard. You should have seen the black eye I got last month when a kid kicked me!"

Day-um! I'll have to remember that next time I think my job is hard!

Anyway, Frank's teeth looked great; in their words, we are doing a very good job brushing his teeth, and need to keep up the good work, as well as start flossing. We haven't gotten on that yet. I'm pretty sure that'll be super fun.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't piss off the parents.

It seems that the entire afternoon staff in Frank's classroom has been changed. This happened the week after Darrel had a discussion with the director about the diaper-changing issue. It wasn't just us complaining, either- I found out from another mother that she had complained about the very same thing! Darrel had the discussion with the director, rather than me, because the day after I had decided that a "come to Jesus" meeting needed to be had, he happened to be the one to drop Frank off in the morning, and he ran into the director.

Personally, I think he arranged things so he could be the one to have the discussion because he knew how much of a rage I was in the one afternoon when I got home and opened Frank's diaper- it was clear, by the condition of the contents, that he hadn't been changed in a long time.

But, really, I had spoken to the head teacher not once, but twice, about this, and there's a big note for the afternoon staff saying which kids need changing. I don't like getting people in trouble, but my kid should not have to fear getting his diaper changed because of how much it will hurt, nor should he have to walk funny because of the size of the load in his pants.

Anyway, it's been much better the last couple of weeks, all around. He's wearing pull-ups during the day, and regular diapers at night. He hasn't asked for big boy underwear in several days, but there's been a lot going on, so I guess it hasn't occured to him. Also, I found out why he chose that particular day to ask me for them- one of his bestest friends, K, came to school that very day wearing big-girl underwear for the first time. ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Frank's "Friend Birthday party" was yesterday. Yeah, it's only two months after his birthday. Anyway, we held it here, and invited the kids whose names he mentions most often. Seven of them came, as did the two kids of friends of ours from college; the daughter is a few months older than Frank, and the son is five.

We set up the folding table adjacent to our kitchen table.

Judging by the fact that the kids were very reluctant to leave (two of them had to be carried out by their parents), I'd say it was a success! I had some games planned, but when the kids arrived, they all swarmed over Frank's toys, and they all were playing so nciely, I decided to bag the games. They arrived at 10:30am, and played for about a half hour. I then had chicken nuggets ready to be served, so we called them to the table. While they were waiting their turns to be served, they had pictures of fire trucks (the theme) to color. (I white paper on a roll I laid out beforehand and taped to the tables, just in case an enthusiastic colorer strayed off the paper.) They ate their chicken, chips and pretzels, and then ran back to play. We cleaned up lunch stuff, and got things ready for the cake. at 11:40am, we called them back to the table and sang Happy Birthday.
This plate is the set we had, with matching cups (which we didn't use- we used juice boxes) and napkins.

The cake was done by a bakery just down the road from us called Baker's Perfection. They also did our wedding cake, and they are fabulous! Seriously, if you ever find yourself in Morris County and need a cake for an occasion, go to them. They actually took a napkin I gave them and replicated the design for the cake! The cake itself was actually one of those pull-apart cupcake things, with buttercream icing- man was it good! And, as perusual, I ordered way too much, so we have a lot leftover. I'd figured the parents would eat some too, but only one or two did.

I handed out goodie bags, and the last child left at 12:30pm. Normally, this would have been when we put Frank in for a nap, but nope, not yesterday- it was then Niece #2's birthday party, 45 minutes away! Frank slept 20 minutes in the car on the way down, and not at all on the way home. We got him to bed at about 8:45pm last night, and he was quiet a good 12 hours! Darrel said he woke around 4am from a nightmare, and he stayed up with him a bit, but then he didn't call for us again until about 8:40am. I, of course, was wide awake at 7am, but that was okay, because I'd slept well and had gone to bed around 9:30pm.

Niece #2's party was fine, a normal family party. I showed Niece #1, age six, how to use my digital camera, and she went around and took some pictures. She seemed very interested in it. She's quite painfully shy, and doesn't say much, but if you ask her questions she'll nod or shake her head. I feel bad for her, and I worry about her.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Potty training

Or, excuse me, toilet learning, as the books insist on calling it now. "It's a child, nto a dog," the books all say. WhatEVER.

My son just turned three in September. He's in a class with 22 other kids at daycare, and he is only one of four who are still in diapers. It's been a problem for a few reasons, msotly because I'm not entirely certain they remember to change him in a timely manner. Frank tends towards diaper rashes. He always has a low-grade kind of rash, but it's been really bad off and on since the school year began, and he tranferred into the next older class. I find it telling that the rash gets worse as the week goes on, and gets better over the weekend.

He balks at using the potty, and has never shown any interest in it, so we decided, after realizing that peer pressure was not going to get him interested in it, that we were simply going to make him sit on the potty at various intervals throughout the day. They do it for us at school, too. He sits, and cries each time we make him sit, and so far, he has done nothing in the toilet.

Now, this week...Tuesday when he and I got home from school, and I changed his diaper, he randomly asked if he could wear his big-boy underwear. (I had bought about eighteen pairs at various times recently, of different characters, to try and get him interested in them.) I agreed- He put the underwear on (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), and a pair of sweatpants, and we went downstairs, along with a towel to spread on the couch where he likes to sit.

Twenty minutes later, he stood up. "Mommy, I'm wet." Okay, upstairs we went, with me praising him for telling me right away. (He'll let a load of pee or poop sit in there for hours if we let him. He never tells us. I gave him a sticker for telling me right away.) We changed his underwear (Cars this time) and his sweatpants and went back downstairs. Twenty minutes later, lather, rinse, repeat.

Yesterday, same deal, except with the second pair of underwear, he pooped instead of peed. I will only say that cleaning that pair of underwear was not the most fun I have ever had.

Today, again. The second pair he again soiled, but this poop was...less solid than yesterday.

I threw the pair of underwear out. Yes, I do realize underwear cost more than diapers, but I simply could not bring myself to try and clean this pair. It wa shard enough to get them off him without retching.

I'm not sure if letting him wear big boy underwear with him not really doing anything in the potty is accomplishing anything, but he does get a thrill when I tell my husband each evening about it anhd his teachers in the morning about it, so I guess I'll let him wear them as often as he asks for them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Teachers' Convention

I have today and tomorrow off for Convention. I'm not going, but I do have things I need to get done around here, so it's nice to have a couple of days. Frank is going to the dentist for the first time tomorrow morning, at 9am. Yeah, so not looking forward to that. Too bad I had that appointment scheduled, though- I could have gone into the city to see the Yankees' ticker-tape parade tomorrow! Oh, well, I'll probably have a better seat in my living room, anyway. One day, though, I want to go see a real ticker-tape parade in NYC.

Yes, the Yankees won their 27th World Series title last night, amidst, of course, lots of people grumbling about how they "bought" this title, because they have more money than all the other teams. Whatever. If money was the key to it, why don't the Yankees win every single year? Anyway, I fell asleep for the seventh and eighth innings, but woke for the last out in the ninth. Darrel stayed awake for the whole thing, and then some- he ended up sleeping in his recliner, and was awake again and watching highlights when I went downstairs at 6:30am today. I'm just SO glad I don't have school today, so I don't have to go through the day feeling like I've been hit by a Mack truck!

I have to finish my Christmas shopping this weekend, too. I am way behind where I usually am at this point in the year, and have to step it up if I'm going to finish everything by Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October is really over??

Wow. Huh. Well, there wasn't much going on for me to blog about, I guess. I managed to make it through an entire month without calling in sick. That's something of an accomplishment.

Haloween here was warm, but rainy. Yeah, way to go, weather guys- no rain for trick or treating, my ass! We bought about a thousand pounds of candy to hand out, based on last year's trick or treat numbers, and got maybe 30% of the numbers we had last year. I let the kids grab handfuls of whatever they wanted- we hand two bowls, and towards the end, I let them grab a handful from each bowl. Yes, I was in fact That Lady Who Gives Out Tons of Candy. :D

Frank dressed up as Thomas the Tank Engine, and. despite the rain, he enjoyed trick or treating. We went to eight houses before I decided it was time to head back home. Not that he actually will eat any of his haul, except for the green lollipop he already started sucking on last night; however, he does enjoy showing off what he got and counting and sorting it all: "Look, Mommy! I got two of dat and tree of dat!"

