Wednesday, February 28, 2007

being sick sucks

I have never been a good sick person. Many people I know can get a cold and go on with their lives. Ever since I was a young child a simple cold will put me in bed for days. Sunday night I started to feel a bit congested but since I have chronic allergies I thought it was because I had worked in my basement all day. I woke up Monday morning and realized I was wrong. I had a cold. I sent JB to work and just stayed mellow and indoors with the boys all day. By the time JB got home from work I was wiped and needed to lay down on the couch. I was sick indeed. When I woke up Tuesday morning I had to make the tough decision to have John stay home from work.

Being sick a few years ago when I was working full time was different. If I was so sick that I couldn't (or shouldn't) go into the office JB would drop Enzo off at daycare, go to work and I would rest all day in a quiet house. Now I have two kids and I no longer have that luxury. It is exhausting staying home full time with two kids. It is even more so when you don't feel well. There is no such thing as nap time for mom. So when I woke up Tuesday morning I told JB that if I was working outside of the home there is no way I would go in to work. Because I was this sick I had to ask him to call out from work to stay home so I could try and get some rest. Although I couldn't check out completely (it is hard to sleep when all you hear are children screaming and running around downstairs)but I did manage to nap twice and rest a lot more.

So now it is Wednesday and I did the same. It is so weird how in this country we feel so incredibly guilty when we get sick and need to take care of ourselves. I firmly believe that if people would stop at the first sign of a cold, get in bed and take care of themselves for the first few days, they would heal faster and spread less germs. Instead because of the pressure they feel from their company and or lack of sick leave policies people push themselves, go into work sick, spread all their germs, end up being sick for longer and getting half of their office sick too. Just because you think the company will crumble without you for a couple of days you instead hurt the company more because so many people get sick.

I have to say I am glad to not deal with that office shit anymore. I hated seeing people push themselves to the limits. Someday we will realize the healthier we are in mind and body the more productive we are at our work as well.

Listen to you bodies, trust your instincts and take care of yourself.

off to sip some lemon tea with honey now.

peace

Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekend update

I love when weekends feel complete. A complete weekend for me is when I feel like I had a balance of family time, me time and house time. These weekends are rare, but when they come they feel wonderful.

Friday started out the festivities. Enzo and I had a date night. Our local science center has special events for pass holders when they are opening a new exhibit. They invite all pass holders to a special preview of the exhibit on a Friday evening. This time it was for an event called Frog World. We received the postcard in the mail a week ago and Enzo has been counting down the days ever since. We have been trying to do more alone time with each kid and Enzo is loving it. He very seldom ever gets me all to himself so it was a special treat. We ate pizza with JB when he got home from work and then we took off for our Frog World date night. It was a blast.

Saturday morning I headed out at 8:30 am with two of my girlfriends for a day of kid sale shopping and followed up with a baby shower for a mutual friend of ours. I had done all my food shopping on Friday so I could be gone for half the day and not stress about it. We stopped at a local baby/kid boutique that resells clothing and other goods. They were having a mega sale. I picked up a wooden two sided art board for the kids for $15.00. It rocks. We had a broken table top one but they could not use it at the same time. I was psyched to score this. After the shopping spree we headed to a baby shower. The shower was for a former coworker of mine so just about everyone who attended I knew. It was so great to hang out with friends. Oh if I didn't mention this earlier I left both boys home with JB during this Saturday exhibition. Even more I enjoyed the car rides with my friends. I usually don't get a chance to talk to anyone without the boys tugging at my legs. It was a wonderful outing.

Sunday we stayed around the house. JB and I took turns working in the basement. We are working on turning a section of the basement into a studio office. I have been using it as my jewelry studio by working on an old table down there. We finally moved this incredible work bench that was left when we bought the house from one end of the basement into this space. This work bench will now be my jewelry work area and JB is going to set up a desk so he can have a space for working on his projects as well. I am so excited to finally get this space finished. The basement itself is not finished so it is cold in the winter but it is so great to have a space for my work. I will post pictures as it starts coming together more. Sunday night I stayed up way too late to watch the Oscars. I thought my allergies were bothering me from working in the basement all day but low and behold when I woke up today it feels like more of cold.

Oh well. Welcome to Monday. At least the weekend was good.

