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!!