This Thursday and Friday is Teachers' Convention. Friday morning, Frank has his very first dentist appointment. I think I may need a Valium for this one. I told them he has Sensory Processing Disorder, so we'll see how it goes!!

We are having the birthday party for Frank's friends from daycare here at our house in two weeks. We've only invited seven kids, but, *whimpers* help me. It's only an hour and a half, but I hope having a whole bunch of preschoolers running around my house doesn't drive me off the deep end! It seems like the trend, for the most part, is for the kids to have their parties at these big-box gym type places and invite the whole class. Frank doesn't really like those places much- they're usually too loud, for starters. So we figured invite the kids whose names Frank mentions most often and have it here. Some free play, a couple of goofy games, snacks and cake, and they all go home. At least, I hope that eats up one and a half hours!

Niece number three's party is that afternoon, too, so after his party, Frank goes in for a short nap, and then we go to that party! Oh well, at least he should sleep well that night.

I have about half of my Christmas shopping done. I am hoping to spend Thursday getting the other half done.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back in school

Good thing I went back today- one of the other interpreters, P, was absent. She virtually never calls in sick, so she must really be sick. I feel bad for going in Monday and Tuesday now, because it was probably me that got her sick.

Or it could have been one of the kids- I never heard so much coughing and sniffling in September in my entire educational career! It's bizarre- my first period class had a test today, so it was really quiet, and all I heard was that gross sound of snuffling up snot because they didn't want to get up and get a tissue. Yech.

I feel SO much better than I did two days ago. Everyone around me is taking a long time to get over this thing. Based on the sound of most of their coughing, I bet they all have freaking bronchitis. Virtually none of them, student or staff, has gone to a doctor, too. "It's just a cold. I'd feel pretty stupid going to the doctor for just a cold." Whatever. Don't whine to me that you've been sick for two weeks and can't seem to shake this thing, then.

For once, having an immune deficiency is working in my favor- I went to a doctor a lot sooner than normal people seem inclined to do, and am much better much faster than they are!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good news, though:

Frank at least tasted his cupcake at daycare yesterday! We brought in cupcakes to celebrate his birthday, and he picked one with chocolate icing. According to the teacher, he had icing on his face and the cupcake was thoroughly mangled. I am well pleased, even if he just licked it once and played with the rest of it, because he's never actually been interested in eating anything cake-like before.

I do NOT have swine flu.

However, I do have an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis.

I went to school today and did the assembly. I felt crummy when I woke up, but there have been times that's happened and I pushed myself and it went okay. Today, not so much. I left at 11:50am.

I took my first dose of the antibiotic at 3pm. I'm not really optimistic about having a good night tonight, which means I'll very likely be calling in sick tomorrow. DAMN, I HATE using sick days this early in the school year!!

At least it's not just me, though. Two of the math teachers and I were in the ladies' room at the same time this morning, and one, who's been teaching for many years, told me she's never seen so many staff go down for the count this early in the school year as she's seen this year. I mentioned this to my doctor, who replied, rather ominously, "Yeah, I'm noticing that, too. It's rather concerning."

Yeah, that's just what me and my weak immune system needed to hear.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm sick.

I have a cold. And I am scheduled to interpret an assembly tomorrow, a good one, one I actually like to interpret each year. *sigh* Think I can shake this in the next 12 hours? No? Yeah, me neither.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good day

1. Frank did not cry when I left him this morning, for the first time since he started preschool. Yay! He did give me the boo-boo lip, but at the same time he was doing that, he was holding a book up to a teacher and asking her to read it to him. (Hooray for multitasking?)

2. He played with Play-doh today! He didn't just play with it- he really got into it, apparently. The teacher was so excited she came running up to me as soon as I walked in to pick him up today. She even took a piucture to show me- and he was smiling in the picture! This is news because, traditionally, Mr Sensory Processing will sort of touch the Play-doh, but he doesn't play with it, or knead it, or anything much. I can't wait to tell his OT tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday night

Friday night I drove into NYC to go to a happy birthday get together at a pub for one of my oldest friends. One of the highlights of this for me was to finally meet her other half. They've been together for several months, but I am lame and don't really go out much, so the fact that I hadn't met him before is really my fault.

I am happy to report that I approve. ;) When I left, I told her so with the first words that popped into my head to describe what I felt when I saw them together: "You fit together like two puzzle pieces." He's a very nice guy and he makes my friend happy, and that makes me happy.

He could have better taste in baseball teams, though. ;)

In other news, Derek Jeter beat Lou Gehrig's record for most hits as a Yankee Friday night. I left the pub, which had the game on, ten minutes before it happened. My timing was, as always, impeccable. However, I heard it on the radio- I was out on the West Side Highway at that moment- and I had the foresight to tape the game, so Darrel and I could watch it together.

My boo-boo is somewhat better. It's less red, all around, less painful, and part of it, er, began draining in the shower today. *makes retching face*

This afternoon, I am going to an Irish festival in Sussex County. My mother in law will be coming to babysit Frank so I don't have to bring him. I really don't want to bring him because I've never been to this festival before, and I've no idea how loud it will be. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I have a boo-boo.

This is how I explain it to my son. In reality, it's a huge, disgusting, red, painful, infected bug bite. It started Monday, with a little redness. Now, I get about a thousand bug bites every summer, and several of them usually do get infected, so at first I didn't think too much about it. Tuesday it was somewhat swollen, and tender to the touch. I took note of this, and resolved to keep an eye on it. Wednesday, it was downright painful, and because it's basically right on my knee, my knee hurts, too! So, I thought okay, if it still hurts tomorrow, I'll call the doctor.

The pain woke me in the middle of the night last night. When I got up this morning, it was even bigger, and hard! Ouch. Needless to say, I called my doctor during my first free period today, and got an appointment after school. He took one look at it, probed it, and asked me if I'd been bitten recently. Now, as I said, I get bitten a lot during the summer, but I can't recall anything in particular there, and I told him so. Still, though, he thinks it's a bug bite, and put me on an antibiotic, which I picked up as soon as I'd picked up my son, and I took the first dose of as soon as I got home. He also told me to use warm compresses on it, two or three times a day.

The doctor also drew a line in pen around the outer areas of redness, and told me that if the redness extends much beyond that line, even after I'm on the antibiotic, to call him immediately.

I really hope it clears up quickly. Aside from being painful, I'm now, after his ominous warning, picturing this causing me to have to get my leg amputated!! Only me, right? Only me...

In better news, Derek Jeter is tied with Lou Gehrig for most hits as a Yankee. If the game tomorrow night goes as scheduled(it's supposed to rain in NYC a LOT tomorrow, into the evening), he should break the record tomorrow night. I'm going to record the game because I'm going to be in Manhattan tomorrow night, celebrating a birthday. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009


We held Frank's Family Birthday Party here Saturday. Overall, the day went pretty well- Frank napped well, and got up just when a lot of guests were supposed to arrive. He ran around playing with his cousins, everyone ate well, and was having fun. He didn't want to blow out the candle on his cake; when I asked him later he said the sining was too loud...which explained why he buried his face into my shoulder while it was going on. He had fun opening his presents, and got a lot of nice stuff.

However. Darrel has a friend from high school whom we invited, along with his wife and almost two-year-old daughter. The daughter was wandering around, with the wife fairly close behind her, and she wandered by the swinset, where my niece, who was on the swing, accidentally hit her and she fell down. Niece was barely swinging at that point, and didn't hit the girl very hard, and in my opinion, the girl, who hadn't napped that day, was more shocked/scared than hurt. Friend flipped out at his wife. I won't post specifics, but it was downright abusive. Wife's lack of shock makes me believe firmly that this was not the first time this has happened.

What was most shocking to me was who this was- this is a guy whom Darrel has known for twenty plus years, and I've known him somewhat for svereal years myself, and neighter one of us ever remotely thought he'd be like this. (Darrel missed the whole thing, and I think he thinks I might be blowing it a tad out of proportion.)