Friday, February 23, 2007

small reminders

I just found this poem I wrote a few years ago. It is the perfect day to have found it. I really needed to read something like this today.
---------------------------
when days are long
and tears run far
and all seems to go wrong
just reach out.
Touch that sweet gentle face before you
wiggle their tiny toes
hug them tight and remember.
how little they once were
how much crazier things have been
how much you have learned
and how strong you now are

it is amazing
this trip we are on
when at times it seems so tough
I stop for a moment and smile
and I feel so thankful
for all I have
and for who I now am.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Leave my child alone

You may not know it, but under a little known provision of No Child Left Behind, public high schools must hand over personal information about students -- including minors -- to local military recruiters, or risk losing federal education funding. I think it's a real invasion of family privacy and local school control.

The good news is that I just found some great information and a useful online tool that makes it easy to "opt out" our children from these lists. Just go to:

www.leavemychildalone.org

You can also help change the law that lets military recruiters prey on our minor children without parents' explicit permission. Hope you find it useful!

Where can I find the actual military recruiter provision in No Child Left Behind?
The requirements are contained in Section 9528 of PL-107-110, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (codified in 20 USC 7908):

Read it here

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentines Day blizzard

**Update - they are now saying this is the second biggest snowstorm in Vermont history. We also just set a new record for most snow fallen in a 24 hour period in VT.

The first three pictures were taken yesterday at about 4:00pm. By that time it had been snowing nonstop all day. JB started shoveling around 2:00pm to get on top of it. At 2pm we had about 12" two hours later when he finished and I snapped these pictures were up to about 16". The snow kept coming and by 8:30pm we were at about 22". The final tally now is 25.7 inches.

The last two pictures I took this morning after the snow had stopped.

I haven't seen this much snow in a long long time. At one point last night I started to feel a bit claustrophobic as I watched the snow pile up and cover our doors. We had to keep up with clearing out our gas meter and our gas exhaust vent. The fire dept already made several trips to homes last night because of exhaust vents being covered in snow and high levels of carbon monoxide were found in a few of the homes. I know one person was brought to the ER because of it. Then at about 7pm our heater stopped blowing hot air. It would only blow out cold. I got a bit nervous at this point. We have a wood stove so I was not worried about getting heat. I just wanted to make sure our heater was not faulty in anyway. Of course the gas company was flooded with calls. We ended up restarting the heater, vacuuming out the filter and making sure our exhaust was clear. luckily this worked. We put the kids to bed, opened up an incredible bottle of wine that a friend brought us from Chili several years ago (thanks RS) and toasted to an eventful Valentines day.





FYI - if your exhaust gets covered with snow or ice it can build up a dangerous level of carbon monoxide in your home. Whether or not you live in a wintery place - you NEED to have a carbon monoxide detector on every level in your home. We had horrible tragedy happen here about a year ago where a faulty heating system killed one student and injured many others in an apartment building due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Vaccinations

I did vax both of my kids. I chose to do selective and delayed vaxing however. What this means is I educated myself on each of the vaccinations that were going to be given to my child and I chose which ones I wanted to give them and which ones I didn't. I also chose to have some separated out instead of always giving 4 different ones at the same time. Selective and delayed vaxing is becoming a common for parents who are the fence about vaccinations. In case anyone is interested - I delayed the Hep-B until the kids were older than infants, I spread out a few of the clusters of multiple vaxs at once and I completely opted out of giving both of my children the Chicken pox and the flu vax.

I will never preach to anyone that you should or shouldn't give your children vaccinations. I believe every parent has to do what feels right for them.

But I will preach about educating yourselves so you can make the right choices for your family. Remember that when you walk into your pediatricians office you have the right to ask about any shots they are getting that day. You have the right to ask any questions and even refuse if it is something you are not sure of.

In the news lately has been the vaccination for HPV. It is already mandatory in the state of Texas. I know a rep in VT is now trying to pass a bill to have it be mandatory here as well. I urge everyone to read and educate themselves on this new vaccine as much as possible. I am not for or against this vaccine yet. I just get worried when Merck comes out with a new vaccine and then goes on a huge campaign add selling it as a "cancer" vaccine scarring America out of it's wits, then all of a sudden every state is making it mandatory for young pre puberty girls, Merck makes millions and we don't even know the long term effects of this drug . I just think we need to be careful and cautious.

Also in the news today the FDA issued a warning on an infant vaccine for childhood diarrhea. Read the story here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I have recently found myself in a position where I may have to find a part time job temporarily. Because I cannot afford childcare for two (and I would like to avoid it) I will need to find something that offers nights and weekend work.