I am so upset about it, two days later, that I don't even want to go to the class reunion we are scheduled to go to with them next month, because I don't want to see this guy. And there's nothing I can do to help the situation, nothing at all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I went back to work on Monday, for two days of orientation and workshops. The kids, thankfully, are coming in tomorrow for their first day. I'd rather have the kids there- I just do not have what it takes to be able to sit still and listen to other people talk all day!!

I got my schedule for this year, too. It looks pretty busy, which is good, and I have mostly pretty good classes for me...except for AP Chemistry! Anyone able to tutor me all year so I can sign somewhat coherently??

Frank cried when I left him yesterday, but did fine today. I think the cold he got over the weekend was really bothering him yesterday morning. He's been transitioning into the Preschool class, and he doesn't like it. They tell me he cries each day when he goes in there for a couple of hours. Once they can distract him with something, he's fine, but if he has any down time, he cries again. :( I'm pretty sure I'm going to be dropping off a sobbing child next Wednesday, his first full day in Preschool. I've been in the room, and introduced myself to the teachers, and explained his food issues. They seem pretty nice to me. It's a much bigger class than he's used to- his current Toddler class is 14 kids, and the Preschool class is, I think, 21 kids. I keep pointing out all the new toys he can play with in there, and look, they have real computers in there! They have a kitchen set he can play with!

It's times like this that I feel guilty, not because I work, but because I prefer to work instead of staying home all the time with my son. I mean, practically every mother I know is reluctant to come back to work, they loooooove staying home with their kids, etc. I liked being home with him this summer, more than before- he's older and mroe interactive, and we actually went out and did stuff this summer; all that will be even easier next summer, once he's not napping anymore. But I'm ready to go back to school. I like having the routine. I love what I do. Why do I love that more than being home with my kid all the time? I have no idea.

Friday, August 28, 2009


They finally started turning red this week! Yay!!

I noticed Wednesday, but was in denial, that the plants are not looking really healthy. I am now 99% sure as to why.

My tomatoes have blight. Yes, blight, as in Irish Potato Famine blight. Who knew it attacked tomatoes, too? I read in the local paper that it was just down the road (literally- they interviewed a gardener who lives in a section of town approximately a mile from my house as the crow flies) about three weeks ago, and prayed it wouldn't find its way here. But it has.

I yanked out the worst hit plants and threw them in the trash, as well as all of my cucmbers, which never really took off this year. I made sure I picked up every spare leaf and everything, too. The reason I did not yank out all the plants is because there are still a few decent-looking tomatoes on some plants left, so I was thinking of leaving them for another couple of days, in hopes they'd turn red. Now that I've been reading tons of stuff online about blight, though, I think I'm going back outside in the rain tonight, detach those green tomatoes, and trash the rest of the plants. Hopefully Sunday will be somewhat decent (screw you, hurricane Danny!) so I can get out there and give the garden a good lookover, to make sure there is no trace of tomato anything left out there.

The plants have to go out with the trash, and not in the compost, because blight is a fungus. You do not even want it on your property, much less in your compost that will eventually be sprinkled all over new plants, because you've just screwed yourself and any future plants. This year, bascially, has been a perfect storm for blight growth here in NJ- the fungus normally hits a couple of places, but between the fungus itself travelling, according to one site, up to 40 miles, and the enormous, Biblical amounts of rain we've had this summer, it's been prime season for growing any kind of fungus.

Well, at least I'm not alone- I heard a while ago Michelle Obama had tomato blight in her White House garden, too! Apparently it's far more common in organic gardens than in those that use various chemicals. Geez, you try and do something right...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Frank went to daycare this morning. For me, the day has been an exercise in frustration.

I spent the morning off and on (I had to come in once in a while to cool off and get water) trying to dig out a few bushes in my front flower beds. Three of the four I wanted to dig out are in the bed I want to clear out and designate as my rose garden. The other bush is in a different bed. (There are three more bushes in addition that are in a different bed, too.)

I got two dug out. Two. I am so pathetic. I did also manage to clear out what was left of some scraggly ground cover in the rose garden, but two bushes? Also, the soil's so incredibly rocky; I've never seen anything like it! I had a few boulders I had to clean out today, one of which weighed more than my son! Part of the reason it took me so long was because I kept stopping to toss rocks out. My rock pile is going to be ten feet tall by the time I get done with this crap.

I have to get some serious dental work done. I went to the dentist Monday, and it turns out I have four cavities. Two of them are easy, and I am getting them filled tomorrow. But the other two are on teeth on either side of the bridge I have. Basically, this means I'd have to get the brdige removed, get the cavities filled, and get the bridge back on...OR get a dental implant. This would mean I'd get the bridge out, and go to an oral surgeon to have an implant drilled into the bone in my jaw. :o Six months after that (have to allow it to heal, I guess), I'd go to my dentist, and he'd basically just screw in a new tooth, and that would be fine for life. The teeth anchored to the bridge now will basically just keep degrading, which my dentist who put the bridge in ten years ago had told me probably would eventually happen, so I can't say I wasn't warned. So, all around, while the getting of it sucks, eventually, it sounds to me like the implant would eb the right answer.

My insurance, it seems, does not cover implants at all. When I asked why, the rep whom I spoke with simply said, "That's what your group decided on." WTF??? As my husband said when I told him, "And people say we don't need health care reform."

So, now, I don't know what to do. I have an appointment for a consultation with an oral surgeon next week, and, as I've said, I see my dentist tomorrow. I plan on asking exactly how much this whole thing is when I do go, and I will be telling him point blank that my insurance does not cover it. Darrel said he'd check if he could get me on his insurance, if his covers implants, but his open enrollment isn't until December, and from what my dentist said, I don't think I can wait that long to have all this done, because the teeth on either side of the bridge will probably rot out by then!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A day in the life of a toddler with Sensory Processing Disorder

8am- I wake up. I need my diaper changed immediately if not sooner because "my butt hurts!" Even though there is no visual evidence of a diaper rash.

8:05am- I get dressed. First, though, Mommy must rub Aveeno cream on my back because "My mosquito bites hurt and itch." Even though all visual evidence of them has disappeared two weeks ago.

8:15am- I ask Mommy to please take the tags out of the t-shirt I've been wearing at least once a week for the past six months because, "the tags hurt". Mommy carefully cuts the tags out and waits for me to start whining because the ragged edge hurts. Miraculously, it does not.

8:16am- I eat my breakfast- a Lender's bagel in the microwave on high for 20 seconds. No, not toasted- bagels are not toast! Bagels must be soft and chewy and warm, not rough like toast!

8:55am- Mommy and I arrive at the dentist. Mommy gets a cleaning. I freak because of all the noise- the thing that sucks saliva out of Mommy's mouth is too high-pitched, as is the thing that actually cleans her teeth. Oh, and the thing that dries out the inside of Mommy's mouth? That's pretty darn terrifying, too- it just sounds scary, and I have no idea why. Mommy seems pretty relaxed, but I don't know why. Wait, Mommy did tell me this, but if she thinks I am letting that dentist guy put his hands IN MY MOUTH and count my teeth, she's got another thing coming. Oh, good, the dentist is a smart man- he decided not to try it, and gave Mommy the name of a dentist who specializes in kids. I don't know why he bothered- I am not letting any strange person do the stuff in my mouth that that guy did in Mommy's mouth today!!

10:30am- Shopping, whee!!! Mommy lets me help her push the cart. We buy all kinds of fireman stuff for my birthday party with my friends! Mommy bought special hats that look like cones. She stands looking at them for a long time before putting them in the cart. I see a cool red plastic fireman hat and ask hopefully if I could have it. Mommy beams at me like that was a wonderful idea and says yes. I wear it around the rest of the store and in the car on the way home. She says we have to be careful with it because I will wear it at my birthday party! I don't care- I like it now! Mommy mutters under her breath something that sounds like, "At least there's one hat you'll wear without screaming."

11:10am- We arrive at the haircut place. Oh, crap. I knew this was coming- Mommy started talking about it over the weekend- but I really hoped she'd forget. I hate haircuts- the place is so loud, especially when the haircut lady uses those loud things near my ears to cut little tiny hairs. The comb feels scratchy on my scalp, and the water bottle she sprays my hair with ("That makes your hair easier to cut," Mommy says.) is just COLD and feels like needles! The place is kind of fun to wander around before the haircut- they have video screens and stuff to play with- but the minute the lady comes to get us, I start crying. I can't help it. I wish I never needed another haircut. I cry through most of the haircut, but about 3/4 of the way through, I notice that the video on the screen in front of my chair (It's so high up!! What if I FALL??) is interesting, so I stop crying so I can hear the video. When the haircut is all done, the lady brushes powder all over me, yuck!! It stinks and it makes me sneeze! Mommy says it helps get the hair off me so it doesn't itch me all day long. Can't they get it off me a different way? Once that's done, though, Mommy picks me up, sits down, and hugs and squeezes me tight, and rubs my scalp for me. Aahhhh...that's so much better. Then we go and get a toy from the machine, pay for the haircut, and come home.

12:30pm- We're home. I sigh and sit down on my nice couch and take my shoes and socks off because my feet are hot, and watch Dora and Diego. Once they're done, and I eat some applesauce for lunch, Mommy brings me upstairs, changes my diaper, reads me a story, and puts me in my crib. She has a good memory- she even remembered I need my socks back on to sleep- they're already in the crib, waiting for me. I can't sleep without them, no matter how hot it is- my feet feel too open without the socks holding them in!

****************'s now 2:30pm, and he's been in for a nap for about a half hour. This afternoon, we're going to the library, which he likes.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It's not just for toddlers anymore! Although they certainly fuel the cranky, if my toddler is any example. And my toddler is generally possessed with a more sunny disposition than the average toddler. (I'm not making that part up, either- his daycare providers, who have a lot more experience with toddlers than I have, tell me this all the time! *proud Mommy moment*)

I have a headache. I forget if I mentioned it yesterday, but Tylenol, etc., has only put a dent in it. I am thinking of looking around to see if I have any more of the Great Drugs I got sent home from the hospital with two and a half years ago. (I barely took any of them for the pain issues I had then, and have rationed them out since then for serious pain things, mostly headaches because I am an absolute baby when it comes to headaches.) The problem is, they take the pain away, but they also zone me out, so I have to be careful when I take them. Two and a half one could say I am an addict if one prescription has lasted over two years!

It's been raining again, which furthers the cranky right now. It's rained so much this year, things are damp and moldy that never were before. Also, I think I am one of those people who gets down when there's not enough sunlight, because I do notice a trend with that- I have more problems sleeping in the winter, and more difficulty waking up in winter, for example. During summer I am pretty consistently sleeping seven to eight hours a night, which is really quite good for me, and have generally awakened by about 6:30am, mostly without an alarm.

Frank, I think, is on the way to outgrowing his nap. On the one hand, this will make scheduling activities easier, because we won't have to plan around that. On the other hand, I do enjoy having that two or so hours of quiet time in the middle of the day!! He's pretty consistently napped only for about an hour and a half per day over the last week or so, and awakened earlier in the morning than he did at the beginning of the summer. Based on what the daycare people tell me, this is about average- in the class he is moving up to in September, according to the teachers there, about half the kids nap and half don't. He starts transitioning to that class next week, so tune in late next week for that drama. (Actual quote from him on the subject Thursday: "I don't want to go to preschool. I want to stay in Miss K's class.")

Now that my husband is home, I think I am going to look for those Good Drugs. (I don't like taking them when I am the only responsible adult in the house.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Field trip!

Frank's daycare had a field trip scheduled for the Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, NJ this morning. I hadn't been there in probably 25 years; truthfully, last time I was there, it was pretty sad and dumpy, so I never bothered trying to go back.

I woke up to cloudy and overcast weather, so I called the daycare- yep, the trip is still on. Awesome. I wouldn't have wanted the task of trying to explain to Frank why we weren't going somewhere he's been excited about for three days.

It was SO HOT!!!!! I think the temperature was in the low ninties by the time we left the zoo at noon (on the non-airconditioned bus), and it was incredibly humid. The bees were terrible, too. It was a helluva way to find out Frank's diaper bag had a spill inside it...probably of "Grover juice". Frank and his little friends all had a good time, though, which was the important part. We've been home for four hours now, and had planned on going to the library when he woke up from his nap this afternoon, but neither of us is feeling terribly ambitious right now. Nor are we at all curious to see if the thunderstorm that blew through here a while ago has broken the heat at all.

On another note, I have red tomatoes, at long last! I'm going to eat my first one shortly. :) The one cucumber and the several green beans I've eaten out of the garden this year have been tasty, so I'm looking forward to the tomato.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Funny child moment

Proof that my son is truly mine (and my husband's): He has this little laptop computer like thingy from Little Einsteins. He was sitting on the couch with it this evening while I was making dinner, and trying to figure out something on it. He began to talk to it!

"No...I want 'O'!...Dat's not 'O', dis is 'O'! What do you mean? No, I don't want dat, I want dis!"

It was pretty darn hard for me to keep from giggling at this. I can just picture him in a few years yelling at the TV with us while watching a sporting event!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My sister

My little sister is 30, which is seven years younger than I am. We've never been what you'd call close, not only because of the age difference, but because we're pretty different personalities. I've always been overly responsible- as the oldest child, especially after my parents divorced when I was 12, it was my job to pick C up from daycare after school and bring her home. My brother, B, who is three years younger than I am and had a tendency to be a bit flaky, would make his way home, usually with a friend or two in tow. Once we were all home, I had to call Mom at work to notifiy her we were all home, then get the two of them a snack and oversee them while they played. (B, again, usually had at least one friend with him. His friends seemed to feel that our house was The Hangout. One of the most common visitors was best man in his wedding two years ago and sold me a car last year!) I sometimes also had to start dinner.

When C was 12, I really have no idea what she did- I only know what she didn't do, because Mom would call me at college and complain to me about it. "She doesn't clean her room, she doesn't do this, she doesn't do that..." Um, yeah, she's not my kid, don't complain to me, I always wanted to say. But I am and always have been A Good Girl, so I always listened and commiserated.

The closest I ever came to rebellion was my freshman year of college, first semester- I basically didn't study much at all. I was free to do whatever I wanted, without my mother being all over me, so I went out for pizza and bowling and hung out chatting with friends through all hours. (I was never a drinker, though- growing up with an alcoholic father cured me of that urge rather young.) Yeah, that was great, until I got my report card for that semester, and the hell that was my life at that point cured me of that- I did well for the rest of college. Not great, but well.

My sister rebelled, oh how she rebelled. She drank, smoked, and snuck out of houses at sleepovers with friends to take the bus into NYC. And she got away with it all, even when people found out about it. People made excuses for her, too!

My sister graduated college, to hear Mom tell it, by the skin of her teeth. My mother said they "let C out of school". Whatever. Three months after graduation, she had a decent job with benefits. (It took me, being all responsible and stuff, nearly a year to land a job with benefits. Yeah, me, with my medical history, lived without health insurance for nearly a year. That's a rant for another day, though...)

C quit that job six months later, without another one lined up, because it "sucked". (Yeah, try working an assembly line in a perfume factory, like I did summers while I was in college!! Or two jobs at once, like I did most of that time as well. It could not possibly have sucked more than that.) My father called me and told me to call my sister and "talk some sense into her". I started laughing. "Dad, number one, the deed is done. Number two, she's never listened to me in her entire life- what on earth makes you think she's going to start now???" C worked as a waitress for the next year or so and quit when she had a nervous breakdown. (Side note: just once in my life, I would like to feel like things would be taken care of if I had a nervous breakdown.) She worked another couple of jobs, including one somewhat related to her major at Big Time Clothing Company in NYC, on Fifth Avenue, no less.

She quit that one two years ago and went to grad school, in art therapy. I snorted when I found out. She's started and quit so many things in her life, my first thought was, "She's never going to finish. It'll be too much work for her."

She finished, graduating this past May. I don't know what she's been doing with her summer, but she leaves in nine days to go to Namibia, to do art therapy on a volunteer basis with kids there. (I hope she brings a vat of sunscreen- she's fairer than I am!)

Maybe, at age 30, she is finally growing up? I hope so. All I know is her entire life, she's gotten away with behaviors that would have gotten me reamed out at half the age she was, and people have always made excuses for her. Hell, people still make excuses for her.

And me? I've always done my best to do The Right Thing, and have always been overlooked as a result.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New baby!