Even more aggravating than having to do this has been the reaction I get from working parents when I express my feelings about having to take this step. When I express how hard it is going to be to stay home with the children all day and then leave to go to another job at night I am blown away by their response. I think sometimes my friends and family forget that I worked full time outside of the home 5 days a week until Enzo was 4. I do know how hard it is. I know the stress of drop off and pick ups, pumping in the bathroom between meetings, making lunches and getting absolutely nothing done during the week at the house.

Then I went to the other side. I am not here to judge or say that one is better than the other. The fact of the matter is they are both incredibly hard. I have lived in both worlds. For me personally the stress of trying to balance both a full time career and mothering was too much stress on my body. I needed a change. I had my second child and along with the cost of childcare for two being insane I also wanted to try staying home full time.

It ain't no pile of pancakes I can tell you that. Anyone who thinks it is is fooling themselves. I thought I would have so much time to get the chores done, appointments made, food shopping done etc. A good week is I get a few loads of wash done and put away. A typical week is the basket of clothes I washed on Monday are still sitting in the basket unfolded come Saturday. I still do the food shopping on the weekends because it is much easier for me to go by self than it is to tote two kids with me. Appointments for the kids are easier but anything for myself goes undone. I have to make JB take time off from work if I need to go to a Dr appointment or something because I have no one to watch the kids.

I absolutely do not miss the stress and rat race of working outside of the home full time. What I do miss the most is going to the bathroom by myself, sitting down to eat lunch, being able to take a break or two and the downtime in the car.

So yes I do understand how hard it is to work full time outside the home and raise children. Just don't judge me and think I have it so easy.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Give me a break

On Thursday Feb 1 Bush said the following about childhood obesity.
"Childhood obesity is a costly problem for the country. It puts stress on American families. And we believe it is necessary to come up with a coherent strategy to help folks all throughout our society cope with the issue". read the story here

What a frickin' joke. It is because of his No Child Left Behind act that our children get about 5 minutes of play time outside at school. Physical education is being cut so students can prepare for his stupid tests. No I don't think it is only up to the schools to get our kids in shape but since they spend the majority of their days at school it sure would help.

How about this for a plan?

1. Gym and outside time is a requirement for school systems to make the grade from now on.
2. Soda and candy machines be banned from schools
3. School lunches get an overhaul
4. How about we start grading our schools on the how healthy are kids are instead of his standardized tests? You can pump these kids full of testing all you want but if they continue to stay as unhealthy as their futures consist of more issues than where to find a job.
5. Parents wake up and realize their kids eat like shit because they allow it. Model good eating habits at home. No we can't control our kids every move when they leave the house but at least if they are eating well at home they have a better shot.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Am I dreaming?

To start this off I have to tell you that I am knocking on wood as I type this. My youngest son Sal made leaps in bounds in our bedtime routine this week. I won't complain too much because I have had it pretty good I know but I have experienced my share of sleep issues with this child. It took me one year to get him to nap anywhere but on me. For a year he napped one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon in my lap. After that he napped in his crib twice a day until a few months ago and then he cut out the morning nap and stuck to a one hour afternoon nap still in his crib though.

I have always been lucky with both kids getting them to go to sleep at night. Enzo went to bed at 7pm as a baby and slept through the night always. Sal also goes down no problem at 7pm but he has been night waker for the past twenty months. My bed time routine has consisted of the following:
1. bath and or get in pjs.
2. read books in his room
3. shut off light
4. walk around room & rock in chair while singing songs until he falls asleep
5. put in crib once asleep

Sometimes he would go right down, other times I have to pick him up and repeat the walking around and singing a few times.

This week however he threw me for a HUGE loop. Three days ago I was putting him to bed. We read books, I shut out the light and said "ok now we will rock and sing some songs". Before I could even sit in the rocking chair he said "bed". My response was "what?" Again he repeated "bed". I said "You want to go in your bed?" He said "yes". Then I said "are you sure you don't want to sing any songs?" His response was "bed".

So I put him in his crib, kissed him good night and walked out the door. I went downstairs in complete bewilderment. This has now gone on for three days. I am sure it won't last but I will hold out hope that our bedtime routine is just finally sinking in and he feels so comfortable that he is now ok going to sleep on his own.

It felt so freeing but also a bit sad at the same time. One small step in his growing independence.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Yesterday was hat making day.
Here we are in all our glory.