One of my friends had her baby on July 29th! She just sent out the birth announcement email today. He was six pounds and some ounces, so, even though he wasn't due until, if I recall correctly, mid-August, he seems to be fine.

Hm, I never heard about a baby shower, now that I think about it...maybe she didn't have one?

Either that or we're not as good friends as I thought we were, because I wasn't invited.

Monday, August 10, 2009

RID Convention

I had a great time! One of my co-workers picked me up at my house Saturday morning and we met the other two co-workers at another house. We left there at about 10:30am, and pulled up in front of our hotel in Philadelphia at about 12:30pm. We were able to check in, even though check-in time is posted as 3pm. (This is my experience with conventions: hotels know when they are hosting one, so they generally try to have everything ready in time for conventioneers who show up early.) It took us a fair bit of doing to get up to our room- the elevators only worked if you inserted your card key into a slot in the elevator, and two of our keys didn't work! We went up, we went down, but we never hit our floor, fifteen. It was very frustrating. Of course, it took us that long for it to dawn on us that, hey, maybe the keys weren't actually working. Once we figured that out, and got new keys, we were able to find our room and get in just fine.

I had every intention of going to a workshop that afternoon, I really did. But my three coworkers were talking about going sightseeing, and, even though I've been to Philly several times before (it isn't that far from north Jersey), I blew off the workshop and went sightseeing! We went to the Art Museum, but didn't go in. The museum is famous for its front steps- Rocky Balboa ran up them during a sequence in Rocky. There's even a bronze statue of Rocky waving his hands in the air at the base of the steps. People line up to get their pictures taken with Rocky. (I did not stand in line; I just took a picture with two random dudes in it.) We also saw a wedding party getting their pictures taken in front of the museum. It's really quite pretty, and I could see why they'd choose that. (Heck, when Darrel and I went to London, we saw a wedding party getting pictures taken at the Tower of London! Yeah, nothing like starting out your married life at a place notorious for its executions.)

We also went and wandered around a bit near Independence Hall, and we went inside the new structure and saw the Liberty Bell. Two of my coworkers had never seen it before.

We ate most meals while in Philly at Reading Terminal Market, an indoor marketplace with all kinds of eateries. They were pretty cheap, too!

Weird thing that happened Saturday night: at 1:41am (yes, I blearily looked at the clock), someone knocked on the door. W got up and went to the door and looked through the peephole. "Who is it?" she snapped.

"Room service," came the reply.

"We didn't order room service. Go away!" W snapped. The thought blearily crossed my mind that maybe we should call the front desk and tell them, but we didn't. Yes, I know, stupid. The next morning, W went to the front desk and told them.

Room service ends at 10pm.

Apparently this is part of a scam- people sneak into the hotel and try to break into rooms this way. Scary, and I keep trying to reassure myself that if I were the one to go to the door, no way I would have opened it, but I'm honestly not sure. W gave a description of the guy, and they do have security cameras, but I really don't expect them to find him. W told the front desk we were scared: "He knows there's women in the room now, what if he comes back? We want more security on our floor." They did provide that- I saw the guys in uniforms wandering around.

As for how did he get up to our floor in the first place, when you can only work the elevator if you have a key? I bet he just wandered on an elevator with someone else who had a key. I saw plenty of people doing that.

Sunday, we were up early and at our first workshop at 8:30am. We had a lunch break 11am-12pm, and then back into the same workshop until 2:30pm. Break again, then workshop 4:30pm-6pm.

Monday, there was a business meeting 8-12, which I had no intention of going to, so I met my college friend, G, for brunch. He picked me up on the corner nearest the hotel and we headed for a diner nearby. The diner turned out to be closed, like grass growing through the broken pavement and vines creeping up the sides of the building closed, so we ended up at a Friday's for lunch, at 11am. It was good to see him; we don't get to hang out nearly often enough. Back to the hotel for workshop 2-5pm, then dinner at Maggliano's, across the street from the hotel.

I bought a shirt for Frank from one of the exhibitors- I got it specially made for him. It says his name in fingerspelling on the front, and has a soccer ball, basketball, and a football picture under his name. On the back, it has the manual alphabet. :) It's a bit big for him, but hey, he'll grow. ;)

Tuesday, another business meeting 8-12 (how can business take up eight solid hours???), so coworker P1 and I went sightseeing while W and P2 stayed at the hotel to relax for a while. P1 and I walked towards Independence Hall and split up there- she went to the Jewish Museum and then back to the Art Museum, this time to go inside, while I went to the relatively new Constituion Center. It's a museum devoted solely to the Constituion. I spent about two hours there, and could have spent longer! It is a history geek's fantasy come to life, seriously. I bought Darrel a shot glass there, and some post cards for one of my loyal readers. *waves at Deb* I wandered around that area a bit, and headed back to the hotel for workshops 2-5pm, and 6:30-8pm.

Wednesday was our last day. We were up early and packed, and in our final workshop at 8:30am. When we broke for lunch at 11am, we ran back to the hotel, got a luggage cart, and handed it all over to the bellhop and we checked out. The bellhop labeled it for us and put it somewhere it'd all be safe. We ran to Reading Market, grabbed something quick, and ran back to the workshop, which finished at 2:30pm. After that, we went back to Reading Market again to wander around a bit more, then back to the hotel, got P2's car, loaded it up, and left at 3:15pm. Dropped off P1 at her house, then drove to P2's house, where W and I got W's car. W then drove me back to my house and headed west to her house. I walked in the door at 6:15pm. Frank smiled at me. "Hi, Mommy!" he said. "Dragontales is on!" I can see he was traumatized by my absence.

Before we'd left on Saturday, Darrel had commented to me, "Driving down and rooming with three coworkers? This could end really well or really badly." I am pleased to say that it ended really well- we got along great the whole time! We were even polite when we saw Toxic Former Coworker during a few of the workshops.

I'm looking forward to the Region 1 convention in Albany next summer, and the national convention in 2011 in Atlanta. :)

Pictures will, of course, be forthcoming. We are getting a new computer, and I am waiting for the new computer before I upload all my new pictures. Hopefully Darrel will have time soon to put it all together and set it up!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wedding video

Check this site out:

The happy couple is taking their popularity and channeling it towards a worthy cause- prevention of domestic violence. So, check the site and the video out!

RID Convention!

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is having their biannual national convention, starting tomorrow. For the first time in an almost ten-year career as an interpreter, I am going. It's in Philadelphia this year. Three coworkers and I are driving down together and rooming together. We figure we'll all become each others' bestest buddies or be ready to kill each other by the time we come home Wednesday night.

I'm really excited about it. I get really energized by conferences, workshops, or conventions. I guess it's because I love what I do? Or maybe it's just being around a whole bunch of other people who do the same thing I do, which, I admit, is somewhat out of the ordinary; we tell jokes that only other interpreters (or deaf people) would get, and when we swap work stories, they don't have to be prefaced with a huge explanation beforehand to explain why the story is funny or whatever. I just know I always come back totally gung ho to get back into the classroom.

I amalso looking forward to not having to carry around a diaper bag for FIVE WHOLE DAYS. I won't need to worry about packing enough for Mr Picky, or making sure there's enough wipes, or what do I pack for him to drink. I won't need to change a diaper for FIVE WHOLE DAYS. I won't need to make chicken nuggets and cut them up for FIVE WHOLE DAYS.

I'm really excited.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Okay, first off, if you haven't yet watched this video, watch it now:

I've watched it several times, and each time, it makes me smile. Everyone just looks so incredibly happy, which is how a wedding should be. I mentioned it to my favorite deacon, a 70-year-old woman, today at church, and she beamed. "Oh, I saw that on the news! I haven't seen the whole thing, but what I saw, I loved! All weddings should be that happy!" When I got home, I emailed her the link for the whole video.

Frank is doing well. Thursday we stayed home all day, and my mother in law came over. She stayed for dinner and overnight, leaving Friday at 12:30pm, when I put Frank in for a nap. By Friday, he was acting a bit more cranky, which eventually I figured out was because the kid was bored, so I took him to the library and to a couple of stores after his nap. That improved his mood a great deal. Over the weekend, he's been fine, too, except when we had to give him his medication (an antibiotic- preventatively, and ear drops). He hates them both, and cries the whole time I put the ear drops in. Fortunately, yesterday was the last day for the drops, and tomorrow is the last time for the pink medicine.

I'm watching a show right now entitled "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant". I wish my pregnancy had been so easy that I didn't know I was pregnant!

Saturday I leave for Phildelphia for five days, for the national conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). I'm driving down with three coworkers, and rooming with them, and I can't wait! It's going to be so much fun. Oh, and I think I can get all the CEUs I need for the entire year in five day, too. :) I'm meeting a friend of ours from college, G, for brunch on Monday morning. He lives in NJ, just outside Philly.

I've been trying to weed, and get an hour here and an hour there done, but it's hard- number one, herding Frank at the same time makes it somewhat unproductive, so I have to wait until he's in for a nap, and number two, the mosquitoes are TERRIBLE this year! I have so many bites, and I think a couple of them got infected. I scar very easily, too, so it doubly sucks.

We finally got the deck furniture this week we ordered from Target in early May, and got it up today. It looks nice. Things are finally starting to look put together around here!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Frank's surgery was this morning, at 9:30am. I wasn't terribly nervous about it until I got the phone call on Monday telling me the time it was slated for. I've been reading a couple of books to him about hospitals the past few days- Curious George Goes to the Hospital and Harry Goes to the Hospital. I've been talking the past few days about how, "Wednesday, we'll all go to the hospital. You'll go to sleep and the doctor will fix your ears, and when you wake up, Mommy and Daddy will be there." I'm honestly not sure how much of that he got, really.

He was in a great mood when we woke him up this morning, and was singing "Bob the Builder" the entire way to the hospital. This can get quite grating after a minute or so, because he only really knows the "Bob the Builder/Can we fix it/Bob the builder/yes we can!" part. He mumbles his way through the rest of it, and then sings nice and loud again for the chorus...and insists that whoever is in the car sings with him.

We got to the hospital at 8:20am, signed in, and I filled out paperwork while Darrel entertained Frank. At 9:15am, they took us back in, and we had more paperwork. We got Frank into his PJ bottoms and the blue hospital gown top. He sat there and cried the whole time. Once we identified to the nurse that I was the parent who was going into the OR with him, she gave me an outfit to put on over my clothes; as Darrel put it, "Look, Frank- Mommy looks like she's ready to go clean up a toxic waste dump!" It was a one piece white (disposable) jumpsuit, booties of the same material, and a hat. (If you've seen ER, then you know what kind of hat I am talking about.) The jumpsuit zipped up the front.

We then went to another waiting area, this one with some toys, which cheered Frank up a bit. Oh, and the nurse gave him stickers, too, which are always a winner. We met with the anesthesiologist there, and Dr G came in to talk to us for a few minutes. Darrel had never met Dr G before, so I introduced them, (Darrel's comment later: "Boy, their styles [both ENT doctors] really are very different!") Once that whole thing was over, it was time. We took Frank's shoes off, and I followed Dr G and carried him into the OR. The OR looked exactly like the one in the Curious George book, a fact I pointed out to Frank...who was not at all impressed by it, mostly because he'd been crying constantly since we took his shoes off.

I sat him down on the table, and the anesthesiologist moved him towards the pillow/head area, so that he was sitting there, looking at me, with his back to her. She gently placed the mask on his face, and held him and the mask firmly. He didn't fight- he just sat there crying, looking utterly defeated. I gently held his hands, told him I loved him, he was doing a great job, and when he woke up, Daddy and I would be there. In less than a minute, he was completely limp- it took me by surprise as to how quickly it happened, truthfully. And it was a bit creepy seeing it happen, and seeing him so limp like that, more limp than when he's sleeping, even!

Dr G escorted me out of the OR and pointed me back towards where Darrel was waiting. He also complimented me on how well I'd done. "Yeah, we get some parents in here...they get very emotional, which obviously doesn't do the kids any good. You did a great job and so did he."

Darrel and I went back out to the waiting room. 45 minutes later, Dr G came out- everything went fine, Frank was in recovery, and when he woke up, someone would get us. 15 minutes after that, we were informed that he was awake. We hurried back, and he was sitting on a full-size gurney, looking so tiny...and crying. As I approached him, he sobbed, "Can you pick me up?" We maneuvered the IV lines and pulse ox monitor, and I picked him up and held him. They wheeled the gurney out and a recliner chair in, and I sat on that, holding him. He lay his head on my shoulder again and fell asleep almost immediately, and stayed asleep for another hour, when we were moved to the secondary recovery area. He woke up enough at that point to indicate something of an interest in a Teletubbies video they had there...and threw up, twice. It was pretty much all blood and mucus the first time, and it wasn't much- apparently that'll happen because it gets into his stomach during the surgery. The scond time, it was applesauce and "Grover juice" (white grape juice, so called because there's a picture of Grover on it).

We left at close to 1pm. He fell asleep in the car almost before we left the parking lot. As I told my mother later, "It was like he was narcoleptic- he was crying, 'Waaaa-'. I looked back at him, and he was snoring!" He slept the whole way home, waking up when I undid his carseat. We tried to get him to drink or something, and he drank a few sips of Grover juice...and yakked all over one of our couches and himself and me. *sigh* (Side note: I think I need a new couch, it's that bad.) However, once I was changing his clothes after this fiasco, he looked up at me and announced in a clear voice, "I feel all better now!!" *giggles*

A short while later, he said his belly was hurting again. I took a chance because he wasn't being whiney about it (With him, whiney + "my belly hurts" usually = vomit soon; statement of fact about belly hurting usually means extreme hunger.) and gave him half a bagel...which he tore into like a freaking animal, he was so hungry!! I cautioned him to go slowly, but he kept tearing into it. He kept that down, drank a full Grover juice, ate a few bites of applesauce, and two chicken nuggets between 4pm and 7:30pm. I think he'll be fine. ;)

Side note: His voice is really high pitched now. It sounds like he's been sucking on helium. (They had told me this could happen, and should clear in a few days.) It's freaking hilarious. I have to work to keep from giggling each time the kid talks!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Surgery is scheduled...

...for July 22nd. I don't yet know what time, but it should be in the morning, since, as was explained to me, they take younger kids earlier. He's having ear tubes put in, and adenoids taken out. He is also having what's called a tonsil ablation (sp?). Basically, this means they are not removing the tonsils; they are instead, shaving them down, leaving some tonsil tissue. It sounds like a win-win situation for him: it has approximately the same recovery as just adenoids and ear tubes (a few days), and a fraction at most of the pain associated with full tonsilectomy, because they don't cut away onto the throat muscle, not to mention much less risk of bleeding and stuff. (The surgery itself should take all of a half hour, a fact that surprised me, but apparently, as far as surgeries go, none of these are very complex.)

The doctor recommended this as opposed to simply leaving them or removing them altogether for a few reasons: Just because he's never been diagnosed with tonsilitis doesn't mean he won't be in the future, and chances of that happening are much less with less tonsil in there. Same goes for sleep apnea, which he currently does not have; it doesn't mean he couldn't develop it at some point in the future, but the chances are much less.

Time-wise, the 22nd works out well for us, too: it's well over a week before I leave for my RID convention, which means if he takes longer than expected to recuperate, I'll still be around to take care of him during the day. We're not going away on vacation at all after that, either. And it's just over a month before I go back to school.

Still, though...this is my baby going in for surgery. He's going to be scared and confused, no matter what books we read him beforehand or what we tell him! :(

Monday, June 29, 2009

My son the charmer

So, I picked the kid up from daycare today. Now, just so you can visualize this properly, I did yardwork for the two hours prior to me picking him up, and was wearing an old tank top and shorts. (I also haven't shaved my legs in at least three days, but I doubt he notices such things.)

We got home, I turned on his favorite TV show, and I went to get his dinner and ours ready.

When I brought him a sippy cup with milk in it, he looked up from the TV and said, "Mommy, you look GOERGOUS!"

I burst out laughing. I did thank him. He looked pleased with himself for making me laugh. If he were older, I would have responded with, "Okay, what do you want?"

Oh, and he said that his new girlfriend is J, a different little girl than K, his one true love these many months. K does not come to daycare on Mondays and Fridays, though, so I am willing to bet that when K shows up tomorrow, she is now his girlfriend again.

In about ten years, there are going to be females calling this house day and night.

I am so screwed.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


We have bees! Those who know me well will be able to hear the mortal terror in my tone when I say that line.

Bees have decided to make the eaves just off our deck their new cozy home. Darrel sprayed this evening, after the sun went down, with some Raid wasp and hornet spray. He reports that the bees seem pretty pissed, and are completely unwilling to go anywhere near the eaves. Me, I'd rather have them dead than pissed, because alive and pissed means they can just find another home...hopefully one far away from my house!

As if I didn't have enough to worry about here, between the bears and the snakes...

Oh, I never mentioned the snakes? Well, one snake, but still. Two weeks ago, Frank and I were coming home in the afternoon, and we walked around to the front door. As we passed one of the bushes, I looked closely at the odd thing that looked somewhat like a stick nestled cozily on top of it.

It was a snake. Mere feet from my house. And mere feet from my two-year-old, who fears nothing.

I picked up said two-year-old, and pointed out the snake. "Ohhh...can I touch it?" he asked, as I'd known he would. (I do hate to say it, but in certain ways, I am finding toddlers to be quite predictable!)

"No," I told him. "Never, ever, ever touch a snake. Snakes can bite, and it will hurt! Don't touch the snake. If you see a snake, don't touch, tell Mommy and Daddy."

I think it's (sort of) sunk in, mostly because I quiz him on this from time to time. "Frank, what do you do if you see a snake?"

"Tell Mommy and Daddy."

"Do you touch the snake?"


Who knew I moved out to wild freaking kingdom??

Friday, June 26, 2009

Walk to Defeat ALS

I noticed I got a comment from the ALS Association of Greater New York on one of my previous postings *waves* Yes, I did walk again this year, and I raised more than I had ever raised before- more than $1000!! I don't have an exact amount yet, because a couple of donations have just come in now, two weeks after the walk. I'm really pleased with how well I did; I think my top before was $500.

Frank, a coworker, P, and I walked that day. Well, we planned on walking. P brought a friend of hers, and we met up with her neighbors there, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise- Frank had an absolute meltdown! See, the area before you actually start walking is noisy, with a huge sound system blasting out music, and there are tons of people there. It was too crowded and too noisy for him to handle- he just started crying and couldn't stop. Usually, he doesn't seem to have a problem with noise- Lord knows there have been plenty of times I've walked into daycare to pick him up and the place has been an absolute zoo- but for whatever reason, he couldn't handle it that day, so he and I left before the walk even started. :( Still, though, the ALS Association got the money, which is the important part, I guess, but I was rather disappointed. I'm going to definitely reconsider whether I take him next year or not! Anyway, P and her friend walked together, and they had a good time. The weather was perfect that day, too.

I have an appointment next Thursday with Frank's ENT doctor. Hopefully I can schedule his surgery while I am there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm back!

Yeah, okay, I took a couple of months off. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to write about, and then I was too tired, and too lazy, so...yeah.

Anyway, it's officially summer! I say officially because school got out this past Monday, and Graduation was Monday night. It's hard to say who's more happy on Graduation day- students or staff. I think this year the staff won that contest. I can't say too much here, but there's a lot of things going on at work right now that are making it a very stressful place to be. Hopefully a summer of rest for everyone will help that situation a bit.

Frank is doing okay. I'm not sure if I've blogged about his ear infection saga or not, and am feeling too lazy to go back and check. Anyway, he had an upper respiratory creeping crud thing back in late January; I brought him to the pediatrician, and she looked in his ears and told me that he also had a double ear infection, a bad one. She prescribed an antibiotic and told me to bring him back in a week to get checked out, it was that bad; normally, for ears, she has patients come back in four weeks. Darrel took him back the following week, and the upper respiratory thing was much better, but the ears were just as bad, so home they came with antibiotic number two. One month later, we went back- the ears were better, but not totally healed, so home we went with antibiotic number three. One month later, (we're now on the first week in April, for those playing along at home) back we went- the ears still had fluid, albeit noninfected. She said that, if not for his history, she wouldn't be concerned about it, but with his history, she recommended that we take him to an ear, nose and throat specialist. (ENT)

Darrel and I took him to Dr. L. Not only was his card one of the handful of possibilities that the pediatrician gave us, but the mother of one of Frank's classmates recommended him, saying he had a good way with kids, and was not "quick to cut". I did not like this doctor, but couldn't put my finger on what bothered me. Anyway, he recomended tubes, which we figured was coming, and when he looked in Frank's throat, he said his tonsils were huge, and would need to come out, and oh, the adenoids would need to go, too- did we hear that nasally quality in Frank's speech? That was from the tonsils and the adenoids being too large. They also needed to come out because they were blocking the Eustachian tubes, and even if he got tubes, in a year or two, we'd be back where we started with the ears. He basically just threw this all at us, without really giving us time to ask questions.

Well, I asked him if the surgery could wait until July- I have off for the summer, and it's not really feasible for either of us to take two weeks off during the school year to be home with Frank while he recovers from surgery. His answer? "It's possible but not optimal. Get Grandma or someone to stay with him, if you can't."

"Well, see, that's precisely the problem," I told him icily. "We don't have anyone who can stay with him."

"Well, you can get Family Leave, right?"

"No, not really. I've been absent too much this school year as is, and I do not have tenure."

Grr. Anyway, we went home and thought the whole thing through, and I talked to my coworkers, experienced mommies all. After hearing many tell me to bring him for a second opinion, I did, to Dr. G.

I should have gone to Dr. G to begin with! From the start, I felt much more comfortable with him. After listening to me tell him the history, he looked in Frank's throat and commented, "Well, his tonsils are kinda big, but they're not the biggest I've ever seen. How many times has he had tonsilitis?"

"Um...he's never been diagnosed with it," I told him. Yes, I fully appreciate that he may have had it but never been formally diagnosed with it, which is why I phrased the repsonse that way. Dr. G frowned.

"Does he have sleep apnea? Snoring, sounds like he stops breathing during the night?"

"He breathes deeply, but he doesn't do that stereotypical snore, you know? And as for the breathing...we don't keep the monitor on all night. I can't say that he does, but I can't say that he doesn't, either."

Dr. G explained that he was not a fan of "while we're in there, let's yank the tonsils, too." He said without sleep apnea and without a history of tonsilitis, he was uncomfortable recommending the tonsils come out, and referred him for a sleep study, in the pediatric sleep lab at the hospital.

We did the sleep study Friday night. Yay for spending the night ina vinyl recliner next to Frank's crib. [/heavy sarcasm] Frank was confused and upset, and kept asking to go home. :( Beforehand, I had cringed at the thought of the electrodes- yay for putting sticky things on the skin of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder! This is a child who won't even let us put a band-aid on him. Seriously, he'd rather bleed. We even tried the Elmo band-aids- no dice. However, he handled the electrodes better than I had thought he would. he still wasn't happy about them, but he didn't try to yank them all off like I'd expected him to.

The other annoyance was, when he rolled over during the night, some of the electrodes fell off, which meant the tech had to come in and reattach them, waking him up in the process. Needless to say, both Frank and I were just in a wonderful mood by about 6am, when they sent us on our merry way. Saturday night, we both slept quite well!

The good news is, he does not have sleep apnea! I need to make the follow-up appointment with Dr G (I transferred his records from Dr L to Dr G last week), and then schedule the surgery. But I feel much better not having to do the tonsils- the recovery time will apparently be half without that!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This is a sport??

Darrel is watching the Masters downstairs. It's a big golf tournament. It seems like there's a Big Golf Tournament on TV every other weekend in spring, but I digress. Why exactly is golf classified as a sport?? I'm with Rosie O'Donnell on this one: there's no defense. Also, unless you are walking from hole to hole in the hot sun, there is no sweating or exertion.

Along those lines, why is poker regularly shown on the various incarnations of ESPN?? (Or the Travel Channel, for that matter?) Poker certainly cannot be considered a sport by anyone's definition. An activity, a highly enjoyable one (sometimes), sure, but sport? Nope.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week off

So, I had this week off from school. Well, I had this week off except for Monday- we had to go in that day, to make up from the extra snow day we had. All of the kids who made it to school looked thoroughly ticked off that they were there. One of them even snapped at me something like, "I don't even want to be here today, anyway!" I snapped back, "Me either, pal. I'd much rather be at home working in my garden than here!" He looked so shocked and shut right up. I swear, they must truly think we staff live in the school building or something. Try as I might, I cannot for the life of me remember what I thought teachers did on the weekends when I was in high school!

So, Tuesday, Wednesday, and today, I did a whole lot of nothing. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I ran some errands, but most of what I've done this week is scrapbooking. I have a ton of old family photos from various sources, and they were all essentially given to me in a bag or box, and a few albums, but mostly unlabelled. I have been going through them all, trying to organize them, so I can put them in photo-safe scrapbooks. I've done quite a lot of it this week, but I expect to be working on it for many weeks yet. (Why did I end up getting all these photos? I am the Family Genealogist, which apparently means I need to have all this stuff.) I'm giving some of the photos to my brother and sister. I already gave away some of them (Really, why on earth do I need multiple photos from the multiple proms Little Brother went to?? Or Little Sister's dances recitals??), but there's more that's going to be given away, I think.

Frank's daycare is closed tomorrow. I had him in daycare all week, which was why I was able to get so much of the photo stuff organized. He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, to check on his ears, which have been plaugued with ear infections all winter. If his ears still show signs of infection tomorrow, it's off to an ENT we go. I have a feeling that means we'd be discussing ear tubes. *sigh* One way I certainly did not want my kid taking after me, that's for sure. I had tubes when I was a kid, and I know the surgery is relatively minor as far as surgeries go- even in 1979, and with all my health problems, I was in and out in one day- but I don't want my kid to need surgery, obviously.

We are hosting both families here Sunday. Whee! I got baskets for all the kids. I think Darrel thinks I went a bit overboard, but I wanted to make being dragged around to family things all day with a bunch of people they only see seldom slightly more fun for my nieces.

What doe sone serve with leg of lamb? I've only made it once before, just for us, so I really have no idea.

PS. I forgot to mention that it snowed here yesterday. SNOWED! In April. It didn't stick, but come's APRIL!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I got my husband to join Facebook!! Bwahahahaha! This is absolute proof that resistance is in fact futile. ;) He resisted it for a long time, but he's taken to it like a duck to water, and been posting smack talk with all The Guys.

It is still cold here, although not as cold as it's been. I could really do without seeing temperatures in the 30 degree range for a long time, though. I'm also still not enamored with waking up while it's pitch dark. I do not like Daylight Savings Time coming this early in the season. It doesn't save us any money around here, that's for sure- the heat has to go on earlier so I don't freeze my ass off when I wake up (we turn it way down at night), and I'm using lights in the morning so I don't trip over all the toys my son leaves all over the living room! I actually read an article recently about one state, I believe Indiana, that only finally began using DST about four years ago, and their usage of electricity has gone up since they began using it, not down!

I'm dying to get outside and work on my various gardens. It seems that my beds that frame the front walkway have flowers in them- it looks like tulips are coming up! I bought crocuses to plant, but now I'm glad I didn't plant them last fall, like I was planning to- I can see what flowers I have and where. I'll eventually plant them somewhere, of course, but I want to rip out a bunch of bushes and rearrange things first.

I also bought seeds for a vegetable garden. I think I want it right underneath my kitchen window; I think that'll get the best sunlight of anywhere in the backyard. I want to plant cucumbers, peppers, and of course, tomatoes. (This is Jersey, after all!!) I have no idea how to rip up the grass that's in that spot, though- do I just use a shovel on it? Then I'll have to get fencing for the entire perimeter, to keep the critters out.

Speaking of critters, the bears haven't been back yet. Not that I miss them, mind you. I just worry about them whether they're here or not. I love the idea of the swingset Frank will have out in the backyard come late spring- Mom, Aunt, Uncle, and my sister got him one for Christmas- but I worry about being outside during the day with him, when there's no one else around- what if the bears show up??

Today is a lazy Sunday. I interpreted this morning, came home, made a pizza for lunch, and we put Frank in for a nap. Darrel and I have a live draft tonight for our fanatasy baseball league we're in with my brother, among others. I have no clue what I'm doing! Should be fun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Amazing Race

Okay, yes, it's a "reality show", and normally I hate the whole genre. But Darrel got me hooked on this show several seasons back. We mostly giggle at the draaaamaaaa that goes on, but we really do like being able to say, "Hey, we've been there!" occasionally.

This season (number 14) is different, though: There's a deaf guy on it, with his mom. A really deaf guy, who doesn't really use speech much, unlike, say, Marlee Matlin. Whom I adore, by the way- I think she's a really good actress, and it's nice for the kids to have someone so high profile to look up to. She's quite sweet, too- we took the kids to hear her speak (okay, see her speak) a few years back, and she took plenty of time with each student, especially the deaf-blind kid, at the autograph signing afterwards. Oh, and I got my picture taken with her interpreter, Jack, who is also quite nice.

Anyway, I think it's cool that they have this guy, Luke, and his mom, Margie, on the show. They're doing very well, so far, too- they've come in first twice and fourth twice. I also like how their thing is "the deaf guy and his mom", (for those who don't watch the show, every team of two people has a thing- this time around, there's two brothers who are stuntmen, a gay man and his gay dad, former NFL cheerleaders, flight attendants, etc.) but his deafness doesn't seem to make much difference in the race.

I'm kind of surprised more of the kids aren't watching the show, though; they certainly tuned in when the deaf woman was on "Survivor"! But the interpreting staff discusses the latest episode every Monday morning. ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


So, I've been pretty busy the last few weeks, as you may have guessed, since I didn't update much. The primary reason is the spring musical at school. We had three deaf kids in the cast this year, the first time I think we've ever had deaf kids in the cast, and I was doing most of the interpreting for them. For much of the rehearsal time, I was only doing two days a week, but the last two weeks, I was there EVERY DAY after school. This is because I had to learn when the kids needed to be onstage and when they needed to come off, about costume changes, etc.

I didn't need to know all that so I could tell them- they all knew what they needed to do. I needed to be there because one of them, B, has Usher Syndrome. US is a genetic disorder in which one is deaf and eventually goes blind. It's never predictable as to how much vision one will lose, either. B has lost much of his peripheral vision already, and his night vision is very poor; this means he's legally blind, and will never be permitted to get a driver's license. B wanted me with them during all performances so I could serve as his sight guide getting him on and offstage- when the house lights go down, he can't see anything.

All around, it was an incredibly positive experience for them and for me. The theater kids proved very open to the idea of having deaf kids in the cast (B even had one line- he signed it while another boy onstage voiced it.) and to the idea of learning to sign. It's one of the few times I've interpreted an activity where the deaf kids didn't cluster together in a corner- they totally integrated themselves with the hearing kids! It was wonderful.

The performances went great as well; the Sunday matinee, the final performance, was SOLD OUT. It became standing room only because more and more people just kept showing up!

In a way, I'm kind of sad it's all over, but at the same time, I'm quite happy to have my life back. Darrel was picking up Frank at daycare every day, which meant he was there until 5:30pm most nights, as opposed to when I pick him up, when he's usually out of there by around 3pm. I got home most nights well after Frank was in bed, so I saw him for maybe a half hour in the morning.

I calculated how much OT pay I'll be getting, and I'll have plenty to get the powder room redone! Yay! :)


I'm home today because Frank gave me pink eye. I am waiting for my doctor's office to open at 9am so I can call and get an appointment. I have been sick kind of the last several days, trying to fight off a cold, and I think it's bordering on a sinus infection, so I probably would have tried to get an appointment before the end of the week, anyway, but it annoys me that I have to take a sick day for stupid pink eye.


We have an Army base about two miles from my house. Every once in a while, we hear a BOOM from that direction; I don't know what they set off, but it's pretty loud. We also have blasting going on out on route 80, for construction. So I get the BOOMs from both directions. Anyway, I don't know which I just heard, but it scared the crap out of me, and it shook the house!

Hm, maybe it was another earthquake...some people said the first two felt simply like an explosion...